Boats and Bells

This past weekend was beautiful, with just a touch of autumn chill in the air and no discernible humidity. I spent Saturday painting my front fence, which is just about the most social thing you can do in a small city, and Sunday we went to one of my favorite annual Salem events, the Antique & Classic Boat Festival, and then to the Salem Maritime National Historic Site for its commemoration of 1619, the year that enslaved African-Americans officially first set foot in North America. The very clangy bell of the site’s reproduction East Indiaman Friendship (back at Derby Wharf after many years in dry dock for repairs, but still missing its masts) rang out for several minutes, along with bells across America, at precisely 3 pm. We had planned to go out on our own boat, but it was just too breezy, so we were seaside (or harborside) wanderers all day long, which was not very difficult duty.


















Just some boat shots which I’m not really equipped to annotate—my favorite was the Half Circle, second to last above, a 1954 pocket cruiser. Between the boat show and the bell-ringing, we stopped at the Derby Street gallery of local artist Paul Nathan–more boats were there and these really cool eyes. The onto the Friendship.





3 responses to “Boats and Bells

  • Laura

    Sounds great! Hope it lasts … at least up there where you are!

    We had the same lovely spring-like weather down here in DC as well. But we don’t have an ocean! Still miss that. The Potomac just doesn’t do it, though Great Falls makes up a bit for it!

  • Timothy stevens

    That link to the Smithsonian post in many ways expressed my disappointment at least through some news sites with the treatment with 1619. I’m always excited about any initiative to bring focus on Early Modern America and when I heard about the 1619 initiative I was hoping for articles that would help flesh out the public understanding of Early American History and History of the slave trade but instead, it seemed to be treated instead as a small blip before pushing away from Early America.

    Case in point, The Guardian Article “400 years since slavery: a timeline of American history” which when I saw it I got excited as I do love a good timeline but found it disappointing with how little they covered using the starting point 1619.

    Their timeline went 1619 (Skipped 42 years) to 1661 (skipped 115 years) to 1775 (skipped 84 years) to 1860 and then it finally started to cover ground without huge time skips. The majority of the history of slavery in what is now the United States happened during the colonial period and this time was critical in how the institution of slavery developed in the newly formed United States as well as impacted those who were enslaved and all those who benefitted from that institution and fought against it and yet giving this timeline you would assume really nothing really happened for the vast majority of Early Modern America .

    • daseger

      I agree, Timothy; there are some problems with it–it’s very Anglo-centric, for one. Arbitrary big dates are always just that, I think! But if you want the general public to focus, you’ve got to pick one.

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