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From a world renowned whaling port, to a leader in the textile industry, to its current incarnation as a modern-day fishing community, New Bedford has an incredibly rich and varied heritage, one which should not be forgotten. A generous mix of ethnic communities, cultural landscapes and urban sensibilities, the story of New Bedford continues to be one of the region's most interesting tales.

The Fugitive's Gibraltar: Escaping Slaves and Abolitionism in New Bedford, Massachusetts
Kathryn Grover
Univ. of Massachusetts Pr. © 2001
$39.95 hardcover


   Fugitive Between 1790 and the Civil War, New Bedford, Massachusetts became know not only as the whaling capital of the world but also as one of the greatest asylums for fugitive slaves. Among those who found safe haven there were Frederick Douglass, Henry Box Brown, and others whose accounts of escape from bondage were published and widely circulated among reformers of both races. But how did New Bedford come to be seen as a haven for fugitives, and was antislavery truly, as one whaling merchant put it, "the ruling sentiment of the town"? In Fugitive's Gibraltar, Kathryn Grover addresses these questions with well-researched study. Through an intensive examination of demographic data, fugitive narratives, Underground Railroad accounts, and correspondence, Grover concludes that the issue of helping fugitives in fact divided white abolitionists at the same time it strengthened the resolve of abolitionists of color.

Sperm Whaling from New Bedford
Elton W. Hall, Photos by Clifford Ashley
Whaling Museum © 1982
$32.00 hardcover


   Sperm Whaling The American sperm whale fishery became a moribund industry as the twentieth century commenced. A combination of factors had eliminated any expectations of profitable whaling voyages, and the fleet had dwindled. Among those who sought to preserve a record of the industry was a New Bedford artist named Clifford W. Ashley. In 1904, he sailed aboard the New Bedford whaling bark Sunbeam. The photographs Ashley took for his own reference, constitute the most complete known pictorial record of a sperm whaling voyage. From New Bedford to the Cape Verde islands, Sunbeam's voyage provides a wealth of information on the whaling vessel, its gear, shipboard routine, and the cutting and processing of whales.

African-Americans & Cape-Verdean Americans in New Bedford
Robert C. Hayden
Select Publications © 1993
$19.95 paperback


   Illustrated with 80 photographs, this is the first book ever published on the history and contributions of "people of color" in and from New Bedford, Massachusetts. Divided into twelve areas of human endeavor - Community Development, Civil Rights, Education, Creative Arts, etc. - this readable account tells the stories of many wonderful individuals (Frederick Douglas, Paul Cuffe, Sgt. William Carney) and groups, both social and political, whose achievements and community development efforts have gone, until now, unnoticed. This book is a "must have" for every family of color living in New Bedford, if only to instill a sense of communal pride.

I Didn't Know That!: Greater New Bedford's Golden Nuggets Historic People, Places, and Events (1750 to 1925)
Jack Radcliffe
Lucem Diffundo Pub. LLC © 2001
$7.95 paperback


   I Didn't Know The builder of the U.S.S. Constitution, the first African-American soldier to win the Congressional Medal of Honor, and the Witch of Wall Street, were all natives of New Bedford and its surrounding area. Gathered together - in many cases for the first time - in print are the not-so-trivial trivia of the city's rich and diverse history. I Didn't Know That! discovers New Bedford's historic gems, gathering them in one slim volume where they can shine as a beacon of hope for the city. Researched and written by Jack Radcliffe, with a touching and very apt forward by Gerald FitzGerald, former editor of the New Bedford Standard-Times, I Didn't Know That! is a loving tribute to one city's considerable history will undoubtedly become a family treasure to be read again and again.

The Strike of '28
Daniel Georgianna
Spinner Pub. © 1993
$15.95 paperback


   Strike of 28 The textile industry in New Bedford and Fall River typified the 1920s - drastic wage cuts took place amidst growing productivity while manufacturers put profits elsewhere. In the spring of 1928, thirty-five thousand people in New Bedford and Fall River began a six-month long strike against a 10% wage cut, marking New England's largest strike of the '20s. The Strike of '28 begins with a look at New Bedford's world dominance as a whaling port and the use of that whaling capital to build one of the most important textile centers in the world. The book also explores the development of the mill community, mill expansion and working conditions leading up to the strike and the aftermath of the events of 1928. With photos, first-hand accounts and interviews with strike participants, The Strike of '28 brings to life a touchstone moment in our local history that echoes events across the nation.

