Richard Henry Dana, Jr.

Richard Henry Dana Jr. (August 1, 1815-January 6, 1882) was a Massachusetts lawyer and politician. When measles weakened his eyesight, Dana went to California to work as a sailor until he regained his health. Once he had been cured of his ailments, he returned to Harvard to finish his law degree. Two Years Before the Mast is an autobiographical narrative based on Dana's time at sea working around the shore of Cape Horn.