Memoirs open a door to the lives of two 19th century Lincoln County women
by Louise Miller
March is both National Reading Month and National Women’s History Month. Combining the two and highlighting Lincoln County women can be an enjoyable pastime. Here are two suggestions: Sallie and Captain Sam, complied with background details by Martha Vaughan, and Windjammer Bride by Andie H. Chapman. Both young women joined their husbands on voyages that would take them far from the shores of Mid Coast Maine.
Sallie (Sarah August Prescott) was the great-granddaughter of Major and Mrs. Samuel Goodwin. Major Goodwin was the original caretaker of the Pownalborough Court House built in 1761 in what is now Dresden. Sallie married Captain Sam Goodwin, her second cousin, in September of 1852; six months later she sailed with her husband on her first voyage. Captain Sam was the master of the ship Rockaway at that time. The ship had been built in Bath, Maine at the shipyard of Thomas Harwood. Captain Sam worked for a Boston shipping company that transported goods from the east coast of the United States, to eastern Canadian ports as well as England and Ireland. Sallie’s letters and journals provided Martha Vaughan with many fascinating reflections of her experiences on shipboard and at the ports-of-call. Her letters to family over a period of ten years described a world far from her farm home, both in
distance and in social customs, dress and landscape.
Almost thirty years later, in 1879, another young Lincoln County woman, Angie H. Chapman, was married in the Baptist Church in Damariscotta. Angie was the greatgreat granddaughter of Anthony Chapman, an early settler to the area and step brother of Nathaniel Chapman, whose house still stands across from the Baptist Church. Within a few weeks after her marriage, Angie and her husband Captain
Francis (Frank) Hinckley sailed by steamship to Liverpool to connect with his windjammer, the Leading Wind. The Leading Wind had been built by the company Goss and Sawyer,also in Bath. Angie’s travels with Captain Frank took her much further afield than Sallie’s. In addition to Wales and England, they delivered cargo to Holland, India, China, Sumatra (Indonesia), and Australia. Angie’s journal recorded the sights and entertainments they experienced from 1879 to 1885. As one can imagine, the people and cities Angie discovered were light-years from her life in Mid Coast Maine. The libraries of Lincoln County offer readers an opportunity to leave the Mid Coast on voyages that require neither a ship nor a wedding. The librarians of the following libraries are ready to help with your celebration of National Reading Month and Women’s History Month: Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library, Bremen Library, Bristol Area Public Library, Skidompha Public Library, Bridge Academy Public Library, Jefferson Public Library, Rutherford Library, Southport Memorial Library, Waldoboro Public Library, and Wiscasset Public Library.
The Lincoln County Historical Association is a non-profit organization that provides stewardship for the 1754 Chapman-Hall House in Damariscotta, the 1761 Pownalborough Court House in Dresden, and the 1811 Old Jail and Museum in Wiscasset. For more information about the organization, please visit www.lincolncountyhistory.org or Facebook at Lincoln County Historical Association (Maine).
Caption: The A. J. Fuller, (Maine) built 1881. Photographer Unknown – University of Washington Libraries Collections, Public Domain