REVIEWS Slavish Shore: The Odyssey of Richard Henry Dana Jr. By Jeffrey L. Amestoy. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015. Pp. 365. Cloth, $35.00.) Reviewed by Brian Rouleau How appropriate that the year 2015, the bicentennial of Richard Henry Dana Jr.'s birth, ushered in the publication of what will be considered for quite some time the definitive biography of the famed sailor, author, lawyer, and activist. Jeffrey Amestoy, himself a member of the bar as well as a former Vermont Chief Justice, provides a well-written and comprehensive account of the Bostonian's many achievements. Several chapters cover what are Dana's better-remembered exploits as a Harvard boy turned common sailor, immortalized in the still-popular Two Years Before the Mast (1840). But Amestoy reminds us that Dana's life encompassed far more than that memorable sojourn around Cape Horn and to California. Indeed, Dana's eventful career as a lawyer saw him take up a prominent role in the defense of abused seamen and fugitive slaves, as well as laying crucial legal groundwork for the Union war effort. He would become an important voice for Free Soil and later Radical Republican politics. The book, organized chronologically to chart the life and death of
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Dec 21, 2016
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