Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | October 19, 2012

19th October

Amazingly, not one of our regular whaling wives made a single entry from Oct. 19 – 21, 1847 (Mary Brewster), 1858 (Mary Lawrence) and 1860 (Eliza Williams).

But, not wanting to disappoint all you loyal followers, I selected the first (of three) entries below.

This first of three  journal entries were made by a young man of 22 years, by the name of  W.S. Maxfield, who sailed on the Niger on October 14, 1852. Although written by a young man rather than a young wife, it clearly demonstrates that the feelings of the sailors were not uncommon from what the wives also felt as they departed the shore.

This entry was made the first Sunday out from MA on board the Niger“We weigh anchor about 8 o’clock a.m. to leave Buzzard’s Bay and our homes, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, friends, to go on a long voyage around Cape Horn and into the North Pacific Ocean for whales. The pilot left about 11 o’clock and with him the friends that came with us to see us off, hating for us to leave them. Then came the heart-rending time for us to think whether we should ever see their faces again or not — we hating to leave our home, but it must be so. And so we keep as good cheer as we can and say farewell, my native shore and friends, farewell. For my part I never before felt on leaving home as I do this time, but God protect me and keep me from harm that I may return again some future day to find al my friends and relatives alive. God speed and prosper our voyage….”

Part II to be posted tomorrow, October 20. Part III will be posted on October 21.


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