ancestryink fisherman

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fourth of July from the Whale Ship's Log

From the log of the "Lafayette" whaling ship, voyage 1843:

The Coast Peru

"Tuesday 4th
Lat 15 - 15
Land 25 to 40 (miles)

Steady winds from SE by E. Employed men wing Boat at 6am passed the Napoleon Maria and Henry in Co. at 8am the Barque a see whales and caught one at 11Am see whales going to the NW the Napoleon in pursuit Could not come up with them Hauled our wind in shore for more whales so ended this Fourth of July pursuing whales I am in hopes we shall soon get a good fair of oil to make up for our hard fortune may fortune Smile on us Tomorrow."

 "Whales seen 53 times."

From the voyage of the Florida, 1858-1861, Captain Thomas William Williams. Journal written by his wife Eliza Azelia Griswold Williams, on board. Two of their children were born on this voyage to the Pacific and Indian Oceans:

"July 4th.  It was thick this morning and all night. About 12 o'clock the Cooper told us that there were boats around.  He could hear their horns...Very soon they came alongside.  They were ours....some of the boats, it seems see aplenty of Whales, and once in a while are lucky enough to take one, but not often.  Our boats lost two of their Men and that was not all...It doesn't seem much like the Fourth of July, up here."  (Shantarr Bay)

"July 4th. Today is Independence.  Oh how I would like to be at home and enjoy this day with family and friends.  We cannot celebrate it here with any degree of pleasure. Just after dinner, we spoke the bark Monmouth, Capt. Ormsby...He reported the loss of the clipper ship Polar Star, Capt. Wood, Master.  Capt. Ormsby also told us that the Alice Frazier is lost..."

And from the journal kept by Mary Chipman Lawrence aboard the Whaler Addison* with her husband Captain Samuel Lawrence, Falmouth - 1856 - 1860:

"The Bering Sea and the Arctic Ocean: 1858

"The Fourth of July today and the Sabbath.  How different our situation from our friends at home! A gale of wind with ice and land to avoid. The ice probably would be a refreshing sight to them.  Probably the celebration, if there is any to come off, will take place tomorrow.  We had a turkey stuffed and roasted with wild ducks, which are very plenty here. Perhaps tomorrow we may get a whale..."

"Lower California: 1859
July 4.  Minnie arose early this morning and hoisted our flag, which was all the celebration we could boast of, as we did not get that whale that we hoped to.  A beautiful day, which I improved by washing, after waiting ten days for a clear day."

(Minnie is the child of of Mary and Captain Lawrence.)

So ends this day!

Happy Fourth of July to all, on land and sea.

*Excerpts from "The Captain's Best Mate, The Journal of Mary Chipman Lawrence on the Whaler Addison, 1856-1860," Stanton Garner, editor; 1966 by Brown University.

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