According to her significance statement, Ernestina is an example of Essex fishing schooner design and has been used for a variety of purposes. She worked in Grand Banks fishing during the peak of sail and is the oldest surviving Grand Banks fishing schooner. Robert “Bob” Bartlett sailed her in Arctic explorations ca. 1926-45, which were conducted for both private research institutions and the U.S. military during World War II. She was purchased by a Cape Verdean and refitted for the Cape Verdean packet trade, carrying immigrants and cargo between these Portuguese islands off western Africa and the United States. The Republic of Cape Verde gifted her to the United States, and she returned to this country in 1982. Thereafter, she worked as a cultural ambassador and sail training vessel. She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990.
The Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc., was incorporated in 2008 to raise funds for her maintenance and operation as a sail training vessel, school ship, and educational enterprise.
For more photos visit the Library of Congress collection