Eliza Brock's Journal on the Ship Lexington,
May 21, 1853 - June 25, 1856

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Range of Voyage:

Flores, Azores (sighted), 6/16/53
Faial, Azores (sighted), 6/18/53
St. Antonie, Cape Verde (sighted), 7/4/53
St. Vincent, Cape Verde (sighted), 7/4/53
Brava, Cape Verde (sighted), 7/5/53
Fogo, Cape Verde (sighted), 7/5/53
St. Pauls (sighted), 9/12/53
Macauleys Island, Kermadec (sighted) 10/19/53, 12/12/53, 1/11/55
Curtis Rock, Kermadec (sighted), 10/19/53
Sunday Island (sighted), 10/23/53, 12/9/53, 1/17/55, 3/15/55
Pylstaarts Island, Tonga (sighted)11/2/53
Rarotonga (lying off), 3/9-11/54, 12/27/54
Whytotacks Island (sighted), 3/12/54, 12\24\54
Guam (anchored), 4/9-19/54
Poroluscko, Kuril Islands (sighted), 5/17/54
Onnekotan Island, Kuril Islands (sighted), 5/18/54
Shantar Island (sighted), 6/19/54, (anchored), 6/14-29/55
Big Shantar Bay (anchored), 7/9-8/29/54
Bloomer Bay,Fulisker Island (anchored), 8/8-10/54
Cherinka Island, Kurile Islands (sighted), 10/7/54
Maui (anchored), 11/7-19/54, 10/23-11/12/55
Atooi Island (sighted), 11/23/54
Fanning Island (sighted), 11/30/54
Abacki, Cook Islands (sighted), 12/24/54
Bay of Islands, New Zeland (anchored), 2/12-27/55
Upola, West Samoa (sighted), 3/24/55
Kurile Islands (sighted), 5/13/55
Jonas Island (sighted), 5/30/55
Felixstone Harbor, Shanter Islands (anchored), 8/4/55
Society Islands (sighted), 1/16/56
Tahiti (sighted), 1/27/56
Emieo (sighted), 1/29/56
Talcahuno, Chile (anchored), 3/17-4/3/56
Diego Ramirez (passed), 4/29/46
Faulkland Islands (passed), 5/4/56
Trinidad (sighted), 5/19/56
Pernambuco, Brazil (lay off), 5/24/56
Bermuda (sighted), 6/17/56
Gay Head, Marthas Vineyard (sighted), 6/24/56



12/13/53, 12/21/53, 1/26/54, 1/31/54, 6/6/54, 6/14/54, 6/15/54, 7/5/54, 7/15/54,
7/20/54, 9/4/54, 9/17/54 (2), 10/5/54, 12/6/54, 12/7/54, 1/23/55 (2), 6/16/55, 6/18/55,
7/9/55, 7/23/55, 8/8/55, 8/11/55, 8/12/55, 8/13/55, 8/14/55, 8/15/55, 8/17/55, 8/22/55,
8/23/55, 8/24/55 (2), 8/25/55, 8/26/55, 8/28/55, 8/30/55 (2), 9/6/55 (2).

