capecodhistory home page
revised February 2006
Book forewords and introductions by Joseph C. Lincoln
Brewster Ship Masters, 1906
Bab Haskins in Southern Seas, 1922
Eight Bells, 1927
Back Home and Folks Back Home, 1935
About Cape Cod, 1936
A Cape Cod Sketch Book, 1939
Ships and Water, 1938
Brewster Ship Masters link
by J. Henry Sears.
With Foreword By Joseph C. Lincoln, Author of " Cape Cod Ballads," "Cap'n Eri."
Together with a Chapter in Reminiscence By Joseph H. Sears.
Yarmouthport, Mass.: C.W. Swift, Publisher. 1906. pages v-ix
BEFORE noon of a day in October, 1849, Henry David Thoreau, author and nature-lover, quitted the Cape Cod train at what was at that time the railroad terminus at Sandwich and took "that almost obsolete conveyance, the stage, for ' as far as it went that day,' as we told the driver." "As far as it went that day," was, as a matter of fact, as far as the down-the-Cape stage from Sandwich went on any other day, and that was as far as the Higgins tavern in Orleans. It is probable that the driver was Mr. Higgins himself and, if so, that he wore his carefully brushed silk hat and passed it about among his passengers as a depository for their fares. That this was Mr. Higgins's regular custom, the writer believes, because his grandmother used to tell him so, just as she told him the story of Moses in the bulrushes, and of the wonderful sagacity of Capt. Barney Paine's little schooner, the Boston packet, which, being lost in the bay during a violent storm and with a broken compass, stranded on the flats directly opposite skipper's home in Brewster, thus proving that "she knew her way home all by herself."
By sport of bitter weather
We're walty, strained and scarred
From the kentledge on the kelson
To the slings upon the yard.
Six oceans had their will of us
To carry all away —
Our galley's in the Baltic,
And our boom 's in Mossel bay !
—Kipling, " The Merchantmen."
At any rate, Mr. Thoreau, as passenger in the stage, was driven that day through Barnstable, Yarmouth and Dennis, until "late in the afternoon we rode through Brewster, so named after Elder Brewster, for fear he would be forgotten else. * * * This appeared to be the modern-built town of the Cape, the favorite residence of retired sea captains. It is said that 'there are more masters and mates of vessels which sail on foreign voyages belonging to this place than to any other town in the country.'"
Thoreau did not like Brewster, principally, it appears, because of the prevalence of "modern American houses" and the evidences of thrift and prosperity. He did not alight there, but went on to spend the night at the Higgins tavern in the next town. Therefore, Brewster missed the opportunity of figuring prominently in the Thoreau book, "Cape Cod," and that book, so we of Brewster heritage believe, lacks just so much of deep sea flavor and local color. There was more of Cape Cod than the odd characters, the poverty-grass and the sand dunes, that the hermit of Lake Walden found in '49, and more than the magnificent beaches and inspiring ocean views, which attract the summer resident today.
And Brewster, before and after Thoreau's transitory visit, was "the modern-built town of the Cape." Its streets were shaded with fine old trees, its houses were large and substantial and the men who built and owned them were large and substantial, too. They made their fortunes—fortunes that were the beginnings of bigger ones for their descendants in Boston, New York and many another city—by sailing over pretty nearly all the wet places on the earth's surface and bargaining and risking and daring, with Yankee shrewdness and Yankee bravery.
Sea captains ? Why, there were none but sea captains, or the wives and children of sea captains, in Brewster of old. When the writer was a Brewster boy, in the 70's, the American merchant marine was on the wane, but even then it was practically certain and safe to hail an adult Brewster citizen by the title, "Cap'n." Cap'n Snow kept the village grocery, Cap'n Foster was chairman of selectmen, Cap'n Baker endowed the library, Cap'n Nickerson's donation repaired and painted the meeting-house, and of that meetinghouse, deacons and pew holders, sexton and choir-leader,— indeed, every male but the minister himself, was captain.
