Wealth from the Deep:

The Fishing Wonsons of Gloucester

ISBN: 978-1-7923-9671-7
By: Viator, Robert E.


Wonson fishermen made Gloucester Massachusetts America’s principal fishing port. Tidbits: + In 1775 young Samuel Wonson leads a party of patriots who overwhelm a British supply ship and turn it over to George Washington besieging Boston. + Sam’s son defys Jefferson’s embargo, taking his salt cod to the Caribbean, and wins a landmark court victory. + Sam Jr.”s daughter marries a Salem pepper prince, funding the fishing dynasty that preceded Gorton’s of Gloucester. + John F. Wonson, Lydia’s brother, is the first to anchor on Georges Bank and take live halibut to New York’s Fulton fish market, setting off a fashion for serving fresh white-fleshed fish in America. + The Wonsons invent dory fishing. + Today a Wonson schooner is the State Ship of Massachusetts.


Robert E. Viator

Born in Gloucester, Viator earned a Journalism degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He was slotman on the Wall Street Journal’s news production desk for five years before taking a year off to sail his 24-ft sloop to the Bahamas. Upon his return, he began a 32-year career as a technical writer in the computer industry. His work was lauded for “distinction” by the international Society for Technical Communication. In 2001 he published his grandfather’s Wonson Family of Cape Ann, a genealogy. In 2002 he was named a Local History Hero by the Bay State Historical League for writing and producing an hour-long documentary on the 19th century rural cemetery movement. Wealth from the Deep is the product of his 20 years in retirement in California.