M 209
 NAVY, 1798-1886,



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


Roll 1, Vol 1 (June 18, 1798 ‑ March 21, 1799)


To John Coffin Jones, Boston, MA, 11 Aug 1798:


        "In consequence of your Letter of the 31st ultimo, I applied to the Secretary of State, to write to Mr. King on the Subject of the articles you had ordered from London, which he informs me he has done by different opportunities‑‑ I am this day honoured with your of the 7th Instant, and will again apply to the Secretary of State on the Subject of Guns for which article however, I hope you will countermand your orders ‑ as you may have the most certain reliance, that they can be furnished quite in time, and of a quality, equal to those in England, from at least Some States in the Union ‑ and we cannot too Soon learn to depend upon ourselves for every thing necessary to our defence..."  [Ten 18‑pdrs and some other smaller guns were received and placed in the frigate building by public subscription at Portsmouth, NH.]


To Stephen Higginson & Co., Boston, MA, 13 Oct 1798:


        CONSTITUTION will return to Boston about 15‑20 November.  It is desirable to get her out again in 2‑3 weeks.


To John Coffin Jones, Boston, MA, 27 Feb 1799:


        Minimum colors to be made for the frigate: 1 set each of American, English, Dutch, Portuguese, and French [a set: ensign, jack, and pennant].  There ought to be extra American jacks "to hoist over French Colours" in the event of captures.


Vol 2 (March 21‑ November 5, 1799)


To Stephen Higginson & Co., Boston, MA, 19 Jun 1799:


        Lieutenants Beale and Jarvis ordered ashore from CONSTITUTION to await orders.  "...no Lieut. older than Hull now in the country..."


To Jacob Sheafe, Portsmouth, NH, 11 Aug 1799:


        Round shot of the best quality in Philadelphia costs $73.33/ton; double‑headed shot, $93.33/ton; grape and cannister, $100/ton.  [Presumably, this refers to 18‑pdrs.]


To Stephen Higginson & Co., Boston, MA, 29 Oct 1799:


        "The Keel of the Constitution was procured in New Jersey."


Vol 3 (November 5, 1799 ‑ August 20, 1800)


To Stephen Higginson & Co. Boston, MA, 13 Dec 1799:


        James Collins died in CONSTITUTION on 21 Oct; make no payment on power of attorney.


To Joshua Humphreys, Philadelphia, PA, 25 Dec 1799:


        Your estimate of rigging calls for 10 1/2" cable laid main shrouds in the 44s; second size, 9".  Are they "4 strand"?


To Stephen Higginson & Co., Boston, MA, 18 Apr 1800:


        On anchors ordered for the Navy, an eagle is to be cut in the crown, together with the letters "USA" and the initials of the maker, if he desires.


To Captain Robert Gill, Philadelphia, PA,, 18 May 1800:


        "...ship to New York for the Frigate President 25,000# Cannon & 1500# musket powder 180 Muskets & Bayonets & 100 Boarding Axes..."


To Stephen Higginson & Co., Boston, MA, 9 Jul 1800:


        Get a foremast in hand for CONSTITUTION.


To Stephen Higginson & Co., Boston, MA, 8 Aug 1800:


        Get a new hemp cable for CONSTITUTION.


Roll 2, Vol 4 (August 26 ‑ September 18, 1801)


To Captain Robert Gill, Philadelphia, PA, 6 Oct 1800:


        Ship to Higginson for CONSTITUTION the following 12‑pdr ammunition: 910 round, 700 double headed, 560 grape, and 490 canister.


To Stephen Higginson & Co., Boston, MA, 9 Oct 1800:


        "...The shot for the Constitution mentioned in your letter of the 26th ulto. has been ordered from Phila. as the furnace at Plymouth could not at once commence making the shot."


To Stephen Higginson & Co., Boston, MA, 29 Oct 1800:


        "...Capt. Talbot, I believe must return to St. Domingo ‑ I wish the station was better suited to his activity & bravery..."


To Stephen Higginson & Co., Boston, MA, 31 Oct 1800:


        Make an offer to Paul Revere of a $12,000 loan if he will undertake to establish a copper sheathing manufactory within the next 18 months; England currently won't sell any, and 30,000 lbs wanted.


To Stephen Higginson & Co., Boston, MA, 6 Nov 1800:


        "...I wish the Constitution to be in a state of readiness to sail, but I have not finally determined upon her destination..."


To Stephen Higginson & Co., Boston, MA, 18 Nov 1800:


        "...In two days Capt. Talbot's instructions to sail for St. Domingo will be sent on..."


To Colonel William W. Burrows, Washington, DC, 14 Apr 1801:


        "The following arrangement is decided on in respect to the Ships & vessels of the Navy named, viz,...

    "Constitution                            prepared for service..."


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 4 May 1801:


        "...Capt Talbot will have orders to pay off the crew of the Constitution, reserving as many Seamen as will be necessary to take care of her.  She will remain at Boston..."


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 29 Jun 1801:


        A loan is coming for Revere; copper contract in force.


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 29 Jul 1801:


        "By Captain Talbot's report this day received, it appears that the Frigate Constitution, instead of being a perfectly sound ship as she had been considered until now, is in such a situation as to require a thorough repair‑‑ Be pleased therefore to have her put in hand at once, and completed with as much dispatch as may be consistently [sic] with a due regard to its being well done‑‑"  Talbot is to supervise.


 Vol 5 (September 21, 1801 ‑ August 31, 1802)


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 27 Oct 1801:


        Discharge CONSTITUTION's seamen and substitute a Marine Guard.


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 9 Nov 1801:


        How long will it take to make CONSTITUTION "completely ready for sea"?


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 12 Nov 1801:


        Revere has "a quantity of cold rolled sheathing copper prepared...which requires inspection..."  Appoint two inspectors.


To Lieutenant Colonel Commandant W. W. Burrows, Washington, DC, 19 Nov 1801:


        A letter from the commanding officer of CONSTITUTION contained the following paragraph:

        "I had previous to receipt of your Letter taken what few Marines Capt. Clark had, as a guard for the Constitution, but there were but 12 privates retained, some of which have run, and others sick, I find but six able to do duty, &c."


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 19 Nov 1801:


        Notes that some of the live oak assembled for building a 74 was used in repairing CONSTITUTION.


To Lieutenant Colonel Commandant W. W. Burrows, Washington, DC, 20 Nov 1801:


        CONSTITUTION should have a Marine Guard of 1 officer and 25 privates; make it so.


To William Pennock, Norfolk, VA, 5 Dec 1801:


        44‑gun frigate mast sizes: fore 95' x 32"; main, 105' x 35"; mizzen, 92' x 24"; bowsprit 64' x 34".


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 10 Dec 1801:


        The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is asking for the return of some guns loaned to CONSTITUTION.


To Samuel Brown, 12 Jan 1802:


        200 barrels of powder are being sent from Baltimore for CONSTITUTION.


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 19 Jan 1802:


        How soon will CONSTITUTION be ready for service?


To Captain Samuel Nicholson, Boston, MA, 25 Jan 1802:


        Only 1 plank of live oak "thick stuf [sic]" was used from the supply for the 74.


To Mrs. Maria Butler, Pittsburgh, PA, 26 Feb 1802:


        Forwarded herewith is a letter ordering your Midshipman son to CONSTITUTION at Boston.  "This is one of the largest & best ships in the Navy & commanded by a gentleman of a most excellent character."


To Captain Samuel Nicholson, Boston, MA, 1 Apr 1802:


        Had to transfer Lieutenant Hull to ADAMS at Norfolk.  Take charge of CONSTITUTION and superintend her repairs.


To Captain Samuel Nicholson, Boston, MA, 20 Apr 1802:


        CONSTITUTION must be hove down.  Her copper reportedly is worn out, but only actual inspection can verify.  Do what is necessary.


To Captain Samuel Nicholson, Boston, MA, 3 May 1802:


        No immediate orders for CONSTITUTION, but she must be ready.


To Captain Samuel Nicholson, Boston, M, 9 May 1802:


        Suspend heaving down until further notice.


To Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 29 May 1802:


        Report to Samuel Brown the amount of copper now ready for delivery.  He will appoint 3 inspectors to certify its acceptability.


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 16 Jun 1802:


        Repairs to CONSTITUTION cannot be completed due to lack of funds.


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 19 Jun 1802:


        CONSTITUTION this date ordered into ordinary with "Mr. Haraden" in command.


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 14 Jul 1802:


        Glad you found "Capt. Stevens" qualified for a Navy position and have provided for him on board CONSTITUTION.


To Governor Caleb Strong, Boston, MA, 18 Jul 1802:


        Notes that Caleb Davis, Quartermaster General of the Commonwealth, refused delivery of cannon borrowed earlier for CONSTITUTION, together with shot, during Dec 1801‑Jan 1802 [period of refusal] and wanted money instead.  There will be no cash.  The Navy is still ready to return the weapons when an agent is designated to receive them.


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 30 Jul 1802:


        Sell off all pork but that from "last season," together with all beef and bread but that needed for CONSTITUTION.


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 7 Aug 1802:


        Approved an "awning of boards" not having been put over CONSTITUTION.  Is uncertain how long she will remain in ordinary.


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 9 Aug 1802:


        Have received a request from Dr. William Dunn, formerly of the Navy, to be employed attending the Navy Yard Marines and the men in CONSTITUTION.  You may hire him at a Surgeon's Mate's salary if you wish.  [Done.]


To George Blake, Boston, MA, 16 Aug 1802:


        I do not have the authority to order your brother to take charge of CONSTITUTION.  A Lieutenant is not authorized for a ship in ordinary.


Vol 6 (September 1, 1802 ‑ November 28, 1803)


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 4 Oct 1802:


        Is CONSTITUTION really in a very leaky condition?


 To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 10 Apr 1803:


        More information requested concerning the unresolved cannon loan business.


To Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 18 Apr 1803:


        Samuel Brown is to inspect the 20‑ounce copper and accept it if approved.


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 18 Apr 1803:


        "On the 20th of June 1801 Mr. Paul Revere contracted with the Secretary of the navy to prepare and deliver within 18 months from the date of the contract 30,000 lbs of cold rolled sheathing copper suitable in quality workmanship and in all respects for 74 Gun Ships..."


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 14 May 1803:


        Captain Preble ordered to command CONSTITUTION this date; to get her ready for sea as soon as possible.


To Colonel Commandant W. W. Burrows, USMC, 26 May 1803:


        CONSTITUTION to get 1 Captain, 1 Lieutenant, sergeants, corporals, Music, and 40 Privates.


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 28 May 1803:


        "If you have enough [copper] in store of the proper Kind furnish Captain Preble with it and engage with Mr. Revere to replace what you may so furnish."


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 30 May 1803:


        "You are to supply Capn. Preble with sheathing copper from the Stock laid in for the 74s as heretofore advised."


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 31 May 1803:


        "If Capt. Preble should require 6 or 8 Carronades for the Constitution, you may purchase them ‑‑ Eight 42 pound Carronades on the Quarter Deck would be a powerful battery."


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 4 Jun 1803:


        Capt. Preble has doubts about CONSTITUTION's powder.  If found "injured," get it remanufactured.  Let me know if your require new powder to avoid delaying the ship.


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 7 Jun 1803:


        Preble this day ordered to recruit his crew.  His able seamen, ordinary seamen, and boys are to be allowed 2 months advance; his warrants, 4 months.  He has been told to pay able seamen not more than $10/mo. and to enlist men for 2 years.  These are lower wages and twice the term as before.  Let me know if it can't be done.


