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    Re: Moby Dick Tales
    From: Brad Morris
    Date: 2019 Jan 12, 19:50 -0500
    Thank you Frank, for that in-depth explanation and your intellectual honesty in answering my question about over the representation of whaling logbooks in the overall population.  

    In your post, you wrote:
    The "lascar" (South Asian/Indian) crews that Don Seltzer mentioned, were effectively slave labor on some British ships in the late 18th and into the 19th centuries. They were not merely illiterate, they were also separated by a language barrier from the English-speaking officers and crew. Like the black slaves in the American South, the threat of mutiny was a deadly danger because the lascars were considered sub-human and treated with contempt.

    In acknowledging Don's post about the Lascars, you obviously acquiesce to John Howard's assertion.  He stated "you cannot mutiny with out knowing navigation!"  

    Your response to John's point was a bit over the line.  Independent of the Lascars' status, the fear of mutiny was real and quite historically correct.  Perhaps not on whalers, but clearly so, at a minimum, on vessels using Lascars. 

    And on slavers, for example the Amistad, a perfect example of mutiny and navigation.  The slaves on board rebelled.  The surviving crew was ordered to navigate, but the crew navigated surreptitiously to the US, contrary to the wishes of the former slaves.  The outcome has been the focus of court cases, books and movies.

    Brad




       
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