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Nancy Freeman Soule (1812-1857)

Voyages: multiple, 1840s

Ship: Hope

Nancy Freeman was the daughter of Bradford Freeman and Waity Winsor. She was born and raised on Standish Street in South Duxbury. In 1841 she married Capt. Freeman Soule. They courted while Ezra Weston’s largest ship, Hope, was being built in Duxbury. Capt. Freeman took command of the Hope and Nancy traveled with him on at least three voyages. In 1843 Sally Freeman Dawes, wrote of her sister’s time at sea, “we have letters from Nancy quite often she wrote me to go by all means for she liked it first rate.” In January of the following year Nancy was again in New Orleans waiting for the Hope to be loaded with cotton for Liverpool. Her return voyage was not so pleasant, “Nancy has been at Liverpool and is now on her passage to NO she was dreadful sick out she says if I could see the sea as she see them I would gether you under my wing and not let you go to sea again.” Nancy’s pregnancy may have contributed to her illness; daughter Harriet was born Aug. 29, 1844. Sally Freeman Dawes suspected her sister would go to sea on another voyage in 1845, i.e. “Freeman is a coming home next summer then I expect that Nancy will go away with him when he goes.”

Nancy and Freeman Soule built a house at 987 Tremont Street, on the corner of Harrison Street. Between 1843 and 1845, the years we know Nancy was at sea, the Freemans had two children, Florence and Harriet. They had four more children in following ten years, Frederick, Sidney, Nancy and Anna. Nancy Freeman Soule died in 1857 of consumption, she is buried in Mayflower Cemetery, Duxbury. Her sister, Sally Freeman Dawes, and sister-in-law, Eliza T. Clark Freeman, both appear on this list.


Dawes Family Collection, DAL.MSS.004, Drew Archival Library

Home of Nancy Freeman Soule, 987 Tremont Street, Duxbury, MA. Photograph, late 19th century.
Copy of a painting of the “Hope,” c. 2015, private collection.