Sailors in wonderland: Dutch sperm whaling during the nineteenth century, 1827-1849

Joost C.A. Schokkenbroek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


The Dutch engaged in whaling between 1612 and 1964, with intervals of non-activity in the last quarter of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. Under varied circumstances, the Dutch have relied upon the expertise of foreign whalemen. The involvement of Basque whalers in the foundation and organisation of Dutch whaling expeditions during the first half of the seventeenth century is fully documented. Less well known is the collaboration between the Dutch and whaling experts from the United States during the first half of the nineteenth century. This article relates to a number of expeditions undertaken by Dutch and American whalemen, who headed for hunting grounds unfamiliar to the Dutch. It examines the political and economic contexts within which American involvement should be considered, and identifies the results of this involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-275
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Maritime History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • Dutch East Indies
  • globalisation
  • Pacific Ocean
  • whaling

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