In the 40's and 50's the young man born in Brewster, who did not go to sea as soon as his schooling was complete, was a shiftless no-account, unfit to associate with the aristocracy. His comrades shipped as cabin-boys, under Brewster captains of their fathers' acquaintance and with Brewster mates and many Brewster members of the crew, studied navigation, and, at ages ranging from twenty-one to twenty-five, became captains themselves. Later they intended to become ship-owners, with offices in Boston or New York and with property afloat on every sea. Some day they were to come back to Brewster, build fine houses and settle down at ease, while their own sons took up the work.
In the old Brewster houses were ivory carvings and Japanese silk hangings, sandal-wood boxes and alabaster images of the Coliseum and the Leaning Tower at Pisa. On each side of the grand, unused front doors were mammoth seashells of curious shapes. In the closets, usually, were boxes of other shells picked up on tropic beaches or purchased in the bazaars of Calcutta or Mauritius. The children of the household had these shells for playthings. The " box of shells " still lingers in many a gray-haired youngster's memory.
The stories by the fire, the gossip at the postoffice or at the breakfast table, were all of the sea — salty. Nearly every family had at least one member afloat and letters came at ntervals with queer foreign stamps, and news months old, to be read and discussed over and over again. Captains and their wives left town to be gone for years, or came home to be welcomed and made much of. Women and children saw husbands and fathers only at long intervals and waited for news of their arrival in far-off ports. Sometimes they waited, and when the news came it was in the form of a letter from a mate or a steward and told of a death and burial at sea. Sometimes they waited—waited—and no news came, no news of ship, nor officers, nor crew. Many a stone in the Brewster cemetery has "lost at sea" carven on it and the mystery of that loss will always be a mystery.
And now all this is changed. The merchant marine of America, the fleets of square-rigged sailing ships, are no more. The young men of Cape Cod no longer go to sea. In Brewster, only one or two of the old-time sea captains yet live. The houses are closed in winter and in the spring opened only as havens for city-weary sojourners. The Cape is becoming only a summer resort and its deep-sea flavor only a memory.
So, as a tale of a life that is ended, these records of Brewster's sea captains are of value to Cape Codders wherever they may be. They are incomplete and fragmentary, because men of action are seldom men of words and the deeds they did and the dangers they dared were, to them, only parts of the day's work. Their descendants are scattered and, in many cases, their recollections are those of children, who remember that their father went to sea during a portion, or all, of his life, that he commanded such and such a vessel — only, perhaps, one or two of the number that he did command — and that he "never talked much about it." Why should he have talked about it — to them ? Seeing them, it may be, only at intervals of from one to three years, he doubtless considered that he had other things of infinitely more importance to talk about.
But that the little town of Brewster, Massachusetts, should have sent forth so many commanders of deep-sea ships in times when there were few or no cables, and when in the hands of the captains were, of necessity, left responsibilities of both owner and shipper, is something to be proud of. Add to this the fact that in a few years there will, in all probability, be no more Cape Cod captains of sailing craft, and this collection of brief biographies, incomplete though it be, becomes distinctly worth while.JOSEPH C. LINCOLN.
New York, November 30, 1905.
Bab Haskins in Southern Seas
by Captain Charlton Lyman Smith
1922. The Cornhill Publishing Company, Boston & New York
Introduction by Joseph C. Lincoln, pages xi-xiii
It is, more's the pity, a long time since I was a boy. But in the days when I was a boy — a boy in a Cape Cod village — my grown-up masculine neighbors nearly all bore the title of "Cap'n." The great majority were captains whose seafaring was done, who, having voyaged around and across and around again the great brine-pickled spaces of the world, had come back to their native town to live the remainder of their days in the homes they loved. The minority, younger men, still commanded ships, and were at home only after long intervals and for short "shore leaves" before putting to sea again. It was the end of the clipper ship period and these captains were, although they themselves scarcely realized it at the time, practically the last of the able, plucky, adventurous race of American skippers of American square-riggers. Steam, which had driven the stage coach from the land, was driving the sailing-ship from the deep sea.
