M 0124
 THE NAVY, 1801-1884


 Note:  Only those rolls covering periods when CONSTITUTION was in squadron service have been researched.


Roll 1 (January 3 ‑ December 22, 1801)


From Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 17 Jan 1801:


          Is in the process of getting a mill for rolling copper sheets and hopes to be able to forward a sample by "June next."  Has already delivered "near 60,000#" of spikes and bolts [for 74s to be built at Boston and Portsmouth, NH].


From Lieutenant Edward H. Jones, USS SCAMMEL, 12 Feb 1801:


          Reports Lieutenant Edward Brock suspended from duty for disobedience and expressions unbecoming an officer, and, on the advice of Commodore Talbot, is transferring Brock under arrest to CONSTITUTION pending the Commodore's "inquest."


From Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 5 Mar 1801:


          In the absence of a reply, repeats the gist of his 17 Jan letter.


From Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 21 Apr 1801:


          Requests delivery of a $10,000 loan offered him at beginning of the year to offset cost of setting up a copper rolling mill.


From Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 11 May 1801:


          Acknowledges receipt of 29 Apr letter in which SecNav says he "knows of no Law which authorizes [my] department to lend Money of the erection [sic] of Copper Works."  Revere states he was under the impression it was to be advanced from the monies appropriated for the 74s.  [Annotated: "He may have the money..."]


From Chaplain William Austin, Charlestown, MA, 17 May 1801:


          Served as chaplain in CONSTITUTION six months under Captain Nicholson and twelve under Captain Talbot.  Says charges of intemperance against Nicholson are totally without merit.


From Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 26 Oct 1801:


          Has erected a copper rolling mill and is about to send a sample to Washington for approval so he can begin production.  [One sheet shipped on sloop ABIGAIL & REBECCA 6 Nov 1801.]


Roll 2 (January 12, 1802 ‑ November 20, 1804) [sic]


From Tristram Barnard, Thomas Lamb, and Nathaniel Thayer, Boston, MA, 28 Jan 1802:


          Have inspected copper sheathing by Paul Revere and found it "of a good quality" and consider it suitable for the 74s if manufactured in 30‑ and 34‑oz. weights.


From Navy Agent Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 16 Feb 1802:


          Although he previously had reported that CONSTITUTION would be completed by 1 Apr, it now appears that it will not be before the middle of the month.


From Cook John Lewis, USS CONSTITUTION, 7 May 1802:


          Reports Captain Nicholson is willing to discharge him, but not pay him because of fouled up paperwork.  Requests relief.


From Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 24 May 1802:


          Reports he has rolled enough copper to cover the $10,000 loan.  The contract is to deliver 20,000# of cold rolled copper sheets four feet long and fourteen inches wide to weight 34 ounces per square foot.  Inexperience has resulted has resulted in some sheets only 13 1/4, 13 1/2, and 13 3/4 inches wide.  These, he feels, could be used without detriment on those parts of the ship where the sheets would have to be trimmed, anyway.  The inspectors recommended that 1/4 of the contract be in 30‑oz. copper, which he agrees to.


From Surgeon Peter St. Medard, USS CONSTITUTION, 28 Jun 1802:


          Has been apprised on CONSTITUTION's imminent placement in ordinary and, presuming he will be retained in service, proposes that he be stationed in Boston to attend to naval medical matters in the area.


From Captain Samuel Nicholson, Boston Navy Yard, 4 Jul 1802:


          Turned over command of CONSTITUTION to Sailing Master Nathaniel Haraden on 30 Jun, furloughing the Surgeon, Purser, and eight midshipmen.  The ship was moved to an anchorage within 200 yards of the navy yard shore in 5‑7 fathoms of water.  Twelve seamen for the ship "will sign ...this week."  There is enough material left from the ship's repair to build a 20‑ton "anchor boat," if authorized, at no further expense than labor.


From Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 6 Nov 1802:


          Reserved 6000 ft2 of sheet copper production for Massachusetts State House dome.  Have turned over to [Navy Storekeeper] Caleb Gibbs 84,718# of spikes and bolts for one 74.  Has completed about 40,000# of same for the second, and has about 69,000# of raw copper ore remaining with which to complete the order.


From Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 4 Apr 1803:


          Has had 20,000# of copper sheet in hand since December.  Please appoint inspectors and designate a delivery point.  Has nearly completed the bolts and spikes for the second 74; requests delivery instructions.  Still has copper left; what to do with it?


From Captain Edward Preble, USS CONSTITUTION, 29 Sep 1803:


          Reports that the reason for withdrawing Midshipman Thomas Baldwin's warrant was that he had shoplifted a sword knot from a shop at Gibraltar.  When discovered, he drew his sword on a fellow midshipman.  Furthermore, his conduct hitherto has been characterized by intoxication, vulgarity, and unofficerlike deportment.  Baldwin already has been sent home on a brig heading for Newburyport, which is near his home.


From Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 29 Oct 1803:


          Reports forwarding a sample of "soft finished" copper.  Has delivered 64,305# of spikes and bolts to Caleb Gibbs, and has 12,000# of sheets ready to deliver.  Navy Agent Brown has directed that the remainder of the raw copper held by Revere (about 33,000#) be manufactured as 30‑ and 34‑oz. sheets.  Since the contract calls for Revere to make good the wastage, he has tried, unsuccessfully to get more ore.  Suggests he make 26‑ and 28‑oz. sheets for smaller vessels.


From Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 27 Nov 1803:


          Has not received any payment on the copper contract, and is now in debt $14,000 to get necessary copper ore.  Says $15,000 is due him.  Is experiencing cash flow "distress."


From Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 10 Jan 1804:


          Now "really distressed" for money.


 Roll 3 (March 1‑26, 1805)


From Navy Agent Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 25 Jan 1805:


          Reports he has returned to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the sixteen 18‑pdr long guns borrowed in 1798 for CONSTITUTION, together with the shot for them.


From Navy Agent George Harrison, Philadelphia, PA, 18 Mar 1805:


          Has had an interview with the engraver, Reich, "certainly the first engraver in America," regarding the Preble medal.  Reich cannot design it, but if provided with art work can reproduce it on a medal.  The size of the Truxtun medal was determined by the limits of the Mint forge.  Requests the Secretary's desires.


From Navy Agent George Harrison, Philadelphia, PA, 23 Mar 1805:


          Commodore Preble has taken his profile taken by Mr. R. Peale.


Roll 4 (March 27 ‑ May 13, 1805)




Roll 5 (May 13 ‑ July 12, 1805)




Roll 6 (July 13 ‑ August 25, 1805)


From Commodore John Rodgers, USS CONSTITUTION, 18 Jun 1805:


          Peace was concluded with Tripoli on 3 June.  Bainbridge and crew returned.


From Commodore John Rodgers, USS CONSTITUTION, 20 Aug 1805:


          Lieutenant Robert Henly [sic] has permission to return home due to bad health.  An excellent and deserving officer.


Roll 7 (August 25 ‑ October 31, 1805)


From Isaiah Alden, Cohasset, MA, 7 Sep 1805:


          Two years ago, Lemuel Taylor of Yarmouth, MA, entered CONSTITUTION.  No word since.  His family wants to know if he is still alive.  [Transferred to USS PRESIDENT 3 Jul  1805.]


Roll 8 (November 1 ‑ December 31, 1805)


From William Wood, John Lyons, John Morrice [sic], and John Kelley [sic], Philadelphia, PA, 8 Nov 1805:


          Former CONSTITUTION requesting "protections" so they can go to sea.  Is there any prize money due?  [All had been transferred to PRESIDENT for return to the US 3 Jul 1805.]


Roll 9 (January 1 ‑ April 2, 1806)


From Oliver Doane, Orrington, OH, 26 Mar 1806:


          Son Thomas, born 21 Feb 1784 at Orrington, was in CONSTITUTION 2 years and 3 months, and "died on the passage home."  Please send any money due him.


Roll 10 (April 2 ‑ June 14, 1806)


From Oliver Doane, Orrington, OH, 8 May 1806:


          Acknowledges letter from SecNav, but believes he is in error and that money is due.  [Annotated: Thomas Doane died 28 Aug 1806.  Total due $10.81.]


Roll 11 (June 15 ‑ July 30, 1806)


From Naval Constructor Josiah Fox, Washington Navy Yard, to Commandant Thomas Tingey, 19 Jul 1806:


          "In compliance with your letter of yesterdays date, I have enclosed herewith the particular dimensions of the pieces composing the main masts, fore masts and Bowsprits for each of the 1st, 2d & 3d classes of Frigates; and also the dimensions of their Mizen [sic] Masts in one stick.  It may be proper for me to State that as the pieces for spindles cannot be got otherways than out of main bodies of Trees, the pith ought to be as near the center of the pieces as possible, that the cheeks, paunches & Fishes ought to have the pith taken out on their straight sides.  It is of the utmost consequence that the whole should be cut from the best thriving yellow pine, free from large and bad knots, spa, shakes, and all manner of defects, the foremast of the first class of Frigates being the size of the main masts of the second class, and the foremasts of the Second Class those of the third class, and the third those of the fourth, they are so stated accordingly."


"Table of Dimensions of parts of Masts for the first, second, and third Classes of Frigates


 "The different parts of a main mast for the 1st class of Frigates  [Dimensions follow in order: length, breadth at heel, breadth "between," breadth at head, thickness at heel, thickness "between," and thickness at head.]


Lower spindle to line straight

          29.11 x 20 1/2 x ‑ x 19 x 20 1/2 x ‑ x 7


Second piece of spindle

          77.4 x 20 x ‑ x 9 x 20 x ‑ x 14


Third piece of spindle

          48 x 16 x ‑ x 14 x 8 1/2 x ‑ x 11


After lower fish

          57.8 x 17 1/2 x ‑ x 14 x 14 x ‑ x 14


After upper fish

          50.1 x 15 1/4 x ‑ x 14 x 14 x ‑ x 14


Fore lower fish

          87.7 x 17 1/2 x ‑ x 14 x 14 x ‑ x 14


Fore upper fish

          40.1 x 15 1/4 x ‑ x 14 x 14 x ‑ x 14


Larboard Side Tice [sic]

          81.8 x 19 x ‑ x 17 x 12 x ‑ x 6


Larboard Cheek

          62.8 x 18 x 30 x 21 x 6 1/4 x 17 x 9



          54 x 12 x ‑ x 14 x 5 x ‑ x 8 1/4


the parts of a fore mast of the 1st class to answer for the main mast of the 2d class Frigates


Lower Spindle to line Straight

          27.5 x 19 1/2 x ‑ x 18 x 19 1/2 x ‑ x 6 1/2


Second piece of Spindle

          73.4 x 19 x ‑ x 13 1/2 x 19 x ‑ x 8


Third piece of Spindle

          44 x 15 1/2 x ‑ x 13 x 7 1/2 x ‑ x 10


Fore lower Fish

          80 x 16 1/2 x ‑ x 13 x 13 x ‑ x 13


Fore upper Fish

          36.4 x 13 x ‑ x 12 1/2 x 13 x ‑ x 13


After lower Fish

           70 x 16 1/2 x ‑ x 13 x 13 x ‑ x 13


After upper Fish

          46.4 x 13 x ‑ x 12 x 13 x ‑ x 13


Larboard Side Tice [sic]

          75 x 18 x ‑ x 16 x 11 x ‑ x 5


Larboard Cheek

          57.2 x 17 x 29 x 20 x 8 x 16 x 9



          48.6 x 11 x ‑ x 13 x 4 x ‑ x 7 1/2


Mizen masts for the first...class of Frigates, each Mast to be of a solid stick


    Length|94|3d quarter|22 1/4

    Diam. Pam [?]|26|Hounds|22 1/4

    1st quarter|25 1/2|Heel|22 1/4

    2d quarter|24 1/4|Head|16 1/4


Bowsprits [Figures, in order, are: length, breadth of heel, "breadth between," breadth at head, thickness at heel, "thickness between," thickness at head, and number of pieces.]


First Class


    Upper Tice [sic]

        68 x 16 1/2 x 20 x 13 1/2 x 14 x 12 1/2 x 11 1/2 x1


    Lower Tice [sic]

        68 x 16 1/2 x 20 x 13 1/2 x 16 x 19 x 13 1/2 x 1


    Upper side of Larboard fish

        68 x 8 1/2 x 11 1/2 x 7 x 25 x 29 x 21 1/2 x 2


    Upper side of upper fish

        68 x 27 x 29 1/2 x 21 1/4 x 7 ‑ x 6 x 1


From Samuel Hughes, Havre de Grace, MD, 27 Jul 1806:


    Long guns of a length less than 18 calibers "has been condemned by the officers I have heard speak on the subject."


Roll 12 (July 31 ‑ September 26, 1806)




Roll 13  (September 29 ‑ December 31, 1806)




Roll 14  (January 3 ‑ March 23, 1807)




Roll 15 (March 24 ‑ June 25, 1807)




Roll 16 (June 26 ‑ August 28, 1807)


From James Nazro, Troy, NY, 9 Jul 1807:


          Was in CONSTITUTION when she returned to Boston in Aug 1800.  When Captain Talbot said he could discharge all those officers who might wish to quit the service, "I delivered him my warrant & received his discharge."  Requests official certification that he once was a Midshipman.


From John Heap, Shippensburg, PA, 24 Jul 1807:


          His son, Surgeon S. D. Heap in CONSTITUTION, has written that the ship is not expected to return shortly.  Please forward enclosed letter to him.


Roll 17 (August 29 ‑ November 19, 1807)


From John S. Henry, New York, NY, 2 Oct 1807:


          Requests information on his midshipman son.


From Navy Agent Francis Johonnot, Boston, MA, 14 Oct 1807:


          CONSTITUTION and WASP "arrived this day."


Roll 18 (November 19 ‑ December 31, 1807)


From Lieutenant Archibald Henderson, USMC, USS CONSTITUTION, 30 Dec 1807:


          Requests authorization for double rations as Officer in Charge, CONSTITUTION's Marine Guard; so ordered by Commodore Hugh G. Campbell in an 8 Nov 1807 letter from a similar position in USS WASP.


Roll 19 (January 1 ‑ 30, 1808)


From Mary Williamson, Richmond, VA, 4 Jan 1808:


          Is my son Reuben still in CONSTITUTION?  [Annotated: discharged 4 Dec 1808; paid in full.]


 From Midshipman David Redick, New York Navy Yard, to the Hon. William Hoze, 23 Dec 1807:


          Claims to have been falsely accused of sleeping on watch in CONSTITUTION by Sailing Master Baggot [sic] and requests help in the matter.


From Navy Agent John Beekman, New York, NY, 19 Jan 1808:


          Requests $10,484.25 to pay for repairs to CONSTITUTION ($5000) and canvas.


Roll 20 (February 1 ‑ March 8, 1808)




Roll 21  (March 9 ‑ May 9, 1808)




Roll 22 (May 10 ‑ July 8, 1808)




Roll 23 (July 9 ‑ September 30, 1808)




Roll 24 (October 1 ‑ December 6, 1808)


From Giuseppe Hannini and Florant Meline, Washington, DC, 17 Oct 1808:


          Enlisted in CONSTITUTION as Marines at Leghorn, Italy.  Request back pay.


From Samuel Hughes, Mt. Pleasant, MD, 19 Nov 1808:


          About 36 short 24's are still at Cecil Iron works from the 1795 contract.  They were cast in clay and bored with machinery made by M. De Ransy [sic].  It was the first experiment in the United States of boring from solid, and payment still hasn't been received.  Captain Barry refused them "because of their being too short" and heavy.  Later guns have been cast in dried sand to better designs.  What is to be done with the short 24's?  Also about 50 long 24's belonging to the War Department from the same contract?


Roll 25 (December 6 ‑ 30, 1808)


From Henry Latrobe, Washington, DC, 7 Dec 1808:


          On the 17th, intend auctioning off slabs of marble remaining from erection of the Tripoli Monument and hope the proceeds will offset the need of any further subscription.

          Cost of erection: to Geo Blagden, mason         465.84

          to Patk Farrell, bricklayer   110.17

          The iron railing ordered from General Stricker at Baltimore, for which Henry Foxall subscribed $100, and its erection, will be a separate charge.


Roll 26 (January 2 ‑ February 4, 1809)


From Benjamin Waterhouse, Charlestown, MA, 11 Jan 1809:


          Seaman Thomas Williams, once in CONSTITUTION and later in WASP, is now in the Marine Hospital here, largely blinded by an accident.  He is a 36‑year‑old Englishman.  Can you help?


Roll 27 (February 4 ‑ 28, 1809)




Roll 28 (February 28 ‑ March 20, 1809)


From Commodore John Rodgers, USS CONSTITUTION, 27 Feb 1809:


          Says Midshipman [George] Pearce's dismissal was due to his "impetuous, unrestrained,  & misguided temper."  Would not resist his reinstatement if he can be made to understand how improper his behavior was.  [Reinstated.]


Roll 29 (March 20 ‑ May 15, 1809)


From H[enry] J. Knox, New York, NY, 23 Apr 1809:


          Certifies that Thomas D. Corby served in CONSTITUTION as a Quarter Gunner during the same time Knox was aboard as a Midshipman, 1798‑99.  [Corby seeking unpaid prize money in order to get out of debtors' prison.]


Roll 30 (May 15 ‑ July 12, 1809)




Roll 31 (July 12 ‑ September 30, 1809)


From Sally Henden, New York NY, 22 Aug 1809:


          Husband Garret has been Armorer in CONSTITUTION for 4 months.  Needs allotment.


Roll 32 (September 30 ‑ December 31, 1809)


From Robert Smith, Norfolk County, VA, 13 Apr 1808:


          Seaman William Howell was in CONSTITUTION and CONSTELLATION, and was disabled in service.  Is entitled to receive a $5/mo. pension from Virginia from 27 Sep 1805.  [Cover letter is missing.]


From Commodore John Rodgers to Lewis Fairchild, USS CONSTITUTION, 9 Oct 1809:


          Grants him a furlough to make a merchant voyage to Europe.


Roll 33 (January 1 ‑ February 15, 1810)


From Paul Revere & Son, Boston, MA, 16 Jan 1810:


          Offers copper sheets, bolt, spikes, and nails for sale.  "...the Copper which the Constitution was covered with when She was repaired in Boston, was manufactured by us, which was highly approved of, by the Officers of the Ship, when last repaired in New York..."


Roll 34 (February 15 ‑ March 26, 1810)




Roll 35 (March 26 ‑ May 10, 1810)




Roll 36 (May 10 ‑ July 10, 1810)


From Commodore John Rodgers, USS CONSTITUTION, to Naval Agent John Bullus, New York, NY, 30 Apr 1810:


          The salt pork furnished by Mr. Winship last year was as good as any we have had.  I understand the beef was, too.


From Lieutenant John Orde Creighton, New York, NY, 19 May 1810:


          I came to New York orders to join CONSTITUTION, but she had sailed prior to my arrival.  WASP is short of Lieutenants; request orders to her.


Roll 37 (July 11 ‑ August 29, 1810)




Roll 38 (August 29 ‑ November 14, 1810)


From John Moore, Philadelphia, PA< 23 Sep 1811 [sic]:


          Wishes orders as a ship's cook.  Lost a leg in CONSTITUTION under Captain Campbell.


From Surgeon's Mate Samuel Gilliland, USS CONSTITUTION, 13 Oct 1810:


          Wishes orders to USS ENTERPRIZE for his health.  Captain Hull consents.


Roll 39 (November 1 ‑ December 31, 1810)




Roll 40 (January 1 ‑ March 8, 1811)


From Captain Isaac Hull, USS CONSTITUTION, 28 Jan 1811)


          Letter of introduction for William S. Hart, who seeks Midshipman appointments for Thomas Sanford Browne and James Alexander Dallas Browne of Norwich, CT.  [Both appointed; neither served in CONSTITUTION.]


Roll 41 (March 8 ‑ May 16, 1811)


From Samuel Homes, Warwick, RI, 8 Apr 1811:


          His son, William, in CONSTITUTION, claims his term of enlistment was changed after he had signed the articles from the time commencing when he got aboard ship to commencing when the ship first got underway.  Says 30 others were similarly treated.  Wants his discharge.  Says he is 9 months over his agreed term.  [Remained on board for most of War of 1812.]


From Henry Denison, Washington, DC, 7 May 1811:


          "Under authority of your letter to Comdre Rodgers, dated 8th February 1810, I have been acting as Chaplain on board the U. S. Frigates Constitution & President; & I hope to the satisfaction of the Commodore.  From the experience I have had, I am well pleased with the service, & would wish to devote to it a portion of my life, tho' I deem myself from Education & Habit better qualified for the duties of a Purser.than those which now devolve on me.  Should a vacancy occur in the Pursers Department, may I beg you will consider me an applicant for it, & should you think so favourably of my application as to grant me a warrant,I shall ever feel myself under obligation.  In the mean time, until it may comport with your arrangements to order me to a Vessel, I shall be perfectly satisfied with my present situation."  [Denison was made Purser on 25 Apr 1812; he died 15 Mar 1822.]


Roll 42 (May 16 ‑ July 6, 1811)


From John Randall, Annapolis, MD, 24 May 1811:


          CONSTITUTION arrived at 5 AM today.


From William Burns, New York, NY, 1 Jun 1811:


          Asks again that his son, Dr. Alex H. Stevens, be allowed to travel to Europe in CONSTITUTION.  (First letter on 16 May.)  [Not granted.]


From Midshipman Adam S. E. Duncan, USS CONSTITUTION, 5 Jun 1811:


          Resigns to attend to father's estate in Pennsylvania.


Roll 43 (July 7, 1811 ‑ September 10, 1811 [sic])


From S. Smith, Baltimore, MD, 6 Jul 1811:


          Requests discharge of Private Fredk Lubston in CONSTITUTION due to mother's extreme poverty.  [Granted.]


From Daniel Holland, USS CONSTITUTION, 16 Jul 1811:


          Requests discharge to care for parents and wife.  [Not granted.]


From Midshipman Thomas Barlow, Cherbourg, France, 10 Sep 1811:


          Resigns.  [Furloughed 9 Sep from CONSTITUTION.]


Roll 44 (September 1 [sic] ‑ October 31, 1811)


From Edward Iggulden, Deal, England, 16 Sep 1811:


          CONSTITUTION arrived here this morning on passage to Texel.


Roll 45 (October 31 ‑ December 31, 1811)


From Joel Barlow, Paris, France, 16 Dec 1811:


          "It would give me pain to see the frigate Constitution depart without addressing you a letter to express at once my gratitude to you for the kindness with which you ordered every accommodation for myself & family, my testimony of the good conduct of the captain & other officers of the frigate.

          "The talents of Captain Hull, as well for discipline as for every other duty of command, are only equaled by his zeal for the public service.  It is impossible for me to express in too strong a manner my respect for the merits of that officer.

          "The naval abilities & amiable qualities of Mr. Morris must likewise place him in a distinguished rank among his bretheren [sic] of the navy.  Indeed all the other lieutenants of this frigate Mr. Page, Mr. Reed & Mr. Wadsworth, are men of true talents & indefatigable industry in their profession & seem to me already capable of commanding fleets.

          "The form, as well as the equipment of this frigate, has been much admired in the several ports of Europe where she has been.  The emperor gave orders to his builders at Cherbourg to ask permission to take her Dimensions, which I believe has been granted by Captn Hull.--

          "Mrs. Barlow joins me in kind & respectful remembrance to you & Mrs. Hamilton."


Roll 46 (January 1 ‑ February 21, 1812)




Roll 47 (February 22 ‑ April 15, 1812)




Roll 48 (April 15 ‑ May 21, 1812)




Roll 49 (May 21 ‑ July 2, 1812)




Roll 50 (July 2 ‑ August 8, 1812)  [Note: title page erroneously labeled "Roll 51, August 9 ‑ October 29, 1812".]


From Charles L. Davis, New York, NY, 20 Jul 1812:


          "Very great anxiety has been and still is entertained for the Safety of the frigate Constitution.‑‑"  "The Complaints against Commodore Rodgers [for leaving New York unprotected] are universal."


