Of Whales and Whaling, and Moby Dick

"A mariner sat in the shrouds one night,
The wind was piping free;
Now bright, now dimmed, was the moonlight pale,
And the phosphor gleamed in the wake of the whale,
As it floundered in the sea."

                                   Elizabeth Oakes Smith.


"Some day a cleaner craft than the Yankee Whaleboat may be evolved; some day man may fashion a machime more beautiful than a full-rigged ship; but I doubt if there will ever be a braver or a sturdier race of men bred in this world than the officers of that vanished fleet. There is one other thing that I hold certain; if ever there is to be fairer and better hunting than the chase of the Sperm Whale, man will have to voyage to other worlds to find it"

                                   Clifford W. Ashley in The Yankee Whaler.

Visit the world famous New Bedford Whaling Museum
The Success of New Bedford's Whaling Industry - Deirdre Finnerty
Cape Verdeans in the Whaling Industry - Raymond A. Almeida
Visit our Sister Cities - sharing the whaling tradition

Barrow, Alaska

Cape Verde

Funchal, Madeira

Horta, Azores

Tosashimizu, Japan


Moby Dick - Herman Melville (Official Project Gutenberg Files)
The Life and Works of Herman Melville - THE Melville Home Page
Ahab's Monomania and the Industrial Voyage of the Pequod


The Kendall Whaling Museum
The Tirpitz Whaling Page (Norway)
The Whale-Watching Web (Finland)

"Big whales have had their own world-wide communication network for 70 million years. Only recently have homo sapiens reached the same level. Whales welcome you to join the world-wide communication network. " - From the Whale Watching Web page.

Greetings from the whale.


Sacred Ecology
The Virtual Whale Project
The Slaughter Continues (Greenpeace)
The Oceania Project - Caring for Whales, Dolphins and the Oceans
Global Perspectives on Whaling - Robbins Barstow, Cetacean Society Int'l
General Information About Humpback Whales
Scrimshaw - the art of etching whalebone.
Interspecies Communication

Extensive site list from Helsinki


Whales: A Thematic Web Unit - Of special interest to teachers.
Charlotte, The Vermont Whale - An Electronic Museum

Selected Readings

[Note: The following books may be ordered online. Click here to visit the virtual bookstore.]

  1. The Yankee Whaler. Clifford W. Ashley. Dover Publications, Inc. New York. 1926, 1966.

  2. The Last American Whale-Oil Company - A History of Nye Lubricants, Inc., 1844-1994. Nye Lubricants, Inc. New Bedford, MA. 1996.

    The story of a whale-oil company, founded in 1865, that survived the demise of the whale fishery.

  3. The Charles W. Morgan. John F. Leavitt. Mystic Seaport. Mystic, CT. 1973.

  4. Whales, Ice, & Men

    Whales, Ice, & Men - The History of Whaling in the Western Arctic. John R. Bockstoce. University of Washington Press. Seattle and Washington. 1986. 2nd printing w/corrections, 1995

  5. African Americans in the Maritime Trades: A Guide to Resources in New England.

    African Americans in the Whaling Trades: A Guide to Resources in New England. Kendall Whaling Museum Monograph series No. 6. Mary Malloy. The Kendall Whaling Museum. Sharon, Massachusetts, USA. 199(96?)

  6. Fakeshaw: A Checklist of Plastic "Scrimshaw"

    Fakeshaw: A Checklist of Plastic "Scrimshaw" - Kendall Whaling Museum Monograph series No. 1. Stuart M. Frank. The Kendall Whaling Museum. Sharon, Massachusetts, USA. 1988.

    This fascinating study by a leading authority (Dr. Frank is Director of the KWM and past president of the Council of American Maritime Museums) examines the differences between authentic sailors' scrimshaw and "other analogous and superficially similar manifestations of the medium."

  7. Dictionary of Scrimshaw Artists

    Dictionary of Scrimshaw Artists. Stuart M. Frank. Mystic Seaport Museum. Mystic, CT. 1991.

    A catalog of every known and recorded scrimshaw artist through the twentieth century, together with all known biographical facts about them and all attributed works. Illustrated.

  8. Scrimshaw - the Whaler's Legacy. Martha Lawrence. Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. Atglen, PA. 1993.

    Over 400 color photographs accompanied by a description of the many facets of scrimshaw.


©Copyright Richard G. Leary
PO Box 5810, New Bedford, MA 02742
(508) 994-2903

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