Confederate Legacy...End of Whaling!

5fish

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#1
I found this site "The Search for the Lost Whaling Fleet"...It about the Lost of Whaling ships off Alaska and Siberia in the 1865, 1871 and 1876..The are actively looking for the ships sunk by the Shenandoah the epic raider that sunk most of the Whaling fleet in 1865....

http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/whalingfleet/first_blow.html

The search for it....

http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/whalingfleet/involvement.html

Main page...

http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/whalingfleet/welcome.html

This is about the decline of whaling....started with the civil war..

http://www.heraldnews.com/news/x676313322

http://www.longwood.k12.ny.us/history/midisl/bayles stories/book 8/decline of whaling.htm


The Confederacy desire to cripple the whaling industry, it along with the discovery of oil in Pennsylvania marks the beginning of the end of whaling industry here in America. The Confederacy can be proud due to their traitorous ways, many whales are alive today. Who would have thought the confederacy were whale lovers?
 

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5fish

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#2
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#3
I have often pointed out that our nation already had "invested" in alternative fuels. People are always shocked to here that coal oil and ground oil became popular after the Civil War because of the Civil War. Good links.
 

CSA Today

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#6
The Confederacy desire to ruin whaling had the opposite effect. It save the whales in the long run...Good confederates..
The Confederate Navy’s primary mission was to destroy enemy shipping on the high seas, a fortunate side effect was that it went far to destroy the abominable New England whaling industry.

"He alone deserves to be remembered by his children who treasures up and preserves the memory of his fathers."
Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
 

diane

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#7
The Confederate Navy’s primary mission was to destroy enemy shipping on the high seas, a fortunate side effect was that it went far to destroy the abominable New England whaling industry.

"He alone deserves to be remembered by his children who treasures up and preserves the memory of his fathers."
Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
Think you can chalk up a good guy point for the Confederates on this one! :wink: Alas, it were us injuns done taught 'em whalin'. New England Indians were excellent at it - although it took the element of greed to turn it into an industry. A large number of 'colored' sailors in whalers of that time were Indians.
 
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#8
There is a great doc on whaling, American Experience: Into The Deep, Whaling, America, and the World. American Whaling went through several peaks and troughs. The American whaling fleet was almost completely destroyed during the Revolutionary War, and it took a great while for the New England whalers to build back up the era just prior to the CW was the hey day of Yankee Whaling, and it spread from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from Spermeciti Whales to Right and Bow head whales in the North Pacific. Part of the early settlement of Hawaii was the usage of Lahaina, Maui and Hilo, Hawaii as whaling stations. I really dont think there was any concern on the part of the Commerce raiders to save the whales....
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#10
Funny! Of course there would not have been, can't imagine the forerunners of Greenpeace being out there, CSS Rainbow Warrior. Sounds like an interesting concept, however, if an unwitting side effect of these raiders was that whales in the North Atlantic enjoyed a respite from some of that early slaughter.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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#12
I think the OP is a little overdone... as CSAToday noted, it was done with a view towards injuring Northern commerce, not from any altruistic species-protection policy. The almost-concurrent discovery of "rock oil" and its commercial exploitation had a lot more to do with the decline in whaling than anything else.
 

Carronade

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#13
if an unwitting side effect of these raiders was that whales in the North Atlantic enjoyed a respite from some of that early slaughter.

Shenandoah's depredations mainly took place in the North Pacific; the fact that New England whalers sailed that far illustrates how they had depleted the whale population of the Atlantic. I recall reading In the Heart of the Sea, about the whaleship Essex which was sunk by a whale around 1820 (Melville's inspiration for Moby Dick). In her passage from New Bedford to Cape Horn, some 8000 miles, Essex, which kept a constant lookout for whales, sighted only one. At that point the whaling grounds were in the central Pacific; by the 1860s the whalers had to go further yet to find their prey.

A museum in Salem, Massachusetts, had an exhibit of models which illustrated both the evolution of whaling craft and - perhaps inadvertently - their "progress" in depleting the ocean - first, small boats launched from shore, then sloops carrying a couple of whaleboats, then full-sized ships.
 

whitworth

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#14
Whale oil's predominant place in society was mostly eliminated with the development of kerosene from coal in 1846.

http://www.sjvgeology.org/history/whales.html

How the Oil Industry Saved the Whales


whale oil lampPrior to the 1800s, light was provided by torches, candles made from tallow, and lamps which burned oils rendered from animal fat. Because it burned with less odor and smoke than most fuels, whale oil, particularly oil from the nose of the sperm whale, became popular for lamp oils and candles. However, sperm oil, widely known as "spermaceti", was very expensive. In fact, a gallon in the early 1800s cost about $2.00, which in modern values equates to about $200 a gallon. Nonetheless, whale oil was the illuminant of choice for those rich enough to afford it.

A thriving whaling industry developed to provide sperm oil for lighting, and regular whale oil as a lubricant for the machine parts of trains. In the United States alone, the whaling fleet swelled from 392 ships in 1833 to 735 by 1846. At the height of the industry in 1856, sperm oil sold for $1.77 a gallon, and the United States was producing 4 to 5 million gallons of spermaceti and 6 to 10 million gallons of train oil annually.

The demand for whale oil took a tremendous toll on whales, and some species were driven to the very brink of extinction. The right whale, one of the scarcer varieties, was killed in the early 1800s at a rate of about 15,000 per year. When the growing scarcity of this whale forced attention to other species, only about 50,000 right whales remained. Had demand for whale oil continued, extinction would have undoubtedly claimed several species.