To Henry Jackson, Boston, MA, 5 Jul 1803:


        Midshipman Louis Alexis ordered to CONSTITUTION this date per your request.


To Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 9 Jul 1803:


        Return not yet received on delivery of copper.


To Paul Revere, Boston, MA, 22 Jul 1803:


        "Practical gentlemen" disapprove of cold rolled copper as "too hard;" for the rest of your contract, make it "soft."


Roll 3, Vol 7 (December 1, 1803 ‑ June 29, 1805)


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 18 Jan 1804:


        Paul Revere has "recently delivered" upwards of 60,000 lbs of copper to the Navy Store Keeper ‑‑ it is supposed to be suitable for 74s; inspect it.


To Daniel Bedinger, Norfolk, VA, 7 May 1804:


        CONSTITUTION needs certain spars which will be sent out in JOHN ADAMS.  Mr. Josiah Fox, naval constructor, will provide details.


To Samuel Brown, Boston, MA, 2 Jun 1804:


        Deliver to Massachusetts the guns once borrowed for CONSTITUTION.


To Messrs. Riddle & Bird, Newcastle, DE, 7 Feb 1805:


        Benjamin Woodly has put in a salvage claim for retrieving an anchor lost by CONSTITUTION in the Delaware.  Please validate.  [Done, 11 Feb 1805.]


To Colonel F. Wharton, Washington, DC, 3 Apr 1805:


        Privates Michael Cannon and Charles Young were severely wounded off Tripoli.  Promote them sergeants and assign them to the Marine Barracks, Washington.


Vol 8 (July 1, 1805 ‑ July 31, 1807)


To Isaiah Alden, Cohasset, MA, 24 Oct 1805:


        Lemuel Taylor was in CONSTITUTION as of 11 Jan 1805.


To Mrs. Mary Webster, Philadelphia, PA, 14 May 1807:


        Jesse Webster was transferred from PRESIDENT to CONSTITUTION on 5 Jul 1805 and was still there in May 1806.  The ship is expected to return to the US "next fall."


To Mrs. Mary Williamson, Richmond, VA, 17 Jun 1807:


        Reuben Williamson was transferred from ESSEX to CONSTITUTION on 30 May 1806.  The ship expected home in "autumn."


Vol 9 (August 1, 1807 ‑ May 13, 1809)


To Colonel Samuel Hughes, Cecil Iron Works, MD, 18 Sep 1807:


        24‑ and 32‑pdr cannon are to be 18 diameters long.


To Isaiah Alden, Barnstable, MA, 19 Nov 1807:


        Lemuel Taylor entered CONSTITUTION at Boston 9 Jul 1803, was transferred to PRESIDENT, and discharged and paid off in full at Washington 26 Sep 1805.


To John Beekman, New York, NY, 26 Nov 1807:


        Have sent $52,000 to Purser Gwin Harris with which to pay off CONSTITUTION's crew.


To Mrs. Mary Williamson, Richmond, VA, 7 Jan 1808:


        Reuben Williamson was discharged from CONSTITUTION and paid off in full on 4 Dec 1807.


To John Bullus, New York, NY, 21 Mar 1808:


        CONSTITUTION is to receive 30 24‑pdrs from General Stricker in Baltimore and 20 32‑pdr carronades "new‑made" by Henry Foxall in Georgetown (both ordered this same date); the 24 pdrs were made by Cecil Iron Works in Nov 1807.


To Francis Johonnot, Boston, MA, 3 May 1808:


        "By a letter from Comm. Rodgers dated 29 ulto. I am informed that the copper with which the Constitution was last sheathed & which is at present on her bottom is superior he ever saw [sic]."  Was originally 36‑oz./ft2, but is down to 32‑oz./ft2 after 6 years wear.  Who made it?  Where?  When?  For how much?


To John Bullus, New York, NY, 21 Jul 1808:


        CONSTITUTION's powder needs to be remanufactured.  Ship it to George Harrison at Philadelphia, who will have it done at Decatur's and returned.


To George Harrison, Philadelphia, 21 Jul 1808:


        I have directed John Bullus to sent you about 146 barrels of powder for remanufacture and return to CONSTITUTION.


To Barry McDermott, Rockland County, NY, 14 Sep 1808:


        The Department has no information regarding prize money for the crew of CONSTITUTION.


To Keith Spence, New Orleans, LA, 11 Nov 1808:


        "I have determined to introduce in lieu of West India Rum the use of Rye Whiskey on the different Stations.  From the experiment made, this liquor is approved by the Seamen."


To Colonel Samuel Hughes, Havre de Grace, MD, 17 Jan 1809:


        "...Kentledge ‑‑ 24 inches long, 6 inches by 5 inches square weighing about 180 pounds.  The form to be an oblong cube ‑‑ a hole of about 1 1/2 inches in diameter at each end to pass obliquely through."


To John Bullus, New York, NY, 21 Feb 1809:


        CONSTITUTION needs 800 32‑pdr and 500 24‑pdr shot.  Have forged in foundry near New York at $69.33 to $70 per ton.


Roll 4, Vol 10 (May 15, 1809 ‑ November 12, 1811)


To General Stricker, Baltimore, MD, 26 Jun 1809:


        Send 28‑oz. sheathing for PRESIDENT.   [Other letters from same period indicate this was standard weight for frigates.]


To Colonel Thomas Shubrick, Charleston, SC, 6 Jul 1809:


        WASP, with William Shubrick aboard, probably will sail for foreign shores before Edward Shubrick can reach her.  I have, therefore, offered him the option of joining John Shubrick in ARGUS or going in CONSTITUTION.  I prefer he joins the latter.  [He did.]


To E. Arnud [sic], Petersburgh, VA, 26 Jul 1809:


        "Mr. Pearce" is an officer in CONSTITUTION.  There have been no complaints of impropriety against him.


To Francis Johonnot, Boston, MA, 2 Dec 1809:


        Cold rolled sheathing copper has been "exploded by experience;" contract only for hot rolled in the future.


 To James Beatty, Baltimore, MD, 30 May 1810:


        CONSTITUTION is at Annapolis [at least since 28 May].


To James Beatty, Baltimore, MD, 2 Jun 1810:


        Buy mast hoop iron 3 1/2", 3", and 2 1/2" wide; all 3/8" thick.


To Francis Johonnot, Boston, MA, 13 Aug 1810:


        PRESIDENT needs a bell 20" in largest diameter at mouth and 15" clear height exclusive of the crank ring.  Send it with Captain Hull in CONSTITUTION for delivery when and as he falls in with PRESIDENT.  [CONGRESS was ordered a 22" wide bell at Philadelphia, 30 Sep 1811.]


To the Honorable Ambrose Spencer, Albany, NY, 26 Sep 1810:


        "Mr. Fields is ordered to the Constitution," per request.


To Representative Benjamin Pickman, Washington, DC, 7 Jan 1811:


        John Cocker of CONSTITUTION has 15 cents due him.  [Not on muster roll.]


To Senator Stephen R. Bradley, 11 Feb 1811:


        Samuel S. Wells is presently serving in CONSTITUTION and will be discharged when a substitute is furnished.


To George Harrison, Philadelphia, PA, 10 May 1811:


        "Mr. Barlow" will go to France in CONSTITUTION, which is now enroute Boston to Annapolis.


To Mrs. Eliza Browne, Norwich, CT, 13 May 1811:


        I regret there is insufficient time to order your [Midshipmen] sons to CONSTITUTION before she sails for Europe.  [Ordered to PRESIDENT, 10 Jun 1811.]


To George Harrison, Philadelphia, PA, 21 May 1811:


        Lieutenant Stephen Crane to recruit 20‑40 able seamen for CONSTITUTION in your city.


To James Beatty, Baltimore, MD, 6 Jun 1811:


        Send to Dr. James R. Trevett [sic], Surgeon of CONSTITUTION, 12 tourniquets with straps and buckles, and 12 yards of strong webbing and one dozen buckles for same.


To Thomas Diggs, 24 Jul 1811:


        CONSTITUTION still at Annapolis.


To Mrs. Mary de Butts, Mount Welby, ?, 28 Jul 1811:


        Your request regarding Madame Nozzoline cannot be complied with; CONSTITUTION already has too many passengers.


To Nehemiah Knowlton & Moses E. Colbey [sic], ?, 30 Sep 1811:


        On inquiry, it was found that George Parsons and Benjamin Colby [sic] were received in ESSEX at Cherbourg and accepted advances of money for shipping.  They are now, voluntarily, in CONSTITUTION on foreign service.  [Muster roll shows both transferred from WASP.]


Vol 11 (November 13, 1811 ‑ October 14, 1813)


To Navy Agents Beatty, Harrison, and Amos Binney (Boston, MA), 22 Apr 1812:


        Captain Hull is sending recruiters to your cities for CONSTITUTION.


 To Navy Agent Amos Binney, Boston, MA, 2 Jun 1812:


        Send copies of CONSTITUTION's plans.


To Navy Agent James Beatty, Baltimore, MD, 2 Jun 1812:


        Wanted for CONSTITUTION: 1 book of charts of American coast, nautical almanacs for 1812 and as far in the future as extant, 1 chart of British Channel, 1 case of mathematical instruments, and 500‑800 lbs of whipping twine, as soon as possible.


To Navy Agent Amos Binney, Boston, MA, 16 Jun 1812:


        Have plans of CONSTITUTION made by "Mr. Hart [sic]."


To Navy Agent Amos Binney, Boston, MA, 8 Sep 1812:


        $4000 has been requested to repair CONSTITUTION and PRESIDENT; $10,000 is being sent because "you will certainly want more" for this work.


To Navy Agent George Harrison, Philadelphia, PA, 10 Sep 1812:


        Send chronometer to Commodore Bainbridge in CONSTITUTION.


To Navy Agent George Harrison, Philadelphia, PA, 16 Sep 1812:


        Send chronometer and "book of Charts" to Commodore Bainbridge with Lieutenant Shubrick.


To Richard Dunn, late Seaman of the frigate CONSTITUTION (wounded in the action with the GUERRIERE), Boston, MA, 19 Feb 1813:


        Send me your pension certificate made out to Pennsylvania and another will be issued for Massachusetts.


To Navy Agent John Bullus, New York, NY, 22 Feb 1813:


        "...the Constitution has arrived."


Vol 12 (October 18, 1813 ‑ October 21, 1816)


To Messrs Alexander Glennis & Son & Co., Navy Agents, London, 4 Jan 1814:


        Current USN pay scales:


Captain (32 guns +)

$100+8 rats ($0.20 each)

Captain (20 guns +)


Master Commandant


Lieutenant Commandant








Surgeon's Mate


Sailing Master














Master's Mate


Captain's Clerk


Boatswain's Mate




Yeoman of the Gun Room


Quarter Gunner




Carpenter's Mate












Able Seamen


Ordinary Seamen & Boys



To William C. Aylwin, Boston, MA, 7 Jul 1814:


        Appointed judge advocate for a court martial aboard CONSTITUTION.


To William C. Aylwin, Boston, MA, 11 Jul 1814.


        Appointment revoked; court already in session in UNITED STATES.


To F. F. McFarland, Boston MA, 13 May 1815:


        Lieutenant Ballard was First Lieutenant of CONSTITUTION on her last cruise.


To William Woods, Philadelphia, PA, 6 Jun 1815:


        Your bill for $184.46, for work done in CONSTITUTION, was ordered paid at New York on 23 Apr 1808.


To Representative Stephen Ormsby, Washington, DC, 24 Feb 1816:


        Regret unable to order Surgeon's Mate John D. Armstrong to active duty.


