SEA HISTORY No. 170
NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY
THE ART, LITERATURE, ADVENTURE, LORE & LEARNING OF THE SEA
Art in the Littoral Zone with Lisa Egeli US Naval War College
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THE NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY Since its beginnings in 1963, the National Maritime Historical Society has been celebrating the sea—raising awareness of our maritime heritage and the role seafaring has played in shaping civilization. Hundreds of thousands of readers have discovered in the pages of Sea History magazine a treasure-trove of tales, past and present, that captivate, inspire, and educate us about the vital role of the sea— and those who have sailed upon it.
Our Members Members of the National Maritime Historical Society form an active and diverse constituency, promoting in myriad ways our maritime traditions and seafaring heritage. Members are the cornerstone of the Society’s success.
Our Readers For the thousands of readers of Sea History who may be reading this magazine for the first time— you might not know much about us yet. At the National Maritime Historical Society, we firmly believe that the lessons our seafaring legacy teaches—courage and respect, teamwork and self-reliance, resourcefulness and grit—are timeless. And now, it is more important than ever to bring these lessons to the next generation—tomorrow’s maritime leaders.
Connecting with All Ages To encourage the study of our heritage, NMHS proudly participates in National History Day, offering prizes in this year-long educational program for middle and high school students who complete a maritime project. Sea History for Kids, long a popular feature in the magazine, is now available online. Scholars of all ages have unprecedented access to Sea History magazine research on the Society’s website seahistory.org.
Programs & Events The Society broadens knowledge of our maritime heritage with a rich schedule of conferences, seminars and outreach events. Initiatives like Sea History’s Historic Ships on a Lee Shore and the upcoming documentary series on Ernestina-Morrissey highlight the plight of historic ships in distress and promote preservation successes. And our maritime library and archives are preserving a treasure of maritime scholarship, information, literature and lore for future generations.
Find out more about the Society and view a short video on our website at seahistory.org/about.
And thank you for your support of our mission. Whether you are a long-time member or are just picking up your first copy of Sea History, our accomplishments would not be possible without the support of people like you, seeking to raise awareness of our seafaring past and how that heritage continues to shape our world.
Become a Member >> Sign up at seahistory.org/join
10 National Maritime Awards Dinner and Washington Invitational Marine Art Exhibition The National Coast Guard Museum Association joins NMHS for the 2020 gala, where three invaluable American maritime institutions will be honored for their long history of service to the country and for the critical work they perform today. 18 $5M Maritime Heritage Grant Funding Approved by Congress! by Timothy J. Runyan Securing federal dollars for maritime heritage grants is an involved process. Maritime Heritage Alliance chair Tim Runyan reports on the latest efforts fighting for this valuable grant program. 20 Olympia, Icon of the American Navy, by John Brady The cruiser Olympia came home to a hero’s welcome after the Battle of Manila Bay. A closer look at her entire career inspires a more nuanced examination of America’s emergence as a modern naval power, and the costs of modern warfare waged with the latest technology.
independence seaport museum
29 Mayflower Sails 2020—Commemorations for the 400th Anniversary This spring the Mayflower II sails again after a major restoration to take part in festivities commemorating the quadricentennial of the transAtlantic crossing that changed history. 30 Siempre Preparado—US Revenue Cutter Algonquin in Puerto Rico, 1902–1917, by Dr. J. Edwin Nieves Intended for service on the Great Lakes and then placed under the control of the US Navy for the war against Spain, the US Revenue Cutter Algonquin nevertheless served the greater part of her career protecting the citizenry of Puerto Rico, becoming part of the community and earning their gratitude.
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26 Sail, Steam, and Stealth at the Independence Seaport Museum, by John Brady The Independence Seaport Museum interprets a variety of stories about the development of the US Navy, making it a rewarding destination for visitors of all ages and areas of interest.
34 The US Naval War College—The Navy’s “Home of Thought,” by Evan Wilson An incident in the American Civil War gave Commodore Stephen Luce an epiphany about the need for advanced education in military theory for the nation’s naval officers rising to command. The result, the US Naval War College, has trained generations of naval leaders. 38 Lisa Egeli: Life and Art at the Water’s Edge, by Kathi Ferguson Third-generation painter Lisa Egeli is moved to capture marine landscapes, often as they are in transition, undergoing change influenced by the forces of nature and human activity.
Cover: USS Olympia, 1930, Hong Kong Harbor Salute, courtesy of the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. (Read about USS Olympia on pages 20–25, and see her in person at the NMHS Annual Meeting in May. Details on pages 8–9.)
DEPARTMENTS 46 Sea History for Kids 50 Ship Notes, Seaport & Museum News 57 Calendar 59 Reviews 64 Patrons
Sea History and the National Maritime Historical Society Sea History e-mail: email@example.com; NMHS e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.seahistory.org. Ph: 914 737-7878; 800 221-NMHS MEMBERSHIP is invited. Afterguard $10,000; Benefactor $5,000; Plankowner $2,500; Sponsor $1,000; Donor $500; Patron $250; Friend $100; Regular $35. All members outside the USA please add $20 for postage. Sea History is sent to all members. Individual copies cost $4.95.
4 Deck Log 5 Letters 8 NMHS: A Cause in Motion 28 Maritime History on the Internet 44 Marine Art News
38 SEA HISTORY (issn 0146-9312) is published quarterly by the National Maritime Historical Society, 5 John Walsh Blvd., POB 68, Peekskill NY 10566 USA. Periodicals postage paid at Peekskill NY 10566 and add’l mailing offices. COPYRIGHT © 2020 by the National Maritime Historical Society. Tel: 914 737-7878. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Sea History, PO Box 68, Peekskill NY 10566.
NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Deck Log Mayflower Sails 2020—400 Years Since that Fateful Voyage
In the United States, our history is recent enough that we see few anniversaries of events past 250 years, making the quadricentennial of the Mayflower’s arrival in the New World this year a big deal, with events planned on both sides of the Atlantic. The full-sized replica Mayflower II, owned and operated by Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts, was relaunched last September after almost three years on the hard at the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport Museum, where a combined workforce of Mystic Seaport and Plimoth Plantation crewmembers conducted a full restoration of the ship. Over the winter, her crew is completing restoration projects with the ship in the water. By spring, her rig and equipment will be installed and she’ll be ready for sea. In May, under the command of Capt. Whit Perry, Mayflower II will return to Massachusetts for a once-ina-lifetime event, when USS Constitution will escort her from Boston Harbor to the Charlestown Navy Yard for a six-day maritime festival. At the festival’s conclusion, Mayflower II will set sail for home in Plymouth, where scores of wellwishers will be able to see the ship from shore as she approaches the harbor on 21 May and Plimoth Plantation will host its own commemoration. See page 29 for details and a list of websites that will update information on events and activities as they become available. The Mayflower Sails 2020 and Plymouth 400 events provide a great opportunity to learn more about this Mayflower II pivotal moment in history beyond what most of us were taught in grade school. Who were the Mayflower Pilgrims, and why did they brave danger and hardships to venture across a barely charted ocean and settle in a territory they knew next to nothing about? While you are waiting for warmer weather this spring, perhaps prepare by tucking into a good book on the subject. There are some excellent selections to choose from: Nathaniel Philbrick’s Mayflower is a must-read; Mayflower and Her Passengers, by Caleb H. Johnson, and The Mayflower: The Families, the Voyage, and the Founding of America, by Rebecca Fraser, are relatively recent books covering different aspects of the story. A handful of contemporary accounts are still in print: Of Plymouth Plantation, by William Bradford; Mourt’s Relation (anonymous), or Good News From New England, by Edward Winslow, are all available by major booksellers. You can also go online to find out about the programs scheduled both here and abroad (groups in England and the Netherlands are also organizing major events to commemorate the voyage)—we will provide a list of many of these programs at www.seahistory.org/Mayflower2020. Mayflower II may not be the original ship that carried the Pilgrims to the New World, but at 63 years old she is, perhaps, old enough—and her role in maritime heritage significant enough—to qualify as a historic ship in her own right. Plimoth Plantation is to be congratulated for taking such care of this vessel, which has helped keep the maritime aspect of this early part of our American history alive for visitors young and old. —Burchenal Green, NMHS president 4
NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY PUBLISHER’S CIRCLE: Peter Aron, Guy E. C. Maitland, Ronald L. Oswald OFFICERS & TRUSTEES: Chairman, Ronald L. Oswald; Vice Chairman, Richardo R. Lopes; President, Burchenal Green; Vice Presidents: Jessica MacFarlane, Deirdre O’Regan, Wendy Paggiotta, Nancy Schnaars; Treasurer, Howard Slotnick; Secretary, Jean Wort; Trustees: Charles B. Anderson; Walter R. Brown; Christopher J. Culver; William S. Dudley; David Fowler; William Jackson Green; Karen Helmerson; Denise Krepp; Richard M. Larrabee; Guy E. C. Maitland; CAPT Sally Chin McElwreath, USN (Ret.); Michael W. Morrow; CAPT James A. Noone, USN (Ret.); Richard Patrick O’Leary; ADM Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG (Ret.); Timothy J. Runyan; Richard Scarano; Philip J. Shapiro; Capt. Cesare Sorio; William H. White; Chairmen Emeriti: Walter R. Brown, Alan G. Choate, Guy E. C. Maitland, Howard Slotnick; Trustee Elect, Capt. Jeffrey McAllister FOUNDER: Karl Kortum (1917–1996) PRESIDENT EMERITUS: Peter Stanford (1927–2016) OVERSEERS: Chairman, RADM David C. Brown, USMS (Ret.); RADM Joseph F. Callo, USN (Ret.); George W. Carmany III; Clive Cussler; Richard du Moulin; Alan D. Hutchison; Gary Jobson; Sir Robin Knox-Johnston; John Lehman; Capt. Brian McAllister; Capt. James J. McNamara; H. C. Bowen Smith; John Stobart; Philip J. Webster; Roberta Weisbrod NMHS ADVISORS: George Bass, Francis Duffy, John Ewald, Timothy Foote, Steven A. Hyman, J. Russell Jinishian, Gunnar Lundeberg, Conrad Milster, William G. Muller, Stuart Parnes, Nancy Hughes Richardson, Joyce Huber SEA HISTORY EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Chairman, Timothy Runyan; Norman Brouwer, Robert Browning, William Dudley, Lisa Egeli, Daniel Finamore, Kevin Foster, Cathy Green, John Jensen, Frederick Leiner, Joseph Meany, Salvatore Mercogliano, Carla Rahn Phillips, Walter Rybka, Quentin Snediker, William H. White NMHS STAFF: Executive Director, Burchenal Green; Director of Development, Jessica MacFarlane; Comptroller, Anjoeline Osuyah; Membership Associate, Andrea Ryan; Membership Coordinator, Nancy Schnaars; Senior Staff Writer: Shelley Reid; Executive Assistant, Heather Purvis; Membership Assistant, Irene Eisenfeld SEA HISTORY: Editor, Deirdre E. O’Regan; Advertising Director, Wendy Paggiotta Sea History is printed by The Lane Press, South Burlington, Vermont, USA.
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
From the editor: Mr. Hitchcock and I further corresponded about the claim of wild animals in Australia being considered dangerous or
Please email correspondence to: email@example.com
not. He explains his take on that here: “The only carnivorous animal with a savage reputation that I know of is the Tasmanian Devil that is confined to Tasmania. It is about as big as a house cat and it has no reputation for harming people. The cassowary bird has been known to harm people on rare occasions, but lives only in the rainforests of northern Queensland and is a shy creature. Australia has more deadly spiders and snakes than any other country but encounters with people are rare. For the indigenous people, when Captain Cook sailed into Botany Bay in 1770, it was the first time they had seen Europeans, and they took no notice of them and continued with their activities, such as gathering sea shells. When the British founded the colony in Sydney Cove in 1788, again it was the first time the natives had seen Europeans and they simply went on about their tasks, again, showing no interest. The native people there had no notion of property ownership, and skirmishes with the settlers often occurred when they helped themselves to the crops and other belongings.” Transcribing Old Logbooks I enjoyed Mia Sigler’s article in the last issue of Sea History, “‘When We See Whales’—Transcribing Captain Lawrence’s Logbook,” as it is germane to what we are doing at the New Bedford Whaling Museum today. A few years ago, I joined as a
volunteer working in the Digital Initiatives Dept. along with several other volunteers. Our job has been transcribing whaling ship logbooks and, more recently, whaling ship crew lists. We have been working on scores of crew lists and a number of logbooks that quite literally bring history alive. As Ms. Sigler noted in her article, the information gleaned from these logs that date back to the early 1800s is still being analyzed by agencies and institutions that are looking at weather, tides, temperatures, currents, etc... Even now, valuable information from
new bedford whaling museum
When the British Arrived in Australia One of my ancestors, my great-great grandfather Edward Goodin, was a convict transported to Australia on the Scarborough, one of the eleven British ships in the First Fleet that sailed into Sydney Cove to found the British colony of New South Wales on January 26, 1788. Conditions were harsh on the voyage, and it is recorded that he was punished with 50 lashes of the cat-ofnine-tails for playing cards with another convict. The name Australia was not given to the island continent until years later by Captain Matthew Flinders, who was the first to circumnavigate and name the continent. The Swan River colony was founded in 1829 at Fremantle and Perth to prevent the French from establishing a settlement there. Perth eventually became the capital city of Western Australia. The article by Erika Cosme in the Winter 2019–20 issue of Sea History regarding the Catalpa Incident that includes information on the transporting of convicts to Australia has a few errors that I would like to correct. The statement that the First Fleet sailed into Fremantle Harbor in 1850 is incorrect. I don’t know what ship or ships sailed into Fremantle Harbor in 1850, but it wasn’t the First Fleet. The statement that the last convict ship to bring convicts to Western Australia in 1868 is correct, except that it was the last ship to bring convicts to Australia, not just Western Australia, eighty years after arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove. The statement that the uncharted wilderness was infested with dangerous animals and hostile natives is incorrect. There are no dangerous animals in Australia. The natives were not hostile. Mostly, they paid no attention to white intruders, and, if they did interact, they probably would have been friendly and helpful in finding food and water for them to enable survival in the harsh conditions. Any conflict with the natives was usually initiated by the white people. Overall I found the article very interesting covering a subject that is mostly new to me. Barry Hitchcock Scarborough, ON, Canada.
We Welcome Your Feedback!
Pages from logbook of the whaler William Baker, dated November 21st, 1838. these old records is helping in the efforts to monitor our changing atmosphere. Our transcription work is being done in conjunction with Mystic Seaport Museum, and together the two institutions have created a website, www.whalinghistory.org, if anyone should be interested in going further into the subject of logbooks and
Join Us for a Voyage into History Our seafaring heritage comes alive in the pages of Sea History, from the ancient mariners of Greece to Portuguese navigators opening up the ocean world to the heroic efforts of sailors in modern-day conflicts. Each issue brings new insights and discoveries. If you love the sea, rivers, lakes, and
bays—if you appreciate the legacy of those who sail in deep water and their workaday craft, then you belong with us.
Mail in the form below, phone 1 800 221-NMHS (6647), or visit us at: www.seahistory.org (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Yes, I want to join the Society and receive Sea History quarterly. My contribution is enclosed. ($17.50 is for Sea History; any amount above that is tax deductible.) Sign me up as: $35 Regular Member $100 Friend 170 $250 Patron $500 Donor Mr./Ms. _____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ZIP_______________ Return to: National Maritime Historical Society, PO Box 68, Peekskill, NY 10566
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020 5
other information on any number of whaling ships, their voyages and crews. Captain Robert Hussey, USMM (Ret.) Addison, Vermont
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What Brought About the Demise of Great Lakes Shipping? I found Joel Stone’s article, “Fighting Head Winds, not Windshields,” in Sea History 169 an interesting read. He makes a number of good points concerning increased labor cost leading to the demise of Great Lakes “Less than Container Load” (LCL) shipping. However, I fear he does not give enough credit to the truck in destroying the Great Lakes LCL shipping. His focus was on long distance movement of LCL goods by truck, which in truth had little effect on Great Lakes shipping in the early part of the 20th century. What he overlooked was the partnership that developed during this period between the railroads and the trucking industry in moving LCL shipments, the Railroad Express Agency (REA). The cost of moving LCL by combined REA truck/train operations was far less than the cost of using a combination of boat and horse and wagon to move LCL goods. The REA truck could daily cover a larger geographic area than a horse-pulled wagon. REA thus provided cheaper and faster LCL service than Great Lakes overnight shipping could. During the 1960s the trucking industry, in the form of FedEx and UPS, deserted the railroads for the airline industry for moving LCL long distance. This FedEx/airline partnership quickly led to the end of overnight passenger train, just like REA/train partnership ended overnight Great Lakes passenger ship service. You continue to provide a nice mix of articles and great information in your sidebar comments. Charles H. Bogart Frankfort, Kentucky NMHS and Saving Historic Ships– In It For the Long Haul Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your excellent email article about the John W. Brown (Sea History Today,* sent by email on 5 December 2019) and her dire need for a permanent berth. I also greatly appreciate your consistent dedication to the
preservation and promotion of the Brown that goes back to at least 1978 with the creation of “Liberty Ship Preservation” by NMHS (and here’s the announcement!).
As a student in the 1960s, some of the best days of my youth were spent aboard my schoolship in the company of a fraternity of my fellow students and some of the finest men I’ve ever known for instructors. The vast reach that the readership of Sea History and our large and diversified membership has added immensely to the efforts by Project Liberty Ship and the John W. Brown Alumni Association to reach as many people in our Maritime Community as possible. Rick Lai John W. Brown Alumni Association Copper Hill, Virginia The WWII Liberty Ship John W. Brown was faced with a potential crisis in the last several months, as she was being evicted from her longtime home pier in Baltimore. But there is good news! The ship has found a new berth and will share the pier with NS Savannah, the world’s first nuclear-powered combination cargo and passenger ship. The new address is at Pier 13, 4601 Newgate Avenue, Baltimore. Further information can be found at the ship’s website (www.ssjohnwbrown.org). *Sea History Today is a biweekly e-newsletter written by Shelley Reid, NMHS senior staff writer. Sign up to receive Sea History Today and other maritime news at www. seahistory.org/signup, and join thousands of fellow enthusiasts who are raising awareness of our seafaring heritage and creating a constituency to advocate for our maritime legacy. SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
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A CAUSE IN MOTION National Maritime Historical Society 2020 Annual Meeting • 8–10 May in Philadelphia The NMHS Board of Trustees and program chair Walter Brown are delighted to invite members of the National Maritime Historical Society to join us for an informative and entertaining activity-packed annual meeting in Philadelphia. The 57th annual meeting will be held on Saturday, 9 May at Independence Seaport Museum on historic Penn’s Landing along the Delaware River. We will enjoy a continental breakfast during registration, with the business meeting immediately following. Leaders from the local maritime heritage community will then give presentations highlighting maritime history and activity in and around Philadelphia. Museum of the American Revolution
Becuna and Olympia
gazela photo by doug whitman, courtesy philadelphia ship preservation guild; penn’s landing ships and museum of the american revolution photos by j. fusco, courtesy visit philadelphia
We’ll hear from John Brady, Independence Seaport Museum president, on its efforts to restore the 1892 protected cruiser USS Olympia, Admiral Dewey’s flagship from the Battle of Manila Bay. Leadership from the SS United States Conservancy will share some of the ship’s notable stories and the Conservancy’s
ss united states conservancy
SS United States
plans for the future of the famed liner, berthed just down the river at Pier 82. Melissa Black-Simmons, president of the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild, will tell us about the 1901 barquentine Gazela Primeiro and highlight some of the Guild’s educational programs. Gazela and the 1902 tug Jupiter are berthed a stone’s throw from the museum along Penn’s Landing. We’ll also hear from Tyler Putman, Gallery Interpretation Manager at the Museum of the American Revolution, and from CEO
Philip Rowan of the Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial on this impressive 887-foot long, 45,000-ton, decorated 1942 battleship. After a luncheon in the museum’s ballroom, we will have the opportunity to experience one of the nation’s largest maritime art and artifact collections in North America (see pages 26–27 for details about Independence Seaport Museum). John Brady and museum docents will lead tours onboard US Navy cruiser Olympia and access will be provided to the WWII submarine Becuna, both docked a short walk from the museum. While we are at Penn’s Landing, the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild has also invited attendees to come down to see Jupiter from the dock and then climb aboard and check out Gazela. The fee to attend the annual meeting is $75 per person and includes all of the presentations and tours, and breakfast and lunch. Following the day’s events, you are invited to celebrate the 125th anniversary of cruiser Olympia’s commissioning at the Independence Seaport Museum 2020 Waterfront Gala where, we are delighted to announce, NMHS president Burchenal Green will be honored with the 2020 Independence Seaport Museum Award for Maritime Preservation in honor of her commitment to protecting America’s historic ships and promoting our maritime heritage. This is a wonderful opportunity to support the critical preservation work that keeps Olympia afloat, and to join in honoring our president. The cost of the gala, discounted for annual meeting attendees, is $300.
Accommodations: We have booked a block of rooms at Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, adjacent to Independence Seaport Museum and ideally located within walking distance of all the weekend’s activities. Rooms are reserved from 7–10 May at the rate of $219/night, plus applicable taxes. Garage parking is $35 per vehicle per night. The room block is set aside for reservations under the group name “NMHS” until 9 April, or until all the rooms have been booked. Reservations can be made online by going to www.seahistory.org/annualmeeting2020 and clicking “Accommodations,” or by phone at (215) 521-6537. The Philadelphia waterfront is a popular destination in May, and we encourage you to make your reservations right away. 8
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Battleship New Jersey
courtesy visit philadelphia
On Friday, 8 May, join us for a short ferry ride across the Delaware River to Camden, New Jersey, where we’ll enjoy lunch on the fantail of the Battleship New Jersey and take a tour of the Admiral’s and Captain’s cabins and the warship’s 16-inch turrets and other weapons systems, communications center, navigational bridge, wardroom, berthing areas, and more. The cost of the ferry, lunch, and tour is $40. Finally, on Sunday, 10 May, join us for a 10am guided tour of the Museum of the American Revolution, where the ideas, events, and legacies of our nation’s revolutionary beginnings are explored through innovative and interactive exhibits. NMHS chairman Ronald Oswald encourages you to join us in this wonderful city with so many historic ships and maritime cultural sites for the fabulous presentations and activities we’ve planned for the meeting. For the National Maritime Historical Society to flourish and grow, it is important that its leaders and
members gather to share ideas to chart the Society’s course into the future. This support and interaction have kept us vital for more than half a century, and it is never more important than right now. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, and to register, please visit www.seahistory.org/annualmeet ing2020. We look forward to seeing you in Philly!
This was not business as usual. On a spring day in 2010, leaders within the maritime USS Olympia heritage community were called to the Independence Seaport Museum (ISM) for an August 1899 all-hands effort to save Olympia from a fate of being towed out to sea and scuttled. The ISM board could no longer afford to maintain her and fund the restoration the ship desperately needed, and there was a real fear that she could sink at the dock. Just down the street, the Liberty Bell sat in state, an old cracked bell, but an icon of great worth to Americans. Would it ever be dumped into the ocean? Olympia would have certainly caused a bigger splash, literally, were she to be scuttled, but it was of paramount importance that this potential travesty be averted and that she, too, be recognized for her importance to US history. Historic ship stewards and preservationists came from all around the country and brainstormed on how to save her. Should she stay in Philadelphia, or would a different city be able to provide the resources to restore the storied ship? USS Olympia is the oldest surviving steel-hulled warship in the world and the oldest steel American warship still afloat. When the US and Spain declared war on each other in 1898, Olympia was the flagship of the Asiatic Squadron based in Hong Kong. The squadron was immediately dispatched to the Spanish-ruled Philippines, where Olympia would soon gain worldwide fame from a single engagement with the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. It was from Olympia’s bridge during the battle that Commodore George Dewey gave the command, “You may fire when ready, Gridley,” which in time became one of the most famous commands uttered in US naval history. The Battle of Manila Bay is considered one of the most decisive naval battles in history and resulted in the end of more than three centuries of Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines. This battle also marked the emergence of the United States as a world power, and Dewey and the Olympia became instant national heroes. In 1921 Olympia was chosen to carry the body of the Unknown Soldier from WWI home from France; the next year, the ship was decommissioned and soon largely forgotten until she was nearly scrapped in the 1950s—and Philadelphia residents rallied to save her. In 2010, Olympia was once again in peril and the maritime community geared up to save the ship and find her a home. By 2014, after extensive research and feasibility studies were conducted by outside groups, the board of Independence Seaport Museum decided that Philadelphia was indeed the best home for the ship; they set up a program to keep Olympia at the museum under the leadership of John Brady. Emergency repairs were made to secure the ship. In 2016 the Flagship Olympia Foundation was created to provide funding for the restoration, preservation, and improvement of Olympia in collaboration with the museum, and in 2017, ISM embarked on an ambitious national campaign to raise $20 million to dry-dock the Olympia and address waterline deterioration of the hull. A decade after that fateful call to save the ship, she is in good hands. As ships are perishable artifacts, their care is never finished; there is critical work to be done and that requires Americans to step up to support her. You can read about USS Olympia’s role in history and as a museum ship in the 21st century in this issue: see pages 20–25. We encourage you to join us 8–10 May for the NMHS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia to learn more about her firsthand from the museum professionals in charge of her care and then see the ship in person. —Burchenal Green, NMHS president
independence seaport museum
Preserving USS Olympia
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The 2020 National Maritime Awards Dinner
The National Press Club • 23 April • Washington, DC
he National Maritime Historical Society, in association with the National Coast Guard Museum Association and the Naval Historical Foundation, invite you to join us at the 10th Annual National Maritime Awards Dinner to honor the United States merchant marine, the United States Naval Academy, and the United States Coast Guard Aviation Association. Dinner chairs Denise Krepp and VADM Al Konetzni, USN (Ret.), and founding chairman Philip Webster hope to welcome you at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on Thursday, 23 April 2020 as we celebrate these three iconic maritime institutions.
United States Naval Academy
library of congress
The United States Naval Academy celebrates its 175th anniversary and will be recognized with the NMHS Distinguished Service Award. Founded on 10 October 1845, the United States Naval Academy has educated tens of thousands of Navy and Marine Corps officers whose leadership has helped defend the nation and the world for generations. VADM Sean Buck, USN, Superintendent of the Academy, will accept the award. As the undergraduate college of our country’s naval service, the Naval Academy prepares young men and women to become professional officers of competence, character, and compassion in the US Navy and Marine Corps. Naval Academy students are midshipmen on active duty in the US Navy. They attend the academy for four years, graduating with Bachelor of Science degrees and commissions as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps. Naval Academy graduates serve at least five years in the Navy or Marine Corps. The US Naval Academy was started when George Bancroft, during his brief one-month tenure as Secretary of the Navy under President James Polk, established the Naval School at a ten-acre Army post at Fort Severn in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1845 with 50 midshipmen and seven professors. The original curriculum included mathematics and navigation, gunnery and steam, chemistry, English, natural philosophy, and French. In 1850 the Naval School became the United States Naval Academy, and a new curriculum
usn photo by mass comm. specialist 1st class chad runge
national press club
This lively annual gathering of America’s maritime community in our nation’s capital is an opportunity to salute our country’s maritime heritage while we honor three American institutions that epitomize the maritime history of the United States and for generations have been in the forefront of supporting the nation’s maritime commerce, defense, and security. This year gives us an occasion to not only recognize these distinguished services, but also to commemorate important anniversary milestones in these institutions’ histories.
Bancroft Hall on the US Naval Academy campus in 1919. With six wings added on in subsequent building phases, Bancroft Hall is now the largest dormitory in the world. 10
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
us navy photo by mass comm. specialist 1st class chad runge
went into effect requiring midshipmen to study at the Academy for four years and to train aboard ships each summer. As the US Navy grew over the years, the Academy expanded, the campus increased to 338 acres, and the student body grew to a brigade size of 4,000. Eventually modern granite buildings replaced the old wooden structures of Fort Severn. The entire campus, known as “the Yard,” is a National Historic Landmark and home to many historic sites, buildings, and monuments, including the tomb of John Paul Jones. The development of the United States Naval Academy reflects the history of the country; as America has changed culturally and technologically, so has the Naval Academy. The Navy moved from a fleet of sail and steam-powered ships to a high-tech fleet with nuclear-powered submarines and surface ships and supersonic aircraft. The Academy has evolved as well, US Naval Academy Varsity Offshore Sailing Team (VOST) practicing giving midshipmen state-of- the-art academic and professional for an upcoming regatta. VOST provides an ideal platform for teamtraining and opportunities they need to be effective naval ofbuilding, development of seamanship and small unit leadership skills. ficers in their future careers. The Naval Academy also provides an exceptional training for our future leaders, introducing midshipmen to a range of skills and preparing them for a life of service, readying them to contribute as professionals in a variety of arenas—military, government, or the private sector. To date, more than 26 graduates have served in the US Congress, and more than 900 are noted scholars from a variety of academic fields, including 52 Rhodes scholars. Distinguished graduates include two Nobel prize winners, 54 astronauts, 73 Medal of Honor recipients, five state governors, and one US president.
Dave Yoho, veteran US merchant marine, will accept the award.
photo by jill johnston, courtesy jo geise
On the 245th anniversary of its founding, the US merchant marine— all those who have served to make our nation strong, will be collectively honored with the NMHS Distinguished Service Award. Dave Yoho, who served in the merchant marine in the Pacific during World War II, will accept the award. The flag of the merchant marine reads “In Peace and War,” which reflects the dual nature of our nation’s merchant marine to support trade during times of peace, and to act in a supporting role in times of war as a naval auxiliary to deliver troops and materiel. Months before the nation declared its independence, the Second Continental Congress authorized the creation of the Continental Navy on 13 October 1775. Constructing the first warships would take time, and in order to create an immediate force, Congress looked to the commercial docks of Philadelphia. American merchant ships and their mariners adopted the banColumbia River Bar Pilot Capt. Deb Dempsey ner of the Continental Navy, vessels were transformed into warships, men became sailors, and the merchant marine was formed. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, established the relationship between the merchant marine and the military, designed to ensure the operation of American ships on international routes and provide protection for the coastal trade. The Merchant Marine Act of 1936 provided “for the national defense... that the United States shall have a merchant marine of the best equipped and most suitable types of vessels sufficient to carry the greater portion of its commerce and serve as a naval or military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency....” During World War II the fleet was nationalized, and the US government controlled the cargo and the destinations, contracted with private
courtesy dave yoho
library of congress
US Merchant Marine
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library of congress
companies to operate the ships, and put guns and Navy personnel on board. Today the US Maritime Administration, under the Department of Transportation, handles programs that administer and finance the US merchant marine. This includes the United States Maritime Service, which helps to train officers and crew on merchant ships. The United States merchant marine is made up of American civilian mariners and a fleet of US civilian and federally owned merchant vessels. The commercial fleet includes privately owned, oceangoing, and self-propelled vessels of 1,000 gross register tons and above that carry cargo from port to port, as well as passenger ships. The federal fleet includes Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships and the National Defense Reserve Fleet. The
South Portland shipyard, Maine, 1942. Military Sealift Command, an arm of the Navy, serves the Department of Defense as the ocean carrier of materiel during peacetime and war, transporting equipment, fuel, ammunition, and other goods essential to United States armed forces worldwide. The American merchant marine is vital to the Armed Forces and helps keep our economy moving. port of los angeles
The National Maritime Historical Society Distinguished Service Award is presented to individuals and organizations, who, through their effort and creativity, have made outstanding contributions to our maritime heritage.
Coast Guard Aviation Association
Curtiss SOC-4 “Seagull” The SOC was designed for use by the US Navy as a scout aircraft for battleships and cruisers, capable of catapult operation and landing at sea. The Coast Guard acquired the final three produced by Curtiss in 1938. 12
The Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl, known formally as the Coast Guard Aviation Association, will receive the National Coast Guard Museum Association’s Alexander Hamilton Award on the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the first Coast Guard Air Station at Morehead City, NC. Captain Michael D. Emerson, USCG (Ret.), president of the Coast Guard Aviation Association, will accept the award. ADM James M. Loy, USCG (Ret.), 21st Commandant of the Coast Guard, will make the presentation. “Flying Since the World Was Flat,” the Coast Guard Aviation Association is dedicated to the preservation of Coast Guard aviation history from its earliest period to the present day. Founded in 1977, the organization focuses on the recognition of individuals and aircrews who distinguish themselves in the performance of operational missions and critical support. In times of urgent need, the Coast Guard Aviation Association supports families affected by losses on flight operations. Its membership comprises
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
Lt. Cmdr. Frank Erickson flew the first helicopter rescue mission in history. (right) Erickson (standing) with Ensign Walter Bolton in an HNS-1, a USCG Sikorsky “Hoverfly,” in April 1944.
uscg historian’s office
The National Coast Guard Museum Association’s Alexander Hamilton Award, named for the founder of the US Revenue Cutter Service, a predecessor of the US Coast Guard, honors unwavering Search and Rescue (SAR) is one of the Coast Guard’s old- commitment to and support est missions and involves multi-mission stations, cutters, of the National Coast Guard aircraft, and boats linked by communications networks. Museum.
uscg photo by lt. scott handlin
active duty officers and enlisted, retired and former Coast Guard aviation personnel, and supporters. Coast Guard aviation came into being in 1920, five years after President Woodrow Wilson signed the Act to Create the United States Coast Guard on 28 January 1915. Initially Coast Guard aircraft were to assist cutters in search and rescue. In 1920 the first Coast Guard Air Station at Morehead City, North Carolina, opened, operating with six Curtiss HS-2L flying boats borrowed from the US Navy. The location was deemed best suited to prove the worth of Coast Guard aviation because, “it was closer to the Graveyard of the Atlantic at Cape Hatteras, where there would be more opportunities to locate vessels in distress, derelict menaces to navigation, and vessels ashore on Diamond Shoals, Lookout Shoals, and Frying Pan Shoals.” The ability to patrol the inlets, bays, and open seas was well A Coast Guard C-27J out of Sacramento flies along the California coastline. demonstrated, and the air station proved its worth; however, it closed in 1922 when Congress didn’t appropriate the funds for its continued operation. Coast Guard aviation struggled in its early years, until the first permanent Coast Guard Air Station was established at Cape May, New Jersey, in 1926. The History of Coast Guard aviation is a testimony to its evolution and achievements in completing its first 100 years of service. Its members have willfully placed themselves in harm’s way to serve as Coast Guard aviation crew members. The award to them is richly deserved.
oin us for this incredible evening. Sailor, commentator, author and America’s Cup champion Gary Jobson will serve as master of ceremonies. NMHS Vice Chairman Richardo Lopes and Voyage Digital Media will present video introductions on awardees. Guests will enjoy a special performance by the US Naval Academy Riveters directed by Dr. Aaron Smith. The Combined Sea Services Color Guard will present colors. Hotel Block: We have booked a block of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn at 815 14th Street NW, two blocks from the National Press Club, from 22–25 April at $269 per night (plus applicable taxes). This block is available until 25 March or until it is sold out, whichever comes first. You can find the link for hotel reservations on the NMHS website. If you are making your hotel reservation by phone, be sure to use the Group Code “NAT”– Ph. 202 783-7800.
Attire is business/cocktail. Tickets start at $300 and sponsorships range from $1,000 to $50,000 for much-appreciated support. We are particularly grateful to our underwriters, VADM Al Konetzni, USN (Ret.), and NMHS Chairman Emeritus Howard Slotnick. Please check our website at www. seahistory.org/washington2020 for more information or to make your reservations. Or call 914 737-7878, extension 0.
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National M aritime Awards Dinner
Washington Invitational Marine Art Exhibition
exhibition images courtesy of the artists
NMHS is honored to present the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) Invitational Artists Gallery at the 2020 National Maritime Awards Dinner. Thanks to the leadership of artist Patrick O’Brien, we offer guests an exclusive opportunity to meet the artists, preview their paintings, and perhaps make an investment in a significant work. Founding NMAD chairman Philip Webster has already purchased the painting that will be highlighted on the cover of this year’s dinner journal, a historic waterfront scene ably interpreted on canvas by Patrick O’Brien. He wrote to the artist, “I purchased your beautiful Potomac scene, Washington in 1899, in advance of our National Maritime Awards Dinner art exhibition. I have always wanted to add a Patrick O’Brien painting to my maritime art collection, and this will be a wonderful addition. It is intended for our youngest son, who loves the water, enjoys sailing, was a chase boat captain on the Potomac for his daughter’s high school rowing team, and has worked in Washington. This painting—with its images of Washington, the river, and rowing—will really be meaningful to him when it is passed on.” ASMA artists are a remarkably talented and knowledgeable resource, providing us with a visual record as they make maritime history and the seas come to life through their compelling images. This year’s featured artists include Laura Cooper, Lisa Egeli, Neal Hughes, Loretta Krupinski, Richard Loud, Patrick O’Brien, Len Mizerek, and Sergio Roffo. NMHS played a role in the Washington in 1899 by Patrick O’Brien founding of ASMA back in 1978 with an aim to “recognize, encourage, and promote marine art and maritime history.” If you see a painting here or on the NMHS website (www.seahistory.org/washington2020) that you’d like to purchase, contact the National Maritime Historical Society via email at email@example.com or by calling NMHS headquarters at 914 737-7878, ext. 0. Paintings sold in advance will be displayed as “Sold” at the event. Check back as the date approaches for additional works that will be posted as they become available. One quarter of the proceeds (25%) will benefit the National Maritime Historical Society and the National Coast Guard Museum Association, and is tax deductible. Enjoy this sneak preview and consider making one of them yours!
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
Heading Home, Schooner Wendameen by Loretta Krupinski, oil on canvas • 15 x 22 inches • $4,500 “The elegance and beauty of a classic yacht has a sculptural look, done in wood and bronze. ... I like the water in all kinds of weather. Any artist knows the importance of painting what you know. To be a marine artist you have to be a ‘wharf rat.’ You have to know clouds, wind, weather, lighting, water conditions, sailing experience, and yacht designs.” —LK
(preceding page) Guardian of the Republic: USS Constitution on Patrol by Patrick O’Brien oil on canvas • 24 x 36 inches • $14,000 “USS Constitution was built in Boston in 1797, one of the original six frigates built for the newly established US Navy. During the War of 1812, ‘Old Ironsides’ won several important victories over the British, demonstrating that the new American Navy could stand up to the greatest sea power in the world. Of the original six frigates, only Constitution remains; she is the oldest commissioned warship afloat and is designated America’s Ship of State.” —PO’B
Sunset on the Dunes by Sergio Roffo oil on canvas • 10 x 18 inches • $5,500 “I worked as freelance illustrator for art directors. They were very demanding about meeting deadlines, but not nearly as demanding as the sun, which forces you to complete a study before the shadows change.” —SR
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Crossing Tacks: New York 50s in Long Island Sound, 1920 by Laura Cooper oil • 16 x 18 inches • $6,800 “When the New York 50s came out in 1913, they were the largest class of one design yachts ever built. Fifty feet at the waterline but 72 feet LOA, they drew almost 10 feet of water. Nine were ordered that first year and were sailed with a captain, two sailors, and a steward.” —LC
Herreshoff S-Class, Quissett, Cape Cod, c. 1932 by Richard Loud, oil on linen • 15 x 27 inches • $8,800 “The Herreshoff S-Class sloop debuted in 1920, and the 27.5-foot one design is still fiercely competitive today. The fleet in Quissett started with 14 boats in 1928. Today, seven are actively sailed and raced out of Quissett Harbor.”—RL
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Heading Home by Leonard Mizerek, oil • 12 x 24 inches • $3,200 “Schooners under sail on the open sea is a reoccurring subject in my work. Knowing my subject well gave me the freedom to concentrate on the effects of atmosphere and light in this painting. The concentration of warm light against the patterns of sails helped me capture this effect. The graceful movement of ships under sail gives me endless inspiration.” —LM
Morning on the River by Neal Hughes oil on canvas 14 x 18 inches $3,200
“My goal is to elevate the everyday and the ordinary and to allow the viewer to see beauty that might otherwise be missed. My hope is that all who see my work will experience the joy and beauty that I experience while creating it. As Plato once put it, I believe that ‘when we experience beauty, we are given a glimpse of the divine.’” —NH SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020 17
$5M Maritime Heritage Grant Funding Approved by Congress! by Timothy J. Runyan, PhD
Chair, National Maritime Alliance; Trustee, National Maritime Historical Society
n 20 December, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allocates national defense funding for fiscal year 2020, was signed into law. We were pleased to see that a provision that authorizes the Secretary of Defense to provide up to $5 million for the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program was included in the bill and was subsequently approved by the US House of Representatives and Senate. This is a huge victory for the maritime heritage community, and those who responded to our appeals to contact senators and representatives to urge their support
should feel gratified that their efforts paid off. Our grassroots effort over the past year was critical in achieving success. Thank you. We also thank the Navy League for supporting the provision; they proved to be a great partner in this mission. Our champion in this effort is Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY) from Buffalo, and his staff, led by Legislative Director Kayla Williams. New York senators Schumer and Gillibrand also supported the provision, as did members from across the country from both houses and parties. The final NDAA was changed substantially during the several months of conference in the House
“From the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, to Long Island’s Stepping Stones Lighthouse, New York State is home to some of the most breathtaking maritime features in the nation that play an essential role in teaching countless New Yorkers of our state’s proud maritime and naval history,” said US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “That’s why I’m so thrilled to announce that I’ve successfully pushed to include a dedicated funding allocation for the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program in the final NDAA. For the first time ever, this essential grant program will be funded by the federal purse, ensuring that more of New York’s maritime treasures can be restored and protected for the long-term future.”
and Senate to iron out differences in their defense bills. The section providing the $5M grant funding was included in the final bill. This is the first time direct federal funding for the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program has been requested. Until now, the grant program has been funded entirely from a percentage of the profits the Maritime Administration (MARAD) takes in from the scrapping or recycling of ships of the National Defense Reserve Fleet, a provision of the National Maritime Heritage Act we fought for 25 years ago. That source is projected to yield approximately $1.35 million for 2020. While just over a million dollars is nothing to squawk at, it is down considerably from past years, when the program provided $10 million in grant funds over four years, then zero funding this past year. The $5 million provided through the Department of Defense is in addition to the MARAD funding. The grant program will continue to be administered by the National Park Service Maritime Heritage Program.
