Yankee Baleeiros! The Shared Legacies of Luso and Yankee Whalers

Yankee Baleeiros! The Shared Legacies of Luso and Yankee Whalers

Exhibition celebrates the interwoven stories of the Azorean, Cape Verdean, and Brazilian migration in the United States

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is pleased to present Yankee Baleeiros! The Shared Legacies of Luso and Yankee Whalers. The traveling exhibition celebrates the interwoven Luso-American stories of the Azorean, Cape Verdean, and Brazilian communities in the United States from early immigration in the 18th century through the latter half of the 20th century.

The U.S. Census data suggests that 3 million people in the U.S. self-identify with Portuguese, Cape Verdean or Brazilian ancestry. These distinct cultures are linked historically through heritage, language, and the pursuit of opportunity afforded by the international network of Yankee whaling, with the Port of New Bedford as the major gateway to the American Dream.

The Greater Providence, R.I.-Fall River-New Bedford corridor is home to the largest Portuguese-American community in the U.S. One of the largest Brazilian populations in the U.S. lives in the Greater Boston area. Large Lusophone (Portuguese speaking) communities thrive in the Northeast, California, Florida and New Jersey.

Clifford W. Ashley photograph of crewmen at
work aboard the bark
Sunbeam in 1904.

It was on whaling voyages during the 1800’s that Azorean and Cape Verdean mariners first interacted with and often joined American whalers from New Bedford. On the other side of the Atlantic, Brazil also became an influential Lusophone connection through the industry of commercial whaling.

Yankee Baleeiros! explains how the Lusophone (Portuguese speaking) migration is integral to the American story. See how distinct cultures and communities who share similar languages are linked by maritime commerce as well as by similar motivations for coming to the United States.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum will debut Yankee Baleeiros! at the Catholic Charities Teen Center in Dorchester, June 21 through June 26. In collaboration with the Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peter’s and Cape Verdean Community UNIDO, the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s traveling exhibit in Dorchester will include an opening reception with refreshments and lively music on Saturday, June 21, from 4 - 7 p.m. and closing reception on Thursday, June 26, from 5 – 7 p.m.

Following its debut in Dorchester, Yankee Baleeiros! will make its way back to New Bedford for the official New Bedford  Homecoming of the whaleship, Charles W. Morgan. From there, the exhibition will visit the Attleboro Public Library before heading out west to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park where it will be displayed through the end of 2014.


The full 2014 schedule for Yankee Baleeiros! is as follows:

Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peter’s

278 Bowdoin St., Dorchester, MA 02122

Opening Reception
Saturday, June 21, 4 -7 p.m.

Show Hours
Saturday, June 21, 4 – 7 p.m.
Sunday, June 22, 12 – 6 p.m.
Monday, June 23 – Thursday, June 26, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Closing Reception
Thursday, June 26, 5 – 7 p.m.

Charles W. Morgan New Bedford Homecoming

New Bedford State Pier, Building 2, New Bedford
Exhibition Dates: Sunday, June 29 – Sunday, July 6
Exhibition Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Attleboro Public Library

74 North Main Street, Attleboro
Exhibition Dates: Monday, July 14 – Friday, August 1
Exhibition Hours: Mondays 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., Tuesdays 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., Thursdays 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., Fridays 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The Attleboro show is sponsored in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Massachusetts Board of Library commissioners.

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Maritime Museum, 900 Beach Street, San Francisco, California
Exhibition Dates: Saturday, August 30 – Wednesday, December 31.
Exhibition Hours: Open Daily 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Support for the traveling exhibition is provided by the William M. Wood Foundation, the William E. Schrafft & Bertha E. Schrafft Charitable Trust, the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, the Southeastern Massachusetts Visitors Bureau, and Poyant Signs, Inc.

Last Modified: June 17, 2014