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Mystic Seaport

Westward by Sea: A Maritime Perspective on American Expansion, 1820-1890

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This selection of items from Mystic Seaport's archival collections includes logbooks, diaries, letters, business papers, and published narratives of voyages and travels. The unique maritime perspective of these materials offers a rich look at the events, culture, beliefs, and personal experiences associated with the settlement of California, Alaska, Hawaii, Texas, and the Pacific Northwest. A number of photographs, paintings, maps, and nautical charts are also included to illustrate the story of Americans’ western seaborne travel. Various themes are touched upon, including whaling, life at sea, shipping, women at sea, and native populations.

The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. The goal of the Library's National Digital Library Program is to offer broad public access to a wide range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning. Digital collections from other institutions complement and enhance the Library's own resources.

The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record of the past. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress and Mystic Seaport do not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which may contain materials offensive to some readers.

Special Presentation
From The Log of Mystic Seaport: Four Illustrated Essays

Understanding the Collection

About the Collection

Bibliography from Forty-Niners Round the Horn *

Related Resources

Collection Connections

Working with the Collection

How to Order Reproductions

Copyright and Other Restrictions

Building the Digital Collection


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The digitization and presentation of these materials by Mystic Seaport* was supported by an award from the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition. Links marked * lead to web pages mounted at Mystic Seaport.

The source materials for this collection are housed at Mystic Seaport. *   Please contact the G. W. Blunt Library with any questions or for information about the original materials and Mystic Seaport Rights and Reproductions Department with requests for reproductions.

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