M 0472


 Note:  Only those rolls covering periods when CONSTITUTION was in squadron service have been researched. 


Roll 1, Vol 1 (July 2, 1821 ‑ April 7, 1831)


To the Secretary of the Treasury, 2 Jul 1821:


          Requests funds from a number of accounts with which to pay the Navy's bills.  An enclosure, marked "A," provides the manning of the ships of the Navy for 1821.  The line for CONSTITUTION lists 1 captain, 6 lieutenants, 20 midshipmen, 1 surgeon, 2 surgeon's mates, 1 purser, 1 chaplain, 1 sailing master, 1 captain's clerk, 2 master's mates, 1 boatswain, 1 gunner, 1 carpenter, 1 sail maker, 3 boatswain's mates, 2 gunner's mates, 2 carpenter's mates, 1 sail maker's mate, 10 quarter gunners, 8 quarter masters, 3 yeomen, 1 coxswain, 1 steward, 1 cooper, 1 armorer, 1 master at arms, 3 ship's corporals, 1 cook, 160 able seamen, 170 ordinary seamen, and 27 boys.

          Enclosure "B" breaks down rates of pay, including those assumed for the non‑rated men whose rates are not specified in the applicable legislation.  Of interest is the fact that the warrant officers' mates received $19/mo. while all other petty officers got $18/mo.  A seaman's pay was estimated at $12/mo., an ordinary seaman's at $10/mo., and a boy's at $6/mo.  It also shows the ration allowance to have been $.25/day.


To the Register of the Treasury, 5 Dec 1821:


          Indicates that the above figures also applied to 1822.


To the Register of the Treasury, 25 Nov 1822:


          Indicates that the above figures also applied in 1823.


To the Register of the Treasury, 3 December 1823:


          Indicates that the above figures also applied to 1824.

[Note: Subsequent estimates in this series ceased to provide these breakdowns.]


To the 4th Auditor, 25 Jan 1827:


          Reports having sent to Thomas Wilson, US Consul at Dublin, a draft of $33.24 on Baring Brothers made out to Mary Anne Beahan, estate administratrix, monies due James Swords, deceased.


To the President, 16 Sep 1827:


          Forwards a letter of resignation from Master Commandant Louis Alexis, noting that Alexis has been on leave since 11 May 1821 and has not made himself available for service.  Recommends acceptance of the resignation.


To the Attorney General, 9 Jul 1828:


          Summarizes the Navy's pension system to date as follows:


23 Apr 1800 1st law on subject provides pensions for disabled officers, seamen, and Marines

20 Jan 1813 law extends pensions to widows and children of officers killed in action or who died of wounds

04 Mar 1814 law extends pensions on same terms to widows and children of seamen and Marines

03 Mar 1817 law extends pensions to widows and children of all who died of disease or accident while in service

03 Mar 1819 extends law of 4 Mar 1814 for 5 years

22 Jan 1824 extends that law another 5 years and added those covered by the law of 3 Mar 1817.


Vol 2 (April 2, 1831 ‑ September 30, 1836)


To the Secretary of War, the Attorney General, and the Post Master General, 22 Jul 1833 [3 separate ltrs of same date and text]:


          "By request of Commo Jesse D. Elliott Comdr of the U. S. Navy Yard at Charlestown, Mass. I have the honor to transmit for your acceptance a volume extracted from the Frigate Constitution."


To the Secretary of State, 6 Jul 1835:


          "...The frigate Constitution now at New York will probably in the course of a few weeks sail for the Mediterranean.

          "If this Ship shall proceed as it is contemplated an order will be given to her Commander to afford a passage to the Messinger [sic] that may be entrusted with the delivery of the presents to which reference is made in your communication."


To the 4th Auditor, 6 Jul 1835:


          "The letter of Passd Midn Berrien 2d Master of the frigate Constitution which you referred to this Department is herewith returned.‑‑  In the service there is only one grade of sailing Masters, when more than one serve in the same Ship, the Senior one will of course be rated first, the one next second, &c‑ and each will be paid as a Sailing Master.‑‑"


To the President, 25 Jul 1835:


          "As Commodore Elliott has been selected as the officer to releive [sic] Commodore Patterson on the Mediterranean station.‑ it is considered expedient that he should leave the United States as early as the middle of next month‑ I have therefore given him advice to hold himself in readiness to sail by that time, in the Constitution, for that Station ‑ and have given orders to the Navy Commissioners, to have that ship fully prepared for the cruise, by that time.‑‑

          "I hope therefore the Constitution will sail under Commodore Elliott for the Mediterranean at the time indicated unless you should have other views as to the destination of this Vessel..."


