Richard Henry Dana, Jr. was born on August 1, 1815, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the second of four children of Richard Henry, who was a poet, critic, and the founder of the North American Review, and Ruth Charlotte Smith, who died when Dana was six years old. When Dana entered Harvard University, he contracted the measles, which eventually affected his eyesight. Being unable to continue his study, he set out to the sea as a commercial seaman on the brig Pilgrim, leaving Boston in August 1834 and rounding Cape Horn to the California coast. While he was on board, he kept a journal, which was later edited and became his most popular book, Two Years Before the Mast. Dana sailed back to Boston in 1836.…
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Shin, Yamashiro. "Richard Henry Jr Dana". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 September 2010
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