New Bedford – The 19th Century American Whaling Capital

Last week we mentioned that Nantucket didn’t dominate the market for the entire era of American Whaling. In fact, during the “Golden Age” of American Whaling, the port city of New Bedford got the place of prominence in money making and records. And there was a reason for it’s nickname “whaling capital of the world.”

Today, we’ll learn a little more about this town and its influence in the whaling world. Continue reading

Colonial Maritime Trade

19th-century-american-maritimeContinuing with our examination of the American maritime origins, the Colonial era stands as important time in the development of the trade routes, maritime industries, and the regional industry differences of the United States. (But remember – it’s not the United States yet. It’s still just the Thirteen Colonies.)

Colonists arrived in American by ship. Ocean going vessels remained their connection with the mother country – England – and a link to European culture, society, and…stuff. Throughout the colonial era, more Europeans continued to arrive; cities were built, usually near good harbors. The Atlantic bordered all the colonies, making it a relatively easy avenue for transportation. Trade routes made triangular shapes across the Atlantic, supplying European markets with raw materials and bringing back manufactured goods or slaves. However, toward the end of the Colonial Era, those trade routes and independence of the harbor cities would open contention between America and England.

Today’s blog post looks at facets of maritime history in the Colonial era: inter-colony transportation, triangular trade routes, fishing (and whaling), and the mercantile theory. Continue reading

Canoes & Passenger Ships

19th-century-american-maritimeLaying a foundation (or a keel) for our series on 19th Century American Maritime requires a backward look. To really understand the 19th Century situation and developments, it’s important to consider America’s maritime beginnings in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

Today’s blog post explores some of the Native American water craft and their fishing and whaling. Then we’ll introduce the comparatively large European ships exploring the coasts and bring new settlers to America. Continue reading