NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY
THE ART, LITERATURE, ADVENTURE, LORE & LEARNING OF THE SEA
Underway and Making Way!
Whaling Captains of Color
Scurvy—Scourge of the Seafarer
Celebrate our maritime heritage this holiday season with NMHS greeting cards.
Greeting reads: “Wishing you peace and joy this holiday season, with fair winds and following seas in the New Year.” Set of ten 5” x 7” cards: $14.95. Add $4.50 s/h for one set, and $1.75 for each additional set. Please indicate your choice of holiday or blank notecards.
Marietta: The Mail Line Packet Courier Arriving at the Wharfboat on the Ohio in 1875 by John Stobart
Call for shipping charges for international orders. Visit our website www. seahistory.org to view other selections: choose “Store” then “Gifts.”
TO ORDER, CALL 1-800-221-NMHS (6647), ext. 0, or online at www.seahistory.org. NYS residents add applicable sales tax. Order now for October delivery.
NEWEST FLEET ALONG THE COLUMBIA & SNAKE RIVERS
With the introduction of our Modern Riverboat Series, American Cruise Lines is elevating the standard for U.S. riverboat cruising. Aboard these brand new ships that feature modern design, spacious staterooms with private balconies, and a grand multi-story atrium, experience the future of U.S. riverboat cruising. Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly.Â®
Call today for your FREE Cruise Guide
American Cruise Lines Best in US & Canada
“THIS IS AN EXTRAORDINARY MUSEUM.”
Maine MaritiMe MuseuM Bath, Maine • 207-443-1316 • www.MaineMaritimeMuseum.org
J. P. URANKER WOODCARVER
Maritime Books and Marine Art Prints On Sale at the NMHS Ship’s Store.
THE TRADITION OF HANDCARVED EAGLES CONTINUES TODAY
(508) 693-5871 ★ WWW.JPUWOODCARVER.COM
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
nantucket historical association collection
10 NMHS Annual Awards Dinner—A Virtual Celebration ! We’re taking a look back at over five decades of excellence in the maritime heritage community, revisiting the people, organizations, and ships recognized with NMHS awards. We hope you can join us in October for this year’s gala. 16 Freedom and Whaling on Nantucket by Skip Finley Nearly a century before the Emancipation Proclamation, Nantucket society was free from slavery due to the influence of its Quaker population and the need for skilled labor in the whaling fishery. 22 Discovering Sea History in the Detroit Publishing Co. Collection in the Library of Congress by Charley Seavey One of the great treasures of the Library of Congress is the collection of more than 40,000 glass plate negatives by photographer William Henry Jackson and others, originally managed by the Detroit Publishing Company. Today, thousands of these very high resolution photographs have been made available online, offering a wealth of information that can be gleaned from these captured moments of our maritime history.
detroit publ. co., library of congress
30 Bite of the Devil—Scourge of the Long-Distance Sea Voyager by Dr. Raymond E. Phillips In the Age of Discovery, scurvy was one of the most widespread threats facing sailors at sea, killing more than two million. It would take significant advances in our understanding of disease and nutrition before this misunderstood killer could be brought under control.
34 Art to the Rescue by Nicolas Fox, American Society of Marine Artists Self-isolation is something artists do well. During this time of mandated alone time in their studios, ASMA artists have been doing some of their best work. While many exhibitions are shut down for the time being, ASMA vice president Nicolas Fox shares some of their efforts here. 38 Reports from the Fleet: Traditional and Historic Ships in the Time of COVID With passenger ships tied to the dock waiting for the pandemic to be brought under control, many programs are adjusting their plans, cranking away on maintenance projects or shipyard work, and planning for the time when people can return to sea aboard their vessels.
Cover: Mayflower II, underway in Long Island Sound for sea trials, 29 July 2020. Photo by John Spinnato, courtesy Plimoth Plantation (see page 38 for more on Mayflower II since her departure from the shipyard at Mystic Seaport Museum).
DEPARTMENTS 4 Deck Log & Letters 8 NMHS: A Cause in Motion 44 Sea History for Kids
48 Ship Notes, Seaport & Museum News 56 Reviews 64 Patrons
Sea History and the National Maritime Historical Society Sea History e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; NMHS e-mail: email@example.com; 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 $45. All members outside the USA please add $20 for postage. Sea History is sent to all members. Individual copies cost $4.95.
by sheri farabaugh, asma
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
hile the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging out of control, people across the country are actively and persistently protesting systemic racism and demanding that America undergo a long-overdue examination of this insidious institution. It is a difficult time to tackle one crisis and add to it another, but as the late John Lewis said in his 1963 speech at the March on Washington, “To those who have said, ‘Be patient and wait,’ we have long said that we cannot be patient. We do not want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now! … For we cannot stop, and we will not and cannot be patient.” In this light, organizations, institutions, and businesses across the country are announcing commitments to pursuing racial equality, and the maritime heritage community is very much on board with this movement. NMHS takes seriously our responsibility and our pledge to seek out more content and programs by and about people of color, indigenous people, and women. We do not aim to replace, erase, nor rewrite history, but rather to do a better job of casting a broader net in the stories we cover and the people who tell those stories. We stand with, and are encouraged by, a maritime heritage community grappling with expanding the record to be more inclusive. Of the hundreds of examples that I have seen recently—in press releases, forums, seminars, articles, and virtual exhibits—three come to mind. Maine Maritime Museum: After the shocking killing of George Floyd in May and the nationwide protests about racial injustice that followed, Maine Maritime Museum was quick to outline the actions it is taking to address inequality and diversity at the museum, both as an employer and in what subjects the staff interprets. Executive director Amy Lent declared, “We must accurately reflect the cultural, economic, and political context of the people and periods we study and interpret. As we continue this core work, we will seek insight into how past actions and norms may have contributed to the problems of inequality and exclusion that persist today.” Their swift and resolute pledge is inspiring to our NMHS leadership and across the maritime heritage community at large. Discovering Amistad: Unable to carry out its 2020 sailing schedule due to the COVID-19 shutdown, its staff redirected their energies to ramping up their online educational programming. In July, the Discovering Amistad Leadership Academy held an international workshop for 30 high school students in which they taught the history and relevance of the Amistad uprising of 1839, and discussed tools to promote social justice and leadership development. The schooner Amistad is currently berthed at Mystic Seaport Museum; the two institutions are collaborating on new programs to combat racism and promote diversity. Pride of Baltimore, Inc.: On 30 June Jayson Williams released a statement that, as the organization’s first black board chair, he considers it his personal responsibility to be an “agent of change,” and that he and his board of directors have pledged to work towards helping “the broader tall ships community acknowledge that many in the black community see it as an industry/sport for whites and not everyone else.” (See page 40 for the full statement by Mr. Williams). This is not a new vision for Mr. Williams, but rather a confirmation of his commitment to making his organization more inclusive. After he was named chair in October 2018, one of the new board’s first initiatives was to recruit women, minorities, young people, and up-and-coming leaders of different backgrounds to their numbers. The sailing ship Pride of Baltimore II serves as a goodwill ambassador for the State of Maryland. We have seen an indomitable spirit in the maritime heritage community as we look towards a future for our country that represents all of its people. Your Society will be proactive in reflecting that. I reiterate what our former Sea History editor, internationally recognized author and vice chair of Maine Maritime Museum’s board of trustees, Lincoln Paine, has so eloquently phrased in his letter (see page 5, opposite), “To get the stories right, we have to get the right stories.” —Burchenal Green, 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, William H. White; Secretary, Jean Wort; Trustees: Charles B. Anderson; Walter R. Brown; Christopher J. Culver; William S. Dudley; David Fowler; William J. Green; Karen Helmerson; K. Denise Rucker Krepp; Guy E. C. Maitland; Capt. Jeffrey McAllister; CAPT Sally Chin McElwreath, USN (Ret.); 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; Chairmen Emeriti: Walter R. Brown, Alan G. Choate, Guy E. C. Maitland, Howard Slotnick (1930–2020) 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; Richard du Moulin; Alan D. Hutchison; Gary Jobson; Sir Robin KnoxJohnston; 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, Nancy Hughes Richardson 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; Accounting/Membership Associate, Andrea Ryan; Senior Staff Writer, Shelley Reid; Executive Assistant, Heather Purvis; Membership Coordinator, Nancy Schnaars; 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 172, AUTUMN 2020
Getting the Story Right In June, the Maine Maritime Museum announced its plan “to consider how an institution such as ours can contribute to the dialogue about equity, inclusion, and justice, particularly by raising awareness of how Maine’s maritime enterprise has shaped and been shaped by issues of race, ethnicity, and gender.” Skeptics abound, of course. What can a maritime museum in the whitest state in the country possibly have to say about race in what many incorrectly perceive to be a “white” profession? The museum centers on the shipyard that built the six-masted schooner Wyoming, by some measures the largest wooden sailing ship ever built. Like most of the largest schooners of the early twentieth century, the Wyoming sailed in the coal Wyoming
We Welcome Your Feedback!
Please email correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org
maine maritime museum
Photo of the Wyoming crew from the Capt. W. J. L. Parker Collection, Maine Maritime Museum, originally acquired from the F. Holm-Peterson Collection at the Svendborg Museum in Denmark. that keeps us from seeing reality as it is rather than as we have come to accept it. This archival find shows us that to get the stories right, we have to get the right stories. Lincoln Paine Portland, Maine
maine maritime museum
Lincoln Paine serves as the vice chair for Maine Maritime Museum’s board of trustees. He is the author of numerous books, among which are Down East: An Illustrated History of Maritime Maine (2018), The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World (2013), and Ships of the World: An Historical Encyclopedia (1997).
trade between Virginia and the Northeast. As it happens, the museum is in the process of reviewing its Wyoming exhibit. Lo and behold! A few days after the museum sent its letter, what turned up in the archives, where it’s been lying since 2006? A photograph of the predominantly black crew of the Wyoming, probably from the years 1917–21. Further investigation will reveal more about this crew and others like it, for the fact that blacks formed a substantial part of the crews in the coal trade of this period is well documented. Those who scoffed at our plans—and they did—can perhaps be forgiven for thinking that Maine’s maritime history is exclusively a story about white men. After all, that’s a narrative we have perpetuated through our choices of what to exhibit—not out of malice, but from a colorblindness
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: email@example.com)
Yes, I want to join the Society and receive Sea History quarterly. My contribution is enclosed. ($22.50 is for Sea History; any amount above that is tax deductible.) Sign me up as: $45 Regular Member $100 Friend 172 $250 Patron $500 Donor Mr./Ms. ____________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ZIP_______________ Return to: National Maritime Historical Society, PO Box 68, Peekskill, NY 10566
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 5
From Jerry Roberts: In terms of which is America’s oldest museum, like many other “who came first” issues, it depends on exactly what is being counted and who is counting it. Pilgrim Hall claims to be the oldest continually operating public museum in the country. It may be splitting hairs but the key words here are public museum. It opened its doors as a purpose-built public museum in 1824 including artifacts from earlier collections some of which had been on display elsewhere in Plymouth. It is very true that The East India Marine Society, a shipping underwriter established in 1799,
He is a former editor of Sea History. Which Came First? As a longtime member and volunteer at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) of Salem, Massachusetts, I was surprised to read in the last issue of Sea History (“The Mayflower Factor: How They Became Us, and Does It Still Matter?” by Jerry Roberts) that Pilgrim Hall is “the nation’s oldest continuously operated museum,” a distinction which PEM usually claims. On checking, I found that Pilgrim Hall was opened in 1824, a full quarter-century after the first precursor of PEM opened. A new publication by George Schwartz, Collecting the Globe: The Salem East India Marine Society Museum, details the fascinating history of the museum. Walt Meibaum Hamilton, Massachusetts
had been displaying curiosities collected by ships masters in its lobby for a couple of decades before Pilgrim Hall opened. Yet this was not actually a museum open to the general public. It was a very interesting lobby display and remains fascinating to this day for its unique province. It was not until 1925, however, that the expanded collection was incorporated into the newly built Peabody Essex Museum facility, a true public museum. So which came first? It all depends on exactly what you are counting. History can be a messy business. Just ask the people who live in Windsor and Wethersfield, Connecticut, which town was the first established in Connecticut and stand back. Hospital Ships I read with interest “Ships of Comfort and Mercy” by Salvatore Mercogliano in the
last issue of Sea History. In 1935 my father, Lt(jg) Harold Russell, USN (USNA ’31), was a member of the “regular Navy” crew aboard USS Relief (AH-1)—the first ship the US Navy designed and built from the keel up as a hospital ship. The side story is that the ship’s first commanding officer in 1921 was a US Navy medical officer, as it had been customary at the time for hospital ships to be commanded by medical officers. One can assume, most likely, that this arrangement did not sit well with the “Navy Line” community as, within five months or so of commissioning, a Navy judge advocate review resulted in a line officer taking command, and the old tradition of line officer command of ships was reestablished. I served at sea for thirty-five years in destroyers and cruisers of the Pacific Fleet as a US Navy Line officer and can certainly understand the rancor that the original arrangement caused. CAPT Harold B. Russell, USN (Ret.) (USNA ‘58) Springfield, Virginia I read with great interest Sal Mercogliano’s excellent article in the summer issue, “Ships of Comfort and Mercy.” Having worked to raise funds for Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) many years ago, I would like to submit that SS Hope be included in the category of “mercy ships.” This ship was operated by the People to People Health Foundation, founded in 1958 by Dwight Eisenhower with Dr. William Walsh. It is a worldrenowned global health and humanitarian relief organization (NGO). During her fourteen years serving the organization, USS Hope completed 11 humanitarian
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
coutesy of the artist
A Bird Chasing a Cat, by John Caggiano, 30 x 36 inches, oil missions in countries around the globe. Project HOPE’s work has never been more vital and the organization remains in operation, but, sadly, without its flagship. When SS Hope was retired in 1974, she was not replaced and the organization shifted its mission to land-based operations. Michael J. McMorrow Ossining, New York About Project HOPE: In 1958, Dr. Walsh worked with US President Dwight D. Eisenhower to charter a US Navy hospital ship for $1/year. A donor contributed $150 to get Project HOPE started and, with the support of corporations and generous benefactors, USS Consolation (AH-15) was transformed into SS Hope. Since 1974, Project HOPE has been conducting landbased programs, carrying on the legacy of Dr. Walsh. The spirit of SS Hope lives on today through our global and local staff, technical experts, and medical volunteers working in more than 20 countries, building the capacity of the health workforce in communities that need it most. (www.projecthope.org) Our Favorite Ships I am a signature member of the American Society of Marine Artists. I look forward
to receiving every new issue of Sea History, which I read cover to cover. I read with great interest “Fiddler’s Green,” your memorials to Howard Slotnick, who took the Coast Guard barque Eagle under his wing, and Woodson K. Woods, who built the reproduction of the 1812 tops’l schooner Lynx. In reading it, I suddenly realized my own modest connection to the Lynx and another Eagle. Every year I produce a painting for the Gloucester (MA) Schooner Festival and Mayor’s Cup Race. The image is used for posters, programs, etc. Long story short—last year’s painting titled A Bird Chasing a Cat, depicts Woods’s Lynx out in front of the pack, being chased by the schooner American Eagle out of Maine. I have included the image for your pleasure. I hope that in some small way it reinforces the honorable memories of these two gentlemen. John Caggiano Rockport, Massachusetts The Sea is Always There I was very moved by your selection of Relentless Sea by Don Demers for the front cover of Sea History 171, which I received in Palm Beach after coming back from an afternoon sitting by the ocean, just watching it. I had recently been able to
admire Don’s work in person during my visit to the American Society of Marine Artists’ opening of their 18th National Exhibition in early March at the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia, which closed shortly thereafter because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully, when conditions allow, the exhibition will once again be open to the public. There is nothing that compares to experiencing a work of art in person, although the images in Sea History are a close second! The scene put me in mind to re-read Admiral Joseph Callo’s book, The Sea Was Always There, of which I fortunately have a copy. In his introduction he quotes my favorite poet, T. S. Elliot: “The Sea has many voices.” Over the next several months as I isolate in place, I have heard its many voices: ever-changing, often calming, always fascinating, and sometimes energizing me—but “Always There.” Its vastness literally connects the whole world. We are “in this together,” and we must care for one another—and for the oceans that sustain us all! Jean Wort Fort Montgomery, New York
THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF
1 8 TH N ATIONAL EXHIBITION
V I E W T H E S H OW & BUY CATALOGS AT OUR WEBSITE AMERICANSOCIET YOF MARINEARTISTS.COM DETAIL FROM “MERLIN” BY RICHARD LOUD
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 7
A CAUSE IN MOTION
Redux—Inspiration and Cooperation
wikipedia commons cc by 4.0
n these unparalleled times of the COVID-19 pandemic, hisWhile we miss in-person seminars and the comradery and toric ships and museums are either still closed or open in re- exchange of ideas they generate, where necessity is forcing virtual duced capacities. Voyaging on ships, historic or otherwise, is sessions, creativity is producing events that would not have been at an all-time low while ship operators figure out how to set up possible in person. and manage socially distant spaces within the confines of a vessel. Since the closure, we have ramped up the content of the Most historical societies and libraries are still not open for lectures Resources section of our website, seeking out new relevant sites and presentations. That is yet to come. While there are no silver and updating the links regularly. Online visits to the NMHS linings to the global pandemic that continues to create such mis- website—www.seahistory.org—are at an all-time high. The most ery, many maritime heritage organipopular section of the website continues zations have been busier than ever. to be the “Sea History for Kids” web Faced with a situation no one had pages, accounting for 41% of the 58,000 predicted nor planned for, the maripage views on the website between time heritage community is coming March, when the nationwide shutdown up with all kinds of creative ways to began, to the time of this writing in carry on its mission by creating exmid-July. The Resources section, which hibitions, programs, and curricula includes the digital version of Sea Histhat visitors can access remotely. I tory magazine, garners another 22% of focused on the beginnings of this visitors. phenomenon in the last issue of Sea Every click on the Resources web History, and I return to it here because page opens a doorway to incredible museums, historic ships, and marimaterial for researchers, students, and time programs share their news with those simply enjoying surfing the web. us so that we can disseminate it to “Maritime Museums Get Creative with our readership, which is as broad and Virtual Resources,” a news feature about as varied as is the maritime heritage the impact of COVID-19 closures and community itself. found on the “Museums Online” page, Looking at a few examples: For has been a favorite. From there, you can its “Second Saturday Seminars,” the delve into Maine Maritime Museum’s Naval Historical Foundation (NHF) “Merchant Marine Muster” and access conducted a live online forum in July records dating back 200 years that on “Leadership Lessons from the document 17,746 mariners, 1,015 vesFictional Age of Sail, Horatio Hornsels, and 3,672 voyages. The Steamship blower versus Jack Aubrey,” the heroes Historical Society of America link, of the great sea classics by C. S. For“STEAMing Into the Future,” holds a ester (1899–1966) and Patrick wealth of resources including, to my O’Brian (1914–2000), discussing the delight, a lesson from the Sea Scouts on Engraving by Hans Sebald Beham (1500–1550) accuracy of the life and events porthe seven basic knots to master for the trayed, the personalities of the characters, and the lessons that apprentice rank. This is a fun activity that young people can do might be gleaned by our modern navy. Moderated by Dr. John at home—with “young” being a relative term, of course! Hattendorf, the Ernest J. King Professor Emeritus of Maritime My original intent in channeling “redux,” Latin for “that History at the Naval War College, the discussants were Naval War returns” was simply to explain my decision to hit upon the same College’s current Ernest J. King Professor of Maritime History, theme as last issue’s NMHS Cause in Motion, where we explored Dr. Craig Symonds, and former Secretary of the Navy, the Hon- the maritime heritage community’s creative response during the orable John Lehman. RADM Edward “Sonny” Masso, USN (Ret.), first weeks of the COVID-19 shutdown. But “redux” introduced executive director of the Naval Historical Foundation, facilitated me to the goddess Fortuna Redux, a variation of the goddess the Q & A. It was brilliant; not a debate, per se, but a plethora of Fortuna from the Roman Empire, who oversaw one’s safe return interesting and thought-provoking information. NHF had 509 from a long or perilous journey. Fortuna’s image is typically repregistrants from 33 states and six countries, thanks in part to resented holding a cornucopia, while Fortuna Redux is shown by several like-minded organizations getting the word out to their a rudder or steering oar and sometimes in conjunction with a members—including us, the National Maritime Historical Soci- globe. A seafaring goddess who brings the mariner safely home ety. This event demonstrated cooperation at its best and serves as exemplifies the journey we hope for us all, a journey where we are an inspiration on what can be achieved on a completely different carried safely through the pandemic. model than what we are used to. —Burchenal Green, NMHS President 8
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
Congress and COVID-19 — Funding Maritime Heritage
he maritime heritage community scored an impressive win in December 2019 when the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by a large majority in the conference among the US House and Senate. Included in the huge Defense bill was $5 million in funding for the National Maritime Heritage Act Grant Program. This was the direct result of our efforts advocating for maritime heritage funding, and an amendment offered by Rep. Brian Higgins of Buffalo, New York. Rep. Higgins was joined by Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC) in a bipartisan request to leaders in the House to support our request. The funds were to come directly from the Department of Defense at the initiative of the Secretary—this was a new milestone. As Sen. Charles Schumer, the minority leader from New York, stated in his announcement: “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 New York’s maritime treasures can be restored and protected for the long-term future.” Fellow New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand echoed those remarks in her release, as did Rep. Higgins. Representatives and senators from states across the country contributed to the successful inclusion and passage of the amendment. Great news! ...but not so fast. The $5 million never reached the grant program. While a bill may authorize the funding of a project, it will not be funded until the money is appropriated by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, and the version of the defense bill that received approval by the Appropriation Committees did not include the $5 million for the grant program. There was no time remaining to win inclusion in the final Defense Appropriations Act. A Return to Capitol Hill This was very disappointing. In mid-January, I made visits to Capitol Hill to meet with key staff members in the House and Senate to hear their appraisals of what happened, and plan our next steps—essentially, an after-action report. A key meeting took place at this time with the office of Rep. Higgins, a champion of our initiative who had offered the amendment. His Legislative Director, Kayla Williams, is a reliable and responsive guide. I also met with the staff of Rep. Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee. They heard and felt my disappointment, but soon turned me around: “Look—you succeeded in winning support for inclusion in the authorization bill. Most amendments are not included in the final bill. Yes, you need to repeat the process in the next round, but you have something to build on.” They were right! We pressed on and asked Rep. Higgins to offer another amendment providing $5 million for the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program. We did the leg work to win support among key representatives. The result? The amendment was included in the House-approved 2021 National Defense Authorization Act! We continue to work on its inclusion in the Defense Appropriation bill. Defense bills are routinely approved by Congress. Why invest so much time and effort to find a steady source of federal funding for maritime heritage? An obvious answer is need. But for those who might not remember where all this
started, the National Maritime Heritage Act, approved by Congress and signed by the president in 1994, made clear that America’s maritime heritage needs and deserves support. As part of the 1994 legislation, Congress included a funding stream from a portion of the profits generated from the sale of obsolete ships by the US Maritime Administration. That funding stream proved imperfect, generating only $650,000 in 1998. A long dry period followed, where we sought alternative sources of support in several bills, but none of them successfully made it to the president’s desk. In 2010, the law was changed without the knowledge or participation of the maritime heritage community, directing all scrapping profits to the Maritime Administration. We launched a major campaign to change the law back to the original form and succeeded after a six-year effort. With a renewal of ship scrapping by the MARAD, about $9.5 million was generated for the grants program, and four rounds of grants for preservation and education were awarded between 2015 and 2018. During this time, hundreds of grant proposals were submitted, requesting about $45 million. Clearly, there is great need. Unfortunately, recent ship scrapping has produced only a small profit—there are few ships to scrap and the scrap-metal prices (always volatile) have been low. Our reaction was to seek direct funding from Congress. COVID-19 and Advocacy And then came COVID-19. In addition to the humanitarian crisis it has caused, the restrictions initiated to try to halt—or at least slow—its spread has wreaked havoc with the economy. It remains to be seen how that will play out in the passage of bills that include amendments asking for special assistance. In our discussions with members of Congress, we explained that museums and heritage organizations are particularly vulnerable, and some are fighting for their very survival. We have supported the Payroll Protection Plan to keep organizations in business and their staffs employed, and we have written members of Congress requesting that non-profit organizations be included in the relief programs. We also continue our advocacy efforts (by phone and email) during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has profoundly impacted federal funding. When I say “we,” I mean the National Maritime Alliance, a group representing nearly a thousand maritime heritage groups across the country whom we advocate for when we walk the halls of the Capitol. When I say “we” I mean you, both professionals in the maritime heritage field and individual citizens across the country who value this work. Your labor and support of the historic ships, lighthouses, maritime museums, sail training, education and preservation programs, boat and model builders, and so many other types of maritime heritage institutions, organizations, and programs is critical, as is your advocacy. Write letters to your representatives in government. Respond when we disseminate calls for action. Your letters and contacts make a difference. It is the way the political system works—and we want it to work for the entire maritime heritage community. We must pull together. Visit www. seahistory.org/national-maritime-alliance for details and updates. —Dr. Timothy J. Runyan, Chair, National Maritime Alliance Trustee, National Maritime Historical Society
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 9
National Maritime Historical Society 2020 Annual Awards Dinner
22 October • A VIRTUAL CELEBRATION!
Paying tribute to past NMHS award recipients, those whose work represents the heart of America’s maritime heritage.
photo by allison lucas
Through its annual awards events, the National Maritime Historical Society recognizes those whose individual efforts have made a meaningful impact within the maritime heritage community. The Society’s inaugural awards event took place in 1968, and since that time it has bestowed more than 200 people, institutions, and programs with a variety of awards in the company of mariners and maritime heritage specialists of all stripes. By recognizing these efforts, we can demonstrate that positive strides can be made in preserving our important maritime heritage and encourage others to follow the example set by our honorees. “20/20” signifies perfect vision, and we take this year for a clear-sighted retrospective of the significant accomplishments of our honorees. The 2020 Annual Awards Dinner will be held on the evening of 22 October, and for the first time it will be a virtual event. Dinner Chair Christopher Culver and Honorary Chair George Carmany invite you to an unprecedented good time with our ever-witty master of ceremonies Richard du Moulin, featuring award-winning videos by NMHS Vice Chair Richardo Lopes. The event pays tribute to all former award recipients and each will be featured in email blasts and on our website during the week of the gala, while a few will be participating live during the virtual dinner itself. The Society presents different awards for specific criteria. A panel of judges narrows the field to a few particularly worthy candidates in a given year, and their recommendations are voted upon by the entire board of trustees. The traditional NMHS AnThe New York Yacht Club has been an incredible venue to gather for nual Awards Dinner at the New York Yacht Club each autumn is the annual awards dinner, and we hope to return in October 2021. a highly anticipated gala that many look forward to each year, with many others joining us for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share the experience and support the individual awardees. The National Maritime Awards Dinner in Washington, DC, takes place in the spring to foster advocacy for the maritime and naval heritage communities. A review over the last five decades of National Maritime Historical Society awards, and the remarkable individuals for which many of them are named, is in and of itself a fascinating glimpse into our shared maritime heritage. Read about the awards below, and be sure to check out all the honorees on pages 14 and 15.
The NMHS Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education is presented in recognition of outstanding educational programs that foster greater awareness of our maritime heritage. The award was established in 1995 and honors shipboard programs that teach maritime history and the individuals responsible for making them happen, making a difference in the lives of the young participants. Renowned broadcaster Walter Cronkite (1916–2009) earned the accolade “the most trusted man in America” thanks to a career path that he began as a newsboy, found him reporting as Jim Gladson of the Los Angeles Maritime Institute, and Alix Thorne, a war correspondent in World War II, and eventually led him to then of the Harvey Gamage Foundation, receive their awards in the anchor desk at CBS News, bringing the nightly news into 1988 from Walter Cronkite, in whose name the award is given. 10
nmhs file photo
The NMHS Distinguished Service Award has been presented each year since 1993 to recognize individuals who, through their personal effort and creativity, have made outstanding contributions to the field. Walter Cronkite served as chair of the Maritime Education Initiative and overseer for the Society for decades and was a recipient of this award.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
Robert G. Albion
Robert G. Albion / James Monroe Award for Historiography: The purpose of the Robert G. Albion/James Monroe Award has evolved over the years. It has been awarded to deep-water mariners, maritime historians, preservationists, authors, artists, and educators. As the James Monroe Award, it was given to Robert G. Albion by the South Street Seaport Museum in 1968 and was conceived as an acknowledgment of exemplary work in researching the maritime history of New York. The award was named to commemorate the 1818 sailing of the James Monroe, the first Black Ball packet ship. In 1973, the National Maritime Historical Society became the awarding institution and the scope of the award was broadened. In 1993, the name of the award was changed to the Robert G. Albion/James Monroe Award to recognize Albion’s role in the development of maritime historiography. Albion (1896–1983) was a noted 20thcentury maritime historian. He began his professional academic career at Princeton, leaving in 1943 to serve as Historian of Naval Administration, supervising the preparation of 200 volumes of published analyses of US Naval administrative history, earning a Certificate of Merit from President Truman for his efforts. He then became the first Gardiner Professor for Oceanic History and Affairs at Harvard University in 1949, where he taught until retiring in 1963; during that period, he was one of the founders of the Munson Institute of Maritime History, run by Mystic Seaport Museum, remaining director until 1975. After retiring from Harvard he assumed the presidency of the Maine Historical Society until 1970. His books— often collaborations with his wife, Jennie Barnes Pope—include The Rise of New York Port, 1815–1860, and Sea Lanes in Wartime: the American Experience, 1775–1942.
courtesy joann o’neil
The Karl Kortum American Ship Trust Award is given for leadership in building or restoring historic ships. Kortum (1917–1996) sailed as crew in the last voyage of an American merchant square-rigger to double Cape Horn, that of the barque Kaiulani from Gray’s Harbor, WA, around Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope to Durban, South Africa, and Hobart, Tasmania. He founded the San Francisco Maritime Museum (today the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park) in 1950, acquiring and restoring the steel-hulled square-rigger Balclutha, and gradually building the museum’s fleet of historic vessels to be one of the world’s largest. Kortum was instrumental in saving numerous other vessels, including the 1877 barque Elissa (now at the Texas Seaport Museum) and the 1885 full-rigged ship Wavertree. His advice and counsel were inKarl Kortum valuable in the founding of South Street Seaport Museum in New York—where the fully restored Wavertree resides—and he was a founder of the National Maritime Historical Society.
nmhs file photo
courtesy mystic seaport museum
America’s homes. Cronkite took up sailing as an adult, taking Power Squadrons navigation classes and diligently learning the ropes. He developed into a skilled sailor, taking on the waters of the East Coast, the Caribbean, and other locations around the globe. An enthusiastic supporter of NMHS, he was pleased to lend his name as the chair of the NMHS Maritime Education Initiative and generously took part in fundraising and other Society initiatives. Along the way, he became dear friends with our trustees—Peter Stanford, Rick Lopes, and Howard Slotnick—and sailed with Howard aboard US Coast Guard Barque Eagle in the Baltic to Russia.
David A. O’Neil Sheet Anchor Award: A sheet anchor is a heavy spare anchor that a ship relies upon in an emergency. This award is given to recognize extraordinary leadership in building the strength and outreach of the Society. Originally established to honor the founders of NMHS, in 2005 the trustees elected to rename the award to honor the late David O’Neil, a dedicated trustee who served for many years on the executive committee, as interim development chair, and ultimately as an NMHS overseer. O’Neil (1939–2004) was a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point; he served in both the merchant marine and David A. O’Neil SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 11
as an officer in the US Navy before he went on to found and chair the marine engineering and naval architecture firm Seaworthy Systems, Inc. In addition to his support of NMHS, he also served in the leadership of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, the American Maritime History Project, the American Merchant Marine Museum Foundation, the Connecticut River Museum Foundation, and India House. During his tenure on the NMHS executive committee and as interim development chair, O’Neil created the Society’s first dedicated development staff position and oversaw a major development campaign. An effervescent personality, he worked energetically on outreach, representing NMHS around the country and strengthening our ties to other maritime heritage organizations.
courtesy penny houghton buzby
The Rodney N. Houghton Award is presented for the best feature article in Sea History in the preceding year. Rodney Houghton (1938–2007) was a senior partner at the New Jersey law firm McCarter & English, and then Of Counsel with the Florida law firm Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart. A lifelong avid boater, he served as commodore of the Rumson Yacht Club in New Jersey and the Moorings Yacht Club of Vero Beach, Florida. He was a meticulous and dedicated NMHS trustee, helping the Society to strengthen its financial stability during a particularly challenging period. A devoted admirer of Captain James Cook, Houghton was an ardent reader of maritime history, as well as an advocate for advancing maritime history education. Houghton was truly admired by his fellow trustees on the NMHS board. To make the presentation of the first award in Houghton’s memory, fellow trustee Tom Daly drove through a storm from New Jersey to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland, returning to New Jersey right after the ceremony. That first award fittingly went to William H. White, a regular contributor to Sea History and noted author, and a personal friend of Rodney Houghton’s. Rodney N. Houghton
photo by ken dapper, courtesy mary hasbritt
NMHS New York Harbor Historic Ship Steward Awards of Excellence: The founding mission of the National Maritime Historical Society was to advocate for the preservation of historic ships. In 2013 the Society celebrated its 50th anniversary in New York City, and at that time recognized those pioneers who identified important vessels to our history—many the last of their kind—and with enormous sacrifice restored them and made them open to the public. The presence of historic ships in New York Harbor promotes awareness of the city’s maritime past and strengthens the cause of keeping the waterfront accessible to both the public and to working vessels, which was a goal of Walter Cronkite. Many of the ships the recipients have preserved are listed on the New York State and the Federal Register of Historic Places. That same year, the NMHS 50th Anniversary Award was presented to Norma Stanford, whose talents and commitment had kept the Society moving forward over many years, through both choppy seas and calm.
courtesy ny waterways
Mary Hasbritt, museum director & president of the Lilac Preservation Project, received the NY Harbor Historic Ship Steward Award of Excellence in 2013.
US Airways Flight 1549 surrounded by NY Waterways boats in the Hudson River. 12
Bravo Zulu: Named for the naval signal for “Well done,” the NMHS Bravo Zulu Award is given to recognize heroic and inspirational performance in the fine tradition of the sea services. Among its past recipients are the “Heroes of the Hudson,” the NY Waterways ferry captains who came to the rescue of the passengers and crew of US Airways Flight 1549 when it was forced to make an emergency splash landing on the Hudson River in 2009. SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
The Sea History Award of Appreciation is presented to individuals who regularly contribute exemplary features that have become a mainstay in Sea History. Volunteer and Service Appreciation Awards recognize peerless work for the Society.
NMHS Chairman Ronald Oswald presents Richard J. King with the Sea History Award of Appreciation for his regular feature, “Animals in Sea History,” found in the Sea History for Kids pages, and for working diligently to bring student-authored articles to Sea History.
nmhs file photo
NMHS has also been honored to work in association with the Naval Historical Foundation, the National Coast Guard Museum Association, and The Nautical Research Guild to recognize achievements and contributions through a number of awards. This cooperation enhances the reach of the heritage community and contributes to greater awareness of the work of these organizations and those they honor.
Come one and all—You are all invited! Let’s celebrate five decades of NMHS award recipients!
2020 NMHS Annual Awards Dinner • 22 October Awards Dinner Chairman Christopher J. Culver, Honorary Chairman George W. Carmany III, NMHS Chairman Ronald L. Oswald and Program Chairman Walter R. Brown invite you to the inaugural (and perhaps one and only) virtual National Maritime Historical Society Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday evening, 22 October 2020, starting at 6pm. We will pay tribute to more than 200 award recipients, whose contributions to our maritime heritage have been invaluable and inspiring. Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr., 24th Commandant of the US Coast Guard, will pay tribute to NMHS Chairman Emeritus Howard Slotnick (1930–2020), who was a mainstay of the Society for half a century. What can you expect? Secrets? Fun and laughter? Interesting and new information? An update on the award recipients? Some snappy banter? Maybe. Beautiful outfits? Perhaps. A great meal and fine wine? This year, not so much, unless you’re doing the cooking! The evening event is free to attend, although we hope you will support it. We have sponsorships from a $1,000 Individual Sponsor to the $25,000 Marque Sponsor, all with recognition during the event, ranging from a listing in the credits to an online video salute. For information on how to sustain your Society by supporting this unique and lively event, or to make a reservation, please visit us at www.seahistory.org/AAD2020 or call (914) 737-7878 Ext. 235. Although the event is free to all, advance reservations are required and appreciated.
photo by allison lucas
2021 David A. O’Neil Sheet Anchor Award We are pleased to give you a peek at the 2021 Annual Awards Dinner lineup, when we will honor the first couple to receive the David A. O’Neil Sheet Anchor Award. RADM Joseph F. Callo, USN (Ret.) and CAPT Sally McElwreath, USN (Ret.) have been extraordinary ambassadors for the Society, extending our outreach and enriching our prestige through our association with them. We have counted on Admiral Callo for advice, lectures, articles, and as an international liaison for the Society. CAPT McElwreath has been an involved and valuable trustee. They were the link that brought NMHS to the UK to represent the United States with the American Friends of the Royal Navy at events where we were introduced to HRH Princess Anne and Royal Navy dignitaries—a relationship across the pond we still maintain. As organizers of the New York Pickle Night, an annual event celebrating Lord Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, they have encouraged NMHS as active supporters, as well as inviting NMHS representation at many nautical events: Navy League Dinners, Fleet Week receptions, and naval commissioning ceremonies. They have furthered the outreach and importance of the Society in myriad ways for many years. It is our honor to have them accept this award. SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 13
National Maritime Historical Society Awards American Ship Trust Award/Karl Kortum American Ship Trust Award
James Monroe Award/Robert G. Albion-James Monroe Award
Amistad, accepted by Capt. William Pinkney (2001) Peter A. and Jack R. Aron & Peking (1990) Capt. Carl Bowman & Star of India (1996) Walter Cronkite (1991) S/V Danmark (1999) Elissa Volunteers (1983) Ernestina, accepted by Capt. Marcos Lopes (1982) Gazela Primeiro (1979) Albert Gatov & USCG Eagle (1981) Townsend Hornor & Sea Education Association (1994) Alan D. Hutchinson & Kaiulani (1988) Jakob Isbrandtsen, Allen G. Rupley & Wavertree (1980) Capt. Irving Johnson (1979) Capt. Arthur M. Kimberly, the late Gloria Kimberly & Romance (2008) Capt. Karl Kortum & Balclutha (1992) J. Patrick Mahoney & USCG Eagle (1978) Clifford D. Mallory Jr. & Mystic Seaport Museum (1993) Warren Marr II & Amistad (1995) James P. McAllister & Mathilda (1989) CDR Christopher Melhuish, USN (Ret.) & USS Constitution (1997) Elizabeth E. Meyer & Endeavour (1994) Emil Mosbacher Jr. & Operation Sail (1993) RADM Thomas Patterson, USMS (Ret.) & Jeremiah O’Brien (1995) Larry Sowinski & Intrepid (1992) Nancie Villiers & Joseph Conrad (1984) Kaye Williams & “HMS” Rose (2000)
Robert G. Albion (1968) Frank O. Braynard (1976) Oswald Brett (1984) Norman Brouwer (1988) John Bunker (1980) George Campbell (1978) Frank G. Carr (1974) James W. Cheevers (2010) Thomas C. Gillmer (1995) Stanley Haas (1970) Robert G. Herbert (1980) Capt. Archie Horka (1972) Capt. Irving Johnson (1977) Karl Kortum (1987) Jan Larson (1993) Randall F. LeBouef Jr. (1971) Capt. Robert J. Lowen (1983) CDR Tyrone G. Martin, USN (Ret.) (1997) A. and J. P. McAllister (1982) William G. Muller (1991) US Representative John M. Murphy (1979) John A. Noble (1981) Nathaniel Philbrick (2005) John Stobart (1986) Philip Thorneycroft Teuscher (1989) Alan Villiers (1969) VADM John M. Will, USN (Ret.) (1975)
Founder’s Sheet Anchor Award/ David A. O’Neil Sheet Anchor Award
Henry H. Anderson (1990) Peter A. Aron (2008) Frank O. Braynard (1988) Norman J. Brouwer (1988) Walter R. Brown (2011) Alan Choate (1997) Walter Cronkite (1998) Thomas F. Daly (2012) Walter J. Handelman Artwork used (1994) to create Alan D. Hutchison (1988) Karl Kortum (1988) Richardo Lopes (2013) Clay Maitland (2006) Donald C. McGraw Jr. (2005) Schuyler M. Meyer Jr. (1989)
Richard I. Morris (1993) Scott Newhall (1988) David A. O’Neil (2003) Ronald L. Oswald (2015) Timothy J. Runyan (2018) Richard W. Scheuing (1995) Howard Slotnick (2014) Capt. Cesare Sorio (2016) Peter Stanford (2007) Philip J. Webster (2017) William H. White (2004) Capt. Jean Wort (2019)
NMHS Bravo Zulu Award
ADM Thad W. Allen, USCG (Ret.) (2009) Captains of the Miracle on the Hudson (2009) ADM Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG (Ret.) (2011) Men & Women of the US Coast Guard (2005)
Service Appreciation Award Stephanie Begley Smith & Bradford Smith (2006)
Volunteer Appreciation Award
Norman Carathanasis (1997) Capt. Theodore Foster (1999) Christine Kraft (2000) Joyce Riess (2000) John & Monica Shanahan (2014) CDR Owen Thompson, USMS (Ret.) (1996) Carol & Harry Vinall III (1996) Seymour Wittek (2002)
NMHS New York Harbor Historic Ship Steward Award of Excellence
John Doswell & Working Harbor Committee (2013) Huntley Gill & John J. Harvey (2013) Capt. Mary Habstritt & Lilac Preservation Project (2013) “Pattern” Capt. Pamela Hepburn & Tug Pegasus Preservation Project (2013) Angela Krevey & Frying Pan (2013) Carolina Salguero & Portside New York (2013) David Sharps & Waterfront Museum (2013) Gerald Weinstein & Lilac Preservation Project (2013)
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education
Capt. Peg Brandon & Sea Education Association (2018) The Captain John Smith Four Hundred Project (2007) Capt. Knud Hansen & S/V Danmark (2000) Los Angeles Maritime Institute & Capt. James Gladson (1997) Orange County Marine Institute & Stanley L. Cummings (1995) Rafe Parker & Sea Education Association (1996) David Rockefeller Jr. & Sailors for the Sea (2010) Sultana Projects, Inc. (2004) Alix T. Thorne & Schooner Harvey Gamage Foundation (1998) Williams-Mystic: The Maritime Studies Program of Williams College at Mystic Seaport (2019) Woodson K. Woods & Lynx Education Foundation (2011)
NMHS Sea History Award of Appreciation Richard J. King (2014) Peter McCracken (2014)
Rodney N. Houghton Award
Capt. Arie L. Bleicher (2010) Kathleen Ciolfi and Geoff Carton (2015) James P. Delgado (2016) Paul F. Johnston (2019) Andrew Lambert (2014) J. Phillip London (2013) James L. Nelson (2009) CAPT Michael J. Rauworth, USCG (Ret.) (2018) Capt. Walter Rybka (2012) Donald G. Shomette (2017) Matthew Stackpole (2011) William H. Thiesen (2017) William H. White (2008)
NMHS 50th Anniversary Award Norma Stanford (2013)
For more information on National Maritime Historical Society awards and recipients, please visit www.seahistory.org/awards
NMHS Distinguished Service Award
CDR Everett Alvarez Jr., USN (Ret.) (2011) Capt. Richard Bailey & “HMS” Rose (1995) William C. Baker (2018) Robert D. Ballard (2003) Admiral Sir Johnathan Band GCB DL (2012) John M. Barber (2009) Daniel J. Basta (2014) CDR Michael C. Beck, USN (Ret.) (1996) US Representative Helen Delich Bentley (2011) Frank O. Braynard & OpSail (1993) VADM David L. Brewer III, USN (Ret.) & Sealift Command (2005) George W. Carmany III (2014) J. Revell Carr (2000) James J. Coleman Jr. (2014) Conservation International & Peter A. Seligmann (2017) Walter Cronkite (2000) Cunard Line, accepted by Stanley Birge (2013) Clive Cussler (2001) The Honorable John H. Dalton (1997) VADM Peter H. Daly, USN (Ret.) (2018) ADM Bruce DeMars, USN (Ret.) (2012) Joseph DeMuccio & Tugboat Enthusiasts Society (1996) Brian D’Isernia (2017) Richard du Moulin & Richard Wilson (2004) William Dunne (1995) Bruce K. Farr OBE (2012) Basil F. Harrison (1998) ADM John C. Harvey Jr., USN (Ret.) (2011) Capt. Frank T. Haydon (1995) Halsey C. Herreshoff (1999) Stan Honey (2013) Gary Jobson (2006) ADM Jay L. Johnson, USN (Ret.) (2019) Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, CBE (2008) The Honorable John F. Lehman (2011) Harold F. (Gerry) Lenfest (2015) Pam Rorke Levy & Matt Brooks (2019) ADM James M. Loy, USCG (Ret.) (1999) Warren Marr II & Amistad (1993) J. W. Marriott Jr. (2018) Capt. Brian A. McAllister (2012) Lord Ian McColl & Mercy Ships (2002) Michael McKay (1995) John Mecray (2007) Schuyler M. Meyer Jr. (1994) US Senator Barbara Mikulski (2015)
William G. Muller (1995) Dana Hewson, Quentin Snediker & Mystic Seaport’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard (2010) National Geographic Society, accepted by Gary Knell (2017) Patrick O’Brien (2012) ADM Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG (Ret.) (1998) Paul Pennoyer (1995) Stephen B. Phillips (2016) Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne (2015) Charles A. Robertson (2016) Capt. Bert Rogers (2017) ADM Gary Roughead, USN (Ret.) (2010) Ding Schoonmaker (2019) Howard Slotnick (1998) Olin J. Stephens II (2006) John Stobart (2008) VADM Sandra L. Stosz, USCG (Ret.) (2013) RADM Douglas H. Teeson, USCG (1998) Charles H. Townsend (2016) Ted Turner (2009) USCG Activities New York (2002) Raymond E. Wallace & Moshulu (1995) CAPT Don Walsh, USN (Ret.) (2012) US Senator John W. Warner (2010) Kaye Williams & “HMS” Rose (1993) Nathaniel S. Wilson (2010) Edward G. Zelinsky (1995)
Presented in association with the Nautical Research Guild:
Clayton A. Feldman (2004 Maritime Research & Modeling Award)
Presented in association with the National Coast Guard Museum Association:
Donald T. “Boysie” Bollinger (2018 NCGMA Alexander Hamilton Award) The Honorable Tom Ridge (2019 NCGMA Alexander Hamilton Award)
Presented in association with the Naval Historical Foundation:
CNO ADM Jonathan W. Greenert, USN (Ret.) (2015 NHF Distinguished Service Award) J. Phillip London (2017 NHF Distinguished Service Award) Andrew Taylor (2016 NHF Distinguished Service Award)
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 15
Freedom and Whaling on Nantucket
Nantucket lies in the Atlantic Ocean about 25 miles south of Cape Cod. Between the mid-1700s and the mid-1820s, Nantucket was the whaling capital of the world.
