Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | June 30, 2013

I. A Life Born to Adventure – Lydia A. Goodpseed

Mary Brewster’s journal for her voyage from 1845 – 1848 ended on March 8, 1848 when the Tiger arrived home (Stonington, CT). Mary and her husband, Samuel did not return to sea for their last voyage until June 1848. However, Mary’s journal-writing did not resume until July 13, 1848. Therefore, Mary Brewster’s entries will resume on this blog starting July 13, 2013.

Mary Lawrence (1859) and Eliza Williams (1861) did not make any journal entries for this date during their respective years.

Looking Towards the C. W. Morgan’s Re-Launch

On July 21, 2013; Mystic Seaport will RE-launch their historical whaleship, the Charles W. Morgan after four years of refurbishing from the water line down. Built at New Bedford and launched during 1841, the Morgan is the world’s only surviving wooden whaleship. During the Morgan’s eighty years at sea, only five captains’ wives lived aboard while the ship whaled throughout the world’s oceans. Lydia Ann (Goodspeed) Landers was the Morgan’s FIRST whaling wife or sister-sailor/petticoat whaler, to live at sea with her husband. She lived aboard the Morgan from November 1864 through June 1867.

For the past four months, I have been researching Lydia, piecing together  HERstory (history but about a woman, hence HERstory) in preparation for presenting her to the world in “real-time”. That is, I will be dressed in a historically accurate costume researched, designed and constructed by Mystic Seaport staff; and sharing Lydia’s story in first-person. May my presentation of Lydia do her person justice and may I share her life story with accuracy. Below, to pique your interest are a few tidbits from her life, which may serve to propel you towards Mystic Seaport for the Morgan’s historical re-launching on July 21, 2013.


Lydia Ann Goodspeed was born at Marston’s Mills, the daughter of William R. Goodspeed and his wife, Susan L. Cammett Goodspeed; members of one of several of the founding families of Barnstable, Massachusetts. Lydia was born August 16, 1841 and was the fourth of five children (four girls). Two of her three older siblings died as infants. Lydia had one surviving older sister, also a Susan born 1839 and one younger sister, Emma born 1846. Although Lydia was born at Barnstable, as an infant her family relocated to Nantucket, Nantucket Island, Massachusetts and lived there for about fourteen-fifteen years (1841/42-1854/55).  Lydia would have been about five years old when the “Great Fire of 1846” broke out at Nantucket. It is likely that her father, a carpenter by trade, would have helped re-build Nantucket after the fire destroyed most of the business section and 30% of the town. Sadly, Nantucket was never able to recover from the fire and eventually the island’s depreciating economy drove many Nantucket natives towards the gold rush in California or the mainland across the harbor; to Barnstable, Fairhaven, or New Bedford. Lydia’s family did likewise and settled back at Matson’s Mills (part of Barnstable), where they remained.  Lydia was living in this area when she met and married (1863) Thomas C. Landers, captain of the Charles W. Morgan.


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