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Andrew Sherburne began his naval career in 1779, at age 14. In his later years he went around telling his story and selling this book. A native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, he shipped in the Navy of the Revolution as a boy and saw considerable action. In 1781 he was made a prisoner and sent to Old Mill Prison where he took sick before finally being returned to America at the end of the war. The first third of the book is concerned with these affairs, which are recounted with vividness and detail.