The American whaling industry was flourishing in the middle of the 19th century. In 1857 over 300 whalers were operating from New Bedford, Masachusetts (where this ship originates from) alone. The ‘Alice Mandell’ made two whaling voyages only and, on the second, was wrecked in the China Seas. She was built of wood, copper-sheathed below the waterline and ship-rigged. She was equipped with seven whaleboats, which did the actual pursuing and harpooning.