It's an election year. We're in a pandemic. And who is? The podcast is back for season two. I'm Sean Morrow. And on the first season of Who is the podcast from now this I explore power through the stories of people like Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi. Now I'm back for who is season to 16 more episodes from Alexandria Cassio Cortez to Mark Zuckerberg every Tuesday. Listen to who is the podcast on the radio app, Apple podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.
In this time of pandemic and revolution, do you find yourself frustrated at high levels of corruption and inequality at our inability to get basic things done at the persistence of systemic racism? You're not alone.
I'm Baratunde Thurston, author, activist and comedian. Our democratic experiment is at a tipping point, but which way we tip is up to us. Listen to how cities in the Baratunde on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you listen to podcast.
Welcome to stuff you missed in History Class. A production of I Heart Radio. Hello and welcome to the podcast, I'm Tracy B. Wilson, and I'm Holly Fry. I think some themes have developed in our podcast over the last few months, including travel and solitude, because it's 20 and we're still in the middle of this pandemic that's keeping a lot of us home and away from most other people. So today we're continuing on with that theme.
We have Joshua Slocum. It was the first person known to sail around the world alone.
So, you know, he has some some things in common with some other folks we've talked about recently. Unlike Lighthouse Keeper Ida Lewis, he did not always enjoy that solitude. And also, unlike cyclist Annie Londonderry, he probably did actually do the thing that he became famous for.
To be clear, humanity has a long history of taking ocean voyages and small vessels, and the biggest example is Polynesian wayfinding, which goes back thousands of years and uses celestial bodies, oceans, whales, birds and sea life and other observations to navigate just immense distances without instruments. The Polynesian Voyaging Society has been reviving and preserving those methods since the 1970s, including taking sea voyages in canoes that are between 60 and 70 feet or eighteen to twenty one metres long.
Those have a crew of 12 to 16 people, so they are not very big today. Of course, there are also round the world yacht races and handed sailing has just become its own whole thing. But when Joshua Slocum was living, the idea that a person would or even could sail around the world in a small boat alone basically for fun was just baffling. I did want to note up at the top that toward the end of this episode, we'll have a brief discussion of a sexual assault allegation.
So for background, Joshua Slocum was born on February 20th, 1844, to Sarah and John Slocum. John was a farmer and Sarah was the daughter of a lighthouse keeper. Joshua was their fifth child of 11, nine of whom survived childhood for reasons that are not entirely clear. At several points during his life, Slocum claimed to have been born in various places in Massachusetts. This was simply not true. He was actually born in Nova Scotia.
For the first few years of Joshua's life, the family lived on a farm in Mount Hanle, and then when he was eight, they moved out to Briar Island and John opened a boot shop there when Joshua was about 12. John pulled him out of school to put him to work pegging boots. This was really not an unusual age for a working class boy to leave school. But Joshua did not want to pack boots. He was just fascinated by the sea.
The reason for the move to Brierre Island was probably to be closer to Sarah Slocum's family. Her health is generally described as frail as is so often the case. We don't really have much detail beyond that. Several people did describe her as being worn out from having so many children so close together, something that people also said about her own mother. Sarah died in 1860 at the age of 46, less than two weeks after giving birth to her last child.
Joshua was six years old when she died. Joshua's relationship with his father had never been particularly smooth. He told his friends a story about making a model ship in secret, which his father destroyed when he found it, and then gave Joshua what was, in his words, a thrashing. At the age of 14, Joshua ran away from home to be a cook on a ship. But in his words, the crew, quote, mutiny at the appearance of my first duff and chucked me out before I had a chance to shine as a culinary artist, although this first attempt to leave home didn't really last.
After his mother's death, Joshua left again. He did odd jobs before joining the crew of a merchant vessel.
Slocombe worked his way up through the ranks on various ships. On April 29th, 1864, he was issued a seaman's protection certificate. This was a document that had been created in the 18th century to try to protect American sailors from being pressed into service. For the British, it contained a sailor's vital information and also served as proof of citizenship. It's not entirely clear whether Slocombe claimed to have been born in the United States in order to get one of these certificates or if he had actually become a citizen.
The process was just a lot less formal and involved then than it is today as all of this was going on. He also changed the spelling of his last name from Slocombe, ending in B to Slocum SLAC.
Um, Slocombe reached the rank of captain by the age of twenty five that he spent most of his money back home to try to help his family. He actually set so much of his pay, but sometimes he had to go borrow money to outfit himself for his next voyage. On one of these voyages, he became seriously ill with something that he described as a fever. This might have been malaria and it seems to recur at several points during his life, Slocum's career as a captain took him all over the world, particularly around the Pacific Ocean, on merchant cargo and fishing vessels.
On January 13th, 1871, he married Virginia Albertina Walker, known as Ginny, in Sydney, Australia. Ginny was an American from New York, and it seems as though her family had moved to Australia during the gold rushes.
It's not clear exactly when or how Joshua and Jenny met, but less than a month after he arrived in Australia, they were married. She had not turned to one. He won yet, so she had to have a certificate that gave her father's consent for her to marry, even though one of these certificates was issued, it seems like the couple were so eager to get married that their wedding wound up looking almost like an elopement. Her father only saw the end of the ceremony because he heard what was happening and he ran to the church and got there just before it was over.
Joshua and Jenny's relationship seems to have been one of love at first sight, and biographers have described them as soul mates. She went to see with him, which was an incredibly rough environment. His accounts describe her backing him up against mutineers armed with pistols or revolvers, also using those same weapons to kill sharks. Ginny.
Sounds amazing, but aside from all that, in general, a ship could be a violent place. As we've talked about on the show before, social systems and prejudices that were entrenched on land were often a lot more relaxed at sea. So, for example, crews were often racially integrated when people of color could rise to a higher rank than they might have been able to do in other settings.
At the same time, it was inherently dangerous work and sailors had very few rights and protections. Corporal punishment was accepted as a way to discipline the crew. In the 19th century, many sailors had been coerced or forced into the job, or they just had no other choice. And once they became sailors, they got into a cycle of spending a stretch of time at sea, then returning to port where unscrupulous landlords and tavern owners robbed them of their money, leaving them no other choice but to go to sea again.
Slocum's reputation within the system is described as somewhere on a spectrum between tough but fair and abusive and tyrannical, depending on whose account you read stand. Grayson, who's the author of the biography A Man for All Oceans, suggests that Slocum's biggest issue in all of this might have been not doing more to rein in his ship's cruellest mates. The mates were the ones who were actually tasked with maintaining discipline. But tempering a mate's behaviour could also be really challenging, since anything a captain might do on that front ran the risk of undermining the mates authority with the crew.
Regardless, Slocombe faced charges on several occasions for alleged mistreatment of his crew. One of these incidents happened upon arriving in San Francisco after his very first voyage with his wife on board. He was accused of beating a stowaway and convicted at a trial that he did not attend because it was held after he'd already set sail again bound for Alaska. These kinds of trials were quite common, though, and sometimes they stemmed from totally unfounded charges. During his career at sea, Slocum was convicted in some cases and acquitted in others.
We should also note that as I was researching this, the account that came down farthest on the cruel and tyrannical end of the spectrum cited Slocum's having left a man in irons for 53 days as an example. But that account omitted the part where the man in question had forged documents to cover up his criminal past so that he could come on as the ship's second mate. And then he had planned a mutiny. He had been left in irons to restrain him until they could get to a port.
Nevertheless, this also went to court and the court found for the mate who was named Henry Slater, and they ordered Slocombe to pay a fine of 500 dollars.
Joshua and Jinney actually raised a family in the middle of all this. And we're going to talk more about that after we have a quick sponsor break.
I'm Holly Frying, and I'm Maria FreeMarkets, and together we're exploring the margins of history and specifically at the intersection of history and true crime.
Welcome to the Criminally, a podcast. Our first season of the show is all about lady poisoners, and the history has not been kind to ladies.
Women have been marginalized. They've been vilified. They're falsely accused and often just plain misunderstood time and time again.
But sometimes women take power for themselves and sometimes they do it through murder.
Some of these women absolutely were guilty, but some of them were probably labeled as criminals. But that was not the case in all of them were viewed through society's lens, sitting at this intersection of being both killers and the fairer sex. But how many were just misunderstood? Listen to criminality on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcast.
Welcome to the Criminally, a podcast, I'm Holly Fry, and I'm Maria Tomoaki. And together, we're exploring the intersection of history, a true crime. Our first season of the show is all about lady poisoners. Sometimes women take power for themselves and sometimes they do it through murder. But how many were just misunderstood? Join us on criminality as we untangle their stories on the radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. For several years, whether he was working on someone else's ship or one of his own, Joshua Slocombe sailed with his whole family on board with him, and that was something that attracted some attention.
In the Boston Journal in 1881, Captain John Drew recounted an earlier encounter with them, quote, One day a bark was seen sailing up the bay, a queer old craft for modern sailors to look at. And what was stranger. Still, she flew the American flag. Curiosity was at work at once to find what she could be for as she glided by. There might also be seen a lady's sunhat and children's curly hair just above the old fashioned bulwarks.
The captain and his bark hailed from San Francisco, he carried his wife and three children. He was a roving genius in every respect. The bark in this story was the Amethyst, which Slocombe bought in 1878, and Drew saw them when they were arriving in Manila.
The Slocum family ultimately included seven children, four of whom survived infancy. They were Victor, born in 1872, Benjamin Armah born in 1873, Jessie Helena born in 1875, and James Garfield and known just as Garfield, born in 1881. Although she did have her sister on board as a companion at some points for many of these deliveries, Jenny gave birth on a ship full of men without a midwife, a doctor or even another woman on board. As an attendant, Ginny was both mother and teacher to the children.
This included having Joshua and upright piano to the ship's deck so she could teach the music. And on Sundays she saw to it that they had Sunday school once again. Jennie sounds amazing.
Like I wish I had her fortitude.
By the eighteen eighties, though, it was becoming harder for Slocum to find work, he had developed a reputation for being an exceptional navigator and traitor. But his experience and his passion were specifically in sailing. Ships and steam ships were starting to take over. In 1881, Slocombe bought a share in the Northern Light, which was powered by sail but also had a small steam engine on board that could be used for things like lifting cargo and pumping water. Slocum liked the labor saving aspects of this engine, but he stridently resisted the idea of becoming the captain of a forlorn steamship.
In 1883, aboard the northern line, the family saw the volcano Krakatoa on what they thought was a full eruption. But they were a few days away by the time the eruption really peaked. Although they were crossing the Indian Ocean at that point, they weren't affected by the tsunamis that followed. They did face a major storm as they arrived at the Cape of Good Hope. But it wasn't until they reached port that they realized that they had narrowly avoided being killed by the volcano.
In 1884, Joshua Slocum sold his share in the Northern Light and bought one hundred and eighty three foot or forty two metre vessel called the Aquidneck. He wanted to have a boat of his own and to use it to provide both a home and an income for himself and the family. But this is really where things started to just go wrong for him. It seems like he bought this boat and then he just could not catch a break for a long time.
Afterward, on July 25th of that year, Ginny died suddenly while they were docked at Buenos Aires. The cause of her death is unclear, but her children described her as having had a weak heart.
Joshua arranged to have Jenny's body buried in an English cemetery in Buenos Aries. He also bought a headstone, which he had engraved with Virginia. Wife of Captain Joshua Slocum died 25 July 1884, age thirty five years. Based on the timeline of when they got married, she was probably actually thirty four.
But I'm not going to disagree.
Irving Mann for his engraving choices. Her children said that her pet Canary Pete did not sing for a long time after her death, and they described their father as being like a boat with a broken rudder. He never really recovered, and he turned to the spiritualism movement to try to reconnect with his late wife. But that did not really bring him any peace before they set sail again.
Slocombe decorated Jenny's grave with flowers and arranged to have a photographer take a picture for her family. Then he and the children made their way to Baltimore. The three youngest children stayed there with family, while Victor stayed with his father aboard the ship when he set sail again. Victor was actually the only one of the Slocumb children who went on to pursue a career at sea.
On February 22nd, 1886, Slocum got married again, this time to his cousin, Henrietta Elliott, who was known as Heddy. He was 42 and she was twenty four.
This really seems to have been more of a practical match than his marriage to Jenny, at least from Slocum's point of view. She was a pretty young seamstress from Boston and he had four children who now ranged in age from four to 14. Slocombe hope that in addition to being a mother to his children, that Heddy could also be his companion. It see, this, however, was not to be. Would they set sail again? Benomar begged to be left behind.
