The Charles W. Morgan A Wooden Whaling Ship. By Mary Erin Clem. Whaling History in Connecticut. During the 1800’s Connecticut ranked second in the whaling industry. Whaling provided employment and economic growth to Mystic. Whale products were important to the people of Connecticut.
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A Wooden Whaling Ship
By Mary Erin Clem
The Charles W. Morgan was built in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
She was named after Charles Waln Morgan, a Quaker businessman
who commissioned the ship to be built.
However, it was Morgan’s nephew who named the ship after his uncle.
According to Yarns of the Sea, Legends, Myths, and Superstitions: Although women were considered to bring bad luck at sea, mariners always use the pronoun "she" when referring to their ships. Whether its proper name is masculine, or whether it is a man o'war, a battleship, or a nuclear submarine, a ship is always referred to as "she."
It has been suggested that a ship "was nearer and dearer to the sailor than anyone except his mother." What better reason to call his ship "she"?
Drawing of Ship from Master’s Logbook
The longest voyage was four years and eleven months and the shortest was eight and a half months.
“Journal of a voyage to Pacific
Ocean in the ship Chas W.
Morgan, Thomas A. Norton,
Master. Sept 6th, 1841. May
kind Neptune protect us with
pleasant Gales and may we be
successful in catching
Ships like the Morgan hunted three different kinds of whales: sperm, right, and bowhead.
Whaling supported Connecticut’s economy by providing products that were important to people’s lives.
Whale blubber provided oil for street lights, home lamps and lighthouses.
The oil made from the blubber burned brighter with less smoke and didn’t change in consistency in cold or warm weather.
Whale oil lamps
Ships like the Morgan carried five whale boats with each one having six crew members. The crew would row out to the whale to harpoon it and then kill it with a sword or gun.
To take a tour of the Charles W. Morgan visit Mystic Seaport.
For more information about the Charles W. Morgan:
For more information about whaling in Connecticut: