Thursday, August 14, 2014

Novelist Richard Henry Dana Began his Two Year Sea Adventure (August 14, 1834)

On this date in American literary history – August 14, 1834, 19-year-old Richard Henry Dana, author of Two Years Before the Mast, began his two year adventure as a seaman. Dana was born on August 1, 1815 in Cambridge, Massachusetts and as a young man enrolled at Harvard, but a case of the measles in college left his eyes weakened. This inspired him to take a sea voyage while recuperating. During his two years at sea, he sailed to California, then around Cape Horn, then back to Boston. He then resumed his studies and became an attorney. In 1840, he published Two Years Before the Mast, an semi-autobiographical account of the abuse endured by seamen. The book was very successful and the following year, he published The Seaman's Friend, a complete guide to the legal rights of seamen. Dana as also an ardent abolitionist and helped form the Free Soil Party in 1848. During his life time he would publish several other books that included To Cuba and Back (1859). He died on January 6, 1882 in Rome, Italy from influenza and was buried at the Protestant Cemetery within the city.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of numerous works that includes America’s Literary Legends: The Lives and Burial Places of 50 Great Writers. The book will be released in January 2015 and can be preordered from Amazon and other fine book sellers. For more information about the author visit his website To order the book click on the Amazon link below:

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