Here you will find a transcription of the sea journal of David N. Poor of Portland, Maine, begun in 1842. He lived from 1818 to 1909 and spent most of his life in the coasting trade along the Eastern seaboard. The transcription is a faithful one, retaining Poor's spelling style, observations, and occassional bluster. Any additions made by me, aside from punctuation and capitalization, will be in italics.
He begins the journal with an autobiographical sketch. The daily entries that follow are often peppered with poems and songs, usually of a nautical nature. Whether he composed these or was merely copying down some favorite pieces remains to be discovered.
The journal entries begin on Feb. 17, 1842 aboard the clipper barque, Nautilus, under Captain Dyer of Portland, Maine. The crew is in Havana Harbor, Cuba waiting to load a cargo of sugar. Crew members mentioned by name in the journal are: Billey Leuly (first mate), John Griffin, Castor ?, David Doyll, Levi Weymouth, David N. Poor (author of the journal) Captain Dyer, Charles Middleton, Suard P. Morse (left the ship in Cuba), Moses Pease (joined the ship in Cuba), and Asa Littlejohn.
I will be adding the daily entries as time permits, so this website will gain content gradually, much as David Poor's journal did. Enjoy the voyage!
Not respectifuly yours,
(Poor's great-great-great granddaughter)
Click on this link to see a picture of the Star and Compass ditty box made by David Poor in 1862, now owned by the Maine Historical Society:
Come All You Sailor Boys (found on page 16)
Come all you sailor boys
That delights in Sailors noys
Their nothin to compare to but laughter
When a sailor comes on shore
With his gold and silver store
There’s no wone can get rid of it faster.
For the first that Jack craves
Is a light and chamber bed
And good liquors of every sort
And a pretty girl like wise
With to black and roling eyes
Then Jack Tar is his pleased to the heart.
The Land Ladyes Daughter she comes in
O, she looks so neat and trim
Ready to wait on Jack when he calls
Readdy to wait on him
When she finds him in good trim
Marks him down to for wone at the bar.
This rig it does run on
Till Jacks monney is all gon
Then the old bird begins for to frown
With her dambd old squinted eye
And her nose turnd all a rye
Saing Sailor, tis hi time to be gon.
Now Jack he under stands
Theirs a Ship for to be mand
And to the east or west indias Shes bound
With a sweete and pleasant gale
O She spreads a lofty sail
Bids a dew to the girls of this town O.
Not respectifuly yours,
David N. Poor
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