“The Voyage of the F.H. Moore” and Other 19th Century Whaling Accounts


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About the Book

In 1873, 21-year-old Sam Williams embarked on a whaling journey on the two-masted F.H. Moore—he steered one of the boats and threw the harpoon. He kept a personal log and reworked it into this never-before-published manuscript, now supplemented by additional research and relevant excerpts of the ship’s official logbook.
Complementing this are excerpts from three other accounts of whaling voyages: Incidents of a Whaling Voyage by Francis Allyn Olmstead (1841); Etchings of a Whaling Cruise by J. Ross Browne (1846), an exposé of the whaling industry; and The Gam: Being a Group of Whaling Stories by Capt. Charles Henry Robbins (1899), a personal story of nearly an entire life at sea. The four accounts open the 19th century world of whaling to modern readers in a realistic and unromantic way.

About the Author(s)

Greg Bailey is a journalist and former attorney. His work has been published in American Heritage, Naval History, The Economist, Time, America’s Civil War and other magazines and newspapers in America and abroad. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Bibliographic Details

Samuel Grant Williams, J. Ross Browne, Capt. Charles H. Robbins and Francis Allyn Olmsted.
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7866-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1368-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Part I: “The Voyage of the F.H. Moore” by Samuel Grant Williams 5

One. Meet Fluker and the Crew  5

Two. Our First Day at Sea: Goodbye to Boston  9

Three. On the Way to San Domingo  13

Four. Story of Captain Peakes  17

Five. Gonives Bay and Our First Whale  22

Six. Off for More Whales  27

Seven. Off This Coast of Honduras  31

Eight. Blackfish and More Fruit  33

Nine. Cruising in the Tracks of Columbus  36

Ten. Cruising Among the Islands  38

Eleven. Southwest Key and One Comfortable Home  40

Twelve. New Year’s, 1874  41

Thirteen. Sam the Boatsteerer’s Story  45

Fourteen. [Untitled]  48

Fifteen. The Captain’s Wife  58

Sixteen. [Untitled]  62

Conclusion  69

Part II: An Unfinished Book by Samuel Grant Williams 71

One  73

Two  75

Three  77

Four  79

[An Incomplete Chapter]  81

Canary Islands  86

Part III: Excerpt from Incidents of a Whaling Voyage by Francis Allyn Olmsted 89

Part IV: Excerpts from Etchings of a Whaling Cruise by J. Ross Browne 99

Part V: Excerpts from The Gam by Capt. Charles H. Robbins 163

Making a Master  164

That Great Leviathan  167

Beach Combers  177

Right Whales  180

Whale-Land and Its Customs  182

The Frozen North  186

Whales Has Feelins  189

The Captain  197

Index 203