• typhus fever, ship fever, jail fever, hospital fever, putrid fever, brain fever, bilious fever, spotted fever, petechial fever, camp fever
    Probably referring to ship fever, or typhus. Typhus is an acute, infectious disease caused by one of several micro-organisms transmitted by lice and fleas. It is characterized by acute prostration, high fever, depression, delirium, headache, and an eruption of reddish spots on the body.
  • Chinchas
    A group of three small islands 12 miles off the southwest coast of Peru. North Island is the largest. The Islands are composed of granite cliffs, worn into many caves and hollows that make ideal nesting places for sea birds. Consequently, the islands became covered with guano, the droppings of sea birds that collected over many years' time. In 1840 the Peruvian government began to export guano, which was used for fertilizer. The supply was exhausted by 1874.
  • Paintings done by Chinese artists during the period of the China Trade tended to follow Western styles of portraiture. Early portraits (1785-1820), reflect Neoclassical style; while later portraits, from 1820 to mid-century, are more in the English romantic style. After mid-century, portraits depended on photography, and were usually painted from daguerreotypes or in the style of photographs. Some of these were done by ordinary port painters. One of the earliest known Chinese artists was Spoilum, who worked in Canton from c. 1785 to 1810. George Chinnery was an English artist, son of a member of the British East India Company, and opium addict, who lived in Canton and Macao from 1825 to 1852. He taught Chinese students and had great influence on Lam Qua, one of the best known of the later Chinese artists of this period. Lam Qua was the first Chinese artist working in the western style to exhibit in America. Reverse painting on glass was done by Chinese artists by the end of the 18th century. These were usually copies of European and American prints onto sheets of glass, which were then framed European style.
  • furs for Mandarins

    Wealthy Chinese enjoyed lining their robes with furs to keep themselves comfortable in winter. American traders discovered that furs were a good trade item. Traders began to visit the American Pacific Northwest to purchase sea otter furs from the Native Americans living there. The Indians traded for small items, such as buttons, beads, blankets, mirrors, clothing, nails, muskets, molasses, and rum. The fur trade was sometimes dangerous; ships were armed and took precautions about allowing too many Indians to board at one time. The fur trade led to the discovery of the Columbia River, which was named after the merchant ship Columbia that arrived there in 1787. The Columbia and another vessel, the Lady Washington, were the first American vessels to round Cape Horn. John Jacob Astor, a wealthy merchant, founded the city of Astoria in what is now Oregon, in 1811. Another source of furs was the seal populations around the islands near Cape Horn and off the Patagonian coast: the Falklands, Staten Island, South Georgia, Aucklands, and Masafuera, in the Juan Fernandez Group, where on a neighboring island the original Robinson Crusoe lived from 1790-1812. American crews often lived on one of these remote islands for several years, killing seals and storing their furs. Eventually the seal fisheries were depleted by over-harvesting. In 1819, a captain from Stonington, Connecticut, discovered many seals on the South Shetland Islands, and many vessels were sent out from Stonington. Palmer Land, in the Antarctic, was named for its discoverer, Capt. Nathaniel B. Palmer.

