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NMHS Receives Grant from the Philadelphia Foundation for Ernestina Documentary Series

The National Maritime Historical Society is pleased to report that it has received a grant of $200,000 from the H.F. Lenfest Fund at the Philadelphia Foundation for its documentary series Sails Over Ice and Seas: The Life and Times of the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey.  On behalf of our Vice Chairman/Film Producer Richardo Lopes and all the trustees of the National Maritime Historical Society, we thank Mr. and Mrs. Lenfest for this most generous gift which will allow us to complete production and initial editing of the series.  For a glimpse of the upcoming series, watch the trailer.

Credit: Susan S. Bank, Boston Globe

Ernestina-Morrissey is America’s story.  Now a National Historic Landmark, she joined thousands of her sister ships as she was launched from the shores of Essex, Massachusetts in 1894.  The documentary’s four one-hour episodes will each focus on a distinct era of her 124 year history – from her start as she fished and carried cargo out of Gloucester, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland (1894–1925); explored the Arctic regions with Captain Bob Bartlett (1926–1945); traversed the Atlantic as a Cape Verde Packet trader bringing immigrants and cargo to and from the shores of America (1948–1968); and advanced educational programming and sail training for people of all ages (1982–present).  In her wake, Ernestina-Morrissey has left a diverse and indelible mark on America’s history and her future, and we are grateful to the H.F. Lenfest Fund for making this documentary series possible!

Click here to see the trailer for Sails Over Ice and Seas: The Life and Times of the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey.  For additional information, please contact us at

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NMHS Receives National Maritime Heritage Grant

We are thrilled to report that the National Maritime Historical Society has received a $50,000 matching grant from the Department of Interior, National Park Service (NPS) through the National Maritime Heritage (NMH) grant program for its maritime library and digital collections project.  Thirty-four grants totaling $2.6 million were awarded to deserving organizations across the country in collaboration with the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs). With these funds, organizations and agencies conduct education and preservation projects designed to preserve historic maritime resources and to increase public awareness and appreciation for the maritime heritage of the United States.  You can read the full NPS press release here.

As part of its Education-category project for which the Society will receive the maximum grant amount, we will assess, catalog, digitize and preserve our 8,000 volume maritime library, making it accessible to the public both online and in our physical location.  The project also includes assessing, cataloging, digitizing and preserving the Society’s extensive archives collection, including over 3,000 photographs, maps, charts, vessel plans, pamphlets, newspaper articles, works of art, ship models and fragments of maritime structures and objects.  Upon completion, the public will be able to visit the library to access its physical collections as well as to access the library and digital archives database online, ensuring that that the broadest audience of historians, researchers, teachers, students and the public at large will be able to utilize the organization’s treasure trove of maritime books, archives and artifacts.  We look forward to working with the National Park Service on this exciting project, and to sharing our progress with you all!

We also wish to congratulate all the recipients of this year’s round of awards and are excited about the projects that will soon be underway across the country, including preservation projects for the Maritime Museum Association of San Diego’s Star of India, the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Association’s USS Pampanito, Mystic Seaport’s L.A. Dunton, Project Liberty Ship’s SS John W. Brown, Destroyer Escort Historical Museum’s USS Slater, Seaport Museum’s Wavertree, and education projects by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, USS Constitution Museum, New Bedford Whaling Museum and so many more!  For a complete list of recipients and brief descriptions of their projects, go the Maritime Heritage Grant Program Recipients page.

For more information on the National Maritime Historical Society Maritime Library and Digital Collections project, please contact us at For questions regarding the NMH grant program, or to comment on this or any other proposed NMH grant project, please contact Kelly Spradley-Kurowski, National Maritime Heritage Program Manager, at (202) 354-2266.

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Save the Date! New York City Pickle Night is 9 November

CREDIT: I Have Urgent Dispatches by Gordon Frickers

This year marks the 213th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, and the 14th New York City Pickle Night Dinner will mark this history shaping event on 9 November 2018.  Those who appreciate the historical significance of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson and the lore associated with his life are invited to attend this special event.  The Dinner is named for HM Schooner Pickle, which participated in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and which brought the news to Britain of Nelson’s victory and death in the battle. This event has been a perennial success, with guests from the Ticket price is $295 per person. Dress is black tie or military equivalent. United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Switzerland and elsewhere.

Antony Phillipson, Her Majesty’s Consul General in New York is the Honorary Dinner Chairman.

Vice Admiral Tony Radakin, Second Sea Lord, Royal Navy, will be the main speaker.  Most recently Chief of Staff of the Joint Forces Command, his initial duty assignments have included officer of the watch in HMS LEEDS CASTLE, navigator in HMS ANDROMEDA, commanding officer in HMS BLAZER and operations officer HMS BEAVER.  Subsequent assignments include both shore and afloat duty in the Royal Navy and international commands including security duties in the Falklands, NATO embargo operations in the Adriatic, as well as escort duties in the Iran/Iraq Tanker War, and countering smuggling in Hong Kong and the Caribbean. While serving with the Naval Training Team in Iraq, he was awarded the Bronze Star by the United States government. VAdm Radakin is a qualified barrister, and has also graduated from several military related courses in the U.S.  His operational and academic experience gives him a special operator’s perspective on the Royal Navy and Lord Nelson.l

Space is limited.  For reservations or additional information, please contact email Sally McElwreath Callo or call (212)972 8667.

