The brigantine Mary Celeste sets sail for Genoa Italy from New York harbor carrying Captain Benjamin S. Briggs, his wife and two-year-old daughter and a crew of eight.
Her cargo included 1,700 barrels of pure American alcohol shipped by Meissner Ackermann & Co., valued at approximately $35,000, the purpose of which was to fortify wine. The value of the freight on the alcohol was $3,400 and the ship herself $14,000.
The vessels cargo was insured in Europe and the hull insurance was carried by American companies. The freight was insured by the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company of New York, today the only survivor of the American insurers.
Brig Mary Celeste
Off Staten Island, Nov. 7th 1872
Dear Mother Briggs,
Probably you will be a little surprised to receive a letter with this date, but instead of proceeding to sea when we came out Tuesday morning, we anchored about a mile or so from the city, as it was strong head wind , and B. said it looked so thick & nasty ahead we shouldn't gain much if we were beating & banging about. Accordingly we took a fresh departure this morning with wind obliged to anchor. Have kept a sharp look-out for Oliver, but so far have seen nothing of him. It was rather trying to lay in sight of the city for so long & think that most likely we had letters waiting for us there, and be unable to get them. However, we hope no great change has occurred since we did hear and shall look for a goodly supply when we reach G.
Sophy thinks the figure 3 & the letter G. on her blocks is the same thing so I saw her whispering to herself yesterday with the 3 block in her hand -- Gam-gam-gamma. Benj. thinks we have got a pretty peaceable set this time all around if they continue as they have begun. Can't tell yet how smart they are. B. reports a good breeze now, says we are going along nicely.
I should like to be present at Mr. Kingsbury's ordination next week. Hope the people will be united in him, and wish we might hear of Mrs. K's improved health on arrival. Tell Arthur I make great dependence on the letter I shall get from him, and will try to remember anything that happens on the voyage which he would be pleased to hear.
We had some baked apples (sour) the other night about the size of a new-born infant's head. They tasted extremely well.
Please give our love to Mother & the girls, Aunt Hannah, Arthur and other friends, reserving a share for yourself.
As I have nothing more to say I will follow A. Ward's advice and say it at once.