Two Years Before The Mast - A Sailor's Story

A Sailor's Story

The term "before the mast" refers to the quarters of the common sailors — in the forecastle, in the front of the ship. His writing evidences his later sympathy with the lower classes; he later became a prominent anti-slavery activist and helped found the Free Soil Party.

Dana did not set out to write Two Years Before the Mast as a sea adventure, but to highlight how poorly common sailors were treated on ships. It quickly became a best seller.

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