Provincetown Museum enhances whaling collection with new acquistion

Acquires ledger of whaling schooner Cetacean of Provincetown
Ledger of the whaling vessel Cetacean (Photo by Robert C. Eldred Co.)

The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum (PMPM) today announced that it recently acquired an account book that includes a ledger from voyages of the whaling schooner Cetacean of Provincetown. The acquisition bolsters the PMPM’s exhibition on Provincetown’s whaling history.

“The Cetacean ledger represents a significant acquisition to the collection of the Pilgrim Monument and this enhances our knowledge of this vessel as well as providing a glimpse into the whaling industry of Provincetown at a high point in the 1860’s.” said Stephen Borkowski, Collections Committee Chairman.

 

“This ledger outline the provisions bought for the voyage and the subsequent sale of the whale oil and rarely survive in such good condition and even more rarely are offered for sale in the open market.  We are pleased to bring it back to Provincetown as it reinforces the significant contribution of Provincetown to the whaling industry and the economic impact it had on the town whose fortunes were tied so closely to the sea.

 

The Cetacean ledger will be on display at the Museum in conjunction with the Moby Dick Marathon reading that starts on Friday, April 21 through Sunday, April 23 at the Provincetown Public Library. 

 

“The Cetacean ledger is a perfect addition to our collection on Provincetown’s whaling industry and supports our mission of providing exhibitions that showcase the exceptional history of our town,” said Dr. David Weidner, PMPM Executive Director.

 

In addition, there are several pieces of scrimshaw from other voyages of the schooner Cetacean in the Collection of the Town of Provincetown.  They will be on display at the Provincetown Library during the weekend of the Moby Dick Marathon.

 

About the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum

Dedicated in 1910, the Monument commemorates the first landing of the Mayflower Pilgrims in the ‘new world’ -- in Provincetown in 1620.  Here they signed the historic Mayflower Compact, the first agreement to establish a government by the people, the cornerstone of American democracy. They explored the Cape for five weeks before sailing on to Plymouth. At 252 feet, the Monument is an engineering marvel and the tallest granite tower in the United States. Visitors can climb the Monument’s 116 steps and 60 ramps at a leisurely pace and enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire Cape and visit our webcam for a live “View from the Top.” The Provincetown Museum at the base of the Monument presents engaging exhibitions of important chapters in our national heritage and the Town’s history and is a partner in Plymouth 400 in 2020, the anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and founding of the Plymouth Colony.   Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum is a non-profit educational, tax-exempt 501(3)(c) organization. For more information please visit pilgrim-monument.org.


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