I spotted an auction on eBay that got me thinking. The auction is for two letters from an American whaler writing back home about his experiences in the South Pacific.
“I am in the ship Beaver of Hudson, cruising on the coast off New Zealand. Our luck has been poor. 200 barrels sperm [whale oil]…. Ships are crowding in from every quarter of the globe….”
Early 19th century whalers played a key role in New Zealand’s early history. The first towns were built to service their needs in both the South and North Islands, they were some of the first Europeans to settle here and they were some of the first to form relationships with local Māori. Continue reading