Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Annotated Journal of Alden B. Spooner - Part 3

                                USS Constellation - Painting by Rear Admiral John W. Schmidt

"Tuesday Aprail 22nd  1843   Departure from China"   [After 13 months cruising the China Coast, the Constellation is homeward bound.]

 Note:  Quotation marks ( "" ) define exact quotes, which include misspellings and lack of punctuation.  Square brackets ([ ]) define annotations.  Links to reference matter will be defined by an asterisk with a number (*1).  Links to reference information are located at the end of the text. 

"Friday May 2nd 1843   At 12.30 came to anchor in Manilla [Manila] bay   Hoisted the Spanish flag at the fore  And fired Salute of 21 guns   Was returned from the ports on shore."   [Manila was the center of Spanish activity in the far East.  It was under Spanish rule for three centuries, until 1898.]

"Tuesday May 6th 1843  At  4 A.M.  John Lyndh a seaman died   At 3.30 P.M.  Daniel Remick an apprintice boy died"

"May  10th at 5:30 P.M.  John Gozee Cabin Boy Died."  [Two weeks later Commander Kearny in a correspondence to the Vice-Council of the United States stated that the "water procured at Manilla  proved impure. . . . Since leaving Manilla, no new cases of cholera had occurred on board".] 

[The Constellation now heads back toward China and Xiamen (Amo) Island in pursuit of the American schooner Ariel, a notorious opium smuggler flying the American Flag as cover for its illegal trade in opium. The Ariel is located.]  

“Saturday May 17  1843   Fired a gun for her [the Ariel] to heave to which she did not sceme willing to do untill we fired 5 guns. . . . she came to anchor astern of us    Sent an officer on board the schooner to take charge of her . . . . Took her flags from her and sent them ther american counsel in Macao”   [The Constellation continues its journey to the Americas.]
                                    Satellite view of Hawaiian Islands -Google Image  * 1

 "Arival at Sandege [Sandwich] Islands"   “Tuesday July 7th  1843   At 3 .A.M.  stood in for the anchorage  And fired a gun for a pilot  At 7 A.M. came too anchor  At 11 A.M.  Saluted the American Counsul with 9 guns    ditsance 47 days at sea 6501 M"
                    Captain James Cook by Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland, c. 1775

[The Sandwich (Hawaiian) Islands consist of 8 major islands, several atolls, and numerous small islets.  Captain James Cook named the Islands after the First Lord of the Admiralty, John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich.  On Cook's third visit to Kealakekua Bay a small boat was taken by a local native.  Cook attempted to lure an Hawaiian chief aboard his ship to be held hostage until the boat was returned.  A skirmish ensued.  Cook was killed.  
              The Death of Captain James Cook by Johann Zoffany, 1779 - Wikimedia

[Upon arrival in the Islands Captain Lawrence Kearny, commander of the Constellation, discovers that King Kamehameha, under threat of navel bombardment by Lord George Paulet Captain of the HMS Carysfort, had ceded the islands to Great Briton (Spooner included no mention of this incident in his journal entries).]  * 2

[The United States was committed to protecting Americans and American interests wherever they found the practice of injustice.  Kearny makes a formal protest against the seizure and refuses to recognize its validity until Hawaiian and English representatives settled the matter with U. S.  Representatives.  Two weeks later England's senior officer in the Pacific arrives with news that Hawaiian sovereignty had been restored.]
[Kamehameha III, King of Hawaii ruled from 1825 - 1854. (Wikipedia image)  His goal was the careful balancing of modern civilization by adopting Western ways, while keeping his nation intact.]  * 3 

"Tuesday July 14th  1843  Recived the Prince on bord on his arival  Saluted him with 9 guns the same on his departure."

"Saturday July 21st   1843  Recived the King on bord on his arival  Saluted him with 21 guns on his departure the same."   [The 21 gun salute was reserved for heads of state and highly esteemed individuals.]

