Whaling Captains of Color: America's First Meritocracy
Whaling was one of the first American industries to exhibit diversity. A man became a captain not because he was white or well connected, but because he knew how to kill a whale. Along the way, he could learn navigation and reading and writing. Whaling presented a tantalizing alternative to mainland life for many. Using archival records and interviews with whaling captain decedents, author Skip Finley tells the stories of over 50 black whaling captains to create a portrait of what life was like for whaling leaders of color on the high seas during the height of the whaling industry.