Once established in Hull, John tells us that most of the customers for his father's blacksmithing trade were American sea captains...
"from whose conversation, my father as well as myself formed the most favourable
opinon of that country, as affording an excellent field for the exertions of industry,
and a flattering prospect for the establishment of a young man in life."
There was one American in particular, Capt. John Salter of the ship Boston out of Boston, Massachusetts who had arrived in Hull and employed the services of Jewitt's shop to prepare his ship for an extended voyage to the North West coast of America.
(And here, can't help but remark on the coincidence of all these "Boston's" --
the ship, the American city and of course John R. Jewitt's hometown.)
When the Boston arrived at Hull in 1802, it was during the height of a very lucrative merchant trading industry that encompassed a vast and sophisticated network of participants including London, New England, Hawaii (then known as the Sandwich Islands), Canada, Alaska and China. The network centered largely on the thriving sea otter fur trade on the North West coast of the Americas at Nootka Sound off Vancouver Island -- exactly where Capt. Salter was headed. While at Hull he intended to load up the Boston with a cargo of what was said to be the finest and most varied assortment of trading goods at the time. These included English cloths, Dutch blankets, looking glasses, beads, knives, sugar, molasses, cutlasses, pistols, muskets and about twenty hogsheads of rum which comes out to about 1,480 gallons -- yes, to be traded to the Indians, and not to be enjoyed by the crew!
The Jewitts struck up a friendship with Capt. Salter over the summer while the work was being done on his ship, and eventually the captain -- noticing John's interest -- proposed that he join the crew and offered him a job as armourer (or blacksmith). The voyage would proceed to the North West Coast trading goods for furs and from there to China where the furs would be traded for Chinese luxury items, finally ending up in Boston, Massachusetts where Capt. Salter promised John he would help him get started in a trade or business in America. Needless to say, his father was reluctant, but excited, recognizing the immense opportunity for his son, and John's eagerness to set out on an adventure with the chance to make his fortune, Edward finally (once again) gave in to John's entreaties.
The enormity of such a journey for a nineteen-year-old young man is just amazing when you stop to think about it.... and John's father had a few solemn prophetic words for him, upon his departure:
"The ship being loaded and ready for sea, as I was preparing for my departure,
my father came to me, and taking me aside, said to me with much emotion,
John, I am now going to part with you, and heaven only knows if we shall
ever again meet. But in whatever part of the world you are, always bear it
in mind that on your own conduct will depend your success in life."
Links to Related Sites
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Rod Collins - Lincolnshire Thro' History, Life, Lens and Words
The Old Palace Lincoln - Elegant Bed and Breakfast
National Portrait Gallery - London
College of Arms
The Jewett Family of America
History and Geneaology of the Jewitts of America
Marvinas Bay Lodge
First Peoples of Canada