When Nantucket was settled by the English in 1659, it had an indigenous population of about 3,000. The group comprised ten British men and their families, led by Tristram Coffin, with Edward Starbuck, Thomas Macy, and Isaac Coleman among them. Coffin’s daughter, Mary Coffin Starbuck, and her oldest son, Nathaniel, promulgated Quakerism after her conversion from Puritanism in 1701; her daughter (Mary) was the first white person born on Nantucket. The Quakers were a
nha collection, gift of the friends of the nha 2013.2.1
he story of emancipation and its ties to whaling on Nantucket is particularly relevant in these new times of social reflection. From 1619 to the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865, slavery was the law of the land in America. Nearly a century before the Civil War, Nantucket was able to find a solution. In 1647, George Fox founded the Society of Friends in England, a group that was almost immediately persecuted for their beliefs. Fox’s doctrine was that people should live thriftily, conduct themselves with honesty, and work hard. The Friends were called “Quakers,” thanks to Fox once having told an English judge; “You should quake at the word of the Lord,” as Friends tended to do during their meetings. To escape mistreatment in England, the Quakers relocated to America. However, even in the New World, they were persecuted by the Puritans. So with firsthand knowledge of prejudice, the Quakers ardently believed all humans should be treated with dignity and respect.
by Skip Finley self-sufficient, thrifty people who respected neither kings nor the leadership of non-believers. Women and men sat on opposite sides of the room during services, because equality was always central to the core of the new religion they brought with them. Opponents of taxes, the death penalty and slavery, the Quakers were among the first organized abolitionists. No Utopia Not all Quakers were abolitionists on Nantucket, or throughout New England where the cause was advanced, and many continued to own slaves. They were, however, among the first to voice their discomfort with its morality. In a 1716 Quaker meeting held in Dartmouth (near modern-day New Bedford), the practice of slavery was deemed “not agreeable to the truth.” In 1733, Nantucket-based Elihu Coleman published “A Testimony Against That Anti-Christian Practice Of Making Slaves of Men,” one (left) Sampson Dyer, by Spoilum (fl. 1765– 1805). Dyer (1773–1843) was a free man of mixed race—African and Native American, who moved to Nantucket in the 1790s with his wife, Patience Dyer (née Allen). By the time of their arrival on Nantucket, slavery had been outlawed in Massachusetts. The Dyers settled in the community south of town called New Guinea, where the island’s people of color, including the few surviving native Wampanoag, lived. For a brief period after the American Revolution and lasting until the War of 1812, Nantucket shipowners engaged in the China Trade, often gathering seal pelts on the voyage out to trade for porcelain, tea, silks, and other goods at Canton (now Guangzhou). Dyer is believed to have signed aboard the ship Active as steward for a trading voyage to China in the 1790s. From 1802 to 1805, he was aboard the Lady Adams of Nantucket on a voyage hunting seals in the Juan Fernandez Islands off Chile before continuing to Canton. It is on one of these voyages that Dyer commissioned his portrait from the Chinese painter Spoilum, an artist who specialized in European-style paintings in oil of sea captains and both Chinese and Western merchants. SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
nha collection, gift of robert m. waggaman 1974.21.1
of the first American documents to refute the practice of slavery. Nonetheless, the change in thinking did not come all at once; some Nantucket Quakers continued to hold people in slavery decades after Coleman’s publication. From its foundations, Nantucket’s New World settlers recognized that the sandy island they had moved to had little arable land and few natural resources besides the sea surrounding it. In 1672 they offered grants to two off-islanders to bring fishing and whaling practices to the island. The whaler, James Loper of Southampton, Long Island, declined, and it appears that the Quakers and the Wampanoag together developed offshore whaling without outside help. Another popular figure in Nantucket lore is a Cape Codder named Ichabod Paddack, who reportedly was hired in the late 1600s to consult on the efficacy of whaling, but the records of his involvement do not bear this story out. What is clear is that the industrious Quakers tapped Whaleship model, by William Meader of Nantucket (1750–1829), ca. 1765.
nha collection, bequest of margaret h. crosby 1989.89.1
View of the Town of Nantucket, ca. 1811 by Thomas Birch (1779–1851).
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 17
nha collection, gift of sampson d. pompey, 1906.56.1
into the indigenous people’s skills for use in developing whaling from a shore-based fishery into a large-scale industry. From about 1690 to 1715, the English, who owned the boats and tools, relied on Native men to man the island’s shore-whaling boats. But they also brought with them diseases—diphtheria, smallpox and measles—to which the island’s Wampanoag had no immunity. As the native population decreased from these epidemics and other factors, black men were brought in to replace the natives in the difficult but burgeoning new industry.
Nantucket Town records have included black residents since 1717. Thanks to the Quakers’ rejection of slavery as an acceptable institution, by 1775 there were no slaves on Nantucket and black people on the island would find themselves free—long before their brethren on the mainland. It is worth noting that while the Friends exhibited far more tolerance for black people than most other whites in the colonies, they did not encourage integration. Indeed, blacks were not welcome into their society. As Nantucket author and historian Nathaniel Philbrick put it: “For those whose
ships required cheap and bountiful labor, the growth of the black community was a matter of business rather than the result of lofty social ideals.” The participation by black men in whaling is closely tied to the end of slavery on Nantucket. One story in particular, once believed to have been the one to have precipitated slavery’s end, is instructive— and may have been able to occur only on Nantucket. Prince Boston The enslaved patriarch Boston and his family had been the property of William Swain since 1739. His youngest son, Prince Boston, was born in 1750 and would become uncle to the future Nantucket black whaling captain, Absalom Boston. In 1772, Swain hired out Prince Boston for a whaling voyage in the Friendship, expecting to be paid for his slave’s work, as he had done before with Prince’s older brothers. Boston’s performance as a harpooner proved good enough that Friendship’s captain, Elisha Folger, paid Prince directly—not his owner. William Swain died while the ship was still out at sea, and his heirs sued Captain Folger for Prince Boston’s wages, but lost the decision in the Nantucket Court of Common Pleas. Prince Boston subsequently petitioned for his freedom and became a free man. This was an important case in the emancipation timeline and it took place a full ninety years before the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Just two years after the Swain v. Folger court decision, in 1775, the last Nantucketer to own slaves freed them. Massachusetts outlawed slavery eight years after that, in 1783. Another ramification stemming from that court case was that Boston’s brother Seneca, a weaver, was able to buy his family a home on York Street in Nantucket in 1774, where his son Absalom Boston was born in 1785. The African Meeting House at 29 York Street, still there today, was next door. It is owned by Boston’s Museum of Afro-American History Black Heritage Trail and is used for special events. Captain Absalom F. Boston (1785–1855), by an unknown artist, ca. 1835. SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
nha collection gift of the friends of the nha 2008.31.1
“Ship Spermo Trying With Boats Among Whales On California 1821,” by J. Fisher, ca. 1823. The 296-ton ship Spermo of Nantucket made just one whaling voyage, sailing to the Pacific under Captain James Bunker between August 1820 and March 1823. It was a profitable voyage, bringing home 1,920 barrels of valuable sperm oil. Nantucket’s Black Whaling Captains Following in his uncle’s whaling footsteps, as a free man Absalom Boston made money on several whaling trips, rising to be captain of the Industry in 1822. Later, his investment in the fabulously successful voyage of the whaleship Loper is believed to have made him rich enough to invest in other business ventures on land. When Boston died in 1848, he left cash, property and assets with a value of $1,351.50 (about $37,500 today) to his heirs. At the time of his death he was a successful business-man who had worked tirelessly to integrate the island’s communities. That notwithstanding, he was buried in a segregated cemetery. Along with Boston, other black men of Nantucket became whaling captains, including Peter Green and Edward Pompey,
who captained the New Bedford brig Rising States that was coincidentally owned by another black man, Richard Johnson. Despite the fact that he belonged to a race then in slavery on board a Nantucket whaleship, he was an officer and his command coming as it did through a process of harsh elimination was nevertheless his— and he was master of his ship. —Edouard Stackpole discussing Peter Green, in The Sea Hunters Peter Green was the first black man to become a replacement master following the death of senior officers. The John Adams left Nantucket in 1821, with Peter Green as second mate under first mate Seth G. Myrick and Captain George Bunker II. Bunker died and Myrick and his whaleboat
crew were lost after harpooning a whale. Returning to Nantucket in 1823 as captain, Green reported the men had died the previous April. There is no record of the details of Green’s promotion, but the facts are that the John Adams returned with Green as captain—and oil worth $689,905 in today’s dollars. There are no records about Green having served whaling voyages before or after his historic promotion aboard the John Adams, so we cannot know if he sailed in that capacity again. After his whaling career, Absalom Boston acquired land, a store, and an inn and helped build a church and a school. His friend Ed Pompey opened a store and sold subscriptions to William Lloyd Garrison’s newspaper, the Liberator, and became a prominent abolitionist. Pompey was president of the Nantucket Colored
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 19
Temperance Society and attended the New England Anti-Slavery Convention of 1834 as a representative of Nantucket. Garrison wrote to Pompey, saying he looked forward to visiting Nantucket “when I shall be able to tell you, face to face, how much I appreciate your efforts to promote the circulation of the Liberator and also to thank my colored brethren for their patronage.” Garrison visited Nantucket in 1842. Buried on Nantucket in the island’s historic Colored Cemetery, his headstone in the cemetery identifies him as “Capt. Edward Pompey.” Edward J. Pompey died a bachelor in 1848 at 48 years old. Scrimshaw sperm-whale tooth, by Edward Burdett (1805–1833), ca. 1830. Hunting and butchering whales on the high seas was dangerous, violent, gory work. But the long voyages also provided whalers copious amounts of spare time, which prompted a flourishing of shipboard folk arts, such as scrimshaw. 20
Committing to Equality While freedom reigned on the island, segregation continued. When Eunice Ross, who was black, was denied admission to the local public high school in 1838, the island’s black population took a stand, led by Captain Boston and Pompey. The con-
nha collection gift of the friends of the nha 1989.126.4
nha collection gift of eliza ann king 1899.131.1
Arthur Cooper (1789–1853), portrait by Sally Gardner (1799–1862), ca. 1830.
troversy attracted enough attention that the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society decided to hold its three-day convention on Nantucket in 1841. Frederick Douglass delivered his first address to a multiracial audience on the second day of the convention, launching his career as an abolitionist and orator. In August 1842, the Anti-Slavery Society returned, featuring speeches by Garrison denouncing the Constitution as “an agreement with Hell” and by the fiery abolitionist Stephen S. Foster, who ignited a riot (by a white mob) that lasted several days. It was on this occasion that Foster delivered his “Brotherhood of Thieves” address. Foster suggested five distinct crimes: “theft, or the stealing of a man’s labor; adultery, the disregard for the ‘requisitions of marriage’ involved in holding women as ‘stock’ and prostituting them; man-stealing or kidnapping, the act of claiming a man as property; piracy, the illegal taking of slaves from the coast of Africa; and murder, the firm intention of masters who could hold slaves only by the threat of extermination.” In 1844, Absalom Boston and Edward J. Pompey, along with 104 others, submitted a petition to the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives describing “insults and outrages upon their rights.” Another soon followed, signed by more than 200 white Nantucketers—mostly Unitarians and abolitionists—in support of the petition, and in 1845 Massachusetts legislators passed the first law in the United States guaranteeing equal education. Still, segregation lasted a few more years,
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
Freedom on Nantucket The Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 (and 1850) gave Southern slave owners the legal authority to seek out and recapture slaves who had escaped, typically to the north. With proof as rudimentary as an affidavit signed by a slave owner to a judge, agents could capture not just runaway slaves but free black people. Fines were imposed upon people who hampered the return of slaves to former masters, and while Northerners were generally opposed to the laws, Quakers and abolitionists were outraged. In 1822, the same year that Absalom Boston commanded the Industry, a slave catcher named Camillus Griffith attempted to take Arthur and Lucy Cooper, a married black couple living on Nantucket, into custody under the auspices of the Fugitive Slave Act. Arthur had been a slave in Virginia and had escaped to the north some time between 1815 and 1818. Lucy Cooper may have been born free. Wielding a power of attorney from the slave owners, Griffith and a court-appointed deputy went to Nantucket to get the Coopers and their children. While these men were attempting to remove the Coopers from their home, Francis Macy, a cousin of the prominent Rotch family, intervened along with “a large assemblage of persons,” including large numbers of both the black and white communities on the island, who had surrounded the house. Sylvanus Macy stepped up to suggest the power of attorney was a forgery and said, “We are not in Virginia now but in Yankee Town, and we want those colored people to man our whale ships and will not suffer them to be carried back to bondage.”1 Portrait of a man, ca. 1857: Photographic portraits of 19th-century African American Nantucketers are rare, and this exceptional whole-plate tintype is one of the finest known. Unfortunately, the man’s identity continues to elude scholars; for a long time, this image was thought to be Arthur Cooper, but this has been disproven. The man’s earrings suggest he was a sailor, and his expression of strength and dignity suggests he was a man of respect and esteem in the island’s Black community.
If not for the Quakers and the value of whaling, at any time black Nantucketers like Absalom Boston, Peter Green, and Edward J. Pompey could have been thrown into slavery. For whalemen sailing the world’s oceans, the protection they enjoyed as Nantucketers came decades before the rest of the country followed suit. In 1775, the last Nantucket slaveholder, Benjamin Coffin, freed his slave, Rose, and her two sons, Benjamin and Bristol. On the little island off the Massachusetts coast, black people were free of slavery before America’s revolt from England; the rest of the new nation had to wait until 1865. 1Republican
Standard (New Bedford) 15 May 1878.
Skip Finley, a former radio broadcasting executive, who has attempted retirement since age fifty, keeps returning to communications and is currently in marketing at the Vineyard Gazette Media Group on Martha’s Vineyard, where he summered since 1955. For five years Finley wrote the Vineyard Gazette’s weekly Oak Bluffs Town column and has contributed to several publications in the areas of whaling and history. This article is based on his research for his new book, Whaling Captains of Color: America’s First Meritocracy (Naval Institute Press, 2020). The images in this article and most captions were provided by the Nantucket Historical Association. Visit www.nha.org to learn more about all aspects of Nantucket history.
nha collection (tintype 18)
with some white abolitionists refusing to send their children to the schools.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 21
Discovering Sea History in the Detroit Publishing Co. Collection
all images for this article courtesy of the detroit publishing co. collection, library of congress
ver the years, many articles in Sea History have contained blackand-white photos of astonishing clarity and detail, showing maritime scenes from years gone by, often simply credited to “Library of Congress.” The recent article “Siempre Preparado: US Revenue Cutter Algonquin in Puerto Rico, 1902–1917,” by J. Edwin Nieves, MD, in the spring 2020 issue of Sea History had some fantastic photographs of San Juan Harbor at the turn of the nineteenth century, and those of the
by Charley Seavey
highest quality came from the collection of the Detroit Publishing Company (DPC), which flourished from the 1890s until bankruptcy in 1924. Its photographic holdings increased enormously when the great western photographer, William Henry Jackson, joined the firm in 1897, bringing his 40,000 glass plate negatives with him. The Detroit Publishing Company’s main product was picture postcards, which had started to come into heavy use in the later 1890s. World War I brought economic hard
times, and competitors began coming up with less expensive processes for producing postcards. By 1924 the DPC declared bankruptcy, and it was liquidated in 1932. In 1939 William Henry Jackson, with backing from Edsel Ford (actually with Henry Ford’s money) arranged for the sale of the entire DPC collection, including Jackson’s 40,000 plates, to the Edison Institute, more commonly known as the Henry Ford Museum. It is not clear whether Jackson had approached Edsel Ford himself, or through intermediaries. In 1949, the Ford Museum subsequently transferred the collection to the Colorado Historical Society, which promptly transferred most of the images of areas east of the Mississippi to the Library of Congress. Both the Ford Museum and the Colorado Historical Society have small remnants of the DPC collection, but as yet neither has done a great deal of digitizing. Searching their collections is not as easy as it might be, but can be well worth your time if you make the effort. Prior to the development of roll film in the 1890s, cameras used plates of various media to capture pictures. It was a tedious process, requiring that the camera be reloaded after every single picture was taken. The highest quality process involved glass plate negatives of varying sizes. The vast majority of the DPC photos at the Library of Congress were taken using 8 x 10-inch glass plates. The cameras involved were enormous in size and could not be carried by one person. There is a picture of William Henry Jackson’s “assistants” taken in 1873, showing a mule carrying the enormous camera and plates. There is also this camera (left), looking rather like the turret on a warship—photograph shot by Jackson in Florida in 1890. Unwieldy, to be sure, but it could produce beautifully clear images with a very high resolution, allowing the viewer to zoom in and discern an incredible amount of detail. At the Essex Shipbuilding Museum where I am a volunteer, Jackson’s photo of his equipment mounted on a small steamboat at Brown’s Landing, Rice Creek, Florida. Printed from a glass negative. SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
we have used them to identify names on vessels, details of rigging and hardware placement, and occasionally the expression of folks on deck. The scanned images in the collection come in several versions, with varying levels of image compression. File Type
Size in Pixels
640 x 505
1024 x 808
5106 x 4027
10194 x 8114
File size and size in pixels for individual photographs varies, but only slightly. Your selection of which file to download depends upon the purpose for which you wish to put the image in question. The most detailed information is clearly in the largest TIFF image, but some of these are massive files (larger than 150MB) and the trade-off is a longer downloading time and the space it takes up on your computer. For
“The photographer’s assistants,” ca. 1873, from the William Henry Jackson photographs in the Detroit Publishing Co. Collection, Library of Congress. The number of digitized photochrom images is a very small percentage of the total in the DPC collection—less than one percent. “The Captain Visger in Lost Channel, Thousand Islands,” (below) was taken around 1901. Captain Visger was built as a yacht in 1895 for W. L. Visger, who ran boat tours throughout the Thousand Islands.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 23
general purpose use, particularly for use in PowerPoint, or an online presentation, the larger JPEG images work just fine. For publishing in print media, let your publisher guide your choice. As an example of the level of detail available, consider this picture (below). This is one part of a four-frame panorama of Gloucester Harbor in Massachusetts, shot in 1905. Notice the steamer docked on the right-hand side of the picture. By zooming in on the biggest TIFF file, we discovered that she is the Grantham, a 2358-ton general cargo steamer out of West Hartlepool,
UK. We contacted the local historical society in West Hartlepool and learned that the steamer in the photo was built in 1890 as Bussorah. She was renamed in 1891, and was torpedoed and sunk by U-31 in 1918. Searching the Collection As of June 2020, there are approximately 30,000 high-resolution images in the collection, with around 25,000 of them scanned in the highest resolution (in the neighborhood of 150 MB). There are also a large number (~20,000) of unscanned items of various formats in the collection.
As with any online collection, there are various ways of searching for that which you wish to find, but there are a few caveats to be aware of about the database before describing some details about searching. The item records at the Library of Congress were constructed partly from information that they received in 1949, when the plates first arrived in Washington. Keep in mind that the Detroit Publishing Company photographers were interested in getting images to put on postcards to make money. Historical accuracy was simply not part of their mindset. Inevitably, a fair amount of
This image is one of a four-part panorama of Gloucester Harbor, ca. 1905. Zooming in on the steamship towards the right of the photo, you can easily make out the shipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name and home portâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Grantham, West Hartlepool.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
(above) US Government Dock and Wall Street Ferry, New York City, ca. 1900–1905. Docks, harbors, and ferries are frequent subjects.
The wreck of USS Maine in Havana Harbor, ca. 1900. Many of William Henry Jackson’s color photos in the collection were shot in Mexico, Cuba, California, and Colorado.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 25
Schooner Rose Dorothea winning the first fishermanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s race for the Lipton Cup, 1907, with a broken fore topmast. This was the first officially organized schooner race that would spawn many classic schooner races until the last in 1938.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
erroneous information was passed down to the online collection. Secondly, many of the people working on the collection at the various repositories over the years were not necessarily well-informed in nautical terminology or maritime history. Thirdly, in many cases, the people adding information to a given photograph’s file were looking at the glass plate negative images. Needless to say, this was not always conducive to understanding what is going on in any given picture. As you search the Library of Congress database, you may well come across inaccuracies as to the date, ship name, location, or any number of other possible errors that have crept into the records over the years. This is not the result of stupidity or some malignant conspiracy, but rather the result of trying to describe and provide details for an enormous collection with somewhat scanty information to go on. The good news is that the Library of Congress is happy to receive corrections and make changes to the record. To search the DPC collection start at https://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/ det/. The search box offers two options: “This Collection” or “Search All.” Stick with “This Collection” if you want the really high resolution, copyright-free material from the DPC. There is an advanced search function that will reduce the number of hits you get, although generally speaking I find it more useful to cast a wider net and get more images to make sure I don’t miss anything. There are two basic approaches. First is a simple search by word or phrase, keeping in mind the caveats about terminology mentioned above. This table shows some searches and the number of images found using each term: Search Term
No. of Returns
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 27
Another approach is to search by the Library of Congress subject heading assigned to each item record. The Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) were originally designed for a card catalog for the largest book collection in the world. Hence, they can be somewhat arcane in construction and occasionally use archaic language. The LCSH have been modernized for online use, but as you can see in this table (below), some still reflect their origins. And, an old timer: “Santiago, Battle of, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, 1898” LoC Subject Heading
No. of Returns
piers & wharves
boat & ship industry
results in 75 returns. The “Santiago” heading is an example of an old style, indirect entry heading, probably unchanged since the first edition of Library of Congress Subject Headings. Usually those started with a keyword (although they would not have used that term in those days) and added short explanatory pieces of information along the way. A modernized subject heading would probably be Battle of Santiago de Cuba, 1898. One way of approaching an LCSH search is to poke around using a word search, then when you find a relevant image, click on the LCSH heading on the record and see what that brings you. An LCSH search does have the advantage of bringing together relevant images to a specific topic. It does not guarantee that those are all the relevant images, however. Again, remember the caveats above.
