Note: The following paper was written by Franklin K. Hoyt when he was the owner of the Delano papers. It was presented to the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society, c. 1956 and later published as a booklet.
Delano Sealing Expedition to the South Seas, 1803-1808
By Franklin K. Hoyt
Published by the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society
I have here beside me an old, dilapidated trunk covered with moth-eaten sealskin. It came into the hands of my father-in-law, Clifford Potter, when he found it in the attic of an old house in Duxbury that he purchased in 1910. It looked out onto Duxbury Bay and was at the end of a lane which they named Plumfield Lane because there was a field of beachplumbs around the house. Mr. Potter found that the trunk was filled with old faded letters, tattered account books, and several ship-captain’s logs belonging to Samuel Delano. I asked Gershom Bradford to look over the contents of the trunk to see if he thought there was anything in ti that I might use in preparing an interesting paper. So one evening when he came to my house, I spread out the entire contents of the trunk on our dining room table for him to look over. It didn’t take him long to spot this old ship’s log. After examining it for a few minutes, he exclaimed, “Here is a wonderful source for your paper.” It was a log, written in Capt. Samuel Delano’s own handwriting.
As I learned to read Samuel Delano’s old script, I pieced together a most amazing voyage that the Delanos took to the South Seas, in vessels they built in their own shipyard in Duxbury. It was a sealing expedition that was filled with almost daily exciting adventures. This was one of the most interesting bits of research that I have ever undertaken, based in part on an original source nearly 200 years old that few people had ever before laid their eyes on.
Duxbury was noted for her ship captains as well as her ships. At one time there were forty-three ship-masters living in Duxbury, and they were known and respected in all parts of the world, one of the most famous being Capt. Amasa Delano. The accounts of Amasa’s exploits, which were on seafaring men’s lips the world over, have been preserved for posterity, thanks to his having kept full and complete journals of all his voyages and travels. It was his intent to make these journals a useful guide for future navigators. When he was in need of money late in life some of his friends urged him to publish them, which he did in 1817. The title of his book is, A Narrative of Voyages and Travels in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres; Comprising Three Voyages Round the World; Together with a Voyage of Survey and Discovery in the Pacific Ocean and the Oriental Island. (Quite a title!) It was an excellent additional source of information for me in preparing this paper. I shall refer to it simply as Amasa’s “Voyages.” There are very few copies now obtainable because President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, being a Delano, purchased every copy that he could lay his hands on in order to distribute them to various members of his family. I tried to buy an extra copy at Goodspeed’s Bookstore, but had no luck until several weeks later they called me to say that they had found a copy that I could have for $40. But, by that time I had no need of a second copy because I had been presented one by the president of the Marshfield Historical Society as an honorarium after I had read to them this paper.
Amasa and his two brothers, Samuel and William, were brought up in their father’s shipyard, and all three of them became master builders, master riggers and navigators of ships in all parts of the world. Amasa was the oldest, having been born in 1763. Samuel was five years younger than Amasa. Although not as famous as his older brother, he was just a courageous and proved to be a better businessman as indicated by the fact that he later carried on a profitable shipyard and a store for ship’s supplies. He married Lucy Winsor, who was the owner of this trunk, as indicated by the initials “LD” so carefully formed by the brads on the cover. Apparently Lucy outlived Samuel and placed his valuable papers for preservation in this trunk.
William was the youngest Delano brother. I have been able to learn little about his except that he attended Phillips Academy in Andover; he accompanied his two brothers on this last of their round-the-world voyages, and Duxbury records show that, in 1833, he was lost at sea with his two sons. The reason that I know he went to Andover is that I found a letter in this trunk written by him from Andover in 1797 to his brother, Amasa, asking for some money because, he said, “I borrowed a boat to go out fishing on a pond nearby and the boat was locked and by accident I broke the key and have to pay for it, — so please send the money as soon as possible for these long faced Christians are pretty high about it.”
Early in 1803 the Delano brothers decided that they would stake their life saving in joint venture – in the hope of making their fortune on an expedition to the South Seas for seal skins to be marketed in Canton. Amasa was well qualified to lead such an expedition for he had just returned from a voyage around Cape Horn to the west coast of South America and on to Canton and back by way of Cape of Good Hope. He had sailed in his ship, the Perseverance, which he and his brothers had built in 1799 especially for that trip. She was a full-rigged ship, 84 feet long. She was mounted with twelve 6-pound cannon.
