NOTES

For anyone wanting to know more about the Essex disaster, there is no better resource than Thomas Farel Heffernan's Stove by a Whale: Owen Chase and the Essex. In addition to the complete text of Chase's narrative, Heffernan's book includes (with the notable exception of the Nickerson narrative) all the relevant accounts left by other survivors. Heffernan's chapters of analysis-including discussions of what happened to the survivors and how the story of the Essex was disseminated-are models of scholarly rigor and readability. Edouard Stackpole's pamphlet The Loss of the Essex, Sunk by a Whale in Mid-Ocean provides a useful summary of the ordeal, as does his chapter about the disaster in The Sea-Hunters, an important book for anyone wanting to know more about Nantucket and whaling. Stackpole's introduction to Thomas Nickerson's The Loss of the Ship “Essex” Sunk by a Whale published by the Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) is also essential. A new edition of Nickerson's narrative is now available from Penguin. Henry Carlisle's novel The Jonah Man contains a fascinating treatment of the Essex disaster. If Carlisle takes a novelist's license with some of the facts (Pollard, for example, is depicted as the son of a farmer, when it was Chase whose father was a “yeoman”), his account provides a convincing portrayal of both the ordeal and the community of Nantucket.

The NHA's collections contain a myriad of documents relating to the Essex. In addition to Obed Macy's “wharf book,” in which he recorded how much the oil was sold for after the ship's return in April 1819 and how the money was divided among the owners and crew, there are documents detailing the leftover provisions that were sold at auction that month, along with costs associated with repairs performed in South America. From documents in the NHA'S Edouard Stackpole collection, it is possible to recreate, in part, the makeup of the crews aboard the Essex prior to her last voyage.

I would also like to direct the reader's attention to the works of two underappreciated whalemen-turned-authors. Because he was often critical of the Quaker whalemen of Nantucket, William Comstock has been virtually ignored by island historians. Yet his A Voyage to the Pacific, Descriptive of the Customs, Usages, and Sufferings on Board of Nantucket Whale-Ships andZj/e of Samuel Comstock (William's brother and infamous leader of the bloody Globe mutiny) contain some of the best existing accounts of whaling in the early nineteenth century. William Hussey Macy was one of the most insightful and articulate whalemen Nantucket ever produced. Unfortunately, Macy's book, There She Blows!, has been forgotten, even though several subsequent and widely read authors relied upon it for information. Originally promoted as a book for children, Macy's work is much more than that, providing a detailed and vivid account of a boy's introduction to both the town of Nantucket and life aboard a whaler.

preface: February23,1821

My account of the rescue of the second Essex whaleboat is based largely on the description provided in Charles Murphey's 220-stanza poem published in 1877, a copy of which is at the NHA. Murphey was the third mate of the Dauphin and tells how the boat was sighted to leeward before the Dauphin bore down to determine its identity. Commodore Charles Goodwin Ridgely's journal records that the two Essex survivors were “in a most wretched state, they were unable to move when found sucking the bones of their dead Mess mates, which they were loath to part with” (cited in Heffernan, p. 99). For an account of the discovery of Thomas Nickerson's manuscript, see Edouard Stack-pole's foreword in the edition of the narrative published by the NHA in 1984 (p. 7) and Bruce Chadwick's “The Sinking of the Essex” in Sail. A brief biography of Leon Lewis is in volume 2 of Albert Johannsen's The House of Beadle and Adams (pp. 183-86). Charles Philbrick's poem about the Essex, “A Travail Past,” is in Nobody Laughs, Nobody Cries (pp. 111-27).

chapter one: Nantucket

Thomas Nickerson's remarks are from his original holograph manuscript entitled The Loss of the Ship “Essex” Sunk by a Whale (NHA Collection 106, Folder 1). In some instances, the spelling and punctuation have been adjusted to make Nickerson's prose more accessible to a modern-day audience.

According to Walter Folger, Jr., a part-owner of the Essex, there were a total of seventy-seven “ships and vessels employed in the whale fishery in 1819 from Nantucket” in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with seventy-five ships in the Pacific Ocean alone in 1820 (NHA Collection 118, Folder 71). In “Ajournal of the most remarkable events commenced and kept by Obed Macy” (NHA Collection 96, Jour-na!3,Nov. 13,1814-April 27,1822),Macy(who acted as the town'scen-sus taker in August 1820) records that 7,266 people lived on the island.

Josiah Quincy compares Nantucket to Salem in 1801 (Crosby, p. 114). Joseph Sansom details the appearance of the Nantucket waterfront in 1811 (Crosby, p. 140); another good description of the wharves is found in William H. Macy's There She Blows! (pp. 12-15, 19-21). William Comstock's Voyage to the Pacific (pp. 6-7) describes a voyage during the same time frame as the Essex. The account of the young Nantucket boys on the waterfront is from Macy (p. 20).

The Essex's specifications are spelled out in her original 1799 register, describing her as having “two decks and three masts and that her length is eighty seven feet, seven inches her breadth twenty five feet her depth twelve feet six inches and that she measures two hundred thirty eight tons; and seventy two ninety fifths that she is a square sterned ship has no Gallery and no figure head” (in Heffernan, p. 10). In a roster of Nantucket vessels that sailed in 1815, the Essex is listed as having left the island on July 13, with Daniel Russell as Master, George Pollard, Jr., as second mate, and Owen Chase as part of the crew; she returned on November 27,1816, and sailed again on June 8,1817 (NHA Collection 335, Folder 976). Her complete crew list for the 1817 voyage is in NHA Collection 15, Folder 57.

In his invaluable Nantucket Scrap-Basket (which is greatly indebted to William H. Macy's earlier There She Slows!), William F. Macy pro-vides this definition of awalk: “Araised platform on the roof of many old Nantucket houses, from which to look off to the sea. Never called 'Widow's Walk,' 'Captain's Walk,' or 'Whale Walk,' as often written

nowadays [in 1916], but always just 'the walk.' Writers and others please note.” Obed Macy mentions the comet in his journal on July 7 and 14,1819. The New Bedford Mercury speaks of the comet in its July 9 and July 23 editions. A part-owner of the Essex is mentioned in connection with the comet in a letter (dated July 16) from a contributor in Plymouth. “Mr. Walter Folger, of Nantucket, has been here this week, in attendance on the Court, as awitness, andhas here continued his observations on the comet, which had been commenced at home. He brought with him a sextant and a small telescope.” The sea serpent is mentioned in the June 18 and August 6 editions of the Mercury. I talk about the development of Indian debt servitude on Nantucket in Abram'sEyes (pp. 157-60). See also Daniel Vicker's “The First Whalemen of Nantucket,” William and Mary Quarterly.

For an account of Burke's speech about the American whale fishery, see my '“Every Wave Is a Fortune': Nantucket Island and the Making of an American Icon” in New England Quarterly. William Comstock begins his description of a whaling voyage on a Nantucket whaler with a pointed discussion of the way in which islands foster a unique cultural attitude: “Islands are said to be nurseries of Genius, an assertion which would be wonderfully supported, if we could prove Greece and Rome to have once been two snug little detached parcels of land, situated in the midst of the Mediterranean Sea; and Germany a resurrection of the quiescent Atlanta. I am rather inclined to attribute this opinion to the overweening patriotism of our neighbor, John Bull, whose sea washed isle produced better things than all the rest of the world can afford; although, perhaps America can match him in thunder and lightning” (Voyage to the Pacific, p. 3). Ralph Waldo Emerson was on Nantucket in 1847; he also records in his journal “A strong national feeling” (vol. X. p. 63) on the island.

In his History, Obed Macy tells of the whaling prophecy and the appearance of Ichabod Paddock (p. 45), Hussey's killing of the first sperm whale (p. 48), and the exhibition of a dead whale on the Nantucket waterfront in 1810 (p. 151). J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur described Nantucket as an oil-fertilized sandbank in Letters from an American Farmer (p. 142). For an account of the coming of Quakerism to Nantucket, see my Away Off Shore (pp. 78-87) and also Quaker Nantuckei by Robert Leach and Peter Gow (pp. 13-30). Peleg Folger's poem is quoted in Obed Macy's History (pp. 279-81).

Welcome Greene was the Quaker visitor to Nantucket in 1821 who

made the disparaging remark about the state of the streets and observed the use of quarterboards as fences. Joseph Sansom wrote about the naming of the town's streets (Crosby, p. 142). Walter Folger's comparison of the community to a family is in Crosby (p. 97); Obed Macy's remarks concerning the Nantucketers' “consanguinity” is in his History (p. 66). For a more detailed description of downtown Nantucket, see my Away OffShore (pp. 7-10); see also Edouard Stackpole's Rambling Through the Streets and Lanes of Nantucket. According to an article in the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror (February 14,1931), a grand total of 134 sea captains have lived on Orange Street.

In 1807 James Freeman remarked that “not more than one half of the males and two thirds of the females, who attend the Friends' meetings, are members of the society” (Crosby, p. 132). Charles Murphey (the same man who was on the Dauphin when the Essex boat was discovered) wrote the poem about gazing upon the women during a Quaker meeting; it is in his journal of a voyage on the ship Maria, 1832-1836, on microfilm at the NHA. In the same poem Murphey tells of being “With girls o'er mill hills promenading.” The Nantucketer William Coffin, father of the man who probably ghostwrote Owen Chase's narrative of the Essex, spoke of how rarely he strayed from town in 1793 (NHA Collection 150, Folder 78).

Walter Folger tells of Nantucket children learning Wampanoag whaling phrases “as soon as they can talk” (Crosby, p. 97); the anecdote about the boy harpooning the family cat is in William F. Macy's Scrap-Basket (p. 23); on Nantucket's secretwomen's society, see Joseph Hart's Miriam Coffin, where he states, “The daughter of a whale-fisherman loses caste, and degrades herself in the eyes of her acquaintance, if she unites her destiny to a landsman” (p. 251). Although the poem that begins “Death to the living” had been in common use long before, it appears in a sequence of toasts delivered at a banquet in celebration of the voyage of the Loper in 1830 (Nantucket Inquirer, September 25). The statistics concerning widows and fatherless children appear in Edward Byers's Nation of Nantucket (p. 257). The gravestone inscriptions for Nickerson's parents are recorded in NHA Collection 115, Box II. All genealogical information concerning the Nantucket crew members of the Essex comes from the NHA's newly computerized Eliza Barney Genealogy; information about the Nickersons is from The Nickerson Family (Nickerson Family Association, 1974).

In his Letters from an American Farmer, Crevecoeur speaks of Nan-

tucket's “superior wives” and their “incessant visiting” (p. 157), as well as their use of opium (p. 160) and the effects of marriage (p. 158). Lu-cretia Mott's comments concerning the socializing of husbands and wives on Nantucket is in Margaret Hope Bacon's Valiant Friend (p. 17). Eliza Brock's journal containing the “Nantucket Girl's Song” is at the NHA; she kept the journal while on a whaling voyage with her husband from May 1853 to 1856.1 discuss the validity of Crevecoeur's remarks about opium use in “The Nantucket Sequence in Crevecoeur's Letters from an American Farmer” in the New England Quarterly. For a discussion of he's-at-homes, see my Away Off Shore (p. 257); for an account of the discovery of a he's-at-home on Nantucket, see Thomas Congdon's “Mrs. Coffin's Consolation” in Forbes FYI.

