The Last Wooden Whaleship in the World....
Mystic Seaport, Connecticut...
. CHARLES W. MORGAN
The Charles W. Morgan is the last of an American whaling fleet that numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Built and launched in 1841, the Morgan is now America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat – only the USS Constitution is older.
The Morgan was launched on July 21, 1841 from the yard of Jethro and Zachariah Hillman in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She typically sailed with a crew of about 35, representing sailors from around the world. The whaleship measures 106 feet, 11 inches length on deck with her beam measuring 27 feet, 9 inches. Her main truck is 110 feet above the deck; fully-rigged, and she carries 7,134 square feet of sail. The huge try-pots used for converting blubber into whale oil are forward; below are the cramped quarters in which her officers and men lived.
The Charles W. Morgan arriving in Mystic, Conn., November 1941
Over an 80-year whaling career, the Morgan embarked on 37 voyages with most lasting three years or more. Built for durability, not speed, she roamed every corner of the globe in her pursuit of whales. She is known as a “lucky ship,” having successfully navigated crushing Arctic ice, hostile natives, countless storms, Cape Horn roundings and, after she finished her whaling career, even the Hurricane of 1938.
After her whaling days ended in 1921, the Morgan was preserved by Whaling Enshrined, Inc. and exhibited at Colonel Edward H.R. Green’s estate at Round Hill in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, until 1941. In November of that year, the Morgan came to Mystic Seaport where she has since dominated the waterfront at Chubb’s Wharf.