Sea History 175 - Summer 2021

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No. 175





After the Disaster Is Over— MV Ever Given & the Law of General Average California Surf Art U-Boat in Rhode Island Waters Maritime Underground Railroad






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No. 175




20 Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad by Timothy D. Walker, PhD Prior to the Civil War, it was often more feasible for enslaved persons to flee the South by water than to chance an overland journey. This means of escape, long-overlooked in the historiography of the Underground Railroad, proved to be a vital route to freedom for many. 24 California Dreaming—Riding the Waves of Surf Art by Micaiah Hardison Artist and lifelong surfer, Micaiah Hardison guides us through the history of artists drawn to California, the emergence of surf art that captures the region’s culture, and the way these artists experience the ocean, beach, and waves. 32 U-853—The Last U-Boat Sunk in American Waters by Jessica Rozek After Germany issued a cease-fire to its U-boat commanders in May 1945, a lone U-boat torpedoed an American ship off the Rhode Island coast, sparking a powerful US naval counterattack. Did the German captain ignore the order? Was the radio message never received? Evidence from decades of diving on the submarine’s remains and new analysis chips away at the mystery surrounding this final U-boat attack off the US coast.

coast guard art collection

16 USRC James Madison: A Rogue Cutter and the Coast Guard’s First POWs by William H. Thiesen and William J. Nelson The US revenue cutter James Madison was captured by a Royal Navy warship in 1812; its story reveals the great risks and hardships faced by regular seamen, who, as prisoners of war, were sent to the infamous British prison ships, while the cutter’s officers were returned home on parole. These were the first POWs in US Coast Guard history.



courtesy micaiah hardison

12 After the Disaster is Over—MV Ever Given and Law of General Average by Michael J. Rauworth, Esq. The Ever Given incident in the Suez Canal left a wake of monetary losses. Who will be held financially responsible, and who will be entitled to compensation? Maritime attorney Michael J. Rauworth has chosen a few historical examples to illustrate the history and evolution of the principle of General Average, the law that will guide the compensation of injured parties.

iss photo, nasa

10 Fiddler’s Green: George F. Bass (1938–2021) by Warren Riess Often called the “Father of Underwater Archaeology,” George Bass died on 2 March 2021. The first to take archaeological methods underwater, he established what would become the standard for mapping submerged archaeological sites.


Cover: Ships at anchor: How the world suddenly became aware of the critical role that shipping plays in our everyday lives. See pages 4 and 12 for more on this topic. Photo courtesy

4 Deck Log 5 Letters 8 NMHS: A Cause in Motion 36 Marine Art News

40 Sea History for Kids 44 Ship Notes, Seaport & Museum News 57 Reviews 64 Patrons

Sea History and the National Maritime Historical Society Sea History e-mail:; NMHS e-mail:; Website: 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.




SEA HISTORY (issn 0146-9312) is published quarterly by the National Maritime Historical Society, 1000 North Division St., #4, Peek­skill NY 10566 USA. Periodicals postage paid at Peeks­kill NY 10566 and add’l mailing offices. COPYRIGHT © 2021 by the National Maritime Historical Society. Tel: 914  737-7878. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Sea History, PO Box 68, Peekskill NY 10566.


Deck Log Sea Change in an Invisible World ore than 90% of all goods worldwide are transported by sea, but rare is the American citizen who has been aware of this fact. When the pandemic cancelled travel plans and closed retail stores, and online orders went through the roof, many people were surprised to discover that delivery times for certain items were delayed— sometimes by months, sometimes indefinitely—because shipping was interrupted. Stories of stranded mariners stuck on ships for months beyond the end of their contract dates were reported in the international news, reaching an audience that previously barely knew they existed. And then there was the recent incident in the Suez Canal that held the world’s attention for six days in March as MV Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships, got stuck sideways in the Suez Canal, halting global marine traffic on either side of this vital link between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. For all the terrible things for which COVID-19 is responsible, it did succeed in bringing the invisible world of shipping and seafaring to the fore. With the lack of awareness of the role that shipping plays in the lives of everyday Americans, there has been growing concern that there are not enough young people learning necessary skills that will lead them to maritime occupations. Perhaps these issues in the seagoing trades being discussed by more and more people will inspire real change and planning to alleviate shortages in manpower that have long been predicted in maritime circles. And while these concerns are valid, there are successes to celebrate and existing programs to support. As an example, the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) in Newport, Rhode Island, runs a high-quality program that is turning out trained shipwrights and marine tradespeople. Quentin Snediker, director of the shipyard at Mystic Seaport, has noted that most of the shipwrights they hire are graduates of this program. Young people should know that this is a viable career and that museum shipyards and priBoatbuilding at IYRS vate boatyards across the country are seeking qualified workers in these trades and can offer steady, good-paying jobs. There are many programs, large and small, that educate and train future maritime professionals, and it is imperative that we support them to keep maritime skills alive. In this issue’s “NMHS Cause in Motion” (see page 9), we take a look at the Teaching With Small Boats Alliance (TWSBA), a grassroots organization that supports programs around the country that teach boatbuilding to young people as a way to get them to embrace math, science, and history in a real-life hands-on project. There are others, of course, and we’d like to know about them, so please email us at nmhs@ with information about programs in your area. In Philadelphia, where we will meet this summer for the NMHS Annual Meeting, the folks at the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild are planning a new direction for programming and interpretation for the historic barquentine Gazela. The ship will be the catalyst to engage younger people, refocusing its educational programs to get tools into the hands of kids and teach them skills they can use no matter what their future careers may be. We salute this move and encourage all the programs across the country that pursue these goals and hope you will as well. —Burchenal Green, NMHS President



c /o pierre markuse via flickr, cc by 2.0

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; Trustees Elect: CAPT Patrick Burns, USN (Ret.); Salvatore Mercogliano; Michael Morrow; 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)

courtesy iyrs

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 Knox-Johnston; John Lehman; Capt. Brian McAllister; Capt. James J. McNamara; H. C. Bowen Smith; John Stobart; Philip J. Webster; Roberta Weisbrod NMHS ADVISORS: Francis Duffy, John Ewald, Timothy Foote, Steven A. Hyman, J. Russell Jinishian, Gunnar Lundeberg, Conrad Milster, William G. Muller, Nancy H. 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.


We Welcome Your Feedback!


kalmar nyckel fdn

Kalmar Nyckel Just a quick note to say how excited I was to see the Kalmar Nyckel featured on the glossy cover of the latest issue of Sea History. A couple of years back, I met with Kalmar Nyckel Foundation’s marketing director and I strongly recommended they get in touch with NMHS. Glad that worked out. As a trustee of the Ossining Historical Society, I was trying to organize a sail cruise event with them when the ship would be visiting towns along the Hudson River. I’ve had the pleasure of sailing on the Kalmar Nyckel on two occasions out of Kingston [New York] and it was definitely a “bucket list” experience. While I grew up racing small sailboats, I’d never actually sailed on an authentic square-rigger, although I had written about it. One of my novels, a supernatural tale set here along the river, involved a VOC Dutch East India ship about the same size and era as the Kalmar

Please email correspondence to

filling those sails. I don’t believe there is any better way to help understand history than to experience it, and the hard work the folks at the Kalmar Nyckel organization do to enable that is invaluable. Also, a huge thanks to the NMHS for the same reason. I always look forward to my next issue of Sea History. (By the way, that’s me trimming the lateen sail in the photo [at left]—a little bit more work than sailing a J24!) Robert Stava Ossining, New York Having lived and worked throughout the Greater China region for 25 years, I missed a great deal of America’s cultural evolution in the 1980s and ’90s. On vacations on Maryland’s Eastern Shore during that time,

I contributed to the construction and operation of the Sultana, a replica 18th-century topsail schooner built in and operated out of Chestertown, Maryland. It wasn’t until we returned home permanently in 1998 that I first learned of the replica pinnace Kalmar Nyckel. We were driving north to visit my elderly father in Pennsylvania, and as we traversed the Wilmington, Delaware, bypass, I was shocked to see what looked like a 17th-century vessel under sail in the Delaware River. My first thought was, “OMG, have we entered some kind of time warp?” With a bit of research, I learned about how the wonderful people of Delaware had this magnificent replica built and put into service as a hands-on, living educational museum. I then found a book called A Man and His Ship: Peter Minuit and the Kalmar Nyckel by C. A. Weslager (1989). It seems to have been well researched, but when reading Sam Heed and Jordi Noort’s article in the Spring 2021 issue of Sea History, I learned of his one major error—his story of the end of the Kalmar Nyckel. This article now has a permanent place in my library. Having retired to a riparian site on the Chester River, we are thrilled each year at Chestertown’s Down Rigging Weekend in November when the Kalmar Nyckel makes a visit to our riverport as part of our festivities. Den Leventhal Chestertown, Maryland

Join Us for a Voyage into History Nyckel. So, to be able to stand on her deck, having helped set the mainsail as they cut the engines, was a truly remarkable life experience! It didn’t hurt that we had stormy, dramatic weather that afternoon on the Hudson River as we approached the castle on Bannerman’s Island. It was like dropping back centuries in time. I can’t say enough good things about the crew of the ship and the captain. Everyone working onboard was extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and enthusiastic about the ship and what she represents. Watching the crew clamber up the ratlines and onto the yards to loose the sails was really something, as was the sound of wind

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

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From Sam Heed, Kalmar Nyckel Foundation: You are exactly right to reference the uncertainty about the original ship’s demise, which comes from Weslager’s classic account of the original ship. It was precisely this account from Weslager that put me on the hunt to find out what had actually happened to our namesake vessel, Kalmar Nyckel. It took a few years and the help of a gifted Dutch intern, Jordi Noort, but we were able to pick up Dutch merchant Cornelis Roelofsen’s trail in the National Archives of the Netherlands ... and the rest was easy. Let me add that it’s been a privilege to follow in Professor Weslager’s footsteps, to help push his research forward, and to tell the story of an exceptional 17thcentury vessel, our noble Kalmar Nyckel. Sam Heed Senior Historian Kalmar Nyckel Foundation Wilmington, Delaware








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US Coast Guard History Timeline In the recent issue of Sea History I find two references to the “Revenue Cutter Service” in the context of operations in the early 1800s (letter from William H. White, pages 6–7; and in the caption under the image of a Patrick O’Brien painting on page 14). According to the US Coast Guard Historian’s website, the service was then known as the “Revenue Service” or “Revenue-Marine” from its inception in 1790

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until an act of Congress in 1863, when it was officially renamed the US Revenue Cutter Service. It became the US Coast Guard in 1915, when a bill merging the Life-Saving Service and the Revenue Cutter Service to establish the US Coast Guard was signed by President Woodrow Wilson. Carl Burkhart, CDR, USCG (Ret.) Brevard, North Carolina A Furious Sky over the Angel Gabriel Regarding the article “A Furious Sky” by Eric Jay Dolin in the Spring 2021 issue of Sea History: the story continues with the storm continuing to sweep up the coast to Pemaquid, Maine, where it caused the total destruction of the English galleon Angel Gabriel. The vessel was ripped from its moorings during the storm and completely destroyed, no trace of it has yet been found. Charles Lagerbom Northport, Maine From the editor: The 240-ton Angel Gabriel (then named Jason) had served in Sir Walter Raleigh’s fleet during his ill-fated search for El Dorado in 1617. In 1635, the ship was sailing in the company of four other vessels along the coast of Maine, carrying immigrant families to New England. The hurricane scattered the ships, with the three smaller vessels successfully outrunning the storm, while the larger James and Angel Gabriel attempted to ride out the hurricane at anchor. The James (as the article discusses) was ripped from its anchors and heavily damaged, but it survived and limped into port the next day with all its crew and passengers. The Angel Gabriel sought refuge from the storm in the harbor off Pemaquid, Maine, but was wrecked close to shore. Most of her passengers had disembarked at Pemaquid before the tempest was at its height, but several crew and passengers still onboard perished. The saga of this vessel has held considerable interest over the years, with small monuments placed at Pemaquid remembering the lives lost, and with (unsuccessful) attempts by divers and archaeologists to find the wreck site. Professor Warren Riess, a maritime archaeologist with the University of Maine, wrote a book on the ship in 2001: Angel Gabriel: The Elusive English Galleon. SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021

THE NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY Since its beginnings in 1963, the National Maritime Historical Society has been celebrating the sea—raising awareness of our maritime heritage and the role seafaring has played in shaping civilization. Hundreds of thousands of readers have discovered a treasure-trove of sea tales, past and present, in the pages of Sea History— stories that captivate, inspire, and educate us about the vital role of the sea, and those who have sailed upon it.

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For those who may be reading Sea History for the first time—we hope you will get to know us. At the National Maritime Historical Society, we firmly believe that the lessons our seafaring legacy teaches— courage and respect, teamwork and self-reliance, resourcefulness and grit—are timeless. And now, it is more important than ever to bring these lessons to the next generation—tomorrow’s maritime leaders.

Connecting with All Ages

NMHS proudly participates in National History Day to encourage the study of our maritime heritage among middle and high school students and recognizes with awards those who present high-quality projects during this year-long competition. “Sea History for Kids,” with stories that are more accessible to younger readers as well as the young at heart, is both a long-popular feature in the magazine and available online. Scholars of all ages have unprecedented access to the research published in past issues of Sea History, including a comprehensive hyperlinked index of the magazine posted on the Society’s website

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The Society offers a rich schedule of conferences, seminars, and outreach events for those interested in broadening their knowledge of our maritime heritage. Initiatives like Sea History’s regular feature, Historic Ships on a Lee Shore, broadcast the plight of specific historic ships in distress to an audience who cares deeply about maritime preservation. Projects, such as our upcoming documentary on the 1894 schooner Ernestina-Morrissey, highlight preservation successes. And our maritime library and archives are preserving a treasure of maritime scholarship, information, literature and lore for future generations.

Find out more about the Society and view a short video on our website at And thank you for your support of our mission. Whether you are a long-time member or are picking up your first copy of Sea History, our accomplishments would not be possible without the support of people like you, seeking to raise awareness of our seafaring past and how that heritage continues to shape our world.

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Lowell’s Boat Shop is the oldest continuously operating boat shop in the country. Its students get to launch and row their finished boats right outside the shop in Amesbury, Massachusetts. 8

courtesy twsba

“Do you guys ever get together and talk?” This simple question was posed to Joe Youcha and Adam Green at the 2008 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport by Matt Murphy, editor of WoodenBoat magazine. Youcha was running the Alexandria Seaport Foundation in Virginia, and Green directs Rocking the Boat in the Bronx. The two men looked at each other and said, “No, but we should.” This conversation inspired the founding of Teaching With Small Boats Alliance (TWSBA), formed to support and connect the hundreds of youth boatbuilding programs around the country. Their goal is not to create a generation of professional boatbuilders per se, but their philosophy is that the range of skills and benefits that kids get out of these programs goes far beyond learning how to saw a piece of wood or fasten it together. In addition to woodworking, students learn math, science, design, art—not to mention building self-confidence, and leadership and maritime skills. Since that 2008 conversation, there have been six TWSBA national conferences and seven regional meetings, with more than 150 organizations participating. Those organizations collectively serve about 100,000 youths and 100,000 adults each year. TWSBA is a “collaboration of people, programs, organizations and businesses that believe that small boats have limitless potential as teaching tools and vehicles for individual and social development.” The organization is comTeaching With Small Boats Alliance chair Joe Youcha with students. mitted to sharing knowledge, ideas, and best practices about leadership and program development, hands-on building projects, boat use, and integration of maritime-based lessons into school curricula. Their regional and national conferences strengthen the effectiveness of individual programs and the community of educators dedicated to the success of this mission. Tom Brandl, executive director of the Tidewater Wooden Boat Workshop (TWBW) in Norfolk, Virginia, explains how programs like these introduce young people in coastal regions and near inland waters to their own history in a way that schools do not. Brandl, a former US Marine Corps officer, left his job as director of operations for a defense consulting firm in 2014 to found TWBW. He has witnessed the tremendous positive impact the boatbuilding program has had on the lives of underprivileged youth in the historic Hampton Roads area. According to Brandl, building wooden boats—and then using them to row and sail—makes learning their regional history relevant and fun. These small, but vital, programs are going on all over the country. From boatbuilding to high school ROV competitions, from National History Day to sail training programs, leaders in the maritime heritage community are finding all sorts of ways to reach young people and instill in them a passion for our maritime heritage. Years ago, then-NMHS chairman emeritus Walter Brown and I ran into folk singer and activist Pete Seeger in New York City. Seeger said to us that it is organizations like ours that are doing the truly important work in this counBoatbuilding is a group effort at All Hands try. I have never forgotten that endorseBoatworks in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. ment, and it has sustained me through some difficult times. I say this now to Joe Youcha and the members of the Teaching With Small Boats Alliance: It is organizations like yours that are doing truly important work, passing down important skills, but also shaping better futures, for your students and our country. —Burchenal Green, president

courtesy lowells boat shop

courtesy all hands boatworks

Teaching With Small Boats Alliance


National Maritime Historical Society 2021 Annual Meeting 30 July to 1 August • Philadelphia We can’t wait! After postponing our trip to Philadelphia for the 2020 NMHS Annual Meeting, we are all so excited to finally

be able to meet in person and see the vast collection of maritime heritage exhibits and ships in this vibrant city. The NMHS Board of Trustees and program chair Walter Brown are delighted to be able to finally invite members of the National Maritime Historical Society to join us for an informative and entertaining activity-packed annual meeting weekend in Philadelphia. The 58th annual meeting will be held on Saturday, 31 July, at Independence Seaport Museum and historic Penn’s Landing. We will enjoy a continental breakfast during registration, with the business meeting immediately following. Leaders from the local maritime heritage community will then give presentations highlighting the maritime history and activity in and around Philadelphia. We’ll hear from John Brady, recent past president of Independence Seaport Museum (ISM) and now board chair of Tall Ships America, on ISM’s efforts to preserve Becuna and restore the 1892 protected cruiser USS Olympia, Admiral Dewey’s flagship from and Olympia the Battle of Manila Bay. Susan Gibbs and Charles Anderson from the SS United States Conservancy will share some of the ship’s notable stories and the Conservancy’s plans for the future of the famed liner, berthed just down the river at Pier 82. Patrick Flynn, superintendent of ships for the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild, will tell us about the 1901 barquentine Gazela Primeiro and highlight some of the Guild’s educational programs. Gazela and the 1902 tug Jupiter are berthed a stone’s throw from the museum along Penn’s Landing. We’ll also hear from Tyler Putman, Gallery Interpretation Manager at the Museum of the American Revolution, and from CEO Philip Rowan of the Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial on this decorated 887-foot long, 45,000-ton, 1942 battleship. After a luncheon in the museum’s ballroom, we will have the opportunity to experience one of the nation’s largest maritime art and artifact collections in North America. Museum docents will lead tours onboard Olympia and access will be provided to the WWII submarine Becuna, both docked a short walk from the museum. While we are at Penn’s Landing, the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild has also Gazela Primeiro invited attendees to come down to see Jupiter from the dock and then climb aboard and check out Gazela. Weather permitting, we will enjoy a reception on deck. The fee to attend the annual meeting on Saturday is $85 per person and includes all that day’s presentations and tours, as well as breakfast and lunch with cash bars for lunch and the reception. On Friday, 30 July, join us for a short ferry ride across the Delaware River to Camden, New Jersey, where we’ll enjoy lunch on the fantail of the Battleship New Jersey and take a tour of the Admiral’s and Captain’s cabins, the communications center, navigational bridge, wardroom, and berthing areas, and view up close the carrier’s 16-inch turrets and other weapons systems. The cost of the ferry, lunch, and tour is $45. And then, on Sunday morning, August 1st, we invite you to a guided tour of the Museum of the American Revolution, where the inspirations, events, and legacies of our nation’s revolutionary beginnings are explored through innovative and interactive exhibits. The cost for this museum tour is $10. NMHS chairman Ronald Oswald encourages you to join us in this wonderful city with so many historic ships and maritime cultural sites for the fabulous presentations and activities we’ve planned for the meeting. For the National Maritime Historical Society to flourish and grow, it is important that its leaders and members gather to share ideas and chart the Society’s course into the future. This support and interaction have kept us vital for more than half a century, and it is never more important than right now. We are planning on being able to meet in person this summer, but if COVID-19 prevents a safe gathering, we will refund all reservations. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, for which we are most grateful, and to register, please check out the inside back cover of the wrapper or visit We look forward to seeing you in Philly! —Burchenal Green, NMHS president

Accommodations: We have booked a block of rooms at Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, adjacent to Independence Seaport Museum and ideally located within walking distance of all the weekend’s activities. Rooms are reserved from 29 July to 1 August at the rate of $169/night, plus applicable taxes. Garage parking is $35 per vehicle per night. The room block is set aside for reservations under the group name “NMHS” until 19 July, or until all the rooms have been booked. Reservations can be made by calling (215) 521-6500. The Philadelphia waterfront is a popular destination in July, and we encourage you to make your reservations right away. SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021 9

