Do you recognise this young man?
Please don't leave this page
without reading the story -
you may be the key to the puzzle of James S Day.
|James S Day - photographed on 28 April 1859 at the studio of Rufus Anson, New York, USA||The inscription inside the photograph case indicting some of his travels|
The daguerreotype photograph at left above, was taken at the studio of Rufus Anson, 598 Broadway New York on 28th April 1859. The subject of the photo is James S Day. From the photograph on the right above, we can see the inscription placed inside the case by young James, where he records some of his movements during a three year period. Over a period of 140 years, it found its way into a children's museum in Kew Gardens, Queens. A passer-by found it and purchased it for his brother, a photography buff. It was a rare find - there are not many daguerreotypes floating around out there anymore.
Did you or someone related to you own that museum? Or did you or someone related to you donate or sell some old photographs to that museum? If so, we would like to hear from you.When the new owner opened the case, he discovered the inscription inside which reads:-
I landed in Dublin
So who is James S. Day?
On reading the inscription his curiosity was spiked into action. He wanted to know who this J.S. Day was and where he came from. Armed only with the dates and locations inscribed inside the case, we set about identifying him. The following are the known facts which are provable through existing records:-
About James S. Day
April 28, 1859 has his photograph taken in New York at Anson's studio on Broadway.
May 5, 1859 sailed for Melbourne - a trip of 97 days.
He arrived in Melbourne on August 10, 1859 aboard the ship "Continent".
The passenger list for this arrival shows him to be 13 years of age, an American, and that he occupied a cabin during the voyage.
March 23, 1860 he is in Liverpool, England
March 31, 1860 he is in Dublin, Ireland
July 17, 1861 he is again in Melbourne, and is still aboard the same ship.
About the 1859 voyage to Melbourne
May 5, 1859 the "Continent" left New York, bound for Australia
July 21, 1859 at lat. 43.40S long. 77.10E the "Continent" speaks with the barque "Henbury" out of Liverpool bound for New Zealand. These coordinates indicate that the "Continent" is likely to have sailed from New York to a British port, then via Cape of Good Hope to Melbourne.
August 10, 1859 arrived in Melbourne.
There were 42 names on the passenger list for this arrival. There are no other people with the surname Day aboard.
The ship also carried a quantity of goods including tobacco, scales and copying presses among other things.
The Australian agents for the 1859 arrival were Wilkinson Brothers & Co.
About the ship
The "Continent" has been identified as a fully rigged 'Down Easter'
Built in 1850 at Bath, Maine by Trufant, Drummond & Co.
Dimensions at building were 1008 tons burthen, 169.5 feet long, 36 feet beam and 18 feet depth.
In 1859, her burthen weight is given as being 1032 tons.
She made four voyages to Australia - 1857, 1859, 1861 and 1862.
Her master during the 1857, 1859 and 1861 voyages was Captain John L. Gibbs of New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Her owners at building were Drummond & Tapscott.
Her owners in 1859 were W. Tapscott & Co. of New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Yes, but who IS James S. Day?
That is the $64 question - we don't know.
Do you know who James S. Day is? If so, we would like to hear from you.
If the passenger list of 1859 is to be believed, and there is no reason why it shouldn't be, then the lad in the photograph, who by his own hand states that he was in New York in May 1859 and that he took 97 days to get to Melbourne, then James S. Day was, indeed, a 13 year old seaman aboard the ship "Continent". This gives us at least a clue to his birth date.
By calculation, we have deduced that he must have been born between November 1845 and May 1847, but we have no positive idea where, other than America. A search of the IGI turned up several James Day's, but only one which fits into the right time frame to make him 13 in August of 1859.
The James S. Day whose birth date matches closest to that calculated for this young man, was born in Montague, Franklin County, Massachusetts on 31 October 1846, the son of Joseph Day and Hannah A. Shepard. That James S. Day enlisted at Springfield, Massachusetts in September 1863, and mustered out with 'G' Company, 2nd Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery on 7 December 1863. He was captured by rebel forces at the Battle of Plymouth, NC on 20 April 1864 and taken to Andersonville Prison in Georgia. According to records which are available, there is no record of that particular James S. Day past his transfer from Andersonville to Florence, SC. The only other clue is that there is a cemetery marker in the Locust Hill Cemetery in Montague, Massachusetts which lists his name and says "Died in Andersonville" - but he is not buried there.
Are these two young men one and the same? That these two young men are one and the same is purely conjecture. We cannot prove anything further than what we have here.
Did James S. Day who was born in Montague, Massachusetts spend several years of his young life at sea aboard the "Continent", returning to enlist with his brothers and comrades in the Union Army, only to die an ignominious death in a Confederate Prison camp.
If you recognise the young man in the photograph, or perhaps he resembles someone in your DAY family, we would love to hear from you. We would like know who James S. Day was and what he did with his life.Contact Details
|Julie Stokes||Bill Jacobs|
Record Sources & Researchers who helped us trace James S. Day
Original photograph owned by Bill Jacobs, New York, USA
Immigration Records, PRO, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
"The Argus", Melbourne, 11 August 1859
Merchant Sail, Archibald Fairburn, 1940
"Queens of the Western Ocean: A history of American mail and passenger liners", Carl C. Cutler
Family history records of Lynn Sylvester, Georgia, USA
"Ships, Saints & Mariners - Maritime Encyclopaedia of Mormon Migration 1830-1890 " Conway B. Sonne, Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press
Sue Swiggum, "The Ship's List" web-site and mailing list.
Rev. Albert Ledoux, Emmitsburg for his knowledge on subjects relating to Florence.
Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Frederick H. Dyer
LDS Family History Center, Marion - use of IGI records
Wendy Schnur, G.W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Peter McCracken, Librarian, Odegaaard Undergraduate Library, Seattle, Washington
Noel & David Robertson
Gilbert Provost, Don Hazeldene & Ted Finch
Frances Prentice, Australian National Maritime Museum
Nathan Lipfert, Maine Maritime Museum, Bath, Maine
Keith Vincent, 11th New York Light Artillery
and anyone else that I have forgotten...............Thank you all