Two Years Before the Mast: A Personal Narrative
Richard Henry Dana (1815-1882) of Boston left his studies at Harvard in 1834 in the hope that a sea voyage would aid his failing eyesight. He shipped out of Boston as a common seaman on board the brig Pilgrim bound for the Pacific, and returned to Massachusetts two years later. Completing his education, Dana became a leader of the American bar, an expert on maritime law, and a life-long advocate of the rights of the merchant seamen he had come to know on the Pilgrim and other vessels. Two years before the mast (1911) is based on the diary Dana kept while at sea. First published in 1841, it is one of America's most famous accounts of life at sea. It contains a rare and detailed account of life on the California coast a decade before the Gold Rush revolutionized the region's culture and society. Dana chronicles stops at the ports of Monterey, San Pedro, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Clara. He describes the lives of sailors in the ports and their work of hide-curing on the beaches, and he gives close attention to the daily life of the peoples of California: Hispanic, Native American, and European. The edition of the book reproduced here includes the chapter "Twenty-four Years After" prepared by Dana to accompany the "author's" edition published in 1869 as well as his son's "Seventy-six Years After," an appendix prepared in 1911.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - wildbill - LibraryThing
This is a true life adventure of two years of the life of an American sailor in the 1830's. It had been sitting on my shelf for several years; an American classic that that I felt would be dull and ... Read full review
Great BookUser Review - tomgm - Overstock.com
I am not even halfway through the book but it has me coming back for more. The item arrived quickly and was an overall great shopping experience. Read full review