Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | July 13, 2014

July 13, 1849


Mary Brewster, FRIDAY JULY 13th [1849]: “Took in sail last night at 12, and kept the ship standing East. As usual thick fog nothing could be seen. At 6 cleared up stood in to the West shore — Saw some whale but not the kind we are after. Tacked ship to the east. Saw a ship to leeward At — bedtime wind blowing fresh — Here we are at the long desired haven but it is no place of rest for us — well when the season is up we can say we have been — and seen the elephant* if we don’t catch him.”

* As noted by Joan Druett on page 387, footnote 82 (She Was a Sister Sailor), “the expression of, ‘Seen the elephant’; was based on mythology of the 1849 California Gold Rush when a circus came to town and advertised an elephant. No one actually saw an elephant (because it didn’t exist), but everyone said they knew someone who had seen the elephant. It came to mean one had participated in a grand and marvelous  adventure.”

NOTE: During July 1849, while in the Bering Sea, Mary Brewster made daily journal entries through July 18th. After that, her entries were more sporadic.


Mary Lawrence’s husband’s ship, the Addison arrived at her homeport of New Bedford, MA at sunrise on June 14, 1860



  1. Cannot view you. Only get the current live feed

    Mary Papenfoth


    • Yep. I can’t find it either. I was in the “Women and Whales” segment for all of about 5 minutes. I was told you could watch it any time after the original broadcast. But so far, I can’t locate it.

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