Fiddler’s Green

courtesy institute of nautical archaeology, college station, texas


George Fletcher Bass (1932–2021)

rchaeologist George Bass has left a broad legacy in maritime history and archaeology. Born in Columbia, South Carolina, he grew up there, and later in Annapolis, Maryland, after his father secured a teaching position at the US Naval Academy. His father was an English literature professor and his mother edited poetry publications. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1955 and joined the US Army in 1957, where he commanded a communications unit in Korea. After he was honorably discharged, he entered graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, focusing on classical archaeology. When Turkish sponge divers discovered a Bronze Age shipwreck off the coast of Turkey, Bass—then still a graduate student—was turned on to the idea of pursuing archaeology underwater, and he soon engaged in three life-changing pursuits: learning to scuba dive, marrying Ann Singletary, and taking modern archaeology techniques underwater for the first time. These were just the first steps. Bass was driven. He wanted to unlock many mysteries of the ancient world, and to do so he gathered a team of like-minded young scholars to study ancient shipwrecks. While still in the field and for the years that followed, the team analyzed this first site, then interpreted and shared their findings to add to our knowledge and understanding of the ancient world. Their enthusiasm whetted by this successful effort, Bass’s team spread out to lead more shipwreck excavations in the Aegean. As their work became better-known through lectures and publications, other archaeologists around the world recognized the potential information locked in shipwrecks, including more modern sites. It was no surprise to these first underwater archaeologists that they were learning more about ancient people’s lives and culture on land than about their seafaring life aboard the ships. It was landsmen who created hardware, weapons, supplies, cargoes, and, of course, the vessels themselves. Through publications, lectures, interviews, and teaching back at the University of Pennsylvania, and later at Texas A & M, Bass pushed for terrestrial archaeologists and historians to work synergistically with maritime archaeologists to better interpret the past. Some of his students and others in his summer field schools eventually became leading maritime archaeologists and historians working in many countries. As an individual, Bass was a warm, kind, and understanding gentleman. As a goal-oriented scientist, he demanded perfection. As a teacher, with “carrots and sticks” he pulled and pushed his students farther than they thought they could go. He made it clear that he wanted only the best people to stay in the field; he didn’t feel people should be conducting archaeology excavations unless they were properly trained, skilled, and motivated. In archaeological field work, one ultimately destroys a site, layer by layer. He taught his students and colleagues that one should anticipate all the current questions to ask of the wreck site, document it perfectly using a variety of techniques, then analyze, interpret, and publish one’s findings about it. Excavating a shipwreck site without all of those tasks worked out is unethical. Bass enjoyed the camaraderie of people working together to solve puzzles in the field, laboratory, or archives. He especially enjoyed interpreting a site, discussing with other scholars and students how they thought information from a shipwreck helped our understanding of the past. He showed by example the importance of being fair in scholarship. He listened to and worked with others, sharing or giving them authorship when appropriate, and publicly acknowledging everyone who helped. A driving force in the new and emerging field of maritime archaeology, George Bass and some of his core team created the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) in 1973; it quickly established associations with other academic and scientific institutions. In the 1970s INA also co-sponsored investigations of more modern shipwreck sites, including an American Revolutionary War supply ship in Virginia and a privateering vessel in Maine. When INA moved to Texas A&M University in 1976, George and Ann Bass moved with their two sons, Gordon and Alan, to College Station. There he founded the university’s Nautical Archaeology Program, which has since graduated many notable archaeologists and historians. He and Ann also had a home in Bodrum, Turkey, and established a research center there. A National Maritime Historical Society advisor, Bass received many professional honors in his life, including the American Philosophical Society membership, the American Institute of Archaeology’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement, National Geographic’s Centennial Award, and the National Medal of Science. But he once said, at a lunch table at MIT with Marty Klein and Bob Ballard, that his greatest honor was Ann Singletary agreeing to marry him. Fair Winds George — Warren Riess Warren Riess is Research Professor Emeritus with the University of Maine. An internationally respected historian and maritime archaeologist, his first experience in this field was as a student under George Bass investigating the site off Yassi Ada, Turkey, in 1969. 10


NMHS Legacy Society If you believe we can learn from the past...Create a legacy to shape the future. Earlier this year, the National Maritime Historical Society was the recipient of a substantial legacy gift from long-time supporters of the Society. We are immensely grateful to Mrs. Jean K. and CAPT Richard (“Dick”) E. Eckert, USN (Ret.) for their farsighted generosity. Both born in Huntington, New York, in the 1930s, the pair married in 1957 and shared a passion for all things maritime —he had enlisted in the US Naval Reserve Aviation Cadet Program, with Navy duty in San Diego and the Philippines, and she had a love of model ship building and all things nautical, founding the South Bay Model Shipwrights and competing in national ship modeling competitions. The couple set up the Eckert Trust in 1996 to ensure support for those organizations they cherished; Dick died in 2014 and Jean passed in August of last year. Their beneficence will create a legacy that will continue to inspire and bring important lessons to young people—tomorrow’s maritime leaders.

Help NMHS keep history alive! You, too, can create a legacy for tomorrow’s maritime leaders and ensure our maritime history is not lost. Making a planned gift to the Society is a deeply personal and effective way to support our lifelong work, and has a transformative impact on our ability to promote maritime heritage and inspire future generations. A gift in your will or living trust is one of the most effective ways to provide for the Society’s future, and allows you to retain your assets during your lifetime. Alternatively, naming the National Maritime Historical Society on a portion of a retirement or life insurance policy is a simple way to provide for NMHS’s future without writing or re-writing your will or living trust. We are happy to assist as you consider a planned gift to NMHS. Please visit us at, email, or call us (914) 737-7878 Ext. 0 for more information.

Have you already made a legacy gift? We hope you will notify us when you have included us in your future planning so that we may thank you and welcome you as a new member of our NMHS Legacy Society.



After the Disaster is Over—

MV Ever Given and Law of General Average

claus abelier cc by s.a. 3.0 via wikipedia commons

magine it is spring, 80 CE. You are a garum merchant in Carthage, not far from the site of today’s city of Tunis. (Garum, as our readers will doubtless know, was the queen of condiments of the day—a sauce fermented from crushed fish, highly prized by the wealthy households of the time, and vigorously traded throughout the Mediterranean.) Pompeii was a major producer of garum for Rome and its empire, but the eruption of Mount Vesuvius the previous August had destroyed the city and buried everything in it. This event produces, among other things, a garum shortage and drives up its price, especially in Rome. Tragedy, for some, is an opportunity, and the shortage in Rome makes it economically worthwhile for you to load a ship with seventy amphorae full of your best product and send it northwards across the Mediterranean to Italy because the price it’ll fetch in Rome will repay you far beyond the cost of shipping it there.


by Michael J. Rauworth, Esq. It’ll be a ship with open cargo holds, and you arrange to accompany your amphorae on the sea voyage to the port serving Rome, as you expect to do the haggling for the selling of your garum yourself, once you’ve landed it. But the increase in demand has another effect. It also motivates your chief rival—not a friendly one—to join in the garum trade in Carthage, one Hannicus. Nevertheless, it appears that the market in Rome will take all of your amphorae, as well as the additional sixty that Hannicus is planning on shipping aboard the same ship. He, too, plans on accompanying his cargo. His amphorae arrive at the docks first and are mostly stowed onboard by the time the crew begins loading yours. The pressure of profitable trade also prompts the owner of the ship to book more cargo for loading than is customary. The vessel, laden with the 130 amphorae, a small crew, and the two supercargoes, sets out from Carthage and sets a course for Rome, across the Tyrrhenian Sea. Two days out, the ship encounters a storm. Deeply laden, the vessel begins to ship water over the gunwales as the wave height increases. The weight of the water coming onboard—there being no reliable pumps—bears her down even more. The master sees the way the situation is heading and rousts his crewmen, who go forward into the cargo area and begin to hurl amphorae over the side to lighten the load, thereby increasing the freeboard—to save the ship, the remaining cargo, and, of course, all the souls on board. Hannicus goes forward as well and starts vigorously casting amphorae overboard— your amphorae—sparing his own. He encourages the crew to focus on your amphorae, too. You become aware of this travesty, go forward, and fisticuffs ensue. While the two of you are fighting about whose amphorae to jettison, the vessel ships ever more water and is not getting lightened. You and Hannicus are equally fervent that the cargo going over the side should be the other guy’s. Suddenly, the master pushes his way

between you and Hannicus and reminds you both of the urgency to lighten the vessel—quickly. Whose cargo goes by the boards, he reminds you, is irrelevant because everything stands to be lost if the ship isn’t immediately relieved of some of the weight on board. Then he tells the two of you something that calms you both down, whereupon you both turn to helping the crew cast your amphorae over the side. What on earth could the master have told the two of you—with such an effect? It is what you—in 80 CE—have in common with MV Ever Given, the massive container ship that caught the world’s attention for a week in March when it got lodged sideways across the Suez Canal, blocking all ship traffic in either direction. We are talking about the doctrine of “general average”—a phenomenon of property law found only in maritime law. (In this context, the word “average” may have different linguistic roots than does the term as used in arithmetic.). The master assures you that Hannicus will share equally in the loss by jettison, even though it is your amphorae that are being tossed overboard. In 80 CE, assuming you and your ship thereafter land successfully at Rome, the amount that you lost in the jettisoning of your amphorae at sea would have been calculated, and compared to the total value of your surviving cargo. In effect, a tax of sorts would have been imposed on Hannicus— and the proceeds paid to you—so that his loss was in the same proportion to yours. The phenomenon of general average (affectionately abbreviated as “G.A.” by shipping executives and maritime attorneys) evolved to prevent the situation as described from being governed by the principle that “no good deed goes unpunished.” Obviously, you and Hannicus were literally in the same boat, and somebody’s goods had to be sacrificed so that all persons and most of the cargo—not to mention the ship itself—would have a chance of surviving. You all were united in what the law considers a “common venture,” and the jettisoning of some portion of the cargo was a sacrifice

This image of an urseus (an earthenware jug with one handle) is depicted in a mosaic discovered in Pompeii in 1958, in what had been the atrium of a garum supplier. SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021

nasa jsc iss image library

that benefitted all concerned, even though it actually came “out of the hide” of just one member of the common venture in our little fable. Thus, the principle of general average has existed since those ancient times to provide for a fair outcome. The actual practice in today’s world is much more complicated, of course, but the concept is the same. On 1 April 2021, not too many days after being freed from her position blocking the entire Suez Canal, the owners of the Ever Given declared a G.A. This launched a process by which the interests of all the owners of the cargo on board, plus the interests of the owner of the ship itself, are made subject to a one-off, self-contained scheme of taxation, limited to those who had financial interests in the common venture. (While cargo and vessel interests are the biggest ones, there may be some other assorted interests involved, depending on how the business of the ship was put together. For example, if someone other than the shipowner actually owned the bunker fuel aboard, this would have to be accounted for separately, and taxed accordingly. But because we don’t know enough about the business arrangements on board, we will stick to the simple case of cargo and ship alone.) Despite its complexity, the objective would have been the same as compared to your jettisoned amphorae in ancient times—to apportion the loss incurred in saving the vessel, so that the pain would be borne equally, in proportion to the value of the property that each owner had at risk. In the case of the Ever Given, of course, although some initial thought was given to off-loading some of the cargo, at the end of the day, no cargo was off-loaded, much less was any cast overboard. Instead, the sacrifice alleged would be a sacrifice on the part of the shipowners (or perhaps the charterers) as distinct from cargo owners. Once again, at the time of this writing in midApril, because not enough is known about the details, we will assume that the principal claim of the shipowners is for out-ofpocket expenditures made in the efforts to free the ship from her stranded position. The immediate effect of the declaration of general average is to require the owners of cargo to post security—either a cash

MV Ever Given stuck in the Suez Canal, viewed from the International Space Station. bond or a letter of guarantee from an insurer—as a condition of getting their cargo released to its recipient, once it is in a position to be unloaded. This security ensures that the shipowner will have funds from which to collect the G.A. “tax,” once it is finally calculated; the remainder will be refunded to its source(s). Arriving at that calculation will involve lots of time, plus a massive spreadsheet of individual values of the vessel and all of the thousands of cargo interests on board the 400-meter ship at the time. The vessel has a capacity of approximately 20,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) and was reported to have had some 13,000 TEUs on board, either in the form of actual 20foot boxes, or 40-footers (counted as two TEUs), and perhaps some odd 53-footers. Within each box might have been freight belonging to quite a few cargo owners, assembled by intermediaries known as freight forwarders, or as NVOCCs—NonVessel-Operating Common Carriers. (We won’t even begin to pick apart the complexities of the bills of lading involved.) Suffice it to say that this calculation will be very complicated and time consuming. For the most part, the “tax” imposed on the cargo will be covered by the insurance that will have been placed on most of the cargo. This only makes sense because it is literally the pocketbooks of the insurance companies that are spared by a successful G.A. sacrifice—they don’t have to pay for

a total loss of cargo. Given the choice, those insurers would be happy to spend a penny to save a dollar, and their policies are claused accordingly. It will also involve a determination of which expenditures claimed by the owner actually qualify as sacrifices for purposes of G.A. These decisions are usually arrived at by members of a select priesthood of maritime lawyers and marine insurance practitioners known as “average adjusters,” applying a set of principles known as the York-Antwerp Rules. These Rules were settled upon in international agreements in 1890 and have been amended several times—as recently as 2016— and are set forth in the bills of lading and charter parties that govern the legal relations between ships and cargo owners. They tend not to get much coverage on CNN. The adjustment of the G.A. as to the Ever Given is likely to take years. At the end of the day, this ancient remedy—as evolved—still functions as the best means the law has to see to it that those who are literally “in the same boat” share, in a fair manner, the perils of the sea that they confront in common. But what about the interests of the hundreds of vessels whose transit was blocked, some by as much as six or seven days? Aren’t there vast liabilities that lay at the feet of the Ever Given interests, in favor of those delayed ships and their cargoes? These questions call for another tale… Imagine you’re the night watchman aboard a bulk carrier alongside the dock, pointed upriver. It is winter and you are in a northern latitude in a river choked with ice. You have been assigned to mind the interests of the ship until the grain elevators downriver can accept the cargo. You are the only person onboard. Suddenly you notice something is wrong. Ice floes carried downstream by the current are getting wedged between the hull and the dock, forcing the bow out into the river. The mooring lines are stretched bar-tight—twisting and smoking and making frightening noises. The gangway suddenly crashes down onto the ice floes. Your heart’s in your throat. Then, POW!! POW!! and POW!! again—the mooring lines at the bow part


That’s when the ship hits the span. It collides with and demolishes a major bridge, essentially knocking it into the river. The helpless ships are pinned by the current across the upstream side of the bridge. The ice that formerly was being swept downstream and out of the river is instead now trapped on the upstream side of this pile-up, and begins to stack up. This ice dam impedes the flow of the river. The river rises, overflows its banks, and pours into the surrounding streets, flooding many businesses, causing general civic chaos. Fast-forward several years. The negligent parties are held responsible (that is, legally liable) for the damage caused to the innocent ships (and other structures) that were hit, to the owners of the businesses flooded out, and more. “Yeah, yeah,” say you, “but what’s this tale got to do with the Ever Given?” It’s this: Back in our icy river scene there are two other ships, both physically undamaged but whose passage to their discharge berth is now blocked by this pile-up. Their owners also make a claim against the same negligent parties for the economic harm that they experience from the ice dam. But the court rules that they cannot recover. Why should that be? They are in the 14

collection of the buffalo history museum

under the extreme strain. Your adrenaline levels spike as you realize how lucky you were not to be too close to them when they exploded. But now the bow swings freely out into the river, perpendicular to the current, tearing the ship free of the dock, as the stern lines also part. You rush forward to drop an anchor, but you only manage to get both of them jammed, and they are now useless. “Oh, %$!@#,” you murmur, as you contemplate your future employment prospects. “Oh, %$!@#” is right, because now your ship is swept by the current into another vessel. Horrible sounds ensue, sparks fly, and shock waves shudder through the steel hull. People onboard the stricken vessel are shouting and running. Now the second ship also breaks free of its mooring, and it, too, is being swept down the river toward the town downstream. The two ships continue to careen down the river…toward a bridge.

The freighters Michael K. Tewksbury and MacGilvray Shiras in the ice-choked Buffalo River, 21 January 1959, after they had taken out the Michigan Avenue lift bridge. same position as all those ships whose transit through the Suez Canal was blocked by the Ever Given. What gives? First of all, this little fable is a shorthand account of a real event that took place in Buffalo, New York, in 1959. The ship that started the incident was a laker named MacGilvray Shiras, built in 1904 and owned by a family firm named Kinsman Transit. Its vice president at the time, George Steinbrenner (before his time with the New York Yankees), was mentioned in the legal decisions in a ruling that allowed Kinsman Transit, remarkably, to limit its liability for the damages that were assessed. (Maritime limitation of liability is a controversial doctrine that will require a whole separate article to explain and discuss.) Even though its story is perhaps the juiciest, the legal ruling—Petitions of Kinsman Transit, 388 F.2d 821(2d. Cir. 1968)— is actually one of many that apply the legal principle in question. That basic principle is this: with a few exceptions, the law of admiralty will not award damages for purely economic loss caused by negligent conduct, in the absence of a contract. Thus, the ships and businesses that suffered actual physical harm were allowed to collect against the responsible parties. Those who suffered only economic harm—in other

words, whose cargo operations were prevented by the ice dam—were not. This is sometimes known as the “economic loss rule.” This same principle was applied, for example, to deny recovery to a vessel that was prevented from reaching its discharge berth in Boston by a vessel that caused an oil spill in the harbor. To many, the doctrine seems arbitrary and unfair, and indeed has been hotly debated by legal scholars. But the Kinsman decision includes a hypothetical that illustrates the problem that the doctrine seeks to solve: Although to reason by example is often merely to restate the problem, the following illustration may be an aid in explaining our result. To anyone familiar with NY traffic there can be no doubt that a foreseeable result of an accident in the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel during rush hour is that thousands of people will be delayed. A driver who negligently caused such an accident would certainly be held accountable to those physically injured in the crash. But we doubt that damages would be recoverable against the negligent driver in favor of truckers SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021

or contract carriers who suffered provable losses because of the delay or to the wage earner who was forced to “clock in” an hour late. And yet it was surely foreseeable that among the many who would be delayed would be truckers and wage earners. The courts essentially reason that to allow the claim of one person who suffered delay (but not physical damage) would be a step down a slippery slope: once you allow one, how do you come up with a reasoned principle that allows you to know where to stop? After all, the people who could claim some kind of economic loss from the congestion of the tunnel could be virtually endless. How could you afford auto insurance if there weren’t such a limit? Back to the Ever Given. Obviously, US law will not apply to a blockage in the Suez Canal. It appears that the particular rules that govern transits through the canal will probably make the Ever Given

liable at least to the owners or charterers of the delayed ships. The problem, of course, doesn’t stop there. What about the claims for delay that could be lodged by the owners of all the individual cargoes on board the ships that were delayed in getting through the canal? What about the downtime of the container terminals (or bulk terminals), which had set aside crane time to discharge the ships delayed by Ever Given and whose schedules were disrupted? Then there are the businesses whose supply chains were thrown into disarray by the delay of those cargoes, and who had to pay for alternative supplies? What about the truckers who were idled by the dearth of cargo arrivals? It is too early to tell how the courts in Egypt will handle this case and these problems. For the moment, the biggest problem seems to be the near-term actions that the government has taken, apparently to twist the arm of the owners and insurers of the Ever Given to pay seemingly exorbitant claims, without a day in court. The

authorities have since arrested the Ever Given. Wait…what?!?! You can actually arrest a ship? That, too, will have to be a story for another day. Michael J. Rauworth is a maritime attorney based in Boston and maintains a Coast Guard license as Master, Sail, Steam, and Motor Vessels of any gross tons, based on more than 200,000 nautical miles as a deck officer and master of commercial and military vessels. In nearly 30 years of service with the USCG and Coast Guard Reserve, he rose to the rank of captain and served in command of one US Navy unit and five Coast Guard units. His clients include pilot organizations, ship owners, port authorities, marine insurers, shipyards, marinas, and other maritime businesses and individuals, and he taught marine insurance at Massachusetts Maritime Academy for many years. Mike is well known in the traditional sailing ship community as the board chair of Tall Ships America, a post from which he recently stepped down after almost 20 years of service. 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 email:


USRC James Madison:

A Rogue Cutter and the Coast Guard’s First POWs by William H. Thiesen and William J. Nelson

coast guard collection

n the above quote, Secretary Gallatin wrote to Boston’s customs collector regarding the proper use of revenue cutters. This letter was likely in response to the case of the rogue cutter James Madison, which had put to sea on an unsanctioned cruise to capture British merchantmen. It would be the cutter’s last patrol. In August 1812, just two months into the War of 1812, USRC James Madison’s captain, George Brooks, got word of a large British convoy sailing off the Georgia coast bound for England from Jamaica. With no official orders nor a letter of marque, he set sail on Thursday, 13 August, along with two privateers, the schooners Paul Jones and Spencer. They located the British vessels a week later and, according to newspaper reports, the Madison single-handedly “cut out” two cargo-carrying merchantmen, placed prize crews on the captured ships, and sent them into port. It remains unclear whether Brooks flew the official ensign of the US Revenue-Marine during this privateering venture.