Crevecoeur records, “I was much surprised at the disagreeable smell which struck me in many parts of the town; it is caused by the whale oil and is unavoidable; the neatness peculiar to these people can neither remove or prevent it” (p. 111). The smell apparently emanated from right-whale oil as opposed to sperm oil; see Clifford Ashley's The Yankee Whaler (p. 56). Owen Chase in his narrative of the Essex disaster claims that the upperworks of the Essex were entirely overhauled prior to her leaving in the summer of 1819. William H. Macy describes ships being coppered in Nantucket Harbor (p. 14). On the life span of a whaleship, see In Pursuit of Leviathan by Davis et al. (p. 240). Roger Hambidge, shipwright at Mystic Seaport, spoke to me about the phenomenon of iron sickness inwhaleships and stated that twenty years was about the average life of a ship, a statement corroborated by the statistical analysis in Davis et al. (p. 231). Obed Macy's concerns about the condition of whaleships is in a January 1822 entry in his journal. A listing of Nantucket vessels and their owners in 1820 has Gideon Folger and Sons as owning both the Essex and the Aurora (NHA Collection 335, Folder 976).

William Comstock makes the derogatory remark concerning Nantucket Quakers in The Life of Samuel Comstock (pp. 39-40), where he also speaks of the owners' tendency to underprovision their ships (p. 73). Davis et al. have calculated the return on investment shipping agents typically received in New Bedford (In Pursuit of Leviathan, p. 411); Nantucket owners in the boom year of 1819 were undoubtedly reaping a similar, if not higher, profit. The description of poor economic times on the mainland is in the New Bedford Mercury (June 4. 1819), which quotes from an article in the Baltimore Federal Republi-

can. The comings and goings of the Nantucket whaling fleet can he traced in Alexander Starbuck's History of Nantucket (pp. 428-33).

William H. Macy speaks of the “grand plaza of Nantucket” (p. 15) and how the island's boys would taunt the green hands (p. 21). William F. Macy defines “watching the pass” (p. 140); he also defines “foopaw” (p. 126), “rantum scoot” (p. 134), “manavelins” (p. 131), and the idiom used to describe someone who is cross-eyed (p. 121). William Comstock tells of the whittling code on Nantucket (Voyage to the Pacific, p. 68). More than fifty years earlier, Crevecoeur remarked on the Nantucketers' almost compulsive need to whittle: “[T]hey are never idle. Even if they go to the market-place, which is (if I maybe allowed the expression) the coffee-house of the town, either to transact business or to converse with their friends, they always have a piece of cedar in their hands, and while they are talking, they will, as it were, instinctively employ themselves in converting it into something useful, either in making bungs or spoils for their oil casks, or other useful articles” (p. 156). Joseph San-som tells of how everyone on the island used sea phrases (Crosby, p. 143). A sampling of the unique pronunciations of Nantucketers is recorded in “Vocabulary of English Words, with the corresponding terms as used by the Whalemen” in The Life of Samuel Comstock (p. 57).

The green hand Addison Pratt tells of how he was examined by the shipowner and the captain (p. 12); William H. Macy speaks of how the owners and captains judged the men by their eyes and build (p. 19). William Comstock tells of green hands whose ignorance led them to insist on the longest lay possible (Voyage to the Pacific, pp. 11-12). William H. Macy explains how first-time captains were the lowest in the pecking order in finding a crew (p. 19).

I have used the time frame described by Nickerson to calculate when the Essex was floated over the Nantucket Bar. Pratt provides a detailed description of the loading of a Nantucket whaleship during this period (p. 13). According to Richard Henry Dana, “The average allowance1, in merchant vessels, is six pounds of bread a week, and three quarts of water, and one pound and a half of beef, or one and a quarter of pork, a day, to each man” (The Seaman's Friend, p. 135). William H. Macy tells of how a whaleship was always full, whether it was with provisions or oil (pp. 33-34).

It is difficult to determine exactly how many whaleboats the Essex was originally equipped with since Nickerson and Chase seem to dis-

agree on the subject. She had a minimum of two spare hoats; that it wasn't uncommon for a ship of this period to have three spares is indicated by Comstock. “Two spare boats, placed on a frame over head, shaded the quarter deck, while another, placed on spars which projected over the stern, was ready to be cleared at a moment's warning” (Voyage to the Pacific, p. 14).

Pratt describes taking a packet from Boston to Nantucket (p. 11). According to James and Lois Horton, there were three African American communities in Boston at this time: the “black” section of Beacon Hill in West Boston (where the Museum of Afro-American History is now located); to the north in the area now occupied by the Massachusetts General Hospital; and near the wharves of the North End. The Hortons say that the North End neighborhood “had once been the largest black neighborhood in the city,” but was losing ground to the other areas as of 1830 (pp. 4-5). In Dana's Two Years Before the Mast, there is a black cook whose wife lives on Robinson's Alley (between Hanover and Unity streets) in the North End (pp. 179-80). For a summary discussion of the relative equality enjoyed by blacks on shipboard, see W. Jeffrey Bolster's Blackjacks (pp. 1-6). James Freeman provides the 1807 description of how blacks had replaced Indians as a workforce in the Nantucket whale fishery (Crosby, p. 135). Comstock tells of the harsh treatment of African Americans in The Life of Samuel Comstock (pp. 37-38). William H. Macy claims that the packet delivering green hands from New York to Nantucket was commonly referred to as “the Slaver” (pp. 9,17).

William F. Macy defines gam as a “social visit and talk. Originally this term was applied to a school of whales, and its use by the whalemen is doubtless derived from that source. Whaleships meeting at sea often hove to, and the captains would visit back and forth during the time the ships were in company. Under certain conditions the crews were allowed the privilege also” (p. 126). At the onset of his voyage, the green hand narrator of William H. Macy's There She Blows! feels “that pride in my floating home springing up within me, which every seaman feels for his vessel” (p. 36). According to Ashley, a sailor's mattress, filled with either corn husks or straw, was called a “Donkey's Breakfast” (p. 54). On August 16, 1819 (four days after the Essex left Nantucket), Obed Macy recorded: “The grasshoppers have destroyed the greater part of the turnips”; he also mentions them in September. Information concerning the Chilicom.es from Starbuck (p. 432).

chapter two: Knockdown

The letter written by the Essex owners to Captain Daniel Russell is at the NHA. The marriage of George Pollard and Mary Riddell (June 17, 1819) is recorded in the Church Records of the South Congregational (now Unitarian) Church on Nantucket, as are the marriages of Owen Chase (the first mate of the Essex) and Peggy Gardner (on April 28, 1819) and Matthew Joy (second mate) andNancySlade (August?, 1817). Curiously, the minister was paid $2.00 for Joy's marriage, $1.50 for Chase's, and $1.25 for Pollard's.

For a description of the division of duties among a ship's officers while weighing anchor, see Richard Henry Dana's Seaman's Friend (pp. 139-40). Information on Captain Pollard's appearance comes from Joseph Warren Phinney's “Nantucket, Far Away and Long Ago,” in Historic Nantucket (p. 29), with notes by his granddaughter Diana Taylor Brown, to whom I am grateful for providing me with a copy of Phinney's original manuscript. Owen Chase's appearance is based on information in the crew list of the Florida (his first ship after the Essex): “five feet, ten inches tall, dark complexioned and brown haired” (Heffernan, p. 120). In the Nantucket Registry of Deeds Grantee Book 22 (p. 262), Owen Chase's father, Judah, is listed as a “husbandman.” Owen Chase's remarks concerning the number of voyages required to become a commander are from his narrative, as are all subsequent quotations attributed to him. While Chase claimed it took just two voyages to qualify to be a captain, the evidence suggests that four was the usual minimum number of voyages (Stuart Frank, personal communication, Oct. 25, 1999). Clifford Ashley, in The Yankee Whaler, describes the use of a whaler's windlass (pp. 49-50), as does Falconer in his Marine Dictionary.

Reuben Delano, in The Wanderings and Adventures of Reuben Delano, speaks of the dramatic sea change that occurred among the officers once a Nantucket whaleship left the island (p. 14). William Comstock defines “spit-fire” in The Life of Samuel Comstock (p. 71);he also tells of how Nantucketers stuck together aboard a whaleship (p. 37). William H. Macy describes the competition among the officers when it came to picking whaleboat crews (p. 39); he also speculates that Noah may have been the first captain to address his crew (p. 40). Pratt's comments about blacks being relegated to the forecastle of a Nantucket whaleship is in his Journals (pp. 14-15). Richard Henry Dana tells of his preference for the forecastle in Two Years Before the Mast (p. 95).

W. Jeffrey Bolster speaks of “yarning” and other activities in the forecastle in Black Jacks (pp. 88-89).

William H. Macy describes the seasickness cure common among Nantucketers (p. 19). My thanks to Don Russell, a descendant of Essex captain Daniel Russell, who mentioned to me a family tradition concerning this same cure. According to Ashley, the lookouts positioned themselves inside hoops installed on the fore and main royal-masts chest-high above the crosstrees (p. 49). However, at this relatively early period in the fishery, there is no evidence of hoops having been installed on the masts of Nantucket whaleships. In Voyage to the Pacific, Comstock writes: “Two jack cross trees were made by the captain, and placed over the top gallant heads, one at the fore, the other at the main. One man was stationed on each, to look out for whales, and relieved every two hours. One of the boatsteerers was kept continually aloft with the man on the main top gallant cross trees, so that while one watched, the other covertly slept” (p. 20).

My discussion of studding sails and the knockdown is based largely on John Harland's invaluable Seamanship in the Age of Sail. According to Harland, the danger of dipping a studding-sail boom into the water even applied to a topgallant studding sail. Darcy Lever's 1819 seamanship guide provides a detailed and illustrated description of taking in studding sails (pp. 82-83); he also has a section entitled “A Ship on Her Beam Ends” (pp. 96-97). Benjamin Franklin's chart of the Gulf Stream is in Everett Crosby's Nantucket in Print (pp. 88-89). According to Harland, when shortening sail,” [t]he most lofty, and the most cumbersome sail was got off first, ideally before the squall hit. Studdingsails (particularly topgallant and lower)... were particularly at risk if the ship were caught unprepared” (p. 222). The naval saying concerning squalls is in Harland (p. 221), as are the other quoted sources.

