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JOURNAL of Doc Samuel Smith Surgeon of the Privateer DALTON

April 5 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

As Kevin MacDonald and volunteers work on reinstalling a new exhibition in the Marquand Gallery to focus on the first 50 years of Newburyport’s history – her Golden Age – curator Kevin MacDonald will detail his research on a small but, as it turns out, significant document in the CHMM collection.

The town’s evolutionary path – from British subjects, to American colonists, to United States citizens – defined its first 25 years, as many truly pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. One of those citizens was Samuel Smith, a newly minted physician from Harvard College who signed up to serve aboard the Newburyport privateer Dalton, in 1776.

Smith kept a rather brief journal, covering a period of about 7 months, which the museum is fortunate to have in its collection, and which provides a fascinating jumping-off point to discuss the turbulent times in which Smith was both an observer and an active participant in the War for Independence from Great Britain.

Prior to the presentation, Kevin will unveil the museum’s most recent acquisition: the Coffin Stream Assemblage. A collection of stone tools and projectile points covering a period of 4,000-6,000 years, these items were all found within a small area bordering Coffin Stream, near the intersection of Coffin Street and River Road in West Newbury.

Kevin MacDonald, a volunteer curator from 2010 to 2019, recently returned for an encore performance. He received his Master’s degree in Museum Studies from Harvard University Extension School in 2012.

Questions? Contact James Russell, Executive Director at 978-462-8681 or jrussell@thechmm.org.

Registration required. Free admission for members; $10 for guests.

Hosted by the Custom House Maritime Museum


Custom House Maritime Museum
(978) 462-8681
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Custom House Maritime Museum
25 Water Street
Newburyport, MA 01950 United States
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(978) 462-8681
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