Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 8, 1819

November 8, 1819 - no entry

So I thought it might be a good opportunity to answer some questions that came from either earlier comments or direct emails to me.

What is a caboose?
Using the American Heritage Dictionary and Wikipedia, I found that the word first appears in 1769.  Its first definition is "a ship's galley." The second definition is a freight-train car attached usually to the rear mainly for the use of the train crew.  The third definition is one that follows or brings up the rear and the final definition given was "buttocks."  I think we would agree that our author is using the first definition.

What is a brig?
A brig is a two-masted vessel using square sails.  The term is dated to 1712.  It was very popular during the 18th and 19th centuries and is eventually replaced by steam ships.  The second definition refers to a brig as a place of confinement, prison on board a ship.  This term appears around 1832.  These definitions are from Webster's online dictionary.

Who wrote the journal we are following?
According to  a note on the front page of the journal transcript, "This journal, original in the HMCS vault, was probably written by Hiram Bingham, Asa Thurston and Eliisha Loomis in turn." Each of the men were members of the pioneer group of missionaries to come to the Sandwich Islands.  Unfortunately, entries are not signed by their author.

My question for you is - who traditionally kept ship logs or journals and is what we are seeing in the Thaddeus Journal typical?  I look forward to your comments.

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