Harland discusses what happens as a heeling ship approaches the point of no return. “[W]ith greater angles, the righting arm increases rapidly with the angle up to about 45 degrees, after which it decreases and at a certain critical angle, disappears” (p. 43). In his nautical dictionary Falconer provides this definition of “beam-ends”: “A ship is said to be on her beam-ends when she inclines very much on one side, so that her beams approach to a vertical position; hence also a person lying down is said to be on his beam-ends.” Addison Pratt tells of a knockdown off Cape Horn: “[W]e were knocked down upon our beam-ends by a heavy squall of wind. All hands were called to reduce sail, as the

decks... were nearly perpendicular, the leescuppers being knee deep under water. All the way we could get fore and aft was by holding onto the weather rail, the vessel was pitching heavily and the night being very dark” (p. 17). My thanks to Chuck Gieg, who shared with me his personal experience of a knockdown on the training ship Albatross in the 1960s (the basis for the movie White Squall). Harland discusses the perils of a ship sailing backward (pp. 70,222).

chapter three: FirstBlood

The American Consul at Maio in the Cape Verde Islands may have known the Essex's second mate. Both Ferdinand Gardner and Matthew Joy were from Nantucket families that had moved to Hudson, New York, the improbable location of a Nantucket-spawned whaling port started in the aftermath of the Revolution.

My description of a whale hunt is based on many accounts, but primarily those provided by William H. Macy, Clifford Ashley, Willits Ansel in The Whaleboat, and the remarkable amount of information assembled in the “Whaleboat Handbook” used by the Mystic Seaport Whaleboat demonstration staff. My thanks to Mary K. Bercaw for making the handbook available to me. The description of how the sighting of a whale “enlivened” the crew is from Charles Nordhoff's Whaling and Fishing (p. 100). Ansel speaks of the roles of the different oarsmen (p. 26) and the relative speeds of awhaleboat and a sperm whale (pp. 16-17). Ashley tells of whaleboat crews bent on “whaling for glory”: “They raced and jockeyed for position, and in a close finish, with boats jammed together at the flank of a whale, have been known deliberately to foul one another; to dart harpoons across each other's boats, imperiling both the boats and the lives of all concerned, and then to ride blithely off, fast to the whale, waving their hands or thumbing noses to their unfortunate comrades struggling in the water” (p. 110). Comstock recounts the mate's exhortation to his whaleboat crew in Voyage to the Pacific^. 23-24). In “Behavior of the Sperm Whale,” Caldwell, Cald-well, and Rice record a whaleman's observation that the spoutof awhale smelled “fetid” and stung a man's skin (p. 699). Ansel relates Charles Beetle's account of a novice boatsteerer fainting at the prospect of harpooning a whale (p. 21).

According to Clifford Ashley, who shipped out on a whaling voyage in the early twentieth century, sperm whales were capable of dragging

whaleboats along at bursts of up to twenty-five miles per hour. He adds, “I have been in motor speed boats at better than forty-five miles per hour, and found it a tame performance after a 'Nantucket Sleighride'“ (p. 80).

Francis Olmsted describes the use of a spade to cripple a fleeing sperm whale (p. 22). The lance had a line attached to the end of it, enabling the mate to retrieve it after every throw (Ashley, p. 87). Caldwell et al. speak of dying whales vomiting “pieces of squid the size of whale-boats” (p. 700). Enoch Cloud's horrified response to the death of a whale occurred during a voyage in the 1850s and is in Enoch's Voyage (p. 53). Ansel speaks of dead whales being towed back to the ship headfirst (p. 23).

In his History, Obed Macy provides a step-by-step description of cutting up (including the removal of the head) and boiling a whale (pp. 220-24). According to Clifford Ashley, early cutting stages were “short fore-and-aft planks hung overside, one forward and one aft of the gangway” (The Yankee Whaler, p. 97). Just how greasy the deck of a whale-ship could become is indicated by Charles Nordhoff: “The oil washes from one side to the other, as the ship lazily rolls in the seaway, and the safest mode of locomotion is sliding from place to place, on the seat of your pantaloons” (p. 129); Nordhoff also describes the stench of the try-works smoke. Davis et al. speak of ambergris (In Pursuit of Leviathan. pp. 29-30). According to Obed Macy, “The ambergris is generally discovered by probing the intestines with a long pole” (p. 224). Although whalemen would soon be pioneering the folk art of scrimshaw by carving designs on the teeth of sperm whales, it is highly unlikely that the crew of the Essex in 1819 were saving their whales' teeth (Stuart Frank, personal communication, July 1999). J. Ross Browne recounts the “murderous appearance” of a whaleship at night (p. 63). William H. Macy gives the description of appropriate “trying-out clothes” (p. 80).

Richard Henry Dana tells of how a crew's morale can deteriorate in Two Years Before the Mast (p. 94). For a discussion of the differences in shipboard fare served to those in the cabin and the forecastle, see Sandra Oliver's Saltwater Foodways (pp. 97-99,113). Oliver provides the information concerning the average caloric intake of a sailor in the nineteenth century (p. 94). Moses Morrell was the green hand who lamented his gradual starvation aboard a Nantucket whaleship; his journal is at the NHA. If Pollard appears to have overreacted to his

men's complaints about food, it was nothing compared to the response of Captain Worth aboard the Globe: “When any man complained to Captain Worth that he was suffering with hunger, he would tell him to eat iron hoops; and several times gagged the complainants' mouths with pump-bolts” (Life of Samuel Comstock, p. 73).

chapter four: The Lees of Fire

Captain Bligh abandoned his attempt to round Cape Horn after thirty days (the time it took the whaleship Essex to double the Horn); that the decision was made under extreme duress is made clear by Sir John Barrow: “[T]he ship began to complain, and required pumping every hour; the decks became so leaky that the commander was obliged to allot the great cabin to those who had wet berths” (p. 41). David Porter tells of rounding the Horn in his Journal (p. 84). Although the Beaver was the first Nantucket whaleship to enter the Pacific, the Emilia, a British ship captained by James Shield, was the first whaler to round the Horn in 1788 (Slevin, p. 52).

Captain Swain's words about the scarcity of whales are cited in Edouard Stackpole's The Sea-Hunters (p. 266). Obed Macy's mention of the need for a new whaling ground was recorded on September 28, 1819; his journal also reveals that he followed the political situation in South America closely.

Robert McNally characterizes the whalemen's attitude toward whales as a “tub of lard” in So Remorseless a Havoc (p. 172). Charles Nordhoff refers to the old whalemen's delight in trying out (p. 131), while William H. Macy speaks of how “boiling” inspired thoughts of home (p. 87). The events that occurred on Nantucket in December 1819 are from Obed Macy's journal. William H. Macy testified to how long it took for mail to reach the Pacific: “[N]ews from home even a year old was heartily welcomed; while the advent of a whaler five or six months out was a perfect windfall” (p. 154). For an account of the discovery of the Offshore Ground, see Stackpole (pp. 266-67).

Francis Olmsted's description of the delights of Atacames (pp. 161-63) includes an interesting account of a chapel: “Down the sides of the altar, the drippings of sperm candles used in the service, had run like the stalactites of some subterranean cavern” (p. 171).

As far as I know, this is the first time that the name of the deserter,

Henry Dewitt, has appeared in print. The name is recorded in a crew list that seems to have been written down soon after Pollard left on his subsequent voyage in the fall of 1821 (Pollard is listed as “Capt. Two Brothers”). The list includes all twenty of the previously known Essex crew members plus “Henry De Wit-runaway” (NHA Collection 64, Scrap-book 20). In his discussion of the number of shipkeepers aboard the Beaver in 1791, Clifford Ashley makes the claim that “two men would have been insufficient to handle” a ship of 240 tons (p. 60).

William H. Macy records the unique pronunciation of Galapagos (p. 167). Colnett's account of his explorations in the Pacific include a diagram of how to cut up a sperm whale that Obed Macy would use in his History; Colnett describes the Galapagos as a sperm-whale nursery (A Voyage to... the South Pacific Ocean, p. 147). My summary of Hal Whitehead's observations of sperm-whale society are taken from his articles “Social Females and Roving Males” and “The Behavior of Mature Male Sperm Whales on the Galapagos Islands Breeding Grounds.” Wbitehead did not see whales copulating in the Galapagos grounds. “That we never saw copulation is not surprising,” he writes. “Although there are reports in the literature of sperm whales being observed copulating, these reports are few, somewhat contradictory, and not always convincing” (p. 696). Whitehead cites a description made by A. A. Berzin of a male approaching a female from underneath (p. 694).

The account of repairing a leak on the Aurora is in Stackpole's The Sea-Hunters (pp. 305-6). According to Reginald Hegarty, “Sea-boring worms could not penetrate metal but if a small piece of copper was accidentally torn off, quite a section of sheathing would soon be so honeycombed that it would wash off, taking more copper with it. The planking would then be exposed and in a short time a section of planking would have its strength eaten away” (p. 60). For an exhaustive description of how leaks were repaired on wooden vessels, see Harland (pp. 303-4).

Herman Melville's description of the Galapagos appears in “The Encantadas” (p. 126). On the tortoise's cool body temperature, see Charles Townsend's “The Galapagos Tortoises” (p. 93); Townsend alsc speaks of “Port Royal Tom” (p. 86). For a summary of the history of the post office on Charles Island, see Slevin's “The Galapagos Islands” (pp. 108-11). Charles Townsend records that “the terrapin on Charles Island were exterminated very early” (p. 89).

chapter five: The Attack

My description of the scale of the Pacific Ocean is based largely on Ernest Dodge's Islands andEmpires (p. 7); see also Charles Olson's Call Melshmael, especially his concluding chapter “Pacific Man” (pp. 113-19). For an account of the whalers' activities in the western Pacific in the early nineteenth century, see Stackpole's Sea-Hunters (pp. 254-56). Hezekiah Coffin's death in the vicinity of Timor is referred to in Mary Hayden Russell's journal of a whaling voyage; after mentioning the island of “Ahoyna,” she writes: “ [Here] your dear Father in a former voyage had the misfortune to hury his Mate, Hezekiah Coffin, andwherehe only escap'd the jaws of death himself (NHA Collection 83). For the islands listed in Pollard's copy of Bowditch's Navigator, see Heffernan's Stove by a Whale (pp. 243-46). Stackpole tells of the first whalers at Hawaii and the Society Islands in The Sea-Hunters (pp. 275-89).

William Comstock's description of a mate taking over the harpoon from his hoatsteerer is in Voyage to the Pacific (pp. 24-25). Nickerson's narrative claims that Chase was at the steering oar-not, as Chase claims, at the bow with the harpoon in his hand-during their last two attempts to fasten to whales. In this instance I have decided to trust Chase's account, although the possibility exists that he was, in fact, at the steering oar and that the ghostwriter introduced an error. Adding to the uncertainty is an earlier statement Chase makes in his narrative: “There are common sailors, boat-steerers, andharpoon-ers: the last of these is the most honorable and important. It is in this station, that all the capacity of the young sailor is elicited; on the dexterous management of the harpoon, the line, and the lance, and in the adventurous positions which he takes alongside of his enemy, depends almost entirely the successful issue of his attack” (p. 17). Contrary to what Chase states in this passage, it was the boatsteerer who threw the harpoon and the mate or boatheader (never called a har-pooner, a term used instead to describe the boatsteerer) who was considered the “most honorable and important.” This maybe, once again, a case of the ghostwriter's confusing the assigned roles in a whaleboat, but for the purposes of this narrative I have taken it to be Chase's description of the role he created for himself on his whaleboat: a mate who threw both the harpoon and the lance and directed the boatsteerer from the bow.

