|Announcement for a Slocum lecture at Everett House, New York (undated; NAA INV 02881600, photo lot 70, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution)|
address the belief that the vessel Liberdade of renowned sailor, Joshua Slocum (1844-1908?*), is buried in storage somewhere in the Smithsonian. Slocum designed and built the boat following the wreck of the Aquidneck, his coastal trading bark, which left him, his wife and two sons stranded in South America. Using lumber and fastenings salvaged from the wreck, and local timber, he built a 35-foot-long, six-ton, sea-going canoe, beam of seven and a half feet and draft of three feet. The small cabin, covered only by a canvas tarp, was home to the Slocum family for the entire voyage of an incredible 5,500 miles. Liberdade journeyed from Brazil ending up the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., of all places, in 1888.
|Collection of the author|
In the age of the decline of sail, Slocum left Boston in April 1895 on the Spray, a rebuilt and entirely reconfigured oyster sloop. A superb sailor and navigator, he had 46,000 miles under Spray’s keel when he completed his astounding circumnavigation in Newport, Rhode Island, and then onto his home port in Fairhaven, Massachusetts in June and early July of 1898.
|Front cover of the Cullman Library's copy|
|Title page with Professor Mason's signature|
|Photograph courtesy of The Millicent Library, Fairhaven, Massachusetts|
|The Millicent Library's copy with a fragment of Spray's sail|
|Card catalog in the National Anthropological Archives|
|Otis Tufton Mason (photo Wikimedia Commons, originally from Popular Science Monthly, vol. 74, January 1909)|
|Captain Slocum and Group of Gilbert Islanders (undated photograph by Merritt & Van Wagner; NAA INV 05048400, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution)|
|Frontispiece of Sailing Alone (Cullman Library copy)|
Illustrations in this first edition are by Thomas Fogarty and George Varian