To Representative William Roane, Washington, DC, 16 Apr 1816:


        John Hart was transferred from CONSTITUTION to HORNET at sea on 12 Dec 1812.  He died on board the latter vessel on 24 Feb 1813 with $119.36 due him.


To Constant Freeman, Accountant of the Navy, 3 Jul 1816:


        Forwards papers relating to monetary advances made to Midshipman Pardon M. Whipple while detained on Barbados by order of Governor Beckwith.


To James F. Baldwin, 7 Sep 1816:


        Congress has authorized $25,000 in lieu of prize money for CONSTITUTION's capture of LEVANT.


Roll 5, Vol 13 (October 22, 1816 ‑ April 30, 1821)


To James Linden, North East, MD, 13 Dec 1816:


        No John Linden attached to CONSTITUTION during the war.


 To Charles H. Pond, Milford, CT, 26 Mar 1817:


        "...I have to inform you that no balance has been returned by the Pursers of the U. S. Ships John Adams and Constitution, to the Office of the Accountant of this Department, as due to James Durand, and it is presumed, from his narrative of the manner in which he left the Frigate Constitution, that he would be entered on the Books of that Ship as a Deserter; but this, however, cannot be satisfactorily established, at present, as all the Muster Rolls for that period have been destroyed."


To Henry Clark, Kennebunk, ME, 25 Jun 1817:


        "...John Murphy...does not appear on the Pay Roll of the U. S. Ship Constitution from Sept. 1812, to June 1813, inclusive; and the Rolls of that Ship prior to 1812 were destroyed in the year 1814."  [Not so.]


To John Campbell, Glasgow, Scotland, 15 Oct 1817:


        When the late John Read (or Reid) was transferred from CONSTITUTION to the stores ship ALFRED, there was due him $99.81.  It will be paid to you, as his children's guardian, or to anyone you so designate.


To Collins Darling, Pawtucket, RI, 30 Dec 1817:


        Gilbert Jay is not to be found on CONSTITUTION's muster rolls.


To Representative John Holmes, Washington, DC, 5 Feb 1818:


        "...the widow of Joseph Adams killed aboard the U. S. Ship Constitution...is entitled to a pension of six dollars pr. month for a period of five years from the date of her husband's death.  She must forward a Certificate of Marriage, and respectable evidence of her being still the Widow...  There is a balance of pay $6.03 due to Adams which can be paid upon her order..."


To Honorable William P. Maclay, Lewiston, MA, 4 Aug 1818:


        Samuel Jack's name does not appear on any rolls either the Marine Corps or the CONSTITUTION when commanded by Captain Hull.  He may have used another name.


To Senator James Burrill, Jr., 26 Feb 1819:


        A Seaman named John Brown was killed in the action of CONSTITUTION and GUERRIERE, but descriptive information is lacking by which to specifically identify him.


To F. P. Duconge, Philadelphia, PA, 7 Mar 1821:


        The name John Rodgers does not appear on the rolls of CONSTITUTION in the years 1813, 1814, or 1815.


To Navy Agent Richard McCall, Gibraltar, 17 Apr 1821:


        Captain Jacob Jones has been ordered to proceed to the Mediterranean in CONSTITUTION to relieve Commodore William Bainbridge in command of that squadron.


To Governor J. Franklin, Raleigh, NC, 17 Apr 1821:


        With regard to the marble statue of General Washington, it wasn't ready when GUERRIERE returned home, and it is doubtful that COLUMBUS will have it when she returns later this year.  Captain Jacob Jones is going out now to take command of the Mediterranean Squadron with specific instructions to confer with Consul Appleton, and if it hasn't already been shipped, bring it to Norfolk with appropriate care when he returns to the US.


To Justice of the Peace John Morris, Erie, PA, 20 Apr 1821:


        Lieutenant Morris, USMC, has been ordered to CONSTITUTION, sailing for the Mediterranean, and cannot be ordered to Erie at this time.


Vol 14 (May 1, 1821 ‑ November 23, 1824)


To Henry Phelps, Gloucester, MA, 12 Oct 1821:


        "Joseph Haycock's name does not appear on the rolls of the Frigate Constitution at the Capture of the British Ships Guerriere and Java."  [It does.]


To John Heap, Newville, PA, 10 Mar 1822:


        Your son, Dr. Samuel D. Heap, was at Leghorn, Italy, when he last wrote the Department on 20 May 1821.  He is delaying his return to the US to make the voyage in CONSTITUTION.


To N. B. Boileau, Hatborough, PA, 24 Apr 1823:


        Last returns received indicate that Private Samuel Yorke presently is serving in CONSTITUTION in the Mediterranean.


To John Heap, Newville, PA, 5 Jul 1823:


        No definite time has been set for CONSTITUTION's return.  Her crew was enlisted for 3 years.


 To Dr, John Heap, Newville, PA, 22 Jan 1824:


        Your son, Samuel, has been appointed U. S. Consul pro tem at Tunis.  Whether or not he will return to the U. S. in CONSTITUTION is uncertain.


To John M. White, Boston, MA, 11 Mar 1824:


        The name of Thomas (alias James) Forbes does not appear on any CONSTITUTION muster roll for her current commission.  [There was a Robert Forbes, however.]


To John M. White, Boston, MA, 15 Mar 1824:


        Robert Forbes died on 31 Oct 1821.  A small balance is due him.


 To Alexander Burton, New York NY, 15 Jun 1824:


        CONSTITUTION's sailing date has not yet been decided.  If you are still in country and wish transportation, I will so inform you.


To Charles D. Coxe, Sydney, NJ, 19 Jul 1824:


        You will be provided transportation in CONSTITUTION and must be ready to sail in 3 or 4 weeks so as not to delay the ship.  As Congress has not appropriated any monies for the purpose, you must pay for all your needs during the voyage but not for the passage itself.  [Coxe made the trip to Tunis, where he became Consul, with his wife, 5 children, and a secretary.]


To Francis Alexander, Providence, RI, 13 Oct 1824:


        CONSTITUTION already has too many passengers for her forthcoming voyage.


To Constantine Smyth, New York, NY, 14 Oct 1824:


        CONSTITUTION already has too many passengers for her forthcoming voyage.


To General J. B. Smith, New York, NY, 18 Oct 1824:


        CONSTITUTION already has too many passengers for her forthcoming voyage.


To William F. Curry, Philadelphia, PA, 19 Oct 1824:


        CONSTITUTION already has a Chaplain.


Vol 15 (November 23, 1824 ‑ January 9, 1827)


 To Gregory White, Boston, MA, 30 Sep 1825:


        The name "Wm. Nines" does not appear on CONSTITUTION's muster rolls.


To James Beahan, Dublin, Ireland, 24 Feb 1826:


        Private James Swords died on board USS CONSTITUTION on 7 Sep 1825, but, although it is known money is due him, the Paymaster of the Marine Corps has not yet received his records from the ship to know the precise amount.


To Henry Fry, Chimney Point, VT, 31 Mar 1826:


        A. H. M. Conklin resigned his commission as Lieutenant on 8 Feb 1820.


To Z. S. Barstow, Keene, NH, 4 Apr 1826:


        The Department currently has no more detail on the death of Lieutenant Henry S. Newcomb than has been made public.  He had been given permission to leave the Mediterranean by Commodore Rodgers due to his "bad state of health."


To Durand St. Andre, Consul General of France, 9 Nov 1826:


        "Respecting the claim of Prize Money of the two Seamen, Lantin & Grinier, which you submitted to me, I have caused diligent inquiry to be made.  It does not appear that the claimants are entitled to any prize money.  The vessels which they state were captured, were all restored, excepting two, the Ketch [MASTICO, later INTREPID] and the Scourge.  The ketch was used as a fire vessel: prize money was paid in the case of the Scourge, but the Frigate Constitution was not present, or in sight, at the time of the capture; and consequently, neither the officers nor crew of that ship, to which the claimants were attached, were allowed to participate."


Roll 6, Vol 16 (January 9, 1827 ‑ August 20, 1828)


To U. S. Consul Thomas Wilson, Dublin, Ireland, 24 Jan 1827:


        Forwarded are the papers identifying Mary Ann Beahan as administrator of former Marine Private James Swords' estate and a bill of exchange in the amount of $33.24 due that estate.  He died while serving in CONSTITUTION.


To the Honorable Elisha Phelps, Simsbury, CT, 6 Mar 1827:


        CONSTITUTION "will probably return in the course of the ensuing summer."


To Timothy Veron [?], Philadelphia, PA, 28 Aug 1827:


        Carpenter Thomas Rogers does not appear on the rolls of CONSTITUTION between 2 Jul 1809 and 24 Jun 1815.  Samuel R. Rogers was the ship's Carpenter from 2 Jul 1809 to 1 Jan 1812 and George J. Whittemore from 24 Jun 1813 to 1815.  There is no Carpenter on the rolls from January 1812 to June 1813.  [Not so.]


To Reverend John Waters, New Hartford, NY, 16 Oct 1827:


        I am not allowed to allocate a person's wages without his consent, but since your son's ship, CONSTITUTION, will soon be returning, I will write to the Purser to delay payments until then.  [Apparently Marine Private John Waters.]


To Asa Daniels, Salem, CT, 19 Dec 1827:


        "The Constitution may be expected home soon."


To J. B. Mower, New York, NY, 9 Jan 1828:


        Your son could be transferred from CONSTITUTION to either DELAWARE or JAVA were it not for the fact that both those ships already have full complements of midshipmen.


To Noah Hubbard, Norwich, NY, 7 Mar 1828:


        You son may be discharged and permitted to return in a public vessel.  "...The Frigate Constitution is under orders [to return to the US], but it is probable she will have left the Mediterranean before a letter can reach her..."


To James U. McCulloch, Baltimore, MD, 21 Mar 1828:


        "It is with sincere regret that I communicate to you intelligence of the death of your brother, Lieutenant George B. McCulloch.  He died on the morning of the 31st of December, 1827 [in CONSTITUTION]."


To Dr. Thomas Johnson, U. of Virginia, 15 Apr 1828:


        "...Doctor James Cormick is now on board the Frigate 'Constitution,' in the Mediterranean, and is very soon expected to return to the US..."


To Rev. John Waters, New Hartford, NY, 17 Apr 1828:


        CONSTITUTION is expected to arrive next month, probably at Boston.


 To William O'Neale, Washington, DC, 6 Jun 1828:


        "It is with sincere regret that I communicate to you, for the information of the family of John B. Timberlake, deceased, Purser of the Navy of the United States, and lately attached to the Frigate Constitution, in the Mediterranean, that that Officer died on the morning of the 2d of April last, after a long and painful illness."


To Mrs. Margaret Timberlake, Washington, DC, 14 Jun 1828:


        "I have received your letter of this date.  The Frigate Constitution will probably arrive at Boston.‑‑  No apprehensions need be entertained respecting the safety of the effects of your late husband.  They will be carefully preserved by the Commander of the ship, and be left in charge of the Naval Storekeeper at the port of arrival, until claimed by the legal representatives of the deceased.  A complete inventory of all the effects, would be made by the Commander, as soon as practicable after Mr. Timberlake's death."


 To Messrs A. Randolph & J. Lodges, Philadelphia, PA, 14 Jul 1828:


        Information on the pay account of the late Michael Henley, an Ordinary Seaman in CONSTITUTION, will not be available until the Purser's accounts are audited.


To Samuel M. Fitch, New York, NY, 1 Aug 1828:


        Ordinary Seaman Joseph Arnet should have obtained a discharge and a statement of his account from the Acting Purser of CONSTITUTION.


