George (ship) logbook

Collection Am.6823

(0.04 Linear feet ; 1 volume)

Summary Information

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
George (ship).
George (ship) logbook
Date [inclusive]
0.04 Linear feet ; 1 volume
Finding aid prepared by Lindsey Schwartz.
Care of this collection was supported in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and by the Young Friends of HSP.
Text [Volume]
The ship, George, was used in trafficking of enslaved people and was confiscated by the British at Kingston, Jamaica, in the early 1800s. This volume is a diary and log of the  George on a voyage from Philadelphia to Cork, Ireland, and to St. Thomas (U. S. Virgin Islands).

Preferred citation

Cite as: [Indicate cited item or series here], George (ship) logbook (Am .6823), Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

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Scope and content note

The entries in this logbook include discussion of supplies brought on board, where enslaved people -- referred to as "passengers" -- were picked up, trips to the "Negro market," and descriptions of the geographical attributes and inhabitants of Jamaica. There are detailed accounts of the seizure of the ship and its cargo by the British, and the ensuing trials in Spanish Town, in which the Solicitor General for the Crown argued that the enslaved people aboard the George were Spanish property. The judge evenually sided with the British, and the boat and the people aboard it were seized.

Aside these journal entries are daily wind and course markings and weather condition reports, and rigging changes, of which the author appears to be in charge. The entry written on July 5, 1806, appears to be partly in code. The author of this volume is unknown. They interact with other ship officers, are involved in the ship's trials, and appear educated. Entries reveal their possession of a desk and papers, among other personal effects on the ship, suggesting important status. Comparison of this logbook to others of similar origin further suggest the author is likely a shipmaster or similar officer.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Historical Society of Pennsylvania ; 2020.

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107

Access restrictions

None. The collection is open for research.


Purchased, 1938.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • International Law and Arbitration--19th century.
  • International Slave Trade--19th century.
  • Trade--Transatlantic--19th century.

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