Other whalemen, however, thought differently. An old Nantucket captain in William H. Macy's There She Blows! states: “We have all heard of the Essex affair... I remember it well, for I was cruising on Chili at that time in the Plutarch, and from the statements of the survivors, it is plain enough that the whale went to work deliberately and with malice prepense, as the lawyers would say, to destroy the ship” (p. 133).

My description of how the Essex was constructed is based on several sources. John Currier in “Historical Sketch of Ship Building on the Merrimac River” claims that ships constructed in Amesbury at the time of the Essex were “built almost entirely of oak; their decks alone being of native white pine. The ribs, planking, ceiling, beams and knees were cut from oak timber, floated down the river or drawn by ox teams from within a radius of ten or fifteen miles” (p. 34). My thanks to Roger Ham-bidge and Ted Kaye of Mystic Seaport for directing me to a specifications list of the whaleship Hector in Albert Cook Church's Whale Ships and Whaling (pp. 174-79). Thanks also to Mark Starr at the Shipyard Documentation Office of Mystic Seaport for providing me with the specifications of the Charles W. Morgan. I also relied on Reginald Hegarty's Birth of a Whaleship.

My thanks to Professor Ted Ducas of the Physics Department at Wellesley College for speaking to me about the physics of whales in general and the wreck of the Essex in particular. My thanks also to Peter Smith, a naval architect at Hinckley Yachts, who calculated the potential forces involved in a collision between an 80-ton whale and a 238-ton ship, and the strength of a whaleship's construction (personal communications, December 18 and 23,1998).

chapter six: The Plan

In Survival Psychology, John Leach writes of the apathy that commonly affects survivors in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, known as the “recoil period” (pp. 24-37, 129-134). In “Disaster: Effects of Mental and Physical State,” Warren Kinston and Rachel Rosser discuss the reluctance of survivors to leave the scene of a disaster (p. 444). Concerning whaleboats in the early nineteenth century, Erik Ronnberg, Jr., states, “Depictions of boats from this period-in the form of paintings, lithographs, and logbook sketches-make it clear that rowing was the usual if not exclusive form of propulsion. Those sources that do show whaleboats under sail indicate that the sprit rig was most favored and

the boats were guided with a steering oar with no rudder in evidence. This compounded by the lack of a centerboard, would have severely handicapped the boats' abilities to sail to windward; indeed, this rig and steering configuration would be efficient only in the pursuit of whales downwind” (To Build a Whaleboat, p.l). As Ronnberg also points out, these early boats were of clinker or lapstrake construction, not the batten-seam construction that typified boats in later years. Instead of being white (as were almost all whaleboats by the middle of the nineteenth century), the Essex boats were probably quite colorful-perhaps dark blue and red, the color of the ship's flag; see Ansel (p. 95).

Caleb Grain's “Lovers of Human Flesh: Homosexuality and Cannibalism in Melville's Novels” contains an excellent synopsis of early-nineteenth-century accounts of Marquesan cannibalism and homosexuality (p. 30). For a discussion of the kinds of stories about native cannibalism that were told by the seamen of the era, see Gananath Obeyesekere's “Cannibal Feasts in Nineteenth-Century Figi: Seamen's Yarns and the Ethnographic Imagination,” in Cannibalism and the Colonial World, edited by Francis Barker, Peter Hulme, and Margaret Iversen. There was also a disturbing racial aspect to the rumors of cannibalism that sailors swapped in the forecastles of whaleships. A Maori chief from New Zealand who had been brought to London in 1818 insisted that “black men had a much more agreeable flavor than white” (in Tannahill's Flesh and Blood, p. 151). Suggesting that this was accepted as a fact among Nantucket whalemen was the experience of Captain Benjamin Worth off the coast of New Zealand in 1805. Worth told of how when a gale threatened to drive his ship ashore, the blacks in the crew begged him to do everything he could to make for open ocean since “the natives preferred Negro flesh to that of the white man” (in Stack-pole's The Sea-Hunters, pp. 399-400). The officers of the Essex were between voyages when the stories about the peaceful state of the natives of Nukahivah appeared in the New Bedford Mercury (April 28, 1819). Melville's statement about the Essex crew's decision “to gain a civilized harbor” is part of the comments he wrote in the back pages of his own copy of Chase's narrative, a transcript of which is included in the Northwestern-Newberry edition of Moby-Dick (pp. 978-95). Ernest Dodge in Islands and Empires speaks of the gigantic royal mission chapel in Tahiti, built in 1819, the same year the Essex left Nantucket (p. 91).

Obed Macy's remarks about the Nantucketers' intimate knowledge

of the sea is in his History (p. 213). Such was not, apparently, the case when it came to the landmasses of the world. William Comstock recounts an incident that reveals just how geographically ignorant a Nantucketer could be. At one point the officer of a Nantucket whaleship “very honestly desired to be informed whether England was on the continent, or' stood alone by itself,' and on being answered by another officer that it was in the County of Great Britain, wanted to know how far it was from London” (The Life of Samuel Comstock, p. 57). If a whaleman could be this vague about an island with which Nantucket had always had a close commercial connection, it is little wonder that the men of the Essex were without any information concerning the islands of the Central Pacific. For a detailed drawing of the launch Captain Bligh and his men sailed to the island of Timor, see A. Richard Mansir's edition of Bligh's The Journal of Bounty's Launch.

Leach in Survival Psychology discusses the differences between authoritarian and social leaders (p. 140), while Glin Bennet in Beyond Endurance: Survival at the Extremes speaks of the different personality types required in what he calls the escape and survival periods following a disaster (pp. 210-11). The analysis of a career first mate versus a “fishy” man is based on William H. Macy's words about the first mate Grafton, whom Macy describes as a “man of rather thoughtful cast of mind, of much intelligence, and possessed of an extensive stock of information upon many subjects, with a habit of generalizing and a clearness of expression which rendered him an agreeable companion to all with whom he came in contact. Though a good whaleman, Grafton [the first mate] was not what is known to the connoisseur as a 'fishy man'“ (pp. 44-45). John Leach in Survival Psychology writes about the importance family connections take on during a disaster (p. 156), as well as the relationship of strong leadership to survival (p. 139).

chapter seven: At Sea

See Ronnberg's To Build a Whaleboat for an excellent analysis of the difficulties of sailing an early-nineteenth-century whaleboat (pp. 1-4). Concerning the sound made by a clinker-style whaleboat, Clifford Ashley writes in The Yankee Whaler: “[T]he name [of clinker] was formed in imitation of the sound made by the boat while going through water. I have frequently noted this in a clinker-built tender. As the whale

the boats were guided with a steering oar with no rudder in evidence. This compounded by the lack of a centerboard, would have severely handicapped the boats' abilities to sail to windward; indeed, this rig and steering configuration would be efficient only in the pursuit of whales downwind” (To Build a Whaleboat, p.l). As Ronnberg also points out, these early boats were of clinker or lapstrake construction, not the batten-seam construction that typified boats in later years. Instead of being white (as were almost all whaleboats by the middle of the nineteenth century), the Essex boats were probably quite colorful-perhaps dark blue and red, the color of the ship's flag; see Ansel (p. 95).

Caleb Grain's “Lovers of Human Flesh: Homosexuality and Cannibalism in Melville's Novels” contains an excellent synopsis of early-nineteenth-century accounts of Marquesan cannibalism and homosexuality (p. 30). For a discussion of the kinds of stories about native cannibalism that were told by the seamen of the era, see Gananath Obeyesekere's “Cannibal Feasts in Nineteenth-Century Figi: Seamen's Yarns and the Ethnographic Imagination,” in Cannibalism and the Colonial World, edited by Francis Barker, Peter Hulme, and Margaret Iversen. There was also a disturbing racial aspect to the rumors of cannibalism that sailors swapped in the forecastles of whaleships. A Maori chief from New Zealand who had been brought to London in 1818 insisted that “black men had a much more agreeable flavor than white” (in TannahiU's Flesh and Blood, p. 151). Suggesting that this was accepted as a fact among Nan tucket whalemen was the experience of Captain Benjamin Worth off the coast of New Zealand in 1805. Worth told of how when a gale threatened to drive his ship ashore, the blacks in the crew begged him to do everything he could to make for open ocean since “the natives preferred Negro flesh to that of the white man” (in Stack-pole's The Sea-Hunters, pp. 399-400). The officers of the Essex were between voyages when the stories about the peaceful state of the natives of Nukahivah appeared in the New Bedford Mercury (April 28, 1819). Melville's statement about the Essex crew's decision “to gain a civilized harbor” is part of the comments he wrote in the back pages of his own copy of Chase's narrative, a transcript of which is included in the Northwestern-Newberry edition of Moby-Dick (pp. 978-95). Ernest Dodge in Islands and Empires speaks of the gigantic royal mission chapel in Tahiti, built in 1819, the same year the Essex left Nantucket (p. 91).

Obed Macy's remarks about the Nantucketers' intimate knowledge

of the sea is in his History (p. 213). Such was not, apparently, the case when it came to the landmasses of the world. William Comstock recounts an incident that reveals just how geographically ignorant a Nantucketer could be. At one point the officer of a Nantucket whaleship “very honestly desired to be informed whether England was on the continent, or' stood alone by itself,' and on being answered by another officer that it was in the County of Great Britain, wanted to know how far it was from London” (The Life of Samuel Comstock, p. 57). If awhaleman could be this vague about an island with which Nantucket had always had a close commercial connection, it is little wonder that the men of the Essex were without any information concerning the islands of the Central Pacific. For a detailed drawing of the launch Captain Bligh and his men sailed to the island of Timor, see A. Richard Mansir's edition of Bligh's The Journal of Bounty's Launch.

Leach in Survival Psychology discusses the differences between authoritarian and social leaders (p. 140), while Glin Bennet in Beyond Endurance: Survival at the Extremes speaks of the different personality types required in what he calls the escape and survival periods following a disaster (pp. 210-11). The analysis of a career first mate versus a “fishy” man is based on William H. Macy's words about the first mate Grafton, whom Macy describes as a “man of rather thoughtful cast of mind, of much intelligence, and possessed of an extensive stock of information upon many subjects, with a habit of generalizing and a clearness of expression which rendered him an agreeable companion to all with whom he came in contact. Though a good whaleman, Grafton [the first mate] was not what is known to the connoisseur as a 'fishy man'“ (pp. 44-45). John Leach in Survival Psychology writes about the importance family connections take on during a disaster (p. 156), as well as the relationship of strong leadership to survival (p, 139).

chapter seven: AtSea

See Ronnberg's To Build a Whaleboat for an excellent analysis of the difficulties of sailing an early-nineteenth-century whaleboat (pp. 1-4). Concerning the sound made by a clinker-style whaleboat, Clifford Ashley writes in The Yankee Whaler: “[T]he name [of clinker] was formed in imitation of the sound made by the boat while going through water. I have frequently noted this in a clinker-built tender. As the whale

grew wary [later in the nineteenth century], the noise was found objectionable, and therefore a smooth-sided boat, to glide more silently upon the unsuspecting animal, was adopted” (p. 61).

Ashley records the location of the Offshore Ground as latitude 5 ° to 10”south, longitude 105°to 125°west (p. 41). Thomas Heffernanhas identified at least seven whaleships that were in the neighborhood of the Essex at the sinking: three from Nantucket (the Governor Strong, the Thomas, and the Globe); three from New Bedford (the Balaena, the Persia, the Golconda); and one from England (the Coquette) (p. 77).

For information on hardtack, see Sandra Oliver's Saltwater Food-ways (p. 107). The nutritional content of the hardtack rations and Galapagos tortoises, as well as the estimate of how much weight the men would lose over the course of sixty days, were determined with the help of Beth Tornovish and Dr. Timothy Lepore on Nantucket. Statistics relating to the body's water needs come from Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition, by Eleanor Whitney et al. (pp. 272-75). As a point of comparison, Captain Bligh set his men's initial daily rations at one ounce of bread (as opposed to six ounces for the men of the Essex) and a quarter pint (compared to ahalfpint) ofwater (Bounty's Launch, p. 36). Francis Olmstead observed that many of the crew aboard the whaleship on which he sailed had “laid in from fifty to seventy pounds of tobacco as their solace for the voyage, and will probably have to obtain a fresh supply from the captain before they return home” (pp. 83-84).

Warren Kinston and Rachel Rosser speak of the effects of a “tormenting memory” and cite William James's reference to the San Francisco earthquake in “Disaster: Effects on Mental and Physical State” (pp. 443-44). Hilde Bluhm in “How Did They Survive? Mechanisms of Defense in Nazi Concentration Camps” speaks of the importance of self-expression in promoting psychic survival (p. 10). John Leach, in Survival Psychology, refers to activities such as Lawrence's creation of a piece of twine as “tasking,” which he defines as “the breaking down of the person's aim or purpose into simple tasks so that life can be handled one step at a time” (p. 152); he refers to one subject who dealt with a particularly long-term situation by making himself “a rudimentary set of golf clubs and wooden balls” (p. 153).

My discussion of navigation is based in large part on J. B. Hewson's A History of the Practice of Navigation, especially his chapter on navigation by latitude and dead reckoning (pp. 178-225). Francis Olmsted

in Incidents of a Whaling Voyage also provides an interesting account of navigation on a whaleship (pp. 43-44). My thanks to Donald Treworgy of Mystic Seaport for sharing his expertise with me; according to Treworgy in a personal communication: “If Pollard of the Essex did not learn to work a lunar until the next voyage, it seems very unlikely that he would have had a chronometer for doing a time sight in 1819. Marine chronometers in 1819 were still handmade, costly and not always reliable.” According to Obed Macy, who speaks of Nantucket's whaling captains' being “lunarians” in his History, by the 1830s the island's whaleships were “generally furnished with chronometers” (p. 218). On Captain Bligh's remarkable feat of navigation in an open boat, see Bounty's Launch (pp. 24, 60-61).

In his History Obed Macy tells how the crew of the Union tied their two whaleboats together (p. 233). In Survive the Savage Sea, Dougal Robertson recounts how his wooden sailing yacht was rammed repeatedly and sunk by several killer whales. Robert Pitman and Susan Chivers describe how a pod of killer whales attacked and killed a sperm whale in “Terror in Black and White,” Natural History, December 1998 (pp. 26-28). The description of Chase's dissection of a tortoise is based, in parr. on Dougal Robertson's detailed account of cutting up a green turtle (p. 109).

Chase calls the conditions they experienced on December 8 as a “perfect gale.” Dean King's^f Sea of Words defines gale as a “wind of an intensity between that of a strong breeze and a storm. In the 19th century, it was more precisely denned as blowing at a speed of between 28 and 55 nautical miles per hour. In a gale, the waves are high with crests that break into spindrift, while in a strong gale the crests topple and roll and dense streaks of foam blow in the wind” (p. 202). Richard Hub-bard's Boater's Bowditch: The Small Craft American Practical Navigator includes a table that puts the theoretical maximum of waves with unlimited fetch in Force 9 (41-47 knots) at40feet(p. 312). William Van Dorn's Oceanography and Seamanship also includes a useful table thai indicates the rate of sea state growth as a function of wind speed and duration (p. 189).

John Leach speaks of the “perceptual narrowing” that occurs in th-e aftermath of a disaster (p. 124), a factor that undoubtedly contribu: to the Essex survivors' unswerving commitment to their original plan, even though heading for the Society Islands remained a possibility throughout the first month after the sinking.

chapter eight: Centering Down

The best accounts of the sufferings of the people aboard the Medusa raft are from two of the survivors, J. B. Henry Savigny and Alexander Correard, in Narrative of a Voyage to Senegal; see also Alexander McKee's Death Haft. W. J. McGee's analysis of the sufferings of Pablo Valencia in the southwestern Arizona desert appears in his now famous article, “Desert Thirst as Disease.”

My description of gooseneck barnacles is based on information provided by James Carlton, Director of the Williams-Mystic Program at Mystic Seaport (personal communication, October 1998). For a description of how the crustaceans are commonly eaten, see the Epicuri-ous Dictionary (http://www2.condenet.com). My thanks to James McKenna on the faculty of the Williams-Mystic Program for providing me with detailed information on why some portions of the Pacific support less life than others (personal communication, March 23, 1999). M. F. Maury's chart indicating the “Desolate Region” appears in plate five of his Wind and Current Charts.

Willits Ansel, in The Whaleboat, tells how to clench a nail (pp. 88-89). W. Jeffrey Bolster discusses the “blacks' spiritual leadership” aboard a ship in Blackjacks (p. 125); he also recounts the story of the black cook's praying for the deliverance of a whaleship. My description of how Quakers “centered down” is based on Arthur Worr all's Quakers in the Colonial Northeast (pp. 91-95). For an excellent summary of the effects of starvation on disaster victims, see John Leach's Survival Psychology (pp. 87-99). Throughout their narratives, Chase and Nickerson occasionally contradict themselves concerning the amount of water and, especially, bread rations. In this and other chapters I have assumed that the downward progression of their daily rations of bread was from six ounces to three ounces and, finally (after leaving Henderson Island), to one and a half ounces, while the daily water ration remained at half a pint.

chapter nine: The Island

For an account of the Nantucketer Mayhew Folger's “discovery” of Pitcairn Island, see Greg Dening's Mr. Bligh's Bad Language (pp. 307-38) and Walter Hayes's The Captain from Nantucket and the Mutiny on the Bounty (pp. 41-47). To this day, Pitcairners rely on miro and tau

wood harvested at Henderson to produce the wood carvings they sell to tourists; see Dea Birkett's Serpent in Paradise for a description of i modern-day wood-collecting voyage from Pitcairn to Henderson (pp. 81-96). From 1991 to 1992, a team of scientists under the aegis of the Sir Peter Scott Commemorative Expedition to the Pitcairn Islands se: up abase camp on the north heach of Henderson Island-almost exacdv where the Essex survivors landed more than 170 years earlier. The scientists flew to Tahiti, then sailed the two thousand miles to Henderscc on a chartered yacht. Supplies of food and water were shipped in every three months from Auckland, New Zealand. I have relied heavily on the book the expedition produced, The Pitcairn Islands: Biogeograpky, Ecology and Prehistory, edited by Tim Benton and Tom Spencer, for information about Henderson Island.

The presence of a “fresh water lens” beneath a coral island is discussed in William Thomas's “The Variety of Physical Environments Among Pacific Islands” in Man's Place in the Island Ecosystem: A Symposium, edited by F. R. Fosberg (pp. 26-27). Thomas Heffernan cites Robert McLoughlin's account of the medical examination of the skeletons on Henderson Island in Stove by a Whale (pp. 84-85). The behavior between the man-of-war hawks and tropic birds can still be observe! on Henderson Island. See ]. A. Vickery and M. De L. Brooke's “Tt-r Kleptoparastic Interactions Between Great Frigatebirds and Maskei Boobies on Henderson Island, South Pacific” in The Condor. Althoagr a great frigatebird is another name for a man-of-war hawk, a masked boobie is a different species from a tropic bird, the kind of bird Nickerson claimed to have seen on Henderson.

T. G. Benton and T. Spencer describe how flora and fauna spread throughout the Pacific Islands in “Biogeographic Processes at the limits of the Indo-West Pacific Province” in The Pitcairn Islands (pp 44). My account of human habitation on Henderson is indebte: Spencer and T. G. Benton's “Man's Impact on the Pitcairn Islands” 11 * 375-76) and Marshall Weisler's “Henderson Island Prehistory: Cc-k-nization and Extinction on a Remote Polynesian Island,” also in The Pit-cairn Islands (pp. 377-404). In “Obesity in Samoans and a Perspectwt on Its Etiology in Polynesians,” in The American Journal of'Clinical'_>»-trition, Stephen McGarvey writes:

Polynesian settlement required long ocean voyages into prevailing trade winds and unknown waters. The sailors on these

early voyages of indeterminate length and unclear destinations may have experienced a significant risk of starvation and death when on-board food supplies dwindled and ceased. Overweight individuals and/or those with efficient metabolisms, presumably mediated by hyperinsulinemia, may have better survived such voyages because of their large store of energy reserves in the form of adipose tissue... Surviving sailors of these discovery voyages and, thus, the first settlers may have been those able to use and store food energy efficiently, perhaps via thrifty-genotype mechanisms, (p. 1592S)

McGarvey theorizes that this is why modern-day Samoans are characterized by “massive adiposity and high prevalence of obesity.” See also his article “The Thrifty Gene Concept and Adiposity Studies in Biological Anthropology.” When it comes to the men in the Essex whaleboats, McGarvey postulates in a personal communication (May 11,1999) that the health and nutrition of the men before the whale attack, not any racial or genetic predisposition, were the primary factors influencing their ability to survive. The statistics concerning the relative life spans of black and white infants are from Barbara M. Dixon's Good Health for African Americans (p. 27).

Pollard's public letter left on Henderson was quoted from in the Sydney Gazette (June 9,1821). Other accounts claim that Owen Chase also left a letter; one source says it was addressed to his wife, another to his brother. As extra protection, Pollard placed the letters in a small lead case before putting them in a wooden box nailed to the tree.

chapter ten: The Whisper of Necessity

Statistical information on wind directions in trade-wind zones comes from William Thomas's “The Variety of Physical Environments Among Pacific Islands,” in Man's Place in the Island Ecosystem, edited by F. R. Fosberg (p. 31). My thanks to the Nantucket Quaker expert Robert Leach for providing me with information on Matthew Joy's background (personal communication, May 28, 1998). According to Aaron Paddack's letter (based on Pollard's account and at the NHA): “Matthew P. Joy (second officer) died through debility & costiveness.”

