1880 - 1929 ORIGINAL GROUP OF EIGHT [8] DIARIES AND ONE [1] JOURNAL DETAILING THE LIFE OF A DARTMOUTH MAN; SON, BROTHER, NEPHEW OF A RENOWNED SEAFARING FAMILY WHO BUCKS THE TREND AS TOWN CLERK OF SOUTH DARTMOUTH

By: MICHAEL BAKER

Price: $4,255.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer is a very unique and rare diary collection spanning nearly fifty years. There are 8 diaries plus 1 leather wallet. The diaries were written between 1880 and 1929. The diary measurements, pages and degree of completeness are as follows: diary 1880 measures 4.75 x 3.0, has 365 pages and is 100% complete; 1882 - 4.0 x 3.0, 365 pages,15% complete; 1923 - 4.0 x 2.5, 52 pages, 40% complete; 1924 - 4.0 x 2.5, 52 pages, 20% complete; 1926 - 5.0 x 3.0, 92 pages, 100% complete, 1927 - 6.0 x 3.0, 60 pages, 100% complete, 1928 - 4.75 x 3.0, 92 pages, 100% complete; 1929 measures 4.75 x 3.0, 60 page, 100% complete. The leather wallet is worn but complete. In its four sections is a collection of newspaper clippings dating back. The covers are in good condition. The oldest diaries show a bit more wear. The pages are all intact and the bindings are good. The handwriting is tight but legible. The collection is rounded out by a leather wallet measuring 4.5 inches by 3 inches. The wallet is worn but all sections are intact. It contains a number of newspaper clippings dating back well over a century. This collection of diaries belonged to Michael Baker of South Dartmouth, MA. Baker was born on Dec. 10th, 1862. The 1870's census shows Michael Baker 7 years old "at sea" with his father Michael Baker Sr. The family is one of the oldest "Cape Cod families," and his father, who died at 92 after an active life mostly spent at sea, was well known as a captain in the coastwise trade. Michael A. Baker like his father and most of his brothers, chose the sea as an occupation. He first shipped out at 17 and after finally becoming a master mariner or Captain, he commanded whaling ships for the next twenty years. Michael Jr's uncle was George Orlando Baker and a famous captain in his own right. During the Civil War, George's whaling ship was captured by the famed Confederate commerce raider Shenendoah and sunk. Baker had other uncles who were also noted sailors. Baker himself did not seek a career at sea. His diaries indicate that he spent his life in South Dartmouth, much of it working for the Town of South Dartmouth. In the first diary, Michael is still at school. His entries are typically short and focus on the things a teenager at that time would be interested in. Dances were high on that list: "Went to school. Pleasant day. It began to rain toward evening. There is a dance up to the hall by Ashley" [Jan 15, 1880]; "Cold. I am going to the surprise party down to Em's" [Feb 4, 1880]. He references other family members as one would expect: "Windy. Capt Charles is coming over I expect tomorrow" [Aug 3, 1880]. Charles Baker was a whaling captain and one of Michael's uncles "Windy. Ed Thompson had my boat to go fishing. Have been to work on my potatoes. Got them nearly all dug" [Aug 20, 1880]. "Windy day. Did not go to school. But went [ ] fishing" [Sept. 21, 1880]. It's interesting to note that the memoranda pages contain a number of good examples of mirror writing, the text including his name and address and some notes. The second diary contains far few entries. However, there are several of note: "... Have had report from the James Arnold Capt Chase is in command now, tho he had some trouble with his crew at first as they decried duty but is all right now. ..." [Jan 3 1883]. The James Arnold was a whaling vessel, out of New Bedford, MA. She was laid down at New Bedford, MA in 1852. At the time of this diary entry, the Arnold had sailed on Oct 9th with Thomas Wilson as Captain On Oct 29th, the log reads that J.E. Chase took over as Master on Oct 29th. The owner-agent was Taber, Gordon & Co. There is an interesting note that was certainly added at a later date. Written in ink, the context suggests it was added by another writer: "Your grandfather Chase was sent out to take the ship away from Capt Wilson who misbehaved. Capt Josiah Chase - my father". Casual research has not uncovered a connection between Michael Baker and Josiah Chase. Interestingly, Charles Chase's name is one of the 'mirror writing' entries in the 1880 diary. The next diary is forty one years later. Baker is now 61 years old. Entries include a number of references to meetings at the Town Hall. He also refers to 'May'. He married May on Apr 9th, 1887. As will become clear in the 1926 diary, Baker is in fact working for the Town of South Dartmouth as Town Clerk. "Hot water boiler started breaking had to have a new one. I got a letter from Baxter regarding Police" [Mar 17, 1923]; "Christmas. All the children here to dinner and a Christmas tree in the evening. We all enjoyed it" [Dec 25, 1923]; "Pleasant Wind North Went with Board to look over street lights asked for" [Apr 13, 1924]; The 1926 diary contains an entry that confirms that Baker is the Town Clerk for South Dartmouth: "To city with Board to consult with Prescott about bridge. To T Hall in afternoon. Trying to clean up my [ ] as Clerk so I can leave the job with a clean slate. May went to Boston" [Mar 20, 1926]; "... Went to Town Hall and to the Almshouse to take inventory in the afternoon. [ ] case against the town for damage and [ ] was awarded $19,100.00" [Jan 7, 1926]. The remaining three diaries are chock full of the details of his daily life. The leather wallet contains quite a number of newspaper clippings. Many refer to relatives and to aspects of the whaling industry. In particular, there are news stories about the seizure in 1892 of the Cape Horn Pigeon, a New Bedford whaling ship. The Cape Horn Pigeon was for a period of time captained by George O. Baker. The Cape Horn Pigeon was illegally seized by Russian authorities in the Sea of Okhotsk and, although released, became the subject of an international dispute between the government of the United States and Russia, In fact, George O Baker was selected to travel to The Hague to testify as an expert on the value of the whale oil and whalebone that were lost as a result of the seizure. Stories from these clippings also include rescuing prisoners who had escaped from a Siberian Prison Camp. For a historian, the diaries provide a great deal of information from several perspectives. Baker comes from a seafaring family and the references he makes when he is younger serve as cross-references to logbooks and other historical documents. The later diaries paint a picture of a man towards the end of his career working for the community and the many tasks he carries out. For a genealogist, his mentioning of so many people by full name makes it easier to follow up on those links and establish connections in this 350 year old community. In all of his diaries, he notes the weather each day - data that a geographer or environment researcher would find valuable as climate is looked at over a longer period of time. The newspaper clippings provide a fascinating glimpse into the world of the whaling ships.

Title: 1880 - 1929 ORIGINAL GROUP OF EIGHT [8] DIARIES AND ONE [1] JOURNAL DETAILING THE LIFE OF A DARTMOUTH MAN; SON, BROTHER, NEPHEW OF A RENOWNED SEAFARING FAMILY WHO BUCKS THE TREND AS TOWN CLERK OF SOUTH DARTMOUTH

Author Name: MICHAEL BAKER

Illustrator: /

Categories: 19th Century Diary, Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 19th Century Manuscript,

Publisher: SOUTH DARTMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS, 1880

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 32mo - over 4" - 5" tall

Seller ID: 0008123

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, 19TH CENTURY, 20TH CENTURY, 1880s, 1920s, GILDED AGE, PROGRESSIVE ERA, UNITED STATES, FARM COAST, NEW ENGLAND, BRISTOL COUNTY, MICHAEL BAKER; SOUTH DARTMOUTH, MA; NEW BEDFORD, MA; NEW ENGLAND WHALING FLEET; WHALING SHIP JAMES ARNOLD; BARK CAPE HORN PIGEON; GEORGE O BAKER; JOSIAH E. CHASE, NEW ENGLAND SAILORS, YOUTH SOCIAL LIFE IN 1880S, MIRROR WRITING, TOWN OF SOUTH DARTMOUTH IN 1920S, SIBERIAN PRISON CAMP, SEAFARING FAMILIES OF NEW ENGLAND, BRISTOL COUNTY GENEALOGY, SOCIAL LIFE IN NEW ENGLAND, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL