The Conservation of the Brother Jonathan Chest

Author(s): Kirsten Dollarhide

Year: 2017


Two hours into the voyage from Crescent City, California to Victoria, British Columbia in July 1865, Captain Samuel DeWolf ordered SS Brother Jonathan to set a return course. Eight miles outside of Crescent City, a wave smashed the vessel into a rock, sinking it in under an hour—along with most of the cargo and passengers. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the wreckage was rediscovered; in May 2016, a shipping crate salvaged from the wreck was sent to Texas A&M University’s Conservation Research Laboratory for excavation and conservation. The conservation and historical analysis of the items found in the crate can provide insight into both the past and the future. Study of the crate’s contents will shed light on the needs and ways of life in the Northwest during the Civil War, while a report on the methods of waterlogged artifact conservation will aid in the efforts of future conservators.

Cite this Record

The Conservation of the Brother Jonathan Chest. Kirsten Dollarhide. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435227)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 618