The Delano Family Collection
The Logbook is from the Delano Family Collection, held at the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society’s Drew Archival Library:
Samuel Delano, Jr. (1769-1853) was born in Duxbury, MA to Samuel Delano, Sr. and Abigail Drew. In 1794 he married Lucy Winsor (1775-1867), the daughter of Joshua Winsor and Olive Thomas. The couple had eight children: Olive Thomas (b. 1795); Alexander (b. 1796); Lucy Winsor (b. 1797); Samuel (b. 1800); Almira (b. 1802); Henry Toland (b. 1809); Benjamin Franklin (b. 1811) and Nancy (b. 1813). His brother, Captain Amasa Delano (1763-1823), was also a successful shipbuilder and sea captain. After leaving his brother in Canton, China in 1791, Samuel Delano, Jr. voyaged throughout the Pacific and the Northwest coast on the brig Grace under Captain William Douglas. His later adventures aboard the Pilgrim (1803-1807) are chronicled in Amasa Delano’s Voyages. Samuel Delano, Jr. also received recognition for rescuing the ship Russell in 1794 as it was stranded off the coast of Duxbury during a severe storm.
The Captains Amasa and Samuel Delano, Jr. Collection (DAL.MSS.014) is comprised of over 360 items spanning the years 1769-1853. The material was found in two trunks in the attic of a house on Plumfield Lane in Duxbury. The trunks were presumably owned by Lucy (Winsor) Delano, the wife of Samuel Delano, Jr.
Included in the collection are 87 pieces of correspondence (1783-1846), the majority of which were created by or written to Samuel Delano, Jr. There are also 14 letters written between the brothers, Amasa Delano and Samuel Delano, Jr. Of special note are the letters written by Amasa Delano during his first circumnavigation of the globe, specifically one dated 1792 to George Partridge. Many of the letters written by Samuel Delano, Jr, especially those to his sons, reflect the religiosity of the Second Great Awakening. The Collection also contains five log books of Samuel Delano, Jr. including one from the Pilgrim (1803-1805), the vessel used during a sealing expedition to the South Seas. The Pilgrim’s voyage is chronicled in Amasa Delano’s autobiographical Voyages published in 1818. Also of interest is the log book of the brig, Grace (1791) on which Samuel Delano, Jr. explored the Pacific Northwest. Passages in this log book chronicle the death and burial of the Grace’s captain, William Douglas. Along with the log books there are many shipping related documents belonging to both Amasa and Samuel Delano, Jr. The finances of the shipbuilding and shipping businesses run by the brothers are illustrated in the over 345 financial papers (1786-1839) in the Collection and the many Account Books, Ledgers and Day Books. There are 22 printed or published items in the Collection, including a copy of Amasa Delano’s 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 Oriental Islands published in 1817. Also of note are 3 pages from Reverend Wright’s Complete British Family Bible (1792); The Mariner’s Compass Rectified (1763) and other early 19th century works.
For more information on the collection, visit https://drewarchives.org/finding-aids/samuel-and-amasa-delano/