Cruise of the Manatee: The 1941 Journal of a Young Artist Discover
HULL, HELEN SCHUYLER. The Cruise of the Manatee: The 1941 Journal of a Young Artist Discovering the Coastal South. Edited and with an introduction and notes by Joseph J. Felcone. Princeton: Privately printed, 2019. 120 p. Illus. (some in color). Pictorial wrappers. New. Helen Schuyler Hull had just graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where she won the European Travel Prize in her last year. But it was 1941 and travel in Europe was out of the question. Helen's husband, Morgan Milton Hull, had graduated from the Academy the previous year, and he, too, had won the European Travel Prize. The solution (with the school's blessing): buy a boat and travel from Philadelphia to St. Augustine, Florida, via the Intracoastal Waterway, discovering coastal America and painting along the way. From June through September, 1941, Helen kept a daily journal, describing--often in considerable detail and always with the eye of an artist--the small coastal towns, the local residents and their daily lives, and the natural beauty of the waterways and the surrounding country. The journal concludes with an account of a ten-day trip along the Gulf coast to New Orleans. Helen records a rural, coastal way of life that had seen almost no change in a hundred years. But just a few months after the journal ends, with the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States' entrance into the war, that way of life would disappear and never return.