Ever wonder what you might read about while volunteering to transcribe one of our many projects?
Here is an example of a dramatic account from Thomas C. Bates whaling journal after his ship was caught in a severe storm. Learn more about his time at sea by volunteering to transcribe pages of his journal – all available online! Link in story to get started.
Then grab your tablet or laptop and join us at the Whaling Museum on Saturday, March 11 from 9 to 11 am for the first NHA Transcribe-a-thon! You’ll learn how to join the NHA Volunteer Transcription Program, get tips and guidelines for interpreting historic handwriting, and have the opportunity to practice transcribing with others. We will also have family-friendly calligraphy activities, as well as a show and tell of a number of projects with our Research Library team for visitors to view in person. This program will be FREE for all.
Log 322, Thomas C. Bates whaling journal, in the Ships' Logs Collection, Nantucket Historical Association....
Nancy Gardner Prince was a freeborn Black woman whose autobiography documents her travels to Russia and Jamaica in the nineteenth century.
She was born in Newburyport in 1799. Her father was Nantucket-born Thomas Gardner, who parents were of African descent. Sadly, her father died of tuberculosis, leaving her mother a widow the second time. She then returned to Gloucester and soon married again her third husband, by whom she had six children.
After the death of her stepfather, the fourteen-year-old Prince worked to support her family as a servant. She later moved to Boston and was in daily contact with Black clergymen and Freemasons. In 1824, she married Bostonian Nero Prince, an older man who had found a position as one of the Black doormen in the Imperial Court of the Russian Czar Alexander I. She was soon living in St. Petersburg, learning to speak French and Russian, and providing handmade baby clothes to the Czarina.
Prince returned to Boston after the death of her husband in 1833 and engaged with William Lloyd Garrison’s anti-slavery society, and in 1840, she undertook two missionary trips to Jamaica. On her voyage back home, the vessel was blown off-course and was towed into the port of New Orleans. As a Black woman, she could not safely go ashore. When asked from the shore to whom she belonged, she asserted her status as free-born and invoked the name of her father, Thomas Gardner. Miraculously, his name was known in New Orleans, and her status as free, supported by her Russian travel documents, secured her way back north.
Back in Boston, she continued to work for emancipation and to speak out for woman’s rights. She opened an orphanage for Black children and ran a sewing shop. Her autobiography was issued from Garrison’s newspaper office, and in 1854 she spoke at a women’s rights convention organized by Nantucket-born Lucretia Mott. Prince died in 1859, and was buried in Everett, Mass. A copy of the first edition of her autobiography resides to this day in the vault of the Nantucket Atheneum.
Image: Cover of A narrative of the life and travels of Mrs. Nancy Prince, Boston Public Library.
Research credit: Frances Karttunen....
New transcription projects are now available on the NHA’s From the Page Account! Among the collections recently added are the Marshall-Pinkham-Farrier Family Papers.
The Marshall family of Nantucket, Mass., included teacher Helen Marshall (1851–1939); her father, whaling captain Joseph Marshall (1811–1879); and his second wife and Helen’s mother, Malvina Pinkham Marshall (1820–1885). The Pinkham family of Nantucket, Mass., included whaling captain Seth Pinkham (1786–1844), his wife Mary Brown (1791–1874), and their seven children including Malvina Pinkham Marshall. Helen Locke, a granddaughter of Seth and Mary Brown Pinkham, married Robert Edward Farrier of New Rochelle, N.Y., in April 1892 and they had six children.
This collection contains correspondence between various members of the Marshall, Pinkham, Locke, and Farrier families. Subjects include detailed accounts of daily occurrences, events, and Nantucket gossip. Some letters also contain detailed descriptions of home furnishings, including the furniture, carpets, fabrics used, and room arrangements.
Grab your tablet or laptop and join us at the Whaling Museum on Saturday, March 11 from 9 to 11 am for the first NHA Transcribe-a-thon! You’ll learn how to join the NHA Volunteer Transcription Program, get tips and guidelines for interpreting historic handwriting, and have the opportunity to practice transcribing with others. We will also have family-friendly calligraphy activities, as well as a show and tell of a number of projects with our Research Library team for visitors to view in person. This program will be FREE for all....
It’s time for another Mindful History-inspired share today to help guide us all to see, think, and connect!
* What do you see?
* What do you think it feels like to be in this room?
Join us & discover your personal connection to art & history through a variety of Museum-based experiences starting this February. Experiences will include participant-based conversation and reflection using the Whaling Museum collections, yoga and meditation, and free-flow Decorative Arts.
The Visitor Operations team is excited to launch this new program, which invites interpersonal connection through art. Participants are guided through a multi-step process to See, Think, Connect, and Uncover their relationships to various pieces in our collection. It is an exciting way to explore Nantucket’s history, and our museum guides are eager to share this new museum experience.
Learn more and register for one of our Mindful History programs, now available for registration on NHA.org!
The Tupancy-Harris Foundation generously supports this program.
The program is in partnership with @fairwindsnantucket
Portrait: Judith Folger Gardner Macy (1729-1819) by W. Ferdinand Macy, 1878. Macy painted this likeness of his great-great-grandmother in 1878, copying an original by his grandmother, Hannah (Mitchell) Macy, which was dated December 15, 1818. Bequest of Susan Wilson Folger, 1905.28.1....
Exciting news! We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of the painting Cranberry Pickers by Eastman Johnson.
Cranberry Pickers depicts a woman and man harvesting cranberries on Nantucket’s north shore. Painted around 1877, it is one of approximately twenty works Johnson created in preparation for his masterpiece Cranberry Harvest, Island of Nantucket (1880), which is now in the collection of the Timken Museum in San Diego.
Eastman Johnson (1824–1906) is the primary artist of national importance associated with Nantucket in the late nineteenth century. He and his wife began summering on the island in 1870 and returned annually through 1890, residing from 1871 onward at a property he purchased on what is now Cliff Road. The artist’s island sojourns inspired some of his most enduring works as a major genre painter, portraitist, and chronicler of American life.
This painting of cranberry pickers is extremely unusual because it is both a study and a stand-alone work that, in its specificity and beauty, surpasses all the other images Johnson produced related to his final Cranberry Harvest painting. Last exhibited publicly over thirty years ago, the painting was feared lost until recently. With most of Johnson’s best works already in museum collections, this rediscovered painting presented a rare chance for the NHA to secure one of Johnson’s finest depictions of Nantucket for the people of Nantucket. The painting will go on view this summer at the Whaling Museum and will be featured in an exhibition of Eastman Johnson and Winslow Homer paintings of women coming to the NHA in 2025.
This acquisition was made possible thanks to an outpouring of generous support from numerous private donors, NHA board members, and the Friends of the NHA....
Your gift to the NHA keeps Nantucket history alive.
The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.