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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/714

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

SKETCH OF SAMUEL LUTHER DANA.

SAMUEL LUTHER DANA, the second son of Lucy (Giddings) and Captain Luther Dana, was born July 11, 1795, in the town of Amherst, not far from Nashua, N. H. He was descended from Richard Dana, who came to this country and settled in Cambridge about 1640. His father was a native of Groton, Mass., and in the latter part of the Revolutionary War entered the navy of the United States as a midshipman, he being then seventeen years of age. Soon after his marriage in 1788 he took up his residence at Amherst and engaged in mercantile business. This not proving successful, he took to the sea again, becoming a shipmaster in the merchant service. He followed the sea until a few years before his death, in 1833, and made about seventy voyages to ports in Europe, Asia, and America. Captain Dana was fond of knowledge, and took pleasure in collecting objects of natural history, many valuable specimens being given by him to the Marine Museum at Salem, Mass. He had no faith in the superstitions with which seafaring men are haunted, and rather preferred to go out of port on Friday. On one of his most successful voyages he left Salem on a Friday, called at two European ports, reaching and leaving both on Fridays, and it was on a Friday that he finally reached home. His daughter-in-law, Mrs. James Freeman Dana, has described him as "tall and well formed, with a sensible, frank, cheerful countenance. He had clear blue eyes, dark-brown hair, which became silvery white at an early period of life, and a fair complexion, somewhat embrowned by exposure." She also speaks of him as ever ready to assist any who might require aid—one whom the weakest or lowliest might appeal to with the certainty of receiving a kind response. Lucy Giddings was married to him when she was sixteen years of age. She was very handsome and vivacious, and managed the affairs of her home and family during her husband's long absences at sea with rare judgment and tact.

As Captain Dana's residence was not confined by his calling to any particular place, he changed it twice for the benefit of his boys. In 1804 he removed to Exeter, N. H., in order to give them the educational advantages of Phillips Academy, and five years later, when the two oldest had been prepared to enter Harvard College, the family removed to Cambridge. Samuel passed through college in the same class with his older brother, graduating in 1813. From a pamphlet privately printed, containing memoirs of several members of the Dana family, it is learned that the two brothers were endowed with the same love for natural science, and entered upon the study of certain branches of it with great