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Owen Chase (October 7, 1797 – March 7, 1869) was First Mate of the whale ship Essex, that was struck and sunk by a sperm whale on October 28, 1820. Chase wrote about the incident in Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex. This book, published in 1821, would inspire Herman Melville to write Moby-Dick. (Summary from Wikipedia)