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HINE, EPHRAIM CURTISS

HINE, EPHRAIM CURTISS (1818?–1853). Sailor and author raised in
Genoa, New York, Ephraim Curtiss Hine is best known today as the model
for the nautical poet Lemsford in Herman Melville’s* novel White-Jacket*
(1850). Melville, who was Hine’s shipmate on the frigate United States
during 1843–1844, treats the poet in the novel with a gentle irony; while
there is no other record of relationship between the two, the title of one of
Hine’s novels, Orlando Melville: or, the Victims of the Press-gang (1848) is
suggestive. Hine’s poems, mailed home during his navy service, were published in Auburn, New York, newspapers and collected in a volume, The
Haunted Barque (1848); they are travel pieces, naval sketches, romantic
tragedies, melancholy musings, and other popular types. His novels and
short stories include Roland de Vere; or, The Knight of the Black Plume
(1848), The Signal; or, the King of the Blue Isle (1848), and Wilson McFarland (1850?).
After leaving the navy, Hine joined the Revenue Cutter Service and died
in the shipwreck* of the cutter Hamilton off the coast of Charleston, South
Carolina. By odd coincidence, another revenue cutter, the Jefferson Davis,
which made a vain rescue attempt, was captained by William C. Pease, the
son-in-law of Valentine Pease, the captain under whom Melville served on
the whaleship Acushnet.