  • Device used in the past on sailing vessels for measuring the rate of speed of the vessel. A quarter circle quadrant of wood, or "chip," fastened to a line, was allowed to run out over the stern, and the amount of line run was measured in time with a half minute sand glass. The sand glass replaced counting the seconds. The line was knotted at specific intervals of 47 feet 3 inches, and each interval was divided into fifths. The length of the knot was derived from the proportion that one hour (3600 seconds) is to 28 seconds as one mile (nautical mile of 6080 feet) is to the length of a knot (47 feet 3 inches). These slightly odd proportions are the result of standardizing on a nautical mile of 6080 degrees and that a 30 second sand glass allowed for turning over the glass. This is the origin of the term "knots" for the speed of a vessel.
  • A substance made from lime treated with chlorine, used as a disinfectant.
  • A colorless, volatile, nonflammable, slightly water-soluble, pungent, sweet-tasting liquid, CHCl 3 , usually derived from acetone, acetaldehyde, or ethyl alcohol by the reaction of chloride of lime. Used chiefly in medicine as a solvent, formerly used as an anesthetic.
  • British slang word for a prison or jail.
  • An often fatal form of gastroenteritis occurring in infants, not of the same cause as cholera but having somewhat similar characteristics.
  • A chemical compound believed to be useful in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
  • A very accurate timepiece hung in gimbals and kept in a special box aboard ship. It is designed to minimize errors due to temperature variation and movement. Any errors are measured and can be factored into navigation solutions. It is set to the time of the Prime Meridian and the difference between it and the time at one's location can be translated into longitude.
  • Frederick Church
    1826-1900. Artist of the Hudson River School of landscape painters. He traveled and painted extensively in Maine in 1854-1856. His work in Maine encouraged the development of Maine as a vacationland, as "rusticators" were attracted by the scenery shown in his paintings.
  • cypher, cyphering
    To do math. Also, cipher can refer to someone who has no weight, worth, or influence--a zero. Another meaning is a message in code, or the process of creating a coded message. Cypher is the typical British spelling.
  • Mean solar time with a day beginning at midnight at a fixed geographical location. To avoid confusion and set schedules, countries have adopted time zones, so that the time at a particular location is an average of the time within the zone.
  • A shelled mollusk of which there are a number of species. It has a relatively symmetrical oval shell. The dominant Maine clams are soft shelled and live in the mud in the intertidal zone.
  • Narrow board usually thicker at one edge than the other, used for siding on a house.
  • Lower corner of a square sail, or after lower corner of a fore-and-aft sail.
  • To haul the lower corners of a square sail up to the yard before furling the sail, using clew lines.
  • Fast, narrow-hulled sailing ships with tall masts, many sails, and large crews. Built and used primarily in the mid-19th century.
  • Description of the path of a sailing vessel when it sails as near as possible to the wind's direction, while sailing to windward. Most modern sailing yachts can sail within 45 degrees of the wind's direction. Traditional schooners might sail at 55-65 degrees, and for square riggers 65 degrees would be doing well. Vessels sailing close to the wind are said to be sailing "close-hauled."
  • To sew with a loose overcast or overhand stitch.
  • A trading vessel that goes from port to port along the coast. Generally smaller than trans-oceanic vessels. Schooners were often used for coastal trade.
  • Cod
    Gadus morhua

    A food fish of the cool water of the North Atlantic: Gadus morhua. This species was the major attraction for European fishermen to come to America. The stock is now severely overfished, with total collapse and closing of the famous cod fishing grounds off of Newfoundland.

  • The end of a trawl or towed net in which the caught fish are retained. If the net were a sock, the cod end would be the toe.
  • Oil made from the liver of cod. It is one of the best sources of Vitamin A and D.
  • Group of Chinese merchants who paid for a privileged monopoly on foreign trade in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Vessel designed specifically to carry coal. Some were designed so that coal could be transferred to other ships directly.
  • Christopher Columbus
    1451-1506. Italian explorer and navigator. After finding Spanish backing for his plan to find a short way to the Orient, he sailed in 1492 and landed in the Bahamas, then explored a portion of the Caribbean before returning. His voyage opened the path for Europeans. He made three more voyages before his death, frustrated at not finding a way to China and Japan but proud to have found a new world, one unknown to Europeans. As a navigator his dead reckoning was careful and precise, better than any of his companions. While the phenomena of magnetic compass variation was known, Columbus was the first to note the westerly variation, something not observable in Europe and Asia.
  • Instrument which indicates true or magnetic north, enabling the mariner to guide a ship in any direction and to determine the direction of a visible object, such as another ship, heavenly body, or point of land. There are two types, the magnetic compass which depends on the earth's magnetic field to obtain its directive force and the gyrocompass, which obtains its directive force from the rotation of the earth.
  • Magnetic marine compasses have magnets fastened to a circular card which has the directions printed on it. Traditionally, compasses were marked in points at every 11 1/4 degrees. The whole card rotates, and a mark on the compass housing (called a lubber line) indicates direction. Until the mid 19th century, compasses were "dry card;" that is, the compass card rotated in air on a pivot pin. Edward S. Ritchie developed the first liquid magnetic compass (or wet card compass) in 1862, which solved problems of instability in dry card compasses. Wet card compasses have the card suspended in a liquid, usually a light oil, which has a float in the center to take most of the weight of the card off the pivot. The oil damps or smooths the card motion in a rough sea. Modern compasses are marked in degrees from zero at the north around to 359.

  • Outer and two inner circles engraved on a nautical chart, used for laying off courses or bearings. The outer circle represents a true compass measured clockwise and is graduated in degrees. The inner circles represent magnetic compasses and include the effect of variation in the given locality. The first one is also graduated in degrees while the inner one is graduated in points of 11 1/2 degrees.
  • Cement mixed with an aggregate, such as sand or gravel, and used as a building material.
  • A form of Protestant church government in which each local religious society is independent and self-governing.
  • A map based on the concept of projecting the earth's surface onto a cone, then unrolling the cone onto a plane surface.
  • The person to whom a shipment is to be delivered, whether by land, sea or air.
  • consul
    The offices of the consul, an official appointed to look after the commercial interests and welfare of his country's citizens in a foreign country.