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Len Tantillo, Fellow

"The Brig Desire"

20" x 30" - Oil on canvas

The “Annals of Hudson”, Volume I, is a handwritten account of the ships that landed at Hudson, New York’s waterfront in the late 18th century. One of the many brigs carrying French cargoes to that port bore the unusual and exotic name, Desire. Little is known of the captain and crew or the exact dimensions of the ship. What does survive is a record of Desire’s destinations and dates of arrival. Voyages to Brazil, the West Indies, Cape François, and Port au Prince are noted between August of 1785 and November of 1787.  These would have been undertaken mostly to supply Hudson’s enormous distillery with sugar and muscovado. “Desire” is also known to have served as a whale ship in 1786, sailing into Icelandic waters and returning to its homeport with barrels of whale oil.

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