But, as a boy, I knew these captains, active or retired. I sat in the back row of chairs at the post-office when a group of them had gathered there, and listened with open ears and mouth to their yarns — yarns which began, it may be, at New Orleans or Acapulco or Havana or Surinam, and ended at Hong Kong or Bombay or Sidney or Mauritius. I heard tales of typhoons and the doldrums, of wrecks and rescues and open boats and derelicts, of castaways and ships which sailed and were never heard from, of whales and sharks and porpoise and giant squid, of mutiny on the high seas and "shanghaiing" in port. I even knew one aged mariner who, as a cabin boy scarce eleven years old, had been on board a ship taken by pirates.
I dearly loved a sea yarn then; I love one now. But, in order to suit my early cultivated and perhaps therefore over-cultivated taste, it should be told by one who has himself been at sea and knows the ropes. Captain Charlton Smith has been a sailor, a sailor on a square-rigger. When he heaves short the cable, fishes and cats the anchor, and squares yards for sea, he knows what he is doing. He will make a record voyage if he can, but he won't crack on until he runs her under. Captain Jack Mullen may pile the Rangoon on a coral reef, but it is a safe wager that Captain Charlton Smith will bring his story and his hero safe home again and with a rich cargo to pay for the trip.
So if boys of today like, as some of their fathers did, a cruise through the pages of a lively deep sea yarn, I believe they may ship aboard Captain Smith's craft with full confidence in the skipper. There may be—probably are—squalls and dirty weather ahead, breakers alee, and perhaps a "low, black, suspicious-looking bark" off the weather bow, but the captain is in charge and, never fear, he'll bring you through safely. As they used to say of certain skippers I once knew, he is "as smart a navigator as ever trod a deck plank."
Anchor's apeak! Here is wishing his book fair winds and smooth sailing The home light is dropping astern and her nose is pointed for the South Seas. A pleasant and prosperous voyage to Captain Smith, his ship, his crew, and all his young passengers.
Joseph C. Lincoln.
Chatham, Mass., July 22, 1922.
[Capt. Smith also wrote Gus Harvey: the boy skipper of Cape Ann. 1920]
EIGHT BELLS. Sailors' Snug Harbor Yarns and Ballads link to table of contents, etc
by FRANK WATERS
with Drawings by ROBERT FAWCETT
and a Foreword by JOSEPH C. LINCOLN
New York and London: D. APPLETON & COMPANY1927. pp vii-ix
"Sailors' Snug Harbor Yarns and Ballads" ring true. I did enjoy them. I have never met Captain Frank Waters, although I am hoping that, some day, that privilege may be mine. But I have met and known a great many similar men of the old "square-rigger" breed. When I was a youngster in the '70's our town was full of them. Now there are but very, very few and none growing up to take their places. Practically the last old windjammer has gone to the bottom or been broken up for junk, and almost the old shellback has vanished from the dry, as well as the wet, places of this earth.
There are, fortunately, a few of them still left, however, and of these Captain Waters is one. I wish I might make him understand how these yarns of his take me back to a certain little post-office waiting room in a seashore village. A dingy, close little room, with, in winter, an old "air-tight," wood-burning stove glowing red hot in the center of it, a wooden box full of sand placed conveniently near it, and a dozen skippers, active and home on shore leave or retired and home "for keeps," with a sprinkling of first and second masters and able seamen, sitting or standing about waiting for the mail and swapping sea talk. A good deal of their talk and yarns I, as a perfectly brought up youngster, was not supposed to hear. Now, at this safely remote age, I am willing to confess that I did hear it and to affirm that I am glad I did.
