Mains'l Haul - Of Ships' Logs, Unlikely Partners

$ 12.95

Vol. 43: 3 & 4
Summer/Fall 2006

Of Ships' Logs, Unlikely Partners…nearly Lost (Summer/Fall 2007) delves into the history of the Russian-American Company, and the Unlikely Partnership between Bostonians, Russians and Kodiaks at the turn of the nineteenth century, as they joined forces to hunt the highly prized pelts of sea otters and other fur-bearing mammals. Through the presentation of four privately owned ships' logs, the reader is privy to onboard life in the early eighteen hundreds, replete with its dangers, political and economic machinations and sullied exploitation of natural resources. The manuscripts are supported by in depth research from maritime historians Mr. E.W. Giesecke and Rodney J. Taylor as they present an untold story of the Russian advance down the West Coast of California, reaching as far south as the "Lower Coast" (the Baja Peninsula) in search of the valuable pelts.
While Senior State Archaeologist, Glenn Farris, renders an overview of the history and impact of sea otter over-hunting, providing invaluable updated statistics based on Adele Ogden's landmark work on The California Sea Otter Trade 1784-1848; archaeologist Michael Buxton focuses on the Sea Otter Hunters of San Diego and the Lower Coast, and in a second article, he introduces California's earliest settler and entrepreneur, Henry Delano Fitch.

A stunning painting of the brig Betsy, by celebrated maritime artist Christopher Blossom, enlivens the cover, preparing the reader for a journey into a rich past. If not for the caretakers of the Ships' Logs, our understanding of this era of Unlikely Partners might otherwise be lost.

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