Shipboard: 1863. Original manuscripts. In all, eleven (11) items from 1863. In addition to Captain Watson's letters are nine (9) other handwritten documents concerning the sale of his African cargo in Boston & New York, and by Salem, Massachusetts, merchant, Edward D. Kimball.* Watson's letters, each 2pp, octavo, are datelined "Barque Witch" at Accra and Cape Coast, Ghana, August 11th and September 11th, 1863. Both were written to the ship's owner, Salem shipping magnate Edward D. Kimball. Following are a few excerpts from the letters. (1) "...I have arrived here to day to collect a few Debts, shall probably stay 4 or5 days. I have... instructions from Mr. Hudson, to call at 2 or 3 more places on the Coast, and then join him at Cape Coast... Mr. Hudson intends to dispatch the vessel directly on my return to Cape Coast. I shall have in the ship about 40,000 gall. Oil and 10,000 Gall Water in Oil Casks. I have on Mr. Hudson's request discharged one man to join the "May Queen," she was by sickness and desertion very much reduced in numbers...." All well onboard. Hoping you are well, I am, Sir, Yours respectfully, [signed] Ewd. Watson." (2) "...Being ready for sea, I take the opportunity to inform you of my departure from the Coast. I leave the Coast to morrow, and will make all dispatch towards Boston. The ship is light loaded and in good order. I shall try to make a good passage home--I have on board 44,712 gallon Palmoil- Captn. Johnston of Barque "Kedar" having no Cook and Steward, requested me to let him have a man, to oblige him I permitted the Cook to change into the "Kedar".... [followed by details about the sailor's wages]. Hoping you are well, I am Sir, Yours respectfully, [signed] Ewd. Watson." Both letters are docketed on the versos: "Capt. Edwd Watson" Accra and Cape Coast, Aug 11th & Sept. 11th, 1863. // The other nine (9) documents in this group concern the domestic sale of Capt. Watson's African cargo of palm oil, gum copal, cinnamon, mace, etc. These documents vary in size, 8" x 10" or smaller. They are from various correspondents, including: 1 letter and 1 signed document by Samuel Hultman, master of the Ship "Witch"; 2 letters from New York merchants T. Deland & Co.; 1 letter from New York merchant J. B. Weir; 1 letter from New York merchant R. H. Greene & Son; 1 holograph document signed by Boston merchant Charles Gillespie; 1 document signed by Salem merchant H. W. Perkins; and 1 manuscript document about the sale of cinnamon and mace by Salem merchant Edward D. Kimball. Very Good. Item #041306
*Edward D. Kimball, Esq. was head of the Salem, Massachusetts, Kimball family of maritime merchants, ships owners, bankers and textile mill owners. The business ventures of the Kimball brothers, Edward Dearborn Kimball (1810-1867), Elbridge Gerry Kimball (1816-1849), and Nathaniel A. Kimball (1822-1862), evolved from the early activities and interests of Edward and Elbridge Kimball. Edward's early career included New England coastal trading in produce and lumber. In 1842, he expanded into Ohio-Boston produce trading. He also began to use Midwestern shipbuilders for the building of his vessels. Elbridge's early business activities appear to have been limited to the consignment of cargo on vessels sailing primarily to South America and Zanzibar. The bulk of his cargo was carried by the ships of his brother-in-law, David Pingree. In approximately 1845, when David Pingree's interest in trade was waning, Edward and Elbridge, along with their brother, Nathaniel, combined their interests and activities to develop the Kimball shipping industry. Edward apparently made the bulk of the decisions for the firm, especially after the death of Elbridge in 1849. Although the focus of the brothers' trade was with the west coast of Africa, their vessels also sailed to the East Indies, the Pacific Islands, South America, Australia, and Asia. Edward also continued his produce & shipping trade with several Ohio firms [from the Peabody Essex Museum site].