Jesse, who was the only girl, stayed behind with the family on land, as well as for Joshua Heddy, Victor Gaffield and the crew. The trip started with them sailing through an enormous gale which damaged the ship, including the galley, and then for some time afterward, they could only eat cold food. This voyage included being quarantined in Brazil, unable to deliver the cargo they had with them because of a cholera outbreak there. On top of all that, this crew included men who had served their time in prison for everything from theft to murder.
And some of them hatched a plot to kill the whole family and take over the ship. That plot was foiled only because Hetty had been too anxious to sleep the night they were going to carry it out. And this led to a violent confrontation in which Joshua killed one of the perpetrators. He was tried for murder and acquitted because it had clearly been a case of self-defense. While Joshua was on trial, the Aquidneck went on with its voyage under a temporary captain, and Heddy and Gaffield stayed on shore when Slocumb caught up with the ship after his acquittal.
Port officials wanted to treat the change in command like the sale of the ship, and that would involve the crew all being paid, dismissed and replaced. Although they ultimately worked it out, the crew had to spend an extra night in port. One of them contracted smallpox and started showing symptoms after they had set sail. This, of course, started an outbreak on board. And while they tried to get back to shore to seek medical help, they ran into a hurricane.
Some of the crew died and the whole ship had to be disinfected. Afterward, Hetty and Gaffield rejoined the party after all of this. And then in December of 1887, the Aquidneck hit a sandbar off the coast of Brazil and was wrecked. Slocombe had never inserted the vessel, possibly because insurance was just too expensive and it was almost a total loss. They were rescued by a passing vessel and Joshua built a sort of leam to hut for the family to live in while he built a new boat from local materials and what he could salvage from the Aquidneck.
The result was a vessel that he described as a canoe, which was designed sort of like a Chinese junk, and he christened it the Liberdade because they set sail for home on May 13th, 1888, which was the day the law went into effect that abolished slavery in Brazil. That voyage home took 55 days. They spent the winter in Washington, DC and got back to Massachusetts in the spring of 1889.
This wreck nearly ruined Slocombe financially. He sold the Liberdade to somebody to donate to the Smithsonian just to try to make a little money. And then he did odd jobs around the docks to try to make ends meet. He also wrote his account of the whole journey called The Voyage of the Liberdade, to try to make some money. Petit, who was pretty much done with long distance sea voyages after this, suggested that maybe he might become a farmer. But all Slocum really wanted to do was captain a sailing ship.
In 1891, Captain Ebenezer Pierce offered Slocombe a boat which in his words, quote, wants some repairs. That boat was an old oyster sloop called the spray, which was sitting derelict in an empty lot. It was in such poor condition that when Slocum's started rebuilding it, PASSERS-BY asked if he was breaking it up. His work on this project took 13 months and in the end he had a thirty six foot nine inch that's about eleven point one metres sloop.
That was entirely his own. Making money with it continued to be a challenge, though, especially considering that the panic of 1893 started shortly after he was finished. Late that year, he accepted the command of a warship called the Destroyer, which was part of a U.S. mercenary fleet that was sent to Brazil to deal with the mutiny within the Brazilian navy. This voyage did not go very well. The ship leaked and was beset by all kinds of other problems.
And then when they got there, Brazilian President Floriano Pisciotta, who had asked for the aid in the first place, did not want to pay for it. The destroyer was later sunk, and in 1894, Slocombe wrote Voyage of the Destroyer about this whole not amazing experience.
It was around this time that Slocum's started thinking maybe he could make money by taking a solo voyage around the world and writing about it. No. No one had ever done that before, at least that we know of, and we're going to talk more about this idea after we first pause for a sponsor break. Powerful and ancient, they exist right alongside us in their own dimensions, their own tribes and their own kingdoms, some say they are the eternal mortal enemy of mankind.
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Listen to who is the podcast I heart radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Joshua Slocum's solo voyage around the world started from East Boston in April of 1895, Hetty came to the dock to say goodbye.
She brought Joshua, son Gaffield and daughter Jessie with her. We really don't know how his feelings on all of this or about her husband in general at this point, but it was clear that she did not want to join Joshua on any kind of long sea voyage ever again. Garfield was the youngest of Joshua's children at this point. He was 14 and by that age, his oldest brother, Victor, had been working alongside their father at sea. So it's likely that Joshua just didn't think his children really needed him around that much anymore.