"Friday  August 28th  1843  Departure from Owhyhee and Arival and Departure from Monterey"

"Wednesday September 16th  1843   Hove too and recived a boat from the American whale Ship Rajah and recived a prisoner on bord  At 6.30 P.M. came too anchor in Monterey harbour on the North west coast of America  19 Days at sea  Distance 2704"

"Saturday September 19  The Mexican General Paid us a visit   Laid in port 13 days" 
           Monterey - October 1842 - by American  Consul Thomas O. Larkin
[On October 20, 1842, less than a year before the Constellation's arrival in Monterey Bay, the fort was taken over by Commodore Thomas Jones, commander of the Pacific Squadron.  He mistakenly thought the United States and Mexico were at war.  The occupation lasted one day.  Upon learning of his error, Commodore Jones reinstated the Mexican flag.]  * 4

 "Wednesday November 29th  1843   Came to anchor in Valparizo Bay [Chili)]  Recived a Salute from the French Frigate Returned the same  At sea 61 days  Distance 7947    Laid in port 25 days"

[March 12th, 1844  the Constellation anchors at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - eight days in port.]

"Thirsday Aprail 4th  1844   At 5.30 A.M. a man by the name of Gorge Webster died  At 1 P.M.  performed furnel serves"

[Lacking in Spooner's Journal is the use of personal pronouns.  When he wrote, "performed furnel serves," he is saying, "I performed the funeral service," On Sept 1842 he had used the same language.]

                     - -  Home at Last - -
"Tuesday  Aprail 30th 1844   At 12.30 P.M.  recived a Pilot on bord   a Baltimore Pilot   At 5.P.M. recived a Governement Pilot on bord to take the Ship to Norfork (Virginia)   At 10.30 Called all hands to bring Ship to Anchor at 11.P.M.    Distance sailed all told on our Cruse M   Days at sea 492 from our departure  [Dec. 6, 1840]  to our arival to the U N States"   [Appears Spooner is not counting the days spent in ports, or sailing the China Coast.]

 [Due to wind and tide the Constellation, who had successfully circumnavigated the world, was becalmed on the James River, in need of a tow.  After several days, Steamers Poinsettia and Star arrived to tow the ship to the Navy Shipyard in Portsmouth.  The distinguished Constellation, the first U.S. Navy vessel too put to sea and the first U.S. ship to engage and defeat an enemy vessel, would, unceremoniously, be broken up for scrap.]  * 5

                 '"Our Cruse is at a Close
              I there-fore draw my Journal
                        To a Close
                 Alden B. Spooner
                    Bangor  Main
 Entered the U N States Service November 23rd 1839
       Discharged from it September 25th 1844
           Born in the year of our Lord 1824"


 Link to the three Annotated Spooner Journal Posts

(Cit. Paulet Affair.)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Annotated Journal of Alden Bradford Spooner Part Two

                               USS Constellation - Painting by Rear Admiral John W. Schmidt

 The USS Constellation is entering the China Sea with the USS Boston astern.  With their combined fire power of 56 guns, the two American War ships presented a formidable presence.

Note: Quotation marks ( " " ) define exact quotes, which include misspellings and lack of punctuation.  Square brackets ([ ]) define annotations.  Links to reference matter will be defined by an asterisk with a number (*1).  Links to reference information are located at the end of the text. 
                    The Constellation arrives in Singapore, a British Protectorate.                                                       
[Spooner is now 17 and has been at sea 11 months.]    "Friday  November 5th  1841   At 1.30 called all hands to bring to anchor in Singapore  firled sailes    Fired a salute of 21 guns wich was returned from the fort the same   On our pasage from Quallabattoo [Kuala Batèë] To Singapore  25 days  distance" *1

[Singapore was an active port. The Constellation fired many gun salutes to visiting dignitaries and incoming and outgoing ships.  Repairs to the Constellation and the America ship Robinhood, kept the crew occupied.]