Next Steps Our job is not completed. The authorization of this $5M came at the tail end of the year, too late to be included in the FY2020 appropriations bill. Although Congress authorized the $5M in 2019, it still must be appropriated. This requires support by the House and Senate appropriations committees. Frustrating! Looking ahead, we have already begun advocating for the
inclusion of funding for the Maritime Heritage Grant Program in the FY2021 authorization and appropriation bills. Before we despair that a victory was achieved (authorization by Congress), only to learn it did not produce the result we expected for 2020, we need to acknowledge that within the American political system, achieving the final victory is not an event,
One reason for optimism comes from the press releases issued by Schumer, Gillibrand, and Higgins on 12 December 2019: National Defense Bill Authorizes New, Critical Funding for National Maritime Heritage Grant Program Program Honors Nation’s Maritime History by Supporting Preservation and Public Awareness Projects Washington, DC—US Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Congressman Brian Higgins (DNY-26) today announced that following their push, the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes their provision to increase funding for the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program. The National Maritime Heritage Grant Program helps celebrate and honor the nation’s maritime legacy by funding projects that preserve and boost public awareness of the maritime heritage in the United States. 18
but a process. We will not let this keep us from forging ahead, with the ongoing financial support of the grant program as our goal. The key initiative was achieved—
“New York State has a rich maritime military history that centers like the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park help to preserve and celebrate. Through them, New Yorkers and tourists are able to see and gain a real appreciation for the naval vessels that our service members fought on,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “That’s why I’m pleased that this year’s final NDAA includes a dedicated stream of funding for the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program. This will help ensure that our country’s storied maritime history can continue to be preserved for generations to come.” SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
Rep. Brian Higgins: “This effort began following a conversation I had with Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park leadership at a veteran event this summer discussing the needs of our floating museums here on Buffalo’s waterfront and across the country. Based on their advocacy, I put forward an amendment to the NDAA, which was included in the House bill approved in July and led by Senators Schumer and Gillibrand in the final conference report. While just a first step in establishing continuous funding for this competitive grant program, we are hopeful this will provide a pool of resources to help maintain our historic vessels here in Western New York, and preserve the stories of these ships and their missions for the visitors of today and tomorrow.” the $5M was included in the authorization bill. That required major support within the House and Senate, and my recent meetings with congressional staff were encouraging. They have told me they anticipate that the $5M will be authorized and appropriated in the FY2021 bills. I am also pleased to report an outburst of bipartisanship! Rep. Brian Higgins (DNY) and Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC) cosigned a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees requesting them to include the $5M in the Defense bill during the conference of House and Senate. This issue has never been partisan. Many members of Congress supported funding the maritime heritage provision. We thank all members for their encouragement and support. I extend my special thanks to all of you who responded to my pleas to contact your representatives and senators. It worked! But the fight continues as we work through the process of authorization, appropriation, and allocation in the coming months. Stay the course. Be informed. Keep the letters to your Congressional representatives coming.
mark your calendar! Kicking off in February 2020, Independence Seaport Museum will begin observing Cruiser Olympia’s 125th anniversary through commemorative programming, temporary exhibits, and family activities. Launched in 1892, Cruiser Olympia is the oldest remaining steel ship afloat. phillyseaport.org/olympia125
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Icon of the American Navy
independence seaport museum
magine an era of discovery in communications media, a period with new technologies emerging at a rapidly accelerating pace, with the ability to share information increasing exponentially decade by decade. Imagine the power of new technologies with the ability to distribute stories, be they true or false, at a tremendous rate. Those in control of such technologies would possess incredible power. They could sway elections, propel relative unknowns to stardom, agitate for war or peace, drive public opinion to suit their purposes for good or ill. Imagine the 1890s. America had an established telegraph network, a telephone system under construction, and radio in development. Photography, not yet mass-produced in printed publications, soon would be. Moving pictures began to attract the eraâ€™s top business and artistic talent. Coupled with equally accelerating developments across science and engineering, all of this innovation had a phenomenal impact on society. In the post-Civil War era, the US Navy was decidedly not a national priority. After the build-up to blockade and conquer the South, the Navy was allowed to atrophy,
by John Brady
photo by k. loeffler, library of congress
USS Olympia, ca. 1895â€“1901 with no new ships designed or built, and the existing fleet was minimally maintained. A seniority system of promotion that discouraged change exacerbated the situation. The United States was preoccupied with western expansion and railroads. With oceans on two sides serving as formidable barriers to any foreign aggression, there was no immediate need for a power-
ful navy. As the American navy deteriorated, those of other nations advanced, attempting to take advantage of emerging technologies. During this transitional period, it was not merely that the ships were outdated, the industries needed to produce them did not yet exist. It was an era in which vessels could become obsolete faster than they could be constructed, and there was no certainty as to which materials, armament, or strategies might emerge victorious when put to the test. This situation began to change in the 1880s, and by the 1890s a full-blown technological revolution was sweeping through American naval shipbuilding and training programs. As the United States was on the verge of establishing itself as a global power, in 1888 Congress authorized the construction of seven new cruisers. When the protected cruiser Olympia was launched from Union Iron Works in San Francisco on 5 November 1892, she would be the heaviest of the seven and represented the new modern US Navy. By the time she was commissioned early in 1895, she had already become well known because she was one of the first ships that came close to being on par with ships deployed in the navies of Europe. She was fast, powerful, and well protected. SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
library of congress
may now be relegated to the disciplines of naval history and strategy, but through the first half of the 20th century, his ideas drove world events. He saw the ability to amass and project power to win a decisive battle far from the home shores as the key to naval success. The irony of Olympia’s role in all of this is she was built to be a commerce raider but became famous for leading a fleet into a battle that played out Mahan’s theories in miniature. For all the attention the Battle of Manila Bay would get, it was not a grand battle in the sense of Trafalgar or Midway. It was, rather, a clarion announcement that America had become a player on the world stage. Theodore Roosevelt was prescient in politics and understood how to use the power of the media. When the battleship
new york world via wikimedia
She was also in line with the naval doctrines popularized by Alfred Thayer Mahan, the leading naval strategist who had become famous and influential in naval and political circles the world over. His theories of sea power and the recognition of the importance of large-scale decisive victory would drive naval strategy through the next sixty years, leading his followers into both triumph and disaster. His theories—and then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt’s adherence to them—were what drove the strategy that would play out in the 1898 Pacific theater. In time Mahan’s theories would lead to the tremendous Japanese victory at Tsushima Bay in the Russo Japanese War (1904–05) and, ultimately, the crushing Japanese defeat at Midway 37 years later. Mahan’s fame
The front page of the World on 17 February 1898 was one of many newspaper headlines that sensationalized the news of the loss of USS Maine in Havana Harbor, spurring the nation on to a war with Spain. USS Maine blew up in Havana harbor, Roosevelt had already positioned George Dewey as commander of the Pacific Fleet. Dewey was in the right place at the right time to issue the orders leading to the Battle of Manila Bay. As Olympia steamed through the warm Pacific waters towards the Philippines, political passions were boiling back home. A rush to judgment had condemned the Spanish for the explosion that ripped apart the Maine and killed more than 260 members of her crew. In response, newspapers of Hearst and Pulitzer competed in stridency, demanding revenge, and calling for their version of justice. This was the heyday of yellow journalism. Those politicians inclined to caution were swept aside in a pell-mell rush of patriotism. With the media in full cry demanding that something be done, Theodore Roosevelt and George Dewey were the men to do it. As in any other small community, USS Olympia had its own newspaper, the Bounding Billow. This shipboard-published paper echoed the themes of the homeland, and provides insights into the day-to-day life aboard an American naval vessel. The USS Olympia in battleship gray charging into Manila Bay, with Commodore George Dewey depicted forward of the bridge.
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020 21
courtesy flagship olympia foundation
Bounding Billow credited the explosion of the Maine to “some foul fiend, whose death a thousand times over could never atone for the loss of so many human lives.” It goes on to note that thousands were rallying around the flag even as Olympia was preparing to go to war. “…the tug Fame came down from Hong Kong bringing Consul Williams, late of Manila, and several newspaper men, who stated that war had been declared on the 24th and we were happy.” The claims printed in the Bounding Billow echoed the sentiments of much larger publications back home. As Olympia steamed through a quiet sea towards Manila Bay, she was already well known for being at the cutting edge of America’s naval build-up at her commissioning, but she was not yet famous. On that night she was at her most inconspicuous; her white and buff paint scheme, with the details picked out in black had been painted over with wartime gray. Her crew took pride in their ship; she was fast and better armed than anything her adversary could bring to the fight. Her ship’s company knew that everything that could be done in preparation for war had been done: ammunition replenished, coal bunkers fully loaded, chains hung around the casemates as a sort of chain mail protection, surgeries prepared for casualties, personal possessions stowed in the more protected areas of the ship. Olympia’s crew, keyed up though confident, felt they were ready for battle. George Dewey was still a commodore that night. Though he had served with distinction under Farragut in the Civil War Battle of New Orleans, he was not yet famous. His reputation as a forward-think-
Olympia prepared for battle, chains draped around the casemates (in view under the guns).
library of congress
ing, aggressive naval officer, however, was known to Theodore Roosevelt. For the moment, that was fame enough, leading to this posting as commodore of the Asiatic Squadron with the expectation that he would be bold when the time came. Dewey was confident and prepared. In their gray livery, that fleet was all deadly, serious business. The outcome of Manila Bay is well known as an overwhelming victory for the new American navy, leading to the acquisition of overseas territories in both the Atlantic and Pacific. The triumph trumpeted in headlines from coast to coast. Commodore Dewey and his flagship became overnight sensations. This fame would last, as Dewey was rewarded with multiple promotions, and his ship managed to survive all others of the era, becoming the very symbol of the American Navy during her service period. Even so, the importance of communication, or, in this case, the lack thereof, Commodore George Dewey aboard Olympia. became instantly apparent when Dewey cut the undersea cables to prevent their use by the Spanish, and thus also himself. With this move, he set back connections with the Philippines by several years for the Americans, and by decades for the Spanish. The only way messages could be delivered was to send dispatches via ship to Hong Kong and then telegraph them to the United States, delaying communication by a
week, even as the ship and her commander achieved instant notoriety. The interval also gave Dewey considerable latitude in decisions affecting the long-term fate of the Philippines. Illustrations of the battle followed the headlines, each executed with varying degrees of skill and artistic license in the age of the block print in newspapers and magazines, and the lithograph and etching in other kinds of mass-produced media. The
(right) Battle of Manila Bay as depicted on a popular chromolithograph published 21 June 1898, just seven weeks after the event. SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
library of congress
independence seaport museum
cry “Remember the Maine!” accompanied by an illustration of that ship gave way to “Fire when ready Gridley!” accompanied by an image of Dewey and his flagship. These images were ubiquitous in the United States, appearing in businesses and homes, and for the moment the country could not get enough of its newfound status on the world stage, lead where it might. Dewey himself benefited from promotion to Rear Admiral and eventually to Admiral of the Navy, the highest rank ever achieved by a naval officer. At the close of the war, more details of the battle emerged, keeping Dewey and Olympia in the headlines for a long time. One of these came from Joseph L. Stickney, a journalist who was on board Olympia and at Dewey’s side during the battle. Stickney published a detailed account of the conflict and its aftermath in Harper’s Magazine, burnishing Dewey’s reputation. His report also offered insights into the competition among imperialist nations as a contingent of the German navy hovered in Manila Bay. Rear Admiral Dewey and Olympia would remain in the Philippines for another year, supporting ground efforts against the Spanish and suppressing a bid
for Philippine independence. In the Age of Imperialism, the new world power was not about to part with its fresh acquisitions. That conflict was not covered extensively in the press or the history books, though soon-to-be-famous Americans played a significant part, notably William Howard Taft and John J. Pershing. Returned to her white-and-buff peacetime paint scheme, Olympia would carry her conquering hero home by way of the Suez Canal, with stops along the way for coal, diplomacy, and the opportunity to bask in national glory. In Naples, Italy, noted photographer and journalist Frances Johnston visited the ship, sent by Bain News
Service. In a series of posed images, Johnston depicted an idealized impression of shipboard life. Some of these images would eventually appear in Cosmopolitan and the Ladies Home Journal. The voyage home culminated in grand parades in the harbor and on the streets of New York. Both parades were spectacular and well documented with films by the Edison Manufacturing Company. In one film, the fleet steamed past Grant’s tomb before there were any tall buildings behind it, providing an excellent view of all New York’s watercraft in that era. The shoreside parade featured imposing plaster triumphal arches;
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020 23
of her original woodwork, giving her the warmth and a bit of the grandeur of her age. The officers’ quarters feature the paneling and furnishings of a comfortable late 19th-century private club. The ship was very well suited to social gatherings, as well as the more serious sides of naval diplomacy. Between her military duties and social obligations, Olympia was a regular host to the “who’s who” of early 20th-century society.
Though the attention garnered by the Spanish American War tapered off, there were occasional reminders, capitalizing on the ship’s fame. One of Olympia’s gunners, Lew Tisdale, published Three Years Behind the Guns in 1908 to acclaim. His book offers an enlisted man’s view of life aboard, as well as an account of the battle, which Dewey himself complimented. The book sold well. ism World War I returned the ship to a purely military role. During a refit that saw her weaponry upgraded, her figurehead and stern ornamentation were removed; both now reside at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The ship, painted wartime gray once again, saw service in the North Atlantic, and in Murmansk and the Adriatic after the war. Though stripped of her decorations, she retained her status and, as a final honor, was chosen to carry the body of the Unknown Soldier home from France. Olympia was never the most powerful ship in the Navy. She had not been considered fast for some time, and her technology was long out of date. Still, up until the end of her service period, she maintained her
Olympia band playing on deck, 1899.
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the patriotic outburst faded before these could be immortalized in bronze or stone, and they have disappeared. After the celebrations, Olympia repaired to Boston for another parade, followed by a refit that would take two and a half years to complete. Because of the rapid advancement of naval technology, there was much to be done to upgrade the ship. For example, the electrical system was expanded to power a wide range of equipment formerly powered by steam, and the ventilation system was improved. While all this was going on, images of the ship appeared everywhere in prints destined for parlors and in advertisements for everything from snake oil to music boxes; models were built, and poems composed. The Navy knew a promotional opportunity when it saw one, and as part of her refit decorated the ship in a manner befitting an icon in the gilded age. Olympia received a figurehead and stern ornamentation designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and bronze bas relief between the guns of her forward turret by Daniel Chester French, two of the leading sculptors of the era. Inscribed in bronze across the forward side of her signal bridge, the date and place of the battle have become part of her identity. Olympia had become a star in popular culture and was decked out accordingly. Her fame and her interior layout as a flagship led Olympia to be chosen for prominent assignments throughout her service period, even after becoming obsolete as a warship. She seemed to have a knack for playing a role in major world events. Serving as the flagship of the North Atlantic squadron and later as a training vessel for the midshipmen at Annapolis, she was very prominent socially as well as militarily. Naval officers, who were expected to move comfortably in society as well as at sea, had ample opportunities to hone both sets of skills aboard the cruiser. All of this added to the ship’s luster, brightening her image as the hero of Manila Bay. While Olympia is one of the first modern warships, she is the oldest steel naval vessel afloat and still contains a great deal
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of rapid communication systems, and of the importance of using those things wisely. When asked about the importance of saving the ship, one must remember that she stands for both the good and the bad. She represents how a wave of patriotism can give way to internecine conflict; she is a vehicle to see how the media can manipulate opinion in ways that appear right in the short term, but may have disastrous consequences. Olympia represents the accomplishments of technical achievement and its price. She is still a symbol of the modern world, but now she is recognized for her light and dark sides. Both are critical to her story, and to our history. Olympia is still a star, but a much more complete one all these years after her first commissioning 125 years ago. John Brady is the president and CEO of the Independence Seaport Museum.
role as the symbol of the United States Navy. This final assignment put the ship in the limelight once again, albeit a somber light. The ship, famous for celebrating the glories of a nation entering the world stage, now marked the pain and sacrifice resulting from that role. Her voyage home, as well documented as the glorious parades in New York, now helped a nation mourn the severe losses of global war. It was a fitting way to end her naval service and an assessment of the costs of global power, as well as the terrible side of technological achievement. The suffering that is at the back of any wartime campaign was now at the fore. Honoring the Unknown Soldier was about recognizing sacrifice. After World War I, there could be no doubt about what war meant. The battles and scope of that conflict dwarfed the Spanish American War. WWI also showed the consequences of nationalism combined with mechanized warfare as clearly as possible. In the end, Olympia became the emblem of where arms races might lead. She also came to represent something of the age that had just come to a close. From our vantage point, Olympia is a valuable reminder, not of naval might, but of the power of symbols, of the value
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USS Olympia arrived at the Washington Navy Yard 9 October 1921 carrying the casket of the Unknown Soldier.
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Sail, Steam, and Stealth
at the Independence Seaport Museum by John Brady
USS Olympia and USS Becuna at their shared berth at Penn’s Landing.
