Hartwig, Theodore E. F. / Letters, 1846 and 1851 [Transcriptions]
Call Number, SC 167 ([unpublished])
Cedarburg (Wis) September 25, 1846, pp. -23 PDF (8.9 MB)
17 went to hime and slit his belly with a knife. He measured ten and one-half feet (Rheinisch) from his head to the tip of his tail. Later we caught a real young one which was only two feet long. We also caught a sun fish*. It was rather calm when he was sighted. The boat was immediately unfastened. The captian, the second helmsman and five sailors equipped with numerous harpoons got into it and went after him quick as an arrow. It is a very helpless fish, which swims very slowly and remains always on the surface of the water, because it cannot diver. It was soon overtaken and was energetically harpooned, and because of the fact that it had an exceedingly strong hide they hurled harpoons at it seven or eight times before it was securely held. What a pretty sight that was as the little boat danced about on the waves with the sailors in their red shits, the flashign of their long oars in teh sun, and the many swerves which they had to make because the fish turned and took off in another direction after every throw that struck him. The were perhaps a half hour distant and we watched through spy glasses. Finally we saw the captain do a real power throw and then the sailors waved their caps in the air. Now we saw, too, how they halted and tied the fish. It was high time the chase ended for at the moment a lgiht breeze came up and if the sails had not been severely trimmed they would not have caught up with us. We saw the sailors exert themselves to the utmost, but in spite of this it was perhaps three quarters of an hour before they reached us. They were fearfully exhausted when they arrived and tremble at *The ocean sun fish (mola mola).
This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, US Code).| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright