Masters Thesis

By the Sweat of their Brows: The Labor-graphic Pacific

In an effort to place motive in context, this essay addresses the issue of whether worldviews and histories that emphasize race and geography offer more distractions and less understanding than do studies that focus upon labor. through the narrative of the murder of whaling captain Isaac Bunker Hussey and the years leading up to his death (1847 to 1852), this work examines this problem in a way that connects historical actors with historians, and history with early historiography. Though not readily apparent in the nineteenth century or even after, labor offers an opportunity to understand the lives of those who sailed the Pacific in the 1800s. the failure of both Captain Hussey and the whaling industry to recognize his crew through their labors rather than by their race or place of origin contributed to his murder.

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