Confederate Legacy...End of Whaling!

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#21
Here from the New Bedford Museum on Whaling and the decline of American whaling... It seems since the 1860's there a was disinvestment from whaling. Then in the early 20th century Norwegians brought new technologies and dominating whaling in the 20th century...

The real reason for the decline of the American whaling industry was the economics of the new Norwegian technology versus other, more advantageous pursuits for American investment. The "modern" Norwegian whalers were efficiently able to harvest not only all of the species that had been hunted for centuries, but also blue whales and finbacks–species that, by reason of their speed in the water, eluded the Yankee hand-whalers. Mechanized chaser boats equipped with high-powered deck cannons firing heavy-caliber, explosive harpoons increased volume and efficiency. This was a significant opportunity for an emerging Norwegian economy; but for Americans to adopt these "modern" methods and convert to the new technology would have diverted capital and resources from potentially more lucrative opportunities. The Norwegians exploited their own coastal waters. Later, between 1904 and 1940, they established shore-whaling stations on six continents (including on the American Northwest Coast) and pioneered pelagic factory-ship expeditions to hitherto unexploited grounds off Antarctica. It was this efficient technology, and the failure of the whaling nations to adhere to protective quotas regulating the catch, that by the mid 20th century several species were devastated to the point of extinction. American hand-whaling became obsolete except among Native Arctic peoples, whose motives were subsistence and cultural, rather than commercial. The new whaling technology passed America by, as American interests, American expectations, and American capital turned to more promising ventures–in manufacturing, railroads, mining, agriculture, and exploitation of western lands.

A link to the whole article the last half talks about the Civil War and about whalers selling their ships for the war effort and not reinvesting their money back into whaling... http://www.whalingmuseum.org/learn/...ew-of-north-american-whaling/american-whaling

How Whales Were Captured.... It was ugly event for a whale... it about half way down the page...

http://www.whalingmuseum.org/learn/research-topics/overview-of-north-american-whaling/whales-hunting



 

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kevikens

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#22
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....
Whaling in the Colonial period was a very different activity from the mid 19th century. In the Colonial period whales could be found commonly right off the coast, in sight of the land. Colonial seaport towns had towers erected to spot the surfacing pods to alert the townsmen who would man the "whaleboats" and row out to them. After the whales were killed their carcasses were towed onto shore for the "rendering" process. The use of long cruises in whaling ships became necessary when the whales disappeared from nearby coastal regions later on.
 
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#23
Whaling in the Colonial period was a very different activity from the mid 19th century. In the Colonial period whales could be found commonly right off the coast, in sight of the land. Colonial seaport towns had towers erected to spot the surfacing pods to alert the townsmen who would man the "whaleboats" and row out to them. After the whales were killed their carcasses were towed onto shore for the "rendering" process. The use of long cruises in whaling ships became necessary when the whales disappeared from nearby coastal regions later on.
Yup
 

jackt62

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#24
Very interesting posts. The only thing I know about whaling and the Civil War is that the last great confederate raider, the
CSS Shenandoah, burned or captured a number of whaling ships in the Indian and Pacific Oceans (mostly after the major Confederate armies had already surrendered in the spring and summer of 1865).
 
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#25
Very interesting posts. The only thing I know about whaling and the Civil War is that the last great confederate raider, the CSS Shenandoah, burned or captured a number of whaling ships in the Indian and Pacific Oceans (mostly after the major Confederate armies had already surrendered in the spring and summer of 1865).
1920px-USS_Essex_I.jpg


Shenandoah
was emulating the cruise of U.S.S. Essex in the War of 1812, that decimated British whalers in the Pacific.

Point of trivia -- U.S. Admiral David G. Farragut had been a Midshipman on that cruise.
 
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#26
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)
From now on I will tell people the war was fought over whaling.:rofl:
 

diane

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#27
Shenandoah was emulating the cruise of U.S.S. Essex in the War of 1812, that decimated British whalers in the Pacific.