At first, Slocumb turned northward, heading to Nova Scotia, checking the seams and repairing some damage along the way. He also bought a 10 clock to use in place of a chronometer. He did have a chronometer, but it hadn't been used in a while and it was going to cost fifteen, fifteen dollars to have it cleaned and rated. As we've talked about on our previous episode called The Discovery of Longitude, regular clocks tended to lose their accuracy at sea.
But Slocum was using this little tin clock in conjunction with other navigational methods, including lunar navigation, which he was very good at. Yeah, he he was deeply annoyed by multiple, small, small in quotation marks. I mean, it's been a long time ago that was worth a lot more money. But like, he was very annoyed by, like, various expenses that it was going to take, but that. Fifteen dollars for the chronometer. Fifteen, fifteen dollars.
Slocumb crossed the Atlantic and then after setting sail again from Hawaii to Portugal, he was stricken with what might have been food poisoning. He mentioned eating some plums and white cheese that had been given to him by the American consul general. While he was there, he had terrible cramps and he he hallucinated one of Christopher Columbus crew, the pilot of the Pinta, who assured Slocombe that he would keep the spray on a steady course. I love that story.
Slocombe did recover, but not long afterward, he learned that the Mediterranean Sea was having a problem with pirates, so rather than risking it, he turned around and he went back across the Atlantic to circle the world in the other direction instead. I also love the idea that, like, just going back across an entire ocean was going to be safer than going through the Mediterranean and its pirate problem. Although he made stops along the way, some of them quite lengthy.
Slocum's time at sea was really lonely, and that loneliness often wore on him to keep himself company. He had conversations with the moon and he gave orders to an imaginary crew that then he would carry out himself. He also sang and he read a lot. He brought a sizable library with him on board, including works by Longfellow, Shakespeare and Darwin. Suddenly his life sounds like a Tom Waits song.
To me, it's the conversations with the moon. After crossing the Atlantic, Slocombe turned south down the coast of South America, stopping in Buenos Aires to visit Ginnie's grave before making his way through the Magellan Straits. That was even in the best of circumstances, a treacherous route. But he was in a very small boat powered only by sail, which meant there was a real risk of being blown backward, something that caused him to have to sail back through the same territory.
He also had several encounters with the indigenous folk in people who he describes repeatedly in his writing as savages. They were known to attack and plunder ships, and Slocum had been advised to take somebody with him through the straits. For this reason. He did not really want to do that, though that's the whole point, was to be able to say he had done the whole journey alone. He did talk to some potential shipmates, but he ultimately did go by himself.
So when he was in Fujian territory, he made a dummy out of his clothes so that it would look from a distance like someone else was aboard. He also scattered carpet tacks across the deck, which had been given to him by another captain for that purpose while he was sleeping. In the end, he thwarted at least two attempted invasions of the ship, and he made it through the Magellan Strait. It took him 62 days. That's when you look at a map.
It's easy to imagine that you would just sort of zip zip through there.
No, it's like, did you go two feet per day? Yeah. When he got blown backward, he got blown a significant distance, like you can read his whole account of it is in the public domain at this point. So, like, you can read it and his first person account. But yeah, I did not imagine it taking that long to get through there until I read this. Once he was in the Pacific, Slocum's adventures included visiting the island that likely served as the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe and in Samoa.
In April of 1896, he spent several days with Robert Louis Stevenson's widow, Fanny. She gave him her late husband's sailing directories. He also spent 10 months in Australia giving lectures and doing some repair work on the spray. Once he was back in the Atlantic Ocean, he visited the island of St. Helena, where someone gave him a goat. That's a goat with a gee.
He didn't really want to have animals on board, but he also didn't want to be rude. But then the goat ate not only Slocum's hat, but also one of his nautical charts. So he gave it away at his next opportunity. On May 8th of 1898, Slocombe crossed his previous path across the Atlantic. At that point, he had technically become the first person known to circumnavigate the globe alone. But he didn't think that he was really done until he was back in the United States.
He got to Newport, Rhode Island on June twenty seventh of 1898 and then back to Fairhaven, Massachusetts on July 3rd. He had traveled forty six thousand miles, or seventy four thousand kilometres in just over three years, two months. And at first people did not really believe that he had done it. The whole idea was still considered to be absurd and impossible, but he had meticulously kept logs and he had paper stamped by port officials and other authorities all over the world.
Unlike some of the other stories we talked about that show his story and the evidence he had all matched up.
Yeah, he used those logs to write Sailing Alone Around the World, which was published serially in Century Illustrated monthly starting in September of 1899. Then it came out as a book in March of nineteen hundred critic Van Wyck Brooks called it, quote, a nautical equivalent of Thoreau's account of his life in the hut at Walden. And it became very popular. You can read several papers of people analyzing whether they actually think it's fair to compare this book to Walden.
But that was Phanatic Brooks's opinion. Because of the success of this book, Slocombe got to meet Mark Twain, whose writing he greatly admired in 1899. He also met President Theodore Roosevelt, who said of the book, quote, I entirely sympathize with your feeling of delight in the sheer loneliness and vastness of the ocean. It was just my feeling.
In the wilderness of the West, Slocombe started delivering lectures about his voyage and along with his book sales, he was able to get on pretty good financial footing. He tried to launch a venture that he called the college ship, which was a proposed two year voyage around the world where students would learn seamanship and engineering while also getting a liberal arts education. That sounds amazing, but there were not enough interested students and professors to get that off the ground, though.
In 1981, Slocombe took the spray up the Erie Canal for the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo. He sold his books from on board, along with a more inexpensive publication called Sloop Sprey Souveniring, which Heti had compiled. Stan Gracin, whose biography we mentioned earlier, suggests that this was a little comeuppance for Heddy, whose sisters had been really down on Joshua for their entire relationship right under her name. It had three favorable statements about her husband, the last being from Sir Edwin Arnold, who said, quote, The adventure is by far the most courageous, sustained and successful enterprise of the kind ever undertaken by mortal man.
All of this success allowed Slocum to buy a home on land for the first time in 1932. That was a little farm on Martha's Vineyard. The idea that he might be a farmer, as Hetty suggested so many years before, did not really last, though. In five, Slocombe started sailing to the Caribbean for the winter, heady, having already made her thoughts clear on sea voyages, spent the winters in East Boston as someone who lives in Massachusetts.
This, to me is so indicative of how much she was like, No, I am never getting on a boat of that sort again because she would rather have Boston winter than Caribbean winter. Yeah, give me that boat. That boat. Give me that boat, baby.
So by this point, Slocum was in his 60s and he seems to have been starting to decline. People who visited him aboard the spray noticed that it wasn't as clean or well maintained anymore. Slocum himself seemed to be increasingly eccentric and unkempt. People were describing him with words like dippie and cracked. More than one person who visited the spray notice that he had neglected to button his pants. After returning from the Caribbean in 1986, Slocum stopped in Riverton, New Jersey.
A 12 year old girl visited the spray with a friend and then told her father she had, in the words of a newspaper quote, suffered indignities there, the girl's father told the authorities. And Slocum was charged with rape.
However, a doctor examined this girl and found no evidence that she had been physically harmed. And soon her father was walking back the accusation. He wrote a letter describing the news coverage that was calling it an assault as, quote, appearing to misstate the facts. The letter went on to say that to his and his wife's extreme relief. In his words, after talking to their daughter and having her examined by a doctor, she was agitated but not physically harmed.
Slocum spent 42 days in jail, after which he had a hearing before a judge. The charge was reduced to indecent assault, and the judge told him, quote, Upon the request of the family, I can deal leniently with you. Slocombe said he had no memory of the incident and that if anything had happened, it must have been during some kind of, quote, mental lapse. He entered a plea of no contest and was released without further penalty and forbidden from ever coming to Riverton again.
Yeah, my read on all of this is that he did not intentionally do anything, but simultaneously she was genuinely traumatized. Right. Just like based on his pattern of behavior at the time. He left aboard the spray the next day and then he continued on with his planned itinerary from before he had been arrested. And that involves delivering rare orchids to President Teddy Roosevelt. The president's son, Archibald, described the spray as decrepit and, quote, the most incredibly dirty craft I have ever seen.
