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Two Years Before the Mast and Twenty-Four Years After:
R.H. Dana took a sea voyage and decided to go as a sailor not as a passenger. The voyage was bound from his home town of Boston to California. His experiences during those two years form the subject of this volume. Later in life he took another voyage around the world and those observations form the postscript of this book. This books value and interest today are even greater than they were when it was written for, while the purely human element remains the same, the account of the routine on board the old sailing ships, the picture of the trading on the coast of California, and the description of that country in the days before the discovery of gold had transformed its civilization, have all acquired a historical importance. [via]