Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Crew

The captain, William M. Merritt, signed on his son, S. E. Merritt, as first mate. The rest of the crew signed their names on the articles as Merritt wrote down a complete description:
  • S.E. Merritt ~ Born Maine, Age 29, Height 5.10; Complexion: Med; Hair: Brown
  • Johann Frederickson ~ Of Finland, Age 48, Height 5.6; Complexion: Ruddy; Hair: Same; $135 per month; Bosun
  • J.A. Benjamin ~ Of the French West Indies, Age 51, Height 5.9; Hair: Blond; $150 per month; Cook
  • Herbert R. Bates ~ Of Maine, Age 33, Height 5.7; Complexion: Fair; Hair: Light; $150 per month; Engineer
  • Niels Peter Nielson ~ Of Denmark, Age 24, Height 5.5; Complexion: Fair; Hair: Brown; $100 per month
  • Niels Olsen ~ Of Denmark, Age 30, Height 5.10; Complexion: Fair; Hair Brown; $100 per month
  • S. Christian Pedersen ~ Of Denmark, Age 26, Height 5.5; Complexion: Dark; Hair Brown; $100 per month
  • Peter Sorenson ~ Of Denmark, Age 19, Height 5.5; Complexion: Fair; Hair Brown; $100 per month
  • Alfred Jorgenson ~ Of Denmark, Age 24, Height 5.2; Complexion: Light; Hair: Light; $100 per month
  • Hans Carl Jensen ~ Of Denmark, Age 18, Height 5.9; Complexion: Light; Hair: Light; $100 per month
Before leaving for the long sea voyage, Peter Sorenson wrote his family in Denmark:

Newport News, August 22, 1921

Dear All

I will just write a few words to let you know that I am all right and that I went ashore from Negros and was signed on an American schooner bound for Rio de Jenairo with bunkers, and I suppose it will take a month before we return to Newport News; then I shall send home some money and I hope the rate of exchange will be as favorable as now when we come back. I make 100 dollars a month as sailor, which in Danish money will amount to as much as Kr. 680. I know of nothing else to write this time so will close.

Many greetings, son and brother

P. Sorensen

P.S. Write soon
5 M. Sehr
Adr. Carol B. Dering.
Rio de Jenairo, Brasil.

After setting sail, Captain Merritt was taken suddenly ill causing the Deering to put in at Lewes, Delaware. The sickness was worse enough that Merritt could not continue on the voyage. He left the ship, accompanied by S. E. Merritt who left to attend to his father. Replacing Captain Merritt was Willis B. Wormell. Replacing S. E. Merritt was Charles B. McLellan.

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