Recently, a friend told me how much she was enjoying this series on 19th Century American Whaling, and she followed the compliment with this observation, “But what a hard and horrible way to make a living.” That’s true. Whaling – even with its economic potential – had hard work. It was gross, messy, and back-breaking.
In some of the previous posts, we’ve discussed some of the ranks and demographics of whaling. Today, we’ll try to explore this a little more in-depth. Who was who on a whaling ship? Why did men work in the industry? (Were captains really as infamous as Captain Ahab from Moby Dick?) Continue reading
It’s conference week at Gazette665, but we wanted to keep to the schedule and tradition by sharing something about 19th Century Maritime and whaling this Wednesday. You’ll have to forgive the late hour of posting – it’s been a busy day.
So…international whaling voyages… There are two aspects that we’ll focus on tonight. First, the actual international diplomacy and discovery supported and carried out by the American whaling fleet. Second, the effects of international voyages on the demographics of men employed in the industry and residing in 19th Century American port towns. Continue reading
The mid-19th Century marks a “Golden Age” in the American whaling industry. Hundreds of ships roamed the seas, searching farther and farther for their valuable prey. Ironically, the “Golden Age” ended a decline. (See the chart at the end of this blog post.)
Today, we’ll explore some aspects of the high point in this maritime trade and the circumstances that started to curtail the hunt for whales. Continue reading
We’re transitioning into the next three month subject in our series on 19th Century American Maritime. Whaling.
Realizing this can be a debatable subject, I thought it might be good to clarify why I’m choosing to write about it, explain my views, and detail the types of blog posts you’ll see in the coming weeks. I hope you find the history fascinating while, at the same time, realizing that it was harmful and dangerous maritime industry which is no longer practiced in modern America. Continue reading