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  • Matthew P. Joy (1793 - 1820)
    Matthew Joy This family was of Hudson. He was born on 10 February 1793. He married Nancy Slade, daughter of Benjamin Slade and Rhoda Coleman, in 1817. Matthew Joy died on 20 November 1820 at age 27; A....
  • Capt. Owen Chase (1797 - 1869)
    Owen Chase (1798 - 1869) of Nantucket sought a traditional career as a whaling captain. However, at age 22, while serving as first mate of the Essex, his ship was sunk in a horrific, unprecedented atta...
  • Thomas Nickerson (c.1805 - 1883)
    Added by Elwin C. Nickerson -"Whaling Ship Essex- Thomas was a member of the ill-fated ship the Essex, at age 15. There were twenty men in the crew aboard the whaleship, George Pollard, Master, when sh...
  • Owen Coffin (1802 - c.1821)
    The true story that the book (Moby Dick) was partly based on was about two seperate events involving a Nantucket whale ship named the "Essex" and a white whale named Mocha Dick. The Essex was hunting w...
  • Capt. George Pollard (1791 - 1870)
    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 a...

The Essex was an American whaleship from Nantucket, Massachusetts. The ship, captained by George Pollard, Jr., was widely known for being attacked and sunk by a sperm whale in the southern Pacific Ocean in 1820 – an incident that served as inspiration for Herman Melville's 1851 novel, Moby-Dick.

Crew of the Essex


George Pollard, Jr.

First Mate

Owen Chase

Second Mate

Matthew Joy


Thomas Chappel Obed Hendrix (Hendricks/Hendrick)Captain Benjamin Lawrence


William Bond †


Owen Coffin † Isaac Cole † Henry De Witt* Richard Peterson † Charles Ramsdell Barzillai Ray † Samuel Reed † Isaiah Sheppard † Charles Shorter † Lawson Thomas † Seth Weeks Joseph West † William Wright

Cabin Boy

Thomas Nickerson

  1. Mountain live: "Nantucket Sleighride (to Owen Coffin)" on youtube