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Benjamin Vanderford (2004)

Father: Benjamin Vanderford (1012)
Mother: Sarah Kehou

bap. December 21, 1788 St. Peters Episcopal Church, Salem [Salem VR]

d. March 19, 1842 on board the USS Vincennes, buried at sea. [Salem VR]

m. April 2, 1812 in Salem, Essex County, Massacusetts, Elizabeth Donaldson (marriage record: Dorrison) daughter of Frederick & Elizabeth Donaldson [Salem 4:176]
b. 1793 in Marblehead, Massachusetts [census-Ma]
d. September 9, 1869 of cancer. She was 77 years, 2 months, 22 days old. Buried in Harmony Grove Cemetery. [Salem 6:257]

Issue: [Salem VR]

John Burns Vanderford, bap. July 15, 1818, St. Peters Episcopal Church, d. before 1820 [census-Ma]

Mary Ann Vanderford (3022), bap. July 15, 1818, d. January 8, 1904

Susan Elizabeth Vanderford (3023), bap. July 15, 1818

Benjamin F. Vanderford (3024), b. June 1822, d. February 9, 1874 [PenApp#449046]

boy, d. August 10, 1825, age 13 months of Cholera Infantum [Salem A:145]

Sarah W. Vanderford, b. 1820-1825 [census-Ma]

m. int. July 19, 1846 in Salem, Essex County, Massacusetts, Edward H. Dalton [Salem VR], b. 1823 in Mass.
1850: Edward was a shoe dealer and they lived in Salem, Mass.[census-Ma]
1860: Edward was a clerk and a census enumerator. They lived in the 4th ward of Salem, Essex County, Mass. [census-Ma]


In 1813, Benjamin was slender, 5 foot 4 1/2 inches tall, had a round face, was fair complected and had light brown hair and blue eyes. [Peabody, Parole]


June 2 to Aug 20, 1802:
Benjamin was a seaman on the Schooner Good Intent and paid a hospital tax of $.56 on their return from Aux Cayes. [NA:R636,E454,Box91]

June 1, 1810 - March 27, 1812:
Benjamin was the second mate on the Active. The Active sailed to the Isle of Bourbon and then to Port Jackson (now Sydney), Australia. On February 13, 1811 they sailed for the Fiji Islands where they collected beche-de-mer for trade in China. They returned with tea and cassia and paid duties of $32,000. [Phillips,1947]

Benjamin paid a poll tax to the town of Salem, county of Essex, and state of Massachusetts. [Salem,Tax]

April 9, 1813:
Benjamin received sailing instructions from Cornelius Coolridge, Jr. for the Brig Vivid. As Captain, Benjamin was to sail to Santa Domingo and exchange cargos. He sailed under a "Letter of Marque" which gave him the status of a privateer. His wages were $50/month. [Peabody, Letter]

April 20, 1813:
H.M.S. Nymphe captured the Vivid and took her to Halifax, Nova Scotia where Benjamin became a prisoner of war at Dartmouth. [Peabody, Release]

May 26, 1813:
Benjamin was paroled from prison but required to stay within one mile of his lodgings in Dartmouth and to be in his lodgings between 6 in the evening and 6 in the morning. [Peabody, Parole]

May 31, 1813:
Benjamin was granted permission to return to Boston on the Cartel Agnes on the condition that he not bear arms against the British until he had been "regularly exchanged." [Peabody, Release]

Benjamin commanded the following ships: Indus, Roscoe, Osgood, Clay, Orient, Niagara and Council. [Essex, Vol.79]

July 1815 - July 1817:
Benjamin was the First Officer on the Indus bound for the South Seas. [Essex, Micro 91:10]

November 4, 1817:
Benjamin received instructions from the owners (Richardson, Dodge and Saunders) for the voyage of the Indus. "Sea otter skins and fur seal skins sell well at Canton...Be particular in the quality of Sandel Wood." "The Russians have lately discovered some New Islands which you might look for if necessary." [Peabody, Letter]

Between 1817 and 1819:
Benjamin was at the Fiji Islands as Master of the Indus. [Essex, Vol.65]

May 29, 1819:
Benjamin's ship Indus was in need of caulking and Philip Ammidon from Canton advised him that ship repairs done in Macao were "always attended with a most heavy expense and ... to discharge the cargo to make repairs would be a ruinous business." It was suggested that he go to Chumpu for repairs. [Peabody, Letter]

December 29, 1819:
Benjamin had taken the Indus to Canton for repairs in July and was going to sail for Europe from there. This letter from the owners (Richardson, Dodge and Saunders) requested Benjamin to prepare the necessary documents for the insurance underwriters to try to collect for some of the expenses and delays caused by the repairs. From Europe, Benjamin was directed to take a cargo of iron and passengers to the Southern States, or if good clean hemp was available at the right price, to load up with hemp and return to Salem. The letter concludes that his "wife and family are well." [Peabody, Letter]

February 9, 1820:
Benjamin was advised by the Rotterdam Shipbrokers (Cremer & Wilkens) on the best proceedures for offloading the cargo of the Indus. [Peabody, Letter]

Benjamin lived in Salem and his household consisted of his wife, 2 daughters and a teenage girl.

