Biography of Captain Worthen Hall
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CAPT. WORTHEN HALL, son of Darius, and grandson of Lt. Edward Hall, was born July 11, 1802. He had few early advantages ; until he was twenty-five years of age he struggled against all the embarrassments which a deficient education, poor health, poverty and ill-luck, could throw in his pathway. In 1827 he went to sea in a whaling vessel, before the mast, as a common sailor. He was adapted to the business, and was regularly promoted at the end of each successive voyage, until the fall of 1837, when he became Master of the ship, which position he held for eighteen years, until he left the sea. He has circumnavigated the earth twice, doubled Cape Horn six times, and the Cape of Good Hope as many more ; has killed five hundred whales, and brought home more than twenty-two thousand barrels of oil. Aug. 1, 1837, he was married to Polly p. Lovewell, who was with him some ten years at sea, two of which she spent at the Sandwich Islands. He was elected a Director of the Sugar River Bank, and is now a director in the First National Bank at Newport, and was chosen Representative from his native town in 1866. He was generous to his connections, and retired with a fortune. His present affluence and luxury presents a pleasing contrast with his early poverty, and affords to the young another example illustrating the truth that early indigence and embarrassments are no insurmountable barrier to success in after-life.
While at sea, a most thrilling incident occurred : Mary, his darling and only daughter, while at play, fell overboard, and in a moment would be swallowed up by the angry waves. In an instant, forgetting all personal danger, he plunged into the ocean after her. Buoyed up by her clothes, she rode upon the waves like a little fairy, and as her father approached she raised up her hands imploringly towards him, exclaiming, ” Father, I am overboard!” And now who shall depict the terrible frenzy of that wife and mother as she sees them both sinking to a watery grave ! She knew her husband was unaccustomed to swim ; the ship under full headway, was fast leaving them behind ; to her anxious heart it seemed as though the boat never would lower, and she felt that both must be lost. Twice had they already gone down. Once more, and they shall never again rise to bless her on earth. It is the last time-“0 my God ! they are sinking !” Rushing forward with both arms extended, as though she would fly to their relief, she exclaimed in the wildest despair, “They are lost ! they are lost !” Overcome by her emotions, she sank down in unconsciousness. As a good Providence would have it, both were rescued alive. Nothing can be more touching than the pitying moan of that daughter, as she clung to the bedside of her father during the hours of his slow recovery from his death-grapple with the ocean.