George Pollard, Jr. (1791 - 1870) MP

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Birthplace: Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, United States
Death: Died in Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, United States
Cause of death: Dropsy of the chest
Occupation: Whaleship captain; night watchman
Managed by: Erica Isabel Howton, (c)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About George Pollard, Jr.

George Pollard, Jr. (1791–1870) was the captain of the whaleships Essex and Two Brothers, both of which sank. Pollard's life, including his encounter with the sperm whale that sank the Essex, served as inspiration for Captain Ahab, the whale-obsessed character in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick.

These days Pollard is mostly remembered as the prototype for Ahab and for his part in the murder and consumption of his cousin Owen Coffin while he and his companions drifted hopelessly in a whaleboat, but in details like the image of him moving through the darkened streets of Nantucket, it’s possible to glimpse a rather different man. Certainly Melville, who visited him after the publication of Moby Dick, was impressed by him, declaring “[t]o the islanders he was a nobody – to me, the most impressive man, tho’ wholly unassuming even humble – that I ever encountered”. (1)

Family

  • George Pollard b. 26 Apr 1762, d. 24 Sep 1843 & Tamar Bunker b. 12 Nov 1764, d. 19 Aug 1840

Married

  1. Mary Riddell (b. 5 May 1800, d. 27 March 1878) daughter of Henry Riddell and Hepsabeth Wyer; No children.

Sources

  1. The unlucky life of Captain George Pollard Jnr by James Bradley on February 13, 2011
  2. http://www.nantuckethistoricalassociation.net/bgr/BGR-o/p1112.htm#i33839
  3. Name: George Pollard. Birth Date: abt 1792. Event Type: Death. Event City: Nantucket. Death Date: 7 Jan 1870. Death Age:78. Father Name: George Pollard. Mother Name: Samar Pollard Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records.
  4. Name: George Pollard. Gender: Male. Race: White. Marital Status: Married. Place of Birth: Massachusetts. Estimated Birth Year: abt 1793. Age: 77. Month of Death: Jan. Cause of Death: Dropsy of the Chest. Census Year: 1870. Census Location: (City, County, State). Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts National Archives and Records Administration (NARA);  Washington, D.C.; Archive Collection:  T1204; Archive Roll Number:  23; Census Year:  1870; Census Location:  Nantucket,  Nantucket,  Massachusetts; Page:  365; Line:  26.
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Capt. George Pollard's Timeline

1791
July 18, 1791
Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, United States
1870
January 7, 1870
Age 78
Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, United States
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Nantucket, Nantucket County, Massachusetts, United States