This remarkable logbook, found at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia (MG 20 Vol. 215 #10) documents a six month privateering voyage in the West Indies from November 1799 to June 1800. Below are excerpts, which are regularly added, allowing you to trace Wentworth's long voyage! [Comments in square brackets are mine.]

The trip So Far ...

A Journal, Kept By Benjamin Knaut during his Cruise on Board the Privateer Ship Charles Mary Wentworth, Thomas Parker Commander, Mounting 16 Carriage Guns fours & Sixes, Belonging to Liverpool NS.


Tus 26 Nov. 1799
This morning at 8 Am hauled off in the stream, fired a gun and let fall our three top sails, to call all hands on Board, the Sailing Master putting the ship in order for sea. At 4 PM handed the topsails, the Wind NW and fine clear weather the people getting their Clothes and small stores on board. Very cold.

Wed 27 Nov. - This morning, clear weather. Wind NW at 8 AM. Got the Ship underway and run down below the bar and let go an anchour in 4 fathom Water. In company with the Armed Duke of Kent, Capt. Joseph Freeman and armed schooner Lord Spencer, Capt. Joseph Barss when the Capt. & myself went on shore to collect all the people that were left behind, at 11 Am returned on board with some of the owners when we found the ship all ready for sea. at 12 Got under way and drifted down the Harbour - at 1 pm took our leave of the owners, fired a gun, and bore up for our intended Cruize.

A Storm...

Fri 29 Nov - The first part Mod Breezes took in steering sails - At 11 PM stiff breezes took in the staysails, & single Reefed the topsails At 12 O'Clock close reefed the Topsails At 1 Am reefed the courses and landed the topsails At 2 handed the courses, and hove too under the mizzen staysail. At 8 Am sprung the Davits & filled the yawl, which obliged us to tumble? her and & take her in on Deck. At 12 PM lost sight of the Duke of Kent. At 2 PM lost sight of the Lord Spencer, the latter of the Night very heavy squalls with snow, & sleet, and a very tough sea going which made the ship leak about 700 strokes per hour. Kept both pumps going.

Thur 5 Dec - This 24 hours begins with hard gales, cloudy weather and a heavy sea. At 1 PM bore up and set the foresail & close reefed main topsail - At 3 Pm spoke the above Schnr from New London ... At 4 set corse, reefed fore top sail, at 8 Am shook a reef out of the topsails, bent the mizzen topsails, At 9 AM Discovered sail in the NW standing to the Southward the ship still continuing to leak very badly and the crew some sick & others most wore out in pumping.

The storm abates
Sat 7 Dec - This 24 hours moderate and clear weather, got the yawl over the stern. At 4 PM got up the main & fore top G? masts. At 7 PM 2 reef the topsails, stowed the jib. At 8 PM got up two gunns out of the wardroom and fixed them, the gunner and mate fixing all the guns fore and aft, the master of arms cleaning the small arms. At 9 shook 1 reef out of each topsail set the jib, got up the mizzen top gallant mast Clear and pleasant weather the people getting better of their colds.

9 Dec. - Moderate breezes with pleasant weather. All hands drying their Clothes ... got up the remainder of the guns and put them all in good order, the gunner making new sponges, the master at arms & marines employed at putting the muskets in good order for fighting The people complaining like Devils, the ship Leaking about 400 strokes an Hour

12 Dec. - [Crossing Tropic of Cancer]
This 24 hours attended with stiff Breezes and fine clear weather all sails set, the people employed doing ships duty, at 6 AM Old Neptune paid us a visit when he found 23 of his children who had not been to sear before, he made them all go thro the usual custom of shaving & ducking, gave them his advice, and then left us after the same time discovered a sail to the Eastward and bore up to speak with her, at 12 O'Clock on board, fine pleasant Weather Neptune dined with us today.

13 Dec. - First part middle clear and pleasant weather, fresh breezes - a 2 PM spoke the chase after giving her 5 shots, proved to be a schooner from Salem bound to Montnico 16 days out, John Gray Master. [Being a neutral vessel, she is released.] Made sail, at 4 PM Examined the great guns and small arms ... latter part squally took in the light sails and single reefed the topsails, at 10 AM set top gallants sails, both pumps choked with gravel.

14 Dec. - 3 PM hoisted out the larboard pump and cleaned out the limber, put some cork in the bottom and made it work again. At 10 AM got the boarding nettings in their places, the marines cleaning thier muskets, the people employed ... blacking the waist cloths and putting them on the side. painted the cutter, and got the cables ready for bending to the anchors - Pleasant weather.

15 Dec. All hands attending prayer. The Doctor seating us aft for the sermon.

16 Dec. - At 9 AM discovered a sail to leeward running West by West - gave chase, at 12 AM gave two her bow guns then she hove too.

17 Dec. - ...At 1 PM we came a longside when she proved to be the schnr Betsy belonging to New Providence from Charlestown bound to Martinico but was taken by a French Corsaire of 16 guns & 40 men 10 days before ... took the Prisoners out and put Mr. Tupper with 3 hands on board to take charge for St. Kitts ... At 10 AM made the Island of Antiqua bore off Southwest, Dist 5 Leagues all well on board, the prize astern.

Stay tuned in coming months, more log entries will be added. Next entry - the first taste of victory and arrival in the West Indies!

To find out more about the ship Charles Mary Wentworth

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All contents copyright Dan Conlin 2002. Modified August 26, 2002