M 1099


Roll 1


November 30th, 1822


            A single tabular entry showing Constitution in service in the Mediterranean.


December 1st, 1823   


Page 112          "…On Paper A, it is to be remarked, that the frigate Constitution, sloop of war Ontario, and Schooner Nonsuch, are in the Mediterranean, under the command of Captain Jacob Jones.  No change in the amount of force, in that sea, has been made within the year.  It has been found competent to all the purposes for which it is maintained.  Our commerce there has been amply protected; the officers and seamen have enjoyed good health, and no circumstance has occurred worthy of particular notice.  While our relations with other powers continue friendly, any large augmentation of that portion of our naval force will not be necessary.  In the coming year, it is not proposed materially to increase or diminish it.  The Cyane and Erie will, in a short time, relieve the Constitution and Ontario, that they may return home, discharge their crews, whose term of service will soon expire, refit, and resume their station…"


Pages 196-7     Officer Deaths Since 1 January 1823 [excerpts]


                        Captain John H. Dent - Charleston, SC - in Sep

                        Lieutenant Henry Gilliam - Thompson's Island, GA - 27 Aug


December 1st, 1824


Page 109          "…Nothing worthy of particular observation, has occurred with our squadron in the Mediterranean.

                             "It has been maintained to the extent which was proposed in the report of last year, and has afforded the necessary protection to our commerce there.  The unfriendly relations, however, which exist between Algiers and some of the governments of Europe, and the effects not unlikely to be felt, upon our political and commercial interests in that quarter, with other important considerations, have been supposed to render it expedient to augment our force.  With this view, the North Carolina has been prepared, and will sail in a few days.  The squadron will then consist of the ship of the line, North Carolina, frigate Constitution, corvette Cyane, the sloops of war Erie and Ontario, and schooner Nonsuch; and will be under the command of Commodore Rodgers, who has been, for several years past, the President of the Board of Naval Commissioners, and whose high qualifications are so well known and justly estimated [sic] by the nation…"


Page 130          Deaths in the United States Navy since December 1823 [excerpts]:


                        Captain Samuel Evans - New Jersey - Jun 1824

                        Surgeon's Mate John D. Armstrong - Ireland - Sep 1824


Page 131          Resignations since December 1823 [excerpts]:


                        Surgeon Charles Cotton - 1823

                        Surgeon Amos A. Evans - 1824 


December 2d , 1825



Page 93, 96-7  "…The frigate Brandywine, then on the stocks at the Navy Yard in this place, has been launched and fitted out, and is now a part of the Mediterranean squadron.  The schooner Nonsuch has been sold, because she was so far decayed that it was not 'for the interest of the United States to repair her'…              

                             "The Mediterranean squadron, at this time, consists of the North Carolina 74, frigates Brandywine, and Constitution, and sloops Ontario, and Erie, and is still under the command of Commodore Rodgers.  A slight temporary alarm existed in the course of the Summer, respecting its health, resulting from accidental causes, but from communications recently received from Commodore Rodgers, appears to have passed by, and it may be said that its general health during the year has been, and that it now is, as good as is common with our squadron in that sea.  Three only of our officers, and very few of the men, have died, and no extensive sickness has prevailed among them.

                             "The general objects of the squadron have continued the same as in former years, but additional importance has been given to its presence, in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean, by the nature of the contest between Greece and Turkey, and the inconvenience to our commerce, likely to result from it.  Some injuries must necessarily be anticipated, and some have actually been felt, from the unauthorized abuse of the flag of one of the contending parties to purposes of plunder.  The presence of the whole squadron there for a short period, and the continuance of a portion of it for a much longer time, have, no doubt, prevented numerous trespasses upon our rights.

                             "The commanding officer has been directed to yield a suitable protection to our commerce with Smyrna, and other places on the borders of that sea, and will, with his usual correctness and energy, discharge the trust confided to him.  The squadron will rendezvous at Mahon for the Winter, the Spanish Government having granted permission to deposit, there, without charge, the stores necessary for its use.  No positive exertion of force has been required to maintain our rights, nor has any incident, calling for particular mention, occurred, in preserving the discipline and health of the squadron.  The whole is now in a state which merits approbation…

                             ""The schooner Porpoise will sail in a few days, to join the squadron, and will carry orders for the frigate Brandywine to return to the United States, with the view to prepare her for a cruize [sic] in the Pacific to relieve the frigate United States, in the course of the coming Summer.  It would, probably, be better not to lessen the force now in the Mediterranean, but it cannot be avoided, unless such an appropriation should be made, as to enable the Department to put another frigate or ship of the line in commission…"


Page 131          List of Deaths in the Navy, since 1st of January 1825 [excerpts]:


                        Captain Thomas Macdonough - Consumption - At sea - 10 Nov 1825

                        Lieutenant Dulany Forrest - Yellow fever - At sea - 1 Oct 1825


Page 134          List of Resignations since 1st January 1825 [excerpts]:


                        Midshipman A. Barnhouse


December 2d, 1826


Page 6              "…The squadron in the Mediterranean has remained under the command of Commodore Rodgers, and been actively and usefully employed in cultivating the friendship of the Powers bordering on that sea, and in affording protection to our commerce and interests…

                             "The presence of a respectable naval force in that quarter is demanded by our growing commerce, and by the continued, and perhaps increasing, dangers to which it is subjected by the present state of the contest between Greece and Turkey.  Several of the vessels will return home in the course of the year, but their places will be supplied by others.  Private letters just received prove that piracies of the worst kind are daily increasing, and that our force cannot safely be diminished…"


Pages 104-5     List of Deaths in the Navy of the United States, since 2d December 1825 [excerpts]:


                        Captain Robert T. Spence - Bilious fever - Near Baltimore - 26 Sep 1826

                        Surgeon DeWitt Birch - Typhus -  Mediterranean - 1 May 1826

                        Purser A. Y. Humphreys - Pulmonary disease - Callao - 6 Feb 1826


Page 106          List of Resignations in the Navy of the United States, since 2d Dec 1826 [excerpts]:


                        Lieutenant Zachariah W. Nixon - 21 Mar 1826

                        Surgeon Samuel D. Heap - 27 Dec 1825

                        Surgeon (Mate?) Charles B. Jaudon - 4 May 1826

                        Chaplain John McCarty - 21 Apr 1826


December 1st, 1827


Page 199          "…Essential service has been rendered to our commerce and our political relations by the squadron in the Mediterranean, under the command of Commodore Rodgers.  Although the war in the Archipelago continues,  with an increasing relaxation of discipline and control over the vessels of one of the contending parties; and difficulties have existed between one or more of the Barbary States and some of the Powers of Europe; yet the presence and activity of our vessels of war,  under the skillful direction of the Commander, have protected our numerous merchant vessels and our growing commerce from serious interruption.  The force should not be diminished, and no change is designed by the Department, except in the vessels.  The squadron will this year consist of the Delaware, Java, Lexington, Warren, and porpoise, and will be commanded by Captain Crane…"


Pages 202-3     "It has been customary with the Department, for two or three years past, to direct the attention of our commanding officers abroad, to the propriety of adding something to the agricultural, while they were protecting the commercial interest of the nation, by procuring information respecting  valuable animals, seeds, and plants, and importing such as they could, conveniently, without inattention to their more appropriate duties.  Very few of them have returned without some valuable importations of the kind.  More precise and detailed instructions have, under your directions, and in connexion [sic] with the Treasury Department, been prepared, and will hereafter be given to each officer who commands a vessel in commission…"


Pages 212-3     List of Deaths in the Navy of the United States, since 2d December 1826 [excerpts]:


                        Lieutenant Hugh Dulany - Delaware Bay - 6 Jan 1827

                        Lieutenant Pardon M. Whipple - Providence, RI - 11 May 1827

                        Surgeon Robert L. Thorn - Fever - Portsmouth - 18 Aug 1827


Pages 214-5     Resignations in the Navy of the United States, since 2d December 1826 [excerpt]:


                        Master Commandant Louis Alexis - 17 Sep 1827


November 27th, 1828


Page 124          "…Both in enlisting and discharging seamen, the usual difficulties have been found.  The ordinary length of our cruises is three years; but in consequence of the slow manner in which they are enlisted, it is impractical to send a vessel, especially a large one, to sea, manned with those who all have three years to serve.  About one-fourth of all our crews, when they leave the United States, are bound to serve from three months to a year less than that period.  The vessel must therefore be recalled before that time expires, or a portion of them be entitled to their discharge before its return.  It is unpleasant, both to themselves and the Government, to give them a discharge in a foreign country; but when they are entitled to it, our officers have been instructed to give it, if demanded, and there is an unwillingness to enter for the remainder of the cruise [sic].  Some are always so discharged, and others enlisted in their places.  The only remedies are, either enlisting for a longer, or recalling our vessels in a shorter period.  The former would violate the law; the latter would create a large expense to the Government.  It is gratifying to state that no serious evil has as yet resulted from this cause, although it has sometimes placed our officers in an unpleasant situation, and should, as far as practicable, be avoided.

                             "When seamen demand their discharge abroad, and their places are to be supplied, foreigners of every nation are taken; and from the manner in which our ordinary enlistments are made, many such are found among our   crews at all times.  They are distinct class of people from those useful citizens who have sought protection under our institutions, and made our country their home.  Very few of them have their interests located here, or are bound to us by one of all the ties which connect man with his country.  They produce a large proportion of the offences and insubordination of which we have to complain; and when their time expires abroad, seldom return: for their home is not here.  Instructions have been given to avoid them in enlistments; and it is hoped that the time is not distant when the legislative enactments will raise up an abundance of seamen, acquainted with, and attached to the service, whose interests and hopes are centered in our own country…" 


Page 130          List of Deaths in the Navy of the United States, since the 1st December, 1827 [excerpts]:


                        Master Commandant Benjamin W. Booth - Charleston, SC - 7 Oct 1828

                        Purser John B. Timberlake - Port Mahon - 2 Apr 1828

                        Midshipman Henry K. Mower - Mediterranean - Apr 1828


Page 131          List of Resignations in the Navy of the United States, since 1st December 1828 [excerpt]:


                        Lieutenant Archibald R. Bogardus - 21 Oct 1828


Pages 156-7     Statement showing the present state and condition of the United States vessels of war now on the stocks, and those in Ordinary, and Repairing at the several Yards.




                        Constitution, Frigate 1st Class - The frame generally is believed to be sound, but will require new planking from the wales inclusive, to the rail.new ceiling in the hold, and new birth deck and orlop decks, beams and knees, spar deck new planked, galleries and head, &c., caulking and coppering throughout.


December 1st, 1829


Page 223          [The statement just above is repeated with regard to Constitution.]


December 6th, 1830


Page 218          [The statement above is repeated.]  "Time necessary to effect the repair, 129 days, Cost, exclusive of stores, $128,081.05."


Page 224          "…The whole of the materials, except the iron, have been procured for covering the Constitution; the roof rafters are half framed, and the covering will be completed by the 5th of December [sic]."


Page 227          List of Deaths in the Navy of the United States since the 1st December, 1829 [excerpts]:


                        Lieutenant Alexander M. Mull - New York - 19 Jul 1830

                        Lieutenant Cary H. Hansford - Yellow fever - Pensacola - 3 Sep 1830

                        Purser Isaac Garretson - Baltimore- 31 Jan 1830

                        Purser Robert Pottenger - USS Hornet - 10 Sep 1830


December3d, 1831


Page 240          Data upon which the estimate for repairs, &c., of vessels in the year 1832 is founded [excerpt]


                                                            VESSELS TO BE REPAIRED.


                        Constitution - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -$98,000


Page 241          For the wear and tear of the following vessels during the year [excerpt]:


                        Constitution - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - $10,000


Page 258          STATEMENT showing the number, names, state, and condition of the vessels of war belonging to the United States, now in ordinary…[excerpt].


                             Constitution, frigate of the first class.-- The frame of this ship, bottom plank, gun deck, ceiling between decks, and spar deck, knees and beams, are sound; the outboard plank from the light water mark to rail ceiling in hold, orlop, and birth decks, magazine platforms, plank on spar deck, &c., &c., are efficient, and require to be new; the head, knight heads, and stem  require repairs; the ship requires caulking throughout, and to be new coppered.  Cost of materials and labor required, $97,998.10.


Page 263          Iron water tanks for a 1st class frigate were to contain about 39,500 gallons, and were estimated to cost about 0.43/gal.


Page 264          A general order of 15 Jun 1831 directed that people giving up their spirit  ration were to be paid at the rate of 6 cents per ration per day.


Page 265          A circular letter to all captains and master commandant directed that "whenever [existing] laws allow a discretion in the choice of punishments, the first resort, in the case of offences by seamen, is recommended to be always had to pecuniary fines, badges of disgrace, and other mild corrections, rather than to the humiliating practice of whipping; and that never on the same day, by punishing, under an officer's own authority, two offences at once, should the stripes, limited by law, be exceeded in number, or be inflicted otherwise than in the presence and under the sanction of the commanding officer…

                             "And that, in the case of offences by officers…a system more remedial should be adopted, by sentencing to a reduction of rank and pay, or to suspension from promotion, rather than to suspension from active service…"


Page 267          List of deaths in the Navy of the United States, since the 1st of December, 1830 [excerpt]:


                        Lieutenant Benjamin Tallmadge, Jr. - Brain fever - Gibraltar - 20 Jun 1830


December 3d, 1832


Page 235          List of Deaths in the Navy of the United States, as ascertained, since the 1st of December, 1831 [excerpts]:


                        Captain Charles C. B. Thompson - Hot Springs, VA -  2 Sep 1832

                        Lieutenant Alexander Eskridge - Dropsy - Norfolk - 17 Mar 1832


Page 237          List of Resignations in the Navy of the United States since the 1st of December, 1831 [excerpt]:


                        Purser Thomas I [sic: J.]. Chew - 12 Mar 1832


Page 238          Statement showing the Number, Name, and State, and Condition, of the Vessels of War, in ordinary at the Navy Yards…[excerpt]:


                             Constitution.  The frame, bottom, plank, ceiling between decks, spar deck, knees and beams, are sound; the outboard plank, from light water mark to rail, ceiling in the hold, orlop and berth decks, magazine platforms, plank on spar deck, bulwark, plank on stern galleries, channels, and capstan, are defective, and will require to be new, and the ship new coppered.   


November 30th , 1833


Pages 243-4     List of deaths in the navy of the United States, as ascertained at the department since the 1st of December, 1832 [excerpt]:


                        Captain William Bainbridge - Dropsy - Philadelphia - 27 Jul 1833


Page 247          Statement showing the names, distribution, and condition of the vessels of the navy in ordinary, 1st of November, 1833 [excerpt]:


                                                    AT  CHARLESTOWN, MASS.

                        Constitution…………Frigate, undergoing a thorough repair.


November 29th, 1834


Page 331          Statement showing the names, distribution, and condition of vessels in ordinary, on the 1st October, 1834 [excerpt].


                                                AT CHARLESTOWN, MASS.

                        Constitution………….Frigate, in good order.


Page 362          List of deaths in the Navy of the United States, as ascertained at the Department since the 1st December, 1833 [excerpt].       


                                Lieutenant Joseph Cross - Consumption - Near Bladensburg, MD - 10

                                Feb 1834

                        Sailmaker B. B. Burchsted - NY Navy Yard - 11 Dec 1833


Page 363          List of resignations in the Navy of the United States since the 1st of December, 1833 [excerpt].


                        Lieutenant Philip A. Stockton - 14 Feb 1834


December 5, 1835


Page 330          "…The ship of the line Delaware, the frigate Potomac, the sloop John Adams, and the schooner Shark have been employed in the Mediterranean during the last year.  The frigate Constitution sailed for that station on the 19th of August last from New York.  The frigate United States returned from the Mediterranean on the 10th of December last.  The Delaware is ordered to the United States, and is daily expected…."


Page 378-9      List of deaths in the navy of the United States, as ascertained at the Department, since the 1st of December, 1834 [excerpts].


                        Captain B.V. Hoffman - Jamaica, NY - 10 Dec 1834

Captain Wolcott Chauncey - Pensacola NY - 14 Oct 1835

                        Lieutenant H. J. Auchmuty - Westchester Co., NY - 8 Oct 1835


December 3 , 1836


Page 442          "…the following vessels have been employed in the Mediterranean: the frigates Constitution, United States, and Potomac; the sloop of war John Adams, and the schooner Shark; the ship of the line Delaware having been withdrawn from that squadron, and the frigate United States added to it, within the present year.

                             "The frigate Potomac having been employed on that station for upwards of two years, has been ordered home…"


Deccember 2, 1837


Page 715          "…The squadron in the Mediterranean consists of the frigates Constitution and United States, and the schooner Shark.  This is less than the usual force upon that station, but is deemed adequate to the present exigencies of our commerce in that sea; and as vessels were much wanted for other stations, none have been sent to that since the return of the Potomac and John Adams.    

                             "The frigate Constitution must be recalled in the early part of the coming year, when an addition can be conveniently made to this squadron, and the ship of the line Pennsylvania sent to that station, should it be deemed expedient…"


November 30, 1838


Page 543          "…The squadron employed in the Mediterranean during the past year, under Commodore Jesse D. Elliott, consisted of two frigates, a sloop of war, and a schooner.  These vessels, with the exception of the sloop of war, having returned home, either for repairs or in consequence of the terms of service of their crews having expired, will be replaced by a ship of the line, a frigate of equal force, and a dispatch brig or schooner.  The whole will be under the orders of Commodore Isaac Hull.

     "Although some of the causes which originally dictated the policy of employing a portion of our navy in the Mediterranean have, in a great measure, ceased, still it is believed that, as a school of discipline under experienced officers; as a means of exhibiting a portion of our naval force in contact and comparison with that of the principal maritime States of Europe; and for the purpose of affording countenance and protection to our commerce, a perseverance in this policy will equally contribute to the good of the service and the honor of the United States…"


Page 584          G. - List of vessels in commission of each squadron, their commanders and stations [excerpt].


                        Constitution - Captain W. C. Bolton - Mediterranean


Page 585          H. - A statement showing the names, rates, distribution, and condition of the vessels in ordinary [excerpt].


                                                            AT GOSPORT, VA.


                             The Constitution, frigate, has received the slight repairs which she required, and could be soon prepared for sea.


Page 610-1      O. - List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the Department, since 1st of December, 1837 [excerpts].


                        Captain John Rodgers - Philadelphia - 1 Aug 1838

                        Captain Melancthon T. Woolsey - Utica, NY - 18 May 1838

                        Captain J. Orde Creighton - Near Sing Sing, NY - 13 Oct 1838

                        Lieutenant Edmund M. Russell - Bath. ME - 21 Jul 1838

                        Master Charles W. Waldo - Boston NY - 30 Aug 1838


November 30, 1839


Page 531          "…At the date of my last report, the force in the Pacific, under Commodore Ballard, consisted of a ship of the line, two sloops of war, and two schooners.  The ship of the line and one of the schooners have returned to the United States; the other schooner is now on her way; the two sloops of war have been ordered home; the period of their cruise having expired, and may be expected early in the spring.

                             "To supply the place of the force thus withdrawn, a frigate of the first class, under Commodore Claxton, who succeeds Commodore Ballard, sailed from New York in May last, with instructions to land our Minister, Mr. Ellis, at Vera Cruz, and thence proceed with all diligence to her destination.  She has been followed by a sloop of war and a schooner, and the squadron now consists of a frigate, a sloop of war, and a schooner, all of which, it is presumed, are now on the station.  By the latest accounts, affairs in that quarter continued in a state of great confusion and uncertainty.  Revolutions of rulers rather than principles still agitate these regions so favored by nature, and the commerce of neutrals continues to require the protection of a competent naval force.

                             "Commodore Claxton has been directed to employ one of his vessels in cruising within the gulf of California, and along the northwest coast of America; and, if circumstances will permit, to dispatch another to visit the Sandwich and Friendly islands, with a view to afford countenance and protect to vessels of the United States employed in the whale fisheries…"


Page 570          G.  List of vessels in commission of each squadron, their commanders and stations, on the 1st of October, 1839 [excerpt].


                        Frigate - Constitution - Flagship - Captain Daniel Turner - Commo. Alex. Claxton - Pacific


Page 608          O.  List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained by the department, since the 1st of December 1838 [excerpts].


                        Captain Daniel T. Patterson - Washington NY - 25 Aug 1839

                        Surgeon Thomas J. Boyd - New York - 26 Mar 1839


Page 610-1      Q.  List of resignations in the navy since the 1st of December, 1839 [excerpts].


                        Lieutenant Grey Skipwith - 19 Dec 1838

                        Lieutenant Ezra T. Doughty - 18 Feb 1839

                        Passed Midshipman George W. Randolph - 22 Jul 1839

                        Sailmaker N. C. L'Hommedieu - 25 Jan 1839


December 5, 1840.


Page 403          "…The squadron on the Pacific station is composed of the frigate Constitution, the sloop of war St. Louis, and the schooner Shark, under Commodore Claxton.  Since the date of my last report, the schooner Enterprise, then on her way home, and the sloops of war Lexington and Falmouth, which had been directed to return, have arrived in the United States, and have been replaced by the sloops Yorktown and Dale, now on the eve of sailing for the Pacific.  The squadron, when joined by these vessels, will consist of a frigate of the first class, three sloops of war, and a schooner.  Commodore Claxton has been directed to dispatch the Yorktown on a cruise to the Sandwich and Society islands, New Zealand, the coast of Japan, the Gulf of California, and the Ladrones and Marquesas, for the general protection of our whaling interests and other commercial purposes…"


Page 446          I  List of  deaths, as ascertained at the Department, eince the 1st of December, 1839 {excerpts].


                        Lieutenant R. R. Pinkham - Pacific - 27 Oct 1839

                        Passed Midshipman Frederick A. Bacon - USS Sea Gull - May 1839

                        Master Samuel C. Hixon - Boston NY - 9 Sep 1840

                        Boatswain John Ball - Singapore - 8 Mar 1840


Page 449          L  List of resignations in the navy since the 1st of December, 1839 [excerpt].


                        Boatswain Robert Whitaker - 30 Jun 1840


December 4, 1841


Page 367-9      "…In the Pacific ocean, the frigate Constitution, Captain Turner; the sloop of war St. Louis, Commander French Forrest; the sloop of war Yorktown, Commander Aulick; the sloop of war Dale, Commander Gauntt; and the schooner Shark, Lieutenant Bigelow; the whole under the command of  Commodore Alexander Claxton.  Commodore Claxton died at Talcahuana in March last, to the great loss of the service, and the just regret of the country.  Upon that event, the chief command of the squadron devolved on Captain Daniel Turner, who returned to the United States with the Constitution on the 31st of October last, the time of her cruise having expired.  Commodore Thomas Ap C. Jones, having been appointed to the command of that station, will sail in the frigate United States in the course of the next fortnight…        

                             "Orders were given to Commodore Claxton to employ one of his vessels in cruising in the gulf of California and along the northwest coast of America, and, if circumstances shall permit, to dispatch another to visit the Sandwich and Friendly islands, in order to afford protection and assistance to our citizens engaged in the whale fisheries.  In obedience to this order, the sloop of war St. Louis, Commander French Forrest, was ordered to cruise in the gulf and along the western coast of California.  This duty was performed in a manner highly creditable to Commander Forrest.  The atrocities committed on American and English residents at Monterey and its neighborhood, by the Mexican authorities, are well known.  Under the unfounded pretence of conspiracy among the foreigners to wrest the country from Mexico, and to set up a separate and independent Government of their own, they were attacked by armed soldiers in the night, wounded, beaten, imprisoned, sent in chains to a distant place, and their property destroyed, without even the forms of trial.  In the midst of these outrages, Commander Forrest arrived upon the coast, and, by his prompt and spirited interposition, vindicated and secured the rights, not only of American citizens, but of British subjects resident in Upper California.  For these services, Commander Forrest received, and appears to have well deserved, a formal expression of the thanks both of American and British residents.

                             "In consequence of the civil disturbances in Upper Peru, it was deemed proper to dispatch the Shark, under the command of Lieutenant A. Bigelow, to cruise upon that coast.  The movement was judicious and well-timed; and the delicate trust reposed in Lieutenant Bigelow was discharged in a manner highly satisfactory to this Department.  The property of American citizens, exposed to the rapacity and lawless violence of contending factions in the midst of civil war, was effectually protected, while all who witnessed the operations of the Shark were inspired with increased respect for the American flag.  It is highly gratifying to observe, that Lieutenant Bigelow, as well as Commander Forrest, extended the protection of our flag to the citizens and subjects of other countries, as well as to those of our own.        

                             "In further execution of the orders of the Department, the sloop of war Yorktown, Commander Aulick, was despatched [sic] in May last to the Sandwich and Friendly islands, with a view to render such assistance as might be necessary to our whale-fishers and other citizens trading in that part of the Pacific.  No intelligence has been received from her since she left Valparaiso.

                             "The conduct of this squadron, as well under the command of Commodore Claxton as under that of Captain Turner, ahs been highly satisfactory to the Department.  No disorder nor failure in duty has yet been reported to me calling for my censure or disapprobation.  On the contrary, the strictest regard appears to have been paid to the honor of the flag, and to the duties which it owed to the country and its citizens.  Captain Turner very properly availed himself of an opportunity to show respect to a friendly Power, by receiving on board the Constitution at Callao, and conveying to Rio, the Brazilian charge d'affaires.  For this act of courtesy he received the thanks of the Imperial Government.

                             "I would respectfully solicit your attention, in a particular manner, to the situation of American interests in the Pacific ocean.  According to an estimate made by an intelligent gentleman lately returned from the Pacific, there are at this time not less than forty millions of dollars engaged in the whale-fisheries alone, of which a greater part is American.  I have great confidence in the accuracy of this estimate; but, even if it be too large, there will remain, after all reasonable deductions, an interest of vast magnitude and importance.  American merchants have formed establishments in different parts of the coast, from Chili to Columbia river -- some of them very extensive and important, and all of them worthy the attention of Government.  In Upper California, there are already considerable settlements of Americans, and others are daily resorting to that fertile and delightful region.  Such, however, is the unsettled condition of that whole country, that they cannot be safe, either in their persons or property, except under the protection of our naval power.  This protection cannot be afforded in proper degree, and with suitable promptness, by so small a squadron as we have usually kept in that sea.  To cruise along so extensive a coast, calling at all necessary points, and at the same time to visit those parts of the Pacific in which the presence of our ships is necessary for the protection and assistance of our whale-fisheries, requires twice the number of vessels now employed in that service.  It is highly desirable, too, that the Gulf of California should be fully explored; and this duty alone will give employment for a long time to one or two vessels of the smallest class.  For these reasons. I have caused estimates to be prepared for a large increase of the Pacific squadron.

                             "I also respectfully submit to your consideration the propriety of establishing, at some suitable point on our territory bordering that ocean, a post to which our vessels may resort.  Many positions well adapted to this object may be found between the mouth of the Columbia river and Guayaquil, which it is presumed may be procured, if they be not to be found on our own territory.  Our public vessels cruising in that ocean are generally absent from the United States not less than four years; within which time they necessarily require a variety of supplies which cannot now be obtained without very great difficulty and expense.  Any considerable repair is almost impossible, with all the means which can be furnished by all the nations of the coast.  Such a post would also be of incalculable value as a place of refuge and refreshment to our commercial marine.  I need not enlarge on the many and great benefits which might be expected from the establishment of some general rendezvous for all our vessels trading and cruising in this distant sea..

                             "In addition to this, a naval depot at the Sandwich islands would be of very great advantage.  It is a central point of the trade carried on ini the Pacific, and possesses many peculiar recommendations of climate, and local conveniences, and accommodations…"


Page 426          No. 12 List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the Department, since the 1st December, 1840 [excerpt].


                        Captain Alexander Claxton - Pacific - 7 Mar 1841


December, 1842 [sic]


Page 535          "…The home squadron, authorized by the act of the 1st day of August, 1841, has been put in commission, and placed under the command of Commodore Stewart.  It is composed of the frigates Independence (the flag ship), now under the command of Captain Stringham; the frigate Constitution, Captain Parker; the steam-frigate Missouri, Captain Newton; the steam-frigate Mississippi, Captain Salter; the sloop Falmouth, Commander McIntosh; the sloop Vandalia, Commander Ramsay; the brig Dolphin, Commander Knight; and the schooner Grampus, Lieut. Van Brunt.   

                             "The original design of this squadron was to cruise along our own coast, with a view to extend the usual protection to our trade; but more particularly to afford assistance to vessels in distress; to make accurate soundings and observations along our shores, from which charts might be formed; to afford vessels of different classes, always ready to take the place of those returning from distant stations; and to perform any occasional service for which vessels of war might be required.  Finding, however, that it was unnecessarily large for these purposes, and that active employment could not be given to it, I determined to assign to it the duties of the West Indies squadron, and to withdraw that squadron from service.  This has accordingly been done, and the cruising ground of the home squadron now extends from the banks of Newfoundland to the river Amazon, including the Caribbean sea and gulf of Mexico.  This service requires one or two small vessels in addition to those originally assigned to the squadron, and these I propose to add…"


Pages 634-5     General return of the officers, non-commissioned officers, musicians, and privates, of the United States Marine Corps, for the month of Oct'r, 1842 [excerpt].


                        Frigate Constitution   -------- 1 1st Lieutenant, 1 1st Sergeant, 2 Sergeants,

                                                                       3 Corporals, 1 Drummer, 38 Privates


                                                                       Remarks: September 30, 1842, when this                  

                                                                       Guard was 1 second lieutenant, 3 sergeants,

                                                                       3 corporals, 1 drummer, and 32 privates;

                                                                       since which First Lieutenant Lang, joined,

                                                                       and Second Lieutenant A. S. Taylor and 1

                                                                       private transferred.


Page 636          No. 1.  This table shows the number of marines afloat on the 1st November 1842 [excerpt],

                        Frigate Constitution ----- 54 (Rate) - 1 1st Lieutenant, 1 1st Sergeant, 2

                                                                 Sergeants - 3 Corporals - 1 Drummer - 38

                                                                 Privates - 46 (total)


Page 637          No. 2.  This table shows the supposed number of marines required for sea service on the 1st of January 1843, allowing one private for each gun the respective vessels carry [excerpt].


                        Frigate Constitution ----- 54 (Rate) - 1 1st Lieutenant - 1 1st Sergeant, 2

                                                                 Sergeants, 3 Corporals, 1 Drummer, 1 Fifer, 42

                                                                 Privates - 63 (total)


Page 648          No. 5.  List of vessels in commission, of each squadron, their commanders and stations, on 1st October, 1842 [excerpt].


                        Frigate - Constitution - Captain F. A. Parker - Commodore Charles Stewart - Home squadron


Page 649          No. 6.  List of deaths in the Navy, as ascertained at the Department since the 1st of December, 1841 [excerpt]:


                        Commander Ralph Voorhees - Smyrna - 27 Jul 1842


November 25, 1843


Page 482          "…The Constitution frigate, at Norfolk, and the sloop-of-war Yorktown, at New York, are undergoing repairs, preparatory to sea service…"


Page 484          "…The Yorktown returned home on the 2d of August, and the Dale on the 19th of October, having on board the remains of Commodore A. Claxton, who died while in command of the [Pacific] squadron…"


Page 527          F.  A statement of the names of the vessels in ordinary, or under repair, at the several navy-yards, November 1, 1843 [excerpt].


                                                            At Norfolk, Va.


                        The frigate Constitution -- repairing.


Page 558          No. 12  List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the department, since December 1, 1842 [excerpts].


                        Captain Isaac Hull - Philadelphia - 13 Feb 1843

                        Commander William Boerum - Drowned, Lorango River - 2 Nov 1842


Page 561          No. 14  List of dismissions from the navy since December 1, 1842 [excerpt].


                        Boatswain Ezra Chamberlain - 26 Jan 1843


Roll 2 


November 25, 1844


Page 520          "…The following vessels have been employed on special service: The frigate Constitution, Captain Percival, sailed from New York on the 29th May last, on a cruise in the Indian Ocean.  The Honorable Henry A. Wise took passage in this ship, and was landed at Rio de Janeiro on the 6th August, when she proceeded on her cruise…"


Page 528          List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the Department, since the 1st of December, 1843 [excerpts].


                        Captain Edward R. Shubrick - USS Columbia - 12 Mar 1844

                        Lieutenant John F. Mercer - New York - 10 Feb 1844


December 1, 1845


Page 646          "…The Constitution is on her return from China, after having visited different ports and islands in the Indian seas…"


Page 656          Doc. No. 2  List of deaths in  the navy, as ascertained at  the department since December 1, 1844 [excerpt].


                        Midshipman Lucius M. Mason - USS Constitution - 7 Jan 1845


Page 659          List of dismissions from the navy, since December 1, 1844 [excerpt].


                        Passed Midshipman Robert A. Knapp - 17 May 1845


December 5, 1846


Page 378          "…The frigate Constitution, Captain Percival, has returned to the United States, having made a voyage around the world.  The special duty assigned to Captain Percival has been satisfactorily performed…"


Pages 388-9     List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the department since December 1, 1845 [excerpts].


                        Captain Jesse D. Elliott - Philadelphia - 16 Dec 1845

                        Purser Thomas Breese - Cambridge, MA - 12 Oct 1846

                        Master Salvadore Catalona [sic] - Washington - 4 Jan 1846

                        Master Marmaduke Dove - Washington - 3 Jul 1846


Page 392          List of dismissions from the navy, since December 1, 1845 [excerpt].


                        Midshipman John E. Hopson - 9 Oct 1846


Page 467          F.  Statement of vessels belong to the navy, which were in ordinary on the 1st November, 1845 [excerpt].


                                                        At Charlestown, Massachusetts


                        Constitution, frigate.


December 6, 1847


Page 980-1      No. 1.  List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at t he department since December 1, 1846 [excerpt]..


                        Surgeon John A. Kearney - Salmadina, Mexico - 26 Aug 1847

                        Carpenter John A. Dickason - Boston - 29 Sep 1847


Page 964          List of dismissions from the navy, since December 1, 1846 [excerpt].


                        Sailmaker Isaac Whitney - 2 Nov 1847


Page 974          F.  Statement of vessels which were in ordinary on the 1st  day of November, 1847 [excerpt].


                                                            At Charlestown




December 4, 1848


Page 606          "…The steamer Allegheny, Lieutenant Commanding W. W. Hunter, has been ordered from the Brazil station to the Mediterranean, and the frigate Constitution, Captain Gwinn, has sailed for the same station…  In consequence of our being compelled to discontinue the depot at Mahon, it became necessary to supply the squadron with stores, by means of stores ships.  The store ship Supply, Lieutenant Commanding Lynch, was sent out with a full cargo of stores in the month of November, 1847,  Having delivered them to the several ships of the squadron from time to time, as they were required, she is on her return home, and the Erie has been loaded and sent out to continue the service.  Commodore Read has made a temporary arrangement for landing stores for the squadron in Spezzia.  There are some objections to this place as a depot on account of its position, and in the present very disturbed condition of Europe it is uncertain whether the arrangement will be permanently continued…"


Page 613          "…A necessary appendage to the institution [the Naval School] is a vessel of the navy, fitted as a school of practice in gunnery and navigation…"


Page 622          No. 1.  List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the department, since December 1, 1847 {excerpt]


                        Lieutenant John B. Dale - Near Beyrout, Syria


Page 625          No. 1.  List of dismissions in the navy since December 1, 1847 [excerpt].


                        Professor Ethan Estabrook -3 Aug 1848


Page 634          E.  Statement of vessels in commission on the 1st of November, 1848 [excerpt].






December 1, 1849


Pages 426-7     "…The squadron in the Mediterranean sea, under the command of Commodore Morgan, consist of the flag-ship razee Independence, Commander Blake, the frigate Cumberland, Captain Latimer, the frigate Constitution, Captain Conover, the steamer Mississippi, Captain Long, the sloop of war Jamestown, Commander Mercer, and the store ship Erie, Lieutenant Commanding Porter.  The frigate St. Lawrence, Captain Paulding, has also joined this squadron.

                             "The force now employed in the Mediterranean is believed to be larger and more efficient than at any previous period in our history, with the exception, perhaps, of the years 1804 and 1805, during the Tripolitan war.

                             "The steamers Princeton, Commander Engle, and Allegheny, Lieutenant Commanding Hunter, were ordered home from the Mediterranean, in consequence of the reports of the necessity for extensive repairs.  The Princeton was…broken up…  By the death of Commodore Bolton [at Gibraltar, 22 Feb], the late Captain Gwinn was left the senior officer in this squadron…  Information has reached the department of the death of Captain Gwinn, which occurred at Palermo on the 4th of September, 1849…


Page 448          No. 1.  List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the department, since December 1, 1848 [excerpt].        


                        Captain John Gwinn - Palermo - 4 Sep 1849   


Roll 3


November 30, 1850


Page 194          "…The frigate Constitution, Captain Conover, also of this squadron [sic: Mediterranean], has been ordered home, and may be expected daily…"


Page 202          "…The senior passed midshipmen now in the service are older than were Perry, Decatur, and Macdonough when they achieved their victories, with so much renown to the country; the senior lieutenants, past the age when military duty is required of the citizen in the militia; and the commanders and captains, proportionally older…"


Pages 206-8     "…The attachment to the Naval Academy of a practice ship, for the purpose of practical instruction in seamanship and gunnery, in short cruises, under the direction of the superintendent…is regarded as an improvement of great value…"


                             "… The deficiency of the articles of war for the government of the navy has been so repeatedly brought to the attention of Congress in the reports of my predecessors, that I could content myself on this head by a general reference to them, but for the alteration made in these articles by a clause in the appropriations act of the last session [i.e., the termination of flogging].  As the department construes that act, the punishment of whipping for any crime or offence, whether by the judgment of a court-martial or the summary command of the chief officer of a ship, is totally abolished.  Deferring entirely to this decision of the legislature, I deem it my duty to remind them that the act in question has imposed on them the duty of revising the whole system of offences and punishments in the navy without delay.  Both officers and seamen should be early informed, not only what is the rule of their conduct, but what penalty will be incurred in case of its violation.  The punishment of whipping entered so largely into the code heretofore existing since the foundation of the navy, that its abolition has left in the hands of authority but few other sanctions than those of death and imprisonment; and its simple prohibition, without any other change of the system, leaves the offender still exposed to the extreme penalty of human law, to which stripes were in many instances only a milder alternative…

                             "It is manifest, therefore, that, in all such cases, involving the sentences of courts-martial, the recent legislation has in no degree abated the severity of the naval code.  But it was probably the infliction of this punishment in a summary way, by  the order of a commander of a ship, in which there have, doubtless, at times, been abuses, which were the principal mischief intended to be remedied.  The alternative in that case, and which now exists, is confinement in irons.  Aside from any comparison in the degrees of degradation of these two modes of punishment, it cannot fail to be observed that the latter disables and weakens the ships' company by the amount of every man confined, and would have few terrors for hardened offenders on the trying occasions of a battle or a storm.  It must also be recollected that, existing at discretion, it is liable to the same abuse with its alternative already mentioned, although not so effectual for the enforcement of discipline.  In view of the difficulties which surround the subject, I availed myself of the presence of a board of highly intelligent and experienced officers, assembled at the seat of government for another purpose, to ask their opinion on several questions connected with this change of discipline, and will probably be able to communicate it within a few days.  And I respectfully suggest that a committee of Congress shall take the testimony on oath of respectable and experienced seamen, as well as officers, in reference to the discretionary punishments to be imposed by officers in command of single ships…."


Page 220          B.  List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the department, since December 1, 1849 [excerpts].


                        Captain Daniel Turner - Philadelphia - 4 Feb 1850

                        Captain Jacob Jones - Philadelphia - 3 Aug 1850

                        Surgeon Waters Smith - New York Naval Hospital - 19 Sep 1950

                        Chaplain Addison Searle - USS Cumberland - 2 Aug 1850


Page 221          List of resignations in the navy since December 1, 1849 [excerpt].


                        Lieutenant Gough W. Grant - 15 Jul 1850


Page 222          List of dismissions in the navy since December 1, 1849 [excerpt].


                        Purser D. McF. Thornton - 13 Jun 1850


November 29, 1851


Pages 11-2       "…But the most natural defect in our naval code is that occasioned by the failure to provide any punishment, by way of substitute, when corporal chastisement was abolished.  To supply, in some degree, this deficiency, I presented and recommended, at the last session of Congress, a substitute proposed by a board of officers to whom the subject had been referred.  In the present state of the law, there is no power to inflict any punishment, except confinement in irons, or without, unless by the sentence of a court-martial.  Such court must consist of not less than five, nor more than thirteen commissioned officers, and be ordered by the President of the United States, Secretary of the Navy, or commander of a fleet or squadron, "acting out of the United States."  It is manifest, therefore, that there can be no other punishment, during a cruise, whether long or short, except in vessels within the immediate reach of the commander of the squadron; and on then, if there be at least five commissioned officers superior to all legal exception, who can be detailed on a court.  It being known that two vessels rarely cruise together, but that single ships are detached on distant service, and are often separated from the flag-ships, and from home for many months, it is apparent that the delay of justice, the accused being, meanwhile, in confinement, is a serious grievance to him.  But when it is remembered that the ends of punishment on ship-board are not merely for the sake of example and reformation, but to secure a faithful and specific execution of the contract of enlistment with the government, at the very time when duty is required, and to protect the rights of the dutiful, the honest, the peaceful, and orderly, any punishment, to be effectual, must be speedy and certain.  Confinement is ordinarily a means of securing the accused from escape, and of preventing a repetition of positive wrong: but to obstinate, indolent, or vicious men, some of whom will, perhaps, be found in every ship's company, notwithstanding any precautions of enlistment, it is not a sufficient remedy to enforce the performance of positive duties.  In civil life, no provision is made by law for the specific fulfilment [sic] of contracts or duties, except in a few equitable cases where the time of performance is not material.  The only remedy for failure, in all others, is by indemnification in money, to be awarded by courts of justice, held at periods regulated by the convenience of the community.  In military affairs, or sea or on land, it is far otherwise.  Time, as well as alacrity in performance, are of the very essence of the contract, and upon them may depend the safety of the ship and her company from disaster at sea, as well as the honor of her flag.

                             "Again, theft, unlawful violence, and other wrongs, must be kept under wholesome restraints by the terror of punishment, at sea as well as on shore.  But a public ship carrying no superfluous men, the service cannot, without injury, spare from daily duty those who commit offenses during the time necessary for their punishment, to say nothing of weakening the ship's company by this process, and the imposition upon good men of double duty, and the menial service of waiting on offenders while thus imprisoned.  The consequences of the change have been thus far detrimental to the service, and it is apprehended will become more serious unless speedily remedied.

                             "When vessels arrive in port after a cruise, it is found impossible to keep the men on board until a proper muster, exercise at quarters, and inspection have taken place, which are the means adopted to ascertain whether officers have done their duty in keeping their ships and crews in effective condition.  And independently of numerous cases of delinquencies overlooked, or disposed of by discharge, honorable or dishonorable, there have been nearly one hundred trials of enlisted men by court-martial since the passage of the law in question.

                             "These details are exhibited, not to contravene the policy of the legislature, but to demonstrate that the experiment of the abrogation of whipping cannot be effectually tried until Congress shall prescribe some substitute.  Whether this shall be by  the adoption of the system recommended by the board of officers above referred to, providing that courts-martial may be ordered by each officer in command of a ship, and summarily held to determine guilt, and then graduating punishments as therein stated, as well as holding out rewards, or by some other more appropriate method, is referred to the determination of Congress…"


Page 13            "…the sloop-of-war Preble has been attached to the academy as a practice ship, for instruction in practical seamanship…"


Page 19            A.  List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the department, since December 1, 1850 [excerpts].


                        Captain Alex. Wadsworth - Washington - 5 Apr 1851

                        Lieutenant Charles C. Barton - Philadelphia - 28 Aug 1851


Page 21            List of resignations in the navy since December 1, 1850 [excerpt].


                        Passed Assistant Surgeon Richard McSherry - 17 Apr 1851


Page 22            List of dismissions in the navy since December 1, 1850 [excerpt].


                        Boatswain Ezra Chamberlain - 22 Mar 1851


Page 84                                                             FRIGATES [excerpt]


                        Constitution, in ordinary - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -New York


December 4, 1852


Page 293          "…The African squadron is under the command of Commodore Lavallette, whose flag-ship is the sloop-of-war Germantown, Commander Nicholas.  Besides this vessel, it is composed of the sloops-of-war John Adams, Commander Barron, and Dale, Commander Lardner, and the brigs Bainbridge, Lieutenant Manning, and Perry, Lieutenant Page.

                             "Commodore Lavallette having nearly completed the period of his cruise, will return to the United States in the Germantown as soon as he can be relieved by Commodore Mayo, who will sail in the month of December, in the frigate Constitution, with Commander Rudd in command.  The Dale will be replaced by the Marion, Commander Howard, which is now ready to sail.

                             "The steamer Vixen will be added to this command, for such rapid communication with the coast and the trading points on the rivers as the duties assigned to the squadron constantly require.

     "The service on this station is arduous, and attended with many incidents to render it far from being acceptable to those employed upon it.  Constant vigilance and frequent intercourse with a barbarous people on the coast, are the least of its discomforts.  To these are added exposure to disease and the irksome seclusion of a long voyage, which finds but small relief in visits to a shore without attraction, and always dangerous to the stranger.  The health of our ships on that station, I am happy to report, has in general been well guarded by the useful sanitary discipline which the experience of the service has, of late years, been able to suggest and enforce, and we have now no longer to complain of such ravage by the maladies of the climate as overtook those who were in times past consigned to this service.

"The time has come, perhaps, when it may be properly commended to the notice of Congress to inquire into the necessity of further continuing the regular employment of a squadron on this coast.  The slave trade may be said to be now driven into a comparatively narrow space on the southern portion of the coast, and confined to North and South Guinea; whilst the measures recently adopted in Brazil, encourage the hope that this infamous traffic will soon be abandoned altogether.  A few small vessels added to the Brazilian squadron, and directed to cruise in the track of the slave ships, may be found effectual to suppress the last efforts of that forbidden commerce, against which the abhorrence of all Christian nations is awakened…"


Page 312-4      "…In obedience to a sentiment which is prevalent throughout the country, and which is naturally suggested by those impulses that distinctively characterize the opinions and habits of our people, Congress has been recently led to the consideration of the ordinary mode of punishment, which it had heretofore been supposed was necessary to the preservation of the discipline of the navy.  The result of this consideration has been the passage of a law for the entire abolition of corporal punishment on board our ships, both public and private.  This punishment, which for a long time has been practiced in the navy and commercial marine, not only without question as to its efficacy in maintaining the proper observance of duty on ship-board, but which, indeed, had become so incorporated in the sober conviction of both officers and men, as an indispensable necessity of the service, that it had grown to be the most unquestioned usage and generally-received incident of naval discipline, many judicious persons believed might be dispensed with, not only most acceptably to the feelings of the nation, but also without disadvantage to the service.  The adoption of this opinion by Congress, in the passage of the act of September, 1850, which forbade the accustomed penalty without providing a substitute for it, has afforded the navy the opportunity to make the experiment.  I very sincerely regret to say, that the records of this department, as well as the almost entire concurrence of facts and opinions brought to my notice from authentic sources, and vouched by intelligent and experienced observers, all tend to indicate a most unsatisfactory result.  The omission of Congress to provide for a punishment of what may be called minor offences against discipline and good order on shipboard, may perhaps account, in part, for the failure; but the fact of the most serious detriment to the efficiency of our service is so unhappily forced upon my attention, as the effect of the recent change, that it becomes the gravest of my duties at this time to lay the subject once more before Congress, and to ask its attention to the consideration of such a corrective to the present condition of the service as I am confident it must find to be indispensable to the proper government of the navy.

                             "We have evidence furnished by this department, in the history of almost every cruise, of acts of insubordination that not only impair the usefulness of our ships, but which tend, also, to the gradual development of habits among the seamen that threaten to lead to extensive and uncontrollable mutinies.  The multiplication of courts-martial, and all the consequences of an increase of disorder and crime, are among the least of the apparent and evils of the new system.  The demoralization of both men and officers is a yet more observable consequence.  The absence or prohibition of the usual punishments known to seamen, has led to t he invention of new penalties of the most revolting kind, in the application of which, full scope has been given, and the strongest provocations administered to that exhibition of temper and passion, which, however natural it may be to men of hasty and excitable natures, is seldom indulged without leading to cruelties that must disgrace those who practice them, and, what is more to be feared, raise a sentiment in the public mind hostile to the navy itself.  The seaman, believing himself exempt from the speedy penalty of disobedience or neglect of duty, and looking with indifference to the remote and uncertain proceeding of a court-martial upon his delinquency, grows habitually contumacious to his superiors, and infuses the same sentiment into his comrades; and in the very fact of the diffusion of this spirit of insubordination, finds grounds to hope for immunity from punishment, naturally enough believing that what has grown to be common and frequent, will also come to be more lightly considered when he is summoned to a trial at the end of his cruise.  It may excite some surprise in the statement of what I learn to be true, that the most frequent complaints against the abolition of corporal punishment are made, in great part, by the seamen themselves.  The difficulties arising out of its abrogation, and the absence of any substitute for it, now constitute the most prominent obstacles to the ready supply of our squadrons with seamen.  This department is familiar with complaints from the recruiting stations, of the difficulty of enlisting the better class of seamen.  Of that large number of men who have heretofore constituted the pride of our navy, by their good seamanship and highly respectable personal deportment -- composing, I rejoice to say, the great body of the mariners who have sustained the honor and glory of our flag in its most perilous as well as in its most useful career -- of these men, it is a fact which invites the deepest concern of Congress, we are daily deprived, by their refusal to enter again into the service, until, as they ask, they shall have some assurance that a better system of discipline may be restored.  They reasonably complain that, whilst the worst portions of the crew are placed under arrest, and are exempt, in consequence, from the severe duties of the deck, they find their toil increased by the constantly recurring exigencies which compel them, for weeks and months during a cruise, to perform the extra work which the reduction of the force of the ship inevitably throws upon them.  So oppressively is this evil felt, that I have reason to believe, if the best seamen, who have heretofore been accustomed to man our ships, could find an occasion to express their wishes to Congress, a majority of the whole number would be seen to prefer a restoration of that form of punishment which has been forbidden, rather than be subject to the severities imposed upon them by the present condition of disorder in naval discipline…"


Page 328          A.  List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at  the department, since December 1, 1851 [excerpts].


                        Surgeon Daniel C. McLeod - Pensacola naval hospital - 1 Sep 1852

                        Surgeon Jonathan Cowdery - Norfolk - 21 Nov 1852

                        Boatswain John Featherston - Pensacola NY - 30 Oct 1852


December 5, 1853


Pages 298-9     "…The African squadron, Commodore Mayo, consists of his flagship the Constitution, Commander Rudd; the sloop Marion, Commander Purviance; and the brig Perry, Lieutenant R. L. Page.  The Dale, Commander Whittle, sailed from Boston, to join this squadron, on the 17th October…

                             "The opinion has heretofore been frequently expressed, that there is no necessity for a squadron of so many guns on the coast of Africa; and that notice should be given to Great Britain, under the terms of the treaty in regard to the suppression of the slave trade, so as to be relieved from its obligations.  The commerce on that coast has, of late years, increased so greatly, and American ships trading in that region have multiplied so much, that I am satisfied that the squadron is needed, and is very effective in protecting our citizens, as well as suppressing the slave trade…"


Page 303          "…The practice ship attached to the academy should be a steamer…"


Pages 316-8     "…The abolition of punishment by flogging, without legalizing some substitute therefore [sic], has already occupied the attention of Congress and the country, and severely tested the forbearance and ingenuity of officers, and the character of our seamen.  This subject has engaged my earnest and anxious inquiry, and I have no hesitation in expressing an opinion against its restoration.  Having recently visited many of the ships in commission, conversed with the veteran sailors, and listened to the narratives of officers who have had the command of large crews since the law of 1850, my decided conviction, concurred in, too, by many officers who originally opposed its abolition, is, that its restoration would create discontent and desertion, and prove positively prejudicial to the efficiency of that branch of the public service. But, at the same time, I cannot too seriously urge the policy of legalizing some substitute therefore [sic].

                            "It is said that the confinement of the disorderly and refractory seamen is but little punishment to them, but rather burdensome and oppressive to the faithful, whose increased labors make them the sufferers, and create a reluctance on the part of good sailors to remain in the service.  This suggestion merits consideration.  I propose a remedy, by which the punishment of the indolent and deserter will increase the pay of the faithful, and thereby tend to promote his contentment instead of murmurs.

                             "The sailor on shore is reckless and wasteful; afloat he is remarkably avaricious, and daily counts over the balances due him, and estimates his reckonings of pleasures at the end of his cruise by the amounts he hopes to realize.

                             "If the good sailor does the work of the indifferent, punish the laggard by a forfeiture of pay -- not to the government, but to the faithful sailor -- and he will do the additional labor with additional good will, and without a murmur.

                             "If the deserter leaves his shipmates overtasked with increased burdens by his desertion, change the present regulation -- let the deserter's pay be forfeited to the faithful portion of the crew, and not, as now, to the government.

                             "Instead of investing the commander of the ship with this responsibility, in cases involving either the forfeiture of pay or a discharge from the service, let a commission of a certain number of the officers of the ship be detailed and constituted a court, whose decisions shall be subject to the approving power pf the commanding officer.  This would be very simple -- would break the force of captious caviling at the single judgment of the commander, and would obviate the necessity, expense, delay, and demoralizing influence of frequent courts-martial for minor offences upon the arrival of every ship in port.  In very aggravated cases, this minor court could recommend a more solemn court-martial, composed, as at present, of a higher class of officers.

                             "Let this minor court on every ship, with the approving, reversing, or mitigating power of the officer in command, have plenary power to confine offenders, with a reduction of rations, with or without pay.  Empower the commander, upon the recommendation of this commission, to discharge offenders, with forfeiture of pay.  Let the fund accruing from the forfeited pay of the imprisoned, the discharged, and the deserters, constitute a merit fund -- not to be distributed until the termination of the cruise, and then to be distributed according to the judgment of this commission, based upon the conduct of the crew, to those who have been by them adjudged on the homeward-bound passage to have been meritorious and faithful, and loyal to their flag.  The fund thus accruing from various sources, at the end of a long cruise would constitute a prize sufficient to stimulate the crew to win a share by fidelity to the end.  And the forfeiture of pay, with confinement and reduction of rations, would diminish offences.

                             "The establishment of this tribunal on each ship-of-war on a cruise would tend much to secure obedience from the crew to those who command, and thus, instead of flogging and other degrading punishments, substitute close confinement, forfeiture of pay, reduction of rations, denial of liberty and shore privileges.  This would punish the offending.  Let the 'honorable discharge,' temporary leave of absence pay, the distribution of the merit fund, liberty and shore privileges, be the reward of the meritorious and true…"


Page 322          A.  List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the department, since 1st December, 1852 [excerpt].


                        Captain Charles W. Morgan - Washington NY - 5 Jan 1853


Page 403          Excerpt from an enclosed letter from the Superintendent of the Naval Academy, dated 14 June 1853:


                             "1.  The 'practice ship,' as at present fitted, cannot accommodate more than fifty students, with the necessary officers and men.  There will be this year about fifty students embarked on board; next year there will be about sixty; and in all succeeding years I suppose the number will be about seventy-five -- this is a greater number than can be accommodated on board the 'Preble.'  As it is thus apparent that a larger ship will be necessary for the practical instruction of the students in seamanship, &c., I would respectfully suggest the propriety of a frigate-built ship being built of provided for a 'practice ship,' and that this ship should have auxiliary steam power.  In a ship of this kind the students could be instructed, during their cruises, both in seamanship, navigation, gunnery, and the management of steamships.  I consider this a matter of great importance, as every year steam is more and more applied to sea-going vessels, and particularly to men-of-war…"


December 4, 1854


Pages 386-7     "…The African Squadron, Commodore Isaac Mayo, consists of his flagship, the frigate Constitution, Commander J. Rudd; the sloops-of-war Marion, Commander H. Y. Purviance, and Dale, Commander Wm. C. Whittle.  The brig Perry, Lieutenant R. L. Page, after having been on the station two years, arrived at Norfolk on the 15th of July.  The Constitution and the Marion will be relieved early in the ensuing year, at which time they will have been two years on that station.

                             "The vessels of this squadron have been actively, and in many instances successfully, engaged in checking the slave trade, and some of them have been regularly cruising on the coasts most frequented by slavers.  The officers in command have also had it in their power to render assistance to merchant vessels in distress, and to our growing commerce, exposed to many dangers of the African coast…"


Pages 394-5     "…I am very far from recommending the restoration of punishment by flogging.  In my opinion, the experience of the Nay, at least, justifies its abrogation…  And yet [all] concur in the necessity of prescribing and legalizing some substitute; accompanied, however, with a plan of reward as well as punishment; punishment prompt, sure, in order to restrain the offender and deter the inconsiderate; reward equally sure and generous, to encourage fidelity and prompt respectability.  It is not the severity but the certainty and promptness of punishment which promotes discipline.  The sailor who now commits an offence aboard ship remote from home and he flag-ship, knows that he cannot be tried possibly for months, until the vessel arrives in port or falls in with the Commodore of the squadron.

                             "I consider it all-important that the commander of any vessel should be authorized by law to order a summary court-martial for the trial of the petty officers and those below them; that they should have the power to punish by dishonorable discharge in any port; by confinement on reduced rations and without pay, with extra labor and denial of shore privilege.  When the seaman knows that these punishments can be promptly inflicted by the officers in command of the ship, he has much to deter him from disobedience.

                             "But, in order successfully to invite diligent and enterprising men, they must know that their integrity will be commended, and their faithfulness remembered.  An honorable discharge, leave-of-absence pay, shore-privilege, and the confidence of the officers, will animate and encourage them.  I hope I may be excused for repeating…'Whenever a ship-of-war now returns from her three years' cruise, the officers are detached, and granted a leave of absence for three months, with leave-of-absence pay, but the seamen are peremptorily discharged -- disconnected from the service.  If they have been meritorious, I propose that on their return they be granted an "honorable discharge," (to be considered a leave of absence on pay,) if within a certain time they choose to re-enlist in the service.  This would possess a two-fold virtue -- of fair and generous treatment at parting, an invitation to continue a member of a family caring for them during a temporary absence'…"


Page 401          "…I shall avail myself of the first opportunity when the service will permit, to substitute a steamer for the sloop now used as practice ship…"


Page 405          A.  List of deaths in he navy, as ascertained at the department since December 1, 1853 [excerpts].


                        Captain Thomas W. Wyman - Florence, Italy - 24 Feb 1854

                        Surgeon Bailey Washington - Washington - 4 Aug 1854

                        Surgeon William Turk - Newark, NJ - 20 Nov 1854


Page 406          List of resignations in the navy since December 1, 1853 [excerpt].


                        Surgeon Charles Guillou - 16 Sep 1854


December 3, 1855


Pages 5-6         "…Commodore Isaac Mayo, who recently commanded this [African] squadron, returned with his flag-ship, the Constitution, to the United States on the 2d of June, entering the port of Portsmouth, N.H.  When within three or four hundred miles of Portsmouth, he received intelligence which induced him to alter his course and proceed to Havana for the purpose of volunteering his services and that of his ship to Commodore McCauley if required.  The appearance of the Constitution there was opportune and impressive….

                             "The vessels of this squadron have been regularly cruising within the limits of their station, affording relief, whenever opportunity offered, to merchant vessels, and also taking care of the interests of Americans in that portion of the world.  The Department has recent advices that the slave trade south of the equator is entirely broken up…"


Pages 15-6       "…Encouraging evidence has reached the Department, from both officers and crew, of the high appreciation of the 'honorable discharges' authorized by an act of the last Congress…  Although at the present date the demand for seamen is so great in the merchant marine that enlistments are not as numerous as desired, yet it is a remarkable fact, for the six months preceding the passage of this act there were but 896 men enlisted, and for the six months immediately after its passage there were 2,816 men…"


Pages 25-6       A.  List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the Department, since December 1, 1854 [excerpts].


                        Captain Henry E. Ballard - Near Annapolis - 23 May 1855

                        Lieutenant William C. Chaplin - Chelsea hospital - 30 Apr 1855


Page 29            List of dismissions in the navy since December 1, 1855 {excerpt].


                        Sailmaker B. Burchsted - 7 May 1855


Page 70            "…The board…inspected the practice ship Preble, now ready to receive the second and fourth classes…for the…summer cruise…  …the Preble has not the capacity to accommodate them properly.  The number next year may be greater, and a ship adapted in all respects for the service should be provided.  She should be fully rigged and fitted with auxiliary steam-power…"


Page 130          "…To the list of the vessels of which the cost of repairs would equal that of building a new ship, may be now added the 'Constitution,' shown by a recent survey to be in a very decayed and unseaworthy condition.  If it is thought proper to rebuild that ship, an additional appropriation will be necessary…" -- John Lenthall.


Roll 4


December 1, 1856


Page 415          "…'The Constitution frigate, with a complement of 475 men officers and men, during a cruise of two years and five months on that station (African) terminating in June 1855, lost but one man by disease; thirty-six went sent home as invalids…'"


Page 426          A. -- List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the department, since December 1, 1855 [excerpts].


                        Captain Charles Morris - Washington - 14 Dec 1855

                        Captain Isaac McKeever - Norfolk NY - 1 Apr 1856

                        Lieutenant Charles W. Aby - USS Saratoga - 16 Oct 1856


December 3, 1857


Page 588          A.  List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the department, since December 1, 1856 {excerpts].


                        Captain Foxhall A. Parker - Philadelphia - 23 Nov 1857

                        Lieutenant Henry Darcantel - Philadelphia - 9 Mar 1857

                        Lieutenant Isaac G. Strain - Aspinwall, New Granada - 14 May 1857


December 6,1858




December 2, 1859


Page 1155        A.  List of deaths ion the navy, as ascertained at the department, since December 1, 1858 [excerpt].


                        Commander Gabriel G. Williamson - Warrington, FL - 16 Oct 1859


Page 1160        "…We would urge strongly, as many reports made previously to this one have done, the importance of having the practice-ship here whenever not cruising with the acting midshipmen.  This would enable those of the first year to accustom themselves to going aloft, and also permit the teachers of seamanship to impress on all the leading of rigging and other things of like character, in a way that with books and models alone is almost impossible…"


Page 1224        "…The appended list will show what vessels have been repaired, and have had work executed on them during the fiscal year ending June, 1859:


                                                                        AT KITTERY, MAINE.


                        Frigates Constitution, Santee…"


Roll 5                                                                                     


December 1, 1860


Pages 3-4         "…Of he sailing frigates, the United States is not worth repairing; the Constitution has been thoroughly repaired, and would last many years at the Naval Academy, where she is now stationed; the Sabine and Santee are comparatively new, and can be used as frigates; the remaining six, as they shall require repairs, should be converted into sloops-of-war, and finally into store ships, and as such would be useful for stores and for protection in various foreign ports…"


Page 7              "…The measure adopted a year ago of placing the fourth class on board the sloop-of-war Plymouth, attached to the academy, has proved entirely successful.  I have caused the frigate Constitution to be substituted for the Plymouth, and to be anchored in the harbor of Annapolis for the accommodation of the fourth class.  The historic recollections associated with this ship will exert a salutary influence on the minds of youth devoting themselves to the naval service.  It accommodates all the sections of the fourth class with study and recitation rooms, and the officers and acting midshipmen and the crew of the ship with sleeping and mess apartments…"


Page 23            A.  List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the department, since December 1, 1859 [excerpts].


                        Captain Horace B. Sawyer - Washington - 14 Feb 1860

                        Captain David Geisinger - Philadelphia - 5 Mar 1860

                        Lieutenant Andrew F. V. Gray - Near Havana - 15 Mar 1860



July 4, 1861


Page 93            "…The Naval School and public property at Annapolis attracted the attention of the disloyal and disaffected about the period when the conspiracy culminated.  Some demonstrations were made towards seizing the property, and also the frigate Constitution, which had been placed at Annapolis, in connexion with the school, for the benefit of the youths who were being educated for the public service.  Prompt measures rescued the frigate and government property from desecration and plunder, and the young men, under the superintendence and guidance of Captain Blake, contributed, in no small degree, to the result.  As it was impossible, in the then existing condition of affairs in Annapolis and in Maryland, to continue the school at that point, and as the valuable public property was in jeopardy, it became necessary to remove the institution elsewhere…"


December 2, 1861


Page 158          A.  List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the department, since December 1, 1860 [excerpts].


                        Captain William M. Armstrong - Norfolk - 1 Jul 1861

                        Lieutenant William C. B. S. Porter - USS Levant - Sep/Oct 1860

                        Lieutenant Colville Terrett - USS Levant - Sep/Oct 1860


Pages 160-1     List of resignations in the navy since December 1, 1860 [excerpts].


                        Commander Charles H. McBlair - 22 Apr 1861

                        Lieutenant Alexander F. Warley - 24 Dec 1860

                        Lieutenant Thomas P. Pelot - 11 Jan 1861

                        Lieutenant C. Manigault Morris - 29 Jan 1861

                        Lieutenant Bushrod W. Hunter - 23 Apr 1861

                        Lieutenant John N. Maffitt - 2 May 1861


Pages 165-9     List of dismissions in the navy since December 1, 1860 [excerpts].


                        Captain Isaac Mayo - 18 May 1861

                        Commander Richard L. Page - 18 Apr 1861

                        Lieutenant Robert B. Pegram - 17 Apr 1861

                        Carpenter Henry G. Thomas - 27 Jul 1861


December 1, 1862


Page 39            "…By the law of December 21, 1861…the President was authorized to select any officer from the grades of captain or commander and assign him to the command of a squadron, with the rank and title of 'flag-officer,' and the officer thus assigned was to have command in full as if he were the senior officer of the squadron.

                             "The officers of our blockading squadrons and of the Mississippi flotilla were recognized as flag-officers until the passage of the act of the 16th of July establishing the grade of rear admiral, when they received that appointment…"


Page 532          A.  List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the department, since December 1, 1861 [excerpts].


                        Rear Admiral George C. Read - Philadelphia - 22 Aug 1862

                        Rear Admiral Eli A. F. Lavallette - Philadelphia - 18 Nov 1862

                        Captain John Percival - Dorchester, MA - 17 Sep 1862


Page 538          "…The introduction of a school-ship is, in the judgment of the board, a decided improvement upon the original plan of the academy.  In it the acting midshipmen receive their first impressions of the service for which they are to be educated, and the board is of the opinion that better care can be taken of the members of the fourth class on board of the school-ship than on shore, and that there is ample evidence to show that as good progress in studies can be made on board as on shore.  In the belief that the number of students in the academy will be considerably increased, the board recommends that a large ship, or one with greater accommodation than the Constitution, be employed…"




Roll 6  


December 7, 1863


Page XXVII     "…The total number of midshipmen on the 12th of November was four hundred and sixty-three.  Of these, two hundred and eight, highest in academic rank, are quartered on shore in buildings rented for the purpose.  The residue are on board the school-ships Santee and Constitution, the junior class being on the latter ship…"


Page 589          A.  List of deaths in the navy, as ascertained at the department, since December 1, 1862 [excerpts].


                        Commander George W. Rodgers - Off Charleston - 18 Aug 1863

                        Lieutenant Commander John E. Hart - Below Port Hudson, LA - 11 Jun    



Roll 7  


December 5, 1864


Page XXXVI   "…Congress having by the act approved May 21, 1864, directed that 'the United States Naval Academy shall be returned to, and established at, the Naval Academy grounds in Annapolis, in the State of Maryland, before the commencement of the academic year eighteen hundred and sixty-five,' it will be necessary that preparations should be commenced for putting the buildings and grounds in order a early in the ensuing spring as the War Department can leave them…"


Roll 8


December 4, 1865


Page XXII        "…The number of midshipmen at the Naval Academy is four hundred and fifty-one…Of those who annually present themselves under the present system, one-fifth fail to pass a satisfactory physical or mental examination.  Nearly thirty-three per cent. [sic] fail the first year, and finally only about twenty-five per cent. [sic] of those who enter the academy graduate…"

The Captain's Clerk
1989, TGM