Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | February 27, 2014

February 27, 1860

Through most of 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.

Mary Brewster did not make any journal entries between February 25-March 1, 1849.


Mary Lawrence, [Mon.] FEBRUARY 27 [1860]: “Samuel and Minnie went onshore early in the morning. I did not accompany them. Minnie took some peanuts and some little toys to the children, which pleased them very much. Whilst they were absent, a number of natives, Maoris as they are called, came on board. Some of them were frightfully tattooed, but I have seen natives who look much worse than the New Zealanders. A boy named Willie Adams, who was off Sunday, came off today and brought me a basket of apples and peaches, a bouquet of flowers, and a bottle of milk. I gave him in return for his kindness some peanuts, oranges, and a book. Samuel and Minnie returned about 3 P.M., bringing with them Captain Greaves and a Dr. Catling, who is quite a proficient in music, as Captain Greaves asked it of me as a privilege that he might bring him off — it would be such a treat to him to play our melodeon, the only one they have onshore in the church being a very poor affair. The doctor played for the most of the afternoon and appeared to be much delighted with it, and we enjoyed the music much.  They stopped with us until evening. I was quite well pleased with the appearance of the doctor. He is not long from England, belongs to the navy, and was engaged in the war of the Crimea. I should judge that he was a very talented man.”

A MELODEON is a small reed organ in which a suction bellows draws air inward through the reeds.


  1. I think some melodeons were produced in New London, CT and in Salem, CT, and, I am sure, many other places. Remarkable to have one aboard a whaling ship, with its cramped quarters!

  2. I had never heard of a melodeon, quite lovely

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