To Samuel M. Fitch, New York, NY, 13 Aug 1828:


        Joseph Arnet is marked Run on CONSTITUTION's muster rolls and thus has forfeited all wages due him.


Vol 17 (August 20, 1828 ‑ December 31, 1830)


To Messrs Redhead & Spiers, London, England, 19 Nov 1828:


        It appears that Seaman Joseph Vendensteen was discharged and paid off from CONSTITUTION at Boston on 12 Jul 1828.


To Amos Gustine, Mifflin, PA, 28 Apr 1829:


        William Hornell's name is not on the muster rolls of CONSTITUTION for the past 10 years.


To J. W. Murdaugh, Richmond, VA, 5 Feb 1830:


        It appears that Lieutenant Alexander Eskridge was in CONSTITUTION when she fought GUERRIERE.  [He was.]


Roll 7, Vol 18 (January 3, 1830 ‑ April 19, 1832)


To Dennis Fitzpatrick, Liverpool, England, 30 Dec 1831:


        The names John or Patrick Foy are not to be found on the muster rolls of CONSTITUTION.


To C. F. Welles, Wyalusing, PA, 27 Mar 1832:


        Am unable to identify James Irwin aboard CONSTITUTION in 1799 as all her rolls prior to August 1814 "were burnt."  [Not so.]



Vol 18A (January 3 ‑ December 10, 1832)


To Francis O. J. Smith, Portland, ME, 5 Dec 1832:


        "...there is no such name as David Hutchins on the Rolls of the Constitution."


Vol 18B (December 10 ‑ 31, 1832)




Vol 19 (April 20, 1832 ‑ January 20, 1834)


To S. Cowdry, New York, NY, 30 Nov 1832:


        Charles Goldsborough, CONSTITUTION's prize agent for GUERRIERE and JAVA, reports the name William Harrington is not on the rolls in his possession.  You are referred John McCauley of Philadelphia as regards the rolls relating to CYANE and LEVANT.  [There was a William Harrington aboard early in 1814.]


Roll 8, Vol 20 (January 21 ‑ December 4, 1834)


To Representative G. Y. Lansing, Washington, DC, 7 Mar 1834:


        "...no Commanders have yet been selected for either the Constitution or Erie, & probably none will be [until] the ensuing season..."


To James Ward, Hartford, CT, 14 Mar 1834:


        "...your application for your son's employment on board the Constitution as been duly entered."  [He was not so ordered.]


 To Joseph Butler, Boston, MA, 15 May 1834:


        William Cutchin [sic] shipped for CONSTITUTION on 21 Sep 1813 and was discharged and paid off on 5 Apr 1814.  No record of any prize money due him.


To Stephen Dod [sic], Newark, NJ, 17 Jul 1834:


        Your request for orders for your midshipman son to either POTOMAC or CONSTITUTION has been placed on file.  [Wasn't ordered to CONSTITUTION.]


To George McIntosh, Norfolk, VA, 25 Jul 1834:


        Your son's request for orders to CONSTITUTION will be considered.  [Not issued.]


To Amos Chick, Charlestown, MA, 31 Jul 1834:


        A Carpenter already has been appointed to POTOMAC and I cannot make any commitment as to CONSTITUTION at this time.


To George Penniman, Quincy, MA, 16 Sep 1834:


        "...The Constitution will probably be fitted for Sea by next Spring..."


To Dr. Thomas Henderson, West Point, NY, 4 Oct 1834:


        Your request for orders for your son, Midshipman James L. Henderson, to CONSTITUTION will be considered at the appropriate time.  [He got them.]


To Elijah Hayward, Washington, DC, 31 Oct 1834:


        Midshipman James McCormick's request for orders to CONSTITUTION will be considered at the appropriate time.  [He didn't get them.]


To John C. Henshaw, Brooklyn, NY, 5 Nov 1834:


        The commander of CONSTITUTION has yet to be named.


Vol 21 (December 5, 1834 ‑ December 9, 1835)


To Representative Lewis Williams, Washington, DC, 5 Dec 1834:


        Passed Midshipman John T. Williams' request for orders to CONSTITUTION will be considered at the appropriate time.  [He didn't get them.]


To Senator Hugh L. White, Washington, DC, 8 Dec 1834:


        Passed Midshipman John T. Williams' request for orders to CONSTITUTION will be considered at the appropriate time.  [Not issued.]


To Senator Theodore Freylinghausen, Washington, DC, 8 Dec 1834:


        Passed Midshipman John F. Mercer will be considered when officers are ordered to CONSTITUTION.  [Not included.]


To Representative R. H. Wild, Washington, DC, 22 Dec 1834:


        Midshipman Edward A. Drake, now attached to VANDALIA, which is about to sail, already has received much indulgence from the Department.  He cannot be transferred to CONSTITUTION.


To Representative James P. Heath, Washington, DC, 24 Dec 1834:


        "...it Cannot be positively ascertained from the records of this Department wether [sic] the Medal Dated [sic] to the nearest Male relative of Lieutenant Bush, has or has not been already delivered.  There are a few of the Medals left which commerate [sic] the Victory of...Constitution over...Guerriere:‑ and one will be presented in this case on the relations explaining why it has not been before claimed, and furnishing satisfactory evidence to the Department that it has not been heretofore received."


To Representative George Loyall, Washington, DC, 6 Jan 1835:


        Midshipman George T. Sinclair's request for orders to CONSTITUTION will be considered at the appropriate time.  [He got them.]


To Representative William N. Shines, Washington, DC, 6 Jan 1835:


        "...The Department has not made any final directions as to the Constitution..."


To Representative J. P. Heath, Washington, DC, 17 Jan 1835:


        "...It gives me pleasure to send you herewith a large Silver Medal and letter to be delivered to Lewis Bush Jackson as the nearest Male relative of Lieutenant Wm S. Bush who was killed on board the Frigate Constitution in the Conflict with the British ship Guerriere..."


To William Jenkins, Lancaster, PA, 11 Feb 1835:


         Your request for your son, A. Hubley Jenkins, to be ordered to CONSTITUTION is acknowledged.  [Done.]


To Senator Jacob Kirn, Washington, DC, 3 Mar 1835:


        The orders for Passed Midshipman Barton to report to CONSTITUTION have been revoked today.


To Henry Middleton, Charleston, SC, 21 Mar 1835:


        "Your Son applied for Service in the Mediterranean in Decr last, but as it was not known that the Constitution would go to that Station he was not detailed for that Ship.  It is yet a Matter of uncertainty whether She will go into that Sea, this will depend upon our relations with France.  The Constitution will return to the United States, and if our relations with France shall continue Pacific, she will be sent into the Mediterranean with her present Officers & Men..."  [Edward Middleton joined CONSTITUTION in Aug.]


To John Sullivan, Philadelphia, PA, 15 Jun 1835:


        "...The Constitution having a full complement of Midshipmen it may not be practicable to order Midshipman Wager to that Ship,..."  [He joined CONSTITUTION in Aug.]


To William Drayton, Philadelphia, PA, 3 Jul 1835:


        Your son, Passed Midshipman Percival Drayton will be ordered to CONSTITUTION.


To Mrs. Mary Gordon, New York, NY, 14 Jul 1835:


        Investigation into your request for the discharge of James Gordon discovered fraud.  [Returned as dead letter, Feb 1836.]


To M. Van Buren, New York, NY, 18 Jul 1835:


        "...young Mr. Flemming..." has been ordered to CONSTITUTION.  [Midshipman Charles Fleming joined the ship in Aug.]


To Hon. J. B. Southerland, Philadelphia, PA, 20 Jul 1835:


        Your letter requesting a discharge for Seaman Walter Downie has been received.  It is customary not to grant one unless requested by the individual himself.  [Downie discharged in Aug.]


 To Joseph Haycock, Gloucester, MA, 22 Jul 1835:


        An inspection of CONSTITUTION's muster rolls failed to disclose the name of Joseph Haycock.  [Haycock was aboard 1811‑13.]


To E. L. Child, Washington, DC, 29 Jul 1835:


        CONSTITUTION has no room for Passed Midshipman Larkin among her officers.  [Larkin eventually served in the ship as a Lieutenant in the 1850s.]


To Edward C. Ward, Professor of Mathematics, New York, NY, 1 Aug 1835:


        "It is my intention at some time to establish a Board for examination of teachers of Mathematics for our public Vessels.  In the meantime I wish to have two or three examined, and must request you make the examinations.  J. E. Dow has been rated I understand as Teacher of Mathematics on board the Constitution in her trip to France & back, but for this trip her having on board a professor of Mathematics was a matter of no importance.  But when she is going into the Mediterranean, it is very important that a Professor every way qualified to do his duty should be on board.  If Mr. Dow should present himself for examination, I request you to examine him and report to me his acquirements in Mathematics and Nautical Science as I should prefer him for the Constitution if he is well qualified.  I shall also permit Horatio N. Robinson to present himself to you for examination and probably some others."


To J. E. Dow, USS CONSTITUTION, 1 Aug 1835:


        "As it is proper that the Teacher of Mathematics on board our Ships of war should be well acquainted with the Science they teach ‑ it is claimed necessary before their appointment, that they should undergo, an examination, before some well known and competent Professor.  I have therefore for the present requested Professor Edward C. Ward, at the Navy Yard at New York to make such examinations‑‑  If therefore it is your wish to be examined, you may present yourself to him for examination, and in case of such examination he will report your case."


To Mrs. Elizabeth Smith, New York, NY, 21 Aug 1835:


        Since CONSTITUTION has sailed, your request to discharge your husband James cannot be honored.  [Returned as dead letter, Feb 1836.]


To Messrs William Band & Son, Boston, MA, 29 Oct 1835:


        "A Copy of your letter to the President of the Navy Board dated September 2d in relation to a Time Keaper [sic] for transferring the time, valued at one hundred and twenty Dollars delivered on board the Constitution by order of Commodore Elliott has been referred to this Department.  The regulations of the Service do not Authorize any allowance for such instruments and I regret that the one in question was obtained without the knowledge or authority of the Department."


Roll 9, Vol 22 (December 9, 1835 ‑ September 28, 1836)


To William H. Turrell, Carrington, VA, 11 Dec 1835:


        A Surgeon was sent out in CONSTITUTION last Aug to relieve your brother in POTOMAC.  He should be on his way home in DELAWARE.


 To Mrs. Frances Elliott, Carlisle, PA, 24 Dec 1835:


        A letter has been received from CONSTITUTION at Port Mahon dated 27 Sep.  All appeared well at that time.


To Representative Jabez Jackson, Washington, DC, 22 Apr 1836:


        No‑one named James Morgan appears on the rolls of CONSTITUTION during the period stated.  There was an Ordinary Seaman named William Morgan in CONSTITUTION from 10 Jan to 10 Sep 1812.


To Amos Quimby, Boston, MA, 14 Jun 1836:


        Your son will be coming home on board POTOMAC.  [Private Joseph A. Quimby was transferred in Aug.]


To Representative John Reed, Washington, DC, 22 Jun 1836:


        As no record can be found of previous delivery, upon presentation of proof of identity of Lieutenant George Parker's widow, his medal for the capture of JAVA will be delivered to any designated representative.


To William R. Bond, Chillicothe, OH, 2 Jul 1836:


        In the case of Thomas Collins, a Seaman in CONSTITUTION in 1803‑5, no prize money was awarded for that period.  Three Turkish craft taken were returned.  [Quarter Gunner Thomas Collins was in CONSTITUTION during those years.]


