59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum


c. 1880–1890

Samuel Perry Winegar Jr. (1845–1917)

New Bedford, Massachusetts

Oil on canvas

Gift of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Martha's Vineyard Chapter, gift of Abram F. Marchant in memory of Mrs. Abigail Baylies Smith

Charles Macreading Vincent (1843–1881), known as Charlie Mac, worked for the Vineyard Gazette as a printer before he enlisted in the army and went off to war in August 1862. A year later, when he spied the steamer Monohansett in the Stono River near Folly Island in South Carolina, he rejoiced at the opportunity to spend time with other Vineyarders so far from home and recorded the event in his diary and in a letter home.

Designed by Captain Benjamin C. Cromwell of Vineyard Haven, the Monohansett had been put into service as a ferry between New Bedford and Martha's Vineyard in June 1862, but was then almost immediately chartered out to the U.S. government for use as a dispatch vessel off the coast of Virginia and the Carolinas. By the end of the Civil War, the Monohansett was serving as General Grant's dispatch boat.

After the war, the Monohansett returned to service the Vineyard, where she carried thousands of passengers to and from the summer camp meetings at Wesleyan Grove and on excursions around the Island. In 1874 Ulysses S. Grant, then president of the United States, once again rode on the Monohansett when he visited Cottage City.

Samuel Perry Winegar Jr. began his working life as a sailor, but by 1881 he was listed as an artist in New Bedford directories. He specialized in paintings of ships.