However you search the collection, it is a great source of information about the world as it turned from the nineteenth century to the twentieth. The bulk of the images were taken in the United States, but there are numerous images from across the world, mainly European scenes in color, to be explored as well. Wherever your curiosity about history leads you, the Detroit Publishing Company photos are a rich source of imagery of days gone by. Charley Seavey, son of a Maine boatbuilder, has a lifelong interest in both photography and the sea. Now retired after a long career in higher education, he serves as a research associate for the Essex Shipbuilding Museum, in Essex, Massachusetts. The great bulk of the Grand Banks Gloucester fishing schooners were built in Essex, and the museum is a primary source of information on the topic.
Vigilant and Valkyrie II, 1893 America’s Cup. The collection includes photos of the America’s Cup defenders going back to the 1870 defender Magic.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
SS Prinzessin Victoria Luise, ca. 1901â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1906. She was the first ship designed as what we now call a cruise shipâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;not intended for regularly scheduled ocean crossings, but leisurely cruises in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. The collection contains, of course, many pictures of the great ocean liners.
(below) USS Alabama, with USS Illinois in the distance, ca. 1905. Battleships and warships of many nations and many descriptions make up a large portion of the collection. A close look reveals a crewmember dangling from a boom off the starboard bow of Alabama, perhaps to board the tender just below.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 29
Bite of the Devil—
photo by mario roberto durán ortiz, cc by 4.0 sa
efreshing sea breezes notwithstanding, ocean travel in the Age of Sail was not a particularly healthy calling. Injuries, both slight and horrific, posed an ever-present danger. Infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and smallpox occurred commonly among men cramped up for months in the foul vapors below deck. Outside forces, such as storms or attacks from other ships, took a heavy toll on shipboard personnel. It was expected on any long journey by ship that sickness from eating maggot-ridden food combined with putrid water would cause ill health and death within the crew. But it was scurvy that was responsible for the fatalities of more than two million sailors during the Age of Sail—more than all the other causes of death combined.
by Dr. Raymond E. Phillips
library of congress
Scourge of the Long-Distance Sea Voyager
Maris Pacifici by Abraham Ortelius, 1589, depicts Magellan’s lone surviving ship, Victoria. The crews of far-reaching voyages in the Age of Discovery fell victim to the effects of scurvy after a few weeks at sea, when fresh provisions had been depleted. Magellan’s expedition returned from its historic circumnavigation with just a small fraction of the original crew. Scurvy, or “ship beri-beri,” troubled seafarers throughout the 15th to 19th centuries. Skeletal remains of men left by Columbus in 1494 on the ill-fated colony of La Isabela on the island of Hispaniola (in what is now the Dominican Republic) reveal the tell-tale signs of scurvy. With plentiful supplies of scurvy-preventative fresh food on the island, it is likely that the afflicted incurred the disease during the three-month Atlantic crossing, as there were signs of healing in the bones. Scurvy decimated crews during these early long-distance voyages. When Vasco da Gama returned to Portugal in 1499 after a two-year voyage to India, only fifty-five of his original crew of 170 made it home. Northern European countries were long familiar with “land scurvy,” an affliction that appeared on an epidemic scale toward the end of each winter when fresh foods were depleted. The voyages of explo-
ration by da Gama, Columbus, and Ferdinand Magellan introduced “sea scurvy” to a population already dealing with other maladies. Magellan, setting out from Spain in September of 1519 for the Far East, encountered scurvy by the time his ships had reached Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. While the crew was revived there with fresh food, scurvy broke out again over the Pacific Ocean on the return trip. His original crew of 230 was reduced to just twenty-four men who completed the historic circumnavigation of the globe in September of 1522. Magellan himself did not make it home, but his death came at the hands of Pacific Islanders, rather than disease. In 1740 Admiral George Anson left England with nearly 2,000 men in eight ships for the South Pacific, on orders to plunder Spanish gold and silver. The voyage
Skeletons from a graveyard at La Isabela were exhumed in 1990 by archaeologists from Italy and the Dominican Republic. Forensic studies revealed evidence of scurvy among Columbus’s crew from his second voyage to the Americas. SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
would cost him half his crew, most dying from scurvy, by the time the voyage was completed in 1744. After two or three months at sea in the Age of Discovery, sailors exhibiting early symptoms of scurvy—weakness, fatigue, and lethargy—were simply considered too lazy. Complaints of pain in muscles and joints used as excuses for not working were met with skepticism, often followed by flogging. Other symptoms, however, could not be so easily dismissed— swollen gums that bled and loosened teeth that soon fell out, bruising without signs of injury. Wounds, known as “purpura nautica,” soon festered, oozing darkened blood and becoming putrid, as if from a “bite of the devil.” Coughing up blood was commonplace. Old wounds long ago healed often reopened. Calluses of once-brokenbut-mended bones dissolved. Finally, vomiting and dysentery, complicated by internal bleeding “up and down,” generally ended the suffering.
Ways of treating scurvy aboard ship throughout these centuries ran the gamut. A “good bleed” (phlebotomy) was the long-enduring standard treatment in Western medicine for just about anything. Purgatives (to induce vomiting or diarrhea), vinegar, paste of mercury (calomel), parsley, celery, fennel, sulfuric acid, laudanum (opium), and various astringents were provided when available shipboard. The story of the treatment of scurvy evolved slowly, with its share of misunderstanding, misinformation, and misdirection. During Jacques Cartier’s second expedition into the St. Lawrence River late in 1535, his three ships became trapped in ice, forcing them to winter over near the St. Lawrence Iroquois village of Stadacona, near present-day Quebec City. Scurvy set in over the winter months, claiming the lives of two dozen of the crew. The remaining Frenchmen, near death from scurvy, were revived by the local Iroquois, who offered them a decoction made from the
John Woodall (1570–1643), the Surgeon General for the East India Company, published The Surgeon’s Mate in 1617, which included observations and guidance on scurvy, or Latine Scorbutum, at sea. “We have in our owne country here many excellent remedies generally knowne, as namely, Scurvy-grasse, Horse-Reddish roots, Nasturtia Aquatica, Wormwood, Sorrell, and many other good meanes... to the cure of those which live at home... they also helpe some Sea-men returned from farre who by the only natural disposition of the fresh aire and amendment of diet, nature herselfe in effect doth the Cure without other helps.” For seafarers, he recommended “Lemmons, Limes, Tamarinds, Oranges, and other choice of good helps in the Indies... do farre exceed any that can be carried tither from England.”
institute of naval medicine
Watercolor of symptoms of scurvy, 1851.
bark and needles of the “Annedda” tree, a.k.a. “tree of life” or arborvitae. Recovery came with repeated use of tea boiled with the mixture. Two of the sailors who rejected the strange brew offered by a native person subsequently perished. Cartier’s experience with a miraculous curative for scurvy did not lead to any sustained interest within the maritime world. Most ocean-going ships left the docks of Europe during the Age of Discovery without any effective agents to prevent or cure scurvy. Some of the sailors, many of whom had been pressed into duty, were likely already nutritionally deficient and more susceptible to an early-onset vitamin deficiency disease. After all, year-round fresh vegetables were a rare commodity in temperate climates before modern times. Seafarers had learned that the symptoms of scurvy, no matter how advanced, would clear up once they landed on shore and could eat fresh food. Ship captains often planned stops at islands along the way for replenishment. Economy-minded shipmasters who skipped this detour did so at the peril of their crews. Vegetables were favored, with citrus fruits being held as most effective. James Murray, a Scottish soldier serving in the West Indies in the 1760s, wrote that men “who were in all the different stages of this distemper (scurvy) were cured in little more than twelve days [on oranges and lemons].” Despite the enthusiasm for citrus antidotes for scurvy, the practical lessons were generally disregarded in favor of the
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 31
James Lind (1716–1794) published A Treatise on the Scurvy and dedicated it to Lord Anson because an account of Anson’s world voyage and the huge loss of his crew to scurvy was what prompted his interest in the disease. Even so, Lind went on to produce a citrus-based syrup, called “rob,” that would have a much longer shelf life than fresh fruit. It was apparently meant as treatment and not for prevention of scurvy. In addition, he did not realize that the process of preparing the syrup by boiling destroyed much of the heat-labile curative substance, thus reducing its efficacy at sea. Lind retired from the Royal Navy in 1748 and, unrestrained to publish, produced in 1753 a 358-page book, Treatise of the Scurvy. In it, he speculated about the harmful effects of damp air, crowding aboard ship, poor hygiene, blocked sweat glands, faulty digestion, and excretion. He continued to maintain that “oranges and lemons were the most effective remedies for this distemper at sea.” Curiously, the role of citrus fruit in the treatment of scurvy was limited to but a few paragraphs placed unobtrusively in the middle of the book. Lind’s monumental demonstration barely made a ripple in the seafaring world. Nevertheless, his nascent research is recognized as one of the great milestones in the history of medical progress. He was the first to demonstrate the benefit of a dedicated clinical trial, what we call the “controlled experiment.” Captain James Cook, in three legendary explorations throughout the Pacific
prevailing theories of the disease and its causes. The attitude so ingrained in European medicinal practitioners was that illness resulted from imbalance of the internal humours often triggered by environmental disruptions. Since the teachings of the ancient Greeks, the concept held that something caused an illness by disrupting the body’s internal harmony. Treatment, therefore, centered on restoring the balance by removing the offending agent. The concept that something was lacking in the diet to cause such a devastating disease as scurvy was beyond general acceptance in the pre-scientific era. With the remedy within reach, that hundreds of thousands would succumb to scurvy over the first centuries of oceanic travel remains a tragic lesson in the history of medical sociology. The first controlled experiment in clinical medicine was conducted in 1747 by James Lind, a 31-year-old physician in the Royal Navy serving in HMS Salisbury in the English Channel. He was caring for twelve morbidly ill men who were showing the typical signs of scurvy. Their diet consisted of the usual seagoing fare: gruel, mutton broth, barley, and rice. Dr. Lind devised a trial, dividing the group into six pairs. In addition to the standard diet, each group of two was given a carefully measured dose of one of the following: seawater, cider, vinegar, or elixa vitriol (sulfuric acid), a strong purgative (combining of horse radish, garlic, myrrh, mustard, balsam of Peru, and tamarind in barley water), or two oranges and one lemon each day. By the end of six days, one of the sailors on the citrus fruit was fit for duty; his trial mate recovered a few days later. Those taking cider were slightly improved. The fate of the other subjects is unknown. The modern scientist would advise Lind to repeat the experiment, this time narrowing it down to comparing one set with intervention (the experimental) and another set without change (the control) and increase the size of his sample. If substantiated, a more confident Dr. Lind would then conduct other controlled studies to see if the same dietary intervention that could cure scurvy would also have the capacity to prevent scurvy. Yet, this conceptual leap was well beyond what was possible at the time.
beginning in 1768, gave painstaking attention to preventing scurvy. He recognized the importance of plants in a sailor’s diet and made frequent stops at tropical islands to replenish his supply of fresh food. On his second voyage, he provisioned his ships with onions pickled in salt and insisted that each man eat an allotted amount. His stores also included pickled cabbage.1 He was unimpressed with any benefit from his small supply of Lind’s rob. While Cook was not sure of which of these nutrients protected his men, he returned to England after a three-year expedition having incurred almost no cases of scurvy, a remarkable feat in itself. In 1795, Scottish naval physician Gilbert Blane persuaded the British Admiralty that the mariner’s diet on long voyages should include citrus fruit after two weeks at sea. Progress indeed, but this directive came almost fifty years after Lind’s demonstration! Sailors sailing in the Mediterranean Sea for more than two weeks were given oranges from the orchards in British-occupied Sicily. Those headed for the West Indies received the more expensive limes. Almost overnight, scurvy on British ships vanished. The French and Spanish were slow to pick up on the British secret solution, putting them at great disadvantage during the British blockade of the English Channel between 1804 and 1815. SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
scurvy and of what element in certain foods prevented and cured it. Here, the story shifts from ships to the laboratory. In 1907, investigators in Norway, Alex Holst and Alfred Fröhlich, induced a scurvy-like condition in guinea pigs kept on a highly restricted diet. The animals’ health was rapidly restored when fed raw cabbage. This discovery led to an intense search to identify the specific nutrient that cured scorbutic laboratory animals. Twenty years later, a Hungarian biochemist, Albert Szent-Györgyi, identified a sugar in animal tissue (the adrenal gland) that delayed the browning of the leaves of plants. The same sugar was identified in citrus fruit. Because it contained six carbon molecules, he called it “hexauronic acid.” The substance, purified as crystals from red pepper, was then found to cure guinea pigs made scorbutic from a diet consisting only of boiled food. Because of its anti-scorbutic action, the name was changed to “ascorbic acid,” (literally “against scorbutic”). It was the first of what we know as the vitamins and with a revised name, “vitamin C.” By 1933, vitamin C was synthesized by a team led by the biochemist Walter Haworth at the University of Birmingham, England. Within two years, vitamin C was produced and sold on an industrial scale. Like all vitamins, vitamin C is a co-enzyme; together with an enzyme, it is essential in the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is the fibrous scaffold that gives substance to skin, tendons, cartilage, bone, blood vessels, and scar tissue. It is easy to understand how severe deprivation of this nutrient resulted in dissolution of tissues of the muscles, joints, gut, skin and gums. Humans require extremely small amounts of vitamin C to fulfill nutritional needs, and in the 21st century, it is easy to maintain proper amounts in the human body. Looking back, the earlier choice of Holst and Fröhlich to study guinea pigs for this research is fortuitous. Nearly all mammals, with the exception of guinea pigs, fruit bats, and humans, self-synthesize all the biochemical steps of producing vitamin C; we lack the enzyme critical for the last step of its synthesis. We also know that the heavy concentration through the ages on citrus fruit as the curative for scurvy was
the nobel foundation
Even with the knowledge that fresh plants were effective in preventing scurvy, mariners and explorers at the time did not recognize one point: vegetables when cooked lose their scurvy-preventing properties. This became painfully evident to Polar explorers like Robert Falcon Scott, whose men incurred scurvy during his quest for the South Pole as part of the British National Antarctic Expedition (1901– 1904). Vegetables were included in Scott’s provisions, but they had been cooked, rendering their effectiveness in preventing the dreaded disease negligible. Survival for the men depended on the vitamin C that could be digested from fresh seal and penguin meat. While the focus in this writing is on the maritime experience, scurvy has plagued the human condition anywhere food deprivation is rampant, including land-based military campaigns, prisons, and asylums for the poor and the insane. It was also common in institutions such as workhouses and orphanages. Perhaps the most massive outbreak of scurvy began in 1845 during the famine in Ireland, when the vitamin C-rich potatoes were destroyed by blight. Another epidemic outbreak occurred with the onset of winter during the 1849 Gold Rush in Alaska. Discovery of bacteria in the 1880s led to another line of thought regarding the cause of scurvy: a form of ptomaine poisoning. Scurvy, supposedly, was produced by bacteria in foods, especially in poorly preserved meat. Actually, meat does have a trace amount of an anti-scorbutic factor that, we know, is destroyed by cooking. To prove the point, the Canadian explorer Vilhjalmur Stafansson subsisted on only meat and fish eaten raw for a year and successfully avoided scurvy. Indeed, it was basically the Inuit diet (known in contemporary circles as the “ketogenic diet”). This story told here is, admittedly, entirely Euro-centric. Records from China described explorers on long voyages in the 15th century who carried a supply of mung beans. These beans, when sprouted, contain a large amount of vitamin C. In addition, their galleys kept an Asian variety of sauerkraut. As the 20th century began, there was still much confusion about the cause of
Albert Szent-Györgyi (1893–1986) misdirected. Many other common foods when fresh contain substantial amounts of vitamin C. These include the potato, kiwi, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, bell pepper (paprika), and even dandelions. Scurvy is no longer a threat at sea, but it still occurs in any population deprived of a well-balanced diet for long periods. Vitamin C deficiency occurs fairly often in institutionalized people, in the chronically ill, and often enough in the general population for those whose diet is overdependent on hamburger and French fries. The deficit may not show up as full-blown scurvy, but rather a susceptibility of wear and tear on skin, teeth, joints, and bone. Today, with a regular diet or, lacking that, one with vitamin C added at pennies a day, we need not worry about a disease that killed millions of seafarers not that long ago. Raymond. E. Phillips, a doctor of internal medicine, is an associate professor of Clinical Medicine at New York Medical College and serves as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He has authored and co-authored several books on cardiovascular medicine, and, outside the medical field, he has published The River Quintet, a series of historical novels set in colonial America and abroad. Dr. Phillips is co-chair of the steering committee for the NMHS Seminar Series, the Society’s maritime history lecture program.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 33
Art to the Rescue When You Can’t Get Out On The Water, Let the Artists Bring it to You by Nicolas Fox American Society of Marine Artists
“This is no time to be making art!” you might think. But you’d be wrong. While people across the world have been kept at home, away from work, school, and even from friends and family, the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. Almost daily we learn of friends, colleagues, and heroic veterans who have become victims of the disease and of livelihoods lost or in jeopardy. At the same time, this has been a fascinating time for artists, in that the making of art requires focus, contemplation, and perseverance. In normal times we often work in our studios alone, irritated at disruption and distraction. The forced shutdown has given us solitude and a remarkable absence of disruptions in our studio time. 34
images courtesy asma and the individual artists
Nyala, 12 Metre Class, Long Island 1939 by Laura Cooper, 16 X 22 inches, oil
Crew Practice by Sheri Farabaugh, 9 x 12 inches, oil
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
The American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA), despite its 18th National Exhibition being on hold since mid-March, has been working straight through. Here you will find images by artists you already know—well-established artists like Don Demers, Richard Loud, Sheri Farabaugh, and Neal Hughes. Out of Harm’s Way was Len Mizerek’s direct response to the threat of the coronavirus, depicting ships, together, fleeing a dangerous storm at sea. You will also find artists you may not yet know—Val Sandell, Laura Cooper, Serena Bates, and others. Their work is inspiring and a muchneeded refuge in a time of crisis. Regatta Camaraderie by Val Sandell, 24 X 24 inches, oil
Gang’s All Here by Serena Bates, bronze (detail)
Out of Harm’s Way by Len Mizerek, 16 x 20 inches, oil Yawl Flaneur in Southern Waters by Don Demers, 20 x 24 inches, oil
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 35
The Union by Nicolas Fox, 11 x 14 inches, oil As artists, we seek to illuminate that which makes life so meaningful, whether acts of bravery by service members at sea, the glowing sails of a schooner at sunset, or a simple glint of sunlight on a ripple at the water’s edge. Art can serve as a rudder when we’re scudding under bare poles, and it helps us remember that we’re all, always, in the same boat.
Sound Inter-Clubs, Long Island 1934 by Richard Loud, 25 x 42 inches, oil
The Captain’s Chair by Neal Hughes, 24 x 30 inches, oil
Nicolas Fox is vice president and a director of The American Society of Marine Artists. (www.nicolasfoxgallery.com; ASMA: www.americansocietyofmarineartists.com)
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
The NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY offers this spectacular limited-edition print by marine artist PATRICK O’BRIEN.
“The USS United States on Patrol” Patrick O’Brien is an award-winning artist, whose work has appeared on several Sea History covers. The print is a giclée, printed on high-quality art paper with archival inks. It is signed and numbered by the artist. The image size is 14” x 19” and the overall paper size is 18” x 24.”
Shipping within the US included. A portion of each sale supports the National Maritime Historical Society.
To order, call 1-800-221-NMHS (6647), ext. 0. or visit our website at www.seahistory.org NYS residents add applicable sales tax. For international orders please contact Wendy Paggiotta at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 37
R eports from the Fleet :
Traditional & Historic Ships in the Time of COVID
courtesy wylde swan
photo courtesy alfaz mõbh
ince early spring when the world shut down, ship operators have been drastically altering plans and schedules. We’ve seen dramatic photos of modern cruise ships running up on the beach in scrapyards in Turkey and Bangladesh, and news of world-voyaging training ships taking students on unexpected major ocean voyages to get back home. Harbor pilots, normally with more work than they know what to do with in major ports, are reporting minimal ship traffic in and out of port. As mariners have known throughout the ages, it is best to be flexible and adjust your plans when the wind shifts—reducing sail, altering course, battening down, and seeking a safe harbor are all options. In the time of COVID-19, these actions—both literally and figuratively—are being taken throughout the fleet of historic and replica ships. We reached out to sailing ship operators, maritime museums, and historic ship owners to see how they are managing during this difficult time. Some vessels were already in shipyard and their work was interrupted but is ongoing. Others made it to safe havens and are riding it out. Here’s what they are reporting from the field. Now, more than ever, these programs need your support. Please reach out if you are able.
courtesy fullriggeren sørlandet
(above right) Carnival Fantasy beached in Aliaga, Turkey, waiting to be scrapped. In August, the Carnival Corporation announced it is removing 15 ships from its fleet to cut costs, with all cruises canceled at least through October. (above left) In March a group of teens and teachers already underway for a sixweek voyage in the Caribbean aboard the Dutch topsail schooner Wylde Swan found themselves unable to fly home as previously planned, so they stayed on board and sailed the ship across the Atlantic to get home. (left) The Norwegian sail training ship Sørlandet returned home to Kristiansand in May after spending five weeks in quarantine in Bermuda and almost a month at sea. On board were 53 students, 5 teachers, and 12 professional crew. Norway’s three sail training ships—Christian Radich, Statsraad Lehmkuhl, and Sørlandet—are receiving funding from the Norwegian government to offset losses from canceled sailing trips and training.
M ayflower II—Underway and Making Way!
courtesy plimoth plantation
n 10 August, following a multi-million-dollar restoration, the 64-year-old Mayflower II returned home to Plymouth Harbor, where she is a major exhibit of Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum that interprets 17th-century Massachusetts. More than a thousand spectators lined the shores or followed in boats to watch the ship as she made her way through the Cape Cod Canal and set sail in the bay off Plymouth. While the original Mayflower crew and passengers experienced serious challenges at sea and ashore once they landed, the 21st-century Mayflower II crew had plenty of their own setbacks in the final stages of the ship’s grand return to sea. Despite all the impressive work that was done at the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport Museum to have the ship ready in time for the 400th anniversary of the original transAtlantic crossing, the COVID-19 pandemic stopped everything in its tracks. A grand commemoration was to take place with a six-day maritime festival at the Charlestown Navy Yard in SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
photo by wayne s. collamore
Mayflower II just past the Cape Cod Canal railroad bridge, with Massachusetts Maritime Academy in view astern. More than a thousand spectators lined the route from Buzzards Bay to Plymouth. Mayflower II does not have auxiliary power and was assisted by the tug Jaguar, owned by Mitchell Towing & Salvage of Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Charlie Mitchell and tug Jaguar have a long relationship with Mayflower II, having towed the ship to ports near and far for the past 32 years.
