The Fishy Tribes


Jefferson sends the traveler to a series of sea ports on the French Atlantic coast. He was eager to expand the trade of these ports to American products, especially codfish. To learn about “the fishy tribes,” as he called them, he spent time investigating the maritime trades in New England before he sailed to France. We follow him to the waters off Newfoundland (where Jefferson’s shipmates caught cod) and to the French seaports he recommended. As we travel, we kept questions in mind—where have the cod gone, and will they ever come back?

The Author

Derek Baxter graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in history. He is writing a book about his experience following the route through Europe that Jefferson set out in Hints to Americans. After years of research, Derek made nine separate trips abroad on Jefferson's trail. 


  • White Facebook Icon
  • Twitter - White Circle

© 2019 by Jefferson Travels. Proudly created with

Pulling up a codfish from a line. Jefferson's ship was "becalmed" off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, the greatest codfishing grounds in the world, and everyone on board pulled up as many cod as they could.