The brothers set about making preparations for their expedition. While, Amasa overhauled the Perseverance, put new copper on her bottom, refitted and put her in condition for the long voyages, Samuel and William were busy building another vessel that would accompany the Perseverance as a tender. This vessel was only 55 feet long. When they completed her, they rigged her as a schooner, named her the Pilgrim, and mounted six cannon on her for armament. I wanted to see if I could secure reports of the original register of these vessels. I first tried Plymouth, but I was referred to Boston, but Boston had sent all early ship registers to Washington, DC, so I wrote to the National Archives in Washington. They sent me copies of the original registers of both vessels, which contained descriptions of them.
It is interesting to read Amasa’s remarks regarding the preparation for such a voyage as this one: “the vessels ought to be new, good, and strong, or at least nearly new, and always sound…There should never be a doubt as to the fitness of a ship for such a long voyage…She should be at least 200 tons, and never 400, as so large a ship is never required. She should be always coppered, and the metal should be fresh…if she goes to China, with what is necessary for that market. She should have from 6 to 10 guns, some of them long to reach objects at long shots…Let every article of the rigging be good, and let every ship have a large surplus of all kinds, as well as of canvas, blocks, twine, and ropes. The provisions should be of good quality, and put in such good order as to be unquestionable. Put the bread in new casks, or in those which have been filled with brandy and are well dried, any other liquor tending to give the bread a bad taste…Butter, lard, and pickles should be put in double casks, the outside one filled with salt or brine. The beef and pork for such a voyage ought to be packed with particular care, and the cheap kind as it comes into the market should not be purchased. I have had beef put up by Samuel Greggs, which I have carried round the world in a 3 year voayge, half the time between the Tropics; and out of nearly a hundred barrels, I never opened one in which the beef was not as sweet and good as when it was first put up…Let the hold, and all parts of the ship, be thoroughly and constantly aired; keep the hatches off in good weather; employ wind sails freely to force the air below; …”
Amasa, as principal owner or both vessels, named Samuel as master of the Pilgrim and William as a hand on his own ship, the Perseverance. Amasa also agreed to take along a 7-year-old nephew. There was the entire investment of life and capital of all the male members of the Delano family dependent on a single voyage that was to take them to the far side of the globe, would be gone from home for at least three years, and from which they might never return!
I was reminded of a small brass plaque that I used to have on my little boat with this inscription:
“Oh, Lord have mercy
The sea is so large
And my ship so small”
I was determined to find out where these words came from. I searched everywhere: Bartlett’s Quotations, Boston Public Library, and other places, until finally, the day before I was to present this paper for the first time, a clerk from DeWolf’s Bookstore, which was on the first floor of the Houghton Mifflin Company Building, came rushing up to me with a new book just published, written by a woman who had sailed across the Atlantic Ocean alone, and there on the flyleaf was this inscription that I was looking for taken from “The Breton Fisherman’s Prayer.”
A SEALING EXPEDITION TO THE SOUTH SEAS (Sept. 25, 1803)
The two vessels sailed from Boston on the 25th of September, 1803, with “60 prime men.” As they set their course to the South, they were anxious to find out how the Pilgrim performed on its first trip to sea. They found that the two vessels were very near alike in point of sailing, though the Perseverance was the faster of the two, but in Amasa’s words, “The Pilgrim was one of the best sea boats of her size that ever crossed the ocean.” I found a letter in this trunk, dated 1839, written by a grandson of Samuel Delano, to his father, while the younger man was in New Orleans Harbor, which includes this statement: “I examine all the new ships here and can say with truth, and can prove it to anyone that is a judge, that there is not one among them all, that in material and workmanship can equal this ship…but as I have no money, my opinion is of no consequence.” There is no question but that those Delanos were mast ship builders.
Three weeks out of Boston they had their first accident. The Pilgrim’s cook fell overboard, and though they brought the ship about, they were unable to find him.
A month later, early one morning Samuel, seeing the riding lights of a passing ship, hailed her. She was a Danish schooner, the Experiment, from the West Coast of Africa, with 105 slaves on board bound for St. Croix in the West Indies. He asked the captain if he would stand by until daylight that they might write letters home. The Perseverance joined them, and a little after sun-up Amasa had his stern boat lowered, and after picking up letters from the Pilgrim, he delivered more than a dozen to the Danish captain. (He also gave him some beef, which they were in great need of, and some potatoes, in return for which he received a pig, a few fowls and yams.) The next day, November 17, they crossed the equator at approximately 32 degrees west longitude where they again met a ship, a Spanish frigate from Cadiz for Buenos Aires, whose captain also was willing to wait for letters. The letters taken by the latter ship eventually arrived home, but the letters given to the Danes were never received and the Danish vessel not heard from again.
