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Whaling owner's flags displayed on the "Charles W. Morgan" - Part 1 (U.S.)

Last modified: 2020-01-18 by rob raeside
Keywords: whalers | charles w morgan |
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The whaling ship "Charles W. Morgan", registered as a National Historic Landmark in 1966, is the world's oldest surviving merchant ship and the only surviving American whaling ship from the 19th century. Therefore its nickname of "Last Wooden Whaleship in the World".

Built in 1841 at the Jethro and Zachariah Hillman's shipyard in New Bedford for Charles Wain Morgan (1796-1861), the ship was subsequently operated, until 1912, by the J. & W. R. Wing Co.. Laid up in 1921 and severely damaged in 1924 during a blaze, the "Charles W. Morgan" stirred the interest of the notables of New Bedford, led by the noted painter Harry Neyland (1877-1958), main owner of the ship's shares; appealing to the historical significance of the ship for New Bedford, which was, in the middle of the 19th century, the world's capital of whaling, they persuaded Colonel Edward Howland Robinson Green (1868-1938), owner of a wealthy mansion at Round Hill in Dartmouth, to fund the saving of the ship.
The "Charles W. Morgan" was eventually deeded by gift to Whaling Enshrined Inc., a company established jointly by Green, Neyland, and John Bullard (the great-grandson of Charles W. Morgan, and a founding member and first President of the Country Club of New Bedford). Thirty-two donors contributed to the deed, whose name is inscribed on a commemorative marker ( The ship, restored under the guidance of Captain George Fred Tilton (1861-1932), was towed to Round Hill and turned into a popular exhibition.
After Tilton and Green's death, the "Charles W. Morgan" was taken over by the Marine Historical Association (today, Mystic Seaport) and towed to Mystic in 1941. Restored, the ship was eventually launched into the Mystic River on 21 July 2013, exactly 172 years after its initial launching.
Mystic Seaport Museum

Charles Wain Morgan was born in Philadelphia in 1796. By 1818, he had moved to New Bedford, where he entered into business as a partner of William Rotch Sr. and Samuel Rodman Sr. in their merchant shipping firm. Morgan later became an independent merchant and whaling agent. From 1819 until his death in 1861, he owned all or partial interest in various whalers, such as the ship "Hector", ship/bark "Hesper", ship "Maria" and several merchant vessels, including the brigs "Parthian" and "Troy". In addition, he invested in an iron works in Duncannon, Penn., with his wife's brother-in-law, William Logan Fisher (1781-1862); owned a candleworks in New Bedford; supplied United States lighthouses; and was active in civic affairs.
New Bedford Whaling Museum

The restored "Charles W. Morgan" was enshrined on 21 July 1926. For the ongoing season, a different flag was hoisted every day at the mainmast of the ship, as described by press reports published in "The New Bedford Standard" and kept in the archives of the Mystic Seaport Museum.

Some of these flags were genuine house flags used by whaling companies during the Gilded Age of whaling in New Bedford and the neighboring towns of Fairhaven and Westport; revived by Colonel Green, these flags were recalled with nostalgia in the press reports ("one of the old flags that the families of seafaring men used to watch for as the whalers came into the harbor", "one of the old-timers, one of the flags that identified the ships of the returning whalemen in the long-ago time when so many whalers were coming into the harbor that they needed distinguishing marks"). The sources for these flags were genuine signal books of the time.
In several cases, a ship agent used different flags to identify his ships rather than a single design identifying his company; in such cases, Greene selected one of the available designs.
The other flags were brand new flags designed by Harry Neyland for donors of the "Charles W. Morgan" who had no record of a personal flag.
The press reports include, in most cases, illustrations and thorough descriptions of the flags.