From W. Wilson & Son, Baltimore, MD, 30 Jul 1812:


          Our ship DIANA, just arrived from Lisbon, was boarded on the 19th at 3 PM by an officer of CONSTITUTION, Lat. 34, Long. 70, who told our captain that they had been chased for 36 hours by 7 frigates, only 1 of which appeared to gain.  Captain Hull avoided action with her so as not to fall victim to the group.  The chase had been given over just 3 hours earlier.


Roll 51 (August 9 ‑ October 29, 1812)  [Note: title page erroneously labeled "Roll 52, October 29 ‑ December 31, 1812"]


From Jeremiah White, USS CONSTITUTION, 19 Sep 1812:


          Captain Hull's Clerk, he seeks a new billet as Captain Hull will not have a personal clerk at the Navy Yard and Captain Bainbridge has someone else to go with him in the ship.


From Benjamin Polland, Boston, MA, 29 Sep 1812:


          Recommends Sailing Master John Aylwin's promotion to Lieutenant.


From Chaplain John Cook, Boston, MA, 9 Oct 1812:


          Wishes orders out of CONSTITUTION because he will be required to swing a hammock in the wardroom and not have a stateroom.  Requests CHESAPEAKE.


From Chaplain John Cook, Boston, MA, 10 Oct 1812:


          Has learned he would have to swing a hammock in CHESAPEAKE, as well.  Requests duty at the New York Navy Yard.


Roll 52 (October 29 ‑ December 31, 1812)


From Stephen Singleton, Philadelphia, PA, to "Commodore" Isaac Hull, New York, 9 Nov 1812:


          Inquires as to the fate of 20 bales of cloth he had shipped from Cadiz in the brig Hiram, which vessel was taken by HMS Guerriere on 13 Aug 1812 and the cloth reportedly transferred to the frigate.


From G. Grainger, Washington, DC, 16 Nov 1812:


          Forwards a recommendation for John C. Aylwin's promotion.  The enclosed letter, from John's brother, William C. Aylwin, notes that John accepted the Navy position because he saw little prospect for employment in the merchant service at the time, and presumed that he could "retire" if and when prospects improved.


From Acting Sailing Master Arthur Atcheson, New York, 28 Nov 1812:


          Reports that he was a volunteer Master's Mate on board Constitution in the Guerriere fight and is now, by Commodore Hull's appointment, Acting Sailing Master commanding Gun Boat No. 118 at New York.  Requests his acting appointment be made permanent.  [Not done.]


Roll 53 (January 1 ‑ February 25, 1813)


From Samuel Hughes. Cecil Iron Works, 8 Feb 1813:


          :…and those [guns] on board the Constitution in the late action were made at the Cecil Works.  The last were made from a draft drawn by Commodore Rodgers and sent round to New York.  The 24 pdrs. Weigh 50 cwt…"


Roll 54 (February 25 ‑ April 7, 1813)


From Jeremiah W. White, Baltimore, MD, 12 Mar 1813:


          Was Captain Hull's Clerk during the battle with GUERRIERE.  Requests information on reported prize money.  Has certificate of service signed by Purser Thomas J. Chew.


 From [?], 7 Mar 1812 [sic]:


          John Sleight is now in CONSTITUTION.  Impressed in the Royal Navy, he had finally secured his release as a bonafide American citizen in England and had shipped in the frigate to get home.  Had been told he would be discharged "on the return of the Vessel from France."  [Remainder of letter not photographed.]


Roll 55 (April 8 ‑ June 3, 1813)


From Joseph Cross, Charleston, SC, 4 May 1813:


          Forwards a trunk containing a service of plate for Captain Hull honoring his victory over GUERRIERE.


From G. Gibbon, Richmond, VA, 31 May 1813:


          Requests orders for his son, Midshipman Thomas Gibbon, to CONSTITUTION.


Roll 56 (June 3 ‑ July 16, 1813)




Roll 57 (July 17 ‑ August 31, 1813)


From Midshipman Frederick Baury, Boston, MA, to Commodore William Bainbridge, Boston Navy Yard, 12 Aug 1813:


          Requests orders to a sloop then building at Boston as a Lieutenant.


From Commodore William Bainbridge, Boston Navy Yard, 12 Aug 1813:


          Forwards the above letter recommending approval and also recommending Midshipman [Henry] Gilliam.


From William Grinell, Philadelphia, PA, 16 Aug 1813:


          Is ordinary Seaman John Crocker still in CONSTITUTION?  He shipped in her in May or June 1812.


Roll 58 (August 31 ‑ October 26, 1813)


From Thomas Hanahan, Charleston, SC, 21 Sep 1813:


          Was brother William Chapman Hanahan killed in the battle with GUERRIERE?  [No.]


From John Muskett, Baltimore, MD, 26 Oct 1813:


          Forwards power of attorney to collect prize money due  John Reeney [sic], late seaman in CONSTITUTION in both GUERRIERE and JAVA battles, who left the frigate in April.  Midshipman Belcher attests to Reeney's veracity.


Roll 59 (October 27 ‑ December 31, 1813)




Roll 60 (January 1 ‑ February 12, 1814)




Roll 61 (February 12 ‑ March 23, 1814)


From Joshua Humphreys, Port Reading Farm, to the Hon. Adam Seybert, Congress, 10 Feb 1814:


          "The increase of our Navy appears to be the wish of all parties in the US, if that is the case, & the government should coincide with it, will it not be prudent to enquire where the materials are to be had to build them with.  Copper & sail duck are the only articles we shall be at a loss for.  I believe there is not more suitable copper for large Ships in this country than what was provided for the 74s formerly contemplated to be built.  On those subjects I beg leave to enclose you an extract of a letter from me to the Secretary of the Navy dated 21 Jany 1802, which may lead to an enquiry on that head.

          "'Permit me to mention to you some Ideas which have occurred & which appears [sic] to me very necessary and indispensable in every country compelled to have a Navy.  The utility of copper bolting & sheathing Ships of war is so well known that nothing on that subject need be said.  Under this impression, arrives the absolute neccessaty [sic] of having these Articles of our own produce & manufacture, & I trust it will be found expedient.  The best copper bolts & sheathing that this country has been supplied with is from England, & we have always been dependant [sic] on that Nation for it; we have seen the exportation of it prohibited by that Government; and it is known that an application for Copper by the Portuguese government was refused within the course of the last three years, altho the two powers were in the strictest Friendship & Alliance with each other; From which it appears this country can never expect a permanent supply from the only Nation who can furnish us with the best articles; will it not be wise to put ourselves beyond the dependance [sic] we have experienced when it is in our power, & if to encourage so necessary a thing a small sum should be expended by the Public will not the country be fully compensated by the large sums of money retained in it, which otherwise would be exported annually for these Article [sic].  At the time the British prohibited the exportation of it, much was smuggled to this Country this shews [sic] the difficulties that have been encountered to obtain it; indeed almost every day for some time past, has produced some circumstances to induce me to believe it is both necessary & I hope it will be expedient to adopt some measures for encouraging the working of our copper mines & the establishing a copper manufactory, [and?] which will grow many branches usefull [sic] & beneficial to this Country.

          "'The ore of the copper mine near Baltimore which formerly belonged to Doctr. Stevens or Stevenson, is of an excellent quality & will provide thirty six pounds of fine copper to the hundredweight of ore, this is the result of two experiments made by Mr. Richardson at the mint [ ? ]  O also obtained two bbl. of the same ore from one of the proprietors & sent them on to Mr. Paul Revere of Boston, who has reduced to fine copper & rolled them into sheets, one of which he informed me he had sent to the Navy Office, & one I received from him, which [ ? ] shews the thing can be done here; his furnace being large for the quantity he had to smelt, that no fair experiment could be made as to the proportionable produce.  Mr. Revere also possesses the art of melting old copper & to make it retain its maleability, this art from all the enquiry I have made is not known to any other person in this country, nor is it known to but one house in England,* however valuable this discovery may be, it can only  furnish temporary relief.

          "'The manufacturing of copper in this country is certainly of importance & I am confident we should feel an advantage in it; But the working of our copper mines & smelting the ore is a primary object.  Manufactures are of little consequence without a supply of materials, therefore materials ought to be the first Object.

          "'The difficulty of procuring copper for the 74 Gun ships induced Mr. Stoddert to set me about enquiring for a suitable person that would undertake the smelting business, & to erect some small works to make experiments, but not meeting with a suitable person nothing was done.

          "'There is a great sufficiency of Copper in this Country & now several mines open, One in Maryland, one in Pennsylvania & one in New Jersey, the latter is worked by Mr. Rosevelt [sic].  I am informed the ore is very rich & good, yet he has never (without it is lately) been able to make one pound of malleable copper, for want of a proper person who understands the smelting business.

          "'You will see by the return a quantity of base copper left from the Frigate Philadelphia which was obtained from him, but by no means fit for the purpose it was purchased.  Whenever the mines are worked there the ore should be smelted to save the cartage of the dross ‑‑

          "'Mr G. Wescot [sic] one of the proprietors of the Maryland mine, informed me some time ago that he would engage to supply a certain quantity of Ore annually at a given rate; he also informed me he had shipped sword panels of his Ore to England to advantage, so that it appears the only obstacle to the want of a proper person as a smelter ‑‑

          "'From the produce of the Ore sent Mr. Revere I should conclude he professes the Art of smelting Ore, if he would not understand it, perhaps one of his Sons would, if neither I have no doubt but a suitable person could be obtained in England ‑

          "'If a War should take place (which God forbid) between this country and England, we should then sensibly feel the want of that article, if no provision was made previous to such an event, we shall then be seriously convined [sic] of the imperious necessity of immediately encouraging such works ‑‑ The smelting & refining & manufacturing of Copper for Naval purposes does not require so much labour as finer manufactures do, of course more likely to succeed in this country, especially as the labour is performed either by water or Steam, all which to hold out great security to the US for any encouragement [ ? ] may give for this purpose ‑

          "'The manufacturing of Sail duck is also a matter of importance; this Article from the best information I could obtain can be manufactured to advantage in the state of Kentucky, price there is very low, of course labour & all articles of produce must be [ ? ] hemp is growed [sic] there to great advantage, no doubt the members of Congress from that state can give the best information on the subject;  I have seen some sail duck made there, sufficient for [ ? ] kind of ships;  I am informed the house that was building the [ ? ] to carry on that branch of business, was blown down before it was finished & and never since attempted ‑‑

          "'The establishment of such a manufactory in that part of the US, will have many good effects; It will more diffuse the public expenditures through the US; it will give to them the profits we give to foreigners, besides making us independant [sic] in that Article; it will tend to bind and attach the most distant & unconnected states to each other, It will create a very natural & just dependance [sic] of one State to another, it will stronger & stronger [sic] from interested motive, bind the Union, all which appears to me a great national object worthy of cultivation ‑

          "'I am sensible men often decive [sic] themselves as to what they conceive to be important matter, but when their opinions are examined by men of talent, they are often found of little [obliterated] however I have ventured to make communication under full confidence of your receiving it with every indulgence, and if the Ideas have been anticipated as of little worth, I still hope you will consider my attempt was well ment [sic].'"


"* Since writing the above I was informed by the British Admiral Coffin, that in all the King's yards, they now have furnaces erected where they throw all the cuttings of copper & run it in a fine malleable state, before which the cutings [sic] were sold for half price.


"Mr. Wescot since dead ‑"


Roll 62 (March 23 ‑ May 2, 1814)


From Captain Charles Stewart, USS CONSTITUTION, 5 Apr 1814:


          Recommends lieutenancies for Midshipman Tayloe and Winter.


From J. W. Norris, Philadelphia, PA, 15 Apr 1814:


          Requests discharge of William Summerl [sic] due to death of father and his inheritance of "a handsome fortune."  He has been in CONSTITUTION since Jun 1813.  [Annotated: may be discharged when able‑bodied substitute is provided.]


Roll 63 (May 4 ‑ June 18, 1814)


From George Long, Portsmouth, [?], 30 May 1814:


          Requests permission for ailing Midshipman John C. Long, now in CONSTITUTION, to remain ashore. [Annotated: grant furlough to report to Department when fit for duty.]


From Doyle Sweeny, Philadelphia, PA, 1 Jun 1814:


          Requests information on small sum granted to John Kemp and other seamen in Tripoli war.


Roll 64 (June 18 ‑ August 6, 1814)




Roll 65 (August 6 ‑ September 29, 1814)




Roll 66 (September 29 ‑ November 17, 1814)




Roll 67 (November 17 ‑ December 31, 1814)




Roll 68 (January 1 ‑ 31, 1815)


From the Board of Naval Commissioners, 25 Jany 1816:

                                                             "[Exhibit] B

                               "Estimate of the annual expense of a 44.   Jan 1816


                                                       Pay & Subsistence

          Pay pr. month  Rations

1 captain




6 lieutenants




1 surgeon




1 chaplain




1 purser




2 surgeons mates




1 master




1 boatswain




1 gunner




1 carpenter




1 sailmaker




2 masters mates




20 midshipmen




1 captains clerk




2 boatswains mates




1 gunners mate




1 carpenters mate




1 sailmakers mate




1 armourer




1 cooper




1 steward




1 master at arms




1 coxswain




1 boatswains yeoman




1 gunners yeoman




1 carpenters yeoman




10 quarter gunners




8 quarter masters




1 ship's corporal




1 cook




150 able seamen




170 ordinary seamen & boys





29=10,585 rations @ 25cts=2646.25

Pay & subsistence of the Navy=64974.25


1 first lieut. of Marines




1second lieutenant




3 sergeants




2 corporals




2 music




48 privates





450|3 = 1095 rations @ 25 cts=273.75

Pay & subsistence of Marines=5073.75

Pay & subsistence of navy officers seamen=$70,048




410 barrels of beef 



351 barrels of  pork



118 barrels of flour



11700 lbs of suet



9000 lbs of cheese



143550 lbs of  bread



2985 lbs of butter



374 bushels of peas



23400 lbs of rice



1462.5 gallons of melasses [sic]



1462.5 gallons of vinegar



10237.5 gallons of spirit







Clothing for Marines


3 sergeants suits @ $26


52 corporals, musicians & privates Do @ 24


5 pair shoulder knots @ 1.50


55 caps, plumes, bands & eagles @ 2.


55 stocks @ .20


55 blankets @ 5.


220 pair of shoes @ 1.37 1/2


6 watch coats @15.



Dollars 2122


Military Stores for Marines

55 knapsacks



55 brushes & prickers



Military stores   Dollars 68.75


Recapitulation & General Estimate


Pay & subsistence of the Navy


Pay & subsistence of Marines




Clothing of Marines


Military Stores


Hospital Stores & Medicines


Contingencies ‑ wear & tare [sic] &c.


Whole ann Expense of a 44      

Dollars 134,210.83


Roll 69 (February 1 ‑ March 10. 1815)




Roll 70 (March 1 ‑ April 11, 1815)


From Senator John Taylor, Washington, DC, 29 Mar 1815:


          Urges promotion of Lieutenant John T. Shubrick in view of his sterling war service, writing, "When Morris under Hull displayed his greatest skill, Shubrick ably executed plans, being occupied Eleven Hours in an open Boat heaving Kedge anchors performing every thing that was then making [?] the Safety of the Ship Constitution…"  [At the time of this writing, Shubrick was serving in USS Epervier, which disappeared without a trace just four months later.]


Roll 71 (April 11 ‑ May 7, 1815)


From J. W. McCauley, New York, NY, 14 Apr 1815:


          Announces he is CONSTITUTION's prize agent for ex‑HMS CYANE and offers the ship for sale to the Navy.


Roll 72 (May 8 ‑ June 28, 1815)


From Jonah Dunn, May 1815:


          Edward Storer of Biddeford entered the USN in 1812 and was in CONSTITUTION for JAVA fight.  Later transferred to Lake Ontario and, perhaps, Erie.  Where is he now?  [Assigned as Fireman, #11 Gun, in that battle.]


From William Goods, Philadelphia, PA, 30 May 1815:


          Requests money due him for service as Carpenter's Mate in CONSTITUTION "6 or 7 Years ago."  [Annotated: "23 April 1808.  184.46.  Bullus paid."]


From Benjamin Austin, Sr., Boston, MA, 9 Jun 1815:


          Requests furlough for son Surgeon's Mate Benjamin Austin, Jr., of CONSTITUTION, who made her last three cruises.


From John Binns, Philadelphia, PA, 5 Jun 1815:


          Midshipman J. H. Dobbins in PROMETHEUS wishes orders to CONSTITUTION. 

[Annotated: order him to UNITED STATES.]


From J. W. McCauley, New York, NY, 19 Jun 1815:


          Protests at length the niggardly proposal that the Navy would purchase CYANE for $40,000 if the captors would agree to turn over a portion of the proceeds to the Pension Fund, an act that would leave but $18,000 to be shared by them.  Asks that the Secretary reconsider.


Roll 73 (June 28 ‑ September 25, 1815)


From SecNav to Commodore William Bainbridge, USS INDEPENDENCE, 5 Jul 1815:]


          "From the contents of your letter to the Navy Board & their report to me, in consequence of said letter, a Copy of which is enclosed, I am led to believe the U.S. Ship Independence is not fit for a Seventy four…[if] you cannot render her sea worthy & efficient as a 74, she must be returned to the Navy Yard in Charlestown & be dismantled &c in order to be razeed, as the only alternative we have left, in which case, the men Stores & provisions, as far as they may be required, are to be applied to the Frigates Constitution & United States, which Ships must be immediately equipped for sea, & if you are to command either of them, leaving to you the preferred, and proceed to take command of the Squadron in the Mediterranean, now commanded by Como S Decatur…"




From Commodore William Bainbridge, USS INDEPENDENCE, to Commodore John Rodgers, Washington, DC, 29 Jun 1815:


          "…To increase her stability, I deemed it proper to remove from her the heavy 32 pounders from the lower deck, & place the medium 32 pounders from the main deck on it, & to mount the Constitutions 24 pounders on the main deck…"


From Benjamin Austin, Sr., Boston, MA, 23 Aug 1815:


          Requests orders for his son.


From N. D. Nicholson, New York, NY, 26 Aug 1815:


          Seeks lieutenancy for Acting Lieutenant William L. Gordon, who was in CONSTITUTION for GUERRIERE and JAVA fights.


From Commandant Isaac Hull, Boston Navy Yard, 8 Sep 1815:


          Furloughed this day from CONSTITUTION Midshipmen Steel [sic] and Stewart, whose conduct has been such that their "dismissal would be no loss to the service."


From Midshipman Archibald M. Stewart, 21 Sep 1815:


          Have secured a 2nd mate's berth on a voyage to Liverpool.  Will report on my return if you approve.


From Midshipman William Steele, Boston, MA, 25 Sep 1815:


          I expect to report for duty on 1 May 1816.  Until then, I will be at Pendleton, SC.


Roll 74 (September 25 ‑ December 30, 1815)


From J. W. McCauley, Philadelphia, PA, 28 Nov 1815:


          Reports that although he had accepted the $40,000 figure for the purchase of CYANE "Before I left New York," the money still has not been received.  He notes that court charges in the case amount to $1300.90.


Roll 75, Vol 1 (January 1 ‑ February 7, 1816)


From Midshipman Edmond B. Russell, USS CONSTITUTION, 29 Jan 1816:


          Has been in CONSTITUTION 18 months.  Requests orders to WASHINGTON, where a number of other CONSTITUTION officers have gone.  [Annotated: ship full.]


Vol 2 (February 7 ‑ March 23, 1816)


From J. W. McCauley, Philadelphia, PA, 26 Feb 1816:


          Reports that the New York Navy Agent finally has agreed to pay over  $40,000 for CYANE.  Also reports he is holding $1704.48, representing half of the sale proceeds pf goods from LORD NELSON and asks what to do with it.  {Annotated: deposit with the Treasury.]


From Aaron H. Palmer, New York, NY, 8 Mar 1816:


          Requests pension for Benjamin Norcross who was a Sergeant, USMC, and WIA in CONSTITUTION.


Vol 3 (March 23 ‑ May 4. 1816)


From Hon. William H. Roane, Washington, DC, 9 apr 1816:


          What happened to John Hurt, said to have been in CONSTITUTION under Hull?  [Annotated: no John Hurt, but there was a John Hart, who was transferred to HORNET at sea 12 Dec 1812 and died on board 24 Feb 1813.]


From Captain John Crabb, USMC, HQMC, 10 Apr 1816:


          Sergeant Benjamin Norcross was discharged on 11 Jul 1815.  His pay was #11/mo.


From Board of Naval Commissioners, Washington, DC, 17 Apr 1816:


          Lieutenant Nathaniel Haraden thought to be "suitable for his present station and employment but not fit for a higher rank."


Roll 76, Vol 4 (May 6 ‑ July 23, 1816)


From Board of Naval Commissioners, 9 May 1816:


          Sailing Master Marmaduke Dove is deficient, dilatory, and negligent.  Discharge recommended.


Vol 5 (July 24 ‑ September 23, 1816)


From James Edwards, Columbia, SC, 23 Sep 1816:


          My Son, Thomas Edwards, entered CONSTITUTION in Aug 1813, shortly after returning in a cartel from Barbados, where he had been a POW for 9 months following capture of the SAUCY JACK of Charleston, SC.  I have not heard from him since.  [Annotated: his son died at Naval Hospital, Charlestown, MA, Nov 1813.]


Roll 77, Vol 6 (September 23 ‑ November 20, 1816)


From Commodore William Bainbridge, Boston, MA, 19 Oct 1816:


          Having appointed Midshipman William Taylor an Acting Lieutenant in INDEPENDENCE, recommends him for promotion.  Taylor was in actions against GUERRIERE, JAVA, CYANE, and LEVANT.


Vol 7 (November 20 ‑ December 31, 1816)


From Acting Lieutenant John C. Long, USS BOXER, 7 Dec 1816:


          Was in CONSTITUTION with Bainbridge and Stewart.  Furloughed sick 14 Jun 1814.


Roll 78, Vol 82 (Vol. 1: Jan. 1 ‑ Feb. 8, 1817)


From the Board of Naval Commissioners, 3 Jan 1817:


         "...the commissioners have...their doubts as to the capacity of the Independence to bear the weight of metal required for her by Commre. Bainbridge & if this doubt is founded on the opinion formerly entertained & expressed by the commodore previous to his departure in that ship for the Mediterranean ‑‑ our opinion, which gave the preference to lighter metal, & caused to be landed heavy guns in exchange for the guns of the Constitution of 24 pound caliber..."


From Bainbridge to the Board, enclosed with foregoing, dated "Oct. 1816):"


          "...In the action with the Java two of the Carronades on board the Constitution, even in the early part of the action were struck with violence by the enemy's round shot, so much so, as to make a considerable indentation in the guns, yet these Carronades continued the remainder of the action in a very serviceable fire on the Enemy, and are to this day safe pieces of ordnance.‑‑"


From Bainbridge, 8 Feb 1817:


        "The bearer Midshipman Eskridge has been in actual Service ever since the date of his Warrant January 1812; he was on board the Frigate Constitution in her three Actions with the British Ships Guerriere, Java, Levant & Cyanne [sic].  He has been under my immediate command in the Constitution & Independence, during which time his conduct was such as to meet with my approbation.  And I think him well qualified for promotion."


Vol 2 (Feb. 8 ‑ Mar. 21, 1817)


From Surgeon John A. Kearney, 13 Feb 1817:


        Was Eskridge's shipmate in CONSTITUTION.


From Charles H. Pond, Milford, CT, 17 Feb 1817:


        "James Durand, a native of this town & a neighbor of mine requests me to forward you the following statement of his case ‑‑

        "He says that in the spring of 1804 he entered the Navy of the United States for two years, at twelve dollars a month, under Lieut. Cox who was recruiting men at Baltimore for the John Adams: he joined the Ship at New York, after cruising some time in the Mediterranean, the Ship touched at Tunis, where he was drafted into the Constitution Com. Rodgers.  the C. proceeded to Gibraltar where Com. Rodgers left her & Capt Campbell took the command, that he remained on board till she arrived at Boston in the fall of 1807: that while he was on shore with a friend the ship sailed for New York, to join her he took passage in a Brig he supposed for New York, but she proceeded to France, on the voyage the vessel was captured & he pressed into the British service where he was detained 7 years.

