The Diary of a Maritimer, 1816-1901

BookThe Diary of a Maritimer, 1816-1901

The Diary of a Maritimer, 1816-1901

Life and Times of Joseph Salter

Research in Maritime History, 10


December 1st, 1996



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This journal comprises the edited diaries of Canadian seafarer, Joseph Salter, arranged chronologically from 1839 through to 1899, chronicling the many voyages of his career. He took employment with John Leander Starr, a Halifax Merchant, between 1839 and 1841, then moved into ship owning and the purchase of the Moncton, New Brunswick shipyard in 1846. The mid-nineteenth century was a difficult time for shipping, and Salter declared bankruptcy in 1858. He continued to work in maritime industries but gradually moved toward landward business and politics, as shipping went into decline. The diaries provide a comprehensive view of the life of ship-owner, shipbuilder, ship’s agent, and shipbroker during the age of sail. The diaries are introduced by editor Nancy Ross, great-granddaughter of Salter. Chapter 1 serves as Salter’s introduction, Chapters 2 through 16 record his various voyages: to British Guiana; Jamaica; Sierra Leone; Grenada; and his maritime business dealings and later life. Interspersed with his diaries are collections of his letters and several of his renderings of ships and boats. Appendix 1 lists the vessels under his ownerships; Appendix 2 concerns patent applications; Appendix 3 details his genealogy; and Appendix 4 gives a history of the Moncton Shipyard in New Brunswick.