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In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Characters

Nathaniel Philbrick
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Captain George Pollard

Pollard had been the first mate on the Essex's previous journey, and in 1819, he was promoted to Captain. He was a small man with a tendency toward stoutness. He had married two months before the voyage. On August 12, 1819, he boarded the Essex and the ship set sail. Having spent the last four years on the ship, he knew it well. But as Philbrick points out, Pollard was in some ways not prepared to captain, acting more like one of the mates. At several key points, Pollard gave in to his officers wishes, rather than demanding that the crew follow him. He allowed Chase and Joy to talk him into continuing after the ship was knocked down in the Atlantic and allowed them to press him into sailing for South America after the ship sank in the Pacific. He also let the majority rule when Ramsdell...

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