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1819 – The great American author Herman Melville was born in New York City. He left home at age 17 and served on the whaler Acushnet, deserted in the Pacific, and lived briefly with a cannibal tribe. His works include Typee, Omoo, and Mardi, but he is most famous for his 1851 novel Moby Dick. He was a member of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City. Read more about Herman Melville.