Joshua Humphreys—USS United States was built here. Commodore John Barry, considered the father of the US Navy, lived here. Philadelphia was home to both the Continental Congress and the War Office, the first of which brought the Navy into existence in 1775, and the latter executed those orders. The museum would tell the story of the Navy’s founding. It would be a tremendous help that its collection houses John Barry’s papers, among other pertinent late 18th-century artifacts. With the museum ably connected to the narrative of the founding story, the next challenge to overcome was figuring out how to tie that story to the two retired war vessels tied to the pier down the street. The planning process led to the conclusion that the centerpiece of every exhibit had to be an activity. The first step in appealing to a family audience is to stop the kids in their
The big driver of heritage tourism in Philadelphia is, of course, the founding of our country. It is in the best interest of any history museum in this city to find a connection to the nation’s founding story, if there is a credible reason for doing so. As part of the institutional soul-searching that comes with strategic planning, the Independence Seaport Museum came up with a solution: “Sail, Steam, and Stealth.” Philadelphia’s claim as the birthplace of the American Navy is based on a number of important events that took place here. The original six frigates were designed here by 26
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USS Becuna, a BALAO-class submarine, was built in New London, Connecticut in 1944. Converted in 1951 to a Guppy 1A type with sophisticated radar and torpedo equipment, including nuclear warheads, she is the only Guppy 1-A submarine on display.
museum photos courtesy independence seaport museum
fter the Independence Seaport Museum acquired the cruiser Olympia and submarine Becuna in 1996, one big challenge it faced was the distance between the museum building and the vessels’ location at Penn’s Landing, two city blocks away. Then there was the odd pairing between the ships themselves: a Spanish American War cruiser and a World War II/Cold War diesel-electric sub. There was no obvious narrative that could link these vessels to each other, and even less of one joining the ships to the museum itself. While the physical distance between the ships and the building can’t be resolved in the short term, narratives are the museum’s stock in trade.
tracks. What better way to do that than to build a sailing ship in our most extensive gallery, a full-scale waterline model of a vessel typical to the 1890s? Research turned up a schooner of the right size and pedigree: the Diligence, a 65-foot topsail schooner built at Joshua Humphreys’s yard for the US Revenue Marine, predecessor to the Coast Guard. Diligence had also sailed with John Barry’s squadron in the Quasi-War with France. The narrative “Sail, Steam, and Stealth” covered the arc of naval history from its inception to the modern age. It also provided an excellent science story to
Schooner Digilence, built with kids in mind, is a big draw at the museum.
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tell, for the history of naval architecture is very much the history of physics. The fullscale model of Diligence could be used to illustrate the beginnings of the machine age, with Newton’s principles rendered in wood, rope, and canvas, with a little iron thrown in. With Olympia comes an understanding of metallurgy, thermodynamics, and electricity applied to Newton’s mechanics. Becuna continues the theme through stories that introduce analog computers, internal combustion, sonar, and radio. Throughout are the principles of naval architecture: displacement, buoyancy, hull form, propulsion, and so on. The range of time represented by these three vessels offers the opportunity to examine the changes in shipboard life over the years. As one of the first ships equipped with refrigeration, Olympia offered her crews a significant shift in diet from the hardtack and salt pork that crews would have found aboard Diligence. The hammocks of Olympia give way to built-in berths for the entire crew aboard Becuna. Ships are a microcosm of the culture and era that produces them. Having representatives across two centuries offers opportunities to show the changes in society. History is not limited to battles fought and
won—or lost; it is about changes to the fabric of society. Taking a holistic approach offers the best opportunities for increasing appeal to a wide range of audiences. A person not interested in battles might be interested in cookery, or the roles played by the members of various ethnic groups who served aboard, or the engineering principles involved in making the ship go, or the medical facilities available in each era, or the impact of each vessel on the environment. All offer opportunities. Independence Seaport Museum strives to appeal to a family audience. To do this
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Crew’s mess in Olympia, circa 1899
effectively, engaging the kids must be a priority. By catching their attention, the adults with them then have a choice: either engage with the kids in an activity, or use that activity as a way to get a break and take in something more suited to an adult audience. In this way, everyone has a good time. Diligence was built with this in mind, and it has been a hugely popular exhibit since it was completed in 2016. Kids can’t wait to board the ship, pull on ropes, take the helm, and pretend to fire cannons. Adults have the opportunity to do these things as well, or they can have a look at the adjacent gallery, which is a traditional display of documents, models, and paintings. Making the galleries more interactive is an approach the museum is striving for throughout its building and ships. This approach offers a new way to use collections, creating environments in which to learn and have fun. As each new major exhibit opens, and as we continue to interpret Olympia and Becuna, the Independence Seaport Museum will increasingly become a place to do things in surroundings rich in history and the maritime arts. John Brady is the president and CEO of the Independence Seaport Museum. He has more than three decades of experience working in the maritime heritage and preservation field. Before becoming CEO, Brady was the director of the museum’s Workshop on the Water for sixteen years, bringing the Workshop to national prominence as a boatbuilding and maritime education center. He is an active sailor and steward of traditional boats of all kinds.
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MARITIME HISTORY ON THE INTERNET
ShipIndex: The Roebuck Society Volumes
ust over ten years ago, I launched ShipIndex.org, a project I had been developing for a few years, starting in graduate school but not really taking off until I had more time to dedicate to it. The website is a database created to simplify vessel research. Learning about famous ships, such as the Titanic or USS Constitution, is pretty easy, but learning about the hundreds of thousands of other vessels that are mentioned in books, websites, and elsewhere is much harder. Whether you are a genealogist, a maritime historian, a researcher, or just curious, the index can help you learn more about the ships that interest you. You can identify the books, journals, magazines, newspapers, CD-ROMs, websites, and online databases that mention the ships that you are researching. The index has grown considerably from when it was first launched, from tens of thousands of citations to approximately 3.5 million as of press time. Over the past year, we have been adding a TON of new content. Among these new entries is a specific set of publications by the Roebuck Society. If you’re interested in early Australian history or Pacific exploration,
(above right) Title page from one of the Roebuck volumes. (above) A content page from the same volume. (right) An index page from the same book. 28
by Peter McCracken you will find the Roebuck books of particular use, but they are challenging to search—as well as challenging to process on our end. The Roebuck Society is an Australian-based organization that has published many records about the arrival and departure of ships throughout Australia’s history. The books themselves are an amalgamation of entries from numerous sources. We’ve provided some sample pages here, so you can see what they look like. It’s tough reading! There’s a lot of information crammed on each of these pages. Luckily, there’s an index to all this madness, but it’s often not much easier to read. Consider the example shown here of an index from the same book (bottom image). Processing these indexes has been more difficult than the typical volume we usually work with. Because of their complexity, figuring out how to use the information within them takes some effort. If a ship you are interested in is mentioned in one of the Roebuck volumes, your best bet is to track down a copy of the book itself. Asking for copies of individual pages based on the index citations will not prove useful in most cases. You can almost always get any book through interlibrary loan from your local public library. It may take the librarians some time, and it will likely cost them (and possibly you) some money—so be patient and don’t forget to thank them. Once you have the book in hand, locate the ship on the index page shown in ShipIndex, and then note where and how often the ship is mentioned within the body of the text. The entry in the text gives a summary of the ship’s movements and provides information about the sources (usually newspapers) from which the data is drawn. Many ships are mentioned dozens and dozens of times, and a lot of the entries contain data from multiple sources, thus many data points may appear for each ship in the index. The printed books note sources for some of this data, but we have not preserved those notations in our database. The Roebuck Society has published more than sixty volumes, but not all of them relate to vessel information. We have identified about a dozen relevant volumes and have added them to the database at ShipIndex. More are being processed and added every day. This issue’s Maritime History on the Internet was adapted from a blog post from ShipIndex.org (https://blog. shipindex.org). Visit our website to access a free compilation of more than 150,000 ship names from indexes to dozens of books and journals. SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
The Embarkation of the Pilgrims (1857) by artist Robert Walter Weir shows a group of English travelers aboard the Speedwell about to depart for the New World in company with Mayflower. What do you see in this image? Perhaps the figures whose names you know from history, such as William Brewster (holding the Bible) or Governor John Carver (kneeling), who is credited with writing the Mayflower Compact. Others might notice the rainbow on the left, a symbol of hope, peace, and prosperity. Some might be particularly interested in the clothing of the period. Me? I can’t help but zero in on the boltrope and rope cringles on the sail that is being used as an awning. That’s a pretty new looking sail, and I am impressed with the detail the artist included in the stitchwork. Whatever your particular interest, there is something for everyone in the story of the Mayflower crossing and the establishment of the Plymouth Colony (or rather, Plimoth). What is not part of this artist’s depiction is the story of the Wampanoag, whom the Pilgrims would encounter when they arrived. Their experience was neglected for centuries in the stories about the Pilgrims, and today it is an integral part of what is included and interpreted at Plimoth Plantation, the living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This scene was painted by the artist in 1857, but the Pilgrims landed on what-is-now Massachusetts 400 years ago this year. Plimoth Plantation is leading the way in organizing commemorations and celebrations this spring. The museum is joined by groups all around Massachusetts and across the Atlantic in Plymouth, England, and the Netherlands as well. Of particular interest to Sea History readers will be the return to sea of the Mayflower II, just re-launched this fall after a three-year full restoration at Mystic Seaport Museum. Here are a number of signature events this spring you won’t want to miss, and be sure to check the websites listed below for updates and additional programming. Events for summer and fall 2020 will be posted in the summer issue of Sea History and on the NMHS website at www.seahistory.org/Mayflower2020. For events in the UK and Holland, visit www.mayflow-
p.d. via brooklyn museum
Mayflower Sails 2020—Commemorations for the 400th Anniversary
er400uk.org. You will also find information and details on Plimoth Plantation museum’s website at www.plimoth.org and the international organizing group at www.plymouth400inc.org. —Deirdre O’Regan
Events—Spring 2020 Plymouth 400 Opening Ceremony, 24 April at Memorial Hall and grounds in Plymouth, MA. The opening ceremony will be a cross-cultural spectacle of historical content, visual and performing arts, special guest speakers and more. (83 Court Street, Plymouth, MA; Ph. 774 283-6082; www.memorialhall.com)
Mayflower II Homecoming in Plymouth! On Thursday, 21 May, just before Memorial Day weekend, Mayflower II will arrive back in Plymouth after a three-year absence while she was being restored at Mystic Seaport Museum. Once the ship is secured to her dock at the State Pier, her crew will ready the ship for public visitation, which begins on 23 May. Homecoming weekend activities are planned through Memorial Day, 25 May 2020. Maritime Salute in Plymouth Harbor, 27–28 June. A regatta of wooden ships, official vessels, work boats, native mishoons, and pleasure craft will culminate in a traditional New England lobster dinner at the waterfront. Mayflower II will be a centerpiece of this event. (www.plymouth400inc.org)
courtesy plimoth plantation
Mayflower Sails 2020: Maritime Festival Commemorating the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower Landing. This is a signature event that will take place 14–19 May at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, Massachusetts. Mayflower II will sail into Boston Harbor, where she will be met by USS Constitution, and the two ships will sail in company towards the Navy Yard. It will be the first time these vessels will have ever sailed together. Onshore will be native, colonial, and maritime programming provided by Plimoth Plantation, the USS Constitution Museum, and the National Park Service. When the Mayflower and Constitution are back at the dock, the ships will be open for public tours. The event is free but you’ll need a reservation for Mayflower tours. You can reserve your spot at www.mayflowersails2020.com.
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US Revenue Cutter Algonquin in Puerto Rico, 1902–1917 by J. Edwin Nieves, MD, US Coast Guard Auxiliary
The gratitude of the inhabitants of the city of San Juan be expressed to the officers and men of the Revenue Cutter Algonquin for their gallant service during the different fires, which have occurred in the city…
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was reassembled on the other side in Montreal, an armistice was signed with Spain, ending the war. The “Algi,” as she came to be known by her crew, was then stationed in Boston and later was sent to the Gulf Coast to assist in the 1900 Great Galveston Hurricane disaster relief mission. The Spanish Caribbean would be Algonquin’s longest duty station. After providing safety and security in New York Harbor for the 1901 America’s Cup Challenge, she was assigned to the new US territory of Puerto Rico. Stationed at San Juan, Algonquin performed the usual cutter missions of humanitarian assistance, search and rescue, law enforcement, and responding to natural and man-made disasters. Her primary mission was enforcing maritime commerce and customs laws, and in this capacity, she patrolled local shipping lanes and inspected commercial vessels. Algonquin’s crew participated in several medical and humanitarian missions during this time. When the bubonic plague
army & navy register, 1906
hen San Juan City Council passed this resolution of thanks, the revenue cutter Algonquin had been stationed in San Juan for thirteen years, having arrived on its shores just a few years after the island had been made an official American territory. By 1915, Algonquin’s presence had become a regular and reassuring sight on San Juan’s waterfront because she was siempre preparado—always ready—to respond to the needs of Puerto Rico and its citizens. In 1897, the US Revenue Cutter Service contracted with Globe Iron Works to build a 205-foot cutter at its Cleveland shipyard for $193,000. The cutter, christened Algonquin, was commissioned in June 1898 and placed under US Navy control in anticipation of serving in the Spanish American War. Originally intended to serve Detroit and thus built on the Great Lakes, Algonquin had to be cut in half to fit through the narrow locks of the St. Lawrence Seaway. By the time she
—Hon. Manuel Moraza, Secretary, Municipality of San Juan, 9 June 1915
Algonquin’s officers and enlisted men at anchor off San Juan in 1906. broke out in San Juan in the summer of 1912, the cutter’s officers and men helped US Public Health Service doctors contain the disease at San Juan’s Puerta de Tierra (Inland Gate) wharf. Their enforcement of a quarantine, demolition of affected structures, and eradication of infected vermin prevented the spread of this deadly disease to the rest of the island. The crew’s efforts earned them a commendation from the Public Health Service Surgeon General. Algonquin regularly cruised the waters around Puerto Rico. The cutter made frequent stops at coastal towns and the local islands, Vieques and Culebra, transporting local dignitaries and government officials back to San Juan. She towed commercial vessels that ran aground in the treacherous shoals and shifting sandbars bordering the entrance to San Juan Harbor and other ports around the island. For example, shallow-draft caravelones, workboats used by local fishermen and commercial shippers, routinely ran aground or overturned in the rough Atlantic swell north of the island. 1912 saw another potential deadly contagion outbreak when Algonquin responded to a distress signal from a schooner on the southeastern side of the island. The British schooner Success was aground and taking on water when the revenue cutter’s crew arrived on the scene, ready to assist. Algonquin’s boarding party learned that among the stricken ship’s company were US Revenue Cutter Algonquin underway in New York Harbor while presiding over the America’s Cup challenge course in 1901. SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
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Unloading lighters, the Plaza, San Juan, 1900. Caravelones (traditional watercraft) at San Juan Harbor’s old embarkation site in 1901. This area is now the site of Darsenas Square across the street from the Federal Court House.
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passengers with leprosy. The cuttermen isolated the patients and crew and pumped out the schooner, which, with some juryrigged repairs, was deemed safe enough to continue and sailed on to Saint Kitts. The boarding party’s quick action prevented their own exposure to leprosy and its spread to the rest of Puerto Rico. In 1914 political upheaval erupted during the Dominican Republic’s infamous Revolucion del Ferrocarril. The conflict cut off the flow of goods to the north side of Hispaniola, creating a local humanitarian crisis. Hundreds of residents in Monte Cristi and Puerto Plata, many of them Puerto Rican laborers and their families, were trapped with no food or water. Algonquin was sent to evacuate the refugees and deliver them to Puerto Rico. The cutter completed several evacuation runs in June and July, sometimes under fire from shore, transporting hundreds of Puerto Rican men, women, and children to San Juan. Algonquin’s crew also served as firefighters on more than a few occasions. On the hook in San Juan Harbor on 2 May 1913, the cutter’s lookout spotted a fire across the harbor in the village of Catano. A detail with axes and firefighting equipment deployed in the ship’s lifeboat under the command of the boatswain. Upon their arrival, the men saw that the fire was spreading quickly. In a town where most of the buildings were made of wood, fire posed a real threat to the community. The boatswain led the local residents in forming a bucket brigade and in digging a trench as a firebreak. The flames were soon contained and eventually extinguished without any fatalities. In the early morning hours on Sunday, 7 February 1915, the cutter’s crew spotted a blaze on Puerta de Tierra wharf, right in downtown San Juan. An officer with a detail and firefighting equipment responded, joining forces with the Puerto Rico Regiment and local firefighters. The combined force battled the flames, demolished walls, closed off gas mains, evacuated residents, and removed valuable property. It was two days of exhausting and dangerous work before the men finally extinguished the flames, to the great relief of San Juan’s officials and residents. The City of San Juan issued an “Official Resolution of Thanks” to the Algonquin crew
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A partial view of San Juan Bay in 1900 before the arrival of Algonquin, showing commercial sailboats docked at “La Puntilla” (the Tip) section of Old San Juan. La Puntilla is the current location of Coast Guard Sector San Juan. local social scene ashore, while onboard the officers and crew hosted dignitaries and government and military officials on special occasions. For these festive events, the crew decorated the ship, the Puerto Rico Regiment band performed on deck, and guests would come aboard to dance and enjoy the hospitality of the ship’s company. Every year, the cuttermen played an important part in Fourth of July celebrations and marched in the Gubernatorial Inauguration parade through the streets of the city,
Dr. J. Edwin Nieves is Commander, Flotilla 63, Division 6, 5th District Southern Region Coast Guard Auxiliary. He is also a member of the CG Aux Interpreter Corps. Dr. Nieves is a physician for the Dept. of the Army Medical Detachment (MEDDAC) McDonald Army Health Center, Fort Eustis, VA. This article was adapted from “The Long Blue Line” blog at coastguard.dodlive.mil.
Algonquin mascot “Billy” on deck following the 1907 inauguration parade for Governor Henri Post. Billy was likely adopted during one of Algonquin’s visits to Culebra or Mona Island. Before the Spanish American War, the Spanish released goats and pigs on those islands, intending to use them later as a food supply. In the background is one of the cutter’s Hotchkiss 6-pounder guns. 32
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army & navy register, 1907
for battling fires that threatened to destroy parts of the city. By this point in Algonquin’s time in Puerto Rico, fifteen members of the cutter’s enlisted crew were Puerto Rican natives, about 25% of the ship’s company. During Algonquin’s 15-year assignment to San Juan, her crew lived and worked side-by-side with residents. Algonquin’s crewmembers were active in the
accompanied by the cutter’s mascot—a goat named Billy. Algonquin also supported the naval parade and gun salute to President Theodore Roosevelt during his visit to the island in 1906. Early in 1915, the Revenue Cutter Service was merged with the US Life-Saving Service to form the United States Coast Guard. The cutter, now USCGC Algonquin, carried on with her regular patrols and duties until she received new orders early in 1917 to deploy to Astoria, Oregon, via the Panama Canal. When the United States entered World War I on 6 April 1917, all Coast Guard assets were placed under US Navy command, and Algonquin returned to the Atlantic to perform escort duty. After the war, the vessel that had spent fifteen years in the tropics was sent to Alaska and spent the rest of her service life in the frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. She was decommissioned in 1930 and sold to a commercial shipping company. She would never return to the Caribbean, but the Coast Guard has maintained its presence there ever since, carrying out the duties of its predecessors— “Siempre Preparado.”
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
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The US Naval War College—The Navy’s “Home of Thought” by Evan Wilson
all images for this article courtesy of the us navy and the us naval war college
he origins of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, can actually be found in Charleston, South Carolina, during the Civil War. The war had begun in Charleston, and the city soon became one of the most active blockaderunning ports on the Atlantic seaboard. For both symbolic and practical reasons, it became a priority target for Union naval forces. For three years, the Navy besieged and blockaded the city, involving more than sixty warships and 40,000 men. Yet in January 1865, Charleston still stood defiant, having resisted the Navy’s best efforts. Why had the Navy failed? William T. Sherman thought he knew, and he told anyone who would listen. While occupying Savannah after his famous “March to the Sea,” Sherman met with the young commander of USS Pontiac, Stephen B. Luce, to coordinate the coming operations in South Carolina. Sherman told Luce that the Navy had been going about attacking Charleston all wrong. By cutting Charleston off from the interior, he could cause it to fall into Union hands “like a ripe pear,” without a battle.1 To the amazement of Luce, that was precisely what happened, bringing an anticlimactic end to the longest siege in American military history.
The US Naval War College was established in 1884 on Coasters Harbor Island, a 92-acre site in Newport, Rhode Island. Luce later recalled that upon hearing Sherman’s explanation of the military situation, “the scales seemed to fall from my eyes. … It dawned upon me that there were certain fundamental principles underlying military operations, which it were well to look into; principles of general application whether the operations were conducted on land or sea.”2 The search for these principles led Luce to establish the Naval War College in 1884. In the intervening two decades, Luce had traveled around the world, where he learned about other efforts to educate officers and professionalize the study of war. Through correspondence with likeminded officers, he learned about the Prussian staff system and the first attempts to study naval history systematically in London. Sherman had provided the inspiration, but the final product was Luce’s own. The Naval War College was to be, Luce said, “a place of original research on all questions relating to war and to statesmanship connected with war, or the prevention of war.”3 Notably, the Naval War College was not designed to train young naval officers in the basics of their profession—that was the job of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and navies had been educating officer trainees like that for centuries. Before Luce, there did not exist a plan for educating midlevel officers for the challenges of high command as admirals. Luce’s idea was to broaden their minds so that they could tackle the
Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce 1 Stephen B. Luce, “Naval Administration III,” United States Naval Institute Proceedings (December 1903), 820.
2 Ibid. 3 Stephen B. Luce, The Writings of Stephen B. Luce, ed. John D. Hayes and John B. Hattendorf (Newport: Naval War College Press, 1975), 39–40.
great questions of war and peace. He was one of the founding fathers of what today we call Professional Military Education, often abbreviated PME. What Luce wanted was a place for mid-career officers to uncover the principles of war and strategy; most of all, he wanted a place where officers had an opportunity to think. Luce’s innovative institution confused many of his colleagues, and the college encountered resistance in its early years. Many naval officers preferred practical training to classroom study. The turn of the twentieth century was an era of rapid technological change at sea, as submarines, mines, torpedoes, aircraft, and radios were all introduced or substantially developed. Some officers argued that they should learn how to handle these new technologies rather than read about battles in the age of sail. Another avenue of attack on the college came from officials in Washington, who disliked having an important hub of naval thinking and strategy so far away. The Naval War College survived, though, in large part because of one of Luce’s first appointments to the college, Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, who took full advantage of the opportunity to think and to write. He compiled the lectures he had written for the students at the college into a book entitled The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660–1783. Published in 1890, it became an immediate bestseller and one of the most influential works of naval history ever written. It also validated Luce’s vision for the Naval War College as a place of serious scholarship of use to the Navy. SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
War gaming has been an important component of the Naval War College curriculum since 1887. Its value in maritime leadership development remains strong; the Naval War College conducts more than 50 gaming events per year, ranging in variety from complex, multi-sided computer-assisted games to simple, single-sided seminar games.
Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan Luce and Mahan demonstrated that the Naval War College was viable, but it was William S. Sims who led the college into its most famous era. He became the college’s president in February 1917, but he was soon dispatched to Europe to command US naval forces operating there. After the war, he resumed his presidency and transformed the college into a research laboratory with a practical focus. Sims’s charisma and fame helped encourage officers to attend courses in Newport, with the result that most of the Navy’s admirals at the outbreak of the Second World War were graduates of the college. Newport was the home of the Navy’s North Atlantic Squadron, and Sims saw an opportunity to connect the college’s curriculum more directly to the needs of the fleet. Today, we would call Sims’s vision
Admiral William S. Sims
The Naval Training Station and Naval War College, 1923.
that of a think tank: offering expert advice on matters of real-world concern. As Japan grew ever more menacing in the Pacific, naval planners began to consider how to fight a war thousands of miles from major bases. Students and faculty at the college worked to identify the challenges and think through the possibilities. Faculty members were influential in developing the modern practice of war gaming. Chester Nimitz, who attended the college in 1922–23, later said that because of the work he and his peers had done in Newport, “nothing that happened during the [Pacific] war was a surprise—absolutely nothing except the kamikaze tactics.”4 While Nimitz was playing to his audience—he said that in an address to the Naval War College in 1960—it nevertheless indicates that the college seemed to have found its raison d’ être during the interwar years. 4 FADM Chester W. Nimitz, USN (Ret.), Address to the Naval War College, October 10, 1960, RG 15, Box 30, Naval War College Archives.
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020 35
As it matured, the college also settled into a regular rhythm. Officers studied naval tactics, participated in war games, and listened to lectures from distinguished outside speakers. They researched in-depth studies of classic naval battles, like Trafalgar and Jutland, and produced theses on tactics, logistics, and strategy. Faculty and staff worked on broader issues of interest to the Navy, leading to, for example, the publication of the short book Sound Military Decision. A planning manual, it helped students prepare for problems they were likely to encounter when they assumed command, and it was widely distributed and read throughout the Navy during and after the Second World War. Raymond Spruance, the four-star admiral best-known for his role in the Battle of Midway, served as the college’s president in the postwar years, giving some indication of the importance the Navy placed on it.
“The Big Three” (l-r) Admirals Nimitz, Ernest J. King, and Raymond Spruance were all graduates of the NWC. But by the end of the 1950s, the Naval War College seemed to have lost its way. Students, most of whom were active-duty naval officers, regarded their time in Newport as an opportunity to play golf and see their families, away from the rigors of deployment. It was not an unreasonable conclusion. Though Newport’s Gilded Age heyday was behind it, the area was still rightly known as the playground of the rich and famous. President Eisenhower vacationed in Newport regularly while in office, and Jacqueline Bouvier married John F. Kennedy there in 1953. A series of reforming admirals in the 1960s sought to transform the Naval War 36
Admiral Stansfield Turner College into a more academically rigorous institution, culminating in the tenure of Stansfield Turner from 1972 to 1974. Turner, who later became the director of the CIA under President Carter, made extensive revisions to the curriculum, many of which are still in place today. In the Strategy and History Department (now re-named Strategy and Policy), students examined case studies like the Peloponnesian War that deliberately forced them outside the contemporary issues of Vietnam and the Cold War. That case study is still used today. Turner wore academic regalia to convocation, signaling the college’s renewed seriousness of academic purpose, and he encouraged students to think critically rather than to regurgitate school answers to set questions. Turner’s “revolution” was one of three major changes to the Naval War College during the Cold War. A second was the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, which reorganized the Department of Defense and, importantly for the college, made Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) a requirement for officer promotion. The Naval War College was one of the places officers could go to complete that requirement. The Goldwater-Nichols Act also more fully integrated the Naval War College into the broader network of JPME institutions, which today includes, among others, the National Defense University plus the war colleges of the other services:
the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and the Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama. At the Naval War College today, there are three core departments: Strategy and Policy, Joint Military Operations, and National Security Affairs. The academic year is divided into trimesters; students move from one department to the next to complete their JPME Phase I or Phase II certificates. Phase I students tend to be officers with about ten years’ experience, while Phase II students usually are coming off of their first command with fifteen to twenty years of experience. As a result of Goldwater-Nichols, students also increasingly come from services other than the Navy. Only about a third of all students at the Naval War College are US naval officers; there are substantial delegations of Air Force, Army, Marine, and Coast Guard officers, as well as civilians from the State Department, intelligence services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and other branches of the federal government. These American students, numbering usually about 500 per year, are joined by international students—a third major innovation of the Cold War years. The first foreign students arrived in 1894, when two officers in the Royal Swedish Navy attended a three-month course. In 1956, under the leadership of Chief of Naval Operations Arleigh Burke, the college dramatically increased its outreach to allied and partner navies. A new international course began with representatives from 23 navies, a number which has now grown to about 100 per year. The 2020 class includes officers from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and the Gabonese navy alongside representatives from Britain, India, and Japan. The Naval War College’s role in international affairs is not limited to education, as every two years it hosts dozens of chiefs of the world’s navies at the International Seapower Symposium. The college is located on Coasters Harbor Island in Narragansett Bay, just north of Newport’s harbor. When Luce founded the Naval War College, the only building standing was the former Newport poorhouse, which had no heat or plumbing. Today, that building houses the Naval War SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
College Museum, which is free and open to visitors and includes exhibits not only on the history of the college but also on the maritime history of Narragansett Bay. As the college outgrew the poorhouse, it colonized the southern half of the island, increased its international role, and broadened Luce’s vision. Since 1989, some international students and all American students have been awarded master’s degrees upon graduation, and the college is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Fundamentally, though, it
The Naval War College’s 2019 graduating class included 318 resident students of the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, federal civilian employees, and 110 international students. Additionally, 1,080 students completed coursework through NWC’s College of Distance Education programs.
Swedish officers in the first class to include international students, 1894. The Royal Swedish Navy’s Baron Ugglas is third from right and Commander Flach is on the right.
the English Historical Review and the Naval War College Review. Before coming to Newport, he was the Caird Senior Research Fellow at the National Maritime Museum (UK) and the associate director of International Security Studies at Yale University. He holds degrees from Yale, Cambridge, and Oxford. He is grateful to Professors John Hat-
tendorf and Craig Symonds for their comments on this article. Hattendorf is the lead author of the authoritative history of the college, Sailors and Scholars: The Centennial History of the US Naval War College (Naval War College Press, 1984) and is in the process of revising and updating it. Interested readers should look for it in bookstores soon.
remains distinct from civilian institutions. Its mission is “to educate and develop future leaders by building strategic and cultural perspective and enhancing the capability to advise senior leaders and policy-makers.”5 Evan Wilson is an assistant professor in the John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research. In 2018, he won the Sir Julian Corbett Prize in Modern Naval History. His first monograph examined British naval officers in the late-eighteenth century, and his current project follows soldiers and sailors home after the Napoleonic Wars. He is the editor of four books and has published articles in a number of journals, including 5 US Naval War College, “Our Mission,” accessed 16 Jan. 2019, at https://usnwc.edu/About/Mission.
Founders Hall is home to the Naval War College Museum. This building was the original site of the college and is where Alfred Thayer Mahan first delivered his lectures on sea power.
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020 37
Lisa Egeli: Life and Art at the Water’s Edge by Kathi Ferguson
Spring Treasure, oil, 20 x 40 inches Deep Cove Creek in spring, looking east. The Chesapeake Bay is just beyond the marsh. of Art in Washington, DC; he then graduated from the Maryland Institute of Art. He also attended the Art Students League in New York and went on to teach drawing and painting at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he met a fellow painter who would later become his wife and Lisa’s mother. “Dad was always teaching,” Lisa recalls. “After St. Mary’s, he taught classes
out of his own studio and would invite people to come in for critiques. I became a frequent visitor. It was great.” Not only did young Lisa acquire painting knowledge from her father, but she learned boatbuilding skills from him as well. Hours away from his easel were often spent designing and building boats. “My brother Stuart and I loved helping Dad when he was working on a boat,” Lisa smiles. “On Galatea, we did things like plane the mast, sand the teak, and anything else he was willing to teach us!” (left) Peter Egeli building Galatea. Boatbuilding, sailing, and art are very much a family affair. (below) In her teenage years, Lisa depicted the scenes around her, such as this pen-and-ink sketch of an oyster tonger in local waters. all art images and photos courtesy of lisa egeli
t is said that water and oil do not mix. No matter how much one tries, the two always separate. For artist Lisa Egeli, that could not be further from the truth. From early childhood, the waters in and around the Chesapeake Bay have been her world, and it is here that her passion for painting in oil would take root. Raised in a renovated farmhouse along the St. Mary’s River in southern Maryland, Lisa grew up spending countless hours crabbing, fishing, collecting oysters, and sailing with her family. “I remember soft crabbing on the shores of the river all summer long,” she says. “For two weeks each year, we sailed the Bay, once venturing up to New England, onboard [the 30-foot gaff cutter] Galatea, a boat that my dad built. The water simply became a part of me.” A third-generation artist, Lisa’s inspiration to paint began early on, as she would observe the natural world around her. “Sketching birds of prey was of particular interest to me as a pre-teen,” says Egeli. “Later on I worked in watercolor, pencil, or pen and ink, and focused on the things I observed around my home.” A major source of Lisa’s inspiration comes from her father, Peter. At age 85, Peter Egeli is still regarded as one of the top portrait artists working today. Like his daughter, Peter began painting and drawing in early childhood. In his teens Peter studied painting at the Corcoran School
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Years later, Lisa would put those lessons to work and build a wooden boat of her own—a plywood V-bottom runabout she named Björn Again, in honor of her grandfather, Björn Egeli. But as much as boats and boatbuilding remained of interest to her, it was Egeli’s art career that took precedence. Lisa spent two years in college
me, that connection is boats, boating, and life on the water. I have lived it, I continue to live it, and I paint it.” History and nature conservation play important roles in Lisa’s art. Her marine paintings are representative of this, bringing the viewer to places that have seen changes over time, are quickly disappearing, or in some cases, are gone forever. “While I am not recreating what is already gone,” she explains, “I do feel a sense of urgency to paint the rapidly changing natural world along our coasts.”
Björn Again underway.
Building Björn Again in Virginia before attending Chicago’s American Academy of Art, graduating in 1988. The formal, more academic curriculum offered at the Academy provided Lisa with the strong foundational skills necessary to jumpstart her interest in portrait painting. She received a number of small commissions from friends and family, and major commissions soon followed. Egeli’s love for painting the natural world and coastal scenes, however, never waned. In 1991, she set out on a nine-month painting tour that took her to Europe, India, Southeast Asia, China, and New Zealand in pursuit of distinctive landscapes. Painting trips since have included Alaska, Africa, South America, and a myriad of destinations within the United States, ultimately leading Lisa back to the waters and shorelines near the Churchton, Maryland, home she so treasures. As many artists will proclaim, the subject of a painting is not selected simply because it is appealing, but understanding why it matters is equally important. It is all about the connection. “Something that is worth painting—something that you care about—is what is key,” says Egeli. “For
Lazy Days on Galatea, by Peter Egeli, oil, 24 x 36 inches. Father and daughter painting together.
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020 39
Over the years Lisa has captured on canvas shoreline spots such as Maryland’s Hoopers Island in Dorchester County, Fox Island near Crisfield, and Cedar Island in Virginia, each depicting distinct moments in time. In her painting Momentum, for example, she reveals a part of Hoopers Island that is quickly disappearing. Although the island remains a working watermen’s community, it used to be the primary seafood processing hub on the Bay. During a visit to Fox Island in summer 2018, Egeli created two plein air studies that would be the foundation for her beautifully rendered studio piece A Story of Tides. Here, the artist paints her vision of a vanishing landscape. A Story of Tides portrays property once used by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, as all water and no land. “The property has been fading away as a result of rising seas and other environmental changes, and is destined to become another part of maritime history,” says Lisa. “I purposely painted the scene showing all water to make a point. Some of the duck blinds in the distance were once connected to islands.” Egeli’s painting September’s Solace shows Cedar Island in 2001 shortly after 9/11 when she was seeking, well… solace. Today’s visitors to the southern end of this rapidly eroding barrier island will detect a dramatic shoreline change since this painting was created almost twenty years ago. A stone’s throw from her home is Deep Cove Creek. “The creek has been my favored subject for twenty years now, and I’ve witnessed the changes to it over time,” Lisa says. “Plans for a housing development nearly crowded it out before efforts to preserve the area were successful. As it is, the creek faces even higher tides and accelerated erosion.” Lisa Egeli has toured the world, studying and painting as she travels. She focuses a lot of her paintings on maritime scenes in the Chesapeake Bay, but she still paints while traveling. (top left) Ngalawa Study, Zanzibar, Tanzania, oil, 6 x 9 inches, en plein air. (middle) Lisa painting in China during her 1991 world tour. (bottom left) Havana Harbor, Cuba, oil, 8 x 16 inches. 40
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
Egeli will tell you that her marine paintings are not historically researched, and, although she includes old boats in her work, they are not necessarily her focus. Marine art is not restricted to ships and boats, and she defers to J. Russell Jinishian, a leading authority on the subject, who defines marine art as “anything water.” And painting water and what surrounds it remains endlessly fascinating to her. “I become immersed in trying to capture the feeling of it, how it reflects light and color, the wind, the waves—all of that; however, my marine work includes a little bit of everything these days,” she says. “Birds, animals, and aquatic life in general—all are alluring to me. Each belongs to the natural world, which is an integral part of marine history.” Lisa’s desire to share her passion for preserving marine history through her art was heightened when she decided to join the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) in 2009. Not sure at first that her work would “fit with the high seas, historic battles, and blue water” of the typical ASMA paintings and sculpture, Egeli discovered that the organization had broad-
Momentum, oil, 22 x 28 inches ened its focus to include a wider range of subjects and styles. Her own introduction to the Society began back in childhood, when her father joined and then served
as its president—a role she assumed in 2018. “My experience as both a member and leader of ASMA has brought me into a community of incredible artists whose
A Story of Tides, oil, 14 x 24 inches
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020 41
purpose continues to be to recognize and preserve maritime history. Art is an amazing way to do that.” Today, Lisa strives to maintain a balance between her marine art and portrait work. She likes to say that one strengthens
September’s Solace, oil, 18 x 24 inches her ability to do the other. “In other words,” she explains, “If all I am doing are portraits, they are so academic and intense, I tend to feel I am just the hand, whereas marine paintings are more emotional, free, and have more movement. Doing marine paint-
ings helps me to keep life in my portraits, while portraiture helps to keep a degree of rigor in my other work.” Lisa’s enduring appreciation for marine life continually challenges her to maintain a record of how places looked at one point in time. Her never-ending love for the water and her remarkable ability to capture its ever-changing beauty through her art will forever drive her to preserve it. “To me, life on the water is such a primal thing. Like my Viking ancestors, most people, at some point, came across the water or spent time on the water, whether they know it or not, liked it or not, and tragically, whether they chose to or not. That is really amazing.” Kathi Ferguson is a freelance writer with a diverse and creative professional background. Some of her favorite subjects are the people of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. To reach Kathi, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the artist, visit www.lisaegeli.com.
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
Sea History readers can enjoy these spectacular selections of Lisa Egeli’s art and support the National Maritime Historical Society at the same time! Somerset Velvet Fine Art Prints
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Improbability “This view of the dunes of Cape Cod National Seashore was inspired by a two-week residency in the Margot-Gelb Dune Shack, just outside of Provincetown. The Pilgrim Monument is barely visible over the towering dunes.” Soft Touch “When I stand on a beach and watch the sun come up over tropical waters, I’m always struck by the softness of the salt air and the diffused light. This painting reflects many years of painting on the beach, working to capture some of that feeling that has pulled artists to the sea for ages.”
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Marine Art News
18th National Exhibition of the American Society of Marine Artists
The American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) opens its 18th National Exhibition on 7 March in Virginia at the Jamestown Settlement and will include a plein-air “paint out” at the museum’s pier, where its replicas of the 1607 ships Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery are docked. The exhibition will tour the country throughout 2020 and most of 2021, concluding at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in September of 2021. Venues in between will be: the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s, MD, 21 May–7 September 2020; GulfQuest Maritime Museum in Mobile, AL, September–December 2020; and Burroughs-Chapin Museum of Art in Myrtle Beach, SC, January–April 2021. Check the ASMA website for details: www.americanso cietyofmarineartists.com. The Boathouse by Lisa Egeli, ASMA president
A Woman Lights the Lights of Florida
As part of Women’s Recognition Month, the National Lighthouse Museum on Staten Island will host a temporary exhibition by artist Romagean Personne. After she completed a commission to paint the Jupiter Inlet Light a few years ago, the Colorado-based artist embarked on a year-long study across the Sunshine State, which yielded paintings of all of Florida’s thirty lighthouses. The exhibition will be on display from 1–25 March. (National Lighthouse Museum, 200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point, Staten Island, NY; Ph. 718 390-0040; www.lighthousemuseum.org)
images for marine art news courtesy of the artists
SALT: Tracing Memories, An Art Installation by Motoi Yamamoto
Mystic Seaport Museum will open an unusual exhibition by contemporary Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto, whose primary medium is ordinary table salt. Yamamoto first began sculpting in salt following his 24-year-old sister’s death from brain cancer in 1994. More recently, his art has been dedicated to the memory of his wife of 25 years who passed away in 2016 from breast cancer. The mineral has a deep cultural importance in Japanese society, for whom it represents purification and good luck. The artist will create a site-specific design that will span 1,000 square feet—one of the largest he has ever created—on the floor of the museum’s Collins Gallery. Yamamoto crafts his intricately carved shapes and images by repetitively depositing minute dabs of salt. These installations are often compared to Tibetan Buddhist monk sand mandalas, with the works dismantled at the end of the exhibition and the contents returned to the sea, representing the circular nature of life. “Salt cells (shapes drawn with salt that look like small bubbles) bind to each other, creating a final piece of work with tiny details that resemble knitted lace. The design of swirls has been used, mainly in East Asia, as a symbol of life and death, rebirth, resurrection, and eternity.” Visitors can either view the installation from the floor or ascend ramps onto platforms to gain a different perspective from a greater height. In addition, the installation will be enhanced by hands-on tables where visitors can shape their own designs out of the same type of salt used for Yamamoto’s sculpture. (75 Greenmanville Ave, Mystic, CT; www.mysticseaport.org. The exhibition opens 30 April and runs through 6 September 2020)
Another Crossing: Artists Revisit the Mayflower Voyage
Another Crossing, an exhibition recognizing the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower crossing and its significance to American and world history, will open at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts, on 30 May and will run through 29 November 2020 before traveling to England. Developed in partnership with the museum and gallery space The Box and the Plymouth College of Art (both in Plymouth, England), Another Crossing brings together ten artists from the United States and Europe for a crosscultural effort that examines a pivotal event in world history. In 2018, guest curator Glenn Adamson, senior scholar at the Yale Center for British Art, selected ten artists to participate in the project with the charge that only 17th-century technology and processes be used in the creation of the objects. The resulting artworks illustrate the technical skill of the era in which the Pilgrims made their voyage, while also speaking to the social realities behind the material culture and the examination of the Mayflower crossing through a contemporary lens. For some, the Mayflower voyage and subsequent settlement of Plimoth Colony in Massachusetts is a treasured historical event, while for others, the colonization and treatment of the Wampanoag peoples illustrate imperialism and cultural ruin. Through Another Crossing, the artists respond to this complex history and its impact on our culture over the last four centuries. (Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak St., Brockton, MA; Ph. 508 588-6000; www.fullercraft.org. 44
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
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SEA HISTORY for kids Maritime and Marine Careers
Meteorologist /Oceanographer Joe Sienkiewicz
photos courtesy of joe sienkiewicz • map courtesy noaa
Joe Sienkiewicz is the branch chief for the NOAA Ocean Prediction Center, which is part of the National Weather Service. The Ocean Prediction Center provides mariners with warnings and forecasts for the western North Atlantic and central and eastern Pacific Oceans. The center operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, because weather doesn’t take weekends off. Joe has been with the National Weather Service for more than 30 years, and in that time he has become an expert in a variety of aspects of ocean weather. In his office he has a large array of weather observing and prediction tools at his fingertips. Surrounding his desk are six monitors that allow him to view satellite imagery from four geostationary satellites that cover the oceans from Asia to Europe. He can also see what’s going on in the high latitudes by accessing polar-orbiting satellite imagery. Weather is constantly changing and doesn’t always follow the rules, so Joe uses multiple resources to generate accurate weather forecasts, including numerical
From his desk at the Ocean Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, Joe can access data from satellites and from sources around the world to help him come up with timely and accurate weather forecasts.
NOAA Ocean Prediction Center North Atlantic Surface Analysis from 1200 UTC, 31 August 2017. Surface analyses show the location and strength of lows, highs, and fronts. Lows are storm systems that can produce dangerous winds and seas. Fronts are boundaries between air masses of different temperature and moisture and often have wind shifts. Ocean Prediction Center forecasters produce these maps every six hours and make them available to mariners at sea to help them avoid the most severe winds and waves.
model forecasts—NOAA’s Global Forecast System, for example— plus others from around the globe, and wave and ocean models such as those provided by the US Navy and international partners. Mariners have come to rely on the Ocean Prediction Center for timely and accurate forecasts and information that help keep them safe at sea. What many of them don’t know is that Joe has firsthand experience being on their end of the marine radio or shipboard computer. Before he went to graduate school to study atmospheric science, Joe was a professional mariner. He grew up in Boston and learned how to sail with the Community Boating program on the Charles River, and one of his first jobs was running the waterfront as the dockmaster at the sailing club. Although he admits he had a “bumpy” start in college, he eventually found a better fit for himself at the State University of New York Maritime College, one of the seven maritime academies in the country that prepare students for careers as professional mariners and other maritime-related professions. At SUNY Maritime, Joe majored in meteorology and oceanography and enrolled in the US Coast Guard Deck Officer License Program. At graduation, he received a Bachelor of Science degree and also qualified for his USCG Third Mate Oceans License.
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
graphic and information for the caption courtesy of noaa.gov
“Science and the potential to work at sea was a very good mix for me. After graduation I worked for five years as mate and captain on tugboats based out of New York. There is no better thrill than landing a tug alongside an inbound ship.” Joe then went back to school to further his studies in meteorology and oceanography. After graduation, he succeeded in landing a job with the National Weather Service, where he has been ever since. In his profession, you need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in meteorology, and many of Joe’s colleagues have advanced degrees. That’s a lot of time in school, but Joe points out that most people don’t have a direct path in what they end up doing as a career. He also emphasizes that the experience you can get by working in lower-level or even “grunt” jobs can be invaluable. “Some of my jobs, especially as a dockmaster at a large public sailing club as a teenager, taught me so much about self-reliance and confidence. I learned that it is okay to work with your hands, how to always respect others, and how to push myself. Without the dockmaster experience and boat handling skills I learned when I was younger, I would have really struggled as a mate on tugs. Working on boats requires you to make decisions on the fly and then not be afraid to change that decision when new information presents itself.” He takes a lot of pride in his work and never forgets that others are relying on him to do his job well, not just for a comfortable passage at sea, but for their safety and that of their ships, cargo, and passengers. “Our mission to forecast and warn mariners of existing and upcoming hazardous weather is very cool, but it’s challenging. The weather over the oceans is always changing, but that also makes the job of providing warnings and forecasts very rewarding. We always have in mind that we are serving those at sea.”
The first man-made satellite was sent into space in 1957, and since then thousands more have been launched to observe the earth, collect data, and perform all sorts of functions. Earth-orbiting satellites range from weather and communications satellites to deep space telescopes and Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. Currently, there are more than 50 countries involved in building, launching, and operating satellites. NOAA operates many of its own, but the earth is a pretty big place, so NOAA partners with other countries to gather and share data from satellites in orbits positioned all around the world. This graphic shows the current space-based portion of the World Meteorological Organization’s Global Observing System, plus additional space, weather, and environmental satellites. Learn more about NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center at www.ocean. weather.gov. You can see NOAA satellite imagery of any place in the world in real-time at www.nesdis.noaa.gov/content/imagery-and-data. SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
Animals in Sea History by Richard King
national library of new zealand
s Pacific Island voyagers continued their open ocean crossings thousands of years ago, by around the year 1200 they had made their last major stop on what would be the last large inhabitable land mass on Earth to be settled by humans. There they settled in a series of iwi, or tribes, and would become what we now know as the Māori of Aotearoa New Zealand.1 The Māori soon discovered that Aotearoa did not have any native land mammals other than two species of bat. So, to feed themselves they relied on the rodents and plants they brought with them, and once ashore in New Zealand they captured seabirds and the large, flightless land birds that had evolved and thrived in this mamMen from the New Zealand government steamer Hinemoa capturing a male New Zealand mal-free archipelago. The Māori also turned to kaimoana, sea lion, c. 1909, likely on Enderby Island, perhaps for an international exhibition. or seafood, as well as to the mammals that spent part of the year on the beaches, animals that had never encountered humans before. These were several species of pinnipeds—seals and sea lions—including one species that is found only in these waters, the Whakahao. For a time, these were called Hooker’s sea lion after the English botanist Joseph Hooker; today they’re commonly known as simply the New Zealand sea lion. Archaeologists and biologists believe the New Zealand sea lion was eradicated from the main three islands of Aotearoa by about 1700. The species survived only by way of breeding colonies on remote sub-Antarctic islands, such as in the Auckland Islands or at Campbell Island. In the 1800s, the remaining populations of the New Zealand sea lion were pushed still further to the brink of extinction by American, British, and French settlers and hunters who killed pinnipeds on those remote beaches for their fur and oil, and occasionally for food. This hunting proved devastating to all pinniped populations. In time, there were so few left in New Zealand waters that it wasn’t worth
“land of the long white cloud,” is the Māori name for New Zealand.
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
photo by neville peat
the trouble for hunters to seek them out. By the 1900s New Zealanders only saw scattered males occasionally hauling out on southern beaches during a couple of winter months a year. Then in 1993 something miraculous happened. For the first time in probably more than 150 years, a female New Zealand sea lion hauled herself out on a beach of mainland Aotearoa, at the mouth of the Taieri River in the South Island. A lot had changed since the hunters abandoned the area, and by then people were excited to watch and protect these “sea bears.” Unbothered by humans, she later gave birth to a healthy pup. This unique mother sea lion became known as “Mum,” and she returned several times over the years and went on to give birth to eleven pups. Today, between ten and twenty pups are born on South Island beaches each year.
Mum and her 8th pup in 2003.
Female New Zealand sea lions, more so than most other pinnipeds, have a distinctly light, creamy-colored coat. Females can grow to about 350 pounds, while large bull sea lions can grow to nearly 1,000 pounds. In recent years, New Zealand sea lions have been tracked diving more than 1,200 feet below the surface to capture their primary diet of fish, squid, octopuses, and crabs. They use their large eyes and extraordinarily sensitive whiskers, vibrissae, to find their way and hunt in the dark. Despite the good news about “Mum,” however, the New Zealand sea lion is still the world’s rarest species of sea lion and remains classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as endangered and decreasing, with a current population estimate of fewer than 10,000. These sea lions remain threatened
To learn more about Mum and the New Zealand sea lion, read Coasting: The Sea Lion and the Lark by Neville Peat. A sculpture dedicated to “Mum” on St. Clair Beach on South Island, Aotearoa New Zealand. For more “Animals in Sea History” go to www.seahistory.org or educators.mysticseaport.org.
“Sea History for K ids” is sponsored by the Henry L. & Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation
photo by richard j. king
by development and human disturbance in areas where they haul out to mate and raise their young. They also often get captured and drown in the nets of fishing vessels trawling for squid, despite attempts to reduce these incidents with improvements to fishing gear and New Zealand government regulations.
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HMS Surprise has been removed, the beams refreshed, and the first layers of the deck installed. New planks are being measured and laid. The decking project is made possible by funding from the Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Memorial Foundation and many other generous donors. The work is being done by museum staff and volunteers. Surprise was built in 1970 as a replica of a British frigate, HMS Rose, and was named Rose until 2001, when she was brought to the West Coast from her long-time homeport in Connecticut to star in the Hollywood blockbuster Master and Commander—Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. Her name was changed for her movie role and she has been HMS Surprise ever since. Surprise is berthed along the San Diego waterfront perpendicular to the museum’s flagship, the 1863 Star of India, which was hauled out for
maintenance and restoration work in February at BAE Systems shipyard in San Diego. Star of India has received financial support in recent years from a Maritime Heritage Grant (see more on this grant program on page 18) for restoration work, including a new deck in 2017. (MMSD, 1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA; Ph. 619 234-9153; www.sdmaritime.org) … Sweden’s maritime archaeologists have been busy with the recent discovery of three shipwrecks in the final months of 2019. In November, the Vrak Museum (Museum of Wrecks), which is still under construction with an anticipated opening late in 2020, announced that two large shipwrecks were discovered near Vaxholm, an island in the Stockholm archipelago. One of the two is a massive warship and the archaeologists suspect it might be a sister ship to Vasa, the intact 17th-century warship that rolled over and sank on her maiden voyage. Vasa was located and raised
high, and there was a massive warship,” said Jim Hansson, a maritime archaeologist with the Vrak Museum. Hansson and the archaeologists from Vrak took wood samples that have been sent to the lab for analysis. Then in December, construction workers digging up a section of Kungsträdgården, a popular park in downtown Stockholm, uncovered the remains of what is thought to be an even older ship. Vrak Museum archaeologists were called to the site, and they believe the remains to belong
in the 1960s and is the centerpiece to the museum named for it, one of the most visited maritime museums in the world. Vasa was one of four ships built for Sweden’s King Gustavus Adolphus, who sought to build up the Swedish navy with large, powerful ships equipped with substantial firepower. Vasa was completed in 1628, followed by Äpplet (1629), Kronan (1632), and Scepter (1634). All but Vasa served in the Swedish Royal Navy and participated in naval conflicts. Äpplet is thought to have been purposely sunk in the area to serve as a means to block enemy ships from entering the harbor. “When I came down as the first diver, I saw this wall five or six meters
to a 16th-century cargo vessel. This section of the city was once covered by water, and it is likely that the ship had been abandoned there and in time covered by debris and fill. Based on the wood analysis, size of the timbers, and construction details, Vrak maritime archaeologists say that it is likely one of the crown’s ships built in Hälsingland, and because of its length (in excess of 30 meters) it is thought to be the Samson, a type of hybrid vessel ordered by Duke Karl in 1598 that could carry up to 20 guns but was mainly used as a cargo ship. The Vrak Museum is part of Sweden’s National Maritime and Transport History Museums, which also include the Maritime
Ship remains in Kungsträdgården park.
photo by alex saikowski, courtesy mmsd
HMS Surprise (ex “HMS” Rose) in San Diego is getting a new deck. As prescribed by the US Coast Guard during her last inspection, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is re-planking the entire starboard side of the ship. The museum has opted for laminated decks as they proved successful in recent work replacing decks on the museum’s other sailing ships, Star of India and Californian. Three quarters of the old deck
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
History Museum, the Vasa Museum, and the Marine Museum. The new museum is part of Royal Djurgården, a national city park consisting almost exclusively of museums, restaurants, and attractions on the island of Djurgården in Stockholm. (www. vrakmuseum.se) … The winter issue of Sea History (169) reported that the Liberty ship John W. Brown was looking for a new berth. We are happy to report that on 30 December, Project Liberty Ship (PLS), the Brown’s owner and operator, and Maritime Applied Physics Corp. (MAPC) announced an $18-million plan to revitalize a portion of the former Bethlehem Steel Fairfield Shipyard, where the Liberty ship was built in 1942. The site will also provide a home base for the ship’s education and
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John W. Brown
cruise activities as well as support for MAPC’s growing shipbuilding and maritime technology operations. Calling for a combination of state and federal funding as well as private financial support, the proposal would rebuild a fitting-out pier at the former yard, to be owned and administered by a non-profit entity. MAPC designs and builds advanced technology systems and vessels for the Department of Defense and for commercial products, such as the new Baltimore water taxis and floating aquaculture systems. It owns a plant on the land where the Bethlehem-Fairfield yard was located in the 1940s. MAPC currently holds a 50-year lease with an option to purchase the 780-foot pier that needs to be replaced to accommodate the John W. Brown and the planned MAPC business expansion. Both PLS and MAPC see the innovative plan to restore pier space on the footprint of the historic fitting-out pier— one of the few remaining WWII-era shipyard structures—as a means of keeping Baltimore’s maritime heritage alive and promoting economic development of the
port. Mark Rice, president of MAPC, noted, “The photographs on the walls of our present building remind us daily of the thousands of shipyard workers, men and women of all races and ethnicities, who did more than their part to win WWII. Our vision is that our Bethlehem Fairfield site will host rapidly growing numbers of skilled Baltimore workers and that the presence of the John W. Brown will remind our community and the citizens of Maryland of those who worked so hard to build the ships that saved the world.” While the two-year renovation at the pier and shipyard is underway, the John W. Brown will share Baltimore’s Pier 13 with the nuclear-powered combination cargo and passenger ship NS Savannah, which was built in the late 1950s to show the versatility of nuclear ship propulsion. Since her return to Baltimore in 1988, the John W. Brown has sailed more than 25,000 miles, visiting 29 North American ports with living history cruises, featuring 1940s-era entertainment, and vintage aircraft fly-bys. (PLS, PO Box 25846, Highlandtown Station, Baltimore, MD 21224; Ph: 410 558-0646; www.ssjohnwbrown.org) … Interlake Steamship Company has ordered a new vessel to be built by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, the first USflag bulk carrier built on the Great Lakes in 35 years. The new 638-foot river-class, bulk carrier will transport raw materials to support manufacturing throughout the Great Lakes region. The Interlake Steamship Company, headquartered in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, has the largest privately held US-flag fleet on the Great Lakes, with nine vessels carrying bulk cargoes and a company history dating back more than 100 years. The Interlake Steamship Company, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, and Bay Engineering are jointly designing the bulk carrier, complete with advanced vessel and unloading systems automation. The ship is scheduled to be completed in mid2022. (The Interlake Steamship Company, 7300 Engle Road, Middleburg Heights, Ohio; Ph. 440 260-6900; www.interlakesteamship.com) … A three-year salvage operation beginning in 2017 has recovered nearly 2,000 artifacts from the Royal Navy warship HMS Invincible, which sank in the Solent in 1758. The
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wreck was discovered by a fisherman in 1979 in 25 feet of water. Changing seabed levels in recent years led to fears that the site would no longer be protected by the sand, as it had been for over two and a half centuries, and it was decided to remove as much as possible from the site for documenting and preservation. Pascoe Archaeology, Bournemouth University, Marine Archaeology Sea Trust (MAST) and the National Museum of the Royal Navy all
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HMS Invincible (above); her cutwater recovered and in the lab for conservation.
took part in the excavation, which involved 1,458 dives. The recovered items range from the ship’s cutwater to military items like a gun port lid and swivel guns, to mundane items like cutlery, buttons, and a mop head. Launched as L’Invincible in Southwest France in 1744, the 74-gun ship served in the French Navy until her capture by the British at Cape Finisterre in 1747. HMS Invincible then served in the British Navy until wrecking on a shallow sand bank on 19 February 1757. The recovered artifacts will be taken to the Chatham Historic Dockyard and Portsmouth Historic Shipyard, and then become part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth, UK; (www.nmrn.org.uk) … On 20 February, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the US Navy held a ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, naming a future aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross. USS Doris Miller (CVN 81), a Gerald R. Ford-class carrier, will be the first aircraft carrier named for an enlisted service member and an African American. Doris “Dorie” Miller was a mess attendant aboard USS West Virginia when Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. His battle station, the anti-aircraft battery magazine amidships, had been Stre on deck and prodamaged, so he Pleasant reported ceeded to carry wounded20personnel to
Admiral Chester Nimitz awards the Navy Cross to SC2c Doris Miller for heroism on USS West Virginia (BB-48). safety. Then he manned a 50-caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun— equipment he had not been trained to operate— and fired until he ran out of ammunition and was ordered to abandon ship. For his actions he was recognized with the Navy Cross, presented by Chester W. Nimitz, the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, in a ceremony aboard USS Enterprise (CV-6). Miller subsequently reported to USS Indianapolis (CA-35) and was then assigned to USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56). That escort carrier was struck by a torpedo and sunk in November of 1943 near Butaritari Island; Miller was listed as missing. His status was revised to “killed in action” one year later on 25 November 1944. The aircraft carrier will be the second vessel named for Miller; the first was a Knox-class frigate, commissioned in 1973 and decommissioned in 1991. … When you get the new issue of Sea History in the mail, do you head straight for the “Animals in Sea History” feature? If you do, you’re going to love the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). A consortium of over 80 partners working to make natural history literature available for open access, the BHL has over 55 million pages of literature and 150,000 illustrations available to the public to share information and foster collaboration in the fight against the climate crisis. Just a sampling of the partner institutions: the American Museum of Natural History SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
biodiversity heritage library
Library, Harvard University Botany Libraries, the Library of Congress and the Cornell University Library in the US, Australia’s Museums Victoria, the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, and the Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO) in Mexico. Materials range from journals of voyages of exploration to botanical studies, from paleontology to histories of cats, and a remarkable wealth of archived images. The project is funded by consortium member dues and by donations. It’s well worth a visit. (www.biodiversitylibrary.org) … In October the National Museum of the Royal Navy announced it will be opening new public access to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, where visitors will be able to walk under HMS Victory as part of a new visitor experience. For the first time, the dry dock in which Nelson’s
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HMS Victory in Dry Dock 2
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020 53
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Maine’s First Ship Virginia
Southport’s crumpled weather warning tower.
