International Voyages!

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 Golden Age & Decline Of American Whaling?

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

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┬áin the whaling world. Continue reading

Whales, Nantucket Island, & The Quakers

Last week we talked about the earliest beginnings of the American whaling industry during the Colonial Period, including off-shore whaling. At the end of that blog post, I promised to spend the next article in the series discussing Nantucket and the Quakers.

I don’t know about you, but for some strange reason I thought Nantucket was the only place where whalers lived and whale ships sailed from. I’m not even sure how I got to that conclusion, but it was sure wrong. (I can already see the New Bedfordians and Bostonians coming after me – run!)

Now, seriously, Nantucket Island was not the only only whaling homeport, but it was incredibly influential – particularly during the 18th and early 19th Centuries. Fascinatingly, Nantucket Island became a society created, influenced, and driven by the whaling industry. Today, we’ll take a closer look at that culture and it’s farther reaching influences on the American whaling industry in the 19th Century.

Continue reading

The Earliest American Whaling

The earliest American whaling on the east coast. Let’s be sure to clarify the location!

This month Gazette665’s Wednesday blog posts will continue to explore whaling in 19th Century maritime, and we’ll be tracing some of the developments and communities surrounding the industry. To start understanding the complex picture, today we’ll journey back to the foundations of American whaling – back to the 1600 and 1700’s and delve into the early attempts which laid the ground work for the late 18th and early 19th Century’s activities. Continue reading

Whaling: Hunters & Hunted

We can’t talk about historical whaling without talking about the the hunt. A whale ship and crew often made a lengthy voyage, searching for whale pods. What happened when they sighted their prey and their fortune?

Today, we’ll explore the chase, battle, and aftermath of whale hunting from a historical, mid-19th Century perspective. We’ll also discover that the whales weren’t always the victims; sometimes, the hunted became the hunter. Continue reading