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 to the United States from early immigration in the 18th century through the latter half of the 20th century.


Exhibition panels 1-8 (pdf)

Exhibition panels 9-16 (pdf)



Painéis em Português

panel 4 from traveling exhibition Panel 12 from the traveling exhibition

Painéis de Exposição 1-8 (pdf)

Painéis de Exposição 9-16 (pdf)


Experience Xico’s Journey Interactive, based on the children’s book Xico’s Journey by David Blanchette.
Experiência de Xico viagem interativa, com base no livro infantil A Viagem de Xico por David Blanchette.


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 to the United States from early immigration in the 18th century through the latter half of the 20th century.

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

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.

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.


Yankee Baleeiros: The Shared Legacies of Lusophone and Yankee Whalers
available for purchase in the Museum Store or online.

image of the book cover

This bi-lingual publication includes text in both English and Portuguese.


Past schedule for Yankee Baleeiros!

Attleboro Public Library
Second Floor Lobby
74 North Main Street, Attleboro, MA
Exhibit Dates: October 7 – 25, 2019

October 16, 2019 at Attleboro Public Library
Legacies of Whaling: Paths of Migration to Southern New England
A presentation by Dr. Akeia de Barros Gomes, Curator of Social History at the New Bedford Whaling Museum

Fall River Heritage State Park
Community Gallery
Davol Street, Fall River, MA
Exhibit Dates: June 30 – September 3, 2019

Bristol Art Museum
10 Wardwell Street, Bristol, RI
Exhibit Dates: June 5 – August 24, 2018

Santander Place lobby
128 Union Street, New Bedford, MA
Exhibit Dates: August 2016

Joseph P. Healey Library
University of Massachusetts Boston
Dorchester, MA
Exhibit Dates: April 25 – May 2, 2016

The Riverview, Hudson Portuguese Club
13 Port Street, Hudson, MA
19th Annual Leadership Awards Gala
Exhibit Date: October 24, 2015

Cape Verdean American Community Development Agency (CACD)
120 High Street
Pawtucket Rhode Island
Exhibit Dates: September 14 – 22, 2015


portrait of group standing in front of exhibit display

Frederick Clark, Jr. President-elect Bridgewater State University; James Russell, President & CEO, New Bedford Whaling Museum; Louis Ricciardi, Trustee, Bridgewater State University; Dr. Judite do Nascimento, UNICV; Mario Lucio de Sousa, Minister of Culture; Dana Mohler Faria, President, Bridgewater State University; Eugene Monteiro, Trustee, New Bedford Whaling Museum.

University of Cabo Verde
in conjunction with the Cabo Verde Ministry of Culture
Exhibition Date: April, 2015

Cabrillo National Monument
View Building, 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego, CA, 92019
Exhibition Dates: January 25, 2015 – April 12, 2015
The San Diego “leg” of this exhibition was a partnership among Cabrillo National Monument and Foundation, the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the Consulates of Portugal in New Bedford and in California, FLAD, the Maritime Museum of San Diego, the United Portuguese S.E.S. Inc., PALCUS, the Portuguese Historical Center, and the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at the University of San Diego.

Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peter’s
278 Bowdoin St., Dorchester, MA 02122
Exhibition Dates: June 21 – 26, 2014

Charles W. Morgan New Bedford Homecoming
New Bedford State Pier, Building 2, New Bedford
Exhibition Dates:  June 29 –  July 6, 2014

Attleboro Public Library
74 North Main Street, Attleboro
Exhibition Dates: July 14 – August 1, 2014
The Attleboro show was 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:  September 1 –  December 31, 2014
The San Francisco exhibition was sponsored in part by the Portuguese American Leadership Council of the U.S. (PALCUS).


Support for the traveling exhibition is provided by the William M. Wood Foundation, the Embassy of Portugal and the Portuguese Consulates in New Bedford, San Francisco, and Boston; the Embassy of the Republic of Cabo Verde and the Cape Verdean Consulate in Boston; Brown University, UMASS Dartmouth, Bristol Community College, U.C. Berkeley and Boston University; the Portuguese American Leadership Council of the U.S. (PALCUS), 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.