G.W. Blunt White Library

Synopsis of the Voyages of the Charles W. Morgan


The Charles W. Morgan, built in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1841 at Hillman Brothers' Yard, was a full rigged double decker made of oak, was iron and copper fastened, with a square stern, a scroll head, and no galleries. Her dimensions, according to her first registration certificate of 4 September 1841, were: burthen, 351 31/95 tons; length, 106' 6"; beam, 27' 2 1/2"; depth of hold, 13' 7 1/4".

In 1867 she was rerigged as a bark and was readmeasured under the new rules. Her dimensions, listed in her 1867 registration and throughout the remainder of her career, were: tonnage, 313.75 [gross]; length, 105.6'; beam, 27.7'; and depth of hold, 17.6'. Her official number was 5380 and her call letters were JBPN.

A brief synopsis of her 37 voyages is provided below, the ports of call and the places where spoken being drawn from the Whalemen's Shipping List. It is, therefore, not a complete itinerary, but merely the barest outline, so that a good idea of the extent of her cruises can readily be obtained. Further, since the Whalemen's Shipping List ceased publication in 1914, the items from the last - three voyages of the Morgan are drawn from Hegarty's Returns of Whaling Vessels.

Of special note is the fact that, although the Morgan was sailing from San Francisco from 1887 to 1906, her port of registry remained New Bedford.


Following is a synopsis of her voyages:

Voyage 1: 6 September 1841, sailed from New Bedford

Thomas A. Norton, Master, C W. Morgan and others, owners
September 1842, at Tombez (Tumbes, Peru)
November 1842, on Off Shore (whaling grounds west of Peru)
26 February 1843, at Paita, Chile
09 August 1843, at Paita
17 January 1844, off Mas Afuera (Juan Fernandez Islands)
29 January 1844, at Paita
13 August 1844, at Monterey, homeward bound
01 January, 1845, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 2: 10 June, 1845, sailed
J D Sampson, Master, C. W. Morgan and others, owners
11 July 1845, at St. Michaels (Azores)
28 July 1845, at Fayal (Azores)
18 January 1846, near Sunday Island (Kermadec Islands, South Pacific)
March 1846, off Three Kings (Islands, New Zealand)
10 March 1846, off French Rock (L'Esperance Rock, Kermadec Islands)
13 May 1846, off Sunday Island
07 July 1846, sailed from Navigator Island (Samoa, South Pacific)
22 July 1846, on New Zealand (whaling grounds)
05 December 1846, off the west coast of New Zealand
24 December 1846, off New Zealand
06 March 1847, off New Zealand June 1847, off Fiji Islands
15 November, off New Zealand
01 October, off Fiji Islands
20 January 1848, at the Bay of Islands (New Zealand)
01 May 1848, off French Rock
09 December 1848, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 3: 05 June 1849, sailed
J. D. Sampson, Master, Edward M. Robinson and others, owners
06 August 1849, at Cape Verde Islands
[09 October 1849, at Lahaina?]
20 December 1849, off New Holland (Australia)
07 February 1850, at Bay of Islands
15 March 1850, off Hope Island (Hope Shoal, N. Z.?)
01 August 1850, at Rotuma, South Pacific
29 August 1851, on On-the-Line West (whaling grounds)
06 March 1852, off Sunday Island
14 March 1852, at Sunday Island
20 April 1852, off French Rock
04 May 1852, off Sunday Island
11 January 1853, at Bay of Islands
27 May 1853, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 4: 20 September 1853, sailed
Tristram P. Ripley, Master, I. Howland Jr. & Co., owners
08 October 1853, off Flores (Azores?, River de la Plata?)?)
09 December 1853, off the River de la Plata
22 March 1854, at Lahaina, Hawaii; sailed 1 April
13 May 1854, at Honolulu
30 July 1854, in the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia
23 October 1854, at Lahaina; sailed 5 November
24 June 1855, in Sea of Japan
25 October 1855, at Lahaina; sailed 7 November
27 April 1856, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 5: 15 September 1856, sailed
Thomas N. Fisher, Master I., Howland Jr. & Co., owners
08 October 1856, at Fayal
10 January 1857, off Guasso (?)
05 April 1857, sailed from Lahaina
04 September 1857, in Sea of Okhotsk
08 November 1857, at Honolulu; sailed 28 November
March 1858, at Ascension Island (Eastern Caroline Islands)
June 1858, in Sea of Okhotsk
15 November 1858, at Honolulu
16 April 1859, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 6: 04 October 1859, sailed
James A. Hamilton, Master; same owners
End of November 1859, off River de la Plata
27 February 1860, at Talcahuano, Chile
17 April 1860, sailed from Honolulu for the Sea of Okhotsk
15 September 1860, in the Sea of Okhotsk
29 November 1860, at Honolulu
27 January 1861, on the coast of Lower California
07 February 1861, in Scammon's Lagoon (Lower California ?)
20 March 1861, in Turtle Bay (Bahia Tortugas), Lower California
15 April 1861, at Honolulu; sailed 27 April for the Sea of Okhotsk
21 November 1861, at Honolulu; sailed 11 December for the California Coast
08 April 1862, at Lahaina; sailed 24 April for the Sea of Okhotsk
15 November 1862, at Honolulu; sailed 3 December for New Bedford
12 May 1863, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 7: 01 December 1863, sailed
Thomas C. Landers, Master, Joseph & William R. Wing & Co., owners
12 January 1864, Cape Verde Islands
23 April 1864, sailed from Honolulu for the Arctic
23 June 1864, in the Sea of Okhotsk
20 September 1864, in the Sea of Okhotsk
26 September 1864, at Shantar Bay (Sea of Okhotsk)
23 November 1864, at Honolulu
03 December 1864, at Honolulu; 8 December, sailed westward
30 December 1864, passed Baker's Island
? at Hakodate, Japan
04 October 1865, in Sea of Okhotsk
08 November 1865, arrived at Hawaiian Islands
04 December 1865, sailed from Honolulu for cruise
19 November 1866, at Honolulu; sailed 29 November for New Bedford
19 March 1867, off River de la Plata
10 May, 1867, at Barbados:
12 June 1867, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 8: Rerigged as a bark, now 314 gross tons
17 July 1867, sailed
George Athearn, Master; same owners
04 September 1867, at Fayal
? off Guasso
13 March 1868, at San Carlos (Falklands)
08 May 1868, off the Galapagos Islands
06 September 1868, at Tahiti
18 January 1869, at Paita
22 April 1869, at Talcahuano; sailed 29 April
31 July 1869, at Esmaralda (Esmaraldas, Ecuador)
October 1869, off the Galapagos
29 April 1870, sailed from Talcahuano
June 1870, off Mas Afuera
25 August 1870, sailed from Talcahuano
19 November 1870, off Mas Afuera
24 April 1871, at Barbados
16 May 1871, sailed from Bermuda
16 August 1871, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 9: 26 September 1871, sailed
John M. Tinkham, Master; same owners
October, at Fayal; 30 October, sailed
25 May 1872, at Mauritius; 7 June sailed
28 July 1872, at Anton Gilts Bay (Antongi] Bay, Madagascar)
17 October 1872, at Mauritius
21 October 1872, at Reunion Island (Indian Ocean)
01 June 1873, at Mahe (Seycheles Islands, Indian Ocean)
07 November 1873, at St. Denis (Reunion Island)
25 December 1873, at Cape Town
11 May 1874, sailed from Fayal
03 July 1874, off Flores (Azores)
31 October 1874, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 10: 23 April 1875, sailed
Same master and owners
15 October 1875, at St. Michaels; sailed 20 October
04 November 1875, sailed from Bravo (Cape Verde Islands)
01 June 1876, at Fayal; sailed 18 June
17 November 1876, sailed from St. Helena
04 March 1877, at Kebenda (Cabinda, Congo)
07 June 1877, sailed from St. Helena
21 July 1877, off the African Coast
30 October 1877, sailed from St. Helena
22 February 1878, off Ascension Island
17 May 1878, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 11: 17 July 1878, sailed
T. L. Ellis, Master; same owners
26 August 1878, sailed from Fayal
07 September 1878, off St. Antonio (Santa Antao), Cape Verde Islands
31 March 1879, at St. Helena
24 April 1879, off St. Helena, cutting in
