Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2022


The whale fishing industry was a prominent economic force during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, fueled not only by the men who worked aboard the whaling ships but more importantly by their wives and the other women back on the East Coast. In Lisa Norling’s book Captain Ahab Had a Wife the women and wives of the maritime men are claimed to be the essential sustaining influence for those within the whale fishing industry. Despite these women never having been on a whaling voyage, their actions back at home and communications with those aboard are what kept the men at work, further allowing the industry to become so successful. In the past it was easy to dismiss their efforts and subject them to only being domestic housewives, but in today's day and age we must acknowledge their efforts. Without giving them the credit they deserve, people would fail to understand how the whale fishery world was able to reach its full potential and become such a dominant industry.


Completed for Professor David Gellman's HIST 197 FYS Pirates, Sailors, and Revolutionaries

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