Helen and Jared's first child, Laura, was born June 29, 1862, only 26 days after he had sailed for Honolulu as master of the packet ship Erie. The ship carried supplies to whale men in the South Pacific and brought whale oil back to New England. He signed on hoping he would not have to be away for years as he had on whaling voyages.
The voyage on the Erie was ill fated and Jared was lucky to survive. "In four days of hurricane winds off Cape Horn, the Erie was dismasted, her crew exhausted from continuous pumping as the seas crashed over the damaged hull. " On August 20, Captain Knowles of the Southern Rights rescued Captain Jernegan and his crew, saving them from perishing that night.
When Laura was a year old, Jared once again gave in to the call of the sea and the need to support his family, signing on as master of the bark Oriole in June 1863. When he realized how much he missed his wife and young daughter, he invited them to meet him in San Francisco in the fall of 1864 and sail back with him to New Bedford. Realizing that it would be a difficult trip for a young child, on September 1865, Helen left baby Laura with her Aunt Pierce and Alymer with the Ripleys in Edgartown. When the couple returned to New England on April 6, 1866, she had been gone seven months and he for 3 1/2 years.
Martha's Vineyard Museum