To the Secretary of State, 11 Aug 1835:


          "...On Saturday the 8th instant, in consequence of the verbal communication which you had with me on the subject‑ Commdre Elliott was requested to give a passage to the Messenger of your Department, who would present himself for that purpose, with the articles alluded to [presents for the Emperor of Morocco].

          "Commdre Elliott is instructed to sail as early as possible, after the 16th inst. after his Ship is completely ready for sea, which it is expected, will be in a few days."


To the Attorney General, 10 Feb 1836:


          Recapitulates the history of naval pensions, and adds to the earlier report the following:


22 Jan 1824 law further extends pensions for 5 years

28 Jun 1832 law further extends pensions for 5 years

30 Jun 1834 law further extends pensions for 5 years.


Roll 2, Vol 3 (October 1, 1836 ‑ May 12, 1840)


To the Secretary of War, 12 August 1837:


          "...leave of absence for six months, from the expiration of the cruise of the Constitution, has been forwarded to Com. Elliott for Dr. George Clymer..."


To the 4th Auditor, 26 Sep 1838:


          Orders Thomas Payne to be paid as Gunner's Yeoman during his service in CONSTITUTION.


To the 4th Auditor, 19 Oct 1838:


          Reports that Commodore Elliott left Port Mahon in 15 Jun 1838 "without meeting with his successor in command."


To the Secretary of the Treasury, 19 Jan 1839:


          Provides a table of commissioned and warrant officer annual strength of the Navy from its beginning:


1798 ‑  317

1808 ‑   407

1818 ‑ 1046

1828 ‑   979

1799 ‑  554

1809 ‑ 1256

1819 ‑ 1048

1829 ‑ 1067

1800 ‑  678

1810 ‑   677

1820 ‑ 1060

1830 ‑ 1141

1801 ‑  678

1811 ‑   724

1821 ‑ 1023

1831 ‑ 1068

1802 ‑  339

1812 ‑ 1042

1822 ‑ 1061

1832 ‑ 1070

1803 ‑  343

1813 ‑ 1789

1823 ‑ 1107

1833 ‑ 1097

1804 ‑  403

1814 ‑ 1554

1824 ‑   973

1834 ‑ 1092

1805 ‑  368

1815 ‑ 1830

1825 ‑   922

1835 ‑ 1114

1806 ‑  423

1816 ‑   862

1826 ‑   860

1836 ‑ 1125

1807 ‑  389

1817 ‑ 1024

1827 ‑   959

1837 ‑ 1145


To the Speaker of the House of Representatives, 12 Feb 1839:


          "In obedience to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 1st instant, I have the honor to transmit copies of the charges preferred by Charles C. Barton, a Passed Midshipman of the United States Navy, against Capt. Jesse D. Elliott, while in command of the Mediterranean Squadron; together with all communications in relation to said charges on file in this Department.

          "The facts disclosed in these papers furnish the sole ground in which the Department has hitherto declined acting in [sic] the charges of Midshipman Barton, and are in themselves the only reasons why Commodore Elliott has not been brought to a trial in [sic] said charges."


Vol 4 (May 12, 1840 ‑ June 20, 1844)


To the Secretary of State, 28 Jul 1840:


          "Herewith is a case containing a Cimiter [sic; scimitar] presented to Com. Elliott during his late command in the Mediterranean, which is transmitted to be deposited, agreeably to the practice in such cases, in the Department of State."


To the 4th Auditor, 23 Nov 1841:


          "The resignation of Midshipman Jacob F. Sperry, late of the Frigate Constitution, has been accepted."


To the 4th Auditor, 31 Jan 1842:


          "The resignation of Jacob F. Sperry as a Midshipman in the Navy was accepted on the 28th inst."


To the 4th Auditor, 22 Jan 1844:


          Instructions have been given to allow the officers in CONSTITUTION with a four month advance of pay.


To the 4th Auditor, 18 May 1844:


          Captain Percival is authorized to make an allotment of 3/5 of his pay; Lieutenant Amasa Paine, an allotment of $75/mo.; and Lieutenant Gibson, one of $80/mo.


To the 4th Auditor, 21 May 1844:


          Midshipman J. Elliott in CONSTITUTION has been allowed a 4 month advance; Purser's Clerk John Collins, is permitted an allotment of $30/mo.