"Tuesday November 16th 1841   Sent the boatswain with 25 men on board the Robinhood to step the mainmast"  [To step is to install a new mainmast]
"Wednesday November 24th  1841   Engaged in fitting a new gang of rigging"
"Thursday November 25th   1841   Sent down the top galmast and lower yards and landed the top sail yards."   [Spooner is replacing and refitting sails.]   The "yards"are the horizontal spars from which square sails are suspended.    [Climbing to the top of a mast would have been a common occurrence for the young Spooner.]   
                                                 Below - Top Gallant Yard  *2                    

 "Sunday January 9 1842 saluted the american consual with 9 guns"

 "Sunday Febuary 6th 1842   got under way  Laid 91 days in port [Singapore]"

[The mission of the USS Constellation was to safeguard American lives and property against loss in the Opium War and to enable negotiations of commercial treaties.  British and Americans citizens had been importing tons of Opium into China, a drug long prohibited by the Chinese.  The Chinese took action by arresting foreign and Chinese merchants, confiscating and burning opium and wreaking havoc on the merchants.  The British retaliated.  The Chinese forces were no match for the British.  The Treaty of Nanking was signed August 29, 1842.  China ceded the island of Hong Kong to Great Britain and opened five ports including Canton, and Shanghai to Western trade and residence.] *3
[Lawrence Kearny (above) was the  Commander-in-chief of the Constellation and the Commander of the East India Squadron, which consisted of the USS Constellation and the USS Boston.  Upon learning that the British had gained preferred trading status with the Chinese at five ports.  Commander Kearny took it upon himself to acquire similar privileges for the United States.] *4

 [Arrival in China - five months before the Treaty of Nanking was signed]  "Wednesday March 23  1842  Came to anchor [in Canton]"

"Thurs day May 19th 1842  Received the vice Admirel of the Chineese fleet on board and saluted him with 9 guns   Confined the Boswaine in irons for disgraceful conduct"

"Tuesday June 28th 1842   Hoisted English Collars at the fore and main  fired a salute of 21 guns in Commemoration of the Coronation of Queen Victoria"     [Wikipedia - The coronation of Queen Victoria took place on 28 June 1838, just over a year after she succeeded to the throne at the age of 18.] *5
“Wednesday   June  29th  1842   The commodore was saluted by the Nimrod English Sloop of war with 11 guns returned the same”

“Saturday  July 16th  1842   At 1 A.M.  a marine by the name of William Rogers shot himself”

“Monday September 12th   1842  Arrived a English Stemor Ackbar  she hoisted the American Ensign at the fore and saluted the Commodore with 13 guns and returned the same”

"Thursday September 15th 1842 at 4 P. M. performed the funeral service over the bodies of Lient L. Handy and Corporal Hume  Fired 3 vollies of Musketry over that of the former"  [Was it Spooner who performed the funeral service?]

"Friday September 16th  Jorge York died" 
[Macau, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong, was an important trade destination.  The Constellation made many trips between Hong Kong and Macau.  Commander Kearny was looking for American opium smugglers and negotiating with the Chinese for an appropriate amount to compensate the American Merchants.]  

“Monday November 27th  1842    James L Parker died"
Thirsday November 30th   John Evans boatswains mate died"
"Sunday December 3rd   Jeffreys quarter guner died”   [Spooner knew the names of the men and boys that died, unusual considering there was a crew of 340.  Could he have been involved in the funeral services?]

 [Wampoa]  "Thirsday February 22nd  1843  Washentons birth day   At sunrise dressed th ship of signals and of flags. . . . . fired a salute of 17 guns  At 11 A.M.  Called all hands to muster and read the constitution of the U States and Washentons farewell address to Congress   At 12 A.M. fired a salute of 17 guns and the Marines fired 12 rounds   Dinner was given on the occasion   After dinner crew decorated quarters deck for the entertainment of the evening   At 6P.M. received several Captains of the american ships . . . . . the likness of Washenton on his full stature was painted by the ships Painter   Under neath was writen    First in war  First in peace and  First in the harts of his countrymen   Songs was sung accompanied by music and toasts was given"
  (photo of Washington painted by Léon Coginet 1836, engraved by Laugier 1839)

"Tuesday April 1th  1843   At 7.30 A.M.   got under way made all sail . . . .  came too anchor in Macoa Roades  [roads - a sheltered area outside of a harbor where a ship could anchor]   Laid at wampoa . . . . 53 days"  

"Tuesday Aprail 22nd  1843   Departure from China"   [After 13 months cruising the China Coast, the Constellation is headed in the direction of home.  Spooner will be 19 in June.]