The crew furls the fore course as Mayflower II makes its final approach to Plymouth Harbor.
Mayflower II’s multi-year restoration and return home under sail brought a smile to a lot of faces—smiles that we could all really use right now. Congratulations to the patient and hardy crew, both those ashore and at sea, of Mayflower II. Mayflower II is now open to the public in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Because of social distancing protocols, the museum is asking visitors to purchase tickets online in advance at www. plimoth.org. Masks or face coverings are required for all staff and visitors. To keep abreast of upcoming events, online programming, and visitor resources, visit www.mayflowersails2020.com and www.plimoth.org.
photo by john spinnato, courtesy plimoth plantation
Boston, during which USS Constitution and Mayflower II would sail in company down Boston Harbor. A major homecoming celebration was to follow in Plymouth. Just as the original Mayflower voyagers did before them, the Mayflower II team swallowed its disappointment and adjusted the plan. Big events will take place in 2021—four hundred…and one years after the Pilgrims landed on Massachusetts shores. After more than three years at Mystic Seaport and three months later than was planned, on 20 July the vessel was towed to the city pier in New London, Connecticut, to embark on sea trials with a 27-member crew led by Captain Whit Perry, Plimoth’s Director of Maritime Preservation and Operations. The new plan had the ship stopping at Newport, Rhode Island, on its voyage home to Plymouth, but between Tropical Storm Isaias making its way up the East Coast and new travel restrictions enacted in Massachusetts due to the pandemic, Captain Perry took the ship to the protected harbor in New Bedford instead and then made one more stop at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, on the Buzzards Bay side of the Cape Cod Canal. It has been a difficult path, but when the ship sailed the final leg home to Plymouth under blue skies and a light breeze, her reception from those watching from the shore could not have been more jubilant. During these turbulent times, the successful completion of
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 39
Pride of Baltimore II On 20 May, the board of directors for Pride of Baltimore II announced that the ship would be staying at the dock for the remainder of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Five days after this announcement, George Floyd was killed by law enforcement in Minneapolis and the country exploded in protests. Maryland saw protests across the state, with Baltimore as the epicenter. As the Pride’s onboard crew prepared the ship for a lengthy layup, the organization’s board chair, Jayson T. Williams, considered how the ship might be proactive within the Baltimore community and released the following statement about how Pride of Baltimore, Inc., is prepared to become an “agent of change.” hen I was a kid, my father—a cabdriver—drove me all over Baltimore City to teach me lessons during the time we spent together. He would educate me about the different communities and warn me about communities I should not go to alone. One such area was the Inner Harbor, where he warned me that, as a young black man, I could find myself in trouble even if it was not my fault. My father said he hoped that someday I could help change that for other young black and brown people. That it was our Inner Harbor, too. One of the first places my father took me that I can remember in the harbor was aboard Pride of Baltimore II. I loved the water and I loved “pirate ships.” When I told a crewmember that it was a cool pirate ship, he corrected me and told me it was a privateer, which he explained was like a legal pirate ship. It turns lost focus on our diversity. We added women, minorities, young out that this particular crewmember was the captain, and he then people, and new accomplished leaders of different backgrounds gave me a tour of the ship. That captain could not have known and experience. We prioritized connecting the organization back that 30 years later, that eight-year-old kid would become the first to the myriad communities it serves in Baltimore and across the black chair of the board of directors of Pride of Baltimore, Inc. state. In that vein, we received a Baltimore National Heritage Nor could he have known (well, maybe he had a hunch) that he Area grant to get underrepresented communities out on the water would still be the captain of Pride II today. Thank you, Captain for free ($10,000 awarded for 2020—that program will resume Jan Miles, for taking the time to make sure my first impression in 2021). This year, we would have launched an education program of Pride was a welcoming one. to tell the history of the privateer industry, both the good and the As the first black chair of the board that manages a ship built bad, and get more kids within the Baltimore City and Anne to serve as Maryland’s goodwill ambassador and a symbol of hope, Arundel County Public Schools systems aboard. I am proud that investment, history, and tourism, I knew I must be more than we pulled off such a historic turnaround and ended the 2019 just a symbol of change. I was called upon sailing season with money to invest in to be an agent of change. When I became expanding our outreach in 2020. While chair in 2018, Pride II was in turmoil, COVID-19 ended many of our initiatives having missed the sailing season for the for this year, it has not and will not deter first time ever due to a lack of funding. the energy and progress of Pride of BalPeople told me that everyone would untimore, Inc., the organization. derstand if we could not lead Pride II back So, how do we make Pride of Baltito success because it had been mired in more II an agent of change? For starters, difficulty before my arrival, and some had we plan to work proactively on helping lost hope. But they didn’t understand that, the broader tall ships community acas a black man, I have always known that knowledge that many in the black commy failures are amplified in our society. munity see it as an industry/sport for I couldn’t fail. Thankfully, our board did whites, and not for everyone else. Even not believe that Pride’s best days were though my personal experiences have behind it. helped me feel that this assumption isn’t Our first action was to grow the true, not all experiences are the same and board because, while we were dealing with our actions to be more inclusive speak the organization’s financial troubles, we Jayson T. Williams, at the helm of Pride II. louder than our words.
photos courtesy pride of baltimore, inc.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
I will be asking our board to prioritize finding additional ways to make Pride of Baltimore II an agent of change. This will not be doled out to a committee. It will be addressed thoughtfully by the full board of directors with all of our committees working in concert toward that common goal. We will look to ensure more opportunities for diversity in hiring of crew, staff, vendors, and consultants. We will seek more funding for programs that facilitate access for minority communities so that they, too, feel welcomed in the harbors we visit and aboard the ship itself. And we will work tirelessly to raise more money to educate communities about job opportunities in sailing and port communities. I have also asked the board to direct our staff to focus more of our grant writing to fund programs that will support underserved communities’ access to our education programs for free. The board, staff, and shipboard crew will undertake continual
diversity, inclusion, and bias training to ensure that we improve the culture of our organization now and going forward. We will then take our action plan to the entire tall ship community and serve as an agent of change there, too. There is a lot of listening, planning, and action to be done over the next few months for Pride to return in 2021, stronger not just for our home city and state, but as a thought and cultural leader for systemic change. Silence is not an option, and listening without action is unacceptable. If we are truly committed, we need each and every one of you as friends of Pride to support the board, staff, and crew. We want your time, stories, input, and of course donations to help put these plans into action. I welcome your input. Fairer winds, Jayson T. Williams Chair of the Board of Directors, Pride of Baltimore. Inc.
Baltimore clippers gained fame during the War of 1812 as fast, maneuverable vessels, ideal for use as privateers. The topsail schooner Pride of Baltimore II is a historically evocative reproduction of one of the most famous of these privateers, Chasseur. Pride II and Pride of Baltimore before her have sailed both local waters and the world’s oceans promoting maritime history and education, fostering economic development and tourism, and representing the people of Maryland in ports throughout the world. Since her commissioning in 1988, Pride II has sailed more than 275,000 nautical miles and visited more than 200 ports in 40 countries. (To learn more about Pride of Baltimore II, visit www.pride2.org.)
Riveting News from USLHS/USCGC Lilac!
photos courtesy lilac preservation project
USCGC Lilac in 1969
he first new rivets in more than 80 years have been driven on the US Lighthouse Tender Lilac. The ship usually opens for the summer on Memorial Day weekend with birthday cake for all visitors to celebrate the anniversary of her launch on 26 May 1933. Some months ago, our youngest volunteer (who turned seven years old herself on May 8th) suggested that, for Lilac’s birthday, people could have cake while the ship should get oil. The suggestion was heard loud and clear! Although the ship is closed to the public due to the pandemic, essential volunteer crew shared cake and the old girl received oil—but also a gift of rivets in honor of her 87th year. Operations Director Luke Gayford had been fabricating and preparing a new knee for the bulkhead in what was originally the crew head on the starboard side of the fo’c’sle. Only twelve rivets were driven, but the work symbolized the progress being made towards future operation of the vessel. Gayford, a skilled welder, has brought with him decades
(above) Six of 12 rivets are in place. The knee on the other side of this bulkhead had been held in place by bolts until they were replaced by rivets. (middle photo) Volunteer Joe Casey cooks his first rivet, while Angus McCamy looks on. of experience in ship restoration gained with the Sydney [Australia] Heritage Fleet, and he is training a core crew of volunteers to fix critical issues that will bring the ship closer to operating condition. Last fall, the engineering crew under the direction of Jon Zepp, a steam engineer with years of experience as a crewmember with the Liberty ship SS John W. Brown, got the starboard engine cranked over, so both of the triple expansion engines are nearly ready. A fundraising campaign is underway to bring this oldest surviving lighthouse tender back to life as a passenger vessel. For more details on Lilac’s progress and ways to help, visit the Lilac Preservation Project’s website at www.lilacpreservationproject.org or contact Museum Director Mary Habstritt at mary@ lilacpreservationproject.org; Ph. 917 709-5291.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 41
schooner ernestina-morrissey association
n 8 July, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law an “Act to preserve the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey,” creating a new chapter in the storied life of this historic vessel, owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It transfers her stewardship from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA), located in Buzzards Bay, at the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal. With the new legislation in place, work could begin
Christened as the Effie M. Morrissey in 1894 after the original captain’s daughter, in the late 1940s the vessel was sold to Henrique Mendes of Cape Verde and re-registered as the Ernestina, after his daughter. In December 2014, she was officially renamed ErnestinaMorrissey to reflect both identities and represent her full history.
M aine Windjammer A ssociation
photo by joe sienkiewicz
emorial Day weekend is the traditional start to the season for the Maine Windjammer Association, the largest fleet of working windjammers in America. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic halted all trips until 1 July, when the state allowed overnight windjammer cruises in Maine waters to re-open. To sail in 2020, the schooners need to meet guidelines for lodging, restaurants, and windjammers on top of the regular Coast Guard licensing requirements. Only two of the eight members of the fleet opted to sail in 2020. On 18 July, the schooner Ladona was the first to set sail, followed a few days later by the Stephen Taber. The other six vessels canceled all trips for 2020 and are now looking at 2021 to get back underway. All members of the Maine Windjammer Association have already created their 2021 schedules and
photo by fred leblanc, courtesy maine windjammer assoc.
on Phase II of the restoration of the 1894 schooner. On 13 July, six carpenters at Bristol Marine Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, were back on the job, working on the contract specifications outlined by the DCR. Phase II includes installation of living quarters, masts, sails, and all the required systems. The Act is the culmination of work by many people, organizations, and legislators, and the generous donations that have been made over the years. MMA is currently working on upgrades to the waterfront facilities where the vessel will be berthed while in Buzzards Bay. New Bedford, which has served as the schooner’s home port since 1982, will continue to be Ernestina-Morrissey’s official home port “for an aggregate of not less than ninety days per calendar year on a three-year rolling average and at no cost to the Academy; provided, however, that the vessel may be berthed from time to time at various locations in the Commonwealth.” The Massachusetts Maritime Academy envisions the Ernestina-Morrissey becoming a valuable training instrument in the shaping of its cadets, and a means to impart the history of both the ship itself and its broader relationship to maritime pursuits in the region. According to MMA’s president, Admiral Francis McDonald, “Sail training, leadership, and seamanship programs are just a few of the subjects envisioned for cadet training. Community and cultural programs, while alongside the Cape Cod Canal and at the New Bedford State Pier, will also be a mainstay of her future life. We look forward to our new role in the long history of the Ernestina-Morrissey.” Please visit www.seahistory.org/ernestina_morrissey for a preview of Sails Over Ice and Seas, the documentary series being produced by NMHS Vice Chairman Richardo Lopes. (Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, www.ernestina.org)
Schooners Stephen Taber (left) and Ladona are the only Maine Windjammer schooners sailing in 2020. are accepting reservations. For complete information on the COVID-19 safety procedures and protocols aboard the schooners Ladona and Stephen Taber, or to view schedules for the 2021 sailing season, visit www.sailmainecoast.com.
A sad sight in Camden, Maine, in July—the fleet tied to the dock under winter covers. 42
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
isitors to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, Maryland, can view (from an appropriate distance) shipwrights at work on the new replica vessel, Maryland Dove. Work at the museum’s shipyard shut down for about six weeks, but resumed once the state and the museum deemed it safe to do so. The museum reopened its 18-acre campus to the public on 29 June. By press time, the vessel’s framing (double-sawn live oak fastened with black locust trunnels) was near completion and the shipyard crew was readying timbers for clamps and planking. Deck beams made of Douglas fir will be installed over the autumn months, and, with the addition of a second rigger to the crew, work on the spars and rigging will take place over the fall and winter months. The shipyard is on track to have the new Maryland Dove floating dockside by next summer. The ship will be the second iteration of the vessel that accompanied the first European settlers to
Maryland in 1634. The first Maryland Dove that the new vessel is replacing was launched in 1978 and has served as a floating ambassador for Historic St. Mary’s City, a living history museum on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Both the 1978 Maryland Dove and the 1956 Mayflower II were designed by naval architect William A. Baker (1911–1981). The new ship was designed by Ivar C. Franzen of Annapolis, in collaboration with researchers at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, a research team from Historic St. Mary’s City, and shipwrights from CBMM. The original Dove sailed to the Maryland colony in 1634 in company with a larger sister ship, Ark. As a smaller vessel, Dove could be used to travel and explore the shallow waterways along the coast, while the colony and the first capital were being established. (CBMM, www.cbmm.org. Maryland Dove, www. marylanddove.org. Historic St. Mary’s City, www.hsmcdigshistory.org) courtesy cbmm
Sea Education A ssociation — A Return to Home Waters
hen serious restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic began going into effect last March, Sea Education Association’s two sailing research vessels, SSV Corwith Cramer and SSV Robert C. Seamans, were thousands of miles away from home waters. The Cramer was in the US Virgin Islands, and the Seamans was in New Zealand. Spring programs were curtailed or cancelled, students flew home, and we began making plans to do what SEA does best—make extended ocean voyages.
reached a large audience of young ocean scholars. Cued by the location of the ship, as well as reports and data collected by the crew, SEA faculty on shore presented oceanographic, historic, and marine perspectives on wide-ranging topics, from ocean plastics to 19th-century whaling, in the form of written text, graphics, images, and videos. The ship arrived safely in San Diego on 13 June, where she found safe refuge among the fleet of museum ships at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
SSV Corwith Cramer Returns to Woods Hole Under the command of Captain Bill Burke, Corwith Cramer departed St. Croix in mid-March, bound for the mainland US, more than 2,800 nautical miles away. After clearing customs at Fernandina Beach, FL, the ship continued northwards, with quick port stops in Charleston, SC, and Cape Charles, VA. The Cramer and her crew arrived at her homeport in Woods Hole, MA, on 18 April. The ship remains at the dock in Woods Hole with a small crew doing routine maintenance, preparing for safety inspections, and planning upcoming fall and spring programs.
What’s Next Fall programs in the Pacific were canceled due to international travel restrictions, but as of this writing, fall semester and gap-year programs have been adapted to coastal Atlantic waters and students are signing up. This spring, SEA plans to offer additional programs in both the Atlantic and Pacific. These programs are open to all undergraduate and gap-year students. (Visit www.sea.edu for more information and updates.) —Capt. Peg Brandon, President, Sea Education Association
An Epic Voyage—SSV Robert C. Seamans SSV Robert C. Seamans is used to long blue-water passages, but this spring’s passage home would have to cover nearly 9,000 nautical miles, almost all at sea. Under the command of veteran captain, Sean Bercaw, the Seamans and her crew set sail for Hawaii, a passage of more than 6,000 miles. After several days in Honolulu, the ship departed for San Diego. With no students on board, SEA staff ashore—led by Dr. Jan Witting, professor of oceanography, and Captain Chris Nolan—launched “Pacific Crossing 2020,” a virtual exploration of the Pacific using ArcGIS Storymaps, which could be accessed through the SEA website and which
courtesy sea education association
M aryland Dove
(photo, above right) After sailing 8,821 miles across the Pacific, the Robert C. Seamans approaches the dock at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The crew had not stepped foot on dry land since the ship departed Wellington, New Zealand, on 8 April.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 43
SEA HISTORY for kids Careers in the Marine and Maritime Field
courtesy david smith
Musician 1st Class David Smith, US Navy
us navy photo by senior chief musician adam grimm
ver since he was in high school, David Smith wanted to be a professional trumpet player. After taking private lessons from a musician in the Navy Band, he became intent on playing for the US Navy. David went to Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC, and credits his high school band director, who often took his students to hear performances by premiere military bands in the capital, with inspiring him to pursue this career path as a musician. Playing in the Navy Band is a fulltime job; its musicians are active-duty members of the US Navy, and their primary duty is performing as a musician, so their experiences are much different than most naval sailors and officers. They will spend most of their naval careers based out of Washington, and, while they travel often for concerts, they will not be deployed to other bases or seagoing ships. The Navy Band and its smaller ensembles play on behalf of the US Navy for special events such as funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, ceremonies and events hosted by the Department of Defense, and for audiences at the White House. They also give lots of free public concerts throughout the year and travel to schools, conducting clinics and performing for students to entertain and inspire the next generation of musicians. There are more than 170 musicians serving in the Navy Band, which is further broken down into David played trumpet with his various performing groups and smaller specialty ensembles. David plays trumpet with the Cruisers, a high school marching band. group of about eight musicians that performs a range of music, including jazz standards, rhythm & blues, classic rock, adult contemporary, and pop, plus some original material. When David is not performing, his regular workday consists of a two-hour rehearsal, followed by other non-musical duties that each band member does to help keep the unit, or command, functioning and efficient. Some band members take this time to work in the public affairs office or on the diversity inclusion team, in unit operations, uniform locker, command fitness, or career counseling, just to name a few. Most of the band members were already fully trained musicians when they applied to join the Navy Band, but a college degree is not required. Candidates are offered positions based solely on their auditions and interviews, as long as they meet the other requirements for a position in the US Navy. David majored in music at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD, and earned a Master of Music from Penn State in trumpet performance. While these programs provided him with excellent musical training and experience, as a serious and ambitious young trumpeter, he has also taken private lessons. David’s choice for military service is a unique route a trumpet player might take to the main stage, and for David and his bandmates, it has a lot of benefits. The Cruisers perform in a wide variety of venues, traveling and meeting people. In addition, the Navy provides stability with a regular income, health insurance, and a pension. Navy Band musicians are an elite group whose talent and experience represent artistic excellence. In addition to the satisfaction they get out of playing music for a career, Navy Band musicians take pride in their service to the country, serving as the Navy’s musical ambassadors. I believe it’s important to emulate the path of those who are working in the career you desire to pursue. During my music studies in school, I received full scholarships and a teaching assistantship once I reached the graduate level. I believe that to achieve your dreams, you have to break your goals down into practical, palatable steps. Write down your vision and make it plain, and as you follow these steps, you will begin to see a progression toward your dreams—whatever they may be. You do not have to pursue your dreams alone. Find a mentor who will help you navigate that path and your dream will become a reality! —David Smith
courtesy us navy band
David gets the audience going during a performance with the Cruisers.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
courtesy mystic seaport museum
Aboard the British barque Discovery 1929/30, a chanteyman with his concertina sits atop the capstan keeping the beat for his shipmates as they raise the massive foreyard aloft. A good chanteyman was considered a very valuable member of the crew.
There are lots of other types of songs sailors sang aboard ships and not all were for work. “Forebitters” were ballads sung for pleasure, usually while the sailors were off watch and just hanging out. Like most traditional folk music, the lyrics might change from ship to ship, or from crew to crew. They generally concerned life at sea, loved ones and women ashore, gripes about the work and rules they lived under, and jobs on land the sailors were sure were better than theirs, among other topics. It wasn’t all singing: fiddles, flutes or fifes, banjos, and the con- It took thirteen men working in unison to furl just half the mainsail aboard the four-masted barque Parma. certina (similar to an accordion) were commonly found aboard ships. During their heyday, sea chanteys were not sung ashore, as they were the work songs of the sailor and held special meaning just to them. As a working tool, their use came to an end when the sailing ship was replaced by the engine-powered vessel in the 20th century. These traditions are kept alive by musicians, scholars, and people who enjoy the stories the songs tell and the fun times to be had with call-and-response chanteys. Most maritime museums across the country sponsor sea music performances and exhibitions throughout the year. During Mystic Seaport Museum’s annual Sea Music Festival in June, while musicians and groups perform for the crowds outside, scholars gather indoors for the Music of the Sea Seminar, where they share current research on this rich and complex subject.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
Also commonly spelled as chanty, shanty, or shantey. Much of the information for this article is from ‘Symbolic History’ and Sailors: Image Development Through Song at Sea by Peter McCracken, master’s thesis, East Carolina University, March 1999.
photo by maciej szczepańczyk, via wikipedia
n March of 1794, the United States Congress passed the “Act to provide a Naval Armament,” authorizing the first warships for the US Navy. Included in the details were specifications on crew size, pay, and daily food rations. There were crew positions you might expect, like captain and lieutenants, sailmakers, seamen, and a ship’s surgeon, but the law also stipulated that each ship’s crew would include “one drum [and] one fife.” Music has always been important aboard working vessels, both in the military and in commercial ships. In ancient Egyptian drawings found in the tomb of Seshemnefer at Giza, there is an image of a musician playing a clarinet-like instrument in the bow of a boat. The Vikings, Chinese, and Greek mariners from centuries ago all used musicians aboard their vessels, presumably to keep the beat for oarsmen and to With three rows of oarsmen, you can see why keeping a steady rhythm was crucial in the operation of the rally their crews into battle. The songs that were sung aboard 18th and 19th century sailing ships are most ancient Roman trireme. likely the music you might have heard before, from sea chanteys1 to ballads that tell a story. Sea chanteys are work songs, used to coordinate sailors working in unison to get a job done. Even the biggest ships from that era were operated by hand, with no machinery to do the heavy work. In addition to the huge sails that had to be set and furled, other tasks such as weighing anchor or working the pumps—work that was long, hard, and monotonous— were made more efficient and tolerable with the use of music and song. There are different kinds of chanteys that were developed for different kinds of work. For jobs that didn’t last long but required moments when the whole group needed to pull, push, or drag together, there were “sweating-up chants” or “bunting chanteys,” which were call-andresponse songs: the chanteyman would shout a line or two of the verse, and the crew would call out short lines when they had to haul at once. Short haul songs (also called short drag chanteys) were for jobs that took a little longer and allowed time for a melody and narrative to develop. A good chanteyman might change the lyrics on the fly to make his shipmates laugh or move faster or stronger.
national maritime museum, uk, villiers collection
photo by frank hurley, c/o australian dept. of agriculture, water and the environment
Music and the Sea
Craig Edwards (left) and Geoff Kaufman perform at Mystic Seaport’s annual Sea Music Festival.
