George C. Bugbee Collection (Coll. 143)

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

Collection register prepared by the Manuscripts Division.

Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.
Mystic, Connecticut

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Bugbee, George C.
Title: George C. Bugbee Collection
Dates: 1866-1917
Abstract: Chiefly papers (1866-1869) from Bugbee's voyages as an ordinary seaman aboard the ship PREMIER, of Bangor, Maine, and the bark LOCH LAMAR, including a journal, 3 volumes of his poetry, 3 letters between Bugbee and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James R. Bugbee, of Boston, and miscellaneous notes and sketches; together with clippings of Bugbee's poems printed in newspapers (1916-1917). Bugbee's journal describes life at sea and at port and social condition in cities visited, including Calcutta, India, Pernambuco, Brazil, and Simonstown, South Africa.
Quantity: 45 pieces
Identification: Coll. 143

Biography of George C. Bugbee

Between 1866 and 1869 George C. Bugbee shipped as a ordinary seaman aboard the Ship PREMIER of Bangor, Maine, and the Bark LOCH LAMAR of Stockton. These were general trading voyages, with the vessels calling at various ports, including: Baltimore, San Francisco, Pernambuco (Brazil), Simonstown (S. Africa), Mauritius, and Calcutta.

In 1869 Bugbee lists his hometown as Somerville (Massachusetts), but by 1917 he was living in North Attleboro (Vermont) and was recognized as "well known jeweller." His parents were Mr. And Mrs. James R. Bugbee of Boston.

During the two previously mentioned voyages George Bugbee wrote maritime verse about his experiences and impressions at sea. He evidently remained an active, if not professional, poet and during the years 1916-1917 the Boston Transcript and the Attleboro Sun published several of his poems.

Clippings of these poems are included in this collection, along with three handwritten volumes of Bugbee's poetry, much of it written at sea on board the PREMIER and LOCH LAMAR. Bugbee's journal of his voyage in LOCH LAMAR is also present. It contains a great deal of information about life at sea and activities in port. Bugbee mentions a fire in the ship's cabin while at sea, and reveals the pathetic social conditions and the callous disregard for human life which seemed to identify ports like Calcutta. There are also three letters involving Bugbee and his parents, written while George was at sea (1866-1869), and some miscellaneous notes and sketches.

Index Terms

Bugbee, James R.--Correspondence
Bugbee, James R.--Mrs.--Correspondence
Corporate Bodies (Including Vessels):
Loch Lamar (Bark)
Premier (Ship)
Bangor (Me.)--Description and travel
Boston (Mass.)
Calcutta (India)--Social conditions
North Attleboro (Mass.)
Pernambuco (Brazil)--Social conditions
Simon's Town (Cape of Good Hope, South Africa)--Social conditions
Somerville (Mass.)
American poetry--19th century
American poetry--20th century
Sea poetry, American--Massachusetts
Seafaring life
Voyages and travels
Document Types:
Merchant mariners--Massachusetts--Somerville
Poets, American--Massachusetts

Detailed Description of the Collection

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

Papers 1866-1869, 1916-1917
Box Folder
1 1 Three letters between George C. Bugbee and his parents, Mr. And Mrs. James R. Bugbee of Boston, and sundry handwritten poem, notes, and sketches; 1866-1869 15 pieces
2 Clippings of Bugbee's poems from various newspapers and other miscellaneous clippings; 1916-1917, and undated 29 pieces
Volumes; 1865-1916
1 Journal by George Bugbee of his voyage as an ordinary seaman aboard the Bark LOCH LAMAR, Jaremiah Grant, master (ends at Simonstown, South Africa); 1868 May-1869 May
2 Manuscript volume of poems by George Bugbee, evidently written while on a voyage in the Ship PREMIER. Volume also includes an abstract of the voyage from Boston to San Francisco and back to Baltimore, and what seems to be some school lesson exercises. Volume is titled: "Forcastle Rhymes and Jingles written Just for Phun"; 1866-1867; 1865 Oct 4
3 Manuscript volume of poems by George Bugbee, written while on voyages in the Ship PREMIER and the Bark LOCH LAMAR. Volume is titled: Forcastle Stories told in Rhyme - A Collection of Whymsical Sea Jingles - which if they have no other merit have that of Originality and are based on Facts"; 1866-1869
4 Manuscript volume of poems written by George Bugbee; ca. 1916