Barque 'Southern Belle'
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia


One typical Yarmouth vessel was the barque 'Southern Belle' of 587 tons, built at Church Point, Digby County, Nova Scotia in 1871. A list of her voyages, cargoes if known, and general information taken from 'charter parties' (the business agreement to carry a cargo from one port to another) follows:

-Tusket, Yarmouth County, to Quebec
-Quebec to Dublin with Deals (wood)
-Ardrossan, Scotland to Philadelphia with 782 tons pig iron
-Philadelphia to Marseilles
-Marseilles to Leghorn
-Leghorn to Philadelphia (possibly with marble)
-Philadelphia to Konigsberg (now Kaliningrad)
-Sundswall, Sweden to Bristol (probably with wood)
-Bristol to New York
-New York to Rotterdam
-Rotterdam to Helvoet (Holland)
-Helvoet to Quebec and Montreal (end of 1873)
-Montreal to Newport (Wales)
-Newport to St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) then to Caibarien (Cuba)
-Cuba to New York (probably with sugar)
-New York to Amsterdam (with grain)
-Amsterdam to Sydney (Nova Scotia) then to Chatham (New Brunswick)
-Chatham to Newport (Wales) (with pit props)
-Newport to Santiago (Cuba)
-Cienfuegos (Cuba) to Greenock (probably with sugar)


Barque 'A. & J. Fulton' in the Firth of Clyde
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia


-Greenock to New York
-New York to Ipswich (England) (end of 1875)
-Newcastle, Havana, New York, Genoa and Leghorn and New York (end of 1876)
-1877 - Italian trade calling at Naples, Leghorn, Philadelphia, and Genoa.
-Baltimore to Londonderry (probably with case oil) - two trips
Baltimore to Limerick

-1879 voyages were to Galway and La Rochelle with Baltimore being the American port of call.

-1880 the winter crossing of the Atlantic westward ended at Norfolk. There followed passages to Hamburg, New York, Dublin and, once more, Baltimore.

-1881, another trip to Limerick, back to Baltimore then to Granville, France, returning via New York to Baltimore.

   It is at this point which the documents of the Yarmouth County Archives become useful.


Grain Charter
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia


The first of these documents is a 'Grain Charter for a Direct Port' printed on the letterhead of E.D. Bigelow & Co., Ship Brokers, of 66 South Gay St., Baltimore and dated 10th August 1881. 'Southern Belle' is listed at 606 tons burthen, a figure slightly different to the 587 tons given in the Yarmouth registry and in most subsequent charter parties. She is classed at 'A 1 1/4 Record' and guaranteed a cargo of '3500 quarters, 10% more or less' - a quarter being 480 pounds or a quarter ton. This cargo to be delivered 'to a safe port on the Continent between Bordeaux and Antwerp both included but excluding Rouen, Dunkirk and Calais.' The cargo was to be 'corn and/or wheat in bulk. Master has privilege of taking part cargo in ships bags.' The freight for this to be Four shillings and Nine pence per quarter. Thirteen pounds sterling was to be the daily payment for lay days. Bigelow charged a 5% commission for his services.


Barque 'George B. Doane' entering Havre, France
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia


-Baltimore to Bordeaux and returned to New York and Baltimore.
   On January 28th, 1882 while the vessel was loading at Baltimore for Havana, James E. Ward & Co. of 113 Wall St., New York was arranging a charter for the vessel to load sugar and molasses in 'Havana or with privilege of a second port on the North side of Cuba, to a port in the United States, north of Cape Hatteras' rates to be for sugar $4.00 per hogshead (36 inch head), $4.25 per hogshead (38 inch head) and $2.75 per one hundred and ten gallons of molasses. The document gave the charterers the 'privilege of sending the vessel to Delaware breakwater for orders to discharge at Philadelphia or New York, 48 hours being allowed there for orders, by paying twenty-five cents per hhd. Sugar and Twelf (sic) and one half cents per 110 gallons Molasses additional.' 'Sixty gold dollars per day to be the demurrage paid for lay days over and above the 20 days allowed.'


Naptha charter (page 1)
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia


Naptha charter (page 2)
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia


'Southern Belle' loaded sugar at Sagua, Cuba and delivered his cargo to New York where Capt. Fraser resumed command for trips to Antwerp, Philadelphia, Antwerp and again Philadelphia and back to Antwerp. The charter party for the last voyage of the year was a petroleum charter from the firm of S.D. Adams & Co., Shipping & Commission Merchants of Philadelphia. It was for a cargo of 'naptha petroleum' not to exceed 3500 round barrels…(at the rate of)…Four Shillings, one and half Pence, British Sterling, all with 5 per ct. primage per forty gallons, gross American gauge, all payable in cash, on right delivery, at the current short sight rate of Exchange on London without discount or allowance on each and every barrel whether delivered full, part full or empty.
   The return trip to Philadelphia in the winter of 1883 gave rough weather which yielded a broken jibboom and lost spars on the passage.


Brigantine 'Mary E. Ladd' entering Naples, Italy
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia


The next charter party indicated that the 'Southern Belle' would carry approximately twelve thousand bushels of wheat, twenty thousand Ex(tra?) Heavy Pipe Staves and enough Ex(tra?) Heavy Barrel Staves to complete the cargo to Oporto, Portugal. Rates for this cargo to be 'eighteen cents gold per bushel of 60 lbs intake weight', fifty dollars per mille of twelve hundred pieces of pipe staves and thirty-five dollars per mille of barrel staves. (Why a mille of staves was 1200 pieces is not known.)
   In addition to freight charges the charter party indicates a 5% primage payable in cash 'in Reis at the rate of 920 Reis to the Gold Dollar'. (Primage was a small fee paid to the master for his good care of the cargo.)


Ship 'N.B. Lewis' at Cape Town, South Africa
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia