Posts Tagged ‘maps’

Embark – to board a ship

Disembark – to remove or unload cargo or passengers from a ship

Detailed 1781 Map of West Point on the York River, in Virginia. Rochambeau Collection, Library of Congress.

Between 1724 and 1739 at least 18 vessels owned by Englishman William Gerrish engaged in the slave trade. His ships departed from London, sailed to Africa, and transported their human cargo to Antigua, St. Kitts, Montserrat, South Carolina and Virginia for disembarkment. The first ship, at least as identified in the Slave Voyages Database, was called the Negroes Nest. Others were named Flying Horse, Gaboone, Guinea Hen, Hester and Jane, London Spy, Sea Nymph, Speaker, Gally and Tryall. Over 2,933 men, women and children survived the various voyages though that is only a fraction of the original number embarked. 

In 1739, one of his ships, the Black Prince, docked at the York River to sell her cargo. An advertisement in the Virginia Gazette noted that the Black Prince had lately arrived from the Gold Coast of Africa with a choice parcel of slaves to be sold at York Town along the York River. The captain, John Sibson, and crew departed London in May 1738 and arrived at their destination in Africa by September. Trade and re-outfitting was completed by March 1739. In that month the Black Prince departed Africa with 137 men, women and children shackled in the hold or maybe chained on deck. The ship reached York Town in May with 112 enslaved people remaining alive. Selling immediately commenced. By October the Black Prince had returned to London.

Between 1732 and 1739, Sibson served as captain of three slave ships, the Black Prince, the Ann and Elizabeth, and the Sarah and Elizabeth. For each four trips he made with these ships he departed London, traveled to Africa and took his cargo to Jamaica, St. Kitts, the Americas, and the York River. On these four voyages he collected 888 men, women and children. 723 survived the journey to their ports of disembarkment.

Between 1698 and 1762, the York River was a point of disembarkment for at least 163 slave ships whose captains sold 31,056 men, women and children. Again, this number represents only a fraction of the people originally boarded in Africa. One can use the Slave Voyages Database to account for some number of those who died along the Middle Passage. When the ships were emptied of their human cargo, captains sought to fill their ships with tobacco. That goal was not so easily achieved as evidenced by an ad Captain Sibson of the Black Prince placed in the Virginia Gazette:

“I find it has been industriously reported for many Years, that Ships which come from Guinea here with Slaves, are never after in Condition to take in Tobacco; which is very absurd and ungenerous, and great Discouragement to bring Negroes here: But I cannot think any Man, who has any Notion of a Ship, can ever imagine any one will venture his Life and Fortune to Sea in a Vessel that is not Sea worthy. However, to clear up all Doubts of that kind, if any Gentleman has Mind to ship any Tobacco on board me, I will cause a Survey to be made of my Vessel by whom they shall desire. and her Condition shall be reported accordingly. I am the readers most obedient servant, John Sibson.” Records indicate he was successful in his endeavor and did indeed depart with a cargo of tobacco.

William Gerrish died in 1741, a respected West India merchant. There are a number of John Sibson’s to be found in various databases one of whom died in October 1739, the month and year that Sibson returned the Black Prince to London. As for the Africans dispersed throughout the West Indies and the Americas … different methods will be needed to tell their stories by the numbers or otherwise.

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I’ve been getting a few questions about my garden and how I can be growing everything from traditional herbs to potatoes all indoors.  Please keep in mind that some of my planting vessels are re-purposed espresso cups and cereal bowls and very few vessels are large.  Nevertheless, I am very lucky to live in an old Victorian with lots of nooks and crannies and windows all around.  Outside the kitchen, in the hallway, is a table tucked against a window.  And upon that table you will currently find …

Enter the kitchen and one of the very first things you will see is a small bookcase where cookbooks and old recipes are kept on the shelves.  On the narrow top, are the following edible parts …

And just ahead, not far, is a small table that receives plenty of light. And so upon its right-hand corner there are stacked the following herbs and sprouts …

Now to the right of the table is a sizeable floor speaker with a sturdy wooden case.  That’s right. I usurped a portion of the top and there you will find …

And, last but not least, in this kitchen there is a bay of windows.  The curvature is such that the area was just big enough for a certain person to tuck his handmade wooden carpenter’s workbench.  I held myself in check and only borrowed a left-hand corner where there now sits …

There are other plants around whose images I like to share with you, but these are the edible ones, close to and in the kitchen, always reaching for the light.  I made these guides for the resident chef so that he knows what he is snipping at but I also made them for myself as a calm way to end the day.  Enjoy. 😉

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Earlier this year, the nonprofit WalkBoston produced a wonderful walking map of the historic city of Revere.  If you’re ever in the neighborhood you can access the map online via this link or contact the organization for lovely paper maps. As with many a seaside town, Revere in summer is quite different than Revere in winter.  In either season, my favorite walk is along the beach.  This is what I saw this weekend before the chill drove me home.

More about WalkBoston.

More about Revere Beach.

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Thanks to friends and family from around the world, I’ve got quite a growing collection of shells. Most of the shells that I have collected myself I have done so along Revere Beach in Revere, MA.  That beach has become a favorite haunt to walk for relaxation and exercise.  I never know what I might find in the sand and along the water’s edge.  Moving forward, I hope to venture further afield into the heart of the culturally rich and diverse community.  That is in part why I love and support the idea of a Revere Walking Map being created.  I do use them. Watch the video below to understand the behind the scenes making of such a map and/or visit this page to see the opportunities and levels for giving.  A great cause especially if you live or travel out this way.

P.S. Here’s how I’ve used a similar walking map to help make my way around Somerville and its parks.

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A few folks have asked about the “donate to charities” section on this blog.  I’ll start with WalkBoston.  As a card carrying pedestrian living in a part of the U.S. that is fairly well networked with buses, trains, etc, I thought I knew all I needed to know about transportation.  But after becoming involved with this Massachusetts nonprofit I have come to learn a great deal more about the benefits of pedestrian access for individuals of all physical abilities,  and of the necessity to understand and advocate for certain transportation infrastructures.

As someone with no sense of direction (my mother used to say I could get lost in a paper bag), I have also come to rely upon the organization’s lovely timed walking maps that are freely accessible online:   timed walking maps.  With map in hand, I’ve gotten into conversations with strangers on the streets of Boston, and its helped me (a shy person, honest) say to someone, let’s go for a walk and investigate these sights.  These images are the sights I “investigated” in Boston’s Back Bay this past Friday.

The older I get, for reasons as varied as terrorism to back pain, I recognize that walking beneath the quiet of  tree branches in a city or on a mountain top is a gift.  I hope I never take walking in Boston, or in any other area, for granted again.

If you’re in the Massachusetts area and you’d like to learn more about WalkBoston, you can visit the website here.  Meanwhile, enjoy the day. 😉

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