Robert C. G. Dickens
PORTUGUESE SHORE WHALERS IN NINETEENTH CENTURY CALIFORNIA.
(Under the direction of Professor Donald H. Parkerson) Department of History, July 1998.
Established in the mid-1850s, California's shore whaling industry endured for nearly fifty years. For the most part, Portuguese immigrants from the Azores controlled the industry. Not only did shore whaling contribute to the development of several Portuguese communities along California's coast, it also influenced the settlement patterns of California's Azorean population. Using primary sources such as the Great Register and the U.S. Census, this thesis analyzes the effect of shore whaling on the settlement patterns of California's Azorean immigrants and describes the demographic characteristics of several whaling communities. This thesis also provides a model for the analysis of intrastate movement for any immigrant group in nineteenth century California. Such a model is of great value because California's population was extremely transient after the decline of her gold mining industry in the late-1850s.