Courtesy of Nova Scotia Museum | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND
Courtesy of Nova Scotia Museum | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

Brigantine Clockmaker, with her decks crowded with troops being transferred from Sierra Leone to Demerara





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From the Collection


Framed WATERCOLOUR PAINTING of full rigged ship, CLOCKMAKER, 1840. Full port under sail; inscription on bottom, "If here ain't the Clockmaker agen as I'm alive"; white matte and beige frame.
"This painting by Joseph Salter shows the brigantine Clockmaker, formerly a slave ship, with her decks crowded with troops being transferred from Sierra Leone into Demerara in 1840. Clockmaker was originally a Brazilian slave smuggling vessel named Conceicao. She was captured by the British Royal Navy anti-slaving patrols. Joseph Salter of Halifax purchased her at auction in Sierra Leone on Jan. 20, 1840 as he needed a vessel for a contract to carry army recruits from Sierra Leone to the West Indies. He renamed her in honour of Thomas Haliburton's famous fictional clockmaker character, Sam Slick. The brigantine sailed with Salter and the troops from Sierra Leone on Feb. 19. He arrived in Demerara (British Guiana) with the troops on March 25 after an eventful voyage. Salter sold the brigantine to the mayor of Georgetown, Demerara on April 15 and returned to Halifax. His brief ownership of this ex slave ship earned him a handsome profit and cleared his debts from other less fortunate ventures. He later wrote, "Everything went well with me from beginning to end. Whatever I touched connected to her turned into profit and altogether it was the most interesting voyage and operation I ever made." from The Diary of a Maritimer 1816-1901 The Life and Times of Joseph Salter; International Maritime Economic Association, St. John's Newfoundland, 1966, pp. 71-76.


In pencil beneath image: "1840." Printed beneath image: " If here aint the Clockmaker agin as I'm alive." Printed museum description on reverse of frame.

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Courtesy of Nova Scotia Museum

From the Watercolour World


Georgetown, Guyana