Object photography

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Object description

  • John Jewitt (English)
  • Dagger, early 19th century
  • Iron, leather
  • Nootka Sound, Northwest Coast, North America
  • L: 24 1/2 in, W: 1 1/2 in, D: 7/8 in (L: 62.2 cm, W: 3.8 cm, D: 2.2 cm)
  • Gift of Captain William Osgood, 1830
  • E3559


East India Marine Society Collection


This is a steel dagger made with two triangular, Euro-American bayonet blades welded together at the shafts. The handle of the dagger is wrapped with native-tanned leather with a strip terminating in a loop extending out. Further Remarks: This dagger has been attributed to having been made by John Jewitt, a ship's armourer on board the ship "Boston" held as a slave by Maquinna, the chief of Yuquot, a village on Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Jewitt was one of only two members of the crew to survive an attack by Maquinna and his followers. During his captivity from 1803-1805, he kept a journal, in which he describes making daggers of "old bolts" from the ship on a number of occasions.

Exhibition History

  • The Art of Maritime Encounter, Peabody Essex Museum; 2004 through 2008