“David still well”

Eliza Baylies Wheaton focused on the wind and the waves in the entry she wrote to mark April 23 in her travel journal.  Noting that she wrote the entry “from recollection days after the passage,” Wheaton mentioned that she did not think her husband left his room on that day.

The wind and the waves and their effect on the ship unnerved Wheaton.  She commented that there was “scarcely any abatement” in the wind, and she described the waves as “very high.”  Trying to maintain a cheerful voice, she remarked that both were “hurrying us on to our destined port from 230 to 266 m[i]l[e]s per 24 hours.”

But Wheaton could not hide the anxiety she had felt during the voyage.  She searched for changes in the weather at least twice every day, at sunrise and sunset.  At night, however, the wind would increase, and the waves would reach the ship’s deck.  The ship creaked constantly, and Wheaton feared that it would come apart.

“I was told,” she wrote, “there was no apparent concern by the officers or crew, and the creaking was the inside work not the frame of the ship.”

________

Eliza Baylies Wheaton, Travel Journal, Wheaton Family Collection (MC089), Marion B. Gebbie Archives & Special Collections, Madeleine Clark Wallace Library, Wheaton College, Norton, MA.

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