To Do Good is the Greatest Object Mr. Chaplin Has

Colby Bicentennial Seal 1813-1863

June 1818

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Illustration: The Sloop Hero

Mrs. Marcia  Chaplin, her husband, the Rev. Jeremiah Chaplin, and their three children, left Marblehead, Mass., in June 1818 on the sloop Hero to journey to Waterville, where her husband would start Waterville College. Mrs. Chaplin kept a journal on the voyage. Some  excerpts here:

“We are now about a half mile from Marblehead shore, so you see although we move we do not progress on our way to the Eastward. I am not however anxious about it knowing that he who holds the winds in his fists and the waters in the hollows of his hands knows how to manage them and does all things well. … The breeze freshens. We are now going farther from our dear Danvers friends, but we are neither of us farther from our covenant God.

It is to me a consolation that I have every reason to believe that to do good is the greatest object Mr. Chaplin has in view of removing to Waterville. What the event will be we know not.

“6 o’clock. One of the monsters of the deep, a whale, has just elevated himself above the surface of his liquid abode and shown himself although at the distance of 3 or 4 miles.But the great whale sea serpent with all their terrific associates which inhabit the mighty deep are completely subject to Him who made them & will prove harmless as doves if their almighty maker commands them.”

It has been really pleasant as we sailed up the river to observe now and then a meeting house. We saw a decent looking one at Phippsburg situated on rising ground. I wondered where the people would go from to attend it.

Wednesday afternoon about 2 o’clock we left the place and took one of those long boats which are much used in the Kennebec river & which being made with a booth in one end are very convenient for the transportation of families as well as goods. … It is found necessary to go on shore and procure oxen who are standing on the water’s edge with a rope fastened which is also fastened to the boat and much assists its motion.

At 10 oclock we arrived in Waterville. … The attention and affection with which we were received instead of banishing revived the recollection of the dear Danvers friends from many of whom we received similar kindnesses. … A number have called upon us and seem quite friendly. They do not seem to be such ignorant uncultivated beings as some have imagined. Many of those whom I have seen appear to be people of education & polished manners; nor have we been destitute of Christian company.”

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