Auctions & Rare Finds

Rare Journal of a Young Privateer Rediscovered in a Linen Closet

Image credit: Kansas City Star


This copy of “The Adventures of Christopher Hawkins” is listed by Tavistock Books, ABAA, at the time of publication.

A treasure was recently found in a strange hiding place – a linen closet in Kansas City. While the relatives of Margaret Davis sorted her estate, they came across the handwritten journal of one of their ancestors: Christopher Hawkins. His journal was penned in 1834 when he was 70 years old, and it recounts his tales as a young privateer during the Revolutionary War.

At the tender age of 13 years old, apprentice Christopher Hawkins turned privateer to help fight the British, but he was captured and made a cabin boy on a British ship.

The adventures of this young man are many – clever escape attempts, subsequent recaptures, and vivid descriptions of the British prisoner ship in which he served time. A version of his exploits was published in 1864 and is still available to purchase in both original and reprint editions:

The ADVENTURES Of CHRISTOPHER HAWKINS, Containing Details of His Captivity, … in the Revolutionary War, by the British … Escape from the Jersey Prison Ship … Now First Printed from the Original Manuscript. With an Introduction and Notes

The hand-written journal has been passed down through the family until it was recently found. The family has donated the journal to the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Source: Kansas City Star

1 Comment

  • What is price of “the adventures of Chrostopher Hawkins”. Is it a facsilmilie
    Of the hand written diary?

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