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Two Years Before the Mast Setting & Symbolism

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Author Richard Henry Dana, Jr.'s home for the voyage from Boston, MA, to Upper California, Pilgrim is a brig owned by Bryant, Sturgis & Co. Her decks are swabbed daily with seawater before breakfast at 7 bells (7:30 AM), after which work continues until dark, except for an hour for dinner. Nights and Sundays the crew is allowed to converse and rest. Pilgrim, being captained and crewed by "swearers" forgoes religious services on Sundays. On the way out to California, she is captained by the cruel and thoughtless Frank Thompson. Young seaman George Ballmer is lost overboard shortly after Pilgrim enters Pacific waters and the crew, on short rations, is near mutiny on arrival in California.

On Company orders, Pilgrim's first stop is at Santa Barbara, rather than the custom house as Monterey. Pilgrim picks up Company Agent Alfred Robinson and other passengers before running north to Monterey...

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This section contains 3,263 words
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Buy the Two Years Before the Mast Study Guide
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