White-Jacket, or The World in a Man-of-War (1850) is commonly known by the shortened title White-Jacket. Melville served in the American navy for ten years, 1843-1844, on the USS United States (a sailing vessel). This novel, which is highly critical of the American Navy of that era, is based on Melville's personal experiences and also stories that he heard from other sailors.

Table of Contents

Chapter I. The Jacket.

Chapter II. Homeward Bound.

Chapter III. A Glance at the Principal Divisions

Chapter IV. Jack Chase.

Chapter V. Jack Chase on a Spanish Quarter-Deck.

Chapter VI. The Quarter-Deck Officers, Warrant Officers

Chapter VII. Breakfast, Dinner, and Supper.

Chapter VIII. Selvagee Contrasted with Mad-Jack.

Chapter IX. Of the Pockets that Were in the Jacket.

Chapter X. From Pockets to Pickpockets.

Chapter XI. The Pursuit of Poetry Under Difficulties.

Chapter XII. The Good or Bad Temper of Men-of-War's Men

Chapter XIII. A Man-of-War Hermit in a Mob.

Chapter XIV. A Draught in a Man-of-War.

Chapter XV. A Salt-Junk Club in a Man-of-War, With a Notice to Quit.

Chapter XVI. General Training in a Man-of-War.

Chapter XVII. Away! Second, Third, and Fourth Cutters, Away!

Chapter XVIII. A Man-of-War Full as a Nut.

Chapter XIX. The Jacket Aloft.

Chapter XX. How They Sleep in a Man-of-War.

Chapter XXI. One Reason Why Men-of-War's Men are, Generally, Short-Lived.

Chapter XXII. Wash-Day and House-Cleaning in a Man-of-War.

Chapter XXIII. Theatricals in a Man-of-War.

Chapter XXIV. Introductory to Cape Horn.

Chapter XXV. The Dog-Days off Cape Horn.

Chapter XXVI. The Pitch of the Cape.

Chapter XXVII. Some Thoughts Growing out of Mad-Jack

Chapter XXVIII. Edging Away.

Chapter XXIX. The Night-Watches.

Chapter XXX. A Peep Through a Port-Hole

Chapter XXXI. The Gunner Under Hatches.

Chapter XXXII. A Dish of Dunderfunk.

Chapter XXXIII. A Flogging.

Chapter XXXIV. Some of the Evil Effects of Flogging.

Chapter XXXV. Flogging Not Lawful.

Chapter XXXVI. Flogging Not Necessary.

Chapter XXXVII. Some Superior Old "London-Dock"

Chapter XXXVIII. The Chaplain and Chapel in a Man-of-War.

Chapter XXXIX. The Frigate in Harbour.

Chapter XL. Some of the Ceremonies

Chapter XLI. A Man-of-War Library.

Chapter XLII. Killing Time in a Man-of-War in Harbour.

Chapter XLIII. Smuggling in a Man-of-War.

Chapter XLIV. A Knave in Office in a Man-of-War.

Chapter XLV. Publishing Poetry in a Man-of-War.

Chapter XLVI. The Commodore on the Poop

Chapter XLVII. An Auction in a Man-of-War.

Chapter XLVIII. Purser, Purser's Steward, and Postmaster in a Man-of-War.

Chapter XLIX. Rumours of a War

Chapter L. The Bay of All Beauties.

Chapter LI. One of "The People" Has an Audience

Chapter LII. Something Concerning Midshipmen.

Chapter LIII. Seafaring Persons Peculiarly Subject to Being Under the Weather.

Chapter LIV. "The People" are Given "Liberty".

Chapter LV. Midshipmen Entering the Navy Early.

Chapter LVI. A Shore Emperor on Board a Man-of-War.

Chapter LVII. The Emperor Reviews the People at Quarters.

Chapter LVIII. A Quarter-Deck Officer Before the Mast.

Chapter LIX. A Man-of-War Button Divides Two Brothers.

Chapter LX. A Man-of-War's Man Shot At.

Chapter LXI. The Surgeon of the Fleet.

Chapter LXII. A Consultation of Man-of-War Surgeons.

Chapter LXIII. The Operation.

Chapter LXIV. Man-of-War Trophies.

Chapter LXV. A Man-of-War Race.

Chapter LXVI. Fun in a Man-of-War.

Chapter LXVII. White-Jacket Arraigned at the Mast.

Chapter LXVIII. A Man-of-War Fountain, and Other Things.

Chapter LXIX. Prayers at the Guns.

Chapter LXX. Monthly Muster Round the Capstan.

Chapter LXXI. The Genealogy of the Articles of War.


Chapter LXXIII. Night and Day Gambling in a Man-of-War.

Chapter LXXIV. The Main-Top at Night.


Chapter LXXVI. The Chains.

Chapter LXXVII. The Hospital in a Man-of-War.

Chapter LXXVIII. Dismal Times in the Mess.

Chapter LXXIX. How Man-of-War's-Men Die at Sea.

Chapter LXXX. The Last Stitch.

Chapter LXXXI. How They Bury a Man-of-War's-Man at Sea.

Chapter LXXXII. What Remains of a Man-of-War's-Man After His Burial at Sea.

Chapter LXXXIII. A Man-of-War College.

Chapter LXXXIV. Man-of-War Barbers.

Chapter LXXXV. The Great Massacre of the Beards.

Chapter LXXXVI. The Rebels Brought to the Mast.

Chapter LXXXVII. Old Ushant at the Gangway.

Chapter LXXXVIII. Flogging Through the Fleet.

Chapter LXXXIX. The Social State in a Man-of-War.

Chapter XC. The Manning of Navies.

Chapter XCI. Smoking-Club in a Man-of-War

Chapter XCII. The Last of the Jacket.

Chapter XCIII. Cable and Anchor All Clear.

The End.

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