The Ann Parry: Talking and Writing about History

For the past two years, I’ve been involved in research on the Ann Parry, a 19th century bark that had quite the career. Built in 1825 in Portsmouth NH, she was first for the trades between that town and the Atlantic, then off as a whaler all over the Pacific. She ended up on the West Coast for the Gold Rush where she lived out the rest of her  40 year life in the coastal trade between San Francisco and Puget Sound.

In about two weeks I’ll be giving a major talk on her life and adventures and her role here in the NW.  It has been a labor of love, requiring a trip to New England to see her original journals and records, reading old newspapers (1849-1855) from San Francisco, and gathering her shipping articles and registration from around the county.  In following her, I have learned more about the history of Puget Sound and our ties to San Francisco and that town’s ties to the great shipbuilders of Portsmouth, Salem and Boston.  That New England connection is in the Chinook Jargon word for American- Boston. I hope to write about her and publish.

img_0635Last year, maritime artist Steve Mayo, painted a picture of the Ann Parry arriving on Bellingham Bay July 1858 to deliver bricks for the oldest brick building in the state of Washington. Proceeds from the sale of the original painting and prints will help support the restoration of said building. People interested in the painting can contact Rick Tremaine at (360) 734-7381 to order.

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5 thoughts on “The Ann Parry: Talking and Writing about History

  1. Janet – This is a wee bit off-topic, but I do want to thank you for the kind and interesting note you left on my blog regarding your ancestor who was a Union surgeon and present at the Battle of Gettysburg. Marvelous! Do you have any of his papers/letters?

    To get a bit back on the topic of maritime history, if you’ll browse the older columns on my blog, you’ll see that I also have an interest in the collision of the steamers West Point and George Peabody on the Potomac River in 1862. I’ve obtained some great newspaper accounts and some regimental histories, but am hoping to find more. It seems to me to be a great untold story.

    Keep up the super work!

    All My Best,

    Jim Schmidt

    • My family does have a good deal of his papers, including medical forms and his scale for weighing meds. His journals written from 1859 to 1865 are a reason I went into history.

  2. Hi
    I am most interested in the Ann Parry and its days off the southwest of Western Australia around 1840. Is this an area where you have been spending much research time, by any chance?
    cheers
    Tim Blue

    • Thanks for your posting. I’ve sent a private email to you. In the meantime, the Ann Parry was off the coast of Australia in 1841 at Port Augusta, Australia according to Heavy Weather Hard Luck book about her.

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