Historic Maritime online Online
Handwritten and Hand-drawn "Descriptions of Whales by Capt. Thos. W. Roys Ship 'Sheffield' 1854," mid-19th century, the twenty-four sheet booklet filled with pencil drawings of whale species, observations about their size, appearance and behavior, and observations about how much whale oil and other byproduct they provide, and several pages on where and when to best hunt them, the back page inscribed "To be returned to/ Lieut. M[atthew]. F[ontaine]. Maury/May 1854/National Observatory/Washington.," 11 1/2 x 7 3/4 in.
Note: Captain Thomas Welcome Roys was a ship captain who discovered that the Bering Sea contained a species of whale called the Bowhead, a discovery which helped to jumpstart the Arctic whaling trade. Lieutenant Matthew Fontaine Maury was known as "The Pathfinder of the Seas." With respect to whaling, he was one of the first to track the migrations of whales, and utilized sailor's shipboard logs to help him compile the data needed for his research.
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