The findings of the Minnesota starvation experiment are contained in the two-volume Biology of Human Starvation, by Ancel Keys et al. A

readable summary and analysis of the findings are contained in Harold Guetzkow and Paul Bowman's Men and Hunger: A Psychological Manual for Relief Workers, a guide still in use today. The term “stomach masturbation” is referred to by Hilde Bluhm in “How Did They Survive?” (p. 20). Guetzkow and Bowman speak of starvation and “so-called American characteristics” in Men and Hunger (p. 9).

One example of the claims made for dehydration and starvation as a “natural and quite tolerable” way to die can be found on the Web site http://www.asap-care.com/fluids.htm: “Dehydration and starvation have proven to be very tolerable while dying. This is easy to understand because people have been dying comfortably for thousands of years without artificial tube feedings and fluid supports... [These] are natural events that should be allowed to occur when death is imminent, not fought relentlessly and avoided at any and all costs.”

chapter eleven: Games of Chance

Chase's narrative and Aaron Paddack's letter disagree slightly concerning the timing of events on Pollard's and Hendricks's boats after their separation from Chase. Since Paddack wrote his letter on the nigh: of Pollard's rescue after listening to the captain's own account, I have taken it to be a more reliable source concerning the sequence of events on these two boats.

The reference to survival cannibalism at sea being so widespread in the nineteenth century is from Brian Simpson's Cannibalism and thf Common Law (p. 121). The second canto of Byron's Don Juan, published in the summer of 1819, illustrates the attitudes and assumptions of the time:

lxvi

-Tis thus with people in an open boat, They live upon the love of life, and bear More than can be believed, or even thought, And stand like rocks the tempest's wear and tear; And hardship still has been the sailor's lot, Since Noah's ark went cruising here and there...

lxvii

But Man is a carnivorous production, And must have meals, at least one meal a day:

He cannot live, like woodcocks, upon suction, But, like the shark and tiger, must have prey; Although his anatomical construction Bears vegetables, in a grumbling way, Your laboring people think beyond all question, Beef, veal, and mutton, better for digestion.

lxviii And thus it was with our hapless crew...

The most comprehensive treatment of the Nottingham Galley is contained in a scholarly edition of Kenneth Roberts's novel Boon Island. I have used Captain Dean's earliest edition of his narrative published in 1711, reprinted in Donald Wharton's In the Trough of the Sea: Selected American Sea-Deliverance Narratives, 1610-1766 (pp. 153-55). Edward Leslie's Desperate Journeys, Abandoned Souls: True Stories of Castaways and Other Survivors contains an excellent discussion of the Nottingham Galleywreck, along with other famous incidences of maritime cannibalism, including the Essex disaster. Also see chapter five, “The Custom of the Sea,” in Simpson's Cannibalism and the Com-monLaw (pp. 95-145).

Christy Turner and Jacqueline Turner's Man Corn: Cannibalism and Violence in the Prehistoric American Southwest provides a detailed analysis of how much meat an average human would provide (pp. 34-35), as does Stanley Garn and Walter Block's “The Limited Nutritional Value of Cannibalism,” in American Anthropologist (p. 106). In The Biology of Human Starvation, Ancel Keys et al. cite autopsies of starvation victims in which “adipose tissues contained no cells with fat globules” (p. 170); they also cite information on the percentage weight losses of the organs of starvation victims (p. 190). My thanks to Beth Tornovish and Tim Lepore for their estimates of the amount of meat and calories the Essex starvation victims would have provided. For a modern-day survivalist's guide to cannibalism (complete with a diagram of a human body indicating the preferred cuts of meat and even a list of recipes), see Shiguro Takada's Contingency Cannibalism: Superhard-core Survivalism 's Dirty Little Secret.

According to P. DeurenbergetaL, in “Body Mass Index and Percent Body Fat: A Meta Analysis Among Different Ethnic Groups,” in the International Journal of Obesity, “Blacks have lower body fat for the same

Body Mass Index (BMI) compared to Caucasians” (pp. 1168-69). For accounts of the Donner Party and the increased survival rates of the women relative to the men, see George Stewart's Ordeal by Hunger and Joseph King's Winter of Entrapment. Another example of women outlasting men in a starvation situation is found in Ann Saunders's account of her ordeal after the ship on which she was a passenger (along with only one other woman) became disabled on its way from New Brunswick to Liverpool in 1826. After twenty-two days in the rigging of the waterlogged ship, the six survivors (all of whom resorted to cannibalism) included the two women passengers. In addition to a physiological advantage, Pollard's age may have given him an attitudinal edge when it came to long-term survival. According to John Leach, “Those under twenty-five suffer because they have not yet learned to conserve energies. They have difficulty pacing themselves for the long haul... [P]assivity does not come naturally to youth” (Survival Psychology. p. 172). '

Both Glin Bennet in Beyond Endurance (pp. 205-9) and John Leach in Survival Psychology speak of Shackleton's unique ability to embody different leadership styles. According to Leach, Shackletonwas “a rare man who was capable of both types of leadership. He was clearly a dominant character capable of decisive initial leadership while possessing an incredible degree of perseverance” (p. 141). Frank Worsley makes the comments concerning Shackleton's sensitivity to his men in Shackleton's Boat Journey (pp. 169-70).

In Biology of Starvation, Keys provides a summary of the physiological effects of starvation that includes a poor tolerance to cold temperatures and a darkening of the skin, particularly about the face (pp. 827-28). Brian Simpson, in Cannibalism and the CommonLaw, tells of the “belief that cannibalism, once practiced, easily becomes a habit” (p. 149). Guetzkow and Bowman speak of how semistarvation had “coarsened” the men in the Minnesota experiment (p. 32). David Harrison's account of the sufferings aboard the Peggy appears in Donald Whar-ton's/ra the Trough of the Sea (pp. 259-77); although the sailors claimed that the black slave was picked to be killed by lottery, Captain Harrison had “some strong suspicions that the poor Ethiopian was not altogether treated fairly; but on recollection, I almost wondered that they had given him even the appearance of an equal chance with themselves” (p. 269). Herbert Bloch describes “modern feral communities” in “The Personality of Inmates of Concentration Camps” (p. 335). Hilde Bluhm

in “How Did They Survive?” refers to the inmate who spoke of “killing” his feelings (p. 8); Bluhm also quotes from the female prisoner who took on a “savage cunning” in order to survive in the death camps (p. 22). While living with the Ihalmiut in the Northwest Territory, Farley Mowatt learned the vital importance of fat to a people living on an all-meat diet. In People of the Deer he writes, “an eternal craving for fat is part of the price of living on an all-meat diet” (p. 85).

The first recorded instance of drawing lots in a survival situation at sea was published in 1641; see Simpson's Cannibalism and the Common Law (pp. 122-23). The description of David Flatt's reaction to his death sentence aboard the Peggy is told by Harrison (Wharton, pp. 271-76). See also H. Bluestone and C. L. McGahee's “Reaction to Extreme Stress: Impending Death by Execution.” My thanks to Friends Robert Leach and Michael Royston for their insights regarding Quakerism's stand on gambling and killing (personal communication, June 3,1998). Leach also provided me with information regarding the Quaker background of George Pollard (personal communication, May 22, 1998). R. B. Forbes, in the pamphlet Loss of the Essex, Destroyed by a Whale, refers to how the men aboard the Polly fished for sharks with people's body parts (pp. 13-14). My account of the drawing of lots and execution of Owen Coffin is based not only on testimonies from Pollard (as recorded by George Bennet, in Heffernan [p. 215]), Chase, and Nickerson but also on a letter Nickerson wrote to Leon Lewis dated October 27, 1876 (at the NHA). In the letter Nickerson claims that Pollard was Coffin's executioner, which contradicts his own account in the narrative, where he says that it was Ramsdell who shot Coffin. Since other accounts claim it was Ramsdell, I have assumed that Nickerson was mistaken in the letter.

chapter twelve: In the Eagle's Shadow

John Leach speaks of the active-passive approach to a long-term survival situation in Survival Psychology (p. 167). Eleanor Whitney et al., in Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition, describe the effects of an extreme magnesium deficiency: “convulsions, bizarre muscle movements (especially of the eye and facial muscles), hallucinations, and difficulty in swallowing” (p. 302). Captain Harrison's account of the sailor who died insane after eating the raw liver of a black slave is in Donald Wharton's In the Trough of the Sea (p. 269). Aversion of this

I

story apparently made its way into the lore surrounding the Essex ordeal. In his pamphlet Loss of the Essex, R. B. Forbes, who depended greatly on information provided by the often unreliable Frederick San-ford, claimed that “when a black man died in one of the boats, another one partook of his liver, became mad, and jumped overboard” (p. 11).

The meaning of “Barzillai” comes from Alfred Jones's “A List of Proper Names in the Old and New Testaments” in Cruden 's Complete Concordance (p. 791). Warren Kinston and Rachel Rosser write of the psychological effects of suffering high losses in battle in “Disaster: Effects on Mental and Physical State” (pp. 445-46). Ancel Keys et al. discuss what they call the “edema problem” in The Biology of Human Starvation (pp. 935-1014).

Robert Leach provided me with the information concerning Benjamin Lawrence's Quaker upbringing (personal communication, May 22,1998). Josiah Quincy wrote of his conversation with the financially humbled Captain Lawrence (Benjamin's grandfather) in 1801, recording: “Lawrence had seen better days, and had been upon a level in point of property, with the principal inhabitants of the island. But misfortunes had beset his old age, and he was just preparing to remove his family to Alexandria” (Crosby, p. 119). As Leach reveals, Benjamin's father died during a voyage to Alexandria in 1809.

Concerning the sailing speed of a whaleboat, Willits Ansel writes, in The Whaleboat: “[F]our to six knots was a good average for a boat beating or running over a period of time on a number of headings” (p. 17). In 1765 the crew of the Peggy watched helplessly as the captain of a potential rescue ship ordered his men to sail away from the disabled craft (Wharton, p. 265). As Edward Leslie writes in Desperate Journeys. Abandoned Souls: “[R]escuing castaways entailed risks and offered no tangible rewards; indeed, taking survivors on board would deplete already limited supplies of food and water” (p. 218). According to Beth Tornovish, tapioca pudding is “a soft food that would be easy for these starving men to digest. It is high in calories and protein... [and] high-protein, high-calorie foods are recommended to postoperative surgical patients to promote healing and regain nutrient losses experienced prior to and during surgery” (personal communication, March 28. 1999).