Animals in Sea History
n the mid-1870s, a twelve-year-old boy named Harry Dean lived in Philadelphia. His uncle, Captain Silas Dean, came to town for a visit and persuaded his parents to let him bring Harry along for a three-year voyage around the world. Harry was desperate to go. His parents finally agreed. Harry sailed aboard his uncle’s ship, Traveller the Second, on a trading voyage. The Deans were part of a long line of Black seafarers and merchants. Uncle Silas was a tall, powerful man who was very good to Harry, but spoke little, other than to give booming commands on deck to his crew. As Harry got used to life at sea, they sailed south along the US East Coast and then toward New Orleans by way of the Straits of Florida. As they entered the Gulf of Mexico, Harry went back to the quarterdeck to try to catch a fish. Telling the story many years later, Harry explained that the mate, who also loved to fish, made fun of him, probably for putting a line over the side that was too thick or using a hook that was too large: “Sonny, what you fishin’ for—whale?” Soon a bite on Harry’s line nearly wrenched him right off the ship. Harry braced himself against the rail and shouted for help. The mate and a couple other sailors rushed over, all helping to haul it in. “As they pulled a great fish jumped out of the water. The sun struck his scales, making a gleaming silver halo about him.” “Shiver my timbers if he ain’t a silver king!” said the mate, “his voice betraying both admiration and envy.” They finally managed to bring the fish aboard, “a beauty” weighing just over 75 pounds. “It was the most delicious fish I have ever tasted,” Harry said. “Silver king” is the common name still in use today for the Giant Tarpon, a fish that is known to grow quite large and indeed to glisten with an especially silvery sheen, due in part to its large scales. The Giant Tarpon is found only in the Atlantic Ocean yet ranges from as far north as the Canadian Maritimes to as far south as Argentinian waters, and it can be found along the coasts of most of western Africa, from Mauritania down south to Angolan waters. In 1991, a fisherman off Sierra Leone caught a Giant Tarpon that was 283 pounds, which actually tied an earlier world record from
A small school of tarpon swimming along a coral reef.
by Richard King
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
courtesy of stephen clauser, arroyo seco books, pasadena, california
courtesy alex zapata
the 1950s when another fisherman caught a silver king in a lake in Venezuela that also weighed 283 pounds! The heaviest caught on record in American waters was a tarpon hauled in off the coast of Florida in 2001, which weighed in at 202.5 lbs. Silver king, or tarpon, remain a popular species for recreational fishermen, although not popular for eating (despite Harry’s endorsement). Though in US waters the fishery is regulated and catch-and-release, tarpon appear to be in decline globally because of overfishing and habitat loss. One of the Giant Captain Alex Zapata with a tarpon he caught in Everglades Tarpon’s special char- National Park before he released the fish back into the water. Zapata runs Silver King Charters. acteristics is that it can tolerate freshwater environments for parts of its life, which is why it was found in that lake in Venezuela. When they are in an environment that doesn’t provide enough oxygen, they have a special ability to gulp air at the surface. Another trait that young Harry Dean surely would have noticed is the tarpon’s wide, gaping mouth, which it uses for suction. Tarpon literally inhale their diet of smaller fish, such as mullet, sardines, and needlefish, along with occasional crabs and shrimp. Their large, mirror-like scales, which can grow as large as a person’s palm, help them blend into their underwater surroundings. Tarpon grow and mature slowly, and a few in captivity have lived to be older than fifty years. That silver king that young Harry brought aboard on his first voyage would hardly be his last wonder of the sea or even the last fish he would catch from over a ship’s rail. After returning to Philadelphia from his adventure sailing around the world with his Uncle Silas, Harry Dean went on to become a ship captain himself, as well as a merchant, a shipowner, and a political activist. When he was in his 60s he relayed his memoir and it was published as The Pedro Gorino (the name of Harry Dean’s ship), in which he spins that fish tale Florida Schultz Heitman with a 185-pound about the day he caught his first big fish, a “silver king”—the Giant Tarpon—in Giant Tarpon she caught off Punta Rassa, the Gulf of Mexico. Florida, ca. 1880s.
Harry Dean For more “Animals in Sea History” go to www.seahistory.org or educators.mysticseaport.org.
“Sea History for Kids” is sponsored by the Henry L. & Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation
and melted items as a result of the intense heat. A warehouse used as storage for numerous items from the ship was lost, but the ship itself was saved. SS Jeremiah O’Brien was launched in June of 1943 at the New England Shipbuilding Corporation in South Portland, Maine; she was named in honor of the first American to capture a British naval vessel in the War for Independence. Operated by Grace Line for the War Shipping Administration, she made seven voyages in WWII and made eleven crossings of the English Channel carrying personnel and supplies to support the D-Day invasion. After the war, she was
SHIP MODELS Since 1975
Offering an extensive selection of documented, one-of-a-kind ship models by internationally acclaimed marine model artists. CUSTOM MODELS
(YACHT & HISTORIC) APPRAISALS RESTORATIONS DISPLAY UNITS
A MERICAN M ARINE M ODEL G ALLERY P.O. Box 6102 Gloucester, MA 01930
978-281-1166 email@example.com www.shipmodel.com
national security agency central security service
SS Jeremiah O’Brien
relegated to the Reserve Fleet in California’s Suisun Bay. In 1979, however, she was pulled from mothballed status and taken to San Francisco and fully restored to serve as a memorial to the Liberty Ships and those who served in them. (National Liberty Ship Memorial, 45 Pier, Suite 4A, San Francisco, CA 94133; Ph. 415 544 0100, https://www.ssjeremiahobrien.org. Project Liberty Ship, SS John W. Brown, Pier 13, 4601 Newgate Ave., Baltimore, MD; https://www.ssjohnwbrown.org) … The US Coast Guard will name the eleventh ship in its Legend-class National Security Cutter (NSC) program in honor of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, who has often been called “America’s first female cryptanalyst.” Assigned by the US Treasury to assist the Coast Guard during Prohibition, she solved more than 12,000 smugglers’ messages in hundreds of different code systems, leading to 650 federal prosecutions. In the Second World War, she was part of the team that broke codes produced by the German Enigma machine; she is also credited with exposing a ring of German spies in South America. The cutter that will carry Friedman’s name was ordered at the end of 2018, along with cutter number 10; eight of the class are currently commissioned, and the ninth was christened on 29 February of this year. The Pleasant Stone was named forStre Elmer Fowler Stone, 20 aviator. The a Coast Guard innovator and
Elizebeth Smith Friedman Legend-class NSC is capable of higher sustained speeds and greater endurance and range, and has the ability to launch and recover small boats from the stern. It has aviation support facilities and a flight deck for helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. … The 16th-century wreck site of a large wooden ship off the coast of northern Italy was discovered by two professional divers in February. Gabriele Succi and Edoardo Sbaraini of Rasta Divers, a local dive shop out of Santa Margherita Ligure, found the ship remains at a depth of around 164 feet within the Marine Protected Area of Portofino. The two came across a series of wooden components arranged in a comb pattern and immediately grasped the importance of the discovery. The survival of wooden components is extremely rare in the saltwater environment. While the site is still being investigated, a
soprintendenza archeologia belle arti e paesaggio della liguria
ss jeremiah obrien national liberty ship memorial
Fire broke out before dawn on Saturday, 23 May, on San Francisco’s Pier 45. The pier is home to the Liberty Ship Jeremiah O’Brien, one of only two surviving Liberty ships still afloat (the other is Baltimore’s SS John W. Brown). More than 150 firefighters were called to battle the fire, and Fireboat 3 was instrumental in protecting the museum ship from the blaze. Jeremiah O’Brien CEO Matthew Lasher reported that the ship did experience some paint bubbling
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
statement from the Archaeology Superintendency of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Tourism suggests that the wreck might be the galleon Santo Spirito and Santa Maria di Loreto, one of the largest Italian merchant vessels of the period. Santo Spirito and Santa Maria di Loreto was underway out of Genoa, carrying almost 2,000 tons of bronze cannons, ammunition, and shipbuilding nails, when it was wrecked in a storm on 29 October 1579, crashing against the cliffs between Camogli and Punta Chiappa. The crew was rescued. Divers have been searching for the remains of the ship for half a century. Divers Succi and Sbaraini located another significant site in 2018, a Roman shipwreck and its cargo of 2,000-year-old amphorae off the coast of Portofino. … The Door County Maritime Museum has new bragging rights—the tallest building in Door County. On 2 July, a construction crew placed the 18’ x 18’ two-ton beacon room
Historic Maritime Rings of the Finest Quality by Mike Carroll
Tired of nautical reproductions?
Martifacts has only authentic marine collectibles rescued from scrapped ships: navigation lamps, sextants, clocks, bells, barometers, charts, flags, binnacles, telegraphs, portholes, US Navy dinnerware and flatware, and more.
P. O. Box 350190 Jacksonville, FL 32235-0190 Phone/Fax: (904) 645-0150
Free Brochure, Solid Sterling Silver, 10k, 14k or 18k Gold
The Carroll Collection of US Eagle Rings
photo by michael bova
www.martifacts.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE HISTORIC NAVAL SHIPS ASSOCIATION Door County Maritime Museum atop the museum’s lighthouse tower. Now officially “topped,” the tower is 118 feet tall. The tower’s individual floors will house creative interactive displays devoted to Our Working Waterfront, Our Maritime Environment, Maritime People, Maritime Navigation, Maritime Commerce, Shipbuilding, Recreational Boating, Fishing, and Shipwrecks and History. The beacon room will be an open observation level; the building will be accessible to all visitors, regardless of physical ability. The official groundbreaking for the $7.5–8 million project was held in November of 2019; the Maritime Lighthouse Museum is expected to be completed in May of 2021. (Door County Maritime Museum & Lighthouse Preservation Society, 120 N. Madison Ave., Sturgeon Bay, WI; www.dcmm.org) … (continued on page 52)
THE FLEET IS IN. Sit in the wardroom of a mighty battleship, touch a powerful torpedo on a submarine, or walk the deck of an aircraft carrier and stand where naval aviators have ﬂown oﬀ into history. It’s all waiting for you when you visit one of the 175 ships of the Historic Naval Ships Association ﬂeet.
For information on all our ships and museums, see the HNSA website or www.HNSA.org visit us on Facebook.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 49
Captain Walter Rybka Retires After Nearly Fifty Years Navigating the High Seas of Historic Ship Preservation, Sail Training, and Maritime History Interpretation
walter rybka photos courtesy kurt voss
n July, Captain Walter Rybka, senior captain and site administrator with the Flagship Niagara League in Erie, Pennsylvania, retired after nearly thirty years at the helm of that organization. Captain Rybka came to Erie in 1991 to take command of the then-recently rebuilt brig Niagara, the hero ship from the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813. Upon his arrival, he pulled in sailing ship professionals from around the country
Walter Rybka’s tremendous influence on the fields of maritime preservation, history, and seamanship could fill volumes. For me, his most profound role has been that of standardbearer, insisting that everything must be done with uncompromising excellence. Whenever financial realities forced me to lessen those high standards, I always pictured Walter looking over my shoulder and frowning, which motivated me to do better. In this photo, Walter and carpenter Ed Claxton are scrutinizing a quarterdeck rail stanchion for Elissa in 1981. They made full-size examples of several slightly different designs in Douglas fir before deciding which would be used for the final stanchions made of teak. I’ve seen Walter cast that same critical, well-informed, and uncompromising look at many aspects of a number of vessels over the decades. —Kurt Voss, former Director of the Texas Seaport Museum. and welcomed local volunteers and would-be crewmembers to join in the effort. Rybka’s dedicated leadership guided the Niagara crew and shoreside team to elevate the ship and take its programs through several evolutions, including the creation of the Erie Maritime Museum, which opened in May 1998. Prior to his tenure in Erie, most people in the traditional sailing ship community knew him from his years in Galveston, Texas, (1977–1983, and through 1991 as a consultant) where he was instrumental in the acquisition and highly successful restoration and return to sea of the 1877 barque Elissa. Walter Rybka grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Although he was not reared in a maritime family, between regular visits to the New York Harbor waterfront and many family trips to National Parks, museums, and historic sites, he developed a lifelong passion for history and the outdoors—and the heritage that links them together—with, of course, a particular interest in maritime history and old ships. He earned a degree in speech and theater from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and built up his sailing credentials aboard numerous traditionally rigged sailing vessels in New York, the Caribbean, and the East and West Coasts. We asked some good friends in the maritime community who have worked with Walter Rybka over the years to share their thoughts on his contributions to the field of maritime preservation and traditional seamanship. Special thanks to Kurt Voss for sharing his photos. Walter Rybka is passionate about historic ships. Because he is also exceptionally knowledgeable about how they are constructed, outfitted, navigated, sailed, and stewarded, he is an undisputed leader in the maritime heritage community. As a sailing ship captain, he cared as much about the history that his ships represent as he did in their proper operations. He is a master in both fields; his legacy to the entire maritime heritage field is extraordinary. We wish him the best in his retirement, although we are confident he will continue to mentor and advise us. He continues to serve on the Sea History Editorial Advisory 50
Board, and we are grateful for his ongoing support, expertise, and friendship. —Burchenal Green, President, National Maritime Historical Society Captain Walter Rybka and I have been shipmates on and off since 1972. Sometimes he was in the senior position, sometimes I was. At all times he was the image of measured and skilled professionalism. His contribution to historic preservation in recent decades is rarely matched and never exceeded. But underpinning all this has been a quest to keep learning, combined with a quality probably unique to him. He has
managed, time and again, to make projects that by any sober assessment should seem beyond reach, seem the natural next thing to do. He is Clark Kent—mild mannered, traditional ship seaman—transforming into Superman when called upon by the ship in his charge, be this the barque Elissa or the brig Niagara. An excellent “boss” and an intuitive and fearless analyst of historical truth and context. —Captain Daniel D. Moreland, Barque Picton Castle. Shipmates with Walter Rybka in the Brixham trawler Maverick, Barque Elissa, and Brig Niagara, co-conspirator on a number of historic preservation initiatives. SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
In addition to his wealth of knowledge in matters of seamanship and maritime history, my dear friend Captain Walter Rybka has ever been, for many years, a thoughtful, insightful, and philosophical voice of leadership in the enterprise of building, maintaining, operating, and sharing the great sailing ships of our time as the inspirational wonders they are. No surprise there, as Walter is an inspiration himself, which fortunately, is something that never retires! —Captain Ray Ashley, PhD, President and CEO of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
NOW 85,211 Vessels Online @ internationalmaritimelibrary.org This list is mostly compiled from the “List of Merchant Vessels of the United States” for the years 1867 to 1885+ and several other annuals. Several other sources have been used to expand the data. There are over 100 fields per vessel, but only the ones with a value will show up. Every three months a new version will be put up.
More databases to be added soon
Walter Rybka has been my captain, and over time has become my colleague and a friend. He has always made himself available to me for guidance, whether it is to teach me how to re-cut a headsail or organize a ship’s work party, or to enlighten me on historic ship preservation or the minutiae of how Oliver Hazard Perry managed to pull out a victory on Lake Erie in 1813. He leaves the maritime heritage community wiser, more reasonable, and grounded (though not aground), and I wish him all the best in his retirement. —Deirdre O’Regan, Editor, Sea History, and former Brig Niagara sailmaker Anne T. Converse Photography
Neith, 1996, Cover photograph
Wood, Wind and Water
A Story of the Opera House Cup Race of Nantucket Photographs by Anne T. Converse Text by Carolyn M. Ford Live vicariously through the pictures and tales of classic wooden yacht owners who lovingly restore and race these gems of the sea. “An outstanding presentation deserves ongoing recommendation for both art and nautical collections.” 10”x12” Hardbound book; 132 pages, 85 full page color photographs; Price $45.00
Greece, 1977—gauging Elissa’s hull plate thickness before she was brought to Texas.
For more information contact: Anne T. Converse Phone: 508-728-6210 email@example.com www.annetconverse.com
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 51
Tall Ship Consulting LLC Capt. Steven F. Pagels P O Box 28 Cherryfield, Maine 04622 Cell: 207 266-1614
“There is NO substitute for Experience”
CLASSIFIED ADS PIRATE PLAYING CARDS AND PRINTS by Signature ASMA Artist, Don Maitz, originator of the Captain Morgan Spiced Rum character. Full color card decks have separate watercolor images on each face. Prints include buccaneer history and humor. Order from: www.paravia.com/catalog—click Don Maitz, Maritime Heritage, playing cards listed in “Miscellaneous.” THE LOST HERO OF CAPE COD by Vincent Miles. The story of an elite mariner, Captain Asa Eldridge, and the 19th century battle for commercial supremacy on the Atlantic. Reviews, availability at www.lostherocapedcod.com and Amazon.com. CUSTOM SHIP MODELS, HALF HULLS. Free Catalog. Spencer, Box 1034, Quakertown, PA 18951. INGALLS COLD WAR NUCLEAR SUBMARINES by Chris Wiggins. The exciting story of how America’s Gulf Coast Shipyard built nuclear attack submarines—and what those boats did once at sea. Paperback • 220 pages • 130 images • $20. Go to amazon.com. SHIP MODEL BROKER: I will help you BUY, SELL, REPAIR, APPRAISE or COMMISSION a model ship or boat. www.FiddlersGreenModelShips.com.
THOUSAND OF USED MARITIME BOOKS UNDER $10 PLUS MANY SCARCE WORKS. www.nauticalscribebooks.com; 207-567-8111; nauticalscribe @gmail.com. KEEPING THE TRADITION ALIVE by Capt. Ray Williamson. The remarkable story of Maine Windjammer Cruises,TM founder of the windjammer industry. 172 page, 11 x 14 hardcover book with over 100 full-page images from the days of cargo to the present. Price–$48. Call 800 736-7981; email sail@mainewind jammercruises.com. THE AUTHORITY TO SAIL by Commodore Robert Stanley Bates. The fully illustrated authoritative history of US Merchant Marine licenses and documents issued since 1852. Coffee-table size, 12” x 14.” Order direct: The Parcel Centre, Ph. 860 739-2492; www.theauthor itytosail.com. OUT-OF-PRINT NAUTICAL BOOKS. SEA FEVER BOOKS. Thousands of titles. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Ph. 860-663-1888 (EST); www.seafever bookstore.com.
(continued from page 49)
interlake steamship co.
A keel-laying ceremony was held on 24 June for what is believed to be the first new construction of a US-flagged Great Lakes bulk carrier in more than 35 years. Jointly designed by Interlake Steamship Company and Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (the keel-laying ceremony took place in Fincantieri’s Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, shipyard), the self-unloading bulk carrier will be 639 feet long and 28,000 DWT. Once completed in 2022, the Mark W. Barker—named for Interlake’s chairman’s son—will carry raw materials like salt, iron ore, and stone within the Great Lakes. Construction of the ship’s modular sections began nine months ago; the keel-laying ceremony is actually when the first modules are lowered into place in the graving dock. Said Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding’s vice president and general manager, Todd Thayse: “Our workforce is very proud to construct what will become a homeport ship. This large-scale bulk carrier is being built on the Great Lakes and will operate right here on the Great Lakes, which creates a sense of local and regional pride.” Other major partners in the project include American Bureau of Shipping (ABS); ArcelorMittal; Bay Engineering; EMD Engines; Caterpillar; EMS-Tech, Inc.; Lufkin, Kongsberg and MacGregor. (The Interlake Steamship Company, 7300 Engle Road, Middleburg Heights OH 44130; Ph. 440 2606900; Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, http:// fincantieribayshipbuilding.com, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, 605 North 3rd Avenue, Post Office Box 830, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235) … Just days before the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the heavy cruiser Indianapolis in World War II, the ship’s crew was recognized with the Congressional Gold Medal. In a virtual ceremony held on 24 July, House Speaker
PRESIDENTS PLAYING CARDS. All 45 US presidents are represented on these playing cards with interesting facts and quotes. www.presidentsplayingcards.com.
Advertise in Sea History ! e-mail: email@example.com. 52
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
crew of 1,196 in the water; they waited nearly five days for rescue. Only 316 men survived, losing their comrades to burns, dehydration, exhaustion, shark attacks and drowning. Launched in November of 1931 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, the Portland-class heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA-35) was commissioned on 15 November of the following year in Camden, NJ, serving in the Atlantic and Pacific. In WWII the ship served in the New Guinea and Aleutian Island campaigns, and in 1943 Indianapolis was designated the flagship of the Fifth Fleet, taking part in the Marshall and Mariana Island campaigns, and then participated in the invasion of Peleliu Island. It covered the landings on Iwo Jima in 1945, and was subsequently hit by a kamikaze. After the invasion of Okinawa, Indianapolis made the fateful journey to Tinian Island. The remains of the wreck were identified by Paul Allen’s team in August of 2017. (For more information, the website www.ussindianapolis.com offers a wealth of resources telling the stories of the ship, her crew, the sinking and rescue, and the rescuers.) … Baltimore’s Living Classrooms Foundation and Historic Ships in Baltimore released a statement on 29 June that it would be removing the name of the former USCG cutter Taney “[i]n support of the local, national, and global call to remove symbols venerating oppression and racial injustice.” Going forward, the
ship will be referred to by its hull designation WHEC 37; WHEC stands for High Endurance Cutter. The ship is a national historic landmark, the last surviving warship from the attack on Pearl Harbor. Living Classrooms has operated the ship since 1994 as a museum, living classroom, and memorial to those who served aboard her and in our armed forces. The cutter is one of seven sister ships named for US Treasury Secretaries. Roger B. Taney (1777–1864) was Acting Secretary of the Treasury under
TRADITIONAL WOODEN SHIP'S WHEELS Handmade in the U.S.A. by Third Generation Master Craftsman Bob Fuller.
SSouth OUTH S HORE Boatworks BOATWORKS Shore Hanson, • 781-248-6446 781-248-6446 HALIFAX, MA MA •
photo by joe ravi, cc by sa 3.0
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made the presentation of the award, part of legislation signed into law in 2018, recognizing both the survivors and the crew who died in the ship’s sinking and waiting for rescue. The medal will be displayed in the USS Indianapolis CA-35 museum gallery at the Indiana War Memorial in Indianapolis, Indiana. Indianapolis was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-58 as the ship was en route from Tinian Island, having delivered the components of the atomic bomb that was to be dropped on Hiroshima. The ship sank quickly, leaving about 800 of its initial
Beaufort Naval Armorers
CANNONS Finely Crafted Marine Grade Working Replicas Morehead City, NC USA 252-726-5470
THE NAUTICAL RESEARCH GUILD
2.25”x 2” South Shore Boatworks #SH149 Revised
"ADVANCING SHIP MODELING THROUGH RESEARCH"
Annual membership includes our world-renowned quarterly magazine, Nautical Research Journal, which features photographs and articles on ship model building, naval architecture, merchant and naval ship construction, maritime trade, nautical and maritime history, nautical archaeology and maritime art. Other benefits include discounts on annual conferences, ship modeling seminars, NRG products and juried model competitions which are offered exclusively to Guild members. We hope you will consider joining our ongoing celebration of model ships and maritime history.