The Last American Whale-Oil Company
Ed Parr
Old Dartmouth Historical Society © 1996
$15.95 paperback


   Last American In its heyday, the whaling industry brought wealth into New Bedford the likes of which the city has not seen since. And there were many benefactors of the city's whaling bounty, not the least of which was a company called Nye Lubricants. This forward-thinking, innovative oil concern, lead by some of the most eccentric and savvy individuals in American business was, and remained, a central player in the region's economy throughout the Whaling Days and well beyond. This unique company is the subject of Ed Parr's engaging historical account. In many ways, Nye Lubricant's path paralleled that of the nation's economy, keeping pace as the supremacy of the whaling industry gave way to the dominance of the industrial revolution, and then to the takeover of technology. Unlike New Bedford itself, Nye was able to adjust brilliantly to these shifts in economic discourse, making it a fascinating subject of study for anyone interested in the ways in which sweeping economic transformations play out in the real world of real companies.

The Center: Downtown New Bedford in the 1950's
Carmen Maiocco
$9.95 paperback





The Avenue: Memories of Acushnet Avenue
Carmen Maiocco
$9.95 paperback


   These two neighborhood histories of New Bedford are small but packed with memories. For those who grew up in the North end of the city, The Avenue will bring back memories of cruising down Acushnet Avenue with your buddies on those hot summer nights. Or, if you remember seeing and being seen in the busy heyday of its downtown shopping area The Center will bring those memories into sharp focus. The unique streets and businesses of bygone days, most gone forever, are now threads in the complex tapestry that is New Bedford history. An inspiration to both lifelong resident and visitor alike, these neat little volumes will be treasured keepsake for years to come.

The Military History of New Bedford (Images of America)
Christopher McDonald
Arcadia Pub. © 2001
$19.99 paperback


   Military History This neat little book, part of the Images of America series, tells the story of the U.S. Army presence at Clark's Point in New Bedford. Through a series of coastal fortifications, including the historic Civil War-era Fort Taber, constructed over the years, military planners sought to defend the Eastern seaboard from unseen enemies. The age of long-range bombers and intercontinental missiles rendered such installations obsolete, and today the area is a recreational park dotted with their ghostly ruins. The period photographs in the book make clear both the original appearance and the function of these stone and concrete structures.

Towers, Turrets & Tenements: The Brave Houses of New Bedford
Drawings by Arthur Moniz
Waterfront Historic Area LeaguE © 2001
$10.00 paperback


   Towers & Turrets For young and old alike, this charming coloring book will teach newcomers all about the different styles and periods of architecture found in and around New Bedford. Representing the strength and character of the people who built them, these remarkable historic homes of New Bedford, drawn by local artist Arthur Moniz - who has been painting scenes of New Bedford for over 35 years - will capture your interest and your imagination.

Not Just Anywhere
Marsha McCabe & Joseph D. Thomas
Spinner Pub. © 1995
$16.95 paperback


   Not Just Anywhere "If you bulldoze your heritage, you become just anywhere." - Sarah Delano
Not Just Anywhere tells the story of WHALE the Waterfront Historic Area LeaguE - an organization that championed the cause of preservation in New Bedford in the 1960s. A fascinating and informative chronicle of the struggle between historical preservation and urban renewal, this book also records the rich history of some of New Bedford's oldest and most important buildings, illustrating the text with numerous photographs and paintings. Not Just Anywhere drives home the idea of a city's character being, in large part, dependent upon it's heritage and how important that history can become to its residents.

A Window Back: Photography in a Whaling Port
Nicholas Whitman
Spinner Pub. © 1994
$44.95 hardcover   
$30.00 paperback   
   Window Back A Window Back: Photography in a Whaling Port is a unique portrait of New England's yesterdays from 1845 and 1920. Albumen prints, cabinet cards and rare photographs carefully crafted from original daguerreotypes and glass negatives, illustrate the transformation of an old New England town into a bustling industrial city. Each photograph captures a moment of time, an angle of light, an expression or gesture. Together, these glimpses represent and illuminate our past, giving us a window back on time. It is a past world of waterfronts forested with the masts of sailing ships, and of pastoral farmland that would one day become suburbs. The informative text and captions offer insight into not only the people and places of New Bedford history, but also the story of early photography, and its rapid embrace by professionals, hobbyists, and eventually, the masses.

The Patina of Place: The Cultural Weathering of a New England Industrial Landscape
Kingston Wm. Heath
Univ. of Tennessee Pr. © 2001
$55.00 hardcover


   Patina Place In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the booming textile industry turned New England towns and villages into industrialized urban centers. This rapid urbanization transformed not only the economic base but the regional identity of communities such as New Bedford as new housing forms emerged to accommodate the largely immigrant workforce of the mills. In particular, the wood-frame "three-decker" became the region's multifamily housing design of choice, resulting in a unique architectural form that is characteristic of New England. In The Patina of Place, Heath provides the first book-length analysis of the three-decker and its cultural significance, revealing New Bedford's evolving regional identity within New England.




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