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George Pollard
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    Resided in Nantucket, Massachusetts
    Captain of the whaling ship 'Essex'
    Left Nantucket for a 2½ year whale hunt (1819)
    Rammed by a crazed sperm whale (November 20, 1820)
    Set adrift with members of his crew in a rowboat
    After his ship sank, he rowed away from Tahiti, because he was afraid of cannibals there.
    Because he went the other way, his crew wound up eating each other (oh, the irony!).
    He approved of drawing lots to decide which sailors would be killed for food.
    The first man to be shot and eaten was his own cousin.
    He was one of only two survivors of the boat (so much for the captain going down with the ship).
    He ate six people in all.
    He only commanded a ship once more, and that ship also sank.
    Afterwards, he could only find work as a night watchman.
    When asked if he knew a sailor on the 'Essex,' he reportedly said: 'Know him? Why, I Et him!'
    At 28, he was one of the youngest whaling captains.
    He survived 95 days under horrific circumstances.
    He managed to travel 3,500 miles in a rowboat.
    The 'I et him' anecdote probably isn't true.
    His story inspired Herman Melville to write 'Moby-Dick.'

Credit: Wieland Kalligaro

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