Capt. Nathaniel B. Palmer & Nathaniel B. Palmer, 2nd: A Poignant Story


Booklet written by Norman F. Boas, M.D.

This is the story of Captain Nathaniel B. Palmer and his namesake and nephew, Nathaniel B. Palmer, 2nd. The captain was famous for his discovery of the Antarctic Continent in 1820 and his career in sailing, designing and building clipper ships. Young Natty was raised in the home owned by his father and uncle, Captains Alexander and Nathaniel Palmer. Captain Nat, who had no children of his own, has a special and devoted relationship with young Natty.

They shared the same home, took trips and went hunting, fishing and sailing together. When separated, they corresponded regularly. During the last few years of his life, Natty developed pulmonary tuberculosis. In a desperate effort to effect a remission, Captain Nat took Natty on a clipper ship voyage to China in 1877.

This is a narrative of their relationship and final trip together. Natty died on shipboard; Captain Nat died upon his return to San Francisco a few weeks later.

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