A WESTPORT WHALEMAN GOES SLAVING PRESENTED BY TONY CONNORS
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Westport native Edward Davoll learned whaling at 18, made captain by 25, and appeared to be on his way to a successful career. But some bad luck and a downturn in the whaling industry in the 1850s, coupled with his disillusionment with life at sea, led him to engage in the illegal slave trade in 1860. This presentation describes the peculiar connection between whaling and the slave trade, and offers some explanation for the existence of slave trading in southeastern New England, an area known for anti-slavery sentiment.