        "Durand asks why he cannot now recover his pay, as he has never received any.  As he has no discharge, he has wished me to give you the forgoing [sic] detail that you may see at one view the combination of unfortunate circumstances which not only prevented him from obtaining one, but also prevented his earlier application for his wages.  He hopes for your favorable answer."


Roll 79, Vol 84 (March 21 ‑ May 9, 1817)




Vol 85 (May 9 ‑ July 11, 1817)


From Mr. Wm Callander, Boston, MA, to President James Monroe, 7 Jun 1817:


        "The subscriber takes this method respectfully to Inform you that he has a Communication to make to you respecting an Experiment that he has been trying to Accomplish times upwards of Four Years at the Navy Yard Charlestown, I have made Considerable in the Buisness [sic] with the Assistance of Commodore Bainbridge, commodore Hull and Capt Stewart when he was in Boston and Commanded the Frigate constitution.

        "Sir the Intent of the above Experiment is to make the navy of the United States formanable [sic] or Strong.

        "Sir I waited on General Swift on Saturday last and requested that I might be permitted to see your Excellency but he Informed me that I could not be admitted to see the president of the United states.

        "Sir shall it ever be said on the departure of your Excellency from Boston that a Citizen of that town and a Soldier of the revolutionary War and who has been Employed upwards of four Years nearly at his own Expence [sic] to bring forward Something for the Good of his Country and has been noticed and Encouraged by such men as a Bainbridge a Hull and a Stewart that shall not be permitted to speak to the Father of his Country and give  him information on the same Subject,  sir on Receepit [sic] of this Letter I hope your Excellency will be of a Different mind from General Swift and that I shall be permitted to see the President of the U. states when ever he Can make it Convenient Either by day or by night before he Leaves Boston.

        "I am Sir Respectfully your Excellencies [sic]

        Humble Sert,  Wm Callander    No 62

        Middle Street, Boston,"


From Henry Clark, Kennebunk, ME, 7 Jun 1817:


        "John Murphy of this place entered the service of the United States as a seaman in 1809...& in 1812 was on board the Constitution ‑‑ since which time his father, Michael Murphy, has no account whatever of him..."


From Mary Myers, Baltimore, MD, 30 Jun 1817:


        "My Husband Frederick Myers a German about Six years ago entered on board of the Constition [sic] as a Marine.  he then was about Forty two years Old  I once heard that he dead [sic] and never have received any letter from him makes me conclude he is dead‑‑ he left me with four small Children‑‑ you would much oblige a Poor distressed Woman by examining the returns from the officers of the Constition [sic] if any such Person was killed or died on board by such a Name‑‑ if so when, and how he Came by his Death and if so if any thing be due him and what, as I might obtain it

        by so doing you will much

        oblige Me

        Mary Myers

        living in the City of

        Baltimore direct to ‑‑

        & to the care of Robert

        Gorsuch No 8 North

        Frederick Street"

        [Annotated "Died 6 Decr 1814.  No pay appears due."]


Roll 80, Vol 86 (July 11 ‑ September 15, 1817)


"Greensburghs Westmoreland Cony. Pennsylvania Septr. 10th. 1817, Honourable Crowninshield, Esqr.


        "Sir having Seen published in the National Intelligencer Some time Since, the death of a Brother of mine William Horrell who was killed On Board the Constitution Frigate, Captn. Stewart (Commander) on the 20th Febry. 1815 at the Capture of 2 British Ships of War. The Levant Captn. Douglass [sic], carrying 21 Guns and the Cyane 34 Guns Captn. Gordon [sic], I take the liberty of Enquiring at you whither [sic] there was any arrearages of Pay due my Brother at his death.  The Amount of the Same, and the manner by which it Can be Received by any of his Brothers or his Father who is yet living,  my Brother was a native of this State, his relatives all live in this State &c ‑‑ will you be so kind as to answer. This as soon as possible that I may have some time to prepare any proofs that may be necessary in Recovering the pay &c ‑‑ So I can send the same to your office, by the Representative in Congress from this District.‑‑

        "I am with Esteem your Humble Servt.

                 John Horrell


{Annotated: "A Marine ‑‑ due him per Paymaster's statement $40 61/100."]


Vol 87 (September 15 ‑ November 27, 1817)


From Daniel Hogan, New York, NY, n. d. [1817]:


        "I am the Daniel Hogan Who belonged to the united States Ship Constitution when She captured the Java & I got wounded in the action I Recved [sic] a pension Certificate therefrom payible [sic] at Boston whish [sic] I have Since left I Will thank you to Send me directed to the Care of John Hannan 333 Water Strett [sic] New York another Certificate or a coppy [sic] of my old one so that I Can receive my monney [sic] wich [sic] I want as I am just arrived here.

                Your honor

                obedient Servant


                Daniel + Hogan



I Cannot write my name because I had my fingers Shot off In the Action"


Vol 88 (November 27‑December 31, 1817)


From James L. Sawyer, Burlington, VT, 10 Dec 1817:


        "...My brother Horace B. Sawyer...on the day of the declaration of war, and at the age of seventeen, obtained a Midshipman's Warrant...and was ordered on board the vessels on this Lake, where he continued until the engagement between the Eagle & Growler with the Gun boats & military forces of the Enemy [1813]. which terminated in the capture of our vessels‑‑  Their officers and crews were held in captivity at Quebec & Halifax nearly one year, three months...  Upon his exchange [May 1814] he was ordered to duty at the Navy Yard, Charlestown, Ms where he remained until the Constitution, to which vessel he had been attached [Dec 1814] sailed on her last cruise.  He participated in the Engagement between that vessell [sic] and the Cyane & Levant, which eventuated in the capture of the latter.  Upon the return of the Constitution soon after the peace, he obtained a furlough for a year and shipped himself before the mast..."

        Horace B. Sawyer is the son of Colonel James Sawyer of the Revolution.


From Sylvester Stacy, Mansfield, CT, 11 Dec 1817:


        Shipped in CONSTITUTION under Stewart and made 1814 "short" cruise; in Boston drafted into CONGRESS.


From Joseph G. Smith, Washington, DC, 12 Dec 1817:


        "...In the Spring of 1814 I was appointed a Midshipman...and ordered to join the...Constitution then lying in...New York, and on my arrival there the Constitution had proceeded to sea.  Placed in this disagreeable situation...my friend (Mr. John Murray) prevailed on me to tender my resignation...which I...did..."


From Collins Darling, Pawtucket, RI, 17 Dec 1817:


        "I am requested by a poor woman, to write to you respecting Gilbert Jay, a boy, who belonged to the Navy for sometime during the war, and was on board the Constitution.  She informs me that her son has received no pay for his Services; If so, and if there is anything now due to him, it will be essentially beneficial to this mother."

        [Annotated: "...cannot find...on any of the Constitution's Rolls..."]


Roll 81, Vol 89 (January 1‑February 6, 1818)


From Hon. Ezekiel Whitman, H. of R., Washington, DC, 6 Feb 1818:


         "I have be requested to inquire whether there are any sums due to Asa Farr one of the Crew of the Constitution who was discharged from her July 30, 1815 for prize money due on account of the capture by that vessel of the Lord Nelson, Susanna, Cyane & Levant or either of them.  I would beg you to favor me with such information as the Navy Department can afford relative thereto."


Vol 90 (February 6‑March 26, 1818)


From Lewis Lacy, Washington, DC, 7 Feb 1818:


        "...Midn Allen Griffen...served in the Constitution Captain Hull at the Capture of the Guerriere with Captain Warrington in the Peacock..."


 From Brevet Major Archibald Henderson, Portsmouth, NH, 12 Mar 1818:


        "...To allowance of double rations while on board the Frigate Constitution, from 1st Septr. 1813 to 1st June 1815 = 668 days @ 3 rations pr day, 2004 rations @ 20/100 = $400..."


Vol 91 (March 26 ‑ May 28, 1818):


From House of Representatives, 4 Apr 1818:


        "That the Secretary for the Department of the Navy, be instructed to report to this House, during the first week of the next Session of Congress, a particular statement of the expenditure of the appropriations made by an act rewarding the Officers and Crew of the Frigate Constitution...passed march [sic] 3rd 1813...designating the names of the prize agents appointed under the...[Act], and the payments by them respectively made, specifying the time when, and persons to whom the same have been made, and the balance, if any, remaining in their hands, unexpended."


Roll 82, Vol 92 (June 1 ‑ July 31, 1818)


From Seth Hunt, New York, NY, 16 Jun 1818:


        "Asa Fisher was a Marine on Board the Constitution Capt Prebble [sic] and in the Frigate President for three years during the War with Tripoli viz. from May 1803 to May 1807 [sic] ‑ he was regularly discharged by Lt. Col. Wharton at Washington...  Asa Fisher states that he was entitled to a share in the prize money due the Crew of the Constitution on account of the prizes taken from the Tripolitans as also to Grog money for 11 money and seventeen days as will appear by reference to the Books in the Navy Department & to the accounts of the Purser Mr Morris.."

        {Annotated: "No information in the 4th Auditor's office..."]


From BNC, 24 Jun 1818:


        If you intend to employ the Constitution this summer, she will require considerable repairs, particularly in her upper works and possibly her gun deck, as well as much caulking.


From Robert Gardner, Portland, ME, 6 Jul 1818:


        "James Gardner of Harpswell...Maine belonged to the U. S. Frigate Constitution when she took the British frigates Guerriere and Java, and was after the arrival the  Constitution transferred to some of the ships of war on the Lakes; and was some time with Commodore Chauncey, afterwards with Commodore Perry on Lake Erie..."  Was he killed in the Battle of Lake Erie?  I am his brother.


Roll 83, Vol 93 (August 1 ‑ September 15, 1818)


From Henry Strong, Norwich, CT, 29 Aug 1818:


        Forwards an affidavit of Mrs. Nancy Brice, widow of the deceased Robert, "late a sailor" in CONSTITUTION, in order to have her pension continued.


Vol 94 (September 16 ‑ November 12, 1818)


From Paul Hamilton, Washington, DC, 10 Jun 1818 (an encl):


        "...There shall be three distinct orders of broad Pendants.  The broad pendent [sic] of the first order shall be blue with white stars.  That of the second order shall be red with white stars.  That of the third order shall be white with blue stars."


From Charles W. Goldsborough, Washington, DC, 7 Oct 1818:


        Forwards pay roll showing prize money paid to CONSTITUTION crew for GUERRIERE and JAVA.  Most paid in 1813.  Currently about $3116 remains to be paid.  (Roll not included.)


Vol 95 (November 12 ‑ December 31. 1818)




Roll 84, Vol 96 [incorrectly numbered 95] (January 1 ‑ February 22, 1919)




Vol 97 [incorrectly numbered 96] (February 23 ‑ April 5, 1819)




Vol 98 [incorrectly numbered 97] (April 6 ‑ June 8, 1819)




Roll 85, Vol 99 (June 9 ‑ July 31, 1819)


From W, J, Duane, Philadelphia, PA, 11 Jun 1819:


        "...John Harkins was a seaman on board the Constitution, when Guerriere was taken, and was also on board the General Pike upon the Lakes [dying during the winter of 1814‑1815]..."


Vol 5 [sic] (August 1 ‑ November 1, 1819)


From Nathaniel Cushing, Boston, MA, 19 Oct 1819:


        "Memo of Anchors made by Nathl Cushing for the Navy of  the U. S."1798 Jany.‑‑         Made an Anchor for the Constitution Frige. [sic] wg 6,116 lbs ‑‑ Comme [sic] Nickerson [sic] immediately ordered N. Cushing to go on & make more to replace &      reject [sic] the other Anchors the Constitution has, which Mr. Cushing has not made.  But the Navy Agt. stated she must go to sea too soon."


Vol 6 [sic] (November 1 ‑ December 21, 1819)




Roll 86, Vol 102 [sic] (January 2 ‑ February 17, 1820)


        An estimate for CONSTITUTION's crew in ordinary among mid‑January letters.


From BNC, 3 Feb 1820:


        In proofing cannon, the French fire a gun twice, each time with 2 shot and a powder charge equal to one‑half the shot size.

        The English use 2 shot and 18 lbs. of powder for a 24‑pdr, and 2 shot and 21.5 lbs. powder for a 32‑pounder.

        Americans use 2 shot and 16 lbs. of powder for a 24‑pdr, and 2 shot and 21.33 lbs. of powder for a 32‑pdr.

        Windage in French guns is 1/50th; in English guns, 1/20th; in American, 1/25th, making French proof equal to English, but American "rather inferior to either."


Vol 103 [sic] (February 18 ‑ April 1, 1820)




Roll 87, Vol 104 (April 1 ‑ May 15, 1820)




Vol 105 (May 16 ‑ June 30, 1820)


From Henry Clark, Kennebunkport, ME, 6 Jun 1820:


        "Joseph Brown & Andrew B. Huff of this port were on board the Frigate Constitution the cruise she Captured the  Cyane & Levant ‑‑ Huff in Decr. 1815 empowerd [sic] me to receive his proportion of prize money 2 1/2 shares then accruing to him, which I received at Philadelphia ‑‑ in 1816.  April 26 Chapter 79 An Act passed authorizing a distribution of 25,000 Dollars to the Officers & crew of the Constitution for the Capture of the Levant.‑‑  Huffs proportion of this never has been received as he has been absent.  Brown went to sea in 1815 leaving his ticket with his wife & has never returnd [sic] & is supposed long since to have been dead‑‑

        "Will you be pleased to direct me regarding the proper course to be taken to receive the balance due Huff‑‑ & the amount due Brown, of whom death not any reasonable doubt remains‑‑ & the law of this State will authorize Letters of administration to be now taken out on his estate."

        [Annotated: "both on Rolls of the Constitution"]


Vol 106 (July 1 ‑ August 31, 1820)


From William Hopkins, Brooklyn, NY, 19 Aug 1820:


        "...I was Two year [sic] With Commidore [sic] Talbot in the French Disturbence [sic] in the Constitucion [sic]...I am 55..."


From John Gaillard, New York, NY, 19 Aug 1820:


        "My relative Acting Midshipman Samuel Gaillard is desirous of being employed in some active service & expresses a wish to be attached to the Constitution as she is reported to be preparing for sea.  As he is now 19 years of age..."


Roll 88, Vol 6 [sic] (September 1 ‑ November 11, 1820)


From Captain John Rodgers, BNC, to SecNav, 27 Sep 1820:


        Will CONSTITUTION be required for service "in any short time?"


From Robert C. Vose, Augusta, Maine, 7 Oct 1820:


        Requests any wages due Samuel Larrabee, once a seaman in CONSTITUTION.  [Larrabee was a deserter.]


Vol 7 (November 13 ‑ December 31, 1820)


From Thomas S. Lockwood, Neversink Falls, CT, 29 Dec 1820:


        States his son, Samuel, a midshipman, was born on 24 Jan 1803 at Norwalk, CT.


Roll 89, Vol 109 [sic] (January 1 ‑ February 16, 1821)


 From Lewis R. Morris, Springfield, ?, to the Honorable Mark Richards, 15 Jan 1821:


        Desires his midshipman son, Richard H., be ordered to CONSTITUTION or ALLIGATOR, both of which are said set to sail in the spring.  [Ordered to CONSTITUTION.]


From Captain John Rodgers, BNC, 12 Feb 1821:


        Reports that Sailing Master Doxey's device for propelling ships in calm waters is worthy of an experiment and recommends CONSTITUTION as the test ship.


Vol 2 [sic] (February 17 ‑ April 30, 1821)


From The Honorable P. Beecher, Washington, DC, 20 Feb 1821:


        Requests orders to the Washington Navy Yard for Midshipman Augustus Barnhouse until he can be ordered to sea.


From The Honorable N. Van Dyke, Washington, DC, 27 Feb 1821:


        Requests orders to CONSTITUTION for Midshipman John Dickinson Bird [sic: Byrd].


From The Honorable N. Van Dyke, Washington, DC, 3 Mar 1821:


        Again request orders for Midshipman John D. Byrd from the New Orleans Station to active service.  [Done.]


From Governor J. Franklin, Raleigh, NC, 4 Apr 1821:


        States that his State has commissioned a statue of George Washington from the Marquis Canova of Italy, and requests that, when done, it be brought to the US in a public vessel.  [CONSTITUTION eventually did it.]


From Captain Isaac Hull, Boston Navy Yard, 19 April 1821:


        Attests to the good conduct of Acting Midshipman [Samuel] Gaillard of CONSTITUTION, who was in charge of the heaving down party prior to the arrival of more senior ship's officers.  Recommends him for a warrant before the ship sails.


Roll 90, Vol 3 (May 2 ‑ June 30, 1821)




Vol 4 (July 2 ‑ August 22, 1821)


From Thomas Robinson, Chester, PA, 23 Jul 1821:


        Certifies that John Lovell was a quarter gunner in CONSTITUTION in 1804 when Robinson was First Lieutenant.


From Abraham Shoemaker, Philadelphia, PA, 6 Aug 1821:


        Certifies that William Lovell was mistakenly enlisted as John Lovell when recruited for CONSTITUTION.


From Navy Agent Henry & McCall, Gibraltar, 18 Aug 1821:


        Commodore Jones in CONSTITUTION, with ONTARIO in company, arrived on the 16th.  Will begin loading stores for five months tomorrow.


Roll 91, Vol 5 (August 23 ‑ October 12, 1821)


From Navy Agent Henry & McCall, Gibraltar, 23 Aug 1821:


        CONSTITUTION still in port, but Commodore Jones expects to sail on the 25th for Port Mahon to take on the bread and whiskey stored there.


Vol 6 (October 16 ‑ November 30, 1821)




 Vol 7 (December 1 ‑ 31, 1821)




Roll 92, Vol 1 [sic] (January 1 ‑ February 14, 1822)


From Navy Agent George Harrison, Philadelphia, PA, 21 Jan 1822:


        Forwards a statement on the number of medals ordered, forwarded, and remaining to be completed, and reports that a new press is about to go on line and do the copper medals.  To date, the gold medals for Hull, Bainbridge, and Stewart, together with 50 silver facsimiles of each, have been received.  None of the 150 copper facsimiles of each have been received.


Vol 2 (February 14 ‑ April 3, 1822)


From Lieutenant John A. Belsches, Norfolk, VA, 22 Feb 1822:


        Forwards attestations of his character including aN 1813 resolution of the Virginia legislature awarding him, and then‑Midshipman William Taylor, their thanks and a ceremonial sword in recognition of their participation in the victories over HMS GUERRIERE and HMS JAVA.


Roll 93, Vol 3 (April 4 ‑ May 26, 1822)


From John Williams, Pembrokeshire, England, 16 Apr 1822:


        Received a letter from the Chaplain of CONSTITUTION, Addison Searle, reporting the death of his son, William Williams, of consumption on 27 Feb 1822, and his burial in the Protestant Burying Ground at Port Mahon, Minorca.  The son used the alias "Cornelius Osborne."  Inquiring as to any monies due him.


From Captain Jacob Jones to Acting Midshipman Edward Lewis, 17 Apr 1822:


        Approves of his conduct.  [Warranted a Midshipman, 19 Dec 1822.]


Vol 4 (May 27 ‑Jul 24, 1822)


From George Harrison, Philadelphia, PA, 30 May 1822:


        Reports thirty silver copies of the Jacob Jones medal will be delivered to SecNav in June.


Vol 5 (Jul 25 ‑ Sept 19, 1822)


From Midshipman Samuel F. Dupont, Wilmington, DE, 2 Sep 1822:


        Reports his arrival in the US from CONSTITUTION, ready for examination.


Roll 94, Vol 6 (September 21 ‑ December 3, 1822)




Vol 7 (December 3 ‑ 31, 1822)


From Master Commandant Wolcott Chauncey, USS ONTARIO, to Captain Isaac Hull, Boston Navy Yard, 17 Dec 1822:


        CONSTITUTION put carpenters A. Blakesley and David Lloyd aboard the brig SULTANA, then in distress, at sea.  Her men were to be landed to await the frigate' arrival, but the brig was denied pratique.  I provided food for them and told them to report to you when the brig arrived at Boston.  Their clothes and accounts will be forwarded soonest.  [The men arrived safely some time before 20 Feb 1823, and were placed on the rolls of the Yard awaiting SecNav's further orders.]


Roll 95, Vol 123 (January 1 ‑ February 11, 1823)


From Constant Freeman, 4th Auditor, 4 Jan 1823:


        William Mahy was Acting Gunner in CONSTITUTION from 3 August to 17 October 1803, when he was disrated to Quarter Gunner and discharged as unfit for service.


 Vol 124 (February 11 ‑ April 2, 1823)




Roll 96, Vol 125 (April 2 ‑ May 23, 1823)


From Paymaster's Office, HQMC, 24 Apr 1823:


        Private Samuel Yorkes was in CONSTITUTION [late in last war].


From Navy Agent Richard McCall, Gibraltar, 28 Apr 1823:


        CONSTITUTION with Commodore Jones arrived 21 Apr in company with ONTARIO.


From Navy Agent Richard McCall, Gibraltar, 9 May 1823:


        CONSTITUTION sailed yesterday intending to return in 10 days.


Vol 4 [sic] (May 24 ‑ August 2, 1823)


From Charles W. Goldsborough, 2 Aug 1823:


        "I beg leave to submit to your consideration the enclosed account which appears to me to be made out upon correct principles.

        "As agent of the crew of the frigate Constitution, acting under a power of attorney, signed by all the officers & the greater portion of the crew, & considered by the navy Department as sufficient.  I received the 100,000 dollars appropriated by law of 3 Mar 1813, to be distributed as prize money among the captors of the British frigates, the Guerriere & the Java.

        "Having, in this character, received this money, I considered myself, in law & in justice, accountable only to the captors for its distribution; & I may add, without fear of contradiction from any quarter, that the trust has been faithfully discharged ‑‑ & that no instance can be cited in which, under similar circumstances, more payments have been actually made, or more exertions used to make them ‑  If the slightest murmur has ever escaped any one of the individuals concerned, it has never reached me.

        "In the first instance, soon after the passage of the law, I produced to the Secretary of the Navy a power of attorney signed by commre. Bainbridge & capt Hull, the commanding officers ‑‑ the Secretary decided that such a power was not sufficient to justify him in paying the money to me  I then procured another power, signed by all the officers, & all the crew then in Boston & produced that power to the Secretary, who pronounced it sufficient, & paid me the money accordingly.

        "I am now, at this late date, given to understand that I am considered in the light of an agent of the Government, & accountable to it for the disbursement of the money paid to me;‑ & that the power of attorney under which I have acted is considered good only with reference to those who actually signed it‑ & after a lapse of more than 10 years I am called on to make good the alleged deficiencies of an instrument pronounced to be good & sufficient, & acted upon as such when it was originally produced ‑

        "I may ask, with perfect confidence, where is the evidence of my acting on this occasion as disbursing agent of the Government ‑‑ where is my appointment? ‑‑ where the form is prescribed ‑‑ where the instructions given to me ‑‑ where the compensation agreed on? ‑‑ none are to be found, because none was given ‑ & none, I presume, thought necessary at the time I received the money ‑

        "I make this point, which I know I am submitting to an enlightened jurist ‑  It is not competent for any branch of the Government, nor is it competent for the whole Government, in the exercise of all it's powers, to impose any responsibilities in addition to those existing at the time I received the money ‑‑  Retrospective laws, being in their nature tyrannical, & expressly forbid by that instrument, in which all the powers of Government originate ‑‑ retrospective decisions, reversing those previously made & acted upon by both parties, are as repugnant to the genius & spirit of the Constitution, as retrospective laws ‑‑  Admit for a moment, that the power of attorney produced by me was not, in Law, fully sufficient, to justify the payment to me of the whole sum, & that the decision as to its sufficiency was wrong ‑‑ then I would ask, is the weight of this error to fall upon my shoulders ‑  Am I to be sufferer, because of an error in judgment in one of the representatives of the Government?  Can I, upon any principle of common justice, be called on to remedy defects, which but for that error of judgment, might have been supplied at the time, but which at this late day are utterly without remedy?

