Sea chest belonging to Benjamin Joy
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[ This description is from the project: Staff Favorites ]
This fitted sea chest was used by Benjamin Joy, an East India merchant who served as the first US Consul to India. Although the British did not recognize Joy’s status, his appointment marked the beginning of diplomatic relations between the United States and India. Joy bought the chest for his return voyage to Boston in 1795. It opens to reveal a felt-covered writing surface; compartments for ink, brushes, and a sewing kit; and a wash-basin, mirror, chamber pot, and bidet. Portable chests were indispensable for passengers on long sea voyages—Joy’s return trip from India to Boston took 216 days.