This Week in Nantucket History

On This Day in Natnucket History CoverNantucketer Amy Jenness shares her research on what happened On This Day In Nantucket History one day at a time for the past seven days. These excerpts offer up quirky and fascinating stories of the people and events that shaped this remote island. Check the NHA home page each day to catch up on what happened today in Nantucket history.

Excerpts from On This Day In Nantucket History
By Amy Jenness
The History Press


  • May 25, 1852
    Annie Barker Folger, an artist and ardent preservationist, was born on this day on Nantucket in 1852.
  • May 24, 1899
    The Los Angeles Herald printed a story with the headline: “She Never Saw Her husband- Both Are Blind and He Thinks of Her as Young” about a Nantucket couple.
  • May 23, 1852
    Azubah Handy Cash accompanied her husband Capt. William Cash aboard the Nantucket whale ship Columbia on a four-year whaling voyage, from October 1850 to May 1854. Click to see what she wrote in her diary on this day in 1852.
  • May 22, 1909
    The Inquirer & Mirror reported that the telegraph cable that connected Nantucket to the mainland had been acting “cranky.” The Postal Telegraph Company sent a cable expert to troubleshoot, and he discovered a break about five miles offshore from Nantucket.
  • May 21, 1913
    On this day, Nantucket’s last living whaling master, Thaddeus C. Defriez, “dropped anchor at the ripe age of 90 years and 7 months,” according to an obituary in the Inquirer & Mirror.
  • May 20, 1828
    Around this date in May of 1828, Nantucket Captain R.S. Bunker was trying to convince Nantucketers that steam-powered boats were better than sailboats. Nantucketers were unimpressed with his case.
  • May 19, 1916
    In 1916, the U.S. Congress proposed to amend the U.S. Constitution to allow women to vote and stated, “the right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by an State on account of Sex.”
  • May 18, 1820
    Eliza Starbuck Barney, a suffragist and antislavery activist who created a genealogical record of more than 40,000 Nantucket families spanning over two and a half centuries, married Nathaniel Barney on this day.

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.

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