Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | September 17, 2012

17th September [1847, 1858 and 1860]

Mary Brewster, [Sept.] FRIDAY 17th [1847]: “Have had company here today, Mrs. Reynard, she will stop a few days. This afternoon Mrs. Smith and self visited Mrs. Dibble, who intends starting for the States in the Brutus. Capt. Adams the master was there to tea. Capt. Smith, Norton, and Fish came and passed the evening — “

Mary Lawrence, [Fri.] SEPTEMBER 17 [ 1858]: “Saw the comet again last night.*  We saw it for the first time in the Strait; have seen it whenever it has been clear. I wonder if our friend’s at home are looking at the same phenomenon? This morning it is clear and pleasant.  Nothing in sight except one solitary finback. Foggy in the afternoon.”

* Here Mary Lawrence is referring to Donati’s comet. The comet’s visibility can be confirmed and was identified by The Friend, VIII, 78(October 13, 1858). An article from Wikipedia states, “Comet Donati, or Donati’s Comet, formally designated C/1858 L1 and 1858 VI, is a long-period comet named after the Italian astronomer Giovanni Battista Donati who first observed it on June 2, 1858. After the Great Comet of 1811, it was the most brilliant comet that appeared in the 19th century. It was also the first comet to be photographed. It was nearest the Earth on October 10, 1858.  Abraham Lincoln, then a candidate for a seat in the U.S. Senate, sat up on the porch of his hotel in Jonesboro, Illinois to see ‘Donti’s Comet’ on September 14, 1858, the night before the third of his historic debates with Stephen Douglas. Donati’s Comet appears as a streak and star in the early evening sky of a painting by William Dyce, A Recollection of October 5th, 1858.”

Eliza Williams, September 17th [1860]: “We have had a fine day with a strong breeze most all day. Last evening we came to anchor within 3 miles of Okhotsk City. Our two boats came from there last night. Mr. Morgan brought a nice fat goose with him. His boatsteerer shot it flying. They had not seen any whales. Today the boats have been off, but we called them aboard before noon to help partake of the goose we had stuffed and baked for dinner. One of the ladies in Okhotsk sent me 3 ducks, nice ones, and some milk. Mr. Morgan brought a little black dog for Willie. The Mate of the Cambria hgave her to Mr. Morgan. Willie is much pleased, They call her Mink.”


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