Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | July 21, 2014

20-21st July 1849

Mary Brewster, FRIDAY July 20th [1849]: “Up with the anchor very early and they have been trying to whale all day but no success; worry & fret has been the sound today, season going and nothing a-doing — Plenty of ships in sight and the weather better. It is now quite smooth and pleasant — but long faces are to be seen indoors and out. I pray next week may be a little greasy* so these scowling brows may look smooth.

* Here, Mary is referring to the condition of the decks while processing whales. The deck would be “greasy” or slippery due to the whale’s blubber and body fluids – a VERY messy, smelly, nasty business!

Mary Brewster, SATURDAY [July] 21st [1849]: “This has been a pleasant a day as I ever saw, very clear and pleasant, sun shining so warm a fire has not been needed — It has been very pleasant on board as we took a whale this forenoon and they have been cutting it and now the tryworks are started. Capt. Benjamin from ship Montezuma [out of New London, CT] came on board and took tea and the two brethren had a grand time talking over their weals and woes — and as he had 3 whale we felt as though to poor ones had got together — 7 ships in sight and a quantity of whale which can be seen in every part of the ocean as they are not worth catching; our folks call them spirits — which perhaps is as good a name as they can have.”


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 Brewster did not make a journal entry for July 19, 1849.


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


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