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Course Change: The Whaleship Stonington in the Mexican-American War (Hardcover)

Course Change: The Whaleship Stonington in the Mexican-American War By Peter J. Emanuel Cover Image
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Description


The Stonington, a whaleship from New London, Connecticut, is sailing a course for home after being at sea for more than three years. When it pulls into San Diego, California in September 1846 for food and supplies, the crew learns that war has broken out between the United States and Mexico. The town is under siege by Mexican forces, leaving the US inhabitants no escape route but the sea. In response to their desperate situation, the Stonington's captain allows them to take refuge aboard his ship. Thus begins the first step in what would become the Stonington's months-long tour of duty as a member of the US Navy's Pacific Squadron.

Using the logbook of the whaleship Stonington together with other primary and secondary sources, historian Peter J. Emanuel, Jr. tells the story of a whaleship unlike any other in the annals of whaling. Readers with an interest in maritime/naval/military history, as well as those who just enjoy an exciting adventure story, will sail along with the Stonington as it assists in the retaking of San Diego, then serves as a supply ship, a troop ship, and even a gun ship for the US Navy. The captain and his crew interact with central figures in the US war effort in California, including Commodore Robert F. Stockton, John C. Fr mont, Ezekiel Merritt, and General Stephen W. Kearny.

A series of harrowing events unfolds when the US Navy releases the Stonington and the ship resumes its homeward course. Mexicans capture the captain, and the first mate must decide whether to attempt a rescue that could jeopardize the entire ship. The ship must sail around Cape Horn through one of the most dangerous waterways on the planet. Lightning strikes a crewman high in the rigging and, after managing to pass him down safely to the deck, his crewmates keep vigil as he struggles to survive, all the while hoping that they will get back home.

About the Author


Peter J. Emanuel, Jr. has been an educator and musician in New London County, Connecticut, since 1978. From that time, he has been a piano teacher, accompanist, and pianist/vocalist. Emanuel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from the University of Connecticut in 1977 and a Master of Arts degree in history from American Public University in 2012. He began teaching at The Williams School, a private college preparatory school in New London, in 1991. His initial position at the school was director of music, but his course load always included at least one history class. In 2009, Emanuel began working on a master's degree in history with the hope of becoming a full-time member of the Williams history department. That aspiration became a reality in 2014 when his course load shifted completely to history. From 2017 to 2020, it was his distinct honor to serve as history department head. He retired from The Williams School in 2020.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781493074617
ISBN-10: 149307461X
Publisher: Lyons Press
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 352
Language: English