Christy Turner and Jacqueline Turner discuss techniques for extracting marrow from human bones in Man Corn (pp. 33-38). MacDon-ald Critchley, in Shipwreck Survivors: A Medical Study, writes of

deliriums among castaways that are “shared in... actual content... leading to a sort of collective confabulation” (p. 81). Charles Murphey, third mate on the Dauphin, tells how Pollard's boat was discovered in his 220-stanza poem published in 1877; Murphey also provides a crew list that indicates the Native Americans who were aboard the Dauphin. For an account of the Indian legend of how the giant Maushop followed a giant eagle to Nantucket, see mjAbram 's Eyes: The Native American Legacy ofNantucket Island (p. 35). Melville retells aversion of this legend in Chapter 14 of Moby-Dick. Commodore Charles Ridgely of the Constellation recorded the account of how Pollard and Ramsdell were found sucking the bones of their shipmates (Heffernan, p. 99). As Hef-fernan points out, Ridgely would have heard this account from the Nantucketer Obed Starbuck, first mate of the Hero (p. 101). A story in the Sydney Gazette (June 9,1821) claimed that “the fingers, and other fragments of their deceased companions, were in the pockets of the Capt. and boy when taken on board the whaler.” An incomplete photocopy of Aaron Paddack's letter describing Pollard's account of the Essex disaster is in NHA Collection 15, Folder 57. In the letter, Paddack writes:”Captain Pollard, though very low when first taken up has immediately revived I regret to say that young Ramsdell has appeared to fail since taken up.” Claude Rawson, the Maynard Mack Professor of English at Yale University, spoke to me about the tendency of those who have been reduced to survival-cannibalism to speak openly about the experience-often to the horror of their listeners (personal communication, November 13,1998). The loquacity of the sixteen survivors of an airplane crash in the Andes in 1972 made possible Piers Paul Read's now famous account of survival-cannibalism, Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors.

CHAPTE-R thirteen: Homecoming

In Stove by a Whale Thomas Heffernan provides a detailed account of the political situation in Chile at the time of the Essex survivors' arrival in Valparaiso (pp. 89-91). The NHA Essex blue file contains a transcript from the National Archives in Chile of the February 25 entry describing the ordeal of Chase, Lawrence, and Nickerson. Nickerson speaks of the acting American consul Henry Hill's efforts on their behalf. Commodore Ridgely's account of the survivors' appearance and their treatment by Dr. Osbornis cited by Heffernan (pp. 100-1). Ridgely

claims that the sailors aboard the Constellation originally offered to donate an entire month's pay to the treatment of the Essex survivors (which would have totaled between two and three thousand dollars), but realizing that American and English residents of Valparaiso had also created a fund, Ridgely limited his men to a dollar each (Heffernan, p. 100).

Ancel Keys et al. tell of the painful process by which the participants in the Minnesota starvation experiment regained the weight they had lost in The Biology of Human Starvation (p. 828). Captain Harrison's account of the difficulties he had in regaining use of his digestive tract are described in his narrative of the Peggy disaster (Wharton. p. 275). Nickerson provides a detailed account of the troubles the Hero ran into off St. Mary's Island; also see mjAway Off Shore (pp. 161-62). My description of how Pollard and Ramsdell made their way to Valparaiso is indebted to Heffernan's Stove by a Whale (pp. 95-109), as is my account of the rescue of the three men on Henderson Island (pp. 109-15). Brian Simpson writes of “gastronomic incest” in Cannibalism and the Common Law (p. 141).

Chappel tells of their travails on Henderson in a pamphlet titled “Loss of the Essex,” reprinted in Heffernan (pp. 218-24). Nickersor talked to Seth Weeks about his time on the island, and Weeks confirmed that the freshwater spring never again appeared above the tide line. According to the oceanographer James McKenna, it is more than likely that an exceptionally high (and low) spring tide, combined with other factors such as the phase of the moon and variations in the orbital patterns of the sun and moon, were what gave the Essex crew temporary access to the spring in late December of 1820 (personal communication. May 10,1999). Captain Beechey writes of the missing Essex boat: “The third [boat] was never heard of; but it is not improbable that the wreck of a boat and four skeletons which were seen on Ducie's Island by a merchant vessel were her remains and that of her crew” (in Narrative, voL 1, pp. 59-61). Heffernan, who cites the Beechey reference, doubts thai the whaleboat referred to could have belonged to the Essex (Stove by a Whale, p. 88).

Obed Macy's account of what happened on Nantucket during the winter and spring of 1821 are in the third volume of his journals in NHA Collection 96. Frederick Sanford's description of the letter regard: the Essex survivors being read “in front of the post-office in a public way” is in a brief article titled “Whale Stories” that apparently appear e i

in an off-island newspaper in or around 1872. An undated copy of the article is on file at the NHA; my thanks to Elizabeth Oldham for bringing the story to my attention. Sanford also includes a somewhat overheated account of the whale attack: “[A] large whale (sperm) came upon the ship, and with such violence as to make her heel and shake like an aspen leaf. The whale glanced off to windward and when two miles to windward turned and came down upon the ship and struck her a most deadly blow on the bows which caused her to heel over and to fill and sink!”

The New Bedford Mercury (June 15, 1821) includes two stories about the Essex. The first comes from a Captain Wood, of the Triton, who had heard about the disaster from Captain Paddack of the Diana and reports that Pollard and Ramsdell had been picked up by the Dauphin; the second story tells of a letter just received from Nantucket reporting on the arrival of the Eagle with Chase, Lawrence, Nickerson, and Ramsdell as passengers. Nantucket's own paper, the Inquirer, did not begin publication until June 23,1821, almost two weeks after the arrival of the first group of Essex survivors. The letter describing Chase's inability to speak about the disaster is dated June 17, 1821 and is the possession of Rosemary Heaman, a descendant of Barnabas Sears, to whom the letter was addressed. My thanks to Mrs. Heaman for bringing the letter to my attention. Mention of Pollard's reception is limited to a single sentence: “Capt. Pollard, late Master of the ship Essex, arrived here in the Two Brothers, last Sunday” (August 9,1821). Frederick San-ford's account of Pollard's arrival is in Gustav Kobbe's “The Perils and Romance of Whaling,” The Century Magazine, August 1890 (p. 521); he also writes of Pollard's return to Nantucket in the Inquirer (March 28,1879). Although many writers have mistakenly attributed Sanford's account of a silent reception to the arrival of Chase and company, it was Pollard's return that elicited this response. The description of a Nantucketer's reaction to the arrival of a whaleship is from the Nantucket Inquirer (May U, 1842).

Lance Davis et al. speak of the greater responsibilities and pay of a whaling captain compared to a merchant captain (In Pursuit ofLeviathan, pp. 175-85). Amasa Delano's memories of his return after an unsuccessful voyage are in his Narrative of Voyages and Travels (pp. 252-53). Edouard Stackpole writes of Owen Coffin's grandfather Hezekiah and his involvement in the Boston Tea Party in Whales and Destiny (p. 38). Robert Leach provided me with information regarding the Coffin family and the Friends Meeting (personal communication, May 20, 1998).

Thomas Nickerson's account of Nancy Coffin's response to George Pollard is in his letter to Leon Lewis.

Piers Paul Read speaks of the Montevideo Archbishop's judgment of the Andes survivors in Alive! (p. 308). Another Catholic official did insist, however, that, contrary to the claims of one of the Andes survivors, the eating of human flesh under these circumstances was not equivalentto Holy Communion (p. 309). Documents relating to the rise of Quakerism on Nantucket mention a religious discussion that makes an intriguing reference to cannibalism and communion. In the spring of 1698, several years before Quakerism took hold on the island, an itinerant Friend named Thomas Chalkley visited Nantucket and recorded his conversation with one of the community's first settlers, Stephen Hussey. Hussey had once lived in the Barbados, where he had heard a Quaker claim that “we must eat the spiritual flesh, and drink the spiritual blood of Christ.” Hussey asked, “Is it not a contradiction in nature, that flesh and blood should be spiritual?” When Chalkley pointed out that Christ had been speaking figuratively when he told the apostles. “Except ye eat my flesh and drink my blood ye have no life in you,” Hussey indignantly replied, “ I don't think they were to gnaw it from his arms and shoulders” (Starbuck, History of Nantucket, p. 518). One can only wonder how Chalkley and Hussey would have responded to the all-too-literal story of the Essex. Claude Rawson refers to cannibalism as a “cultural embarrassment” in a review of Brian Simpson's Cannibalism and the Common Law in the London Review of Books (January 24. 1985, p. 21). Concerning survivors who have resorted to cannibalism. John Leach writes, “If it can be accepted, justified or in cases rationalized, then the act of enforced cannibalism can be accommodated with little or no psychological dysfunction” (SurvivalPsychology, p. 98).

Thomas Heffernan has pointed out the similarities between Chase's account of what happened on Pollard's and Joy's boat and what is described in Aaron Paddack's letter (StoveBy a Whale, p. 231). Herman Melville wrote about Owen Chase's authorship of his narrative in the back pages of his own copy of the book (see Northwestern-Newberry Moby-Dick, p. 984). Yet another aspect of the disaster not mentionedby Chase is whether he ever followed Richard Peterson's dying wishes and contacted the sailor's widow in New York. The family of William Coffin. Jr., had something of a tradition of writing controversial publications. Five years earlier, his father, who twenty years before had been wrongly

accused by the island's Quaker hierarchy of robbing the Nantucket Bank, wrote an eloquent defense that proved the crime had been committed by off-islanders; see my Away Off Shore (pp. 156-59). I also speak of William Coffin, Jr.'s qualifications as ghostwriter of Chase's narrative in Away Off Shore (pp. 158, 249). The statement regarding William Coffin's “enthusiastic love of literature” appeared in an obituary in the Nantucket Inquirer (May 2, 1838). An announcement concerning the publication of Chase's narrative appeared in the Inquirer (November 22,1821).

Melville recorded having heard of a narrative by Captain Pollard in the back pages of his copy of Chase's book (Northwestern-Newberry Moby-Dick, p. 985). Ralph Waldo Emerson's remarks concerning the Nantucketers' sensitivity to “everything that dishonors the island” appears in his 1847 journal entries about the island (p. 63). In 1822, an anonymous letter would appear in a Boston paper questioning the religious character of the island's inhabitants. An irate Nantucketer responded in words that might have been applied to Owen Chase: “We have a spy amongst us, who, like other spies, sends abroad his cowardly reports where he thinks they can never be disproved” (Nantucket Inquirer [April 18,1822]). According to Alexander Starbuck's list of whaling voyages in the History of Nantucket, the Two Brothers left Nantucket on November 26, 1821. Nickerson speaks of being a part of the Two Brothers' crew (along with Charles Ramsdell) in a poem titled “The Ship Two Brothers” (NHA Collection 106, Folder 3J£).

chapter fourteen: Consequences

My account of the Two Brothers'last voyage is based primarily on Nickerson's poem “The Ship Two Brothers” and his prose narrative “Loss of the Ship Two Brothers of Nantucket,” both previously unpublished and in NHA Collection 106, Folder 3%. The first mate of the Two Brothers, Eben Gardner, also left an account of the wreck, which is at the NHA. -Charles Wilkes, the midshipman on the Waterwitch who recorded his conversation with George Pollard, would become the leader of the United States Exploring Expedition. As Heffernan points out, there is the possibility that Wilkes also met Owen Chase in 1839 when four of the expedition's ships, along with the Charles Carroll, were anchored for several weeks at Tahiti (pp. 130-31). Wilkes's ac-

count of his meeting with Captain Pollard is in eluded in Autobiography of Rear Admiral Charles Wilkes, U.S. Navy, 1798-1877 and is quoted at length in Heffernan (pp. 146-48).