The flag calendar established by Colonel Green was expected to be used the next years. There is no indication of the continuation of the dressing, especially after Green's death.
Whaleship owners flags, displayed on the Charles W. Morgan, ca. 1930, Mystic Seaport Museum

The New Bedford, Fairhaven and Dartmouth signal book, 1855, compiled and published by William C. Taber, Jr. was among the sources used by Colonel Green.
A signal book for New Bedford and the surrounding area, with handcolored flags and annotations throughout. Each flag is headed by the name of the agents, with a list of the ships which may be flying that flag off to the right. The work is divided into three sections, "Red, White and Blue," "Red and White," and "Blue and White," denoting the different color schemes of the flags.
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

Flags on "Charles W. Morgan"

The restored "Charles W. Morgan" was enshrined on 21 July 1926. For the ongoing season, a different flag was hoisted every day at the mainmast of the ship, as described by press reports published in "The New Bedford Standard".
Ivan Sache, 31 January 2019

21 July - Dedication
21 July - Henry S. Hutchinson
24 July - Henry H. Crapo
25 July - Edward R. Hathaway
26 July - Clark W. Holcomb
27 July - J. and W. R. Wing
28 July - John Duff
29 July - Andrew G. Pierce
30 July - James Henry Howland
31 July - William A. Robinson Jr.
1 August - Rotch
2 August - Swift and Allen
3 August - James Henry Howland
4 August - Captain George Fred Tilton
5 August - John Avery Parker
6 August - George Howland
7 August - Jonathan Bourne Jr.
8 August - Abraham H. Howland
9 August - Harry Neyland
10 August - Jireh Perry
11 August - J. B. Wood
12 August - David R. Greene
13 August - Henry Taber
14 August - Lemuel Kollock
15 August - Abraham Barker
16 August - Rodney French
17 August - J. Dunbar / Henry F. Thomas
18 August - William Gifford
19 August - Benjamin Cummmings
20 August - T. and A. R. Nye
21 August - Edmund Wood
22 August - Isaac Howland, Jr.
23 August - J.D. Thompson
26 August - Charles H. Tucker & Co.
27 August - B. B. Howard
28 August - Edward W. Howland
29 August - Gideon Allen
30 August - Pope and Morgan
31 August - Nathan Church
1 September - Captain John A. Cook
2 September - I. H. Bartlett
3 September - Thomas Wilcox
4-5? September - Charles S. Ashley
6 September - William Watkins
7 September - West and Paine
8 September - Isaac B. Richmond
9 September - Gibbs and Jenney
10 September - Atkins Adams
11 September - Ezekiel Sawin
12 September - Philips and Ashley
13 September - William O. Brownell
14 September - Frederick Parker
15 September - Richmond and Wood
16 September - William R. Rodman
17 September - Andrew Robeson
18 September - Ship "Globe"
19 September - Philip Anthony
20 September - Asa Swift
21 September - O. and G. O. Crocker
22 September - Lemuel C. Tripp
23 September - T. and A. R. Nye
24 September - Alexander Gibbs
25 September - Captain James F. Avery
26 September - Sheffield Reeve
27 September - Lemuel Tripp
28 September - Warren Delano
29 September - Jabez Delano Jr.
30 September - Fish and Huttlestone
1 October - Zenas L. Adams
2 October - W.G. Blackler
3 October - Dexter Jenney
4 October - Furman Read Whitwell
5 October - Andrew Hicks
6 October - Reuben Fish
7 October - Zeno Kelley
8 October - Seth A. Mitchell
9 October - Lorenzo Peirce
10 October - Charles Hitch and Son
11 October - Kelley and Swift
12 October - William Wilcox
13 October - James H. Slocum
14 October - O. & E. W. Seabury
15 October - Oliver Ricketson
16 October - Azel Howard
17 October - Chapman and Bonney
18 October - F. and G. R. Taber
19 October - Wood and Nye
20 October - Tucker and Cummings
21 October - Cook and Snow
22 October - Lawrence Grinnell
23 October - Charles Almy
24 October - Allen Lucas
25 October - Abraham Ashley 2d
26 October - Weston Howland
27 October - Russell Maxfield
28 October - William Potter 2d
29 October - David B Kempton
30 October - Cornell and Penniman
31 October - John Arnold Macomber
Joseph Little

21 July - Dedication

The "Charles W. Morgan" wore a full dress of all the flags to be subsequently flown on specific days.

A black and white photo shows the "Charles W. Morgan" berthed at Round Hills, with full dressing.

Another photo, dated 1947 shows the "Charles W. Morgan", fully dressed, at its new home port, Mystic Seaport
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

21 July - Henry S. Hutchinson

"[...] the flag of Henry S. Hutchinson [made of two adjacent squares with a colored border, each charged with a letter "H"), which was flown Thursday as first of a series of 137 house flags."

Henry S. Hutchinson operated a famous bookstore in New Bedford, founded in 1864 by his father, Sylvander H. Hutchinson and subsequently acquired by his employee, Robert C. Saltmarsh. The store is still operated by his daughter-in-law, Maura, who proudly noted that over the years probably "half the city has worked here or shopped here".

"The New Bedford Standard" was a bit optimistic, since the display season (21 July - 31 October) counted only 103 days. 22 and 23 July, as well as 24 and 25 August, are missing from the Mystic Seaport Museum archive.]
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

24 July - Henry H. Crapo

[Henry H. Crapo] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"There was no house flag to fall back on in the Crapo family, so Mr. Crapo had Harry A. Neyland design for him a white pennant adorned with three red stars. The pennant designed for his father, the late W. W. Crapo, who also was one of the donors of the "Morgan" to Whaling Enshrined Inc. is identical, except that its stars are blue."

William Wallace Crapo (1830-1926), a prominent attorney in New Bedford, served as Representative from Massachusetts (Republican) from 1875 to 1883. His most famous customer was "the richest woman in America", Hetty Green (1834-1926), Colonel Green's mother. William Crapo was a founding member and first president of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society, governing body of the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
His father, Henry Howland Crapo (1804-1869), born in Dartmouth, moved to New Bedford in 1832 and established a whaling company. He was involved in the town's administration for the next two decades. In 1858, he established a flourishing lumbering business in Michigan, serving as the 5th Mayor of Flint (1860-1861), member of the Michigan Senate (1863-1864) and 14th Governor of Michigan (1865-1869). Complete biography
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

25 July - Edward R. Hathaway

[Edward R. Hathaway] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"A very decorative flag of red, white, blue and orange took the place on the mainmast of the "Charles W. Morgan" at Round Hills today, in honor of Mayor Edward R. Hathaway, one of the 33 donors of the ship to Whaling Enshrined Inc.
The mayor's house flag, fourth in the series of donors last Wednesday, was designed by Harry H. Neyland. The designer's objective to make a banner unique among house flags, was achieved by dividing the flag vertically in equal bars of blue, white and red dividing the blue and red bars horizontally into three equal parts by narrow stripes of white, and placing an orange star in the center of the white field."

Edward R. Hathaway served as the 30th (1915-1916) and 33rd (1925-1926) Mayor of New Bedford.
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

26 July - Clark W. Holcomb

[Clark W. Holcomb] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"Like a number of the donors, Mr Holcomb was not so fortunate as to inherit a house flag. Accordingly, the tradition of the blue pennant with the white "H", which was hoisted aloft today, has just begun."

Clark W. Holcomb was the owner of the New Bedford Boiler and Machine Co., originally established on 16 February 1871.
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

27 July - J. and W. R. Wing

[J. and W. R. Wing] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"Familiar to old seamen is the banner that floats over the "Charles W. Morgan" at Round Hills today, the J. and W. R. Wing flag, flown for years at the mastheads of the Wing whalers. The flag is divided into two squares, one white with a black "W", the other blue with a red circle. This white, blue, red, black pennant is noted in records of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society as far back as 1852. It flies today as the designation of one of the donors of the "Morgan", Mrs. Clare Wing Hussey, a daughter of W. R. Wing."