The American Friends of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, our sponsor, is recognized as a tax exempt organization. The Nelson Society, The 1805 Club and the National Maritime Historical Society also support this event.

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Sunken Gold: Seminar with Joseph Williams on 20 June


Join us Wednesday, 20 June 2018 for The Sunken Gold: A Story of World War I Espionage and the Greatest Treasure Salvage in History, a presentation and book signing with Joseph A. Williams.  See the author’s riveting book trailer here.

On January 25, 1917, HMS Laurentic struck two German mines off the coast of Ireland and sank. The ship was carrying 44 tons of gold bullion to the still-neutral United States via Canada in order to finance the war effort for Britain and its allies. Britain desperately needed that sunken treasure, but any salvage had to be secret since the British government dared not alert the Germans to the presence of the gold.  Lieutenant Commander Guybon Damant was the most qualified officer to head the risky mission. Wild gales battered the wreck into the shape of an accordion, turning the operation into a multiyear struggle of man versus nature.

As the war raged on, Damant was called off the salvage to lead a team of covert divers to investigate and search through the contents of recently sunk U-boats for ciphers, minefield schematics, and other secrets. The information they obtained, once in the hands of British intelligence, proved critical toward Allied efforts to defeat the U-boats and win the war.  But Damant had become obsessed with completing his long-deferred mission. His team struggled for five more years as it became apparent that the work could only be accomplished by muscle, grit, and persistence. Using newly discovered sources, author Joseph A. Williams provides the first full-length account of the quest for the Laurentic’s gold. More than an incredible story about undersea diving adventure, The Sunken Gold is a story of human persistence, bravery, and patriotism.

Register Here
Wednesday, 20 June:  Registration/Refreshments at 6:30 PM, Lecture at  7:00 PM
Location: Hendrick Hudson Free Library, 185 Kings Ferry Road, Montrose, NY.

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2018 WoodenBoat Show

Come join us at the WoodenBoat Show when it returns to Mystic Seaport, the Museum of America and the Sea, June 22-24, 2018!  Enjoy within-water and on-land boat exhibits, including “I Built it Myself,” expert skills demonstrations, marine vendors, family boatbuilding, and so much more.  For a complete list of Activities, Exhibitors and Visitor Information, please visit  We look forward to seeing you in Mystic – we’ll be in Tent A on the Village Green!

Pre-order tickets online now.  National Maritime Historical Society Friends & Up ($100) get in free with their CAMM card!  For directions, click here.  If you’re planning on staying in the area overnight and need hotel accommodations, click here for information on hotels with special WoodenBoat Show rates.

Credit: WoodenBoat Show



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ASMA 40th Anniversary Retreat – Charleston, SC

Come join the celebration! Members of the ASMA will join together in beautiful Charleston, SC for a special celebration to recognize the 40th anniversary of the American Society of Marine Artists! The event will be held on November 1-4, 2018.

The 40th Anniversary Retreat will officially start on Thursday afternoon with a dinner party planned at the Hotel Indigo ‘s new Magnolia Ballroom.

Enjoy artist demonstrations by featured artists and Signature Members Dee Beard Dean and Don Maitz. Dee will be doing a plein air painting demo at the Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston, on Friday morning, starting at 9:30 a.m. while Don will paint Black Beard  at the hotel on Saturday morning at 11 a.m.

Should you have any questions about the upcoming ASMA retreat in Charleston, please contact ASMA Managing Director Daven Anderson at: or Phone (314) 241-2339 or Kim Shaklee at: or Phone (303) 654-1219.

See the event link for more information: ASMA 40th Anniversary Retreat.


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Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Announces Weekend Ports of Call for Lois McClure’s Summer 2018 GlassBarge Tour


Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Announces Weekend Ports of Call for Lois McClure’s Summer 2018 GlassBarge Tour

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM) today announced the summer 2018 tour stops for Lois McClure, the museum’s full scale replica of an 1862-class sailing canal boat constructed in Burlington, Vermont. Lois McClure will accompany the Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) GlassBarge this summer as they retrace the historic move of Flint Glass Works from Brooklyn to Corning, NY via canal where the company became Corning Glass Works, today known as Corning Incorporated.

Aboard Lois McClure, trained historians, educators, and archaeologists will welcome the public to visit with the crew and learn about history of the canal systems and the momentous trip of Corning Glass. In addition, the public will be able to see free glass-making demonstrations aboard the GlassBarge at each scheduled stop.

