Catalog: Draggerman's Haul





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Draggerman's Haul
The personal history of a Connecticut fishing captain
by Ellery Thompson
Foreword by Bernard L. Gordon
Publisher's Afterword by Stephen Jones
$18.95


Trade paperback, 296 pages
ISBN 978-0-9795949-3-9

Originally published in 1950, and described as "a personal history of a Connecticut fishing captain," Draggerman's Haul has been expanded with new information about Thompson, who passed away in 1986.  Ellery Thompson was born to the sea of generations of New England sailors and fishermen.  For much of the 20th century, Thompson was a waterfront fixture from Rhode Island to New London.  He was born in Mystic, Connecticut in 1899, and spent his adult life fishing the waters of southern New England.  In 1947 he was profiled in the New Yorker magazine in  a series of articles by Joseph Mitchell.  About Thompson, Mitchell wrote, "The biggest fishing fleet in the vicinity of New Your City is a fleet of thirty wooden  draggers that works out of Stonington, Connecticut.  The most highly respected captain in the Stonington fleet is a sad-eyed, easygoing Connecticut Yankee named Ellery Franklin Thompson."

These articles compelled Thompson to write Draggerman's Haul, an autobiographical look back at his 35 years of working the water.  Full of marine adventures, humorous anecdotes and Ellery's philosophy, the book received national acclaim, was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, and , but for the Korean War, was to be a movie with Gary Cooper or Henry Fonda playing the lead.

The new edition of  Draggerman's Haul includes a Foreword by Bernard L. Gordon, a longtime friend and confidant of Thompson's.  Gordon is a Northeastern University Professor Emeritus and the owner of the Watch Hill Book & Tackle Shop.

Local author Stephen Jones, also a friend of Ellery Thompson's, provides an extensive Afterword in which he details the many facets of Ellery, including his life, his relationships, his work with science, the circumstances of the book, and Ellery Thompson the artist.

Thompson followed up with another book Come Aboard the Draggers in 1959.  Chapters of this book are included in this new edition.
 

 

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