Clipper Ship “Red Jacket”—In the Ice Off Cape Horn, on Her Passage from Australia, to Liverpool, August 1854, by Charles Parsons, 1855. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Adele S. Colgate, 1962.
“Imperial Chinese edicts forbade sexual relations between Westerners and Chinese. They also forbade boat racing and the opium trade. The Westerners had and did them anyway.” So begins historian Steven Ujifusa’s second book, Barons of the Sea: And Their Race to Build the World’s Fastest Clipper Ship, which chronicles the story of the nineteenth-century men with familiar-sounding names (ever hear of a Delano or Forbes?) who rushed to out-innovate one another when transporting goods—both illicit and luxurious—around the globe. On this episode of The World in Time, the author outlines this moment in history and introduces us to a few of the interesting characters and improbable details that populate this important time in the history of trade, travel, and money.
Lewis H. Lapham talks with Steven Ujifusa, author of Barons of the Sea: And Their Race to Build the World’s Fastest Clipper Ship.
Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.