American Antiquarian Society Manuscript Collections
NAME OF COLLECTION:
Dana, Richard Henry, Jr., Legal Papers, 1844-1878
Mss. boxes “D”
SIZE OF COLLECTION:
SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON COLLECTION:
The Journal of Richard Henry Dana, Jr., ed. Robert F. Lucid, 3 vols. (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1968)
Gale, Robert, Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (New York: Twayne Publishing, 1969)
Shapiro, Samuel, Richard Henry Dana Jr., 1815-1882 ([East Lansing:] Michigan State University Press, 1961)
SOURCE OF COLLECTION:
Gift of Worcester Law Library, 1996
Richard Henry Dana (1815-1882) was born in Cambridge, Mass., on 1 August 1815, the son of Richard Henry Dana (1787-1879), an essayist and poet. Richard, Jr. entered Harvard College in 1831, but he left in 1834 and went to sea. His experiences became the subject of his book Two Years Before the Mast, published in 1840. Dana re-entered Harvard in 1836, and graduated in 1837. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1840. His book The Seaman's Friend (1841) was a manual of general and legal advice for sailors. In 1841 Dana married Sarah Watson (1814-1907) of Hartford Conn. and they had six children.
Dana first entered into practice in 1842 with his brother "Ned," Edward Trowbridge Dana (1818-1869). In 1848, this partnership was dissolved and Dana next entered into partnership with Francis Edward Parker (1821-1886). The majority of Dana's cases involved maritime disputes, and Dana frequently represented seamen who had been mistreated or deprived of their wages. He handled a wide variety of other legal
work, however, including cases involving insurance claims, divorces, and occasional criminal 1851 Dana defended several men accused of participating in the rescue of Shadrach Minkins (
fugitive slave. slave, in 1854.