Bark Martha Davis

zoomable artifact image here


This painting of the bark Martha Davis' starboard profile shows the bark under full sail, entering what is probably the harbor of Hong Kong.  The Martha Davis was built in 1873 in East Boston, by Smith & Townsend.  

Timothy Manter Benson (b.1839-d.1890) of Carver, Massachusetts, was a shipmaster of the Martha Davis for 15 years, from 1873 to 1888. His wife, Rebecca W. Benson, and daughter Clara, were aboard the vessel during oriental and Trans-Atlantic voyages between 1877 and 1881. 

This painting was created by an unidentified Chinese artist circa 1880. It shows a Sampan in tow behind the vessel. The bark flies the house flag of Charles Brewer Co. (horizontal bands of blue-red-blue), a banner reading Martha Davis (reversed), and a 35-star American flag.