Edouard Stackpole tells of Frederick Coffin's discovery of the Japan Ground in The Sea-Hunters (p. 268); not all whaling scholars are convinced that Coffin was the first to find the whaling ground. George Pollard may have been taught how to perform a lunar observation by the Two Brothers' former captain, George Worth, during the two-and-a-half-month cruise back to Nantucket from Valparaiso in the spring and summer of 1821. Although both Pollard and Captain Pease of the Martha were convinced that they had run into an uncharted shoal, Nickerson reveals in his letter to Leon Lewis that both he and the Martha's first mate, Thomas Derrick, believed it to be French Frigate Shoal, an already well-known hazard to the west of the Hawaiian Islands.

George Bennet's account of his meeting with George Pollard originally appeared m Journal of Voyages and Travels by the Rev. Daniel Ty-erman and George Bennet, Esq. Deputed from the London Missionary Society. Concerning a character based on Pollard, Melville writes in the poem Clarel:

A Jonah is he?-And men bruit The story. None will give him place In a third venture.

Nickerson tells of Pollard's single voyage in the merchant service in his “Loss of the Ship Two Brothers of Nantucket.” The rumor about George Pollard's switching lots with Owen Coffin is recordedby Cyrus Townsend Brady in “The Yarn of the Essex, Whaler” in Cosmopolitan (November 1904, p. 72). Brady wrote that even though the tradition was “still current in Nantucket,” he doubted its veracity.

My thanks to Diana Brown, granddaughter of Joseph Warren Phin-ney, for providing me with a copy of the relevant portions of the original transcript of Phinney's reminiscences, recorded by his daughter, Ruth Pierce. Ms. Brown has published a selection of her grandfather's reminiscences under the title “Nantucket, Far Away and Long Ago,” in Historic Nantucket (pp. 23-30). In a personal communication (August 9. 1998), she explains Phinney's relation to Captain Pollard: “Captain Warren Phinney, his father, married Valina Worth, the daughter of

Joseph T. Worth and Sophronia Riddell (June 6,1834). Sophronia Rid-dell was, I believe, the sister of Mary Riddell who married Captain Pollard. After bearing three daughters, she died in 1843. Shortly after that, he was married to Henrietta Smith, who died the end of 1845, the year Joseph Warren was born. His father died about five years after this in a ship disaster on one of the Great Lakes, so he was then brought up by his grandmother and grandfather Smith. He of course was not a blood relative to the Pollards, but they were part of his extended family.” The rumor about George Pollard's making light of having eaten Owen Coffin is recorded in Horace Beck's Folklore and the Sea (p. 379). As late as the 1960s, the tradition was still being repeated on Nantucket; my thanks to Thomas McGlinn, who attended school on the island, for sharing with me his memory of the Pollard anecdote.

What is known about Owen Chase's life after the Essex disaster is recounted by Heffernan in Stove by a Whale (pp. 119-45). Emerson recorded his conversation with the sailor about the white whale and the Winslow/Essexon February 19,1834 (Journals, vol. 4, p. 265). Melville's memories of meeting Chase's son and seeing Chase himself are in the back pages of his copy of the Essex narrative (Northwestern-Newberry Moby-Dick, pp. 981-83). Although Melville did apparently meet Owen Chase's son, he went to sea after Owen had retired as a whaling captain and mistook someone else for the former first mate of the Essex. Even if Melville didn't actually see Chase, he thought he did, and it would be Melville's sensibility that would largely determine how future generations viewed the Essex disaster: through the lens of Moby-Dick. Melville's remarks concerning Chase's learning of his wife's infidelity are also recorded in his copy of the narrative (Northwestern-Newberry Moby-Dick, p. 995).

In “Loss of the Ship Two Brothers of Nantucket,” Nickerson tells of what happened after the crew was taken to Oahu on the Martha: “all of the crew of the Two Brothers were safely landed and as the whaling fleet were at the time in that port, each took their own course and joined separate ships- as chances offered.” Heffernan speaks of Ramsdell's being captain of the General Jackson in Stove by a Whale (p. 152); the computerized genealogical records at the NHA show that Ramsdell's first wife, Mercy Fisher, bore four children and died in 1846, and that his second wife, Elisa Lamb, had two children. The Brooklyn City Directory lists a Thomas G. Nickerson, shipmaster, living on 293 Hewes as late as 1872. Benjamin Lawrence's obituary appeared in the Nantucket In-

quirer and Mirror (April 5, 1879). Nickerson writes in his narrative about the fates of William Wright and Thomas Chappel. Seth Weeks's obituary appeared in the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror (September 24, 1887); it concludes: “He became blind for some years past, and ended his life in sweet peace and quiet among his own people, always highly respected and honored.”

Edouard Stackpole recounts the anecdote about Nantucketers' not talking about the Essex in “Aftermath” in the NHA edition of Nickerson's narrative (p. 78). For an account of the island's reputation as a Quaker abolitionist stronghold, see my “'Every Wave Is a Fortune': Nantucket Island and the Making of an American Icon”; Whittier writes about Nantucket in his ballad “The Exiles,” about Thomas Macy's voyage to the island in 1659. I discuss the success of the almost all-black crew of the Loper in Away Off Shore (pp. 162-63). Frederick Douglass ends the first edition of the narrative of his life with his speech at the Nantucket Atheneum.

Thomas Heffernan traces the literary uses of the Essex story in his chapter “Telling the Story” (pp. 155-82). The author of an article in the Garrettsville (Ohio) Journal (September 3, 1896) about the return of the Essex trunk to Nantucket provides convincing evidence of the impact \heEssex story had on America'syoungpeople: “InMcGuffey's old 'Eclectic Fourth Reader' we used to read that account. It told about whalers being in open whale-boats two thousand miles from land... Such accounts as that make impressions on the minds of children which last.” Testifying to how far the story of the Essex spread is a ballad titled “The Shipwreck of the Essex,” recorded in Cornwall, England. The ballad takes many liberties with the facts of the disaster, claiming, for example, that lots were cast no less than eight times while the men were still on Ducie Island (in Simpson's Cannibalism and the Common Lau. pp. 316-17). Emerson's letter to his daughter about the Essex is in his collected letters, edited by Ralph Rusk, vol. 3 (pp. 398-99). OnMelville's one and only visit to Nantucket, see Susan Beegel's “Herman Melville: Nantucket's First Tourist.” Melville recorded his impressions of George Pollard in the pages of Chase's Narrative (Northwestern-Newberry Moby-Dick, pp. 987-88).

On Nantucket's decline as a whaling port and the Great Fire of 1846, see my Away Off Shore (pp. 195-98, 203-4, 209-10). Christopher Hussey, in Talks About Old Nantucket, writes about how the burning slick of oil surrounded the firefighters in the shallows of the harbor

(p. 61); see also William C. Macy's excellent account of the fire in Part III of Obed Macy's History ofNantucket (pp. 287-89). Concerning the Oak, Nantucket's last whaling vessel, Alexander Starbuck writes: “Sold at Panama, 1872; sent home 60 bbls sperm, 450 bbls. [right] whale. Nantucket's last whaler” (p. 483).

The statistics concerning the number of sperm whales killed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are from Dale Rice's “Sperm “Whale” (p. 191); see also Davis et al.'s In Pursuit of Leviathan (p. 135) and Hal Whitehead's “The Behavior of Mature Male Sperm Whales on the Galapagos Islands Breeding Grounds” (p. 696). Charles Wilkes (the same man who, as a midshipman, talked with George Pollard) recorded the observation that sperm whales had “become wilder” in vol. 5 of Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition (p. 493). Alexander Starbuck collected accounts of whale attacks on ships in History of the American Whale Fishery(pp. 114-25). Captain DeBlois's description of his encounter with the whale that sank the Ann Alexander is in Clement Sawtell's The Ship Ann Alexander of New Bedford, 1805-1851 (pp. 61-84). Melville speaks of the “Ann Alexander whale” in a letter dated November 7,1851, to Evert Duyckinck in his Correspondence^. 139-40).

In a letter dated November 15, 1868, to Winnifred Battie, Phebe Chase tells of seeing Owen Chase: “[H]e called me cousin Susan (taking me for sister Worth) held my hand and sobbed like a child, saying O my head, my head[.] [I]t was pitiful to see the strong man bowed, then his personal appearance so changed, didn't allow himself decent clothing, fears he shall come to want” (NHA Collection 105, Folder 15). For information concerning Nickerson, see Edouard Stackpole's foreword to the NHA edition of Nickerson's narrative (pp. 8-11). My thanks to Aimee Newell, Curator of Collections at the NHA, for providing me with information about Benjamin Lawrence's circle of twine and the Essex chest. See “A Relic of the Whaleship Essex” in the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror (August 22, 1986) and “A Valuable Relic Preserved” in the Garrettsville Journal (September 3,1896).

epilogue: Bones

Information on the sperm whale that washed up on Nantucket at the end of 1997 comes from the following sources: articles by Dionis Gauvin and Chris Warner in the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror (January 8,1998); articles by J. C. Gamble in the Nantucket Beacon (January

6, 1998); “The Story of Nantucket's Sperm Whale” hy Cecil Barron Jensen in Historic Nantucket (Summer 1998, pp. 5-8); and interviews conducted in May and June of 1999 with Edie Ray, Tracy Plaut, Tracy Sundell, Jeremy Slavitz, Rick Morcom, and Dr. Karlene Ketten. Dr. Wesley Tiffney, Director of the University of Massachusetts-Boston Field Station, spoke with me about erosion at Codfish Park (personal communication, June 1999).

The whale necropsy was supervised by Connie Marigo and Howard Krum of the New England Aquarium. The cutting up of the whale was directed by Tom French of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Working with French were David Taylor, a science teacher at Triton Regional High School in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and three of Taylor's students. It was fitting that Taylor and his students were from Newburyport, which was where many of Nantucket's first settlers had come from in the seventeenth century. The Nantucket Historical Association was officially granted the whale skeleton by the National Marine Fisheries Service in the winter of 1998.

According to Clay Lancaster's Holiday Island, Thomas Nickerson operated a guest house on North Water Street in the mid-1870s (when he met the writer Leon Lewis), but had relocated to North Street (now Cliff Road) by 1882 (p. 55). An advertisement in the Inquirerand Mirror (June 26,1875) announces Nickerson's having opened “a family board-inghouse [with] several large airy and commodious rooms, with all the comforts of a home.” My thanks to Elizabeth Oldham for bringing this ad to my attention.

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