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Religious Tract Society : Tract No.1579 'An account of the loss of the ESSEX from having been struck by a whale in the south seas'.

Date: 1830 - 1840
Dimensions:
Overall: 182 x 110 x 25 mm, 0.35 kg
Medium: Leather, engravings, printed text on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Book
Object No: 00001365
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    Description
    Book produced by The Religious Tract Society. The last chapter,Tract No.1579 is 'An account of the loss of the ESSEX from having been struck by a whale in the south seas; with some interesting particulars of the sufferings of her crew on a desert island and in their boats at sea. From the narrative of one of the survivors' which occurred on 20 November 1820'.

    SignificanceThe amazing story of the horror and suvival of the ESSEX became a well-known tale and was the inspiration behind Herman Melville’s "Moby Dick". In this instance, the story of Thomas Chappel and his exsistance on the island is used as an example of religous faith and salvation.
    HistoryThe survivor account relayed in this Religious Tract publication is that by John Chappel. He was the second mate aboard the ESSEX which sank after being hit, more than once, by a large sperm whale on November 20, 1820. The vessel sank without any immediate loss of life but the survivors were cast away in three boats with very scarce supplies. After 24 harrowing days at sea the boat reached an island known as Henderson Island. Again, they found food and water supplies scarce and certainly not enough to sustain all the men. After six days ashore, three men, including Chappel elected to stay ashore whilst two boats carrying the seventeen others, set off again in search of assistance.
    The men on the island, according to Chappel, struggled on through incredible hardship until they were rescued on the 5th April 1821 by the SURRY where they recovered and were taken to Sydney, New South Wales. On board the
    SURRY they were told of the fate of the other ESSEX survivors who had spent nearly 90 days at sea and after being separated, both had eventually been rescued by passing ships.
    The ordeal on the boats had been far greater than could have been imagined and both the captain of the ESSEX and his first mate Owen Chase spoke after of what had occurred. Only five men survived their months at sea and only then by resorting to cannibalism.
    The amazing story of the horror and suvival of the ESSEX became a well-known tale and was the inspiration behind Herman Melville’s "Moby Dick". In this instance, the story of Thomas Chappel and his exsistance on the island is used as an example of religous faith and salvation.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Religious Tract Society : Tract No.1579 'An account of the loss of the ESSEX from having been struck by a whale in the south seas'.

    Web title: Tracts

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