In this third volume of In Those Days, Harper shares stories of the rise and fall of the whaling industry in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. At the turn of the nineteenth century, whale baleen and blubber were extremely valuable commodities, and so sailors braved the treacherous Arctic waters, risking starvation, scurvy, and death, to bring home the bounty of the North. The presence of these whalemen in the North would irrevocably alter the lives of Inuit.
Along with first-hand accounts from journals and dozens of rare, historical photographs, this collection includes the myth of the Octavius—a ship that drifted for twelve years with a frozen crew—encounters between sailors and Inuit, tales of the harrowing hazing rituals suffered by first-time crew members, and much more.
About the author
Kenn Harper is a historian, writer, and linguist, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and a former member of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. He is the author of the In Those Days series, Give Me My Father’s Body: The Life of Minik, the New York Eskimo, and Thou Shalt Do No Murder: Inuit, Injustice, and the Canadian Arctic. “Taissumani,” his column on Arctic history, appears in Nunatsiaq News.