by order of President William McKinley to warn ships of dangerous weather conditions. Signal flags and lights on the tower indicated danger levels from small-craft warnings to alerts for approaching hurricanes. The tower also served as a memorial to Southport’s volunteer tower observer/signalman Jessie Taylor Stephens, said to be the longest-serving individual in that position, serving more than 60 years. The coastal warning network was deactivated in 1989, and only a handful of the towers remain. The tower is considered part of the 54
and installing the shutter planks, which means ice cream, in honor of Winnie Lash of Friendship. The late Winfield “Winnie” Lash—boatbuilder, designer, and co-founder of Lash Brothers Boatyard—always celebrated his shutter plank by sending the newest guy up the hill to get ice cream.” The ship is inspired by the pinnace Virginia, built by members of the Popham Colony, a short-lived settlement located near where Phippsburg, Maine, is today. The original Virginia carried many of the surviving colonists back to England the following year. There are no known design plans for the original vessel; the recreation is based on typical designs of the period, with adaptations for modern use and Coast Guard safety requirements. MFS hopes to launch Virginia in fall of 2020. (122 Front St., Bath, ME; Ph: 207 443-4242; www. mfship.org) … As people are marking the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the Pilgrim ship Mayflower from England to North America, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) will be tracing
Mayflower Autonomous Ship a similar path, also with a brave new future in mind. The MAS, an unmanned 53-foot trimaran, will cross the ocean using hybrid propulsion—wind, solar, state-ofthe-art batteries, and a diesel generator— and managed by artificial intelligence. The vessel, under construction in Poland and to be fitted out in England, will set sail from Plymouth, England, on 6 September for an expected twelve-day journey to Plymouth, Massachusetts. Key to its mission are the research pod loaded with sensors and an assortment of other hull-mounted instruments to study meteorology, oceanography, climatology, biology, marine pollution and conservation, and autonomous navigation; the data will be relayed to scientists on shore. The vessel has the capacity to carry up to three research pods, a feature that project leaders hope to utilize in future expeditions. The project’s planners hope that developments in maritime AI systems will eventually lead to improved safety features in more traditional craft. The non-profit ProMare, established to promote marine research and exploration, is coordinating the project with partners including IBM, the University of Plymouth, Aluship, and MSubs Ltd. (www.promare. org) … A research team in Poland has discovered a shipwreck in the Vistula River north of Warsaw. The ship, estimated 120 feet long, was likely used to transport grain to Gdańsk. Artur Brzóska, the underwater archaeologist who led the project, said “This is most likely a large transport vessel that was used from the
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adjacent North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport; as of press time the museum was awaiting an engineer’s inspection of the site to determine how to proceed. (NCMM Southport, 2014 E. Moore St., Southport, NC; 910 477-5151; https://ncmaritimemuseumsouthport.com) … The non-profit group Maine’s First Ship is making progress on the construction of a replica of the Virginia. Her crew reports: “We are hanging the lodging knees, which will allow us to finish planking the deck
flagship has been supported since 1922 is included on the tour route. Visitors will be able to see parts of the vessel rarely seen, including the elm keel that has supported Victory since she was laid down 260 years ago in 1759. In addition, a new gallery, “The Nation’s Flagship,” will open in April 2020 and share the fascinating and everevolving tale of Victory’s construction, service, and ongoing conservation. HMS Victory is the Royal Navy’s most famous warship. Best known for her role in the Battle of Trafalgar, the Victory currently has a dual role as the flagship of the First Sea Lord and as a living museum of the Georgian Navy. (www.historicdockyard. co.uk) … The 119-year old weather warning tower in Southport, North Carolina, was toppled by heavy gusts of wind during a storm on 7 February. Built in 1901 on the lawn of Fort Johnston Garrison, the tower was one of dozens installed
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
14th to the 18th century.” The poor visibility and rapid current prevented the team from finding any smaller items related to the vessel, which was identified once divers investigated one of several sites singled out as promising by boat-mounted sonar scans. In addition to the older ship, the team identified the remains of a ferry, a cargo boat, and a bridge likely constructed in the Second World War. The next step will be to test samples from the sites to narrow down the age of the vessels. Financing for the project was provided by the Ministry of Culture and Scientific Heritage, and the Institute of Archaeology of the University of Warsaw. (www.scienceinpoland.pap.pl) … On 23 January, dignitaries broke ground to launch the renovation of historic Dry Dock 4 of Virginia’s Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY). The three-year $200 million renovation will update the facility to meet the Navy’s needs for submarine overhaul for decades to come, supporting Ohio, Virginia, and Columbia-class vessels. “Today’s groundbreaking will ensure this historic dry dock will continue to serve the Navy and nation for the future Navy, just as it has done for the last 100 years,” said Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) James Geurts. “The Navy continues to invest heavily in our naval shipyard workforce and supporting infrastructure to ensure we can continue to support the world’s finest naval force now and into the future.” Dry Dock 4 was first opened in April 1919, the first of three dry docks built for a WWI-era expansion of NNSY. It was one of the largest concrete structures in the world at that time, measuring approximately 1,012 feet long, 144 feet wide and 40 feet deep. It has served such ships as USS Langley (CV-1), USS Texas (BB-35), and USS Arizona (BB39). Renovation work will include the replacement of the dry dock’s concrete floor and sidewalls and a complete restoration of the pumpwell, as well as an upgrade of all mechanical and electrical equipment. It is estimated that 2,300 linear feet of mechanical and electrical services in the dock area will be replaced. NNSY will also be renovating Buildings 261 and 1539, housing a storage area and repair shop, and their surrounding area. All of this work is part of the Naval Sea Systems Command’s
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take part in the Philadelphia Science Festival, hosting a program led by astronomers about the stars. On 2 May, the museum will commemorate the Battle of Manila Bay, exploring the history of the US Navy and highlighting society in the Victorian age. Demonstrations of ship-to-shop signaling, artillery drills, and more will help visitors imagine what shipboard life was like in 1898. These special events are planned in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the ship’s commissioning. Celebrations will conclude on 9 May with Olympia’s official birthday party, which
(NAVSEA) Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP), a 20-year $21 billion program dedicated to completely refurbishing the nation’s four public shipyards. (Commander Naval Sea Systems Command, 1333 Isaac Hull Avenue, SE, Washington Navy Yard, DC; Ph. 202 7810000; www.navsea.navy.mil) … Beginning on 28 March, the Independence Seaport Museum will be offering bimonthly Hard Hat Tours, of USS Olympia, where visitors will be able to explore areas of the ship previously off-limits to the public. Then, on 17 April the ship will
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SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
CALENDAR Festivals, E vents, L ectures, Etc. •Mayflower Sails 2020 Maritime Festival, 14–19 May at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, home to USS Constitution. Mayflower will set sail for Plymouth, MA, arriving on 21 May. The ship will open for dockside public tours as part of the Mayflower Homecoming Weekend on 23–25 May. See page 29 for more information. (www.mayflowersails2020.com) •32nd America’s Schooner Cup Charity Regatta, 28 March in San Diego Bay in California, organized by the Silver Gate Yacht Club Foundation. (www.americas schoonercup.com)
•41st Annual Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival, 11–14 June. Includes the Music of the Sea Symposium. Daytime events included with admission. (47 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT; Ph. 860 572-0711, ext. 5037; www.mysticseaport.org/event/ sea-music-festival/) E xhibits •Interwoven: Threads of Power in the Domestic Sphere, 4 April through 4 October at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. (43 Washington St., Bath, ME; Ph. 207 443-1316; www.mainemaritimemuseum.org)
is organized by the British Commission for Maritime History in association with the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. (www. maritimehistory.org.uk) •5th Annual NC Whales & Whaling Symposium, 3 April at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort (315 Front Street, Beaufort, NC; Ph. 252 5047740; www.ncmaritimemuseumbeaufort. com) •47th Albert Reed & Thelma Walker Maritime Symposium, 4 April at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. (43 Washington St., Bath, ME; Ph. 207 4431316; www.mainemaritimemuseum.org)
Join us in Philadelphia, 8–10 May, for the 57th NMHS Annual Meeting. See page 8–9 of this issue for details, or visit www.seahistory.org. •Eastern Shore Sea Glass and Coastal Arts Festival, 4–5 April at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (213 North Talbot Street, St. Michaels, MD; www.cbmm.org) •“Schooner Bowdoin: From Arctic Explorer to Maritime Teacher,” presentation at the Maine Maritime Museum by Eric Jergensen on 9 April. (43 Washington St., Bath, ME; Ph. 207 443-1316; www.mainemaritimemuseum.org) •“Flag Officer French Forrest, CSN,” 11 April, by John V. Quarstein, and on 23 May “Civil War Siege of Yorktown,” Mariners’ Museum Lecture Series. (100 Museum Drive, Newport News, VA; Ph. 757 596-2222; www.marinersmuseum.org) •Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show, 24–26 April, City Dock, Annapolis, MD. (www. annapolisboatshows.com) •Mariners’ Craft Beer Festival, 3 May at the Mariners’ Museum. (100 Museum Dr., Newport News, VA; Ph. 757 596-2222; www.marinersmuseum.org) •Maritime Weekend—Art, Antiques, and Scrimshaw, 10–12 May at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. (18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA; Ph. 508 997-0046; www.whalingmuseum.org) •2nd Annual Port Of San Diego Festival Of The Sea, 23–25 May at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. (1492 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA; Ph. 619 234-9153; www.sdmaritime.org)
•Lighter, Stronger, Faster: The Herreshoff Legacy, through April 2021 at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, MA. (265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA; Ph. 617 253-5927; www.mitmuseum.mit.edu) •SALT: Tracing Memories by Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto, opens 30 April at Mystic Seaport Museum. (See p. 44 of this issue for details. 75 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT; Ph. 860 572-0711; www.mysticseaport.org) •De Wind is Op! Climate, Culture and Innovation in Dutch Maritime Painting, through 15 May at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. (18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA; Ph. 508 997-0046; www. whalingmuseum.org) •Gregory Euclide: Observation Infiltration, through 24 May at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. Also at the museum through fall 2020 is Memories of Titanic. (800 Riverview Dr., Winona, MN; Ph. 507 474-6626; www.mmam.org) •A Lasting Memento: John Thomson’s Photographs Along the River Min, until 17 May at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. (161 Essex St., Salem, MA; Ph. 978-745-9500; www.pem.org) Conferences & Symposiums •New Researchers in Maritime History Conference, 27–28 March, at the historic Chatham Dockyard in the UK. Conference
•PCA/ACA National Conference (Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association), 15–18 April in Philadelphia. “Sea Literature, History, & Culture” will be one of the sessions. (www.pcaaca.org) •Council of American Maritime Museums Annual Conference, 27–29 April at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. (www. councilofamericanmaritimemuseums.org) •“Port Cities in the Atlantic World,” Conference organized by the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program (CLAW) at the College of Charleston 14–16 May in Charleston, SC. (www.claw. cofc.edu) •International Maritime History Association (IMHA) 8th International Congress of Maritime History, 30 June– 3 July in Porto, Portugal. Theme: “Old and New Uses of the Oceans.” (www.imha 2020.com) •North American Society for Oceanic History (NASOH) 45th Annual Conference, 14–17 May in Pensacola, hosted by the University of West Florida. Conference theme: “Maritime Connections: History, Heritage and the Maritime Landscape.” (www.nasoh.org) •Canadian Nautical Research Society Annual Conference, 13–15 August in North Vancouver, British Columbia. Conference theme is “Waterfronts at Work.” (www.cnrs-scrn.org)
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020 57 2020 57
Now you can own a custom-built museum-quality model of USCG Barque Eagle ... with proceeds from each sale supporting the National Maritime Historical Society
USCGC Eagle is a square-rigged barque built in 1936 in Hamburg, Germany, as Horst Wessel, a training ship operated by the pre-WWII German navy. The 295-foot steel-hulled ship was taken by the United States as a war reparation after World War II, and in 1946 USCG Commander Gordon McGowan led a combined crew of American and German sailors—including her recent German captain—and sailed the ship across the Atlantic to the USA—through a hurricane! She has since served as the US Coast Guard’s flagship and the Academy’s training vessel. You can read about the arduous ocean passage as told by McGowan in The Skipper & the Eagle. These models are crafted with magnificent detail, with hand-laid decks, tarred standing rigging, complex running rigging, and a full set of sails. Models include brass pedestals, a polished mahogany base board, and a brass name plate.
hull length 19” 26”
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framed case $825 $875
Prices include shipping and insurance within the USA. Each model is made to order—build time is approximately 14–16 weeks.
The Skipper & the Eagle by CAPT Gordon McGowan, USCG (Ret.) is available through NMHS for $25 SALE! now just $10 + $5 s/h. Phone the number below or order online at www.seahistory.org. 58
To order, call 1-914-737-7878, ext. 0. SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
Ahab’s Rolling Sea: A Natural History of Moby-Dick by Richard J. King (Chicago University Press, Chicago, 2019, 464pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-0-22651496-3; $30pb) 2019 marked the 200th anniversary of Herman Melville’s birth. His classic novel Moby-Dick has been adapted for a variety of media, and literary scholars have spent entire careers analyzing every line on every page. Yet, surprisingly, until now, no one has explored the elements of nature in the book. Richard King’s brilliant and beautiful new book fills this void. Ahab’s Rolling Sea is a tour-de-force of everything maritime. King combines personal seafaring experiences with literary and historical analysis of Moby-Dick. Despite a focus on whales, he covers marine life on and around the oceans, from seabirds to swordfish. The living ocean itself is a major character in a complex story about the rise of the Anthropocene (the present era in which human activity has predominantly shaped our climate), ecological degradation, and climate change. Readers will also find a rich biography of Melville that elevates the writer above Charles Darwin. There is a discussion of 19th-century naturalists and ordinary mariners who informed the writing of Moby-Dick. Shipping and navigation feature prominently in Ahab’s Rolling Sea, as well. Readers concerned about the environment and those interested in maritime literature and history would be cheating themselves by not reading this book. It is impossible to provide a comprehensive overview of the 31 chapters in Ahab’s Rolling Sea without filling the pages of this entire magazine. The book opens with a two-page map of the world depicting Melville’s actual seafaring travels and the fictional track of the Pequod, the whaling vessel in Moby-Dick. The chapters are beautifully designed with map headers cropped from the larger version. I have never seen this style before. The book provides a comprehensive analysis of the environmental aspects of Moby-Dick. King details Melville’s seafaring
career and global travels, which included and literature in Ahab’s Rolling Sea. Most mutiny and jail time in Tahiti. King calls authors would struggle to combine oceanMelville a “natural philosopher” because ography with literary analysis. Nevertheless, he was “so clearly interested in the implica- King does this often and well. tions of scientific developments,” but he The book could have done a better job did not pursue scientific endeavors in any with the business of whaling. King needed formal capacity. King makes the case that to further explore the linkages between Melville beat Darwin to the whalers and the rise of industrial capitalism punch by decentering people in in the United States. Jeffrey Bolster details the great chain of being a full these connections in Mortal Sea. For Bolster, ten years before the publication the depletion of life in the oceans began in of Origin of Species. King ex- the 19th century with manufacturing and plains that in Moby-Dick “Ahab mass-production. This was right around the rages against the reality that time that Melville wrote his famous novel. God might not have chosen hu- Having said this, no single author can be mankind above all, after all. The expected to get at every angle of a story. sperm whale, the animal, might King has done more than anyone to explore be equal the eyes of God, TheinGlencannon Pressthe environmental dimensions surrounding maybe even favored.” King then the greatest novel ever written about seafar4 col. inches (2.25 x 4.5 inches) goes on to describe each of the ing. For that, and for doing his part to try right hand page,and bottom fish, mammals, Prefer and birds in Melville’s save theright. planet from climate change, novel. we are all in his debt. King rightly believes the novel can be Christopher P. Magra Knoxville, Tennessee used as a vehicle to get at 19th-century ideas about the environment. Melville wrote Note: Richard J. King is the author and ilabout the “wonders of the ocean.” King lustrator of our regular feature “Animals in contextualizes these wonders with encyclo- Sea History”. pedias, narratives of mariners and naturalists, popular science books and academic THE GLENCANNON scientific papers that explored geology, PRESS marine biology, meteorology, navigation and oceanography throughout the 1800s. Maritime Books King nicely demonstrates that Melville read these treatises and incorporated larger scientific debates in a ripping good yarn. The author also wants to critique the NEW! Anthropocene. He sees Ahab as a stand-in All AmericAn Troopships for “Big Oil” and man’s “ceaseless quest for by Capt. Walter W. Jaffee fossil fuels.” He reads Moby-Dick as “a blue fable that decenters man” and reveals “how Every vessel that flew the messing with the forces of the natural ocean world will end poorly for humans.” King American flag and carried recounts the story of a young girl who went fighting men to and from the to sea on an oceanographic research ship battlefield. Troop transports who thought she saw a whale in the middle from the Spanish American of the ocean, out in the middle of nowhere. War through the Vietnam War. As the ship got closer to the sighted object, it turned out to be a Styrofoam cooler. He More than 360 pages. Availasks the reader, “Does this sight shatter able December 1, 2019. everything she thought about the wild and pristine sea beyond the hand of Homo saFREE Catalog 1-510-455-9027 piens?” His answer is clear: “I’m telling you Online at that it does; it does, it does, it does.” www.glencannon.com King is a very talented scholar. There is philosophy, theology, science, history,
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020 59
by Kurt D. Voss All proceeds from this pictorial history benefit the ELISSA preservation fund.
Published by Arcadia Publishing and Galveston Historical Foundation $21.99. 128 pages, 200 photographs Autographed copies available at (409) 763-1877, or online at:
w w w. t s m - e l i s s a . o r g New and Classic Maritime Books on Sale at the NMHS Ship’s Store.
THE UN I VERSITY OF TENNESSEE PRESS
Preorder at utpress.org or 800-621-2736
Long Island and the Sea by Bill Bleyer (Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, SC, 2019, 160pp, illus, index, biblio, isbn 97801-4671-3862-8; $21.99pb) Imagine a book written about a place by a professional journalist who, for more than three decades, has written about that location—where he was born, grew up, and has lived much of his life. This is that book. I had not even completed the introduction when I read that a 1985 US Supreme Court decision had officially designated Long Island NOT an island, but rather a peninsula. I had to stop and fact check that. To my astonishment I discovered that, indeed, United States v. Maine in 1985 had made just that determination. I was hooked. Bleyer’s 250 pages of good reading are bolstered by 25 pages of notes on sources and a bibliography for further reading. Twenty-nine chapters are chronologically arranged and cover a period ranging from the coastal Algonquins to current maritime activity, including ongoing vessel restoration projects (the 1883 oyster sloop Christeen by the Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay) and the Southhold, New Yorkbased international marine assistance organization known across the country, SeaTow. This is a book to read and re-read any time you need to refresh your memory on a plethora of regional topics, from bay houses to Grumman ocean-going hydrofoils. Need to know more about rum-running and the shipyards that built fast boats for the Coast Guard and then even faster ones for the salts of all ages who smuggled the liquor? Curious about the era of the PanAm flights of the Boeing 314 Yankee Clipper lifting off for Marseille from Manhasset Bay? This book has it. If you’re a fan of military history, and skirmishes touching on the shores of the island/peninsula, you’ll find piracy and chapters on the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, and both World Wars, including the adventures of schooner Zaida and the Picket Patrol.
