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Community History & Genealogy

In Their Own Words - Diaries and Letters of our Ancestors
George Washington Samson Ship Log 1797-1803

Late in the 18th century one of my grandfathers went to sea, sailing out of Plymouth, MA. He was just in his early teens, but he kept a log with summary details of his voyages. The original is archived in the Cortland County Historical Society and I transcribed photocopies of that document. Over they years I have enjoyed researching the ships, captains and places he lists in his log.

On the surface his log has nothing to do with the Tri-County area. However, in 1800 most of the population who would settle our area was still along the east coast and, like my grandfather, would relocate to the west within the next couple decades. He did in 1813, and brought his family to Cortland County.

 The Cortland County Historical Society holds the original,  placed there by our family.

Walt Samson

Transcription of handwritten notes of George Washington Samson b: 17 Sep 1781 d: 04 Feb 1868

A log of his sailing days during his teen years.

The actual handwritten copy is archived by the Cortland County Historical Society

Walt Samson (wrs) notes

-"do" appears to mean "ditto"

-In Apr 1800 he was taken by privateers. He was confined in 13 different facilities before his release.

*In Jul 1802 he was "cast away" in an area noted for shipwrecks.

- Spelling, etc. match GW’s, as far as possible.


Geo. W. Samson

April 26th 1803 being 7 years 8 months at

sea & by computation my wages amount

at least to 755 dollars.


***wrs note-So he went to sea about Sept 1795.

He was born Sep 1781, so he had just turned 14.

+++Scan 1672 +++

Names of Vessels which I

have sailed in. Captains

mates & Crews names.

Places went to & G & G & G [wrs note- means "etc"]

April 26 1796 shipt

on Board the Sloop Nancy

of Kinston. Belonging to

John Sever. Shipt Cook

for 5 Dollars per month

Elkanay? Cook. Capt.

Sylvanus Everson Mate

Jacob Churchil Seaman

Joseph Adams do

went to Baltimore Maryland

to Charleston S. Carolina

to Norfolk Virginia

To Richmond do

Came home then went to

Frenchmans Bay in ??

Capt Cook and Zenas? Drew

came home then went to

+++Scan 1673l+++

Portland in her with Cook

& Drew came home then.

Went to Portland in her

with Joseph Bartlett.

& Joseph Adams

Same year shipt Cook on

Board the Schooner James

Belonging to D. Beals & Col’l

Thomas & Capt Tupper

of Kingston. for 8 Dollars per month

Peleg Tupper Capt.


wrs note It appears Peleg Tupper may have been a first cousin of GW see the following...]

Descendants of PELEG#1 SAMSON

1. PELEG#1 SAMSON b: 12 Nov 1700 d: 27 Apr 1741

2 Simeon Samson b: Aug 1736 d: 22 Jun 1789

3 George Washington Samson b: 17 Sep 1781 d: 04 Feb 1848

1. PELEG#1 SAMSON b: 12 Nov 1700 d: 27 Apr 1741

2 Priscilla Samson b: 19 Mar 1738/39 d: 26 Mar 1818

m. Capt. Seth Tupper b: 06 May 1735 d: 1775

3 Peleg Tupper b: 02 Jan 1764 d: 18 Feb 1842


Stephen Chandler mate

Ahiver Wadsworth Seaman

Samuel Flunt? do

Charles Whitten do

Sailed from Boston to N Carolina

Pasquotank river.


From there to Cadiz in spain

From there to Malaga, do

Ahiver Wadsworth discharged

Shipt Peter Bently


From Malaga to London

Form there to Donbay? there

Discharged Stephen Chandler.

Sam’l Glunt put in mate.

From there to St Ubes in Portugal

Shipt there Joseph Nicholas

From there to Boston

& then to Kingston. Discharged


Shipt on Board the James

Chartered by George? & Davis

in Plymouth for 10 dollars

Peleg Tupper Capt

Wm. Doten Mate

Zackerus? Holmes, Seaman

Johnathan Bartlett do

Simon P?richmond do

went to Martinco W. Indies

Came home & went away

in her again for same

owners for 12 dollars per Month

+++ Scan1674 +++

Elkanah Cook Capt

Thomas Rogers Mate

George Rogers Seaman

Peter Holmes do

& Myself do

Oliver Garlow, Negro Cook

went to Martinico, WI

& came back to Plymouth


Shipt on Board the

Schooner Betsy of Duxbury

Belonging to Joshua Winson

for 16 Dollars per month

Lewis Peterson, Capt

Seth Pinkham, Mate

Joshua Weston Seaman

Jhenny? Styles, do

& Myself do

John Waggoner, Cook

+++ Scan 1674R +++

went to Martinco West Indies

Came home.

