Classic book topic for Maritime Museum Zoom webinar
“Hawaiians, Catholics and the Town with a Bay in Front and an Amphitheater of Hills Behind: The Education of Richard Henry Dana Jr. in Santa Barbara,” a Zoom webinar featuring Dr. Rick Kennedy, will be hosted by the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum at 7 p.m. July 15.
Dr. Kennedy is a history professor at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego,
“More than any other port mentioned in Richard Henry Dana’s ‘Two Years Before the Mast,’ Santa Barbara opened the author to a wider world than he had ever imagined and to more diverse populations than he knew in Boston,” said Dr. Kennedy. “This lecture will give listeners a glimpse into a past of sailing, hide-gathering, what Santa Barbara was like in 1835 and 1836, who lived here then, who Dana crewed and worked with and how his voyage and visit to Santa Barbara changed him.”
According to Dr. Kennedy, “The classic book is his coming-of-age story. Having contracted measles during his junior year at Harvard, which affected his eyesight, the then 18-year-old Dana signed aboard a hide-and-tallow ship, the brig Pilgrim, bound for California, as a common seaman for a two-year term and sailed into Santa Barbara in 1835 when it was the central port of the coast.”
Between 2003 and 2017, Dr. Kennedy taught a summer school sailing course in California history during which he and students sailed up the coast and through the islands reading “Two Years Before the Mast.”
Every summer, Kennedy would also lead walking tours of Santa Barbara.
The author of books and articles involving both California and New England, Dr. Kennedy recently published “Richard Henry Dana Jr., Evangelical Consciousness and the Colony of Hawaiians in San Diego” in “California Dreaming: Society and Culture in the Golden State (2017).”