Maryland Historical Society Awards Brewington Book Prize to John C. North II


The Maritime Committee of the Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) has awarded the 2019 Brewington Book Prize to Judge John C. North II for his book, “Tradition, Speed, and Grace: Chesapeake Bay Log Sailing Canoes” (St. Michaels, Maryland: Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, 2018).

The Marion V. Brewington Prize is awarded annually by MdHS for the best book on the maritime history related to the Chesapeake Bay or the nation. The prize comes with a $500 honorarium and is named for Brewington, a legendary maritime curator and historian from Salisbury, Maryland.

During the past year, the Maritime Committee considered several maritime and naval books dealing with historical aspects of Chesapeake Bay and beyondThe well-written “Tradition, Speed, and Grace,” traces the development of the unique and historic Chesapeake log sailing canoes whose survival over many years is likely due to the tradition of racing these delicate craft on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In this beautiful book, Judge North narrates his perspective on the sport’s history from over 70 years of personal participation in log canoe racing. This 150-page hard cover book contains more than 140 color and black and white illustrations and photographs.

More information about “Tradition, Speed, and Grace” is available here:

Author John C. North II was born and raised in Talbot County and served as States Attorney for Talbot County, Judge of the District and Circuit Courts, and Chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission. He was one of the founders of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. His family now owns and campaigns four Chesapeake Bay log racing canoes, and he skippers Island Bird, built in 1882 by his grandfather.

Marion V. Brewington (1902-1974) was a distinguished maritime curator and historian. During World War II, he was the curator for the U.S. Navy. After the war, he was the maritime curator of MdHS, a trustee of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, and later held curatorial and administrative positions at the Peabody Museum of Salem, Massachusetts, and the Kendall Whaling Museum in Sharon, Massachusetts. His books include “Chesapeake Bay: A Pictorial History and Chesapeake Bay Log Canoes and Bugeyes.”


Founded in 1844, the Maryland Historical Society is the state’s oldest continuously operating cultural institution. In keeping with the founders’ commitment to preserve the remnants of Maryland’s past, MdHS remains the premier institution for state history. With over 350,000 art objects and artifacts and 7 million documents and books, the Society now serves more than 100,000 people through its museum, library, press and educational programs. Learn more at

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