Native American Whalemen and the World: Indigenous by Nancy Shoemaker

By Nancy Shoemaker

Within the 19th century, approximately all local American males dwelling alongside the southern New England coast made their residing touring the world's oceans on whaleships. Many have been occupation whalemen, spending two decades or extra at sea. Their exertions invigorated economically depressed reservations with very important source of revenue and resulted in advanced and spectacular connections with different Indigenous peoples, from the islands of the Pacific to the Arctic Ocean. At domestic, aboard send, or all over the world, local American seafarers came across themselves in numerous occasions, every one with specific racial expectancies approximately who used to be "Indian" and the way "Indians" behaved. taken care of by way of their white associates as degraded dependents incapable of taking good care of themselves, local New Englanders however rose to positions of command at sea. They thereby advanced myths of exploration and enlargement that depicted cultural encounters because the assembly of 2 peoples, whites and Indians.

Highlighting the moving racial ideologies that formed the lives of those whalemen, Nancy Shoemaker indicates how the class of "Indian" used to be as fluid because the whalemen have been mobile.

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Extra info for Native American Whalemen and the World: Indigenous Encounters and the Contingency of Race

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52 In their whaling journals, Gideon Ammons’s brother Joseph, from Charlestown, Rhode Island, and Thaddeus W. Cook of Gay Head recorded personal financial accounts for other kinds of labor. When not whaling, they took up odd jobs. In 1847 and 1848, Ammons chopped and carted wood, mowed, weeded, and dug a well. 54 As physically demanding The Gay Head Harpooner : 29 as whaling, if not more so, these activities were not any more remunerative. 50, a large sum but within range of an officer’s whaling earnings.

It merely shifted to allow Indians to serve as officers. Hired as first mate on the Palmetto in 1875 at age twenty-five, Joseph G. 32 African American whalemen were equally rare in the highest echelons of the industry. Among those few who became whaling masters were two men connected by marriage to native families. 33 William A. Martin married Sarah Brown of the Chappaquiddick community, where the couple resided. Martin later became captain of the Golden City in 1878, the Emma Jane in 1883, and the Eunice H.

39 They were just trying to make a living by catching whales. But as ordinary people who traveled the world, they had a remarkable vantage point from which to observe and think about human difference, and Introduction : 17 they contributed their ideas and stories about their experiences to an international conversation. As I explain in Appendix A, I collected data on over 600 Native American whalemen who collectively went on several thousand voyages. In most cases, when more than one document labeled a person Indian or by a tribal designation, such as Narragansett or Pequot, I included them in my database.

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