In November of nineteen eighty eight or possibly ninety nine, Slocum left Martha's Vineyard bound for the Caribbean. He was never seen again. There were, however, some unconfirmed sightings of him around the Caribbean, including one sea captain who reportedly described a collision with a small vessel off the coast of Venezuela. But what happened to him is really a mystery. He was a. Legally declared dead in 1924, for all practical purposes, Joshua and Heti had been separated for a few years by the time of his disappearance, she remarried in 1920, won her next husband, died in 1939, and then she died in 1952.
Sailing alone around the world has remained in print for decades since it was first published. And today it is, as Tracey mentioned, in the public domain. In addition to its popularity at the time, it also inspired other writers, including Jack London, who bought his own thirty eight foot sloop in 1983 and named it the spray. He wrote part of the Seawolf while aboard the spray and later on went on a longer voyage that he documented in the cruise of the Snark.
And we will end the episode with a quote from Slocumb. Quote, I once knew a writer who, after saying beautiful things about the sea, passed through a Pacific hurricane and became a changed man.
But where, after all, would be the poetry of the sea, were there no wild waves? That's Joshua Slocum. I love his story, obviously, it's not all fun, it's not all fun, but it's a really engaging story. Even the difficult parts are really interesting and make you think, yeah, but mostly I love his first wife.
Yeah, Jenny. Jenny is where it's at, man. Jenny seems great. And it's like from all the accounts that we have, it really does seem like that they were just deeply in love with each other. Immediately she was onboard with being, you know, on on the boat with him all the time and that he just he never really totally recovered after her death. I have a listener mail from Marcus, bring it on, it's about Canting Marcos's I personally I'm hoping this is the right way to contact you both to give a shout out to your podcasts.
I discovered stuff you missed in history class at the beginning of of last year. And it's been wonderful to hear you both talk about one of my favorite subjects on my morning commute. I recently listened to the Canting episode, and it made me remember your previous episode on Home Economics, which are two episodes I could really relate to. You both had mentioned the cooperative extension programs, which I work for. I'm going to skip some of the detail there because privacy, family and consumer science agents are the successors to what was called the home demonstration or home economics agents use extension agents, a majority of amazing women with educate families on canning and preserving grown produce and meat, how to keep an organized home canning the weaving of furniture and other cool things.
Today, FCC agents mostly focus on health and wellness, food and nutrition, financial resource management and food safety, although programs may differ upon states and counties to meet community needs. My focus has been on teaching good food safety courses to food service employees, doing fun cooking classes with adults and kids, and still preserving an important legacy of canning and teaching the prevention of spoilage microorganisms and harmful pathogens occurring in unsafe canning methods like castrilli and botulinum or botulism.
Canning was also a skill my grandma passed down to me and now I use in my job. And I enjoy getting to teach folks all this amazing material within family and consumer sciences. Thank you for the wonderful podcast, as always, and shout out to Cooperative Extension. Looking forward to future episodes. And I also attach some photos of canning peach pickles for a video our county website this summer did, which were absolutely amazing. Take care. Tracy and Holly Marcus.
Thank you, Marcus, for this email and these pictures. Those do look like some delicious peach pickles. I am I don't know, but I think I talked in the behind the scenes on one of those episodes about taking classes that are like agricultural extension service. And the funny thing is, I'm sure they offered classes that were cooking related. But the ones that I remember the most were things that were about crafts and sewing and stuff.
So anyway, thank you again, Marcus, for that email, if you would like to write to us, which, yes, Marcus did, by the correct way, to email history podcast. I heart radio dotcom. That is the best way to reach us. We are on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram. Our name there is all mixed in history, but email is the thing we're most likely to actually see. And you can subscribe to our show on Apple podcast and I Heart Radio app and anywhere else you get your podcasts.
Stuff you missed in history class is the production of I Heart Radio for more podcasts for My Heart radio visit by her radio app Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. With a pandemic and a revolution happening at the same time, we get to choose what kind of society we want to rebuild and who we want to be together.
I'm Baratunde Thurston, author, activist and comedian, and I've got a new podcast, How to Citizen with Baratunde in our democratic experiment is at a tipping point, but which way we tip is up to us. I Heart Radio is number one for podcast, but don't take our word for it. Find How to Citizen with Baratunde Day on the radio app or wherever you get your podcast.
What's up everybody? We're L.A. comedy group, Obama's other daughters.
And on our podcast you download, we're discussing what's going on in the culture, everything from dating to therapy.
Look, I got dumped on FaceTime, so I had to hold it together.
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