Teacher Guide

Benito Cereno Lesson Plan

About the Author

Herman Melville was born on the first of August in 1819 in New York City, the third of eight children of Allan and Maria Gansevoort Melvill. His ancestors included several Scottish and Dutch settlers of New York, as well as a number of prominent leaders in the American Revolution. His paternal grandfather, Major Thomas Melvill, was a member of the Boston Tea Party, and his maternal grandfather, General Peter Gansevoort, was renowned for leading the defense of Ft. Stanwix against the British during the revolution.

Melville's father was involved in the felt and fur import business, yet in 1830, his business collapsed and the Melville family moved from New York City to Albany, where Allan...

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