A facsimile of the US Revenue-Marine ensign flown during the War of 1812. On Friday, 21 August, Brooks’s luck ran out. He ordered his men to attack the convoy a second time under cover of darkness but had mistaken the 32-gun frigate HMS Barbadoes for a large merchantman. According to reports, Brooks ordered his gunners to fire into the frigate and even tried to board the warship. After realizing 16

painting by peter rindlisbacher, coast guard art collection


A Revenue Cutter cannot be expressly fitted and employed for the purpose of cruising against an enemy except under the 98th Section of the collection law in which case the Cutter must be placed under the direction of the Secretary of the Navy. —Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin, 28 December 1812

US Revenue Cutter James Madison depicted capturing an armed British merchant vessel on 23 July, just a few weeks before its ill-fated attack on HMS Barbadoes. his error, Brooks altered course and made haste with the frigate in pursuit. To increase their speed through the water, the cutter jettisoned two cannons and, after several hours, appeared to make good its escape. The wind died, however, and the British frigate deployed three longboats to tow the warship in pursuit of the cutter. Becalmed and facing an overwhelming enemy force of weapons and men, Captain Brooks surrendered. He struck his colors on Saturday morning between 8:00 and 10:00 am about 250 miles southeast of Savannah, Georgia. The two privateers that had initially joined him were never mentioned in contemporary accounts or Royal Navy reports and likely did not join in Madison’s cutting out activities. Later, the irony was probably not lost on President Madison when he learned the enemy had captured his namesake vessel. A second British warship, the 64-gun ship-of-the-line, HMS Polyphemus, joined the Barbadoes and sent a prize crew of twenty officers and men onboard the cap-

tured Madison. Meanwhile, the cuttermen were transferred to the two Royal Navy warships: four officers, the ship’s surgeon, and thirteen enlisted men were taken aboard the Barbadoes, and forty-six of Madison’s enlisted men were sent to Polyphemus. Before they could cross the Atlantic, a hurricane overtook the convoy, and the Barbadoes put in at Bermuda for repairs. Later, the frigate sailed to Boston with the four officers and surgeon on board, leaving the enlisted behind in Bermuda. Polyphemus came through the hurricane undamaged and continued her course to England with the remaining enlisted men from the Madison, sailing in company with the James Madison as a prize vessel and the rest of the convoy. The enlisted cuttermen from the Barbadoes were shipped from Bermuda to Nova Scotia. On 7 October 1812, the Royal Navy formally designated Madison’s captured crew as prisoners of war (POWs). In November, the British paroled Captain Brooks, his junior officers, and surgeon, placing SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021

Artist’s rendering of the USRC James Madison

Lines of the US Revenue Cutter James Madison, drawn by noted naval architect and maritime historian Howard Chappelle.

vessels. Slaves were generally emancipated when they stepped foot on the deck of a British ship, but these men were never treated as such. The four men were transferred to the prison transport HMS Centurion moored at Halifax and confined in

naval history and heritage command

them onboard the cartel ship Diamond, which sailed under the white flag to New York.1 According to the New York Evening Post, “Among the prisoners arrived at New York, Tuesday, November 24, 1812, by Cartel Brig Diamond, are Captain Brooks and his officers of the Revenue Cutter Madison of Savannah.” As part of their parole, the officers were sworn never to engage in military action against British forces. No record exists of George Brooks ever serving again. The enlisted prisoners were not released, and their treatment was harsh. Most of the thirteen enlisted prisoners from the Barbadoes were sent to a military prison in Halifax. Located in Halifax Harbor, Melville Island Prison housed close to 10,000 prisoners during the War of 1812. Overcrowding and disease there caused the death of 195 Americans, who were buried on nearby Deadman’s Island. Nine of Madison’s enlisted men were held at Melville Island. The other four Madison crewmembers sent to Halifax were John Bulloch, Charles Bulloch, James Lewis Bulloch, and March Hart. Listed as “seamen,” research shows the four men were in fact slaves owned by Savannah’s mayor, William Bulloch, who stood to profit from their shares of captured

conditions so awful that the American prison agent registered a formal complaint. From HMS Centurion, they were returned to Bermuda to serve forced labor at the Royal Naval Dockyard as “King’s Slaves.” At least one died in captivity.

p.d. via wikipedia commons

A line of prison ships anchored in Portsmouth Harbor between 1812 and 1813, painted by Ambroise-Louis Garneray (1783–1857), who was a French prisoner held by the British for eight years. Garneray was captured from a privateer seized by the British in 1806. He was imprisoned for part of that time in “pontons,” hulks aground in the mud, until his release in 1814 at the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars.


Cartel ships were used to exchange POWs, official dispatches, and mail under a flag of truce. To be identified as such, cartel vessels flew their own ensign aft on the main gaff or ensign staff, the enemy’s flag aloft on the main topmast, and the white flag of truce at the top of the fore topmast.


collection of john armar lowry-corry, 8th earl belmore

The armed yacht Osprey (ex-James Madison), after its sale to the 2nd Earl of Belmore. sent to a prison ship at Chatham. The British listed Pault as a “man of colour” and a “seaman,” as were his Madison shipmates Zepher Quesir (a.k.a. “Gasseyr”), also of Savannah, and Oliver Gale of New York. Pault was fifteen years old when he was captured, making him the youngest POW in US Coast Guard history. He was returned home after the war. The War of 1812 proved a baptism by fire for the US Revenue-Marine, which experienced heavy losses of ships and men. In addition to the capture of 90 cuttermen, several of whom died in captivity, approximately two dozen men were lost in the line of duty. The service also lost six of fourteen

national archives of the united kingdom

The enlisted POWs shipped aboard HMS Polyphemus arrived in Portsmouth, England, and were then transferred to prison ships, or “hulks.” As notorious as some of the prisons were during the War of 1812, they paled in comparison to conditions in the hulks. Prison hulks were decommissioned warships; prisoners were confined below decks, many of which were gun decks with about four feet of headroom. Filth, disease, vermin, overcrowding, and lack of fresh air and clean water made life in hulks a battle for survival. Regarding these conditions, a US Navy prisoner recounted: “Here were 250 men, emaciated by a system of starvation, cooped up in a small space, with only an aperture of about two feet square to admit the air, and with ballast stones for our beds!” Twenty-eight-year-old Madison seaman John Bearbere of North Carolina wound up in one of these prison ships. On 28 May 1813, his lifeless body was transferred to HMS Pegase, a prison hospital ship moored in Portsmouth Harbor. It is believed Bearbere died of pneumonia. At that time, it was standard procedure to row the dead to shore in a small boat and bury them in a shallow grave. John Bearbere was the first Coast Guardsman to die in captivity. The location of his final resting place remains unknown. Three other Madison seamen sent on board HMS Polyphemus were described as “mulatto” and were likely freedmen. Of this group, Beloner Pault of Savannah was

Illustration of a British prison ship similar to those that held POWs during the War of 1812. 18

ocean-going cutters and all of its assets in the Great Lakes. These revenue vessels included not only losses due to enemy action, but also one lost to a catastrophic explosion and another that capsized in a hurricane. After arriving in Portsmouth, USRC James Madison was sold to the Earl of Belmore to become the armed yacht, Osprey. Captain George Brooks sailed the revenue cutter James Madison in an unauthorized, high-stakes gamble against the powerful Royal Navy and in doing so sacrificed the freedom of his enlisted crewmembers, at least two of whom paid the ultimate price. These are some of the long-forgotten heroes of the long blue line. William H. Thiesen is the Atlantic Area Historian for the US Coast Guard. A regular contributor to Sea History, Dr. Thiesen was awarded the 2017 Rodney N. Houghton Award for the best feature article in Sea History. He is the author of Industrializing American Shipbuilding: The Transformation of Ship Design and Construction, 1820–1920 (2006). His articles appear weekly in the online history series “The Long Blue Line,” featured on the Coast Guard Compass website. For more information on USCG history, visit William J. Nelson is a research volunteer with the US Coast Guard Historian’s office. For more information on Coast Guard history, visit SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021 / @Trans_Inst

President James L. Henry Pacific Coast Office 2200 Alaskan Way, Ste 110 Seattle, WA 98121 206.443.1738

The U.S. Merchant Marine Reaffirming its Commitment to the Armed Forces in times of Peace and Conflict


Sailing to Freedom

Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad

new york public library digital collections

by Timothy D. Walker, PhD

Escaping from Norfolk in Captain Lee’s skiff. Published in William Still’s The Underground Rail Road: A Record of Facts, Authentic Letters, Narratives, etc. 1872.

No sooner, indeed, does a vessel, known to be from the North, anchor in any of these waters–and the slaves are pretty adroit at ascertaining from what state a vessel comes–than she is boarded, if she remains any length of time, and especially overnight, by more or less of them, in hopes of obtaining a passage in her to a land of freedom. —Captain Daniel Drayton, Personal memoir of Daniel Drayton (1855)


iven the strong popular and scholarly interest focused on both maritime history and slavery in the United States, including the extraordinary means that enslaved individuals used to escape bondage, what explains the surprising lack of historical investigation into the maritime dimensions of the Underground Railroad? Maritime escape episodes figure prominently in the majority of published North American fugitive slave accounts written prior to 1865; of 103 extant pre-Emancipation slave narratives, more than seventy percent recount the use of oceangoing vessels as a means of fleeing slavery.1 In William Still’s 1872 account of his activities as an Underground Railroad “Station Master” in Philadelphia during the mid-nineteenth century, many of the most striking engravings that accompany the text illustrate dramatic waterborne, maritime escapes.2


Clearly, the sea should rightly constitute a central component of the full Underground Railroad story. Yet the topic remains surprisingly under-studied: maritime fugitives have drawn minimal attention in the historiography of the field, and the specific nautical circumstances of their flight garners little discussion in classrooms when the Underground Railroad is taught.3 Pedagogical materials focus almost exclusively on overland routes and interior river crossings—people travelling clandestinely on foot, often at night, seeking to flee enslavement in the antebellum South. The historical record, however, amply demonstrates that, because of the myriad practical difficulties consequent to being a northbound African American fugitive travelling through hostile slave-holding territory, where vigilante patrols for escapees were an ever-present danger, successful escapes overland almost never originated

in the Deep South.4 In fact, as prominent Underground Railroad historian Fergus M. Bordewich states flatly, “Escape by land from the Deep South was close to impossible.”5 Instead, the best scholarship shows that the overwhelming majority of successful overland escapes were relatively short journeys that began in slave states (Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri), which were close in proximity to a free state (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa). New investigations have revealed a surprising reality: great numbers of enslaved persons made their way to freedom using coastal water routes, mainly along the Atlantic seaboard, but also fleeing southward from regions adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico coast. Because most historians of the Underground Railroad typically have not cultivated a maritime dimension to their research, this essential component of the SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021

…it is very clear that escapes from anywhere along a water route—not just ports themselves, but rivers, streams, marshes—vastly outnumbered escapes from as little as ten miles away from any shoreline. … The plantations, homes, small farms, and businesses along the roads that linked villages and towns that hugged the Choptank River (which empties into the Chesapeake Bay), for instance, witnessed hundreds of escapes over the 30-year period before the Civil War. Further inland—10 to 20 miles inland—you see just a few dozen escapes over that period.7

certainly occurred, far more frequently such acts of escape were impulsive and unplanned; any assistance provided to fugitives was the result of chance meetings, often with persons who were in no way connected to any organized resistance to slavery. Historians need to ask: To what extent are maritime escapes rightfully referred to as part of the Underground Railroad, as the term is commonly understood and used? Assistance to escapees typically provided by Underground Railroad operatives was generally not available to those stowing away aboard boats and ships. To be sure, some of the escapes by sea did require extensive planning, with multiple persons

new york public library digital collections

Underground Railroad has been, until recently, mostly neglected, leaving the sea out of the various means employed to convey enslaved persons to the northern free states and Canada. This absence of detailed knowledge about the maritime side of the Underground Railroad distorts the broader historical picture, and hinders the formation of a more accurate, comprehensive understanding of how this secretive, decentralized “system” operated. A far larger number of fugitives than was previously supposed actually escaped bondage by sea—especially those fleeing from coastal areas in the far South, where the employment of slaves in diverse maritime industries was ubiquitous. Enslaved laborers worked as shipyard artisans, quayside stevedores and longshoremen, river boatmen and ferrymen, coastwise cargo vessel crewmen, and estuary or near-coastal fishermen, among many other occupations connected to the water. Such work allowed enslaved persons to develop expert seafaring skills: handling watercraft; gaining a detailed knowledge of coastal geography and hydrography (currents, tides, channels, navigation hazards); establishing direct or indirect contacts with ocean-going ships’ crews from northern free states; and having ready access to vessels heading out to sea. For slaves held in the southern Virginia and Maryland tidewater areas, the Carolina Low Country, the Georgia and Florida seaboard, or along the Gulf of Mexico coast, escape by water was the logical option. Escape by long-distance overland routes would have been, in most cases, unthinkable: too slow, too dangerous, too logistically complicated, and therefore impossible. By contrast, sailing to freedom was relatively simple. Once aboard a northbound vessel, escape by sea was direct; a fugitive travelling by ship, whether powered by wind or steam, proceeded far more quickly and with much less effort than undertaking any terrestrial journey of comparable distance.6 This maritime fugitive dynamic was not only present, but prominent in all slaveholding regions along the US eastern seaboard. Consider the perspective of historian Kate Clifford Larson, a specialist on Harriet Tubman:

Fifteen freedom seekers arrived at League Island, Philadelphia harbor, in July 1854 aboard an unnamed schooner from Norfolk, Virginia. The group included Portsmouth residents Isaac Foreman and Rebecca Lewey, who were met by abolitionists with carriages that took the fugitives to Philadelphia’s Underground Railroad station master, William Still. Maritime-oriented scholars of the Underground Railroad, she says, can provide a more nuanced understanding by explaining that seafaring communities and workers could offer an escapee vital information and connections—resources beyond just access to a vessel. Maritime escapes could be, and often were, achieved without any assistance from individuals who saw themselves as Underground Railroad operatives. In the nineteenth century, the Underground Railroad functioned as an organized network mainly in free northern states.8 Though assisted seaborne escapes from the southern states

involved, but many others were spontaneous, opportunistic, and entirely self-directed by enslaved persons using only their own maritime knowledge, skills, and resources. Such incidents happened quietly, surreptitiously, with the ingenuity and personal agency of the successful fugitive remaining largely unknown, except for tantalizing hints available in runaway slave newspaper advertisements, or until the freedom seekers themselves told their stories publicly, once they were long out of danger of recapture. By taking a ship from coastal regions far south of the Mason-Dixon line and


I went…to assist in loading her. I soon got acquainted with some of these Yankee sailors, and they appeared to be quite pleased with me. Her cargo chiefly consisted of cotton in bales. After filling her hold, they were obliged to lash a great number of bales on deck. The sailors, growing more and more attached to me, they proposed to me to leave, in the centre of the cotton bales on deck, a hole or place sufficiently large for me to stow away in, with my necessary provisions. Whether they then had any idea of my coming away with them or not, I cannot say; but this I can say safely, a place was left, and I occupied it during the passage, and by that means made my escape.9 By the mid-nineteenth century, fleeing enslavement in the South by being secreted on a northbound ship had been com22

monplace for decades. In the earliest scholarly work on the Underground Railroad, published in 1898, author William H. Siebert compiled hundreds of firsthand accounts through correspondence with Underground Railroad witnesses and operators who had engaged in clandestine assistance of fugitives. Siebert wrote, “The advantages of escape by boat were early discerned by slaves living near the coast or along inland rivers. Vessels engaged in our coastwise trade became more or less involved in transporting fugitives from Southern ports to Northern soil.”10 He went

bribed a steward aboard the cargo brig Bell, bound for New York, paying $8.00 (well over a week’s wages for a laborer at the time) to be hidden in the vessel’s hold.12 Discovered by the captain while underway and fearing re-enslavement, Jones made a dramatic escape when the Bell arrived in New York harbor: using a hastily assembled raft of boards for flotation, he attempted to swim a mile to shore. Pursued by the Bell’s chief mate, who noticed his absence, Jones was providentially rescued by some boatmen with abolitionist sentiments who happened to be passing by.13

library of congress

following the Gulf Stream offshore to northern free ports, enslaved individuals in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries usually bypassed much of the terrestrial infrastructure of the Underground Railroad entirely. Their experiences rightly comprise part of the Underground Railroad story, but typically entail sailing directly to a free territory, entirely by sea, without confronting most of the impediments and potential dangers consequent to a protracted journey along an overland escape route. Thus, seaborne escapes were potentially faster, safer, and more efficient than attempting to run away from enslavement overland. Maritime work, performed universally in the southern states by chattel laborers, provided many enslaved people with abundant opportunities for escape—opportunities that persons held in bondage in the hinterland and interior simply did not have. For example, William Grimes, “self-emancipated” in 1814, stowed away aboard the Boston sloop Casket, bound from Savannah, Georgia, to New York, with the assistance of the vessel’s sympathetic crew of New Englanders, one of whom even helped him to buy provisions for the trip before departure. He revealed details about this fortunate opportunity in an account published in 1855:

Fugitive slave Thomas H. Jones on a raft in New York Harbor, fleeing from the brig Bell, 1849 on to describe, with documented examples, how small trading vessels, returning from their voyages to Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia, landed slaves on the New England coast. An Underground Railroad stationkeeper of Valley Falls, Rhode Island, reported that “Slaves in Virginia would secure passage either secretly or with the consent of the captains, in small trading vessels, at Norfolk or Portsmouth, and thus be brought into some port in New England.”11 This operative related several instances from her firsthand knowledge of fugitives who had escaped from Virginia to Massachusetts as stowaways on vessels. Clearly, such seaborne escapes were not isolated incidents, or in any way considered unusual. In another prime example, Thomas H. Jones, born a slave in North Carolina in 1806, described in his published narrative how he worked for years as a stevedore or longshoreman, loading and unloading vessels in Wilmington harbor. In 1849 he

Even during the 18th century, escape by sea was a common strategy for enslaved persons in the southern coastal United States—so common, in fact, that in northern ports like New Bedford, Massachusetts, local newspapers created a standardized text that ship captains published as a legal notice whenever such an event occurred. For example, the following paid advertisement appeared in the Medley or New Bedford Marine Journal on 20 April 1797: Public Notice! To all whom it may concern, Know Ye, THAT I William Taber, commander of the sloop Union, sailed from York River, in Virginia, on or about the 28th of March last, bound to this Port—That on the day after sailing, I discovered a NEGRO on board said sloop, who had concealed himself unbeknown to me—It appearing inconsistent for me to return, SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021

Such notices ran regularly in newspapers published in seaports along the New England coast, and maintained precise language that varied little from one region to the next; the principal variation was in the details reported: name of the captain, vessel, point of departure, date, and so on. Printers even had a purpose-made illustration that accompanied these texts: a stylized image of a running African figure, dressed in stereotyped “native” clothing (a kind of loose skirt) and carrying a spear or staff, with a capital “R” signifying “runaway” emblazoned on the chest. By federal law—the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793—knowingly aiding or harboring someone fleeing legal bondage was a crime punishable by an exceptionally large fine of up to $500 and a prison term of not more than a year.15 Following the passage of the 1793 Act, masters of vessels who arrived in northern ports with fugitive slaves onboard found it prudent to post public notices in

newspapers stating the circumstances by which an escaped slave had come to be discovered aboard, that they had done everything in their power not to aid and abet the runaway, and to publicly report the fugitive’s last known location. Shifting the long-established terrestrial-dominated historical narrative about the Underground Railroad to include its maritime counterpart does justice to the memory of Underground Railroad operatives, known and unknown, free and unfree, who risked imprisonment, brutal corporeal

courtesy new bedford whaling museum

the wind being ahead, I proceeded on my voyage, and landed him in this Port—He calls his name JAMES, is about 27 years old, and says he belongs to Mr. Shacleford, a Planter, in Kings and Queen’s County, Virginia. Any person claiming him, will know by this information where he is—For which purpose it is made public in this manner, and every legal method has been taken to prevent the Owner losing the property, in my power.— WILLIAM TABER. New Bedford, April 20th, 1797.14

Ad placed by Captain William Taber giving legal notice of the whereabouts of a suspected fugitive slave, who arrived to New Bedford aboard the sloop Union in April 1797.

punishment, or death in North America’s ports and coastal waterways to provide untold numbers of enslaved persons with a chance to live as free men and women. Their experiences have long been obscured in the dominant narrative, by privileging the stories of fugitives who travelled by land over those who went by sea. Perhaps it was because overland sojourners usually required more time, more assistance, and had greater contact with formal networks of Underground Railroad operatives; consequently, they left more written material and vestiges of the ordeal they endured, and their stories became better known. By contrast, those who sailed far offshore, expeditiously over the pathless sea, necessarily left fewer traces of their passing. Their tales, though no less significant, have therefore taken longer to come to the attention of contemporary land-bound scholars. Dr. Timothy Walker, Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, is a scholar of maritime history, colonial overseas expansion, and trans-oceanic slave trading. Walker is a guest investigator of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a contributing faculty member of the Munson Institute of Maritime Studies, and director of the NEH “Landmarks in American History” workshops series, titled “Sailing to Freedom: New Bedford and the Underground Railroad” (2011–21). This article was adapted from the introduction and first chapter of Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad, edited by Dr. Walker. ©2021 University of Massachusetts Press. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

NOTES Survey of works in the University of North Carolina’s North American Slave Narrative Corpus. My thanks to Jonathan Schroeder of the University of Warwick for this reference. 2 William Still, The Underground Rail Road: A Record of Facts, Authentic Letters, Narratives, etc. (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1872). 3 William H. Siebert, The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom (New York, MacMillan Co., 1898), 81–82, 144–45. 4 Eric Foner, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad (New York: W. W. Norton, 2015), 5; Fergus Bordewich, Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America (New York: Amistad/ HarperCollins, 2005), 109–10; 271–72. 1

Bordewich, 115; 271. Bordewich, 272. 7 Kate Clifford Larson, author of Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero (New York: Random House, 2004); correspondence to Timothy Walker; 18 August 2015. 8 Bordewich, 197; 307–309. 9 William Grimes, Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave, Brought Down to the Present Time. Written by Himself (New Haven, Conn: published by the author, 1855). 10 Siebert, 81. 11 Siebert, 144–45. 12 US Bureau of Labor Statistics, History of wages in the United States from Colonial times to 1928 5 6

(Washington, US Government Printing Office, 1934), 253. 13 Thomas H. Jones, The experience of Thomas H. Jones, who was a slave for forty-three years (New Bedford, Massachusetts: A. Anthony & Sons, 1871), 32; 43–4. 14 “Public Notice,” The Medley or New Bedford Marine Journal, 20 April 1797 (courtesy of New Bedford Whaling Museum Library). 15 Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, chapter 7, § 2, 1 Stat. 302, 302 (1793); in The Library of Congress, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: US Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774–1875, Annals of Congress, 2nd Congress, 2nd Session, 1413–15.


California Dreaming­­—


Riding the Waves of Surf Art

by Micaiah Hardison

images courtesy of the american society of marine artists and micaiah hardison

courtesy california state parks

hen Spain’s Juan Cabrillo encountered the thriving Native American Chumash villages on the Channel Islands off of the California Coast in 1542, he noted an advanced society of skilled mariners with highly developed trade networks, shell bead money, and Tomol boats used for travel and hunting. Their vessels were up to thirty feet long, built of redwood planks glued with pine pitch and hardened tar, sanded smooth with sharkskin, and fastened with cordage made from tule reeds. They could carry up to twenty men, were paddled in a crouching position, and traveled up and down the coast and out to offshore islands. The Chumash created many impressive rock paintings that survive to this day. One would assume these paintings would document their way of life with images depicting the marine animals they hunted, the waters they navigated and the boats in which they traveled; however, the complex abstract pictograms they left behind remain indecipherable. They are thought to be expressions made by Chumash shaman under the influence of powerful hallucinogens used in magico-religious ceremonies. Perhaps they are the first manifestations of marine art on the West Coast, painted in a psychedelic mode for an audience from the spirit realm. Regardless of their meaning, these were the first plein air paintings in California. Over the next few hundred years, the Chumash culture was suppressed and nearly lost completely, as their territory was colonized and then overwhelmed in the Chumash Cave Paintings 1850s by the mass migration caused by the Gold Rush.


In 1869 the completion of the transcontinental railroad connected the remote California coast with the rest of the United States, opening up a market for agriculture from the fertile valleys. The Southern California population and economy exploded. European-trained painters, rich in intellect and artistic credentials, arrived in this beautiful land hoping to find financial success. Art historian Jean Stern calls this ‘The Great Bohemian Migration’. The Impressionists found California’s intense “Mediterranean sunlight” to be the perfect illumination for their plein air work. This diverse new land offered these artists easy access to the snow-capped Sierras, the deserts, and the (left) Point Lobos by Franz Bischoff, oil (top of page) Well Chosen Path by Kevin Short SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021

art by john van hamersveld, process color

Most of his paintings were set on the beach. His surfers were elongated, wavy-limbed, and often featureless, and their boards looked like bent daggers. Sometimes the ocean and sky were faithfully rendered in the usual surf-world blues, greens, and whites, but

los angeles county lifeguard trust

coastline. Soon many of the world’s most notable plein air painters took up residency on the California coast to paint, among other things, the windswept and sun-drenched beaches, coves, bluffs, and surf. So began the California Plein Air Movement. The California Art Club was founded in 1909 by painters such as Franz A. Bischoff and William Wendt, who memorialized the pristine landscapes and coastlines surrounding Los Angeles in the early 20th century and set a high standard for future California painters. Other artists, such as Edgar Payne, whose work is forever linked with Western America, became permanent residents and exhibited their works of the California coast to a world audience. The seascapes created by these and other early club members are among the world’s finest. In the same year that the California Art Club was founded, railroad magnate Henry Huntington brought a man named George Freeth to Southern California from Hawaii. Huntington wanted to show off Freeth’s skills of “walking on water” after he witnessed him surfing in Waikiki. A group of impressed beach boys adopted the activity, and, for these early pioneers of the sport, it soon became a lifestyle. Competitions were established along the California coast in the 1920s and ’30s and its popularity took off. After World War II surfing became a counterculture youth movement, luring its followers into the surf as active participants and no longer just casual observers. Days at the beach became the most sought-after commodity. This surf culture was celebrated in the ’50s and ’60s through film, music, and television: Bruce Brown’s 1964 hit film Endless Summer changed the way the world viewed surfers, and surf music as its own genre was pioneered by Dick Dale and later exploited by bands such as The Beach Boys, one of the most commercially successful bands of all time. The founding father of “surf media,” John Severson, earned a master’s degree in art education in 1957 and set out to document his experiences and the world that surrounded him—the beach, the surfers, and the waves. He created cartoons, woodblock prints, paintings and films. Surf culture and history writer Matt Warsaw writes:

George Freeth (1883–1919) came to California in 1907 from Hawaii and brought with him the sport of surfing, or, as his sponsor called it, “walking on water.”

Seal Beach Locals by John Severson The Beach Boys had their first hit in 1963 with “Surfin’ USA,” and went on to become one of the most commercially successful bands of all time. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.




The California coast continues to inspire artists, including the author, Micaiah Hardison, and his contemporaries, including fellow American Society of Marine Artists, the late Greg LaRock, Ruo Li, Carolyn Hesse-Low, and others. (opposite, top left) Surf Lesson by Micaiah Hardison, oil on linen, 15 x 30 inches. This painting won Best of Show at the 25th Annual Maritime Exhibit at Coos Art Museum in 2018. (above) Over the Sandbar by Micaiah Hardison, oil on linen, 18 x 36 inches. (left) Stretched Out, a plein air painting by Greg LaRock, oil on linen, 18 x 36 inches.


Stoners Point by Ken Auster, oil, 20 x 30 inches, print just as often Severson filled the spaces in shifting fields of coral, lemon yellow, or lavender. Seal Beach Locals, his 1956 semi-abstract oil—in which three surfers watch another surfer bomb down a jagged wave, under a bruised red-orange Cezanne sky—is sometimes identified as surf culture’s original work of art. Severson founded Surfer magazine in the early 1960s and was joined by other surfer-artists such as Rick Griffin, an acid-dropping designer of psychedelic posters and album covers, and John van Hamersveld, who created possibly the most iconic surf design of all time—the cover art for the Endless Summer film. It was surfer artists such as these who translated their physical and spiritual experiences of surfing into colorful posters, airbrushed surfboards, and advertisements. Over time these became unintended collectible fine art in a new genre called “surf art.” Enter Here by Ken Auster, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches 28


Most California surf artists found a market for their art within the surf industry itself, creating screen-printed t-shirt designs, movie and contest posters, magazine illustration, logos, and surfboard airbrushing. With ample time for surfing as a top priority, surf artists sacrificed the higher earning potential that their talent could bring them in order to stay close to the beach with a flexible schedule. Some artists created their own successful surf brands to create an outlet for their art. Ken Auster was an avid California surfer growing up in the heart of the ’60s surf culture. Auster dove headfirst into surf art and design, founding a popular t-shirt and screen-printing company and creating screen printed surf scenes, originals on paper through the 1970s and ’80s. These iconic images are collected as the fine art of that era. Auster shifted from silkscreen to oil paints in the 1990s. Of his transition from surf art to Impressionism, Auster stated: “I simply want to achieve the ultimate communication on the canvas—to say more with less.” One critic described his art: “Each painting captures a moment in time charged with a hint of narrative drama. And each is rendered with such vibrant immediacy that a single glance excites other senses as well.”

Rick Griffin at home. He created the cartoon character Murphy as a teenager; it graced the cover of  The Surfer in the summer of 1962, right after Griffin’s high school graduation. The artist is well known for his album covers for The Grateful Dead, The Cult, Neil Young, and others. (below) “Sail On, Sailor,” a Griffin album cover for the band Mustard Seed Faith.

In 1996 Auster became a founding member of Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA), whose mission is “to preserve the history of the plein air movement of 19th-century California [and] to support the tradition as it exists today.” For the last twenty-two years, LPAPA has held an annual nine-day invitational showcase of the nation’s top plein air landscape painters on the beaches of Laguna, in which Auster took part until his death in 2016. As a child, Kevin Short was a super-fan of Rick Griffin, the psychedelic surf art illustrator, even before his parents reluctantly bought him his first surfboard in 1973. He peeled surf movie posters off telephone poles to collect Griffin’s work. Later, admiration of the early California plein air painters led him to paint in oils on location at his favorite surf breaks. Short says, “Painting is one of the ways I express what happens when I am involved with the ocean. Painting has a way of slowing down and distilling SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021 29

that experience, helping you embrace it and savor it for a longer period of time.” Short has woven painting and surfing together in a way which celebrates both the experimental freshness of surf art and the high craft of plein air painting. Today, Southern California remains a rich haven for professional painters as well as many American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) painters such as Calvin Liang, Ruo Li, Carolyn Hesse-Low, the late Greg LaRock, and myself. We paint the same golden sunlight under which the Chumash hunted hundreds of years ago. Hundreds of years from now there will be no difficulty interpreting the works we leave behind, a testament to the beauty of this coast, the vibrancy of our culture, and proof that we have had a great time at the beach here in Southern California.

Micaiah Hardison is a lifelong surfer from California and an award-winning oil painter. As a signature member of the American Society of Marine Artists and a long-standing member of Oil Painters of America and California Art Club, his works are frequently selected for juried exhibitions around the country. In 2018, Hardison’s work was featured in the Oil Painters of America 27th National Exhibition, the 39th Annual Marine Art Exhibition at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, and the 25th Annual Maritime Art Exhibit at Coos Art Museum, where he was awarded Best in Show. ( This article was adapted from a previously published article in the Fall 2020 issue of the American Society of Marine Artists News & Journal, Vol. XLII, with the addition of new images. For more information on ASMA artists, workshops, and exhibitions, visit:

Peace Alights by Kevin A. Short 30


The Day is Done by Kevin Short



1st International Online Exhibition

June 15, 2021 - June 30, 2022 share the excitement: Painting by Michelle Jung/ASMA SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021 31

­  ­ The Last U-Boat Sunk in American Waters U-853 ­­­  —


memory, we think of our comrades who have sealed their loyalty to the Fuhrer and the Fatherland with their deaths. Comrades! Preserve your submarine spirit with which you have fought bravely, tenaciously, and toughly over the years for the best of our Fatherland. Long live Germany! Your Grand Admiral 3



he year was 1945. For the Allies, the end of the Second World War was in sight, but it had not been a good year for Nazi Germany. After a devastating defeat at the Battle of the Bulge, the firebombing of Dresden, and the Allies’ successful crossing of the Siegfried Line, the Germans continued to viciously fight the inevitable. Increasingly desperate, they lashed out and inflicted as much damage as possible, as often as possible, to bring the Allies to the negotiating table. As part of this campaign, in February 1945 German Naval Command dispatched U-853, a type IXC/40 submarine then in port in Stavanger, Norway, to the East Coast of the United States with orders to harass and, if possible, disrupt US coastal shipping. U-853 had an experienced crew with two patrols under its belt. On her first patrol under the command of Kapitänleutnant Helmut Sommer, she was nicknamed “Moby Dick” by American destroyer escorts as they hunted her across the mid-Atlantic and were frustrated by her extraordinary ability to appear suddenly and then disappear just as quickly. Her German crew called her der Seiltänzer, the Tightrope Walker. Sommer was injured during an attack on U-853’s first patrol, and his next in command, twenty-three-year-old Helmut Frömsdorf, brought the submarine safely into port in Lorient, France. There, the wounded Sommer was declared unfit for duty and relieved of command. In port the U-boat was retrofitted with the newly developed Schnorchel, or snorkel, a critical new invention that enabled submarines to ventilate, recharge batteries, and run on diesel power underwater, allowing them to stay submerged for weeks at a time. The 10th U-Flotilla commander, Günter Kuhnke, took U-853 back to Germany, at which point Frömsdorf was officially made captain for the U-boat’s third patrol. While new to command, Frömsdorf was a veteran crewmember onboard and, despite his young age, experienced in U-853’s maneuvers and operations.1 U-853 arrived in the Gulf of Maine on 1 April. On 23 April, she identified a World War I-era patrol boat, USS Eagle 56, towing targets out to a dive-bombing range.

by Jessica Rozek

Helmut Frömsdorf (1921–1945) She fired her torpedoes, sending the patrol boat and most of her crew to the bottom off Cape Elizabeth, near Portland, Maine. U-853 immediately fled to the south. As the crew of USS Selfridge (DD-357) was rescuing the thirteen surviving crewmembers of the stricken patrol boat, her captain was alerted to an enemy boat in the area and dropped nine depth charges on a target assumed to be U-853. The following day, USS Muskegon made sonar contact and engaged the German submarine, but failed to destroy her. The Germans continued southwards. Early on 5 May, President Karl Dönitz—the recent Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy—ordered all U-boats to cease offensive operations and return home.2 My Submariners! Six years of U-boat warfare lie behind us. You have fought like lions. An overwhelming material superiority has squeezed us into the tightest of spaces. A continuation of the struggle is impossible from the bases that remain. Submariners! Unbroken in your warlike courage, you are laying down your arms after an heroic fight that knows no equal. In reverent

Frömsdorf either never received the order, or he simply ignored it. With the use of the snorkel, the U-boat could stay submerged for prolonged periods, which also meant that wireless communications would be cut off during that time. U-853 was by then hunting in the shallow waters off Point Judith, Rhode Island. At 1740 the same day, she torpedoed an American coal ship, SS Black Point, underway on a transit between New York and Boston. Black Point’s radio officer had just enough time to send out an urgent message—they were under attack. Within minutes, the collier sank in about 100 feet of water. Thirty-four of her forty-six men were saved by nearby ships. Rather than fleeing the scene, U-853 submerged and waited. This move would prove to be a fatal error, however, as the shallow waters would not conceal her for long. One of Black Point’s rescuers was a Yugoslavian freighter, SS Kamen, which reported the torpedo attack to the Coast Guard. The lookout stationed at Point Judith also reported the explosion, calling it in to the 1st Naval Command in Boston. In the area was an anti-submarine convoy, Task Force 60.7, which had just completed an escort of convoy GUS 84 across the Atlantic to New York and was now headed to Boston for repairs and overhaul. The US warships were re-routed and given an order to find and destroy the U-boat. The task force comprised the frigate USS Moberly and the destroyer USS Ericsson, along with two destroyer escorts, USS Atherton and USS Amick. USS Ericsson, with Task Force 60.7 Commander F. C. McCune onboard, was already in the Cape Cod Canal when the new orders were given and had to turn around and catch up to the others. SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021

us navy photo

The four warships, with USS Moberly initially in command until the Ericsson caught up, formed a hunter-killer group and proceeded to the Rhode Island coast. Within two hours of the attack on SS Black Point, they were prowling around Block Island, hunting for the German U-boat. Once the Ericsson reached the area, McCune took command and the Ericsson set out on a wider tack, circling out and around the other three ships to make certain the submarine would not escape under their noses. They found and engaged a sonar contact at 2014. At 2030, the Atherton fired a “magnetic pattern of depth charges” (a full pattern of thirteen) and observed one explosion. At 2043, the Atherton regained the sonar contact and started a Hedgehog run.4 At 2046, the Atherton fired another salvo of Hedgehogs, which “exploded approximately 12 seconds after firing.” After a series of explosions, Atherton again detected the contact and at 2049 released more Hedgehogs. After this salvo, Atherton lost the contact for good. USS Moberly reported at 2115 that she thoroughly investigated the spot where Atherton had attacked the sonar contact and found nothing. The four ships set various courses as they searched for U-853. Running had not helped the Germans so far, so Frömsdorf changed tactics and laid low on the ocean floor, while the hunter-killer group searched at the surface, more than 100 feet above. Her respite did not last long. At 2331, the Moberly stood by the Atherton while she made attacks further on a sound contact, releasing another full pattern of Hedgehogs. At 0025, the Atherton started another depth charge run and dropped thirteen, after which her crew reported debris and bubbles at the site. USS Atherton fired another spread of thirteen depth charges on the same location at 0114. Moberly joined the attack at 0121 and dropped an additional thirteen depth charges. At 0203 the group picked up another sonar contact, but the Moberly crew was dealing with malfunctions and was unable to fire. Having lost the contact after this attack, the three remaining ships proceeded to patrol the area.5 At 0530, another sonar contact was detected, and ten minutes later Moberly fired off twenty-four Hedgehogs. The Atherton

“Hedgehog” bomb projectors were effective weapons used in anti-submarine warfare. patrolled the area where the wreckage was floating up and USS Moberly came to assist. A chart table, planking, clothing, and an officer’s hat were amongst the debris that was recovered, but 1st Naval District command did not accept this as evidence of the destruction of U-853, so the attacks continued. At 0640, the Atherton fired a full spread of depth charges and Hedgehogs. Two Navy K-class blimps (K-16 and K-58) were now overhead and assisted in the investigation; they fired six 7.2-inch rockets into the water.6 USS Ericsson made a full depth-charge run at 0646, followed by the Moberly at 0655. The Ericsson made two more depth-charge runs at 0658 and 0725. The group continued to patrol the area and make attacks. Dropping nearly a hundred more Hedgehogs and thirteen additional depth charges, it was finally determined that U-853 was no longer a threat. The Navy detached the successful “killer group” from submarine hunting at 1240 on 6 May 1945. The next day, 7 May 1945, Germany surrendered unconditionally to the Allied Forces. U-853 was the last U-boat sunk by the Allies in American waters; this was one

of the two final actions in the Battle of the Atlantic.7 She lies in her final resting place, approximately seven miles east of Block Island, mostly intact, with the remains of most of her fifty-five-man crew onboard. Although the submarine sank in 1945, her story does not end there. Navy divers from USS Pelican (ASR-12) found the wreck just hours after it was destroyed and confirmed that the hull had been breached and that the bodies of the crew were still onboard. At approximately 130 feet below the surface, the submarine wreck became a popular scuba diving destination in southern New England, despite the dangers involved in navigating confined metal spaces at that depth. There have been numerous problems with divers souvenir hunting, looting, and even taking human remains from the wreck site. Rumors of Nazi treasure ran rampant in the 1950s and ’60s, fueling divers’ temptation to visit the wreck site. In the 1960s, a scuba diver brought up a skeleton, causing a number of political issues and invoking the ire of the West German government. The bones of the German sailor were interred in nearby Newport, Rhode Island, with full military honors. Even following years of issues with


national archives and records administration (nara)

divers entering and tampering with what is considered a war grave, the wreck site remains a popular, yet treacherous, dive site and continues to claim lives. At least three people have perished while exploring the U-853 site.8 Despite the extensive dive traffic, there were no good high-resolution images of the full wreck site—until recently. Advances in underwater photography and imaging technology have led to new, more complete images of the U-853 site. After years hidden in the ocean depths, full high-resolution images of U-853, courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Kraken Robotics, have been made public. Kraken Robotics used its KATFISH system to perform high-resolution mapping of U-853. The system uses Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS), which is thirty times more detailed than conventional side scan sonar, providing incredible detail of U-853 (and any other shipwreck deemed lost to

Crew aboard USS Moberly observes a pattern of depth charges during the attack on U-853.



Rhode Island

Point Judith SS Black Point wreck site

Atlantic Ocean Block Island U-853 wreck site

Long Island (NY)


adapted from esri, gebco, delorme, naturalvue base map

Block Island Sound


Synthetic Aperture Sonar imagery of U-853, showing that the submarine is largely intact. Image courtesy of Kraken Robotics. history).9 SAS provides sufficient detail to confirm that the U-boat is largely intact, despite its pressure hull having been ruptured in multiple locations. Additionally, “[t]he forward torpedo loading hatch, battery hatch, and forward personnel hatch are all clearly visible, as is the conning tower, aft gun mount, and several of the submarine’s compressed air flasks.”10 This incredible technology allows us to peer at a nearly forgotten relic of history. Despite this intact physical resource, the final hours of the Battle of the Atlantic left many questions unanswered. Did Frömsdorf ignore Dönitz’s cease-fire or was the message never received? Recent analysis by Aaron S. Hamilton asserts that

Frömsdorf’s training would have had him take the submarine to the bottom and wait it out, hidden in the contours of the seafloor. With the use of the snorkel, U-boats submerged and did not surface for days— sometimes weeks—at a time. During U-853’s second patrol, it had stayed underwater without resurfacing for a full eighteen days.11 Still, Frömsdorf’s decision to stay in the area after the attack on SS Black Point, when he could have made an escape to deeper waters, has long been criticized. Questions remain as well regarding American tactics. Why did the US Navy continue to drop ordnance on the U-boat despite evidence that it was clearly no longer a threat? New imaging technologies

and the re-examination of the Battle of Point Judith may lead us to the next chapter of this extraordinary tale. U-853 remains a war grave and serves as a reminder as to how close the war came to American shores.

primarily used in WWII. Convoy escort warships were most often equipped with Hedgehogs. Each launcher had the capacity to fire 24 mortars. Combined with depth charges, these systems made submarine hunting an easy job. 5 Some, albeit very limited, sources say that USS Amick was relieved from the hunter-killer group early in the morning of May 6th to make a previously arranged rendezvous. Regardless of where she ended up ultimately, neither the Moberly nor Atherton logbook discuss the Amick past May 5th. 6 The Atherton logbook reports three US Navy blimps, but numerous other sources report two. USS Moberly did not mention blimp assistance. Robert M. Downie, Block Island—The Sea (Block Island, RI: Book Nook Press, 1998), 197–198; Ralph DiCaprio,

“The Battle of Point Judith,” Destroyer Escort Sailors Assoc., accessed 20 July 2018, http://www.desausa. org/de_photo_library/battle_of_point_judith.htm. 7 The other being the sinking of U-881 by USS Farquhar at 6:16 am on 6 May, 300 miles off the coast of Cape Race, Newfoundland, Canada. 8 boat-wreck-off-coast-dark-reminder-wwii/OLUV9 YOFdMDjfeu5VFIGHJ/story.html 9 10 u853-blackpoint.html 11 Hamilton, “A Re-evaluation of U-853’s Final War Patrol within the Evolving U-Boat Operations and Tactics of ‘Total Undersea War’.”

Jessica Rozek is a research historian with CALIBRE Systems, in Alexandria, Virginia, researching WWI and WWII munitions and is working on a master’s degree in museum studies from Harvard University. She is a former educator aboard USS Torsk, part of the fleet of historic vessels in Baltimore. To view more images of the U-853 and SS Black Point wrecks sites, go to https://oceanexplorer. and search for “U-853.”

NOTES Aaron S. Hamilton, “A Re-evaluation of U-853’s Final War Patrol within the Evolving U-Boat Operations and Tactics of ‘Total Undersea War’,” Pen and Sword Blog, 4 May 2020, 2 Karl Dönitz became the President of Nazi Germany (Reichspräsident) following the suicide of Adolf Hitler on 30 April 1945. 3 Jonathan E. Klein, “At Zero Hour: The Government of Karl Dönitz, with Reflections as Seen in German Literature,” M.A. thesis, May 2006, 50. Also, Clay Blair, “Hitler’s U-Boat War: The Hunted, 1942– 1945,” Random House, 1998, 699–700. 4 Hedgehogs were forward throwing anti-submarine mortars that were developed by the Royal Navy and 1


Marine Art News Marine Art Exhibitions Resume In-Person Shows in 2021 The opening of the ASMA exhibition was the last in-person event NMHS staff and trustees attended in March 2020, when the artists and host venue at Jamestown Settlement in Virginia held a grand reception for attendees and guests at the ASMA national conference. Within a week of that opening, the doors closed and only a handful of visitors got a peek at the recent works of more than 100 contemporary marine artists. Like everything else we’ve experienced in the last fifteen months, it was a huge let-down, and no one knew when and where it would re-open. ASMA is pleased to announce that the show will re-open for in-person viewing at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona on 19 June, where it will run until early October. From there, the works by more than 100 of today’s top contemporary marine artists will be sent to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, where they will be exhibited until February 2022. Check the ASMA website for details and exact dates. The American Society of Marine Artists has nearly 500 members and is made up of painters, sculptors, scrimshanders, and print-makers, all drawing inspiration from a relationship with the water. Their art captures a wide range of themes, from life under the sea surface, along the shorelines, and even in ponds, streams, and boathouses. (American Society of Marine Artists: www.americansocietyof Minnesota Marine Art Museum, 800 Riverview Dr., Winona, MN; Ph. 507 474-6626; Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, 213 N. Talbot Street St. Michaels, MD; 410 745-2916; Jonah and the Sea of Uproar by C. W Mundy, oil on linen, 16 x 16 inches

courtesy asma

American Society of Marine Artists 18th National Exhibition

In American Waters: Peabody Essex Museum and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Ship America on the Grand Banks, by Michele Felice Cornè (1752–1845), oil on canvas, 39 3 /4 x 56 inches (right) Town of Mathwalta, Island of Venua Levul Viti’s, US Ship Peacock, 1840–49 by Titian Ramsay Peale (1799– 1885), oil on wood, 10 x 14 inches “When we think of marine painting we may think of high-seas realism and faithful portraits of ships but, as this exhibition attests, in practice we see broad-ranging expressions of American ambition, opportunity, and invention.” —Austen Barron Bailly, Chief Curator at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. 36 SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021

images c/o peabody essex museum, photography by kathy tarantola

An ambitious collaboration between the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, the new exhibition opened at PEM on 29 May and will be on display through 3 October 2021, when it will move to the Arkansas museum, where it will open on 6 November and run through January 2022. In American Waters features paintings that reframe and expand our understanding of American culture and environment by looking at the sea. For more than 200 years, American artists have been inspired to capture the beauty, violence, poetry and transformative power of the sea. The exhibi-

tion features a diverse range of modern and historical artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Amy Sherald, Kay WalkingStick, Norman Rockwell, Hale Woodruff, Paul Cadmus, Thomas Hart Benton, Jacob Lawrence, Valerie Hegarty, Stuart Davis, and many others. “As this exhibition vigorously asserts, marine painting is so much more than ship portraits. Through more than 90 works, we can trace changing attitudes about the symbolic and emotional resonance of the sea in America and see how contemporary perspectives are informed by marine traditions,” said Dan Finamore, PEM’s associate director, exhibitions, and the Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History. “No matter where we live, the sea shapes all of our lives and continues to inspire some of the most exciting artists working today.” (PEM, East India Square, 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA; Ph. 978 745-9500; CBMAA, 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR; Ph. 479 418.5700; Whaling Vessels in the Ice, Herschel Island (about 1894–95) by John Bertonccini (1872–1947), oil on canvas, 18 x 31 inches

courtesy of the coos art museum

The Coos Art Museum 27th Maritime Art Exhibition

The Coos Art Museum will continue its tradition of hosting its annual Maritime Art Exhibition on the southern Oregon Coast this summer and fall. The featured artist for the 2021 exhibition is Kimberly Wurster of Coquille, Oregon. Before moving to the Pacific Northwest, Kimberly Wurster and her husband developed wildlife refuges in Montana. A classical cellist for over 40 years, in 1995 Wurster shifted her artistic focus to painting. She works primarily with pastels, watercolors, or acrylics, sometimes incorporating ink and other forms of mixed media, with a particular fondness for birds and wildlife. Her work has earned numerous awards for excellence in national and Catch of the Day by Kimberly Wurster

Giclée print by visual historian Karen Rinaldo Depicts Sea Witch under full sail, driven by the trade winds. Ship’s history is included.

Limited Edition - Numbered and Signed - 24” x 18” Print Ready for aming


A Sense of Time

international competitions. She has exhibited at Coos Art Museum on many occasions, including a one-person exhibition in 2009. The for Historical Art of F. Tantillo Wurster is a member of the ASMA and a Signature Member of Artists Conservation. TheL.27th Maritime Art Exhibition is recognized and co-sponsored by the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA). Jurors are Richard Boyer of Salt Lake City, Utah; January 25, 2021 opens 17 July and runs through Jon Olson of Seal Beach, California; and Len Tantillo of Poughkeepsie, New York. 27-July The exhibition 25 September. (Coos Art Museum, 235 Anderson Ave., Coos Bay, Oregon, Ph. 541 267-3901;

A Sense of Time

A Sense of Time

(Albany Institute of History & Art, 125 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY; Ph. 518 463-4478; Water Street Shipyard, 1806, oil on canvas Street Shipyard, 1806 38 SEA Water HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021 Len Tantillo

Media Contact: Aine Leader-Nagy, Director of Community Engagement | (518) 463-4478 ext. 408

2001 Oil on canvas Private Collection

images courtesy of len tantillo

A Sense of Time: The Historical Art of L. F. Tantillo at the Albany Institute of History & Art There is still time to check out the 2021 exhibition (runs through 25 July) in Albany, New York, featuring highlights from artist Len Tantillo’s forty-year career as a painter of historical subjects, with a focus on New York State and maritime subjects. Having spent his life in the Hudson Valley, most of Tantillo’s work portrays the sites and events that shaped the history of New York State, from pre-Europeancontact Iroquois villages to Dutch settlement and continuing to the development of railroads and the construction of iron Art of L. F. Tantillo The Historical bridges across the Hudson River. Looking at a Tantillo painting, the viewer January is trans-27-July 25, 2021 ported back in time to when the Hudson A View of Rondout, New York, 1883, oil on canvas River was a major thoroughfare between Viewplied of Rondout, New York, 1883 New York City and upstate New York, when vessels of all shapes and Asizes the waters. Tantillo’s painting of Fort Orange 2019like in 1635. He also envisions 19th-centu(present-day Albany), for example, gives us a sense of what the earliest settlement looked Oil on canvas ry shores of Troy and Rondout jammed Collection of Bruce and Jenny McKinney with steamships, breathes life into steam engines pulling into railroad stations, and captures the energy of 20th-century Grumman airplanes soaring through clouds. Tantillo is known for his extensive research, attention to detail, and historical accuracy in his paintings. A Sense of Time features 97 works of art from 53 institutions and collectors. The exhibition pairs some of Tantillo’s works with historical Media Contact: Aine Leader-Nagy, Director of Community Engagement maps, images, and objects that informed | (518) 463-4478 ext. 408 and shaped their accuracy. In addition, The Historical Artable of F. see Tantillo visitors will be the artist’s workA View of Fort Orange, 1652, oil on canvas ing models, digitally reconstructed vilJanuary 27-July 25, 2021 lages and street scenes, and preparatory sketches. All of the works in this exhibition were selected by the artist. He divided them into A View of Fort Orange, 1652 nine themes: Native Peoples, New Netherland, New Amsterdam, The English Colony, A New Nation, Steam Powers a Nation, Len Tantillo Building Interest, Technology and Defence, and En Plein Air. He also wrote 2003 accompanying text for each work. Oil on canvas Sea History readers may recall a feature article by Len Collection of The Fort Orange Club Tantillo in the summer 2018 issue (#163), where he demonstrated his process in creating a painting depicting Robert Fulton’s North River steamboat at Clermont in 1807. You can read that article online through the index posted at

The NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY offers this spectacular signed and numbered giclée edition by internationally acclaimed artist Len Tantillo

The East River of Manhattan, c. 1662 image size 11” x 20”

This signed and numbered print depicts a 17th-century view of the tip of Manhattan, looking to the southwest. If all those who cross the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan could be transported back, for an instant, to the 17th century, they would be taking in this sight of a busy Dutch colonial city at the height of its success. While the skyline of the lower East Side has been forever transformed, it is important to remember the significance of New York City’s storied Dutch origins. The East River was then the busiest harbor in North America, with vessels of every size and description plying its waters. The international importance of New York Harbor originated four centuries ago in an age when goods were transported by wind and sail.


+ $20 s/h within the USA only. 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 NYS residents add applicable sales tax.

SEA HISTORY for kids

Animals in Sea History by Richard King ooking over the rail of the boat, Matthew Henson knows he will die in minutes if he falls into this water. He is in a polynya (an ice-ridged expanse of open sea) that extends into Ikeq-Smith Sound, between the far northern tips of Nunavut and Greenland. Yet the walruses, for which Henson is searching, swim comfortably under the icy surface. Walruses have a thin layer of hair that grows over leathery, wrinkly skin that can be 1 ½” deep, and underneath that they have an insulating layer of blubber that can be nearly 4 inches thick. It is 1908. Already north of 75˚N Engraving of “Walrus Hunt off Pikantlik” from Arctic Explorations (1856) by expedition leader latitude, Henson and his shipmates Elisha Kent Kane, who had voyaged to the same Ikeq-Smith Sound region as Henson. aboard the steam schooner Roosevelt are slowly making their way farther north, pausing here to do some hunting. On board is Commander Robert Peary, who is seeking to lead the first expedition to reach the North Pole. Henson, gifted carpenter, sailor, organizer, and hunter, is his right-hand man. At 42, he now has been going to sea for thirty years. Orphaned as a child, he first shipped out as a cabin boy on a ship bound for China from Baltimore. By the time of this expedition, he is a veteran of several Arctic expeditions and fluent in the local Inuit language. Both the Inuit and the American crew respect him as the expedition’s most-skilled sled driver and dog handler. This afternoon Henson and a few shipmates are hunting for meat to fortify them and their dogs for their upcoming attempt to reach the North Pole. They head out in the ship’s motorboat, but when the engine sputters out they break out the oars and row. Henson shoots and kills two walruses,



photo by joel garlich-miller, us fish and wildlife service

the peary-macmillan arctic museum and arctic studies center, bowdoin college

and the men shed layers of clothes as they tow the heavy animals back to the ship. After hoisting the carcasses aboard and into the hold, Henson leads the crew back out, this time with a larger whaleboat and more oarsmen. They kill four more walruses. Over the following days, as they continue to hunt and allocate the meat in different ways, using every part of the animal in some fashion, Henson takes particular care with two of the walrus skins, which he has been asked to prepare to send home to be stuffed and mounted, presumably for museums.

The Roosevelt continues north. They spend a long winter at their camp at the far northern edge of land, braving temperatures of -50˚ F and constant darkness, their dogs surviving on the walrus meat. As the winter eases, the men and dogs begin their trek across the frozen Arctic Sea, bound for the Pole. It is a risky mission. En route they have to sledge across the ice and dangerous leads of open water to reach the spot Peary calculates to be the North Pole, arguably the first people to ever do so. In his book about his experiences, Negro Explorer at the North Pole, Matthew Henson included several intriguing observations about walruses, In addition to his skills as a hunter and sledge driver, Matthew Henson (above) was a master especially in relation to the dwindling carpenter who built and repaired many of the team’s sledges. The sledges had to hold up against tribe of Inuit people living at the far rough usage, carrying the expedition’s supplies across the ice on their way to and from the North northwest of Greenland. In the 1800s Pole. Here is Henson leaning against one of the sledges on the deck of SS Roosevelt. and early 1900s, American and European ships sailed to the region to hunt whales, seals, and walruses in great numbers. Although he and his shipmates killed at least seventy walrus themselves over the course of their trip, Henson reflected: “It is sad to think of the fate of my friends who live in what was once a land of plenty, but which is, through the greed of the commercial hunter, becoming a land of frigid desolation. The seals are practically gone, and the walrus are being quickly exterminated.” The hunting of walrus, called aaveq in the Inuktitut language, has been a significant and central part of Indigenous life for more than 2,000 years. Walruses are the largest of


Walrus cows and juveniles relaxing on the ice.


SEA HISTORY for kids Arctic seals and their numbers and migrations are relatively easy to predict, easier than bowhead whales. Different groups of Indigenous people had moved in and out of this region for centuries, with different traditions and hunting practices, but Western archaeologists and oral traditions show that walruses have always been part of Inuit survival in the Arctic: for food, for tools from walrus tusks, for light from walrus oil, and for rope made from walrus skin. Walruses have also been significant figures in Indigenous storytelling and in their spiritual lives, reflected in Inuit clothing, musical instruments, and artwork.

Pacific Ocean



Arctic Ocean


Ikeq-Smith Sound


Atlantic Ocean Walrus primary habitat range.

photo by matthew henson


Ootah, Egingwah, Seegloo, and Ooqueah, four of the Inughuit men who helped get Peary and Henson to the North Pole in April 1909.


the peary-macmillan arctic museum and arctic studies center, bowdoin college

Inuit cultures might first have impacted walrus populations to some extent, but certainly not in the way that European hunting did. Beginning in the 980s CE, Norse hunters arrived on the coast of Greenland, initiating a crash of the local walrus populations. The Vikings—and later European groups—then hunted walruses throughout the Canadian Maritimes. In the 1400s and 1500s, European explorers, fishermen, and whalemen hunted walrus for ivory, meat, hides, and blubber (for oil). Healthy herds of walruses were slaughtered by the thousands in the icy regions of the Gulf of St Lawrence and even as far south as Sable Island off Nova Scotia. This commercial hunting, which increased still more with the use of firearms, continued into the early twentieth century. Matthew Henson died in 1955 after finally getting some of the honors and respect that he deserved for his expeditionary achievements as an Arctic explorer. Meanwhile, even in this time of rapid climate change in the far north and increased impact from human presence, walruses seem to be recovering, in part because of strict management. In recent decades, a series of policies have required Indigenous voices in the decisions as to how many walruses to hunt, when, and where. I think Matthew Henson would be pleased. Matthew Henson in his fur Arctic expedition gear.

For more “Animals in Sea History,” go to or

f you were Matthew Henson, or any of the explorers who have stood at the North or South Poles, you would find yourself in a unique and special place that has attracted adventurers, scientists, and even mathematicians throughout history. It’s only been a little more than a century since expeditions to the poles became high-stakes races and sources of national pride. The South Pole was first reached by Norway’s Roald Amundsen in December 1911, mere weeks ahead of his biggest rival, Great Britain’s Robert Falcon Scott—who died along with his team on the trek back. Who made it to the North Pole first, however, is still something that people argue about. Robert Peary’s team, the one that included Matthew Henson, got the credit for making it to the North Pole in 1909. But when they got home, another explorer, Frederick Cook, claimed that he had actually made it to the pole a year earlier. Other controversies emerged later when researchers determined that Peary and Henson might have been slightly off in their calculations, putting them near—but not on—the exact spot of the North Pole. Part of the problem, of course, is that there is no sign-post there to let you know if you have made it or not. Besides being covered in ice year-round and other shared character- Triumph at the North Pole! Robert Peary took this photo istics, the two poles differ in one major way: the North Pole is part of an of his team upon their arrival at the North Pole on 6 April ocean, while the South Pole is on a land mass. People have been able to 1909. Matthew Henson is in the center. trek to the North Pole on foot and by dog sled by crossing a massive ice sheet, which today is only about 6–10 feet thick. Because it is floating and drifting, no specific point on the ice is going to stay at the North Pole for long. The South Pole is on the Antarctic continent on the other hand, buried under a thick layer of ice. At its thickest, the Antarctic ice cap is three miles deep. The land beneath it is down there somewhere, but no one has actually seen it. If the North and South Poles are the focus of so much attention, doesn’t it seem weird that you could get there and never know for sure if you were at the right spot? If you bring your compass to the poles, you’d notice a curious thing—it won’t agree that you are actually at the pole that you can see on your map. That’s because the axis of the earth’s rotation (which is what defines where the geographic or “true” pole lies) does not correspond exactly to the earth’s magnetic field. In fact, the magnetic north pole is about 500 miles away—but it drifts from year to year. Depending on where you are on the earth, the difference between True North and the north that your compass is pointing to can be significant. Maps will often have information that helps navigators correct their calculations to compensate for this difference.

photo by robert e. peary; courtesy project gutenberg


The North and South Poles—Like No Place Else on Earth


The concentric circles drawn around the North Pole in this image are lines of latitude, marked in degrees north of the Equator. The lines heading down and away from the North Pole are lines of longitude. The North Pole’s position is 90° N latitude, 0° longitude.

