Saturday, March 26, 2016

"Whale Killing," Moby-Dick excerpt in the Troy Budget

Here's a long excerpt from Moby-Dick in the Troy Budget on December 6, 1851, printed under the heading "Whale Killing." Found at Fulton History, this 1851 Troy item adds another re-printing to the long list of newspaper excerpts from chapter 61 of Moby-Dick that appeared around the time of its first publication in November 1851. The earliest of New York excerpts appeared in the review of Moby-Dick in the New York Tribune on November 22, 1851.

Thus, as pointed out in a 2012 melvilliana post, the passage from Moby-Dick that James McCune Smith chose to quote in one of his "Communipaw" letters to Frederick Douglass' Paper (March 7, 1856) was taken from this same, widely circulated chapter. In the Troy Budget excerpt, the heading "Whale Killing" and editorial introduction both match the earlier excerpt in the New York Evening Post (November 29, 1851)--probably the immediate source of the Troy item.
"Mr. Herman Melville, in his new sea-story, describes a marvellous chase by a whaling monomaniac after the "Moby Dick," the fabulous leviathan of the sailors, during which he probably lets us into the realities of actual whaling as minutely and faithfully as any sea-author has ever done. We shall give a couple of passages, hoping they will put the reader on the look out for the book itself...."
Troy [New York] Budget / December 6, 1851
Moby-Dick, chapter 61 - Stubb Kills a Whale

New York Evening Post / November 29, 1851
Found on

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