Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | January 26, 2014

26th January [1849 and 1860]

Mary Brewster, FRIDAY JANUARY 26 [1849]: “Went ashore early this morning at a small village, expecting to get what recruits was wanted. Waited an hour or so and found that if we trusted to the natives we should be denied some two days before we could procure what we wished, so concluded to pull some 5 miles round at another place. On going down to the boats found four of the men from the 2nd mate’s boat had run away and secreted themselves away so we could not find them. Mr. Brewster left orders for them to be caught by the natives and forwarded on to the place where we were going….The island was covered with trees and green to the water’s edge. Coconuts, bananas, pineapples are quite plenty, pigs, taro, yams are the chief food of the inhabitants and the most needed by ships and can be procured usually in large quantities….After four word came that the men [deserters] had been caught and had arrived. They had walked some 10 miles in the hot sun and must have felt rather weary with their day’s amusement. As we obtained all we could get and the coming day was Sunday it was thought best to proceed on — and not lose a couple of days….We got on board at sunset and put away [set out to sea].”

Through most of January 1849, Mary Brewster made nearly daily journal entries. However, most of them are very brief.  Oftentimes, Mary’s journal entries are reflective of 19th-century whaling ships’ logs entries that typically would have been made by the captain or first officer of the vessels.

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Mary Lawrence, [Sat.] JANUARY 26 [1860]: “A fair wind. Made land today. The North Cape of New Zealand. About sunset raised a ship astern. In the evening saw a light on the shore which we supposed to proceed from a volcano or burning mountain.”

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