Lois McClure begins the five month tour on May 17 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.  She will accompany the GlassBarge to Corning, with stops at ports in Yonkers, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Albany, Little Falls, Sylvan Beach, Baldwinsville, Fairport, Lockport, Buffalo, Medina, Brockport, Pittsford, Seneca Falls, and Watkins Glen. The ceremonial arrival in Corning will be marked by a community-wide celebration on September 22. After this celebration Lois McClure will depart and head home to Burlington, VT alone. She will make more stops along the way and will arrive in Burlington, Vermont on October 6 for a community-wide celebration to welcome her return home after a 2 year absence. On the weekend of her arrival, a CMoG mobile hot glass shop will join Lois McClure in Burlington to provide free public glassmaking demonstrations.

Lois McClure Ports of Call
May 17-28: Brooklyn Bridge Park
June 1-3: Yonkers
June 8-10: Poughkeepsie
June 15-17: Kingston
June 21-24: Albany/Troy/Waterford
June 30-July 1: Little Falls
July 7-8: Sylvan Beach
July 13-15: Baldwinsville
July 20-22: Fairport
July 28-29: Lockport
August 3-5: Buffalo
August 11-12: Medina
August 17-19: Brockport
August 24-26: Pittsford
September 1-3: Seneca Falls
September 14-16: Watkins Glen
September 22: Corning

Visiting and Additional Information
Lois McClure will be open to the public for tours and to engage with and learn from a team of trained historians, archaeologists, and mariners. Tours are first-come, first-served and do not require registration. South Street Seaport Museum representatives will also be on hand to talk about their historic tug W.O. Decker that will be moving Corning’s GlassBarge along the waterways.

GlassBarge will provide daily demonstrations from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. All demos are approximately 30 minutes long, and reservations are strongly encouraged through free timed tickets that will be available at Registration will be live 4-6 weeks prior to each stop. Demos can also be viewed from shore without a reservation.

Learn more at

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36th Annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival

The 36th Annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival will be held August 25-26, 2018 at Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marine in Salem Massachusetts. Come see a variety of rare vintage motor yachts and sailboats from 1900-1960s. Meet skippers and crews and vote for your favorite boats. Children get to make their own wee boat, and all can board real ones. Boat rides, crafts market, artists, old-time band music, Blessing of the Fleet and more! For more information, view the event flyer.

To the delight of the public, some skippers sport vintage garb; others display period décor or play a few tunes. Table settings and captivating floral arrangements might be found aboard a boat. Welcome mats are in evidence and children, pets and parrots have been known to enliven the scene. Many owners invite the public aboard for a personal tour, regaling visitors with tales of their boat’s history, memorable voyages and the joys and woes of restoring their classic.

Festival Location
The Antique and Classic Boat Festival is held at Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina, Salem, MA, 01970, Tel: 978-740-9890. Please note that the public entrance for the Festival is on Turner St.


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2018 New York State Canal Conference

Join the 2018 Canal Conference  October 14-16, 2018. The 2018 conference will celebrate the role that New York Harbor has played in the success of the State’s historic inland waterway system. As New York State continues to celebrate the Erie Canal Bicentennial, New York Harbor is the perfect venue to commemorate the Centennial of the Erie Barge Canal.

Learn about New York’s maritime/canal history just as Staten Island completes landmark projects along its waterfront, especially the New York Wheel and ongoing improvements to the St. George Waterfront.

Explore outstanding canal heritage sites on both Staten Island as well as Manhattan and the Greater New York Harbor. To register for this event visit


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Blackbeard’s Last Battle – Seminar with Kevin Duffus 19 May


Blackbeard (c. 1736 engraving)

Join us as author Kevin Duffus presents Blackbeard’s Last Battle: the Conflicting Interpretations of his Origins and Motivations.  The notorious pirate Blackbeard stands among the most popular figures of early colonial American history, yet no one still knows who he really was. To this day, his identity, his origins, and his motivations for committing acts of piracy remain in contention. Did he hail from England, Jamaica, or the Carolinas? Was his surname Teach or Thatch, or something else entirely? Was he an undistinguished common sailor suddenly thrust into command of a pirate ship? Was he a former Royal Navy sailor and an aristocratic, Anglican slave-owning planter who inexplicably turned Jacobite and pirate? Or was he an ordinary mariner on a salvage mission lured into piracy by a mob of looters, who later became a pawn in an attempted political coup in proprietary North Carolina?

These conflicting interpretations have provoked rancorous debate among archaeologists and historians. At stake are the credibilities of monolithic institutions and museums, the reputations of researchers and authors, the financial stakes of publishers, and the future of a popular historical narrative. For more than 45 years, award-winning research historian Kevin Duffus has followed the wake of the notorious pirate’s journey through history. Along the way he has discovered startling clues and pivotal waypoints in Blackbeard’s odyssey that point to a startling conclusion—one that many scholars do not want the public to know.  

Saturday, 19 May: Registration at 10:30 AM, Lecture at  11:00 AM
Location: Hendrick Hudson Free Library, 185 Kings Ferry Road, Montrose, NY

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