Monday, December 2, 2013

At Sea with a Clipper Ship Captain and His Wife

When Captain Alexander Winsor, of clipper ship FLYING CLOUD fame, took command of the clipper HERALD OF THE MORNING in 1868 for a passage to San Francisco from New York, it was  to be in company with his second wife, Emily Pope Winsor. Capt. Winsor's first wife, Sarah, died in 1865 while Winsor was master of the clipper ship SEA SERPENT, and before long he took Emily's hand in marriage.
From Manuscript Collection 112 in the G.W. Blunt White Library at Mystic Seaport.
 A recent gift to the Museum by a descendant of the Pope family consisted of a number of items belonging to Captain Winsor and Emily. A sea chest, telescope and billy club were among the items belonging to the good captain, but some of the more interesting pieces come via Emily Pope, including a lap desk with her name inscribed on it, a fascinating journal of her travels with Capt. Winsor aboard the HERALD OF THE MORNING and the following item, a handle to an umbrella belonging to Emily. The little ivory hand clutching the handle clearly bears the owner's name.

Unlike the somewhat spartan accommodations aboard a whaleship that we are used to reading about, Emily states that living aboard the HERALD afforded her, "a handsome dining room, large after cabin, with double staterooms on each side, with French bedstead, lung, etc., etc.".

Emily's journal and the artifacts that accompany it will be available for research and exhibition in the coming months.

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