Jack ChaceChace] As an ordinary seaman, HM sailed for eighteen months on the frigate United States in 1843-1844. His supervisor was John J. Chase, about 50 years old at the time and captain of the maintop, the highest and most central perch on the ship. HM had described Chase in White-Jacket as a "stickler for the Rights of Man, and the liberties of the world" (NN WJ 4:13-14), and had featured him in "Rob Roy" in John Marr and Other Sailors. HM's lifelong admiration for Chase is expressed succinctly in his dedication to Billy Budd. Because his spelling of Chase's name here varies from spellings in his other works and in the historical record, NN emends to "Chase." However, HM also spells the noun "chase" with a "c" elsewhere in manuscript. MEL retains HM's original manuscript spelling of "Chace" and "chace" throughout.
Wherever that great heart may now be
Here on earth or harbored in Paradise
Captain of the Main-Top
in the year 1843
in the U. S. Frigate