whaling history

Captain J.R. Allen

James R. Allen, son of Prince, and wife Jane (dau. of Joel Packard of Bridgewater), was born in Dartmouth, Mass., July 30, 1816. His father died when James was an infant and his mother with her six children moved to this town. He went out in a whaleship, the Columbia of Fairhaven, as cabin boy when in his thirteenth year, then two voyages in the Marcia and one each in the Adeline, Uncas and Condor. He was master of the Condor in 1848; the Canton in 1852; the Josephine in 1856; the Eagle in 1862; the Atlantic in 1863. Capt. Allen was one of the most successful whalemen. In the 30 months’ voyage of the Josephine he brought to the owners 1,800 barrels of oil and 60,000 pounds of bone. In July, 1862, he was fired on by Capt. Semmes of the Confederate pirate Alabama, who ran him into Flores, but he made his escape from the terror of the seas one night, under the cover of darkness. After spending nearly forty years on the sea Capt. Allen retired to his home on the east side of Long Plain road, a few rods north of Parting Ways, to live and enjoy the result of his long period of sea life. He possessed the highest confidence of those who knew him, by his integrity and upright character. He was a member and official of the Methodist church many years and did much for its advancement. He was connected also with the Star in the East Lodge of Free Masons in New Bedford. He died Dec. 6, 1904. [Source: Howland, Franklin, A History of the Town of Acushnet, published by the author, New Bedford, MA, 1907, p. 266]

Captain James Allen

James Allen was born in New Bedford, Mass., Feb. 9th, 1817. He was a son of Capt. James K. and Abigail (Ingraham) Allen. He married 1st Mary B., daughter of Gideon and Rebecca (Blossom) Hammond of Mattapoisett, April 15, 1842, who died March 3, 1843. He married 2nd, Eliza A., daughter of Ansel and Hannah (Hathaway) White of Acushnet, July 1st, 1846. Children: Mary B. H., born Feb. 5, 1843; died Sept. 24, 1843. Hannah Louise, born April 14, 1847. James Kidder, born October 2, 1852; died Nov. 30, 1857. Capt. Allen commenced his seafaring life at the age of fourteen. His first voyage was as cabin boy with Capt. Abram Gardner in ship Canton, Jireh Perry owner. Sailed from New Bedford Aug. 19th, 1831; returned May 31, 1834. Second voyage as boat-steerer with Capt. Abram Gardner, ship Canton, which sailed from New Bedford Oct. 25, 1834; returned May 21st 1838. Third voyage as first mate with Capt. Rhodolphus N. Swift, in ship Lancaster, owned by T. and A. R. Nye; sailed from New Bedford Nov. 15, 1838; returned March 25, 1842. Fourth voyage as captain of ship Charles Frederick, owned by J. A. Parker & Son. Sailed from New Bedford June 20, 1842; returned April 18, 1846. Fifth voyage as captain of the Eliza L. B. Jenney, Gibbs & Jenney owners. Sailed from Fairhaven Dec. 1st, 1846; returned May 15, 1851. After spending twenty years in the sperm whaling service, one half of these years as master, Capt. Allen retired from the sea and became a resident of Acushnet, where he built a house and purchased a farm, the cultivation of which he thoroughly enjoyed, showing judgment and achieving success rarely to be seen in a man who for so many years has followed the ocean. He united with the Long Plain Baptist church, of which is wife is also a member, Dec. 13th 1857; d. Sept. 9th, 1860.  [Source: Howland, Franklin, A History of the Town of Acushnet, published by the author, New Bedford, MA, 1907, p. 266]

Captain Seth M. Blackmer

Seth M. Blackmer was b. in Acushnet June 17, 1819, on the Mason Taber place, northeast corner Long Plain and Perry Hill roads. He was the son of Salisbury and g. son of Capt. Salisbury Blackmer, who m. Lucy, dau. of Ellis Mendell of Acushnet. His father died when Seth was less than three years of age and he lived with his uncle Seth Mendell at Mattapoisett, attending the district school in the winter months. When but fourteen he began a seafaring life, shipping as cabin boy on the whaleship Pacific at 175th lay. Subsequent voyages were on Pacific 1838, Montpelier 1840, Erie 1851, Roman 1853, Stella 1862, Arctic 1868. He was captain when but twenty-one and part owner of the Juliana in 1840. He rounded Cape Horn thirteen times and sailed around the world eight times. Capt. Blackmer m. 1st, June, 1851, Catharine A., dau. of George Mendall of Acushnet; m. 2nd, June 25th, 1857, Catharine’s sister Hannah. The Noah Mendell house was built by him. He moved from Acushnet to Hyde Park in the early seventies and died there.
[Source: Howland, Franklin, A History of the Town of Acushnet, published by the author, New Bedford, MA, 1907, p. 266]

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