The firm of J. & W. R. Wing & Co. of New Bedford was first organized in 1849 by two Dartmouth brothers: Joseph Wing (1810-1895) and William Ricketson Wing (1830-1908). Initially devoting their business to supplying seamen with clothing and other goods, the Wings soon began investing in whaling voyages and purchased their first whaler, the "Oscola", 2d (Bark), in 1852. The youngest Wing brother, John (1833-1915), became a partner in the firm in 1857, just as J. & W. R. Wing & Co. entered into its most prosperous period of activity. The Wings managed one of the largest fleets in the American whaling industry between 1860-1910 and ultimately owned all or the controlling interest in twenty-six vessels, including the barks "A. R. Tucker", "Andrew Hicks", "Canton", "Kathleen", "Morning Star", and "Sunbeam". Most of their efforts were directed toward the pursuit of sperm whales; however, in the 1870s, the Wings responded to a growing demand for whalebone by transferring several of their vessels--notably the barks "Alice Knowles", "Cape Horn Pigeon", and "Charles W. Morgan"--to San Francisco. West coast operations of the firm were managed by William R. Wing, who made regular trips to California to meet vessels returning from the Arctic and Okhotsk.
Despite the decline of the whaling industry after 1880, the Wings continued their activities as whaling agents as well as their business as outfitters, clothiers, dry goods dealers, and retailers of men's furnishings. The brothers also invested in several local textile mills and in various land development companies on Martha's Vineyard. Management of the company was assumed by William R. Wing's son-in-law, Charles Morgan Hussey (1856-1940) after the death of John Wing in 1915. The firm's involvement with whaling ended with a 1917 voyage of the "Andrew Hicks" (Bark), and J. & W. R. Wing & Co. was sold to the Steiger-Dudgeon Co. in 1923.
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

28 July - John Duff

[John Duff] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"Mr Duff's flag was designed by Harry Neyland. The white ground of the rectangular banner is surmounted by a blue circle with a red "D" in the center. Mr. Neyland submitted to Mr. Duff two designs similar in effect, and Mr. Duff selected this."

John Duff (1856-1936) owned a major coal and oil company in New Bedford. He was among the founders of the Country Club of New Bedford in 1902. The John Duff building was erected in 1889.
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

29 July - Andrew G. Pierce

[Henry H. Crapo] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"Mr. Pierce has had his yacht flag enlarged in the proper size for use on the masthead instead of depending on a new design. The swallowtail flag is white with red border and cross."

Andrew G. Pierce Jr. was the son of Andrew G. Pierce (1829-1903), the most powerful man in the textile industry of New Bedford, who served as the 10th Mayor of the town (1868-1869).
Soon after leaving school he entered the employ of Edward L. Baker, manufacturer of oil and candles, and a prominent man in financial matters. While in Mr. Baker's office, in 1847, Mr. Baker was chosen treasurer of the newly organized Wamsutta mills, a position which did not occupy his entire time and the duties of which were conducted in the counting room of his factory. Much of this duty devolved upon young Pierce, who thus became rather a factor of the mill than of the candle
business. In 1855 Mr. Baker resigned as treasurer of the Wamsutta mills, and Mr. Pierce, although only twenty-six years of age, was elected treasurer of the corporation. It established him in a position he occupied more than forty years, and made him the pivotal point around which probably the whole development of New Bedford's great cotton industry has centered. Mr. Pierce remained treasurer of the Wamsutta mills until 1897, when he retired on account of advancing years, and the feeling that he needed leisure. In all the years of his service the
Wamsutta enjoyed wonderful prosperity. From the little mill in 1847 the
establishment had grown to be what it is today. Mr. Pierce had been a great power in that growth and for several years he held the double position of treasurer and president.
When the Potomska Mill was organized, in 1871, he was one of its first
directors, and so remained, being at the time of his death its president. He was leader in the formation of the Pierce Mill, of which his son Andrew G., Jr., was made the treasurer, and was its president until his death.
Bristol County MA Archives Biography
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

30 July - James Henry Howland

[James Henry Howland] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"[...] another of the old flags that the families of seafaring men used to watch for as the whalers came into the harbor.[...]
It is blue and white, white next to the mast, the blue fluttering out into swallowtail points.
It was once the flag of James Henry Howland, from whom Mr. Prescott inherits it through his mother Helen Augusta Howland [1837-1908], the daughter of James Henry Howland [1810-1884]."