If you’re already a fan of maritime history of Long Island, this is the book to round out your collection. If you know someone who thinks the Island is only about the Long Island Expressway and the LIRR, this is the book that will convince them otherwise. Will Van Dorp New York, New York Breaking the Gas Ceiling by Rebecca Ponton (Modern History Press, Ann Arbor, MI, 2019, 271pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-61599-443-4; $29.95pb) Breaking the Gas Ceiling by Rebecca Ponton is an insightful, well-researched compendium of the women who have and are continuing to blaze trails in the oil and gas industry. They faced physical and psychological challenges—lack of dedicated female berths, open shower stalls, and doorless bathrooms, to name just a few. High hurdles did not deter these women; they viewed them simply as obstacles to overcome. I chuckled with familiarity when reading about some of the obstacles discussed in the book because they reminded me of the ones I encountered as a junior officer in the Coast Guard in the late 1990s. At that time, there were no female admirals and only a couple of female captains. We did not know what our future looked like, but collectively the female junior officers—JOs—knew that we’d have to forge it ourselves. Let’s take a look at some of these women who have helped make it possible for other women to follow them in this very-male-dominated profession. Amelia Florence Behrens Musser Furniss faced those same challenges in 1921. When she descended into a 162-foot oil well to retrieve tools, newspapers called it an “exploit.” No—she was doing her job. Margaret McMillan, born the same year that women gained the right to vote in the United States, was a water safety pioneer. McMillan built her own company and represented the United States at the SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
provide this assistance. They can share how to negotiate salaries, ask for a bonus, and address sexual harassment. Women in the oil and gas industry have come a long way since the days of Mrs. Furniss’s “exploits,” but there are still challenges to be faced and obstacles to overcome. Doing so won’t be easy, but it can be done. We know it can be done because of the role models highlighted in Ponton’s book. K. Denise Rucker Krepp Washington, DC Note: Denise Krepp is a former Maritime Administration Chief Counsel and former Coast Guard officer. She is a trustee of the National Maritime Historical Society. Sand and Steel: The D-Day Invasion and the Liberation of France by Peter CaddickAdams (Oxford University Press, New York, 2019, 1025pp, illus, appen, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-0-19-060189-8; $34.95hc) The D-Day invasion has been the subject of scores of books and will continue to be for as long as mankind examines events
of the past. Sand and Steel by Peter CaddickAdams is perhaps the latest tome to join the legion of D-Day studies. At three pounds and nine ounces, it is one of those successful examples where quantity and quality are achieved in a single book. It is a beautiful work by any measure, and the quality of the writing is excellent. Some D-Day studies are narrative histories that lay out what happened, step by step. Others are anecdotal and tell the story through the recollections of those who participated. Others analyze each phase of the invasion with an eye to separating truth from fiction and revealing what might have happened had one event or another developed differently. In Sand and Steel, Caddick-Adams combines these approaches in one fetching and far-reaching work. Authors usually have a point of view they want to support: the Allied success at Normandy was fantastic or the Germans overcome by the Allies were the best soldiers with the finest equipment and leadership known to man or only good luck for the Allies, who were out-classed, kept them from being pushed into the sea. The Caddick-Adams approach
Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization in the 1970s. Similar paths were forged by individuals in Australia (Eve Howell), Kuwait (Sara Akbar), England (Ann Cairns), and Nigeria (Dr. Amy Jadesimi). The common thread to their stories is that each of them not only overcame obstacles in their way, but that they opened doors so that others may follow. But opening doors isn’t enough. To quote Marie-Jose Nadeau,“[w]e cannot create leaders unless the pipeline is full.” Ponton’s book helps fill the pipeline. It should be shared with students at the US Coast Guard Academy, the US Merchant Marine Academy, the six state maritime academies in the United States, and at similar schools around the world. It will help a job-searching 18-year-old woman realize that careers exist in oil and gas, and that people who look like her are already working in the industry. Filling the pipeline also includes mentoring the next generation, providing midcareer advice and nominations for C-suite opportunities. Ponton’s book is a rolodex of role models that can be called upon to
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is different: relate as much detail as possible and let the facts tell the story. He examines every facet of the invasion, from the dastardly treatment of the black American soldiers to the German dependence on horses and bicycles to move their war machine. Within each topic-essay, factual information is reinforced with observations from the participants. It is an impressive piece of work, and it is difficult to imagine another volume surpassing it in detail and coverage, at least in a single volume. Volumes devoted to D-Day refer to training for the invasion, but CaddickAdams details the massive effort to make the invading soldiers, sailors, and airmen aware of every aspect of their assignment. Statements from survivors report the quality of their training and its importance in their capacity to carry out commands. The loss of French villages to the war in general and to the invasion in particular is both obvious and well documented. The loss of English villages to the demands of Operation Overlord training exercises is barely acknowledged, yet many local residents Anne T. Converse Photography
Neith, 1996, Cover photograph
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were evacuated, shelled, and shot by soldiers practicing house-to-house urban warfare. Moreover, whereas French villages that were destroyed in 1944 have been rebuilt and repopulated, many of the English villages taken for training remain in the hands of the military. The attention given training in Sand and Steel is more than justified: “Excluding Exercise Tiger, more were killed in training mishaps around the United Kingdom than were killed on 6 June.” Beyond setting out DDay preparations and execution in great detail, CaddickAdams endeavors to right shortfalls and errors found in innumerable books on Overlord, Neptune, D-Day, and the liberation of Europe. For example, he directs attention to the contribution of the thousands who did not land on the beaches of France but who, nonetheless, faced as much danger as those in the landing craft. The aircrews who flew the paratroopers to their landing zones, and often did so with gliders full of men and material in tow, are typically awarded little credit for their work. In fact, the author takes issue with those who fault the pilots for failing to drop their charges in or near their assigned landing zones. Caddick-Adams argues that bad weather, crowded skies, ground fire, and the fog of war—not cowardice and ineptitude—were responsible for the wide dispersal of jumpers. Men responsible for conning landing craft to the beaches, like those who piloted the air-drop planes, are sometimes accused of causing unnecessary loss of life and materiel. Caddick-Adams defends them with reminders of what landing craft faced between the ships that brought them to Normandy and the beaches: heavy seas, underwater obstacles (some explosive), shell fire, and heavy traffic. He considers the accusations aimed at pilots and coxswains. It may be that the men who were faced with the hell landing at a beach under fire resented those whose jobs it was to stay onboard and return to the airfield or mothership. To the soldier on the beach watching his comrades die in droves, the danger faced by those who delivered him to the killing fields was
not worth considering. Robert Capa, civilian photographer, spoke for most when he said that he was able to do what the soldiers landing on the beaches were not allowed to do—run the other away and return to the relative safety of the ships offshore. Other errors in the historiography of the subject that Caddick-Adams seeks to address include inaccurate assertions about what was and was not in the target of various commando (paratroop) missions. The Allies determined the German battery at Merville to be home to four KruppRheinmetall 150mm cannon capable of firing into the invasion fleet. Some accounts have reported that only 75mm weapons incapable of threatening the ships bringing men and materiel to the landing beaches were found in the bunkers. Because 75mm cannon were not a threat to the landings, the traditional claim is that the mission to take them out was a waste of lives. Caddick-Adams asserts that the weapons found in the batteries were 100mm guns capable of throwing ordnance to the landing zones. The night paratroop drops receive attention first, followed by a chapter on the Utah beach landing. There are five chapters on Omaha, then one each for Gold, Juno, and Sword. In addition to detailing the German defensive positions at each landing zone, the author offers contemporary views of their remains. Sand and Steel offers a look into the horror of the D-Day landings not to be found in popular films that use 6 June 1944 as a reservoir of themes for the big screen. The soldier laden with equipment who stepped off the landing craft into ten feet of water and sudden death; the 48 men vaporized when a mortar round exploded in the center of their Higgins boat; the thousands who were machine-gunned down on the beaches—these men may be unknown to a film audience, but they are remembered in honest examinations of D-Day by scholars like Chaddick-Adams. Sand and Steel is recommended to any reader interested in learning what can be SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
New & Noted discovered about that infamous day from a distance of 75 years. Sand and Steel is history done well, and a good read but not to be confused as entertainment. David O. Whitten, PhD Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans by David Abulafia (Oxford University Press, New York, 2019, 1088pp, illus, authors notes, index, isbn 978-01999-34980; $39.95hc) Clearly the seas or oceans are very large spaces that at one time kept people apart, but in time they brought humankind together to form the world’s civilizations, the intellectual cultural and material development of a global human society. This was the result of ocean explorers, travelers, traders, migrants, and religious pilgrims. People transported the results of all manner of their labors on waterways, most of which served as gateways giving access to vast interior land masses. “My bounty is as boundless as the sea/ My love as deep” (Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 scene 2)—David Abulafia borrowed his title from William Shakespeare for his latest tome, The Boundless Sea, a series of chronologies divided into five uneven parts. The three main protagonists in this drama are: the oldest ocean, the Pacific; the middle ocean, the Indian Ocean and its neighbors; and then the younger ocean, the Atlantic. Minor bodies of water, players if you will, that receive more concise attention are what the author calls “Oceans in Conversation” and “Oceans Contained.” This far-reaching book probes the means, motives, and timelines of humanity as it crossed the oceans and subsequently brought interdependence between geographically distant nations. In doing so, the author offers a novel definition of globalization: the time when the humans made ambitious sea passages to the unknown, prompting the age of exploration and then charted routes across the planet’s vast waters. The byproduct of these voyages to the unknown was long distance maritime trade beyond littoral and riverine waters.
There are several important themes in this book. The first is how humans came to occupy and develop previously uninhabited land, particularly islands that were scattered in the more remote oceans. Another is that most oceanic histories touch upon prehistory, but really begin with the Norsemen, and then the contributions of Spanish and Portuguese explorers with some reference to the Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans. The author readily encompasses the contributions of all societies that plied the sea but avoids dwelling upon natural history as opposed to human history. His narrative stays on the sea’s surface to survey constrained contacts between humans across oceans and their shores. These created new connections not only between distant landmasses, but between civilizations, and their religious customs and beliefs, foods, unique goods and cultural artifacts broadened ideas and created wealth. The downside was that ocean travel brought disease and conflict. Abulafia largely avoids discussions of naval annals, the common topic of most other maritime histories. At 1,088 pages, The Boundless Sea is a large, tightly written scholarly work. On 934 of those pages are text, maps, and color illustrations; 154 pages follow with additional readings, references, and an extensive index. The book could best be described as a textbook for a rigorous college course covering an important topic—a textbook because of its scope, but it makes good reading for non-students who aren’t intimidated by a book’s page count. Professor Abulafia presents many new ideas and makes the connections between others about which the reader may be unaware. He then makes erudite associations between them that at first seem to have little in common. This is a challenging, but marvelous major work. Maritime historians who pursue new understandings to be found along a much-traveled hydrous road will have many future occasions to refer to Abulafia’s elegant work. Louis Arthur Norton West Simsbury, Connecticut
All at Sea: Naval Support for the British Army During the American Revolutionary War by John Dillon (Casemate Publishers, Havertown, PA, 2019, 293pp, illus, maps, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-1912866-67-0; $37.95pb) A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred-Year History of America’s Hurricanes by Eric Jay Dolin (W. W. Norton & Co., New York, 2020, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 9781-631-49527-4; $29.95hc) The Gulf of Mexico: A Maritime History by John S. Sledge (Univ. of South Carolina Press, Columbia, 2019, 264pp, illus, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-64336-014-0; $29.99hc) The Last Journey of the San Bao Eunuch Admiral Zheng He by Sheng-Wei Wang (Proverse Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 392pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-988849-165-0; $50pb) Mastering the Inland Seas: How Lighthouses, Navigational Aids, and Harbors Transformed the Great Lakes and America by Theodore J. Karamanski (Univ. of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 2020, 392pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-0-2993630-2; $36.95hc) Operation Rising Sun: The Sinking of Japan’s Secret Submarine I-52 by David W. Jourdan (Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 2020, illus, notes, biblio, index, tables, isbn 978-1-64012-169-0; $34.95hc) Pirates: From Vikings to Somali Raiders: A New Global History with Lessons for Today by Peter Lehr (Yale University Press, New Haven, 2019, 261pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-0-300-28074-9; $30hc) Stories from the Wreckage: A Great Lakes Maritime History Inspired by Shipwrecks by John O. Jensen (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, Madison, 2019, 288pp, isbn 978-0-87020-902-4; $29.95pb) War at Sea: A Shipwrecked History from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century by James P. Delgado (Oxford University Press, New York, 2019, 432pp, maps, illus, biblio, index, isbn 978-0-19088-801-5; $34.95hc)
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020 63
NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY AFTERGUARD J. Aron Charitable Foundation, Inc. The Artina Group Donald T. “Boysie” Bollinger Matt Brooks & Pam Rorke Levy CACI International, Inc. Caddell Dry Dock & Repair Co. George W. Carmany III In Memory of James J. Coleman Jr. Christopher J. Culver Henry L. & Grace Doherty Charitable Fdn. Dominion Energy Exelon In Memory of Ignatius Galgan ADM & Mrs. Jay L. Johnson, USN (Ret.) A rthur M. K imberly Trust Hon. John Lehman In Memor y of H. F. Lenfest R ichardo R. Lopes Guy E . C. Maitland Mc A llister Towing & Transportation Co., Inc. Rona ld L . Oswa ld Estate of Wa lter J. Pettit Sr. The Pollin Group, LLC In Memory of Capt. Joseph Ramsey, USMM Charles A. Robertson Treecie & Ding Schoonmaker Marjorie B. Shorrock Howard Slotnick Capt. Cesare Sorio John Stobart William H. White Jean Wort Wynn Resorts BENEFACTORS Chesapeake Bay Foundation VADM Dirk Debbink, USN (Ret.) Richard T. du Moulin Elite Island Resorts EMR Southern Recycling David S. Fowler Kristen Greenaway Don & Kathy Hardy Huntington Ingalls Industries J. D. Power Family VADM Al Konetzni Jr., USN (Ret.) Dr. Jennifer London CAPT James A. Noone, USN (Ret.) ADM Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG (Ret.) Russell S. Reynolds Jr. David & Susan Rockefeller Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Rutherford Jr. Scarano Boat Building, Inc. Sea Education Association Philip J. Shapiro H. C. Bowen Smith Norma Stanford In Memory of Peter Stanford US Naval Institute Philip & Irmy Webster Williams College PLANKOWNERS RADM Joseph F. Callo, USN (Ret.) Elaine Cannon Dayton Carr CAPT Charles Todd Creekman Jr., USN (Ret.) Capt. Howard R. Hill Jr. Royal Holly Ruth R. Hoyt/Anne H. Jolley Foundation, Inc. Thomas & Deborah Lawrence Robert Leary Miles Pincus Pritzker Military Foundation Dr. Timothy J. Runyan Sidney Stern Memorial Trust Star Clipper Cruises SPONSORS Paul M. Aldrich American Bureau of Shipping American Maritime Congress ARS Investment Partners CMDR Everett Alvarez Jr., USN (Ret.) Paul F. Balser James R. 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McBride McCarter & English, LLC Peter McCracken CAPT Sally Chin McElwreath, USN (Ret.) Dr. Joseph F. Meany Jr. Michael Morris Robert E. Morris Jr. William G. Muller Mystic Seaport Museum Navy League of the US New York Yacht Club Capt. Eric Nielsen Oceaneering International Christopher Otorowski COL Bruce E. Patterson, USA The Betty Sue and Art Peabody Fund Pennsylvania State University Hon. S. Jay Plager John Rich Charles Raskob Robinson Lee H. Sandwen George Schluderberg Shipbuilders Council of America CDR William H. Skidmore Skuld North America, Inc. Stonehouse, Inc. Daniel R. Sukis Transportation Institute University of Utah William Van Loo Andres Duarte Vivas George & Anne Walker Waterford Group Thomas Wayne Daniel Whalen Barbara B. Wing Michael M. Wiseman CAPT Channing M. Zucker, USN (Ret.) DONORS Silas Antony, Jr. Lawrence Behr W. Frank Bohlen Eleanor F. Bookwalter Carroll Brooks James O. Burri John Caddell II R ADM Nevin P. Carr Jr., USN (Ret.) Bradley D. Conway Gerald F. B. Cooper Dr. John Finerty Mr. & Mrs. Eugene P. Finger Robert P. Fisher Jr. Daniel Gallagher Mary Habstritt Elizabeth Holden Matthew T. Howard J. Russell Jinishian Gallery Robert F. Kamm Mary Burrichter & Bob Kierlin Brett M. Klyver Kobrand Corp. & Marco Sorio James P. Latham Paul Jay Lewis Frederick C. Leiner Man Tech Thomas McKerr Walter C. Meibaum III Richard S. Merrell CAPT R. G. Moore, USCG (Ret.) Richard Muller Jeffrey G. Neuberth New York Container Terminal Wynn & Patricia Odom Joanne O’Neil CAPT Richard T. O’Shea, USMC William Palmer III Paul C. Pennington Philip B. Persinger Harry & Susan Rein Mr. & Mrs. William P. Rice Capt. W. E. Richardson, USN (Ret.) Mike Roberts In Memory of Capt. Bert Rogers Scholarship America Vincent Monte-Sano Mr. & Mrs. John R. Sherwood III Gerould R. Stange Philip E. Stolp Diane & Van Swearingin Alix Thorne Roy Vander Putten Watch Hill Yacht Club Gerald Weinstein Dr. David Winkler Richard C. Wolfe PATRONS Benjamin Ackerly Georgios Andreadis Deborah Antoine John Appleton Captain William M. Ayers Carter S. Bacon Jr. Ernest T. Bartol Kenneth G. Bastian Charles R . Beaudrot Jr. CAPT R. A. Bowling, USN (Ret.) James H. Brandi RADM David C. Brown, USMS (Ret.) Jerry M. Brown Robert P. Burke Jose O. Busto Harris Clark Mark Class. Dr. Gerard J. Clifford Jr. John C. Couch Jack Creighton Michael Cutler Morgan Daly Robert Ian Danic Anthony De Lellis Jr. C. Henry Depew Michael F. Dugan Richard H. Dumas Reynolds duPont Jr. Dr. Theodore Eckberg Gary Eddey MD Egan Maritime Institute Peter Q. Eschweiler Marc Evans Ken Ewell Colin Ferenbach Ben P. Fisher Jr.. Murray Fisher James J. Foley Jr. HMC Philip E. Galluccio, USN (Ret.) Donald A. Garand Peter C. & Kathy R. Gentry Capt. Dwight Gertz Susan Gibbs James R. Gifford George Grace Arthur Graham David T. Guernsey Jr Ray Guinta Robert M. Hall J. Callender Heminway Dr. David Hayes Nathan L. & Helen Hazen William L. Henry Capt. J. W. Hetherington Joseph C. Hoopes Steven A. Hyman Marius Ilario MD Timothy A. Ingraham Andrew MacAoidh Jergens Gary Jobson Richard Julian Robert Kenyon James L. Kerr James & Barbara Kerr Mr. & Mrs. Chester W. Kitchings Jr. R. Joyce Kodis Peter R. La Dow Ted Lahey John L. Langill Chris Lautz W. Peter Lind Robert Lindmark Louis & Linda Liotti James L. Long Com. Chip Loomis III Babcock MacLean Lawrence Manson Maritime Heritage Prints Patrick McDonald Mr. & Mrs. Alan McKie Capt. & Mrs. James J. McNamara Dr. Arthur M. Mellor April Merrell Sally & Greg Merz Christopher W. Metcalf Glenn L. Metzger Richard A. & Lois Meyer Vincent Miles Charles H. Miller Robert Miorelli Michael G. Moore Thomas A. Moran Michael Moss & Ellen Chapman Rev. Bart Muller John Mulvihill James A. Neel Robert A. Neithercott Randy Nichols Eric A. Oesterle Alan O’Grady Roger Ottenbach William L. Palmer Jr. Richard G. Pelley Alan D. Peterson Nathaniel Philbrick Peter B. Poulsen Ann Prince Joseph Quinn Andrew A. Radel CAPT Michael J. Rauworth, USCG (Ret.) Phineas Reeves Reed Robertson William M. Rosen Capt. Carlos A. Rosende Sherwood A. Schartner Robert W. Scott Douglas H. Sharp Belinda J. Shepard Henry B. Dunlap Smith Richard Snowdon Edmund Sommer III Roy L. Spring Patricia Steele Rob Surprenant Ma r t y Sut ter Cra ig Sw irbliss A . E . & Dia na Sz a mbeck i R A DM Cindy T hebaud, USN (Ret.) Capt. R ay mond Thombs Memorial Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Christopher N. Thorpe Charles Tobin Capt. John Torjusen Steven J. Traut Russell R. Tripp Jacobina Trump CAPT Daniel E. Turbeville, USN (Ret.) Sandra Ulbrich LT Bill Verge, USCG (Ret.) Terry Walton Dr. John Dix Wayman James R. Williamson Jeremy Weirich RDML Jesse A. Wilson Jr., USN (Ret.) William L. Womack Woodson K. Woods
SEA HISTORY 170, SPRING 2020
Ships of Glass, Inc.
We specialize in making replicas of vessels. We welcome custom orders.
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Pg. 10 National Maritime Awards Dinner and Washington Invitational Marine Art Exhibition • Pg. 18 $5M Maritime Heritage Grant Funding Approv...
Published on Feb 27, 2020
Pg. 10 National Maritime Awards Dinner and Washington Invitational Marine Art Exhibition • Pg. 18 $5M Maritime Heritage Grant Funding Approv...