28 April, sailed from St. Helena
14 September, at St. Helena; sailed 17 October
29 March 1880, at St. Helena; sailed 14 April
27 September 1880, at Cabinda
30 October 1880, at St. Helena; sailed 11 November
24 February 1881, sailed from St. Helena
19 March 1881, at St. Helena
11 May 1881, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 12: 13 July 1881, sailed
C. F. Keith, Master; same owners
26 October 1881, sailed from Fayal
17 November 1881, off Bravo
05 December 1881, off Bravo
12 June 1882, at Mangonui (Kaitai, New Zealand)
17 January 1883, at Chatham Island (SE of New Zealand)
15 June 1883, at Mangonui
19 July 1883, on New Zealand (whaling grounds)
16 February 1884, off Chatham Island
22 May 1884, at the Bay of Islands
13 June 1884, sailed from Mangonui
20 June 1885, at Mangonui
23 February 1886, at Chatham Island
17 June 1886, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 13: 06 October 1886, sailed
George A. Smith, Master; same owners
26 February 1887, at Norfolk Island (NE of Sydney, Australia)
14 April 1887, sailed from Guam
16 July 1887, at Hakodate
? in Sea of Okhotsk
04 November 1887, at San Francisco
Voyage 14: 03 December 1887, sailed
Same master and owners
01 May 1888, at St. Michaels (Island, Bering Sea)
01 June 1888, in Sea of Japan
29 June, 18 July 1888, Sea of Japan
05 November 1888, at San Francisco
Voyage 15: 26 November 1888, sailed
J. S. Layton, Master; same owners
January 1889, at the Caroline Islands
14 May 1889, in the Sea of Japan
15 July 1889, in the Sea of Japan
27 October 1889, at San Francisco
Voyage 16: 05 December 1889, sailed
Same master; same owners
March 1890, in the Yellow Sea
July 1890, in the Sea of Japan
28 July 1890, in the Sea of Okhotsk
08 November 1890, at San Francisco
Voyage 17: 02 December 1890, sailed
J. A. M. Earle, Master; same owners
12 March 1891, in the Yellow Sea
08 July 1891, at Vladivostock
31 October 1891, at San Francisco
Voyage 18: 24 November 1891, sailed
Same master; same owners
May 1892, in the Sea of Japan
01 July 1892, at Vladivostock
August, in the Sea of Okhotsk
07 November 1892, at San Francisco
Voyage 19: 08 December 1892, sailed
Same master; same owners
09 November 1893, at San Francisco
Voyage 20: 06 December 1893, sailed
Same master; same owners
28 January 1894, at Ascension (Eastern Caroline Islands)
21 July 1894, at Hakodate
23 October 1894, at Russell, New Zealand; 31 October, sailed
29 December 1894, at Auckland, New Zealand; sailed 22 February 1895
July at Hakodate
05 November 1895, at San Francisco
Voyage 21: 02 December 1895, sailed
Same master; same owners
07 January 1896 at Honolulu; sailed 10 January
l0 July 1896, at Hakodate
0l November 1896, at San Francisco
Voyage 22: 03 December 1896, sailed
J. S. Layton, Master; same owners
? at Saipan
May 1897, at Hakodate
July 1897, at Hakodate
25 October 1897, at San Francisco
Voyage 23: 11 November 1897, sailed
Thomas Scullan, Master; same owners
09 January 1898, at Ascension Islands
17 July 1898, at Hakodate
28 October 1898, at San Francisco
Voyage 24: 26 November 1898, sailed
Same master; same owners
28 December 1898, off Honolulu
25 April 1899, at Hakodate
31 July 1899, at Hakodate
02 November 1899, at San Francisco
Voyage 25: 07 December 1899, sailed
Same master; same owners
30 March 1900, at Hakodate
16 July 1900, at Hakodate
29 October 1900, at San Francisco
Voyage 26: 22 November 1900, sailed
J. A. M. Earle, Master; same owners
July 1901, at Hakodate
29 October, at San Francisco
Voyage 27: 27 November 1901, sailed
Thomas Scullan, Master; same owners
11 January 1902, at Marquesas (Islands)
06 July 1902, at Hakodate
28 October 1902, at San Francisco
Voyage 28: 20 November 1902, sailed
J. A. M. Earle, Master; same owners
30 December 1902, at Marquesas
11 March 1903, at the Bonin Islands
17 July 1903, at Hakodate
27 October 1903, at San Francisco
Voyage 29: 18 November 1903, sailed
Same master; same owners
2 February 1904, at Guam
June 1904, at Hakodate; July, at Hakodate
31 October 1904, at San Francisco
Voyage 30: 25 November 1904, sailed
E. J. Reed, Master; same owners
20 May 1905, at Norfolk Islands, New Zealand; sailed 29 May
18 August 1905, sailed from Papeete
06 April 1906, at Barbados; sailed 14 April
12 June 1906, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 31: 11 August 1906, sailed
J. A. M. Earle, Master; same owners
09 October 1906, at St. Vincent, Cape Verde Islands
May 1907, Natal, South Africa; sailed 19 July 1907
03 September 1907, at Port Natal
06 September 1907, at Durban; 25 September 1907, sailed
24 April 1908, at Cape Town; sailed 30 April
04 July 1908, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 32: 02 September 1908, sailed
A. O. Gibbons, Master, same owners
11 December 1908, at Tristan da Cunha
05 May 1909, at Durban
06 November 1909, at Port Natal
09 June 1910, sailed from St. Helena
12 September 1910, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 33: 10 May 1911, sailed
Charles S. Church, Master, same owners
(Mrs. Church was aboard during this voyage)
August 1911, on the western whaling. grounds
15 September 1911, at Fayal; sailed 11 October
11 November 1911, at Cape Verde Islands
18 April 1912, at Durban
July 1912, off Mahe
October 1912, at Durban
10 May 1913, at St. Helena
09 August 1913, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 34: 05 September 1916, sailed for Desolation Island, Antarctica
Benjamin D. Cleveland, Master and owner
23 October 1917, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 35: 16 July 1918, sailed to cruise the Atlantic
James Edwards, Master; J. A. Cook, owner
07 September 1919, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 36: 18 October 1919, sailed to cruise the Atlantic
James Edwards, Master ; Edwards, owner
16 July 1920, arrived New Bedford
Voyage 37: 09 September 1920, sailed from Provincetown
J. Gonsalves, Master; J. A. Cook, owner
28 May 1921, arrived Provincetown

Sources for the above information:

  • American Bureau of Shipping, Record of American and Foreign Shipping
  • American Shipmasters Association, Record of American and Foreign Shipping
  • East Hampton Star (5 December 1913)
  • Hegarty, Reginald B. Returns of Whaling Vessels Sailing from American Ports, 1876-1928
  • Letterbooks of Charles W. Morgan
  • List of Merchant Vessels of the United States (Washington, G.P.O.)
  • The New Bedford Directory (October 1841)
  • The Whalemen's Shipping List