Native American Beachcombers in the Pacific

Nancy Shoemaker

in Native American Whalemen and the World

Published by University of North Carolina Press

Published in print April 2015 | ISBN: 9781469622576
Published online January 2016 | e-ISBN: 9781469621340
Native American Beachcombers in the Pacific

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This chapter explores the transition from colonized to colonizer in the world of Native American beachcombers. Beachcombers, typically runaway sailors or convicts who chose to live on a Pacific island and often married native women with whom they had children, constituted the first wave of foreign settlers. Few Native American whalemen became beachcombers, yet the ones that do had found that they had had more in common with the colonizers than with the natives they had chosen to settle with. Furthermore, despite their bad reputation, beachcombers were useful as linguistic and cultural interpreters—many served as the most effective instruments the United States had for furthering its commercial interests at the far edges of the American frontier.

Keywords: beachcombers; United States; American frontier; Native American beachcombers; Native American whalemen; Pacific island

Chapter.  7124 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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