|Name:||Richard Henry Dana Jr.|
|Birth Day:||August 1, 1815|
|Death Date:||January 6, 1882(1882-01-06) (aged 66)
|Birth Place:||Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., United States|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Richard Henry Dana Jr. died on January 6, 1882(1882-01-06) (aged 66)
Dana was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on August 1, 1815 into a family that had settled in colonial America in 1640, counting Anne Bradstreet among its ancestors. His father was the poet and critic Richard Henry Dana Sr. As a boy, Dana studied in Cambridgeport under a strict schoolmaster named Samuel Barrett, alongside fellow Cambridge native and future writer James Russell Lowell. Barrett was infamous as a disciplinarian who punished his students for any infraction by flogging. He also often pulled students by their ears and, on one such occasion, nearly pulled Dana's ear off, causing the boy's father to protest enough that the practice was abolished.
In 1825, Dana enrolled in a private school overseen by Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom Dana later mildly praised as "a very pleasant instructor", though he lacked a "system or discipline enough to ensure regular and vigorous study." In July 1831, Dana enrolled at Harvard College, where in his freshman year his support of a student protest cost him a six-month suspension. In his junior year, he contracted measles, which in his case led to ophthalmia.
Fatefully, the worsening vision inspired him to take a sea voyage. But rather than going on a fashionable Grand Tour of Europe he decided, despite his social standing, to enlist as a merchant seaman. On August 14, 1834, he departed Boston aboard the brig Pilgrim, captained by Frank Thompson, bound for Alta California, at that time still a part of Mexico. This voyage would bring Dana to a number of settlements in California (including Monterey, San Buenaventura, San Pedro, San Juan Capistrano, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara and San Francisco). After witnessing Thompson's sadistic practices, including a flogging on board the ship, he vowed that he would try to help improve the lot of the common seaman. The Pilgrim collected hides for shipment to Boston, and Dana spent much of his time in California at San Diego's Point Loma curing hides and loading them onto the ship.
On September 22, 1836, Dana arrived back in Massachusetts. He thereupon enrolled at what is now Harvard Law School, then called the Dane Law School. Graduated in 1837, he was admitted to the bar in 1840. and went on to specialize in maritime law. In the October 1839 issue of a magazine, he took a local judge, one of his own instructors in law school, to task for letting off a ship's captain and mate with a slap on the wrist for murdering the ship's cook, beating him to death for not "laying hold" of a piece of equipment. The judge had sentenced the captain to ninety days in jail and the mate to thirty days.
In the December following his return to Boston in 1836, Dana re-entered Harvard, the hero of his fellow students, graduating in the following June. He next took up the study of law, at the same time teaching elocution in the College, and in 1840 he opened an office in Boston. While in the law school he had written out the narrative of his voyage, which he now published; and in the following year, 1841, issued The Seaman's Friend. Both books were republished in England and brought him an immediate reputation.
During his voyages he had kept a diary, and in 1840 (coinciding with his admission to the bar) he published a memoir, Two Years Before the Mast. The term "before the mast" refers to sailors' quarters, which were located in the forecastle (the ship's bow), officers' quarters being near the stern. His writing evinces his later sympathy for the oppressed. With the California Gold Rush later in the decade, Two Years Before the Mast would become highly sought after as one of the few sources of information on California.
In 1841, Dana published The Seaman's Friend, which became a standard reference on the legal rights and responsibilities of sailors. He defended many common seamen in court.
Dana became a prominent abolitionist, helping to found the anti-slavery Free Soil Party in 1848, and represented the fugitive slave Anthony Burns in Boston in 1854. He was a member of the Boston Vigilance Committee, an organization that assisted fugitive slaves.
In 1853, Dana represented William T. G. Morton in Morton's attempt to establish that he discovered the "anaesthetic properties of ether".
After several years of the practice of law, during which he dealt largely with cases involving the rights of seamen, he began to take part in politics as an active member of the Free-Soil Party. [Note: the Free-Soil Party was founded in 1847–48 in opposition to the extension of slavery into the western U.S. territories newly acquired from Mexico.] During the operation of the Fugitive-Slave Law he acted as counsel in behalf of the fugitives Shadrach, Sims and Burns, and on one occasion suffered a serious assault as a consequence of his zeal. His prominence in these cases, along with his fame as a writer, brought him much social recognition on his visit to England in 1856. Three years later, his health gave way from overwork, and he set out on a voyage round the world, revisiting California, where he made the observations which appear in the postscript to this book. [Note: The postscript is entitled: "Twenty-Four Years After," and is included in Dana's list of works, below.]
In 1859, while the U.S. Senate was considering whether the United States should try to annex the Spanish possession of Cuba, Dana traveled there and visited Havana, a sugar plantation, a bullfight, and various churches, hospitals, schools, and prisons, a trip documented in his book To Cuba and Back.
In 1876, his nomination as ambassador to Great Britain was defeated in the Senate by political enemies, partly because of a lawsuit for plagiarism brought against him for a legal textbook he had edited, Henry Wheaton's Elements of International Law (8th ed., 1866). Immediately after the book's publication, Dana had been charged by the editor of two earlier editions, William Beach Lawrence, with infringing his copyright, and was involved in litigation which continued for thirteen years. In such minor matters as arrangement of notes and verification of citations the court found against Dana, but in the main Dana's notes were vastly different from Lawrence's.
In 1877, Dana was one of the counsel for the Government of the United States, appearing before the Halifax Fisheries Commission, appointed under the Treaty of Washington (1871) to resolve outstanding issues, including fishing rights. The Commission gave an award directing the United States to pay $5,500,000 to the British Government. Towards the end of his life he went to Europe to devote himself to the preparation of a treatise on international law; but the actual composition of this work was little more than begun when he died in Rome, January 6, 1882.
There is additional biographical information and insights into the life of Richard Henry Dana Jr. in the "Introductory Note" to the Harvard Classics edition of Two Years Before the Mast, edited by Charles W. Eliot, L.L.D. and published by P. F. Collier & Son in 1909. Here is an excerpt:
|#1||Richard Henry Dana III||Children||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Currently, Richard Henry Dana Jr. is 207 years, 1 months and 27 days old. Richard Henry Dana Jr. will celebrate 208th birthday on a Tuesday 1st of August 2023. Below we countdown to Richard Henry Dana Jr. upcoming birthday.
Dana Point celebrates namesake with birthday party
Dana Point celebrated Richard Henry Dana Jr.’s 200th birthday Saturday with a program aboard the Pilgrim, a replica of the ship that Dana boarded as a seaman in 1834. The program included exc…