3 Printed and handwritten Documents signed as Secretary, Fairhaven Mutual Marine Insurance Company. Fairhaven Mass. , Dec. 13, 1859 and Jan. 12 and 24, 1860. 9 x 11”, 1 pg. each.
Insurance policies to E.[zekiel] Sawin: $1600 and $5400 for Whalebone (at $.85 and $.90 per lb.) on board the Ship Black Sea (from catchings of the Ships Arab and Rebecca Sims) and $6742 for whale oil (at $.50 per gallon) on board the Bark Bhering (from catching of the Ship Arab), all bound for New Bedford.
Of the vessels named, the most notable was the Rebecca Sims (commanded by a Captain Hawes, doubtless some relation of the signer), built in Philadelphia in 1801 as a general transatlantic trading ship, converted to a whaler in 1850 for extended voyages from New Bedford to the south Pacific. In 1851, she became famous for capturing and killing the wounded sperm whale which had rammed and sunk another whaler off the coast of the Galapagos Islands. At the start of the Civil War, the Rebecca Sims was acquired by the Union Navy, stripped of equipment, filled with stone and, with 16 other ships, was sunk in the main channel of Charleston Harbor in December 1861 as an obstruction to Confederate shipping.
John A. Hawes, the son of a famous New Bedford ship captain and ship builder who took over his father’s shipping interests, was a Harvard-educated lawyer who commanded a regiment in the Civil War, served in the state legislature, and was founder and first Commodore of the New Bedford Yacht Club.