Maritime and naval history – “Whaling Captains of Color” (Naval Institute Press, 2020) – Skip Finley interview


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Skip Finley spent many years in the radio broadcasting business. He developed a passion for the study of whaling captains and wrote a book on whaling captains of color. This is his first non-fiction book and we spoke about the book and the writing process.

1:06 – Skip talks about how he got into writing on whaling captains.

2:49 – Skip talks about whaling.

5:55 – Skip talks about whaling and the American Revolution.

8:34 – Skip talks about whaling captains impacted by the Revolution.

9:46 – Skip talks about where the British kept prisoners during the American Revolution.

12:10 – Skip talks about the US Civil War how easy it was for the South to destroy whalers.

14:22 – Skip talks about what Confederates did with black whalers they caught.

14:54 – Skip talks about an encounter between a whaler and a German submarine in WWI.

18:38 – Skip talks about whaling between the American Revolution and the US Civil War.

22:34 – Skip talks about where the whaling industry was centered.

25:04 – Skip talks about doing the research for the book.

35:33 – Skip talks about the connection between Navy duty and whaling duty.

38:12 – Skip talks about John Mashall and the types of ships he designed.

39:39 – Skip goes into more detail about the books he used for his research.

43:40 – Skip talks about how one became a whaling captain.

45:24 – Skip talks about how important Nantucket and whaling was to black freedom.

58:33- Skip can be found at

Links of interest

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Guests: Skip Finley

Host: Cris Alvarez

Tags: military, history, military history, conflict, war, interview, non-fiction book, Charles W. Morgan, whaling ship, Martha’s Vineyard, sperm whales, American Revolution, Seaman’s Protection Certificate, sailmaking, Alabama, WWI, flogging, New Bedford, Navy, Prince Boston, slavery, Quakers, Massachusetts, Frederick Douglass

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