In the first half of the nineteenth century whaling was one of the young American nation’s most important industries, providing lubricants and illumination as well as baleen, the plastic of its day. So Ends This Day: The Portuguese in American Whaling, 1765-1927 traces the history of the American whaling industry from its seventeenth-century beginnings in Massachusetts and Long Island to its demise in the third decade of the twentieth century, while highlighting the role of its Portuguese participants. Their story begins with Joseph Swazey who, in 1765, returned to Martha’s Vineyard from an Atlantic whaling voyage, and ends with the aborted voyage of Antonio J. Mandly aboard the John R. Manta in 1927.
From a few random crew members in the latter half of the 18th century, these men from the Portuguese Atlantic islands of the Azores and Cape Verde came to dominate the industry in its final decades. Their participation would ultimately determine the principal settlement patterns of the Portuguese in the U.S., especially in New England, California, and Hawaii. But it led as well to distant communities in such diverse places as Alaska, New Zealand, and the Pacific atolls. It is a story of courage and determination in a far-reaching industry in which many of these individuals advanced to positions of responsibility unparalleled among non-English-speaking immigrants to the United States.
Donald Warrin is a premier historian of the Portuguese in America. His books include Land, As Far As the Eye Can See: Portuguese in the Old West, written with Geoffrey L. Gomes, which appeared recently as Portugueses no Faroeste: Terra a Perder de Vista, published by Bertrand Editora, Lisbon. He was the Hélio and Amélia Pedroso/Luso-American Foundation Endowed Chair in Portuguese Studies at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, in 2003. He has served as associate director of the Regional Oral History Office at The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, and currently continues in that program as an affiliate scholar.
Praise for So Ends This Day: The Portuguese in American Whaling, 1765-1927 “Rich with quotations from logs and journals, lavishly illustrated, and replete with never-before-heard stories, So Ends This Day is a valuable, lovingly researched contribution to the history of American whaling. It memorializes the often unacknowledged Portuguese seamen who traveled the world on Yankee whalers, jumped ship in distant places, and brought a touch of colorful romance to colonies like New Zealand.” -Joan Druett, author of Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World
“For far too long the Portuguese contribution to American whaling has been relegated to the sidelines of history. This meticulously researched and well-written study puts the emphasis where it rightfully belongs.” -Nathan Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
“It is gratifying that So Ends This Day not only undertakes a grand, historical overview of the Islands’ involvement in the blubber-hunting business, but also characterizes many of the individual personalities, events, circumstances, and anecdotes that reveal the complexity of the whaling industry as a whole and the human character of Azorean and Cape Verdean involvement in it.” -Stuart Frank, author of Dictionary of Scrimshaw Artists
Prof. Warrin will give illustrated talks about the Portuguese role in American whaling and sign copies of So Ends This Day on the following dates:
-Thursday, June 3, 2010, 6:30 p.m. Martha’s Vineyard Museum 59 School Street Edgartown, MA 02539 Telephone: 508-627-4441
-Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 7:30 New Bedford Whaling Museum 18 Johnny Cake Hl New Bedford, MA 02740-6398 Contact: Arthur Motta (508) 997-0046, ext. 153 firstname.lastname@example.org
-Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 5 p.m. The Stonington Historical Society 40 Palmer Street Stonington, CT 063780 Contact: Mary Beth Baker Telephone: 860-535-8445 email@example.com
-Saturday, July 17, 2010 Mystic Seaport -The Museum of America and the Sea 75 Greenmanville Avenue Mystic, CT 06355 Contact: Paul O’pecko Telephone: 888-973-2767 firstname.lastname@example.org
-Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 2 p.m.Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum279 Main Street Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724 Contact: Nomi DayanTelephone: 631-367-3418 x17
-Sunday, July 25, 2010 Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum200 Main Street Sag Harbor, NY 11963Contact: Zachary N. StudenrothTelephone: 631-725-0770Studenroth@aol.com
-Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at 7 p.m. Portuguese Fraternal Society of America 1120 East 14th Street San Leandro, CA 94577 Contact: Tim Borges Telephone: (510) 483-7676Timothy.Borges@mypfsa.org
The publication of So Ends This Day was sponsored in part by the Luso-American Foundation of Lisbon and the New Bedford Whaling Museum. This volume is the thirteenth in the Portuguese in the Americas Series published by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture.
NOTE: Text and information received from UMAss Dartmouth