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.]
"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"
[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.
[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.]
"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"
[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 184.108.40.206.6 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
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 http://spoonerhistorycentralcalifornia.blogspot.com/
(Cit. Paulet Affair.)