Originally published in 1849, this is Ben Ely’s personal account of whaling off Madagascar aboard the bark Emigrant. This modern edition includes a biographical introduction and much additional information by Ely’s great-grandson. Facsimile of original title page. ALBION, p. 202.
p. 86: It is a great error to judge that all sailors are ignorant; for many of them have received a good common, and some of them a classical education. Many of them are well informed in matters of geography, customs, manners and commerce; and were they treated as men, and allowed the ordinary privileges of freemen, they would soon show themselves worthy of a reputable standing in the community. At present they are exposed to be treated like dogs, or slaves at sea, and as outcasts on shore. Let the benevolent bestow their benefits on seamen, treat them kindly, teach them the doctrines and duties of religion, seek to reform them, afford them moral and intellectual entertainment in port, and furnish them with the Bible and other good books, and our ships would soon do more for the conversion of the heathen, than a dozen cargoes of missionaries.