The expedition stopped for a few days at the islands of Tristan D’Acunha, replenishing supplies and catching fish. They then continued their southerly course, for the most part making excellent progress, as the weather was pleasant and the winds were from the westerly quarter.
While on his previous voyage, Amasa had reports of good sealing in the island off the south Australian coast and for that coast they were now heading, by way of the Cape of Good Hope. At the beginning of their trip, Amasa and Samuel had agreed upon certain places of rendezvous. The Pilgrim was instructed to make her way to Bass’s Straits, which are formed by Australia on the north and Tasmania on the south, and then rendezvous at King’s Island. On January 4, 1804, in accordance with this preconceived plan, Amasa ordered Samuel to part company with him, thinking that this would expedite the passage eastward. This was when they were at approximately 41 degrees south latitude and 8 degrees east longitude. Samuel saw no more of the Perseverance until February 6th when the Pilgrim was still on approximately 41 degrees south latitude by 110 degrees east longitude. This record appeared in Samuel’s log; “Fresh breezes and squalls of rain at sunset. Reefed the mainsail. Fresh gales through the night. At daylight saw a ship close under our lee. At sunrise discovered her to be the Perseverance. Bore down and spoke to her. Found all well on board. The circumstance seems very remarkable as we had sailed upwards of 100 degrees of longitude since parting with the Perseverance, and she sailing much faster than the schooner, that we should happen to meet again in this great ocean.” Since they had parted 33 days before, they had sailed over 5,000 miles, and then just happened to come together again two weeks before they reached their intended place of rendezvous at King’s Island! Amasa gave orders not to part company again until making land. Gershom Bradford wrote me a very complimentary letter after reading this paper, which included this statement: “One point which struck me particularly was the sighting of the two vessels after running independently for so many weeks across the Indian Ocean when heading for their rendezvous at Kings Island. The reason this intrests me is because at the moment I am studying he conditions that troubled the Speedwell in trying to keep company with the much larger Mayflower.”
OFF THE COAST OF AUSTRALIA (Feb. 22, 1804 – Oct. 23, 1804)
Five months after sailing from Boston, they arrived off the coast of Australia and secured a safe anchoring place in Kent’s Bay in the island of Cape Barren, which is at the eastern end of Bass’s Straits. There they stayed for the next eight months.
As soon as it became known that the Delano expedition was in Bass’s Straits, they were visited by six different gangs of men from Port Jackson. These gangs, made up mostly of escaped convicts from Botany Bay, were bent only on getting rid of the Delanos. I quote Amasa as follows: “They practiced many impositions, such as stealing from me, enticing my men to run away, conspiring to steal my boats, and to cut my vessels adrift. They would go on to an island where my people were waiting for an opportunity to take the seals that were about it; and if not able to take them themselves do something to frighten them away.”
A few days before they planned to leave Bass’s Straits, some of the crew, without telling the Delanos what they were going to do, went ashore early in the morning to settle some old grievances with these Port Jackson men. They took a few of the leaders of the gangs, tied them up to a tree and gave them each several lashes with cat o’ nine tails.
Another incident that took place while they were still at Kent’s Bay I would like to tell you about. One the first of July, when a piercing winter wind was blowing from the southeast, Amasa decided to take several barrels of fish to a smokehouse that they had previously built on the shore. All the boats belonging to both the ship and the schooner were away searching for seals except for the Pilgrim’s what Amasa called the Moses boat (a small pramlike type of boat), so Amasa used that one. He took with him his brother, William, and four others. When they were about a half mile from the shore they ran into what Amasa called a “horse market” (which we know as a rip-tide), which almost immediately filled the boat with water. The boat was so weighed down by the barrels of fish that it sank to the bottom and left the six of them swimming for their lives. I should like to turn to Amasa’s own words in describing how he saved himself:
“I myself began to despair of ever escaping a watery grave, as no succor from either of our vessels could be expected, when it occurred to me that a Mr. Vose had a boat lying a little way up a creek near to where we intended to land. I accordingly hallood for help, successively repeating Vose’s name, and, as may readily be supposed, used all the force of articulation I could muster to give the alarm…I found myself encumbered with a tight pair of thick pantaloons, thick heavy boots, and a short tight jacket. Imagine being able to swim in those heavy clothes. The Delanos were very strong swimmers. I was just heading for the land, when looking to the left, I saw one of my faithful sailors, a Swede, by the name of John Fostram, making towards me with all possible exertion. I turned my head from him, and used every effort to prevent his reaching me, which I greatly apprehended he would; but the poor fellow finding his attempts failed, relinquished the oar he had grasped in his hand, his head gradually lowering, until his strength being entirely exhausted, he gave up and sank. I never, until then, had experienced any satisfaction at seeing a man die; but so great is the regard we have for ourselves when in danger, that we would sooner see the whole human race perish then die ourselves. I remember but few incidents in the course of my life that were more gratifying to me than that of Fostram’s sinking; for I was not only relieved of the dread of his involving me in his own fate, but had likewise the oar he relinquished within my reach, which I immediately seized, and headed again for the land.” Mr. Vose finally heard Amasa’s calls for help and with some of his men reached the remaining exhausted me and pulled them form the water just in time to save them from drowning.
