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The Dangerous and Thrilling Life of a 19th-Century Whaler

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Manage episode 411533750 series 2421086
Content provided by Scott Rank, PhD and Scott Rank. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by Scott Rank, PhD and Scott Rank or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://player.fm/legal.
In mid-nineteenth century New England, Robert Armstrong was a young man with the world at his feet. His family was wealthy and gave him the opportunity to attend the nation’s first dental school. But Armstrong threw his future away, drinking himself into oblivion. Devoured by guilt and shame, in December 1849 he sold his dental instruments, his watch, and everything he possessed, and signed on for a whaling voyage leaving New Bedford for the South Pacific.
His story was re-discovered when his great great grandson (Alex Brash) found a manuscript buried at the bottom of an old leather trunk, under a child’s dancing shoes and a grandfather’s WWI paraphernalia. Brash, today’s guest, re-published the account as “Whaler at Twilight,” the story of an American whaler who embarked on a harrowing adventure in the mid-nineteenth century in search of absolution and redemption.
Decades later, Armstrong wrote an eloquent autobiographical account based on the logbooks he kept, chronicling his thrilling, gritty experiences during ten years away, including encounters with other whalers, beachcombers, Peruvian villagers, Pacific islanders, Maori warriors in New Zealand, cannibals on Fiji, and the impacts of American Expansionism. He also recounted his struggles with drink, his quest for God,In mid-nineteenth century New England, Robert Armstrong was a young man with the world at his feet. His family was wealthy and gave him the opportunity to attend the nation’s first dental school. But Armstrong threw his future away, drinking himself into oblivion. Devoured by guilt and shame, in December 1849 he sold his dental instruments, his watch, and everything he possessed, and signed on for a whaling voyage leaving New Bedford for the South Pacific.
His story was re-discovered when his great great grandson (Alex Brash) found a manuscript buried at the bottom of an old leather trunk, under a child’s dancing shoes and a grandfather’s WWI paraphernalia. Brash, today’s guest, re-published the account as “Whaler at Twilight,” the story of an American whaler who embarked on a harrowing adventure in the mid-nineteenth century in search of absolution and redemption.
Decades later, Armstrong wrote an eloquent autobiographical account based on the logbooks he kept, chronicling his thrilling, gritty experiences during ten years away, including encounters with other whalers, beachcombers, Peruvian villagers, Pacific islanders, Maori warriors in New Zealand, cannibals on Fiji, and the impacts of American Expansionism. He also recounted his struggles with drink, his quest for God,
  continue reading

889 episodes

Artwork
iconShare
 
Manage episode 411533750 series 2421086
Content provided by Scott Rank, PhD and Scott Rank. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by Scott Rank, PhD and Scott Rank or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://player.fm/legal.
In mid-nineteenth century New England, Robert Armstrong was a young man with the world at his feet. His family was wealthy and gave him the opportunity to attend the nation’s first dental school. But Armstrong threw his future away, drinking himself into oblivion. Devoured by guilt and shame, in December 1849 he sold his dental instruments, his watch, and everything he possessed, and signed on for a whaling voyage leaving New Bedford for the South Pacific.
His story was re-discovered when his great great grandson (Alex Brash) found a manuscript buried at the bottom of an old leather trunk, under a child’s dancing shoes and a grandfather’s WWI paraphernalia. Brash, today’s guest, re-published the account as “Whaler at Twilight,” the story of an American whaler who embarked on a harrowing adventure in the mid-nineteenth century in search of absolution and redemption.
Decades later, Armstrong wrote an eloquent autobiographical account based on the logbooks he kept, chronicling his thrilling, gritty experiences during ten years away, including encounters with other whalers, beachcombers, Peruvian villagers, Pacific islanders, Maori warriors in New Zealand, cannibals on Fiji, and the impacts of American Expansionism. He also recounted his struggles with drink, his quest for God,In mid-nineteenth century New England, Robert Armstrong was a young man with the world at his feet. His family was wealthy and gave him the opportunity to attend the nation’s first dental school. But Armstrong threw his future away, drinking himself into oblivion. Devoured by guilt and shame, in December 1849 he sold his dental instruments, his watch, and everything he possessed, and signed on for a whaling voyage leaving New Bedford for the South Pacific.
His story was re-discovered when his great great grandson (Alex Brash) found a manuscript buried at the bottom of an old leather trunk, under a child’s dancing shoes and a grandfather’s WWI paraphernalia. Brash, today’s guest, re-published the account as “Whaler at Twilight,” the story of an American whaler who embarked on a harrowing adventure in the mid-nineteenth century in search of absolution and redemption.
Decades later, Armstrong wrote an eloquent autobiographical account based on the logbooks he kept, chronicling his thrilling, gritty experiences during ten years away, including encounters with other whalers, beachcombers, Peruvian villagers, Pacific islanders, Maori warriors in New Zealand, cannibals on Fiji, and the impacts of American Expansionism. He also recounted his struggles with drink, his quest for God,
  continue reading

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