Selected Bibliography for Teachers and Students

Using Whaling as a Curriculum Resource
A Selected Bibliography for Teachers

Primary Sources
Actual accounts by 19th-century whalers and sailors, meant for adult audiences but relatively accessible. Suitable for excerpting to give students a chance to work with primary historical materials.

Martha Brown. She Went A-Whaling. The journal of the pious wife of the captain of the Lucy Ann, 1847-1849. Not a gifted writer, but her short daily entries give a real “feel” of the time. (Oysterponds Historical Society, 1993)

Capt. William Barron. Old Whaling Days. Account of his several Greenland whaling voyages, beginning in 1849. (Conway Classics, 1996)

William Jones, ed. Nineteenth Century Whaling Tales. Reprints of excellent articles from 19th century magazine, with their original illustrations. (Vistabooks, 1996)

Owen Chase. Narratives of the Wreck of the Whale Ship Essex. A harrowing account of survival by the first mate of a ship sunk by a whale in 1819. (Dover, 1989)

Elisha Dexter. Narrative of the Wreck and Loss of the Whaling Brig William and Joseph. Short and very accessible, with an appendix describing whaling; first published in 1848. (Ye Galleon Press)

Stuart Frank. Meditations from Steerage: Two Whaling Journal Fragments. Well edited and illustrated essays on whaling by boatsteerer Dean Wright of the Benjamin Rush, 1841-45 and journal of steward John Jones of the Eliza Adams, 1852. (Kendall Whaling Museum, 1991)

Mary Chipman Lawrence. The Captain’s Best Mate. Journal of captain’s wife on a Pacific voyage of the whaler Addison, accompanied by her young daughter, 1856-1860. (University Press of New England, 1996)

Pamela Miller. And the Whale is Ours: Creative Writing of American Whalemen. A delightful collection of tales and poems from whaling journals, with background and editorial commentary. (Kendall Whaling Museum, 1979)

J. C. Mullett. A Five Years’ Whaling Voyage 1848-1853. Accessible tale of a Pacific voyage, illustrated with modern drawings. (Ye Galleon Press, 1977)

Charles Newhall. The Adventures of Jack, or a Life on the Wave. Short, easy, engaging memoir first published by the author in 1859. (Ye Galleon Press, 1981)

Curriculum Materials

Patricia Custard. The Journal of Samuel Mills. Fictional journal of an 1850s whaling voyage interspersed with whale and nautical facts and suggested classroom activities. Suitable for elementary grades. (Columbia River Maritime Museum, 1997)

Mary Malloy. From Boston Harbor We Set Sail! A curriculum-unit on African-American mariners and maritime communities in Massachusetts. Loose-leaf, richly illustrated, gives good overview of whaling. Suitable for upper elementary and middle school. (Kendall Whaling Museum / Museum of Afro American History, 1992)

Mary Malloy. Whaling Brides and Whaling Brothers: The Lawrences of Falmouth. Accessible local history, section for teachers. (Falmouth Historical Society, 1997)

About African Americans

Nathan Aaseng. Black Inventors. Interesting, simply written profiles of ten inventors, including Lewis Temple, inventor of the toggle harpoon. (Facts on File, 1997)

Jeffrey Bolster. Black Jacks. Thorough treatment of black mariners in America for a teacher who wants to build a curriculum unit. (Harvard, 1997)

Mary Malloy. African Americans in the Maritime Trades: A Guide to Resources in New England. (Kendall Whaling Museum, 1990) Mary Malloy. “Heroes in the Ships”: African Americans in the Whaling Industry. (Kendall Whaling Museum online exhibition)

Written For Children

American Heritage Junior Library. The Story of Yankee Whaling. Comprehensive, richly illustrated, fascinating; out of print but we have some left. (Troll)

Robert Baldwin. New England Whaler. “American Pastfinder” history series, illustrated with colored drawings. (Lerner, 1996)

Cobblestone Magazine. Whaling in America. Vol. 5, No. 4 (April 1984). Cobblestone Magazine. The Seafaring Life. Vol. 9, No. 4 (April 1988). Bobbie Kalman. Arctic Whales and Whaling. History to present, includes Eskimo whaling and information on whales. Beautifully illustrated. (Crabtree, 1993)

Geraldine McCaughran. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick well adapted and illustrated for older children. (Oxford, 1996)