Two Brothers (ship)
A diver examines an anchor at the Two Brothers shipwreck site on August 24, 2008.
|United StatesUnited States|
|Out of service:||February 11, 1823|
|Fate:||Sank near French Frigate Shoals, February 11, 1823|
|Class and type:||Nantucket whaler|
|Tons burthen:||217 (bm)|
Two Brothers was a Nantucket whaleship that sank on the night of February 11, 1823, off the French Frigate Shoals. The ship's captain was George Pollard, Jr., former captain of the famous whaleship Essex. The wreck was discovered in 2008 (announced on February 11, 2011) by a team of marine archaeologists working on an expedition for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
On her first whaling voyage, Two Brothers left Nantucket on 21 November 1818, with George B. Worth, master. She returned on 5 August 1821 from the Pacific with 1231 barrels of sperm oil and 158 barrels of whale oil.
On the night of February 11, 1823—while sailing west through the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands with another whaling ship, Martha—Two Brothers found herself in a storm. The two ships became separated and Captain Pollard of Two Brothers was unclear as to his ship's position. Soon, Two Brothers grounded and sank on a reef near French Frigate Shoals. Captain Pollard did not want to abandon ship but his crew pleaded with him and they clung to small boats through the night. The next morning, they were rescued by Martha.
Thomas Nickerson, who served as boatsteerer on Two Brothers, wrote about the wreck. Nickerson had also served with Pollard on the Essex and survived its sinking. Nickerson's account is preserved in a manuscript titled "Loss of the Ship Two Brothers of Nantucket" (MS 106 F3.5) in the collections of the Nantucket Historical Association.
The wreck of Two Brothers was discovered in 2008 by a team of marine archaeologists working on an expedition for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The identity of the ship was not immediately known so it was called the "Shark Island Whaler"; the ship's identification as Two Brothers was announced by NOAA on February 11, 2011, the 188th anniversary of her sinking. The wreck is the first discovery of a wrecked Nantucket whaling ship.
Some of the first artifacts found at the wreck site include two anchors, three try pots, bricks, and the remains of the ship's rigging. Expeditions in 2009 and 2010 turned up more artifacts including blubber hooks, five harpoon tips, three whaling lances, four cast-iron cooking pots and ceramics and glass.
The shipwreck site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.
- Kelly, Gleason; Raupp, Jason T. (2010). "Lost & Found: In Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument: The Possible Wreck Site of the Nantucket Whaleship Two Brothers". Historic Nantucket. 60 (3): 13–17. ISSN 0439-2248.
- "News Release: Lost Whaling Shipwreck with Link to Melville's Moby-Dick Discovered in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands" (PDF). Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. 2011-02-11. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
- McKinley, Jesse (2011-02-11). "No 'Moby-Dick': A Real Captain, Twice Doomed". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
- "'Moby Dick' captain's ship found". BBC Online. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
- National Maritime Digital Library, American Offshore Whaling Voyages: A Database - Two Brothers.
- Catalogue of Nantucket Whalers: And Their Voyages from 1815 to 1870. Nantucket, MA: Hussey & Robinson. 1876. pp. 11 & 15.
- Philbrick, Nathaniel (2001). In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. New York: Penguin. pp. 208–210. ISBN 978-0-14-100182-1. OCLC 46949818.
- "Lost Whaling Shipwreck with Link to Melville's Moby-Dick Discovered in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2011-02-11. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- Simons, Ben (2010). "Thomas Nickerson's Account of the Wreck of the Two Brothers". Historic Nantucket. 60 (3): 12. ISSN 0439-2248.
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