Female Sailors, Cont.

"George" told tales of having served in the Confederate cavalry before becoming member of the America's whaling crew. With a fine singing voice and dancing a good jig, this crew member was capable and well-liked, except for a memorable temper. After watching a commotion between her and the ship's large cook, third mate Jethro Cottle said he thought "George" was a woman. Everyone laughed it off until January 1863 when another incident occurred.

The whaleboats were in pursuit of whales when Georgiana took a rest from rowing. Robert G. Smith thought he’d "punch some sense into George's head with a paddle." Angered, Georgiana pulled a knife on Smith before the rest of the crew subdued her. When Captain Luce ordered a flogging as punishment for her behavior, she was told to strip to the waist. At that point it was obvious that she was a female.

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image of fight

Martha's Vineyard Museum R. H. Dana