Girl on a Whaleship

Thought this was pretty cool- It’s the journal of a six-year-old Edgartown girl from 1868, who went on a three-year whaling trip with her family.

I’m pretty sure when I was six, the biggest adventure I got to go on was getting to ride my bike to the end of the street… but I did also have my first (and probably only) journal, which I happened to stumble upon in my attic this summer. There aren’t any whaling trips, but it IS almost entirely my childish anecdotes from days down the Cape. My favorite by far: “Today we walked in woods. We got wet.” Side note: I vividly remember hiking in the woods somewhere near Fort Hill in Eastham with my dad, when the sky just opened out of nowhere on us, in July of 1995.

Reading the simple, funny little stories that I recorded in that notebook made me remember so many details about my life as a little kid that I had basically forgotten; it brought me back to a different time, reminded me how differently I used to see the world.

I think we can learn a lot from the past- both our past and the past of others- which is why I like Laura Jernegan’s journal so much. In 1868, I doubt this young Vineyard girl ever imagined people would be flipping through the pages of her notebook over a hundred years later, searching for answers, mesmerized by her story. But we are. And I think that is an amazing thing.

Girl on a Whaleship:

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