For more information contact us at: www.thenrg.org or call 585 968 8111
The quarterly magazine devoted to traditional sailing vessels, sailors, and sail training! One year $25 * Two years $40 To subscribe, visit our website, call (978) 594-6510, or send a check to MARLINSPIKE 98 Washington Square #1, Salem MA 01970
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 53
1/8 page AD
Mystic Knotwork A New England Tradition For 60 Years
EXPERIENCE HISTORY ABOARD OUR NATIONAL LANDMARK SCHOONERS
WWW.MAINEWINDJAMMERCRUISES.COM CRUISES OFFERED MAY – OCTOBER 3, 4, 5, 6 DAY & WEEKENDS $475 - $845 ALL INCLUSIVE
Traditional Knotwork Made in Downtown Mystic 25 Cottrell St. - 2 Holmes St. MysticKnotwork.com Open 7 days a week - 860.889.3793
President Jackson and served from 1833 to 1834; he resigned when Congress refused to confirm his appointment. He is most remembered, however, as the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court who delivered the majority opinion in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case, asserting that African Americans could not be, or become, US citizens, and that they had no right to sue in federal court. The decision went on to declare the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional and that Congress had no power to regulate slavery in the US territories, and pronounced Dred Scott a slave. “We have been inspired that now is the time to make this change,” said James Piper Bond, President and CEO of Living Classrooms Foundation. “Taney’s ruling was an abomination and a great injustice towards African Americans. The national historic landmark we are charged with stewarding should be reflective of our values of equality and opportunity for all.... We are not erasing history, nor is it our intention to minimize the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have served with honor aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Taney. Our intention is to learn from history and celebrate the legacy of the ship and those who served aboard.” The Secretary-class cutter was launched 3 June 1936 at Philadelphia Navy Yard. Homeported in Hawaii, WHEC 37 was in action against Japanese planes during the Pearl Harbor attack. It went on to serve on anti-submarine patrols and a convoy escort, then underwent a refit and was transferred to the Atlantic as a convoy escort. In 1945 it was converted to an Amphibious Command Ship, participating in the battle for Okinawa. After the war, WHEC 37 carried out ocean weather patrol, law enforcement, and search-and-rescue duties out of Alameda, CA. In 1967–70, it was assigned to Coast Guard Squadron III off South Vietnam, returning in 1972 to continue in ocean weather patrol, search-and-rescue, training, and drug interdiction. The cutter was decommissioned on 7 December 1986, joining the Historic Ships in Baltimore fleet. (Living Classrooms, 802 S. Caroline St., Baltimore MD; Ph. 410 685-0295, www. livingclassrooms.org. Historic Ships in Baltimore, 1417 Thames Street, Baltimore, MD; www.historicships.org) SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
Save the Date! Thursday, 5 November 2020 • NY City Pickle Night Virtual Event
(left) The captain’s day cabin onboard HMS Victory dressed as a working space, displaying a new color scheme and dressing.
HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard; (below) Victory’s gun deck.
victory photos courtesy nmrn
This year marks the 215th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and the 15th New York City Pickle Night. Those interested in the historical significance of the battle and the astonishing life of Admiral Lord Nelson are invited to attend this special occasion. The event is named for Her Majesty’s Schooner Pickle, the smallest British vessel at the Battle of Trafalgar, which carried the important news home to London of British victory and Nelson’s death. In a break from tradition, this year’s Pickle Night will be held online, where guests will receive an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the world-famous HMS Victory and view the results of recent preservation efforts. This virtual visit to the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth, England, will be filled with inspiring speakers and exciting surprises. Advance registration is required. Contact: SallyAFNMRN@ gmail.com; Ph. 212 840-1166. The American Friends of the National Museum of the Royal Navy is recognized as a tax-exempt organization.
WhalingHistory.org Scholars, teachers, students, family historians, and anyone interested in the subject can access a wealth of data about the historic whaling industry free of charge on www.whalinghistory.org, the world’s most comprehensive whaling history database. Launched in 2018 through a partnership between the New Bedford Whaling Museum and Mystic Seaport, the website combines information from many sources, including logbooks, journals, ship registers, newspapers, business papers, and custom house records. At its height in the 1840s, the American whaling industry ranked ninth in overall value to the economy; whaling industry documentation is extensive. Through the website, users can find and trace whaling voyages and ships to specific logbooks, as well as the crew lists aboard most of the voyages. All data is open to the public and its resources are downloadable for any researcher to use with other tools and systems. The site also includes links to learning resources related to whaling and whaling history, including projects users have completed using data from the site. For example, Mystic Seaport Museum for Educators shared an active (and interactive) map representing the journey of the whaler Neptune of New London, Connecticut, from October 1840 to April 1842. The data sets currently available are American Offshore Whaling Voyages, the British Southern Whale Fishery, British North American Whaling Voyages, French Whaling Voyages, and Scottish Arctic Whaling. SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 55
Sailing School: Navigating Science and Skill, 1550–1800 by Margaret E. Schotte (Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2019, 320pp, illus, notes, biblio index, isbn 978-1-42142-953-3; $59.95hc) “Crawford’s College of Nautical Knowledge” was the affectionate nickname for the Crawford Nautical School when I attended in the late 1980s. During that era, students met in the Agriculture Building, in the shadow of the Embarcadero Freeway on Pier 1, San Francisco. Captain William Crawford personally tutored generations of aspiring mates and masters while his wife, Dorothy, ran the office and offered moral support. In the cavernous classroom, sextants, patent logs, alidades, and every kind of marine apparatus littered the side tables. On bookshelves, copies of Crawford’s own textbooks and study guides were stacked alongside dozens of volumes of sight reduction tables and copies of the Nautical Almanac and Bowditch’s American Practical Navigator, covers worn bare by the hands of eager students. In Crawford’s school, mariners of all levels attended the same lectures together, drank coffee and worked out problems, and shared sea stories, tips on jobs, and “intelligence” on the latest changes to the USCG examinations. Margaret E. Schotte’s remarkable and readable Sailing School: Navigating Science and Skill, 1550–1800, shows how Crawford’s operation—and many like it—still preserve the traditions of the oldest methods of early-modern European navigation schools. Beginning with Spain’s early recognition that collecting and transmitting the professional knowledge necessary for successful global voyages would be key to maintaining their maritime empire, Schotte takes her readers through a typical mariner’s education: how a seaman with some experience could hope to become a student studying to become a piloto. In 1508, Ferdinand II appointed Amerigo Vespucci piloto mayor (master navigator) and gave him the authority to approve charts and publications, as well as the responsibility for navigators’ examinations. Beginning from a traditional apprentice-master model, the demand for trained navigators (and the potential for corruption with unregulated tutors) eventually required a formal institution, established in the Casa de la
Contratación (House of Trade) in 1552. Here, the successful applicant attended twice-daily lectures in mathematics and cosmography (a discipline combining astronomy and geography), studied text-
books, and learned from fellow students. Schotte notes that the “textual, classroombased approach was a perplexing strategy for teaching men who were in all likelihood not literate … accustomed to learning with eye and hand as well as ear,” but, “university-trained instructors appointed by the king were inclined to replicate the bookbound system with which they were familiar.” The tension between theory and practice as teaching methods—or hands-on versus book learning—still exists today. Margaret Schotte reveals this dichotomy to be part of a very compelling story, which will captivate anyone interested in the history of European culture, science, navigation, and print, and the profound influence of European nations’ need to develop, standardize, and disseminate the knowledge of best seafaring practices for their merchant and naval fleets. Subsequent chapters examine case studies of widely divergent approaches to teaching and learning in the Netherlands, France, and England across the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. For instance, in the late sixteenth century, entrepreneurial publishers in the Netherlands harnessed print and mercantile culture to establish several different options for aspiring mariners. Detailed introductory manuals began
to make an appearance for the interested amateur, “armchair” navigator, as well as beginning students. At the same time, even though many experienced master mariners were still suspicious of entrusting their professional knowledge to the newish print technology, bookstores in seaports that produced and sold such volumes also became centers of classroom instruction along varying scales. One of the many fascinating illustrations in Sailing School depicts a familiar scene: a group of men and boys study globes and nautical instruments in a room flanked by allegorical figures of Aeolus and Poseidon. A brightly lit lantern illuminates the room and the students, both metaphorically and physically. In the center, “a significant central individual, a keen-eyed, bearded teacher hold[s] forth on the technicalities of the jumble of instruments. No more is maritime knowledge communicated solely by means of informal shipboard lessons or even within a sequestered community of equals. Rather, this motley group of men is poised, mouths open in enthralled conversation, with their hands on the tools of their trade, ready to learn from the wise instructor—a schoolroom master rather than a shipboard one;” take away the beard, and it could almost be Bill Crawford’s twentieth-century storefront school. By contrast, in England in 1683, in the wake of the Royal Society, many boys bound for the navy became students at the Royal Mathematical School, connected with Christ’s Hospital in London. These boys, on their way to becoming officers and gentlemen, were drilled in classical Latin and Greek, as well as cutting-edge “Mathematical Sciences.” The students were expected to understand “Decimal Arithmetick” and complex aspects of Euclidian geometry leading to “the Application of Oblique Triangles in plaine sayling,” as well as practical tasks, such as “ye use of the Davis Quadrant.” Schotte turns the tale of how this “numbersheavy approach to teaching British mariners in the 1680s signals the emergence of a new conception of navigation,” into a compelling, fast-paced story of culture, science, and technologies like printing, instrument making, ship design, and navigation, and how they developed into the specialized disciplines in the post-Enlightenment world we recognize today. SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
What we’ve lost, and Schotte’s book persuasively restores, is the understanding of how early modern astronomy, cartography, printing, mathematics, and, above all, navigation were once closely allied activities often practiced by the same individuals. Schotte is an assistant professor of history at York University in Toronto, and her comparative, transnational study ranges fluently through archives located in the UK, Netherlands, France, Canada, and the US. Her skillful use of primary texts written in Dutch, Spanish, French, and English mark this as a powerful academic study, yet her ability as a writer and storyteller ensure that the general reader will not want to skip a page or put it down before the end. The ample and fully documented notes are supplemented by additional online materials, making this an invaluable resource for graduate students and academic researchers. Generously illustrated with color and monochrome plates and a glossary of terms, this is a book that nautical enthusiasts and professionals will want to read and refer to again and again. Colin Dewey, PhD Vallejo, California Victory Without Peace: The United States Navy in European Waters, 1919–1924 by William N. Still Jr. (Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 2018, 392pp, isbn 978-1-68247-014-5; $68hc) William N. Still Jr. stands as one of the icons in the field of maritime history.
Noted for his work on Confederate ironclad of the global conflagration. He details the construction, he went on to create the naval and diplomatic activities in the major Maritime Studies program at East Caro- capitals and peace conferences. We follow lina University—one of the leading schools ships, detachments, and squadrons in their in the nation producing graduates in mar- protection of American citizens and propitime history and nautical archaeology. The erty, and we see how the US Navy came to winner of the Jack Bauer and John Lyman the rescue of thousands in humanitarian awards from the North American Society missions that have been largely forgotten for Oceanic History, also serving a term as in history. its president, Dr. Still has worked for the Taking a cue from the modern apNavy Department in several capacities. In plication of sea power today, Still notes, “a 2013, he received the Commodore Dudley peacetime Navy is rarely at peace.” One of W. Knox Naval Lifetime Achievement the major figures in the book is Herbert Award. Victory Without Peace: The United States Navy in European Waters, 1919–1924, REAL WAR PHOTOS is the concluding book of a three-volume set that documents the role of the American navy in the Old World from the end of the The Glencannon Press Civil War to post-World War One. col. inches (2.25 In 1980, Still4 released American Seax 4.5 inches) PreferThe right hand page, bottom right. Power in the Old World: United States Navy in European and Near Eastern Waters, 1865–1917. It followed the course of Amer50,000+ ships, battles & military photos ica’s European Squadron and its rise and Request a FREE catalog. 50% Veterans Discount! decline during this period. Difficulties in P.O. Box 414, Somerset Ctr, MI 49282 sustaining the squadron and the techno734-327-9696 www.realwarphotos.com logical limitations of the vessels as compared to more modern European ships highlighted the poor state of the US Navy THE Real War Photos Ad.indd GLENCANNON 1 4/10/2018 08:08:10 in the late nineteenth century. As Still states PRESS in his opening chapter, the US Navy’s presence in European waters was more of an Maritime Books instrument of policy than warfare. It took twenty-six years before the second volume, Crisis at Sea: The United States Navy in European Waters in World NEW! War I, was released by University of FlorThe Ferryboat Berkeley ida Press. This massive work is the most by exhaustive history on the role of the AmerPatricia Shannon Anderson ican fleet during the First World War; a topic long neglected by naval historians. Not merely an operational history, it folThe complete history of this lows, much like American Sea Power in the historic craft now located at Old World, the diplomacy, logistics, shipthe Maritime Museum of San building, and government decisions that Diego. More than 200 pages, orchestrated American involvement in the 29 in full color. Great War. With the release of Victory Without Available May 1, 2020. Peace, Still has completed a magisterial work on American naval presence in Europe FREE Catalog 1-510-455-9027 spanning fifty-nine years. As he accomOnline at plished in his earlier volumes, this is not www.glencannon.com merely an operational history of a single squadron, but a vast and complex array of events and issues that unfolded in the wake
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 57
Hoover, the “czar” of relief operations. Hoover had made his name in aiding the Belgian people during the war, organizing relief ships to carry food. In the post-war, he expanded this to most of Europe. He was a huge proponent of the Navy, as he needed its assistance in getting that relief to those who needed it. Victory Without Peace also highlights the rapid breakdown of the wartime alliance between the Allied powers. While the US Navy operated as part of the Royal Navy during the war—Crisis at Sea goes to great lengths to discuss the integration of American destroyers at Queenstown under Royal Navy Admiral Lewis Bayly and the American dreadnoughts joining the Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow—afterwards, the rivalry of national interests emerged between the fleets. The United States Navy and the Royal Navy stood as the leading fleets in the world, a situation that the British could not tolerate with the Imperial German Navy. These issues, along with different national interests over the creation of mandates out of former Central Power states, led to strained relations between the previous Allies in northern Russia, the Baltic, Adriatic, Mediterranean, and Black Seas. Each of these areas is showcased in the book with detailed accounts of the issues facing the commanders, officers, and bluejackets on board the ships and ashore.
SEPTEMBER 2020, $19.95 HC AVAILABLE IN BOOKSTORES AND ONLINE UWAPRESS.UW.EDU
The final tome of this three-volume series represents a culmination of more than forty years of research, and should be considered the standard reference for all who have an interest in the role of the United States Navy in European waters during this period. William Still demonstrates the level of scholarship that all naval and maritime historians should strive to achieve. Salvatore Mercogliano, PhD Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina The Longest Campaign: Britain’s Maritime Struggle in the Atlantic and Northwest Europe, 1939–1945 by Brian E. Walter (Casemate Publishers, Haverford, PA, 2020, 332pp, tables, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-61200-856-1; $34.95) Brian E. Walter’s The Longest Campaign: Britain’s Maritime Struggle in the Atlantic and Northwest Europe, 1939–1945 is, essentially, another book on the Battle of the Atlantic. One might glance at the title and think: There is nothing new here, so is there value in yet another treatise on a well-worn topic? In this case, the short answer is yes. Walter has added to the body of knowledge about an era that will keep historians buzzing indefinitely. The introduction alone is worthy of attention. As background for his study of the World War II years, Walter offers a matchlessly concise essay that relates a millennium of naval action in six pages. Histories of the Battle of the Atlantic emphasize Allied losses to build anxiety as the number of ships and tonnage lost grew to staggering heights, while Allied efforts to stem the tide continued to fall short. Walter takes a balanced approach, matching Allied losses and ineptitude with Axis (German) losses and ineptitude. Like the CPO who assured the ensign lamenting the failures of his navy and wondered how his navy could ever win the war: “Remember son, they have a navy too!” Walter includes a synopsis of the land war in conjunction with his discussion of maritime events. Studies of the Battle of the Atlantic more often than not generate an aura of distress and desperation about the Allied war experience. The British, especially when fighting alone without the Russian and American allies, appear frustrated, inept, SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
and powerless before the Axis juggernaut. Walter presents a different picture by relating British commando activity against German-held facilities in Northwest Europe designed to complicate enemy capacity to import strategic materials and even foodstuffs to feed its population. These offensives also forced the Axis to reduce its own offenses in order to counter Allied efforts. What emerges from Walter’s essays is recognition of the vast potential for smallscale offensive activity to eat away at the enemy’s capacity to wage war. The idea that naval power or air power or any other single effort won the war fades before the complex reality of scores of offensive efforts in combination Walter’s analysis is not lacking in detail. Drawing on studies published in the decades since the war, he provides exact numbers of ships lost and the tonnage they represent. In most instances, the names and/or identifying numbers of vessels are included in accounts of losses, and the names of commanding officers often appear. For example, “no fewer than nineteen U-boats were lost during the month [Feb-
ruary 1943] of which 15 were sunk in the Atlantic. Of these, British aircraft accounted for U265, U624, U442, U620, U225, U268, U623. While American aircraft caused the demise of U519, British warships destroyed U187, U609, U69, U201, U522.” An accounting of the loss of human lives, Allied and Axis, is also included. It is regrettable that Walter makes but a passing mention of the Battle of Taranto, a feat on the part of the British worthy of inclusion. In fairness, The Longest Campaign is devoted to the war in the Atlantic and Northwest Europe, and the Battle of Taranto was part of the war in the Mediterranean. Notwithstanding, Walter makes frequent reference to the Mediterranean theater of operations and at least a mention of British naval efforts to reduce the Italian fleet would have enhanced this otherwise excellent work. Walter, clearly an Anglophile, misses no opportunity to note the British contribution to every military effort discussed in his book. His effort pays off by illuminating the vast scale of the British war machine in the Battle of the Atlantic and especially the
O BO EW N
P.O. Box 74 Leonia, NJ 07605 201-461-5729
Model Ships by Ray Guinta
invasion of the continent on D-Day. There is little wonder that the Island Kingdom was near financial bankruptcy by war’s end. Walter’s presentation of the D-Day invasion, while abbreviated in comparison to the scores of detailed tomes on the subject, is well done and serves, like the entire volume, as an introduction to a well-developed topic. In keeping with the rest of his book, Walter emphasizes the role of British and Commonwealth forces in victory in the land war and assures that the contribution of the marine arm is recognized. The author goes a long way toward illuminating the British role in the Battle of the Atlantic and World War II in general. The prevailing American view places the United States in the role of savior of the British, who were struggling against the Axis powers and faced annihilation but for American help. The validity of this view is debatable, but what is certain, and what Walter emphasizes in The Longest Campaign, is that the United Kingdom did its part—and arguably more than its fair share—in the reduction of the Axis war machine.
www.modelshipsbyrayguinta.com e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Experienced ship model maker who has been commissioned by the National Maritime Historical Society and the USS Intrepid Museum in NYC.
The Voices of Marine Mammals William E. Schevill and William A. Watkins: Pioneers in Bioacoustics
The legacy of two scientists who changed the way we think about life in the oceans. store.whalingmuseum.org 508-997-0046 ext. 127
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 59
The Longest Campaign is a worthy contribution to the vast array of World War II studies. It is well documented and offers a concise review of the war in Europe. The work is recommended to those with a general interest in the war in Europe and experts who will find this concise account a useful review. David O. Whitten, PhD Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina The War for the Seas: A Maritime History of World War II by Evan Mawdsley (Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2019, 600pp, illus, maps, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-0-30019-019-9; $32.50hc) Last year I had the opportunity to review Craig Symonds’s World War II at Sea: A Global History, an epic 647 pages that covered the entirety of the Second World War afloat. Now, Evan Mawdsley follows with The War for The Seas: A Maritime History of World War II. At 478 pages, it provides another extensive view of the war at sea during this seminal conflict. While both are broad in the sweep of the
events they covered, this latest work differs from Symonds’s in meaningful ways. Mawdsley’s new tome follows his 2009 book, World War II: A New History. While many other books have made this claim, his work is unique in that he truly accomplishes it. Whereas nearly every other examination of this event starts with the war in Europe in 1939, Mawdsley places the outbreak of conflict in Asia in 1937. His book follows with a very balanced and evenhanded approach to the conflict and avoids the typical Eurocentric bias that is typical in most Second World War histories. In The War for The Seas, he once again challenges previous concepts and shifts the focus from the Pacific to the Atlantic. He emphasizes the role of the Allied navies, and places sea power into a supporting role in the execution of overall Allied strategy. This approach is thrust upon the reader from the outset. Instead of starting off with a dynamic naval battle, he takes us into the headquarters of General Dwight Eisenhower in Gibraltar on the eve of the invasion of North Africa. While this may
seem a strange place to start his narrative, it captures the elements that he is trying to convey by highlighting how the suppression of the German U-boats, the Allied ability to amass enough ships in America and England, and then to project them across the Atlantic were key elements of success in the war. Mawdsley follows a chronological approach to the conflict by dividing it up into five parts. The first, “Seapower and the European War,” covers the period of Allied maritime dominance and battles fought by the peacetime forces. As the war progressed, the Allies’ balance of power diminished due to setbacks in Scandinavia and on the continent, particularly with the fall of France. Part Two, the British Empire at Bay, encapsulates the situation facing the lone Allied power until the entrance of the Soviet Union and the United States into the conflict. One of the highlights in this section is how Britain was able to sustain itself via its global shipping network. “Global War at Sea” covers the pivotal year of 1942. While this part is the
20 21 W all C ale nd ars — C las s ic S ail Classic Sail features sailing craft ranging from traditional working vessels and cruising sailboats, to classic designs by photographer Kathy Mansfield, whose work is found in nautical magazines including Classic Boat, WoodenBoat, and Water Craft.
Months 14-2021.indd Page #5 Classic Sail 2020 11:32 AM 28, File name: February revised on 02/28/20 Printed on
Months 14-2021.indd Page #4 Classic Sail 2020 11:32 AM 28, File name: February revised on 02/28/20 Printed on
Months 14-2021.indd Page #6 Classic Sail 2020 11:32 AM 28, File name: February revised on 02/28/20 Printed on
10 17 24 31
Monday November S M T W T F 1 2 S 3 4 7 8 5 6 9 10 14 15 11 12 16 17 13 21 22 18 19 23 24 20 28 29 25 26 30 27
Months 14-2021.indd Page #9 Classic Sail 2020 11:32 AM 28, File name: February revised on 02/28/20 Printed on
Months 14-2021.indd Page #8 Classic Sail 2020 11:32 AM 28, File name: February revised on 02/28/20 Printed on
13 20 27
Indigenous Peoples’ Thanksgiving Day Day (Canada)
Months 14-2021.indd Page #7 Classic Sail 2020 11:32 AM 28, File name: February revised on 02/28/20 Printed on
Classic Sail features sailing craft ranging from traditional working vessels and cruising sailboats, to exciting america’s Cup contenders of the past. Kathy Mansfield, whose work is found in nautical magazines, including WoodenBoat, Classic Boat, and Water Craft, brings together american and european boats in this very enjoyable pan-atlantic collection.
image is hi res
Months 14-2021.indd Page #11 Classic Sail 2020 11:32 AM 28, File name: February revised on 02/28/20 Printed on
Months 14-2021.indd Page #10 Classic Sail 2020 11:32 AM 28, File name: February revised on 02/28/20 Printed on
USA: 15.95 CAN: 19.99
P.O. Box 4047 • Hartford, CT • 06147 www.tide-mark.com
22” x 14” (open) XX-2 Title
Images are Hi Res
$15.95 ($14.36 for NMHS members) plus $5.50 media mail s/h within the USA.