   The annotated journal of Alden Bradford Spooner will conclude on the next post.     

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Monday, July 11, 2016

The Annotated Journal of Alden Bradford Spooner - Part 1

        Circumnavigating the World on the USS Constellation Oct. 1840 - April 1844
                  USS Constellation - Painting by Rear Admiral John W. Schmidt

[Wikipedia - USS Constellation was a 38-gun frigate, one of the "Six Original Frigates" authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794 and was distinguished as the first U.S. Navy vessel to put to sea and the first U.S. Navy ship to engage and defeat an enemy vessel. Constructed in 1797, she was decommissioned in 1853.]  *1

Introduction - Alden Bradford Spooner was born on June 6, 1824.  He was 15 when he joined the US Navy.  At age 16 he was transferred to the USS Constellation.  During the entire journey of the Constellation, 1840-1844, Spooner kept a journal.  His journal entries record the status of the ship, the time and mileage between ports and departures.  He makes note of nearby ships, cannon salutes, dignitaries that board the ship, deaths, lashings, and special happenings.  There are pauses in his journal entries when the ship is at sea.  Spooner's journal entries contain nothing of a personal nature.  It is as if the ship were writing the journal.

Note: Quotation marks ( "" ) define exact quotes, which include misspellings and lack of punctuation.  Square brackets ([ ]) define annotations.  Links to reference matter will be defined by an asterisk with a number (*1).  Links to reference information are located at the end of the text. 
                        The Annotated Journal of Alden Bradford Spooner

October 27, 1840   "A journal of the U. S. Ship Constellation"
"Navy yard Charleston  Massachusatts  tuesday  October th 27  1840"

[The Constellation's mission was to safeguard American lives and property against loss in the Opium Wars, and to enable negotiation of commercial treaties.  In May 1843 she entered the Hawaiian Islands, helping to keep them from becoming a British protectorate, and thereafter she sailed homeward making calls at South American Ports.]  *2

"Monday  th2  [December]  Mustard the crew and red the articles of war"

"Departure  Sunday th6  (December)   Strong winds with snow"  [The destination of the Constellation was Rio de Janeiro]

 "Sunday th13  [December]   A gail under closs reef top sails a fid of ion fell from the mizen top and struck a seamen on the back part of the hed rendering him lifeless . . . a heavy sea all night"

"Tuesday Junary 5  1841  Punished 3 men  1 with 3  one with 4  and one with 6 lashes"

[Flogging with the Cat O' Nine Tails was common practice aboard the Constellation.  One man was flogged 26 times for cursing the flag.  Congress banned flogging in September 1850.]

"Sunday Junary  th24 1841  Distance from Boston to Riode Janeiro  6170  miles   41 days"

[Three  U. S. War ships were anchored in the harbor at time of arrival, the Boston, the Yorktown, and the Dale. The ships greeted each other with gun salutes.]

"Tuesday February 16th 1841  saluted the Empreor of Brazils with 21 guns and maned yards  And hoisted the Brazilian flage at the fore"

[As naval customs evolved, the 21-gun salute came to be reserved for heads of state.]

"Rio de Janeiro  Wednesday  Febuary 24  1841   30 men and 6 Boys went on shore   H. R. Miller belonging to the U. S. Ship Constelation was kiled by a stab from a boy J. Norel belonging to the said ship"

"Monday  March 8th  1841  Got under way and went to sea   Lay in port 42 days"

"Monday, April 5th 1841  Came to with our Starbord ankor in Table Bay  [South Africa]
 Saluted the English flag with 21 guns   On our pasadge from Rio Degno to the Cape of Goodhope  28 days  Distance 3485"
        [South Africa -  Table Mountain overlooks Table Bay and the city of Cape Town.]