The yarns I heard then were not Sunday-school tales, many of them. They dealt with rough men afloat on rough water or ashore in the toughest sections of far-away outlandish ports. But, rough or decorous, they had a flavor, a tarry, briny smack which was all their own. The old sea dogs who told them were relating first-hand experiences or were exchanging professional jokes current in their trade. I found one or two old favorites in this collection. I had heard before how Ben Breeze came to be called "Gaff Tops'l Ben." So when I read Captain Waters' version of the incident I laughed again with an old acquaintance, one whom I had almost forgotten.
As I understand it, the Captain's manuscript comes to the reader just as it was written. It has not been over-edited, nor carefully repunctuated, nor have its capital letters been picked out and re-sorted. This will, I think, be one of its greatest attractions to one who, like myself, loves to remember the deep sea life as it used really to be. You are to consider, I take it, that Captain Waters is sitting beside you at the Snug Harbor, spinning his yarns and singing his songs. If you expect to read a smooth, grammatical literary effort you are going to be disappointed. The majority of "square-rig" seamen of my acquaintance were neither over precise in grammar nor in the least literary.
With that understanding, knowing what is before you and, of course, liking the sea and the sea folk, you will have a good time. You will enjoy reading of Paddy Mullins and his friend the elephant; of Sir Ramagee Fram-agee—that name alone is worth the price of admission—and his garden fork; of Clam Quinn and Copper Lined Jake, and all the rest. And you will end by wishing, as I do, that it may be a long, long time before Captain Frank joins his former messmates on Monkey Hill.
Joseph C. Lincoln.
By EUGENE WOOD
Foreword by Joseph C. Lincoln
A Personal Note by Peggy Wood
Garden City, New York
DOUBLEDAY, DORAN & COMPANY, Inc.
I do not remember the exact date, except that it must have been some time in 1901, and the place the editorial offices of Ainslee's Magazine in New York City. Richard Duffy and Gilman Hall were the editors of Ainslee's and I had just succeeded in selling them a short story which, as it was the second story of mine to be accepted by a magazine, was a very important event. Hall and Duffy invited me to lunch with them—another important event— and, on our return to the office, we found there a bearded, keen-eyed man wearing spectacles, to whom I was introduced. His name, so I was informed, was Eugene Wood.
I had been reading Ainslee's—as I had read most of the popular magazines, with one eye toward its possibilities as a market for my wares—and I recognized the name as that of a regular contributor. There was, at that time, a story by Eugene Wood in Ainslee's almost every other month. I liked the stories immensely. The characters in them were the kind of people I knew, the kind I had been brought up among as a boy, country people, small-town people, everyday men and women doing the commonplace things of life, but, in the Eugene Wood stories, doing them in an interesting way. They made you laugh with them far oftener than at them and you sympathized with them in their troubles because the writer made you feel that he, too, was sympathetic. And always there were the little human touches, little good-natured sidelights on the petty trials of humanity which, while they provoked a chuckle, caused the reader to sit back in his chair and reflect: "By George, that's exactly true! We had the same experience with our own furnace, or our neighbor's dog," or whatever it was.
I liked the stories and, at that first meeting, I liked their author, could not help liking him. And, as we met often after that, I liked him better and better. He was, as I have said, a regular contributor and I merely a greenhorn trying to break in, but he never patronized or condescended, apparently he did not know how.
I had known him several months before I made a surprising discovery. There was another contributor to Ainslee's whose work I admired and chuckled over, a man named Harvey Sutherland.
Harvey Sutherland did not write stories, he wrote special articles and in practically every number of the magazine one of those articles appeared. They dealt with all sorts of subjects, bugs and spiders and cats and dogs and pie and the Fourth of July and—well, almost anything and everything. And they were written with the same humor and insight and kindly tolerance and sympathy that attracted me to the Wood tales. Although I was now a frequent visitor to the editorial offices I had never met Harvey Sutherland. And I wanted to meet him very much.
And then—I think it was Gilman Hall who divulged the secret—I learned that Harvey Sutherland was simply a pen name for Eugene Wood. Gene wrote the special articles as well as the stories. Writing under his own name as well as the nom de plume. Eugene Wood might publish a story and Sutherland an article in the same number of the same magazine. Which helped Mr. Wood and Mr. Sutherland financially and the magazine's popularity in every way.
