At age fourteen, Daniel Hall longed for adventure. Growing up in New Bedford, Massachusetts in the mid-1800s, Daniel was accustomed to seeing whaling ships and hearing the sailor’s tales. He pestered his father again and again to let him sign up to be a crewman on one of vessels. He finally got his wish, and just before his fifteenth birthday, Daniel left New Bedford aboard the whaling ship Condor for a three year voyage. The True Adventure of Daniel Hall, by Diane Stanley, tells the story of the hard and dangerous journey of the Condor and its crew as it searched for whales, and of Daniel’s run-ins with the ship’s abusive captain. As the ship sailed around the tip of South America and headed north for the Arctic, Daniel plotted his escape. He finally saw his chance in Siberia, where he ran away and spent a long winter hunting for food and fighting off bears and wolves.
Daniel eventually made it home to his father, and even wrote a book about his adventures, published in 1861. In The True Adventures of Daniel Hall, you can read the short version of what happened to this remarkable and brave young man who followed his dream of going to sea.