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longhand!), among them a Pulitzer-winning biography of John Paul Jones. These by-blows, covering a range of copies as wide as his far-ranging interests, probably helped him keep a fresh grip on the tremendous subject he had in hand, so its ending rings out as clear and true as its beginning. One more great work lay before Sam Morison as he entered his eighties, a work on what may be counted as the Big Bang that opened the modern era. This was the epochal European Discovery ofA merica. Volume I, The Northern Voyages, opens felicicously with a chapter titled "The Mysterious Ocean." True co his calling, he cold us that the scory must start with "the heritage of classical antiquity, which is basic co all European westward ventures." With this, we are launched inco a voyage which draws on all of Morison's own traffics and discoveries ro weave what is one of the great productions of sea literature, fir ro rank with The Odyssey or MobyDick. When the first volume appeared in 1971, it seemed it would stand alone. It opened a whole great experience of mankind-doing this in language that flowed naturally, unfalteringly true, co the scattered, fragmentary records on which it was based and co Morison's own app reciation of the sea, the ships, and peoples venturing on its trackless expanse. Who else could sort fact from fantasy in the undoubtedly real voyages of St. Brendan and fit them into the patterns of early westward voyaging? Who else could find what was real in the fantastic realm ofNorembega-or, for that matter, open the inner workings of Elizabeth's court as England embarked on the incredible achievements of the age of Shakespeare? Morison did these things with deceptive ease of manner, all in the cone of the conversation I remembered in Mary Otis's cabin. Volume II , The Southern Voyages, came out in 1974 with an even more complex and far-ranging scory centered on the three greatest navigacors of hiscory-Columbus, Magellan and Drake. And behold, this Drake is deeper in character and granted a wider license co achievement than the Drake of The Northern Voyages. In this fresh cut, the second volume, if anything, cops the first-and

suitably, since it breaks out of the Atlantic co embrace the whole world. An article on just these two volumes would open a wonderful discussion, full of discoveries virtually unknown in today's American academia. For Morison, recognizing the darkness in man's soul, always turned coward the light. I met Sam Morison again when I rashly applied to him for a letter co support my application co King's College, Cambridge, in 1949. He pointed out that since I had taken none of his courses while at Harvard, he couldn't sign such a letter (I had published articles on naval hiscory, but si nce I was pursuing literature, I had not taken courses in naval hiscory). Over the years it dawned on me what I had missed. Though he crossed the bar nearly three decades ago, his life's work remains for those who also missed the chance co learn from him in person. Many of his books are still in print, and though many other hiscorians have revisited some of the same topics, many of his analyses remain valid. Even with the limitations of writing the hisco ry of the naval operations of World War II as it was happening (some information was classified at the time), those volumes are still required reading for any student of that co nflict. Perhaps his greatest contribution was making his scholarly works readable co a general audience, not just academia. When a book with a title like The Maritime History of Massachusetts makes good reading for academics and the general citizenry alike, then the historian has truly done his job. Sam Morison accomplished this through solid research, personal experience with his subject, formidab le writing skills, and a sense of humor. Let his methods be a model for hiscorians coday, and let his works continue co engage anyone fortunate enough co grab his book off the shelf. Note: Just before his death in 1976, Morison finished a lively sampler of his work, Sailor Historian, which includes a splendid appreciation ofhis life by Walter Muir Whitehill. I commend it co all! Peter Stanford is President Emeritus of the National Maritime Historical Society and Sea Hiscorys Editor-at-Large.

The Works of Samuel Eliot Morison (1887-1976) • The Life and Letters ofHarrison Gray Otis, Federalist, 1765-1848 (1913) • The Oxford History ofthe United States (1927) • The Growth of the American Republic (with Henry Steele Commager) (1930) • Builders of the Bay Colony (1930) • Three Centuries ofH arvard: 1636-1936(Harvard University Press, 1936) • Admiral ofthe Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus (1942) • History of United States Naval Operations in World War II (1947- 1962) • OfPlymouth Plantation, 1620- 1647 (1952) • john Paul Jones: A Sailors Biography (1959) • The Story ofMount Desert Island ( 1960) • The Two-Ocean War (1963) • The European Discovery ofAmerica: The Northern Voyages ( 197 1) • Samuel De Champlain: Father ofNew France (1972) • The European Discovery ofAmerica: The Southern Voyages (197 4) • A Concise History ofthe American Republic (with Henry Steele Commager and William E. Leuchtenberg) (1976)

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SEA HISTORY 1I3, WINTER 2005-2006

Sea History 113 - Winter 2005-2006  

10 Dangerous Voyage, by Roger Tilton • 16A French Spoliation Case: Not-Quite Justice after Never-Was War, by Jock Yellott • 26 Samuel Elio...

Sea History 113 - Winter 2005-2006  

10 Dangerous Voyage, by Roger Tilton • 16A French Spoliation Case: Not-Quite Justice after Never-Was War, by Jock Yellott • 26 Samuel Elio...