Saturday, June 22, 2019

Captain Cannon: Transcription of the Iris Logbook - Part 4

Sathurday Octobor 20th [1798]:

Pleasent Breezes and Clear all this 24 Hours:-- All Necessary Sails Sett Broatched one Barrell Pork:--- At Midnight in top Mast Stearing sails and top Gallan Sail  At ½ Past 5 A.M. Sett Stearingsails and all Small Sails Needefull:--  Expended 173 yams and 4666 remains 8 of Bains, & 242.   Distd. 152 Miles      Lattd. Obsd. 12..20 No.

Dist. 152         Course   N.78W.         Diff. Lat. 31                Dep. 148
Lat. in              Long. in 151                Diff Long. 64..8

Sunday Octobor 21st [1798]:

Fresh Breezeis and Cloudy weather: all Necessary Sails Sett to the Best ad[vantage]. At 9 P.M. In Stearingsails fore and aft. At 6 A.M. Sett Ditto. Steady and Clear:---  Expended 176 yams and 4490 remains 8 of Bains 234 remains 2 ½ rice:--  Slaves all in Good Spirrits  Lattd. Obsd. 12..31 No.

Dist. 152         Course   N.86W          Diff Lat.   11               Dep. 151
Lat. in.             Long. in.   66..42         Diff. Long. 154           Mer. Dist.

Monday Octobor 22d. [1798]:

First Part Gentle Breezeis and Cloudy Weather:--- At 1 P.M. Blowing fresh Breeze the foretopsail yard Gave way in the Middle It. Being Sprung Before      Got another up and Bent the Sail     At ½ Past 2. Sett Ditto. At ½ Past 4 A.M. Hove too Head to the No.ward At ½ past 5 Boreaway:--- At 9 A.M. Hauld [hauled] up to the NWrd  Expended 168 yams and 4322 remains 8 of Bains 226 remains   Observed in 12..34 No.

Dist. 123         Course   N.88W.         Diff Lat.   3                 Dep. 123.           
Lat. in              Long. in   68..48          Diff Long.  126.          Mer. Dist.

Tuesday Octobor 23d. [1798]:

Fresh Breezeis and Squally with rain undor Doble reeft topsails:---  At Midnight Ditto. weather.  At 5 A.M. Heavey Squalls:-- with rain; Latter Part faer Sett top Gallansails:--Expended 155 yams and 4169 remains 8 of Bains 218 remains  Distd. 166 Miles    No. Observation

Dist. 166         Course   N.62W.         Diff Lat.   147             Dep. 78
Lat. in. 15..01No.  Long. in. 70..09    Diff. Long. 81             Mer. Dist.

Wedinsday Octobor 24th. [1798]:

First Part of this 24 Hours Thick Cloudy weather with Shower of rain Midd. And Latter Part Steaddy and Clear. At 5 A.M. Sett royals and Staysails:-- People Imployed in Sundryes as Most. Needeful Several Slaves complaining of Sore Eyes and Some Got Better. Expended 175 yams and 3992; 8 of Bains and 210 remains.  Lattd. Obsd. 17..32 No.

Dist. 172        

Thursdsday Augost[1] 25th. 1798:

Steaddey Breezes and Clear weather all this 24 Hours:-  At 6 A.M. Boreaway:- All Necessary Sails Sett.  Expended 17[0] yams and 3822 remains 8 of Bains and 202 remains   Distd. 133 Miles     Lattd. Obsd. 18..17 No.

            The Iris appears to have traveled from Africa to St. Vincent’s and then headed toward Jamaica where it arrived on November 7, 1798.[2]

Friday [October] 26th [1798]:

Light Breezes and Clear weather; Expended 180 yams. At Midnight Saw the Island of Berbuded [Barbuda][3] Being S.W. Distand about 2 Legues Saim time B[ore] away for St. Christophers.[4] Bore S.W. Dist. 5 Lgs. At Meridian Past By Between St. Christopher and Steustatie[5]:--. Latter Part Pleasent and Clear weather:-- Expended 180 yams and 3642 remains  Burried one Famale Slave

Sathurday Octobor 27th. [1798]:

At 3 P.M. St. Eustatia Bore N.B.E. Distand 8 Legues:-- From whitch I take My Departure  Middle Part Light Breezes and Fair – all Necessary Sails Sett. Several Slaves complaining of there Eyes and 2 with Sore Mouths.:--- Burried one Man Slave   Expended 170 and 3472 remains 8 of Bains and 194 remains:       Distd. 94 Miles     Lattd. Obsd  Sun Obscure

Dist. 100         Course   S.57W.          Diff. Lat. 54                Dep. 84
Lat. in   16..35    Long. in. 64..32        Diff. Long. 88 Mls     

Sunday Octobor 28th. 1798:

First Part of this 24 Hours Light Squalls with rain. Middle and Latter Light Breezes and clear weather – all Sails Sett to the Best advantage:---  People Employed in tending Ship and Slaves Mending the Quartor Deck Arvening &c. Expended 180 yams and 8 Crues of Bains 2 ½ rice:--- 3392 yams remaining 186 Bains:---   Lattd. Obsd. 16..48: North

Dist. 113         Course   N.83W.         Diff. Lat. 13                Dep. 112           
Lat. in 16..48   Long. in  117               Diff. Long. 66..29

Monday Octobor 29 1798 S. Iris:

First Part Light Eairs and Clear:-- Expended 170 yams 8 Crues of Bains 2 ½ rice Remains 3222 yams 178 Bains:--- Middle Part Ditto. weather:-- Slaves all in Good Spirrits there Eyes Nearly Better.       Distd. 126 Miles     Lattd. Observed 16..56 No.

Dist. 126         Course   N.86W.         Diff. Lat. 8                  Dep. 125
Lat. in.             Long. in. 68.40            Diff. Long. 131

Tuesday Octobor 30th. 17[98]:

Light Breezes and Clear -- Expended 181 yams and 3041  8 of Bains and 170 remains  Middle and Latter part Ditto. weather  People Employed Making Platt for the Cal… Cleaning the Bens &c:--     Distd. 103 Miles     Lattd. Obsd. 17..08 No.

Dist. 103         Course   N.83 W.        Diff. Lat. 12                Dep. 102
Lat. in              Long. in 107                Diff. Long. 70.27

Wedinsday Octobor 31st. [1798]:

Light Ears Inclinable to Calm – Middle and Latter Part Ditto. weather  People Employed repairing the Awning Doing Several about the riggon. Expended 164 yams and 2877 remains 8 of Bains and 162 remains:---     Dist. Per Loog 45 Ml.    Lattd. Obsd. 16..50 N:--

Dist. 45           Course   S.66W.          Diff. Lat. 18                Dep. 41
Lat. in              Long. in. 71..10           Diff. Long. 43

Thurdsday November 1 [1798]:

Light Eairs and Clear w. All Small Sails Seet to the Best Advantage:--  Enclining to Calm. --- At 6 A.M. Saw two Ships to Leeward Standing to the Westward; At 11 A. M. Brought them too one of them prooved to bee the the North American British Built from St. Domingo Loaded with Mehogony and Brisetelo Bound to a Mexico   Lattd. Obsd. 16..58 N.

Dist. 44           Course   N.80W.         Diff. Lat. 8                  Dep. 43
Lat. in              Long. in 71..55            Diff. Long. 45

Friday November 2 [1798]:

At one Hove too at 2 Boreaway:-- First Part of this 24 Hours Light Breezes and Clear weather:--- At Meridian Borded the Ship uncle Toby[6] of Newyork from St. Ubis Bound to Philidelphia Loaded with S[laves?]   offered Mee 50 Joes to Convoy them in to Kingston the People also agreed to Give one Eighth only one Man the told Mee that the were taking By the french and that the[y] Put them to Death; the Both Ships Said the[y] were Bound to Kingston for Provisions; P. ton P. an  offecer [officer] and one Man on Bord [board] Eatch [each] Ship Expended 170 yams and remains 80 Bains and remains   Slight Observation 17..12 No.