The donor was Oliver Prescott (1868-1938), a member of the law firm Crapo, Clifford, Prescott and Bullard, originally established in 1878 by William Wallace Crapo as Crapo, Clifford & Clifford.
New Bedford Whaling Museum

The family bearing the Howland name is one historic in New England annals. First a family of Plymouth and Duxbury and some time later of Ancient Dartmouth, it became one conspicuous in the great whale fishery industry that centered at New Bedford and Fairhaven and in the later cotton industry of the former place, the former of which industries made New Bedford the greatest whaling port in the world and the wealthiest city in proportion to its population in New England.
Few have figured more extensively and prominently in the whaling industry in its several forms than the Howland family, including in this the maritime feature of it, that in the line of masters of vessels, some of whom later retired with fortunes to farms about Fairhaven; later generations of the family establishing the great cotton industries since extensively operated in part under the Howland name.
Access Genealogy
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

31 July - William A. Robinson Jr.

[William A. Robinson Jr.] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"[...] design of Harry Neyland. The pennant-shaped center of the banner is red with a large "R" in blue; the outside triangles are white."

William A. Robinson Jr. was the treasurer and manager of the W. A. Robinson & Co. oil refining business, originally incorporated by his father William A. Robinson.
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

1 August - Rotch

[Rotch] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"Mrs. Morgan Rotch selected the design from a Rotch flag in her possession. Its gay hue should make it one whose identity can be picked out at a distance, from the ground, is red, with a great ellipse in white."

The donor was Ann Rotch (Hudson) Morgan (1850-1947), later known as Sister Anne Monica.

Between ca. 1760-1900, members of the Rotch family of Nantucket and New Bedford, Mass., played a vital role in the development of their communities as centers of the whaling industry. The family's close association with New Bedford began in 1787 with the emigration of William Rotch Jr. from Nantucket, where he had been trained in the counting house of William Rotch Sr. & Sons. Young Rotch established his own business which, in turn, launched the careers of three of his sons, William Rodman, Joseph, and Thomas, as merchants involved in different aspects of the whaling industry. Business ventures directed or financially supported by the Rotches between 1787-1896 included William Rotch Jr. & Sons, William R. Rotch & Company, Rotch Wharf Company, Rotch Candle House, and New Bedford Cordage Company. Members of the family also held a vital interest in numerous local banks and textile mills. While most Rotches were merchants and businessmen, the family also included a notable inventor and other individuals not involved in commercial pursuits. - New Bedford Whaling Museum
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

2 August - Swift and Allen

[Swift and Allen] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"This gay blue and white flag is one of the old-timers, one of the flags that identified the ships of the returning whalemen in the long-ago time when so many whalers were coming into the harbor that they needed distinguishing marks.
This was the house flag of Swift and Allen, and it is raised today in honor of Jireh Swift Jr., one of the donors of the "Morgan". The outside edges and the circle are white, upon a ground of blue."

For almost fifty years, during the most prosperous era enjoyed by the American whale fishery, Swift & Allen of New Bedford served that industry as agents, ship chandlers, and commission merchants. This organization, established in 1842 by Frederick S. Allen (1812-1896) and his brother-in-law, Jireh Swift (1809-1905), grew out of Allen's earlier mercantile partnerships with Thomas C. Lothrop, 1832-1836, and Ireneus Gooding, 1836-1841. Swift & Allen were major suppliers of cordage, iron ware, groceries, and other goods needed to outfit whaling vessels of New Bedford and nearby ports. In addition, the firm acted as agents for over twenty vessels from about 1844-1887, handling the outfits, accounts of crew members and master, and sales of whale-oil, sperm oil, and whale bone for each vessel. Swift & Allen prospered with the whaling industry as a whole until after 1860, when Confederate raiders and Arctic ice caused the loss of numerous vessels and sales were beginning to feel the impact of the burgeoning petroleum industry. The firm's business activity gradually declined in the 1880s, and in 1891 the partnership of Swift & Allen ended.
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

3 August - James Henry Howland

(see also 30 July)

[James Henry Howland ] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"It is raised this time to honor Frederic H. Taber, whose mother, Elizabeth Delano Howland, was James Henry Howland's daughter."

