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"The author 'shipped out of Boston in 1834 on the "Pilgrim" and sailed around the Horn to California on a hide-trading expedition. The book is based on the journal he kept during the voyage. Horrified by the brutal captain's mistreatment of the sailors, and shocked by their lack of redress, Dana wrote with a burning indignation that did much to rouse the public to the mariners' plight.'" Benet's Reader's Ency of Am Lit.
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