Description1856 Whaling Journal by Joseph M. Tucker. This fascinating 99 page whaling journal was kept by Joseph M. Tucker of Dartmouth, Massachusetts in 1856 towards the tail end of the Whaling industry. The journal begins with Tucker's introduction from Dartmouth in May of 1856, "John and Joseph's journal of a whaling voyage to the North Pacific Ocean." The journal was made around the time the harpoon was invented by Sven Foyn of Norway. The harpoon containing an explosive head may be said to have inaugurated modern whaling. In addition to insuring the whale's immediate death, this type of harpoon was modified to shoot compressed air into the whale so that it would not sink before it could be secured. Not much information can be found on Joseph Tucker but Joseph and John are undoubtedly related to a long line of whalers. John Tucker was Master of the L.C. Richmond of New Bedford, Ma. in 1834. He went on several whaling voyages. An excerpt from the journal reads: "Thursday, Dec. 31st fine weather with the exception of strong winds we raised sperm whales this afternoon the carbord boat caught one, he is called a 60lbs whale, we struck him about one o'clock he has us a long road, we sent him o spouting blood about six o'clock. The ship and boats lost run of us and never got on board until 25 past 1 at night. After we got the whole fast we all went below except one man."
While no pages in the journal bear the telltale sign of a whale's tail symbolizing a catch, a blotter page in the back does have a whale stamp on it. Perhaps this was used to show the crew what to do if a whale was caught. The journal is in very good condition; the bindings are coming apart; spine separation occurring; corners rounded and bumped; interior pages exhibit light overall toning.
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