Vol 23 (September 28, 1836 ‑ August 21, 1837)


 To Professor M. Caldwell, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, 10 Jan 1837:


        Lieutenant Rich [?] is now in CONSTITUTION.


To the Honorable E. T. Throop, New York, NY, 25 Mar 1837:


        "...the Frigate Constitution is not soon to return to the United States, but she may probably return in time for Midshipman Montgomery Hunt's examination, which cannot take place until the summer of 1838."


To Vice President R. N. Johnson, Great Crossings, KY, 23 Jun 1837:


        Commodore Elliott has been authorized to grant Midshipman J. W. Bryce a 6‑month leave at the expiration of the cruise.


To Enoch J. Titcomb, Boston, MA, 11 Jul 1837:


        Orange Gleason was not in CONSTITUTION when CYANE was captured.  [He was aboard for the JAVA capture.]


Vol 24 (August 21, 1837 ‑ May 18, 1838)


To Representative Joseph C. Noyce, Washington, DC, 4 Oct 1837:


        No man named Jeremiah Gray appears to have been in CONSTITUTION.  Perhaps he used an assumed name.


To Russell Jarvis, Philadelphia, PA, 18 Oct 1837:


        "...Commodore Elliott exhibited charges against Lt Hunter at Boston on which Lt Hunter was tried and acquited [sic] by the court.  He then exhibited charges against him for conspiracy on his first trial and upon this he was acquited, after which Lt Hunter complained to this Department.  The merits of the question cannot be understood until Commodore Elliott returns to the United States.  When he will probably ask for a court of inquiry before which time I should think it improper to make it a subject of newspaper investigation as it respects this case, that of Midn Barton, or that of Midn Calhoun of Philadelphia who has lately sent to the Department a statement of ill treatment which he aledges [sic] he has recd. from Commodore Elliott.  I should not feel at liberty to communicate the substance of these trials and complaints without the permission of Commodore Elliott.  The public ought to be satisfied with the fact that he is about on his public duty, and that he will not hesitate to meet all charges against him on his return."


 To Messrs S. Wall & P. Doyle, Baltimore, MD, 22 Nov 1837:


        There is nothing in Department records identifying prizes awarded CONSTITUTION during the War with Tripoli.  No Prize Agent is known.  A congressional resolution of 3 Mar 1805 awarded one month's pay to all enlisted personnel involved in Commodore Preble's attacks on that city.  Presumably, you have received this.


To William George Krebs, Baltimore, MD, 19 Jan 1838:


        Commodore Elliott has been directed to discharge Henry A. Dellahunt, if he desires it, as soon as his accounts are settled.


To John King, Salem, MA, 19 Mar 1838:


        It is not yet known at which port CONSTITUTION will arrive.


To Representative John Reed, Washington, DC, 2 Apr 1838:


        The name John or Josiah Small does not appear on the rolls of CONSTITUTION.


To Representative J. Jackson, Washington, DC, 24 Apr 1838:


        CONSTITUTION may be expected home in the Autumn.


Roll 10, Vol 25 (May 18, 1838 ‑ March 12, 1839)


To Mrs. Elizabeth Porter, Natchitoches, LA, 24 May 1838:


        CONSTITUTION will probably return soon with your son, Midshipman W. B. Porter.


To Mrs. Sarah A. Hunter, Norfolk, VA, 1 Aug 1838:


        If, on the return of CONSTITUTION, your son wishes to apply for discharge, it will be duly considered.  Individuals usually are expected to apply for themselves.


To John Morgan, Portland, ME, 20 Aug 1838:


        CONSTITUTION's rolls show that Seaman Joshua Johnson ran on 13 Mar 1813, thereby forfeiting any and all monies due him.


To William Snow, Baltimore, MD, 3 Sep 1838:


        Information of Charles Jones' wages will be forwarded when CONSTITUTION's payroll is received.


To John Gilmore, Butler, PA, 8 Sep 1838:


        The crew of CONSTITUTION has been paid off and discharged; this Department has no information on the present whereabouts of your son, John Gilmore.


To Augustus F. Lash, New Castle, ME, 11 Sep 1838:


        When it becomes necessary to order a Professor of Mathematics to duty, your request for orders to CONSTITUTION or OHIO will be considered.


To Thomas Payne, late of USS CONSTITUTION, Norfolk, VA, 15 Sep 1838:


        Commodore Elliott states crew was rated by CDR Boerum.  He has been contacted for information concerning your claim to having been rated Gunner's Yeoman.  You will be advised when his answer is received.


To William M. Price, New York, NY, 24 Sep 1838:


        Lieutenant [Oscar] Bullus given a 3 month furlough when CONSTITUTION returned.


To Thomas Payne, Norfolk, VA, 25 Sep 1838:


        You will be paid as Gunner's Yeoman.


 To Benjamin William Baker, Boston, MA, 9 Oct 1838:


        Your request for employment as Captain's or Purser's Clerk in CONSTITUTION is acknowledged.  No officers for that ship have yet been determined; selection of their clerks is a privilege of Captains and Pursers.


To John B. Hagan, Mobile, AL, 13 Dec 1838:


        "...the Constitution will not probably be sent to the Mediterranean..."


To Mrs. Elizabeth H. Parker, Philadelphia, PA, 22 Dec 1838:


        Your request that your two Apprentice sons be ordered to CONSTITUTION is acknowledged and forwarded to Commodore Ridgely at New York as a matter under his cognizance.


To F. Shephard, New York, NY, 14 Jan 1839:


        CONSTITUTION is expected to sail for the Pacific in a few weeks.


To Simmon & Gay, Boston, MA, 15 Jan 1839:


        [[Privates] James Gallagher and James Lowry were paid by Purser [Henry] Etting [of CONSTITUTION] for the period 26 Feb‑20 Jul 1835.


To Mrs. Nancy Woods, New York, NY, 22 Jan 1839:


        According to the record, your husband, Boatswain's Mate Michael Woods, was landed at Port Mahon on 13 June [January] 1838 from CONSTITUTION to the UNITED STATES.  Since his name does not appear on the rolls of that ship, it is presumed that he died before taking ship.  I am writing to the Consul at Port Mahon for details.


To Obediah Rich, Port Mahon, Minorca, 22 Jan 1839:


        Did Boatswain's Mate Michael Woods die at Port Mahon?

Put ashore sick there for return home, was he paid the $330.89 due him when he left that ship?


To Joshua N. Barnes, Portsmouth, VA, 30 Jan 1839:


        CONSTITUTION already has been assigned a Carpenter.


  To William Bacon, New Port Cumberland County, NJ, 25 Feb 1839:


        Private Samuel B. Ray was paid off on 11 Aug 1838 at Norfolk, VA, shortly after CONSTITUTION arrived.


To Representative William S. Hastings, Washington, DC, 2 Mar 1838:


        No person named Timothy B. Tivetshell [sp?] served in CONSTITUTION under Commodore Elliott.


Vol 26 (March 12, 1839 ‑ February 18, 1840)


To Professor Dennison Olmstead, Yale College, 25 Mar 1839:


        Did your friend Elisha Fitch receive his orders to CONSTITUTION as Professor of Mathematics?  I have had no acknowledgement.


To Windham Spurrier, Baltimore, MD, 2 Apr 1839:


        Among the Commodores about to sail is Alexander Claxton in CONSTITUTION at Norfolk.


To Thomas Mustin, Washington, DC, 3 May 1839:


        The rules of the service require that an individual, such as Lewis A. Bussard, now in CONSTITUTION, make his own request for discharge.


 To Mrs. B. O'Niel [sic], New York, NY, 7 May 1839:


        Your request for the discharge of your husband, Maurice O'Niel, now in CONSTITUTION, has been referred to Commodore Claxton.  [Returned: dead letter.]


To John M. Read, Philadelphia, PA, 23 May 1839:


        The logs of CONSTITUTION under Commodore Elliott, in 3 volumes, are forwarded this day for use by the court of inquiry.


To Colonel Thomas Fitzgerald, RA, Port Mahon, Minorca, 5 Sep 1839:


        The Department regrets and is mortified by Midshipman W. C. Porter's expenses.  He recently has sailed for the Pacific in CONSTITUTION, but will be immediately required to make provisions for repaying the $326 owed to you.


To Colonel Peter A. Carnes, Washington, DC, 19 Oct 1839:


        Forwarded herewith are copies of your son's letter of resignation, written while in CONSTITUTION, and Commodore Elliott's forwarding letter.


To Major Frederick Crofton, Bristol, England, 7 Nov 1839:


        CONSTITUTION sailed for the Pacific prior to receipt of your request for his discharge, and so it cannot be granted.  She "will probably be absent from this Country for three years."  [Frederick Crofton, Jr., a Landsman.]


To J. C. Delaplain, New York, NY, 10 Feb 1840:


        The sum of $300 was paid to the widow, Ellen Wood.


Vol 27 (February 18 ‑ September 28, 1840)


To Representative J. D. Doty, Washington, DC, 24 Feb 1840:


        "...the part of the resolution of Congress of the 3d of March 1805 which 'requests the President to cause a sword to be presented to each of the Commissioned Officers and Midshipmen who distinguished themselves in the attack on the Town, Batteries, and naval force of Tripoli' has never been carried into effect..."  The reasons to be found on page 281 of the American State Papers.


To Reverend W. H. Norris, Montevideo, Uruguay, 17 Apr 1840:


        "...The Department never before heard any information of the loss of the Constitution..."


To Joseph Guier, Marseilles, France, 17 Apr 1840:


        A careful check of CONSTITUTION's muster roll for 1805‑6 failed to disclose your name.  [Annotated: "Dead. Cancelled."]


To John M. Read, Philadelphia, PA, 6 Jun 1840:


        "...There does not appear to have been any letter written by the Department in relation to paying the Crew of Constitution in increased wages authorized by the new enlistment bill..."  [Read was Judge Advocate for Commodore Elliott's Court Martial.]


To Powhatan Ellis, Mexico City, Mexico, 13 Jun 1840:


        Thanks for news of the health of the officers and crew of CONSTITUTION.


To William Davidson, Philadelphia, PA, 12 Aug 1840:


        "William Davidson" does not appear on CONSTITUTION's muster rolls for the "late war."  [Davidson was on board 1811 until after fight with JAVA.]


To John Munir, Dublin, Ireland, 1 Sep 1840:


        There never has been a "Lieutenant Christopher Munir" in the USN or in CONSTITUTION.


Roll 11, Vol 28 (September 28, 1840 ‑ June 23, 1841)


To E. Bradshaw, Philadelphia, PA, 28 Sep 1840.


        No information here on the death of Boy James Briggs in CONSTITUTION.  He was alive and well as of 31 Dec 1839.


To Francis S. Claxton, Baltimore, MD, 30 Nov 1840:


        No reports have been received of an outbreak of small pox in the Pacific Squadron up to 10 Jun 1840.


To John A. Greenwood, Leonardtown, MD, 17 Dec 1840:


        Passed Midshipman William H. Brown currently is in CONSTITUTION.  Probably will return to the US in 18 months.


To Representative D. Russell, Washington, DC, 31 Dec 1840:


        "The prize money which had accrued to William Long from the captures of GUERRIERE and JAVA has been paid.