Due to the hostile activities of the gangs of men who were interfering with their successful sealing operations, Amasa decided that they had better try their luck off the coast of Chile. Therefore, they left their moorings in Kent’s Bay on the morning of October 23, 1804. They laid their course so as to pass the south of New Zealand and then eastward across the South Pacific. Samuel’s log records their seeing the Bounty Islands, which had been discovered 17 years earlier by Captain Bligh, while in command of the ship, Bounty.
As soon as Amasa was in offshore waters, he mustered his crew on deck. To his astonishment, he had on board 17 men whom he had never seen before. Some of his men had deserted him or he hoped these stowaways cold take the places of the ones he had lost, but such was not the case! Most of them were Botany Bay convicts, 3 of whom were outlaws who had escaped under fire and still bore gunshot wounds from the prison guards. None of them were experienced sailors, but Amasa said that by exercising strict discipline and flogging them when necessary, and at other times treating them well, he managed to keep his crew under control during their trip across the South Pacific. However, while they were on board, he never left his cabin without carrying a pistol.
The Perseverance, being a faster sailer then the schooner, parted with the Pilgrim on November 19th with the next rendezvous to be at an island off the coast of Chile.
OFF THE COAST OF CHILE (Jan. 8, 1805 – Sept. 4, 1805)
The Pilgrim arrived at their rendezvous on January 8, 1805, having sailed approximately 2 ½ months and 7,000 miles since leaving Kent’s Bay! Samuel found the Perseverance there waiting for him. As soon as he had all his water casks refilled, he followed his brother to the islands of St. Ambrose and St. Felix, (which are just off the coast of Chile) where his log records that he “went on board the Perseverance and spend the night there in company with Captain Barney of the ship, Mars from Nantucket,” which was also on a sealing voyage. I can picture those three captains sitting up most of the night, sipping their grog, while they caught up on the news of the world and exchanged yarns together.
BENITO CERENO (Feb. 20, 1805)
At sunrise on February 20, while Amasa was waiting for the arrival of the Pilgrim, he sighted a strange ship rounding the head of land at the entrance to the bay. He was perplexed because she was not showing her colors, which a vessel always does when coming into port. Obviously, her skipper was not acquainted with those waters, for she began to approach too near to a reef. Believing that she was in danger, Amasa took a crew in his whale boat and went out to meet her. As he drew near, he could make out her name as the Tryal and could see that her decks were filled with slaves. When he climbed aboard her, the captain and slaves all crowed around him., Through an interpreter, Amasa learned that the Captain was a Spaniard, Don Benito Cereno by name, who said that they had been nearly five months coming from Buenos Aires, that most of his crew had died of scurvy, and that they were in dire need of supplies.
Amasa sent back his boat to his own ship for food and water while he stayed aboard to care for the sufferings of these people. He observed that there was little order or discipline and that Don Benito seemed to give the slaves the run of the ship. He noticed that a big black man always stood by the captain’s side, following him wherever he went and supporting him when he seemed too weak to stand.
After Amasa had been on board the Tryal for nearly four hours, doing all he could for them, he prepared to return to his own ship and invited the Spanish captain to come along with him. His offer was refused with coldness and restraint, but – at the moment that Amasa’s crew was pushing off their boat from the side of the Tryal – Don Benito leaped into the middle of it and exhorted them to pull away from his ship as fast as they could. Then rapidly followed his explanation:
The slaves had overpowered the Tryal’s officers, killed 25 of her crew, and forced the captain to navigate the ship. Don Benito had been unable to tell this to Amasa because the big ringleader stayed beside him constantly, directing what he should say and do.
