This Page

Introduction

Lewis Monto

The Plough Boy

Acknowledgements

The Plough Boy Anthology

19th Century American Whaling

Bonin Islands

Pitcairn's Island

The Documents

1827-1830 Journal

First page (Image)

Illustration (Image)

Transcription/Text

1830-1834 Journal

First page (Image)

Maloney fragment

Transcription/Text

Certificate

Lewis Monto's Seaman's Certificate

Boat Signals

Plough Boy's Boat Signals

Coastal Views

   Ascension Island

   Bonin Islands

   Boning Islands

   Diego Ramirez

   Ferdinand Noronha

   Martin Vass

   Pitcairns Island

   Sandwich Islands

      Oahu

      Oreehoua

   Society Islands

      Eimeo

      Otaheita

   Sulpher Islands

Fragments

Honolulu Note 1828

Honolulu Note 1829

Related Material

Sailing Vessel Identification

Types of Sailing Vessels

The Ship

Spars and Rigging

A Ship's Sails

Frame of a Ship

A Whaling Vessel

Deck Plan

Side/Interior

Plan

A Whaleboat.

Top and side views of a whaleboat.

Stores

      Whale-Ship Stores

Dictionaries & Glossaries

Ashley's Glossary of
Whaling Terms

Dana's Dictionary of
Sea Terms

The Plough Boy Journals
of Lewis Monto

Logo

Two Voyages of a Nantucket Whaler
to the North and South Pacific in

1827-1830 and 1830-1834

Compiled by: Tom Tyler, Denver, CO

Introduction

      "The Plough Boy Journals" will attempt to document aspects of early 19th century American whaling by linking original and third-party documents on topics noted in the two journals kept by Lewis Monto between 1827 and 1834.

      As work on this collection of pages continues, Lewis' references to seamanship, shipboard duties, whaling, ships "spoken", marine life observed, places visited, contacts with "natives", etc. will be expanded with appropriate links that will permit a better understanding of a unique American industry and its place within a wider context of nineteenth century history.

Lewis Monto

      Lewis Monto, son of Joseph Monto (1776 - ?) and Mary Barrett (1769 - ?) was born in Boston on August 13, 1806 and died in Allston, Massachusetts on March 26, 1881.

      When he was almost seventeen years old, Lewis registered as an "American Seaman" in Nantucket. It is likely that soon after he shipped on board a Nantucket whaling ship bound to the Pacific Ocean. Quite possibly, it was the Plough Boy making its second voyage under the command of Captain William Chadwick. On this voyage, the Plough Boy sailed from Nantucket on September 1, 1824. It returned on March 12, 1827, having visited among other places, the Sandwich Islands (Hawaiian Islands) and St. Francisco in New Albion (San Francisco).

      Lewis' daily journals of the Plough Boy's next two voyages – 1827-1830 & 1830-1834 under the command of Captain Nathan Chase – are transcribed here. The Plough Boy sailed again on July 22, 1834 with Moses Brown as captain–returning on April 9, 1839. Whether or not Lewis Monto was on this voyage is not known.

      In the fall of 1839, at the age of thirty-three, Lewis married eighteen year old Mary N. Cook of West Sandwich, Massachusetts. By 1850 they were living in Boston. Until his death in 1881, Lewis is listed on various birth and marriage documents as an "oil manufacterer". Of their ten children born between 1842 and 1862, eight survived childhood.

The Plough Boy

      The Plough Boy was built at Haddam, Connecticut in 1821. It was a ship-rigged vessel with a registered displacement of 391 3/95 tons. The ship was 109 ft. in length, 28 feet, 5 inches in width, and 14 feet in depth. It had two decks, a square stern, no galleries, and a "man bust" figurehead. The Plough Boy probably sailed with a crew of about thirty officers and men.

      Between 1821 and 1843 the Plough Boy was registered at Nantucket from where it made voyages in 1821, 1824, 1827, 1830, 1834 and 1839. In the early 1840s she was sold to New Bedford owners and sailed from that port in 1843 and 1848.