Page #2 File Name: Classic Sail Cvrs 2021 Revised on February 28, 2020 11:32 AM Printed on 02/28/20
Built originally the 48-foot in Scotland
five decadesKismet raced at the Fife boatyard in the mud until the 1940s, English in 1898, coast. of an estuary and then is pitch Now spent pine over sailing in in Essex good form, oak. on her rebuiltthe hull
September S M T W T F S 1 2 5 6 3 4 7 8 12 13 9 10 14 15 11 19 20 16 17 21 22 18 26 27 23 24 28 29 25 30
Page #1 File Name: Classic Sail Cvrs 2021 Revised on February 24, 2020 11:09 AM Printed on 02/24/20
File name: Classic revised Sail Months Printed on February on 02/28/20 28, 2020 14-2021.indd 11:32 AM
Months 14-2021.indd Page #3 Classic Sail 2020 11:32 AM 28, File name: February revised on 02/28/20 Printed on
Image is Hi Res
Months 14-2021.indd Page #12 Classic Sail 2020 11:32 AM 28, File name: February revised on 02/28/20 Printed on
Calendar is wall hanging — with large blocks for notes, and beautiful photographs printed on quality heavyweight paper.
Months 14-2021.indd Page #2 Classic Sail 2020 11:32 AM 28, File name: February revised on 02/28/20 Printed on
By Kathy Mansfield
Months 14-2021.indd Page #1 Classic Sail 2020 11:32 AM 28, File name: February revised on 02/28/20 Printed on
Orders received after 20 Dec. 2020 can be priority shipped for $9.50. Call for shipping charges for multiple or international orders.
TO ORDER, CALL 1-800-221-NMHS (6647), ext. 0, or online at www.seahistory.org. NYS residents add applicable sales tax . 60
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
largest section of the book in scope, it is the shortest in time. Mawdsley discusses how the Allies were able to utilize sea forces to curtail the Axis, particularly the combined and complementary use of British and American navies. It also focuses on the changing nature of the war at sea in terms of technology and tactics, with aircraft carriers, anti-submarine warfare, and amphibious operations. The last two parts— ”Victory at Sea” and “Commanding the Seas”—follow the last years of war. While Mawdsley does an admirable job of detailing the events and showcasing the work of other navies, such as the Free French and the Soviets, these sections could benefit from a more in-depth analysis. While the Allies achieved maritime dominance after June 1944, victory was not guaranteed, and the transition of navies to a power projection force is not given the same level of discussion as in earlier parts. The themes running through The War for the Seas are thought-provoking. The author challenges the concept that the Pacific was the main arena of combat and instead argues that control of the Atlantic was much more critical to Allied success. While he does not believe that the Battle of the Atlantic was a “near run thing,” it was essential. This goes hand in hand with his assertion about the role of the Royal Navy. While there is no denying the supremacy of the US Navy in the Pacific, Great Britain was the dominant force in the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Atlantic. This supports Mawdsley’s final assertion that, as the Second World War was a contest for continents, the sea played a vital, yet supporting, role in the final decision ashore. This does not diminish the role of the maritime aspect as he notes in his conclusion: “The remarkable military capabilities of Germany and Japan could not have been contained, and eventually crushed, without Allied command of the seas.” The War for the Seas is a wonderful complement to Symonds’s World War II at Sea. Both works should be on the bookshelves of anyone interested in the conflict. Besides, who could not use a thousand pages of naval history on the Second World War? Salvatore Mercogliano, PhD Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina
“In this engaging new volume, Skip Finley has written a comprehensive account of the over fifty sailors of color who rose to captain America’s great whaling ships. Meticulously researched, Whaling Captains of Color provides an overview of the 200 years of industrial whaling, a profession in which a relative meritocracy existed. In addition, Finley provides a critically important analysis of the social and legal conditions on land which encouraged so many people of color to brave the dangers of the sea.” —HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University
“Much more than a prodigious work of scholarship, Whaling Captains of Color is also an entertaining read that puts the focus where it properly belongs: on the multicultural essence of a fishery that spanned the globe. Highly recommended.” —NATHANIEL PHILBRICK, author of In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
“The story of people of color in the whaling industry is a fascinating and hitherto unexplored subject enough, but Skip Finley’s brilliant survey of the black captains and crew of the New England whale fisheries takes it one step further. His swift and sure narrative is excitingly told, bringing a fresh and vibrant focus to a vital part of American, and indeed global, history.” —PHILIP HOARE, author of The Whale
Available at www.usni.org/books and wherever books are sold.
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020 61
Steam-Driven: How Steamboats Shaped the Future of Virginia’s Northern Neck by Steamboat Era Museum, 2019, 88pp, illus, notes, sources, websites, isbn 978-17923-2226-6; $34.99pb) A positive aspect of the Information Age is revealed when often-ignored or -obscured topics rise to the surface. In this case, a relatively short new volume published by the Steamboat Era Museum on a regional history of the steamboat era presents multiple compelling stories within its pages. In a state with such a substantial impact on maritime studies, it is refreshing to see attention given to an alternate view of the subject, unrelated to wartime or industry. Focusing on the steamboats of Northern Neck (especially the Potomac), the book provides an opportunity to appreciate this particular type of transportation from a holistic perspective. Instead of the minutiae of specifications, materials, and industry standards, the spotlight attends to the social interactions, impacts on everyday life, and the interconnected nature of humanity. Sharing materials from within the community also reinforces the reliability of the stories and articles within the pages. Though it is easy to believe that a published work by a museum can be self-serving, in this case the impact surpasses those possible motives. Indeed, the grant-funded project reveals a self-purported chronicle of the “exciting times with stories of ambition, rivalry and adventure, of fortunes made and fortunes lost.” There are vignettes embedded to tease the reader in this regard. In one such example Hansford C. Bayton, co-owner of the Owen Dillard, chronicles the life and success of an African-American man during a period when contemporaries held a much different position in society. The addition of the discussion of his legacy connects a powerful historical topic to present circumstances and reflects the inclusive attitude prevalent today. Incorporating the related primary resources found throughout the region invokes a nostalgic feel, as if the reader is looking through an attic trunk or family album. These include letters, newspaper articles and advertisements, captain’s logs, and far more. Using literary sketches of steamboat captains, such as William C. Geoghegan, 62
also allows the reader a view of daily life on the vessel and a recognition of the skillset required to venture successfully. These profiles highlight leadership, camaraderie, and the trials of the trade. In the last portion of the book, the focus shifts to the actual structure of the Potomac pilothouse, an artifact in the Steamboat Era Museum’s permanent collection that was restored to its earlier splendor. The photographs assist with a chronological reveal of the many steps and resources involved in bringing this bit of local history to the public. The exhibit serves as the culmination of the efforts of the organization, as well as the climax of the steamboat’s popularity in the region. Although the book’s emphasis is on the Northern Neck, it does provide a timeline throughout many of its pages to put the steamboat’s legacy within the context of state and national events. It also gives an at-a-glance type of graphic that many look for when skimming through work that relies heavily on images. The publishers fill the pages with these various elements, yet it comes across as dynamic rather than overwhelming. Instead of relying primarily on academic text, this approach reaches a broader audience, both in terms of age and interests. A tourist desiring a souvenir from a visit to this area could benefit from this book just as well as any lifelong resident or professional in the field. Some may view the length as a shortcoming, yet it may be done with a purpose. What better way to garner interest and encourage further research and purchase than through bits and pieces of enticing stories that speak to heroes and characters of yesterday? While many pages are devoted to the museum’s collections, that should be no surprise, and should not detract from the many benefits of this read. Steam-driven will definitely leave readers with more questions, and hopefully will inspire them to investigate further. Certainly many of the components included could be a stand-alone volume or article, particularly in the cases related to craftsmanship, societal intersections, and the impact of this mode of transit in multiple ways. Overall, this work functions as an invitation to learn more about the steamboats, especially those in areas
like Virginia’s Northern Neck, where seemingly small systems lend themselves to a valuable, more consequential part of our nation’s history. Lisa Vaughan Jordan, PhD South Hill, Virginia American Sanctuary: Mutiny, Martyrdom, and National Identity in the Age of Revolution, by A. Roger Ekirch (Pantheon Books, New York, 2017, 320pp, illus, notes, index, isbn 978-0-30737-990-0; $30hc) American Sanctuary is a quirky and fascinating three-part history, set during the short time period between 1797 and 1800. The three nouns of the subtitle each headline roughly a third of the book. In 1797, Europe was at war and the United States was desperate to stay out of it, but variant antipathies to Britain and France were partially defining the two emerging American political factions. Mutiny: In February 1797 command of the 32-gun frigate HMS Hermione, stationed in the Caribbean, was transferred to Captain Hugh Pigot. The frigate had become notorious among Americans for interdicting shipping and impressing American seamen. Captain Pigot had an unsavory history of ordering more floggings than the infamous Bligh of the Bounty. Pigot and Hermione were loved by the Royal Navy brass, however, because they brought in prizes that could be sold to the emolument of admirals and officers. Captain Pigot would far overstep. On 20 September 1797, the Hermione was caught in a gale in the narrow confines of Mona Passage between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. Pigot threatened to flog the slowest man furling sails, and so terrified the sailors that three topmen in succession leapt for the yard, missed, and tumbled fatally to the deck, after which Pigot unceremoniously heaved their corpses overboard. The following night his infuriated crew attacked and murdered him, then threw him overboard. They also slaughtered nine other officers during the assault. The sailors then sailed the ship south to Venezuela, where they surrendered the frigate to the Spanish, and dispersed. When the British got word of what had happened, they SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
began a relentless, decade-long manhunt for the mutineers. Martyrdom: A legal case that became a cause célèbre began in February 1799, in Charleston, South Carolina. After drunkenly bragging of having been aboard the Hermione, fugitive Jonathan Robbins was promptly arrested. Extradition was requested by the British but cautiously denied. Robbins remained incarcerated, however, while the federal judge solicited the Adams administration’s opinion. The then-recent and deeply controversial Jay Treaty with Great Britain included an amorphous extradition clause, and in May the British ambassador begged Secretary of State Timothy Pickering to intervene. Pickering wrote to John Adams at home in Massachusetts, offering sophisticated but casuistic arguments in favor of extraditing Robbins—neglecting to mention Robbins’s possible American citizenship or impressment. Adams dithered over his constitutional responsibility regarding extradition, but fatefully responded that he had “no objection.” On 26 July 1799, Robbins was handed over to the British. He was taken to Kingston, Jamaica, court-martialed on 15 August and hanged four days later. National Identity: Though Robbins’s predicament had caused no public outcry during his months in jail, the reaction to his extradition was immediate, furious, and long persisting. In February 1800, the US House of Representatives spent two full weeks debating an Anti-Federalist proposal to censure Adams for his interference in the affair. It was narrowly defeated, and a countermotion to approve his conduct was quickly withdrawn. The author notes publications from the time that suggest Robbins’s martyrdom was a factor in Adams’s later loss to Thomas Jefferson. Regarding its longevity in American history and policy, the author notes instances as recent as 1981 where the Robbins case has been cited in continuing American quandaries over extradition, immigration, and asylum. American Sanctuary is a fascinating, off-beat story, very well told and highly recommended. Jonathan Carriel New York, New York
new & noted
Around the World in a Dugout Canoe: The Untold Story of Captain John Voss and the Tilikum by John M. MacFarlane and Lynn J. Salmon (Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park, BC, 2020, 268pp, illus, notes, index, isbn 978-1-55017-879-1; $29.95hc) Atlantic in World History, 1490–1830 by Trevor Burnard (Bloomsbury Academic, London, 2020, illus, maps, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-35007-352-4; $34.95pb) Bridging the Seas: The Rise of Naval Architecture in the Industrial Age, 1800–2000 by Larrie D. Ferreiro (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2020, 386pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-0-262538-077-40-8; $50pb) A Commerce of Knowledge: Trade, Religion, and Scholarship Between England and the Ottoman Empire, 1600–1760 by Simon Mills (Oxford University Press, New York, 2020, 352pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-019884-033-6; $85hc) Engineering America: The Life and Times of John A. Roebling by Richard Haw (Oxford University Press, New York, 2020, 648pp, illus, notes, index, isbn 978-019066-390-2; $34.95hc) How the Old World Ended: The Anglo-Dutch Revolution, 1500–1800 by Jonathan Scott (Yale University Press, New Haven, 2020, 392pp, maps, biblio, notes, index, isbn 978-0-300-24359-8; $35hc) Japan’s Spy at Pearl Harbor: Memoir of an Imperial Navy Secret Agent by Takeo Yoshikawa, translated by Andrew Mitchell (McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2020, 308pp, illus, notes, index, isbn 978-1-4766-7699-9; $35pb) Mastering the Inland Seas: How Lighthouses, Navigational Aids, and Harbors Transformed the Great Lakes and America by Theodore J. Karamanski (University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 2020, 368pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-0-29932630-2; $36.95hc) Sons of the Waves: The Common Seaman in the Heroic Age of Sail by Stephen Taylor (Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2020, 416pp, illus, map, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-0300-24571-4; $30hc) Spoils of War: The Fate of Enemy Fleets after the Two World Wars by Aidan Dodson and Serena Cant (Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 2020, 256pp, illus, maps, biblio, index, notes, isbn 978-1-68247-517-1; $56.95hc) Whaling Captains of Color: America’s First Meritocracy by Skip Finley (Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 2020, 304pp, isbn 978-1-68247-509-6; $42hc) The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World—and Globalization Began by Valerie Hansen (Simon & Schuster, New York, 2020, 320pp, illus, notes, index, isbn 978-1-50119-410-8; $30hc) The Yellow Demon of Fever: Fighting Disease in the Nineteenth-Century TransAtlantic Slave Trade by Manuel Barcia (Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2020, 296pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-0-30021-585-4; $65hc)
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 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.) Arthur M. Kimberly Trust Hon. John Lehman In Memory of H. F. Lenfest Richardo R. Lopes Guy E. C. Maitland Ronald L. Oswald ADM Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG (Ret.) Estate of Walter J. Pettit Sr. In Memory of Capt. Joseph Ramsey, USMM In Memory of Charles A. Robertson Dr. Timothy J. Runyan Treecie & Ding Schoonmaker In Memory of Howard Slotnick Capt. Cesare Sorio John Stobart David & Beverly Verdier William H. White Jean Wort Wynn Resorts BENEFACTORS ARS Investment Partners VADM Dirk Debbink, USN (Ret.) Richard T. du Moulin Elite Island Resorts David S. Fowler Don & Kathy Hardy Huntington Ingalls Industries J. D. Power Family VADM Al Konetzni Jr., USN (Ret.) Dr. Jennifer London Lori, James II and Jim Mathieu McAllister Towing & Transportation Co., Inc. CAPT James A. Noone, USN (Ret.) The Pollin Group, LLC David & Susan Rockefeller Scarano Boat Building, Inc. Sea Education Association Marjorie B. Shorrock H. C. Bowen Smith Norma Stanford In Memory of Peter Stanford US Naval Institute Philip & Irmy Webster Williams College PLANKOWNERS Byers Foundation RADM Joseph F. Callo, USN (Ret.) Elaine Cannon Dayton Carr Kristen Greenaway Capt. Howard R. Hill Jr. Royal Holly Ruth R. Hoyt/Anne H. Jolley Foundation, Inc. Robert Leary Norman Liss Pritzker Military Foundation Conrad Scheffer Sidney Stern Memorial Trust Star Clipper Cruises SPONSORS Paul M. Aldrich American Maritime Congress CMDR Everett Alvarez Jr., USN (Ret.) Paul F. Balser James R. Barker CAPT Donald Bates, USN (Ret.) Stephen & Carol Burke C. Hamilton Sloan Foundation Douglas Campbell Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum James W. Cheevers J. Barclay Collins Conservation International C. W. Craycroft Crowley Maritime Corp. Peter Cummiskey Cynthia & Gerry Dubey Dr. William S. & Donna Dudley EMR Southern Recycling The Edgar & Geraldine Feder Foundation, Inc. Flagship Olympia Foundation Mrs. D. L. Fleischmann In Memory of D. Harry W. Garschagen Burchenal Green William J. Green ADM Jonathan Greenert, USN (Ret.) Carol Goldfeder Catharine Guiher John Gummere Robert S. Hagge Jr. CAPT Roger P. Hartgen, USCG (Ret.) Charles Hinnant Hornbeck Offshore Independence Seaport Museum Neil E. Jones RDML Eric C. Jones, USCG Benjamin Katzenstein H. Kirke Lathrop Rob Lopes Cyrus C. Lauriat The MacPherson Fund, Inc. Ann Peters Marvin David J. & Carolyn D. 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 Janis Nagy 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 John Rich Charles Raskob Robinson Safran Turbomeca USA Lee H. Sandwen George Schluderberg Philip J. Shapiro Shipbuilders Council of America CDR William H. Skidmore, USN (Ret.) Skuld North America, Inc. Stonehouse, Inc. Daniel R. Sukis Transportation Institute Alix Thorne William Van Loo George & Anne Walker Daniel Whalen Barbara B. Wing Michael M. Wiseman DONORS Silas Antony, Jr. Lawrence Behr W. Frank Bohlen Eleanor F. Bookwalter James O. Burri John Caddell II RADM Nevin P. Carr Jr., USN (Ret.) Bradley D. Conway Gerald F. B. Cooper Dr. John Finerty Ben P. Fisher Jr. Robert P. Fisher Jr. Daniel Gallagher Mary Habstritt Elizabeth Holden Matthew T. Howard J. Russell Jinishian Gallery Robert F. Kamm CDR Robert E. Kenyon III, USNR (Ret.) Mary Burrichter & Bob Kierlin Brett M. Klyver Kobrand Corp. & Marco Sorio Denise R. Krepp CDR C. R. Lampman, USN (Ret.) James P. Latham Paul Jay Lewis Frederick C. Leiner Jim McDonald T. McCormick Thomas McKerr Walter C. Meibaum III Richard S. Merrell CAPT R. G. Moore, USCG (Ret.) Jeffrey G. Neuberth New York Container Terminal Wynn & Patricia Odom Joanne O’Neil William Palmer III Paul C. Pennington Philip B. Persinger Carla R. Phillips Harry & Susan Rein Mr. & Mrs. William P. Rice CAPT W. E. Richardson, USN (Ret.) Mike Roberts In Memory of Capt. Bert Rogers Vincent Monte-Sano Mr. & Mrs. John R. Sherwood III Gerould R. Stange Philip E. Stolp Diane & Van Swearingin Sandra Ulbrich Roy Vander Putten Watch Hill Yacht Club Thomas Wayne Gerald Weinstein Dr. David Winkler Richard C. Wolfe CAPT Channing M. Zucker, USN (Ret.) PATRONS Benjamin Ackerly Deborah Antoine John Appleton Captain William M. Ayers Carter S. Bacon Jr. John D. Barnard 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 In Memory of Joseph Anthony Cahill Mark G. Cerel Harris Clark Mark Class Dr. Gerard J. Clifford Jr. Ms. Sharon E. Cohen John C. Couch Jack Creighton Capt. R. L Crossland Michael Cutler Morgan Daly Robert Ian Danic Ms. Joan M. Davenport Anthony De Lellis Jr. C. Henry Depew Capt. Robertson P. Dinsmore George Dow Michael F. Dugan Richard H. Dumas VADM Robert F. Dunn, USN (Ret.) Reynolds duPont Jr. Gary Eddey MD CAPT Mitchell Edson, USN (Ret.) Egan Maritime Institute Edward N. Ehrlich Peter Q. Eschweiler Marc Evans Ken Ewell Colin Ferenbach Murray Fisher Patrick Fitzgerald 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 Marc Grishham Lee Gruzen 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 C. Kennedy Jr. James L. Kerr James & Barbara Kerr Mr. & Mrs. Chester W. Kitchings Jr. R. Joyce Kodis Peter R. La Dow Ted Lahey John L. Langill W. Peter Lind Robert Lindmark Louis & Linda Liotti James L. Long Com. Chip Loomis III Babcock MacLean Lawrence Manson Marchant Maritime Maritime Heritage Prints Douglas & Diane Maass 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 James A. Neel Robert A. Neithercott Randy Nichols Eric A. Oesterle Alan O’Grady Jeffery Opper Roger Ottenbach William L. Palmer Jr. Michael Palmieri Richard G. Pelley Alan D. Peterson Nathaniel Philbrick Hon. S. Jay Plager Peter B. Poulsen Ann Prince David Prohaska 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 Marty Sutter Craig Swirbliss A. E. & Diana Szambecki RADM Cindy Thebaud, USN (Ret.) Capt. Raymond Thombs Memorial Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Craig Thompson Christopher N. Thorpe Charles Tobin Capt. John Torjusen Steven J. Traut Peter N. Trieloff Russell R. Tripp Jacobina Trump CAPT Daniel E. Turbeville, USN (Ret.) Robert J. Tyd LT Bill Verge, USCG (Ret.) Carol Vinall Dana Wagner Terry Walton Dr. John Dix Wayman Jeremy Weirich Roberta E. Weisbrod, PhD RDML Jesse A. Wilson Jr., USN (Ret.) William L. Womack In Memory of Woodson K. Woods
SEA HISTORY 172, AUTUMN 2020
Ships of Glass, Inc.
We specialize in making replicas of vessels. We welcome custom orders.
“Yes, I can make a replica of your boat.”
Custom pendants and earrings
Ships of Glass, Inc. Ships Glass, Inc. Don & of Kathy Hardy
21923 SunnysideDr. Lane om 6702 Rosemary able: cust City Beach, FL Also avail es, coasters, Panama Tampa, FL 33625 32413 Please check out il b our catalo o of vessels g jewelry, m dleholders, o n our webs Ph. 813 9181566 n w it w e w . trivets, ca : .shipsofg re lassinc.co 813 7326917 ts and mo m. nightligh email@example.com
“My ofice is illed with glorious maritime memorabilia, and the irst item people comment on is the captivating Ships of Glass replica of the Barque on my desk. Don Hardy is an extraordinarily talented artist, and his glass models are classy representations of our most beloved ships.” —
Boston, MA | Key West, FL Boston, MA || Key West, FL New York, NY | Newport, RI Boston, MA Key West, FL Boston, MA | Key West, FL New York, NY || Newport, RI New York, NY Newport, New York, NY | Newport, RI RI