Dist. 81           Course.   N.80W.        Diff. Lat. 14                Dep. 80
Lat. in              Long. in. 73..19           Diff. Long. 84

Sathurday [November 3 1798]:

First Part of this 24 Hours Light Eairs of wind the Before Menchined Ships in Company:---  At 4 P.M. Saw the Land Soposed [supposed] to Bee the Saddle Mountains Bearing NB… Distand About 12 Legues:--  Sett and took in Sails Acationaly [occasionally] so to Keep Company with the Ships:--- At 6 A.M. Cape Tebroor[7] Bore NBE Distd. abt. 7 Lgs.  Slaves all in Good Spirrets  Expended 160 yams remains 8 Crues Bains and     Distd. 95 Miles      Lattd. Obsd. 17..52 No.

Dist. 92           Course   N.64W.         Diff. Lat. 40                Dep. 85
Lat. in              Long. in 74..49            Diff. Long. 90

Sunday [November 4 1798]:

First Part of this 24 Hours – Light Eares of wind the Before Menchined Ships In Company    At ½ Past 3 A.M. Hove to Head to the Northward:--  At ½ Past 5 wore Ship to the S.E.ward:---  At 6 Saw the Land the S. E. End of Jamica [Jamaica] Bore S.W.B.W. Distand 5 Legues:-- At 11 In top sails The Ship Uncle Toby Some Distance astaren: Expended 170 yams and remains 8 of Bains  Lattd. Obsd. 17..58 No.

The Iris landed in Kingston, Jamaica on November 4, 1798 with 414 slaves.[8]

            The Iris left Jamaica on February 12, 1799, after a layover of more than three months.[9]

Sathurday ay [Martch] 2 [1799 ]:                   [Although the entry “ay” looks like “May,” it appears is should be March (or “Martch” in George Cannon’s handwriting). March 2nd was a Saturday in 1799 and the latitude and longitude are consistent with later entries in March of that year.]

[sideways on page]: North Key Crooked Island[10] Lattd. 23..14 No.      Longtd. 74..02 W. From whitch I take My Departure: ---
[regular on page]: Seaddy Breezeces and Clear Pleasent weather:-- At 4 P.M. Hove too the fleet. Getting up with the Commadore[11] at 5 Ditto. made Sail    At 8 Ditto. the S.W. End of Long Island[12] Bore E.N.E. Distd. abt. 3 Miles:--   At 2 A.M. the North Keay of Crooket Island bore East Distand 5 Miles:--   Latter Part Pleasent & Clear Employed variously   Lattd. Obsd. 23..31 No.

Dist. 20           Course.   N.32E.         Diff Lat. 17                 Dep. 11
Lat. in.             Long. in. 73..50           Diff. Long. 12

