Charles W. Morgan sails again!


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While we are on the subject of important Number 2’s (see our July 2 post here), I’ve been watching with fascination the re-launch of the Charles W. Morgan, the second oldest ship in America, and her 38th voyage around ports in the Northeast. Built in 1841, the whaler Morgan is the last of her kind and is only junior to the USS Constitution in terms of age. She is the oldest commercial ship afloat in the US. See her itinerary here.

Charles W. Morgan
An engraving of the Charles W. Morgan by Charles Wilson, in the collections of The Mariners’ Museum

Many of our readers have probably been to Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut and been aboard Morgan for a tour. You may remember her in the days before 1974 when she was partially buried at her dock to preserve the hull. If you have been to Mystic in the past few years, you will be very aware that the Morgan has been undergoing careful restoration work since November of 2008. This has been a massive undertaking for the museum and would have never been possible without the support of a number of committed program partners and individuals. To all those organizations and individuals, we at Mariners’ thank you for supporting our country’s maritime heritage.

Now, here are a few photos from our collection of the Charles W. Morgan during what was thought to be her last voyage afloat, on her way from Dartmouth, MA to Mystic in 1941. Photographs by Joseph Gordon. Enjoy!

Charles W. Morgan
Photo of ship on her last voyage afloat, New London to Mystic, Conn. Nov. 8, 1941, in Fisher’s Island Sound

Captain Sinclair Tucker
Captain Sinclair Tucker of Fairhaven, Mass., manned the pumps on last trip.

Crowds during last voyage
As Morgan goes through a drawbridge, crowds watch. A Bob Hope film is playing at the movies!

Charles W. Morgan at Mystic
Charles W. Morgan at Mystic, close to her new permanent berth.

Captain Tripp and Carl C. Butler
At end of journey Captain Tripp presents ship’s registry papers to Carl C. Butler, curator of Mystic Museum.

Morgan in permanent berth
Charles W. Morgan, detail of stern, November 1950.