Letters From Papa

The days went by much more quickly in Honolulu than they had on board the Roman. Laura and Prescott had room to explore, friends to enjoy, and studies to continue. However, Jared was growing impatient in the Arctic as he missed his family deeply. As the children eagerly awaited their father's return from the icy north, Laura and Prescott received a hand written letter from him. Another ship heading south just ahead of the Roman delivered the letters to Jared's family in Honolulu not long before he returned himself.

Laura's letter from her father was written on Oct. 4, 1869. Reminiscing about having his children on board, he asked if she wanted to go on the Roman again. He wanted to know if she liked Honolulu and if she has heard from friends on Martha's Vineyard. Her papa promised her presents if she would be good to her mother. He also vowed that she would one day get a fine piano. A piano in the home was a status symbol of the times.

On the same sheet as Laura's, Captain Jernegan added a note to Prescott: "My dear Little Boy. I want to see you very much. Do you have good times playing out in the yard with the chickens? Do you remember your Papa, and do you remember your swing on the Roman?"

next page >

image of letter_jared_laura

Nicholson Whaling Collection, Providence Public Library