Ganges (whaler)

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For other ships of the same name, see Ganges (disambiguation).
United States
Owner: Gideon Gardner (reputedly), Nantucket, Massachusetts
General characteristics
Class & type: Whaler

The Ganges was a whaleship from Nantucket, Massachusetts operating in the Pacific Ocean during the mid-nineteenth century. It was probably the vessel reported to have found Gardner Island in the Phoenix group. Although Barzillai Folger, the master of the ship during its voyage of 1835-39, is sometimes credited with being the first to discover the right whales of the Northwest coast, he was preceded by the Frenchman Narcisse Chaudiere in the Ganges. Chaudiere cruised on this ground during the summer of 1835, while Folger didn’t leave port until October 26 of the same year.[1]

Discovery of Gardner Island[edit]

Capt. Joshua Gardner, reportedly on board the whaleship Ganges, discovered an island in 1825, located at 4°20' S, 174°22' W, and named it "Gardner's Island". His discovery was reported in the Nantucket Enquirer, December 1827.[2] However, contemporary Joshua Coffin (also reportedly on the Ganges) is sometimes credited with the discovery, naming the island after his ship's owner, Gideon Gardner.[3]


  • c. 1835: Barzillai T. Folger[4]
  • c. 1857: John B Nicholson[5]


  1. ^ Webb 1988, pp. 35-40
  2. ^ Dunmore, p 115
  3. ^ Stackpole, p
  4. ^ Starbuck:History of American Whaling
  5. ^ Australian Mariners' Records


  • Dunmore, John (1992); Who's Who in Pacific Navigation, Australia:Melbourne University Press, ISBN 0-522-84488-X
  • Mawer, Granville Allen; Ahab's Trade: The Saga of South Seas Whaling
  • Stackpole, Edouard A.; The Sea Hunters: The New England Whalemen During Two Centuries, 1635-1835