Vast Archive of the Personal Papers of American Sea Captain
DYER, Benjamin. Vast Archive of the Personal Papers of American Sea Captain Benjamin Dyer, including a log book, letter book, ledger, manuscript letters, original photographs, and his portable writing desk, detailing the maritime life of mid-19th century Cape Cod and other seafaring locations]. [Cape Cod, and other various locations. Primarily 1818-1860. About 170 individual items, mainly a ledger, a letter book, a log book, manuscript letters, original photographs, and a portable writing desk, with some miscellaneous family papers. Various levels of wear to bound volumes, intermittent dampstaining to letters, front cover of portable writing desk detached. Overall good to very good condition. A substantial archive of material from the seafaring life of Captain Benjamin Dyer of Massachusetts, documenting his naval activities over several decades. The letters and log books in this collection record Dyer's actions transporting American troops and supplies to Mexico during the Mexican-American War, voyages that took him to several American ports as well as to Australia and Europe, his observations on slavery and dueling in the American South, yellow fever in New York, and much more. The archive also includes scores of letters to Dyer from his family, giving insight into the life of family members at home, longing for the return of the family patriarch from his many voyages. Benjamin Dyer (1793-1871) was a sea captain from Truro, Massachusetts, near the tip of Cape Cod. This substantial collection of his papers includes his logbook kept as master of the ship "Eli Whitney" in 1846 and 1847 (partly as a contractor in the Mexican War); his business letter book, 1841-48; his business ledger, 1841-53; a file of 58 letters written by him to his family from across the globe, 1818-51 (with a detailed abstract of all letters prepared by a descendant); another file of 94 letters sent to Dyer by his family, 1832-60; his portable writing desk; articles of agreement signed by eleven crew members for the ship Olive Branch of Salem, dated Tuesday, 18 August [likely 1846]; numerous family photographs; and more. During the 1840s, the best-documented period of this collection, Captain Dyer was the master of the ships "Olive Branch" and "Eli Whitney." His log book, covering 1846 and 1847, is of more than typical interest, having been.