Melville enrolled at Lansingburgh Academy in 1838 and, with ambitions of helping to construct the Erie Canal, studied engineering and surveying. He graduated the next year and worked briefly as a bank clerk, then as a salesman; he was a laborer on his Uncle Thomas' farm, clerked in his brother's fur and hat store, and also taught elementary school. During this period, he dabbled in writing and contributed articles to the local newspaper. A Life at Sea In his late teens, Melville's mother's worsening financial position and his inability to find suitable work forced him to leave home. In 1839, he signed on as a cabin boy of the packet St. Lawrence. His four-month voyage to Liverpool established his kinship with the sea. It also introduced him to the shabbier side of England, as well as of humanity, for the captain cheated him of his wages. A deep reader of Shakespearean tragedies, French and American classics, and the Bible, Melville
This is the end of the preview. Sign up
access the rest of the document.
This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course ENG 1320 taught by Professor Bost during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.