To Hon. Lewis Steenrod, House of Representatives, 4 Feb 1841:



Statement of the Naval force in commission …in 1829 & 1841


No. & Rate of Ships in 1829                                                                                  No. & Rate of Ships in 1841


1 Ship of the line

74 guns


1 Ship of the line

74 guns

3 Frigates 1st class

44 guns


3 Frigates 1st  class

44 guns

9 Sloops 2nd class

18 guns


2 Sloops 2nd class

36 guns

8 Sloops 1st class

20 guns




5 Sloops 3d class

16 guns




3 Brigs

10 guns




6 Schooners






 To Joseph Butler, Philadelphia, PA, 8 Apr 1841:


        The prize money for the captures of GUERRIERE and JAVA was paid to William Walter "a long time ago."


To James Reyburn, New York, NY, 15 Jun 1841:


        I am constrained to deny Mrs. Claxton's wishes with regard to her late husband's remains.  [I. e., to have them returned to the US.]


Vol 29 (June 23, 1841 ‑ March 7, 1842)


To John Mills, Springfield, MA, 4 Oct 1841:


        Charles M. Goldsborough was prize agent for CONSTITUTION's money from the capture of GUERRIERE and JAVA.  Joseph B. Tifts received his share more than 26 years ago.  If Tifts was in CONSTITUTION when CYANE and LEVANT were taken, you can get the information you want by contacting Commodore Charles Stewart at the Philadelphia Navy Yard or the prize agent, John McCauley, in that same city.  [He wasn't.]


To T. R. Gray, Portsmouth, NH, 22 Nov 1841:


        "...the Purser of the Constitution is bound to submit to the decision of the Court..."


To Hugh Cassady, Philadelphia, PA, 27 May 1841:


        "...directions have been given to allow the apprentices who returned in the Constitution, liberty to visit their friends."


To Mrs. Eliza H. Parker, Philadelphia, PA, 8 Dec 1841:


        "...the commanding Officer at Norfolk, Com. Shubrick, was instructed to allow the apprentice boys who came home in the Constitution, liberty to visit their relations and friends."


To Peter Brown, New York, NY, 8 Dec 1841:


        "...directions were given a few days previous...to allow the apprentice boys who returned in the Constitution, liberty to visit their friends."


To William C. Cardwell, Philadelphia, PA, 15 Jan 1842:


        "Charges having been preferred against Midshipman J. F. Sperry for 'Theft and Lying,' while attached to the Frigate Constitution, I request that you [as late Purser's Steward] will furnish this Department with such information on the subject as may be enabled to give, specifying times and places as accurately as you can."


To Representative H. S. Lane, Washington, DC, 21 Feb 1842:


        The name Thomas Collins appears on the rolls of CONSTITUTION for the period mentioned; it appears he later was transferred to SIREN.


Vol 30 (March 7 ‑ October 6, 1842)


To Tazewell Tyler, Norfolk, VA, 6 May 1842:


        If brig TRUXTUN should be put in commission and be ready to sail before CONSTITUTION, Acting Midshipman Heron shall go in her; until then, he shall remain in CONSTITUTION.


To Representative George H. Proffit, Washington, DC, 3 Jun 1842:


        There is no billet for Midshipman B. B. Wright in CONSTITUTION.


To Representative Charles Brown, Washington, DC, 15 Jun 1842:


        Two Cravens [John and Thomas] and "young McCready," all apprentices, have been ordered to CONSTITUTION.


To Representative D. P. Brewster, Washington, DC, 29 Jun 1842:


        Midshipman Hugunin has been ordered transferred from LEVANT to CONSTITUTION.


To Pardon Davis, Philadelphia, PA, 29 Jul 1842:


        CONSTITUTION is not going to Brazil.


To Seth Ames, Lowell, MA, 13 Aug 1842:


        Charles Stewart returned in CONSTITUTION on 31 Oct 1841, and was paid off and discharged at Norfolk a few days later.


To Elias Thompson, Baltimore, 27 Aug 1842:


        Apprentice Alexander Thompson has been ordered to CONSTITUTION.


Roll 12, Vol 31 (October 6, 1842‑ April 3, 1843)


To Nathaniel B. Borden, Fall River, MA, 7 Oct 1842:


        CONSTITUTION is now at Norfolk, but, not having a late muster roll, I don't know if Edmund Saunders is aboard.


To Commodore E. P. Kennedy, Norfolk, VA, 7 Oct 1842:


        Discharge Seaman Thomas White, now in CONSTITUTION.


To John Peterson, Ship, PA, 18 Oct 1842:


        George A. Hoyle, now in CONSTITUTION, cannot be discharged.


To Samuel B. Fowler, Baltimore, MD, 13 Dec 1842:


        CONSTITUTION sailed before your letter could be delivered to Captain Parker.  Will be done when he returns to port.


To Tazewell Taylor, Norfolk, VA, 20 Dec 1842:


        Your request to have Midshipman James Heron transferred from CONSTITUTION to some ship sailing soon acknowledged.  Be aware that CONSTITUTION probably will sail as soon as any other vessel.


To Representative Charles G. Ferris, Washington, DC, 10 Jan 1843:


        All hands have been transferred from CONSTITUTION to BRANDYWINE at Norfolk.  The Purser is D. M. F. Thornton.


To Representative Henry A. Wise, Washington, DC, 10 Jan 1843:


        Receipt of Master James Ferguson's claim to payment for having piloted CONSTITUTION in March and April 1835 have been received.  I presume this claim is barred by the Act of 2 Mar 1835 regulating pay.


To H. Battelle, Fall River, MA, 17 Jan 1843:


        Ordinary Seaman Edmond Saunders is on the rolls of CONSTITUTION.  His time will expire on 19 May 1847.


Vol 32 (April 3 ‑ November 16, 1843)


To Horace W. Elliott, Goshen, NY, 2 Aug 1843:


        The name of John Higgins cannot be found on the rolls of CONSTITUTION during either of her last two cruises.


To Mrs. C. W. Callender, Boston, MA, 30 Aug 1843:


        It appears that John C. Aylwin was Sailing Master and John Nichols Assistant Sailing Master in CONSTITUTION when she fought JAVA.  [Aylwin was 5th Lieutenant; Nichols was Sailing Master.]


To Henry G. Thomas, Portsmouth, VA, 14 Nov 1843:


        "...Captain Percival has been authorized to rate a Carpenter for the Constitution."  [Thomas was the man.]


To Mrs. Julia Clarke Swann, Portsmouth, VA, 15 Nov 1843:


        Captain Percival has been authorized to rate your son a Master's Mate in CONSTITUTION.


Vol 33 (November 17, 1843 ‑ July 9, 1844)


To Mrs. Julia C. Swann, Portsmouth, VA, 29 Nov 1843:


        Captain Percival has been authorized to rate your son a Master's Mate if he thinks proper: he was not ordered to do so.


To S. Humes Porter, Washington, DC, 29 Nov 1843:


        Per your request, I will order "young Gibson" to the CONSTITUTION and authorize Captain Percival to rate him "a forward officer" at the grade you mention.


To Representative J. G. Farlee, Washington, DC, 5 Jan 1844:


        Peter R. Bartolette was transferred from CONSTITUTION to the Norfolk Navy Yard on 10 Mar 1841, his time having expired.  A discharge was sent for him on 20 Nov 1841, but it seems he had left and never received it.  [Apparently garbled information: CONSTITUTION was off the west coast of South America in Mar, but was back at Norfolk by the end of Oct.]


To Charles A. Leas, Baltimore, MD, 21 Feb 1844:


        "...The Constitution on her voyage to Rio Janeiro [sic] will not go near La Guayra; and there is no other vessel bound in that direction."


To Senator W. R. King, Washington, DC, 5 Mar 1844:


        Midshipman L. Beard's examination will not take place until the summer of 1846, by which time CONSTITUTION will probably be at home.


To Representative Z. Pratt, Washington, DC, 25 Mar 1844:


        Dr. James H. A, Graham of New York, may take passage in CONSTITUTION to Rio if Captain Percival has no objection and the gun room officers can accommodate him.  "It is not known at what time the Constitution will be ready to sail."


To Mrs. L. Mcleod, New York, NY, 3 Jun 1844:


        "...The...Constitution is bound on a special cruise, and will not form a part of the East India Squadron.  I cannot suggest a better mode for sending letters to any one on board that ship, than to address them to the care of the American Consul at the Cape of Good Hope."


Roll 13, Volume 34 (July 10, 1844 ‑ March 21, 1845)


To Mr. John Gibson, New York, NY, 21 Aug 1844:


        Joseph Campbell died on board CONSTITUTION on 16 June 1840.  Any claim for monies due him must be made to the 4th Auditor.


To Mrs. Ann Hood, Philadelphia, PA, 26 Dec 1844:


            John Hood's [her son] name does not appear on the muster rolls of CONSTITUTION for any of her last 3 cruises; nor does it appear on the Marine Corps rolls.


To Mrs. Van Pelt, Philadelphia, PA, 4 Jan 1845:


        Letters for CONSTITUTION should be addressed to Macao or Canton, China.


To Mr. John E. Murray, Philadelphia, PA, 15 Jan 1845:


        Passed Midshipman Isaac G. Strain is on board CONSTITUTION in the East Indies.


To Mr. James C. Morse, Boston, MA, 8 Feb 1845:


        "There is nothing due on account of the Levant from the United States to the Crew of the Frigate Constitution."


Vol 35 (March 22, 1845 ‑ January 21, 1846)


To Mrs. N. W. Buckner, Lexington, KY, 28 Jul 1845:


        CONSTITUTION is last known to have been at Singapore on 1 Feb 1845.  There is no reason to suppose your son [Midshipman W. P. Buckner] is not perfectly well.


To Mr. Chatham Hughlett, Baltimore, MD, 5 Sep 1845:


        William E. Hughlett is known to have been aboard CONSTITUTION as of 30 Sep 1844, the date of last return.


To Mrs. M. Van Pelt, Philadelphia, PA, 26 Nov 1845:


        CONSTITUTION was in the East Indies as of August last, and has now been ordered home.


To Mrs. Anne Hammel, Newark, NJ, 10 Jan 1846:


        No‑one named Robert Hammel is on board CONSTITUTION.


To Mr. Charles Mayo, Boston, MA, 10 Jan 1846:


        A J. B. Berry was now aboard CONSTITUTION as of the date of the last return.


Vol 36 (January 21 ‑ September 25, 1846)


To Mrs. Rebecca Zimmerman, Baltimore, MD, 25 May 1846:


        Your son was aboard CONSTITUTION when she left New York.  She is expected home later this year.


To Senator Lewis Cass, Washington, DC, 2 Jul 1846:


         Mr. [R. A.] Knapp, late a Passed Midshipman was sentenced by a court martial to "be cashiered and rendered incapable of serving again in the Navy."  He cannot be reinstated.


Roll 14, Vol 37 (September 25, 1846 ‑ March 13, 1847)


To Apprentice Charles F. Gallop, USS CONSTITUTION, 2 Oct 1846:


        Your discharge is denied as you have yet three years to serve.  You will be granted 2 months leave.


To Mr. Francis Markoe, Jr., Corresponding Secretary, National Institute for the Promotion of Science, Washington, DC, 10 Oct 1846:


        Forwards the report of naturalist J. C. Reinhardt on his observations during CONSTITUTION's recent circumnavigation.  Reinhardt had joined the ship at Rio and left her upon her return, "compelled by circumstances of a private nature."  The 11 boxes of specimens, now in Boston, will be forwarded to the Institute.


To Mr. A. W. Goff, New York, NY, 2 Nov 1846:


        Apprentice Fitz Gedder, formerly in CONSTITUTION, will be discharged when he reports to the New York Navy Yard.


To Mr. Joseph Foster, Caldaingate, Carlisle, England, 10 Nov 1846:


        Seaman William Johnson of CONSTITUTION was paid off and discharged at Boston on 8 Oct.


To Mr. C. Lawrence Strobill, Boston, MA, 17 Nov 1846:


        Was once in CONSTITUTION's crew.


To Mr. W. F. Hemick, Manchester, NH, 21 Nov 1846:


        Was an ordinary seaman in CONSTITUTION.


To Mrs. Mary Coyle, Londonderry, Ireland, 21 Nov 1846:


        Ordinary Seaman James Coyle returned in CONSTITUTION and was discharged and paid off on 8 Oct last.


To Mr. Maxwell Hopson, Hopkinsonville, KY, 24 Nov 1846:


         John E. Hopson deserted from CONSTITUTION at Valparaiso, Chile, on 20 Jun 1846.


To Mr. Maxwell Hopson, Hopkinsville, KY, 1 Dec 1846:


        Your brother, John E. Hopson's, present whereabouts are unknown.  Last Feb, in CONSTITUTION, he was tried by court martial on "various charges of misconduct" and sentenced to dismissal.  He was allowed to go ashore while the ship was at Valparaiso, and never returned.


To Mr. Theodore DeLuce, New York, NY, 7 Dec 1846:


        Passed Midshipman Isaac G. Strain, once Acting Master of  CONSTITUTION, is now in COLUMBIA off Brazil.


To Mr. William Gleason, Union, ME, 7 Dec 1846:


        Edward Nye or Edward T. Nye does not appear on CONSTITUTION's muster rolls.


To Hon. R. C. Winthrop, Washington, DC, 25 Jan 1847:


        Captain Percival's claim has been forwarded to the Chairman of the House Committee on Naval Affairs with a recommendation that it be paid in full.


Vol 38 (March 15 ‑ October 2, 1847)


To Mr. Arthur Gifford, Newark, NJ, 25 Mar 1847:


        Lieutenant George B. McCulloch died on board CONSTITUTION on 3 Dec 1827; Surgeon James Cormick was there at the time.


To Mr. Lorne W. Mullin, Dublin, Ireland, 22 Jun 1847:


        Reports that William E. Mullin was discharged and paid off from CONSTITUTION on 8 Oct 1846.  He does not appear to have shipped over.


Vol 39 (October 4, 1847 ‑ April 26, 1848)


To Mr. Nicholas Freelang, New York, NY, 9 April 1848:


        There were two men named John Wilson in CONSTITUTION during her late cruise.  One was transferred to SHARK in Mar 1846 and the other discharged that Oct.


To Hon. John Pettit, Washington, DC, 21 Apr 1848:


         Commodore Claxton died on 7 Mar 1841 in CONSTITUTION.  Thomas Dillard was the attending Surgeon.  The attending Surgeons were Charles D. Maxwell and Samuel Jackson.


Roll 15, Vol 40 (April 27 ‑ November 20, 1848)


To Mr. J. G. Bailie, Charleston, SC, 3 Jul 1848:


        William Bailie does not appear on the rolls of CONSTITUTION.


To Mr. James G. Bailie, Charleston, SC, 21 Jul 1848:


        Commodore Daniel Turner commanded CONSTITUTION in 1839.


To Mr. Elisha R. Potter, Kensington, RI, 13 Sep 1848:


        CONSTITUTION's medical officers were appointed before Dr. Potter's wishes were known.


To Reverend John McVicker, New York, NY, 28 Sep 1848:


        Chaplain Frost has been ordered to CONSTITUTION.


To Reverend Alfred L. Patten, West Chester, PA, 4 Oct 1848:


        William C. Mellon is not on CONSTITUTION's rolls.


To Mr. J. G. Coddington, New York, NY, 9 Oct 1848:


        CONSTITUTION has her full complement of officers.


Mr. Charles Howard, USS CONSTITUTION, 23 Oct 1848:


        You must apply to the Surgeon of CONSTITUTION for the position of Surgeon's Steward.


To Mr. Henry B. Humphrey, Boston, MA, 2 Nov 1848:


        Captain Gwinn of CONSTITUTION may provide you passage to Gibraltar if he has room.


To Captain's Clerk H. C. Clarke, USS CONSTITUTION, 3 Nov 1848:


        I cannot interfere with the dress regulation prescribed for the captain's clerk of CONSTITUTION.


To Mrs. Delano, Boston, MA, 11 Nov 1848:


        Forwards silver medal awarded by the Congress in 1813 to George Parker, deceased, for his service as First Lieutenant in CONSTITUTION during the victory over JAVA.


To Purser's Clerk John B. Floyd, USS CONSTITUTION, 14 Nov 1848:


        You may allot $25 of your monthly pay.  You may wear a frock coat instead of a dress coat.


Vol 41 (November 21, 1848 ‑ June 30, 1849)


To Messrs Blanchard True & Co., Washington, DC, 7 Dec 1848:


        There is no Boswell Jones among CONSTITUTION's officers, nor has there ever been an officer of that name in the Navy.


To Senator Thomas H. Benton, Washington, DC, 2 Jan 1849:


        Lieutenant A. F. V. Gray is in CONSTITUTION, recently sailed for the Mediterranean.


To Mr. Joseph Turney, Newburgh, NC, 5 Jan 1849:


        Michael Turney is not on the rolls of either CONSTITUTION or CONSTELLATION, nor has he enlisted since Jun 1846.


To Mr. Thomas L. Braynard, New York, NY, 16Mar 1849:


        "...you are informed that the vessel to which you refer, captured by the U. S. Ship Constitution [sic: CONSTELLATION?] at Amoy, China, was not condemned as a prize."


 To Mr. Har: Bennett, Philadelphia, PA, 20 Apr 1849:


        Acknowledges receipt of letter on behalf of Captain Thomas Conover, notes that MISSISSIPPI already has a commander, and that "the Department has not yet determined to relieve Capt. Gwinn from the command of the Frigate Constitution."


To Mr. William Maxwell, Mercer, PA, 19 May 1849:


        Your letter to your midshipman son has been forwarded; that for Captain Gwinn will be as soon as possible.  He reported the ship at Spezzia on 13 Apr and all officers well.


To Mr. David Witherington, Co. Firmanaugh, Ireland, 2 Jun 1849:


        A search of CONSTITUTION's rolls back to 1834 failed to turn up the name of Daniel Witherington.


Vol 42 (June 30, 1849 ‑ January 24, 1850)


To Messrs McGrath & Sarmiento, Philadelphia, PA, 7 Jul 1849:


        Dr. R. W. Jeffery is now on CONSTITUTION in the Mediterranean.


To Mr. J. Warran [sic], Washington, DC, 13 Jul 1849:


        Lieutenant George F. Lindsay, Jr., is on board CONSTITUTION in the Mediterranean.


To Mr. M. B. Rochelle, Jerusalem, VA, 26 Oct 1849:


        Refers to Passed Midshipman Rochelle in CONSTITUTION.


To Mrs. John Gwinn, Philadelphia, PA, 29 Oct 1849:


        Forwards the official communications relating to the death and interment of Captain John Gwinn.


To Mrs. Martha B. Rochelle, Jerusalem, VA, 9 Nov 1849:


        Mentions Passed Midshipman Rochelle, and noted that, as of 24 Sep, CONSTITUTION was in the Bay of Naples and all her officers were well.


To Mr. D. Vedder, Schenectady, NY, 24 Nov 1849:


        Reports Cornelius Hildebrand was in CONSTITUTION as of 31 Mar 1849, the last muster roll received.


 Roll 16, Vol 43 (January 24 ‑ July 27, 1850)


To Mrs. Lucretia Cross, Albany, NY, 4 Apr 1850:


        Your request for your son's discharge from CONSTITUTION has been referred to the Mediterranean Squadron commander for a decision.


To Mr. Charles DeSelding, Washington, DC, 9 Apr 1850:


        Forwards a letter from some CONSTITUTION seamen with regard to prize money and asks if the addressee has collected the money referred to.


To Senator Daniel Sturgeon, Washington, DC, 11 Jun 1850:


        "...Constitution sailed on a three years [sic] cruise on the 9th December 1849 [sic:1848], and her return may therefore be expected during the fall of 1850..."


Vol 44 (July 27, 1850 ‑ Fenruary 10, 1851)


To Senator D. S. Dickinson, Washington, DC, 30 Aug 1850:


        Reports that Lieutenant Melancton Smith sailed in CONSTITUTION in Dec 1848 and is now in the Mediterranean in CUMBERLAND.


To Mrs. Ann McIntosh, New York, NY, 18 Sep 1850:


        Reports that CONSTITUTION "will not probably be recalled from the Mediterranean station, until the Spring or Summer of 1851."


To Mr. Bolivar D. Daniels, Baltimore, MD, 9 Nov 1850:


        Advises that orders were issued on 2 Oct for the return of CONSTITUTION from the Mediterranean.  She is to arrive in Boston.


To Hon. J. W. Howe, Washington, DC, 11 Dec 1850:


        Reports that CONSTITUTION is expected in Boston "in the course of the present month."


To Hon. E. Risley, Washington, DC, 7 Jan 1851:


        Reports CONSTITUTION "is looked for daily" at Boston.  The crew probably will be discharged immediately.


To Hon. William J. Brown, Washington, DC, 14 Jan 1851:


        Reports a 3 month leave of absence will be granted to all officers of CONSTITUTION, including Midshipman Chapman.


To Mr. Bolivar D. Daniels, Baltimore, MD, 17 Jan 1851:


        Detachment orders for CONSTITUTION's officers were sent to New York "some days since."


To Hon. J. W. Howe, Washington, DC, 6 Feb 1851:


        Implies that Midshipman Maxwell was transferred from CONSTITUTION to INDEPENDENCE some time prior to the latter's departure from the Mediterranean.


Vol 45 (February 10 ‑ September 18, 1851)


To Mr. Horatio Woodman, Boston, MA, 16 Jun 1851:


        "...Constitution 'was not in the Gulf of Mexico, and did not cooperate with the Army,' at any time during the war with Mexico."


Roll 17, Vol 46 (September 19, 1851‑ April 19, 1852)


To Mr. C. R. Hopson, Corpus Christi, TX, 13 Feb 1852:


        Reports that Midshipman John E. Hopson left CONSTITUTION without permission at Valparaiso on 16 Jun 1846, and was dismissed from the service on 9 Oct 1846.  The Navy has had no communication with him since his departure.


Vol 47 (April 19 ‑ December 4, 1852)


To Hon. Alexander Evans, Washington, DC, 4 Aug 1852:


        Notes that Surgeon Solomon Sharp has requested orders to CONSTITUTION.  [Didn't get them.]


Vol 48 (December 6, 1852 ‑ June 28, 1853)


To Hon. Bernhart Heun, Washington, DC, 28 Dec 1852:


         Of our current Chaplains, 9 are Episcopalians, 5 are Presbyterian, 5 are Methodist, 2 are Baptists, 2 are Congregationalists, and 1 is Unitarian.


To Mr. C. W. Woolley, Jefferson City, MO, 13 Jan 1853:


        JOHN ADAMS will not be ordered home until CONSTITUTION has sailed.


To Sen. Keoni [?] H. Hamlin, Washington, DC, 21 Jan 1853:


        Midshipman Cushman is needed in CONSTITUTION, but he will be returned to the US in Oct 1854 in time to prepare for his examination.


To Mr. L. Boyle, Annapolis, MD, 4 Feb 1853:


        As Commodore Mayo's Secretary, your appointment and pay will date from the date of his first written order to the commander of any of his subordinate vessels.


