True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

By: Janajha Walker

About the book

The story begins in the early summer of 1832, as thirteen-year old Charlotte Doyle prepares to take a voyage from Liverpool, England to her family's new home in Providence, Rhode Island.Charlotte finds herself the only passenger and only female on the ship, the Seawhak.

Her first day on the ship

On her first day aboard, an African sailor on the ship, Zachariah, —tells her of the cruel captain, Captain Jaggery, and what he did to a crewman during an earlier mutiny. Blinded by her view of the captain as a gentleman, she disbelieves him. The captain and Charlotte become very close, and he says that if she ever sees anything suspicious, like a round robin, a pact telling of an imminent mutiny, she must tell him.

More about the book

One day she is with one of the sailors, Ewing as he is patching a jacket, when his needle snaps. Charlotte offers to get a new one for him from the forecastle, where the crew sleep. While looking for the needle, she sees a pistol in Ewing's trunk, and a round robin on the table. After desiding whether or not to tell the captain, Charlotte's fear drives her to tell him. Captain Jaggery heads off the rebellion, shooting the stowaway Cranick, who held a grudge against the captain for lashing his arm so much it had to be amputated. Charlotte is distressed as Captain Jaggery orders Zachariah, one sailor that Charlotte has very strong feelings for, whipped 50 lashes. Charlotte tries to protect Zachariah by grabbing the whip, but accidentally hits the captain's face. Jaggery is enraged and whips Zachariah mercilessly, leading to his death and funeral.