When a clean-burning kerosene lamp invented by Michael Dietz appeared on the market in 1857, its effect on the whaling industry was immediate. Kerosene, known in those days at "Coal Oil", was easy to produce, cheap, smelled better than animal-based fuels when burned, and did not spoil on the shelf as whale oil did. The public abandoned whale oil lamps almost overnight. By 1860, at least 30 kerosene plants were in production in the United States, and whale oil was ultimately driven off the market. When sperm oil dropped to 40 cents a gallon in 1895, due to lack of demand, refined petroleum, which was very much in demand, sold for less than 7 cents a gallon.

If petroleum products, such as kerosene and machine oil, had not appeared in the 1850s as alternatives to whale oil, many species of whales would have disappeared long ago. Clearly, the expanding population and economy of the 1800s, together with the development of more deadly hunting tools, would have driven the whaling industry to even greater heights than the banner year of 1856. The September 3, 1860 edition of the "California Fireside Journal" sums up the attitude of the times:

"Had it not been for the discovery of Coal Oil, the race of whales would soon have become extinct. It is estimated that ten years would have used up the whole family".


The Confederacy never invented coal or oil.
 

ExNavyPilot

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#15
I definitely concur with whitworth. The Confederate targetting of northern whaling ships might have helped the whales in the short term, but if whale oil continued to be a valuable commodity after the war, the whaling industry would have had ample impetus to rebuild and continue driving some whale species to extinction. The reason the whaling industry didn't rebuild is that petroleum filled the void and became more economical than whale oil.
 

James B White

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#16
Well, I'd argue that whale oil was already getting expensive by the 1850s, and that lard oil , camphene and coal gas were already being used as cheaper substitutes, each with their own problems, of course. Lard oil required a special burner and wick because it didn't flow as well, and it tended to be smelly. Camphene was dangerous, so if you read a story about a woman burning to death due to a lamp in the 1840s-60s, it was probably camphene. Coal gas required either a manufacturing plant that distributed the gas within a city, or at least a large business like a theater or a wealthy household that could afford to manufacture their own. Kerosene won out in the long run until electricity, but looking at it from the point of view of someone in the 1850s or 60s, it was only one of several alternatives.

Here's an article which argues that camphene, not kerosene, saved the day, but gives less emphasis to other fuels which I think had at least as much influence: http://www.radford.edu/wkovarik/papers/fuel.html#early

The history of energy is loaded with inaccuracies and myths. One myth is that Edwin Drake's first oil well, drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859, arrived in the nick of time to replace a rapidly dwindling supply of whale oil. Actually, as we will see, a variety of lamp fuels were common in the U.S. and Europe through the 19th and early 20th centuries. These fuels offered the most logical starting point in the search for portable liquid fuels which inventors would use in the internal combustion engine.

Lamp fuels included all kinds of vegetable oils (castor, rapeseed, peanut); animal oils (especially whale oil and tallow from beef or pork,); refined turpentine from pine trees; and alcohols, especially wood alcohol (methanol or methyl alcohol) and grain alcohol (ethanol or ethyl alcohol). The most popular fuel in the U.S. before petroleum was a blend of alcohol and turpentine called "camphene" or simply "burning fluid."
Another brief article mentioning the variety of whale-oil substitutes:
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ed...rticles/2007/10/11/from_whale_oil_and_beyond/

By the 1840s, whale oil's dominance in lighting was under sustained attack. Lard oil, boiled from the fat of hogs, or "prairie whales" as they were called, had become an increasingly attractive lighting source, and camphene, a distillate of turpentine mixed with alcohol, also began taking market share.

This led many to proclaim that the whale oil industry's days were numbered. But the whale oil merchants most emphatically disagreed. In 1843, The Nantucket Inquirer - published on an island once referred to as "a barren sandbank, fertilized with whale oil only" - warned its readers against believing the rumors of the industry's imminent demise...

But lard oil and camphene were just the beginning of the end for the whale oil industry. By mid-century, the use of gas derived from coal expanded dramatically, and even took hold in New Bedford, the largest whaling port in the nation, leading one local newspaper editor to mourn that he had lived to see this new form of lighting introduced into the "ancient city of the whale!"
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#17
Ha! All such good pockets of historical notes, thank you! I have to say it sometimes pays to NOT know a ton of 'everything', since you don't have many incorrect theories you've had a chance to become fond of. :smile: That one died a swift death through fact, although it does sound as if there was probably some hounding of what was left of the whaling fleet. I wish the Confederate Navy joy of those captures- New England whalers? New England anything, they'd have had their hands full.
 

Dave Wilma

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#18
When a clean-burning kerosene lamp invented by Michael Dietz appeared on the market in 1857, its effect on the whaling industry was immediate. Kerosene, known in those days at "Coal Oil", was easy to produce, cheap, smelled better than animal-based fuels when burned, and did not spoil on the shelf as whale oil did. The public abandoned whale oil lamps almost overnight. By 1860, at least 30 kerosene plants were in production in the United States, and whale oil was ultimately driven off the market. When sperm oil dropped to 40 cents a gallon in 1895, due to lack of demand, refined petroleum, which was very much in demand, sold for less than 7 cents a gallon.
The Confederate campaign to damage the whaling industry seems like a serious waste of resources. If the Union Army and the rest of the Northern economy was well shifted to petroleum I can see no rational justification for all that destruction at that expense. Raiders would have been better deployed against targets and sectors with a more direct impact on the economy and military operations.
 



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