Cape Cod etc books and articles
Oct 2010
An Essay upon the Natural History of Whales, with a Particular Account of the Ambergris Found in the Sperma Ceti Whale. Paul Dudley. 1724-1725. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 33: 256-269

harpoon icon cachalot3The Whale Fishery. compilation. North American Review 38 (82): 84-116 (January 1834) A history of British and American whaling in mostly Arctic seas.

harpoon iconSeals and Whales. unstated author. 2 Nov 1851. Harper's New Monthly Magazine 3 (18): 764-767
    A brief account of the contemporary whaling and sealing industry, which was in a period of decline, with a focus on the British sealers.

fish Provincetown. 1855. Henry David Thoreau (PDF)
    Provincetown, waist-deep in drying cod, with the fish acquiring local 'flavor.'

Mackereling in the "Bay". unstated author. 1857. Putnam's Magazine 9 (54): 575-586 MOA
    The bay is apparently Bay Chaleur (between Quebec and New Brunswick); the description of the author's adventure as a fisherman is interesting.

harpoon icon cod fisherman Nordhoff 1875American Fisheries. J. D. B. DeBow. 1859 - 1867. Debow's review, Agricultural, commercial, industrial progress and resources.
    A long  survey  of the American fisheries (including the whale fishery), spread over several issues.

The Rights and Wrongs of Seamen. Charles Nordhoff. 1874. Harper's New Monthly Magazine 48 (286): 556-562
    An exposé of dangerous ships, their greedy owners and brutal officers, with suggestions for legal reforms.

Many fishing schooners are trapped in ice off Cape Cod. Feb 1875, New York Times.

halibutA Brief Biography of the Halibut. G. Brown Goode.  Oct. 1885 The American Naturalist (10): 953-969.
Biology and geography of halibut, noting that it too, was being severely overfished.

The Outlook of the Fisheries. J.W. Collins. 1886. The Century 32 (6): 959-961    

    Outlook grim, due to open fish trade agreement with Britain. MOA link

The Sea Serpent. B. A. Colonna. 1886. Science 8 (189):: 258
    Apropos to Pterandon and Homo. Samuel Lockwood. 1886. Science 7 (162): 242
A "scientific" report of a sea serpent off Cape Cod, and a complaint about artistic and editorial license.
sea serpent at Egg RockDrake's NE Folklore sea serpent
The Passing of the New England Fisherman. Winfield M. Thompson. 1896. New England Magazine 19 (6): 675-687 MOA
harpoon icon The American Whale-Fishery, 1877-1886. A. Howard Clark. 1887. Science 9 (217): 321-324
    Statistics of place, value, tonnage and hunting grounds on a declining industry.

harpoon icon Provincetown whaling captain yarns. Apr 28,1889, New York Times

Alosa A Report upon the Alewife Fisheries of Massachusetts. David L. Belding. 1920. Boston: Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Conservation, Divsion of Fisheries and Game.
The fisheries were horribly managed, being vastly over-fished by bid-winners, the streams dammed and polluted by farmers and factories. An array of laws to protect the resource were passed, beginning in the 1600s, but nearly always ignored. Belding published several books on the shell-fisheries, and bacteriology and parasitology, as well! [Amazon link]
harpoon iconWhales and Whaling in New England. Glover M. Allen. 1928. The Scientific Monthly 27 ( 4): 340-343
    A short paper on the species commonly found off New England and on local whaling history, with some identification guides.

The Barnstable Patriot has been publishing since 1830. Its searchable archives from 1830-1930 are online at Sturgis Library, Barnstable. (I will welcome any contribution of transcriptions.)

The Provincetown Advocate began as an offshoot of the Barnstable Patriot in 1875. Its searchable archives are online at Provincetown Library; 1918-1967 are nearly complete, while 1875-1917 seem to be partially done, as of Oct 2010.

 David Conwell Stull (1844-1926), of Provincetown, the Ambergris King

The First Whalemen of Nantucket
Author: Daniel Vickers
Source: The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., Vol. 40, No. 4. Oct., 1983 , pp. 560-583.

Abigail Otis Cape Codders lost at sea, and sailors dead in Cape Cod wrecks


Whalecraft, a website by Thomas Lytle, has an extensive list of books by writers with first-hand whaling experience

New Bedford Whaling Museum

Nantucket Historical Assciation