The personal journal of William Bennett Russell during his travels on the Henry B Hyde in 1894 includes an account of his discovery of an American Seamen’s Friend Society loan library aboard the ship:
p. 41: Discovered to-day the ship library for sailors –It is in a nicely painted box and consists of about forty books and magazines bran [sic] new. The box is loaned by the Seamen’s Friend Society. The selections are good, Spurgeon’s Life & Sermons, Bible Dictionary, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, other religious books and stories. Boatswain No. 2 wanted a Bible Dictionary & seemed much pleased when he found one.
Had a talk with Joe and found him very pleasant and more responsible than I had expected. He has just finished reading the New Testament through while on board ship, and had several questions to ask which we talked ‘over together. I shall be glad if I can be of any help to him….
Finished Stalker’s “Life of Christ” and was very much impressed by it. It is stated in a concise, simple & straightforward manner and in parts is very suggestive. The chapter of the “Year of Public Fever” and one narrating the “Trial and Crucifixion” are fine. I must read the book again at an early opportunity. It is vastly superior to those books which draw so tremendously on the imagination.”
The journal is in the collections of the Maine Maritime Museum (Bath) as is the library box of the ASFS which came to the collection empty of books. Since its receipt, the Museum has added nine titles from other Seamen’s Friend Society libraries, including the following spine titles:
The Prodigal Son
View of Christ
Gates of Prayer
View of Christ [2nd copy?]
Stories of the Ocean
Seamen’s Manual of Worship
Russell’s journal mentions the books he was reading on the voyage as well as an inventory of the books he encountered onboard the Hyde, given on p. 200-01 of his journal. The list comprises approximately 75 titles in at least 85 volumes. I am grateful to the Maine Maritime Museum, Librarian Cathy Matero and Curator Anne Witty, for making use of this material possible.
List of Books Carried on Voyage in Henry B. Hyde, 1894?
Bible . King James.
Bible . King James. Revised. [Unidentified]
Chamber’s Miscellany of Instructive and Entertaining Tracts. 10 vols. (London: W. R. Chambers, 1872?).
Dickens, Charles. The Uncommercial Traveller. (London:: Chapman and Hall, 1888).
Dickens, Charles. Dombey and Son. 2 vols. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1894).
Dickens, Charles. Old Curiosity Shop. (London: Macmillan, 1892).
Dickens, Charles. Martin Chuzzlewit. (New York: A A. Knopf, 1868?).
Scott, Walter, Sir. Ivanhoe. (Boston: Ginn, 1893).
Scott, Walter, Sir. Anne of Geierstein. (Boston: James R. Osgood, 1873).
Scott, Walter, Sir. The Abbott. (London: 1878).
Scott, Walter, Sir. Rob Roy. (Boston: Ginn, 1894).
Drummond, Henry. Tropical Africa. (New York: Scribner and Welford, 1888).
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. Poems. (Boston: Thomas Y. Crowell (1893).
Eliot, George. Felix Holt, The Radical; Silas Marner; The Lifted Veil; Brother Jacob; Scenes of Clerical Life. (New York: John B. Alden, (1884).
Stalker, James. The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ. (New York: American Tract Society, 1894).
Thackeray, William Makepeace. Vanity Fair. (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1887).
Tolstoi, Lev Nikolaevich. Anna Karenina. (1886).
Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson, Baron. Poetical Works. (New York: Crowell, 1891)
Barlow, Jane. Irish Idylls. (New York: Dodd Mead, 1893).
Wagner, Charles. Youth. (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1893).
Hitchcock, Roswell Dwight. Eternal Atonement. (New York: Scribner’s, 1888).
Thackeray, William Makepeace. The Newcomes. (Boston: Aldine, 189-?).
Thackeray, William Makepeace. Henry Esmond; Catherine; Denis Duval; Lovel the Widower. (New York: T.W. Crowell, 189o-?).
Steele, Joel Dorman. New Descriptive Astronomy. (New York: American Book Co., 1884).
Shakespeare, William. Unidentified Collection
Scott, Walter, Sir. Peveril of the Peak. (Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1894).
Scott, Walter, Sir. Waverly Novels. 11 vols. (New York: Lovell, 1880- 95?). Many possible editions.
Scott, Walter, Sir. The Talisman. (London: J.C. Nimmo, 1894).
Scott, Walter, Sir. The Lady of the Lake. (Boston: Ginn, 1894).
Marvel, Ik. Dream Life. (Chicago: Donohue, Henneberry, 188-?).