        "If I am correct in the view I have taken ‑ & have formed a just conception of the relations & rights of an agent & attorney ‑:  If I be under no one's apprehension as to the constitutional principle involved in this case ‑ then Sir, I presume it will be conceded that the enclosed amount is correctly drawn out ‑ & in that case I shall hope that it will be approved by you ‑

        "Knowing, as I do, that I am addressing an able expounder of the Constitution, whose experience in the Law & in the administration of justice, will supply every defect in the views submitted ‑ & persuaded, as I am, of your disposition to render justice, I commit this case to your decision, with all the confidence inspired by these sentiments ‑ & beg to assure you that I am, with great respect


                            "Yr mo obdnt

                            "Ch W Goldsborough

                            "Wash.  2 Aug 1823


"P.S.  I would respectfully refer to the communication, which I made to the Secretary of the Navy ‑ on the 7 Oct. 1818 in which I stated my view of the relation in which I stood to the Department, & to the crew‑  The sum in my hands yet to be paid over is small ‑ but for it I am answerable to those to whom it belongs ‑ any one or all of whom might appoint another agent to receive of me & I failed to pay, might recover of me at Law‑  I hold myself precisely thus situated, accountable in Law & justice to them, but to them only."




"The United States ‑ in a/ with Ch W Goldsborough attorney of the Officers & crews of the frigate the Constitution in the capture & destruction of the British frigates, the Guerriere & the Java



March - To amount appropriated ‑ to be distributed among the Officers & crews ‑ in reward for the capture



                    Supra            Cr.



March -- By Warrant on the Treasury -- $100,000"





Received March 20th 1813, a Warrant No. 3355 drawn by the Secretary of the Navy on the Treasurer of the Navy, in my favour, for One hundred thousand dollars, with which I am to be charged, and held accountable at the Office of the Accountant of the Navy ‑‑

                                    Ch. W. Goldsborough"


Roll 97, Vol 5 (August 5 ‑ October 15, 1823)     


From Navy Agent Richard McCall, Gibraltar, 13 Aug 1823:


        CONSTITUTION arrived on 10th with ONTARIO.


From Navy Agent Richard McCall, Gibraltar, 23 Aug 1823:


        CONSTITUTION still in port, hoping to get news of relief.


 From Edward B. Littlefield, Columbia, TN, 3 Oct 1823:


        Midshipman Grey Skipworth is his stepson.


Vol 6 (October 18 ‑ December 1, 1823)


From Navy Agent Richard McCall, Gibraltar, 3 Nov 1823:


        CONSTITUTION went to Cadiz yesterday; expected back in 8‑10 days.


From Navy Agent Richard McCall, Gibraltar, 26 Nov 1823:


        CONSTITUTION still here awaiting relief.


Vol 7 (December 1 ‑ 31, 1823)




Roll 98, Vol 1 [sic] (January 1 ‑ February 7, 1824)


From John Heap, Newville, PA, 16 Jan 1824:


        Is CONSTITUTION due home soon? I am in poor health and hope to see my son, Dr. Samuel Heap.


Vol 2 (February 9 ‑ March 23, 1824)


From Navy Agent Richard McCall, Gibraltar, 17 Feb 1824:


        CONSTITUTION still in bay awaiting CYANE.


From Constant Freeman, Fourth Auditor's Office, 21 Feb 1824 (enclosures):


"Statement exhibiting the annual amount of money expended in conformity with the provisions of an Act entitled "An Act for the gradual increase of the Navy of the United States" approved 29th April 1816, and of the Act to amend said Act, approved 3rd March 1821, prepared in pursuance of a Resolution of the House of Representatives of the United States passed the 17th February 1823.




"from 29th April        to 30th September 1816


  "    1st October 1816 to 30th     "     1817


  "    1st    "    1817 to 30th     "     1818


  "    1st    "    1818 to 30th     "    1819


  "    1st    "    1819 to 30th     "    1820


  "    1st    "    1820 to 30th     "     1821


  "    1st    "    1821 to 30th     "     1822


  "    1st    "    1822 to 30th     "     1823


 "    1st    "    1823 to 17th February  1824






 "Abstract exhibiting the disbursements incident to the Navy establishment from 24th September 1798 to 31st December 1823 inclusive





181[Appropriation] for the captures of Guerriere and Java $100,000.

1816  ditto do. of the Levant 25,000.00

1818  appropriation for Swords & Medals 4000.00

1819  swords & medals 7000.00

1820  Swords & medals 2000.00

Swords & Medals 5,595.88..."


From John Bailey, Washington, DC, 25 Feb 1824:


        Midshipman John Marston was in CONSTITUTION in 1821 and until the fall of 1822, when he returned to US for promotion examination, which he passed.


From James Lloyd, US Senate, 1 Mar 1824:


        Forwards a petition from Thomas Johnson, in behalf of himself, the officers and crew of CONSTITUTION, asking compensation for the capture by that ship of 1 Tunisian and 2 Neapolitan vessels attempting to run the blockade of Tripoli in 1805.  He asks for facts and documents relating to the incident so a decision can be made by the Senate Committee on Naval Affairs.


Roll 99, Vol 3 (March 23 ‑ May 12, 1824)


From Joseph Dalton, Boston, MA, 25 Mar 1824:


        Inquires, as administrator, if there are any monies due the now deceased Boatswain Watson, once of CONSTITUTION.  [Two Boatswain Watsons, James and Thomas, served in CONSTITUTION prior to this time.]


Vol 4 (May 13 ‑ July 10, 1824)


From Francis ______, New York, NY, 19 May 1824:


        Writing for James Williams, formerly of CONSTITUTION under Captain Stewart, with regard to prize money, of which he has received only $28 to date.  (Was transferred to CONGRESS when CONSTITUTION returned to the US.)


From Edward F. Tattnall, House of Representatives, 24 May 1824:


        Refers to his brother Lieutenant Tattnall, who wished orders to CONSTITUTION "just arrived at New York."  [Granted.]


From A. Partridge, Norwich, VT, 30 May 1824:


        Midshipman [Samuel] Lockwood would like orders to CONSTITUTION.  [Aboard in 1828.]


From Charles Hay, Chief Clerk, Navy Department, 4 Jun 1824:


        Letters from New York report the death of Captain Samuel Evans, Commandant of the Navy Yard there, on 2 June.  He was "ascending the side of the frigate Constitution, when he ruptured a blood vessel, and died about twenty minutes afterwards."  [At about 1220.]


From John Heap, Newville, PA, 12 Jun 1824:


        Still hasn't heard from his doctor son Samuel in CONSTITUTION.  Did he not return with the ship?  If not, when can he be expected?  [Dr. Heap was made consul pro tem at Tunis in October 1823.]


From Alex Burton, New York, NY, 12 Jun 1824:


        Requests passage to Gibraltar in CONSTITUTION "on her approaching voyage."  He is to be US Consul at Cadiz.


Vol 5 (July 14 ‑ September 17, 1824)


From C. Coxe, Sidney, (?), 24 Jul 1824:


         The President has authorized passage for me and my family in CONSTITUTION.  [Annotated: no answer, but let "Capt McD" know he will have passengers.]


From Henry Wagner, New York, NY, 24 Jul 1824:


        Returned from Gibraltar in CONSTITUTION.  Requests 7 months back pay: $84 [seaman's pay].  [Annotated: William Wagner on CONSTITUTION's books as a supernumerary for provisions only.  Refused to sign shipping articles.  On board 27 Oct 1823 ‑ 31 May 1824.]


From William Nordberg, 30 Jul 1824:


        Midshipman Joseph Arnold requests transfer from SPARK to either NORTH CAROLINA or CONSTITUTION.  [Got CONSTITUTION.]


 From Henry Wagner, New York, NY, 15 Aug 1824:


        Again asks for pay.  [A native New Yorker, he says.]


Roll 100, Vol 6 (September 18 ‑ November 23, 1824)


From Richard Dennis, Philadelphia, PA, 27 Sep 1824:


        Requests orders to NORTH CAROLINA or CONSTITUTION for his ward and nephew, Midshipman Joseph Arnold, formerly stationed in SHARK in the West Indies.  [Granted in CONSTITUTION.]


From Francis Alexander, Providence, RI, 9 Oct 1824:


        An artist requesting passage to Europe.  [Annotated: "...there are already as many persons on board as she can with propriety carry."]


From Constantine Smyth, New York, NY, 9 Oct 1824:


        Requests passage in CONSTITUTION.  [Annotated: "I have had so many appls. for passage in that ship that I have been obligd. to decline granting any other than those on public service of some kind."]


From J. Swift, New York, NY, 14 Oct 1824:


        Requests passage in CONSTITUTION for Robert W. Wier, an artist.  [Denied.]


From Commodore John Rodgers, BNC, 20 Nov 1824:


        Enclosure B: The 1825 routine maintenance allowance for CONSTITUTION: $15,000.


Vol 7 (November 23 ‑ December 31, 1824)


From Oliver Holden, Charlestown, MA, 30 Nov 1824:


        Walter Kary of CONSTITUTION was left sick ashore at Mahon over a year ago.  He died there.  Are there any monies due his estate?


From John Heap, Newville, PA, 1 Dec 1824:


        When will Dr. Samuel Heap [once surgeon in CONSTITUTION and later consul pro tem at Tunis] return from the Mediterranean?


From James O. Brodhead, Clermont, NY, 7 Dec 1824:


        Notes that SecNav had been looking for a Chaplain to succeed "Mr. McCarty," now in CONSTITUTION.  Mrs. McCarty's health requires his presence at home.  [Returned to US in Jul 1825.]


Roll 101, Vol 1 [sic] (January 1 ‑ February 7, 1825)


From Commodore William Bainbridge, BNC, 11 Jan 1825:


        "...salt has been used for the preservation of the Ships of the United States since the year 1802...

        "The usual mode of applying it is to fill the space between the timbers from the floor heads to the rail..."


From Commodore William Bainbridge, BNC, 18 Jan 1825:


            Annual expenses of a 44‑gun frigate are:

            Pay & subsistence|$53,772





Vol 2 (February 8 ‑ March 21, 1825)


From John Heap, Newville, PA, 19 Feb 1825:


        Is Dr. [Samuel] Heap likely to remain at Tunis as Consul?


From J. B. Mower, New York, NY, 13 Mar 1825:


        Requests orders to CONSTITUTION for his Midshipman son; friends with Lieutenant [Elie] Vallette and Purser [John B.] Timberlake.  [Granted.]


Roll 102, Vol 3 (March 22 ‑ May 10, 1825)


From J. B. Mower, New York, NY, 8 Apr 1825:


        Requests his son be ordered to NORTH CAROLINA rather than CONSTITUTION.  [Granted.  Ordered to report to Commodore Rodgers for assignment; sent to CONSTITUTION.]


From James O. Brodhead, Clermont, NY, 8 Apr 1825:


        Will Chaplain McCarty be relieved soon?


From Midshipman James B. Glentworth, Messina, Sicily, 15 Feb 1825:


        Commodore MacDonough has censured me and given me permission to return home, but I don't know what I did to deserve it.  I don't want to and will remain here until I hear from you.  [Annotated: censured for duelling.]


From Commodore Thomas MacDonough, USS CONSTITUTION, to  Midshipman James B. Glentworth, USS CONSTITUTION, 14 Jan 1825 (enclosure to Midshipman Glentworth's letter, above):


        The "transaction" to which you were a party this morning was "at variance with good order & discipline."  Your services are no longer wanted; you may go home.


From Lieutenant S. W. Downing, USS CONSTITUTION to Dr. J. F. Glentworth, 15 Feb 1825:


        Your son was unavoidably involved in an "occurrence" where he had no alternative but to defend his honor.  Commodore MacDonough gave several persons permission to return home as a result.  I think the Commodore was unnecessarily harsh and have advised your son to report to

the Secretary of the Navy.  I was not a party to the occurrence.


From Dr. J. F. Glentworth, Trenton, NJ, 18 Apr 1825:


        Permit my son to remain on duty, he did nothing intentionally wrong.


From Samuel W. Wetheret, Shrewsbury, MD, [?] May 1825:


        My late brother‑in‑law Dr. Donaldson Yates was in CONSTITUTION during her battles with GUERRIERE and JAVA.  He died 29 Oct 1815, before the authorized medals were distributed.  My son John Donaldson Wetheret is Dr. Yates' closest surviving male relative.  Please have the medals delivered via "my friend" Captain Shubrick.


Vol 4 (May 11 ‑ July 8, 1825)




Roll 103, Vol 141 [sic] (July 9 ‑ August 31, 1825)




Vol 6 [sic] (September 1 ‑October 31, 1825)


From Gregory White, Boston, MA, 22 Sep 1825:


        Reports the death of William Mires[sic], former seaman in CONSTITUTION under Hull.  Are any monies due him?  {Annotated: Name not on ship's rolls.]


Vol 7 (November 1 ‑ December 31, 1825)


From Chaplain John McCarty, Clermont, NY, 1 Dec 1825:


        The news that I might have to return to CONSTITUTION was unexpected "and most unpleasant intelligence."  Would prefer to resign.


From Nathaniel Cushing, Hanson, MA, 8 Dec 1825:


        Made anchors for CONSTITUTION when she was built.


From James Ward, Hartford, CT, 13 Dec 1825:


        His son James H.Ward an Acting Midshipman in CONSTITUTION.  Believes he is due his warrant.


From Senator Henry Clay, 24 Dec 1825:


        Dr. Samuel Heap sent in his resignation on 21 Dec in order to be able to take up diplomatic status.  [Annotated: accepted.]


Roll 104, Vol 1 [sic] (January 1 ‑ 24, 1826)


From R. Edwards, Detroit, MI, 16 Jan 1826:


        Forwards letter to his son in CONSTITUTION. [Midshipman Alexander H. Edwards.]


From Surgeon Samuel Jackson, USS CONSTITUTION, to Captain's Clerk Francis l. McCall, USS ERIE, 2 Nov 1825:


        Advises him to go home for his health.


From O. C. Merrill, Bennington, VT, 23 Jan 1826:


        Inquiring after one Sidney Pitt, said to have enlisted as a Marine in CONSTITUTION in 1811 or 1812, and present in the JAVA fight. [No record.]


Vol 2 (January 24 ‑ February 17, 1826)




Roll 105, Vol 3 (February 17 ‑ March 28, 1826)




Vol 4 (March 28 ‑ May 1, 1826)


From M. I. Ingersoll, House of Representatives, 20 Apr 1826:


        His brother, Jonathan, has been an Acting Midshipman in CONSTITUTION and in the Mediterranean for 2 years.  Hasn't yet received his warrant.  [Annotated: get a report on him from CO.]


Roll 106, Vol 5 (May 1 ‑ June 6, 1826)


From Edward F. Tattnall, House of Representatives, 1 May 1826:


        Brother Josiah joined CONSTITUTION "about 22 months" ago, but "has recently returned to the U.S." because of his health."


Vol 6 (June 6 ‑ July 31, 1826)




Roll 107, Vol 151 [sic] (August 1 ‑ October 4, 1826)


From Board of Naval Commissioners, Washington, DC, 5 Aug 1826:


        Proposes adding a band consisting of 1 master of band (a petty officer) at $18/month, 6 musicians at seaman's pay and 5 at ordinary seaman's pay on each 1st class frigate.  [Annotated: approved.  Also provided for bands on liners and 2nd class frigates.  Promulgated by circular letter on 10 Aug.]


From Quartermaster's Office, HQMC, to 4th Auditor, Treasury, 9 Aug 1826:


        Return not yet received from CONSTITUTION's Purser, so cannot inform you of any balance due James W. Swords.


From Thomas Walkins, Philadelphia, PA, 9 Sep 1826:


        Served in CONSTITUTION under Captain Stewart as seaman in victories over CYANE and LEVANT.  Lost his prize ticket; requests replacement.  [Annotated: #186 on CONSTITUTION's roll.]


Vol 152 (October 5 ‑ November 14, 1826)




Vol 9 [sic] (November 14 ‑ December 20, 1826)




Roll 108, Vol 153 [sic] (January 1 ‑ 27, 1827)


From John Thomson, Boston, MA, 3 Jan 1827:


        John Richards, also known as John Sullivan, was a seaman killed in CONSTITUTION.  His half brother, James Sullivan, wonders if any wage are due him.  [Annotated: monies due him were paid to his estate administrator on 22 Dec 1826.]


From Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson, HQMC, 17 Jan 1827:


        Marines assigned to CONSTITUTION as of 31 Aug 1826: 1 1st LT, 3 SGTs, 3 CPLs, 2 Musics, and 42 PVTs (2 under strength).


From James Beahan, Dublin, Ireland, 14 Dec 1825 (enclosure to 4th Auditor letter of 17 Jan 1827):


        Understands James Swords died in CONSTITUTION prior to 15 Oct 1825.  Death certificate signed by Foxhall A. Parker, Addison Searles, and 1stLt Richard T. Auchmuty, USMC.  [Annotated: Swords died 7 Sep 1825 with $33.24 due him.]


Vol 2 [sic] (January 28 ‑ March 16, 1827)


From William Clarke, St. Louis, MO, 8 Mar 1827:


        Wishes enclosed letter forwarded to his stepson Midshipman William Radford in CONSTITUTION.


From L.[?] E. Swartz, Detroit, MI, 9 Mar 1827:


        Wishes enclosed letter forwarded to his son in CONSTITUTION.


Roll 109, Vol 3 (March 17 ‑ May 17, 1827)


From John Thomson, Boston, MA, 30 Apr 1837:


        Where will CONSTITUTION arrive when she returns to the US?  [A boarding house operator.  Annotated: "Probably at N. York."]


Vol 4 (May 18 ‑ July 13, 1827)




Roll 110, Vol 157 [sic] (July 14 ‑ August 31, 1827)


From Timothy Y. Veron, Philadelphia, PA, 23 Aug 1827:


        Was Thomas Rogers in CONSTITUTION as a carpenter?  He has fallen heir to an estate in France, and we are looking for him.  [Annotated: not found.  Saml R. Rogers was her Carpenter 2 Jul 1809 ‑ 1 Jan 1812, and Geo J. Whittemore 24 Jun 1813 ‑ 24 Jun 1815.  No others listed.]


Vol 158 (September 1 ‑ October 31, 1827):


From Charles Russell, Washington, DC, 17 Sep 1827:


        Was in CONSTITUTION for all her actions.  Injured himself in service, but hid it at the time and so it was not noted on his discharge.  Now has wife and two children to support, and cannot do hard work.  Requests help.  [Annotated: "...do not perceive anything which can be done."]


From Reverend John Waters, Sr., New Hartford, NY, 6 Sep 1827 [sic]:


        My son John, Jr., now aged 20 years and 2 months, is supposed to be in CONSTITUTION as a Private.  I allowed him to enlist at New York with the understanding that he was to be on garrison duty at the Navy Yard, but he managed to talk his way aboard CYANE, later transferred to NORTH CAROLINA, and then to CONSTITUTION.  Please return him to New York and garrison duty.


Roll 111, Vol 159 (November 1 ‑ December 31, 1827)


From Ann Williams, Liverpool, England, 8 Nov 1827:


        Mother of Seaman John Williams #1 who entered CONSTITUTION 10 Aug 1824 wants to know if he is alive.  [Annotated: still aboard as of 31 Mar 1827.]


Vol 1 [sic] (January 1 ‑ February 28, 1827 [sic])


From Peleg Sprague, House of Representatives, 26 Feb 1827:


        What is due Seaman Temple Morrill in CONSTITUTION in 1817 and not since heard of by his friends?  [Annotated: "no such man in Constitution in 1816. 17. or 18 ‑‑"]


Roll 112, Vol 2 (March 1 ‑ June 30, 1827)


From E. Phelps, House of Representatives, 2 Mar 1827:


        Colonel James Ward of Hartford wished me to find out when CONSTITUTION, in which his son is a Midshipman, is expected home.


Vol 3 (July 2 ‑ December 31, 1827)


From Philip Duval, Jr., Richmond, VA, 24 Jul 1827:


        Has Lieutenant Robert B. Randolph transferred from NORTH CAROLINA to CONSTITUTION in the Mediterranean?  My wife is his sister and would like to know.


From Gideon Tomlinson, Fairfield, CT, 12 Dec 1827:


        Captain W. H. Freeman, USMC, intends to reapply for brevet rank which he failed to obtain several years past.  He became a lieutenant after 18 Jun 1812 and served in CONSTITUTION the war, receiving "medals."  Freeman is a native of Connecticut.


From Mordecai Booth, Washington Navy Yard, 21 Dec 1827:


        His son [Master Commandant Benjamin W. Booth] was in the Mediterranean with Commodore [Jacob] Jones in CONSTITUTION when his health failed and he had to return to the US.  Recovered, he accepted orders to command LEXINGTON, now in the Mediterranean.  His health again is failing.  He has a wife and children.  Four of his sisters died of a pulmonary disease, and I wish him to come home.  [Annotated: Booth has not requested relief; probably wishes to complete at least a year in command to be eligible for promotion.  It does not appear, from correspondence, that he is in any jeopardy.


From J. B. Mower, New York, NY, 31 Dec 1827:


        Son, Henry K. Mower, is a Midshipman in CONSTITUTION.  Please transfer him to JAVA or DELAWARE before CONSTITUTION comes home.  [Annotated: both ships full.]


Roll 113, Vol 1 [sic] (January 2 ‑ 31, 1828)


From Innes Green, House of Representatives, ? Jan 1828:


        Is there a sailor named Richard Sandbank or Richard Sellsman in CONSTITUTION?


Vol 2 (February 1 ‑ 29, 1828)




Vol 3 (March 1 ‑ 31, 1828)


From Robert Potts, New York, NY, 24 Mar 1828:


        Joined CONSTITUTION on 9 Jun 1824 as Landsman, with the understanding that he would be promoted Ordinary Seaman once on board.  Lieutenant [William M.] Armstrong finally got Captain [Daniel T.] Patterson to so promote him on 20 Feb 1826.  The following November, Patterson wanted the crew to reship until 18 Aug 1828.  The writer declined as he had learned both his parents had died, and he wished to return to support his younger brother.  The 38 who refused to reship were required to scrape the ship's sides "brite," scrape the guns, and do all the "filthy work a bout [sic] the ship" while the rest of the crew enjoyed regular liberty.  Was kept 2 months, 19 days "over my time," then sent on board ONTARIO where another 5 months, 6 days elapsed before he got secure his discharge ‑‑ without pay ‑‑ at Havana, Cuba.  Only arrived back in the US on 3 March.  Wants his pay.


Roll 114, Vol 4 (April 1 ‑ 30, 1824)




Vol 5 (May 1 ‑ 31, 1828)


From Margaret Timberlake, Washington, DC, 14 Jun 1828:


        Wishes to know when and where CONSTITUTION will arrive so her deceased husband's [Purser John B. Timberlake] effects can be gotten without loss.


Roll 115, Vol 7 (July 1 ‑ 31, 1828)


From H. Randall & J. R. Nogdes, Philadelphia, PA, 10 Jul 1828:


        Heirs of Ordinary Seaman Michael Hurley of CONSTITUTION, who died "five or six months past," ask what wages are due him.  His heirs include a brother, widow, and children.


From Samuel M. Fitch, New York, NY, 29 Jul 1828:


        Former Ordinary Seaman Joseph Arnet arrived here on foot without having gotten either his discharge or wages.  He is one of those whose time expired and who reshipped "about a year since" to complete the cruise.  Please forward pay here.


From James Fox, New York, NY, 31 Jul 1828:


        "I have been these last 7 years out in the Constituscion [sic]..."  [A Boatswain's Mate.]


Vol 8 (August 1 ‑ 31, 1828)


From Samuel Benson, Baltimore, MD, 5 Aug 1828:


        Lieutenant W. W. Dulany, USMC, recently returned in CONSTITUTION.  How can I contact him?


From Rehead & Spiers, insurance brokers, London, England, 29 Aug 1828:


        Request information on a sailor named James Vandesteen in CONSTITUTION.


Vol 9 (September 1 ‑ 30, 1828)


From Pomroy Smith, Bennington, VT, 1 Sep 1828:


        Requests information on newly recruited sailor named William Smith, said to have killed in a fall from a mast head in CONSTITUTION.  [Annotated: Ordinary Seaman Alfred Smith died 12 Aug 1828.  He was 22, 5' 2 1/4" tall, with brown hair, blue eyes, and fair complexion.  Born Kennebunk, ME.]


