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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Gibb Sahib The Advent and Development of Chanties (875* d) RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties 21 Aug 15


Re: Charles Nordhoff and his well-known observation of chanty-singing as a merchant seaman --

I was frustrated that I did not have the exact years of his account. After considerably more frustration and too-much time, I believe I have determined:

His observation of cotton-stowers' "chants" in Mobile Bay would have been in the autumn (say, October) of 1848, and his account of "Across the Western Ocean" (returning from Liverpool to Philadelphia) would have been November (or very early December) 1848.

He finished up his merchant sailor life in 1851 (afterwards being a whaler man for a couple years), but he notes no other chanties after that. He goes on to London, to Calcutta, Madras, Sydney, Canton, Mauritius, Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans… Much of his time in the eastern hemisphere he was in British vessels.


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