Captain William Evans Letter

Original content by: Kelly Walsh

zoomable document image here
Read Aloud:

About This Document

William Evans (b. August 3, 1828 - d. December 28, 1890) was the Captain of the Haze of Stonington, Connecticut, an American Clipper ship owned by Charles H. Mallory et al.  It was the last built locally, ending Mystic's clipper period.  In this letter, Captain Evans is writing to his son, Charles Mallory Evans, while on an east Asian trading voyage from the vessel's port-of-call, Hong Kong.  More...

Historical Context

Clipper ships were built for speed and were exactly what was called for when racing back and forth to deliver and retrieve profitable goods such as tea and spices from Asia and other worldwide ports-of-call, including Australia and its newly discovered gold.  The sailing of Clipper Ships from the west coast of America rose exponentially with only two ships sailing before the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill and over a hundred and fifty launched in the following four years.  More... 

Questions for Further Thought

  1. Think about what Captain Evans asked of his son in the letter and imagine your father or mother was away at sea. Would they ask you to do the same things? What else might they ask of you?
  2. What might it be like to live with your whole family on a Sam Pan?
  3. What cargo might the Haze have been carrying to and from China? Why might this cargo have been so popular?