Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 280
1. What was the Atlantic sea trade like in 1832? What sort of goods were transported? Why would it take two months for a ship like the Seahawk to sail from England to America?
2. The Seahawk is a brig. What were brigs used for in 1832? Where were they built? Who built them?
3. How were crews hired in England or America in 1832?
4. How many female sailors were there in the Atlantic in the 1830s? What were they like?
5. Charlotte spends much time learning how to handle the rigging on the Seahawk. Describe the ropes and the sails and explain the purpose of each.
6. What were the laws governing the conduct of captain and crew on a merchant ship in the 1830s? Did captains have as much power as Jaggery claims?
7. What sort of future can Charlotte look forward to, assuming she is not returned to her family? What would her pay be? What opportunities for advancement would she have? Would she be able to have a family?
8. If Charlotte stayed with her family in Rhode Island, or if she is returned to her family, what sort of life could she expect to have in Providence? What would she be expected to do?
9. There are references to class differences in The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. How important was social class in Rhode Island (or the eastern United States) in 1832? What social classes were there? What was expected of members of each class?
10. How often were captains killed by their own crews in the Atlantic sea trade of Charlotte's era? What was the punishment for killing a captain?
11. What was "natural order" considered to be in Charlotte's era? How did it apply to women?