>In 1839 the Knickerbocker Magazine, a popular publication in New York City, published a lengthy article about a huge albino sperm whale with a violent streak by Jeremiah N. Reynolds (an American journalist and explorer). The whale,”Mocha Dick,” was named for the island of Mocha, in the Pacific off the coast of Chile. He was often seen in nearby waters, and over the years a number of whalers had tried and failed to kill him. There’s no doubt that Herman Melville, who sailed on the whaling ship Acushnet in 1841, would have been quite familiar with the legends of Mocha Dick. Moby Dick was published in 1851.
Shown here is an 1870 U.K. reprint of Reynolds’s story (a rather scarce item in its own right).