Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Charles W. Morgan
in Mystic, Connecticutt

The Charles W. Morgan has survived to this day as one of the best examples of the wooden whaling ships that traveled from New Bedford, Massachusetts to the waters of the Pacific in search of whale blubber which was converted into oil right on her decks in huge try-pots.  Underneath were the cramped quarters of the crew, who lived on the ship for years at a time.

The Charles W. Morgan first set sail in 1841 and lasted till 1921.  Guam was often visited by these whaling ships, and Chamorro names, and Chamorro-sounding names, appear on the crew lists of the Morgan.  Mind you, it isn't very easy to pick out the Chamorros from the crew list.  Many Chamorros have Spanish surnames, so we can't be sure if Joe Castro, for example, is Chamorro, Portuguese, Spanish or Latin American.  Americans often gave the Chamorro an English name (like John) or nickname (like Joe or Pete).  People were also very informal about accuracy; the names listed may not be complete or spelled right.

But in 1886, there is a Juan Quitugua on board.  That is definitely a Chamorro name.

In 1888 : John Sablan and Jose Taitano.  For all we know, Jose Taitano could be Jose Mendiola Taitano, the founder of the Kueto clan and one of Guam's first Protestants.

In 1889 : Ignacio Sablan and a man named John Saipan.  You see, names were often nicknames.

In 1891, there's a Enos Chaco.  "Enos" could be "Inas," the Chamorro nickname for Ignacio.  There's also Felix Sablan and Joseph Sablan.  Also one Joaquin Quinata.  There's an Enos de la Cruz, which raises the possibility he is a Chamorro, with a nickname like Enos/Inas.  There's a Vicente Guantanilla, which could be Quintanilla misspelled.  There's a Domingo Blas, Ben Castro, J. Dela Cruze, Vicente de la Cruze, Felix Martinez, Peter Peres and Jose Santos.  Never mind the misspelling, they're really Cruz and Perez.  But are they Chamorro?  Very likely, but we can't be sure.

On the same crew, there's Manuel Rose and Vicente Rose, possibly de la Rosa.  There's a Bernabe Enecencio.  I would guess this is really Inocencio, a family that lived in Humåtak.  Finally, there's a Jose de San Nicolas.  That's a Spanish name, but common in the Marianas and not so common elsewhere, so I'd say he was Chamorro.

If our guesses prove right, that's a heck of a lot of Chamorros, roughly 1/4 of the crew!  I can just hear a lot of Chamorro being spoken on that ship, among themselves.

In 1892, we see a Tilge Aflague.  Tilge is some nickname.  There's also a Joseph Sablan.

In 1893, there's a Felix Aflague and a Luis Gumataotao, Jose Manalisay and Felix Sablan.

In 1894, Luis Gumataotao appears again, and a J. Luhan, probably Lujan.  On that voyage, a John Sablan died at sea.

In 1895, there's a Nicolas Aflague.

The following year, an Enos (Inas) Aflague and a Peter Taitano.

Even after the U.S. took Guam, a few Chamorro names appear on the crew list; even someone nicknamed Jerry Guam.

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