Point of trivia -- U.S. Admiral David G. Farragut had been a Midshipman on that cruise.
And it ended when Porter was cornered by the British at Valparaiso, which did not have a good outcome! He was one of Preble's Boys - the shores of Tripoli. CW Admiral David Dixon Porter was his son. But we got a good sea yarn out of it - The Far Side of the World and a fine film - Master and Commander. :smile:
 
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#28
Whaling in the Colonial period was a very different activity from the mid 19th century. In the Colonial period whales could be found commonly right off the coast, in sight of the land. Colonial seaport towns had towers erected to spot the surfacing pods to alert the townsmen who would man the "whaleboats" and row out to them. After the whales were killed their carcasses were towed onto shore for the "rendering" process. The use of long cruises in whaling ships became necessary when the whales disappeared from nearby coastal regions later on.
Deep Water whaling started by 1712

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/timeline/timeline-whaling/
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#29
I'd forgotten this, from the ' occupational ' collections. I'm not sure whaling was regarded as the despicable occupation we now know it to be, or whales were known to be the incredible animals we understand they are? I'm not bringing this up to start a war but for instance slave running never ' enjoyed ' a savory reputation, did it? . Where a whaling boat was not yet the skunk of the sea. Still, photo with painted backdrop does give you the willies.

$(KGrHqRHJB!E8e4F0YS4BPIw(C!f9Q~~60_57.jpg

Whaling Ship's Captain
 

jackt62

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#30
I understand that the whaling industry made huge profits for Yankee ship owners in New England ports such as New Bedford and Nantucket.
 
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#31
I'm not sure whaling was regarded as the despicable occupation we now know it to be, or whales were known to be the incredible animals we understand they are?
In the early 19th century, it still had not been settled that cetaceans were not fish. There were lots of anecdotal stories suggesting the intelligence of whales -- the deliberate destruction of the whaler Essex being the most dramatic -- but very little real knowledge of them.

The modern disgust with commercial whaling came about through several separate streams of events, including a greater understanding of the intelligence of whales and the existence of their communal and family links, the mechanization of whaling on an industrial scale, with motorized chase vessels, factory ships and explosive harpoons, and the recognition that some species of whales had been hunted to the brink of extinction, an idea that a 19th century whaleman from New Bedford or Nantucket would have found unfathomable.
 
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diane

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#32
There were a number of things set in motion by the American Revolution, too, that set the stage for the end of whaling. The British moved into the Pacific about that time and, around the time of the Essex's destruction, the breeding grounds for the Right and Sperm whales was discovered in the South Pacific. The North Atlantic was depleted of whales for either Britain or America, and the whalers began to voyage far and wide. You might say the Confederates just nailed the lid on the coffin!

Incidentally, the great film Moby Dick, 1956, features a very gory and realistic scene about chopping off the blubber and all - this is usually cut out when it's played on TV but it's one of the best depictions of the real whaling industry ever filmed.
 
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#33
I'm not sure whaling was regarded as the despicable occupation we now know it to be,
My guess is in the 1960's and the rise of the anti whaling movement and other environmental movements came into being. I want to note that whaling is economically not a viable industry without government subsidy. Japan , Norway, and Iceland all subsidize their whaling fleets so no subsidies no whaling. If these nation governments would get out of the whaling business the market place would give whaling its death.

I suggest we start our own whaling company and then sue the whaling fleets of Japan, Norway, and Iceland for unfair competitive advantage in the market place due to government subsidies in the Internationale Trade courts. I believe we would win with ease. Once those nations stop subsidizing their whaling fleets and disbanded them. We file for bankruptcy and go out of business and the whales are saved...

The only other option is the one Slave owners of the south should have pushed and buy out. Japan, Norway, and Iceland governments along with the United Nations just buy out these nations whaling fleets and then disband the fleets(razor blades) and end whaling.
 

kevikens

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#34
If I may add to this. I have found this site to be the best for a history of the American whaling industry of the Civil War Era which includes an early 20th century silent film on whaling when there were only two US sailing vessels, bark rigged, still at sea. The site is maintained by the New Bedford Whaling Museum. www.whalingmuseum.org If you are a teacher I do not recommend showing it to younger students.
 
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#35
I'd forgotten this, from the ' occupational ' collections. I'm not sure whaling was regarded as the despicable occupation we now know it to be, or whales were known to be the incredible animals we understand they are? I'm not bringing this up to start a war but for instance slave running never ' enjoyed ' a savory reputation, did it? . Where a whaling boat was not yet the skunk of the sea. Still, photo with painted backdrop does give you the willies.

View attachment 89047
Whaling Ship's Captain
Wow! He looks so much Like Gregory Peck, you know, the actor who played Captain Ahab in the movie Moby Dick.
 

James N.

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