There was an interesting group of contributors to Ainslee's at that time. O. Henry—it was a long time before I learned that his real name was Sidney Porter—was one, and Brand Whit-lock was another. Whitlock I did not meet until years later, his stories were sent in from Ohio, but O. Henry and Wood and Duffy and Hall and I lunched together frequently. Afterward, when the editorial offices moved uptown, we lunched every Tuesday at the old Westminster Hotel near Union Square—"The Abbey," O. Henry always called it. It was there that the "Tuesday Noon Lunch Club" was formed. Afterward it merged with the Dutch Treat Club.
At those luncheons Eugene Wood was always present. He was one of the most entertaining talkers I ever knew. Always with a hobby, politics, literature, construction of the English language, music—he was very much interested in music and well informed concerning it—he was always loaded with a new enthusiasm and ready to fire. Always good-natured and witty, he could take as well as give. If you differed with him so much the better; the argument was what he enjoyed and the rest of us enjoyed it with him.
Later on he was "discovered" by S. S. McClure and it was in McClure's magazine, then in its heyday, that many of the articles published in his book "Back Home" first appeared. If you have not read those articles I envy you the opportunity this volume affords. If you have "run to a fire" in a small town, if you have helped celebrate at a Firemen's Tournament or leaned over the fence to watch the races at a County Fair or attended Sabbath School in the little church at the corner or watched the seasons come and go in the village "back home" you are going to find yourself a boy or girl again when you read those word pictures. All the little details you have forgotten will be brought back and you will laugh—yes, and, it may be, cry a little as you read. But you will have a wonderful time. I envy you, I do indeed.
But there is one particular in which I ask you to envy me. To read Eugene Wood's stories or "special articles" is a joy, but to have heard him read them is a memory to look back upon and gloat over. I had that experience several times. On one occasion I heard him read "The Devouring Element" to an audience of five hundred. The reading was but a part of a rather long programme—an "Authors' Evening" for the benefit of some charity or other—and Gene's contribution came well along in the latter half of it. "The Devouring Element" is, as you will notice, an article of at least four thousand words and he did not omit a single paragraph. And that audience did not stir or shuffle or shift from beginning to end. They listened and laughed and applauded and when he ended, they cheered him for minutes.
When "Line," out of breath, galloped down the street yelling "Fire! Whooh-ha, whooh-ha! FIRE!" we all galloped and panted with him. We shared his chagrin when he admitted that he had "forgot to telefoam." And when the harassed matron bade her small son "Stop your whining," the lady in the front row exclaimed audibly: "There! Isn't that just right!"
It was just right, of course. Eugene Wood acted his characters as well as he wrote them. His ability as an actor helps to explain why the daughter of whom he was so proud is now oneof the stars of the American stage and screen. He knew what he was writing about, he lived it as he wrote it and that is why the people and happenings of whom he wrote are real.
Joseph C. Lincoln.
foreword to About Cape Cod
1936 by Stanley Kelley
Thomas Todd Company. Boston, Mass.
THE PURPOSEWE Cape Codders are proud of our Cape. We think we have reason to be proud of it. We call attention to its history, its traditions, its people, its miles of picturesque shore line, its hundreds of little ponds and lakes, its pine and oak groves, its trim, well-kept towns and villages. We talk of it, we sometimes boast of it. If we are genuine Cape Codders, either by birth or heritage or adoption, we never cease to love it. When we are called away from it for a time we are eager to return.
Joseph C. Lincoln
In the earlier days it was the home of deep sea mariners. Stately ships, officered and manned by Cape Codders, sailed the waters of the world. Aboard the whalers of the Arctic and Antarctic, the tea clippers of the Pacific, the merchantmen of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, were captains and mates and seamen who called the Cape their home and carried its memories with them wherever they went. As they prospered they built their dwellings here and, when they retired from the sea, came back to spend their remaining years in the locality they loved best, among their own people.
