"The maiden voyage of the "Joseph Starbuck" from Nantucket, November 15th, 1838."

"The maiden voyage of the "Joseph Starbuck" from Nantucket,  November 15th, 1838."
The "Joseph Starbuck", named after her owner, was the last ship built at the Brandt Point Shipyards. She was launched in October 1838 and sailed on her maiden voyage from Nantucket on November 15th 1838. In the painting the "Joseph Starbuck" has just dropped her tow line from the paddle steamer "Telegraph" (left hand side of the painting).
The wind is favorable, enabling Captain Sanford to sail the "Joseph Starbuck" out of the harbor. Alongside the "Joseph Starbuck", to leeward, is a 'trading cutter' with a group of well-wishers aboard to farewell the "Starbuck". A good comparison can be made between the well worn and stained canvas of the cutter and the new sails of the "Joseph Starbuck". Most of the "Starbuck's" whaleboats are stowed upside down, inboard, with only 3 in the davits. This was to minimize damage to the whaleboats until the ship reached the whaling grounds. The "Joseph Starbuck" is painted black with an ochre stripe along the topsides. (The stripe color was determined from an old painting presently hanging in one of Nantucket's houses) She displaced 410 tons. The tide has just started to ebb, as shown by the eddies in the water around the Brandt Point sandbank. It was necessary for the "Joseph Starbuck" to leave at high tide to enable her to cross the 'bar' at the harbor entrance. Even then the "Starbuck" is riding high in the water and not fully loaded. She sailed to Martha's Vineyard to load supplies for her Pacific Ocean whaling voyage. She returned to Nantucket on April 3rd 1842, with 3321 barrels of sperm oil. However on her second voyage on November 27th 1842, under Captain Charles A. Veeder, she was towed out of the harbor by the "Telegraph", but the weather deteriorated rapidly and the "Telegraph" left her anchored approximately 1 mile from the Tuckernuck Shoal Lightship. All the "Starbuck's" anchor warps broke in the storm and she was washed ashore on the 'bar' at the entrance to the harbor. 35 crew and well-wishers (making the voyage to Martha's Vineyard) were rescued by the new paddlesteamer "Massachusetts". The "Joseph Starbuck" became a total loss and wreckage from her washed ashore all along the nearby shore.

In the painting, just astern of the "Joseph Starbuck", is another whaleship at anchor and a cutter with its mainsail hoisted. Many whaleships are alongside the wharves in the background. Back in 1838 there were very few trees in the town. A couple of the windmills can be seen, on the hilltop, through the "Joseph Starbuck's" rigging.

The "Telegraph" was the first really successful steamer to operate between Nantucket and the mainland . She arrived in October 1832.
Dimensions32" x 48"
MediaOil on canvas


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