Abram's Eyesby Nathaniel Philbrick
Today Nantucket is thought of as a whaling port turned summer resort. But the island's present-day reputation does not do justice to its past. Once referred to as "an island full of Indians," Nantucket was historically one of the most densely populated Native American places in New England. Without the island's large Indian population (estimated at 3,000 in 1659), English Nantucketers would never have had the manpower to launch the fishery that would eventually make the island the whaling capital of the world.
Beginning with Abram Quary, the man whom white Nantucketers erroneously claimed was the island's "last Indian," Abram's Eyes traces a Native American legacy that has refused to die. Combining archaeological and historical evidence with the native Nantucketers' own oral traditions, this book reveals the continuities between the worlds of the Nantucket Indian and the Nantucket whaleman and how the island's Indian-whaling legacy lives on.
From the legends of Maushop, the giant to whom the Wampanoag attribute the creation of Nantucket, to the "Indian Sickness" that killed 222 of 358 native Nantucketers in 1764, and, finally, back to Abram Quary, whose portrait appears to have profoundly influenced Herman Melville, the author of Moby-Dick, Abram's Eyes tells the fascinating, under-appreciated story of an island that was native long before it ever was American.
- Mill Hill Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
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