Paul Cuffe Jr., Turtle Hunter

 

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“When this was done, we sailed the for Gallipago Islands, where we went for Terrapin. The Terrapin very much resembles our large Turtle, only they live wholly on the land, and weigh from four to five hundred pounds. The manner of taking them is as follows: In the morning we used to go up into the island, among the bushes, where we usually found them feeding upon cabbage trees, that they had gnawed down the night before. After finding them two of us used to go up to them and turn them over upon their backs, then tie their legs, and swing them between us, by lashing them to our backs. We then carry them to the boats, and from thence to the ship. We sometimes keep them alive six months without any food or drink. They make excellent soup, and are esteemed very healthy. They are worth, when brought to a sea-port city, from two hundred to three hundred dollars. We took six hundred of these animals in five days, and got them on board ship.” (Paul Cuffe, 1839)