Amasa had his men row as hard as they could towards his own ship, and as they drew near to her he called out to the men on board to make the guns ready. As soon as he climbed on to the deck, all his men gathered around him, and he told them what had happened. Don Benito offered them, as a reward, a half interest in the Tryal if they could recover his ship from the slaves. So, many of the Americans and remaining Botany Bay convicts, itching for a fight, as could get into the two boats, armed with pistols, sealing knives, and pikes, set out in pursuit of the slave ship whose anchor lines had been cut and which had started to work her way out of the bay. Amsasa’s men finally caught the ship and boarded her. After a brief, but bloody battle, the slaves, who defended themselves with desperation, were subdued. Those who survived the attack were put in irons and Amasa placed twenty of his own men aboard to sail her in to the port of Conception, Chile. The Perseverance accompanied her, and when the reached port, Amasa turned over the slave ship and all aboard to the captain.
Thereupon, Don Benito schemed to avoid paying a just reward for the Perseverance’s aid. He learned that some of the Botany Bay convicts, who had stowed away on the Perseverance and had either run away or been put off at Santa Maria, had been picked up by the authorities, taken to Conception, and thrown in prison. Don Benito thereupon secured depositions from each one of them, swearing that Captain Amasa Delano had been a pirate and charging that he had brutally flogged men aboard his ship who were not of his crew. All the western coast of South American being then a colony under Spain, Amasa had to go to the crown city of Lima, Peru to defend himself. Fortunately, th viceroy there was a just man, and ruled that Don Benito must pay Amasa $8,000 for the service the latter had rendered to the Spaniard.
A full account of the Tryal affair was sent to the King of Spain at Madrid. After Amasa returned to America, the Spanish minister to the US forwarded to the consul at Boston, a gold medal to Captain Amasa Delano for his services in recovering the Spanish vessel, the Tryal, at Santa Maria. This was the story as Amasa told it in Chapter 18 of his Voyages.
Fifty years later, in the October issue of 1855 there appeared in Putnam’s Monthly magazine the first installment of a sea story entitled “Benito Cereno,” which was continued and concluded in the November and December issues. This story was unsigned and went unacknowledged until the following year when it appeared in the Piazza Tales, a volume of short stories by none other than Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick and other famous stories of the sea., which have become American classics.
Melville gave his readers no reason to suspect that the story was anything but a narrative of his own invention; but coming by chance an old volume of Delano’s Voyages, Horace H. Scudder discovered the interesting fact that in Chapter 18 of Captain Delano’s book Melville had found his story ready-made. I quote from Scudder’s article that I found in Volume 43 of The Publications of the Modern Language Association of America: “Melville merely rewrote Chapter 18, including word for word a portion of one of the legal documents there appended, suppressing a few items, and making some small additions.” But then Scudder went on to say “that Melville had taken Delanos’s facts and transformed them into a Gothic masterpiece. At first sight (he said) Melville’s story seems to differ from that of Captain Delano only in minor details, but on closer examination one perceives that these apparently trifling differences very materially alter the tone of the narrative.” One literary critic said that this short story by Melville was “his supreme technical achievement as an artist;” another, that it was “a flaming instance of the authors pure genius;’ and still a third that it was “the noblest short story in American literature.”
During the month of March and April 1805 the Delanos continued their sealing operations on the islands off the Chilean coast. Amasa finally gave orders to Samuel to return to the island of St. Felix and St. Ambrose to pick up their gangs of men, which they had left there ah month before, while the Perseverance was to visit Valparaiso.
A few days later, a Spanish ship of 20 guns, the Caster, met the Pilgrim on the high seas and boarded her. The commander told Samuel that he must seize the Pilgrim and take her to Valparaiso; which he proceeded to do, after removing her officers and crew and placing ten Spaniards aboard her to sail her in. The Spaniards who had been put aboard the Pilgrim did much damage to her sails and rigging during their trip into port as they were not experienced sailors and they abused the American crew, stole their clothes and all the resto of their personal belongings. The Pilgrim was tied up in Valparaiso for a full week before the Spaniards released her, at which time Samuel wrote in his log, “And God grant I may never die until I have just recompense for insults and injuries received from these Spaniards.”
