Two Years Before the Mast (Paperback)

Two Years Before the Mast By Richard Henry Dana Cover Image
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Description


Two Years Before the Mast is a memoir by the American author Richard Henry Dana Jr., published in 1840, having been written after a two-year sea voyage from Boston to California on a merchant ship starting in 1834. A film adaptation under the same name was released in 1946.

In the book, which takes place between 1834 and 1836, Dana gives a vivid account of "the life of a common sailor at sea as it really is". He sails from Boston to South America and around Cape Horn to California. Dana's ship was on a voyage to trade goods from the United States for the Mexican colonial Californian California missions' and ranchos' cow hides. They traded at the ports in San Diego Bay, San Pedro Bay, Santa Barbara Channel, Monterey Bay, and San Francisco Bay. The provenance of this history is well supported by records showing the company of Sprague and James building and launching a ship named Pilgrim in 1825 in Medford, Massachusetts. (wikipedia.org)


About the author:


Richard Henry Dana, (born Aug. 1, 1815, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.-died Jan. 6, 1882, Rome, Italy), American lawyer and author of the popular autobiographical narrative Two Years Before the Mast.


Dana withdrew from Harvard College when measles weakened his eyesight, and he shipped to California as a sailor in August 1834 to regain his health. After voyaging among California's ports and gathering hides ashore, he rounded Cape Horn, returned home in 1836, and reentered Harvard. His travel experiences cured him physically and evoked his sympathy for the oppressed.


In 1840, the year of his admission to the bar, he published Two Years Before the Mast, a personal narrative presenting "the life of a common sailor at sea as it really is" and showing the abuses endured by his fellow sailors. The book was immediately popular, and its realistic descriptions made it an American classic. In 1841 he published The Seaman's Friend (also published as The Seaman's Manual), which became known as an authoritative guide to the legal rights and duties of seamen. Against vigorous opposition in Boston, Dana gave free legal aid to blacks captured under the Fugitive Slave Law. In 1863, while serving as U.S. attorney for Massachusetts (1861-66), he won before the U.S. Supreme Court the case of the Amy Warwick, securing the right of the Union to blockade southern ports without giving the Confederate states an international status as belligerents.


His scholarly edition of Henry Wheaton's Elements of International Law (1866) precipitated a lawsuit by an earlier editor. The charges of plagiarism that resulted from the suit contributed to Dana's defeat in a congressional election (1868) and caused the Senate to refuse his confirmation when Pres. Ulysses S. Grant named him minister to Great Britain (1876). Among Dana's other works are To Cuba and Back (1859), Speeches in Stirring Times (1910), and An Autobiographical Sketch (1953). (britannica)



Product Details
ISBN: 9798888307656
Publisher: Bibliotech Press
Publication Date: March 13th, 2024
Pages: 334
Language: English