Roll 116, Vol 10 (October 1 ‑ 31, 1828)




Vol 11 (November 1 ‑ 30, 1828)




Vol 12 (December 1 ‑ 31, 1828)


From Stephen Stillman, Springfield, ?, 13 Dec 1828:


        My late brother, Dr. Joseph B. Stillman, became a Surgeon's Mate in 1820, went to the Mediterranean in ONTARIO, transferred to CONSTITUTION, and stayed in her until she returned to the US.  Later assigned to SHARK, then ordered ashore to the hospital at Key West, where he dies of yellow fever, 24 Mar 1825.  Anything due him?  [Annotated: $245.36 due.]


Roll 117, Vol 1 [sic] (January 1 ‑ 31, 1829)




Vol 2 (February 1 ‑ 28, 1829)




Vol 3 (March 2 ‑ 31, 1829)




Roll 118, Vol 4 (April 1 ‑ 30, 1829)




Vol 5 (May 1 ‑ 31, 1829)




Roll 119, Vol 6 (June 1 ‑ 30, 1829)




Vol 7 (July 1 ‑ 31, 1829)




Roll 120, Vol 8 (August 1 ‑ 31, 1829)




Vol 9 (September 1 ‑ 30, 1829)


From 4th Auditor, Treasury, 2 Sep 1829:


        The estate of CONSTITUTION's late Purser, John B. Timberlake, owes the US $14,373.59.


From T. H. Gilliss, Acting 4th Auditor, Washington, DC, 14 Sep 1829:


        Forwards a list of officers and warrant officers showing periods when they were paid higher pay commensurate with posts they were filling, including:

 Lieutenant Eli A. F. Vallette acting as Master Commandant in CONSTITUTION from Nov 1825 to Jan 1826, for which he received $60/mo. and 5 rations;

Mdishipman John H. Marshall acting as Sailing Master in CONSTITUTION from Jul 1827 to Mar 1828, for which he received $40/mo. and 2 rations.


Roll 121, Vol 10 (October 1 ‑ 31, 1829)




Vol 11 (November 1 ‑ 31, 1829)




Vol 12 (December 1 ‑ 31, 1829)




Vol 187 [sic] (February 3 ‑ December 29, 1829)




Roll 122, Vol 188 (January 1 ‑ 31, 1830)


From James Owens, Washington, DC, to the Board of Naval Commissioners, 29 Jan 1830:


        "In reading the Navy Commissioners report on Navy Yards and the result of their observations and enquiries with respect to the modes of seasoning ship timber, lead me to make a few remarks on the manner offered by them for the preservation of timber, and also to state what has come under my observation, during the practice of more than 30 years, during which time I have [obscured] the superintending and directing the repairs of all the old ships, sloops, Brigs &c belonging to our Navy, most of which received a general repair, and some of them hauled up and rebuilt also the superintending of several new vessels.

        "The treatment of Live Oak, they say immerse it in water 12 months will render it less liable to split or rent, I cannot perceive it will be of any more use or service to it, as it regards rents or durability, it is naturally a timber that is much rented in the growth, by putting it in the water may prevent it renting any further as long as it kept in the water, but as soon as it is taken out and begins to season it will rent full as much as if it had not been immersed, I should recommend putting it in close sheds, as close nearly as swelling [obscured] use rooms, it would save expense.

        "White Oak ‑‑ They say let it be immersed or docked about 18 months in fresh or 2 years in salt water, then taken up and sawed into plank the thickness required, [obscured] placed under cover for 2 or 3 years when it will be fit for use.  Plank stocks from 12 to 16 inches square will not have the sap extracted in 18 months in fresh water, in salt water the worm will destroy it in 2 years, the best method known by practice is to saw the stock into planks as soon as convenient after the tree is felled, then immerse the plank in fresh water, [obscured] will do if there is no worm for 12 months or a space of time according to the thickness [obscured] for plank from 4 to 6 inches then take it out in Spring or summer, for if taken out in hard frosty weather it will be liable to freeze and split in seasoning, let it be dry before stowing it away, then put it in sheds where a sufficient  current of air will pass through; plank so treated will be fit for use in case of emergency in 12 or 18 months; but from 3 to 5 years it will be perfectly seasoned and durable.

        "I can state facts in regard to this manner of preparation from my own experience, and information from others corresponding to my own practice; I have always found plank water seasoned, as I call it, more perfectly dry & very hard and the sap thoroughly extracted, than in any other way of seasoning, consequently more durable; Millens [sic] and others on the Delaware and its tributary streams who have been in the habit of building small vessels for their own use, generally water season t heir timber and plank as above described; further, I was informd [sic] by an aged Gentleman now living at Princess Anne in Sommerset [sic] County Maryland, that he built a vessel 50 or 60 [ ? ] then he fluth'd [sic] out his timber for the frame and sawed the plank, and immersed both in water a sufficient length of time to extract the sap then had it taken out and perfectly seasoned, he then commenced building, after his frame was complete, he  gave it two or three coats of train oil, his plank he oild [sic] likewise [ ? ] this vessel, he told me, ran 20 years without having need of any repairs from decay, and he believed she was then runing [sic], and if so she was 40 years old.

        "I shall now give some account of our first frigate, The United States, built at Phila launched May [ ? ] in 1800 she appeared to want caulking and in fact was caulked from the lower Wale up to the Gun wale when, by accident, the caulking iron broke through a [ ? ], by which they discovered her to be intirely [sic] rotted from the waters edge up, this ships plank a great part of it was well seasoned, but the manner of seasoning was this, it was piled up and salted same as you would bufer [?] other provisions, and remained in this state for a length of time, then it was hewn out to the shape proper for putting on the ship, it was put into a large cistern of boiling pickle and there remained for 24 hours, some of it much longer, before it was put on.  The whole of her white oak vizt. plank, water ways, knees &c thus treated, not withstanding it decayed in the short space of 3 years.  The Constitution, built at Boston, decayed in the same manner and in about the same space of time, her plank was put on without any extraordinary preparation.  The Constellation built at Baltimore, was replanked about 3 years after she was launched.

        "Yellow pine, it is said let it be docked for about 12 months then take it up and saw it to proper sizes for use, then place under cover for two years.  Yellow pine should not be put into the water at all, if it can be avoided, but should lay [?], under good coverings, if it is not convenient to have it sawed into planks previous to its being stowed away which is preferable to put it in water for 12 months that part floating above water will decay,  while that part of the log under water will lose its good qualities and the water will tend to extract the resinous substance in it, which is the life of the timber.  I have seen [$?]000 worth of yellow pine timber lost for ship use, in this Yard by docking about 12 or 18 months; and perhaps the same quantity, nay more, in other Yards by being piled up and exposed to the weather.  In 1807 or 8 we sawed [?] a number of pine Beams, I think 3 or 4 setts [sic] Frigates Beams, of Virginia pine, those Beams were immediately  [ ? ] under cover untill [sic] wanted for use, I put a sett of those Beams [ ??? ] after they were prepared for putting into the Ship.  I had the [ ?? ] and the end well paid with varnish and spirits of Turpentine [ ? ], the ends were bored but not salted as has been  the practice since, or lately, this process added to the care taken of them previously, by covering, not docking, appears to have had the desired effect, as the beams of the Gun deck of this ship was [sic] perfectly sound at the ends when she underwent repairs about 3 years and 6 months since  only one of them required repairs, that was one of the main hatch beams and had been sarfed [sic] in the middle.  I am confident this [ ? ] as a sound at present, if so, it is 20 years since they were put in the ship, a circumstance unprecedented in any of our ships heretofore  the first Beams they had were perfectly rotten at the ends & both pine and oak, in the space of 4 or 5 years.

        "Objections have been made to coarse grained pine, for my part I can see none, as I seasoned the whole of the Beams and discovered as many coarse grained as fine, all equally sound, the clamps of the ships decks are of part [?] coarse and fine grain both kinds equally alike as to durability  we are to take notice that all the pine plank was payed [ ? ] side toward the Camber the same as the Beams.

        "It must be observed that the work must be kept perfectly dry, not cram the rooms (space between the timbers) with Salt to create a dampness which is the destruction of timber and oakum, several of the berth deck beams of this ship were rotten at the ends, also the clamps and part of the knees, caused, I have no doubt, by the dampness of the salt with which her rooms had been filled, for when I came to examine that part of the ship, I found it perfectly muck wet and rotten, 10 beams on one side and 6 on the other were scarfed at their ends, the clamps entirely ruined, all the destruction of the wet arising from salt, did not [ ?? ] it had taken hold of the live oak frame and wale some of which were [ ?? ].  There appears to me a serious contradiction in regard to the preservation of Ships; it is said to be actually necessary to Ventilate by conveying as much pure air into the ships as possible this I agree with, provided the space between the timbers is not cram [sic] with salt to prevent the circulation through the body of the frame, but the advantage of ventilation is principally lost not only by the salt but the sills we put in to sustain the salt prevents the air from circulating even after the salt is dissolved and evaporated, the evaporation from salt is fresh, I presume, in damp weather the ships rooms are filled with it, consequently is as injurious as if she was filled with fog or the evaporation of the marsh.

        "Mast timber.  It is said let it be immersed in water and covered with mud and continue in that state untill [sic] it shall be required for use.  I differ in this treatment of Mast Timber, for the same reasons I have stated respecting pine timber, and further Mast Timber should be as perfectly seasoned as any timber appertaining to a ship, but if it remains in the water and mud untill [sic] wanted for use, how is it possible to make a good mast from unseasoned wet timber?

        "There are a number of pieces in a ships mast, consequently many seams or joints, if a mast be made of unseasoned timber, the seams will open and become a receptacle for water, which soon injure and decay the Mast; I have recently seen masts entirely rotten at the spindle by the water being let in at the joints; mast pieces before putting together should be perfectly seasoned and well saturated with Varnish and spirits of Turpentine.

        "Spindle Spars.  No notice is taken of them except they are meant to be included in masts timbers, it has been the custom to immerse spruce to keep them in good order from [ ? ]ing untill [sic] worked for use, yet they will split when made into ships masts and small spars, yet I believe if they are cut in proper season when the bark will adhere to the wood and stowed in sheds that they will make better spars than those taken out of the water, I have lately seen spruce taken out of the  [? ] and made into Top Galt masts and other small spars [ ? ] split from end to end by seasoning, in fact condemnable.

        "Felling Timber.  It is allowed that the winter season is the proper time for cutting timber, (Oak or Pine) and I presume it is best to cut it in the decrease of the Moon, cut at this time is not inclined to split, but when cut on the increase of the Moon, it is very apt to split from the but [sic] upwards, in Quarters.

        "In Demerara and the adjacent country where they have no change of season, as Winter & Summer, they are obliged to fell their timber in the decrease of the Moon, otherwise they lose it by splitting into many parts, and why should not the moon have a similar effect on our northern forest?

        "I have been led to believe it has for this reason that I had occasion to cut a log not long since into 7 or 8 foot lengths, it was split at the butt, i had five feet cut to clear the split, it split again, and again, as far as it was sawnd off, when I was obliged to desist and resort to another.           Black Walnut.  This timber, I am persuaded would make good plank as wale pieces, &c if  it was properly seasoned before it is put on, the manner of seasoning it as before described for white Oak plank, to sustain my opinion from practice, when I repaired the Frigate Congress in 1814, I put one walnut knee to the cut water, the other three being live Oak, it is nearly 20 years since they were put on ‑‑  Walnut makes the handsomest and best Gun carriages and is more durable than white oak.

        "Housing Ships while b[ ? ]sing and roofing those lying in ordinary, is no doubt, a great benefit to the preservation of them, the latter has been disapproved of and the roofs taken off leaving the ships exposed to the Weather!!!

        "The effect of different kinds of water on copper, in ships lying in ordinary, salt water certainly corrodes and washes the copper much faster than fresh (this is admitted in the report) I have seen on the bottom of the Sloop of War Wasp, grass from 4 to 5 inches long, bunches of oysters, some 3 inches long, and barnacles aplenty, all of which, vegetated and generated in a short space of time, perhaps one season in salt water (she has been lying at New York or Norfolk)

        "The Constitution was hove out at this Yard in 1812, her copper was completely covered with a strong barnacle about 1/2 an inch long, whether they originated in the Harbour of New York where she was previously fitted out or not, I cannot pretend to say, she had just returned from a Voyage to France.  I do not expect they originated at sea but must have been on before she left the United States.

        "The report further states, But the fact admitted that copper can be preserved longer in fresh water than in salt water, still the contrary is no doubt the case with regard to timber of ships which is universally believed to be more durable in salt than in fresh water.  How well this argument holds good with the fact that follows:  The North Carolina, Delaware, and Ohio 74s all of them laid up in ordinary in salt water were very much rotten in their planking and side, the Channels, part of water ways, beams & knees, in the span of 3 or 4 years, on the contrary the Potomac lying in fresh water is very sound, this ship was launched from her building (built exposed to the weather) March 1822 we haul'd up under cover, relaunched 16 June 1826 consequently has been lying in fresh water exposed to the weather 3 years & 6 months.  Salt water is not only more injurious to copper but also to iron, the iron rust [ ? ] washs [sic] throughout the ship as fast as the copper.  The copper of the Delaware was so much washed that part of it was removed [?] before she proceeded to see [sic] (so I am informed) Ships being a few years in [ ? ] actually employed on foreign stations, or other, will wear their copper through in many places, for instance, the Bows, Bilge, Keel and lower part of the rudder, ships return home and are laid up in ordinary in salt water, the worm immediately attacks those exposed parts and do great  injury [sic].  This I have taken note of frequently and have seen the lower end of the Rudder entirely destroyed with the after end of the Keel much injured, were they laid up in fresh water this injury would be avoided.

        "Filling between the frames and Caulking.  Nothing can be more injurious to the planking, nor can any thing accelerate the decay of the plank more rappid [sic], it makes such a solid body of several thicknesses that not one particle of air is admitted as a preservative of the timber.  The buttocks of all ships should be planked with live oak, as that part of the ship is more subject to decay than any other, outboard, and more difficult to repair, plank can be had of live oak at least 35 feet long, it takes steam for bending at and works extraordinary [sic] well [ ? ] a buttock, I planked the buttock of the Frigate United States with it and never saw plank bend better, the ceiling forward and aft under the store rooms should be of live oak.  The orlop Deck Beams, mast steps, combings of the Hatches, cable and bow sprit bitts, after and fore ends of the Keelsons, should all be of live oak, Deadwood forward and upper pieces of do. aft.

        "A part of your report speaking of preparing Ships for sea, reads thus 'The duty of preparing ships for service, is, by the established regulations, committed to the commandants of the Yards, whose great object seems to be hurry the equipment, and incur as little expense as possible, thus their preparation is imperfect, and the Nation has to underwrite a considerable expense in foreign Ports to obtain the requisite supplies and repairs.  The materials for effecting this are sometimes not to be provided, and the ship being through the cruise in a crippled state performs the service out and home at the risk of her loss, and perhaps that of her crew, such a system in place is hazardous, in time of war dangerous in the extreme, some cases have been brought to the notice of the Department, in which ships ordered on Voyages of two or three Years have been so carelessly equipped that the whole cruise might be said to be a series of dangers and escapes, and then safe return a matter rather to be [ ? ]ed and then expected [ ???? ]     instance in which it can be done, the officer who is to command should attend to the equipment of his ship for sea &c'

        "In reading the above, it struck me I might have some allusion to the Brandywine as one of the ships, which ship I built, this ship was said to be badly fitted and leaky on her passage to France which would not have been the case if it actually was, which I doubt, had she been taken care of, after the officer commanding had taken charge of her.  I can affirm she was faithfully built, and as well caulked as a Ship could possibly be, the oakum well Ironed home to the timber in every seam, with heavy horsing Mallets, her plank was tollerably [sic] well seasoned, but not much so as to permit any more shrinkage, especially the larboard side which was the N side on the stocks, but it is not to be wondered at that some of her seams might have opened a little in her upper works, she was launched in June 1825, it is customary, indeed absolutely necessary, that a ships sides and decks should be wet round morning and evening to prevent the seams from opening and becoming leaky, this was not done with her the whole summer through and we had scarsely [sic] a good shower of rain in course [sic] of the summer, she sailed the latter end of September, and I have every reason to believe that her sides were not wet untill [sic] she got to sea.  Further, this ship was so inordinately [?] overloaded with ballast that she was Loged [sic], so that at sea in rough weather, made a fair breach over her filled the Gun Deck and poured down the Hatch, more went down the Hatches than through ship seams, I am informed by an intelligent young man who was onboard of her, that [ ??? ] water almost waist deep on the Gun Deck, shipped forward and rushing aft even into the Cabin.  To show how much too deep the ship was loaded the Copper forward was six inches under water, when it should have been one sheet above water, the sheet of copper is 14 inches wide added to six inches which it was under water makes 20 inches too deep forward, and aft she was just 14 inches too deep.  The consequence was they had to throw overboard  [ ? ] Ton of 32lb shot to lighten the Ship, and when arrived at Nahant [sic] they landed 45 cw of pig ballast, making in the whole 64 Ton aft all act. [sic] over what the ship was calculated to bear.  We may infer from this that the ship was not so badly fitted in the mechanical branches but badly managed in her loading and trimming.

        "The draft of water the Brandywine should have been at full loaded and sailing trim


                   f.  in.                      f.  in.

            Aft    22   4    Draft water ford.  20   4 [ ? ] when saild  

                     23   6    loaded to when she saild    22

     Excess aft   1   2                Excess ‑‑‑     1   8

        ",signed,         Jas Owens"




        "From the [ ? ] I received my appointment as Master Ship Wright in Boston, from the Hon. Paul Hamilton Secretary of the Navy

1810  July, John Adams recaulked

        Nov. 1  Hauled up Brig Vixen, rebuilt and launched

        her 5th January 1811.

1811  11 January, hauled up Sloop of War Hornet, rebuilt

        and launched her 11 May 1811.

Sloop of War Wasp hove out and refitted May 1811

1811  June, July & August, repaired the wharf, built rolling way for Saw Mill, and sheathed Qr deck of Adams

1811  Oct 14 hauled up Brig Enterprize rebuilt and launched her 19th February 1812

1812  18th July Commenced Frigate Constellation, the Ship received a general repair, Viz. new plank inboard and outboard, new keelson, Beams,

        knees, Decks,&c

28th March, hauled up and rebuilt Gun Boat No 59

5 April Frigate Constitution arrived from France, was hove down, received six strakes of Copper on each side at the Bilge, and one ton of knee bolts, to

        secure & strengthen two new pumps, and sundry other repairs, sailed in June

 25 June hauled up frigate Adams, lengthened 15 feet, and entirely rebuilt her, launched 24 [?]

1813‑14 Frigate Essex. Built and ready for launching Aug [?] Sloop of War Argus, built same time filled f[?]

        Note.  Those two vessels were destroyed by order of the Government, also publick Buildings

1816  Repaired the [??] building Slip, and commenced building 74 Gun Ship Columbia [sic], launched 1 March 1819

1819  Commenced building Frigate Potomac, launched March 1822  Hauled up on the inclined plane May 1822.  Relaunched June 1826

1822  Fri. Brandywine Commenced Building Launched June 1825

[ ? ] Six schooners hove out repaired and coppered, John Adams repaired, store ship Decoy repaired, and Sea Gull steam Boat, hauled up & had a thorough repair

1826  Frigate Columbus [sic] two third built

        Frigate Potommac [sic] repaired and recaulked,

        Frigate Congress repaired and recaulked


Vessels built

 Temporary repair

 Hauled up&rebuilt

11 Gun Boats

John Adams

Brig Vixen

 1 Cutter


Sloop Hornet

 2 Sloops


Schr Enterprize

 3 Frigates


Frigate Adams

 1 74 Gun Ship


Gun Boat 57 [sic]

 1 14 Gun Schooners


Steam V. Sea Gull

 1 Frigate 2/3 built

Small Vessels

Launched in all

[?] thorough Repair

Sloop Wasp

23 Sail of Vessels


Brig Vixen

size from a 74 Gun


Schr Enterprize

ship to a Gun Boat


Six small Schrs

United States

Sloop Peacock

Congress 2d repair

John Adams


S. S. Decoy

Brig Nautilus

Sch Porpoise


Brig Argus



Brig Syren



Sch Revenge



                    Signed,  Jas Owens"


"Improvements and Inventions

The Capstan, the improvements on this Machine consist in the Palls [sic] and flutons, and in this, that the  two capstans will work & operate by backing out the

        Keys of the Upper Capstan, which is a great advantage because they can be used for seperate [sic] purposes, or by connecting them with the keys they

        work together [???]

The Cat head, the improvement in this consists in the inner end running under the Deck, and giving more room on the forecastle, before my improvement the cat

        heaadrun in on the forecastle 8 or 9 feet thereby taking up much room

The carronade skid, the improvement consists in securing it to the side of the ship by a knee plate above, and a saucer or socket below in the port sill, the nose

        bolt of the skid, into the socket makes a complete hinge, the former     plan was so loose and defective that the skid was not (literally speaking) secured at all

The Dowling bit, this is an invention of my own for boring of any depth and size from     a 2 1/2 inch to 4 1/2 or more, found to be useful in cutting all the holes for

        the carronade breachings, side cocks &c

The Gimblet and plug bit attached to it, this instrument is the most useful in boring for spikes, [ ? ] are to have plugs drove down on their heads, as makes the hole

        for the spike and cuts the hole for the plug at the same time, and is an instrument of my own also.


                    "Signed,  Jas Owens"


    "Exhibit showing the number of Vessels repaired Vessels rebuilt, and Vessels built at the Navy Yard, Washington from March 1804 to November 1829.


Frigates President, Constellation, Congress, Essex, John Adams

         These ships were repaired and fitted for sea & sailed about the, I allow, end of June following, bound to the coast of Tripoli.

Two large Gun Boats built Winter 1804‑5 launched sailed to join the Squadron.

Sloop of War Wasp. built and launched 21 Apl 1806 fitted and sailed 27 April 1807

Frigate United States, repaired 1807, this Ship received a general repair, viz. Planks inside and out except part of the bottom, under water, received a new

        kelson [sic], new decks, including the beams, excepting a part of the birth [sic] Deck at aft.

Frigate Essex, repaired 1808 this was nearly retimbered from keel to gunwale, new deck beams, knees, kelson, entire new planking, inboard and out, except

        under wales.

Frigate John Adams, Brig Nautilus, Schooner Vixen repaired 1808&9

Frigate President, repaired 1808, This ship recd. a thorough repair Viz. new kelson, new ceiling, new beams, knees, decks, plank outside from light water to


 Frigate Congress, repaired, commenced Oct. 26 1809, finished spring 1810. this ship underwent a general repair Viz. new kelson, partner top timbers, new

        ceiling, Beams, knees, decks, planks outside three feet below light water.  Repairs commenced in March"



Vol 189 (February 1 ‑27, 1830)




Roll 123, Vol 190 (March 1 ‑31, 1830)


Joseph T. Spear, John Demsey, Samuel P. White, to "Lawyer Moore," Charlestown, MA, 30 Mar 1830:


        "...a Boy by the Name of Edgar Miller shipped on board...Constitution...under...Jacob Jones...for Three Years and which time the Commodore Stopped his Ration of Liquor...which he has not received any compensation for..."


Another enclosure shows that Miller was discharged as an Ordinary Seaman, and a notation lists his period service as "27 February 1821 ‑ 31 May 1824."


Vol 191 (April 1 ‑30, 1830)




Roll 124, Vol 192 (May 1 ‑ 31, 1830)


From Robert Monell, House of Representatives, 21 May 1830:


        Forwards a petition for monies due Lewis S. German, deceased once Midshipman in CONSTITUTION during GUERRIERE and JAVA fights, later promoted to Lieutenant and transferred to USS SIREN; died in 1819 at Sackett's Harbor, NY.


From Abraham Moore, Boston, MA, 25 May 1830:


        Refers to one Gunner's Mate James Redmond, since deceased, who was paid off from CONSTITUTION at Boston in 1828.