Bark Fortune, Marsailles, 6/9/53; ship Alpha, Nantucket, 10/28/53; ship Canton, New
Bedford, 12/11/53, 1/12/54, 2/9/54; ship Caroline, New Bedford, 12/13/53, 6/14/54; ship
Hope, New Bedford, 12/24/53, 1/11/54, 2/1/54; ship Amazon, Fairhaven, 12/30/53; clipper
ship Misutinoma, New Bedford, 12/30/53; ship Sea Shell, Warren R.I., 1/1/54, 1/18/55,
1/29/55; ship Thomas Nye, New Bedford, 1/14/54, 8/8/55; ship California, New Bedford,
1/18/54; ship Oliver Crocker, New Bedford, 1/18/54; ship Atkins Adams, Fairhaven,
2/1/54; ship David Webster, Nantucket, 2/9/54; ship Adeline, New Bedford, 2/11/54,
5/28/54; ship Nauticon, New Bedford, 4/9/54; ship Kingfisher, New Bedford, 4/9/54; ship
Alabama, Nantucket, 4/9/54; ship Florida, New Bedford, 5/22/54; ship Frances Henrietta,
New Bedford, 5/22/54; ship Minerva, New Bedford, 5/24/54; bark Eugene, Stonington,
5/26/54; ship Polar Star, New Bedford, 5/28/54; ship Speedwell, Fairhaven, 5/28/54;
bark Peri, New Bedford, 5/28/54; ship Swift, New Bedford, 5/18/54, 2/12/55; ship
Almira, Edgartown, 6/4/54; ship Citizen, Nantucket, 6/26/54; bark Baltic, New Bedford,
6/27/54, 8/20/54; ship Mary, Edgartown, 6/28/54, 6/2/55, 7/1/55, 8/5/55; ship George
and Mary, New London, 7/12/54; ship Parachute, New Bedford, 7/18/54; ship
Massachusetts, Nantucket, 8/10/54, 6/2/55, 6/8/55; ship Washington, Sag Harbor,
8/13/54; ship Henry, Nantucket, 8/14/54; ship James Loper, Nantucket, 8/20/54; Russian
ship Turko, Kamschatka, 8/28/54; ship Benjamen Rush, Warren R.I., 9/25/54; ship
Northern Light, Fairhaven, 9/26/54; ship Harmony, Oahu, 10/5/54; ship Charles Phelps,
Stonington, 10/7/54; ship Tybee, Stonington, 12/16/54; ship Milo, New Bedford,
12/24/54, 1/24/55; ship Kutusoff, New Bedford, 12/24/54; ship Ocean, New Bedford,
1/13/55, 1/24/55; ship Commodore Preble, Lynn, 11/28/55; ship Monticello, Nantucket,
1/30/55, ship William and Henry, Fairhaven, 2/2/55; ship Europa, New Bedford, 2/7/55;
ship Enterprise, New Bedford, 2/12/55; ship Planter, Nantucket, 2/12/55, ship Mohawk,
Nantucket, 2/12/55; ship Ganges, Nantucket, 2/12/55; bark Franklin, New Bedford,
2/12/55; ship Venice, New London, 5/26/55; ship Charles Carroll, San Francisco,
5/31/55, 6/8/55; ship Jeanette, New Bedford, 6/1/55; ship Omega, Fairhaven, 6/3/55,
7/25/55; ship Thomas Dickinson, New Bedford, 6/3/55; Ship Elizabeth Adams, New Bedford,
6/7/55; ship Isaiah Swift, 6/8/55; ship Montreal, New Bedford, 6/15/55; ship John
Wells, New Bedford, 6/24/55; ship Carol, New Bedford, 6/26/55; ship Brunswick,
Dartmouth, 7/7/55; ship Mary Marchant, 7/7/55; ship Phoenix, Nantucket, 7/24/55,
9/6/55; ship Eliza, 7/25/55; ship William Wirt, New Bedford, 8/5/55; ship George,
Fairhaven, 8/7/55; ship Matecom, New Bedford, 8/23/55; ship Rainbow, New Bedford,
8/23/55; ship Charles Phelps, Stonington, 9/8/55; ship Marcia, New Bedford, 1/28/56;
ship George and Susan, New Bedford, 3/17/56.


-Accidents: Man fell overboard. Boat lowered and he was saved, 7/13/53; Shipped
sea and lost the larboard boat, forward davit, and oars, 8/17/53; Struck a whale and
two boats stove, 12/12/53; Struck a large whale and had two boats stove, 1/31/54; Man
fell overboard. Boat lowered and he was saved, 4/8/55.

-Animals: Saw 2 large bears on the beach feeding on the carcass of a whale, Shanter
Bay, 8/3/54; bears, Siberia, 7/29/55.

-Astronomical observations: Magellanic Clouds; Galenna Clouds with description,
11/3/53; Majalin Galen clouds with description, 1/16/54; Majellan Clouds, 12/28/55.
-Death: Sailor found torn to pieces on the beach, most likely by a bear, Shanter
Island, 8/3/54; death of Henry Pease, second officer, ship Zephyr, New Bedford,
1/13/55; report of deaths of Capt. Coggeswell, ship Alabama, Nantucket, Capt. Upham,
ship Gazelle, Nantucket, and Capt. Ackley, ship Potomac, Nantucket, 6/1/55; report and
details of the death of Capt. Lamphier of ship Lagoda. 11/11/55; report of the death
of Maria Kean, the wife of Capt. Kelley of the ship Robert Edwards, New Bedford,
leaving a 3 day old infant daughter, Talcahuano, Chile, 3/23/56.

-Dentistry: Andrew sick with agone. Capt took out his tooth, 4/14/56.