      On the Plough Boy's final voyage in 1849, she grounded and broke up on a shoal in the Bay of Guayaquil while en route to Tumbes, Peru. Part of this voyage is documented in: In A Sperm Whale's Jaws: An Episode in the Life of Captain Albert Wood of Nantucket, Mass, Edited by George C. Wood (Hanover, New Hampshire: Friends of Dartmouth Library, Dartmouth College) which was first published in 1954.

The Plough Boy Anthology:

19th Century American Whaling

      To help tell the story of early nineteenth century whaling and to provide background and detail to Lewis Monto's two journals, either full text or selections from books and periodicals from this period are linked from this page. "The Ploughboy Anthology" will be used to identify this collection.

1819       Sampson, William.
Is a Whale a Fish? An accurate report of the case of James Maurice against Samuel Judd, tried in the mayor's court of the city of New-York, on the 30th and 31st of December, 1818, wherein the above problem is discussed theologically, scholastically, and historically. By William Sampson.
(New York, C. S. Van Winkle, 1819.)
Complete text
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1821       Chase, Owen.
Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex, of Nantucket; Which was Attacked and Finally Destroyed by a Large Spermaceti-Whale, in the Pacific Ocean; with An Account of the Unparalleled Sufferings of the Captain and Crew During a Space of Ninety-Three Days at Sea in Open Boats; in the Years 1819 & 1820. by Owen Chase.
(New York: W.B. Gilley, 1821)
Complete text
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1828       Lay, William and Hussey, Cyrus M.
A Narrative of the Mutiny, on Board the Ship Globe, of Nantucket, in the Pacific Ocean, Jan. 1824: And the Journal of a Residence of Two Years on the Mulgrave Islands; with Observations on the Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants, by William Lay, of Saybrook. Conn. and Cyrus M. Hussey, of Nantucket: the only survivors from the massacre of the ship's company by the natives, By William Lay and Cyrus M. Hussey.
(New London, Wm. Lay & C.M. Hussey, 1828.)
Complete text
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1828      
"On the Expediency of Fitting Out Vessels of the Navy for an Exploration of the Pacific Ocean and South Seas", March 25, 1828. American State Papers: Naval Affairs, Vol. 3, pp. 189-197.
(Washington: Gale's & Seaton, 1860)
Complete text
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1829      
"Exploring Expedition to the Pacific Ocean and South Seas", February 16, 1829. American State Papers: Naval Affairs, Vol. 3, pp. 308-317.
(Washington: Gale's & Seaton, 1860)
Complete text
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1829      
"On the Policy and Objects of the Exploring Expedition to the Pacific Ocean and South Seas", February 23, 1829. American State Papers: Naval Affairs, Vol. 3, pp. 336-343.
(Washington: Gale's & Seaton, 1860)
Complete text
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1830      
"Authorization of the Naval Exploring Expedition in the South Seas and Pacific Ocean, and of the Purchase of and Payment for Astronomical and Other Instruments for the Same", March 17, 1830. American State Papers: Naval Affairs, Vol. 3, pp. 546-560.
(Washington: Gale's & Seaton, 1860)
Complete text
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1831       Beechey, Frederick William (1796-1856).
Narrative of a voyage to the Pacific and Beering's strait, to co-operate with the polar expeditions: performed in His Majesty's ship Blossom, under the command of Captain F.W. Beechey ... in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28 ..., By Frederick William Beechey.
(London: H. Colburn and R. Bentley). Vol. 2.
Selected text
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1831       Paulding, Hiram (1797-1878).
Journal of a Cruise of the United States Schooner Dolphin, among the islands of the Pacific Ocean; and a visit to the Mulgrave Islands, in pursuit of the mutineers of the whale ship Globe ..., By Hiram Paulding.
(New York, G. & C. & H. Carvill, 1831)
Complete text
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1834       Hart, Joseph C. (1798-1855).
Miriam Coffin; or, The Whale-Fishermen: A Tale, By Joseph C. Hart
(New York, G. & C. & H. Carvill, 1834)
Vol. 1 – Complete text
Vol. 2 – Complete text
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1835      
