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Frances Norton Harlow (1824-1909)

Voyage: 1854

Ship: Telegraph

Frances Norton was born at Holmes Hole, now called Vineyard Haven, on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, the daughter of Freeman Norton and Polly Holmes. She was the second wife of Capt. Kimball Harlow, marrying him in 1843. Capt. Harlow built a house for Frances at 17 Linden Lane, Duxbury, MA. In 1854 Lydia voyaged aboard the clipper ship, Telegraph. An unfortunate incident occurred just three days out of Boston when the Telegraph collided with another ship and was dismasted.

At the end of his career, Capt. Harlow was the captain of the clipper, Kingfisher. Upon reaching England, he was deemed insane and his Duxbury neighbor, Capt. David Cushman, took command of the vessel.

Frances had three children with Kimball Harlow: Lydia Francis Harlow (married Frank Wadsworth – see Beulah Holmes Wadsworth in this list), Kimball F. Harlow (b. 1847) and William Osborn Harlow (b. 1852). It is likely that at least one or more of these children were onboard the Telegraph. After his death in 1862 she married Alfred Sampson, Jr. (brother of Mary France Sampson Beadle in this list) and had one son, Alfred Norton Sampson (b. 1869). She died in 1909 in the home of her son. She is buried in Mayflower Cemetery in Duxbury, MA.


Knoblock, Glen A. The American Clipper Ship, 1845-1920: A comprehensive history, with listing of builders and their ships. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Co: Jefferson, NC.

Clipper ship “Telegraph” at Whampoa, by Namcheong (1845-75). Image Copyright 2018 – The Kelton Foundation.