-Desertion: Four men deserted. Thomas, Robertson, Lewis and Pease. Chief caught
three of them and Thomas Pease returned by the Adeline, Rarotonga, 3/9/54; deserter
from the ship Antelope, 7/28/54; Thomas Shannon deserted, 8/5/54; Jim Harvest, a boat
steerer, deserted, 12/27/54; Lewis Phillis jumped overboard. Police returned him, New
Zealand, 2/22/55; Joe Burns and Jack Jones deserted, Shanter Island, 7/23/55.

-Discharged men: Discharged Mr. Luce and shipped a 3rd mate, Maui, 11/17/54.

-Dreams: Of departed friends, 2/18/54; of being home with my children, 1/1/55; of
home, 6/20/55; of home, 8/19/55.

-Drunkenness: Several of the sailors sick. Got the horrors for the want of more
rum, Guam, 4/19/54.

-Homesickness: First on Sunday, 6/5/53, and regularly on almost every Sunday

-Icebergs: Sea of Okhotsk, 5/25/54.

-Illnesses: Stoppage with symptoms of fits, 8/22/53; sore finger, a felon, 9/21/53;
broken leg, 12/12/53; Capt Cash of ship Oliver Crocker, Sunday Island, 1/18/54; Joseph
Chase very sick with the BooHoo fever, prevalent at the Sandwich Islands and brought
there from California, 11/24/54; Jack Jones, sailor, had two fits. Capt. bled him,
8/23/55; mumps, 5/3/56; dysentery, severe, 5/13/56.

-Mail: Sent home from the Azores, 6/10/53; package of letters for home put on board
the ship California of New Bedford, 1/18/54; package of letters sent home, Sunday
Island, 2/8/54; boat returned from the ship Massachusetts, Nantucket, with a lot of
letters for me, the first that I have received, Sea of Okhotsk, 8/10/54; letters sent
home on ship Tybee, Stonington, 12/16/54; package of letters for home sent on the ship
Milo, New Bedford, Cook Islands, 12/24/54; received letters, some written only a month
before, Maui, 10/23/55.

-Missionaries: Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 3/9/54, 12/29/54; Whytootuck Island, Cook
Islands, 12/24/54; Atooi, Sandwich Islands, 11/16/55.

-Native people: Flores, Azores, 6/17/53; Faial, Azores, 6/18/53; Rarotonga, Cook
Islands, 3/9/54; Guam, 4/9/54, 4/15/54; Maui, 11/8/54; Bay of Islands, New Zealand,
2/14/55; Shantar Island, 7/23/55; Honolulu, 11/13/55.

-Prisoners: Jack Jones put in safe keeping for stealing a dog from a native and
striking an old chief, 2/17/55, fined 25 dollars. The captain refused paying so large
a sum and he was carried back to the calaboose, Bay of Islands, New Zealand, 2/19/55.

-Punishment: Blacksmith in irons for disobeying orders, 2/22/55; Capt. gave the cook
a thrashing for striking and other misconduct to the steward, 6/20/56.

-Recreation: Have whiled away the time in reading, writing and knitting, 6/1/53.

-Recruiting: Flores, Azores, 6/17/53; Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 3/10/54, 12/27/54.

-Supplies: Flores, Azores, 6/17/53; Bravo, Cape Verde, 7/7/53; Macauley Island,
10/20/53; Pylstaarts Island, 11/3/53; Sunday Island, 2/8/54, 1/26/55; ship Adeline, New
Bedford, one ton of potatoes, 3/11/54; Guam, 4/9/54, 4/15/54; Shanter Island, Sea of
Okhotsk, 8/14/54; Maui, 11/8/54, Atooi Island, 11/23/54, 11/16/55; Whyttootuck Island,
Cook Islands, 12/15/54; Upola, Samoa, 3/27/55; Talcahuano, 3/19/56.

-Tryworks: Tore down the tryworks, 6/23/54.

-Turtles: Caught huge sea turtle, 6/27/53.

-Water spouts: Saw large water spout, 10/17/55.

-Wrecks: ships Kingfisher and Enterprise, New Bedford, 5/31/55; ship Edgar, Fall
River, 6/1/55; ship Jefferson, Sag Harbor, on Cape Elizabeth and President, Nantucket,
6/26/55; ship Washington, Sag Harbor, crushed in the ice, 8/24/55; ship George
Washington, Edwards, 3/17/56.



They seemed to be very kind to strangers; the women flocked
around me the same as a swarm of flies round a molasses hogshead; I could think of
nothing else, Faial, Azores, 6/18/53.

