Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the whaling industry was thriving with New England and its islands enjoying the benefits of a maritime economy of commercial and whaling vessels exploring and profiting from their travel exploits.
We have all become familiar with the maritime and whaling adventures such as those reported by Melville in Moby Dick. However, the life of the whaling women remains a hidden mystery in modern literature. There were a few women, Abby Jane Morrell (Narratives of Four Voyages, 1832) and Mary Wallis (1851) who extended their journeys and roles in these voyages. While people were aware that women often accompanied their husbands on these voyages, little attention was paid to the role that women played during these voyages.
We will relive their experiences as we share their journey through their letters, journals and diaries which remain a critical primary source for us to capture their valuable experiences and insights.
Dr. Yvonne R. Masakowski has a distinguished career in Psychology and Human Factors spanning over twenty-five years. She was recently appointed as a Research Fellow by the U.S. Naval War College following her retirement as an Associate Professor of Strategic Leadership and Leader Development in the College of Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Naval War College.