Publishing the history & culture

of Southeastern New England • Since 1981



ISBN 978-0932027-931

304 pages • 8” x 10.5”

350+ Photographs

The Other Islanders

People who pulled Nantucket’s Oars

Frances Ruley Karttunen

 “This wonderful Nantucket book is meticulously researched and tells the stories of people who did the island’s work: Native Americans, enslaved Blacks, free Blacks, Cape Verdeans, South Sea Islanders, immigrants from the Far East, Canada, Ireland, Finland. Karttunen has done a remarkable job of documenting and telling peoples’ stories, and her index is masterful. The book is beautifully designed and illustrated. I wish every community in the nation could have a book like this!” --Helen Seager

 Discover a different side of Nantucket! This new, richly illustrated book highlights the “other islanders”—from the native Indians…to the African slaves who arrived in the 1700s…to the Irish, Azorean, Cape Verdean and other immigrants who came later. Sit back and enjoy the compelling stories of the people who pulled Nantucket’s “oars” through history.

 Nantucket native and author Frances Ruley Karttunen earned her undergraduate degree from Radcliffe College/Harvard University; a Master’s degree and a PhD in linguistics at the Indiana University followed. Specializing in ethno-history, endangered languages, and language learning, she worked at the University Texas at Austin for 30 years. She is the author of several books and articles on related topic.

Also available as an eBook!


About The Author

Frances Karttunen is Finnish-American on one side of her family and a twelfth-generation descendant of Nantucket’s English settlers on the other. A graduate of the Nantucket public schools, she earned a Ph.D. in linguistics and worked at the University of Texas at Austin for over thirty years. During that time, she went to Finland as a Fulbright scholar three times. She also carried out research in Mexico, where she compiled a dictionary of one of the Indian languages spoken there. Among her books are Between Worlds: Interpreters, Guides, and Survivors and The Other Islanders. Between Worlds is about people—including Sacajawea, Mexico’s La Malinche, and Finland’s Larin Paraske—who helped to interpret their people’s languages and cultures for outsiders. The Other Islanders tells the stories of people other than the descendants of the English settlers who have contributed to Nantucket’s history and economy. The Nantucket Historical Association has serialized an annotated version of The Other Islanders on its website