While the Pilgrim was in custody of the Spaniards, another entry appeared in Samuel’s log, which is interesting because it had to do with an event in Samuel’s life for which he was very famous. He wrote, “Somewhere in the passing and re-passing, I lost from off my neck a gold medal with the following inscription engraved on it – “Presented by the Humane Society of Massachusetts to Samuel Delano Jr. for his humane exertion in saving the officers and crew of the Ship Rodney stranded at Duxbury.” On the other side of the medal was the bas-relief of a swimmer plunging through the high waves towards a sinking vessel with a Latin phrase inscribed on it with the date of November 25, 1792. I would like to digress long enough to tell of this earlier adventure of Samuel’s, which is mentioned in several articles under “Biographical Sketch” in the back of Amasa’s Voyages.
THE RESCUE OF THE RODNEY (Nov. 25, 1792)
When Samuel was a young man of 24, he was duck hunting with three friends on Long Beach in Duxbury during a severe northeaster. When the storm began to increase in intensity, the hunters decided they had better return home. Just as they heard three reports of a cannon, which they knew must be the signal of a vessel in distress. They ran to the outer beach where, through the blinding snow, they could just make out the form of the superstructure of a vessel that had been wrecked off Branche’s Point and had been driven in by the gale and was breaking up on a sand bar off Duxbury Beach. The four men on the beach realized that it would be impossible to launch their boat through the high surf. Samuel Delano, however, threw off his clothing and, at the risk of his life, dove through the surf and swam to the wreck. His friends on the beach supposed that he would never be able to reach the wreck and would drown in the attempt, but he did get to the stranded vessel and climbed up on to it where he stood naked and exhausted before the astonished crew who thought him a ghost. The captain of the ship Rodney and his family, and all the members of his cre3w would certainly have perished in that boisterous sea if Samuel had not been able to tell them to stay with their ship until the tide receded, when they would be able to wade ashore on a sand bar. For this heroic rescue, the Humane Society of Massachusetts awarded to Samuel the gold medal that he thought he had lost thirteen years later when the Spaniards took over his ship, but which his log records he found again a few days later.
I went to the office of the Massachusetts Humane Society to see if they had a record of the medal that they had awarded to Samuel Delano so many years before. Sure enough! The clerk reached up and pulled down from a shelf an old tome of the History of the Humane Society of Mass. 1785-1916 and opened it to “Delano” – and there not only was the record of the award of Samuel Delano but a picture of both sides of the medal – the only picture in the entire book!
I had had trouble reading the Latin words written in Samuel’s Log, but the Humane Society’s book I could clearly make out: “Nec Horrot Iratum Mare,” which means “Without fear of the angry sea.”
The Pilgrim finally received her clearance papers in Valparaiso and sailed in company with the Perseverance back to the islands of St. Felix and St. Ambrose, where they found their men whom they had left there the month before – all in good health.
The Delanos decided to load the Perseverance with all the skins they had taken, which made a full cargo for that ship and which Amasa was to carry to Canton for a market. And then sail his ship home. Samuel, with William as his first mate, was to stay with the Pilgrim on the coast of South America for another season to get more skins. Accordingly, Amasa fully provisioned and equipped the schooner while they were at the Galapagos Islands and parted company with his brothers on July 27, 1806. Amasa sailed westward, touching Hawaii, the Marianas, and finally on to Canton, where he waited two months for a good market to sell his skins. It was not until July 26, 1807 that he arrived home safely, though exhausted.
The Pilgrim remained on the coast off Chile and Peru until September 4, 1807, the crew experiencing many hardships and privations, during which time they procured nearly 13,000 more skins, though some were later damaged by water. That happended during a harrowing experience on their way to Canton. As the Pilgrim was entering the China sea in a stiff northeast gale, a huge wave struck the vessel and turned her onto her side so that the tops of her masts where under water. Finally, she righted again before filling. As you well, know, it is rare indeed at a ship at sea rights itself after it has once turned onto her beam ends. After marketing their seal skins Samuel sold the Pilgrim in Canton to a citizen from Philadelphia and both brothers made their way back home.
That brings us to the end of this Delano expedition. Having sailed his ship 50,000 miles, Amasa arrived in Boston Harbor after nearly four years absence and Samuel and William were way from home five years. The Perseverance head circumnavigate d the globe twice during the voyage, for the longitude of Arica, one of their ports of call on the north coast of Chile, is east of Boston. In other words, they complete circled the globe once in sailing from Boston to Arica, and then encircled it completely again by returning home by way of Canton and the Cape of Good Hope. These are but a few of the highlights of the expedition of the Delano brothers to the South Seas as revealed by Samuel’s log and Amasa’s Voyages.