Bolivar Liberator

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Bolivar Liberator (fl. 1840s), United States-flagged brig of 224 tons owned by Alpheus Basil Thompson and John Coffin Jones in the 1840s.

In January 1831, the Bolivar Liberator, under Captain James Garney, master, arrived at Salem, Mass. from Buenos Aires for P. I. Farnham.

In 1832, the Bolivar Liberator, under Captain Nye, master, carried horses to the Sandwich Islands. It was reported all men were sick with scurvy. Between 1836-1843, the Bolivar Liberator, under Captain Nye, made three or four trips to California.

In 1843, the brig was captained by Alpheus Basil Thompson, an American who became a naturalized Mexican citizen. The Bolivar Liberator was involved in the otter trade beginning in 1834. The ship’s crew hunted otters on San Nicolas and San Clemente Islands in 1843-44. The brig was renamed Oajaca in 1844.



» Ogden, Aldele 1941 California Sea Otter Trade. Berkeley: UC Press (1941)


In the News~

December 2, 1843 [Deposition of Captain James Stevens, October 10, 1854]: “I was captain of [Alpheus B.] Thompson’s brig, Bolivar Liberator… I went to the island of Santa Rosa in the said brig in the latter part of November, 1843 or the first of December. I went to the island to take possessions to the island for Mr. Thompson. I took the alcalde of Santa Barbara, Don Tomas Robbins, Thomas Park, Mr. Covarrubias, Mr. Robbins and Mr. Stevens as passengers. I took over material for building a house on the island for Mr. Thompson… Possession was given by the alcalde to Thompson through Captain Robbins.”