Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | July 23, 2014

23rd July 1849

Mary Brewster, MONDAY [July] 23rd [1849]: “A splendid day so smooth, scarcely a ripple on the sea — and a constant noise whale blowing close to the ship; walruses tumbling and spouting, and I have been quite amused with a queer-looking thing. I would think it was a sea dog — it has a face exactly like a monkey — the rest of the body is like a seal. It shewed no fear and came up close to the ship, to look at it William got an iron to fasten to it but it looked so innocent he left it and I was not sorry. This afternoon I have seen several and have spent the day in looking out of the window and on deck. 9 ships in sight some whaling and all busy — We got a large whale to the ship, the largest one I ever saw, they have just finished cutting. The sun is not quite down; at 11 o’clock light as any part of the day — This is much pleasanter than I ever expected to see it in this region, weather very warm and pleasant — and it is very favorable for whalemen – “

NOTE: During July 1849, while in the Bering Sea, Mary Brewster made daily journal entries through July 18th. After that, her entries were more sporadic. Mary did not make any journal entries for July 24-25, 1849.

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14,

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | July 22, 2014

July 22, 1849

Mary Brewster, SUNDAY [July] 22nd [1849]: “I have tried to read — but my mind has been after whale all day. The boats have chased and that is all we know — never get full this season without they work quicker & faster. It is aggravating to see so many whale and such beautiful weather and such poor whalemen. Ships in sight; we are at anchor & boiling.”

NOTE: During July 1849, while in the Bering Sea, Mary Brewster made daily journal entries through July 18th. After that, her entries were more sporadic. Mary Brewster did not make a journal entry for July 19, 1849.

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14,

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | July 21, 2014

20-21st July 1849

Mary Brewster, FRIDAY July 20th [1849]: “Up with the anchor very early and they have been trying to whale all day but no success; worry & fret has been the sound today, season going and nothing a-doing — Plenty of ships in sight and the weather better. It is now quite smooth and pleasant — but long faces are to be seen indoors and out. I pray next week may be a little greasy* so these scowling brows may look smooth.

* Here, Mary is referring to the condition of the decks while processing whales. The deck would be “greasy” or slippery due to the whale’s blubber and body fluids – a VERY messy, smelly, nasty business!

Mary Brewster, SATURDAY [July] 21st [1849]: “This has been a pleasant a day as I ever saw, very clear and pleasant, sun shining so warm a fire has not been needed — It has been very pleasant on board as we took a whale this forenoon and they have been cutting it and now the tryworks are started. Capt. Benjamin from ship Montezuma [out of New London, CT] came on board and took tea and the two brethren had a grand time talking over their weals and woes — and as he had 3 whale we felt as though to poor ones had got together — 7 ships in sight and a quantity of whale which can be seen in every part of the ocean as they are not worth catching; our folks call them spirits — which perhaps is as good a name as they can have.”

 

NOTE: During July 1849, while in the Bering Sea, Mary Brewster made daily journal entries through July 18th. After that, her entries were more sporadic. Mary Brewster did not make a journal entry for July 19, 1849.

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14,

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | July 18, 2014

July 17-18, 1849

Mary Brewster, TUESDAY [July] 17th [1849]: “House has been in confusion all day fixing the rudder, had the tiller out and put iron bands round the head to keep it together it may possibly stand till we get in port. So much for not having things properly fitted at home if they could only know how pleasant such slackness was I think they would be more particular. It has bee nothing but plague all the voyage with the old ship get one thing fixed and another forthcoming. I wish I was master here, I’d give them one good bill to look at — I know they would take more pains in future — and if I have my influence my husband shall not again be tormented with anyone’s ships or vessels — codfish & potatoes the year round would rather than thus be situated. Wind has blown fresh all day, prospect flattering for a full ship.”

Mary Brewster, WEDNESDAY [July] 18th [1849]: “Wind the same blowing fresh from south. Latter rainy. Mr. B. went on board the Henrietta and passed the afternoon at 8 got back brought me some books, [news]papers, sweetmeats & curiosities from Capt. Clough, well I hope he will go again soon if he will come thus laden. I am delighted to see something new if nothing more than old papers. Oh this dreadful dull weather and so far a tedious voyage — if it wasn’t for sewing work I should fly away –”

 

NOTE: During July 1849, while in the Bering Sea, Mary Brewster made daily journal entries through July 18th. After that, her entries were more sporadic. Mary Brewster did not make a journal entry for July 19, 1849.

