Wooden Ships and Iron Men: The Story of the Square-Rigged Merchant Marine of British North America, the Ships, Their Builders and Owners, and the Men Who Sailed Them.

Largely an encomium to the British men and ships operating in what is now known as Canada, with emphasis on the maritime provinces. There is a great deal of information about the building and history of Canadian, particularly those of Nova Scotia, but nothing I could find on the provision of reading matter. Probably the officers and men were too busy setting speed records.

p. 122: Very few data are to be had upon the subject of passages

by British North American ships. The American and British clippers were built for fast sailing; their rapid passages were their best testimonials for securing passengers and high-class freights; they had extra gear and big crews, and their accomplishments were widely advertised and indelibly

recorded. Numerous good passages were made by Canadian

ships, but as they were not out to impress prospective

passengers and shippers of high-rated freights, the master

did not hire a Press agent to make his vessel’s accomplishments known to the world. If he succeeded in clipping off two or three days in a passage between ports, it would be figured up on the ship’s books as a saving in wages and maintenance. But such passages would have to be made by superior seamanship. Reckless driving, the straining of the ship’s hull and possible resultant damage to cargo, and the blowing away of sails and the breaking of spars, were not encouraged by owners. Most of the masters of British North American craft had shares in their ships,

and saw to it that these shares were not imperilled, but if the vessel was in good shape and the mates had the crew well in hand, no ships were ever smarter in taking advantage of a good breeze.

p. 215: The John Bunyan was a fine ship, and had a figurehead of

John Bunyan with an open book in his hands. In 1880, while bound from New York to Shanghai with an oil cargo, the master committed suicide by leaping overboard while the ship was in the N.E. Trades. The mate and the steward navigated the ship to her destination. The John Bunyan was built at Meteghan, N.S., and owned by A. Goudey and others. She was ultimately sold to Spanish owners, and was afloat in 1905 as the Palamos.