Nathan and his younger brother Jared’s paths had not crossed for over seventeen years until they met off the coast of South America in 1868. He had sent Jared a letter at some point requesting that his ship the Splendid meet and gam with Jared’s ship, the Roman in the Pacific at an appointed time and date. Nathan had sent a list of questions asking for news about life at home in Edgartown.
On January 16, 1869, Laura and Prescott met their Uncle for the first time off the coast of Juan Fernandez island. The two Jernegan brothers and fellow captains spent 24 hours catching up and sharing provisions before the Splendid headed east and the Roman continued west into the Pacific.
A successful whaling captain, his career kept him away from home for years at a time. He captained whaling ships Niger, Splendid and Pousseau. In the 1850 and 1870 census he was listed as a farmer and a mariner. Unlike his brother Jared and cousin Nathaniel, he did not get involved in the island’s business growth following the Civil War.
Nathan M. Jernegan died of heart disease on Dec. 16, 1887 at the age of 66 and was buried in Edgartown. His widow, Charlotte, died on Dec. 22, 1898.
Martha's Vineyard Museum