Lot 205 of 392:
1838 letter about dangers of sailing from Jamaica to Cuba  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$120
$200 - $300

Expert testimony of a famous American ship's captain, forwarded by letter to a Boston lawyer, about the problems of sailing from Jamaica to Cuba

Maxwell, William H.

New York


March 1, 1838


Autograph Letter Signed. 2pp.+ stampless address leaf. To W.D.Sohier, Counselor, Boston, with 1 pg.of Sohier’s questions (replies written in pencil) to be put to Captain John R. Crane of the ship “John W. Cater”.


Crane, about to sail for Jamaica, was acting as expert witness, apparently in the case of another vessel which had been lost or wrecked while sailing from Kingston, Jamaica to Cape Antonio, the westernmost point of Cuba, instead straying to the Isle of Pines (later notorious as site of a Cuban prison for tortured political dissidents).

Crane, later famous for commanding the first iron steamboat to sail from London to New York, testified that the other Captain “had no business” sailing anywhere near the Isle of Pines, and that his ship could have been driven there only by “extraordinary circumstances” of strong head winds and unpredictable currents.

Lot Amendments

Very good.

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