Marvel, Ik. Reveries of a Bachelor. (Philadelphia: H. Altemus, 1850).
Dick, William Brisbane. Dick’s Games of Patience, or, Solitaire with Cards. (New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, 1884).
Cable, George Washington. Old Creole Days. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1893).
Scott, Walter, Sir. Marmion. (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1894).
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Ancient Mariner. (London: T. Nelson, 1883).
Lytton, Edward Bulwer, Baron. The Last of the Barons . 2 vols. (Boston: Estes and Lauriat, 1892).
Blackmore, Richard Doddridge. Kit and Kitty. 3 vols. (London: Low, Marston, 1890).
Gray, Maxwell. In the Heart of the Storm. (New York: Appleton, 1891).
Stevenson, Robert Lewis. The Merry Men. (New York: G Munro’s Sons, 189-?).
Du Boisgobey, Fortuné. A Fight for a Fortune. (London: Vizatelly, 1886).
Stevenson, Robert Lewis. The Master of Ballantrae. (London: Collins’ Clear-type Press, 1889).
Russell, William Clark. Marooned. 3 vols. (London: Macmillan, 1889).
Norris, William Edward. A Deplorable Affair. (New York: Tait, Sons, 1892).
Argyll, George Douglas Campbell, Duke of. The Highland Nurse. (New York: Tait, Sons, 1891).
Strong, Josiah. The New Era, or The Coming Kingdom. (New York: Baker & Taylor, 1893).
Lee, James Wideman. The Making of a Man. (New York:: Cassell, 1892).
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1893).
Harrison, Frederick. Oliver Cromwell. (London: Macmillan, 1894).
Wallace, Lew. The Fair God, or The Last of the ‘Tzins. (Boston: J.R. Osgood, 1873).
Barrie, James Matthew. A Window in Thrums. (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1889).
Dumas, Alexandre. Twenty Years After. 2 vols. (Boston: Little Brown, 1894).
Oliphant, Margaret (Wilson). Adam Graeme, of Mossgray. (New York: Garrett, Dick and Fitzgerald, 1888-?).
Bayle, Ada Ellen. Won by Waiting. (New York: Frank F. Lovell, 1889).
Dumas, Alexandre. The Three Guardsmen. (New York: A.L. Burt, 1894).
Dumas, Alexandre. The Count of Monte Cristo. 3 vols. (Boston: Little Brown, 1894).
Russell, William Clark. My Danish Sweetheart. (New York: Harper, 1891).
Lever, Charles James. Jack Hinton, the Guardsman. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1894).
Reade, Charles. The Knightsbridge Mystery. (New York: F.M. Lupton, 1886).
Collins, Wilkie. The Evil Genius. (New York: Harper, 1886).
Alexander, Mrs. A Life Interest. (New York: H. Holt, 1888).
Warden, Florence. A Woman’s Face. (Chicago: Donohue, Henneberry, 1888?).
Werner, E. [pseud.] His Word of Honor. (New York: Street & Smith, 1890).
Marlitt, Eugenie. A Brave Woman. (New York: Worthington, 1891).
Alexander, Mrs. By Woman’s Wit. (New York: H. Holt, 1887).
Edwards, Annie. Archie Lovell. (New York: Sheldon, 1872).
Conway, Hugh. Living or Dead. (New York: Holt, 1886).
McCarthy, Justin Huntly. Our Sensation Novel. (New York: Harper, 1886).
Dickens, Charles. The Cricket on the Hearth. (London: G. Routledge, 1894).
Hardy, Thomas. The Trumpet-Major. (New York: P.F. Collier, n.d.).
Robinson, Frederick William. A Fair Maid. (New York: G. Munro, 1885).
Lever, Charles James. Harry Lorrequer. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1894).
Ward, William. The Passenger from Scotland Yard. (London: Chatto & Windus, 1889).
Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn. Lectures on the History of the Jewish Church. 3 vols. (New York: Scribner, 1893).
Lytton, Edward Bulwer Lytton, Baron. A Strange Story. (Boston: Estes and Lauriat, 1892).
Drummond, Henry. The City without a Church. (New York: J. Port, 1893).
Black, William. In Far Lochaber. (New York: Harper, 1893).
Benson, Edward Frederic. Dodo. (New York: Appleton, 1893).
Wallace, Lew. Ben Hur, a Tale of the Christ. (New York: Harper, 1892).
Bangs, John Kendrick. Coffee and Repartee. (New York: Harper, 1893).