The Poles have some other unusual characteristics that make them unlike any other place on earth. At both the North and South Poles, there is only one sunrise and one sunset every year. At the North Pole, the sun comes up on the day of the March Equinox and it won’t set again until the autumn Equinox in September.

If the concept of time is confusing, what about standing in a place where every direction is either north or south? When you are at one of the poles, there is no East or West, and you can’t get any further North or South than 90 degrees.

The Poles have no time zone. Time zones are determined by the lines of longitude that start and end at the Poles, which means every time zone has an equal claim to the polar clock.

The North and South Poles do not belong to any country. Because the North Pole is in the middle of an ocean, it is governed by the international Law of the Sea.

The earth’s polar regions continue to be studied extensively by scientists and policymakers from around the world, but they remain difficult sites to get to and work in for anyone up for the challenge.

“Sea History for Kids” is sponsored by the Henry L. & Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation


Ship was escorted by the fireboat St. Francis. The ship’s home pier suffered a devastating fire on 23 May of last year; flames were spotted around 4:00 am and firefighters fought the blaze until the afternoon. Fireboats Phoenix and St. Francis contributed to the effort, pouring water on the pier and surrounding areas, preventing spread of the fire to the ship. Five crew members had been staying overnight on the ship; one crewmember heard glass shattering and alerted the rest of the crew of the danger, and they all escaped to safety. The ship’s lines were damaged, the vangs (support rigging for the booms) were compromised, and four starboard portholes suffered cracked glass. On the pier, the concrete shed C was lost, and the O’Brien’s ticketing shed was irreparably damaged. The ship was towed to nearby Pier 35 while the city cleaned up the site and repaired the wharf. The O’Brien was launched in June 1943 at the New England Shipbuilding Corporation in South Portland, Maine, named for the first American to capture a British naval vessel in the Revolutionary War. She made seven voyages in the Second World Vice President Kamala Harris conducts business at the USS Constitution desk. 44

she is fully seaworthy and USCG certified. She is one of only two surviving Liberty Ships in the US and the only one on the West Coast. (National Liberty Ship Memorial, Pier 45, San Francisco, CA; Ph. 415 544-0100; …

The new centerpiece of Vice President Kamala Harris’s office is a desk modeled after the Resolute desk in the White House. A team from the US Naval Construction Battalion—or Seabees— constructed the new desk, with assistance from historic shipwrights from the Naval History Heritage Command (NHHC). The wood used for the project was recovered from USS Constitution as part of restoration projects carried out in 2007 and 2017. The desk is decorated with eagle and star motifs, reflecting the carving on Constitution’s stern. The Seabees were indeed busy this season; they created a second desk of this fashion for the Office of the Secretary of the Navy. It was presented to Acting Secretary Thomas Harker. This desk incorporated wood, copper, and nails from Constitution, as well as material from the frigate Chesapeake, and steel plating from the battleships Texas, New Jersey, and Arizona. The building of the desks was commissioned by Naval History Heritage Command director Rear Adm. Sam Cox (USN, Ret.). Cox said, “With the example of the Resolute desk in the President’s Oval Office, I wanted to provide our civilian leaders with similar, tangible reminders of more than 200 years of outstanding service from American sailors. These desks honor our

official white house photo by lawrence jackson

War, and eleven crossings of the English Channel supporting the D-Day invasion. She entered the Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay after the war, until her retrieval in 1979, when she was restored and entered service as a museum ship in San Francisco. Today,

national liberty ship memorial

On 23 March, the Liberty Ship Jeremiah O’Brien was towed back to its home berth at Pier 45 on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Assisted by two tugs donated from Foss Maritime, Alta June and Jamie Renea, the historic WWII Liberty


Please join us! National Maritime Historical Society Mississippi River Cruise 12-19 March 2022 • New Orleans, LA to Memphis, TN • Support the National Maritime Historical Society and join NMHS leadership in 2022 for a unique riverboat adventure along the legendary Mississippi—the river Mark Twain once wrote “has a new story to tell every day.” We invite you to an authentic paddlewheeler experience with all the comforts of home aboard the intimate 84-room American Cruise Lines riverboat Queen of the Mississippi for this all-inclusive, 8-day/7-night historic cruise embarking from New Orleans, Louisiana 12 March 2022 and disembarking in Memphis, Tennessee on 19 March. Along with well-appointed staterooms, modern amenities, breathtaking scenery, fabulous dining, complimentary drinks and lively entertainment, enjoy dynamic presentations by speakers onboard and daily included excursions connecting you to the region’s rich culture and history. Spend your complimentary pre-cruise night at the luxurious InterContinental Hotel in vibrant New Orleans, where art and culture abound. Explore the 19th-century antebellum sugar cane homestead Oak Alley Plantation. Take in the local shops and museums of quaint and cozy southern town charms like historic Baton Rouge, St. Francisville and Natchez. Explore why the Mississippi River was so important during the Civil War as expert guides take you on a tour of the National Military Park, which preserves the site of the Battle of Vicksburg, waged from 29 March to 4 July, 1863. Conclude your Mississippi River voyage in Memphis, home to Blues, BBQ, Beale Street and Elvis Presley, and enjoy tours of Sun Studios, Graceland mansion, the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and National Civil Rights Museum.

Reserve Your Mississippi River Cruise Today Through a generous corporate giving agreement with our travel partner Pollin Group, LLC, we are able to offer this Mississippi River Cruise at deeply discounted rates, and 100 percent of the proceeds of all cruise sales will benefit the National Maritime Historical Society. Don’t be left out—just 30 staterooms remain! For additional information on the cruise itinerary, onboard programming, shore excursions and cruise rates, and to book your river adventure, visit us online at or contact Mary Davis, Sr. Director of Client and Management Services at Pollin Group, by calling (443) 878-4393 or emailing We look forward to seeing you on the Mississippi!


TALL SHIP AMERICA Diversity on Tall Ships: A Historical Perspective1


by Nicolas Hardisty, Program Co-ordinator, Tall Ships America

he 21 -century North American maritime workforce suffers from a lack of diversity, and the tall ship community is no exception. There is a general perception that this workforce has always been overwhelmingly white, yet even a cursory look astern shows that our maritime heritage was largely shaped by diverse populations. Furthering the narrative that maritime history was built solely on white men’s labor promotes a false history that ignores BIPOC,2 women’s, and LGBTQ+ contributions. Indigenous North Americans are commonly considered terrestrial people, but Inuit and Yupik rigged their umiaks with sails woven from grass or made from animal hides prior to European contact, while some New England and Eastern Canadian tribes had canoes that were modified with sails. By 1602, Wabanaki were using Basque shallops for fishing and exploration; by 1676 they had established a naval fleet comprising dozens of small sailing vessels used to fend off aggressive colonists. This fleet included schooners, ketches, and sloops seized from the British, and it was noted that Wabanaki mariners expertly handled these ships. A claim sometimes heard in the tall ships community is: “Black people don’t want to go on tall ships because look what happened the last time they did.” This insidious statement implies that Africans’ only roles in seafaring were as hostages bound for the Americas and ignores centuries of African maritime heritage and strips black mariners of their agency and accomplishments. So what did the 18th- early 20th-century maritime workforce look like? Seamen’s Protection Certificate records and ships’ logs show us that by 1800, mariners of African heritage were over-represented in the workforce compared to their population demographics. Historians Charles Foy and Jason Mancini each compiled databases of BIPOC mariners that document over 27,000 and 17,000 men, respectively. Skip Finley’s recent book describes whaling ships as a meritocracy, where BIPOC men earned their spots as captains and shipowners, defying general social and economic norms. Women served aboard ships in the Age of Sail, generally as wives accompanying their captain-husbands. They left their shoreside communities to take on a gritty, dangerous life—but one that took them around the world to China, Japan, Africa, Polynesian islands, and Antarctica. They were the most extensively traveled women that the world had seen. Stories st

abound recounting voyages where wives and daughters onboard filled in as emergency captains, crew, cooks, and navigators; these unpaid women’s contributions and legacies should be recognized. As to LGBTQ+ populations: Same-sex relations were not uncommon among mariners, and ports like Newport, Rhode Island, and Brooklyn, New York, established robust LGBTQ+ communities largely due to the sailors passing through. Unfortunately, gender-inclusive and LGBTQ+ maritime histories are only in their infancy as fields of study, but it will be interesting to learn this history as it emerges. The American maritime workforce underwent major demographic shifts in the mid-1800s and during the era of Jim Crow. Racism and misogyny were significant factors that forced BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and female mariners out of the workforce and created the overwhelmingly white male industry that exists today. In August 2020, Tall Ships America established a committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to create and implement an action plan to address these issues across the sailing ship fleet. Tall Ships America believes that teaching African heritage, indigenous, female, and LGBTQ+ maritime histories can inspire younger generations and increase participation by underrepresented populations in the tall ship community. When people see reflections of themselves in the maritime workforce, it motivates them to participate and hopefully thrive and thus create a tall ship community that is representative of the greater population. An outcome of robust educational programming in BIPOC, gender-inclusive, and LGBTQ+ maritime history extends to audiences beyond participants. Students and trainees share their knowledge with family and friends, opening dialogues that allow for the diffusion of information throughout communities. There is no doubt that conversation is often the initial catalyst for change. Students and trainees sharing their experiences normalizes conversations about underrepresented groups on the water, empowering them to explore and challenge outdated and unhealthy practices and perspectives on the topic. We encourage the maritime community to dig into these histories and reimagine a new historical narrative that features voices that transcend one ethnicity, gender, or orientation.


Tall Ships America is prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in workforce development, sail training education, and participation with the North American fleet of tall ships. This essay is a condensed version of Nicolas Hardisty’s keynote talk given at the 2021 48th Annual Tall Ships America Conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships. Hardisty has studied and written about African American and colonial maritime histories, and he produces a podcast for Tall Ships America, through which he explores the notable characters and stories that shaped the American experience from the ships to the shore. ( 2 BIPOC: Black, Indigenous and People Of Color



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nation’s past and reflect our resolve to ensure America’s maritime superiority well into the future.” USS Constitution, one of six original frigates authorized by the Naval Act of 1794, is the US Navy’s oldest commissioned vessel afloat and the only currently commissioned US Navy vessel to have sunk an enemy warship. The Resolute desk was presented to President Rutherford B. Hayes by Queen Victoria in 1880. It was built from timbers recovered from HMS Resolute when it was scrapped. Resolute was part of the expedition sent in search of the missing Franklin expedition. It was abandoned in the ice of the Arctic but managed

HMS Resolute, 1857 to drift 1,200 miles to the Davis Strait, where it was found adrift and recovered by the whaling ship George Henry out of Groton, Connecticut. The US government subsequently restored the ship and presented it to Queen Victoria. The Resolute desk was used in various rooms in the White House until it was installed in the Oval Office for John F. Kennedy; in recent years it has been used by every president since Bill Clinton. …. In 2020 Tall Ships America launched its first podcast series, A Barque, a Brig and a Schooner Walk Into a Bar, a look at the people and the history behind some of our most iconic vessels and what it truly means to be a traditional sailor in a modern world. Tall ships are a part of our shared human history, and everyone knows that sailors tell the best stories. Erin Short, director of TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE, invites ship captains, mates, cooks, and ship operations people to share their stories about sail training, time at sea, and the quirks and glories

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of many different ships in the world-wide fleet. Nic Hardisty, Tall Ships America’s resident historian and program coordinator, explores maritime history and some of the notable characters and stories that shaped the American experience from ship to shore. In Season 1, Erin had conversations with people who have had shipboard and shoreside experience from Flagship Niagara League, Sultana Education Foundation, Sea Education Association, the 1877 barque Elissa, and the Rosalia Project for a Clean Ocean, along with many others. Nic’s Season 1 conversations cover the Gaspee Affair, African maritime heritage, early American maritime colonies, the sea trials and tribulations of Christopher Raymond Perry (father of naval heroes Oliver Hazard Perry and Matthew Calbraith Perry), whalers’ wives, and what happens when you put a bear aboard a tall ship. With the positive reception the podcast received, the pair organized a second season, which aired on 19 March 2021. These episodes and future broadcasts feature sea stories, inspiration, and a little bit of everything else. Find out more online at tall-ships-community and subscribe at https://aba rqueabriga nda schooner. or through Apple Podcasts or Spotify. …. After a year of temporary closures, the Wisconsin Maritime Museum has fully re-opened as of Memorial Day weekend and includes a stunning new temporary exhibition organized around the work of Great Lakes photojournalist Christopher Winters.

Edward L. Ryerson, photo by Chris Winters. Ironboat contains a powerful visual record of the trend-setting Great Lakes bulk carriers Wilfred Sykes and the Manitowoc-built Edward L. Ryerson. Mr. Winters will be releasing a book of the same name later this year. (Wisconsin Maritime Museum, 75 Maritime Dr., Manitowoc, WI; Ph. 920 684 0218; ... 48


For the first time since its arrival in Greenwich in 1954, Cutty Sark will have visitors climbing aloft this summer as part of the “Cutty Sark Rig Climb Experience,” where they can experience what the ship’s crew did on a daily basis on the high seas and enjoy a birds-eye view of the Thames River and London. Those seeking to take on the challenge will climb onto the ship’s ratlines from the ship’s main deck and begin their ascent. Visitors will step out on one of the ship’s lower yards before reaching the platform at the tops. Cutty Sark, the last-surviving tea clipper in the world, will re-open to all visitors in June. ( In addition to the ship experience, the Royal Observatory Greenwich will open its North side, Cutty Sark underway, before 1916. Photo credited to Allan C. Greene.

which includes the Prime Meridian line, the Camera Obscura, the Flamsteed House, and the Great Equatorial Telescope. Visitors will be able to see the magnificent technology and craftmanship of John Harrison’s marine timekeepers and the apartments of the Royal Astronomers, and learn about their work and lives at the observatory. Most will want to step on the line marking

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The SS United States Conservancy has launched a virtual exhibition, Advertising the United States: Discovering America’s Flagship Through Prints, Posters and Advertisements. The exhibition examines magazine ads from the heyday of the “Queen of the Seas” and the image of approachable chic that they cultivated, along with commentary on the advertising of the period and what it tells us about the contemporary culture. The exhibit runs through 15 August. (POB 32115, Washington, DC 20007; www.ssusc. org/advertising-the-united-states-home) ...

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Cutty Sark




us navy photo, nhhc


the Prime Meridian, the line of longitude that divides the earth’s Eastern and Western hemispheres. Royal Museums Greenwich incorporates the National Maritime Museum, the 17th-century Queen’s House, and the Cutty Sark. The famous tea clipper was built on the River Clyde in Scotland, before being towed to Greenock for final work on her masts and rigging. She was then brought to London in 1870 to take on her first cargo for China. Royal Museums Greenwich will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and will base its approach on advice received from the British government and Public Health England. ( ... A deep-sea diving expedition executed by two former US Navy officers has successfully relocated, surveyed, and filmed the remains of USS Johnston, the world’s deepest-known shipwreck, the bulk of which lies at a depth of 21,180 feet. Victor Vescovo privately funded the project. He is a retired US Navy commander, who personally piloted his submersible, DSV Limiting Factor, down to the wreck site during two eight-hour dives. These dives constituted the deepest wreck dives, manned or unmanned, in history. USS Johnston (DD557) was a US Navy Fletcher-class destroyer that was sunk during an intense battle on 25 October 1944 against vastly superior Japanese forces off the coast of Samar Island during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. “In no engagement in its entire history has the United States Navy shown more gallantry,

USS Johnston (DD-557) guts, and gumption than in the two morning hours between 0730 and 0930 off Samar,” wrote Rear Admiral Samuel E. Morison in his History of US Naval Operations in World War II. Upon the commissioning of the ship, the destroyer’s Native American captain from Oklahoma, Commander Ernest Evans, told his crew that he would “never run from a fight,” and that “anyone who did not want to go in harm’s way, had better get off now.” None of his crew did so. The wreck site was first discovered in 2019 by the late Paul Allen’s vessel R/V Petrel. During that expedition, film of sections of the vessel were taken by a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV), but the majority of the ship lay deeper than the ROV’s rated depth limit of approximately 20,000 feet. The submersible DSV Limiting Factor, which has no operating depth limitation or tether, is equipped with highdefinition and 4K cameras. Under the auspices of Vescovo’s company, Caladan Oceanic, the recent expedition was able to confirm the identity of the destroyer, noting that its hull number—557—is clearly

courtesy caladan oceanic

USS Johnston on the seafloor, footage taken from DSV Limiting Factor



USS The Sullivans (DD-537)

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courtesy becnp

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visible on both sides of its bow. The forward two-thirds of the Johnston are intact, including the bow, bridge, and midsection; two 5-inch gun turrets, twin torpedo racks, and multiple gun mounts are still in place. The team will hand over its sonar data, imagery, and field notes to the US Navy. “We have a strict ‘look, don’t touch’ policy, but we collect a lot of material that is very useful to historians and naval archivists. I believe it is important work, which is why I fund it privately and we deliver the material to the Navy pro-bono,” said Vescovo. The Johnston was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation—the highest award that can be given to a ship. Commander Ernest Evans was awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor, the first Native American in the US Navy and only one of two destroyer skippers in World War II to be so honored. (Caladan Oceanic, LLC, 6715 Orchid Lane Dallas, TX; … Another Fletcher-class destroyer, USS The Sullivans (DD-537), received an outpouring of support after the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park (BECNP) announced in late February that the ship was in need of emergency repairs to stay afloat. BECNP had been fundraising for significant restoration work on The Sullivans this spring and summer, but the need became more urgent over the winter. BECNP’s president and CEO, Paul

Free Brochure, Solid Sterling Silver, 10k, 14k or 18k Gold Marzello, stated in a public appeal: “The harsh Buffalo winter weather has severely damaged the hull of USS The Sullivans The Carroll Collection of US Eagle Rings below the waterline, so there is significant 888-512-1333 water coming into the ship. She is currently listing to port quite noticeably. If we cannot repair the hull and stop the water, REAL WAR PHOTOS she will sink.” The response was remarkable; just one week later the naval park reported that donations totaled $230,000 and they were still coming in. The momentum inspired Douglas Jemal of Douglas Development to lead the park’s $1,000,000 fundraising campaign for the long-term work needed on the hull. The funds will pay for 50,000+ ships, battles & military photos a full underwater team of divers to coat the Request a FREE catalog. 50% Veterans Discount! entire exterior hull with an epoxy to P.O. Box 414, Somerset Ctr, MI 49282 strengthen and protect the thin steel of the 734-327-9696 hull from further deterioration, a process expected to take 3–4 months. Named for the five brothers—Joseph, Francis, Albert, Beaufort NavalArmorers Armorers Real War Photos Ad.indd 1 Naval 4/10/2018 Beaufort Madison, and George—who were lost when their ship, USS Juneau, was sunk at the Battle of Guadalcanal, USS The Sullivans was built by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in San Francisco. The ship took part in combat in the Marshall Islands, the CANNONS CANNONS Caroline Islands, the Mariana Islands, and Finely Crafted Marine Grade FinelyWorking CraftedReplicas Marine Grade the Philippines, earning nine combat stars Working Replicas in World War II. It served in the Korean Morehead City, NC USA 252-726-5470 War and the Cuban Blockade, and parMorehead City, NC USA 252-726-5470 ticipated in efforts to rescue the nuclear submarine USS Thresher. It was decommis-



NATIONAL PARKS PLAYING CARDS. Many of America’s National Parks are represented on these cards with interesting facts and images. BOMBSHELL: THE CURIOUS WAR OF A UNION ARMY GUNBOAT by Thomas F. McGraw. This is the unlikely true story of the Oscar F. Burns, a humble 1861 New York canal boat, renamed by the Union Army as Bombshell for its role with four similar vessels in the 1861-62 Burnside expedition to the Carolinas. Bombshell was eventual lengthened and armed at New Bern, NC, to become a full-fledged steam-powered fighting ship. Gunboat Bombshell supported Army raids with artillery support and with delivery of troops against Confederate targets along the North Carolina rivers and finished her career in pitched river battles among much larger ships. Reviewed positively in Power Ships and Civil War Navy magazines. Order direct from the author, via US Postal Service, at Indian Creek, PO Box 14663, New Bern, NC 28561. $20.00 check to “Indian Creek” includes postage and any applicable taxes. PIRATE PLAYING CARDS AND PRINTS by Signature ASMA Artist, Don Maitz, National Geographic contributor and originator of the Captain Morgan Spiced Rum character. Full-color playing cards have different watercolor images on each face. Prints present sea-rover adventurers. Order from: studioshop. 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 and CUSTOM SHIP MODELS, HALF HULLS. Free Catalog. Spencer, Box 1034, Quakertown, PA 18951.

