Francis Brown collection on the whaler 'Canada', 1856-1955Rauner Manuscript MS-6

Full Finding Aid


Francis Brown collection on the whaler 'Canada'

Call Number:

Rauner Manuscript MS-6

Collection Dates:


Size of Collection:

.25 linear ft., 1 box


The collection contains correspondence and legal documents relating to the loss of the whaler 'Canada' off the coast of Brazil in 1856 and the eventual recovery of the cost of the ship.

Access to Collection:


Use & Access

The materials represented in this guide may be accessed through the Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College. Rauner Library is located in Webster Hall. The materials must be used on-site and may not leave Rauner Library.

Rauner Special Collections Library is open to the public and in most cases no appointment is necessary. The exception is in the case of materials stored off site for which there may be a delay of up to 48 hours in retrieval. Please consult the Access to Collection statement below or contact Rauner Reference.

Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Permission from Dartmouth College required for publication or reproduction.

Introduction to the Collection

The Francis Brown collection on the whaler 'Canada' contains correspondence, settlement claims and statements, as well as clippings documenting the dispute between the United States and Brazil over the loss, off the coast of Brazil, of the ship 'Canada'. Correspondents include Secretary of State Hamilton Fish, Bancroft Davis, Acting Secretary of State and Watson Webb. The material forms part of Francis Brown's research into the 'Canada' which resulted in the article "The Case of the 'Canada' - A Chapter of Whaling and Diplomacy," a photocopy of which is also included.

The 'Canada" was a 545-ton whaler built in 1823 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. It was refitted in 1856 for a four-year whaling voyage in the North Pacific. The 'Canada' left New Bedford on October 16, 1856, under the agency of Gideon Allen and Sons and with Barton Ricketson as captain. On November 27, 1856, the 'Canada' ran aground on the Garcas Reef off of the coast of Brazil, thus beginning a decade long diplomatic dispute over the settlement of its body and cargo.


Francis Brown was born in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1904. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1925 with a BA in science. In 1931, he received his doctorate in history from Columbia University. While writing his dissertation, he taught history at Dartmouth. He joined the "New York Times" in 1930 as an associate editor of "Current History." After serving in several positions, including as editor of "Time" Magazine from 1945 to 1949, he became editor of the "New York Times Book Review." He held this position until his retirement in 1971. Brown also wrote several books including "Joseph Hawley, Colonial Radical" (1931), "Raymond of The Times" (1951), and "The War in Maps: An Atlas of the The New York Times Maps" (1944). He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Dartmouth in 1952. Brown died on November 17, 1995.

Box & Folder List

Box: 1, 1856-1955

Access Restrictions


Correspondence and documents related to the dispute with the Brazilian government over the whaler 'Canada.'

Box Contents

  • Folder: 1, Correspondence: Francis Brown, with genealogical information on the captain of the 'Canada', 1954-1955
  • Folder: 2, "The Case of the 'Canada' - A Chapter pf Whaling and Diplomacy," by Francis Brown, photocopy, undated
  • Folder: 3, "Copy of Abandonment of Ship Canada to the Brazilian Government", undated
  • Folder: 4, Clippings, 1869
  • Folder: 5, Correspondence, 1856-1868
  • Folder: 6, Correspondence: Gideon Allen and Sons, 1869
  • Folder: 7, Correspondence: Gideon Allen and Sons, 1870
  • Folder: 8, Correspondence: Gideon Allen and Sons, 1871-1872
  • Folder: 9, Correspondence: J.C.B. Davis, 1869
  • Folder: 10, Correspondence: Hamilton Fish, 1869
  • Folder: 11, Correspondence: Hamilton Fish, 1870-1872
  • Folder: 12, Correspondence: Watson Webb, 1870
  • Folder: 13, Correspondence, 1870
  • Folder: 14, Statements of Claims, 1856-1869
  • Folder: 15, Statements of Settlement, 1870
  • Folder: 16, Statements of Settlement, 1871-1873

Finding Aids