Saturday, August 1, 2009

Seamann, Lawyer, Antislavery Activist

A writer, lawyer and antislavery activist Richard Henry Dana was born August 1st 1815.

Richard Henry Dana was born in Cambridge Massachusetts August 1st 1815. In 1835 he left Harvard before graduating in hopes that a voyage at sea would help his failing eye sight. After two year as a seaman on “the Pilgrim” in the Pacific, he returned to MA and completed his education. Dana became a member of the American Bar and an expert on maritime law. A life long advocate of civil rights, he was an antislavery activist. In 1848 he was one of the founders of the Free-Soil Party. Dana opposed the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. He served as a United States Attorney during the Civil War, and was successful in arguing that US Government could legally run a blockade of Confederate port in front of the Supreme Court. He was part of counsel at the trail of Jefferson Davis following the war.

Dana died in Rome January 6th 1882.

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