To Mrs. Kate Wooley [sic], Jefferson City, MO, 8 Feb 1853:


        JOHN ADAMS will be recalled as soon as CONSTITUTION, now ready for sea except for a few seamen, reaches station.  "The good health enjoyed [by the officers of the African Squadron] has given evidence that the Station will compare favorably with others."


To Wardroom Steward William F. Jacsune, USS CONSTITUTION, 18 Feb 1853:


        May allot $18/mo. of his pay.


Roll 18, Vol 49 (June 28, 1853 ‑ January 17, 1854)


To William Martin, Stockbridge, MI, 3 Sep 1853:


        Minor Orrin King, now in CONSTITUTION, will be discharged upon completion of the ship's present cruise on the coast of Africa.         


Vol 50 (January 17 ‑ August 4, 1854)


To Simon Lane, New York, NY, 24 Jan 1854:


        With regards to the discharge of your son, "...the prize crew of the 'Gambril' has been ordered to be discharged with the exception of those who may be required as witnesses."


To William Martin, Stockbridge, MI, 21 Feb 1854:


        You have been misinformed.  CONSTITUTION probably will not return for a year.


To James W. Armstrong, Montezuma, GA, 3 Mar 1854:


        CONSTITUTION will not return for "a year yet."


To Mrs. Francis A. McCauley, New York, NY, 4 Apr 1854:


        Has asked that her son, Constitution Stewart McCauley, be appointed a midshipman.  Forwards a copy of the applicable regulations on the matter.  [The boy, on this date, was 5 years old!]


To George N. Eastman, Farmington, NH, 25 Apr 1854:


        Landsman Lionel B. Cobbath [Colbath], now in CONSTITUTION, enlisted until 9 Feb 1856, by which time the ship will have returned to the US.


To E. R. Stevens, New Haven, CT, 22 May 1854:


        Reference made to Lieutenant Albert P. Clary in CONSTITUTION.      


Vol 51 (August 4, 1854 ‑ February 15, 1855)


To F. F. Burlock, Burmingham [sic], CT, 25 Aug 1854:


        Reports the name of William L. E. Fauntleroy could not be found on the muster rolls of CONSTITUTION for the years 1822, 1823, and 1824.


To H. C. Massey, Jerseyville, IL, 5 Oct 1854:


        CONSTITUTION, at last report, was at Porto Grande, Cape Verde Is., last Jul.


To Miss Isabel Clary, Springfield, MA, 7 Dec 1854:


        A relief for CONSTITUTION will be sent in the spring.  It has not yet been decided to which port the ship will return.


  To Solomon Denvas, Philadelphia, PA, 12 Dec 1854:


        Charles Hamilton was alive and well aboard CONSTITUTION as of 30 Jun 1854, the latest date from her.


To James W. Armstrong, Montezuma, GA, 15 Dec 1854:


        In the latest news from CONSTITUTION, dated 29 Aug 1854, there was no specific mention of your son [Midshipman Aeneas Armstrong], from which nothing should be inferred.  The ship is expected to return next spring or early in the summer, in "good time" for him to enter the Naval Academy with his class next Oct.


To Messrs Gomez & Wales, New York, NY, 22 Dec 1854:


        Lieutenant B. M. Dove is aboard CONSTITUTION on the coast of Africa.


To Mrs. Mary M. Williams, Brooklyn, NY, 6 Jan 1855:


        The allotment by John Williams, now in CONSTITUTION, expired on 30 Sep last.  No more payments may be made until he has registered a new one.


To Stephen Sullivan, Pembroke, England, 24 Jan 1855:


        Florence Sullivan was alive and well in CONSTITUTION at last report.  His enlistment will expire on 19 Dec 1855, but he probably will be discharged when the ship returns next May or Jun.


To Mr. L. Clifford Wade, New Haven, CT, 2 Feb 1855:


        Both Lieutenants A. G. Clary and Charles S. McDonough are in CONSTITUTION on the coast of Africa.


To George Nichols, New York, NY, 9 Feb 1855:


        Your son, Landsman David Nichols in CONSTITUTION, was found guilty of "using provoking, reproachful, mutinous, disrespectful, and contemptuous language to his superior officer in the execution of his office," and sentenced to be discharged in disgrace in the first port of call with the loss of all pay due him.  The squadron commander commuted this to discharge into the American barque BUCKEYE on 22 Jul 1854.


To Rev. A. M. Butterworth, Killyleagh, Ireland, 13 Feb 1855:


        James Binen, born in Belfast and now 19, enlisted in the Navy on 7 Oct 1852 at New York, and is now in CONSTITUTION.  The ship is expected at Portsmouth, NH, in May next, when the crew will be discharged.


Roll 19, Vol 52 (February 15 ‑ August 17, 1855)


To Mrs. Virginia Waldron, Baltimore, MD, 17 Mar 1855:


        CONSTITUTION is expected to leave the African coast on 1 Apr.  She will not be delayed by the non‑arrival of JAMESTOWN.


To Mr. Martin Murphy, Saint John's, New Brunswick, Canada, 26 Apr 1855:


        CONSTITUTION is expected early in May, probably at Portsmouth, NH.


To Mrs. H. Clarke, Brooklyn, NY, 8 May 1855:


        CONSTITUTION is daily expected at Portsmouth, NH.


To Seaman John Moore, USS OHIO, 16 Jul 1855:


        Your name does not appear on the list of those men discharged from CONSTITUTION with "honorable discharges."


Vol 53 (August 18, 1855 ‑ March 20, 1856)


To Rev. A. N. Butterworth, Killyleagh, Ireland, 23 Aug 1855:


        James Brown, born in Belfast, was discharged from CONSTITUTION at Portsmouth, NH, on 15 Jun 1853 [sic: 1855].


To Mrs. Morgan O'Flynn, Cushenstall, Ireland, 1 Oct 1855:


        Master‑at‑Arms James Darcy of CONSTITUTION was discharged at Porstmouth, NH, on 15 Jun last, and is not believed to have re‑entered service.


To Mr. James Gordon, Leith, Scotland, 26 Jan 1856:


        Ordinary Seaman John Wilson was discharged from CONSTITUTION "last summer," and his present whereabouts unknown.


Vol 54 (March 20 ‑ November 17, 1856)


To Alexander Evans, Elkton, MD, 21 Jul 1856:


        "It appears by the records of this Department that Surgeon Amos A. Evans...served on...Constitution during the actions [with]...Guerriere and Java."  [He did.]


Roll 20


        NOT SEEN


Roll 21 ,Vol 58 (May 3 - September 21, 1858)


To John F. Haugh, Esqr., Brooklyn, NY, 3 May 1858


        In response to his query of the 23d ult., if Alonzo Price can furnish a certificate from the Purser of the Philadelphia Navy yard that he has not already been paid upon his honorable discharge from CONSTITUTION, his claim will be considered.


Vol 59 (September 21, 1858 - February 14, 1859)


To Representative William D. Bishop, Washington, DC, 4 Feb 1859:


        "…The name of John Robinson is found on an imperfect Roll of the 'Constitution' in the year 1799 but is not found after that period."


Vol 60 (February 14 - August 26, 1859)




Roll 22, Vol 61 (August 27, 1859 - February 24, 1860)


To Donald McKay, London, England, 14 Jan 1860:


        Quotes a statement by the Chief of the Bureau of Construction:

        "The frames of the ships of the Navy with few exceptions are of Live Oak.  The following named vessels had white oak frames: The frigates Guerriere and Java, built in 1815 and after having made two cruises, they were broken up, being unfit for repairs -- the frigate Hudson built in 1836 made one cruise of three years, was found unworthy of repair, then used as a Receiving ship and finally sold -- the brig Lawrence, built in Baltimore in 1843, was condemned as unseaworthy and sold in 1846 -- the steamer Princeton built in 1843, after being constantly in service, was condemned as unfit for repairs in 1849 -- the Southampton built for a steamer but not used as such having been converted to sailing store Ship, was launched in 1845 and was condemned and sold in 1855.  The bottom plank and the lower timbers of the last two mentioned ships were in a much better condition than the top side.

        "The wales of the ships of the Navy are of white oak, and in some of the Steamer [sic] they have been replaced after five or six years and in the sailing vessels from nine to twelve years depending much on  the climate in which they had been cruising…"


Vol 62 (February 25 - August 31, 1860)


To Dr. L. M. Mayo, Pattinsburg, VA, 25 Apr 1860:


        "…Surgeon Wm Turk, on the 18th August 1813, was ordered from the Constellation, at Norfolk, to the Constitution, at Boston, and was transferred to the President on the 9th October 1813…"


To Mr. John Bowis, Baltimore, MD, 18 Jun 1860:


        "…it has not been determined when the U.S. Ship Constitution will be put in commission…"


Vol 63 (September 1, 1860 - March 21, 1861)


To Mr. R. A. Preble, Portsmouth, NH, 11 Oct 1860:


        "…the Commandant of the Navy Yard Portsmouth N.H. has been authorized to approve your Bills, for Piloting the "Constitution" and "Marion" at the rates established by the laws of the State of New Hampshire."


Roll 23, Vol 64 (March 21 - July 13, 1861)


To Paymaster's Clerk George H. Vernon, New York Navy Yard, 9 May 1861:


        "Your letter of the 2d  Inst., in relation to the transfer &etc of the accounts          of the Officers & Crew recently attached to the 'Pennsylvania' has been received.  The Department refers you to Paymaster Heiskell U.S.S. 'Constitution,' Newport, R.I., for instruction on the subject."


To Mr. J. T. Boyle, Danville, KY, 15 May 1861:


        Informs him his son, Acting Midshipman William O. Boyle, "is attached to the School Ship Constitution stationed at Newport, R.I."


 Vol 65 (July 13 - September 30, 1861)


To Philadelphia & Havre de Grace Steam Tow Boat Company, Philadelphia, PA, 1 Aug 1861:


        "You will please furnish a certificate that the steamer 'Kingston' was not in the employment of the War Department at the time of rendering assistance to the U..S. 'Constitution' off Greensbury point [sic] Shoals, April 21 & 28 [sic] 1861."


Vol 66 (October 1 - December 17, 1861)


To Provost Marshall Dodge, Baltimore, MD, 28 Oct 1861:


        "Repeated charges have been made to the Department against a man by the name of Vaughan, but the Dept is unable to find out his first name, or any clue to the right person.  A person has addressed a letter on the same subject     (disloyalty, &c.) to General Wool & refers to you, as knowing him to be one of a party who intended cutting ouot the Constitution at Annapolis in April last and as a bad man generally.  There is a man named Henry Vaughn, attached to the steamer 'Dan' who may possibly be the man.  The Department wishes you if you [know?] Vaughan [sic] or if you can find whether he is the man now aboard the 'Dawn' that you will furnish the evidence in such a shape that it can make use of it."


To Allen McLane, New York, NY, 8 Nov 1861:


        "Your letter to me relative to the chartering of the Constitution has been handed to Maj. Gen. Butler who will communicate with you in the premises.  It was for his expedition that I asked the refusal of the vessel."


To Mayor W. H. Cranston, Newport, R.I., 26 Nov 1861:


         "The Department has been much gratified at the receipt of your communication of the 21st inst bearing testimony to the good conduct of the Acting Midshipmen and the crew of the 'Constitution,' and expressing the appreciation in which the Academy is held by he citizens of Newport.

        "I have forwarded a copy of it to Captain Blake and requested him to read it to the Acting Midshipmen and to the crew of the 'Constitution'."


Rolls 24 through 43


        NOT SEEN


The Captain's Clerk

1989, TGM