This past week, 14 of the nation’s top maritime scholars gathered at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut for a two-day brainstorming session to help the Seaport develop programming for the re-launch and voyage of the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world and the oldest American commercial vessel. UNH Associate Professor of History Jeff Bolster was among them.
The meeting was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It allowed the museum to bring together experts in maritime history, art, literature, and science to help it express the Morgan’s significance to all of those fields with the most up-to-date research and best presentation methods possible.
For Prof. Bolster, the prospect of sailing a vessel with no engine, no navigation equipment and no on-board electricity is one of the highlights of the Morgan’s restoration.
“I think it’s a stunning opportunity to run the ship,” Bolster said. “Even my good friends who are among the most accomplished sailors have grown up with engines and radar and everything else … I think this will sing to people in a certain way.”
The voyage of the Morgan is planned for 2014.