Roll 3, Vol 5 (July 2, 1844 ‑ November 10, 1848)


To the Secretary of State, 5 Aug 1844:


          Reports that Passed Midshipman Edward A. Barnett has just been ordered to Hong Kong, with a 4‑month advance on his pay, to be the USN Storekeeper there.  Mr. Joseph Lewis is going as his Clerk.


To the Secretary of State, 6 Sep 1844:


          Reports that a careful record search has failed to disclose the name of Don Pedro de Rubio y Mancho on the rolls of CONSTITUTION during the years 1824‑28.


To the 4th Auditor, 9 Oct 1846:


          "You are informed that Midshipman John E. Hopson has this day been dismissed from the Navy.

          "Midn Hopson is reported to the Department by Capt. Percival as having deserted from the frigate Constitution at Valparaiso on the 16th of June last."


To the 4th Auditor, 9 Sep 1848:


          Lieutenant B. F. Shattuck, "who has orders to...Constitution," may allot $80/mo. to his family.


Vol 6 (November 11, 1848 ‑ May 30, 1851)




Roll 4, Vol 7 (June 2, 1851 ‑ September 17, 1852)




Vol 8 (September 18, 1852 ‑ October 6, 1853)


 To the Chief Clerk of the State Department, 16 Oct 1852:


          Reports the Navy Department has no copy of an 11 Feb 1852 letter to the State Department concerning the British brig CONFIDENCE.


To the Chief Clerk of the State Department, 18 Oct 1852:


          Forwards "a copy of the letter relative to the British Brig Confidence and also the original of the report of Captain Conover Commanding the Constitution, on the subject."  Requests return of the Conover report after copying.


To the 4th Auditor, 11 Nov 1852:


          Lieutenant S. F. Hazard of CONSTITUTION is permitted to allot $90/mo. of his pay.


To the 4th Auditor, 24 Nov 1852:


          Reports that the Navy Agent at New York has been directed to advance CONSTITUTION's officers three months' pay.


To the President of the United States, 4 Dec 1852:


          "Annual Report.

          "... The African Squadron is under the command of Commodore Lavallette [sic], whose flag ship is the sloop of war Germantown, Commander Nicholas.  Besides this vessel, it is composed of the sloops of war John Adams, Commander Barron, and Dale, Commander Lardner, and the Brigs, Bainbridge, Lieut Manning and Perry, Lt. Page.

          "Commodore Lavallette, having nearly completed the period of his cruise, will return to the United States in the Germantown, as soon as he can be relieved by Commodore Mayo, who will sail in the month of December in the frigate Constitution, with Commander Rudd in command.  The Dale will be replaced by the Marion, Commander Howard, which is now ready to sail.

          "The steamer Vixen will be added to this command for such rapid communication with the coast and the trading points on the rivers, as the duties assigned to the Squadron constantly require.

          "The service on this station is arduous and attended with many incidents to render it far from being acceptable to those employed upon it.  Constant vigilance and intercourse with a barbarous people on the coast, are the least of its discomforts.  To these are added exposure to disease and the irksome seclusion of a long voyage, which finds but small relief in visits to a shore without attraction, and always dangerous to the stranger.  The health of our ships on that Station, I am happy to report, has in general been well guarded by the useful sanitary discipline, which the experience of the service has, of late years, been able to suggest and enforce; and we have now no longer to complain of such maladies of the climate as overtook those who were in times past consigned to this service.

          "The time has come, perhaps, when it may be properly commended to the notice of Congress to inquire into the necessity of further continuing the regular employment of a squadron on this Coast.  The Slave trade may be said to be now driven into a comparatively narrow space on the southern portion of the coast, and confined to North and South Guinea.  Whilst the measures recently adopted in Brazil, encourage the hope that this infamous trafic [sic] will soon be abandoned altogether.  A few small vessels, added to the Brazilian Squadron, and directed to cruise in the track of the slave ships, may be found effectual to suppress the last efforts of that forbidden commerce, against which the abhorrence of all christian [sic] nations is awakened...

          "In Commander Lynch, to whom the country is already indebted for important service in another field, I have found a prompt and ardent volunteer for this employment.  He is now on his way to the African Coast.  He will land at Liberia, Cape Palmas and other points and will pursue his inquiries as far as the river Gaboon...

          "With a view to the preparatory operations of Commander Lynch, and also, in consideration of the need which the African Squadron has, at all times, for such an auxiliary, I have directed the small steamer Vixen to be prepared without delay and sent to that Coast, to constitute a part of the force, under the command of Commodore Mayo, who is about to take charge of the Squadron...