His father, Frederic Taber (b. 1856), became in 1882 a partner in the business, under the firm name of Charles Taber & Co., the other partners, besides his father, being William and Charles M. Taber. In 1893 the concern was incorporated as the Taber Art Company, with Frederic Taber as secretary, and in August, 1897, it was merged into the Taber Prang Art Company, which is capitalized at $550,000, and of which Mr. Taber is a director. He was a member of the City Council two years, and is a director of the Acushnet Cooperative Bank, the New Bedford Gas and Edison Light Company, and the Dartmouth Mill Corporation. In 1882 he married Elizabeth Delano Howland, who died in 1883, leaving one son, Frederic Howland Taber
Complete biography
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

4 August - Captain George Fred Tilton

[James Henry Howland ] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"The flag is the new flag adopted by the poplar curator of the old bark, Captain George Fred Tilton. Captain Tilton furnished the central idea for its design and Harry Neyland evolved the finished pattern. On a blue background a great white circle floats, to represent the world. "I want the world on my flag", Captain Tilton told Mr. Neyland, "for the whole world has been my home". The designer then suggested that the stars of different size be scattered over the blue of the sky. The captain accepted this and the question then rose as to the number of these stars. "Should I put in one for every wife?" asked Mr. Neyland, "or do you think it would be more conservative to have seven stars to show the seven seas that you have sailed on?"

Born in 1861 in a house built by his great-grandfather in Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, George Fred Tilton ran away from home at the age of fourteen aboard a New Bedford whaling schooner. That was the start of a forty year adventure on whaling and merchant vessels ranging from Alaska to Hawaii, Argentina, the Canary Islands, Europe, Greenland, and many more points in between. Tilton endured land sharks, yellow fever, hard drinking, desertion, attempted murder, blizzards, and mutiny. But these paled in comparison to a several month period during the winter of 1897 to 1898 when he walked, with two Siberian companions and sled dogs, along the coast of Alaska from Point Barrow to Kodiak Island, from where they eventually sailed down to Portland, Oregon, to bring word that the whaling fleet of which they were a part was trapped in the ice and liable to not survive the winter without aid. In 1903 he finally became a captain, and served as a whaling master of two ships on four voyages to the Arctic. After quitting whaling he served four years in the U. S. Navy during WWI before finding himself once again aground, until the organization that owned the "Charles W. Morgan", Whaling Enshrined, Inc., asked him to take charge of their vessel.
So beginning in May of 1925, Captain Tilton began his final command of a vessel encased in a sand berth beside a purpose-built wharf on an estate across the bay from the island of his birth. Over the next eight years he directed the regular maintenance of the vessel and interpreted it year-round to hundreds of thousands of visitors who drove to the estate and climbed aboard for a tour. After apparently much coaxing from visitors who couldn't get enough of his sea stories, and Harry Neyland, a local artist who had first started Whaling Enshrined to save the "Morgan" and now helped run it (with Green's financial backing), Tilton wrote his memoirs, published in 1928 as "Captain George Fred by Himself".
When Tilton died in 1932 at the age of seventy-one, he was enough of a popular local character that the "New York Times" published his obituary, a rare honor for a retired New England mariner.
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

5 August - John Avery Parker

"The flag was well-known when the whaling industry was in its heyday. It was the flag of John Avery Parker, and is a combination of red, white and blue, distinctive in design. On a white ground two blue disks float and a stripe of red marks it at top and bottom."

John Avery Parker (1769-1853) was involved in mercantile, whaling, and shipbuilding affairs, from 1803-1853. Born in Plympton, he joined with Lemuel Milke in 1795 to build ships at the head of the East Branch of the Westport (then Noquochoke) River in Westport. The partnership was dissolved in 1803, although Parker continued to have his vessels built at Westport. Parker then moved to New Bedford that same year and began doing business, probably as a grocer, at Middle and Bridge Streets where he established his counting house in the Parker Block, a block of brick buildings he built in 1833. While in New Bedford, Parker engaged in building ships for merchant service and whaling voyages.
As was common in the consolidating days of American whaling (ca. 1790-1840) where merchants like Parker controlled many of the most vital components necessary to the success of the trade, he was president and owner of Lionet Iron Mills in Wareham. He also owned and actively supervised a cotton mill in Plympton. In 1825, Parker founded the Merchants Bank of New Bedford and became its first president, remaining in that position until his death. Parker also acted as an agent for several whaling vessels.
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

6 August - George Howland

[George Howland] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"This is the flag of George Howland, which once flew from eight or nine whaling ships. The ground of the flag is white, the stripes at top and bottom red, the letter "H" black. The ship "George Howland", the "George and Susan", and the "Ann Alexander" are some of the ships that were marked by this banner back in the 40's. The "George Howland" was lost in the Arctic. Later this flag was known as the George and Matthew Howland flag."

George Howland was born on November 7, 1781 in the Long Plain section of what is now Acushnet. The Howlands had been among the earliest settlers in Old Dartmouth and George had numerous relatives in the area. At the age of 16 he began his career as an apprentice in the office of William Rotch Jr., one of the three leading New Bedford whaling merchants and shipping agents of the day. He began building his career by investing in the ventures of other merchants and buying small shares in local ships. He acquired a 6/32 share in the ship "George" in 1802 and by 1803 had become principal owner of that ship holding a 5/8 share. He later acquired or had built for the merchant trade the "Robert Barclay", "Savage", "Elizabeth", "Ann Alexander", "Howland", "George and Susan", and the "Hope". For many years George Howland's ships carried freight and cargoes from New Bedford, New York City, and Norfolk to a number of European ports including Dublin, Liverpool, Cadiz, Leghorn, Archangel, etc. and imported a variety of items, so it is not surprising to find him writing about "our Atlantic market" in his letterbooks. George Howland was successful despite the challenges to shipping imposed by the Napoleonic Wars, the Jefferson Embargo, and the War of 1812.
In 1817 George Howland began sending ships on whaling voyages. Some were converted from merchant use, others selected specifically for whaling. His whaling vessels included the "George and Susan", "Golconda", "Ann Alexander", "Hope", "Cortes", "Java", "George Howland", "Rousseau", and "Corinthian". George Howland continued to send cargoes of oil to Europe, especially to Bremen and Rotterdam; he imported Swedish iron as well as English-made try pots, which he sold to other merchants in the whaling industry. He also sent oil and candles to his American agents in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
In addition to his shipping and whaling activities, George Howland had other interests. He was the principal owner of the Weweantit Iron Company in Wareham. He was on the board of Directors of the New Bedford and Taunton Rail Road Company during the 1840s.
After George Howland Jr. and Matthew Howland joined their father's shipping and whaling business, the firm became known as George Howland and Sons. George Howland died on May 5, 1852. At the time of his death, his estate, which had a net value of $615,000, included 9 whaling vessels with a book value of about $300,000 and a replacement value that could have been close to $1,000,000.
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

7 August - Jonathan Bourne Jr.

[Jonathan Bourne Jr. ] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"The "Lagoda", from which the model whaler in the Bourne Whaling Museum of the Historical Society was copied, used to be known by this flag when she approached the harbor. It is the flag of Jonathan Bourne Jr., and it flew from the mastheads of a half-dozen ships and several barks. The stripe next the staff is red, the outside blue, the central stripe marked with the "B" is white. In addition to the ship "Lagoda", the "Alexander Coffin", lost at sea, the "Marenga" and the bark "Pantheon", burned at sea, were among those that flew the Bourne flag."

The centerpiece of the Whaling Museum is an amazing half-scale model of the whaleship "Lagoda". The largest ship model in existence, 89 feet long, it was built in 1916 in the Bourne Building, donated by Emily Bourne in memory of her whaling merchant father, Jonathan Bourne, Jr. The "Lagoda" had been one of his most profitable ships and so was chosen, in a way, to become the emblem of New Bedford.
The "Lagoda" had a narrow scrape in 1871 when an early cold snap and shifting winds caught a large number of American whaling ships by surprise in the Bering Straights. As ice began to pack in around the vessels, dozens had to be abandoned. The "Lagoda", beating a southerly course, barely made it out of the Straights in time. She then assisted in gathering up the crews of the abandoned ships.
After New Bedford merchant William Lewis bought her, the "Lagoda" continued to sail the Pacific as a whaler. Finally, she was sold to Japanese owners who employed her as a coal supply hulk for the Japanese whaling fleets in the 1890s. Sometime after 1899 she burned and broke apart in Kanagawa, Japan.
Historical Digression, 30 April 2013

