The history of New Bedford is as culturally rich as it gets.

At one point, New Bedford was the richest city in America due to its whaling industry. It was the port that lit the world, and it sometimes came with a very high price: death.

Whaling is no longer practiced other than out of Japan and Iceland, and for good reason.

New Bedford Whaling Museum keeps the stories alive. One story, in particular, tells the tale of a mighty whaling ship called the Gazelle which was in and out of New Bedford's waterfront.

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Historian and author Ian Kenneally gives life to the historic sea vessel, writing about a man who was once saved by the Gazelle.

The life of Irishman John Boyle O’Reilly began back in 1844 and only lasted 46 years.

O'Reilly was once rescued by the Gazelle while he was imprisoned in Western Australia. He escaped and fled to America aboard the Gazelle back in March of 1869.

The full story of O'Reilly's life can be found here.

Prior to picking up O'Reilly, the Gazelle had been at sea for quite some time, having left the port of New Bedford back in August 1866. There were 31 crew members aboard, among them Portuguese, Dutch and Irish. The ship was operated by a Captain Gifford and Henry Hathaway. Those should be a couple of familiar last names.

The Gazellesailed the seas until April 20, 1870, when it was retired.


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