Whaling Letter from Henry White to Parents, dated October 18, 1860


Letter 5, dated October 18, 1860

Rec'd package of letters from home; discusses births & deaths. Sailed from Honolulu 29 Oct 1859, went to Matia (Society Is.), Tahiti, Mataar Manges (Harvy group), French Rocks, Mongonui (N. Zealand), left, took a lively whale, Egg Island (Mitchel group), fastened but had to cut loose of sperm whale (left 7 irons and one lance in him), Drummons, Ocean & Pleasant Islands (Kingmill Group), sighted Strongs Is., put into Parnapy/Ascension Is., sighted Fox Is., met weather so cold it froze the fish in the ocean and they picked up 2 bbl in 2 min. Last year=700 bbl; this year, none. Then took a few, inc. one that struck and stove the boat, line got foul and boat swamped, crew saved after 20 min. in water. Struck more whales, 700 bbl; 100 sperm 30,000 lbs bone for the voyage. Through Strait 14 Sept. ½ mi. from Gores/St. Mattens Is. Nantucket sleigh ride described: "In latitude 56 N. where the water is ice cold towed behind a whale in a small boat within about two boats lengths of his flukes at the rate of about 10 miles an hour and slaked to the skin with cold water & blowing almost a gale of wind from the NorWest for 3-1/2 & if it had not been for the fog it might have been for 3-1/2 longer." "I am ships painter and Capt of the Fore Hold. The old man has been talking to me about learning navigation."

Date Made: 1860

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: Whalers

See more items in: Work and Industry: Maritime, Family & Social Life


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Hazel H. and Kathryn J. White

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2005.0102.05Catalog Number: 2005.0102.05Accession Number: 2005.0102

Object Name: letterwhaling letter

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ab-aae9-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1289488

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