November 2-18, 1866
Highlights from the Journal of Edwin Mitchell, Vol. I:
Nov. 2: "After breakfast I done a little cipheringCipher cypher, cyphering
To do math. Also, cipher can refer to someone who has no weight, worth, or influence--a zero. Another meaning is a message in code, or the process of creating a coded message. Cypher is the typical British spelling. and then turned in. This afternoon I have had a farmer's job--sprouting potatoes."
Nov. 3: "I have been at work in the hold. This afternoon Jim and I holystonedHolystone
A soft sandstone used to scrub the deck of a wooden ship. The word can be used as a noun or as a verb. our messMess
The area on board a vessel where the ship's crew members gather to eat their meals. room, then turned in at four bells. In the dog watchDog watch
Two half watches of two hours each into which the period from 4 pm to 8 pm is divided. The purpose of dividing this watch into two parts is to produce an uneven number of watches in 24 hours, 7 instead of 6. This ensures that watchkeepers in ships, whether organized into two or three watches, do not keep the same watches every day. These two watches are known as the First Dog and Last Dog. I painted the dinghyDinghy Dingy
A small boat carried by a larger one. , then cleared up decks....I got two pounds of tobacco out of the slop chestSlop chest
Slops refers to ready-made clothing carried on board ship and issued to seamen, with the cost deducted from their wages. today."
In the Chincha IslandsChincha Islands Chinchas
A group of three small islands 12 miles off the southwest coast of Peru. North Island is the largest. The Islands are composed of granite cliffs, worn into many caves and hollows that make ideal nesting places for sea birds. Consequently, the islands became covered with guano, the droppings of sea birds that collected over many years' time. In 1840 the Peruvian government began to export guano, which was used for fertilizer. The supply was exhausted by 1874......
Nov. 4: "This afternoon at one o'clock we made the land so we have to get our other (?) in the in the locker and fish the anchors. We came to an anchor just at dark, it was about seven o'clock before we got our sails furledFurl
To take in the sails of a vessel and secure them with gaskets. In the case of square-rigged ships, to haul in on the clew-lines and buntlines and roll sails up to the yards. In the case of fore-and-aft rigs, to lower and secure sails to the boom or stays.."
Nov. 5: "Jim and I rowed the Capt. through the fleet and back. After breakfast we set him ashore in the North Island, got back at noon. After dinner Bill and I set him ashore again, got back at dark. There are three islands, the north, south, and middle; they are quite close together, there is a small settlement in the North Island, the guanoGuano
Droppings of sea birds, with high levels of phosphate and nitrogen making it valuable for fertilzier. Starting in the 1840s centuries of deposits were mined at the Chincha Islands off Peru. Supplies were effectively exhausted in the 1870s; many Maine ships and captains worked the guano trade. being all off, the most of the buildings are huts where the slaves live and also some stores. There is a large fleet and still keep going and coming, the men have unbentUnbent
Unbend To untie or loosen a sail or rope. the sails."
Nov. 6: "Jim and I went ashore for a bottle of sweet oil. After breakfast I pulledPulling boats pull, pulled
The nautical term for rowing is pulling; thus a pulling boat is a rowed boat. the boat from one place to another until noon. After dinner I worked in the cabin until three o'clock, then went ashore. It is just a year ago today since I came aboard the ship."
Nov. 7: "Went with the mate to get a net....did not get any fish....Wend aboard the ship S.F. Hersey with the mate."
Nov. 8: "Washed out the Capt.'s office; after breakfast went ashore; when I got back, I cleaned the brasswork. There has been a RegattaRegatta
A boat race, or series of races. today; the Capts. and wives were on board us to witness it. They had a supper aboard of the Fernando and a party in the evening. The American boats beat. I went for the Capt. after supper and waited until eleven o'clock."
Nov. 9: "We took our first load of GuanoGuano
Droppings of sea birds, with high levels of phosphate and nitrogen making it valuable for fertilzier. Starting in the 1840s centuries of deposits were mined at the Chincha Islands off Peru. Supplies were effectively exhausted in the 1870s; many Maine ships and captains worked the guano trade. in this afternoon; I have been at work putting it up in bags. It is disagreeable work."
Nov. 11: "Took the Capt. aboard the David Brown and back. After dinner I done a little washing. At half-past two went after the Capt. and aboard of several other ships until we had a crowd of five boats with their Capts. and wives, then we set them all ashore; in the beach the surf ran a little and we had a great time getting the men ashore. When they came back the surf ran so high that we had to launch our boats and go to the mile for them."
Nov. 15: "This afternoon I have been at work in the hold. I take my wheelbarrow the same as a man."
Nov. 17: "This afternoon I worked in the hold part of the time, then cleaned a barrell (sic) of hams and salted them."
Nov. 18: "The mate went a fishing this morning and caught quite a number; after breakfast I had to clean them. Then I went aboard of the Juliette Trundy and went in her boat aboard the Old Colony."