Capt. Elisha Coffin

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Capt. Elisha Coffin

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA
Death: Died in Savage Harbor, PEI, Canada
Immediate Family:

Son of Benjamin Coffin and Rebecca Coffin
Husband of Eunice Myrick
Father of Eunice Morrow; Latham Coffin; Elisha Coffin; Kimble Coffin; Margaret MacEachern and 6 others
Brother of Susan (Susanna) Pinkham; Eliakim Coffin, Captain; Capt. Bartlett Coffin; Benjamin Coffin; Rebecca Coffin and 3 others
Half brother of Uriah Coffin

Managed by: John H. Nye
Last Updated:

About Capt. Elisha Coffin

Elisha grew up on the Island of Nantucket during an interesting time, for both the Islanders, and also for the Colonies. The hostilities between Britain, France and Spain were flaring up along the Colonial coastline. This conflict was a danger to the industrious and peaceful people of Nantucket. The Islanders depended on farming, fishing and whaling as a way to make a living. Their religion forbid them to go to war, yet their boats were continually being harassed, confiscated and sunk by their enemies. The French and Spanish ships often chased the smaller, unarmed fishing vessels down and then proceeded to seize the vessels and steal the catches along with capturing the crew. Many times the crews were taken prisoner back to Europe while others were either cast adrift, or murdered in cold blood. The worst of the conflicts for the Islanders was during the 1750's when many Island boats were destroyed by the French. In 1756 they lost six ships that were either heading toward the fishing grounds or home from them. Elisha, during this period, would have likely been a young man learning the skills of a mariner. Boys as young as twelve would often serve on the ships in a limited but necessary capacity. Many of the Captains were as young as twenty.

In Nantucket, Elisha Coffin was courting a young lady by the name of Eunice Myrick, the daughter of Andrew and Jedidah Pinkham Myrick of Nantucket. On January 22, 1761 they were married. The Island was finding much prosperity from the money coming in from the whale and fishing trades, however, along with the prosperity came many new problems for the tiny community. Some of the problems came as a result of the many new faces appearing on the Island. Nantucket was unable to supply enough crews from their own people to crew all the boats involved in the trade. As a result whalers from the mainland were recruited. Many ships returned home with crews eager to spend their hard earned pay on wine and women. This was in direct confrontation with the Quakers' lifestyle. The Island meetings tell tale of these concerns. The meetings resolved to hiring watchmen to patrol the streets at night and keep civil peace. In 1761, Elisha Coffin was hired for a one year period to be the Master of the Watch. The new arrivals also brought with them the threat of disease, which in 1763 struck Nantucket's population hard as a ship from Ireland brought with it the dreaded Yellow Fever. This disease hit the Indian population of the Island especially hard, killing many. With the rising problems on Nantucket and the war ending between the French and British, Elisha and Eunice started looking beyond the shores of Nantucket to start a new home.

http://www.islandregister.com/rcoffin/pg26_50.html

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Capt. Elisha Coffin's Timeline

1740
March 21, 1740
Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA
1760
1760
Age 19
Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA
1761
January 22, 1761
Age 20
St Johns, Nova Scotia, Canada
October 2, 1761
Age 21
Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA
1763
October 9, 1763
Age 23
Nantucket, Nantucket Co, MA, USA
1768
August 8, 1768
Age 28
Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA
1770
1770
Age 29
Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA
1772
October 20, 1772
Age 32
Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA
1773
July 25, 1773
Age 33
Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA
1774
July 17, 1774
Age 34
Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA