Tag Archives: Merchant Marine

Poe, Edgar Allan

POE, EDGAR ALLAN (1809-1849). Edgar Allan Poe, best known for his tales of Gothic horror, was a writer of poetry, short and long fiction, an unfinished drama, criticism, literary theory, essays, and a “cosmological prose poem.” His more than seventy Continue reading & text links

Posted in P | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Poe, Edgar Allan

Williams, Tennessee

WILLIAMS, TENNESSEE [THOMAS LANIER] (1911-1983). Winner of four New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards and two Pulitzer Prizes for his plays, Tennessee Williams is most identified with the American South. He was born in Mississippi and spent his early childhood Continue reading & text links

Posted in W | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Williams, Tennessee

Whitman, Walt

WHITMAN, WALT[ER] (1819-1892). Walt Whitman was born in West Hills, near Huntington on northwestern Long Island. With almost two centuries of ancestral residence on the island and some seafaring tradition in his family, Whitman was naturally attuned to the ocean Continue reading & text links

Posted in W | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Whitman, Walt

Vukelich, George

VUKELICH, GEORGE (1927-1995). “[I]t was good to be on the Great Lakes,” wrote George Vukelich in 1955 to the editor of the Milwaukee Journal, after a spell as an ore boat deckhand. This sentiment pervades much of his work, including Continue reading & text links

Posted in V | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Vukelich, George

Stone, Robert

STONE, ROBERT [ANTHONY] (1937-2015). A distinguished, award-winning novelist, Robert Stone turned to nautical fiction in his fifth book, Outerbridge Reach (1992). Born in New York to a family of tugboaters, he served from 1955 to 1958 as a radioman and Continue reading & text links

Posted in S | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Stone, Robert

Sobel, Dava

By Marija Miklavčič (2020) SOBEL, DAVA (1947 – ). Dava Sobel grew up in the Bronx, NY, and received her college degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton. A journalist and science writer, Sobel has written six Continue reading & text links

Posted in S | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slocum, Joshua

SLOCUM, JOSHUA (1844-1909?). Joshua Slocum, the first singlehanded circumnavigator and author of the classic Sailing Alone Around the World (1900), was born in Nova Scotia. At sixteen he left home to work as a deepwater sailor and by 1869 commanded Continue reading & text links

Posted in S | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Slocum, Joshua

Rowson, Susanna H.

ROWSON, SUSANNA H[ASWELL]. (1762-1824). Born in Portsmouth, England, Susanna H. Rowson became an actress, educator, prolific writer in several genres, and notably the author of Charlotte Temple (1791), America’s first best-selling novel. Rowson’s father, William Haswell, was a lieutenant in Continue reading & text links

Posted in R | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rowson, Susanna H.

O’Neill, Eugene

by Margaret Loftus Ranald (2000) O’NEILL, EUGENE [GLADSTONE] (1888-1953). Eugene O’Neill, America’s preeminent playwright, winner of the Nobel Prize (1936) and four Pulitzer Prizes (1920, 1922, 1928, 1957), was born in the Barrett Hotel, New York City, son of the actor Continue reading & text links

Posted in O | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on O’Neill, Eugene

Nordhoff, Charles, the elder

NORDHOFF, CHARLES, the elder (1830-1901). A journalist, Charles Nordhoff was born in Erwitte, a village in Westphalia, Prussia. At five, he emigrated with his parents to Ohio, where they died. Left an orphan in the care of a family in Continue reading & text links

Posted in N | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Nordhoff, Charles, the elder

Nelson, James L.

NELSON, JAMES L. (1962- ). Born in Lewiston, Maine, James L. Nelson, a former professional square-rig sailor, traces his love of the sea to his earliest memories when he chose boats and model ships for boyhood toys. In college Nelson Continue reading & text links

Posted in N | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Nelson, James L.

Melville, Herman

MELVILLE, HERMAN (1819-1891). More than any other American author, Herman Melville used the sea as setting and concept to create great literature. With broad-ranging and deep philosophical interests, his books are far more than adventure stories. In his works, Melville Continue reading & text links

Posted in M | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Melville, Herman

McPhee, John

McPHEE, JOHN [ANGUS] (1931- ). John McPhee, master craftsman of nonfiction prose in more than twenty books and New Yorker articles beyond count, turned his attention to the sea in Looking for a Ship (1990). The subject is actually multiple: Continue reading & text links

Posted in M | Tagged , , | Comments Off on McPhee, John

Sleeper, John Sherburne (“Hawser Martingale”)

[SLEEPER, JOHN SHERBURNE], “HAWSER MARTINGALE” (1794-1878). An author and journalist from New England, John Sherburne Sleeper first went to sea in 1809 as a cabin boy and assumed his first command in 1821. By 1825 he was captain of an Continue reading & text links

Posted in S | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sleeper, John Sherburne (“Hawser Martingale”)

Jewitt, John Rodgers

JEWITT, JOHN RODGERS (1783-1821). An Englishman who served aboard the American merchant vessel Boston, John Jewitt became famous as a “captive” of the Indians of Nootka Sound, off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, when he survived the destruction Continue reading & text links

Posted in J | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Jewitt, John Rodgers

Ingraham, Joseph Holt

INGRAHAM, JOSEPH HOLT (1809-1860). Born in Portland, Maine, Joseph Holt Ingraham was a teacher, minister, and popular writer who produced more than 100 novels, 25 in 1845 alone at the peak of his career. Until the late 1840s Ingraham wrote Continue reading & text links

Posted in I | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Ingraham, Joseph Holt

Henson, Matthew

by Emma Bonanomi (2021) Matthew Alexander Henson was a Black American explorer who came to fame after United States Navy Commander Robert E. Peary’s 1908-1909 expedition to the North Pole. He may have been one of the first men to Continue reading & text links

Posted in H | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Freneau, Philip

FRENEAU, PHILIP [MORIN] (1752-1832). An “occasional” poet born in New York City, Philip Freneau during his long life wrote lyric and narrative poems on a wide range of subjects. Since he spent many years working on ships, a sizable number Continue reading & text links

Posted in F | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Freneau, Philip

Equiano, Olaudah

by Arnold Schmidt (2000, rev. 2021) EQUIANO, OLAUDAH (1745-1797). By the time he died at the end of the eighteenth century, mariner, author, and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano had likely become the wealthiest and most famous Black man in the Atlantic Continue reading & text links

Posted in E | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Equiano, Olaudah

Cuffe, Paul

CUFFE, PAUL (1759-1817). Seaman, captain, shipowner, businessman, author, and African colonizer, Paul Cuffe was born 17 January 1759, on Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts, the seventh child of his African-born father and Ruth Slocum, a Wampanoag Indian. Cuffe went to the sea Continue reading & text links

Posted in C | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Cuffe, Paul

Bridge, Horatio

BRIDGE, HORATIO (1806-1893). A naval officer, Horatio Bridge is most famous for his close friendship with Nathaniel Hawthorne, for whom he found a publisher for Twice-told Tales (1837) and to whom Hawthorne dedicated The Snow Image (1851). Born in Augusta, Maine, Bridge graduated from Continue reading & text links

Posted in B | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Bridge, Horatio

Ashley, Clifford

By Nicole Williams (2020) CLIFFORD WARREN ASHLEY (1881-1947). Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1881, Ashley enjoyed a successful career as a maritime artist and historian of the American whaling industry. His work romanticized New England’s whaling past as the Continue reading & text links

Posted in A | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ames, Nathaniel

by Hugh Egan (2000) AMES, NATHANIEL (1805-1835). Son of the Federalist statesman Fisher Ames and grandson of a famous colonial almanac publisher, Nathaniel Ames was a blueblood who went to sea and later wrote about it. In this way he Continue reading & text links

Posted in A | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Ames, Nathaniel

Adams, Bertram Martin

ADAMS, BERTRAM MARTIN [BILL ADAMS] ( 1879-1953 ). Bill Adams was born in England to American parents. He left college to go to sea at age seventeen in a career that lasted four or five years and logged seven passages Continue reading & text links

Posted in A | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Adams, Bertram Martin