Eighteen Months on a Greenland Whaler

Rather charming and humorous writer who was a compositor, Civil War soldier, printer, etc., and nearly blind, before shipping to Greenland in May 1865-66.

p. vi: Yet as you will not very likely be able to find out, unless I tell you, that I compiled this book without having any notes—all my papers, including a diary of the voyage, having been destroyed in a storm when we were homeward bound—allow me to state this much, by way of excuse for what defects you may observe; as also, that owing to almost entire blindness, I am quite unfitted to the task of mechanical writing, comparing of notes, assortment of papers, all inseparably involved in the getting out of a work of this nature unless with aid from an amenuensis and collaborator, who, timeously [sic] for me, turned up in the person of an old comrade, to whom the services exacted have been purely labor amoris, both of us bravely holding ourselves uninterdicted by the imperative warning set forth in the imprecative dictum of that sublime and far-seeing genius, “the man of Uz:” “Oh that mine enemy would write a book.”

p. 187: passage on winter entertainment: plays and theatricals, Sunday services, serious lectures, nigger minstral shows, debating clubs, etc. Nicely written.

p. 226: Each Sunday regularly, twice a day, divine service was held on board the “Perseverance,” a chapter of the Bible being perused with commentation, and extempore prayer, and frequently the reading of a sermon, besides prayer-meeting twice during the week; and now they quietly joined in with us in a celebration, tacitly ignored by them at home, and in a way best consonant to their ideas and tastes, where every one followed his own bent so much.

p. 257, alludes to a volume of Shakespear “whose immortal writings I had out of the excellent library of the Perseverance…”