Walter Mitchell was born on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts in 1826. He graduated from Harvard University. After several years practicing law in New Bedford, Massachusetts, he was ordained a priest of the Episcopal Church. He published two novels and was a frequent contributor to the Atlantic, and other periodicals.

This work was brought to my attention by my wife, Polly, when she was researching the history the St. John's Episcopal Church, Stamford, Connecticut, where Mitchell was the fourth rector, serving from 1861 to 1866. He died in 1908 and is buried in Pougkeepsie, New York.

"Tacking Ship Offshore" was written prior to 1860, and was included in An American Anthology, 1787-1900, edited by Edmund Clarence Stedman.

The 10th and current rector of Saint John's is the builder of a Gypsy, a Six Hour Canoe, and a Folding Schooner.

Peter Vanderwaart