Last evening was very pleasant and clear. Saw the Gallena Clouds (Magellanic
Clouds) - they are small and white, two; they were named after the Spanierd; are seen
in South latitude, they look beautiful in a starlight night, 11/3/53.

I am anxious to see whaling begun; we are almost 6 months out and no oil. No whales
to be seen. Dull times with us but hope for better days. If it were not for hope the
heart would break, 11/12/53.

Six months yesterday since I left my native Isle. My home, children, and friends.
I long to see them all but now the time seems far distant for us to return home again
but it flies swiftly away and the years will sound. There will be an end to the
voyage; the same as there is to all things else under the sun, 11/12/53.

Saw a school of whales. At 2:30 lowered and struck him; had two boats stove and the
3rd. mate Mr. Luce leg broke short off just above the ankle; a sad accident; Capt. and
mate set the bone; here he lays in the cabin helpless; how little we know in the
morning what will be before night, 12/12/53.

This is a gloomy day for me; but an alwise God is ever watching over us and ordereth
all things aright; this is a troublesome world; but it is our home. We are passing
along through this vale of tears; our life is a dream. There is a better world than
this and a rest that remainith for the People of God; where there shall be no more
sighing neither any more dying, 12/13/53.

A scene of confusion on deck; casks and blubber strewed about; all hands hard at
work; the whalemen earn their money if any class of men do by hardships; they toil
early and late; exposed to great danger in taking whales; 12/23/53.

Nothing to be seen but the dark heaving sea and dark heavy clouds hanging all around
and nothing to be heard but the screaming of the sea bird and howling of the wind; how
true the saying that they that go down to the sea in ships that traverse the deep,
these are they that see the works of God and his wonders in the mighty deep, 1/9/54.

The ice floats slowly along two thirds under water; it looks beautiful in the rays
of the sun, as white as alabaster or snow; in all shapes, some of the pieces remind me
of Italian Immages or Marble Statues, 5/25/54.

At 9 AM they struck a whale among the ice. Frances Addington, boat steerer, was
taken out of the boat with the line, but cleared from the line under water and rose on
the water. Cut his finger badly with the boat knife; they saved the whale, 6/14/54.

Mr. Stoves on shore whaling found a man on the beach. He had stolen a boat from the
ship Antelope. He says he was boat steerer on board of her. He had been on the lone
dreary Island sixteen days. Had lived on whale carcasses only. They brought him on
board a poor pitiful half starved object, wet and cold, Sea of Okhotsk,7/28/54.

Thomas Shannon deserted from the starboard boats; it is getting to be quite a common
occurrence for sailors here to run away from one ship and get on board another, Sea of
Okhotsk, 8/5/54.

Boisterous breezes and rough seas are our portion. A shrieking bird now and then
glides dismally past as if to remind us that these cold regions are not altogether
devoid of life; the time is sad and dreary in the extreme, Shanter Bay, Sea of Okhotsk,

Spoke ship Eliza Adams, Hawse, of New Bedford, seven months out. Two whales. They
reported loss of ship Edgar of Fall River on Jonas Island. Went on shore Sunday night
last in the fog. All hands saved. Ship high up on the beach. Why they did not hear
the howl of the seals in time to keep off shore is quite a matter of wonder to all;
they are distinctly heard one mile or more. They howl and bark like a dog. Capt.
Piersons wife of the ship Edgar, after the ship had struck on the rocks, in attempting
to get into the boat to be lowered down slipped and fell overboard. She was taken on
board the ship Montezuma insensible; is now very sick and had not spoken for 3 days,

Boats down in the ice looking for whales; ship running along the edge of the ice;
the Montreal's boats in the ice. This is a hard old way of whaling to have to lower to
look the whales up. It reminds me of going Blackberrying, Sea of Okhotsk, 6/15/55.
I dreamed last night of my far distant home. Of being there and seeing my dear
children; and many friends; my sleeping hours were pleasant; but alas when I awoke I
found it all a dream; a wanderer upon the wide oceans; far away from friends and sweet
home, 6/20/55.

Caught Jack and Joe, the deserters on the beach with a good fire going; they were
glad to come on board again, being hungry... glad to leave the Bleak, desolate, rock
bound isle, Shanter Island, 7/24/55

A strong current running out, sweeping a large field of Drift Ice down by us; now
and then a piece coming against the ship which makes her shake and tremble and a dismal
sight to see. Oh, I am quite tired the sight of Ice Ice Ice, Sea of Okhotsk, 8/1/55.

The ship Young Phoenix, Capt Toby, just arrived and brings the sad news of the death
of Capt. Lamphier, late of ship Lagoda, drowned with three seaman by the swamping of a
boat in a gale of wind in the Felixstone Harbor, Okhotsk Sea, in October last. His
wife, Mrs. Lamphier, is stopping at Maui and is daily looking for him to arrive. Poor
woman, it as a dreadful blow to her - left here a stranger in a foreign land to mourn
the loss of a beloved husband - am well acquainted with her and feel deep sympathy for
her. Boast not thyself of tomorrow, Maui, 11/1/55.

Sunday Jan. 13, 1856. My dear sailor boys birthday, twenty-two years old if living
and a wanderer like his mother upon the wide ocean; five long years have passed away
since I last saw him leave his home a boy, seventeen years old; Oh the many changes
since that sad day when last I saw him, and yet many more long weary months will lapse
before we meet again and perhaps never. Life is uncertain. May heavens blessings rest
upon him, 1/13/56.

Our ship is dull and heavy. Very little copper to be seen. And that looks as it
the rats had been gnawing it the same as they do paper; all knocked to pieces with the
ice in the Okhotst sea, 2/7/56.

A long dreary passage so far (Society Islands to Talcahuano); along my patience are
quite exhausted. I long to reach my far distant home and to reach once more my dear
children and old friends. They are ever fresh in my memory and in Imagination I can
seem to see their old familiar faces.
A weary time I have been away
And yet I see them; hear them still
Their forms are with me night and day
And thoughts of them; my bosom fill.

Ship George Washington, Edwards, all ready for sea. Yesterday she was discovered on
fire. Set on fire by four of the sailors. They towed her on shore and scuttled her.
Today is still burning. They are in safe keeping tied up in the rigging, 3/17/56. At
2 o'clock at night the fire from the George Washington burst through; she is all
burning up; her masts fell this morning at 6 o'clock. An awful sight to see that noble
ship perishing in the flames; all by the recklessness of depraved sailors, 3/18/56.

So ends my journal and my voyage in the good and faithful ship Lexington, 6/25/56.


-A note dated July 31, 1922, stating that the journal is presented by Joseph C.
Brock, the son of the author, to the NHA. Joseph Chase Brock, when 6 years old, had
accompanied his parents on this cruise. The journal mentions nothing about his
shipboard activities but does describe his visits ashore with his father in various

-The following poem by Eliza S. Brock as a preface:

Farewell my more than father land
Home of my heart and friends adieu
Lingering beside some foreign strand
How oft shall I remember you
How often o'er the waters blue
Send back a sigh to those I leave
The loving and beloved few
Who grieve for me; for whom I grieve

-Eighty-five poems, most of 4 or 8 lines, within or following journal entries. Many
have a religious content. Others concern weather and ocean observations. They usually
reflect the preceding text of the journal.

-Pages at the end of the journal stamped with bowhead and sperm whales taken and
lost in 1854 and 1855, showing amounts of whale oil stowed, and a list of ships spoken
with oil or whales each had taken.

-Twenty pages of poems in Eliza S. Brock's hand. Many are probably original,
although some are copied with attribution.

-Twelve pages of letters about the Arctic oceans, written by the master of a whale
ship in 1852, and copied in Eliza S. Brock's hand.

-An account of the loss of the ship Citizen of New Bedford on Sept. 25, 1852,
written by the Captain, Thomas H. Norton. He describes the failure of the ship Citizen
of Nantucket, Richard C. Baily, Captain, to rescue the crew from shore despite having
sighted them and the resultant loss of life. In Eliza S. Brock's hand.

-A note of the death of Charles B. Swain, Everett Hilton Swain, Florence Brock, and
Watey Brock in 1863.

-Lines composed by Mr. G. H. Nobbs at Pitcairns Island on the request of Mrs.
Palmer, a Nantucket lady, on her impending death. The poem, on the general subject of
death, was intended for her husband.

-Note and poem on the death of Capt. John Porter of Nantucket on board the ship
Rambler, Nantucket.

-A list of disasters in the Sea of Okhotsk in 1855, perhaps copied from newspaper
notices. They include loss of the ships Kingfisher of New Bedford, Enterprise of New
Bedford, Edgar of Cold Harbor, and Jefferson of New London, and the drowning of Capt.
Lamphier of the ship Lagoda.