Jonathan Bourne Jr. (1811-1889), was one of New Bedford's most prosperous whaling agents and merchants. Born in the Monument section of Sandwich, now known as Bourne, he entered the grocery business in New Bedford, at the age of seventeen. He eventually bought the store from the owner and began investing in whaling vessels. He made his first investment in the "Roscoe" (Bark) in 1836 and by 1838 left the grocery business to devote his energies to financing whaling voyages. Before his death in August 1889, Bourne acted as agent for and owned substantial shares in twenty-four vessels as well as having interest in twenty-two others.
In addition to his activities as a whaling agent, Bourne was an alderman for the city of New Bedford for five years, served on the Governor's Council also for five years, was elected State director of the Boston and Albany Railroad, acted as the director for numerous banks, companies, and manufacturing firms, and invested in various other companies and industries.
New Bedford Whaling Museum
New Bedford Whaling Museum blog, confirming that the letter "B" is black
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

8 August - Abraham H. Howland

[James Henry Howland ] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"Another Howland flag [...]. The two border stripes on this flag are blue, the disk with the white star is blue, and the pennant-shaped stripe going out from the disk is red. It is the Abraham H. Howland flag, once raised over the ship "Abraham H. Howland", the ship "Franklin", the ship "Susan", later lost at sea, and the barks "Mary Frazier" and "London Packet", as well as others well-known in those days."

Abraham H. Howland (1802-1867) worked in virtually every department of his father's business. He even captained his father's vessels at one point which eventually led him to dip into the whaling industry and captain vessels of his own, most notably the 279 tonnage "London Packet".
When whaling began to wane, he went directly into the petroleum refining business. He held high positions or was on the boards of many businesses, Burgess & Howland, director with the Whaling Insurance Company of New Bedford, director of the Western Railroad, Committee on Mercantile Affairs, and even the New Bedford Fire Department.
In the early 1840s, he jumped into politics, and became a member of the Massachusetts State House of Representatives and served from 1843-1846. All the while still running his many businesses, and even expanded his whaling company and increased his fleet with the aptly named "Abraham H. Howland", built in 1845. Alas, this vessel would make three trips before being lost at Honolulu in 1852. In 1846, he obtained from the Legislature of Massachusetts a charter to begin to manufacture cotton, wool, and iron under the name of Wamsutta Mills.
When the city of New Bedford decided to incorporate on March 18, 1847, he jumped ship from the House of Representatives and ran for mayor. A. H. Howland became the first mayor of the newly incorporated New Bedford in 1847 and stayed in office until 1851.
Gas for illuminating was first used in New Bedford in 1853. Howland, James B. Congdon and business associates from Pennsylvania helped obtain a state charter and city franchise to use gas for street lighting. [...] This company eventually grew to purchase the New Bedford Electric Light Company and the Edison Electric Illuminating Company who had a plant on Middle Street. By March of 1888 Howland's company controlled the entire production of light for electricity for the entire city.
New Bedford Guide, 28 January 2014
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

9 August - Harry Neyland

[Harry Neyland] image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

"[...] The blue band at the bottom represents the sea, the white above it is the sky, and the dish of orange-red designates the setting sun, the whole symbolic of the decline of the whaling industry. Mr. Neyland intended this design also to symbolize his own vocation of marine painter."

Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, Harry Neyland (1877-1958) graduated from Pennsylvania State Normal College and after demonstrating a predilection towards the arts, enrolled at Zanerian Art College in Columbus, Ohio. He continued his training in New York, first at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn under the direction of Arthur Wesley Dow and later studying at the Art Students League. Like his contemporaries, Neyland then went abroad to further his education, working under Henry B. Snell in England and later traveling to Paris to enroll in the Academies Colarossi and Julian.
Upon his return to the United States, Neyland became the first art director of the New York Military Academy at Cornwall on the Hudson, and later moved to Ontario, Canada, where he headed the Hamilton Art School. He spent several more years studying in Europe and eventually settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1911, accepting the position of Director of the Swain Free School of Design, which he held until 1930. Neyland kept a studio in town, where he actively worked painting shore line views and scenes of the shipping industry, and spent much of his time watching and sketching the boats coming in and out of the harbor.
In addition to the Providence Art Club, Neyland exhibited with the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Boston Art Club and the New Bedford Art Club, and today his work can be found in the permanent collections of the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia and the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
Vose Galleries
Ivan Sache, 9 December 2019

Continued in Part 2