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In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Albert C. Sherman was born in Westport, Massachusetts, in 1849. He began his career serving on whaling vessels in the 1870's out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, and became a master in 1884. By 1885, he began sailing out of San Francisco, California, and captained steam powered vessels into the Arctic. He continued his career in the whaling industry until 1899 when he retired and permanently returned home to New Bedford. Sherman spent nearly thirty years in whaling, and at least half were spent in the Arctic. Upon his return to New Bedford, Sherman purchased an interest in a livery stable property which he operated until just before his death when it was destroyed by fire. Sherman died in 1914.
Sherman married three times, his second wife, Caroline L. Nye Kirschbaum Sherman (1858-1896) accompanied him to Herschel Island in the Arctic in 1895. While there she gave birth to their second child, a daughter, the first white child born that far north.
Papers in this collection primarily reflect the activities of Albert C. Sherman as a whaling master of New Bedford, Mass., and San Francisco, Calif., between 1875-1899. His papers consist of a diary, 1898, and ship's papers, 1875-1899. The diary records events after the Orca (Steam Bark) was wrecked in the Arctic Disaster of 1897. The ship's papers contain records for seven whaling vessels on which Sherman served, the majority departing from San Francisco on voyages to the Arctic regions and include correspondence, agent/owner accounts and customs records. Amongst the records of the Beluga (Steam Bark) are programs for the entertainment aboard that vessel by Fry's Opera Company and the Herschel Island Snowflakes. There is also a menu for the leap year party given by the women of the fleet. They have been arranged chronologically by date he served aboard and by the initial date if he served aboard the vessel more than once.
There are also papers for Sherman's second wife, Caroline L. Nye Kirschbaum Sherman which consist of a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, 1889-1895 and a pressed flower book, ca. 1896. The newspaper clippings include birth, death and marriage announcements, articles relating to her husband and his vessels and regarding herself and her experiences in the Arctic most notably the birth of a daughter. The pressed flower book contains flowers from Herschel Island in the Arctic.
Arrangement of Collection
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New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 86, [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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Removed to Printed Collection
Kelley's Eskimo Vocabularies, 1899.
Materials in this collection were donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society on 30 December 1983 by Elizabeth Ladner, Hannah Sherman, and Margaret S. Kohn.
Processed by: Judith M. Downey, ca. 1985
Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 16 April 2012
Please Consult Research Library for Detailed Description of Collection
Arctic Disaster, 1897
Fry's Opera Company, Herschel Island., Yukon Territory
Herchsel Island Snowflakes, Herchsel Island, Yukon Territory
Pacific Steam Whaling Company, San Francisco, Calif.
Sherman, Albert C., 1849-1914
Sherman,Caroline L. Nye Kirschbaum, 1858-1896
Women and the sea
Beluga (Steam Bark)
Belvedere (Steam Bark)
John Carver (Bark)
Orca (Steam Bark)
Sarah B. Hale (Bark)
Thrasher (Steam Bark)
William Lewis (Steam Bark)