[The Cape of Good Hope, colloquially know as Cape Colony, was a British Colony from 1814 to 1872.  Before the British, the Dutch East India Company had control. The colony was founded as a resupply and layover port for the East India Company trading ships]  *3  

Saturday April 24  1841 . . ."Got under way   Lay in port 19 days"

"Sundy  4th  [July]  1841  served out an extra allounance groge to the crew   Hoisted A  American Encign at the fore and mizen   At 8am fired a National salute of 21 guns   At sunset fired a salute of 17 guns   Surfed out A extra alouce of grog and another in the evening" 
                                Vice Admiral Edward Vernon By Thomas Gainsborough
[Grog originally referred to a drink made with rum and water, which British Vice Admiral Edward Vernon introduced into the naval squadron he commanded in the West Indies on August 21, 1740. Admiral Vernon wore a coat of grogram cloth and was nicknamed Old Grogram or Old Grog.]  *4

[Returned to Capetown]  "Saturday  July 24th  1841  Came to with the Starboard ankor in Table Bay   Recived the new of the Deth of Genaral William H Harrison Pressiden of the u N. S.   Hlf mass the Collors   Fired A salute of 26 Minet guns"  
[William Henry Harrison, the 9th President of the United States, died April 4, 1841 on his 32nd day in office of complications from pneumonia.]  *5

"Saturday July 31th  1841 . . . At 6 P.M. got under way    The [USS] Boston in company 
3 Months and 27 days on the Cost of Africa"    [Wikipedia - 
The fourth USS Boston was an 18-gun sloop of war . . . The Boston cruised the East Indies (1841-43)]

"Friday August 27th 1841 . . . 27 days on our pasage from Capetown to the island of Johanna"

[Johanna is one of the four Comoro Islands located between the north point of Madagascar and the African coast.  The harbor at Johanna was small but deep.  Ships stopped to resupply.  Cattle, fowl, potatoe, yams, cocoa nuts were at a low cost and plentiful.]

"Saturday August 28th 1841  recived the King of Mohilla and Johanna saluted him with 3 guns  on leaving him 13 guns"

"Wednesday September 8th 1841 . . .  Called all hands up anchor   

Boston in company   laid at Johanna   11 days distance 3212 m."

"Thursday September 30th 1841 . . .  At 6 P. M. John C Richardson departed his life with the brain fever"

"Friday  October 2th 1841    Arrived at Quallabatoo"   [ Kuala Batèë, Sumatra]   
                                                Map of South East Asia

"Tuesday  October 3th 1841 . . . Johanna to Quillabatoo 25 days  distance 3385 m"
 [The Constellation anchored with caution.  A white flag was raised, the USS Boston was nearby.  The crew was mustered and read the Articles of War]

 [ Three years earlier in 1831 - An America merchant ship came into the chiefdom of Kuala Batèë to purchase a cargo of black pepper.  The crew was massacred and the ship looted.  One year later, February 1832, the USS Frigate Potomac arrived at Kuala Batèë; the settlement was bombed and the locals defeated.  Shipping continued without incident for 6 years until another ship was attacked.  In January 1838 the US decided to send in the big guns.  Warship Columbia and John Adams set sail for Sumatra.  Upon arrival at the chiefdom they commenced firing.  The chief surrendered and agreed never again to attack American ships.]  *6

"Tuesday October 5th 1841   The comedore accompanied by a member of officers of the squadran paid a visit to the Rajah"

"Wednesday October 6th 1841   One of the Ships boats capcized on the bar at the mouth of the river and a man Thomas Spauldin was drounded"

"Friday October 8th 1841  Departure   The Rajah of SuSu visited the ship and on leaving was saluted with 3 guns"

 [The next day due to a squall, shallow water, and the need to tow the ship to deeper water, the Constellation managed to get underway.  The annotated journal of Alden Bradford Spooner will continue on the next post. ]

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Monday, June 27, 2016

The Annotated Journal of Alden Bradford Spooner

June 27, 2016.  The information for the Annotated Journal of Alden Bradford Spooner will be gathered from the historic journal of Alden Bradford Spooner I.  A copy of the journal may be found at the History Center of San Luis Obispo County at 696 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo California.
              Joyce Cory