Women at Sea, Cont.

When Abby Jane Morrell of Stonington, Connecticut, wife of Captain Benjamin Morrell, demanded that she be taken along on voyage in 1829, she wouldn’t take "no" for an answer. Society at the time said that a woman’s place was in the home, and certainly not at sea. But Mrs. Morrell declared to her husband (and her critics), "I would a thousand times rather share a watery grave with you, than to survive alone, deprived of my only friend and protector against the wrongs and insults of an unfeeling world."

Helen Jernegan from the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts was one of those who participated in the "Hen Frigate" period in Yankee whaling. In 1864 she sailed with her husband, Captain Jared Jernegan, leaving their daughter Laura at home in Edgartown, with relatives. From 1868-1871, she sailed on board The Roman, this time with Laura and her younger son Prescott in tow. Helen Jernegan is a good example of those women who chose to make temporary homes and educate their children on whale ships rather than staying home on land.

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Mystic Seaport