"Information Collected by the Navy Department Relating to Islands, Reefs, Shoals, Etc., in the Pacific Ocean and South Seas, and Showing the Expediency of an Exploring Expedition in that Ocean and those Seas by the Navy", January 29, 1835.American State Papers: Naval Affairs, Vol. 4, pp. 688-700.
(Washington: Gale's & Seaton, 1861)
Complete text
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1835      
"On the Expediency and Importance of Authorizing a Naval Expedition to Explore the Pacific Ocean and South Seas", February 7, 1835.American State Papers: Naval Affairs, Vol. 4, pp. 707-715.
(Washington: Gale's & Seaton, 1861)
Complete text
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1835       Beale, Thomas (1807-1849).
A few observations on the natural history of the sperm whale with an account of the rise and progress of the fishery, and of the modes of pursuing, killing, and "cutting in" that animal, with a list of its favorite places of resort.By Thomas Beale
(London: Effingham Wilson, 1835)
Complete text
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1835       W.
"A Chapter on Whaling", The New-England magazine.. Volume 8, Issue 6, June 1835, pp. 445-449.
Complete text - courtesy of Cornell University Library, Making of America Digital Collection
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1836      
"On the Expediency and Importance of Authorizing a Naval Expedition to Explore the Pacific Ocean and South Seas", March 21, 1836. American State Papers: Naval Affairs, Vol. 4, pp. 867-873.
(Washington: Gale's & Seaton, 1861)
Complete text
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1839       Beale, Thomas (1807-1849).
The natural history of the sperm whale : its anatomy and physiology, food, spermaceti, ambergris, rise and progress of the fishery, chase and capture, "cutting in" and "trying out", description of the ships, boats, men and instruments used in the attack, with an account of its favourite places of resort : to which is added, a sketch of a South-sea whaling voyage, embracing a description of the extent, as well as the adventures and accidents that occurred during the voyage in which the author was personally engaged, By Thomas Beale
(London: John Van Voorst, 1839)
Complete text
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1839       Reynolds, J. N.
"Mocha Dick: or the White Whale of the Pacific: A Leaf from a Manuscript Journal", The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine. Vol. 13, No. 5, May 1839, pp. 377-392.
Complete text
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1840       Bennett, Frederick Debell (1806-1859).
Narrative of a whaling voyage round the globe, from the year 1833 to 1836. Comprising sketches of Polynesia, California, the Indian Archipelago, etc. with an account of southern whales, the sperm whale fishery, and the natural history of the climates visited, By Frederick Debell Bennett
(London:, R. Bentley, 1840)
Vol. 1: Complete text
Vol. 2: Complete text
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1840       Dana, Richard Henry Jr. (1815-1882)
Two years before the mast : a personal narrative of life at sea, By Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
(New-York: Harper & Brothers)
Complete text
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1841       Olmsted, Francis Allyn (1819-1844).
Incidents of a whaling voyage : to which are added observations on the scenery manners and customs, and missionary stations of the Sandwich and Society Islands: accompanied by numerous lithographic plates, By Francis Allyn Olmsted.
(New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1841)
Complete text
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1841       Dana, Richard Henry Jr. (1815-1882)
The Seaman's Friend; Containing a Treatise on Practical Seamanship, with Plates, a Dictionary of Sea Terms; Customs and Usages of the Merchant Service; Laws Relating to the Practical Duties of Master and Mariners, By Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
(Boston, Charles C. Little & James Brown, and Benjamin Loring & Co., [1841])
Complete text
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1845       Darwin, Charles (1809-1882).
Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries Visited During the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle Round the World, under the Command of Capt. Fitz Roy, R.N., By Charles Darwin
Second Edition, corrected with additions.
(London: John Murray, 1845)
Selection – Chapter 17 – Galapagos Archipelago.
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1846       Browne, J. Ross (1817-1875).
Etchings of a Whaling Cruise, with Notes of a Sojourn on the Island of Zanzibar. To which is Appended a Brief History of the Whale Fishery, its Past and Present Condition, By J. Ross Browne.
(New York: Harper & Brothers, 1846).
Complete text
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1846      
"Whale-Fisheries" The United States Democratic review. Volume 19, Issue 102, December 1846, pp. 453-465.
Complete text - courtesy of Cornell University Library, Making of America Digital Collection
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1851       Melville, Herman (1819-1891).
Moby-Dick; or : The whale. By Herman Melville
(New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851)
Complete text
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1853       Cheever, Henry T. (1814-1897).
The whale and his captors; or, The whalemen's adventures, and the whale's biography as gathered on the homeward cruise of the "Commodore Preble." By Henry T. Cheever.
(New York: Harper & Bros., 1853)
Complete text - courtesy of University of Michigan's Making of America Digital Collection
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1854      
"Aboard A Sperm Whaler" Harper's new monthly magazine. Volume 8, Issue 47, April 1854, pp. 670-674.
Complete text - courtesy of Cornell University Library, Making of America Digital Collection
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1856       Perry, Matthew Calbraith (1794-1858).
Narrative of the expedition of an American squadron to the China Seas and Japan, performed in the years 1852, 1853, and 1854 : under the command of Commodore M.C. Perry, United States Navy, by order of the government of the United States / compiled from the original notes and journals of Commodore Perry and his officers, at his request, and under his supervision by Francis L. Hawks. By Matthew Calbraith Perry.
(Washington: A.O.P. Nicholson, Printer, 1856)
Selected text - Chapter on the Bonin Islands.
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1865       Stavers, Thomas Reed (1798-1867).
Journal of Thomas Reed Stavers, By Thomas Reed Stavers.
Complete text of manuscript - courtesy of Albert Bos of the Netherlands
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1874       Davis, William M. (1815-1891).
Nimrod of the sea; or, The American whaleman, By William M. Davis
(New York: Harper & brothers, 1874)
Complete text
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1874      
"Huntsmen of the Sea", Harper's new monthly magazine. Volume 49, Issue 293, October 1874, pp. 650-662.
Complete text - courtesy of Cornell University Library, Making of America Digital Collection
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1878       Starbuck, Alexander (1841-1925).
History of the American whale fishery from its earliest inception to the year 1876. By Alexander Starbuck
(Washington, Government Printing Office, 1878)
Complete text of narrative - tabular section omitted
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1915       Cholmondeley, Lionel Berners (1858-1945).
The history of the Bonin Islands from the year 1827 to the year 1876, and of Nathaniel Savory, one of the original settlers; to which is added a short supplement dealing with the islands after their occupation by the Japanese, By Lionel Berners Cholmondeley
(London: Constable & Co., Ltd., 1915)
Complete text
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1916       Verrill, A. Hyatt, 1871-1954.
The Real Story of the Whaler: Whaling, Past and Present, By A. Hyatt Verrill
(New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1916)
Complete text
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1925       Townsend, Charles Haskins (1859-1944).
The Galapagos tortoises in their relation to the whaling industry, By Charles Haskins Townsend
(New York: New York Zoological Society, [1925])
Complete text
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1958       Gardner, Edmund, (1784-1875).
Captain Edmund Gardner of Nantucket and New Bedford: His Journal and His Family. Edited and Compiled by John M. Bullard
(New Bedford, The Author, 1958)
Complete text - reproduced in HTML with the permission of the Bullard family, New Bedford)
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Last updated: May 26, 2015.

Acknowledgments

      The original journals are owned by two great-granddaughters of Lewis Monto - Marjorie Monto Tyler and Susan J. Monto. I would like to thank them for the privilege and opportunity to transcribe these two unique documents recording a piece of American life and culture.

ttyler@du.edu
Tom Tyler

Denver
November, 2001

Last revised: May 16, 2015

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