'Two Years Before the Mast' fans in for a treat July 15

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Photos submitted

Top photo is of author Richard Henry Dana Jr.

Bottom photo is of history professor Rick Kennedy.


Find out more about “Two Years Before the Mast," by American author Richard Henry Dana Jr.,  with Professor Rick Kennedy, on Thursday, July 15, at 7 p.m. 

This free online lecture, "The Education of Richard Henry Dana Jr. in Santa Barbara," will give listeners a glimpse into a past of sailing, hide-gathering, what Santa Barbara was like in 1835-1836, who lived here then, who Richard Henry Dana crewed and worked with, and how his voyage and visit to Santa Barbara changed him.

The webinar is free, but registration is required at:

As many of those who have participated in the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Spirit of Dana Point Tall Ship program know, Dana was a Massachusetts-born writer and lawyer, who was descended from America’s earliest settlers, and in many ways, the classic book, “Two Years Before the Mast, is his coming-of-age story,” according to Professor Kennedy of Point Loma Nazarene University.

“More than any other port mentioned in Dana’s “Two Years Before the Mast, Santa Barbara opened the author to a wider world than he had ever imagined and to more diverse populations than he knew in Boston.”

Kennedy, who received his doctorate from UC Santa Barbara, teaches California history. From 2003 to 2017, he taught a summer school sailing course in California history, in which he and students sailed up the coast and through the islands reading “Two Years Before the Mast.”

Dana's memoir was published in 1840 and recounts his two-year sea voyage, starting in 1834, from Boston to California on a merchant ship. A film adaptation of the book, with the same name as the book, was released in 1946.



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