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | July 16, 2014

16th July 1849

Mary Brewster, MONDAY [July] 16 [1849]: “Kept underway till 12 then came to anchor and here I hope we shall stay till better weather; this sailing backwards and forwards is of no use when down the anchor is more safe. The wind is from the south and as there is no particular need of our going to the icy barrier we may just as well keep in one place then we shall know where we are.  Spoke the F: Henrietta and she is anchored quite near us — Undertook to fix the rudder it is very much out of order. Capt. Clough came on board and stopped till 12 at night. It was very light and pleasant when he left. 4 ships in sight as anchor about 5 miles from us.”

NOTE: During July 1849, while in the Bering Sea, Mary Brewster made daily journal entries through July 18th. After that, her entries were more sporadic.

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | July 15, 2014

July 15, 1849

Mary Brewster, SUNDAY July 15th [1849: "About 11 last night discovered a ship under the land. I had been abed about an hour -- Mr. B. came in and proposed our having a lunch saying it was to light to sleep accordingly got up and set the table with pie and cheese -- went to bed and at 4 spoke the Harvest 1,500 bbls 2 yrs out -- a hard looking craft -- At 5 tacked to the east. Got halfway across; wind blew very hard. [I] was glad to get back as the high land protected us. Saw 4 ships coming in at the passage. Saw plenty of whale [but] too rugged to get any – [Day] Ends moderate and we are close in under the shore.    LAT. 67.40″ 

NOTE: During July 1849, while in the Bering Sea, Mary Brewster made daily journal entries through July 18th. After that, her entries were more sporadic.

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | July 14, 2014

14th July 1849

Mary Brewster, SATURDAY [July] 14th [1849]: “Stood on the eastern tack until we could go no further. Saw the land 10 miles distant then stood in westward what a variety standing first one way then another. Saw very large whale and still but of no avail to us. It is rugged and we must be silent spectators. At 4 PM wore ship to East. Saw any quantity of whale just come through the straits all bound north — Ends very strong wind — standing in shore hoping to find smoother weather so we can get a whale. July is rapidly passing — ” 

NOTE: During July 1849, while in the Bering Sea, Mary Brewster made daily journal entries through July 18th. After that, her entries were more sporadic.

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | July 13, 2014

July 13, 1849

 

Mary Brewster, FRIDAY JULY 13th [1849]: “Took in sail last night at 12, and kept the ship standing East. As usual thick fog nothing could be seen. At 6 cleared up stood in to the West shore — Saw some whale but not the kind we are after. Tacked ship to the east. Saw a ship to leeward At — bedtime wind blowing fresh — Here we are at the long desired haven but it is no place of rest for us — well when the season is up we can say we have been — and seen the elephant* if we don’t catch him.”

* As noted by Joan Druett on page 387, footnote 82 (She Was a Sister Sailor), “the expression of, ‘Seen the elephant’; was based on mythology of the 1849 California Gold Rush when a circus came to town and advertised an elephant. No one actually saw an elephant (because it didn’t exist), but everyone said they knew someone who had seen the elephant. It came to mean one had participated in a grand and marvelous  adventure.”

NOTE: During July 1849, while in the Bering Sea, Mary Brewster made daily journal entries through July 18th. After that, her entries were more sporadic.

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | July 12, 2014

12th June 1849

 

Mary Brewster, THURSDAY JULY 12th [1849]: “At 12 last night came to anchor fog so thick dare not run. This morning up anchor and let her drift current running North — Sounded occasionally and kept on. At 5 PM cleared up with very fine weather sun shinning beautifully found we were close to land — an in Bearing’s Strait. Saw the Diomedes Islands. High rocky land covered with snow also both continents Asia & America and I thought I was the first civilized female who had passed through the straits and probably shall be the only one this season –.   We saw 4 ships tow entering and one at anchor. The Plover some ways south of us we knew her by her rig & sails — 8 o’clock — finds us in the Arctic Ocean which is as the present time as smooth as a river. I have been out the last three hours admiring the view and highly gratified to think I have had the privilege of seeing both continents at a look — the Asiatic coast is high & mountainous not a vestige of grass, snow is melting and from some of the valleys nearly gone — Weather very mild and pleasant.   Whilst admiring the prospect, the sun was obscured by a thick fog and we cannot see a quarter of a mile.”

NOTE: During July 1849, while in the Bering Sea, Mary Brewster made daily journal entries through July 18th. After that, her entries were more sporadic.

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860.

Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | July 11, 2014

July 11, 1849

 

Mary Brewster, WEDNESDAY JULY 11th [1849]: “Clear weather from the North — saw a great many whales during the day lowered several times could not fasten. Saw 3 ships take [kill] a whale alongside [for processing] and poor; we are poor enough [they hardly had gotten any whales recently].  At 3 PM saw two islands; took them to be Diomedes. Latter part fog, can’t see the ship’s length.”

NOTE: During July 1849, while in the Bering Sea, Mary Brewster made daily journal entries through July 18th. After that, her entries were more sporadic.

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Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860.

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