Mystic Seaport Sailing Card Collection (Coll. 112)

An Inventory of the Collection at the G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport

Finding aid prepared by the Manuscripts Division

Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.
Mystic, CT 06355

Overview of the Collection

Title: Mystic Seaport Sailing Card Collection
Abstract: Sailing cards (used to advertise vessel qualifications and sailing dates) for a number of well-known vessels, including the DAVID CROCKETT, GREAT REPUBLIC, and YOUNG AMERICA, and other vessels, including several for other vessels built in Mystic, Connecticut.
Quantity: ca. 200 items
Identification: Coll. 112

History of Sailing Cards

According to "American Maritime Documents 1776-1860" by Doug Stein, sailing cards are;

Often printed on heavy grade card stock, 4" x 6 " being a common size. Many examples feature elaborately engraved scenes, and contain as many as seven different colors. The reverse side is usually blank.

Sailing cards . . . are significant and distinctive maritime documents. Agents or owners commonly advertised the availability and loading of their vessels in the local newspapers, but by the mid-1850's the colorful sailing cards began to appear in the windows of shipping firms, banks, and public shops along the waterfronts in ports like New York and Boston. These cards might be printed several days prior to the anticipated departure, in order to secure last-minute cargo or passengers. Initially a specific sailing date was not included on the card, although some later examples do state that the ship would sail "on or about" a certain day. Sailing cards then, are difficult to date accurately, but it seems that many of the vessels represented on these eye-catching advertisements flourished between the 1850's and the 1880's. Many of the early card announcements were used primarily to advertise sailings to California following the discovery of gold there in 1849. Consequently, [they are] often referred to as "clipper ship sailing cards." Evidence would indicate, however, that they continued to be used long after the preeminence of the clipper (and gold fever) had passed. Despite this lengthy period of use, sailing cards are relatively scarce.


Organization and Arrangement

This collection is organized into three series, the first being whole and original cards, the second series being for reproductions that we have included in the collection, and the third series contains fragments of cards.

Each series is arranged alphabetically by vessel name.


Index Terms

Subjects:
Advertising
Sailing ships
Shipping
Document Types:
Advertising cards
Sailing cards

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Sailing cards arranged by vessel name
Box Folder
1 0 ANDREW JACKSON
1 ALLEGHANEAN
2 ASTERION
3 AUDUBON
4 BELVEDERE
5 BLACK HAWK
6 BLACK PRINCE
7 BLUE JACKET
8 BRYN IVOR
9 BUNKER HILL
10 C. S. PENNELL
11 CARRIER DOVE
12 CELESTIAL EMPIRE
13 CHALLENGER
14 COMET; SCA 1.13
15 COMET; SCA 1.14 (2)
15a COMET
16 CONQUEST
17 CREMORNE
18 DAVID CROCKETT; SCA 1.17
19 DAVID CROCKETT
20 DERBY
21 DON QUIXOTE; SCA 1.20
22 DON QUIXOTE; SCA 1.21
23 DONATI
24 E. H. TAYLOR
25 E. M. YOUNG
26 EAGLE WING
27 ELLEN SEARS
28 EMERALD ISLE
29 ENDEAVOR
30 ENTERPRISE
31 FAVORITA
32 FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE
33 FLYING SCUD
34 FREE TRADE
35 FRIENDS
36 GALATEA; SCA 1.34
37 GALATEA; SCA 1.35
38 GARIBALDI; SCA 1.36
39 GARIBALDI; SCA 1.37
40 GOLDEN FLEECE
41 GOV. MORTON
42 GREAT REPUBLIC
43 HIGHLANDER
44 HORNET; SCA 1.43
45 HORNET; SCA 1.44
46 HORNET; SCA 1.45
47 I. F. CHAPMAN
48 IONE
49 ISAAC JEANES
50 JOHN GILPIN
51 KING PHILIP
52 KINGFISHER
53 LADY WASHINGTON
54 LOGAN
55 LOOKOUT; SCA 1.51
56 LOOKOUT; SCA 1.52
57 LOOKOUT; SCA 1.53
Box Folder
2 1 MAMELUKE
2 MARY ROBINSON
3 MEMNON
4 MERCHANT
5 MIDNIGHT
6 NE PLUS ULTRA
7 OCEAN EXPRESS
8 PANAMA
9 PANTHER
10 PEARL
11 POLLY
12 POLYNESIA
13 POLYNESIA
14 PRIMA DONNA
15 PRINCESS
16 QUEEN OF THE EAST
17 RACER
18 RADUGA
19 RANGOON
20 RICHARD S. ELY
21 ROBIN HOOD
22 ROCKLAND
23 SAMARIA
24 SEA NYMPH
25 SEA SERPENT
26 SEMINOLE
27 SKYLARK
28 STAR OF THE UNION
29 SUCCESS
30 SUNRISE
31 SUNSHINE
32 SUSAN FEARING
33 SYREN
34 THATCHER MAGOUN
35 THERESE
36 TITAN
37 TRIADE TARABOCHIA
38 TYCOON
39 UNDAUNTED
40 VALPARAISO
41 WEALTHY PENDLETON
42 WHISTLER
43 WHITE SWALLOW
44 WM. CHAMBERLAIN
45 WIZARD KING
46 YOUNG AMERICA
47 YOUNG AMERICA
48 YOUNG AMERICA; (Postcard)
49 ZOUAVE
Sailing card reproductions arranged by vessel name
Box Folder
2 50 COMMODORE
50 ERICSSON
50 FLEET-WING
50 GARIBALDI
50 GRACE DARLING
50 IVANHOE
50 LOOKOUT
50 ONTARIO
50 PAULINE
50 REPORTER
50 ST. CHARLES
50 SILAS FISH
Sailing cards - fragments and miscellaneous pieces
Box Folder
2 51 B. F. HOXIE
51 CREOLE
51 CUTWATER
51 DANIEL MARRY
51 DAVID CROCKETT
51 DREADNOUGHT
51 LADOGA
51 MESSENGER
51 NABOB
51 NAPIER
51 PRIMA DONNA
51 ROANOKE
51 WHISTLER