Archives & Special Collections Gallery Exhibit




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Creation Date

Fall 2014


Artifact Label:

John Ross Browne (1821-1875)
Etchings of a Whaling Cruise, with Notes of a Sojourn on the Island of Zanzibar. To which is appended a Brief History of the Whale Fishery, its Past and Present Condition.
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1846

Etchings of a Whaling Cruise provides accounts from an 1840s whaling ship. A major source for Melville, the text supplemented his own limited whaling experience. Melville, who wrote many reviews for Literary World Magazine reviewed Browne’s work, saying: “It is a book of unvarnished facts; and with some allowances for the general application of an individual example unquestionably presents a faithful picture of the life led by the 20 thousand seamen employed in the 700 whaling vessels, which pursue their game under the American flag.”