Virtual Lecture by Barbara Semple: “Women at Sea”

May 20, 2021 7:00 pm

"Women at Sea"
Barbara Semple

May 20, 2021, 7pm Eastern

$10 for Members, $15 for Non-Members (Become a Member!)
Virtual Lectures are hosted on Zoom Webinar.


Women at Sea relates the stories of life aboard a sailing vessel during the late 1800s while embarking on the China Trade. Frances Carleton Brastow Amesbury was one of those women, though her story is not totally unique, it tells of an adventurous series of journeys around the world. While not at sea, she lived in a seafaring town of Rockport, Maine.

What vessels she and Captain Stanley Amesbury sailed on, what they were like, as well as what life on board was like for them are all documented in her five-line-a-day journals. She was not the only woman on board a ship in those days, and her relationships with he other sea captains' wives was an important part of her travels.

Frances Carleton Brastow Amesbury is the great aunt of Barbara Brastow Semple. Through the reading of her fifteen years of journals and several books and diaries, Barbara has been able to put together a travelog of sorts, highlighting the women's voyages, with an emphasis on Frances' experiences sailing the high seas in the late 1800s.

About Barbara Brastow Semple

Barbara and her husband retired to Chatham, Massachusetts on Cape Cod in 2009. She enjoys being a docent at the Atwood House and Museum as well as singing with the Cape-wind Chatham Chorale and their Chamber Singers. Before moving to Cape Cod, she spent 38 years in New Hampshire raising their children and being a children's librarian.

Barbara grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut just blocks from Long Island Sound. She was a member of Black Rock Yacht Club and represented them at the Girls' Championship of Long Island Sound, sailing against the daughter of Briggs Cunningham, who skippered the America's Cup yacht, COLUMBIA.