Letters Home from Sea
The Life and Letters of Solon J. Hanson, Down East Sailor
L. J. Webster and M. A. Noah
By the age of 19, Solon Hanson of Castine, Maine, had worked as a cook, crew, and mate on sailing ships, had become a cod fisherman, survived one of New Orleans’ worst hurricanes, been called as witness to a murder trial, and was close to his goal of becoming a sea captain.
Unlike most sailors of the time, he diligently wrote home about his adventures. His letters were rediscovered over a century later, and provide a rare glimpse into the daily life of 1850s Maine cod fishermen. These letters offer a brilliant firsthand account of life and death at sea.