This delightful article points out a few issues regarding the maritime reports and ship captains
- The Boundary which was captained by John Shackford (1782-1866), son of John and Esther (Woodwell) Shackford (or mostly captained by him), had a regular route from Eastport, Maine to Boston, Mass
- We’re never exactly sure which Shackford is the Captain of a ship listed in the maritime reports with a Shackford as captain
- The author of this article may have missed some shipping announcements – we’ve found the Boundary listed as a Brig on June 6, 1845 and Nov 20, 1845 – there may be more. (Capt John would have been 63 yrs old). The last record we’ve found so far (and there may be more) was APr 27, 1847.
- We hadn’t noticed the change & along with the author of the article also wonder if the ship was rerigged or was a new ship, or was being captained by one of John’s sons.
And onto the creative article about the Boundary
“SCHOONER BOUNDARY, SHACKFORD, EASTPORT,”
For a long series of years, extending onwards from 1820, the ship news of Boston papers every few days announced the arrival or departure of a coaster as above. The line was found under the marine head with as much certainty as old Mr. Pierce, the barber, might be looked for in his 7×9 ship in Marshall’s Lane, or Major Russell at the corner of State and Congress Street, on Wednesday and Saturday forenoons (publication days of the Centinel) dressed in best attire; broad, well plaited ruffle, powdered hair, cane under his arm, and snuff box full of the yellow, wide open to the fingers of those who always gathered about the Major as soon as he howe in sight at the corner of State and Congress sts. “Schooner Boundary, Shackford, Eastport:” – the compositors upon the daily papers doubtless set that line more times than any under the marie head; and if they never had any inclination to know something of Mr. Shackford, who was so closely adhering to the same line of operation-remaining fast by the schooner, and sailing all the while back and forth between Eastport and Boston; constituting no greater variety in his life than that of the Vicar of Wakefield, in changing from the blue bed to the brown-wh, they were not very inquisitive fellows, that’s all.
But, for several immediately preceding years, we have not found the schooner nor her skipper announced. Perhaps, though we, Mr. Shackford has charge of a larger craft, and is sailing over wider seas; or, perhaps, gone to the bottom, or taken to agriculture, or has died in his bed. Last week, however, we met the familiar line again, with a slight variation. It is now “Brig Boundary, Shackford, Eastport:” whether the schooner, rigged as a brig, or a new brig and the same old master, or a son of old Mr. Shackford, or some other Shackford, we don’t know, and probably
never shall. Be that as it may, the old familiar line has got into the ship news.
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“For Eastport, Saturday.,” The Boston (Massachusetts) Daily Atlas, 20 November 1845; digital images, Godfrey Memorial (http://godfrey.org : accessed 10 June 2014).
Kilby William Henry, Eastport and Passamaquoddy: A Collection of Historical and Background Sketches (Eastport, Maine: Edward E Shead & Company, 1888), page 157, 447-448; digital images,, Chapter, XIV. CAPTAIN JOHN SHACKFORD AND FAMILY. By Samuel Shackford, of Chicago, Ill., Google eBooks (http://books.google.com : accessed 13 June 2014.
“MARINE LIST – PORT OF BALTIMORE. MEMORANDA.,” American Republican and Baltimore daily clipper (Baltimore, Maryland), 6 June 1845; digital images, Library of Congress Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ : accessed 25 July 2014).
“Schooner Boundary, Shackford, Eastport,” New Hampshire Statesman and State Journal (Concord, New Hampshire), 2 April 1847; digital images, GaleGroup (find.galegroup.com : accessed 2 May 2017).
Copyright 2017 Joanne Shackford Parkes (sharing a link to this post is appreciated but please do not just copy this material and paste it elsewhere) Updated 5/8/2017 to reflect Eastport, Me and Boston, Mass, to add the last date we have a record of the Boundary’s travels and John’s age at that time.