 Vol 193 (June 1 ‑ July 31, 1830)




Vol 194 (August 1 ‑ 31, 1830)




Roll 125, Vol 195 (September 1 ‑ 30, 1830)




Vol 196 (October 1 ‑ 30, 1830)




Vol 197 (November 1 ‑ 30, 1830)




Vol 198 (December 1 ‑ 31, 1830)


From C. Johnson, Washington, DC, 6 Dec 1830:


        "Robert Hasey claims of the United States $106..[sic] he [sic] says he entered the Service of the United States as a Taylor [sic] on board the Frigate Constitution commanded by Capt. Campbell in May 1804 & sailed to the Mediterranean & returned to the United States in 1805 under the command of Capt. Stewart.  during [sic] the cruise they captured two Greek vessels bound to Tripoli...  the [sic] prize money was not distributed at the time, he says because of the absence of Capt. Campbell..."


        [This is terribly confused: CONSTITUTION sailed to the Mediterranean in August 1803, and Hugh G. Campbell did not take command of her until May 1806.]


Roll 126, Vol 199 (January 1 ‑31, 1831)




Vol 200 (February 1 ‑ 28, 1831)




Roll 127, Vol 201 (March 1 ‑ April 30, 1831)




Roll 128, Vol 202 (May 1 ‑June 30, 1831)




Roll 129, Vol 203 (July 1 ‑31, 1831)




Vol 204 (August 1 ‑ 31, 1831)




Vol 205 (September 1 ‑ 30, 1831)




Roll 130, Vol 206 (October 1 ‑ 31, 1831)




Vol 207 (November 1 ‑ 30, 1831)




Vol 208 (December 1 ‑ 31, 1831)




Roll 131, Vol 209 (January 1 ‑ 31, 1832)




Vol 210 (February 1 ‑ 29, 1832)




Roll 132, Vol 211 (March 1 ‑ 31, 1832)


From C. F. Welles, Wyalusing, Bradford Co., Penna., 10 Mar 1832:


        "A poor woman who says she is widow of James Irwin who enlisted on board the Constitution in May or June 1799 for three years & died before expiration..."

        Is there anything due her?  Annotation says "no."


Vol 212 (April 1 ‑ 30, 1832)




Roll 133, Vol 213 (May 1 ‑ 31, 1832)




Vol 214 (June 1 ‑ 30, 1832)




Roll 134, Vol 215 (July 1 ‑ 31, 1832)




Vol 216 (August 1 ‑31, 1832)




Vol 217 (September 1 ‑ 30, 1832)




Roll 135, Vol 218 (October 1 ‑31, 1832)


From Henry Phelps, Gloucester, MA, 26 Oct 1832:


        "Joseph Haycock late of this Town was a mariner on board the U. S. Ship Constitution; & in the year 1816 I administered his Estate & received from Government his wages.  Lately I have been informed that there is prize money due, if so, please to inform me.  He left a widow & one child who are in indigent circumstances."


        [Annotated: that Haycock was a Quarter Gunner on board SIREN, who was captured and died in Dartmoor Prison, 20 Mar 1815.  No known prize money.]


Vol 219 (November 1 ‑30, 1832)


From L. Cowdrey, New York, NY, 23 Nov 1832:


        "William Harrington formerly a Seaman in the U. S. Navy on board the Frigate Constitution, and who assisted in the Capture of the Frigates Guerriere and Java, and the [ ? ] Cyane and Levant has con[ ? ] Jane Varity of this City to receive his prize Money.  She has left the power with me. and I have now the honor to inquire of you what is the state of Harrington's accounts in respect to [ ? ] Cass[ ? ] ‑‑ and what documents you will require from the Attorney that he may receive the amount.  I await your reply..."


        [Annotated: that Harrington cannot be found on Constitution's rolls.]  [He was, however: ed.]


        [Also annotated that Charles W. Goldsborough was the ship's prize agent for Guerriere and Java, and John McCauley of Philadelphia for Cyane and Levant.]


From Francis O. J. Smith, Portland, ME, 27 Nov 1832:


        "One of the legal heirs of one David Hutchins, formerly of Kennebunk in this State, has requested me to inquire into a claim said to be still pending against the Navy Department, in favor of said heirs, for services rendered by said Hutchins in his life time ‑ he being now deceased ‑ on board the U. S. Frigate Constitution.

        "Hutchins served on board of the Constitution, for some considerable time ‑ but jumped overboard and was drowned, when she was on her return to Boston, either in June of 1828, or 1829 ‑ and on the 19th day next [ ? ]ing her arrival at Boston.  It is said that there was then due him about $355 ‑ which has never been received.

        "Presuming all the records of that cruise are transmitted to your department, by which it will appear whether such a claim has been cancelled or not, will you be good enough to cause an examination to be made; and also to inform me, in case the claim is unsettled, what authority and evidence will be required of the heirs, to entitle them to receive it?

        "J. B. Winslow, & Joseph Jarvis are said to be the officers who were then in command of the Constitution.

        "The Constitution came to the wharf in Charlestown on the 4th of July 1828, or 1829, when the cruise terminated, & the other seamen were paid off."


        [Annotated: that there is no such name on CONSTITUTION's rolls.]


Vol 220 (December 1 ‑31, 1832)




Roll 136, Vol 221 (January 1 ‑ 31, 1833)




Vol 222 (February 1 ‑ 28, 1833)




Roll 137, Vol 223 (March 1 ‑ 31, 1833)




Vol 224 (April 1 ‑ 30, 1833)


From John F. Sanford, St. Louis, MO, 17 Apr 1833:


        Understanding that CONSTITUTION is about to be fitted out for Mediterranean service, asks that his brother, Midshipman Joseph P. Sanford, be transferred to her from USS EXPERIMENT because there is a better opportunity for professional development in the larger ship.


Roll 138, Vol 225 (May 1 ‑31, 1833)




Vol 226 (June 1 ‑30, 1833)


From John Corran, Liverpool, England, 3 Jun 1833:


        "being [sic] long anxious to receive Information whether my Brother James Corran is living or dead as I have red. no account from him since 1822 or thereabouts he being then in the Service of the Congress in the Frigate Constitution as a Marine and I confidently trust you will let me know whether he is living or dead, and if living what part he is in and what situation and if dead what time and place."


Vol 227 (July 1 ‑ 31, 1833)




Roll 139, Vol 228 (August 1 ‑ 31, 1833)




Vol 229 (September 1 ‑ 30, 1833)




Roll 140, Vol 230 (October 1 ‑ 31, 1833)




Vol 231 (November 1 ‑ 30, 1833)




Vol 232 (December 1 ‑ 31, 1833)




Roll 141, Vol 233 (January 1 ‑ 31, 1834)




Vol 234 (February 1 ‑ 28, 1834)


From William Patterson, Baltimore, MD, 26 Feb 1834:


        "It having occurred to me that my long experiance [sic] with Merchant vessels might be found of some use in the preservation of Vessels in our Navy, I have taken the liberty of extending you herewith a circumstantial account of my observations & experiance [sic] with sea vessels in the Merchant Service, which I wish you to place on file or record for that purpose should you think it worthy of preservation, believing that it is the only means known at present for preservation of Vessels ‑‑‑

        "I have long wished that the celebrated Old Iron Sides might be hauled up at the Navy Yard in Washington, a House built over her, & preserved as an example for young Officers of the Navy.  It would have more effect than the Success of many Battles at Sea, & Should that fortunate Ship be continued running she must sooner or later be lost and her fame perish with her."

        "I have the Honor to be with much respect

        Sir            Your Obedt Servant

                                Wm Patterson"




                        Dry Rot.‑‑‑

        "The Dry Rot in Ships of War & merchant vessels has been the subject of serious and anxious concern.‑‑  Many plans for their preservation from this evil have been suggested and tried without success.  Having, for a long series of years, had considerable experience as constructor, owner, & employer of merchant vessels; and, believing that I have succeeded (at all events I have succeeded to my own satisfaction) in preserving ships of this description, as long as they are likely to be useful or profitable, I feel prompted to unfold my plans and my experience to the Navy Department.

        "In order that those plans and the experience may be better understood, I shall commence with my situation and observations in early life.

        "In the year 1766, at a very early age, I was placed in the Counting‑house of a shipping‑merchant in Philadelphia.  Which [sic] city was, at that time, celebrated perhaps beyond any other place in America, for fine vessels.  My employers were largely engaged in the shipping business ‑‑ they built a ship or vessel every year or two.  here [sic] I had a favourable opportunity of seeing and becoming familiar with the building, equipping, and employing of merchant‑sea vessels.  Owing to these circumstances, I acquired so great an attachment and fondness for vessels that they have adhered to me through a long life.  Then as now, the speedy decay of ships was a matter of serious consideration, and every scheme for their preservation that was suggested, was tried ‑‑ but without answering any useful purpose.  Some merchants in building vessels, allowed their frames, when raised, to remain for a length of time on the Stocks, exposed to the weather; others smeared the timbers with fish‑oil; and others again used oil and paint; all of these experiments were attended with little or no success.  In one instance, I know the frames of a vessel to be plyed [sic] with fish‑oil throughout an entire summer; and, in the fall of the year, when she was about to be finished, it was discovered that the Oil had not penetrated the timbers more than a quarter or an [sic] half of an inch: this proved to be little or no protection, and the experiment was abandoned.  In another instance I knew of a very fine vessel built (for a Charleston Packet) with so much care that she required no caulking nor repairs for four years: at the end of that time, when she was carried into dock to be caulked, she was found to be so totally destroyed by the Dry‑Rot as to be unworthy of repair, and was broken up.  Her rapid decay was attributed to the unusual care which had been taken of her whilst running.

        "Some few, even at that early period, made use of salt but a great prejudice existed against this mode, owing to the belief that it corroded the iron‑fastenings (copper was not then used in fastening our vessels), and the apprehension that the dampness in a salted vessel might be injurious to the cargo.

        "I became a ship‑owner in the year 1773, and one of my first considerations was, how I should preserve that description of property from speedy decay.  Observing that timber, when sunk deep in swamps or in the water, lasted for ages, I conceived that exclusion from the air and saturating the pores of the wood with moisture must be the true secret for its preservation.  Reflecting on this circumstance, and perceiving that the wooden floors of ware‑houses, used for the storage of Bay Salt, were always damp in moist weather, I was led to the conclusion that the Bay Salt, properly applied, must have the effect of preserving timber: Under [sic] this impression, I adopted the following plan with all the vessels I have had built from that time till the present (a period of more than 60 years, as I am still a ship‑owner)‑‑ while building, when the bends & the bottom planks are on and before sealing [sic], I have caused three sets of stoppers to be placed fore & aft between all the timbers to keep the salt in its place.  The first tier of stoppers are placed at the floor heads, the second immediately below the lower deck beams, and the third between decks just above the air‑streak, common in all double decked vessels.  Air‑streaks are left above the first & second tiers of stoppers, for the purpose of adding more salt as the previous supplies of that article settle or are dissolved.  Just before finishing the sealing of the vessel, the Salt is filled in among all of the timbers, from the lowest tier of stoppers to the upper deck ‑‑ taking care that the Salt in the upper tier is well rammed down (if wetted so much the better), for after the plank shears are laid & secured in their places, the Salt cannot be replaced without incurring too much trouble and expense.

        "Having experienced great difficulty in preserving li[obscured] timbers (especially transoms) above light‑water mark I have, of late years, had such pieces bored through the center with an auger of two inches or two inches and an [sic] half in diameter ‑‑ these holes are filled with wetted Salt and then plugged at both ends before placing the timbers in the vessel.

        "In the forward and after parts of the vessel, where timbers are so close together that salt cannot be introduced among them, I have found it necessary to incase the timber and confine the salt in this way.  In one instance, I had all of the Knees and the steps of the masts in a fine ship boxed in and filled with Salt: this answered a very [obscured] purpose, but it is too troublesome in merchant‑vessels.

        "I have not only salted my vessels, in the manner pointed out above, in the first instance, but I have had them examined carefully every two or three years, and, where the salt has wasted or settled, a fresh supply has been added.

        "In all my experience, I have never found a defective timber, in vessels thus prepared, and thus taken care of; I am persuaded that the Dry Rot may be entirely prevented by adopting the above precautions.  As a proof of the effects of the above mode, I will add that I have two vessels now running, which are perfectly sound & trust‑worthy ‑‑ one of them is 31 years old and the other 25, and the only repairs that have ever been given to their hulls, were the renewal of their waist‑planks of both [sic], and the quarter deck of one, of them, [sic]  This was not owing to the decay of the plank, but to the circumstance of its being fastened with Iron: the corrosion of the iron caused openings where it passed through the wood: had copper fastenings been used, these decays would not have happened *‑‑  I think all vessels of war ought to be secured with copper‑fastenings, and no Iron ought to be used when it can possibly be avoided.

        "I have seldom used the Live‑Oak in the construction of vessels, as it is hard to work, and too heavy for merchant‑ships: I greatly prefer the timber of our bay ‑‑ White Oak, Locust, cedar, and yellow pine ‑‑ I use the White Oak for the frames and for the plank from the keel up to and including the bends.  From the bends to the upper deck, I form the frame of locust and red‑cedar, an equal number of pieces of either kind, alternately distributed.  The sides, quick‑work, decks, upper beams, and carlins are formed of the heart of yellow pine.  Latterly, I have fastened the sides and decks with copper.

        "My vessels have generally been employed on long voyages, to the East Indies and South America, and to guard against decay and accidents on such voyages, I have fitted them out in the following manner.  They are copper‑fastened ‑‑ then sheathed with yellow pine boards one inch in thickness, put on with copper nails of two inches or two inches and an half [sic] in length: a layer of strong paper, dressed in tar, is placed between the pine boards and the bottom of the vessel; and another layer of paper prepared, in like manner is placed between the pine boards and the copper: the copper sheathing that I use weighs from 28 to 32 ounces the square foot.  In this way the Vessel may be said to have five bottoms ‑‑  two of wood, two of paper, and one of copper.  They are so tight that it is necessary to have cocks, through which water may be introduced in the hold to keep the vessel sweet.  An additional advantage is, that they may be run with safety two or three years longer than they could do, if they were coppered on a single bottom of wood.

        "One of my vessels ran seventeen years and wore out three sets of sheathing‑copper, before I removed the pine boards; fearing then, that the main bottom might require some attention in consequence of the decay of the oakum.  I stripped off the boards and discovered, to my surprise, that the bottom & seems [sic] were in perfectly good order‑‑  Indeed it appeared as if the water had never penetrated to the main bottom, and that the sheathing of wood might have remained on with safety for many years longer.‑‑

        "The year before the breaking out of the late war with Great Britain, I commenced building a fine vessel, I had her frame raised, her bends on, and bottom planking on when I determined to proceed no farther [sic].  I erected a shed over the vessel, under which she remained four years before I concluded to finish her.  All possible care was taken of her, yet some of the large pieces of timber were found defective, especially the transoms ‑‑ timbers 18 inches square were found to be entirely destroyed by the Dry Rot, although the exterior exhibited no symptoms of unsoundness.  It was owing to this circumstance that I resorted to the above recited plan of boring the large timbers and filling the holes with salt.""For the preservation of vessels of War, the method which I have pointed out, and which I have pursued, would be of great consequence: it would save millions annually to those Governments, which, from choice, or from necessity, keep fleets in commission.

        "The only difficulty in the way of its introduction, arises from the prejudice against the use of Salt under the impression that it causes too great a degree of moisture in the places allotted for the accommodation of the officers & crews.  I have experienced no inconvenience in this respect, when the cabins are lined with dry boards, attached to the inner sealing [sic].  Nor have I, in any instance, found that any damage has happened to the cargoes, in consequence of the moisture.

        "To overcome any inconvenience that might be apprehended, it is only necessary to prepare the accommodations for the officers & men in ships of War by fastening strips of plank an inch thick to the sides, to which strips of a sheathing of dry boards can be attached.  This will effectually prevent the escape of the moisture.  The northern and eastern fronts of our country‑houses are sometimes secured in this manner.

        "I have mentioned bay salt as the only kind that ought to be used for the preservation of vessels, owing to its quality of giving in moist weather ‑‑ dry stored salt does  not possess this quality and is therefore unsuitable.

        "I have some experience with fast sailing vessels, vulgarly called Baltimore Clippers: I have witnesses their rise & progress in two wars.  Some of them have performed wonders * it [sic] is only necessary to say that they require great care & judgment in their construction and equipment, and that they should be commanded by men trained in their management.

        "If it were necessary, in a time of war, to attempt the destruction of the towns in the West Indies or some of those in Europe, and the attempt were made by a fleet of such vessels under the direction of a Porter or a Nelson, I should feel no solicitude as to what the result would be.  I trust however that this country will never have occasion to make the experiment, although the outrages of the British during the late war would have fully justified it.

"* 1.‑‑ The two vessels here mentioned, are both in port  at present, & may be examined, if necessary.

"* 2.‑‑ In numerous instances of this kind, I will only mention two.  the [sic] late Capt. Jeremiah Yellot, of this place, contributed greatly to the improvement of fast sailing vessels in the Revolutionary war, & the late war with Great Britain, proceeded from hence in a fine vessel of his own with a cargo of Flour for France, when that country was distressed for Bread stuffs, arrived at Bordeaux when Belisle was blockaded by a large British fleet, being offered a great prize for his vessel & cargo, provided he would deliver the flour at Belisle & return with the vessel to Bordeaux.  Confident of what he could do, he proceeded to execute this dangerous project, passed in & out in open day         through a fleet of 21 Cruising armed vessels stationed off the mouth of the entrance of that place, & returned in safety, where he received payment for vessel & Cargo agreeably to promise,  altho' this vessel was one of the best of her kind she proved to      be of no use to the purchasers for want of suitable people to conduct her.

        "Capt. Long of this place, in our late war in a French trader was by accident brought under the guns of a British frigate, her boat manned to take possession, in the confusion the trader fell into the wake of the frigate, made sail immediately under the fire of the frigate, escaped & arrived in safely her port of destination.

        "Baltimore, 26th Febry. 1834     Wm Patterson"


[Annotated:     "  ?   ?.  I am happy to place his valuable suggestion in our files.

        "I am happy to inform him, that this Deptmt has for some years adopted the                       practice of salting all our public vessels ‑ whether on the Stocks or afloat.


                "Referd [sic] to Navy Board for perusal.



[Note: William Patterson was born in Ireland in 1752 and emigrated to Pennsylvania with his parents as an infant.  Apprenticed to merchant Samuel Jackson at 14, when he reached his majority he went into the shipping business.  In 1775, recognizing that conflict was near, he invested all his money in 3 vessels he sent to Europe to sell their cargoes and bring back military supplies.  Two were captured, but the third arrived safely, and the profit from the sale of its cargo was the start of his personal fortune.  He settled in Baltimore in 1778.  He married Dorcas Spear and fathered 13 children.  His daughter Betsey married Jerome Bonaparte in 1803 (and she divorced him in 1812).  He was first president of the Bank of Maryland, an organizer of the Merchants Exchange Bank, and a planner and director of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.  He died in February 1835..]


Roll  142, Vol 235 (March 1 ‑ 31, 1834)


From James Ward, Hartford, CT, 11 Mar 1834:


        Requests orders for his son, Lieutenant James H. Ward, to duty in CONSTITUTION, which is said soon to be in commission, as he already has served four years in her.


Vol 236 (April 1 ‑ 30, 1834)




Vol 237 (May 1 ‑ 31, 1834)


From Joseph Butler, Philadelphia, PA, 13 May 1834:


        Requests information on Master's Mate William Cutching, said to have been in CONSTITUTION in November 1813.


[Annotated:  "Entered 21st Sept 1813.  Discharged and paid

                5th of April 1814."]


Roll 143, Vol 238 (June 2 ‑ 30, 1834)


From Representative John Love, Washington, DC. 7 Jun 1834:


        Forewards a request for orders to CONSTITUTION from "Midshipman Price."  [Not enclosed.]


From Representative James P. Heath, et al, Washington, DC, 21 Jun 1834:


        Recommends Passed Midshipman John Thomas McLaughlin for appointment as Sailing Master of CONSTITUTION.  [Annotated: will be considered at the appropriate time.]


From Benjamin C. Howard, Baltimore, MD, 20 Jun 1834:


        Recommends Passed Midshipman McLaughlin as "2nd Sailing Master" of CONSTITUTION.  [Annotated as above.]


Vol 239 (July 1 ‑ 31, 1834)


From Charles John Steedman, Charleston, SC, 14 Jul 1834:


        Requests orders to CONSTITUTION for his midshipman son, Charles.  [Young Steedman in ship in 1837.]


Roll 144, Vol 240 (August 1 ‑ 31, 1834)


From John D. Howard, Boston, MA, 22 Aug 1834:


        "...There has [sic] been twenty people who has Examined the Coppering of the Constitution and the Potomac, and who are Judges and have pronounced the work scandalous.  The stern of the Constitution altered after being painted and the Carv'd Work Put on at the Sugestion [sic] of Capt Josp Hart it [?] being mentioned to Como Downes.  the [sic] Carving was rip'd off, and the stern altered Causing considerable Expence [sic] to the Government...  I have made these Complaints to Como eliot [sic] and he refuses [illegible word] them..."  [Annotated: Ans. 27 Aug.]


Vol 241 (September 1 ‑ 30, 1834)


From James K. Polk, Columbia, TN, 3 Sep 1834:


        Midshipman William P. Bradburn wishes orders to POTOMAC or CONSTITUTION.


From Samuel Saunders, Albany, NY, 3 Sep 1834:


        Requests prize values of CYANE and LEVANT, and number and rates of crew authorized prize shares so he can bring suit against prize agent "Mr. McCauley" for withholding his share.  McCauley has told him his agency has ended and remaining monies returned to the Navy.  Is this so?  [Annotated: McCauley agent for LEVANT ($25,000); account settled 22 Apr 1824 and $66.62 turned over to Treasury on 3 May 1824.  CYANE $40,000 handled by John Bullus.]


From Charles John Steedman, Charleston, SC, 15 Sep 1834:


        Again requests orders for his son.


Roll 145, Vol 242 (October 1 ‑ 31, 1834)


From Dr. Thomas Henderson, West Point, NY 1 Oct 1834:


        Requests orders to CONSTITUTION for his son, Passed Midshipman J. L. Henderson.  [He didn't get them.]


From Henry L. Ellsworth, Hartford, CT, 14 Oct 1834:


        "Midshipman Oakes" wishes orders to CONSTITUTION.  [Probably Calvin Oakes; he didn't get them.]


From Joseph S. Lewis, Philadelphia, PA, 23 Oct 1834:


        Requests orders to CONSTITUTION for his son Passed Midshipman Montgomery Lewis.  [Yes, in 1836.]


Vol 243 (November 1 ‑ 30, 1834)


From John C. Henshaw, Washington, DC, 3 Nov 1834:


        Who is to command CONSTITUTION?  [Annotated: Not decided yet.]


From Daniel Gyst, USS JAVA, 4 Nov 1834:


        Entered the Navy in CONSTITUTION during the war.  Hasn't been home since.  Requests discharge to attend to two aging sisters.  [No record.]


From Dr. William W. Valk, Springfield, MA, 6 Nov 1834:


        Requests orders to CONSTITUTION.  [He didn't get them.]


From V. L. Godon, Philadelphia, PA, 10 Nov 1834:


        Ready to sail in CONSTITUTION if so ordered.


From Marshal Thomas Eastin, Key West, FL, 15 Nov 1834:


        Concerning a prize claim by Joseph B. Tiff, once a Quarter Gunner in CONSTITUTION.  [True: late 1812‑Jun 1814.]


Vol 244 (December 1 ‑ 31, 1834)


From Passed Midshipman John T. Williams, Norfolk Navy Yard, 1 Dec 1834:


        Requests orders to CONSTITUTION.  [He didn't get them.]


From Hon. Theodore Freylinghuysen, Washington, DC, 8 Dec 1834:


        My deceased brother‑in‑law's son, Midshipman, John F. Mercer, desires orders to CONSTITUTION. [He didn't get them.]


From Henry Baldwin, Philadelphia, PA, 14 Dec 1834:


        Surgeon Jones Plummer desires orders to CONSTITUTION.  [He didn't get them.]


From Hon. R. H. Wilde, Washington, DC, 22 Dec 1834:


        Midshipman Edwin A. Drake, now in USS VANDALIA, wishes transfer to CONSTITUTION.  [He didn't get them.]


