Charlotte's father is her first mentor. He's the one, after all, who gives her the education. She is constantly referencing what she thinks her father would do and often mentions his strong sense of justice. How does this play out, though, when she gets to Providence?
Zachariah gives Charlotte the dirk and her boys' clothes. He also saves her when she's about to fall from the rigging during the hurricane. Unlike her father, Zachariah views Charlotte as an equal. Theirs is not a hierarchical relationship (in which one person is ranked above the other), but one that's egalitarian (based on equality).