December 1820:
Benjamin joined the Salem East India Marine Society. [Essex, Vol.79]

September 30, 1821:
The brig Roscoe sailed from Salem with Benjamin Vanderford as Master. She went to the Marquesas Islands, Tahiti, the Navigators (Samoa), Fiji, New Hebrides, New Guinea, Manila, Batavia, Hamburgh and returned to Salem after 32 months at sea. This was a voyage of 45,000 marine miles. [Roscoe Log]

October 26, 1821:
On the voyage of the Roscoe, Benjamin had to "put the steward, Augustus Fornith, before the mast for intoxication." [Roscoe Log]

April 1 to July 24, 1822:
Benjamin was in the Fiji Islands taking on a cargo of beche-de-mer and sandlewood. [Roscoe Log]

June 9, 1822:
While at Myamboor Bay in the Fiji Islands on board the Roscoe, Benjamin had to quell a mutiny. When he ordered Peter Hill to man the 2nd cutter he refused as it was Sunday. When Hill took a blow at Benjamin he immediately ordered him into irons. "Resistance was made by him [Hill] as well as a major part of the crew headed by Wm. McPherson who appeared much inclined to a mutiny, but after considerable contention the order was executed by the officers of the ship." [Roscoe Log]

August 2, 1822:
At the New Hebrides, Benjamin went ashore, saw a few natives who were very shy and gave them some presents. In return as his boat was shoving off they shot arrows at him. [Roscoe Log]

October 1, 1822:
Benjamin and the Roscoe arrived at Manilla where he unloaded sandlewood and took on molasses and sugar. He departed on December 18th. [Roscoe Log]

August 13, 1823:
Benjamin and the Roscoe arrived at Hamburg, Germany where he discharged sugar, camphor, mats, coffee, nankeens and wax. [Roscoe Log]

August 12, 1826:
A letter from John Garner, Jr. to Benjamin discussed his voyage, cargo and passengers in the Osgood from Norfolk, Virginia to England. [Peabody, Letter]

1826 [?] and 1830:
Benjamin was again at the Fiji Islands as master of the Clay. The Clay was the first American vessel to cure and carry to China a cargo of beche-de-mer. [Essex, Vol. 65]

Benjamin lived in Salem and his household consisted of his wife, son and 3 daughters.

June 8, 1831:
Benjamin was picked up in the Fijis by Captain John H. Eagleston in the Brig Peru. [Paine,1912]

1837 to 1842:
Benjamin lived at 3 Howard St., Salem. In 1840 he, his wife, his son Benjamin and a daughter were living in the house. [Salem Dir & census-Ma]

Benjamin was taken into the service of the U. S. Navy to act as pilot and interpreter for the famous expedition of Lieutenant, later Commodore, Charles Wilkes through the Pacific. [Essex, Vol.79]

Benjamin appears in the Salem, Massachusetts census even though he was "at sea." His wife, son and daughter were living at home.

March 23, 1842:
From the expedition account by Commodore Charles Wilkes: "On the 23rd, Benjamin Vanderford, masters mate died. During the cruise, I had often experienced his usefulness, and now regretted his loss. He had formerly been in command of various ships sailing from Salem, and had made many voyages to the Feejee Islands. During our stay there he was particularly useful in superintending all trade carried on to supply the ships, he always proved himself a good officer, and was one for whom I felt much regard." [Essex, Vol.79]

July 10, 1842:
Letter from the purser of the Vincennes regarding the death of Captain Benjamin Vanderford. "He died on board this ship on the 22nd of March last of an affection of the brain, after an illness of a few days in the Indian Ocean...Every attention was afforded him during his sickness, and he was buried on the 23rd with military honors...The balance pay due his estate of nearly $1000..." [Essex, Vol.79]

The inscription on the memorial shaft in Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem reads: "In memory of Benjamin Vanderford, an officer of the United States Exploring Expedition, and for many years a shipmaster from Salem of great experience among the islands of the Pacific Ocean. After a life of incident, hardship and peril, he died at sea, on board United States Ship Vincennes March 22, 1942, aged 64 years." [Essex, Vol.66]

Elizabeth, Benjamin's widow, lived at 75 Boston St., Salem with their son, Benjamin F. [Salem Dir]

1850 to 1853:
Elizabeth lived at 11 Pickman St., Salem, with her daughter and son-in-law, Susan and John Brooks. [Salem Dir]

Elizabeth lived at 2 1/2 Federal St., Salem. [Salem Dir]

1857 to 1861:
Elizabeth lived at 7 Lemon St., Salem, with her daughter Susan Brooks. (John Brooks died sometime between 1857 and 1859.) [Salem Dir]

1864 to 1869:
Benjamin's widow, Elizabeth, lived at 3 Howard St., Salem. [Salem Dir]

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