From Thomas Chilton, Washington, DC, 30 Dec 1834:


        Midshipman Edwin A. Drake, now in VANDALIA, wishes orders to CONSTITUTION.  [No.]


From Ezra Vinton, Charlestown, MA, 31 Dec 1834:


        Has done coopering work at the navy yard for over 18 years.  "...lately I was called for by Commodore Elliott to make a riding tier of cask [sic] for the Frigate Constitution, he said he could not allow me more than Two Dollars per day I objected against using my tools could not for that, he told me that I might come in and go to work as soon as possable [sic] I could did [sic] and was paid from 13th Ocr. to the 1st of December, with Three Dollars per Day, my future wages, thinking that Commodore Elliott had allowed me what I always had.  I took it for granted the last half months net for me and said there was a mistake in my wages he give orders to stop 45 dollars besides my tools that I used in making cask [sic] out of old stores covered with paint and Iron rust has been survayed [sic] and given in that they are Damaged $30.00 he has objected to paying this..."  Help!  [Didn't get any.]


Roll 146, Vol 245 (January 1 ‑ 31, 1835)


From Hon. George Loyall, Washington, DC, 3 Jan 1835:


        Requests orders to CONSTITUTION for Midshipman George T. Sinclair.  [Yes.]


From Francis H. Ellison, New York Navy Yard, 31 Dec 1834 [sic]:


        Son Francis B. Ellison wishes orders to CONSTITUTION.  [No.]


Vol 246 (February 2 ‑ 28, 1835)


From Hon. G. Y. Lanning, Washington, DC, 3 Feb 1835:


        Dr. Robert Woodworth wishes orders to CONSTITUTION.  [No.]


From Hon. William B. Shepard, Washington, DC, 12 Feb 1835:


        Passed Midshipman William T. Muse wishes orders to CONSTITUTION.  [Yes.]


From William Mead, USS COLUMBUS, to his father, 14 Feb 1835:


        Wants a discharge lest he be shipped out in CONSTITUTION.  [Annotated: Discharge William Wheeler alias William A. Meade.]


From Hon. William Drayton, Philadelphia, PA, 16 Feb 1835:


        My son would rather sail to the Pacific in PEACOCK than be ordered to CONSTITUTION.  [Ordered to PEACOCK; then to CONSTITUTION in 1837.]


From Lieutenant Francis B. Ellison, Baltimore, MD, 16 Feb 1835:


        Will I get orders to CONSTITUTION?  [No.]


From Hugh Colhoun, Philadelphia, PA, 20 Feb 1835:


        Will my son Lieutenant John Colhoun get orders to CONSTITUTION as I thought was arranged?  [Yes.]


From Joseph S. Lewis, Philadelphia, PA, 20 Feb 1835:


        My son Passed Midshipman Montgomery Lewis hasn't yet received his orders to CONSTITUTION.  [Forthcoming.]


Roll 147, Vol 247 (March 2 ‑ 31, 1835)


From John Forsyth, State Dept., 9 Mar 1835:


         The President has ordered CONSTITUTION to Le Havre with dispatches for Minister Livingston and there await the Minister's instructions, providing him transport anywhere he wishes.  The dispatches will be ready tomorrow.


From J. K. Paulding, Navy Agent, New York, 14 Mar 1835:


        The $10,000 you sent for CONSTITUTION is inadequate.  Have advanced a total of $35,000 available to cover Commodore Elliott's requisitions.


From Daniel D. Brodhead, Navy Agent, Boston, 16 Mar 1835:


        Has received bills totaling $1296.75 for CONSTITUTION furniture.  Shall I pay them?  [Annotated: Allow them because of ship's diplomatic mission.]


Vol 248 (April 1 ‑ 30, 1835)


From Seldon Crockett, Charlestown, MA, 12 Apr 1835:


        Has not been paid for "mahogany & labor and likewise furniture" installed in CONSTITUTION per Elliott's orders.  The Yard Storekeeper refused to approve the bill as "the  work exceeded the amount appropriated."


Vol 249 (May 1 ‑ 31, 1835)




Roll 148, Vol 250 (June 1 ‑ 30, 1835)


From Elisabeth Phillips, 23 Jun 1835:


        Black woman. Wants her husband Thomas Phillips discharged from CONSTITUTION; needed at home.


From Betsy Candee, New York, NY, 24 Jun 1835:


        Wants her son Charles Candee discharged from CONSTITUTION; needed at home. [Done.]


From John Sadler, USS CONSTITUTION, 26 Jun 1835:


        Wants discharge; needed at home.


From William Perry, USS CONSTITUTION, 26 Jun 1835:


        Wants discharge; needed at home.


From Senator John M. Clayton, Dover, DE, 26 Jun 1835:


        Wants musician Charles Williams, a reported deserter, discharged from CONSTITUTION.


From John Fleming, New York, NY, 25 Jun 1835:


        Understands there are vacancies in CONSTITUTION due to Midshipmen requesting detachment.  Requests orders to CONSTITUTION for his son.  [Got them.]


From Thomas Phillips, USS CONSTITUTION, 30 Jun 1835:


        Reluctantly requests discharge.  [Annotated: ordered to be discharged 11 Jul 1835.]


Vol 251 (July 1 ‑ 31, 1835)


From Agnes Acker, Brooklyn, NY, 3 Jul 1835:


        Wants her son, Benjamin Acker, discharged from CONSTITUTION; needed at home.  [Got it.]


From Benjamin Acker, USS CONSTITUTION, 12 Jul 1835:


        Thanks for discharge.


From Hon. James Buchanan, Lancaster, PA, 13 Jul 1835:


        Glad to hear "young Wager" will be going in CONSTITUTION.  [Midshipman.  Annotated: no promise made.]


From Mary Fenimore, Philadelphia, PA, 13 Jul 1835:


        Wants husband, Alexander Fenimore, discharged from CONSTITUTION.  "He is no Seaman."


From Samuel Bartell, Marblehead, MA, 14 Jul 1835:


        Son Thomas R. Bartell shipped in CONSTITUTION "last January" against his wishes.  Now not well.  Wants his discharge.


From Peter Wager, Philadelphia, PA, 15 Jul 1835:


        Wants son Charles employed.  Please get him in CONSTITUTION.  [Done.]


From Joseph Haycock, Jr., Gloucester, MA, 16 Jul 1835:


        Father Joseph, Sr., was in CONSTITUTION throughout the war.  Taken in LEVANT, he died in Dartmoor Prison.  Are any monies due him?  [Annotated: not on rolls.]


From James Taylor, Philadelphia, PA, 18 Jul 1835:


        Wants Walter Downie, now in CONSTITUTION, discharged to support his family.


From J. H. McClean, USS CONSTITUTION, 18 Jul 1835:


        Wants his discharge.


From Dr. George T. Loyall, Rockland, VA, 20 Jul 1835:


        Wants his ward, Midshipman George T. Sinclair in CONSTITUTION, sent to the Navy School at Gosport, VA.  [Detached.]


From John J. Morgan, New York, NY, 21 Jul 1835:


        Master [Sailing Master] James Ferguson in CONSTITUTION ought to be promoted Lieutenant.


From Elizabeth Secor, New York, NY, 22 Jul 1835:


    Wants son, William Secor, discharged from CONSTITUTION; needed at home.


From Charles Williams, USS CONSTITUTION, 23 Jul 1835:


        Reports he is not the musician deserter he is made out to be: that is someone else of same name.  Has exhibited his certificates of faithful service to local authority to prove his claim.  He is rated a Seaman.  He can, however, play the "Clarionette."  Wants his discharge in order to make a fresh start outside the Navy,


From Catharine A. Sparks, New York, NY, 26 Jul 1835:


        Wants husband David Sparks discharged from CONSTITUTION; needed at home.  [No.]


From James H. Durwald, USS CONSTITUTION, 26 Jul 1835:


        A Landsman who wishes to be discharged.  [No.]


From L. Gardinier, New York, NY, 27 Jul 1835:


        Requests discharge for Seaman Henry Shute in CONSTITUTION; needed at home.  [Done.]


From James Dearing, USS CONSTITUTION, [27 Jul] 1835:


        Wants his discharge.


From E. L. Childs, 28 Jul 1835:


        Requests orders to CONSTITUTION for Midshipman Larkin.


From William Raymond, USS CONSTITUTION, 29 Jul 1835:


        Requests discharge after 8 years of service.


From S. D. Childs, New York, NY, 30 Jul 1835:


        Requests discharge of Ordinary Seaman William P. Codman in CONSTITUTION.


Roll 149, Vol 252 (August 1 ‑ 31, 1835)


From Hon. Edward Livingston, Barrytown, NY, 1 Aug 1835:


        Forwards "an application which has been confided to me by the officers of the Frigate Constitution..." and intends to address the Secretary further on the subject at a later period:"


        "At a meeting of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the U. S. Ship Constitution held on board for the purpose of concerting measures to affect the establishment of a Naval Academy at which Lieutenant Jno B. Montgomery was called to the Chair & Henry Etting Esqre appointed Secretary the following preamble & resolutions were unanimously agreed to.

        "Whereas: having ever felt the most ardent desire to prosecute successfully the profession to which we are devoted, to advance the interest of the Navy, & to perpetuate the commercial prosperity of our common Country, consigned in part to our Safe Keeping, and taught by the experience of the past, that neither industry, nor talent, can spare the advantage offered by early education; earnestly desirous of the means of securing it, & deploring the inadequacy of the existing system, to accomplish either the object of the Government, or to meet our heartfelt wishes for professional instruction ‑‑   And believing as we do, that a respectful representation of the anxious hopes which the entire Navy have ventured to indulge for so many years, & to the Consumation of which, they took up the deepest interest, will receive the consideration to which so excellent an object is entitled, & find from liberal authorities, that indulgence which is ever acceded to generous aspiration, and laudable exertions.  we have therefore resolve:‑


1st  That we deem education to be of peculiar importance to the Sea Officer: that amid the progressive improvements in the arts and sciences, which distinguish the present age, the Military marine would be most conspicuous if guided in its advances by the lights of education.


2d  That we look to the establishment of a Naval School, as the only means of imparting to the Officers of the Navy, that elementary istruction [sic], and scientific knowledge, which at the present day, has become almost indispensible [sic] to the Military Seaman.


3d  That from circumstances arising in part, from professional causes, the Ships Schoolmasters can rarely if ever, impart such elementary or Scientific Knowledge; or advance the education of the Navy Officer; and that were the Office, absolutely abolished, of so little actual utility is it, that no evil would arise therefrom.


4th  That believing the expense incurred by government, in providing Ships Schoolmasters, and professors of Mathematics, for the benefit of the Junior Officers of the Navy, (and from which little or no advantage is derived) would liberally sustain a scientific institution, ‑ we would see with pleasure said funds directed to the establishment and Support of a Naval School.


5th  Resolved, that copies of these proceedings be furnished to the Secretary of the Navy, with a request, that he will lend his countenance, and support, to our undertaking.


6th  Resolved ‑ that we will severally and collectively, owe our most strenuous exertions, to effect an object so dear to us; which promises to confer so much dignity upon  the Navy, so much honor on our beloved Country.


7th  That a Committee of Ten be appointed to take charge of the Subject, and conduct it to its final disposition.


8th  Resolved that the Secretary of the Navy be requested to lay a copy of the foregoing resolution before the President of the United States; and that a Copy of them, be Sent to the Chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs in the Senate; and in the House of Representatives.


9 Resolved that copies of these proceedings be sent to each Naval Station, Squadron, and U. S. Ship in Commission, with a view to invoke the cooperation of the Officers belonging thereto.


10  Resolved that a copy of these proceedings be furnished to the Honbl Edward LIvingston now on board the Constitution.


11  Resolved that a Copy be also Sent to the Commander of the Ship inviting his aid in furtherance of the object of this meeting.


12  Resolved that the Committee of Ten shall consist of the following Gentlemen.

                Lieutenant Leven M. Powell

                Surgeon Thomas J. Boyd

                P. Mid William Radford

                Do.  Charles Steedman

                Do.  William T. Muse

                Mid R. L. Tilghman

                do. Geo. W. Randolph

                do. Fras S. Haggerty

                do. Fras P. Hoban

                do. James B. Lewis


13  Resolved that the foregoing Committee be directed to ascertain the probable annual expense of the Naval School, after its establishment, & communicate the same to the Honble Secretary of the Navy.


14  Resolved that the committee be directed to furnish each member of this meeting with a printed copy of this days proceedings, & report to them severally, their final proceedings on the subject.


15th  Resolved that Five hundred copies of the foregoing preamble and resolutions be printed.


16th  Resolved that the Purser of this Ship be requested to defray the expenses incurred by the Committee in the foregoing object, the same to be divided prorata among the Officers of the Ship.


17th  Resolved that these proceedings be Signed by the Chairman and Secretary of this meeting and by the members thereof respectively.

                                        Jno B Montgomery


On board the

United States Frigate Constitution  Henry Etting

At Sea June 20th 1835.                  Secretary"


From Christian Williams, 4 Aug 1835:


        His son is the Commodore's Steward in CONSTITUTION; wants him discharged.  (Son is about 24.  Father is illiterate.)


From James Thornton, USS CONSTITUTION, 5 Aug 1835:


        Shipped December 1834 at New York.  Requests discharge to support wife Martha and family.


From Samuel F. Reed, Philadelphia, PA, 5 Aug 1835:


        Forwards the above letter.


From Samuel F. Reed, Philadelphia, PA, 6 Aug 1835:


        Requests discharge for James Thornton.


From Austin C. Williams, USS CONSTITUTION, 6 Aug 1835:


        Requests discharge to support mother.  [Annotated: Discharge him if he provides a bonafide substitute.]


From Charlotte Bissell, Boston, MA, 8 Aug 1835:


        Requests discharge for her near‑sighted son, Charles D. Bissell, who shipped in December 1834.


From Lowdewyck H. Mornitz, USS CONSTITUTION, 8 Aug 1835:


        Wants discharge to return to native Cape of Good Hope.  Has 18,000 guilders awaiting him from father's estate.  Shipped on 12 Jan 1833.  [Annotated: discharge him if true.]


From Sarah L. Noyes, Salem, MA, 8 Aug 1835:


        Requests discharge of her husband, Landsman Ebenezer Noyes, 27.


From Mary Ann McKeever, New York, NY, 8 August 1835:


        Requests the discharge of her ex‑Marine, Ordinary Seaman husband, William McKeever.


From William McKeever, USS CONSTITUTION, 9 Aug 1835:


        Requests his discharge.  [Annotated: discharge if convenient.]


From Senator John M. Clayton, Dover, DE, 12 Aug 1835:


        What have you done about Charles Williams?


From A. H. Gale, New York, NY, 19 Aug 1835:


        Mrs Thankful L'Amoureux wants to know if her son William Raymond has been discharged.  [Commodore Elliott said "he is not worthy of notice."]


From Hon. Edward Livingston, Barrytown, NY, 26 Aug 1835:


        Mr. [Midshipman Richard H.] Lowndes, who was ordered to CONSTITUTION at my request, forwards the enclosed note explaining why he didn't sail in the ship.  I think it's valid and ask that he be ordered to the next ship going to the Mediterranean.


Vol 253 (September 1 ‑ October 31, 1835)


From Henry Jackson, New Orleans, LA, 1 Sep 1835:


        Served in CONSTITUTION 1825‑28 as Ordinary Seaman.  Since being discharged has been taken up and sold as a slave.  Requests a record check and a letter certifying his status as a freedman.  [Record check bore him out: on board 1 Sep 1825‑5 Jul 1828, when discharged at Boston.]


From Samuel Bartoll, Marblehead, MA, 12 Sep 1835:


        Requests discharge of his son, Thomas R. Bartoll, a minor born on 18 Apr 1816.  [Annotated; that it can't be done now that ship has sailed.]


Roll 150, Vol 254 (November 2 ‑ December 31, 1835)


From Frances Elliott, Carlisle, PA, 20 Dec 1835:


        Has CONSTITUTION reached the Mediterranean yet?  I have had no word.


Roll 151, Vol 255 (January 1 ‑ 31, 1836)




Vol 256 (February 1 ‑ 29, 1836)


 From Jacob F. Hoeckley, Philadelphia, PA, 5 Feb 1836:


        The widow of John McDonald, Seaman in CONSTITUTION in the last war, seeks his prize money for LORD NELSON, SUSANNA, CYANE, and LEVANT.  Was discharged 13 Jan 1816.  [Annotated: prize agent unknown; check with Commodore Stewart.]  [Mcdonald's service was as stated.]


Roll 152, Vol 257 (March 1 ‑ 31, 1836)


From Amos Quimby, Boston, MA, 22 Mar 1836:


        Son Joseph A. Quimby, "between 16 and 17," entered the Marines a year ago and is in CONSTITUTION.  Just found out.  Please discharge him.  [Annotated: discharge authorized, but expense of return from the Mediterranean is on him.]


Vol 258 (April 1 ‑ 30, 1836)


From Amos and Sarah Quimby, Boston, MA, 4 Apr 1836:


        They, the parents of Joseph Austen Quimby, now in CONSTITUTION, attest that he was born in Hallowell, Maine, on 5 Jun 1818.  Discharge him as a minor.  [Annotated: order him transferred to first public ship returning from the Mediterranean.]


From Passed Midshipman J. W. Revere, USS CONSTITUTION, to the Hon. Churchill C. Cambreleng, Washington, DC, 4 Mar 1836:


        Asks his endorsement on a request for a 12‑month leave of absence.


From Commodore J. D. Elliott, USS CONSTITUTION, 30 Apr 1836:


        Recommends the more senior Dr. Tinsler of JOHN ADAMS to succeed the ailing Dr. Boyd in CONSTITUTION instead of Dr. Dodd, if a replacement is not sent out.


Roll 153, Vol 259 (May 1 ‑ 31, 1836)


From ?, New Haven, CT, 16 May 1836:


        Frederick L. Huggins of this city enlisted, as a "common sailor," and is now a yeoman in CONSTITUTION.  [Annotated: if a minor will be discharged; if not, must make his own request for discharge.]


Vol 260 (June 1 ‑ 30, 1836)


From Amos Quimby, Boston, MA, 10 Jun 1836:


        Still waiting for son to appear.  [Annotated: ordered transferred for return and discharge, 11 Apr.]


From Hon. John Reid, Washington, DC, 20 Jun 1836:


        Inquiring about Lieutenant George Parker's medal as a participant in victory over HMS JAVA.  [Annotated: let it be delivered to his widow.]


Roll 154, Vol 261 (July 1 ‑ 30, 1836)


From Lewis Cass, Washington, DC, 9 Jul 1836:


        The President desires, if possible, that I visit "during the next season Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Greece, and the islands of the Archipelago" and report on conditions.  Request you direct the commanding officers of the Mediterranean Squadron to provide transport.  [Annotated: "approved.  Andrew Jackson."]


Vol 262 (August 1 ‑ 31, 1836)




Vol 263 (September 1 ‑ 30, 1836)




Roll 155, Vol 264 (October 1 ‑ 31, 1837)




Vol 265 (November 1 ‑ 30, 1837)




Vol 266 (December 1 ‑ 31, 1836)


From S. S. Southworth, Washington, DC, 10 Dec 1836:


        Are any monies due the estates of these men?

        John Brown, believed KIA in CONSTITUTION, Captain Hull.

        William Cooper, believed KIA in CONSTITUTION, Captain Bainbridge.

        Patrick Conner, believed KIA in CONSTITUTION, Captain Bainbridge.

        [And others from other ships.]


Roll 156, Vol 267 (January 1 ‑ 31, 1837)




 Vol 268 (February 1 ‑ 28, 1837)




Vol 269 (March 1 ‑ 31, 1837)


From Charles John Steedman, Charleston, SC, 16 Mar 1837:


        Requests a European leave of absence for his son [in CONSTITUTION].  [Annotated: to commence at end of cruise.]


From Sergeant Isaac W. Shoemaker, Marine Rendezvous, Philadelphia, PA, 14 Mar 1837:


        Requests discharge.  Has served since 1823 in CONSTITUTION and other ships.


From E. T. Throop, New York, NY, 22 Mar 1837:


        Midshipman Montgomery Hunt in UNITED STATES wishes to come home in CONSTITUTION for promotion examination.  [Annotated: CONSTITUTION not due to return until 1838.]


From Joseph Guien, Marseilles, France, 23 Mar 1837:


        Cousin Joseph Riguie now in CONSTITUTION.  Guien in CONSTITUTION in 1805 and is seeking pay.


Roll 157, Vol 270 (April 1 ‑ 30, 1837)


From Colonel Anthony Gale, USMC, Burnt Tavern, KY, 3 apr 1837:


        Was in CONSTITUTION under John Rodgers as Senior Marine Officer.  Seeks additional pay as Acting Quarter Master during that time.  [Disallowed.]


From Samuel Bartoll, Marblehead, MA, 17 Apr 1837:


        Son Thomas shipped in CONSTITUTION 8 Jan 1835.  Wants remuneration as son was essential to now‑abandoned trade.  [Refused.]


Vol 271 (May 1 ‑ 31, 1837)


From Lowell M. Stone, Boston, MA, 31 May 1837:


        Alexander Lane of Boston served in CONSTITUTION as Cooper in 1815 in victory over HMS CYANE and HMS LEVANT.  Received prize money for CYANE, but not for LEVANT.


Vol 272 (June 1 ‑ 30, 1837)


From William Brent, Washington, DC, 1 Jun 1837:


        Son Lieutenant Thomas W. Brent, now in CONSTITUTION, wishes leave in Europe at end of cruise.  [Six months leave granted.]


From Stephen Porter, Syracuse, NY, 10 Jun 1837:


        Brother Daniel served in CONSTITUTION and BRANDYWINE.  Family wants any more recent information concerning him.  [No record of his having been in CONSTITUTION.]


From Samuel Howard, Norfolk, VA, 14 Jun 1837:


        Served in CONSTITUTION under "Commodore McDonnell" before the War of 1812.  Seeks pension.  [Served under Commodore Thomas Macdonough, 1824‑5.]


Roll 158, Vol 273 (July 1 ‑ 31, 1837)


From Enoch Titcomb, Boston, MA, 5 Jul 1837:


        When was Orange Gleason discharged from CONSTITUTION and the Navy?  He was in her when she took "scian & Levant."


From Philip Ritter, New York, NY 11 Jul 1837:


        On 23 Jul 1835, "an Officer from the U. States Ship Constitution, then ready for sea, came on board [the schooner MARY JANE, William Burrows, 2nd Mate] in search of a man by the name of Philip Noble who said he was a deserter from that Ship and asked permission to search for him.  Upon hearing the man's name I asked the Officer to go down with me into the hold where the man had hid under some sails and the Officer pulled him out & recognized him as the man he was in search of & took him on board of the ship."  The Officer was the 2nd Lt. & offered me a reward.  as we then were going to sea, I could not go with him to collect it.  May I have it now?  [Annotated: no information in the Department.  Tell him to locate officer.]


From James Ronaldson, Philadelphia, PA, 20 Jul 1837:


        "Mathematician" Martin Roche is now in CONSTITUTION.  Give him a shore assignment as he suffers from rheumatism.


Vol 274 (August 1 ‑ 31, 1837)


From Edward Everett, Boston, MA, 3 Aug 1837:


        Has received from Commodore Elliott notice of the death of his kinsman, Chaplain James Everett, in CONSTITUTION.


From Henry Middleton, Newport, RI, 4 Aug 1837:


        Asks a furlough for his son, Midshipman Edward Middleton, on CONSTITUTION.


From Richard Willing, Philadelphia, PA, 6 aug 1837:


        Asks leave of absence for nephew, Dr. George Clymer, acting Surgeon in CONSTITUTION.  [Annotated: six months leave granted.]


From Mary S. Stubbs, Wooster, Ohio, 7 Aug 1837:


        Husband Private John Webster Stubbs transferred from DELAWARE to CONSTITUTION in the spring of 1835, but remained in Boston when she sailed.  Where is he now?


From Asahel Cady, Litchfield, CT, 12 Aug 1837:


        Son Cyrel [sic] now in CONSTITUTION as a sailor, but also uses name "John Cady."  Wants him discharged.


