On the island of Martha's Vineyard, a baby girl named Laura was born to Helen and Captain Jared Jernegan on June 29, 1862. Laura was born in the family home just off Main Street in Edgartown, Massachusetts, just twenty-six days after Captain Jernegan had sailed for Honolulu. Jared was a mariner who could see the harbor from his home on what is now called South Summer Street.
That year and hundreds of miles away, President Abraham Lincoln's son Willie died of Typhoid Fever in Washington D.C.; a bill to abolish slavery was passed, and the American Civil War raged. There was much unrest in the country and Edgartown was not excluded. Conflict over slavery, the war and the economy existed there, while members of the extended Jernegan family continued to seek their fortunes in the rich whaling grounds of the Pacific Ocean.
Historic New England