During the Charles W. Morgan‘s farewell ceremony on May 17, 2014, Mystic Seaport President Steve White read aloud his letter of instruction that he presented to Captain Kip Files, the 22nd captain of the 1841 whaleship. The letter, which was based on the content of orders given to Captain Franklin F. Smith of the ship Flora of New London on June 22, 1830, stated:
Captain Kip Files,
The whaleship Charles W. Morgan under your command, being now ready for sea, our advice and instructions to you are to embrace the first favorable opportunity to proceed to sea on a voyage along the coast of southern New England from Mystic, Connecticut to Boston, Massachusetts.
This is a voyage to celebrate and reconnect Americans with our shared maritime heritage. Your cargo is history and knowledge, and your mission is to collect it and the share it with all who will listen. Further, this Voyage will highlight our close relationship with the oceans, the whales, and all else who dwell within.
From Mystic you should proceed to New London, Connecticut; thence to Newport, Rhode Island; Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard; New Bedford, Massachusetts; Provincetown and the National Marine Sanctuary at Stellwagen Bank; thence to Boston, Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy by passing through the Cape Cod Canal on the occurrence of its centennial.
We have prepared the ship well and given you a good crew and all that we think will be useful to you, and entrust her well-being to your long experience at sea and prudent seamanship. We look forward to a memorable and successful voyage and your safe return to Mystic Seaport in August of 2014.
Stephen C. White
President, Mystic Seaport