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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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3021. FISHERIES, Whale.—
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3021. FISHERIES, Whale.—

In 1715, the Americans began their whale fishery. They
were led to it at first by the whales which
presented themselves on their coasts. They
attacked them there in small vessels of forty
tons. As the whale, being infested, retired
from the coast, they followed him farther and
farther into the ocean, still enlarging their
vessels with their adventures, to sixty, one
hundred, and two hundred tons. Having extended
their pursuit to the Western Islands,
they fell in, accidentally, with the spermaceti
whale, of a different species from that of


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Greenland, which alone had hitherto been
known in commerce; more fierce and active,
and whose oil and head matter were found to
be more valuable, as it might be used in the
interior of houses without offending the smell.
The distinction now first arose between the
Northern and Southern fisheries; the object of
the former being the Greenland whale,
which frequents the Northern coasts and seas
of Europe and America; that of the latter
being the spermaceti whale. which was found
in the Southern seas, from the Western Islands
and coast of Africa, to that of Brazil,
and still on to the Falkland Islands. Here,
again, within soundings, on the coast of
Brazil, they found a third species of whale,
which they called the black or Brazil whale,
smaller than the Greenland, yielding a still
less valuable oil, fit only for summer use, as
it becomes opaque at 50 degrees of Fahrenheit's
thermometer, while that of the spermaceti
whale is limpid to 41, and of the Greenland
whale to 36, of the same thermometer.
It is only worth taking, therefore, when it falls
in the way of the fishermen, but not worth
seeking, except when they have failed of success
against the spermaceti whale, in which
case, this kind, easily found and taken, serves
to moderate their loss.—
Report on Fisheries. Washington ed. vii, 545.