John Monczunski | Notre Dame Magazine Autumn 2013
In the summer of 1852, the novelist Herman Melville arranged to meet a night watchman living on Nantucket Island off Cape Cod. The 32-year-old writer sought out George Pollard Jr. because he felt a debt of gratitude to the old man.
Melville’s most recent novel, which he described as “a romance of adventure based on certain wild legends of the southern sperm whale fisheries,” had been published the year before. He was pleased to finally meet the man who some 30 years earlier had lived the wild legend on which Moby-Dick was based.