Derby

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Derby (fl. 1807), an American ship of 300 tons, built in Salem in 1803, owned by J. and T. H. Perkins, George Lyman, and William Sturgis, in command of Benjamin Swift. She cleared from Boston shortly after September 5, 1806, and was spoken 24 days later, "Bound for the N.W. Coast; all well." She traded on the coast in 1807, and was left there by the Atahualpa on September 10, 1807. It is possible she was hunting on sea-otter shares on the California coast. She doubtless, in accordance with instructions, wintered there and continued her trading in 1808. Her instructions suggested that she go to the Columbia River to dispose of her copper kettles, sheet copper, clothes and tobacco, and added that it would be best to be there in the winter as she could not expect to collect many clamons (dressed moose or elk skins), in less than six or eight weeks.


1807: “Three Boston vessels under Russian contracts were operating along the California coast in 1807, the Derby, Peacock, and O'Cain. Captain Benjamin Swift of the Derby obtained twenty-five baidarkas and fifty natives under the same terms as those given to Winship.”


» Howay, F. W. A List of Trading Vessels in the Maritime Fur Trade, 1785-1825, ed. Richard A. Pierce (Kingston, Ontario: The Limestone Press, 1973)


Note: 1807: “The discovery was made of a huge rock bearing the names of Samuel Chapman and others; below these was an American flag and the statement that Chapman had visited the island in 1807 and left the following year.” [Gordon, P. R. Filming the Sea Elephant in The Wide World Magazine 43:258 (485-491), October 1919]