Saturday, July 26, 2014

Telling an Immigrant’s Story by Researching Ships – Internet Search

Arrival of the Brandywine Miller in 1800 (

A third way to find out about an immigrant ship is simply to do an Internet search. I searched for “brandywine miller” brig on Google and got several hits. One was for a PDF file of a newspaper, presumably from Baltimore, repeating the arrival information included in the Commercial Advertiser in October 1804.

There is a notice from the Edinburgh Advertiser dated 14 March 1800 announcing the arrival of the Brandywine Miller at New York form the (River) Clyde. The American State Papers include the Brandywine Miller, out of Philadelphia and captained by Daniel Man, in a list of American ships in Lisbon in 1793. Edward Church, the U.S. Consul at Lisbon, had ordered the Brandywine Miller and 15 other ships in the port of Lisbon to get ready to sail immediately under the protection of a convoy. There seems to have been great concern over the hostilities between the French and the Sardinians.

The ship turns up in an index to the Papers of James Madison. The references mentions “From William Johnson Jr., 18 April 1804 (Abstract)+” The site is only available to registered users, so I did not investigate. The final reference I found was to Heritage Slater Historical Manuscripts and Autographs Auction Catalog #611 on Googlebooks. Included in this auction catalog is a letter signed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The document is Right of Passage dated at New York 3 July 1804 and issued to “Brig Brandywine Miller of New York, Mark Collins, Master, to enter the United States with up to ‘One hundred sixty nine tons or thereabouts, mounted with no guns, navigated with Ten men’”

The series continues: Part OnePart TwoPart Three, and Part Five.

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