Shipt again in the Brigg

Federal George for the

same owner in Duxbury

for 17 Dollars per month

Job Samson Capt

Joshua Brewster Mate

Nath’el Kent, Second mate

Martin Stutson, Seaman

Charles Adams do


Seth Wilson do

& Myself do

Jack? a french Boy belonging

to Capt Samson, Cook went

went to Cape Francois

& back to Duxbury

then went up to Boston

& shipt on board the

ship Ariadne Belonging

to Joseph & John Dorr

Merchants in Boston

Nov 1799


for 17 Dollars per month

John Le Borquit. Capt

William Brooks. Mate

James Henry Robertson Boatswain

Andrew Nelson Gunner

Christian Arnold Carpenter

Wm Rowe, Seaman

John No?worthy, Seaman

Wm Avery Taverner do

Geo Mariam spanish do

Jacob French do

Benj’n Eaton do

Consider Bradford do

& Myself

Peter a Negro Cook

went from Boston to

Charleston SC the gunner

ran away Wm Rowe

ran away


Shipt Thomas Black

second mate U S ????????/

Hathway Steward 1800

went out bound to London

3 days out lost overboard

Jacob French

March 12th 1800

32 Days out got soundings

in the Channel was taken

by the French privateer

Brigg La Soir of 14 guns

was taken out & carried into

France. Ship carried to

St. Andre in Spain

travel’d to La L’Orient

Nantes. & Prockell

there went on Board

the Ship Columbus

Capt Joseph Skinner


bound to N York

had on board 42 in

number the greater

Part were taken by

the french & Came home


Came to N York then

went on board the Schooner

Mehitable Thomas Harden

master bound to Boston

Shipt to Chatam C Cod

traveled home by Land

then shipt on board

the Schooner Industry

of Kingston Belonging

to Peter Sinsor for 17

Dollars per Month.

Peter Winson Capt

Geore Peterson Mate

Zebb Bisbee Seaman


Charles Soul Seaman

Zenas Winsor do

& Myself do

Henry Soul Cook

went to N Carolina

Ghawern? & little River

then came home


Shipt on board Schooner

Industry again for 18 Dollars

P. Winsor Capt

Zebb Bisbee Mate

Thomas Burrbank Seaman

David Ripley do

Genor? Wisor do

& Myself do

Paddy Murphy an Irish

lad cook


Went to Philadelphia

then Came back to


Then shipt on Board

the Schooner Abigail

Belonging to Curtis

& Loring & Capt Joseph

Thomas No 42 Long

Warf Boston

for 20 Dollars per month

Jacob Hastings Capt

David Werren Mate

Stephen Ferganson Seaman

John Pieirce do

Asa Green do

& Myself do

Thomas Ferguson a mulato Cook


Joseph Stower paying??

went to Martinco

from there to Trinadad

& then back to Boston

Came home

Then shipt on board

the Scooner John Adams

of Plymouth Belonging

to Capt Geor?? Harlow

for 18 Dolls per month

Ezner? Harlo Capt

Peabody Bartlet Mate

Lewis Lumbert Seaman

Samuel Churchill do

Joseph Churchill do

& Myself do

Silas Gluthuing Cook

Went to Bilboa in Spain

& then home.



June 2 shiped on board

the Schooner Olive

of Boston. John Pelshoot

15 Dollars

Owner, Edward DeBaker,

Master, Martin Stetson mate,

Jacob Johnson Seaman

Benj’n Robinson do

& Myself

Samuel Brewster Cook

the 7 of july was cast away

on the Island of Anegada

from there went to Tortola?

from there to St. Thomas’s

from there to St. Croix

then shipt on board the

Brigg Jane of Portland for 15 Dolls per month 5th of August

Daniel Hunt Master

Peter McIntosh Mate

Thomas Reynolds Second Mate

James Thompson Seaman

Thomas Congdon do


Charles Jinkins Seaman

William Shaw do

& Myself

Wm Green Cook

Dennis Sullivan Boy

Went to Boston was discharged

then went to Portland

Nov’er 2nd 1802 shipt on board

the Brig Apollo Samuel Thomas

Master, Belonging to James Jewett

for 18 Dolls per month

Samuel Thomas Master

Jed’ah Jewett Supercargo?

Myself Mate

5 men & a cook

Went to Martinico then to St. Thomas

then to Savannah then to Barbados

then to Martinico.


& then to Portland being

7 months & 16 Days

1803 July 14th shipt on

Board the Appollo, Saml

Thome? Master for 22 dolls

per month. Went to Castries

St Lucia Returned in Dec

and came home to Plymouth

&quit going to Sea.


Published On Tri-Counties Site 19 DEC 2005