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sioned in 1965 and became part of the collection of the naval park in 1977. In addition to the destroyer, the naval park is home to the Gato-class submarine USS Croaker, the fast patrol boat PTF-17, and the last surviving Cleveland-class light cruiser, USS Little Rock. (1 Naval Park Cove, Buffalo, NY; Ph. 716 847-1773; ... Maine’s First Ship has announced a new launch date for the reconstruction of the 1607 Virginia

courtesy mfs, image by bev bevilacqua


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 PRESIDENTS PLAYING CARDS. All 46 US presidents are represented on these playing cards with interesting facts and quotes. PLACE YOUR CLASSIFIED AD HERE. Classified ads are $1.60 per word. Sea History readers are an ideal advertising audience for an extensive array of products, publications, establishments, programs and services. Contact Wendy at 914 737-7878 ext. 557 or via email below.

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pinnace Virginia. Like so many other projects and events, the organization, and specifically its shipbuilders and volunteers, experienced a very large, very heavy wrench tossed in the plans thanks to COVID-19. Despite that, the group out of Bath, Maine, has been able to continue work on building a reconstruction of the Virginia, which was built on the coast of Maine in 1607, the first European vessel built in the state. The ship had been slated for launch in 2020 during the state’s bicentennial, but a monthlong shutdown in construction put those

plans on hold. Now the shipwrights and riggers are back at it, working on staggered days to avoid a close-packed workspace. The “whiskey plank” was recently installed, decks are down and chalked, and the engine will soon be in place. The new launch date is tentatively slated for June 2022. For more information visit (Submitted by James Nelson) ... The National Museum of the Royal Navy re-opened on 17 May, offering visitors a new vantage point from which to view HMS Victory: looking up from below the ship.

victory images courtesy national museum of the royal navy


HMS Victory Dock Walkway


         

Maine’s First Ship volunteer Jim Amundsen bolts the lead to the keel.

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The museum has introduced an “Under Hull Walkway,” allowing museum guests to walk down to the base of the dry dock. This unique view of the hull is just one component of the new Victory gallery, featuring film, interactive pieces, and some previously unseen artifacts, such as a shotdamaged section of the original mast from the Battle of Trafalgar and a 200-year-old figurehead. The exhibit charts the ship’s history beyond her career as Nelson’s flagship to her rescue in the 1920s by the Society of Nautical Research and introduces many of the figures related to her story. The latest renovation of the 256-year-old warship began in 2016, when it was discovered

that she was collapsing under her own weight. The cradles that had supported the ship in dry dock since the 1920s needed to be replaced with something that would more effectively mirror the hull support of floating in the water. Now the ship is held up by a system of 134 “smart props,” which not only “mimic the variable pressures of the sea,” but also transmit information on load distribution and the hull’s status through individual “load cells.” Victory is the oldest commissioned warship in the world, and the official Flagship of the First Sea Lord. (National Museum of the Royal Navy, HM Naval Base (PP66), Portsmouth, PO1 3NH; ...

The Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum loaned several pieces from its collection for use in filming the upcoming feature film Devotion, which takes place during the Korean War. Over a dozen Ready Room chairs, a captain’s chair, and sinks from USS Yorktown added historical accuracy to the production. In preparation for filming, the movie production company restored the chairs, cleaning and painting them, as well as fabricating new cushions for the backrests and seats. The chairs, nearly 80 years old, have been returned to the museum and are being returned to existing exhibits. Devotion is expected to premiere next year; it is about

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NATIONAL LIGHTHOUSE The Promenade at Lighthouse Point museum 200 Staten Island, NY 10301

Est. 2015

Preserve and educate on the maritime heritage of lighthouses, lightships and the stories of their keepers for generations to come... MUSEUM HOURS: Events Include: Summer: 11:00am-5:00pm lighthouse Boat Tours Winter 11:00am-4:00pm Wednesday- Sunday Maritime Lectures *CLOSEDHOLIDAYS* children’s maritime Winter (November – March) adventure programs Summer (April – October) Lightkeeper’s Gala

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Golf Outing

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Jesse Brown, the first African-American naval aviator, and Medal of Honor recipient Tom Hudner. (Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, 40 Patriots Point Road, Mt. Pleasant, SC; ... The USCG Barque Eagle has resumed cadet training and is currently underway across the Atlantic. The ship is visiting the Azores in May and Iceland in June, before heading back west across the Atlantic with a stop in Bermuda. The ship will be open for tours at all port stops, and visitors can get onboard in July and August when the ship calls at New London, Connecticut; Newport, Rhode Island; and Portland, Maine. You can follow the ship and view specific dates at eagle. The historic three-masted barque is commanded by CAPT Michael A. Turdo, a 1997 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy.


Lighthouse Point Fest

*Contact or visit Museum to learn how you can support our expansion Campaign for Illuminating Future Generations *HRH/PRINCESS ANNE IS OUR HONORARY CHAIR

and much more...

*Don’t miss her future visit!

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Sit Down With a Book by William H. White and Find Yourself On Deck in the Age of Sail! Taste the salt spray and feel the boom of the cannon in your bones! Award-winning author William H. White’s books provide a thrilling way to experience maritime and naval history. Written with a depth of research, White presents a spectacular cast of characters engaged in action and intrigue, portrayed in an accurate depiction of the conditions as they existed during the era. Seamlessly weaving fictitious characters into a historical narrative, White creates a fun and exciting way to learn a bit of American history. Through the National Maritime Historical Society’s online Ship’s Store, all of his books* are available for $14.95 (paperback) each, while a portion of the proceeds supports NMHS. The 1812 Trilogy—

A Press of Canvas, A Fine Tops’l Breeze, and The Evening Gun Discover William H. White’s historically accurate, colorful, and carefully crafted tales from the Age of Sail—told from an American perspective with a grand view from the early days of our country.

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When Fortune Frowns and Gun Bay: Edward Ballantyne, White’s fictitious narrator, recounts these exciting tales of the high seas with the Royal Navy that highlight actual events. Follow the saga of the Bounty mutineers in When Forturne Frowns. William H. White is a historian specializing in the maritime heritage and American involvement in the Age of Sail. A life-long sailor and a US Navy officer in the 1960s, he was actively involved in naval operations in Vietnam. His love of the Age of Sail and all things maritime is reflected in his carefully crafted maritime tales. In addition to serving as a Life Trustee of the USS Constitution Museum in Boston, White is a long-time trustee and officer of the National Maritime Historical Society and is heavily involved in its operations. Early in 2012 he was elected to the board of trustees of Operation Sail, Inc. (now defunct). He is former trustee of the LYNX Educational Foundation and served on the board of Tall Ships America for several years. While officially retired from penning full-length books, White continues to write the occasional magazine article and post a (more or less) weekly blog, Maritime Maunder, on a variety of historical and contemporary subjects of interest to the maritime world. Maritime Maunder began life 6 1/2 years ago and today enjoys a readership of over 121,000 readers, worldwide. In addition to his fictional works, William White is a frequent contributor and advisor to Sea History. Visit his website at to learn more about the author.

To Order, call 1-800-221-NMHS (6647), ext. 0 or visit our website at

*Individual titles available in hardcover for $39.95 • Please add $7.00 s/h (within the USA) — discounted shipping for bundled orders. • NYS residents add 8% sales tax.




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 978-0-262538-077-408; $50pb) Larrie D. Ferreiro’s book is a pathbreaking contribution to a vital but understudied area of maritime history and the history of technology—naval architecture. Although primarily focused on the 19th and 20th centuries, the book draws substantially on the author’s earlier Ships and Science: The Birth of Naval Architecture in the Scientific Revolution, 1600–1800 (MIT Press 2007), and its final chapter and epilogue carry the reader into the 21st century and offer glimpses into the future. The title Bridging the Seas is apt, as the naval architecture and engineering that emerged during the 19th century to make Great Britain the world’s leading shipbuilding nation were the products of engineers. The “modern” ship, characterized by iron— and then steel—hulls, steam power, and screw propellers was not simply another evolutionary step forward down a trajectory established by centuries of shipbuilding. Rather, it was the result of revolutionary innovations devised by Victorian engineers, such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, in the mid-19th century. Brunel envisaged his first steamship as a bridge across the Atlantic for the Great Western railway he was building. In 1838, the steamer Great Western became the first “bridge” over the Atlantic Ocean, reducing the average eastto-west crossing from about six weeks to sixteen days. Brunel’s second steamer, the iron-hulled 322-foot-long Great Britain, was the largest ship afloat when it began transAtlantic service in 1845. With structural iron girders similar to those used in Brunel’s bridges, a double bottom, and five watertight compartments, the freakishly strong Great Britain endured nearly a century of use and abuse and survives to this day as a restored historic ship in Bristol. Brunel’s final ship, Great Eastern, completed in 1858, was designed to link the United Kingdom and Australia. More than seven times the size of Great Britain, Ferreiro argues that Great Eastern became the first to synthesize “all elements of theoretical naval architecture—strength, stabil-

ity, hydrodynamics, and seakeeping—into an integrated whole. … To create that one ship, Brunel had assembled the pantheon of engineers who would soon reshape the field.” Although considered a “bridge too

far” and commercial failure, the nearly 19,000-gross ton SS Great Eastern, Ferreiro argues, “launched naval architecture into the modern age.” Brunel died in 1858, but the three surviving engineers—John Scott Russell, William Fairbairn, and William Froud—become focal points in Ferreiro’s detailed histories of shipbuilding theory, science, practice, and professionalization that follow. The author’s deep technical knowledge and professional experience as a naval architect and engineer for the US Coast Guard and Navy are matched by his sophistication as a historian of technology. Ferreiro’s approach is strongly institutionalist and systems-focused, and, beyond the dominant role of Great Britain in developing modern naval architecture, the book has an international scope. The description and analysis of the evolving science of naval architecture and associated technologies during the 19th and early 20th centuries are comprehensive and complicated yet thought-provoking. The range of topics and depth of coverage make it difficult to do justice to Bridging the Seas in a brief review. Ferreiro’s ambitions for the book are telling: “this work will have succeeded if it becomes the standard reference in five years’ time. It

will have failed if, a generation from now, it continues to be the standard reference.” In Bridging the Seas, the author has established important historical, technical, and theoretical frameworks for understanding the broad patterns in the evolution of nautical architecture and modern ships that will stand the test of time. Outside of coverage of elite nautical architects, institutions, and ship constructors who created many of the new standards and practices, the book’s treatment of naval architecture and the adoption of innovations at the regional or individual level is limited and highly selective. For example, in his coverage of the United States, he focuses exclusively on the John Roach and Sons and William Cramp and Sons shipbuilding firms. He ignores the co-occurring developments on the Great Lakes, which by the early 1900s had, arguably, developed the most technologically advanced and bureaucratically sophisticated industrial shipping The Glencannon Press systems in the United States. archi4 col. inches (2.25 x 4.5Naval inches) tect and proponent of scientific shipbuildPrefer right hand page, bottom right. ing John W. Griffiths gets attention, while his partner, the innovative architect, author,



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and shipbuilder William Wallace Bates, does not. Ferreiro’s book opens new doors for the history of nautical architecture and shipbuilding in the United States and sets fresh standards for the field. As a historian of technology, Ferreiro explores the driving process of change. In his earlier Ships and Science, he argues that the main forces driving the development of naval architecture and adoption of ship theory came with the rise of modern naval bureaucracies in the 17th and 18th centuries. “The systematic use of ship theory,” Ferreiro asserts, “made sense only within the bureaucratic organization established for naval construction, which came to include a strong central control of design and system of professional formation that enabled constructors to learn and carry out calculations.” In Bridging the Seas, Ferreiro argues that use of ship theory, rationalization of ship design and construction, and professional formation of naval architecture characteristic of the work of British shipyards in the industrial age were driven by “a bureaucratic need by shipowners who demanded greater control over the ships they were buying, including tighter scheduling, improved performance, and the safe delivery of cargoes.” At times, these arguments, although valuable, seem a bit forced. These minor limitations, however, in no way diminish the value of the book, which has led me to reconsider the theoretical assumptions of my scholarship and significantly expanded my technical understanding of naval architecture and the industrialization of seafaring. Bridging the Sea is an essential book for scholars and naval architects interested in the history of their profession, not the general reader. It should be required reading in graduate programs in nautical archaeology, maritime history, and the history of technology. John Odin Jensen, PhD Pensacola, Florida 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 978-0-300-24571-4; $30hc) Stephen Taylor’s Sons of the Waves tells a story that is both broad and limited, unique yet familiar. The book chronicles 58

the history of one particular group of men in the maritime world: common British sailors, primarily those who manned the men-of-war, but merchant sailors as well, during the years 1740 to 1840. By examining that particular 100-year period, Taylor is able to illustrate the importance that “Jack Tar” played in Britain’s maritime

dominance, which in that timeframe went from substantial to historically unprecedented. He does a fine job of giving the foremast Jack pride of place in that evolution, examining both the social and economic factors that led to the creation of the iconic British sailor, as well as the evolution of the mythology. Taylor points out that the British tar “was, simply, the most successful fighting man ever produced by his native land.” Taylor aims to tell the story of the British sailor through his own words, and he accomplishes this by relying on an impressive array of primary sources. It is one of the great delights of Sons of the Waves for any reader with an interest in maritime history or fiction; it is always a pleasure to read the genuine words of actual participants. While Taylor ferrets out a number of obscure voices, he also relies heavily on several memoirs that will already be well known to fans of maritime history. Much use is made of The Nagle Journal; The Adventures of John Wetherell; The Life and Adventures of John Nicol, Mariner; and Jack SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021

Nastyface, among other accounts. In that, there is not much that the reader with any depth of knowledge of maritime literature will find particularly new. Indeed, therein lies one of Sons of the Waves’s biggest weaknesses. In telling the tale of Jack Tar, Taylor feels compelled to set the scene with background that will already be quite familiar to many readers. No one with a passing knowledge of this history will be much surprised or enlightened to read about how Jack lacked any sort of restraint ashore, or was greatly taken advantage of, or that naval discipline was brutal or life on shipboard harsh. Certainly, the examination of these things is rendered more interesting when read in the sailors’ own words, but they are nonetheless aspects of seafaring life that few who have made a study of maritime history will find terribly unique. Nearly half of Sons of the Waves, unsurprisingly, is devoted to the years of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, the time of Nelson’s Navy and the high-water mark of British naval power. Of that time period, considerable attention

is given to the mutinies at Spithead and the Nore. Again, this is hardly surprising, given that those mutinies represent Jack’s most vocal moment. But the history of the mutinies is a familiar one and has been told many times by many other historians. It is interesting, certainly, to read that tragic story in the words of the men on the lower deck, but it does not make them any less familiar. In the book’s preface, Taylor writes that the British sailor “who emerges bears a surprisingly strong resemblance to the Jack of folklore.” This is certainly true. But it also means that the Jack of Sons of the Waves is a figure already well known to readers of maritime history. This is not to say Sons of the Waves is not a worthy book — it is admirably researched and written, and a pleasure to read. For readers just coming to the naval history of the 18th century, this book will prove a fascinating and enlightening study, but it contains little new for the reader who has long consumed tales of ships and the sea. James Nelson West Harpswell, Maine

Britain’s Island Fortresses: Defence of the Empire, 1756–1956 by Bill Clements (Pen & Sword, South Yorkshire, UK, 2019; 320pp, illus, appen, gloss, notes, biblio, isbn 978-1-52674-030-4; $49.95hc) If you are looking for a detailed account of how Britain erected, maintained, and armed the fortifications of their island possessions, then look no further. Bill Clements’s thoroughly researched book takes you through the planning and construction of some of your better-known locations, from Malta all the way to the remote island of St. Helena where Napoleon was banished. The strength of the British Empire relied largely on the strength of the Royal Navy. Having island bases around the world was crucial to maintaining sea routes and providing safe bases for the watering, provisioning, repair, and bunkering of naval ships. The strategic nature of these bases made them wartime targets, which required their extensive and careful fortification. Located in so many different parts of the world, each necessitated its own individual design and implementation. Clements’s

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book closely follows the construction, maintenance and armament history of these island fortresses. If you are a military history enthusiast traveling to one of these places, this book would be a fantastic companion for visiting any of these sites. With book in hand, you will not need a tour guide! Graham McKay Newburyport, Massachusetts Alaska Codfish Chronicle: A History of the Pacific Cod Fishery in Alaska by James Mackovjak (University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks, 2019, 559pp, illus, maps, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-60223389-8; $29.95pb) We all remember the big splash by Mark Kurlansky’s 1998 New York Times and International bestseller, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World. That book brought overflowing attention to commercial fishing and a pivotal thousand-year economic enterprise that did much to shape the Atlantic world. Today, however, the vast majority of cod comes from the North Pacific, one of the world’s largest commercial fisheries and among the last wild food sources on Earth. James Mackovjak’s new book, Alaska Codfish Chronicle: A History of the Pacific Cod Fishery in Alaska, is a much-needed examination of the entire industry from native fishing practices, through the age of sailing ships and salt cod, to today’s complex fish processing technology and regulatory resource management. It is an engaging story with broad appeal, as both a popular history narrative as well as an essential reference for researchers studying the history and present-day evolutions of this multi-billiondollar industry. Alaska Codfish Chronicle is a seminal contribution to this multifaceted subject. Although a few other books on the Pacific cod fishery are available, they are far less comprehensive and are focused on specific narratives, such as Captain Ed Shields’s wonderful photographic memoir Salt of the Sea: The Pacific Coast Cod Fishery and the Last Days of Sail (2001) or memoirs of codfishing voyages aboard the big schooners, as in Russ Hofvendahl’s very entertaining Hard On the Wind (2004). Most of the contextual information on the industry, 60

ecology, and the data so useful to researchers in conducting reasoned analysis is scattered throughout hundreds of other periodicals, government and corporate records, and council reports spanning more than a century. In Alaska Codfish Chronicle, James Mackovjak has done a very fine job of gathering together those hundreds of sources, analyzing their import, and synthesizing a carefully researched and thoroughly supported narrative. He presents much astute analytical insight into the twists and turns of the industry, extracting the economic, technological, or biological realities from the data and the many smokescreens put forward a century ago by failing fishing enterprises, all energetically placing blame for their misfortunes.

Covering a topic as large and complex as the Pacific cod fishery is a real challenge, but Mackovjak skillfully navigates the topic, sharply defines the elements of this subject, breaks it down into clear and very logical subsections, and concisely conveys the complex dynamics of this industry over time. The sub-headings alone provide a narrative that keeps the reader aware of how each part of this manuscript fits within the broader narrative of the industry. This was particularly important in discussing the convoluted mechanics of the relatively recent fleetwide rationalization programs to form a structure that keeps the

reader oriented in a complicated subject that could easily set a person adrift. Mackovjak’s clear organization makes the subject understandable and enables researchers to quickly locate relevant material within the text. This is also facilitated by a delightfully thorough index, enabling subsequent researchers to hunt for specific nuggets of historical information. The text is wonderfully thorough without feeling overloaded. I was pleased to find that in every instance when I questioned or thought of something that had been overlooked, it was addressed in the next paragraph or on the next page. It is clear that he has mastery of his subject as well as the skill to relate it to a broad audience. He is no greenhorn, after all. James Mackovjak has also published books about the Alaska coastal logging industry and the Aleutian freight business, which won him a Pathfinder Award from the Alaska Historical Society in 2013. Alaska Codfish Chronicle is not restricted solely to historical narratives, however, and Mackovjak’s attention to developing issues in the industry today, such as sustainability, climate change, and lowemission freezer-longliners, makes this publication extremely relevant in our own time. It is indeed a chronicle of the past and present, and a look to the future, with emphasis on the forces shaping each era. Alaska Codfish Chronicle covers a sorely understudied arena of Pacific maritime history. The bold, and often brash, pioneering endeavors of trappers, fishermen, and loggers in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska that laid the foundation of the region as it is today were seldom chronicled in any detail, let alone carefully analyzed. Given the state of world fisheries today, it is also a story of major global importance. As a maritime historian, commercial fisherman, and a former maritime museum director overseeing the legacy of two prominent Pacific cod fishing vessels (the lumber and fishing schooner Wawona of 1897 and the halibut schooner Tordenskjold of 1911), I found reading this long-needed chronicle very gratifying. The Pacific cod fishery is a spectacular tale, imbued with a similar spirit as the Alaska Gold Rush or the Westward Migration ashore. It is a fascinating and enjoyable story and I expect that—as SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021

thorough as this work is—it will swiftly become a central reference for other researchers stepping off into other branches of this complex story. Nathaniel Howe Seattle, Washington Unsinkable: Five Men and the Indomitable Run of the USS Plunkett by James Sullivan (Scribner, New York, 2020, 399pp, notes, illus, biblio; isbn 978-1-9821-47631; $30hc) James Sullivan’s Unsinkable: Five Men and the Indomitable Run of the USS Plunkett is a front row seat in World War II in Europe aboard a US Navy Gleaves-class destroyer. Europe? Not the Pacific Theatre of Operations? Three-quarters of a century after the end of World War II, the popular recollection of the conflict has the US Army winning the fight in Europe, while the US Navy and its Marine Corps brought victory at sea in the Pacific. No one questions the Navy’s role in transporting troops and their supplies from the New World to the Old, but few are aware of the heavy fighting that sailors and their ships endured in support of the Army. Likewise, the Navy and Marines won the Pacific war with the rarely heralded fighting of the Army. The role of the US Army in the Pacific has received little of the respect it deserves. The brilliant performance of the Marines and the Navy notwithstanding, there would have been no victory in the Pacific without the US Army. Sullivan’s work throws light into a dark corner of WWII history—the role of the US Navy in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO)—by featuring the career of USS Plunkett and highlighting the roles of five men associated with the ship. One of those five, James D. Feltz, water tender 3rd-class, was in his nineties when interviewed by the author. Another died a violent death on the ship at Anizo, one of fifty-three who lost their lives to a 500-pound bomb dropped on the ship by a Luftwaffe bomber. The loss of John J. Gallagher in a way represents all those who died from the Plunkett. He had family that deeply grieved his loss, just as thousands of other families that had suffered the loss of loved ones. War is hell on the homefront too.

