Conflict and commerce, american whalers and the western Australian colonies 1826-1888

Gibbs, M.D. (2000) Conflict and commerce, american whalers and the western Australian colonies 1826-1888. Great Circle: journal of the australian association of maritime history, 22 (2). pp. 3-23.

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[Extract] In the classic whaling story, "Moby Dick", Herman Melville, through his narrator Ishmael, describes the achievements of the America whalemen, crediting them as the greatest explorers in the world and including in their honours the opening of the Pacific and Australia. Some historians, such as Churchward, have fiercely rebuffed Melville's provocative statements by attempting to demonstrate the limited role and impact of American whalers on the economics of the eastern Australian colonies.² Other writers, including Dakin and Levy, recognized that while the American whalers did not necessarily trade with the larger and more stable economies of Sydney and Hobart, their contributions were crucial to the early development of the isolated outposts of Western Australia.³ However, apart from a brief pioneering study by Heppingstone, the history of these early interactions along the Western Australian coast has gone largely unexplored.⁴ This paper investigates the relationship between American whalers and the Western Australian colonies. It explores the nature and extent of the foreign presence in the region and in particular the duality of conflict and co-operation through American trade with the settlements and their competition with colonial whaling parties.

Item ID: 12873
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0156-8698
Keywords: archaeology; whaling
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Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2012 23:24
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2199 Other History and Archaeology > 219999 History and Archaeology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
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