In those days the Cape sent out its fishing fleets. To and from the Georges and Newfoundland Banks plied those Cape Cod schooners and they made money for their owners and those among their skippers and crews who owned shares in them. There was a time when practically every town from Provincetown to Falmouth sent out its fishing fleet.
Those days are over. The square-rigger spreads its sails no more and the fishing business of New England is almost entirely in the hands of Boston and Gloucester companies. The few deep-sea captains still remaining on the Cape are now old men, long since retired from active work. Cape Cod, as a whole, no longer depends almost exclusively upon the sea and seafaring for its livelihood.
In other respects the Cape has changed greatly. The rutted, country roads our fathers and mothers and grandparents traveled in their buggies and carryalls are now wide, smooth, surfaced boulevards upon which motor cars move easily and rapidly. Our long stretches of beach are, in the summer season, dotted with bathers and our bays and coves and inlets are sprinkled with pleasure craft. The homes built by the old captains are now, many of them, owned and occupied by people whose winter homes are in Boston and New York and Chicago, and some of them, as far away as San Francisco or New Orleans. Some of these summer residents are descendants of the old sea captains. Others, perhaps the majority, are those whose first visit to the Cape was made casually, but who returned again and again, learned to love the place and its people, and then decided that it was here they wished to live, with their families, for at least a half of each year.
These summer residents are now as good Cape Codders as the rest of us. They are as proud of the Cape as are those who make it their year-round home and are as anxious as the latter to save and keep the old individual Cape Cod flavor. Thanks to the combined effort of both that flavor has so far been saved and kept.
Cape Cod has changed but it is still our Cape.
As I understand it, the purpose of this book is to make plain to those to whom Cape Cod is but a name, something of what it really is; to show a little of what it used to be, but, in addition, to make plain the fact that it is still a beautiful, quaintly picturesque and individually appealing bit of old New England, and particularly to emphasize the determination of those who love it and who live upon it, either the entire year or for a few months of each year, that it shall remain so. It has not been spoiled and it must not be.
Cape Codders welcome the visitor. They hope he will come here, will like the spot and like them. They hope the visit will be repeated and that, in the end, he will remain permanently or at least semi-permanently as an adopted Cape Codder. The Cape invites those who are the Cape Cod kind, those who like simplicity and charm of sea and shore, of wood and moorland, those who enjoy healthy, outdoor sport and the opportunity to fish and swim and play, those who abhor noise and jazz and show and racket. To such this greeting is sincere and this welcome hearty. If such a visitor is a good neighbor he will find himself among good neighbors.
Yes, our Cape Cod is still a place for the good citizen and it must continue to be just that.
A Cape Cod Sketch Book
1939, by Jack Frost
New York: Coward-McCann Inc.
There have been many "picture books" of
Cape Cod, some photographic, some, like this one, products of the artist's brain and pencil. During the past ten years a number of such books have been published. This one is, it seems to me—and will so seem, I am sure, to all Cape Codders, native or imported, and to those contemplating a visit to the Cape—one of the most attractive and interesting.
Mr. Frost's work is well known, especially to New Englanders. He is—or, at any rate, was —a newspaper artist. His clever sketches of
New Englandplaces and people have appeared in the dailies, to be later grouped and reprinted in books like this one. Boston
To those who know and love the Cape Mr. Frost's gift of selection is certain to appeal. He is not satisfied to portray merely the obvious, to put on paper the bits of scenery or sections of roads and villages which the average tourist glimpses as he whizzes along our main highways in the summer months. Some of those he shows us, of course, but for the most part he takes us into the byways, the back yards, the quiet corners, the out of the way nooks which the whizzing majority do not see and of which most are not aware.
He shows a beautiful village street—yes. And it is a main street and thousands of cars pass along it in the summer season. But it is one of the loveliest main streets on the
Capeand can never be pictured too often. He shows us this, but he also shows us a dozen or more lovely old shingled story-and-a-half homes which are not on any main street. He shows the site of the first cranberry bog in , forerunner of so many, where Barnstable County Cape Cod's greatest industry had its beginning.
He shows us the Barnstable Court House, and every motorist traveling the North Shore road passes it; but, on other pages, we find ourselves looking at a half buried wreck on the outer beach, at a Provincetown wharf and fishing boats, at a shore colony viewed from across the marshes, at oyster shanties, at the odd house at North Truro with the ship's wheel on its front veranda, at East Harwich's famous "bird carver" in his workshop. The average tourist misses most of those.
His notes, which accompany the drawings, are intriguing. For example: How many of us knew that the cannon in front of the Court House were brought by ox team from Boston to furnish defense against raiding British frigates in the War of 1812? Or that Captain Baxter, who built the "Octagonal House" in
, made a record trip—record for a schooner, that is— when he commanded the American Belle and carried food to the starving Irish people at the time of the famine in 1847? Or that the old water power mill in West Brewster is on the site of the first woolen mill in Hyannis ? America
I am intimately acquainted with one born and bred
who knew none of these things until Mr. Frost told him about them in this book. The said Cape Codder might feel more ashamed of his ignorance, and certainly more lonely, if it were not for his strong suspicion that hundreds and hundreds of other "Capers" shared it with him. Cape Codder
Well, they need be ignorant no longer. Mr. Frost has been enterprising enough to look these matters up for us: which is highly satisfactory and ever so much less trouble than getting the in-formation at first hand.
Taken "by and large," as our seafaring ancestors used to say, I think this is an extremely good
Cape Cod"picture book."
Joseph C. Lincoln.
, Chatham, Mass.
Ships and Water
1938, compiled and edited by Alfred A. Dé Lardi, FRPS, arranged by Heyworth Campbell
Philadelphia: David McKay Company
"His sea, in no showing the same, His sea, and the same 'neath all showing."
I THINK I never heard a person say that he or she "liked" the sea, although I have heard a few benighted outcasts say that they did not like it. "Like" is a tame, tepid word, after all. There is tolerance in it and the expression of a favorable inclination, perhaps, but very little real affection. To tolerate the sea is ridiculous and to be merely favorably inclined toward it impertinent. You cannot merely "like" the sea, but you can love it. Oh yes, you can do that.
And if you love it, you love it devotedly, wholeheartedly, always. You are the happiest when you are near it or on it. While you are away from it you are uneasy until you return. You love it in its every mood. You love the soft glow of a sunrise on a calm morning in summer, with the shifting bands of light green in the shallows, and the darker green where the water deepens. You love the rich blue and flashing white of a windy northwest day; or the purple and silver glory of a moonlit night; the majestic rush and heave and crash and thunder of a surf in a storm; or the gray veil of a fog. You love the wonder of it and the mystery of it; you love the smell of it and the taste of its salt on your lips.
And if you are a lover of the sea you love also the ships and men who sail upon it. You thrill to the romance of the old-time clipper ships. A tall sea yarn to you is always a joy. And every craft afloat, the great liner, the salt crusted, rusty tramp, the coasting schooner, the little "fore and after," even the battered, odoriferous fishing sloop, is your friend now and forever.
And that is why—or so it seems to me—this book of "Ships and Water" will be welcomed and cherished by every sea lover. It is, so the publishers tell me, the first attempt photographically to portray the many faceted phases of the great waters and the life thereon. The material comes from all over the world. It is authentic and it is beautiful. Of course the blood in my veins is heavily salted; generations of
Cape Coddeep sea mariners have handed their heritage down to me. I may be somewhat prejudiced on that account, but I honestly do not believe I am. I think "Ships and Water" is a lovely and intriguing thing—a treasure to get and to keep—and I feel sure that a great many will agree with me.
Joseph C. Lincoln
, CAPE COD MAY 28, 1938