Roll 159, Vol 275 (September 1 ‑ 30, 1837)


From Senator T. Johnston, 8 Sep 1837:


        Please grant leave of absence to [Midshipman] J[ohn] W. Bryce in CONSTITUTION at end of cruise.

        Enclosed letter from Bryce says "Comodr. Elliott is not a general favorite with his officers."


From Hon. Joseph C. Noyes, Washington, DC, 29 Sep 1837:


        Asks for information on Seaman Jeremiah Gray, Jr., of Deer Isle, Maine, who died in CONSTITUTION during the present cruise.  Some money is believed due.  [Annotated: not in records.]


Vol 276 (October 1 ‑ 31, 1837)




Roll 160, Vol 277 (November 1 ‑ 30, 1837)


From Samuel Wall and Patrick Doyle, Baltimore, MD, 20 Nov 1837:


        They enlisted in CONSTITUTION in 1803 and returned from the Mediterranean in PRESIDENT in 1805; discharged at Washington, DC, ca. Sept 1805.  Believe prize money is due them.  [Dotle signed with an "X."]


From William B. Clymer, Morrisville, PA, 25 Nov 1837:


        His brother, Assistant Surgeon George Clymer, wishes a letter of credit so he may draw his pay while on leave of absence in Europe.  [Annotated: comply with request.]


Vol 278 (December 1 ‑ 31, 1837)




Roll 161, Vol 279 (January 1 ‑ 31, 1838)




Vol 280 (February 1 ‑ 28, 1838)


From Thomas H. Blount, Washington, DC, 26 Jan 1838:


        Asks that his "young relative" [Midshipman] Will. B. Muse in CONSTITUTION be granted leave to attend dying brother.


Vol 281 (March 1 ‑ 31, 1838)


From John King, Salem, MA, 13 Mar 1838:


        Requests that any pay due his 21‑year‑old son Benjamin, enlisted as a boy in CONSTITUTION, be paid to him when the lad is discharged.  [Annotated: apply to ship's Purser.]


From Thomas J. Falconer, Winchester, MS, 16 Mar 1838:


        A man named David Dibias has been arrested here as a suspected runaway slave.  Can you confirm his claim of naval service as an officer's servant in CONSTITUTION under Charles Stewart?  Born at Boston, 6 Aug 1806.  Says he was present at the capture of HMS CYANE and LEVANT.  a member of the latter's prize crew with "Mr. Layton," he was recaptured in that ship by HMS ACASTA, LEANDER, and NEWCASTLE, and a POW until war's end.  Rejoined CONSTITUTION; discharged at Boston.  Rejoined the ship as a Boy in 1821 under Jacob Jones; discharged 1824.  [Annotated: service confirmed.]


Roll 162, Vol 282 (April 1 ‑ 30, 1838)


From A. Pierce, New Orleans, LA, 19 Apr 1838:


        An official letter in his possession says that Black Henry Jackson served as an Ordinary Seaman in CONSTITUTION, 1 Sep 1825‑5 Jul 1828.  He has been enslaved for several years, but claims to be a freeman.  Are, or were, slaves enlisted in the USN as Ordinary Seamen?


 Vol 283 (May 1 ‑ 30, 1838)




Vol 284 (June 1 ‑ 30, 1838)




Roll 163, Vol 285 (July 1 ‑ 31, 1838)


From Sarah A. Hunter, Norfolk, VA, 31 Jul 1838:


        Asks discharge of her son, PVT John Dowling, from CONSTITUTION.


Vol 286 (August 1 ‑ 31, 1838)


From James Buchanan, Bedford Springs, PA, 9 Aug 1838:


        John GiIlmore, Jr., is a PVT in CONSTITUTION.  His father wishes his discharge as soon as the ship has returned.  [Annotated: so ordered.]


From Jesse Morgan, Portland, ME, 15 Aug 1838:


        John Johnson of this city enlisted in the USN in Sep 1812.  Soon after, was transferred to CONSTITUTION under Comr Bainbridge and remained in her 6 or 8 months.  Never paid nor received JAVA prize money.  His widow has asked me to inquire.


From Philip H. Ritter, Centerbury, NY, 21 Aug 1838:


        Restates claim to reward for turning over deserter from CONSTITUTION found in schooner MARY JANE, then outward bound past Governor's Island, NY, on a sealing voyage.  He was 2nd Mate of the schooner.  [Annotated: no information at the Department.]


Roll 164, Vol 287 (September 1 ‑ 30, 1838)


From COMO Jesse D. Elliott, USS CONSTITUTION, 2 Aug 1838:


        Boatswain Robert Whittaker, who "came out with me," is recommended for duty in a line of battle ship.


From William D. Clymer, Morrisville, PA, 15 Sep 1838:


        His brother, Dr. George Clymer, requests a 6‑month extension on his leave as the original period was not permitted to begin it until 10 Jun 1838 and the studies he hoped to pursue in Paris occur only during the winter months.


 From Thomas J. Parsons, Rye, NH, 15 Sep 1838:


        John Seaver of this place says he shipped about Apr 1799 in GENERAL GREENE, and later transferred to CONSTITUTION under "Talbert" in the West Indies.  Remained aboard until the ship returned to Boston in Aug 1800.  Believes he has prize money coming.  [Annotated: no information on him.]


From W. H. Maxwell, New York, NY, 18 Sep 1838:


        Requests orders for nephew Maxwell Woodhull to CONSTITUTION or OHIO.  [Annotated: nephew recently put on leave due to poor health.]


From William M. Price, New York, NY, 20 Sep 1838:


        Lieutenant Oscar Bullus wishes orders from CONSTITUTION, where he has been for 2 1/2 years.  [Annotated: Bullus given 3 months leave when ship returned.]


From COL James Bankhead, Ft. Columbus, NY, 22 Sep 1838:


        Requests orders for his son to either CONSTITUTION or MACEDONIAN.


Vol 288 (October 1 ‑ 31, 1838)


From William Ferson, Gloucester, MA, 11 Oct 1838:


        The son of Joseph Haycock of this city, a Quarter Gunner in CONSTITUTION in 1812‑14 is asking if any prize money is due his father.  [Annotated: Advise that Charles W. Goldsborough was prize agent for GUERRIERE and JAVA, and John McCauley for CYANE.]


Roll 165, Vol 289 (November 1 ‑ 30, 1838)


From David D. Wagner, Easton, PA, 2 Nov 1838:


        Young friend Midshipman Edward A. Barnett wishes orders to CONSTITUTION or OHIO; now in CONSTELLATION.


From Lieutenant G. F. Pearson, Portsmouth, NH, 13 Nov 1838:


        How do you want me to dispose of the saber ‑‑ one of two presented to Commodore Elliott and myself by Mahemet Ali ‑‑ now in my possession?  [Annotated: keep it to preclude a diplomatic incident by attempting its return.]


From Peter Wager, Philadelphia, PA, 15 Nov 1838:


        Son Charles, a Midshipman in CONSTITUTION on her recent cruise, I desire to go back to sea immediately.  [Annotated: ordered to MACEDONIAN.]


From Lewis Cass, Jr., Detroit, MI, 20 [29?] Nov 1838:


        In CONSTITUTION is a collection of antiques and curiosities my father and I procured in Egypt, Syria, Greece, etc., that is very valuable to us.  Has Commodore Elliott removed any of them?  Is the ship to be ordered anywhere soon?  How can I ensure their safe arrival here?  [Annotated: see if Commodore Warrington [at Norfolk] has any information.]


From Lieutenant C. H. McBlair, Baltimore, MD, 5 Dec 1838:


        I am credibly informed that, to date, the Government has not received an official and authentic statement regarding the animals brought home in CONSTITUTION.  I do so now reluctantly but from a sense of duty.

        First, last May, on the day before CONSTITUTION sailed from Port Mahon "about twenty" horses and asses were embarked on the gun deck.

        Second, one died on the voyage to Hampton Roads.

        Third, a number of the crew were dispossessed of their "usual sleeping berths" to make room for them.

        Fourth, "a large and important part of the battery was so encumbered by the presence of the animals that the force and efficiency of the ship was materially impaired and she was consequently reduced to a condition that rendered her unequal to sustain the honor of the flag in an emergency."


From H. D. Gregory, Washington, DC, 11 Dec 1838:


        Assistant Surgeon Godon of Philadelphia returned in CONSTITUTION after 3 years in the Mediterranean and wishes to be attached to the Philadelphia Navy Yard.


From Thomas M. Dickey, Amherst, NH, 19 Dec 1838:


        Enlisted his 14‑year‑old son Thomas in CONSTITUTION in 1835; discharged at Norfolk on her recent return.  Enroute home, his pay, $105, was stolen at New York.  Out of funds, he reenlisted and was sent to OHIO at Boston.  There, his siblings visited him and caused him to regret his action.  After 3 months, he deserted and got as far as Nashua before deciding to turn himself in.  Please discharge him; I will reimburse his reenlistment bounty.


From David Paul Brown, Philadelphia, PA, 26 Dec 1838:


        Passed Midshipman Charles Crillon Barton has contacted me regarding the "cruel and barbarous treatment to which he was subjected by Captain Jesse D. Elliott." on CONSTITUTION's recent cruise.  Please advise on the status of the reported pending court martial.


From Simmons & Gay, Attys, Boston, MA, 30 Dec 1838:


        James Gallagher and James Lowry enlisted in the USMC early in 1835 at Charlestown and were sent in CONSTITUTION 25 Feb 1835.  Transferred to UNITED STATES on 26 Apr 1838.  They claim they were not paid for the period 25 Feb‑21 Jul 1835.  Please advise.  [Annotated: both paid for that period by Purser Etting.]


Roll 166, Vol 291 (January 1 ‑ February 28, 1839)


From William Yeaton, Alexandria, VA, 7 Feb 1839:


        I understand my nephew, Midshipman Bolton S. Porter, has orders to CONSTITUTION, in which he also recently made a Mediterranean cruise.  He has yet to receive his warrant; can that be issued before he next sails?


From William Bacon, Newport, RI, 17 Feb 1839:


        Samuel B. Ray, about 6 years ago last August, went aboard CONSTITUTION as Carpenter or Carpenter's mate.  When the ship returned "last fall," his family learned he was killed in a fall from a masthead.  What wages might be due his estate?


From Representative Charles Naylor, Washington, DC, 22 Feb 1839:


        The "Special Committee in the case of Commo J. D. Elliott," created by resolution on 14 Feb and chaired by Naylor, canceled its investigation on 22 Feb due to lack of time until the end of session.


From Hon. William A. Hastings, Washington, DC, 27 Feb 1839:


        Was Timothy B. Twitchell a Seaman under Jesse D. Elliott in CONSTITUTION?  What is his current status?


Roll 167, Vol 292 (March 1 ‑ April 30, 1839)


From A. T. Dayton, 4th Auditor's Office, Washington, DC, 5 Mar 1839:


        Then Lieutenant Boerum on 31 Jul 1835 was ordered to CONSTITUTION.  Later that year, Commodore Elliott ordered him to command SHARK.  In Nov 1836, Elliott ordered him back to CONSTITUTION as "Flag Captain," which duty he performed until 18 Aug 1838.  Promoted Commander 8 Feb 1838.  No Flag Captain is authorized for a squadron the size Elliott's was.


From Ann A. Pinkney, Baltimore, MD, 16 Apr 1839:


        Thanks for appointing her son to CONSTITUTION.  Getting him ready to go.


From Amos Quimby, Slouchsburg, PA, 22 Apr 1839:


        His accountant son, about 21, was 2 years in CONSTITUTION on her last cruise.  Resides at home in Boston.  Wishes to be Purser's Clerk in CONCORD.


From Seaman Lewis A. Bussart, USS CONSTITUTION, 24 Apr 1839:


        Wants discharge due to deafness.  [May be using name John Lewis.]


Roll 168, Vol 293 (May 1 ‑ July 31, 1839)


From Mary Ann Ontis Harvey, Auburn, NY, 17 May 1839:


        Son Eliphalet Ontis, 20 years old last 27 Nov, shipped in CONSTITUTION without her consent; discharge him.


From Lieutenant Colonel Thomas FitzGerald, Port Mahon, Minorca, 10 Jun 1839:


        Midshipman C. B. S. Porter called on me on 10 Jun 1838 under orders from Commodore Elliott to all his officers to pay all their bills by 6 PM that day or be turned out of the ship.  Porter said he couldn't get the money he owed and pleaded that his IOU be accepted for later payment so he wouldn't be ruined.  That was done on good faith.  Today, I received notice that payment had been refused.  "I trust you will interfere.."  [Annotated: Porter now in CONSTITUTION on way to Pacific.  Direct him to pay up; copy to the Colonel.]


From Sarah Hunter, Norfolk, VA, 1 Jul 1839:


        Son, John Darling, joined USMC "about four years ago" and went in CONSTITUTION.  After 3 years, 5 months, returned in UNITED STATES, then reportedly deserted.  He came home.  He was under 21 when he enlisted without consent.  Please just discharge him.  [Annotated: the Dept. will not interfere at this time.]


From Dr. S. Rassage, New York, NY, 24 Jul 1839:


        William Murtland came to Brooklyn hospital from CONSTITUTION on 22 Apr afflicted with rheumatism and  "scrofulous enlargements of the glands."  Improving but a long convalescence needed.  Recommend discharge due to unfitness.  Has a wife and 2 children.


Roll 169, Vol 295 [sic] (August 1 ‑ 31, 1839)


From Dr. George T. Fenwick, Solitaire, VA, 25 Aug 1839:


        Ailing wife of Lieutenant William F. Kennan in CONSTITUTION needs him home.  [Annotated: COMO Claxton asked to permit him to return soonest.]


Vol 296 (September 1 ‑ 30, 1839)




Vol 297 (October 1 ‑ 31, 1839)




Roll 170, Vol 298 (November 1 ‑ 30, 1839)




Vol 299 (December 1 ‑ 31, 1839)




Roll 171, Vol 300 (January 1 ‑ 31, 1840):


From Richard W. Habersham, Washington, DC, 13 Jan 1840:


        The wife of CONSTITUTION's captain, Mrs. Turner, wishes to know if there will be "an early opportunity" to forward letters to him.  [Annotated: will forward with pleasure.]


Vol 301 (February 1 ‑ 29, 1840)


From Missionary W. H. Norris, Montevideo, Uruguay, 26 Feb 1840:


        Recent arrivals from the US have reported CONSTITUTION lost.  A letter lately received from HMS STAG says CONSTITUTION is at Callao.  What is the truth about "that noble & almost idolized ship"?  [Annotated: the loss is news to us.]


From Joseph Guier, Marseilles, France, 28 Feb 1840:


        After fighting in FRS NEPTUN at Trafalgar and going ashore at Cadiz, I went to Malaga by land, and there shipped in CONSTITUTION, Commodore Rodgers, at $12 a month and $10 bounty.  Some time later we went to Lisbon to repair the foremast.  Then we went to Cadiz where the French Navy demanded and got our [at least 3] return.  I have made repeated requests to American officers in the Mediterranean, but still have not been paid.  [Annotated: his name is not on the rolls of 1805‑06.]


From Eliza Parker Delano, Fairhaven [MA?], 29 Feb 1840:


        Requests the JAVA medal authorized for the late Lieutenant George Parker.


Roll 172, Vol 302 (March 1 ‑ 31, 1840)


From 4th Auditor, Treasury, 13 Mar 1840:


        Reprises for a Congressman the denial of Commander Boerum's claim for pay as CONSTITUTION's "Flag Captain."


Vol 303 (April 1 ‑ 30, 1840)


From Frederick Crofton, Bristol, [?], 15 April 1840:


        Will my son, Frederick, be returned from CONSTITUTION this year?  [Annotated: did not return in FALMOUTH or LEXINGTON.]


Roll 173, Vol 304 (May 1 ‑ 31, 1840)


From Powhatan Ellis, U. S. Legation, Mexico, 7 May 1840:


        A recent letter from Commodore Claxton reported all well in CONSTITUTION.


Vol 305 (June 1 ‑ 30, 1840)




Roll 174, Vol 306 (July 1 ‑ 31, 1840)


From Ph. Dickerson, ? , 16 Jul 1840:


        Midshipman English is "anxious" for orders to CONSTITUTION.


From Nicholas P. Morris, Dublin, Ireland, 20 Jul 1840:


        Requests information on any arrearages due the estate of Lieutenant Christopher Morris of CONSTITUTION during the War of 1812.  Morris died on duty 13 Jun 1816.  [No such officer.]


Vol 307 (August 1 ‑ 31, 1840)


 From William Davidson, Philadelphia, PA, 6 Aug 1840:


        His father, also William, was in CONSTITUTION during the War of 1812, and died shortly thereafter.  Is any prize money due his estate?  [Annotated: not on rolls during GUERRIERE or JAVA fight, maybe that with CYANE and LEVANT.]


From Edward Bradshaw, Philadelphia, PA, 26 Sep 1840:


        Did Landsman James Briggs fall overboard from CONSTITUTION and drown?


Roll 175, Vol 309 (October 1 ‑ 31, 1840)


From O. K. Barell, Newcastle, DE, 5 Oct 1840:


        Is William Sevidge on CONSTITUTION's rolls?  [No.]


From William Davidson, Jr., Philadelphia, PA, 5 Oct 1840:


        Received your 11 Aug letter saying father's name not on CONSTITUTION' rolls.  I know he was there for the GUERRIERE and JAVA fights, and was discharged by Commodore Bainbridge. I think he was rated Cooper.  Could he have been a Marine?  [Davidson at least an Ordinary Seaman sand present for both fights.]


Vol 310 (November 2 ‑ 30, 1840)




Vol 311 (December 1 ‑ 31, 1840)




Roll 176, Vol 312 (January 1 ‑ 31, 1841)




Vol 313 (February 1 ‑ 27, 1841)




Vol 314 (March 1 ‑ 31, 1841)


From S. S. Southworth, Bristol, RI, 16 Mar 1841:


        Private Gardner Turner is believed to have been with Commodore Hull in 1812.  He was last known to have been ordered to the Lakes in 1814.  He was a native of Freetown, MA.  Have you any later information about him?  [Annotated: INDEPENDENCE 18 Apr 1815.  Paid off 15 Feb 1816.]  [No record in CONSTITUTION.]


From Joseph Butters, Philadelphia, PA, 30 Mar 1841:


        William Walters was in CONSTITUTION during the GUERRIERE and JAVA fights.  Is he due any money?  [True, he was.]


Roll 177, Vol 315 (April 1 ‑ 30, 1841)




Vol 316 (May 1 ‑ 31, 1841)


From James Bergen, New York, NY, 5 May 1841:


        "Mr. Thomas Goin, in the year 1834, fitted up a vessel called 'The Whig Frigate

Constitution,' measuring nineteen feet keel fully rigged, armed and equipped - to go through the great political campaign which has regenerated our country.--  It has occurred to Mr. Goin & his friends that as [sic] innumerable host of our citizens from the West have never seen a full rigged ship of War - a minature [sic] representation would be serviceable to place in a convenient public place                       near your office, at the Capitol, or at your own residence.-  She cost $1800.--  And requires but a trifling outlay to make her perfect.  This Frigate is well known at Albany & Philadelphia as well as her commander, Mr. Goin.  She is now at the Navy yard, Brooklyn & can be safely removed.  The object of this letter is to enquire whether it would accord with your ideas of propriety to order her to Washington to serve as a small speciman [sic] of Naval skill & to operate as our silent auxiliary [sic] to the friends of the Navy.--

        "Mr. Goin had the honor of presenting to one your predecessors, Mr. Dickerson, the model of a Corvette from the hand of the great Naval Architect Henry Eckford, which you will still find near your de[partment?].  It will afford you an idea of the model frigate herein alluded to.--  Mr. Goin's warmest feelings [obscure] enlisted for the well being of the Naval school & Mr. Eckford's model was intended for a school ship & at some future day she will attract great attention from Congress.--

        "In order to witness the zeal of my friend Mr. Goin I have taken the liberty to foreard herwith a copy of a pamphlet - an order from the Common Council of New York - and a copy of the New York Sun containing affidavits as to the Navy school.  To which I particularly crave your attention."  [Annotated: "..no funds available at the Department for defraying the expense of the …removal."]


Roll 178, Vol 317 (June 1 ‑ 30, 1841)


From James Reyburn, New York, NY, 1 Jun 1841:


        On behalf of his widow, requests the return of Commodore Claxton's remains to the US in a public vessel.


Vol 318 (July 1 ‑ 31, 1841)




Roll 179, Vol 319 (August 1 ‑ 31, 1841)




Vol 320  (September 1 ‑ 30, 1841)




Roll 180, Vol 321 (October 1 ‑ 31, 1841)


From G. Harrison Lynch, New York, NY, 12 Oct 1841:


        Please forward my brother Dominick's commission as Lieutenant to him in the Pacific.


Vol 322 (November 1 ‑ 30, 1841)


From Roger Jones, Washington, DC, 6 Nov 1841:


        Requests orders for his son Midshipman Jones to the Naval School at Philadelphia.  He has completed "a double cruise" in COLUMBIA and CONSTITUTION, and his health has been impaired.  [Annotated: has been granted leave.]


From Surgeon Thomas Dillard, USS CONSTITUTION, 7 Nov 1841:


        Apprentice boy Charles Seybart "is affected with a chronic cutaneous affection [sic] of the palms of his hands" which is exacerbated by salt water.  Recommend his discharge.  [Annotated: discharge authorized 10 Nov 1841.]


From Fernando Wood, [?], 13 Nov 1841:


        The mother of Apprentice Thomas A. Tifft of CONSTITUTION requests his discharge; has been in service over 2 years.  [Annotated: some sufficient reason must be assigned.]


From Victor A. Sartori, Philadelphia, PA, 15 Nov 1841:


        Brother, Lieutenant L. C. Sartori of CONSTITUTION, has been suffering rheumatism and is presently unable to write an acknowledgement to the receipt of his commission.


From Oliver King, New York, NY, 15 Nov 1841:


        Request a month's leave for Apprentice Job Winant Parsalls of CONSTITUTION.  [Annotated: leave may be granted, then report to Philadelphia.]


From Ann Cochran, Philadelphia, PA, 22 Nov 1841:


        I thought my son, Seaman William Cochran, who sailed 3 years ago in SHARK, was coming home in CONSTITUTION, but he didn't.  Any information?


From Francis Doherty, Boston, MA, 22 Nov 1841:


        Brother Nathaniel Douglass was drafted from New York to Norfolk in March 1839 for CONSTITUTION.  Did he come home in her?  Did he die?


From Hugh Cassady, Philadelphia, PA, 25 Nov 1841:


        Nephew Edward Cooper, just returned in CONSTITUTION and transferred to PENNSYLVANIA, desires a furlough.  [Annotated: let him have liberty and report at Philadelphia.]


From Peter Brown, New York, NY, 30 Nov 1841:


        The mother of Boy Thomas A. Tifft, recently transferred from CONSTITUTION to PENNSYLVANIA, requests leave for him.  [Annotated: supposed to have been done.]


Roll 181, Vol 323 (December 1 ‑ 31, 1841)


From Ann A. Pinkney, Washington, DC, 2 Dec 1841:


        Believes her son would be honorably acquitted by a court martial.  [Annotated: will await further information from her.]


From R. C. Nicholas, US attorney for eastern Virginia, Richmond, VA, 3 Dec 1841:


        Speaks of a legal attachment put on payment of salaries by Purser McKean Buchanan to CONSTITUTION's Marine Guard since her return.  This has happened before; will investigate and report.


From Thomas Mullen, Baltimore, MD, 11 Dec 1841:


        Requests forgiveness for his son's thoughtless act of desertion from CONSTITUTION and his discharge.  [Annotated: hasn't he been discharged?]


From R. C. Nicholas, Richmond, VA, 14 Dec 1841:


        The attachments in question are "common law attachments" and were made on 15 Nov.  They are illegal, being without jurisdiction, and I will have all superseded.


From Thomas Slater, Washington, DC, 31 Dec 1841:


        Served in CONSTITUTION 5 Mar 1839 until her return "last October" as Acting Orderly Sergeant.  Charges First Lieutenant Jabez C. Rich with unauthorized opening of his mail while at Callao.  [Annotated