Ladies' Logs

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Of the over 400 logbooks in the NHA’s ships’ logs collection, only 11 have been attributed to women. It was not unheard of for wives of whaling masters to accompany their husbands on voyages. Nantucket women were well educated and, whether at sea or home, often wrote letters and kept journals. Observances made in their letters and journals can offer unique outsiders’ perspectives and insight into life aboard a whaleship.
Almira Gibbs whaling journal, 1860-1964

Almira Gibbs whaling journal, 1860-1964

This journal was kept aboard the ship Norman by Almira Gibbs née Ames (1816-1864) as she accompanied her husband Master Richard C. Gibbs, Sr. (1811-1880) on a whaling voyage. While Gibbs had previously sailed with her husband and their son Richard C. Gibbs, Jr. (1842-?) aboard the whaleship...

250 pages: 0% indexed, 0% transcribed
Azubah B. Cash whaling journal, 1850-1854

Azubah B. Cash whaling journal, 1850-1854

Azubah B. Cash née Handy (1820-1894) kept this journal as she accompanied her husband Master William Cash (1816-1882) aboard the ship Columbia on a whaling voyage. The Cash's son Alexander (1840-?) was also on board, and their second child William was born in 1851 while in Hawaii....

105 pages: 7% indexed, 86% transcribed
Eliza Brock whaling journal, 1853-1856

Eliza Brock whaling journal, 1853-1856

Eliza Brock née Spencer (1810-1899) kept this log while accompanying her husband Captain Peter C. Brock (1805-1878) aboard the Nantucket ship Lexington on a three year long whaling voyage. The couple had four children together, none of whom were aboard the ship. In addition to writing as...

373 pages: 1% indexed, 34% transcribed, 1% needs review
Elizabeth H. Morey whaling journal, 1853-1855

Elizabeth H. Morey whaling journal, 1853-1855

This journal was kept by Elizabeth H. Morey as she accompanied her husband Master Israel Morey whaling aboard the ship Phoenix during its 1853-1855 voyage. The journal describes life on board a whaling vessel, and features pencil sketches and stamps and poetry throughout. You can read...

152 pages: 1% indexed, 1% transcribed, 29% needs review
Harriet Swain whaling journal, 1852-1854, 1855 & 1855

Harriet Swain whaling journal, 1852-1854, 1855 & 1855

This log was kept by Harriet Swain née Myrick (1815-1857) on several voyages as she accompanied her husband Captain Obed Swain II (1814-1901). The earliest entries recount a whaling voyage to the South Pacific Ocean aboard the ship Catawba captained by her husband, while later entries were...

165 pages: 2% indexed, 5% transcribed, 4% needs review
Lydia A. Beebe whaling journal, 1863-1865

Lydia A. Beebe whaling journal, 1863-1865

This journal kept by Lydia A. Beebe née Jones (1838-?) records her time aboard the Brewster as she accompanied her husband Master John A. Beebe (1830-1907) on a whaling voyage In her journal, Beebe regularly records the weather and activities on board, as well as her religious...

106 pages: 2% indexed, 4% transcribed, 12% needs review
Lydia A. Beebe whaling journals, 1865 & 1867-1869

Lydia A. Beebe whaling journals, 1865 & 1867-1869

This book kept by Lydia A. Beebe née Jones (1838-?) documents two whaling voyages aboard different ships, the Brewster and Xantho, both mastered by Beebe's husband, John A. Beebe (1830-1907). Beebe regularly records the weather and activities on board, as well as her personal religious...

31 pages: 0% indexed, 13% transcribed, 6% needs review
Richard C. Gibbs, Jr. & Almira Gibbs whaling journal, 1855, 1857-1859

Richard C. Gibbs, Jr. & Almira Gibbs whaling journal, 1855, 1857-1859

This journal was kept aboard the ship Nantucket by Richard C. Gibbs, Jr. (1842-?), a 13 year old boy, and his mother Almira Gibbs née Ames (1816-1864), as they accompanied their father/husband Master Richard C. Gibbs, Sr. (1811-1880) on a whaling voyage. Encouraged to keep a log of the...

222 pages: 1% indexed, 6% transcribed
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