Whaling In New Bedford

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Around 1780, William Rotch, Jr., a Nantucket Quaker moved to Bedford Village. Rotch was the owner of the first whale oil ship, the Dartmouth, to be launched in Bedford Village. She was one of the vessels boarded by the Boston Tea Party in 1773, when Francis, son of Joseph Rotch, as managing owner, protested the loss of his cargo.

In the 19th Century New Bedford gained worldwide reputation as the greatest whaling port and the richest city per capita in the world. Portuguese and Cape Verdean immigrants formed the backbone of the whaling industry, on the wharves and on the high seas. Herman Melville shipped out aboard the whale ship, Acushnet, in 1841. His experiences inspired him to write “Moby-Dick”.

Taken from: https://destinationnewbedford.org/history/ Visit for more resources on the history of New Bedford and whaling. 

Whaling In New Bedford