Journals, letterbook, medical notes, and essays of Benajah Ticknor, doctor and surgeon with the U.S. Navy. Of primary importance are the journals which describe journeys made by Ticknor with the Navy to South America, the Far East, and Europe.
It should be noted that Ticknor apparently made notes of his adventures and then copied the journals that are now in this collection. It is impossible to say how much time elapsed between taking notes and making these copies. It would seem that he wrote these journals at the end of each voyage or, on a given voyage, copied the journal of his preceeding voyage as a means of passing the time, since his cruises usually lasted three years apiece.
The journals do not cover the years 1822-1831, 1834-1837, or 1843-1844. During the first period he seems to have traveled to Michigan, bought land there, went on a cruise to South America, and then was stationed at Key West. During the second period he seems to have been stationed at Boston, for his essays are dated from there. The gap here prevents us from having any idea of why Yale gave him an honorary degree in 1836. From 1843 to the end of 1844 he was probably in Michigan, or, as he was accustomed to do while ashore, traveled between Michigan, Ohio, New York, Salisbury, and Boston.