Young Men And The Sea

Yankee Seafarers in the Age of Sail
Vickers, Daniel
Walsh, Vince
Date published: 
August 2005

Westward expansion has been the great narrative of the first two centuries of American history, but as the historian Daniel Vickers demonstrates here, the horizon extended in all directions. For those who lived along the Atlantic coast, it was the East - and the Atlantic Ocean - that beckoned. While historical and fictional accounts have tended to stress the exceptional circumstances or psychological compulsions that drove men to sea, this book shows how normal a part of life seafaring was for those living near a coast before the mid-nineteenth century.

Drawing on records of several thousand seamen and their voyages from Salem, Massachusetts, Young Men and the Sea offers a social history of seafaring in the colonial and early national period.

Daniel Vickers is professor of history at the University of California, San Diego. Vince Walsh is an independent scholar and project coordinator at the Maritime History Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland.