Page 1


Give your gin and tonic the sallle advantage you give your lllartini.

IMPORTED FROM ENGLAND BY KOBRANO. N Y 94 PROOF. 100% GRAIN NEUTRAL SPJRITS


ISSN 0146-9312

No. 14 SUMMER 1979 OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE WORLD SHIP TRUST PROJ ECT

CONTENTS SEA HI STO RY is th e journal of the National Maritime Historical Society, an ed ucat ional, tax-exempt members hip organization devoted to furthering th e understanding of our maritime heri tage . Copyr ight © 1979 by the National Maritime Hi storica l Society.

4 LEITERS 9 A LONG TIME ON THE CHESAPEAKE 10 A CRUISE INTO THE CHESAPEAKE'S PAST, Robert H. Burgess 12 GUIDE TO CHESAPEAKE MARITIME MUSEUMS

OFFICE: 2 Fulton St., Brook lyn, NY 11 201.

13 CHESAPEAKE BAY MARITIME MUSEUM

MEMBERSHIP is in vited a nd sho uld be sent to the Brooklyn office: Sponsor, $ 1,000; Patron , $!00; Family, $15; Regular, $IO; Student o r Retired, $5.

14 THE BURNING OF THE PEGGY STEWART, C. E. Atwater

CONT RIBUTIONS may be made for any recogni zed project. Make out checks "NM HSShip Tru st," indicating on the check the project to which you wish support to be directed .

20 BALTIMORE'S PRIDE, Thomas French Norton

OFFICERS & TRUSTEES are Chairman: Admiral John M. Will, USN (ret.); Presidenr: Peter Stanford; Vice Presidents: Kar l Kortum, John Thurman; Secretary: Alan G. Choate; Treasurer: F. Bri ggs Da lze ll ; Trustees: Frank 0. Bray nard, Norman J. Brou wer, Ro bert Car l, Alan G. C hoat e, F. Briggs Dalzell , H aro ld D. Hu yc ke, Barbara Johnso n, J ames F. Kirk, Karl Ko rtum , Edward J . Pierso n, Ke nn et h D. Reynard, Walter F. Sch lec h, Jr ., H oward Slotnick , Peter Stanford, John N. Thurman, Shann o n Wall, Barclay H. Warburton Ill , J o hn M. Will , Char les Wittholz; Presidenr Emerirus: Alan D. Hutchin so n. ADVISORY COUNC IL : Chairman: Fra nk 0. Braynard, New York Harbor Festival; George Campbell , American Museum of Natural History; Frank G. G. Carr, Cutty Sark Society; H arry Dring , National Maritime Museum at San Francisco; Joseph L. Farr, Richard Goold-Adam s, Great Britain Restoration; Robert G. H erbert ; Melvin H . Jac kson, R. C. Jefferso n; John Kembl e, Pomona College; Ri ck Miller; Conrad Mil ster, Pratt Institute, NY; Robert Murphy; John Noble , artist; Capt. David E. Perkins, USCG (ret.); Ra lph L. Snow, Bath Marine Museum; J o hn Stobart, artist; Albert Swa nson, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Peter Throckmorton; Alan Villiers, seama n author; A len York, Antique Boat & Yacht

15 ANNAPOLIS FROM THE BOLLARD, Barbara Schlech 16 THE BALTIMORE CLIPPER, Melbourne Smith 21 ST. MARY'S DOVE SAILS, Norma Stanford 23 JAMESTOWN SHIPS TO BE RESTORED, Parke Rouse, Jr. 24 IN THE LOWER BAY 27 RACES & FESTIVALS: GUIDE TO TALL SHIPS 28 A SHIP IN THE CELLAR, Norman Brouwer 30 NEW LIFE FOR ATLANTIC DOCKS, Paul F. Van Wicklen 32 THE SHIP TRUST COMMIITEE 33 "GHOSTS OF CAPE HORN" 35 ALOHA KAIULANI: PART IV, Karl Kortum 39 THE SLOCUM DISASTER, Wm. Ray Heitzmann 40 RESTORATION OF VIRGINA V. Mary Heath & Roland Carey 42 NORSK.A: STEAMBOAT WITH A FUTURE, Barry W. Eager 43 SHIP NOTES 45

HOW TO "KEEP THE SEA," Stanley Gerr

48

WHAT SHIP WAS THAT?, Frank Way

50 MARINE ART: THE EARLY AMERICAN NAVY, Roy Cross 54

ASMA NEWS

56 BOOKS: THE BOOK LOCKER, Alfred Hill 63 WAY OF THE SEA, Frank G.G. Carr

Club.

SEA HISTORY ADVISORY COMM ITT EE Timothy G. Foote, Ti111 e, Inc., Oliver J e nsen, American Heritage, Karl Kortum, Nat ional Maririme Museum al San Francisco; C lifford Lord , New Jersey Historical Society; J. Roy McKechnie, Robert A. Weinstein.

S HIP TRUST COMM ITT EE : 111/ernational Chairman, Frank Carr; Chairman, Peter Stanford; George Bass; Karl Kortum; Richard Rath; Barclay H. W a rburton, Ill; Senior Advisor, Ir vin g M. John so n.

SEA HI STORY STAFF Edi/or, Peter Stanford; Managing Editor, Norma Stanford; Associate Edirors, Norman J. Brouwer, Francis J. Duffy, Beth H aske ll , Ray Heitzmann, A lbert Swa nso n; Advertising Sales, Cynthia Gou lder; Circulation, Jo Meisner; Membership, Marie Lore.

COVE R: The dangerously beautifu l, utterly di stinctive profile of the Baltimore clipper reappears a t sea as th e Pride of Bal1i111ore slips by a Caribbean island, in waters haunted by th e memory of thi s fast-sailing type. See page 16-20, and no tes on her role in a new film o n the American heritage in sail , page 33 .


The New Red Hook Container Terminal Atlantic Basin-Brooklyn Another major project undertaken for the Port of NewYork/New Jersey

Through the combined efforts of the State of New York, the City of New York and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, construction has begun on the 1,000,000 ton capacity Red Hook Container Terminal. Designed with the newest container facilities available, it will provide over 1,200 new jobs, contributing $13 million to the Port economy.

THE PORTAUIHORRY ÂŽlP~ÂŽ~ Marine Terminal Department One World Trade Center, Room 71 E New York, NY 10048 (212} 466-7982


91Jidiict 2 ~ARINE ~NGINEERS f!JJENEFICIAL Assoc1ATION Assoc1A TED~ARITIME @FFICERS AFL-CIO

Fair winds and following seas to the National Maritime Historical Society

RAYMOND T. MCKAY, PRESIDENT


LETTERS From the Nile to Geneva I don't know just what this boat on Lake Geneva was called, but I know that a study has been made of this type, as it was so extraordinary in rig and appearance: the deck, for example, flared

out in the most extraordinary fashion on both sides in a way that doesn't show on the picture, and the bow soared up at a great angle. The original rig consisted of two lateen sails, without a jib, the fore sail tack (if that's what it was called) being made fast to the end of the bowsprit. There is some affinity of these boats with the Egyptian 'aiyassa (SH IO, 4), which still sails on the Nile, and is used for general transport; the bow of the Nile boat is astonishingly similar to that of the Lake Geneva boat, as is the rig. It is believed that this type found its way to Lake Geneva through the agency of Italian boatmen. Perh aps also the fact that they were used to bring stone to Geneva for building purposes, much of this work being done by Italian masons and architects, had some bearing on it. Anyway, it's a beautiful and fascinating survival from an out-of-the-way corner of the world of sail, with curious implications for the dissemination of maritime cultural influences from the Mediterranean northward-overland! STANLEY GERR East Haddam, Connecticut A Mast Too Many Guy Barron slipped in terming the Arthur Sewall, Edward Sewall and Erskine M. Phelps five-masters in his letter recalling these Cape Horn square riggers as he saw them in Florida in 1911, (SH 13:6). They were four-masted barks. This country did build five- and six-masted schooners, and one seven-master. There five-masted barkentines, and at least one six-master. These were for the most part used in the Pacific lumber trade and never meant for the long road to Cape Horn . CHARLES H. LUFFBARRY Woodbridge, New Jersey

We erred in letting this slip of the pen go through. -ED. 4

"Still I'll be the Vicar of Bray, Sir" The Wayne family are enrolling as members of your Ancient Mariners organization. The song "The Vicar of Bray," which seems to have some special meaning for your cutthroat gang, is to me a daily inspiration. Rev. DAVID B. WAYNE Rector, St. Augustine's Croton-on-Hudson, New York

The old tune "The Vicar of Bray" has become the marching song of the National Society's project to return the Gold Rush ship Vicar of Bray to San Francisco. It concerns an agile English prelate who kept his seat amid the storms of politico-religious upheaval; its refrain runs: "And this is law I will maintain Until my dying day, Sir: That whatsoever king may reign Still I'll be the Vicar of Bray, Sir. " Words and music to this historic anthem are available from the National Society for $1, which will go to the Vicar of Bray fund.-ED . A report on the World Ship Trust appearing in the London Daily Telegraph quotes Frank Carr, Chairman, as saying that the first task of the American Trust "will be to take the Vicar of Bray, the last survivor of the fleet which took the miners to California in the 1849 Gold Rush, back from the Falk land Islands to San Francisco." Since my husband held the living and was the Vicar of Bray, Berkshire, England, from 1945 for 12 years, I would like to know if there is any historic connection between this ship and the village of Bray, and the reason for the naming of the ship. BETTY LOWMAN Chichester, Sussex England

We don't know, but we presume the ship, built in 1841, was named for the song, "The Vicar of Bray. " See above. -ED. Questions from a Seafarer SEA HISTORY is gratifying, informative and downright captivating. I doubt very much if any other comparable publication exists. I only hope the goals, interests and efforts embodied in SEA HISTORY will continue indefinitely. I am an officer of the merchant marine, and because of this I will most likely always be behind in the news and progress of the Society. But perhaps you will provide some answers to queries that follow: (1) I notice that after SEA HISTORY 3 the small plan of the Kaiulani is no longer

printed on the covers. Since the Society was formed round that bark, her plan has become a sort of logo. Should you give it up? (2) I hope it is your intention to continue printing indexes in SEA HISTORY. The one printed in SH 5 has already served me well and I'm sure others have found it useful. (3) In going over the plans of Kaiulani in SH 9 I was stumped by her LOA as printed. I don't understand how her LBP can be 5' 7" longer than her LOA. Is that a mistake or am I missing something? (4) I was much taken with the late Mr. Lyman's in-depth research (SH 3) and arguments regarding the present corvette Constellation in opposition to Mr. Polland's terming her a "frigate." I took similar issue with Mr. pratt some 24 years ago through Argosy magazine. Mr. Pratt was at that time trying to generate public interest and support to rescue and recondition the Constellation in Baltimore. He also referred to the vessel as the frigate of 1797. Of course I was not opposed to his motives or efforts, but merely objected to what I felt were misrepresentations of history in order to achieve a laudable goal. I belay and look forward to great achievements for the Society and long life to a publication extremely well done. PAUL R. HENRY Portland, Oregon

(1) The classic and memorable profile of Kaiulani is the symbol of the Society. We stopped using it on our covers when we began using full cover illustrations. But she appears elsewhere. (2) A new index for issues 1 through 12 is available for $1 from the Society. (3) Kaiulani's LOA and LBP were reversed in perhaps the worst typo we've yet achieved. Sorry. (4) The corvette Constellation is an important ship. We share your hope that her true identity will be respected. It matters to history. -ED. Our 24 pdrs. still serve the USN! I was pleased to see your "H istoric Warships of the World" in SEA HISTORY 12. In answer to your request for corrections and additions, I would like to make sure that you understand that Constitution is still a fully commisioned vessel in the US Navy. Her service in the quasi-war with France was not mentioned in the listing. As for her last rebuilding; this was from April 1973 to June 1976. The Boston National Historical Park recently aquired a vessel of their own. On June 16, 1978 USS Cassin Young (00793) arrived under tow by the US Army Corps of Engineers. This Fletcher class destroyer was launched in San SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


EDITOR'S LOG

Sail on the Schooner

HARVEY GAMAGE Plying the New England Coast and the West Indies trade, the HARVEY GAMAGE accommodates 34 passengers in airy, private staterooms. For further information phone or write to: HARVEY GAMAGE Dept. SH, 39 Waterside Lanâ‚Ź Clinton, Conn. 06413

Tel: 203-669-7068 Tlw Hnr\"l' Y Gdllld9l' l'> Tl'9l!> ll'H'd Ill ttw u. ~ . A . â&#x20AC;˘rnd u . ~ . C.oc1 -.1 Gu<!Td in!>J>t'Ctl'd .

The Society's headquarters building and pier at Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn, New York, nestled between th e Brooklyn Bridge on the north and Port Authority Pier I on the south, with the East River running by the doorstep. Your editor forty yea rs ago came down here to paint pictures of visiting cargo ships with his father. Paintings of one ship, Carabobo, done from the shelter of a NY Dock Railway freight car on a rainy Sunday afternoon, still survive. The old ship is long gone but lately, looking up from his work, the editor saw the stern of a new Carabobo through the window, in from South America. Our Vice Presidents John Thurman and Karl Kortum also maintain offices for the Society in Washington (c/o W . R. Grace & Co.) and San Francisco (at the National Maritime Museum). And we like to think, indeed, the Society exists wherever a member does . That would mean the Society is all over the place, with members in all the states and 33 countries abroad. On May 23 Trustees of the Society meeting here unanimously resolved that future elections will be by vote of the

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whole membership, so recognizing the member as the mainstay of our work. This will have more meaning as we get on to regional organization and chapters abroad under the aegis of the World Ship Project, as we earnestly intend to do . We have long sea miles to go in this work, but with that resolution, the course is set. Following the meeting, many members went back across the river in South Street Seaport Muse um 's 1885 sc hooner Pioneer, come over to be in company for the evening. It was pitch black and pouring rain, the city lights dim and seeming distant. You feel the prese nce of ghosts on the river on such a night, and, in such company, you feel a lso among young dreams of things that haven ' t happened yet. PS

5


THE PRIDE OF BALTIMORE

Acknowledged nationwide for its leadership in providing academic and vocational enrichment and opportunity for those who serve on the tugs, towboats, and barges of the nation 's waterways. The Harry Lundeberg School

As a manufacturer of sportswea r, rainwear and o uterwear, G leneagles construction, fabr ics and concern for detail has ea rned a reputation for qua I~~,,_ ity a nd dependability o nl y equal led by r:~ -;."' " ~ its sty Iing. ~.~ I I (I It seemed on ly natural for G leneagles to ~ 1 ide ntify w ith this superbly crafted sa iling ship in adopting the theme " THE PRIDE OF BALTIMORE" for its 1979 Fal l line of coats. Ava il ab le at better men' s stores everywhere.

offers its students:

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• Basic job skill training for careers in the maritime industries • Upgrading courses for career advancement in the inland industry • Academic opportunities including high school equivalency, reading improvement, self enrichment opportunities, and coll ege credit programs The Harry Lundeberg School is an equal opportunity educational institution. For furth e r informntion. contn c t:

The Harry Lundeherg School S t. Ma ry's Co unt y. Pi ney Point. Ma ry la nd Ph o ne: (301) 994-001 U

SEA l\l'.-,IORY -:,\;\

, \\5\0\~.l'

Come Sail with Us! Every issue of SEA HISTORY takes you on a voyage of discovery in the wide world of our seafaring heritagea voyage full of challenge and reward .

Sign on today ... and help keep alive the ships, disciplines and arts of our voyaging pastand stay in touch with others who care. To: National Maritime Historical Society 2 Fu lton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 I wa nt to help your work and receive your quarterly journal SEA HISTORY . Encl osed a re my dues as: 0 $10 Regular 0 $100 Patron

0 $1,000 Sponsor 0 $5 Student/ Retired

NAME

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6

SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


LETTERS Pedro, Ca lifo rni a in 1943. She se rved in WW II an d th e Korean confl ict. Her record in cludes 400 rescued pilot s and ship survivors, 16 enem y aircraft shot down , four battle stars, a nd a Navy Unit Co mm endati on. S he was a lso Kamikazed twice. She still mount s 5-5in. gun s in 5 turret s and 5-2 1in. torpedo tubes. Plans arc to put her in historic drydock number one for sandblasting and painting as a first step toward opening her to th e public. One final note. I railed 10 find mention or any Viking lon gs hips in yo ur listing. Was thi ~ a n oversig ht or do yo u not con~ ider them to be warships? JOHN G . SCHUMITSCH USS Comtitution

Charleston, Massachuse11s The world should know that Constitution still serves, and I thank you for 111akin1< this unequivocally clear. As 10 the Vikin1< ships-some were ceremonial, as were !he ones thal survived. -NORMAN BROUWER. The Gallant Schooner Barges I am currently working on a book dealing with the history of the sc hoo ner barges and their tugs a nd their competition with the large schoon ers. I've collected a fairly large group of photographs but to date have been unable to find any good pictures of the schooner-barges shown with their sai ls set while under tow. I would be very much obliged to anyone who could help me in finding such photos and would be happy lo pay for, copy, trade or whatever, in order to obtain them. In addition, I'd lik e to learn more about the life on the schoo ner barges, the methods used by the tugs to make up and drop the tows and anything that might have been relevant to the economics of the whole business. This is one phase of marine history that has largely gone neglected and I hope that something can be done about it, as the material that I' ve been able to unearth so far has been very interesting. PAUL C. MORRIS, JR.

Mr. Morris, co-author with Joseph Morin of The Island Steamers, may be reached at 5 New Mill Street, Nantucket MA 02554 by anyone able to contribute to this worthwhile undertaking. -ED. The Bonhomme Richard's Anchors Robert G. Herbert is, of course, correct about the Bonhomme Richard's anchors (SH 13:4)-if his ass umptions ma y be accepted. But here's the conclusion I came to in my forthcomin g book on th e

Richard: SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

"The logbook of the Richard says that she had four anchors on the bows. They were probably l he best bower, on the starboard side because of the veering properties of storms in northern latitudes: two bowers and l he sheet or spare bower. There were probabl y a couple of kedge anchors below, on the ballast, plus a st ream anchor." I put the a nchors below , beca use she was tender, and Jones actually swayed six cannon and carriages below to stiffen her. He also took on more ballast-see the logs. Old French formulas give the same weight for bowers and sheet anchors, but there is no guarantee that the formu las we re followed! One of the things I have learned about ancient ships is "II a in 't necessa rily so ." For instance, the French East lndiamen, coming back to Lorienl, were stripped of spars, guns, anchors, ballast (except kentledge) and laid up "in ordi nary." Guns and anchors went into a common stock, or park, and were rei ss ued to whi chever ship needed them. It is therefore quite likel y (as indicated by the log) that all four bow anchors were the sa me size! We'll only know for sure, when we recover them from the wreck. NORMANN. RUBIN Silver Spring, Maryland

Mr. Herbert's letter on standard anchor sizes was written in response to Eric Ber1yman 's article on the search for the remains of !he Bonhomme Richard off England's East Coos/ (SH 12). Dr. Ber1yman is leading anolher search expedition as we go to press. Results of that search, and the appearance of Mr. Rubin's book on the Richard, to be published by Leeward Press this fall, are eagerly awaited by us all.-ED. Don't Forget Joshua Slocum! II is a pleasure to see in this plastic age a publication of suc h excellent presentation, and on such an interesting and largely ignored subject. But in the "Book Locker" (SH 13:56) I am surprised that from yo ur panel of literary and nautical experts there was no mention of one writer-not a literary bloke-who for me must always feature in any list of wr iters on the sea: Joshua Slocum! G .M. PAGE Rye, New York

Out of work and out of sorts with the world, Captain Slocum rebuilt the sloop Spray to set forth to sea alone, in the 1890s. His book on this, Sailing Alone Around the World, is deservedly a classic and f orlunately s1ill in print. -ED.

Sea Witch, In Fast Company I am taken with Melbourne Smith's proposal (SH 13:19-21) that a clipper, specifically a replica of the Sea Witch, be built and sailed. I think it's the best idea yet, and that all effort and money should be devoted toward it rather than further restorations. Obviously Captain Smith feels it is feasible, and has reason to, from his experience in building the Pride of Baltimore. I knew that Alexander Laing is a n authoritative writer on clippers, but I am a little surprised that he classes the Lightning and the Red Jacket as being a lik e. In Cutler's Greyhounds of the Sea the half models of the two are shown, and th e contrast in their lines, indicating clearly the "extremeness" of the Lightning, is quite evident from the models. The lines of Sea Witch and Red Jacket do not appear too different. A point about Sea Witch's records which Cutler draws attention to, is the qualities of Captain Waterman including his uncann y ability to sail shorter routes. I would further point out that while Red Jacket is chiefly noted for her still standing record east across the Atlantic, her performances on the Australia run showed her capable of speed over long distances, too. J.M. KENNADAY Castine, Maine Captain Smith's Sea Witch project will

enlist history, craftsmanship and seamanship of high order. May it lead also to renewed appreciation of the American clipper ship and the forces that produced her. Sea Witch was a superb performer under Captain Waterman, but it's worth noting that her epic 97-day passage to San Francisco was made under Captain Land. -ED. Melbourne Smith's proposal to build a new clipper ship Sea Witch in New York (SH 13: 19) will stir new interest in the world-famous original, built by Smith and Dimon in their ya rd at the foot of Fourth Street. The property was owned by my grandfather, Fredric Dimon Philips, until 1938-39, when Mayor LaGuardia decided to build the East River Drive. II is my understanding that a captain's chest that has been in my family from the time of the Sea Witch was originally purchased by Captain Robert H . "Bu ll y" Waterman in Canton, China, about 1848. The photograph I've enclosed shows the "secret" logbook drawer open. There is also a hiding place for manifests, etc., in the back of the chest. When the dropdown front of the chest is closed up, both the logbook and manifest compartments

7


LETTERS

are hidden, a nd one would never guess their existence without a thorough exa minatio n. The chest was given to my great-grea tgrandfather, J ohn Dimo n, by Ca ptai n Waterma n so metim e around 1850. JAMES D. PHILIPS Westport, Co nnecticut Unquestionably Beautiful, But. .. The clipper ship was unquest iona bl y the most beautiful a nd fastest of commercia l sailing vessels. It was the a nswer to th e demand of th e Gold Ru sh to California for speed at a ll costs, eve n a t the sacrifice of payload. It was a spectacul ar answe r to the dema nd for speed , so spectacular as to be gras ped by the Americans of th a t tim e as a reprieve for the sailing merc ha nt marine which had made this country wealthy. But o ur sailing ships were by then succ umbing to the cha llenge of steam-foreign steam . The clipper ship was on ly the swan song of our Golden Age of Sail, and shortlived at that. The clipper ship was not eco nomi call y importa nt , especially not to th e Port of New York. The vast majority o f th e clipper ships were built in Massac husetts and Maine. New York's bread and butter, with both sail and steam, was always the North Atlantic trad e, especiall y to northern E urope, a nd in this the clippers played a very minor ro le. It was th e packet ships-the liners of their d ay -and th e little traders that were responsi ble for th e heyday of th e American Merchant marine in sail (roughly 1816 to 1840) a nd th e rise of the Port of New York to its fore most position. H. HOBART HOLLY Braintree, Massachusetts

The delicate China clippers, led by the immortal Sea . Witch , were born and mostly built in New York in the 1840s. The powerful second-generation clippers of the '50s, the California clippers, were mostly built to the eastward of New York. It is premature to end the great era of American sail in 1840, we think. Our fastsailing ships dominated ocean trades at least a decade later: in 185 1, it's estimated our sailing ships moved more cargo than the giant British merchant marine, despite the British edge in steam. -ED. 8

Sea Witch: Revival or Diversion I found Melbourne Smith's a rticle " Project Sea Witch" so mew ha t unsettling. One can hardl y bla me Mr. Smith for his enthusiasm for clipper ships; I feel that way myself. But after th e fun of reading th e article, which was well-researched a nd intriguing, I was great ly dismayed to read that Proj ec t Sea Witch " is wholehea rtedly endorsed by the Ship Trust" of NMHS. Why does this organization, which is mea nt to preserve historic ships, support a plan based on enthusiasm rather th a n reaso n, when this plan does not directl y sup por t historic ships? I feel this matter sho uld be re-exa mined . Sail as a mea ns of moving cargo has a future. Mr . Bowke r, in his a rticle o n th e sc hooner Berta, suggests th a t as fu el costs rise sail may again beco me eco nomicall y competiti ve. Here a t the Universit y of Michiga n, th a t possibility is ta ken very seriously. Some yea rs ago a gro up of naval architecture professors designed a modern seagoing sailing ca rgo ship a nd computer-simula ted its performance on several trade routes. They co ncluded that sail was no t co mpetitive yet, but tha t relatively min o r increases in fu el cos t could mak e it so in the near future. But its co meback may be delayed for years or decades by Proj ect Sea Witch. If the bankers and entrepreneurs who have to finan ce future sailing ships associate sail with a publicity stunt th a t ca rries overpriced tras h to souve nir hunters around th e world, they may be less willing to believe sail can pay for itself. And if th ey don ' t believe in it, so mething li ke th e Michigan desig n, which would proba bl y cos t literall y tens of millions of dollars to develo p, mi ght neve r have th e cha nce to prove itself. And that wo uld be a shame. Sail deserves th e best that mod ern tec hn o logy ca n give it; for as a ny yac ht sman will tell you, sail is not only a fo ssil to be preserved, no ma tter how much we may admire the wooden ships and iron men o f old, but a li ving part o f today, and maybe eve n more important tomorrow. By all means preserve the surviving shi ps of old, but spare us the replicas; for like Ro man copies of G reek sta tues, th ey will never be completely authentic in either period. A. STEVEN TOBY Ann Arbor, Michigan The Ship Trust Committee does not consider sail a fossil. Neither do we think it wrong, but rather very right, to build an A merican clipper ship if we can-and sail her to good purpose! We don't think this will delay, but rather forward the interest in sail for commercial purposes. Further comment is welcome.-ED.

A Widow in Bowery Lane Your winter iss ue covers ground trod by m y ancestor David Deas, master of the ship Nancy out of New York . I have some of his letters to his wife Helena, "Near th e two mile stone, Bowery Lane." He writes in high spirits from Sandy Hook , o ut wa rd bound o ne Sunday, "a fine day a nd a prospec t of a good wi nd ," in reass urance after stranding on Cape Hatteras "in a gall of wind," in anxiety on one occasion from Liverpool, noting the rumor of plague in New York , and in exas peration from Norfolk durin g the War of 1812: "can get no further in consequ ence of the English stoppin g all passages of this bay and Rivers that no t a row boat can pass." The Nancy went missing in 1813 , leaving Helena widowed . GEORGE C. WEBB Newport, New H ampshire The White Swan Stretches Her Wings-In Elysium a m interested in the painting of the steamer Alexander Hamilton on th e cover of SEA HISTORY IO, and the ot her paintings by William G. Muller used toillustrate the a rticle. "A Peculiar Note of Romance" in that iss ue. Could yo u let me know if prints or these paintings a re ava ilable and at wha t price? I worked for the Day Line a nd ended my career as First Ass istant Engineer o n the A lexander Hamilton in 1948. RUDY PALIHNI C H San Francisco, Californ ia Your attractive brochure showing th e

A lexander Hamilton sailing up th e majestic Hudso n struck a heart cho rd in me as I had sailed o n her a nd the Dewill Clinton man y tim es as a boy. I wonder if it mi ght be possible to get a print o f William Muller's painting of th e Hamilton ? I ca n feel the thrill yet as the moving paddlew heels sent a shudd er throu gh her superstructure as she bega n to move away from the pier in Albany. JACK E. H E RING Ber keley, Cali fo rnia

The Alexander Hamilton, "White Swan of the Hudson," and other flyers in Mr. Muller 's paintin gs used in SEA HISTORY IO are featured in a packet of four prints of Hudson River steamboats available through Sea History prints (see ad p. 61). We're collecting orders. Mr. Muller was quartermaster in the Ha mil to n and is today her leading memorialist. Please also note an ad for a special signed print of his Grand Rep ublic on page 49. - ED. .t .t .t SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


r\

A Long Time on the Chesapeake

The early Europeans in the Chesapeake, from the Jamestown settlers of 1607 onward, found an existing Indian economy and to a great degree fitted into it; the offshoot colonies further up the Bay, indeed, were welcomed as allies by resident Indians, in resisting the depredations of the warrior Susquahannocks who swarmed down their great river at the northern end of the Bay in annual raids of devastating force. But to maintain their ways of life the settlers had to find commercial exports that fitted into the North Atlantic trades: their books, musical instruments, china, plows and axes came from that trade, as did their fine clothes and their education (leading families sent their children across the ocean for that, for generations to come) and their whole sense of being in touch with the world they belonged too. The sheltered waterways led everywhere, and estates along the sluggish rivers (really tidal inlets) that wound their way into both shores were in direct touch with Europe by oceangoing ships that came to their doorsteps. No great seaport cities grew up in the first hundred years ashore; the seaport function was dispersed among settlements along the rivers, served by the Bay itself as its main street. In 1724 Hugh Jones remarked that "no country is better watered for the conveniency of which most Houses are built near some Landing Place; so that any Thing may be delivered to a Gentleman there from London, Bristol & C with less trouble and Cost, than to one living five miles in the Country in England." In the beginning it was hard to get the colonists to build ships; carpenters sent over for the purpose tended to knock a boat together and go fishing or oystering themselves. Indeed

everyone built his own boats in this watery world, and invented or borrowed from the Indians new ways to do it. The bugeye, with her bottom of logs pegged together, derived from Indian log canoes; the racing log canoes sailed for a sport today are a direct Indian inheritance. The beautiful and serviceable skipjack was invented in the later 19th century as a boat that could be built by a competent mechanic, familiar with the product he wanted; and in a day when hand skills were more widely diffused among the people, most were built that way. Major shipbuilding came into being to meet the shipping shortage caused by late 17th-century wars and commercial expansion. Under the "export or die" philosophy, Chesapeake merchants began to build ships to carry their tobacco to market, and went on to build for English owners as well as on their own account. Baltimore, at the head of the Bay, became a great seaport by 1760, superseding Annapolis, Oxford, and Chestertown. Escaping occupation during the Revolution, she sent to sea fast-sailing craft built at Fells Point, which made a killing as privateers. Such ships also evaded British blockaders to keep communications open with sympathetic neutrals in the Caribbean; that underestimated trade, financed largely by cargoes captured at sea and sold in the West Indies or Europe, literally kept Washington's starving army marching and shooting. The 19th century brought massive change to the Chesapeake. Baltimore developed new ocean and coastal trades, and grew to its present status as a leading New World seaport. Norfolk, strategically located at the Bay's mouth, became a naval center, as it remains today. Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock, exploiting the new technology of iron and steam and steel at the century's end, became a center of modern shipbuilding, and recently launched the largest ship built in this hemisphere. As early as the 1790s, observers had noted grass growing in the streets of former market centers like Oxford. The old towns, losing their role in the forefront of world commerce, fell back to fishing, oystering, crabbing. Today Chesapeake Bay people are rallying to conserve the natural assets of the Bay, having long ago learned to keep oystering under sail to avoid killing all oysters, and remarkable new growth is springing up from the equally valuable assets of Bay history. The founding ships of Virginia's and Maryland's first capitals exist in replica today, and in the Pride of Baltimore, Baltimore has sent "another in the series" of a uniquely American product, the Baltimore clipper, to sea; she sails for PS Baltimore, but also for a heritage priceless to us all.

Drawings by Louis Feuchter, 1925. Courtesy of Robert H. Burgess.

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SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

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A Cruise Into the Chesapeake's Rich Past By Robert H. Burgess Decades too late to preserve thoroughly the rich maritime heritage of Chesapeake Bay, a start is being made. If only 45 years ago we'd saved each of the types of sailing craft of the Bay, examples of its propeller and sidewheel steamboats and lesser craft, what a rich treasure we would have today! But, as in most areas, that awareness of maritime history had not germinated in time . Then there were only 5 inst itutions in the Chesapeake tidewater region displaying maritime items, none having ships afloat, Today there are 23, including museums with historic craft, reconstructions, even lighthouses. Artifacts are varied and more are finding their way into the collections. Old photos and records are coming to light daily. Through these collections individuals can learn of the Bay's past and acquire so me of the feel of the Chesepeake of yesterday. The tidal shoreline of the Chesapeake is extensive, officially reported at 7 ,000 miles! Most of the museums are situated on various rivers and creeks. It would take some doing to visit them all, from the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal in the north, to Portsmouth in the so uth. A good way to see a cross-section, however is to cruise the Chesapeake in style as in olden days by way of the motor vessel Independence of the American Cruise Lines of Haddam, Connecticut. For a month each Spring and Fall this vessel conducts week-long cruises around the Bay, making stops at Annapolis, Solomons, Yorktown, Crisfield, Oxford, and St. Michaels. I acted as guide on such a cruise in the Spring of 1978 and again in 1979, leading the passe ngers to the museums in the towns we visited, with nightly illustrated lectures on board, on special cruises sponsored by The Mariners Museum of Newport News, Virginia. Come aboard the Independence with me! Passenger trade such as this to the smaller towns and tributaries of the Chesapeake ended in 1937 when the steamer Anne Arundel made her last trip up the Rappahannock River to Fredericksburg. Another phase of steamboating on the Bay ceased in 1962, that of the Old Bay Line running between Baltimore and Norfolk . But those larger steamboats were direct line packets and not lik e the smaller vessels which penetrated the rivers off the Chesapeake carrying freight and passengers. The 175-foot Independence, appointed like a first-class yacht, glides out from the Annapolis Yacht C lub on Saturday at I pm. A buffet lunch is served as she comes 10

out of the Severn River for down the Chesapeake, and immediately an historic maritime site is passed; Thomas Point screwpile lighthouse, built in 1875 and rebuilt in 1888, the last manned lighthouse in the Bay and a National Landmark. The Chesapeake of today differs greatly from that of steamboat and sail-

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The Independence at Crisfield, Maryland. Photo, Robert H. Burgess.

ing craft days, as I recall from half a century earlier. Commercial sailing craft were always in view, as were steamships and tugs with their tows. Now yacht sails domin a te the scene. Numerous developments and residences have been erected. Most noticable are the nuclear generating plant on the Calvert Cliffs and the LNG unloading pier at Cove Point, Maryland . Not too many years ago that area was farms with dense woods and just a sprink ling of vacation homes. Now two ultra-modern industries have invaded that land undersco red with stratas of fossils of the Miocene period, 3 to 10 million years of age. As the sun lowers, the Independence heads up the Patuxent River and ties up at the outboard end of a marina pier at Solomons. After an excellent dinner, a bus arrives at the pier to transport interested passengers to the Calvert Marine Museum, about a mile away. Normally closed at that hour, the museum is opened. Visitors watch a movie on Bay fishing, and explore the fossils of Calvert Cliffs, extensive artifacts of the steamboating and sailing craft era in the waters nearby, and the Drum Point screwpile lighthouse which has been moved from its original site on the shore or the Patuxent, foundation and all, beautifully resto red and furni shed in its period. Awakened next morning by the vessel's movement, I look out the huge, sliding

picture window of my cabin and see the outline of the Eastern Shore in the distance . Solomons is left astern as we proceed down the Bay on a long leg to Yorktown, Virginia. As th e ship progresses down the Bay, tours are made to the pilot house and engine room. After passing the mouth of the Potomac River, we meet a couple of those cumbersomelooking container ships which bear little resemblance to anything which should go to sea. What a contrast to the shapely tramp steamers with counter sterns a nd straight stem s, like those of the Bull and Isthmian lines, one used to encounter on the Chesapeake years ago! A chart of the Bay had been tacked up in the lounge, enabling the passengers to keep track of the lights and buoys. By late afternoon we enter the York River and tie up at the pier in Yorktown where, up to 1942, Chesapeake Line steamers moored enroute to West Point, Virginia. Before dinner a few passengers disembark to wa lk alo ng the beach or wander up the hill to the older and historic part of town. All day Monday the Independence remains at York town as some passengers tour nearby colonial Williamsburg, whi le others cross the York River to visit the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at Gloucester Point. Two excellent museums are at Yorktown, the Colonial National Historical Park a nd the Victory Center, both dealing with the Revolutionary War and contain ing maritime items. This is where Cornwallis' fleet was destroyed; relics are still being recovered from some of the ships. After breakfast on Tuesday the Independence slips away from Yorktown bound for Crisfield, Maryland, where we dock at 3 pm. A few decades back, small commercial sailing craft thronged that waterfront; the piers are now so mewhat deserted. But a short walk up the main street, and a turn to the left, brings one to the little shipyards and shipjacks which can still be seen on Maryland' s Eastern Shore. Farther up town the large sk ipj ack Robert L Webster is undergoing restoration. A captain's cocktail party rounds out this day. As we eat breakfast next morning the Independence eases away from her pier and out into Tangier Sound to continue her northbound passage to Oxford. Off Deal Island we thread through Hooper Strait, I tell the passe ngers the background of the screwpile lighthouses. One foundation we pass is that of the Hooper Strait Lighthouse, now salvaged, which we would be seeing later at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


A bugeye joins other bay craft at Long Dock, Baltimore in the 1920s to unload her cargo of watermelons picked up from one of the many rural landings down the bay, such as the one in the drawing at the right. Paintings by Louis J. Feuchter.

Museum, St. Michaels. Rounding the lower end of Hooper Island we head up the mid-Chesapeake. Early in the afternoon we turn into the Tred Avon River, admiring stately homes and gardens along the shore, until we reach the quiet town of Oxford, once an international seaport and bustling market center. Here the Oxford-Bellevue ferry, said to be the oldest continuous ferry route in the United States, ties up . That evening l call Mrs. John Moll, who very kindly opens the Oxford Museum building, full of artifacts reflecting the town 's lively past, illumined by th e drawings of Mrs. Moll's illustrious artist hu sband. We stay over in Oxford until noon the next day, allowing the passengers to walk the attractive streets and visit the boatyards on Town Creek. Then, as we eat lunch, the Independence departs for St. Michaels to visit the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, arriving there by late afternoon. A wet northeaster keeps the passengers inside but the large windows of the lounge enable all to enjoy the passing shoreline as we enter the Miles River. We dock at the museum, and next day all SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

hands explore the Hooper Strait Lighthouse, the bugeye EdnaÂŁ. Lockwood being rebuilt, and floating exhibits including the sk ipj ack Rosie Parks. All around is the atmosphere of the Chesapeake, exhibits in the former homes now serving as museum buildings, small craft in a shed, and numerous other artifacts. At noon the ship departs for Annapolis, heading down the Miles River and Eastern Bay. Coming on deck after lunch we see the high arches of the Chesapeake Bay bridge to the north. Over to the starboard, just before the ship starts heading into the Severn River, can be seen the huge shelter, covering 14 acres, which houses the Chesapeake Bay Hydraulic Model. Built to a horizontal scale of 1-1,000, the model was constructed as part of the comprehensive study of Chesapeake Bay, including water utilization, navigation, fisheries, flood control, control of noxious weeds, water pollution, water quality control, beach erosion, and recreation. Located near Stevensville and under control of the US Army Corps of Engineers, the model is open daily except holidays and weekends. While studying

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the Chesapeake's past in its museums it would be good to view the model and learn of its present and future. Tied up to the dock of the Annapolis Yacht Club again, the passengers have the privilege of staying on board that evening to talk over all they have seen. The next morning l take the Mariners Museum group to the Naval Academy Museum. The cruise just ended on the modern diesel ship Independence was most delightful in all respects: food, accommodations, and route around the Chesapeake were beyond reproach. I recommend the trip to all. It differs from the trip~ I've made on the sidewheelers of 50 years ago, which required two nights and a day to sail between Baltimore and II


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A Guide to Maritime Museums in the Chesapeake Chesapeake-Delaware Canal Museum, Chesapeake City MD. Models, photos of canal history, housed in lock pumphouse, open daily, free. *Radcliffe Maritime Museum of the Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St., Baltimore MD 21202 (301/685-3750). Indoor gallery with models, paintings, open afternoons, free. USS Constellation, Constellation Dock, Pratt St., Baltimore MD 21202. Successor to the famous frigate of 1797, this mid19th century corvette is undergoing restoration. Open daily $1.50, children 50a:. Baltimore Seaport, Pier 4, Pratt St., Baltimore MD 21202 (301/837-1776). World War II submarine Torsk, Five Fathoms Lightship, with exhibits, visiting sh ips, open daily, free. Restaurant steamer Nobska (see p. 42) is moored nearby.

Washington, for example. A steamer like the Dorchester, however, would have stopped enroute at 23 landings in Maryland and Virginia discharging and taking on freight and passengers. Each wharf then in remote countryside, seemed like another world to an impressionable youngster. Dockside activities, sights of Bay steam and sailing craft, sounds of steam whistles, waterfront aromas, the somewhat palatial interiors of the steamboats, tasty meals, and the slower pace still remain with me a half a century later. Today, except for a few skipjacks now employed in Maryland's oyster dredging fishery, commercial sail has disappeared from the Chesapeake. Steamboats long ago departed from those waters. Marinas have emerged where some of the landings once stood. The canneries which provided freight for steam and sail no longer exist. The general stores and post offices at the wharves have moved inland to crossroad towns, the former now known as supermarkets, and the latter in many cases consolidated from several rural post offices. But the natural beauty and rich heritage of the Chesapeake lives on. NOTE: To sign up for a Mariners Museum Cruise, write the Museum at Newport News VA 23601. Mr. Burgess, leading authority on Chesapeake Bay navigation, joined the staff of The Mariners Museum in 1941, and recently retired as Curator of Publications. He was active in the founding of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and in other efforts lo save for future generations the heritage of the Chesapeake. He is the author (or editor) of eight b.ooks. 12

Brown's Wharf Maritime Museum, 906 S. Broadway, PO Box 8890, Baltimore MD 21202 (301/276-1013). Open on special occasions; free guided tour of exhibits on Fells Point history. Historic napolis Regular visits to

Annapolis, 18 Pinkney St., AnMD 21401 (301/267-8149). walking tours through town, historic houses.

*US Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis MD 21402 (301/267-2108). Indoor exhibits of models and paintings, John Paul Jones crypt, admission free. C&O Canal National Historic Park, 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac MD 20864. Open daily, free tour of canal and locks. Replica canal barge Cumberland. *Smithsonian Institution: National Museum of History & Technology, 14th & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20560. A Hall of American Maritime Enterprise reinforces the Transportation sect ion exhibits of ship models; Continental gondo la Philadelphia. Open daily, free. Truxton-Decatur Naval Museum, 1610 H St. NW, Washington DC 20006. Models, prints in Decatur House, open daily, free. US Navy Memorial Museum & Marine Corps Museum, Washington Navy Yard, 9th & M St. SE, Washington DC 20374. (2021433-2651). Models & exhibits, both open daily, free.

*Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels MD 21663 (301 1745-2916) . The most complete exhibits on Chesapeake history, including Bay craft actively sailed or undergoing restoration. Open daily, $2, children 75a:. Oxford Museum, Morris & Market St., Oxford MD 21654. Early Oxford hi sto ry, open Friday & weekend afternoons, free . Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons MD 20688 (301/326-3719). Local maritime history, shipbuilding & fisheries exhibits, lighthouse, bugeye. Open weekdays, afternoon Sundays, free . *Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship, Piney Point MD 20674 (301/9940010). Chesapeake Bay boats, lightship, sc hooners; open I st Sunday eac h month, free. St. Mary's City Commission, St. Mary's City MD 20686. Archaeological museum of Maryl a nd's first capital, with open air crafts, open daily , free; $1 to board

Dove. Jamestown Festival Park, PO Box Drawer JF, Williamsburg VA 23185 (804/229-1607). Replicas of Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery, the ships that sett led Jamestown in 1607, with exhibits, fort and craft activities ashore. Open daily, 9-5, $2, children 75a:. *The Mariners Museum, Newport News VA 23606 (804/595-0368). Extensive exhibits on American and foreign seafaring, including small craft in shed s. Open daily, Sunday afternoons, $1.50, children 75a:. Portsmouth Naval Museum, 2 High Street, Portsmouth VA 23705 (804/3938591). Portsmouth history in models, photos, open daily and Sunday afternoon s, closed Monday, free . Cape Henry Lighthouse, Fort Story, Virginia Beach VA 23459. Lighthouse is th e exhibit, open d a ily, free. *Offer major library and research facilities to serious students, by appointment. NOTE: Visiting hours subject to change; winter sc hedules differ. For fuller information write or call museum. When I am traveling 1 pray for a rainy afternoon near a good bookshop where I can do so me exploring in print: excellent emporiums of this na ture are to be found at The Mariners Museum in Newport News, and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum at St. Michaels. PS SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


Sloop Sadie, log canoe W .A . Johns, and famous postwar skipjack Rosie Parks dream away a winter day in front of the Museum's quiet walkways and the 19th-century buildings.

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum A Celebration of the Bay's Whole Heritage in Clippers, Pungys, Steamboats & Crabbing Skiffs, Brimming with Ancestral thoughts and Young Ideas. By Peter Stanford Shaded brick walkways invite you to this waterfront of old buildings facing on wooden piers. It is a great place to go to forget the silly problems that infest one's life and face some real challenge instead: the challenge of man's life across generations lived in confrontation, and in harmony, with the slow rhythms of the life of the Bay. The Chesapeake Maritime Museum was conceived in 1963 by the Talbot County Historical Society. Through popular subscription, three buildings on Navy Point were bought and restoration and collections begun: a grand opening was held May 22, 1965. Gus and Rita van Lennep, leaders of the effort, pushed ahead in these early years, adding ship models, books, records, a waterfowl collection, and floating historic craft. They encouraged a cheerful volunteer corps which has grown and become a tremendous asset to the museum. In April 1968 the Museum was separately incorporated as a nonprofit educational institution. Ten years later, last winter, the Museum under the leadershop of its director R.J. Holt and a distinguished Board of Governors, became one of eight maritime museums in America fully accredited by the American Association of Museums. Much happened in those years. A lightship that had been brought in was sent away as not central to the story (the Hooper's Point lighthouse, brought in by barge and installed at the end of Navy Point, is central, and was kept). Old wooden Bay craft that found refuge here were sorted out, and either regretfully given up, or rebuilt in an on-site shipyard facility to last and to live in sailing condiSEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

tion. A large new indoor boat shed was installed, where carefully restored specimens of an amazing variety of Bay small craft can be found. Deeply studied and imaginative displays were set up, making use of an increasingly rich collection. Models tell the vanished story of St. Michael's as shipbuilding center-the place was found important enough for the British to bombard in 1812, and the immortal clipper brig John Gilpin was launched here as late as 1830. An admirably detailed gallery remembers the steamers that once crisscrossed the Bay, and there is an aquarium (typical of the museum's style) so you may see the living creatures the Bay men of St. Michael's earned their living by, as oystering, crabbing and fishing became tpe mainstays of the old town. "To preserve the atmosphere of the Point, the Museum is committed to ensuring that any modern intrusions blend with the historic buildings," a recent museum statement declares. Old buildings about to be demolished on their sites have been brought in; new buildings are designed in traditional style, and sometimes finished with salvaged planking. Old boats are rebuilt of native white oak and loblolly pine, with young builders picking up the work rhythms and disciplines of their forebears without, I think, missing a beat. Go to St. Michaels for birthdays or other occasions when you want to look backward and forward at once. The magic you will find there is good magic; the freshness of the experience springs from deep roots. And you can join this goodly company: send $15 to the Museum , St. Michaels MD 21663 . w

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The Edna E. Lockwood dries her sails on a peaceful afternoon al the Museum pier. Rebuilding since 1975, she will be re-launched July 21 to sail again.

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"Pungys Drying Sails," by local painter H. Bolton Jones, shows St. Michaels harbor from the present museum site.

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The Burning of the Peggy Stewart By C. E. Atwater A ship afire is a terrifying sight, especially in the gathering twilight when the reflection of the flames upon the water seems to magnify the horror. Yet, there was no terror in the eyes of the throng that rimmed the waterfront of Annapolis in the early evening of the nineteenth of October, 1774, as a few hundred feet from shore in the Severn River, hungry flames devoured a small ship. Like children weary at the end of a long day, the townfolk watched emotionless as the brigantine Peggy Stewart burned to the waterline. It was, seemingly, the ignoble end of an ugly, isolated incident; but, in retrospect, the flames that consumed the Peggy Stewart would ignite the Atlantic seaboard. For this was the most daring act against the British Crown by an infuriated colonial citizenry who refused to submit to the imposed importation tax on tea. It was far more bold than the action in Boston a few months earlier, when citizens disguised as Indians had dumped boxes of tea into the harbor. What had occured not far from the Chesapeake Bay was no tea party, there were no subterfuges, no disguises. Irate Marylanders had stormed through the streets of Annapolis wearing defiant slogans pinned to their hats. And, most ominous of all, they had constructed a 14

gallows in front of the house of Anthony Stewart, one of the owners of the ship that bore his daughter's name. The Peggy Stewart had been built only a few years earlier, in 1771. Marylandbuilt, she was a vessel of some 100 tons burthen and about 65 feet on deck . She was owned by a group of four businessmen including Anthony Stewart, all prominent businessmen in Anne Arundel county. Her first recorded voyage was in 1773 to Madeira and back . Her outward cargo had been wheat, flour, corn, and beans; she brought back wine. On February 16th, 1774, an advertisement appeared in the Maryland Gazette newspaper: For London. The brigantine Peggy Stewart, Richard Jackson master will be at Selby's landing on the Patuxent River, by the 1st of March next; ready to take on board tobacco, at seven pounds per ton, consigned to Wallace, Davidson and Johnson; those of their friends who incline to take advantage of an early market, are requested to have their tobacco ready with a view of dispatching her. On May 14th the Peggy Stewart cleared the port of Annapolis with 156 hogsheads of tobacco. She also carried 16 tons of bar iron, 8000 staves and headings for

making barrels, and over 2 tons of red dye powder called Braziletto. Lloyds notes that she arrived at Gravesend on July 6th, and departed there on July 31 bound home. On her homeward journey, she carried 53 indentured servants and "European and East India goods." Somewhere within that latter vague description were the seeds of her destruction-the 17 packages containing 2,320 pounds of tea. After a rough passage, Peggy Stewart Rigged model by Melbourne Smith

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arrived in Annapolis in a leaky condition on the 14th of October, with her passengers delighted at the prospect of solid grou nd beneath their feet. But the customs inspector would permit no one to land until the duty was paid on the tea. Ca1 tain Jackson sent for the owners and it was the luckless Anthony Stewart who arrived. The colonies had agreed there would be no payment, and surely Stewart knew he would be in difficulty with his fellow colonists if he paid. But he must have believed that more serious trouble would befall him if he did not, and thus he paid the duty. On hearing of Stewart's capitulation, the Committee for Anne Arundel County met that same afternoon and decided to call a meeting of the people. After a stormy session, Mr. Stewart and the consignee of the cargo acknowledged their indiscretion in the matter and agreed to go along with the committee's decision not to permit the tea to be landed . These actions, however, were not enough for many of the citizens. A party led by Dr. Charles Alexander Warfield marched to Stewart's house. The angry mob built a gallows outside his door. Stewart was a man caught on the horns of a war brewing; with his wife in childbirth, he dared not risk human life before such a wave of opinion . To placate the mob, Stewart decided to sacrifice his ship. Accompanied by several men he rowed out to his vessel, which had been gro unded in the soft mud off nearby Windmill Point. All sails had been set and Peggy Stewart's colors were flying in the light evening breeze of October 19, 1774. As the growing crowds watched, Stewart, a lighted torch held hi gh, approached and boarded his daughter's namesake. As the flames did their deadly work, Stewart watched from the small open boat. The Peggy Stewart was burned six months before the first shot was fired at Concord Bridge. This story had been largely forgotten except in Maryland, but it was certain ly one of the more important preludes to the revolution.

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Annapolis from the Bollard By Barbara Schlech Glowing in the warmth of early light, the ancient bricks of the Annapolis waterfront face the sun rising over the Chesapeake. The old town stirs as the oystermen slip their moorings and head out past the Severn into the Bay, their wash breaking up the reflected silhouette of the eighteenth century streetscape with its taverns and its artisans' workshops. A stone's throw away, meshed in the maritime history of this major port of the Colonies are the homes of two of Maryland's Signers, Samuel Chase and William Paca. Just along is William Buckland's masterpiece, Mathias Hammond's home and Reynolds Tavern where early Annapolitans dined, drank and very likely swapped sea stories. And commanding this scene, the State House in which the Continental Congress met in the winter of 1783, where Washington resigned his commission that bitter December. Sit on the bollard in the warm spring sun, smell the salt and the sun-baked pine, regard the modern commerce of the bay, yacht mains'ls filling, freighters plowing up the water. Reflect on the miracle. of this museum without walls, this lively montage of our maritime heritage. Across the Dock are the soft red walls of the Victualling Warehouse, a military supply storehouse in 1776, now restored and serving as a maritime museum. From your vantage point, you can see the beginnings of the seafaring tradition of the Chesapeake Bay, and the role this seaport played in the development of the infant American Navy, reinforced in 1845 with the establishment of the Naval Academy. The dome of the Beaux Arts chapel designed by Ernest Flagg and built at the turn of our century, gleams in the morning sun and impresses its own dignity on the waterscape. The Market House at the Head of the Dock, restored from a later period on its 18th-century site, reminds one of the incredible variety of seaborne imports in colonial days. One merchant's advertisement in the Maryland Gazette of September 6, 1764, lists velvets, silk and garlix linen, castor hats and gloves and ribbon, combs and knee buckles, free mason glasses, rum and coffee and medicinals and half a hundred other wares in exchange for which thousands of

hogsheads of Maryland tobacco were offloaded in London. Blacks, without whom there would have been no tobacco plantations, arrived by the thousands at this very spot to be sold aboard and ashore-Haley's Kunta Kinte among them. This was the landing place, the scene of arrivals and departures of merchantmen and privateers, visitors on business and pleasure in Annapolis' Golden D~cades, including Thomas Jefferson, who stopped by for his smallpox inoculation en route to Philadelphia in May of 1766. He seemed impressed with our harbor: "The situation of this place is ... very commodious ... " Fifty yards beyond the harbor lies Shiplap House, now the headquarters of Historic Annapolis, Inc. Under the chairmanship of Mrs. St. Clair Wright, this organization has developed plans which accommodate new interests while preserving the fabric of the old town; regular walking tours and historic house visits are run from its headquarters. Shiplap was once the home of Ashbury Sutton, one of a large company of shipwrights who turned out scores of brigantines, snows and schooners on the Ships Carpenter Lot behind us. The maritime fabric of the Chesapeake wears well, its dye still vivid in the Ancient City, unravelled here and there with the incursions of our own time but still and all , from our place in the sun, much as William Eddis found it in 1769: "The court house, situated on an eminence at the back of the town, commands a variety of views highly interesting; the entrance of the Severn, the majestic Chesapeake and the eastern shore of Maryland, being all united in one resplendent assemblage. Vessels of various sizes and figures are continually floating before the eye; which, while they add to the beauty of the scene, excite ideas of the most pleasing nature." Hear, hear! Mr. Eddis. Those interested in visiting or learning more about the work to preserve the scene he so admired are invited to be in touch with Historic Annapolis, Inc., 18 Pinckney Street, Annapolis, MD 2 1401. .t Mrs. Schlech is a Trustee of Historic Annapolis, and a longtime member of the, National Maritime Historical Society. 15


A Distinctive American Creation ...

The Baltimore Clipper from lessons learned in researching, designing, building, rigging, and sailing a true Chesapeake type, the Pride of Baltimore.

By Melbourne Smith The arteries of existence for the American colonists lay upon th e wa ters a nd it was a necessity to develop fast sailing craft to outsail a nd outwit the might y British fleet. This was accomplished through an ingenious depa rture from th e po nderou s European a pproach to na val a rchitecture. The graceful vessels that resulted fr om this necessity, reached th eir o ptimum during th e War of 18 12 and became known as Baltimore clippers. Their simple clean design may ha ve been influenc-

ed by earlier Bermudian shipwrights but this is not cert ain . It was on th e sho res of C hesapeake Bay th at the type o f hull was developed and th eir lofty rig crea ted . The vessels were not large, proba bly less th a n sixty feet when th ey first appea red as pilot boats racing out from the Virginia Ca pes to meet incoming ships. Pilot cra ft had to be fast, seaworth y, a nd simple to ha ndle to compete in th at calling . Often th ey would ha ve to spend man y days on sta tion, risk th e possibil-

ities o f foul weath er; and return to po rt with o nly a few ha nds a board a ft er discha rging their complement of pilo ts. The boats built o n this Virginia model did not have to consider cargo capac ity a nd th e hulls were give n great deadrise, good beam, a nd a lo ng clea n run . They were ri gged as schooners, usuall y with o ut shro uds staying th e masts. The absence o f shrouds may a ppear fri ghtening and eac h mast was ra ked a t a devilish angle. The for emast was placed well fo rwa rd a nd th e fo resail was boomless; th e loose-foo ted sail overl a pped th e main a nd sheeted to th e ra il. It was from this Virginia pilot model th a t th e C hesa peake clippers bega n. To fur ther th eir versatility, more spa rs a nd sails were added . To pmasts were ri gged aloft , th e bo wsprit was extend ed with a j ibboom , and yards were crossed to spread squaresa ils. Shrouds became a necessity to suppo rt th e extra weight a nd strain. The additional sail a rea soon reached unh eard o f pro portions but this was to be their triumph a nd sal va ti o n; th e cra ft could sail in the lightest of airs when th eir cumbersome adversaries or victims were becalmed . It was o ften th eir undoing too as th e great rig was somew ha t frail

Th e pilot schooner A nn of N orfo lk, circa 1825.

16

SEA HISTO RY, SUMM E R 1979


f

/

/

A view of two Baltimore clippers 1830. Courtesy the Maryland Historical Society.

in heavy weather. But those aboard the overcanvassed clippers knew the limitations of their craft and the loft y rig was designed in a manner that allowed its reduction in short order. Everything aloft was made as light as possible to reduce windage and save weight. "ÂŁ:he gear could be struck at will by the large number of men carried aboard. Some of it was purposely fashioned light as a built-in safety factor so that it could be "removed by the Lord" if the crew failed to do so in time. Spare spars were carried to replace any broken ones and at the first sign of fair weat her, the light gear would quickly be re rigged . The Baltimore clippers were of ingenious design but most were hurriedly built and often of green or soft timbers. Their fate was eventuall y to be sunk or captured and they were driven unmercifully in their desperate pursuits. It made better sense to build new vesse ls than to invest in ones that may not return. Custom House records for the period show the average life to be two or three years and few lasted longer than five years. The configurat ion of the sparring and staying had several advantages over contemporary vessels. The few surviving sail plans indicate a cunning compromise to obtain a versatile arrangement of sails. SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

Almost ali of the craft were rigged with two masts. There were a few exceptions when the British built a few with three masts and one oversize American model was rigged as a full ship. The usual two masts could be rigged either as a schooner, a topsail schooner, a doubletopsail schooner, a brig, or a brigantine. Sometimes the arrangement would be changed from one to the other at will to suit the intentions of the voyage. Rigged as a schooner, the vessel would have the advantage of being able to work to windward. The opposite is true of a brig with only squaresails. The great versatility along with the lightness of the rig allowed the craft to reap every sailing advantage. Despite their name, most of the vessels were not built in Baltimore but, it is reputed that the best ones were. To be "Baltimore-built " was the envy of the shipwrights' art. They were built everywhere, usually as close to the timber source as possible. Many were built in New England but those built in northern climes were constructed heavier and not considered as swift and graceful as the Chesapeake variety but probably more suited to the less forgiving northern waters. Those captured by the British were quickly dispatched to England to be studied and copied. They were too delicate for British taste and when sailed by them they were hampered by tradi-

tional conception and never performed as they did under American command. When sailed properly, the shrouds were light and kept slack, the theory being to allow the masts some freedom to work with the hull, most of the strain being at the partners and step. The British tended to increase the number of shrouds, keeping them taut thereby spoiling the sai ling qualities and straining or hogging the hulls. As the Baltimore clippers developed, some of the hulls reached a hundred feet in length along the deck. Some were longer but the majority of the class were under eighty-five feet. The yacht-like hulls were always too fine to engage in carrying common commercial cargos. They were as lean and as light as greyhounds and they sought their fortunes in privateering, pirating, smuggling, and many illicit ventures . After the War of 1812, the type was used extensively in slave running. When slaving became illegal, the slower, more comfortable ships could no longer be used successfully for the middle passage from Africa. The slave traders turned to the fast Baltimore clippers to outwit the suppressors of this horrible trade. The cramped quarters in the faster vessels only added to the miseries of the unfortunates chained below. The authorities also turned to the same sleek craft and the early Coast 17


THE BALTIMORE CLIPPER The Pride of Baltimore, "another in the series" which had been long extinct when she was launched in 1977. At left, as visualized in a sail-plan painting by Melbourne Smith; below, as he built her, laying the sea-miles over her shoulder. Photo, Bob Dollard.

Some of the gear was purposely fashioned light . .. so that it could be "removed by the Lord" if the crew failed to do so in time.

Guard, then known as the Revenue Marine, employed a fleet of the Baltimore clipper type to enforce maritime law and to stop slaving. In the end, the design continued to be used as the original vessels were, as pilot boats. One very famous yacht built on the same pilot boat lines was the schooner America and she might be considered the ultimate refinement of the class. Fast and graceful, she again surprised the British in the capture of the One Hundred Guinea Cup for the race around Cowes in 1851. In their heyday, the Baltimore clippers usually carried large crews. A vessel of eighty feet would have a similar complement of men and this was to their advantage in overpowering the slower merchant ships or escaping the heavily gunned naval vessels. The large crew was required to handle the lofty rig and to keep it in repair. It was a daring and often dangerous occupation requiring seafaring skills not usually found in normal merchant ships. The cost of building and rigging a Baltimore clipper was relatively low and the lives of the crew were seldom considered in return for the opportunities for riches and fame to be gleaned on the waters. NOTE: The terms Baltimore clipper and clipper ship should not be confused. Vessels now known as "Baltimore clippers" originated on the .Chesapeake Bay in the latter part of the 18th century and averaged between 50 and 200 tons displacement. The later cargo vessels known as "clipper ships" originated in New York in the 1840s with a displacement some ten times greater than the earlier Baltimore type. There was one famous transitional vessel built in Baltimore in 1833. This was the Ann McKim. A full ship rig was placed in a large Baltimore clipper hull. Correctly, she could be called a "Baltimore clipper ship" . When the full-hulled, cargo-carrying clipper ships appeared in New York with the construction of the Rainbow and Sea Witch, the Baltimore clippers as a class had all but disappeared from the seas . The recreation of the Pride of Baltimore in 1977 is l believe, the only authentic example of such a craft to sail in this century . ..t

18

SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


The artist's rendering is of Baltimore 's beautiful Inner Harbor as it will look upon completion of the Rouse Company's Harborplace project. The 145',000 square foot marketplace will be housed in two pavilions, one in the left

foreground , and the other behind the restored USS Constellation. Harborplace is scheduled to open in July of 1980. Rendering by Carlos Diniz Associates of Los Angeles.

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Baltimore's Pride By Thomas French Norton Director, Baltimore Operation Sail

Baltimore's Inner Harbor once bustled with commerce. In the city's earliest days the Inner Harbor was the entire port, where sailing vessels -tied up with their bowsprits hanging across the narrow streets while trade goods from around the world were loaded or unloaded. During the War of 1812 it was such a nest of privateers that the Royal Navy tried to clean it out, but was repulsed at Fort McHenry. Still later, steamboats and Chesapeake Bay sailing vessels carrying grain and produce to the city's markets used the Inner Harbor, while larger vessels sought deeper water at newer terminals.

In the days of steamboats and bugeyes, laden with grain or the garden products of the Eastern Shore-and within this writer's memory-people came down to gawk at the shipping and to dreai_n of a seafaring life, but as these trades died the waterfront became stagnant. New forces were stirring, however, as evidenced by citizen efforts to save the shipyard district at Fell's Point, and _by Mayor William D. Schaefer's aggressive campaigning to bring business and people back to the inner city. The visit of Tall Ships to the Inner Harbor in the Bicentennial celebrations of 1976 made the people of Baltimore realize how attractive their waterfront might be. They set to work revitalizing it with new office buildings and the restoration of old houses, with the creation of a promenade, with the encouragement of yachtsmen and tourists that has brought the place to life again. And they built the Baltimore clipper schooner Pride of Baltimore a floating symbol of this revitalization. At first, the Pride was to be no more than a static display of the city's maritime history. But 20

her builder, the imaginative sailor and marine artist Melbourne Smith, had other ideas, which were picked up by an equally imaginative city administration. . The Pride became a living and funct10nal thino sailing to other ports to spread the word' about Baltimore and its thriving business community. A traditional shipyard in miniature was created along the Inner Harbor waterfront and there, as thousands of people watched through one of the 7oldest winters on record, a crew of artisans shaped the the vessel and her fittings from wood and iron, using hand tools and the methods of the 1812 era. The Pride was launched in February 1977using a twentieth century crane to lift her over the crowd-and commissioned in May. Within ten months of her k~el­ laying, she was under way on her fmt ¡voyage, to Bermuda. Designed by naval architect Thomas Gillmer to embody characterisitics typical of other Baltimore Clippers built in the early 1800s, she is not a "replica" or a "reproduction." She is a Baltimore Clipper; simply the most recent one to be built. The Pride of Baltimore seldom is found in her home port. She logged nearly 30,000 miles of sailing during her first two years, visiting cities as far north as Nova Scotia, south to Venezuela, east to Trinidad and west to Houston . .She has twice sailed through the islands of the Caribbean, where her predecessors called on their varied occasions. The work is hard and the living conditions primitive, with hammocks rather than bunks, no showers or refrigeration, no yachty winches, and with both discomfort and possible danger always a part of the voyages. But more important, the Pride is a working vessel with a mission. As she makes her visits to other portsmore than 50 so far-she is open to the public as often as possible, promoting Baltimore as a place to visit; and dozens of business organizations hold receptions on board, promoting their goods and services. While the Pride is not a sail training vessel in the strictest sense, she provides some of the best sail training, and character building, afloat today. In such a vessel, each life is dependent on the willingness and abilities of all the others. Those who don't accept such responsibility don't last long. Those who do, becoi_ne fine young men and women with outstanding leadership abilities. In that work, the Pride serves not only Baltimore, but the whole country.

www

St.Mary's By Norma Stanford In March 1634 two vessels, the 100' Arc and the 60' Dove, anchored in a small harbor near the mouth of the Potamac River. They had had a three-month, "boysterous" crossing from England, during which it had long been feared by those aboard the Ark that the little Dove had been lost. Aboard were 140-odd settlers who had come to found the colony of Maryland. The site chosen for the first settlement, and captial of the new colony, was an Indian village. The Piscataways were glad to sell their village to the newcomers and move round to the other shore of the little bay. As they hoped, the Europeans with their guns discouraged the dreaded raids by the Iroquois who swept down the Susquehanna River from New York. The colony's patron, Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore had, with his father, originally intended the col~ny as a refuge for English Roman Catholic~. But the limits of this plan were soon evident, and very shortly Protestants were welcomed with Lord Baltimore's instructions to his brother (the Governor) and councillors to be "very careful to preserve unity and peace amongst us all . . . and suffer no ... offense to be given to any of the Protestants." St. Mary's City, as the settlement was named, never became a major city. For 61 years it remained the capital, overrun periodically by visits of the Assembly and the convening of the provincial court. At such times its streets would be lively and its inns overcrowded. But the remainder of the year it was a quiet hamlet surrounded by the scattere.d homes of planters, who needed no central marketplace since deepwater ships came direc~ly to their wharfs to trade. The commercial and political center of the colony moved north to Annapolis, as markets for new trades in bigger ships developed. ¡ As so often happens, St. Mary's failure as a growing city became its salvation as a place of historic interest. Ten years of research has revealed a wealth of archaeological treasures, while the surrounding countryside remains rural. At the initiative of citizens led by General Robert E. Hogaboom, the site is to be developed as a center of learning and experience in early Maryland hist~ry: The St. Mary's City Comm1ss1on, a state agency established to develop ~nd maintain the historic site, has acqmred 550 acres of the 1200 planned for the completed project, and is now beginning the work of turning extensive research into public exhibits and activities. It is planned to have several major installations

SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


Dove Sails to a Young Purpose completed by 1984, the 350th anniversary of the founding of Maryland, among them the visitor center, which will introduce people to the full scope of the St. Mary's project. Other major installations will be a working 17th-century tobacco plantation, an achaeological exhibit centering on one important dwelling, a reconstructed State House/ inn complex, and a waterfront exhibit featuring a sailing reconstruction of the Dove with nearby exhibits on trade, immigration and patterns of settlement. Throughout, the Commission's emphasis is, in the words of the Executive Director, Mary Barber, on giving visitors "something they have had the pleasure to learn by putting their minds to work, something they can take away and think about afterwards." The second Dove will sail in active program, and around her it's planned to build smaller vessels representative of river life-including pulling boats in which visitors can go out on the river, the main highway of 350 years ago. A boatyard will maintain the vessels and build new ones, in public view so people can share in the acts that bring a wooden hull to life, and the routines that keep it in life. The Commission determined to build the Dove in 1975, and retained William Avery Baker as architect. James B. Richardson of Cambridge was chosen to build the resulting design for a 3-masted, 40-ton pinnace. Richardson, now in his 70s, has been building boats for 50 years, and came out of retirement to build this one. He describes himself as "hardheaded and independent." His building crew of eight young people, he says, just "gravitated" to the job. One of the young women has gone on to work as restoration carpenter for the shoreside project-the skills she acquired being otherwise unavailable today. An early example of the St. Mary philosophy at work! The decision to build a costly vessel early was a high-risk decision-but the money was raised, from over 500 contributors, and the decision has paid off in enormous public interest, interest that goes to the whole process of building and sailing the ship, the very lessons St. Mary's is after. Says Mary Barber: "By watching historians, archaeologists and craftsmen at work, visitors sense the excitement they feel for that work. And with that discovery may come the more important understanding that history is neither more nor less than students make ofit." .t

Master shipwright Jim Richardson (above) chose willing young helpers to build his ship. They learned so well that one (at right) became restoration carpenter for the St. Mary's project.

The Dove sails! In the fall of 1978, she crossed the Bay, a little underballasted, to take up the first Dove's career, interrupted when the 17thcentury ship was lost on a return voyage to England.


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SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


Reconstructions of the ships that brought the English to Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 sail here to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the selllement, 22 years ago: from the left, Godspeed, Discove ry, Susan Constant. A new ship way has been builr ro restore these ships, at a working exhibit at Jamesrown Fesrival Park. The Susan is being hauled rhis su111111er, ro be followed by Godspeed in 1980 and Discove ry in 1981. Pharo: Marcus Rirger.

Janiestown Ships To Be Restored By Parke Rouse, Jr. Executive Director, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation A major rebuilding of the Susan Constant, flagship of three reconst ructed Jamestown ships, will soon get underway on the banks of the James River near Jamestown, site of the first permanent English settlement of America. To undertake the work, Jamestown Festival Park is building a 17th century type shipway, which is scheduled for completion this summer. The Susan and her companions, the Godspeed and Discovery, are full-size recon structions of square-rigged merchant ships which brought 104 men and boys to Virginia in 1607. The exhibit ships were built in 1955-57 at the Curtis-Dunn Marine Railways at West Norfolk, and they have attracted more than 13 million visitors since they were put on di splay in 1957 at the park. On their first Virginia voyage the ships left London on December 20, 1606, under command of Captain Christopher Newport. Newport remained for several years in the employ of the Virginia Company of London, bringi ng five "supplies" or reinforcement voyages to Jamestow n. Coming by the southern route, the outward-bound ships stopped first in the Canary Islands, then they crossed to the Caribbean islands, stopping in several ports for water and fresh provisions, and reached the entrance to Chesapeake Bay on April 26, 1607 . After ex ploring the James River as far upstream as the fall line, now the site of Richmond , they sai led back down strea m and chose a

SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

wooded peninsula as the site of their settlement. It was named Jamestown in honor of their king, James l,on May 13, 1607. Jamestow n is now preserved as part of the Colonial National Histo rical Park by the National Park Service, a long with Yorktown and a 25-mile connecting parkway. A part of it is also maintained by the Association for the Prese rvation of Virginia Antiquities. To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the first permanent English sett lement, Virginia held a yea rlong festival in 1957. The popularity of the festival ex hibits led to the establishment of the Jamestown Festival Park, which attracts more than a million visitors annually. The ships, which are the most popular exhibit at Jamestown , were developed from research done by th e lat e Cdr. Griffith Baily Coale, USN, for th e State Capitol painting of the ships, which he was commissioned to paint by the Virginia General Assembly in the 1930s. In Coale's research he examined l 7th century ships' plans and other data in the papers of Samuel Pepys, the 17th century English diarist who served in the British Admiralty. From these data, plans for the reconstructions were drawn in 1955-56 by Robert G. C. Fee, marine architect a nd director of th e model ships' laboratory of the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. Const ruction was supervised by John Hu ghes Curti s, Sr., late principal of C urtis- Dunn Marine Railways. His so n, John Curtis, Jr. , an ex-

ecutive of Norfolk Shipbuilding Company, has served as advisor on the ships' maintenance, along with Coast Engineering Company. The ships are authentically rigged and equipped with linen sails of 17th century design. In 1957 and for several years thereafter, the vessels were sailed for historic re-enactments, being manned by members of the Norfolk and Hampton Yacht Clubs. However, si nce 1973 they have not left their dock side moorings. The new shipway was necessitated by si lting of the dredged channel which once permitted egress of the ships to the channel of the James and thence to overhaul yards at Newport News and Norfolk . Because of Kepone contamination of the lower James, such dredging is currently restricted by State and Federal environmental agencies. The shipway is being built with a $335,960 appropriation from the Virginia government. It includes a 243-foot inclined railway with a 80-foot lift platform . The platform will be hauled up by electrically-powered winches, in lieu of the manpower and horsepower used in earlier times. To allow for the underwater platform and the turning of the ships in the dred ged Three Ships' Basin, limited additional dredging in the basi n and along the Festival Park shoreline was permitted by environmental agencies. The 111 ' Susan constant draws 11 ',while the Godspeed (68 ' from stem to stern) draws 7', and the Discovery (50' long) draws 6'. ..V 23


In the Lower Bay: A Leading Museum of Man's Seafaring in Vessels Great and Small, a Growing Seaport Center in Norfolk, and a Gallant Sail Training Schooner The Mariners Museum Not far from Colonial Williamsburg and the nearby Jamestown ships, one of the world's great museums spreads its spacious halls across shaded rural acres outside Newport News, Virginia. Founded in 1930 by Archer M. Huntington, the Mariners Museum was built with money earned from the building of great ships

An early American brig, in the Crabtree Collection at the Mariners Museum in Newport News.

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and small at the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Its purview is broad, centering on the United States but reaching out to other nations. The collection includes over 1,000 ship models, and more than 100 small craft from around the world . Among the models are the superbly detailed miniature ships built by August F. Crabtree in 28 years' labor. A Ships' Carvings Ga llery presents figureheads, trailboards and a profusion of work from an age when men lavished care and decoration on workaday objects. There is a decorative arts gallery as well, and two galleries of marine paintings. There is a Seapower Gallery, on the evolution of naval warfare, and a whole gallery devoted to the great steamship architect William Francis Gibbs. A Steamship Hall follows steamer evolution from Fulton's North River Steamboat to superliners and supertankers. Behind this awesome display is an immense maritime archival and research center, which works with a 55,000 vo lume library and effectively organized photographic and documentary files. Few people in museum work have not learned to be grateful, for good reason, that thi s facility exists.

The Norfolk School of Boatbuilding Across the James River , out toward the Virginia Capes at the entrance to the Chesapeake, a new center for the heritage is coming into being in the great naval city of Norfolk . Here the Norfolk School of Boatbuilding has set up shop to build and restore traditional craft by traditional methods, drawing urban youth into a carefully wrought and strikingly successful training program. The people involved in the visit of Tall Ships to Norfolk for the 1976 Bicentennial went on to sponsor an annual Harborfest, drawing crowds of people to the waterfront to view sailing vessels and mingle with their crews ashore. Under the leadership of a prominent Norfolk banker, John Sears, the group sponso red sail training exercises and decided a few years back to move aggressively on youth training in boat building skills-learning of hand, eye and spirit that gives meaning to the spectacle of vessels crossing the water on the wind. Located at the Foote of Brooke

The 51' skipjack Norfolk, ex-A ll egheny, exGeorge W. Colli e, now owned by the city, is to be rebuilt and sailed by the No1j(1lk School of Boatbuildinf!..

Avenue, next to the McAllister Bros. tu g piers, the School has proved a potent force in the revival of the city waterfront. Future plans include an hi storic museum ship, and the development of a seaport complex complementing new apartment buildings, marinas and other public faci lities now planned for the waterfront. Just inland, there is a new pedestrian mall, and beyone it, startlingly, o ne comes upon the restored house of Moses Myer, a merchant who helped finance the Revolution . A cannonball from British shelling still sti cks in the wall of a nearby Church. It is from the waterfront, and people involving act ivities there that the impulse of new life will come to this hi story-drenched area.

A Small Ship Sailing to a Tall Mission To the north of the Yorktown Peninsula, across the way at Gloucester point, The Virginia Institute of Marine Science serves as base for Sea Explorer Ship 38-a dedicated outfil that have earned a name for them selves sailing in George C. Salley's diminutive schooner Galleons Lap. Built of steel in 1968 aboard traditional Chesapeake schooner lines, this vessel has trained young Explorers to sai l in larger ships-one going as far afield as Greenland in the Sealift Command transport USNS Towle. Some have served aboard the Pride of Baltimore, others have graduated to sail in Philadelphia' s Grand Banks barkentine Gaze/a Primeiro. Ashore, the Institute provides tough academic programs in marine science. As though that were not enough to keep young minds engaged and young hands busy, the group has become in vo lved in laying up new rigging for the Jamestown ships as they undergo their overhaul and rebuilding. That rigging, we may be sure, will function well. May we dream that the young riggers may go on one day to repair the rigging of the ship of state, now so slack and shot through? PS SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


"The flowers of the sea"

Tall Ship Races & Festivals What is a tall ship? A ship sai ling to some pu rpose, leaning on the wind to make a passage. Such ships will gather to good purpose in the Chesapeake this June, in the now-traditional harbor festivals at Norfolk on the weekend of June 15-18, and Baltimore, June 22-24. The great wooden barkentine Gaze/a Primeiro will be there, crewed by stalwarts of the Philadelphia Maritime Museum. Our most historic tall ship, she was born in Portugal in 1883 and sai led in a long life in the o ldest North At lantic trade, fishing for cod on the Grand Banks. She was the last square rigger in that trade, and was salvaged when her days in it ended, and fu ll y restored as a working sa ilin g ship, through the generous vision of the la te W. Wikoff Sm ith of Philadelphia. The Un icorn, a stout brig seen much in East Coast waters last summer, a lso saved by Mr. Smith, will also be there, coming north from Florida with you ng people in crew. The Pride of Baltimore will be off in Nova Scotia waters, car ryin g a Baltimore message abroad as her predecessors did. The American Sail Training Association run s a race between Norfolk and Baltimore which has attracted many ot her craft, startin g off Norfolk June 18. At least half the working crew of vessels in these races must be trainees. Educating these young people in the ways of the sea is the purpose to which the ships sail. On July 4th weekend Poland's Dar Pomorza will be in Philadelphia, an occasion to gladden all hearts; on the same weekend Frank Braynard (maestro of Op Sail '76) wi ll run New York's most ambitious harbor festival since 1976, with the oldest ship in the elaborate parades being the Hay-De, a working tug built in 1887 owned by the inimitable Fred Kosnac. The ASTA race series picks up with a July 5th race from Hempstead Harbor on Long Island to New London, Connecticut, where the shi ps will be in port July 7-8. On July 10 the ships wi ll race from Sag Harbor to New Bedford, Massachusetts, and from there to Newport, Rhode Island, where a very thoroughgoing reception is planned to conclude the series.

National

Maritime Heritage Festival: June 13-15 It would be a bold man to say where the first National Maritime Heritage Festival was conceived, but it was born in the saloon of the brigantine Black Pearl, following the American Sail Training Association Conference last fall. The smoking lamp was lit, grog was at hand, SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

A GUIDE TO TALL SHIPS IN THE CHESAPEAKE Scheduled to arrive in Norfolk June 15 are these major ships-with a host of others. Length includes bowsprit.

,.!j~ Eagle-295' bark ~ Coast Guard

US

Gaze/a Primeiro-187' barkentine, Philadelphia Maritime Museum

Western Union-130' schooner, World Life Explorations

Young America-130' brigantine, Oceanic Society

Unicorn-129' brig, Unicorn Maritime Inst.

Brilliant-75' schooner, Mystic Seaport

Black Pearl- 70' brigantine, American Sail Training Ass'n

A , Dove-70' bark, St.

~

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and while Young Explorers embarking for an Operation Drake training cruise (SH 13: 34) tromped the deck s overhead, a quorum of the Ship Trust Committee-two is a quorum, summoned in its name-sat and read this passage from a wartime letter from Admiral Boscawen to his wife in 1756: "I beg my dear will not be uneasy at my staying out so long. To be sure I lose the fruits of the earth, but then I am gathering the flowers of the sea." Bernie Klay of the X-Seamens Institute, invited as referee between the two Ship Trust members (Black Pearl's skipper Barclay H. Warburton Ill, and your reporter), said: "Why not pull the thing together? If shore festivals make a spectacle of the ships, and it is the real sea learning that people want and deserve, why not put the songs, the ships, the learning all together, and see what happens?" A great deal has happened since then, under the direction of Mr. Warburton, who is President of the American Sail Training Association. Irving Johnson will come to Newport, with England's Stan Hugill, and other sai lormen, to honor the incoming ships of the East Coast Training Races as they come into port on Bastille Day weekend, July 13-15 . There

will be regattas; a maritime arts and crafts show, a traditional boat-building exhibit, a marine art show sponsored by the American Society of Marine Art ists. There will be historical and educational workshops, chanteys, worksongs and dancing, a fisheries exhibit, and presentations of nautical archaeology, Girl Scouts and Sea Explorers programs, a schooner race, and Newport Sea Concerts each evening. Yes, there is a better way to go than exhibiting our ships like captive lions, and that way will flower on this occasion.

1980: Tall Ships to Norfolk, Bostonand Beyond Four out of five of the big South American square riggers have now agreed to enter an AST A sail training race from Cartagena, to Norfolk, to Boston, where they will join in observations of Boston ' s 350th Anniversary, May 30-June 4, 1980, sponsored by a Boston Operation Sail Committee. Some European entrants are reported: Norway's Christian Radich, Germany's Gorch Fack, Poland's Dar Pomorza, Denmark's Danmark, with many U.S . entrants. A race will then be held across the Atlantic to join the summer's Tall Ships Races under the auspices of the Sail Training Association. PS FOR INFORMATION: American Sail Training Association, Eisenhower House, Fort Adams State Park, Newport RI 02840.

"FLOWERS OF THE SEA" Members Offer In Praise of Sailors Ed. Herbert W. Warden, 111. A stunning collection of sailor's art, poetry and prose, including 44 hand-tipped color plates, woven into a narrative history of life at sea. Regular price $45 Member's price $37.50

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If not a member Sign up now and receive SEA HISTORY regularly, by sending $10. To: NMHS, 2 Fullon SI., Rklyn., NY 11201 Please send: 0 In praise of Sailors, 0 Peking Battles Ca pe Horn, 0 Please enroll me as a member of NMHS. Enclosed is $, _ _ _ __ N i\ ~ 11¡

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A Ship in the Cellar By Norman Brouwer On Friday, October 27, 1978, workmen excavating beneath the cellar of 209 Water Street, in the South Street Seaport Historic District of New York City, encountered the well preserved remains of a ship, buried in landfill about six feet below street level. The workmen were engaged in constructing a sump pit to drain several cellars, as part of a $2.5 million restoration of the buildings in the block bordered by Fulton, Front, Beekman and Water Streets, funded by the Federal Government through the City . The find was encountered in an area originally located 200 feet offshore in the East River, and today around 200 feet inland from the present shoreline. The ship itself was probably covered over between 1750 and 1758. In February 1750 a John Cannon was awarded a water lot grant by which he was required to widen Water Street by fifteen feet and fill outward to a new wharf forty feet wide. The ship lies immediately east of Water Street and possibly partly under the street itself. Cannon was required to finish this work by March 25, 1758. Prior to being buried, the ship may have served as the foundation for a pier or warehouse. At the time the ship was discovered, an archaeological team was on the scene from the Anthropology Department of

New York's City College. They had been called in to analyze the 18th century landfill and artifacts uncovered; including bricks, pottery, clay pipes, shoe leather and coins. All artifacts found in the landfill date from the 1790s or earlier. The ship's side first appeared as a row of vertical timbers sheathed with horizontal planking on both sides, lying near the centerline of the building at right angles to the street. The timbers were at first thought to be cribbing placed there to support the foundation of the building, which dates from 1836, or an earlier building dating from the 1790s. The upper strakes of planking were removed and placed on the sidewalk in front of the building, where I came upon them and immediately identified them as part of a ship. Following consultation with William Avery Baker of the National Trust and representatives of the President's Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the National Register of Historic Sites, and the State Historic Preservation Office in Albany, all work on the site was suspended pending the organization of a full-scale archaological dig . At this point roughly eight feet of one side of the ship had been uncovered, to a depth of four feet outboard and a lesser

At lefta4" x8" plank from wale with34"scarf, ~ "sheathing, 2 Vi " outer planking, laid out on Water Street, where author Brouwer came on them. Below, ship'ssideasfirsl uncovered, bedded partly in chipsjrom old shipyard, showing planking, partly pulled away from frames, with !runnels exposed, and ceiling behind. Deck beam shows bolls from missing lodging knee. Photos, Merrill Hersch, NYS Maritime Museum. In 1717, at right, a shipyard flourished on the site the ship wasfound in, at the north end of the East River docks, on a shoreline some 400 feet further inland then it is today. A ship is a-building ashore, and a gallant new sloop lies in the stream. From !he William Burgis view, courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Ari.

depth inboard . Features of the sh ip's construction which had been revealed included; wales 16 inches in depth composed of two 4" x 8" stakes, 2 Vi" outer planking sheathed with wood 3/4 " thick laid over tarred horsehair, 21/2" cei ling planking, frames 5" by 5 1/2 - l 0 V. ", deck beams 8 Yi' ' by 11 Vi -15" and remains of lodging knees, deck planking and planksheer. Three wooden artifacts were found inside the hull of a nautical or possibly nautical nature: the half shell of a wooden block 12 1/2 " in length scored for a rope strop, a wooden wheel 12 1/2 " in diameter of the type used on gun carriages, and a heavy timber containing the type of mortice used as a step for masts or bitts 4" by 8" by 4" in depth with drain holes bored in from two sides. Based on what has been uncovered, the ship appears to be complete in places up to the main deck, and in good condition . The side which was exposed was watertight. Too little of her form was revealed to indicate the type of vessel or give an accurate idea of size. The hull is currently underwater due to seepage in the excavation, and is not accessible to the public.

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New Life for Atlantic Docks By Paul F. Van Wicklen Brookl yn was known as th e "Walled Ci ty " during th e late 1800s, when an almost solid line o f warehouses lined it s East Ri ver waterfront, fro m the Na vy Yard a rea of Wallabout Basi n, so uthward to the Atlantic Basin / Red Ho o k Point area. The three miles of storage buildings were a n excellent barometer of th e City of Brooklyn 's prosperit y. As repositories for ship loads of imports-coffee, tobacco, molasses, suga r, hid es, wool and various ge neral ca rgo - the warehouses were a perfect co mplement to a n eq ua lly lo ng line of piers an d quays in front of th em, As a major city in its own ri ght prior to becoming part o f the C ity of New York in 1898, Brooklyn had a thri vin g industri a l base of over 10,000 factories. The output of these pla nts helped fill th e holds of vessels clearing th e Brook lyn docks. Grain from the Midwest also held th ese ships deep in th e water as th ey cleared New York Harbor, gra in that had traversed the Erie Ca nal a nd Hudso n Ri ver before rend ezvousin g a t Brooklyn terminals such as At lantic Basin . The Atlanti c Basin and adj ace nt Red Hook / Gowanu s area handled most o f New York 's fabulous gra in trade of th e 1800s, a trade that a mounted to so me 157 milli o n bushels in 1898. Atlantic Bas in had nin e " first class" stea m elevators to tran sfer 30

gra in from ca na l boa ts int o ocea n-go in g vessels or to its warehouses during th e 1870s . Each of th ese elevators co uld unload a ca na l boat in three hours, a nd a well built Atlantic Basin warehouse co uld store two million bu she ls at one time. Flour, too , was accommodated in prodi gious qu a ntiti es prior to ex port. And the number o f ships berthing there a century ago is a lmost unbelieva ble by current standards. Record s sho w that as ma ny as 130 sea-goin g vessels were ti ed up there at one tim e. On another occasion som e 600 ca nal boats and 50 ocean-goin g ships so mehow fo und berthing space within th e basin. Atlantic Bas in was created, litera ll y carved out o f that so uth ern ex tremit y of th e East Ri ve r known as Butt erm ilk Channel, by Daniel Ri chards, a successful entrepreneur from upstat e New York who moved to New York C it y abo ut 1830. To escape th e "cholera seaso n" there, he moved to Broo kl yn during 1832. Envisioning the growth potenti a l of Brooklyn , he almost immediately began acquirin g real estate in South Brooklyn and planning the future Atlantic Bas in . Atlantic Dock Compa ny was formed in 1840, much to th e chagrin of dock interes ts in Manh a tta n, where th e piers were owned by th e municipalit y a nd by

so me acco unt s not in th e bes t o r shape. But in spite of opposition from Manhattan interests in th e state legislature , Rich a rd s' plans for th e Atlantic Dock s we nt a head. They called for 40 ac res of water to be surrounded by wharves on all sides with a 200-foot-wide inlet from Buttermilk C hann el. Warehouses were to cover a ll sides o f the "C-shaped" basin. Steam-powered dredges were used to do the la rge amo unt of excavation required that would provide a 20-foot depth at low tid e a nd suffi cient space fo r I00 " large vesse ls." Ri chards borrowed his plan from one used in th e development of the Li ve rp ool Docks in Engla nd, with th e exception of a lock that was needed in Liverpoo l to prese rve suffici ent water depth at low tide. All of th e dredged material was used in com bin a ti o n with la rge sto nes to form th e foundations of th e warehouses. James S. T. Stranah a n was placed in charge of th e warehouse co nstruction by Richard s, a nd from th e time th e fir st warehouse was completed in 1844 until 1870, when the entire A tl a nti c Basin was fini shed a nd called " th e epitome of what private enterprise ca n d o," Stranaha n did an o ut sta nding job. Thanks to him a nd Da ni el Rich a rd s the Atlantic Docks performed with di stin cti o n durin g th e C ivil War when it was a SEA HI STORY, SUM M E R 1979


'/he new $20 million Red Hook Marine Terminal now being built on this site will, in the initial stage, provide an overall 30-acre terminal with berths for two containerships at a new installation and two break-bulk freighters at existing Pier I I. Ten acres of marshalling area

major supply base. During 1893 the Atlantic Dock Company became part of what wo uld today be ca lled a conglomerate that was gobbling up former "fami ly-owned" warehouse-pier companies that were founded during the earliest days of commerce o n the Brooklyn side of the East River. Known as the Brooklyn Wharf and Warehouse Company, thi s firm was reorganized in 1891 as the New York Dock Company. New York Docks became a hou sehold name in th e port, for it was to operate the former At lantic Dock Company and the properties a long

will be added in 1981 . The Port Authority is providing the first 30 acres and will build and operate the terminal, while Stale and City will fund it. Photos: Port Authority of NY & NJ.

nearly two miles of Brooklyn waterfront for the next 65 years. By the 1950s, the piers and storage buildings had become antiquated and by all measures a marginal enterprise. In 1956 The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey acquired most of the New York Dock Company property for just under $ 14 million. The Port Authority followed through by investin g another $83 million in replac in g 25 obsolete piers with 12 new ones, plus the rehabilitation of anot her pier and demolishing most of the o ld warehouses for 60 acres of muchneeded open upland area. Included . in

thi s, the greatest sin gle project on the New York waterfront, was Pier 11, which wi ll be a key component of the new Red Hook Marine Terminal. Completion of the project in 1981 will enable th e Atlantic Dock s to co ntinue it s hi storic role as the " pearl of the Brooklyn waterfront." Mr. Van Wicklen, Port Promotion Manager for The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, is an aficianado of maritime history, and has been active in maritime cultural projects ranging from South Street Seaport Museum to Operation Sail.

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Concerns of the Ship Trust Committee Lovely in defiance, the bows of the

Charles Cooper, last of the South Street packet ships, gaze out on distant waters in the Falkland Islands. Damaged in batE ~ tie with Cape Horn, she put into this port ~ of refuge 113 years ago. Ten years ago, ~ through the efforts of Karl Kortum, she ~ was acquired by the Journal of Com-~ merce for South Street Seaport Museum, ~ and will ultimately be returned there. At ~ left, a section of the Down Easter St. ~~ ~ 0 Mary has been returned from the Falklands to Maine, where it is being erected at the Maine State Museum as a major (25-ton) display on Maine's proudest product. The Vicar of Bray, drying her sails in San Francisco at lower left, lives on in the Falklands. Plans are underway to return this last surviving ship of the California Gold Rush to San Francisco. Last spring, an attempt to save the remains of the Niantic (at left in John Stobart's painting) failed, though a major section was rescued by J. Patrick Mahoney of San Francisco, a patron of the NMHS. The National Maritime Historical Society's Ship Trust Committee works 32

with friends in the US and abroad to mount such saving acts, which being everyone's business, turn out too often to be no-one's. It is concerned with the ships, great and small, that carry the message of our seafaring through time, from one generation to the next. Looking to the ship as the bearer of that message, the Committee's concerns embrace the arts and disciplines that build and sail ships, and the who le heritage of their service, from sailor's song to shipcarving. In recent decades, by mutual support and cooperation, historic ship centers have been established from Bristol to New York t.o San Francisco to Sydney: the Ship Trust Committee draws on the learning of this vital work and draws it together. In that sense it is a Trust in itself, funded by imagination and experience and the caring of people. It led in securing the $5 million Maritime Heritage Fund adopted by Congress last year, and is¡ working for revised laws to encourage sea training and the preservation of historic skills, and to prevent the looting of the library of the seabed. SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


Dancinfi 0111 of !he day's first liglll like !he child <~f rhe 111orninfi rhar she is, rhe Bal1i111ore clipper Pride of Bal1imorc pim11e11es around !he slower-sailing brig Unicorn, par/ of an acrion sequence ./il111ed for "Chosrs 1~/ Cape Horn."

"GHOSTS OF CAPE HORN'': The Genesis of a New Film on the American Heritage in Sail " The beginning?" Jim Donaldso n, film producer, looks around for help at the book-lined walls of the room we're meeting in. "Where does a love affair begin? All I can tell you is that this one has been demanding, costly, challenging beyond anything I dreamed of, and I wouldn't have missed it for worlds." A placid-looking, bespectacled chap of cherubically innocent expression, Donaldso n had carried a torch for old sailing ships for years. This secret passion broke into a roaring blaze when he encountered Peter Throckmorton , Curatorat-Large of the National Maritime Historical Society, who told him of work go ing forward to save the 19th-century sailing ships preserved in the icebox of the Falkland Islands, where they had put in to lick their wounds after damage in the battle to get around Cape Horn. "Throckmorton himself proposed the film, it was 'his idea," says Donaldson. "As you can imagine I only had to be asked once." The two men talked, in meetin gs that ran for hours. Throckmorton had told the president of NMHS, years ago, while struggling (successfully) to save the iron bark Elissa in Greece, that one thing that would make him quit everything else would be a chance to work on the Falklands ships; that break came (see SH 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12) and after a first expedition, he had story, ideas and pictures to show the magic in the ships. Donaldso n scraped together his own resources, and enlisted the interest of Dow Corning Corp . . of Midland, Michigan, who had provided ma terials for molding artifacts on the old ships. In March 1978 the film crew set off to join the NMHS crew in the Falklands. "It was an incredible sometimes eerie experience," reports Keith Critchlow, in charge of the filming. "The Islands are lashed by gale winds and rains, it's a small close society down there. You'd SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

gather around a fire in the evening at the Upland Goose, talking with expedition members and listening to Island memories . Then it's up at daybreak to spend a day on a vessel like the Charles Cooper, with her anchors out as she'd dropped them a hundred years ago, never to sail again. There were ghosts there, all right! You could feel the excitement in Throckmorton, a man whose lived with these ships and their vanished crews ." Looking at the film that came back from the Islands, Throckmorton, Critchlow and Donaldson realized that what they had was more than the story of a dedicated man expressing a passionate interest in what the Cape Horn sailors left behind before they departed this earth. They knew now that they had to go further-that what they had captured in these lonely wrecks was at the heart of a greater story. From one source and another, further funds were found. The crew traveled to San Francisco, to interview Karl Kortum, vice president of NMHS and dean of the ship-saving community in our time. He threw open the files of the National Maritime Museum at San Francisco, the world's leading repository of Cape Horn sailing lore, and led them on to interview Captain Fred Klebingat, who came to this country first in the German bark Anna in 1905 (SH 6). They met with Captain Irving Johnson, who told of his voyage round Cape Horn fifty years ago in the four-masted bark PekinR-and who provided footage from his unique film of that historic passage. They went on to England, and met Frank Carr, Chairman of the World Ship Trust Project and savior with Prince Philip of earth's last clipper ship, the Cutty Sark. They met Alan Villiers in his Oxford retreat, and by him were invited to dig out of a hiding place in the garden the precious nitrate film of his Cape Horn passages_

"We began to feel, understand," says Do~aldson, "that we were traveling in very special company. All these people knew each other, worked with each other in a shared heritage. I think they feel closer to each other then they do to people they see every day. You talk to Captain Klebingat, and hear him tell how men were drowned on deck driving these great ships through heavy seas, or how he fell from aloft in exhaustion in a gale, and was laid out for dead in the forecastle. You'll hear him say that in the film . "We began to understand something else . You in the National Maritime Historical Society and the World Ship Trust Committee have a special responsibility. You're charged with an epochal experience of man , something for the ages, something he can't ever, ever afford to lose or forget, or he ' ll be infinitely the poorer. This was man growing up, taking on his world whole, which is most ly ocean. Now we share that responsibility . We've seen the Charles Cooper, seen the Snow Squall's bow still facing the sea, and the Vicar of Bray dreamin g away th e decades since she sailed to help found the city of San Francisco." It's my job to make notes. I have pages of them, my hand is worn out. I am hearing our story. It is time to go downstairs to meet Bob Bott of Dow Corning, the sponsors of "Ghosts of Cape Horn ." Bott is full of encouragement, right on top of the story, aware of the difficulties, makin g suggestions, pushing things forward-not always uncritically. " I thmk you ' re wrong if you think Midland, Michigan is a long way from the sea," he says. "My work, Dow Corning' s work is all leaning toward the future, that's how we make things go. But we go better when we know where we came from . We came from this hard Cape Horn sailing. It belongs to all Americans." PS

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ALOHA KAIULANI Part IV: With the Alaska Packers By Karl Kortum

The National Maritime Historical Society was formed in 1963 to save the bark Kaiulani. Built by Arthur Sewall in Bath, Maine, in 1899 for the San FranciscoHawaii packet run, the Kaiulani lived on through changing times to become the last American square rigger to carry cargo round Cape Horn. Here Karl Kortum, who sailed on that last voyage, picks up the story of the ship's career, previously taken up in SH 5, 9, and 11.

Sai ling vessels linking San Francisco and the Hawaiian Islands bega n to slip into the past. In 1908 the Planters Line of sailing packets was absorbed by the Matson Line. The energet ic William Matso n saw a future for the Islands that the leisurely pace of sail cou ld not sustain. In 1909 his new steamer Lurline, carrying 41 passengers (in contrast to the Kaiulani's maximum berthing fo r 16) entered service. She was followed by the Wilhelmina in 19 10, carryi ng 141, with appointments rivalling the finest in the At lantic. Modern tourism had begun . And in 1910 Kaiulani, outmoded after a decade's sailing as Hawaii pac ket , began sailing for the A laska Packers. This was a more so mber trade, seaso nal, stra nge to deepwatermen . Hjalmar Wigsten , Kaiulani's captain in her last voyage in 1941-42, used to boast that he had never engaged in it, nor, for that matter, in coastal steam schoonering. From San Francisco to Alas ka is approximately 2,500 miles-not far as sea voyages go. The salmon packet was rarely more than three months at sea. Each spring she was loaded on the San Francisco waterfront with the sa me cargo-coal, pilings, tin plate, box shooks, "columbia River" gillnet fishin g boats, and spare machinery for a gaunt wooden cannery standing silent on the muddy Nushagak or some other A laskan river. Scandi navian and Italian fishermen who served as sailors moved boisterously

The white bark Kaiulani takes on another color, and another na111e, as she is driven out of the Hawaii packet run and f(oes into service as the Alaska Packers' Star o f Finland in 1910. Soon after, her poop was lengt hened 48' to acco111n1odate the sal111on jisher111en, and so she sailed for rhe rest of her career. Pl{(}fo: National Museu111 al San Francisco.

SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

35


On a cold and lonely ocean, the bark sets forlh for the Alaskan fishing grounds, with a large American ensign hoisted to the mizzen truck. As the 1920s wore on, crowds turned out in San Francisco lo see the tall ships set sail each spring, and to welcome them back each fall. Photo courtesy Anita M. Bird

aboard. The cannery superintendant, a few German machinists, and other functionaries occupied the row of tiny cabins along the port side. Chinese cannery workers by the score were shunted to their special quarters in the 'tween decks "Chinatown," a scene of opium smoking and gambling never ending. In later years Mexican and Filipino cannery hands began to go north in great numbers. There was a "Chinaese galley" and a "Mexican galley" and still another where pasta was prepared for the Italians. Pinkerton men walked the wharves to make sure that the contract laborers for the cannery did not have a last-minute change of mind. The fishermen were split into gangs of from twelve to eighteen men during the voyage north. Two men were assigned to keeping quarters clean, one man to repair and keep nets in order, and the balance of the gang to handle the ship under way. The captain and usually the mates were bona fide square-rigger men; there were few others on board. Upon arrival of the ship off its cannery both anchors were let go and a swivel shackled into the chains so that the ship could swing freely. As the cannery supplies were hoisted out and into the lighters, the upper yards were sent down to improve stability. Usually only the captain stayed aboard, everybody else moved ashore to start up the cannery, shut down all winter, and get the big 36

flotilla of one-mast, two-men gillnet salmon boats ready for the first day of the season. In southern Alaska the water was too clear for gillnetting, so traps were used. Traps were built of pilings installed anew each year by pile drivers and covered with wire mesh. Trap fishing required comparatively fewer hands than did the 28' gillnetters that were launched in swarms on the rivers beyond Unimak Pass, so the ships for Chignik, Karluk, and Alitak were not quite so crowded. At the turn of the century the Alaska Packers Association owned thirteen wooden ships, almost all old Maine-built Down Easters. In 1901 the small iron bark Euterpe (today preserved in San Diego under her Packers' name Star of India) was purchased, followed by the iron barks Coalinga, ex-Laescocesa, and Himalaya. All three were British-built and had been in the emigrant and colonial trades for over 30 years-their heavy iron plates made them still serviceable. The Association bought six more ships and barks from San Francisco owners, among them a quartet of iron Belfast-built ships which had already acquired some fame as fast windjammers while under the Red Duster of England: the Star of France, Star of Russia, Star of Bengal and Star of Italy, formerly part of a fleet known as Corry's Irish Stars. The other ship's names were changed to conform to theirs. The first name to be changed was that of

a ship that had been badly wrecked in Alaska, bought by the Association as she lay on the reef at Sitkinak Strait for $500, and skillfully salvaged-Balc/utha, (now part of the National Maritime Museum fleet at San Francisco). She carried off the prize name, Star of Alaska, in 1906. This was the fleet that Kaiulani joined in 1910, becoming Star of Finland. As a Hawaiian packet she had been painted white; now she was painted black with a yellow stripe to conform with the other vessels. Two years before, Sewall's Kenilworth had joined the fleet as Star of Scotland. In three years more of the big four-masted barks Astral, Atlas, and Acme were to become respectively the Star of Zealand, Lapland, and Poland. The Edward Sewall became Star of Shetland in 1922. The flag was coming down on Arthur Sewall's Cape Hornrounding, Yankee square-riggers. The deepwatermen's snobbery towards any kind of fisherman led them to say that they "lost track" of ships they had known in their Cape Horn or offshore days when these ships were bought by the Alaska Packers. The ships were fully crewed during only a quarter of the year, which did not make for spit and polish. But the Alaska Packers Association was systematic about keeping the hulls properly scaled and red leaded and they saw to it that the rigging was kept in repair. A rigging gang, a painting crew, and sundry SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


Captain Frederick Stindt aboard Star of Finland, ex-Kaiulani i11 1918. In that y ear she was chartered to the Matson Na vigation Co. for a rnn to Hawaii, leaving November 25 and retuminR February 6. Captain Stindt 's son, Fred A . Stindt, re111e111bers him co111ing ho111e from the voyage laden with belated Christmas presents f ro111 the islands. Captain Stindt served in Star of Finland 1913-19. Photo courtesy: Anita M. Bird.

carpenters and other technicians worked on the ships all winter in the Packers shipyard at the foot of Paru Street in Alameda. The verdict along the waterfront was that the Alaska Packers were not insistent on polished brass, but kept their ships "in good working order." I have often heard the phrase. This was the icebox in which Star of Finland, ex-Kaiulani, was kept intact until the eve of World War II. She had gone north every year until 1927-one of five Stars that sailed that year. Most of the big fleet was in lay-up by then; the steamers were hounding this last sanctuary of sail. A steamer could make two voyages up to the canneries each year instead of one. It could carry more, it could keep a schedule. The Alaska Packers Association now owned three. As chance would have it, their newly purchased Chirikor was the former Lurline, which had helped nudge Kaiulani out of the Island trade. The last sailing ship to go north-Star of Alaska in 1930-was towed both ways. The fleet was gradually sold until in 1938 Star of Finland ex-Kaiulani was all by herself in Oakland Creek . .t

Aboard herfather Captain Stindt's old ship, Mrs. Anita Bird recalls her own voy age in Star o f Finl and to Alitak, Alaska, in 1924. When she visited, on June 2, 193 7, the old bark had just been outfitted for a role in the m o vie "Souls at Sea," which kept the vessel in life a lillle longr. Photo courtesy: Anita M. Bird.

Th e hands stand by, as Star of Finland, bound for Alaska, picks up her towinR hawser from a tug. Portholes in side are for tweendeck accommodations for the fishery workers. Photo: National Maritime Museum al San Francisco.

Mr. Kortum is Senior Curator of the Na-

tional Maritime Museum at San Francisco, and Vice President of NMHS. This account is abstracted from his forthcoming book, Kaiulani; the Last Yankee Square Rigger. SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

37


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New York's excursion steamers offered joyous release to a hard-worked immigrant population a few generations ago; here al the turn of the century the Slocum glides past the Ba11e1y. Photos: New -York Historical Society.

New York Observes 75th Anniversary of Slocum Disaster By Wm. Ray Heitzmann, Ph.D.

O n Thursday, June 15, 1904, the pa rishioners of St. Mark 's C hurch on Manhatt an' s Lower East Sid e, set sail on the General Slocum . The Ge rm an Luth erans, mostl y women and children, had looked forward fo r ma ny weeks to their an nual joy-filled excursion to Locust Point , on Long Island So und . Th e big steamer left the East Third Street dock on the East Ri ve r at 9:30, as onlookers waved to their departing fri ends. A short time lat er, as the vessel passed I 13t h St reet, came shout s of "F IR E!" Almost immed iately, the Slocum burst into fl ames. Ca pt ain Van Sc ha lck later remark ed : "As I loo ked back, I already saw a fierce blaze-the wildest I have ever seem ... th e boat was appa rentl y as dry as tinder, a nd burned lik e a match. " Life boat s quickly caught fire and those life preservers not ro tt ed and useless or in fl a mes were fou ght over hy the passengers. Su rvivo r Ma ri e Kreuber recalled : " I was on the upper dec k when I was startled by the cry ' Fire' ... everyo ne became panic stricken th e minut e th e ala rm was give n." Rev. Ju lius G. Schulz o f Eri e observed: "It is abso lutely im possible to describe the horrib le scene on the Slocum. The fl ames spread so rapidly, and it seemed on ly a second before the whole craft was ablaze from encl to encl . Wo men and children jumped in th e wildest mann er to their death, whil e the effort s of moth ers to save th eir little ones was the most heart rending spec tacle I' ve ever witn essed." The disaster claimed 1,024 li ves. The Ca pt ain and crew came under harsh criticism. The Capt a in kept her steaming up ri ve r in an att empt to reach the north side of No rth Broth er Island , while small craft fo llowed th e l'l aming vessel shoutin g to her to sto p so they could aid in the evac uati on. Van Scha lck res ponded to charges: " I kn ew the shore was lined with rock s and the boat wo uld flounci er ... I th en fi xed upo n Nort h Th e ra vaged hulk of the Slocum off North Brother Island, near Hunts Point.

Brother Isla nd ." John Halphusen, th e C hurch's Sexton, report ed : "The crew appeared to be undisciplin ed a nd unfamili ar with th e working o f th e life raft s a nd life boats." Van Scha lck said the crew did " hercu lea n work with th e fire apparatus," but the " rapidit y of the blaze doomed the cra ft. " The di saster was mark ed by hero ism in many quarters; the tu g Wade pulled out many flounderin g in the river; doctors, nurses, and staff from the tuberculosis hospital on the isla nd ran to the waterfront saving man y and rev ived others; o ne ri ve rman fill ed his rowboat to the brim, while others clung to th e sides, and rowed to sa fety; a po liceman, the first to arri ve on the scene, hav ing rescued eleven persons, we nt bac k int o the ri ve r for a nother only to become a victim himself. Swarms of small boats saved many from the river. One courageo us rescuer found the river was so thick with bodies that his life saving act ivities "were impeded by the dead. " A sur vivor recalled "while I was in the wa ter, I saw one ma n in a boat who must ha ve rescued a dozen people. His boat finall y go t so overcrowded that it capsized, and many of the occupant s were drowned ." Th e stress of the situatio n caused one woman to fall to the deck in chi ldbirth. Sh e then took th e child in her arm s and jumped int o the ri ver to avoid the racing fl ames. As the word of the tragedy spread, relati ves, friend s, a nd curiosity seekers thronged to the wa terfront site of the disaster, taxing the restraining powers of the police. Parent s, husbands, and wives threw them selves on the charred bodies of relatives, while oth ers wandered in a daze. Mayor McClellan promptly took

control a nd required city personnel to cooperate and asked the public to aid the injured. Investigations were called for, and President Roosevelt ordered a federa l probe. An already outraged public grew more horrified as local and national. studies showed gross negligence. The fire started in a storage room where some hay had been placed prior to the voyage. The room also housed lamps and oil, excellent kindling for spontaneous combustion . Only 10 of the crew of 34 had previous experience afloat. Some life preservers had last undergone inspection in 1891, others were found to contain lead to bring them to the requ ired weight! Eleven men were indicted for manslaughter; all escaped punishment except the captain, who was sentenced to ten yea rs in prison. Improvements were mandated in lifesaving equipment and in the inspection service. The victims had not totally died in vain . A Slocum memorial com mittee annually recalls the disaster along with some of th e remaining survivo rs, visiting the monument dedicated to the 61 unidentified victims at Lutheran Cemetery in Queens. Those interested in additional information should write Mr . Thomas Switzer, Chairperson, Slocum Memorial Committee, 8919 218th Street, Queens Village, NY 11427. .JJ Dr. Heit zman of Villanova University contributes articles to nautical and educational journals including the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, and is the author of two booklets for young people, "A merica's Maritime Heritage" and "Energy Education ."


Volunteer co-ordinator Mary Heath and the Virginia V, July 1978. Photo, Bob Miller.

RESTORATION OF THE STEAMER VIRGINIA V Last of the Mosquito Fleet By Mary Heath and Roland Carey

Once a veritable swarm of steamboats carried mail, freight, and passengers into every bay and inlet of the inland sea that comprises Puget Sound and adjacent waters, in the northwest corner of the United States. So numerous were these craft during the late 19th and early 20th century, that mariners entering Seattle harbor dubbed them the "Mosquito Fleet." The SS Virginia V, last surviving member of the famous Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet, is now undergoing reconstruction at her pier in Seattle, Washington, as a living, operating exhibit of that era, when the waters of Puget Sound provided a system of aqua-freeways, and transportation from point to point was by steamboat. From Olympia, Washington to the Canadian border and beyond, the shores are rich in reminiscences of that bygone era. The first steamboat ever to appear on Puget Sound was the side-wheeler Beaver, brought from England by the Hudson's Bay Company to serve in the fur trade. Launched at Blackwall on the Thames in 1835, she arrived on the Pacific Coast in 1836, and was used thereafter in the freighting of company supplies. The first attempt to provide passenger service on Puget Sound came in 1853, the year Washington became a territory of the United States. Captain Warren Gove, a former windjammer master from Edgecomb, Maine, purchased the small sidewheeler Fairy in San Francisco, and his brother, Captain David J. Gove, brought her north on the deck of the bark Sarah Warren. The little steamer proved to be unseaworthy, however, and after a few trips between Olympia and Seattle, she was withdrawn. Once more the settlers were traveling in sloops and canoes. A more substantial vessel, the propeller-driven Major Tompkins, steamed into Puget Sound in 1854 to become the first mail steamer. Running once a week from Olympia, at the head of Puget Sound, to 40

the town of Victoria, just across the Canadian border, she called at all of the sawmill ports along the way, pioneering on a route that lasted more than half a century. The Puget Sound mail route served as a trunk line. From points upon it, as population grew, new routes branched out to serve distant bays, islands, and river settlements. One of the islands along this route was Vashon, a body of land 14 miles long and seven miles wide. Approaching it, mariners were offered a choice. They could pass along either its east or west side. Thus, the two passages came to be known as the East and West Pass. Nels G. Christensen moved out on the West Pass in 1908, and built a home at Lisabeula, the town named for two employees of the United States Post Office Department. For the next two years, "Chris," a Seattle grocer, commuted between his island home and the store. A local steamer ran through the passage daily, but the service was leisurely, intended to serve farmers rather than commuters. When he learned that others, beside himself, were interested in more rapid service, Chris bought a 60' gasolinepowered launch called the Virginia Merrill, and organized the West Pass Transportation Company. He and his partner, John Holm, made the first trip from Lisabeula to Seattle on September 10, 1910. They carried eight passengers. The name Merrill had been dropped upon change of ownership, so the vessel was known simply as Virginia. Thus, the Virginia series was born. Captai n Christensen preferred to change numbers rather than names. Holm stayed in the business only one year, but Captain Christensen was launched into the transportation business for good. In 1912, he replaced the Virginia with the Virginia II, an 87' vessel that had been launched at Lisabeula in March, of that year. She, too, was powered by a gasoline engine, but in

1914, he purchased his first steamer, a 100' vessel that had been launched at Tacoma in 19 10 as the Typhoon. Captain Christensen was now making a round trip a day between Seatt le and Tacoma, calling each way at a dozen communi ties along the West Pass. The Typhoon went on this route in May as the Virginia III. In 19 18, he purchased the 108' Tyrus, a steamer that had been lau nched at Tacoma in 1904. The captain renamed her Virginia IV and with two vessels, he was able to operate on both the East and West Pass. After the IV was badly damaged at a Tacoma dock on December 28, 1921, a new steamer, the 120' Virginia V, was launched on March 9, 1922 at Maplewood, across the West Pass from Lisabeula. The engine and boiler from the IV were then installed in the V, and this is the machinery that powers the vessel today. The trip le-expansion, 500-horsepower steam engine was a product of the' Heffernan Engine Works, in Seattle. It had been installed in the Tyrus in 1906, after that vessel had operated for two years as a wood-burner. With the new engine the Tyrus became an oil-burner, as is the Virginia V today. The engine was far too powerful for the earlier vessel, but it has driven the Vat an easy 12 knots, for the last 56 years. Reconditioned during the spring of 1978, it is ready for another 56 years. The water tube boiler, assemb led by the H. S. Studdert Company of Seattle in 1920, was installed in the Virginia IV the same year. Now in the Virginia Vin 1978, Coast Guard Inspection finds it still in first class condition. Somehow, the condition of the machinery seems to be a tribute to Stanley Craig, long-time engineer of the West Pass Transportation Company, and to those engineers who have succeeded him. During her first nine years of operation the Virgini(JI V made one round trip a day between Seattle and Tacoma via the West Pass calling at each of the villages along the route. During those years she averagSEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


ed 70 miles a day, seven days a week, for a total of 25 ,550 miles a year. Each morning, the vessel steamed north from Tacoma, carrying mail to West Pass post offices and picking up produce for market in Seattle. In the evening she returned from Seattle, carrying mail, daily newspapers, groceries, and feed for livestock. In addition, she carried through-freight between Seattle and Tacoma . On May I, 1931 , an express trip from Seattle to Tacoma and back, via the East Pass , was added to her schedule. This trip was made during the middle of the day when the steamer had formerly remained in Seattle. She now traveled a total of 126 miles a day, or more than 45,900 miles a year. Day in and day out, she made her regular two round trips . By June 12, 1933 , when she completed her eleventh year, she had traveled 32,000 miles without mishap or engine failure. Passenger fare from terminal to terminal or to any point on the West Pass was 35 cents. The steamboat era ended on Puget Sound in 1941, when the last steamer was replaced by auto-freight and motor ferryboats. Captain N. G . Christensen had died in 1936, and his son, Captain Nels C ., in 1937 . Since then, the company had been managed by his other son, Captain Vernon G. Christensen. The Virginia V was the last steamer to operate on a regular route out of Seattle, but in 1939 and 1940, she ran during the summer months only. In 1942, Captain Vernon Christensen took her out on the Pacific Ocean, and down the Coast to the Columbia River, under her own power. On the river, she found less business than she had on the sound, and in August of that year she was sold at a United States Marshal's sale. In 1944 the Virginia V was brought back to Puget Sound, and since that time has been employed in the excursion trade . Investors have always stepped forward to buy stock in the vessel, even while other representatives of the Mosquito Fleet were being sold for scrap. Though she changed hands a number of times prior to March 1967, she has been owned since that time by the Northwest Steamship Company, a group of steamboat buffs who devote much of their personal time to her operation . Though triple-expansion steam engines have never been as economical to operate as diesel motors, all owners of the Virginia V have steadfastly refused to replace the historic engine. To do so would be to destroy the vessel as the only living exhibit of an era. True, the V does not run as cheaply as diesel-powered -vessels. She does not even run as cheaply as SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

ROUTE

OFS.S. VIRGINIAV

Route of the Virginia Vin the 1930s. Map by Roland Carey.

she once did, when fares were 35 cents. Fuel oil, once a dollar a barrel, now costs $17 .00 a barrel. Fuel would still be expensive, even if she switched to cordwood . Yet, where else on the Pacific Coast will future generations go to observe an authentic triple-expansion steam engine in operation? In 1973, the Virginia V was placed on the National Register of Historic Places to signify her importance in the illustration and commemoration of American history. This action by the Department of the Interior was a significant first step toward restoration and preservation of the vessel. Early in 1976, Governor Daniel J. Evans of the State of Washington became aware of the need to restore the vessel. Through the efforts of Ralph Munro, an assistant to the governor, the Steamer Virginia V Foundation was formed. Incorporated on September 21, 1976, the organization gave as its purpose, "the physical restoration of the historic Steamer Virginia V, and its operation for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes ... " From the first, the Northwest Steamship Company was willing to sell the steamer to the Foundation. After long discussion, however, the directors of the Foundation decided that physical restoration was of primary importance; and that purchase of the vessel and restoration could not be accomplished simultaneously. An option agreement was then worked

out, whereby the Foundation has a period of five years in which to purchase the vessel at a price agreed upon before the restoration. In the meantime, a National Historic Grant of $53,750.00 was awarded the vessel by the Department of Interior, through the State of Washington Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. This grant could be drawn upon only as matching funds were raised. So the work of restoration began. The pilothouse was lifted off in November 1977, and some dismantling continued throughout the winter. During the spring of 1978, however, the work tempo increased, and a crew of experienced shipwrights reported daily. They were assisted by numerous volunteers recruited by the Foundation . Even Camp Fire Girls showed up to do their share of painting. By mid-July, the superstructure had been rehabilitated to include new pilothouse and Texas, new hurricane deck, new passenger cabin and fantail deck, and all new electrical wiring. Much finishing work remained to be done, but Coast Guard inspection was completed by July 15, and the vessel made her first excursion of the year on that day. She is booked through most of the summer, but work will continue at her pier between excursions. A recent survey showed her hull to be sound, but she will be placed in drydock later in the year for cleaning and for thorough checking of all planking. Thus throÂľgh the efforts of many concerned people, the Virginia V is being kept in life. Through their donations of time, materials, and dollars, future generations will have an opportunity to view a typical Puget Sound steamer in operation. Possibly, some rider in the near future will pause before the old engine and remark to his grandchildren, "This is the way it was. This is the way I came to the old homestead." NOTE: From July through December 1978 the Virgina V ran on many excursions, usually with capacity loads. In January 1979 reconstruction was resumed. Meanwhile the Department of Interior awarded a $63,500 acquisition grant to the Foundation, which is now working to match the grant by October I, 1979 so that purchase of the Virginia V may take place. Those wishing to help are.urged to send their contribution to: Virginia V Foundation, Inc., 4250 21st Ave. West, Seattle, WA 98199. Ms. Heath is Project Assistant, and Mr. Carey Historian for .the Steamer Virginia

V Foundation.

.t 41


Steamer

Nobska

leaving

Nantucket

in September 1973 . Photo, William H. Ewen, Jr.

The Nobska: A Steamboat With a Future By Barry W. Eager

When the Steamer Nobska, a veteran of 48 years service to the islands of Martha' s Vineyard and Nantucket, was sold by the Island Steamship Authority in 1975, many people in the area expressed concern over her fate. She was soon resold to the City of Baltimo re, Maryland for use as a noating restaurant. There was a strong feeling that the boat belonged in New England. The Steamer Nobska was built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine in 1925 for the New England Steamship Company, which also operated the famou s Fall River Line. Virtually complete when she was launched on March 24, 1925, she made her first trip from New Bedford to Martha 's Vineya rd and Nantucket on April 9th . Two major mishaps occurred

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42

during her long career: a six-day gro unding in November I 931 off Edgartown, Martha' s Vineya rd, and a colli sion with her sister ship, the Martha's Vineyard, in dense fo g on Nantucket Sound the followin g summer. Decline of Island traffic in the 1930s caused the boat to be diverted to excursion service between Providence, Rhode Island and Oak Bluffs on Martha' s Vineya rd. During World War II she did hard serv ice on the Island Line, after two of her running mates were sent to the Engli sh Channel for service as transports and hospital ships . Between 1928 and 1956 she carried the name Nantucket. The Friends of Nobska, Inc. was chartered in November 1975 as a nonprofit Massachusetts corporation. Communication was immediately estab lished with those who had charge of the vessel and assurance was given that no major changes were contemplated wh ich wou ld threaten the steam plant or the vessel's structure. Within a year the Friends had sent their first preservation tea m to Baltimore to work on the various part s of the vessel' s steam plant to maintain it in operating condition. The Friends of Nobska has brought together an unusual group of people with va rying skills: fina nce, marine architecture and engineering, historical research a nd interpretation, and so on. The group has developed a multimedia pres:::ntation to carry th eir message to interested groups. It includes some history of New England steamboating with emphasis on the Nobska, and the Friends' plans for the vessel's future . Membership now exceeds 500, and a plan has been developed for securing financial support when th e time is ri ght for the vessel's purchase. Most interesting o f the Friends' ongoing activities is it s program of preservation maintenance . Periodically a group of five to ten members has gone to Ba ltimore to work on the Nobska under special arran gement s with the City and the operator of the restaurant. The main engine and au xiliary stea m equipment are lubricated, and their steam cylinders

given a fresh coat of cylinder oil. Th e main engine is turned manually to keep it from seizing up and to keep the sha ft from sett ling unevenl y. Journal boxes are checked and refilled with oil if necessary . The boilers are inspected and a drying agent is kept in them to forestall any buildup of moisture a nd the consequent deterioration by rust. All wo rk is carefully documented to help give direction to future work. Professional marine engineers are consulted abo ut the work and sometimes have supervised it personally . An examinat ion of the li st of surviving inl and steamers of the East Coast (see Sea History 10: 13) will show that the Nobska is the o nl y one remaining wi th both a traditional appeara nce and steam equipment in operating condition . Her preservation and return to limited operation under steam are the goals of the Friends of Nobska. The demise of most steampowered vessels and the general decline of marine passenger services increase the need for interpretation of thi s whole experience to generations of Americans which will have no other opport unity. The Nobska, with some of her spaces converted for museum purposes, can travel a long the northeast coast to any port where she is wanted . In addit ion, she can operate excursion s from and between traditional ports offering people an opportunity to follow the routes of the historic day and night lin es. She can provide the real experience needed to bring the lesso ns of la nd -based marine museum s to life for untold numbers of people . At thi s wri1ing, the Nobska Restaurant in Baltimore is closed, a nd negotiations with anot her restauranteur are underwa y. The Fri ends of Nobska are watching these events carefu ll y, wh ile continuing to improve th eir state of preparedness for purchasing the vessel and establishing her as an operat ing steamship museum. Those int erested in learning more about th te Friends of Nobska should contact the President, Robert C. Cleasby, 128 Ocearn Avenue, Cranston, RI 02905.

u. u. u.

SiEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


SHIP NOTES, SEAPORT & MUSEUM NEWS INTERNATIONAL Th e Cutty Sark, wo rld -fa mo us tea cli pper clocked a t G ree nwich , UK, rece ived a new mas ter at 1he beg inn ing of 1hi s year, as Ca p!. Dav id Reid was succeeded by Ca p!. Alex Bruce . Bruce's fir s! ship in 1927 was o ne o f 1he " Flyin g P" lin e o f Hambur g.

A lma Doepe/, Au stra li a n 1opsai l sc hoo ner bu il t 1903 at Belli ngen, New Sou 1h Wa les, is to be res tored in Willi ams1own, Vic1or ia as a sa il !ra inin g ship . Res to rati on is progress in g al 1he Fe rguso n Si. Pi er, open 10 visi1 ors o n wee kend s. Work bein g clone in clud es reri11in g o f ga ll ey a nd saloon 10 accom111oda 1e 44 yo un g peo pl e. A l111a Doepel Su pporte rs C lub , 142 O ld Elth a 111 Road , Lowe r Pl ent y 3093 Au sir ali a

Bri ga n t in e Romance, whi ch has bee n 111 a kin g deep se a ex p cdili o n s wi1 h a111atcur crews for ove r a decade, p lan s a sec o nd r o un d - I h e-wo rld voy age beg innin g Oc 1ober 15. Ca p!. Arth ur Kimber ly of rcrs 1hi s !8- 111 on1h ex peri ence under sa il fo r o nl y $ 12,875 but prospec ti ve crew mu st qu a lify. Kimberl y C rui ses , PO Bo x 5086 , St. Th o mas, US Virgin Islands 0080 1

T he Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce a new q uarler ly pub lica1i o n devo ted to maritim e law, pro vides a fo rum for di sc ussion o r: adm ira lt y prac1i ce, in1 ern a1ional law of th e sea , mari1im e law, US subsidi es a nd reg ul a1i o n of fr eight ra tes, ocea n co nfe rences. Journal of Mari1i111 e Law and Co111111erce, PO Bo x 1936, C in cinn a1i OH 45201 App li ca 1i o ns fo r support from th e $5 milli on Maritime Heritage Fund in th e Int eri or Depar1mcn1 are hein g eva lu a1ed hy Sla te Historic Prese rva tion Office rs and th e Na1io na l T ru sl. App li cat io ns closed Ma y 3 1. Furth er inform ati on may be had fro m Sta te orri cc r o r Ca ptai n H arry All endorfer, Mar i1im e Prese rvat ion Direc lo r, Na1 iona l Tru sl for Hi sto ri c Prese rva tion , 740-48 Ja ckso n Place NW, Washin glo n DC 20006.

EAST COAST Th e 346-1011 s1ea 111 lu g Willia111 C. Daldy ret ired in 1977 a ft er 42 yea rs' service in A uckland 's Waite111 a1a Harbor, is 10 be res to red a nd used o n exc ursio n a nd cha rt er trips. Na med for a New Zea land pion eer of 1841 , 1h e 1ug was bui lt in Renfrew, Sco tland in 193 5. Th e Wi lli a 111 C. Da ldy Prese rvation Societ y see ks info r111 ation on her hi stor y. Nei l S. Hud so n, Tu g Master, Deve np ort, Auc kla nd , New Zea land

HMS Breada/bane, lost in th e Arc ti c in 1853 during the sea rc h fo r Sir Jo hn Fra nklin , 111ay have bee n fou nd by Toronto phys ician a nd Arc ti c exp lore r Jose ph B. Mac inni s, o n th e sout hern frin ge o f Q uee n Eli za bet h Isla nd s. She wo uld be th e no rth ern 111 ost wrec k eve r fou nd , a nd her wreck 111a y be subs1a ntiall y intact in the ve ry co ld wa ter she sa nk in . Effort s to co nrir111 1h e rind are bein g res um ed th is sprin g.

Th e 150t h an ni versar y or th e Welland Canal in Novemb er will be mark ed by 111 ajor celebra ti o ns fro111 SI. Catharines, Ontar io, to Buffa lo , NY. The fir st ca nal o n th e Great La kes, across th e Nia gara Penin sul a, it was first tran sve rsed by sc hoo ners Annie and Jane a nd R.H. BrouRl11on, who ca111e throu gh it s 40 loc ks o n Nove mber 27, 1829. Well a nd Ca na l 150th An ni versary, In c., PO Bo x 1829- 1979, S1. Cat ha rin es, O ntari o L2R 7K I (416-628- 1829)

NATIONAL Regina Maris, th e Norweg ia n-buil t bark entine th at stu d ies th e wha le by li vin g lik e a whale, has spent th e wini er in the Pac ifi c crui sing fro m th e Galapagos Isla nds to Baj a Ca lifo rni a. T hi s summ er she hea ds north 10 Alas kan wa ters. Subsc ribers 10 th is projcc1 ($25 ) rece ive a week ly ncws le11 er wri11en aboa rd by Ca p!. George Nic hol s or crew. Ocea n Researc h & Ed uca 1i o n Society, 51 Co111111 crcia l W ha rr, Bosto n MA 021 10

SEA HI STO RY, SUM ME R 1979

Topsai l sloo p Providence, now in full co mmi ss io n (sec SH 12: 22-24), will pursue an ac1i vc sa ilin g sc hedul e thi s summ er, go in g to M ain e in Au gust , 10 Phil ade lphi a in Sc p1 cmber and o n to th e C hesa pea ke; o n Sc p1 e111ber 23 she' ll be in Ann a po li s 10 ce leb rate 1he iss ua nce of a Jo hn Pa ul Jones co mm emorati ve sta mp, in Wa shington DC fo r Navy Da y in Oc to ber, proceedin g o n 10 Yor k1 ow n , Norfolk, C harl es lon, ar ri vi ng in Ihe Fo rt La ud erd ale area in Florida in December. Sea port '76, Box 76, Newpo rt , RI Gra nd Bank s ba rk enline Ga ze/a Primeiro, b uilt 1883 in Portu ga l, absurdl y deba rred J"rom sa il tra inin g ac ti vities clu e to the fact th at she was built in a forei gn co untr y, will crui se Chesapeak e a nd New England wa ters thi s summe r as a rov in g amb assa do r o f th e Phi ladelphi a Maritim e Mu seum. PMM, 32 1 C hes1nut S1ree1, P hil adelph ia PA 19 106 Th e Unicorn Maritime Institute, In c. sa il the bri g Unicorn in cha ll enging program in sa il tra inin g an d sea edu ca l io n fro m headquart ers in Ta mpa. Last summ er th e ln stilule took Sea Exp lorers and Sea Scou ls a board th e Un icorn, "to live a nd lea rn a boa rd a 1racl i1io nal sq uare- ri gged shi p." Th e Unicorn is a lso ava il ab le for cha rt er to defra y th e cost o f th e sa il trainin g. Uni co rn Marilim e ln stit u1 e, Inc. 3105 W. Waters Ave ., Ta mpa, FL 33614 Nor/an tis, J ourn a l o f th e No rlh All anli c U nd erwater Wo rl d , has pub lished eight iss ues 10 dal e, pro vid in g a foru111 for un derwa lcr in leres ts in the No rth east. Cove rage in cl udes marin e bio logy , wrecks , offs ho re oil , a nd some o ulslandin g 111 ar in e archaeo log ica l reportin g. Nor/an /is, PO Bo x 3175, Sa xo nville S1a1i o n MA 01701

Friends ol" Wiscasst Schooners, Inc . has been formed 10 save 1he end a nge red hulk s o f sc hoo ners Hesper and 1he Lulher Lillie (SH 12:37). A prelimina ry survey has bee n made, a nd a "boo1s1rap, low cost, vo lun teer progra 111 " will be und ert a ken thi s summ er to s1abi li zc !he vesse ls pend ing further stud y and 1he cnli s1ment of fund s a nd ex perti se . Th ese in clu de sec urin g th e shi ps so th at !hey are sa fe to move a ro un d o n, da ngero us dan glin g ri ggin g removed , stages bu il t and safe walkways mad e. Fr iend s of Wiscasse1 Sc hoo ners, In c. PO Box 164, Wi scasse t ME 04548 T he sec li on or th e Down Eas ter St. Mary brou ght ho111 e from !he Fa lkla nd Isla nd s in a Shi p Tr ust Co mmit tee o pera tion las! sprin g (SH 11 :26) are now bein g conserved a nd resto red by th e Ma ine St ate Mu se um . Ana lys is o f co re sa mples shows wood in basica ll y so und co nditi on; rot has been rem oved by sa nd blaslin g, simil ar in effec t to natural cleaning cl one by ga les on 1he beac h 1he wrec k lay o n. Shi p's side will be erec ted 10 illustra te Ma in e shipbui ldi ng 1ec hniqu es, in an ex hibit due to open in 1980. Mai ne State Mu se um , Augusla ME 04333 SALT, an appren1i ce program for hi ghsc hoo l ag s, who pub li sh Sall, a 111 agazin e on trad i1i onal Dow n Eas t ski ll s, o pera tes fr om O ld Baum 's Boa tya rd at 1he mouth o f 1he Ke nn eb unk River. Progra111 s in clu de boa 1buil cl in g, seama nship, fishin g, so111e federa ll y J"und ecl und er CETA. "The Boat ya rd was sold to us by Herb ert Baum , Sr. on Dec. 23 , 1977 ", Sa lt 1101es. "Befo re hi s ow nership, th e build in g had been Arun del Boat ya rd a nd previous to th a1 i1 had been Wi ll ow Inn. Fro m 1845 until 1975, Her b bu ilt over a hu nd red boat s in thi s ya rd." SALT, C hri sten sen Lane, Lower Vill age, Kenn ebu nkport ME 04046 Th e Piscataqua Gunclalow Project (SH 12:37) look i1 s first s1cp in co nstru ct ion 1his wini er with 1he cull in g of pin e 1rees 10 be used for Ihe chin e logs of 1he hull . Th ey a re be in g shaped a l Strawbe ry Bank e by Ell is Rowe , in

43


SHIP NOTES, SEAPORT & MUSEUM NEWS

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traditional mann er with broad axe and a d ze . Jun e 9 is Small C ra ft Day a nd P ortsmo uth 's Mark et Square Day at S1rawbery Ba nk e, with di sp lay of traditiona l Pi sca taq ua wherri es a nd o th er working cra ft, and two hi stori c boat races. Pi scataqua Gundalow Project. PO Box 1303 , Port sm o ulh NH 0380 1 USS Co nstitution Museum has received a

$20,000 gra nl from th e H ya m s Tru st o f Boston to es tabli sh a libra ry made up of book s a nd periodi ca ls relatin g to m a ritime a nd naval hi story, hi storical Bos ton, Cha rl eston Navy Yard , m a rine sc iences a nd hi storic pre se rvation . The se resou rces will b e ava il ab le to sc ho lars, museum members a nd visitors without cha rge. USS Const ituti on Mu seum Foundation , PO Bo x 18 12, Boston MA 02129

$285 weekly. $260 June & Sept.

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Capt. Bill Alexander

Box 247 SH , Rockport, Me. 04856

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Capt. H. S. Hawkins Camden, Maine 04843 Tel. 1·207 ·236 ·2750

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Isaac H. Evans Lewis R. French $285 weekly

7 Brochures. CAPTA INS LEE & FOSS . Box 482-F Rockland, Me. 04841 Tel. 207·594-8007

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85 Whitfield St. De pt. SH Guilford, CT 06437

lITIJI'i

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Mystic Seaport has opened a new marine art ex hibit , "Ports of Ca ll ," an illu strated rou nd-the-wor ld tour of 47 po rt s . In th e Schaefer Ga ll ey will be 58 paintin gs, lith og raph s, etchings , drawings and ceramics fro m the Seaport 's coll ection. Importa nt a rtist s represented include J ames E. Butterworth, Edmund Ca rmil etle, J acob Petersen, Currier and Ives. Th e A.G. Law Miniature S hip Model Co ll ectio n will be d isplayed with the " Port s of Ca ll " ex hibit , until Augu st 3 1. Mystic Seaport, Mysti c CT 06355

The Thames Ri ver S hipyard, w hose fate has bee n in the air pending needed rehabilitation , has been released by the Coast G uard for di sposa l lhrough the Genera l Serv ices Admini stration. The yard was erected in 1901 b y the Thames Ri ver Tow Boat Compa ny, pioneers in the use of ocean going tugs a nd barges, to bui ld and maint a in th eir fl eet, a nd co ntain s a hi storicall y sign ificant stea m power plant a nd marin e rai lways. Acquired by the Coast Gua rd Acad em y in 1969, the ya rd was to be demoli shed, but plan s were cha nged and lhe operator John Wronow ski, co ntinu ed to lease from the Coas l Guard. In 1975, th e shipyard was placed on the Nat iona l Regis ter of Hi sto ri c Places which req uires the owner to maintain lhe hi storic landmark, and New Lo ndon Landmark s, Inc., wh ic h saved the Union Ra il road Stat ion in New London, is working with th e National Maritime Hi sto ri ca l Society a nd the State Preserva tion Officer on the poss ibilit y of a joint effort to prese rve the shi pyard as a working ya rd w ith proceed s from operat ion s to go into restora ti o n.

Sc hooner, Inc. of New H aven, Co nnecticut , has ad ded a new sc hoo ner, the J. W. Carter, to sa il in environmen ta l work wit h their fir st schoo ner Trade Winds. The Carter was built by the lat e Ru ssel Grinne ll of G loucester, as a 66' wooden bugeye. H er arrival from St. Mi chaels , Maryland wi ll g rea tl y expan d floatin g fie ld trips wit h loca l hig h schoo l a nd col lege student s. Sc hoo ner Inc., 60 South Wal er S t., New H aven CT 065 14

The Oceanic Society is co mpletin g th eir new research vessel Oceanic a t the At lant ic Boa t W o rk s, Boo thbay H a rbo r, Maine. Th e firere tardant hull was built by Webbers Cove Bo aty a rd , East Blue Hill, th en mo ved to A.1\ a nti c for th e fini shin g touches . S he wi ll have a Delroit Diesel 6-71 engine. The Soc iety is lakin g tentati ve rese rva tion s for ed ucati o na l prog ram s . Ocean ic Society, Sta m ford M arin e Ce nt er, Magee Ave., S la m ford, CT

06902 (203 / 327-9786) The Suffolk Marine Museum in Lon g Isla nd has been given o ne of the last fi ve boat s hops in ex ista nce o n Lo ng Island , th e two-story Frank F. Penny boatshop on Senix C reek in Cent er Morich es . Used as a small craft boats hop since 1907, it was origi na ll y built as the laundry lo th e Brook lyn H o tel, wh ich burn ed d ow n in 1907. Th e shop was given w ilh it s co nt e nt s, in clud in g led ge rs , pla ns, too ls, b locks, s pars, oa rs, ga ffs, and heavy m achinery. P la ns are to transport the bui ld in g by barge to the mu se um site near th e Rud o lf Cu ll H o use w here it wi ll be used both as d isplay and resto rat io n workshop. Suffo lk Marine Mu se um, M on lauk Hi g hway, West Sayv ill e, NY 17796 T h e 1885 sc hoo ner Pioneer will aga in thi s year sa il from Pier 15, So uth Street Seaport Mu se um, o n summ er day sa il s in New York Harbor. Pioneer is a lso used in sa il trainin g as a part o f th e Pioneer Marin e Sc hoo l for marin a trades and for water sampl in g do ne b y th e Yo uth Co nse rva tion Corps . Three ho ur sa il s star t Apr il 28 for wee kend s a nd M ay 28 fo r wee kd ay sai ls. T ickets fo r mem be rs: $ 10, $5 for chil dre n und er 13; non members, $ 12 a nd $6 . So uth Street Seaport Museum, 203 Front St., New Yor k NY 10038

(212)1766-9076) Th e New Jersey Historica l Societ y has rece ived a co ll ecti o n of over 50 ha lf mod els of Jer sey cra ft a nd hundred s of pl a ns asse mbled b y lh e la te W ay ne B. Ya rnall a nd g iv en by Mrs. Yarna ll in hi s memory. Dr. C lifTo rd L. Lord, direc tor of the Soc iely, says : " Ya rn a ll and hi s fri end, th e la te H owa rd C ha pell e, agreed that m ar itim e hi sto ri a ns ha d neg lected New J e rsey in their haste to get from New York to the C hesa pea ke , a nd Mr. Ya rna ll spent yea rs o f spa re tim e tr yi ng to overcome that neglect." The co ll ec ti o n is avai lab le to researc he rs a t the Hi storica l Socie ty a nd a tempo ra ry ca ta log is ava il a bl e for 25<r pe r page. New J e rsey Hi sto ri ca l Societ y, 230 Broa d way, Newark NJ 07 104 (201 / 483 -3939) The Hud so n Ki ve r S loo p Clearwater w ill ho ld it s a nnu a l G rea t Hud so n River Rev iva l fes ti va l aga in thi s yea r a t Croto n Point Park, June 23-24 . Clearwater a nd Woodie Gu1hrie w ill be there , a nd boat ow ners a re in vit ed to sai l- in for th e wee kend. Exh ibit s and demo nstrati o ns wil l include boa t b uil din g a nd co nstruction sk ill s . En te rt a inm ent as a lwa ys wi ll be a m ajor part of lh e wee ke nd . C lea rwater, Inc., 112 Mark et St. , Pou g hk eepsie NY

12601 (9 14/ 454-7673)

.v

SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


How To "Keep The Sea" Those who have had the good fortune to acquire some experience of a sailor's life in sailing ships often carry as mental ballast some recollection of outstanding occasions: great storms or other perils survived, periods of glorious sailing, beautiful ships, hard times, unusual shipmates, whatever. One of my own vivid memories is of a striking example of seamanly ingenuity displayed under seemingly hopeless circumstances by Capt. James P. Barker, the English master of the last American commercial

full cable length of chain. This was then hung outboard in great bights along the whole starboard side of the vessel from bow to stern, with the loops dipping down 15' or more into the water, festooning the side of the ship in a long series of catenary curves. Then the ship was put close hauled on the starboard tack with the course yards braced hard on the lower shrouds so that she was jammed right up into the wind and just hung there, canted over at a considerable angle by the strong Trade Winds and practically motionless.

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full-rigger-the iron ship Tusitala (built as the lnveruglas in Scotland in 1883) of the Farrell Line of New York. On her very last voyage to the Hawaiian Islands for sugar in 1931-2 we found ourselves barely creeping along in the brisk North East Trades of the MidPacific, when we should have been sailing smartly towards our destination under the urging of such favorable winds. The reason for this very poor performance was abundantly clear: in the course of a long passage the ship's bottom had become so badly fouled with barnacles and great clinging masses of long, grassy, green seaweed that she not only steered very poorly, but was also quite unable to take full advantage of the strong, steady, favoring winds we sailed in. To us simple souls before the mast there did not appear to be any remedy for our plight as we Ooundered along in complete isolation far, far from any dry dock or careening fac ility. We were reconciled to a long, slow passage. But Captain Barker had other ideas. In a long life at sea in sailing ships he had acquired an answer for every question, and a way out of every difficulty that arose; and on this occasion, as on so many others, he proved himself fully equal to the situation . He had, in fact, a solution for our very problem , one that struck me then, and continues to do so many years later whenever I think of it, as one of the most ingenious and admirable strategems under adverse conditions I have ever witnessed. His first move was to have us heave up from the chain locker and range o n deck enough cable for his purpose-perhaps a SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

Sketch by Lois Darling And now the endless procession of steady Trade Wind seas sloshed against the starboard side, rubbing and scrubbing and indeed scouring the iron hull with the dangling bights of chain in a most effective and strik ing manner. When the ship had been held in this position for a couple of watches the captain decided that she was clean enough on the starboard side, and had us repeat the whole operation with the anchor chain on th e port side. It was absolute ly brilliant! I wi ll not say that the ship' s bottom had been perfectly cleansed of the encumbering seaweed and barnacles, or that a better job would not have been done in a dry dock. But I thought then, and still do now, that this clever use of the energy of the waves to sco ur the ship's bottom with the anchor chain, and of the force of the wind to cant her over so that as much as possible of the hull would be exposed to the scouring action of the wave-driven loops of chain was a marvelous solution to what had appeared an impossible problem. It is probably true that such a procedure could not be used with a woodenhulled vessel, though I've no doubt that Captain Barker would not have been frustrated in that situation either, but certain ly for our iron Tusitala it was the answer. Her sea-kindliness was in fact greatly improved by Barker's admirable ploy both in her readier response to the helm and in redoubled sailing speed-a shining illustration of what it had once meant to be a " master mariner," and a most convincing demonstration of the reason for the astonishing ability of the old-time ships and skippers to "keep the sea". STANLEY GERR

I I I I I I

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Dept S H- 5

I I I

230 Second St ., Dunellen , NJ 08812 Please send full-color catalog. $3. check enclosed.

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MARINE ANTIQUES & SEA SHELLS 10 Fulton Str~et, New York . N.Y. 10038 South Street Seaport & Fulton Fish Market (2 12) 344·2262

45


SHIP NOTES ... NEWS Th e Thousand Islands Shipyard Museum will hold its 15th annual Antique Bo at Sh ow Au g ust 17- 19. Oth er eve nt s beg in with a n An tique Na utical Art s a nd P a rt s Fes tiva l, M ay 26-27 , an inv itation for boat own ers a nd dea lers to se ll odd bit s other s may need. A Small C ra ft C onfe rence, June 30-.Ju ly I , to rirom o te res to ration a nd use or antique cl ass ic bo at s, will con sist o f seminars on tak in g o ff lin es , m o ld s a nd co nstru cti o n , refir~i s hin g., d em o nstrati o ns o f skiff sa ilin g a nd use o f va ri o us sm a ll craft. Th e show fea tures th e nat ive c ra ft o r th e St. La wrence, sailin g. skiffs, Adi ro nd ac k g uide boa ts , ca noes a nd o th ers. Th o usa nd Isla nd s Shiriya rd Mu se um , M a ry S tree t. C layto n , NY 13624 (31 5/ 6864 104) Th e fo ur -mas ted ba rk Moshu/u, whi c h ho uses a res taurant a nd mu se um at Pe nn' s Landin g., Phil a delphi a, recentl y publi shed it s fir st news leu cr, th e M oshulu Manifest. Re po rt s on ac ti viti es, ex hibit des ig ns and res to ra ti o n wo rk a re prese nted . T o receive th e Sprin g 79 iss ue a nd to be pl aced o n th e m a ilin g li s t fo r upco min g iss ues fr ee o f c harge , w rit e : M oshu/u Manifest, P enn' s Landin g, Phil a delphi a PA 19106.

Sojourner Truth,

Ou,r Maritime Heritage We support the Ship Trust of the National Maritime Historical Society, and we take an active interest in the preservation of historic ships. Used for training young seamen at our Harry Lundeberg School, Piney Point, Md., is the 250 foot S.S. Dauntless, wartime flagship of Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King and, as such, flagship of the entire U.S. Navy. We have also preserved two Chesapeake Bay sailing ship types, the 77-year-old Dorothy Parsons, last of the rakish bugeye freighters, and the 40-year-old Joy Parks, one of the vanishing fleet of skipjack oyster boats. These vessels are available for public viewing at the school on the first Sunday of each month from 9 a.m . to 5 p.m.

Paul Hall, President

Seafarers International Union 6 75 Fourth Avenue, Brookl yn, N.Y. 11232

46

a Hud son Ri ve r ferry s loo p, s is ter ship to the Woody Guthrie com p leted la st s pring (SH 11 :35), is being turned o ver to the Brooklyn Sloop C lub by Mr. and Mr s . P ete Seeger to fac ilitat e it s comp letion throu g h vo lunt eer wo rk a nd donation s m ad e poss ib le by th e Sl oo p C lub' s no ri -prof'it statu s. Co mpl eti o n m ay ta ke anoth er yea r . Broo kl yn S loo p C lub , c/ o NMH S , 2 Fult o n St., Broo kl yn NY 11201 T wo a nd Three Day New York State canal cruises . T he Ba rge Ca nal (mod ern Eri e Ca na l), C ha mplain Ca nal, O swego C anal , a nd va ri o us Fin ge r La ke can a ls , conn ec t a ll of th e S tat e's m aj o r bodies o f wa ter. Trips o n each a rc o ffered by Mid - Lak es Na vigation , whi c h ha s bee n running. exc ursion s o n th e Fin ge r La kes a nd it s ca na ls for 11 yea rs , a boa rd th e ÂŁ111ita II , a co nve rt ed Do wn East tu g. Mid - La kes Nav igati o n Co., Ltd ., PO Box 6 1 S ka nea teles NY 13152 (31 5 / 685-8500) Th e sch oo ner Richard Robbins, Sr. will be sriendin g her seco nd summ er in Lak e C ha m p la in thi s yea r . Bes ides her reg ular wee kl y windj a mm er trips th e Robbins w il l co ndu ct Ve rm o nt Unive rsit y courses on the geo g raph y of th e lak e and C hamplain marit ime hi story. Th ere is a spec ia l Scuba Dive week and Na ture W eck in the Fall. May 20 to Oct. 20, $265 a perso n. C ha mp lain Windjamm er C o., Box 722 , Rid ge wo od NJ 07450 Th e Bonhomme Richard, formerl y th e Marcel " B" , re pli ca of John P a ul Jon es's

Eas t ln<di a ma n co nvert ed b y Alan Villi ers fo r a rn ov ii c , is requ esting bids to d o rn aj or rcstora t tio n o f the vesse l. Work required inclu des ccx tensive to psid e reriairs. C a pt. Da ni el E b bec k ~c. Bo nh o mm e Ri chard Corp ., RR #5. Box 5055 , E. Ft. M eye rs FL 33908

SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


Does anybody out there remember good old American know-how? Farrell Lines never forgot.

At Farrell Lines , we've got more than 37 sleek, mode rn sh ips going for yo u-we've got a 52 year tradi t ion of Yankee ingenuity. Th at's helped some of the biggest shippe rs in the business. Li ke t he huge petroleum company whose flammable liqui ds we f igured out a safe way to load and sh ip . Or th e g iant manufacturer of a

chemica l so sme ll y no other line wou ld touch it-till we helped devise a vir tu a lly leakproof packaging system. Or the car company whose overhe igh t t ractors kept gett ing bashed in on top-t ill we stepped in with a labe llin g and c hecking system that meant no more acc idents. Wi th our right good crew of spec ial-

isl experts- in commodit ies , conta in ers and cargo safety- we like to think we have a ta len t for taming tricky cargoes. And taking the best poss ib le care o f conventional ones. And now that we 've added the Amer ican Export Lin es service to Fa r re ll Lin es , there 's almost no place in the whole w ide world we can 't go out of our way for you

In th e Trad iti o n of Great American Seamanship.

~FARRELL LINES IN CORPORA TED

One Whitehal l Street , New York , N.Y. 10004

(212) 425-6300


NMHS PROJECT NEWS A number of National Society projects have their own memberships, which receive, in addition to SEA HISTORY, project news and notices. East River Renaissance works from NMHS headquarters in Brooklyn NY to develop the maritime heritage of the East River basin around the Brook ly n Bridge (see SH 13). Friends of Ernestina/ Morrissey, chaired by Laura Pires Houston , works with the Massachusetts Schooner Ernestina Commission to return their historic schooner to the United States, and sponsors sail training efforts in Cape Cod waters. Meetings are at NMHS and various New England cities. Hudson Heritage. This group works to establish a Hudson Heritage Center in Kingston~ NY (see SH 10). A brochure is being prepared, and a maritime festi va l will be held in Kingston September 8-9, at which time a project office will be opened on site at Rondout Creek. Meetings in New York, Tarrytown, Kingston. Project Liberty. Under the chairmanship of Robert T. Young, this project to save the last East Coast Liberty Ship John W. Brown issues a newsletter Liberty Log, full of the lore of the Liberty. Nationwide subscription includes many people who worked building or sailing these ocean carriers of World War II. To sign on for any one of these projects, send $5 to NMHS. Non-members may join NMHS and sign on for a proj ect for $15. NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY 2 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201

NEW YORK STATE WATERWAYS PROJECT Ten Penny Players has been working with NMHS to hold small press publication fairs on the waterfronts of New York. Scheduled fairs so far are: July 4 -So uth Street Seaport, Lower Manhattan August 25-26-NMHS Pier, Ful ton Ferry Landing; Brooklyn September 8-9-Rondout Creek, Kingston NY Those wishing to subscribe to this undertaking, which will include further events at other waterfront sites, are invited to be in touch with Ten Penny Players, 799 Greenwich St., New York NY 10014. 48

Above, the minesweeper Salute in her prime; below, as Frank Way photographed her.

A wooden warship in NY harbor

What Ship Was That? She first caught my eye on a hot Sunday afternoon while my wife and I were cruising on the schooner Pioneer from South Street Seaport. Being an old Navy man and naval history buff I instantly recognized the familiar white, trimmed in black, bow number 470, so familiar on ships of the United States Navy. My interest being aroused, my wife (who deserves a Legion of Merit for putting up with my nautical wanderings) and I made the trek by auto through the wilds of the Jersey City waterfront, now mostly abandoned and decaying, to a point where I could take a closer look at my mystery hulk . I found her, or what was left of her, sitting on the mud, the water gently lapping at the remains of her hull and exposed interior, next to a rotting pier. She did not always look like this. She was a proud member of the fleet, homeported, I believe, at Charleston , South Carolina. She began her career at the Luders yard in Stamford, Conn., on March 17, 1953 . She was launched on August 14, 1954 and christened the USS Salute. Her length was approximately 172 feet., beam 35 feet, and she drew about 14 feet when fully loaded, displacing 775 tons. A fine example of the latest in wooden-hulled ocean going minesweeper of the Aggressive class. Her career was not as momentus as the first USS Salute, AM 249, which fought her way across the Pacific in World War II, winning five battle stars and a Navy unit commendation. Having gone in harm's way and escaped undamaged so many times, she met her end on June 8, 1945, when she struck a mine while makSail to the islands of Maine on a truly unusual vacation.

En1oy a good breeze. an exciting day sailing. a Quiet harbor. a huge delicious dinner. new friends & great memones for an entire week.' $285 includes everything. 2 Free brochures

Cap·n Jim Sharp· Sch. ADVENTURE Cap·n Orvil Young· Sch. ROSEWAY Box 696 SH Camden. Me. 04843: Tel. 207-236· 4449 Largest Windjammers In The Camden Fleet.

ing pre-invasion sweeps at Brunei Bay, Borneo. Unable to control the flooding, and despite the help of neighboring landing craft, she sunk, and was stricken from the Navy list on 11 July 1945. Our Salute, on the other hand, provided her services mainly along the East coast of the United States and in the Caribbean, also making six trips to the Mediterranean, 1955-70, serving as a part of the Sixth Fleet. She took part in the search for the hydrogen bomb which was lost in the waters off Palomares, Spain after a mid-air bomber collision. Jn 1967 USS Salute showed the flag at the World's Fair held in Montreal, Canada and received many visitors. She remained on active duty with the Atlantic Fleet until she was decommissioned on 15 May 1970 for a planned major mine warfare overhaul and conversion. This scheduled conversion, however, was cancelled on 16 October 1970 and she was struck from the navy list on I February 1971, and subsequently sold for scrap. And so, if my research is correct, today she sits on the mud , a relic of what was once a home to some seventy men, and a proud member of the Mine Forces, Atlantic Fleet. As the years pile up, and time and the elements take their toll, perhaps this little article will be able to answer someone's question, "I wonder what kind of ship that was?'', should they sail past the deserted Jersey City pier that caught my attention on a summer day, not so long ago. The mud flats and broken piers of our great harbor, the port of New York , holds many such nautical stories and mysteries. FRANK WAY Rutherford, New Jersey

The very famous restaurant in Brooklyn. Brooklyn 's Land mark Seaf ood & Steak House 372 Fulton Street (nr. Baro Hall) . For reservaiti ons--875-5181 (parking nearby) Open lDa ily. lL30 A.M. to g,oo P.M. Sat.4,QO to 1 LOO P.M., Sun. 3:00 to g,oo P.M. Major creed it cards. Private party facilities.

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1879

SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


SHIPS ... MUSEUM NEWS

SEA HISTORY PRINTS

The Calvert Marine Museum of Solomons, Maryland, has acquired the bugeye Wm. B. Tennison. Built in 1899 at Crabb Island, she was co nst ruct ed from nine logs. She engaged in the oyster indu stry and coasting trade und er sa il until 1911 when, after conversion to power and addition of a large after cabinhouse, she was used solely as a buy boat. Traveling a bout the oyster fl eet, the buy boat collected the catch and delivered it to market , allowing the fleet to continue its fi shing but also causing the oysterman to receive a lower price for hi s catch. The Tennison is in excellent condition. Certified by the Coast Guard to carry 49 passengers in 1976, she is the oldest Coast Guard approved passenger vessel in Chesapeake waters. The Mu seum plans to use her for one and three hour river ·cruises on the Patuxent R iver and St. Leonards Creek. Charters and educational cruises are also being scheduled. Calvert Marine Museum, PO Box 97, Solomons MD 20688 (301 / 326-3719)

WEST COAST The Golden Hinde If, replica of Drak e's most famous vessel, set sail at the end of April from its hom e port of San Francisco on a two-month voyage to Japan. There she will be used in filming the movie "S hogun," from the popular novel about Portugese sa ilors in 16th-ce ntury Japan . Shooting is sc heduled to take 35 days after which she will return to San Francisco.

A collection of important harbor and river views during the heyday of the merchant sailing ship by the renowned marine artist

JOHN STOBART PITTSBURGH IN 1900 (shown above) • MAIDEN LANE, NEW YORK •WAYNE CITY LANDING• VALLEHO WHARF, SAN FRANCISCO• START OF THE SANTA FE TRAIL

Published as signed, limited edition collector's prints, prices are $200 signed and $400 remarqued, except for "Start of the Santa Fe Tra il" which is $300 signed, $600 remarqued . Other prints are also available. All prices are subject to change by availability and the dictates of the collector's market. Through the generosity of the artist, half the cost of each print will go to benefit the work of the NMHS, and is therefore, tax-deductible. This offer is available to NMHS membets only. For more information please contact:

NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY 2 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Tel: 212-858-1348

SEA HISTORY PRINTS Announces a limited-edition of signed and numbered full-color lithographic art prints of the great sidewheel excursion steamboat Grand Republic from a painting by the noted marine artist

WILLIAM G. MULLER

The steam whistle of San Francisco's Bay ferry Eureka sounded for the first time in 20 years on March I, while the 89-year-old ferry was in drydock for a n ex tensive $100,000 overhaul at Todd Shipyard in Alameda. Harry Drin g, supervi so r of maint enance at th e National Maritime Museum, pulled the co rd on th e hi storic event. Upon completion of overhaul, Eureka will return to her berth a t the Hyde Street Pier. National Maritime Museum at San Francisco, Fort Ma son, San Francisco CA 94104 The State of Alaska's Office of Hi st 0 ry and Archaeology is spon soring a conference, "The Sea in Alaska's Past," September 7-8, 1979. Topics include native peopl e's use of the sea, maritime exploration, waterfront in dustries, commercial shipping, coastal settlement s . Proposals for papers to be presented should be submitted by July I. Offic e of Hi story and Archaeology, State of Alaska, 619 Warehou se Ave., Suite 210, Anchorage AL 99501

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SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

Built in 1879 with a capacity for 4,000 passengers, the majestic Grand Republic was the largest steamboat ever constructed exclusively for excursion service in the Port of New York. She is shown rounding Dunderberg Mountain while heading south through the Hudson River Highlands in 1918 under ownership of the McAllister Steamboat Company. Print image size 16 3/•" x 25" . Signed print, $30. Signed and remarqued print, $85. Order from:

NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY 212-858-1348 2 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 49


The Joys and Lessons of Painting the Fast-Sailing Ships of the Early By Roy Cross Royal Society of Marine Artists As a new member o f th e Na ti o na l Ma ritim e Histo rical Society, I was immensely interested to read in the Fall 1978 SEA H ISTORY Wm . Gi lkerso n's fin e a rticle a bo ut th e ships o f John Pa ul Jon es a nd a lso th e arti cle " Providence Sails Agai n" . Bo th recall th e very enj oyable ex peri ence l had during 1975 a nd 1976 a nd since, in visiting th e United Sta tes to resea rch in museums a nd at locales fo r a se ri es o f pa intings o f historic A merican fi ghting ships, to be ex hibited durin g the Bicent ena ry year a t th e Ma rin e A rts Ga llery in Salem , Massac husetts. Lik e Wm . Gilkerso n a nd o th er researchers, I found that precise a nd a uthenti c deta ils o f th e famo us wa rships of th e Co ntinenta l Navy were patchy a nd based la rgely o n th e expert dra ught s, prepared by th e British Adm ira lt y of specific vessels ca ptured during th e W ar of Indepe nd ence, a nd now prese rved a t th e Nati o na l Ma ritime Museum a t Gree nwich, Lo ndon . There are also a very few o ld drawings, sketches, paintings a nd print s a nd a number of fi ne model reco nstructi o ns held in several well kn own A merican ma ritim e museum collec tions. On the Euro pean co ntinent a nd in Brita in where th e va ri o us nav ies had a lo ng tradition of fighting in innum erabl e co n-

nicts, the pract ice had grown up of reco rd ing in pain t the grea t ba ttles a nd perso na lities o f over two hundred a nd fifty years o f a lmost co ntinu al warfare. Royalt y, nava l officers, wea lthy patrio ts a nd somet imes even th e naval minist ri es employed a n int ern a ti o na l ba nd o f specia list ma rin e a rti sts to reco rd a nd immortalize the epics o f nat io na l mari tim e histo ry for posterity . As well as th ese th ere was th e vast sto re of nava l doc um ents a nd administra ti ve reco rd s, dockya rd a nd ot her models a nd so o n, upo n which future histo ria ns co uld d raw. No such tra diti o n existed in th e No rth Ameri ca n Colo ni es, na tura ll y, a nd when th e new Con tinent a l Navy of th e Un it ed Sta tes was created in 1775 sca nt th o ught could be spa red even fo r th e crea ti o n of such a necessit y as th e na ti o na l nava l nag, Jet a lo ne co mp rehensive reco rds which th e modern researcher wo uld find so useful. Thus a fa r bett er reco rd exists o f the Am erica n mercha nt ships o f th e peri od 1765 to 18 14, as fa r as co nt empo ra ry a nd acc ura te colo u r represe nta ti o ns o f act ual na med ships a re concern ed , tha n o f th e fa mo us vesse ls which co nt ributed so much to th e success o f the A meri ca n Revo lutio n and sowed the seed s of naval traditions as pro ud as th ose of a ny o f the

o ld Eu ro pea n ma ritim e powers. Ma ny fin e mercha nt ship po rtra its were pa inted b y local artists in a ll th e major trading po rt s fro m E urope a nd the A mericas to the Far East, specificall y for th e ca pt a ins , crew members and o wners, whi ch no w form so me o f th e mos t importa nt co nstru ction a l a nd colouring source mate ri a l, fin ely deta iled a nd acc urat e, reposing in o ur na ti o na l a nd regiona l maritim e museums. But in man y cases we have little but the na mes a nd th e haziest acco unts of th e deeds o f th e ea rliest A merica n wa rships. We a re dri ven, th erefo re, to pla usible reco nstructi o n based o n th e info rma ti on avai la ble a nd th e co nstru cti o na l usages o f the tim e. H ere th ere is firm er ground beca use th e a rt s a nd crafts o f ship co nstru cti o n were a t fa irl y co nstant level a ll over Europe a nd in No rth Am erica, even th ough indi ge no us designs had beg un to evolve be fo re th e Revolutio n-a process accelera ted by th e wa r itself and lat er co mpetiti o n fo r th e ocea n trad es so vital to th e yo ung Republic. Even as la te as th e Wa r of 18 12, which produced m any mo re pa int ings a nd popul a r print s of impo rta nt na va l acti o ns th a n d id the Revoluti o n, illustra tions fro m vari o us ha nds of th e sa me ac tio n


American Navy often vary considerably in colouring and detail; almost without exception they have been concocted at best from eyewitness accounts and sketches and sometimes from pure imagination. Such references therefore must be examined with care and so me degree of scepticism, paying careful attention to the artist's competence in portraying the technicalities and realities of the vessels depicted, and checking hi s work against other so urce material where available. So, even before he begins hi s fir st pencil draught the historical marine painter has the abso rbing problems of isolating the event or vessel to be depicted and organizing his research material. Here, then are some of the pictures done for the 1975176 commissions and others over the past three and a half years. During this time I have painted ships and incidents as far apart as the Swedish Kalmar Nyckel, which brought the first Swedish colonizing expedition to the Delaware river in 1638 (there is a fine model of this ship in the Maritime Museum, Gothenburg), and the racing yacht Puritan competing against Britain' s Genesta in the run-up to the 1885 America's t 'up competition.

~/_..t. 3'~¡~~¡Ii Sloop Providence and ship Alfred driving hard in company, during John Paul Jones 's "tempestuous" but successful cruise of 1776.

The First United States Warship The Schooner Hannah, 1775 Flying the New England Pine Tree Flag, the schooner Hannah was the first commissioned ship of General Washington's "navy ." A Marblehead fisherman, she originally sailed from Beverly on September 5, 1775 under Captain Nicholas Broughton, and put into Gloucester two days later with the ship Unity, laden with British naval stores, as prize. Her career lasted little over a month, ending on October 10, 1775 when she was chased ashore by a British warship . There exists an Admiralty draught of the hull of a typical sc hooner, two of which were actually built in New York as Earl of Egmont and Sir Edward Hawke. Others were built along the North American coast, closely related to the earlier Jamaica and Bermuda sloops, with British sloops, with British origins also. The

Smithsonian Institution has a fine model of Sir Edward Hawke and there are hull plans and a rig reconstruction by Mr. M. A. Edson, Jr., in the late Howard Chapelle's book The Search For Speed Under Sail. Mr. Chapelle performed an inestimable service by his Ii felong researches, as distilled in his various books and reflected in many of the superb ship models in the Sm ithsonian Institution and elsewhere. One of the earliest accurate impressions of a Massachusett s-built sc hooner is of the Ba/tick, 45 tons, 1763, with square sails on the foremast only (course and fore-topsail); others dispensed with square sai ls altogether, while the larger versions set a topsail and (there is some ev idence) even a course on the mainmast as well as foremast, and that is how Hannah is depicted in the painting reproduced here.

The Ha nn a h returns to port in triumph, flying the "Appeal to Heaven" Pine Tree flag, and saluted by colonists worried, in the fall of 1775, whether American armies could keep the field. Commissioned by Washington to harrass British vessels supplying Boston, she actually captured a munitions ship, in her brief career.

SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

Continental Frigate Alfred and Sloop Providence at Sea, November 1776 John Paul Jones's first major task on being commissioned First Lieutenant in the Continental Navy was the fitting out at Philadelphia for naval service of the former merchantman Black Prince, renamed Alfred. Alfred was flagship of the American fleet under Commodore Esek Hopkins which attacked the Bahamas in 1776. Later that year Hopkins ordered John Paul Jones (now promoted captain) to sea in Alfred for a raid on the British Newfoundland fisheries and the collier fleets supplying New York . Jones set off from Rhode Island on November 1, 1776 in company with the sloop Providence, and although circumstances prevented accomplishment of the original mission, Alfred and Providence had a eventful cruise, often in "tempestuous"weather, with many prizes taken. The painting shows Alfred and Providence battling through heavy seas on this voyage. Wm . Gilkerson well describes the existing references for these two vessels, though Alfred is shown here with quarter galleries, as in the 1777 sketch he reproduces. For Providence I leaned heavily on a fine reconstruction model exhibited in The Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia, generally simi lar to , bu t at vari ance in detail from the superb full-size sai ling replica designed by Charles W. Wittholz, NA. 51


Constitution drying her sails after a summer rainstorm dominates the Boston harbor scene. She and her sisters President and Un ited States were the most powerful f rigates in existence, as all Americans believed

and the world was to learn; a fast ship built with battleship scant lings and main battery, she was saved by her inbred speed and hard sailing on more than one occasion in her unmatched career.

The USS Constitution at Anchor in Boston, 1803 A lthough the ship exists in all her glory in Boston and more has bee n written about her than perhaps any other famou s ship in the US Navy, Constitution st ill poses problems to the artist, in that it is difficult accurately to define her exact appearance at some important points in her long career, durin g which she was altered, reconstru cted and refitted several times. The existing vessel seems to show her at a period well after 1815 , as far as one ca n ascertain, but contemporary references have to be consulted to discover precisely how she looked prior to this date. A "master plan" for the 44-gun frigates ordered in 1794 exists and the buildin g plans are reproduced in Chapelle's The American Sailing Navy typical for Constitution, United States and President. She was a fair ly ornate ship, it is said , the figurehead being "a Hercules with the fasces of the United States and the Constitution standin g upon rock ... " This figurehead was shat52

tered in a colli sion with President in 1804 in the Mediterranean (I quote Mr. N. V. Brewington in Shipcarvers of North America) and replaced by a billet head. The ea rliest contemporary illustrations I can find are plates 25 and 30 (actually of President) as reproduced in American Naval Broadsides by Edgar Newbold Smith, dati ng approximately between 1797 and 1804. H ere, the Constitution is shown at Bosto n after refitting for service in the Mediterranean, 1803. She is much a ltered, with roya l masts a nd ya rds, a sin gle spritsai l ya rd , an d built-up bulwarks fore a nd aft, best references being the Michele Felice Corn e painting of 1803 (though the flag at first gla nce appears to have seve nteen stars) in the Constitution Muse um , Navy Yard, Boston, which shows th e Hercu les figurehead. There is a superb pri nt in the Pea body Muse um (date 1804 o nwards because the bi llet head is shown), and mo re important

a sketch by Commodore John Rogers himself, di sp layed in the Smithsonian Institution and presumed to date from May 1805 when Rogers took over as Commodore of th e Mediterranean squadron from Capta in Samuel Barron. A lthough she was laid up for two yea rs from 1807 , it appears to be in this form that Constitution went to war in 18 12.

The Continental Frigate Boston Breaks out her Royals, 1777 The 24-gun fri ga te Boston was built a t Newburyport by the partnership of Jonathan Green leaf and Ralph Stephen Cross, her sister ship being th e Delaware, built a t Philadelphia . The Boston fell into British hands when Charleston, South Carolina was captured in May 1780, and later served \With the Roya l Na vy as th e Charlestown IUntil sold and broken up in 1783 . British irecords list the Charlestown as a 28-gun sixxth rate of 5 14 ton s burthen. SEA !HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


Chapelle quotes a contemporary British intelligence report which record s an Indian figureh ead with bow and arrow in hand "painted white, red and yellow," and the peculiarity of a mast in lieu of the stern ensign staff with a small la teen sail an d o utrigged spar. So far as I can ascertain no drau ghts or illustrations exist of the ship, either in American or British se rvice, and so I drew on record s of other existing Continental frigates (for exa mple Hancock as drawn in the Admiralty draught, which was built a t the same yard) for the painting reproduced here.

The Lovely Baltimore Clipper Grecian, 1812

Grecian was ac knowledged one of th e most beautiful sc hooners afloat, as can be seen from a nice little waterline model in The Mariners Museum . She was a prime example of the fabled Baltimore C lipper, built in Baltimore at th e Thomas Kemp shipyard in 1812 specifically, one assumes, for blockade-runnin g with a little pri va teering (which as well as patriotic could be ex tremely profit a ble) on the side. She was a notably fas t sa iler with low bulwark s a nd thus curi ously arched rails over th e gunports, nine pe r side. No details exist of her two-yea r commission-

Th e small fr igate Boston puts to sea, at the outset of her career f ighting and running away. She was caught three years later where her nimble heels could no! save her.

ing, but she was carrying a ca rgo of fl o ur for C uba when captured in th e Chesapeake in May 1814 by boats from the 18- g un bri g -s loop HMS Jaseur. Chapelle's The Search For Speed Under Sail and The Baltimore Clippers give d etailed hull plans from the Admiralty drau ght s and a lso a sailplan reconstructi on typical for th e class which is used in the pa inting. The Grecian was a pleasure to draw since not only is she beautiful in her ow n right and a challenge to depict, b ut unu sual as subj ect matter. Indeed, st riv-

The most American of ships, th e Baltimore clippers like Grecian flourished only in dangerous trades, being wet, weatherly and almost

ing for realistic impression of what all these famous ships must have looked like has give n immense pleasure, and it is hoped the resulting pictures will be of interest to readers, since in so many cases eyewitness illustrat ions of th e actua l events are non-existent.

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NOTE: The a rtist wishes fully to ack nowledge his gra titud e to th e au thors and museums mentioned herein. From the staff a nd curato rs of the latter he has had nothi ng but the most wi lling and helpful co-operati o n.

supernaturally fast. See Melbourne Smith's article, this issue, on the comet-like passage of !his lype across our skies.


MARINE ART

News

ASMA The American Society of Marine Artists is curre ntl y involved with three affi liated ex hibitions: • With the American Sai l Training Assoc iation , the Society is hav in g an exhibi ti on of 40 paintings July 13-15 as part of the National Maritime Heritage Festival at Newport, Rhode Island. • With Mystic Seaport Museum, the Society is launching the opening exhibition of their new sales ga llery, Ju ly 29. The new gallery has an exciting and varied schedu le of marine art exhibitions and promises to be a g reat success. • With the Whitehall C lub of New York, ASMA is spo nso rin g a small se ries of rotating ex h ibitions.

and photographic representation of their work. Through the Directory, the Society hopes to be of service to mu se um s, pub lications, ga lleries, collectors and maritime companies. ASMA membership now exceeds 175 a nd the Society has launched a major membership drive. In terested laymen, publications, ga lleries and organizations are encouraged to join, as well as artists. Regular members hip is $25 and a brochure explaining a ll Society programs is now available. On May 19, the third newsletter and informatio n packet was se nt out to m embers, with 33 pages of in format ion of use to a rti sts and reg ular members a like. Several new sec tion s were launch ed: ga llery and exhibition opportu nit es, new publications, appropriate mu seum activities, research aids, members' exhibition s and special projects, tax information, interested reproduction publishers, artists' queries (in which members request specific advice and assistance), general recommendations and information, in structions on affiliated exhibit ions, an organ izat ion manual, a brochure and a list a nd review of over 80 maritime magazines. A ll members have a lso been sent the membership ad dress list.

Other affi li ated ex hibit io ns are in the planning stages, and ASMA will assist a n y int erested organizati on in cosponso ring such shows. The ASMA Collector Referral Program is growing rapidly, and to date over a hundred referrals of interested co llectors a nd corporations to artists have been made. To faci lita te this program , the Society is planning a Directory of a ll member artists, including artists' statements about their work, biographies

The organization of ASMA Reg ional Committees is proceeding well and thi s should promise increased activ it y in a ll part s of the country. The fo ll owi ng membe rs have been elected Fell ows of ASMA, th eir wo rk bein g judged to represen t the highest standard s of marine art : Jo hn Stobart, Carl Evers, Charles J. Lundgren, Ma rk Myers, Frank Handlen, Victor Mays, William G. Muller , Oswald Bretl , Mark Greene, Robert 0. Skemp, Geo rge Campbell, James E. Mitchell, Thomas Wells and C har les Stanford. C har les R. Robinson has been elec ted Treasurer of ASMA and Jo hn Reilly, Jr. has been e lected Trustee . ASMA is eager to ass ist maritime organizat inns and mu se um s, educa ti ona l inst itution s, ga lleries a nd collectors, magazin es and publishers, maritime co mpanies and unions. For furt her information, p lease write to: American Society of Marine Artists, c/ o Peter W. Roge rs, Secretary, 44 Pearl Road, Nahant, MA 01908.

In Quest of an Artist Being fro m a shipbuildin g family of Maine l have for many years co ll ec ted nauti ca l items pertaining to th e o ld square

The Country's Largest

INVENTORY OF SHIP MODELS From estates and private collections. Over 250 fine ship models from 6 " to 7' in length. Send for brochure today! By appointment.

Kathleen Lannan Nautiques 259 Harvard St., Quincy, Ma. 02170 Tel. 617-479-5091

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SEA HISTORY PRINTS A limi ted ed ition of 200 collector's prints, each sig ned and numbered by the artist is offered for sale to benefit the work of the N.M.H.S. Price $48 per copy, image size 11 x 17 .

"Drake versus Ranger," by Wm. Gilkerson

TO: NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY 2 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Please se nd me prints of " Drake vers us Ranger" at $48 per print. My check for $ is enclosed.

I~;:-S~amsh;-H~~a~ociet~~m--:-i~ 1::. 1

I Please send me fu rther information .

I

I Namt> / Add res;,.<;

j

Cl!\

Sta i e

Zip

,_....:_ __ _________ _ _ 54

SEEA HI STORY, SUMMER 1979


ROY CROSS,

riggers. Abo ut twenty years ago I bought four co pper engraved plates from an a ntiqu e deale r in Noroton, Connecticut. Two were sce nes of ships under sai l hove to takin g o n a pilot, th e ot her two show ships a t dock side. The initia ls R. L. appear in th e lowe r left corner of three and R. Lovewell o n th e fourth. I am most anxious to learn somet hi ng about the arti st: w hen and wh ere he li ved , if he did oi ls a nd waterco lors besides etchings, and where I might see more of hi s wo rk. I wi ll gladly give a print of hi s o r her choice to the fir st o ne to furni sh me with thi s infor m at io n . "Steady as she goes" . with the ma gnificent work you ' re doing at NMHS and congrat ul at io ns on SEA HI STORY, a n impo rt a nt magazine. H AROL D SEW ALL WILLIAMS Mad Ri ver Valley, Vermont

R.S.M.A.

SIGNED LIMITED EDITION COLLECTOR'S PRINTS SUBJECT USS Constitution as C ommissio ned, 1793 (detail above) USS .Constitution in the C harles River , Boston, 1803 "Ocean Se ntinal," U SS A lliance The Diomede of Salem

EDITION 750 750 324 35*

PRICE $125 $125 $150 $400

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Working the bench. Ropin g and work in g gromm ets on square sail s for the Gaze/a Primeiro.

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THE BOOK LOCKER By Alfred T. Hill

BOOKS Hester's Window, Flung Wide

Writing on the sea cuts a wide swath in our literature! This point comes out in two important books I have learned to turn to on this subject: Charles Lewis's Books of the Sea (Westport CT, Greenwood Press, 1943, 318 pp.) and Myron J. Smith, Jr. and Robert C. Weller's Sea Fiction Guide (Meruchin NJ, Scarecrow Press, I 975, 256 pp.). Lewis's book has twenty chapters, on sea stories, poetry, plays, sea literature in other languages, naval history, navigation, seamanship, oceanography and other topics. Each chapter provides a critical discussion, followed by a reading list of 50 authors. Smith and Weller have compiled and annotated bibliography of 2525 titles, and just looki ng through it suggests how greatly our literature has been enriched by writers following their bent to sea. What distinguishes sea literature from a rattling good adventure story, an interesting technical work, or a mere narrative of fishing, cruising, racing or "messing about in boats?" I submit these criteri a: Such a work must have stood the test of time; its author must have achieved wide readership and fame; it must be recognized by discriminating critics, and be cited by them in awards, lists, and other ways to point out good reading; it must deal with profound human experience. When we follow such pointers we come to giants lik e Homer, the Psalmists, and Shakespeare in our m-idst. Dante, a fellow-poet writing 2,000 years after Homer's time, called him "lord of the sublimest song, soaring over the others like an eagle." A few cent uri es later Alexander Pope more soberly said: "Be Homer's works your study and delight; read them by day and meditate by night" (not a bad test for a classic!). But anyone who has lived with Homer's Odysseynot a work to read and put down, it haunts you-will rejoice with me most in

the great critic Walter Bagehot 's dictum :

"A man who has not read Homer is like a man who has not seen the ocean. There is a greal objecl of which he has no idea. " The Bible abounds in sea yarns, from Jonah's time in the belly of a whale to Jesus walking on . the water, and St. Paul's narrative of the shipwreck. The Psalms offer some of the loveliest and most moving sea poetry ever written, in which "deep calls unto deep." In Shakespeare the sea experience is transmuted, indeed, into "something rich and strange." Our friend Charles Lewis notes that Shakespeare refers so often to the sea, and with such accuracy, "that some scholars have come to the conclusion that the greatest of English poets must have had some experience as a sailor." He goes on to cite Shakespeare's ever-memorable definition of true love: "O no! it is an ever fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star of every wandering bark , Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken." We could-and if space a llowed we wou ld-go on to speak of o th er poets, Coleridge, Byron, Kipling, Masefield, Longfellow, Tennyson, Whitman, and that with more than some joy. But in these four lines alone Shak es peare shows the way to all, incidentally with a seafaring image of start ling workabilit y. And I have an uneasy feeling that he not only meets but overtakes our criteria: The test of time? He defines it. Critical recognition? Critics are tested by what they think of Shakespeare-as, perhaps, are we all.

(To be conlinued) Dr. Hill, author of Voyages (New York, David McKay, 1977), lives in Cape Cod and lectures on sea literature for the Sea Education Association of Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

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56

Tall Ships on Puget Sound, the Marine Photographs of William Hesler, by Robert Weinstein (Seattle and London, University of Washington Press, 1978, 144 pp., ill., $14.95). Under the grey cover of a Puge t Sound overcast day, and through the drizzle of the fall and winter months, a German immigrant named William Hester hauled his tripod and camera to the busy shippi ng corners of Port Blake ly, Tacoma and Seattle more than seventy years ago. Searching for the right position, good lighting and the best view of his subject matter, Mr. Hester captured ships and people on glass plates and thus preserved a remnant of harbor life which vanished before World War I. In the aggrega te, those plates finally numbered over 1300, and they were eventually boxed and stored in Hester 's Seattle home for forty years. That such bulky items as the boxes which co nt a ined these plates ¡had survived that long is a minor miracle, in light of the urban convu lsions which rocked portions of Seattle in recent years. Huge dieselpowered snapper-grabbers chewed up houses and buildings to make way for the 1-5 highway, which now bisect s Seattle, and Hester's homestead was one of those old wooden dwellings which was obliterated in the 1960s. But before all that, Hester lived alone for decades, overlooking Lake Union, until he died in 1947 at the age of about seventy-five . His little house was subsequently bought by a couple who didn't know what was in the attic. Eight years after Hester's death, in mid-July 1955, this reviewer received a letter from Captain Alan Villiers, which had been written shortly after the noted seafaring author had returned home to Oxford from a visit he had paid to Seattle and Tacoma . In part, the letter said : "A Mrs . Norah B. Sands in Seatt le writes me about so me photographs of ships taken at Puget Sound . Know her? She has a large collection of glass negs, she says, that were in the house she boug ht. I am answering her, of course ... . " Fort un ate ly J erry and Nora Sands were willing to retain the entire collection intact, and to sell it to worthy and appreciative buyers. In due course, a serious move was generated in California to acq uire the collection. The San Francisco Maritime Mu seum has been fio rt unate during the thirty-odd years of its ex istence, to have had the aggressivene$s to find means so mehow to acquire hwndreds and th1iusands of film SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


From the superb Hester Collection: Guests raise glasses of dark beer lo ward off Tacoma's damp in 1902, aboard the French three-masted bark Lamorciere in 1902.

and glass plate negat ives. Two of the finest collect ions of sai ling ship negatives, o ri ginating in the Pacific Northwest, were bought in th e late 1950s and early 1960s: one being the popularly known Plummer Co ll ection, consist ing of postcard size film negatives of ships in tow and under sai l; the ot her being the Hester Collection. Working with the San Francisco Maritime Museum, Mr. Robert Weinstein of Los Ange les obtained funds to buy these two, and segments of other va luable film and plate negative collections for the Museum's growing inventory of pictures. Conc urrent with the massive effort to identify and date the pictures was Mr. Weinstein's special research on William Hester himself. The parallel efforts have been brought to fruition in this book, which tells all th at is known about the photographer, and offers some of hi s best a nd most representative pictures of a long-vanished era. Mr. Weinstein, himself a specialist in marine history and photographic history, has done an excellent job of descr ibing the style of William Hester. Though Hester had been dead for more than twenty years, the author has done a thorough, and imaginative-ifsomewhai conjec tur a l-re-crea ti on of Hester's mode of operation and techniques. One can almost sense that Mr. Weinstein carried the box of plates and tripod on the long daily expeditions from Seattle to Tacoma or Port Blakely. There are nine chapters, including the last which is more of a n index of photographs identification and names of shipmasters. The photographs, which total 107, are all of first-class quality, printed directly from the plates, wi th no secondgenerat ion copying in between. The same detail that Hester saw seven decades ago, has not deteriorated at a ll. The photographs a lone, within the confines of the book's hard covers, are far superior in quality and clarity to the vast collection of pictures of sailing ships or vintage scenes which are available to other publishers and authors who dea l in similar subjects, and which are seen in SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

contemporary publications. The book is one of harbor scenes. Hester is not known to have ventured outside the heads on a tug, or to have made any offshore passages with his camera in hand. So hi s work is confined lo the vesse ls he saw at a nchor, a longside the cargo docks, sawm ill spit s or in tow. But more than this, he photographed the people of the ships and the cargoes they came to Puget Sound to load. Here is where Hester-and Bob Weinstein in his carefu l selection of photos-serve the hi storian we ll. Hester worked midst the longs horemen and ships' crews, and caught the size of the huge timbers on his plates as they were dragged and maneuvered, sti ck by stick, into the long holds of the sai ling shi ps. Besides the sh ips themselves, Hester devoted much of his at tent ion and photographic ski lls to the crews, shipmasters a nd families whose lives were centered within the sh ips. The ex traordinary numbers of group photos in the entire Hester collec.tion, is, in our opinion, unequaled in any known collection of sai ling ship pictures, worldwide. Fo'c'sle hand s were int errupted in their duties abo ut the sh ip , or herded out of the forecastle for a posed picture on the decks of th e ship. Shipmasters by themselves, or with wives and chi ldren, were posed on the poop and by the wheel, in their best dress. Hester caught them all in their best looks, and then sold them the pictures. That is how he made the whole b usiness pay. It supported him for years. Hester a lso ventured into the restricted domain of the shipmaster, who li ved in Victorian elegance beneath the poop, and photographed the furnishings of the domestic cabins. This was rare photography, considering the problem of proper lighting, and Hester did an excellent job of adjusting his exposures and utilizing natural lighting through the poop skyligh ts. He specialized in this area of work, and we venture the opinion that this book stands unique in it s presentation of the scenes of numerous sailing ship sa loons and cabins.

The book is more than just a collection of Hester photographs, appea ling as they are in themselves. It is a lso a good, but rath er limited story of the long vanished boom-town atmosphere of Port Blakely, o nce the largest sawmi ll port in the northwest, a nd of the expanding port of Tacoma, which had an endless waterfront of flour sheds and grain elevators. Fo r the venturesome sentimentalist, Mr. Weinstein has provided a handbook by which the shoreline of Port Blakely can be seen in its heyday, the Hall Brothers shipyard and the Port Blakely Mill, and compared to the quiet inlet of today with a few of the old mill-town houses, and where rotting piling heads and crumbling cement foundations may still be seen. With the book in hand, one can sti ll estab lish his bearings whi le standing on the E leventh Street Bridge in Tacoma, and pick out the crumb ling planked quays and nearly abandoned, but sti ll-sta ndin g flour warehouses a long the City Waterway, and see the o ld City H a ll tower above it all. The author provides short paragraphs wit h eac h photo, giving names where they are known, and describing the scene in his own interpretive manner. In his modest haste, mixed with understandab le enthusiasm, he commits a few minor errors, such as calling a ship a bark, o r urgi ng ships a lo ng in tow, when in fact they are moored to a buoy. But on ly the critical reader with a trained eye, or magnifying glass in hand wou ld consider the errors to be serious, and Hester himself emerges unscathed and is sti ll presented at his very best. The book is not indexed with individual sh ip 's names in the customary fas hi on, in the back of the book, nor with personal names; but the author has included in the last pages some tentative offerings as to who the shipmasters might have been, where actual identification is not known. There is some cha nce of mistaken identity in this table, but th e aut hor notes that such offering are not to be considered the final word. However, there is little chance in 1978, that his research will be disputed. Sma ll children who appear in the photographs, posed by the wheel, or standing upon the skylight of their father's ship, may yet be alive today, who could identify these scenes of yesteryear. But the apprentices, and old greybeards of the forecastle, the mates, shipmasters and longshoremen are all but gone. And with no known exceptions, so are the 57


BOOKS

ships. William Hester, master of the panorama, the pose and the drama, has provided an extraordinary window into the twilight age of the modern sailing ship. Mr. Weinstein has gently pulled the drawstrings, parting the red velveteen curtains for a glimpse into this era, so that a new generation may view his handiwork. HAROLD D. HUYCKE Captain Huycke is a marine surveyor in

the Seattle area, and Trustee of the National Society. He is author of To Santa Rosalia, Further and Back.

Taking Care of Wooden Ships, by Maynard Bray (University of Maine Sea Grant Publications, Ira C. Darling Center, Walpole ME 04573, 1978, 80 pp., ill.' $2.00). Like the men who built them and sai led in them, wooden ships are mortal. Sooner or later they must rot away. Whatever else may be involved, caring for an aging wooden vessel is inevitab ly and primarily an unending battle against rot. The enemy are the various species of fungi that thrive on moist wood. So long as wood is dry or immersed in water soaking wet, it is safe from their incursions. Some species of timber suit their appetites better than others. Various substances, ranging from highly toxic chemicals to comon salt , slow down these fungi to a greater or lesser extent, but though repulsed for the time being, the var ious forms of rot lurk ever close at hand ready to reappear a nd renew th eir depredat ions when the opport unity presents. Fortunately, rot can be controlled to a considerable extent and for lengthy periods, but only by exercising the utmost vigi lance, painstaking care, by using common sense, and by paying heed to the experience of successfu l shipkeepers past and present. Taking Care Of Wooden Ships deals principally with rot prevention and remedy, covering what is presently known about this crucial subj ect fully and with authority, and from the standpoint of the practical shipkeeper. The first part records a panel discussion of wooden vesse l maintenance at the Bath Marine Museum' s Symnposium on American Maritime History, May 6-8, 1977. The panel was chaired by Maynard Bray, former Superintendent of the Shipyard at Mystic Seaport Museum, who as a private consultant later supervised the partial rebuilding of the Hudson River sloop Clearwater in 1975-76. Participating on the panel were Cdr. Tyrone C. Martin, USN, commanding officer of 58

Graving pieces being fit into a deck beam on the Clearwater.

the USS Constitution, which first put to sea in 1798; Capt. Havilah S. Hawkins, skipper and owner of the windjammer Mary Day and former owner of the Stephen Tabor, and the late Capt. R. D. Cu ller, owner, skipper, builder, and designer of wooden vessels, and the author of several books including Skiffs and Schooners, now recogni zed as a classic in its field . It would not be easy to assemble a more knowledgeable and competent panel of experts. The seco nd part of the book reprints the detailed manual prepared by Maynard Bray for the care of the Clearwater following her rebuilding.r ln 1969 the Clearwater cost $160,000. Only seven years later it cost about half of that to get her back into reasonably so und condition. Although the original quality of her timber and workmanship may not have been of the highest, most of the catastrophic rot damage she suffered in so short a time cou ld undoubtedly have been prevented had she had proper care-which she did not receive, not from lack of concern, but from want of experience and knowledge. There is more to the book, including a ga llery of horror pictures-photos of rot condit ions found in the Clearwater when she was opened up-relevant excerpts reprinted from R.D. Culler's Skiffs And Schooners and from The Ways of the Sea by Charles G. Davis, and a glossa ry. One thing that does not entirely satisfy me is the treatment of chemical wood preservatives. I do not share the confidence in Cuprinol that Havilah Hawkins seems to have. And pentachlorophenol is just as poiso nous to people as it is to fungi . I, personally, would not want to spe nd much time below in a vessel extensively treated with penta. JOHN GARDNER

Mr. Gardnet~ director of the Small Boat Workshop at Mystic Seaport Museum, is an editor of National Fisherman and a leader in the movement to revive traditional boa/building skills. He is author of Building C lassic Small Craft and The Dory Book.

Philadelpha Merchant: The Diary of Thomas P. Cope, 1800-1851. (South Bend, Indiana, Gateway Editions, Ltd.,1978, 628 pp., illus., $19.95) . For almost a week I spent several hours a day with a man who has been dead for 125 years. And good company he was, too: intelligent, art iculate, candid, even funny. He introduced me, on intimate terms, to an America both astonishingly different from present-day America and asto nishingly the same (they, too, worried about welfare costs and crime in the streets). My companion was (I'm tempted to say is so lively is his diary) Thomas P. Cope, not a name most will have encounte red in their readings in American history. Yet Cope was a sign ificant figure, proving anew that while history is writte n about the celebrated, it is made also by those important in their time and place all too quickly overlooked by historians preoccupied with captains and kings. Although Cope succeeded (handsomely, one assumes) as a merchant, his main interests, as his diary demonstrates, were his family, his religion (he was a Quaker) and the public good. In fact, such was the depth of his humanity, it was inconceivab le to him that the three could be separated. But if Cope were merely a good man, his diary would have been of more limited interest. However, Cope was one of the leading civic and philanthropic figures in Philadelphia for more than five decades. He was, for instance, instrumental in bringing a public water supply to the cit y; he was long president of the Board of Trade; he was important in the founding of the Pennsylvania Railroad; and he was often called upon to head various c1v1c projects. He knew from the streets of Philadelphia, then but a small city, Franklin and Talleyrand and Louis Philippe (later King of France) and the Pretender to the British throne, the last of the Stuarts. He knew on familiar terms Cabinet members in several Administrations, was welcome in Washington at the Senate and House (where he was often asked to serve), and dropped in at the President's House, as the White House was then known, to pay his respects to his friend Doll y Madison. His diary gives a se nse, so difficult now to comprehend, of a government so much smaller, so much less formal than now, when the leaders were: easily approachab le, not separated frorrn the people by enormous bureaucracies. Orne wishes that present-clay businessSEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


men were given to reflection on famil y, religion, soc iety, politics a111d philosophic and moral questions, all of which are commonplace in Cape's diary. One wishes, too, that more Americans had Ca pe's great gift for citizenship, a responsibility almost as involuntary with him as breathing, even while he professed, quite sincerely, to be unworth y. Cope for decades was active in the antislavery movement , although he believed so me of the more violent Abolitionists did the ca use more harm than good . He opposed war and America's " insatia ble gras pin g propensity for territory .'' Although th ese would be liberal issues nowadays, th en, for co nservatives like Cope, th ey were simple matters of humanity. H e was, howev er, against "ardent spirits" believing they fostered drunkeness and against novels, believing they were corrupting. But he had nothing against a glass of wine and enjoyed a good story, many of which he included. For all its rich es, however, readers of Sea History will be disa ppointed th a t Cope included rela tively litt le about his shipping interests, for his boats sailed not only to Britain, Europe and the Wes t Indies but to China a nd India. Nonetheless, there is some interes ting stuff a bout the War of 1812 (surely one of the more curious of the several futil e wars in which the U.S. had engaged) and it s effect on American shipping and thus on the nation' s economy and politics, a nd there are a number of interesti ng entries on the refloating of the packet Tuscarora owned by Cape's so ns. The diary could have used so me pruning which would have provided space for concise explanatory passages helpful in establishing a context for so me of th e entries. There is, however, a useful appendi x identifying the man y public fi gures who appear in the diary which gives a marvelously perso nal view of life in th e formative years of the nation as it went from knee breeches to teleg raph to steamship to railroad. RICHARD J . WALTON

Mr. Walton, author of a number of books of history, is a devoted armchair sailor. American Ships of the Colonial and Revoluntionary Periods, by John F. Millar (New York, W.W . Norton, 356 pp ., illus., $19.95). Imagine standing on the deck of your own stout frigate, firing broadsides at a slippery square-topsail sloop! John Millar, the distinguished architectural historian of Newport, Rhode Island , has SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

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TALL SHIPS ON PUGET SOUND: The Marine Photographs of Wilhelm Hester

By Robert A. Weinstein "Definitive and fascinating" - American History Illustrated 11 A beautiful piece of photographic salvage work" -Popular Photography 11 An extraordinary window into the twilight age of the sailing ship" -Sea History

144 pages • 103 duotone photographs • $14.95 Available at your local bookseller or the University of Washington Press, Seattle, Washington 98105

The first-hand account of a crew marooned in the subarctic by the shipwrecked men they had rescued

· MAROONED A Narrative of the Sufferings and Adventures of CAPTAIN CHARLES H. BARNAR D , Embracing an Account of the Seizure of his Vessel at th e Falkland Islands , &c., 1812-1816 Edite d & with an Introduction by BERTHA S. DODGE Out of print for more than a century- now republish ed with historical documentation. Illustrations , end paper map, bibliography, index. $14.95

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rt 60

done just that. Moreover, he designed and built the full-scale frigate HMS Rose for this purpose, and founded Seaport '76, the Newport-based society that built the Revolutionary War topsail sloop Providence. Now he invites us to share his fascination with these ships of a vanished era in a stunning collection of drawings, profile plans and ship histories covering 150 vessels, introduced by an authoritative disussion of the ships we're going to encounter. John Millar does not do things by halfway measures. An extraordinary amount of research obviously went into this handsome book, turning up old drawings, out-of-the-way documents and much personal anecdote that breathes life into the ships and their people. The ships range from the Hudson River Sloop Experiment, a broad-beamed, shallow production which voyaged from her native river reaches to China in 1785, to the French armed brig L 'Outaouaise, built on the St. Lawrence and captured by the British when they took Quebec in 1759, and, of course, the early frigates of the Continental Navy. There's a Spanish felucca built in Havana, and sloops, schooners, ketches, brigs and full-rigged ships in profusion, illustrating the rich variety of craft that thronged our shores as a new nation was coming into being, born of seafaring. An evening spent with this book will probably reveal your own favorite among these vessels; mine is a little anonymous brig shown in the Burgis view of Manhattan done in 1717, new built and ready to sail away. Unlike John Millar I'll probably never get to build and sail her, but here is both the inspiration and the information needed to do it. Here, indeed, is a whole world of such ships, one that will invite modelmakers, artists, historians and just plain dreamers back for many another evening of delight, in the rattling good company of a man who's master of these kinds of ships in three dimensions as well as on paper. PS

Clearwater II, a record album (Poughkeepsie NY, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, 1977, $5). This second of the Clearwater albums of folksongs centering on ecology and the river heritage is an excellent, polished production by outstanding performers. This reviewer misses in it some of the easy quality of the first album. The songs are mostly concert pieces-fine for listening, but listeners are not very likely to learn to sing them to each other. ERIC P. RUSSELL

The Scrimshander, by William Gilkerson (San Francisco, Troubador Press, rev. ed. 1978 , 120 pp., ill., $8.95 paperback). A quotation from the journal of a man aboard a bark off Africa is used as epigraph for this enlarged, revised edition of a classic work on the art of carving whale's teeth. Here is the cultural settin g in which the art of the traditional scrimshander took root and flowered: "Scrim sha wing, making dippers and picture frames . Making jagging irons. Feel rather dish ea rtened. Home look s distanL My mind will still wander homewa rd s ... I ca n almost jump overboard_ Scrimshawing ... The encl of 187 1 is fa st approaching, also is eternit y ... Scrimshawin g. " In this engaging, superbly illustrated volume (how was it produced for this

low price?) Gilkerso n as a leading modern practitioner of the art gives vivid insights into the practice of the art in history, a review of the work of contemporary artists_, and goes on to a detailed illustrated discussion of his own interests and methods. A central th sis is that the art form lived varied forms in wooden whaling ships at sea and in seaport towns, and that it continues a vigorous life today . Karl Kortum sum s this up nicely in hi s perceptive introduction, relating his own encounter with a form of the art during World War II in the Pacific, and concludes: "The old scrimshaw was an escape from the sea- from too mu ch sea -back lowarcls the land . The new scrim shaw moves in th e opposit e direct ion ." May that movement flouri sh! One simply could rnot ask a better introduction to it than 'The Scrimshander. PS SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


Wooden Ship by Jan Adkins (Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1978, 47 pp ., illus., $6.95). The ambitious task of this slim volume is to trace the construction of a New Bedford whaler from its inception to departure for the whaling grounds. Mr. Adkins' black and white drawings make this task possible and bring to life the people who conceive, design and build the ship. Emphasis is on hull construction, and a number of cross-sections and diagrams make the structure and building methods easy to understand. This book is catalogued for yo un g readers, and youngsters in our hou sehold gave it high marks. But there is much here in both illustrations and narrative that will sa tisfy readers of any age. NS You Are First, The Story of Olin Stephens and Rod Stephens of Sparkmen & Stephens, Inc., by Francis S. Kinney (New York, Dodd, Mead & Co., 1978, 327 pp., illus., $17.95). Sparkman & Stephens, Inc ., seems to have been designing successful craft of every class from dinghys to cup d efenders since shortly after the launching of the ark. In addition to racin g yachts th e firm name frequently appears under the plans or photographs of some very fine cruising yac ht s and motor sailors and when designer's comments are included in such an article they are brief, concise and rather modest. Little has appeared in print abo ut th e firm's origins or history in rece nt years. One finds references to the famous Dorade, a sucess ful and innovating ocean racing yawl designed by a very young Olin Stephens in 1930, and inspirin g deeds at sea by Rod Stephens, and of course Sparkman & Stephens comes up co ntinually in any discu ssion of th e America's Cup over the last twenty years. This handsomely produced book by Frank Kinn ey ably fill s out the story. Mr. Kinney, best known until now for his Skene's Elements of Yacht Design, ha s been associated with Sparkman & Stephens for over thirty years as well as bei ng an established independent yac ht designer. This gives his writing an insight and warmth that set the book apart. Dorade's hi story, lines, sai l plan, accommodation plans, and log mak e a good sta rting point and the sa iling and racing experiences of the Stephens brothers as teenagers are recounted as well. Other boats are di scussed a nd a good selection of pertinent drawin gs a nd fine photographs (mostly by the Rosenfclds) accompany the tex t. These interSEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

views leave thi s reader looking forward to many more years of studying new designs of all types with th e name Sparkman & Stephen s, Inc . in the caption. DON MEISNER Black Men of the Sea, by Michael Cohn and Michael K. H . Pla tzer (New York, Dodd, Mead & Company, 1978, 158 pp., ill. , $8.95). Important facets of the African and Afro-American maritime heritage from the pre-Columbus era to the 20th century are taken up in thi s well researched and well written volume. Geared to the young reader (junior hi gh and high school), it will be found interestin g and informative by the mature reader as well. The book is divided into twelve chapters packed with well established but not widely known information about "the heritage of black seafarin g." Chapter I, which highlights so me of the maritime feat s of Africans during the centuries before Columbus' voyage to the Americas, includes mention of the Egyptian voyages to the Americas in the eighth century BC, and East African maritime commerce with China, Malaysia and India. The chapter notes that Africans were crew members on many of the Spanish and Portuguese ships during the age of exploration. The a uthors also report so me of the findings which substantiate that African traders had established contact with Indians in Central America at least 2 \/2 centuries before Columbus made hi s famous voyage in 1492. Subsequent chapters examine the long hi story of maritime trade and commerce among West Africans, case histories of mutinies by Africans on slave ships, and the role of black sea men as pirates and privateers durin g the 18th and 19th centuries. A chapter on black shipbuilders points out that " by 1800 almost all of the shipwrights in the [Caribbean] islands were blacks," and not es that free black s and slaves worked along with whites in America' s shipyards during the 19th century. This chapter highlig ht s the life of James Forten, a free blac k businessman, who amassed a fortune in hi s sailmaking company in Philadelphia durin g the early 19th century. The remaining chapters in the book focus on Afro-Americans as "Watermen" "Deepwater Seamen," "Coastal Traders," and "W halers" during the 18th and 19th centuries. The authors, Cohn and Plat zer, have both had some experie nce as sea men , so in addition to the hi story of black seame n, the book offers young readers interestin g insights in-

SEA HISTORY PRINTS Presents a set of four Hudson Steamboat Prints by the noted marine artist WILLIAM G. MULLER

The Syracuse of 1857

'

Finely printed on canvas-grained paper, these full color prints capture the elegance and romance of a vanished era. Image size 8" x 12".

Set of four $20 To: National Maritime Historical Society, 2 Fulton St., Brooklyn NY 11201. Please send me sets(s) of four Hudson Steamboat Prints. My check for $ is enclosed. NAME

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BOOKS to some of the seamen 's trades. An Appendi x, "Where to See the Black Maritime H eritage," gives an annotated list of museums and historical societies having artifacts and exhibits on the heritage. This offers ex tensive options for field trips a nd educational excursions. There is also a 16-page bibliography of books and articles which provide more detailed coverage of topics taken up in the book. And there is a glossary of seamen 's terms used in the text. Sixteen pages of historic pictures enlivens the text. In all , this is a readable, engaging presentation of a heritage that form s an integral and important part of American maritime history. MONROE FORDHAM Dr. Fordham is assistant professor of

history at Buffalo State College, New York, and president of the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier. The Illustrated History of Paddle Steamers, by George W . Hilton, Russel A. Plummer & Joseph Jobe, ill. by Carlo Demand (Switzerland, Edita Lausanne, 1976, 190 pp ., illus., $22.95. In North America: Two Continents Publishing Group, 30 East 42nd St., NYC 10017). The first reaction this reviewer had upon picking up this book was one of eager anticipation. The glory of sail has been chronicled endlessly, the shelves of libra ries are packed with books about the magnificence of the Atlantic liner-but the ship buff whose interest lies in the smaller vessels, the ubiquitous tug, ferry or river steamer must usuall y be content with a chapter or two in the ge neral illustrated histories . Here at last was a volume devoted to the paddle steamer and its development both in the United States and in Europe, handsomely assembled in pictorial format. The book is printed in Switzerland on heavy paper and covers the history of E uropean and American paddle steamers from birth through examples surviving today. It is illustrated with photos, plans and 24 pages of excellent drawings, some in color, by Carlo Demand . All this has the potential for a book that could have become a required reference work for the student of small powered vessels. It is therefore all the more di sappointing that it falls short of the mark . The first fault is in the photos in the American section which are poorly chosen and poorly reproduced. Worse are the errors in text-mistaken dimensions and errors of fact. These may be the result of sloopy proofing, as so me errors in the handling of drawings surely were. 62

And this reader would have liked to see more photos of pa ddle engines, th e most visible and disti nctive attribute of these steamers. The American reader wi ll find a fascinating glimpse of man y unusual steamers in the last half of the book, especially the section on paddle tugs. The photos are often excellent. A list of operational paddle steamers at the end will give the stea m fan who plans to visit Europe an idea of where to find a nd ride the boats, but unfortunately the harsh world of economics makes these lists obsolete a lmost before they see print. Nonetheless, it is one of th e few such lists which can still be relied upon to be fairly co rrect. When the price of the book is wei ghed against its content it becomes difficult to give it the wholehearted endorsement it should have earned. Readers will have to examine it carefully and determine its value to their collections on an indi vidual basis. CO NRAD MILSTER

Mr. Milster, Chief Engineer at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, is a leading light of the Steamship Historical Society and member of the NMHS Advisory Council.

The Pacific Princesses: An Illustrated History of Canadian Pacific Railway's Princess Fleet on the Northwest Coast, by Robert D . Turner, (Victoria BC, Sono Nis Press, 1977, 252 pp., ill., $24.95). This colorfully designed book traces the history of 50 ships a nd six tugboats that were operated prior to 1975 by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, on waters between Seattle, Washington and Skagway, Alaska. The author, Robert D. Turner, is a native of Victoria, and rode on many of the Princess liners when he was a boy. He presentl y serves as curator in the Modern History Di vision of the British Columbia Provincia l Museum . There are 214 photographs in the book, man y full-page size, and all of good quality. In addition, schedules, ticket stubs. and other mementos have been reproduced. Tht: a uthor used pioneer newspapers to add loca l color and eye witness description to this narrative of races, fierce rate wars, and disasters. He see ks not to uncover an obscure fact, but to present a clear, moving account of ships and their place in the northwest scene . ROLAND CAREY

Mr. Carey grew up on Vashon Island in Puget Sound, and put himself through college working summers on the Virginia V. He is the author of four books and numerous articles on Puget Sound history.

Boats, Oars and Rowing, b y R. D . C ull er (Camden M E, Internatio na l Mari ne Publi sh in g, 1978, 149 pp., illu s., $ 10.95). With the reviva l of row ing as a popular past im e in this co untry, ma ny have fe lt th e need fo r a good "gettin g started " book . This is the book we've needed! "Rowing is supposed to be fun ," th e la te R. D . (Pete) Culler reminds us a t the outset. Proper eq uip men t is a good beginning, so the first half of hi s book is on " Rowing Craft" and "Oars and Oarmaking." One begins to become aware of an ama zin g va riety of boa ts (no matter how much one thought one knew th e different types), each with her special virtues and differe nt uses. No one knew all this better, or more d eeply, than Mr. Culler. H e shares, from a truly inexha ustible store, knowledge that beguiles as it instru cts. In treating so wide-ranging a subject, so me gaps result. In his di scourse on sc ulling, Mr. Culler lets us know that the Bahamian sc ulling oar is "simple to build," "seems to wo rk by itself" and is "o ne which I very much favor." There he leaves us, with no word or sketch on it s making or use ! There is a chapter on "Couble Paddle Canoes," which , while not exactly rowboats, are good "for narrow waters, portability on shore, and use on some tiny bod y of water th at calls for exploring." The point of the book co mes ho me in "Cruise in a Pulling Boat ," in which we spend a pleasant day on the water with a few companions of like interes ts. Those who share an interest in oared navigation may be grat eful indeed he left us this book . JOHN FRIEMAN Mr. Frieman is a boa/builder by avoca-

tion, and senior volunteer for the National Society, with a particular interest in historic yachts and boatyards. From the Deep of the Sea, the Diary of Charles Edward Smith, ed. Charles Edward Smith Harri s (Annapolis, US Nava l Institute Press, 1978, 288 pp., illus., $9.95) . In 1866, Charles E d wa rd Smith signed on th e whaleship Diana of Hull, England for a cruise after whale and seal that, scheduled to last 6 months, lasted 14, including a long sojourn icebound . Her return, after being give n up as lost, is sho wn to have been the result of teamwork by eve ry man a board. Dr. Smith's di a ry tells of the stru ggle with a minimum of embellishment. E RI C RUSSELL

.t .t .t SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979


The Way of the Sea: Your Turn Today-Mine Tomorrow By Frank G.G. Carr

This true yarn of the loss of a small yacht, in the North Sea is extracted from Mr. Carr's classic A Yachtsman's Log (1935). Mr. Carr went on to ocean sailing in his pilot cutter Cariad, now preserved at the Exeter Maritime Museum, and is Chairman of the World Ship Trust Project in London. Under a reefed foresail we ran before the gale, paying out the end of the main sheet astern to steady the ship in running. The drag had a wonderful effect. We ran dryly, with no tendency to broach-to, and the rope divided the seas and made them break astern of the yacht before they reached her, so that the broken water creamed harmlessly away under our counter. In the evening, when the sky was again overcast and darkness would soon have fallen, we came to realize once more that we were not out of danger. I had reached the northern limit of my charts, and of the waters ahead all we knew was that dangerous shoals lay in our way. It was then that a tramp steamer appeared astern on a course that brought her near our own. She was obviously bound north from the Channel, having come by the back of the Goodwins. Reluctantly, for it was an admission of failure, I hoisted a signal of distress. One may not mind very much about drowning oneself, but to drown one's father and only brother is a different matter. The ship proved to be the Borge/a, a Norwegian of 2500 tons, belonging to Fred Olsen's Line, in ballast, and towering high out of the water. She saw our signal, and with engines stopped · drove slowly past us to loo'ard. She confirmed our position, which was correct, and agreed to give us the benefit of her lee, and a tow from the end of her bridge in the shelter of her hull, promising to drop us off Yarmouth. I feared a heavy salvage claim, and wanted to fix upon some figure, but the skipper, splendid fellow, would have none of it. "It will cost you not'ing," he roared and prepared to take us in tow . It seemed that our difficulties would soon be over, and so indeed they were, but not in the way that we expected; for it was now that I made the fatal mistake compared with which all other mistakes paled into insignificance. Borge/a lay motionless to loo'ard and on our port bow. I had only to run on past her, so that she could overtake us on our weather side, throwing a line from her bridge as she SEA HISTORY, SUMMER 1979

steamed slowly by, with which we would haul aboard a warp to secure to our bitts . Yet, fool that I was, I ran round her stern and into the shelter of her hull, where immediately we lay becalmed. A stout line came instantly hurtling down from aloft, which we as instantly secured. Yet before anything more could be done, the end was upon us . Borge/a, a ballast ship, was drifting broadside through the water at a rate of knots, rolling heavily with no forward way upon her. The suction round her bow and stern drew us at once into her propeller aperture, where we lay held like a stick across a sluice, rising and falling some ten feet as every sea broke round her stern. From that moment Quickstep II was doomed. In spite of every effort, she could not be drawn ahead, nor could she be dropped astern clear, while Borge/a could not be moved without her screw cutting us to pieces when it started to revolve. It needed only the first direct blow on the propeller's projecting blade to sink us. We were already making water fast. The time had come to abandon ship if we would save our lives. First my young brother, then my father, after an argument, climbed the Jacob's ladder that had been lowered, and reached safety. My father reali zed that I wanted to leave the ship last, and knew that the only way to get me out of her quickly was to leave himself, which he did on my promising to follow immediately. I did not do so, for a sea came which threw Quickstep II back so that she balanced on Borgela's rudder and I thought there was still a chance of dropping her astern clear. I remember my father shouting, "Don't be a fool-come up! I'll buy you another ship, I can't buy another son." A moment later the yacht fell back into the old position, and then suddenly got the first direct blow from the blade of the propeller. With her 3 Vi tons of iron ballast and her port side sheered in two from the garboard to the deck, Quickstep II disappeared like a loaded crane, leaving me clinging to the bottom of the ladder with the North Sea round my legs. As she sank, she bade me farewell, and left a mark I shall carry to my grave. Her topmast shroud, sliding down the rope ladder, caught my thumb as I clung there, tearing it half off so that it hung by the muscle alone. The ladder was hauled up with me clinging to the end of it, and I was dragged over the rail to safety. No one could have been kinder to us than our Norwegian hosts, and for Cap-

/ / Quickstep II, 29 ' 6" overall, built 1904 in Essex. "! could scarcely breathe for the pleasure of owning such a dainty little lady!" said her new master. Six months later he lost her.

tain Kjoje and his crew, not forgetting his pretty daughter, no praise could be too high. They fed us right royally, and refused to let us pay even the expenses of our passage; the Captain waiving all such suggestions aside with the words, "Oh no, I could not. It is the way of the sea-your turn today; My turn, perhaps, tomorrow!" To the steward's efficient first aid I owe my thumb, for without it amputation would afterwards almost certainly have been necessary. So did our cruise come to an end, and on the Tuesday morning we were landed at North Shields. The wrecked Quickstep Illies ten fathoms down five miles south-east of the Shipwash Light, resting her poor wounded side upon the sandy botton of the North Sea, with nothing but the wheeling gulls above to mark her grave. w

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Sea History 014 - Summer 1979  

10 A CRUISE INTO THE CHESAPEAKE'S PAST, Robert H. Burgess • 12 GUIDE TO CHESAPEAKE MARITIME MUSEUMS • 13 CHESAPEAKE BAY MARITIME MUSEUM • 14...

Sea History 014 - Summer 1979  

10 A CRUISE INTO THE CHESAPEAKE'S PAST, Robert H. Burgess • 12 GUIDE TO CHESAPEAKE MARITIME MUSEUMS • 13 CHESAPEAKE BAY MARITIME MUSEUM • 14...