Some notes: Many of the places on this voyage can be found by typing in their name to this website and then confirming approximate Latitude and Longitude when hovering over the place with your mouse: http://www.latlong.net/ If I encountered a word that I just couldn’t recognize as a word, or if its spelling or meaning was questionable (due to Hersey’s handwriting being about as bad as my own), I put [brackets] around it. Longitude and Latitude: I admit I’m not great at reading abbreviations of those two but was able to plug in the coordinates, at any rate. I haven’t been able to use a symbol for degrees when typing, so use your imagination. For definitions of sails, ships, parts of ships, and actions taken on ships please look to the glossary at the end of this post. Anything I missed, sorry! Other definitions of words I didn’t know or thought somebody else might not know are at the end of each day’s entry. To download the handwritten journal, go here: http://backtracking.radapplehost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/journal_small.pdf Journal of a Voyage from Providence Rhode Island Toward Mobile Alabama In Ship Elisa and Abby, Capt. [Palmer] [??] By David Hersey Friday November 18th, 1836
I confess I am having the hardest time reading this document. That might speak as to my generation but I’m not giving up! If you would like to assist in translating English to English (bad joke!) go ahead and give it a whirl. I did read ahead though, and saw a lovely paragraph about savages and islands and shipwrecks. Mostly really just that, because those are words I can read ;). Hopefully the journal in its entirety is as interesting as those three words are to me! My next post on this subject will be about what was going on in 1836 as David was leaving Rhode Island and arriving in Alabama—mostly to stall for time while I continue figuring this out. Please see link to the PDF below for the full document. I can provide better quality images (600 dpi) per request as they are quite large but more clear. Journal of a voyage from Providence to Mobile 1836 By David Hersey
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I’m excited to present one of the first big items in the Hersey line! My grandpa had this and a bunch of other really cool finds in his stuff and was kind enough to let us borrow a copy. I’ll be trying to read this and type it up for some time so I’ll keep you posted!