This fall, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will present Whaling Captains of Color: America’s First Meritocracy, a virtual talk on diversity in the whaling industry. Scheduled for 3pm on Monday, Oct. 4, the presentation will feature author Skip Finley live via Zoom.
New Bedford, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Eastern Long Island formed the Middle East of its day when whaling burgeoned, leaving magnificent homes as testimony to the money made from the industry. Whale wealth endures in the form of land trusts, roads, hotels, docks, businesses, homes, churches, and parks. Thousands of whales died during the 200-plus-year enterprise, with more than 2,700 ships built for chasing, killing, and processing them. Whaling was the first American industry to exhibit any diversity, and the proportion of men of color who participated was amazingly high. In the session, Finley will share stories of the lives of these men, as well as the research that informed his 2020 book.
The cost to attend the virtual talk is $7.50, with a 20% discount offered to CBMM members and registration required to cbmm.org/whalingcaptains.