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Neith, 1996, Cover photograph

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The captain of Plunkett for thirteen months, Commander Edward J. Burke, one of Sullivan’s featured protagonists, was in command at Anzio when the ship was the target of seventeen Luftwaffe planes. Sullivan does not romanticize his characters but paints them in real colors. Burke was an excellent ship handler, but also a bully who took a “happy” ship and turned it into a tense one. Burke was a manager who preferred an uncomfortable staff. Years after the war, Kenneth B. Brown, a lieutenant when he served as Plunkett’s gunnery officer, was asked if he was aboard USS Des Moines, a cruiser commanded by Burke, when the interviewer interrupted himself with: “You couldn’t be. You’re smiling.” What could say more about Burke’s command style? Burke was awarded the Navy Cross for what he achieved at Anzio and there is little doubt that he had it coming, but there appears little justice in crediting the captain with the performance of more than 200 men. A unit citation would have been more appropriate.

In addition to Burke, Brown, Feltz, and Gallagher, Sullivan presents John P. Simpson, first lieutenant and leader of the damage control parties. Although Sullivan constructs his narrative around these five individuals, he includes others when information surfaced during his search for links to Plunkett and her experience. Sullivan had no direct contact with Burke; he visited with Brown, Feltz, and Simpson, and contacts with his own family provided what he needed to know about Gallagher, his uncle. Plunkett was a small ship, tiny measured against the likes of USS Missouri or any of the fleet aircraft carriers. Small—but casting a large shadow. Plunkett is cited fifteen times in Samuel Eliot Morison’s United States Naval Operations in World War II. Of Plunkett’s misfortune at Anzio, Morison reports the following: “During the afternoon and evening of 24 January [1944], thirty-three LSTs steamed up to Anzio in time to be on the receiving end of a sensational twilight air raid. First fif-


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.

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121,503 Vessels Online @ 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. Other sources have been used to expand the number of vessels listed and data. This list not only includes American vessels, but also many foreign ones, whether sail, steam, unrigged or not documented. Comments appreciated!

More databases to be added soon 62

teen fighter-bombers, then forty-three at dusk, and finally fifty-two after dark attacked the transport area repeatedly. One struck destroyer Plunkett with a 550-pound bomb, killing fifty-three of her crew and disabling the port engine, but she was able to reach Palermo under her own power.” Plunkett was back in the fray for D-Day with movie producer John Ford aboard. Ford used Plunkett as the platform for his filming of the landings. Unsinkable is worth the attention of a wide range of readers. Anyone interested in World War II, the US Navy or sea history will find it attractive. Sullivan’s description of combat situations is gripping and affecting. General readers will find in Unsinkable an example of especially good writing. The author has taken a paucity of information and woven past and present into a seamless fabric that serves as a lasting memorial for a ship and crew that paid dearly for Allied victory in Europe. David O. Whitten, PhD Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina Stories from The Wreckage: A Great Lakes Maritime History Inspired by Shipwrecks by John Odin Jensen (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, Madison, 2019, 297pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-0-87020-902-4; $29.95pb) “It’s not my genre.” Or region, time period, or what-have-you. As a graduate student studying maritime history and archaeology, I can’t tell you how many times I heard fellow students and even some faculty utter these words when it came time to discuss a particular topic in the large but specialized field that examines our maritime past. So, I confess—as a lifelong East Coast resident—the history of the Great Lakes is not my typical arena. Another confession: the author is a colleague and a friend. It is because of our friendship that I decided to read his book in the first place, and boy am I glad I did. Stories from the Wreckage is not just a book on shipwrecks as dive sites nor tales of high drama from the wrecking events, it is a book that masterfully weaves what can be learned from the physical remains of ships on the bottom of the Great Lakes with the stories gleaned from the historical record. Moreover, it ties the role of the SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021

Great Lakes into the development of the United States as a whole, making it relevant to anyone interested in American history as their genre. It was travel by water that made the westward expansion in this region possible. The thousands of shipwrecks in the Great Lakes offer opportunities to document the myriad ships and ship types used across more than two centuries. The level of preservation of wooden ships lying on the bottom of these freshwater seas is almost hard to fathom for anyone who has studied shipwrecks in a saltwater environment. The

cold freshwater devoid of the wood-boring teredo worm and corrosive effects of salt has preserved wooden, iron, and steel shipwrecks in a remarkable state, with many sitting on the bottom upright—masts still standing or cargoes intact. What can shipwrecks tell us? With no provenance…not much. But the vessel remains in the Great Lakes provide a physical timeline of maritime activity that often can be tied to the historical record. Combined, they provide a fuller picture of the past, from the cast of characters that financed, built, and operated ships to the economic, environmental, and cultural factors that affected how ships changed over the years. By examining this timeline, we learn how the first wave of settlers, mariners, and entrepreneurs who headed west from the East Coast essentially expanded their Atlantic world in business practices, ship design and use, and ways of life. In a relatively short period of time, they adapted to the physical and geographical environment of the region by developing specialized vessels and exploiting regional materials and construction techniques particular to the Great Lakes. The century the author highlights, 1820 to 1920, witnessed incredible change and growth of the region’s cities and towns, industry, and population in

large part driven by the maritime highway the lakes supplied. The author’s selected tales from the wreckage illustrate a corresponding story of change and growth. John Jensen’s strengths as both a maritime archaeologist and a historian give him the tools with which to compile this history; his talents as a writer and storyteller make his book a great read. The cast of characters—people like Charles Manning Reed, Rev. William Ferry, Allyn Litchfield, Captain Hartley Hatch, and James Davidson—are just a few who played outsized roles in the development of the region and their stories are well told. A note on the book’s format. As editor of Sea History, I deal with things like fonts, layout, graphics, and images on a daily basis. I am impressed with the book’s look and feel. I have to give a shout-out to Tamara Thomsen, whose unbelievable photographs of the shipwrecks in situ grace the cover, seen here, and many pages within. The book is a joy to hold, read, and refer to again and again. To Sea History readers who live in or come from the Great Lakes states, this book is a must-read. For those who might not consider a Great Lakes book their genre, they should reconsider. You will be well rewarded. Deirdre O’Regan Editor, Sea History

New & Noted The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World by Linda Colley (Liveright, imprint of W. W. Norton, New York, 2021, 512pp, isbn 978-0-87140-316-2; $35hc) Inside the US Navy of 1812–1825 by William S. Dudley (Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2021, 348pp, maps, illus, tables, notes, index, isbn 978-1-42144051-4; $54.95hc) Into the Deep: A Memoir From the Man Who Found Titanic by Robert D. Ballard and Christopher Drew (Simon & Schuster, New York, 2021, 336pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-42622-099-9 $30hc)

The Lost Boys of Montauk: The True Story of the Wind Blown, Four Men Who Vanished at Sea, and the Survivors They Left Behind by Amanda M. Fairbanks (Gallery Books, New York, 2021, isbn 9781-98210-323-1; $28hc)

Sailor Talk: Labor, Utterance, and Meaning in the Works of Melville, Conrad, and London by Mary K. Bercaw Edwards (Liverpool University Press, UK, April 2021, 272pp, isbn 978-1-80085-9654; $130hc)

Mediterranean Naval Battles that Changed the World by Quentin Russell (Pen & Sword, Barnsley, UK, 2021, 236pp, isbn 978-1-52671-599-9; $42.95hc)

Two Centuries of Maine Shipbuilding: A Visual History by Nathan Lipfert (Down East Books, Lanham, Maryland, July 2021, 368pp, isbn 978-1-60893-681-6; $60hc)

Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad edited by Timothy D. Walker (Univ. of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 2021, 231pp, isbn 978-1-62534-592-9; $27.95pb)

Valcour: The 1776 Campaign That Saved the Cause of Liberty by Jack Kelly (St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2021, 285pp, maps, notes, appen, biblio, index, isbn 9781-25024-711-7; $28.99hc)

All past reviews published in Sea History can be found online via SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021 63

NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY AFTERGUARD J. Aron Charitable Foundation, Inc. The Artina Group 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 Brian D’Isernia Eckert Trust Henry L. & Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation In Memory of Ignatius Galgan ADM & Mrs. Jay L. Johnson, USN (Ret.) Arthur M. Kimberly Trust VADM Al Konetzni Jr., USN (Ret.) In Memory of H. F. Lenfest Richardo R. Lopes Guy E. C. Maitland McAllister Towing & Transportation Co., Inc. 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 The Schoonmaker Foundation In Memory of Howard Slotnick Capt. Cesare Sorio John Stobart David & Beverly Verdier William H. White Jean Wort BENEFACTORS ARS Investment Partners VADM Dirk Debbink, USN (Ret.) Richard T. du Moulin David S. Fowler Don & Kathy Hardy J. D. Power Family Hon. John Lehman Dr. Jennifer London Lori, James II, & Jim Mathieu CAPT James A. Noone, USN (Ret.) The Pollin Group, LLC Scarano Boat Building, Inc. Marjorie B. Shorrock H. C. Bowen Smith Norma Stanford In Memory of Peter Stanford Philip & Irmy Webster PLANKOWNERS Byers Foundation RADM Joseph F. Callo, USN (Ret.) Elaine Cannon Dayton Carr Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Coast Guard Aviation Association William J. Green Capt. Howard R. Hill Jr. Royal Holly Ruth R. Hoyt/Anne H. Jolley Foundation, Inc. H. Kirke Lathrop Robert Leary Norman Liss CAPT Sally Chin McElwreath, USN (Ret.) Navy League of the United States Transportation Institute Pritzker Military Foundation John & Anne Rich Sidney Stern Memorial Trust VectorCSP LLC 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 Dr. John & Rachel Cahill C. Hamilton Sloan Foundation Dr. Allan C. Campbell Douglas Campbell James W. Cheevers J. Barclay Collins C. W. Craycroft Cynthia & Gerry Dubey Dr. William S. & Donna Dudley EMR Southern Recycling The Edgar & Geraldine Feder Foundation, Inc. Dr. John Finerty Flagship Olympia Foundation Mrs. D. L. Fleischmann In Memory of D. Harry W. Garschagen Burchenal Green ADM Jonathan Greenert, USN (Ret.) Carol Goldfeder Catharine Guiher Robert S. Hagge Jr. Charles Henninghausen Independence Seaport Museum Neil E. Jones RADM Eric C. Jones, USCG Benjamin Katzenstein Charles R. Kilbourne L3 Harris Technologies CDR C. R. Lampman, USN (Ret.) Cyrus C. Lauriat Paul Jay Lewis Rob Lopes The MacPherson Fund, Inc. Ann Peters Marvin David J. & Carolyn D. McBride McCarter & English, LLC Peter McCracken Dr. Joseph F. Meany Jr. Charles H. Miller 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 Wynn & Patricia Odom Oceaneering International Christopher Otorowski COL Bruce E. Patterson, USA The Betty Sue and Art Peabody Fund Charles Raskob Robinson David & Susan Rockefeller Safran Turbomeca USA Lee H. Sandwen George Schluderberg Philip & Janet Shapiro Family Foundation CDR William H. Skidmore, USN (Ret.) Skuld North America, Inc. Sharon Slotnick Gerould R. Stange Philip E. Stolp Stonehouse, Inc. Daniel R. Sukis Alix Thorne William Van Loo Dr. David & Mary K. Winkler Richard C. Wolfe Dr. Paul Zabetakis DONORS Matt & Rita Andis Deborah Antoine Carter S. Bacon Jr. Laurence V. Baldwin John D. Barnard Lawrence Behr W. Frank Bohlen Eleanor F. Bookwalter John Caddell II RADM Nevin P. Carr Jr., USN (Ret.) Mark Class Gerald F. B. Cooper James P. Delgado C. Henry Depew Richard H. Dumas VADM Robert F. Dunn, USCG (Ret.) Ben P. Fisher Jr. Robert P. Fisher Jr. Gray Family Foundation CAPT Roger P. Hartgen, USCG (Ret.) William L. Henry Elizabeth Holden Joseph C. Hoopes J. Russell Jinishian Gallery Gary Jobson CDR Robert E. Kenyon III, USNR (Ret.) Mary Burrichter & Bob Kierlin Kobrand Corp. & Marco Sorio Dr. Brett M. Klyver Denise R. Krepp James P. Latham Frederick C. Leiner CAPT James McDonald, USCG (Ret.) T. McCormick Jefferson D. Meighan Walter C. Meibaum III CAPT R. G. Moore, USCG (Ret.) New York Container Terminal Joanne O’Neil William Palmer III Paul C. Pennington Philip B. Persinger Andrew A. Radel CAPT W. E. Richardson, USN (Ret.) In Memory of Bert Rogers Richard M. Rosenberg Mr. & Mrs. John R. Sherwood III Edmund Sommer III Robert W. Spell Patricia Steele Diane & Van Swearingin Thomas Howard Townsend Steven J. Traut Jack & Carol Ullman Roy Vander Putten Carol Vinall Vicki Voge Otokar Von Bradsky Daniel Whalen Thomas Wayne Barbara B. Wing PATRONS Benjamin Ackerly Edwin L. Adler Peter Anderson Silas Anthony Jr. John Appleton Captain William M. Ayers. Dr. William Baker Robert Baly Ernest T. Bartol Charles R. Beaudrot Jr. Dr. George J. Billy James H. Brandi Margaret Brandon RADM David C. Brown, USMS (Ret.) Jerry M. Brown Ronald L. Buchman Henry S. Burgess Robert P. Burke Jose O. Busto In Memory of Joseph Anthony Cahill T. Cahill Elliot Carlson Judith L. Carmany Mark G. Cerel James M. Clark Jr. Dr. Gerard J. Clifford Jr. Ms. Sharon E. Cohen John C. Couch Jack Creighton Capt. R. L Crossland Morgan Daly Robert Ian Danic Ms. Joan M. Davenport William A. Davidson Jeannie Davis Capt. Robertson P. Dinsmore Mr. & Mrs. Philip C. DiGiovanni George Dow Michael F. Dugan Reynolds duPont Jr. Gary Eddey MD CAPT Mitchell Edson, USN (Ret.) Edward N. Ehrlich William V. Engel Ken Ewell Colin Ferenbach James J. Foley Jr. HMC Philip E. Galluccio, USN (Ret.) Peter C. & Kathy R. Gentry Capt. Dwight Gertz Susan Gibbs James R. Gifford Celeste Anne Goethe Leander McCormick Goodhart Arthur Graham Herbert E. Greenbacker Lee Gruzen David T. Guernsey Jr. Ray Guinta John Gummere Robert M. Hall J. Callender Heminway Dr. David Hayes Nathan L. & Helen Hazen Samuel Heed Capt. J. W. Hetherington Michael Howell Steven A. Hyman Marius Ilario MD Timothy A. Ingraham Andrew MacAoidh Jergens Niels M. Johnsen Robert F. Kamm Robert C. Kennedy Jr. James L. Kerr James & Barbara Kerr MAJ James A. Killian, USAR (Ret.) Mr. & Mrs. Chester W. Kitchings Jr. CAPT John Kirkland, USCG (Ret.) R. Joyce Kodis David Kolthoff Peter R. La Dow Ted Lahey John L. Langill W. Peter Lind Robert Lindmark Louis & Linda Liotti John L. Lockwood George C. Lodge Jr. James L. Long Com. Chip Loomis III Douglas & Diane Maass Babcock MacLean Lawrence Manson Marchant Maritime Maritime Heritage Prints Eugene Mattioni Capt. Jeffrey McAllister Elizabeth McCarthy William McCready Kevin C.& JoAnn McDermott Dr. Arthur M. Mellor Richard S. Merrell Marvin Merritt Christopher W. Metcalf Glenn L. Metzger Vincent Miles Robert Miorelli Michael G. Moore Thomas A. Moran CAPT Vance H. Morrison, USN (Ret.). Rev. Bart Muller John Mulvihill James A. Neel Robert A. Neithercott Edwin Neff Jr. Randy Nichols Chris O’Brien Alan O’Grady Jeffery Opper Roger Ottenbach Wes Paisley William L. Palmer Jr. Michael Palmieri Richard G. Pelley Andrew Pesek Alan D. Peterson Nathaniel Philbrick Brian R. Phillips Carl A. Pirolli Hon. S. Jay Plager Mr. & Mrs. Norman H. Plummer Peter B. Poulsen Dennis & Leslie Power Stuart Pratt David Prohaska Mr. & Mrs. John Randall CAPT Michael J. Rauworth, USCG (Ret.) Phineas Reeves Mr. & Mrs. William P. Rice Reed Robertson William M. Rosen Capt. Carlos A. Rosende Sherwood A. Schartner Conrad Scheffer Larry C. Schramm Howard Schutter Robert W. Scott Dr. James Seay Dean Douglas H. Sharp Richard Snowdon David Spell Lada Simek Chuck Steele David Stulb Marty Sutter Craig Swirbliss 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 Russell R. Tripp Robert J. Tyd Sandra Ulbrich. Capt. Harold Vanderploeg Robert Vincent Capt. Sam Volpentest Dana Wagner RADM Edward K. Walker Jr. Terry Walton Lee P. Washburn Gerald Weinstein Jeremy Weirich Roberta E. Weisbrod, PhD William U. Westerfield Blunt White Nathaniel S. Wilson William L. Womack In Memory of Woodson K. Woods CAPT Channing M. Zucker, USN (Ret.) 64 SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021

Become a Steward of Maritime History Historic lighthouses are offered for stewardship opportunities under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, a federal historic preservation program with the U.S. Coast Guard, GSA and the National Park Service. For more information on the available 2021 lights, please contact the U.S. General Services Administration in Boston at (617) 565-5700


Duluth Harbor North Pierhead Light, Duluth, Minnesota

Or visit the National Park Service website:

Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Light, Cleveland, Ohio

Photo: Jeremy D’Entermont Watch Hill Lighthouse, Westerly, Rhode Island

Beavertail Lighthouse, Jamestown, Rhode Island

Be a Part of Maritime History The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is offering Penfield Reef Lighthouse in Fairfield County, Connecticut for purchase at

Penfield Reef Light, Fairfield County, Connecticut

The light will remain an active aid to navigation serviced by the United States Coast Guard.

Please contact GSA in Boston at (617)5655700 for more information or visit the auction website for auction details. This sale is being conducted by GSA under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, a federal partnership in preservation. Photo: Jeremy D’Entermont

MISSION: perpetuate the heritage of the United States Navy by supporting and raising funds for the establishment of a national museum of the United States Navy in Washington, D.C.




The new National Museum of the U.S. Navy will be a state-of-the-art facility devoted to telling the storied history of the Navy’s past, present, and future. The centerpiece of a new, more accessible Navy Campus, the museum will become a tangible tribute to the traditions of service and sacrifice exemplified by Navy sailors for more than two hundred years. It will showcase the experience of Navy servicemen and women and create a lasting memorial to the Navy’s central role in our national story.


Cutting-edge interactive and multimedia displays that both inform and entertain will allow visitors to immerse themselves in the Navy’s story.


Inspire the next generation sailors, citizens, leaders by highlighting the skills and values that reflect Navy traditions and heritage.


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