[1] Even though the entry reads “Augost” it appears to be October as the number of yams remains consistent with surrounding entries and the latitude is in the same vicinity.
[2] Lloyd’s List, December 28, 1798. Captain Spencer, rather than Captain Cannon, is mentioned. However, Lloyd’s, as to the name of the captain and owner, was often out of date. See /reslloydsregister.htm.
[3] Barbuda is an island in the Caribbean located north of Antigua and east of St. Kitts. (Wikipedia Encyclopedia: Barbuda).
[4] St. Christopher is now known as St. Kitts and is an island located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean.  (Wikipedia Encyclopedia: Saint Kitts and Nevis and Leeward Islands).
[5] St. Kitts is 6 miles south of St. Eustatius and 2 miles north of Nevis. (Wikipedia Encyclopedia: Saint Kitts). This appears to be a reference to St. Eustatius, particularly because the next day references “St. Eustatia” which is also known as Statia. St. Eustatius is located at longitude 63.04 and latitude 17.00. (
[6] Captain Hugh Crow, of the Will, in his memoirs, mentioned the following incident taking place off the coast of Africa, in late 1803 or 1804, after passing Cape Palmas and before reaching Bonny: “The ship was the Marquis Cornwallis, an Indiaman of the first class, carrying fifty-six guns and a crew of between four and five hundred men. This vessel and another [British] Indiaman had, some time before, fallen in with a French corvette the ‘Uncle Toby,’ which had captured the latter vessel, and the commander’s excuse for firing upon us, though he must have seen our colours, was that he did not like our appearance, and apprehended we were French.” Memoirs of the Late Captain Hugh Crow of Liverpool: Comprising a Narrative of his Life Together with Descrpitve Sketches of the Western Coast of Africa, Particularly of Bonny, the Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants, the Production of the Soil, and the Trade of the Country, to Which are Added Anecdotes and Observations Illustrative of the Negro Character,  (Frank Cass and Company Limited, London: First edition 1830, New impresson 1970), pp. 82-83 (hereafter “Crow Memoirs”). The name “Uncle Toby” does not show up on the Slave Trade cd and is unusual enough that it may have some connection, particularly because both references relate to ships attacked by a French ship. George Cannon’s log is a contemporaneous account and is more likely to be accurate, whereas Hugh Crow’s account was written later in his life.
[7] The “Saddle Mountains” and cape were likely on the Island of Hispaniola which was north of them. Today, the western third of Hispaniola is Haiti and the eastern two-thirds is the Dominican Republic. The most southern point of Hispaniola, Punta Beata on the Barahona Peninsula in the Dominican Republic, could be the referenced cape. The West Indies are islands, sorted into size and location, as the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. The Greater Antilles are Jamaica, Hispaniola, Cuba and Puerto Rico, located in the Caribbean Sea and the largest of the Antilles islands. The Lesser Antilles are a long chain of islands, east and south of the Greater Antilles, that wrap around the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea bordering on the Atlantic Ocean and can be divided into the Windward islands in the south and the Leeward islands in the north. Included in the Lesser Antilles are St. Eustatius, St. Kitts and Barbuda. The Bahamas are an archipelago of 700 islands and cays (small islands) in the Atlantic Ocean located north of Cuba and east of Florida. (Wikipedia Encyclopedia: Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles, Bahamas)
[8] First Iris Voyage.
[9] Cambridge Slave CD.
[10] Crooked Island is in the Bahamas, southeast of Nassau. It is one of a group of islands in a shallow lagoon called the Bight of Acklins, with Crooked Island in the north and Acklins in the south east. In about 1783, American loyalists began to settle there and brought slaves to start a short-lived cotton industry. By the beginning of the 19th Century, there were more than 40 plantations and 1,200 slaves. Columbus visited the island and called it “Isabella” after his queen. (Wikipedia Encyclopedia:  Crooked Island, Bahamas; Captain Hugh Crow notes visiting St. Vincent’s and Crooked Island “for orders” on his way to Kingston, Jamaica to deliver slaves. He also notes leaving Kingston, Jamaica with a fleet of 12 ships. “We got through Crooked Island passage on the sixth day after we sailed…” Crow Memoirs, pp. 81 and 132.
[11] Captain Hugh Crow, in the summer of 1799, noted an engagement with a French schooner, involving cannon fire, off the coast of Bonny, and “intelligence that three French frigates had been seen on the coast…” He later had an engagement with the schooner and “three large ships” that “began to blaze away with their long guns, and we at them, and we thus maintained the action for about two hours, until slack water, when we cut the cable and got back to Bonny, fortunately without having any material damage. The captains of the [nine] vessels then in the harbour, having heard my report, called a meeting, at which it was agreed, for mutual safety, to sail in company, and we appointed Captain Latham of the Lottery to act as commodore.” (Crow Memoirs, pp. 68-69). The fleet Captain Cannon is traveling with is probably similar, with a commodore appointed among the ship captains and traveling together for safety from the French. In fact, the ship Lottery, whose captain was the commodore in Captain Crow’s fleet (the Slave Trade CD refers to him as Captain Roger Leathom), was also in the same fleet with Captain Cannon, under a different captain, Captain John Whittle (Captain Crow was with the Lottery on its next voyage). A group of seven ships arrived in Liverpool in April 1799, all having traveled from Jamaica. (See Lloyd’s List, dated April 16, 1799 and journal entries for March 31, 1799 and April 12, 1799).
[12] Long Island in the Bahamas is 60 miles long and no more than four miles wide at its widest point. It is northwest of Crooked Island. (

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