Calm Seas

Saturday, April 26, brought “more quiet,” which gave Eliza Baylies Wheaton her first comfortable opportunity to socialize with her fellow passengers.  In the afternoon, she drank some ginger tea that, she noted, “revived me greatly and enabled me to go to tea from which I had been absent from 1st. day.”

Tea was one of the numerous meals served on board the ship throughout the day and evening.  A light evening meal between dinner and supper, it probably seemed to Wheaton just right, neither too heavy nor the gruel to which her diet had been limited for the past week.

The social aspect of the meal probably appealed to her at least as much as the food, if not more.  Wheaton was accustomed to a lively social life, with neighbors, friends, teachers, and students in and out of her house every day.  The dreariness of her stateroom must certainly have extended beyond her seasickness, and homesickness had probably worsened her anxiety that the ship would break on the stormy ocean and she would never see her beloved friends and family again.

What a delight it must have been for her then, to leave her stateroom and join her fellow passengers for tea.


Eliza Baylies Wheaton, Travel Journal, Wheaton Family Collection (MC089), Marion B. Gebbie Archives & Special Collections, Madeleine Clark Wallace Library, Wheaton College, Norton, MA.

Paine, Harriet E. The life of Eliza Baylies Wheaton: A Chapter in the History of the Higher Education of Women. Cambridge, Mass.: Printed at the Riverside Press, 1907.

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