"The Man Without a Country" is a short story by American writer Edward Everett Hale, first published in The Atlantic in December 1863.
It is the story of American Army lieutenant Philip Nolan, who renounces his country during a trial for treason and is consequently sentenced to spend the rest of his days at sea without so much as a word of news about the United States.
Tried as an accomplice Aaron Burr, he bitterly renounces his nation, angrily shouting, "I wish I may never hear of the United States again!"
The judge was completely shocked at this announcement, and on convicting him, icily grants him his wish: he is to spend the rest of his life aboard United States Navy warships, in exile, with no right ever again to set foot on U.S. soil.
Left unfinished at his death in 1891 and not published until 1924. It was acclaimed by British critics as a masterpiece when published in London, and quickly took its place among the canon of significant works in the United States.
The novella was adapted as a stage play in 1951 and produced on Broadway, where it won the Donaldson Awards and Outer Critics Circle Awards for best play. Benjamin Britten adapted it as an opera by the same name, first performed in December 1951.
Peter Ustinovproduced, directed and worked on the script of his film version made in black and white in 1962, based on the stage play. It starred a young Terence Stamp as Billy Budd, and Ustinov took the role of Captain Vere. The movie also stars Robert Ryan as Claggart and David McCallum as Wyatt, Gunnery Officer.
She was used to transport American troops back home from Europe and also to transport coal in New England.
After 2 years of service, the ship was retired in 1920 to a salvage yard in Virginia.
In 1926, she was purchased for use in the creation of a ferry dock (route now served by the Cape May – Lewes Ferry).
On June 8th of that year, a storm hit and the ship was torn free from her moorings and ran aground 150 feet off the coast of Sunset Beach, New Jersey. Several attempts were made to free the ship, but none were successful.
At one time there was a billboard painted on the side of the ship advertising boat insurance. At present she remains a tourist draw, but her condition is rapidly deteriorating, with only her stern above water.