Thomas Nickerson, the 15 year old Cabin boy aboard the Essex, seen here many years after the fateful voyage. It was Nickerson who first spotted the huge whale and was at the helm when it struck. After moving to Brooklyn, New York, where he pursued a career in the merchant service, Nickerson returned to Nantucket in the 1870s, living out his retirement as the proprietor of a boarding house.
Courtesy of the Nantucket Historical Association.
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