          "Organization and Discipline of Seamen

          "...In obedience to a sentiment which is prevalent throughout the country, and which is naturally suggested by those impulses that distinctively characterize the opinions and habits of our people, congress has been recently led to the consideration of the ordinary mode of punishment, which it has heretofore been supposed was necessary to the preservation of the discipline in the Navy.  The result of this consideration has been the passage of a law for the entire abolition of corporal punishment on board of our ships, both public and private.  This punishment which for a long time, has been practiced in the Navy and commercial marine not only without question as to its efficacy in maintaining the proper observance of duty on ship board, but which, indeed, had become so incorporated in the sober conviction of both officers and men, as an indispensable [sic] necessity of the service, that it had grown to be the most unquestioned usage and generally received incident of Naval discipline, many judicious persons believed might be dispensed with,  not only most acceptably to the feelings of the nation, but also without disadvantage to the service.  The adoption of this opinion by Congress in the passage of the act of September 1850, which forbade the accustomed penalty, without providing a substitute for it, has afforded the Navy the opportunity to make the experiment.  I very sincerely regret to say that the records of this Department as well as the almost entire concurrence of facts and opinions, brought to my notice from authentic sources and vouched for by intelligent and experienced observers, all tend to indicate a most satisfactory [sic: unsatisfactory] result.  The omission of Congress to provide for the punishment of what may be called minor offences against discipline and good order on ship board, may perhaps, account, in part, for the failure; but the fact of the most serious detriment to the efficiency of our service is so unhappily forced upon my attention, as the effect of the recent change, that it becomes the gravest of my duties, at this time, to lay the subject once more before Congress and to ask its attention to the consideration of such a corrective to the present condition of the service as I am confident it must find to be indispensable to the proper government of the Navy.  We have evidence furnished to this Department, in the history of almost every cruise, of acts of insubordination that not only impair the usefulness of our ships, but which tend also to the gradual development of habits amongst the seamen that threaten to lead to extensive and uncontrollable mutinies.  The multiplication of courts martial and all the consequences of an increase of disorder and crime, are amongst the least of the apparent and growing evils of the new system.  The demoralization of both men and officers is a yet more observable consequence.  The absence of prohibition of the usual punishments known to seamen, has led to the invention of new penalties of the most revolting kind in the application of which full scope has been given and the strongest provocations administered to that exhibition of temper and passion, which however natural it may be to men of hasty and excitable natures is seldom indulged without leading to cruelties that must disgrace those who practice them, and what is more to be feared, raised sentiment in the public mind hostile to the Navy itself.  The seaman, believing himself exempt from the speedy penalty of his disobedience or neglect of duty, and looking with indifference to the remote and uncertain proceeding of a Court Martial, upon his delinquency, grows habitually contumacious of his superiors and infuses the same sentiment into his comrades; and in the very fact of the diffusion of this spirit of insubordination, finds ground to hope for immunity from punishment‑ naturally enough believing that what has grown to be the common and frequent will also come to be more lightly considered when he is summoned to a trial at the end of his cruise.  It  may excite some surprise in the statement of what I learn to be true, that the most frequent complaints against the abolition of corporal punishment are made, in great part by the seamen themselves.  The difficulties arising out of its abrogation and the absence of any substitute for it, now constitute the most prominent obstacles to the ready supply of our squadrons with seamen.  This Department is familiar with complaints from the recruiting stations of the difficulty of enlisting the better class of seamen.  Of that large number of men who have heretofore constituted the pride of our Navy, by their good seamanship and highly respectable personal deportment composing I rejoice to say, the great body of the mariners, who have sustained the honor and glory of our flag, in its most perilous as well as its most useful career ‑ of these men it is a fact which invites the deepest concern of Congress, we are daily deprived, by their refusal to enter again into the service, until, as they ask, they shall have some assurance that a better system of discipline may be restored.  They reasonably complain that whilst the worst portions of the crew are placed under arrest and are exempt in consequence from the severe duties of the deck, they find their toil increased by the constantly recurring exigencies, which compel them for weeks and months, during a cruise to perform the extra work which the reduction of the force of the ship inevitably throws upon them.  So oppressively is this evil felt, that I have reason to believe if the best of seamen, who have heretofore been accustomed to man our ships, could find an occasion to express their wishes to Congress, a majority of the whole number would be seen to prefer a restoration of that form of punishment, which has been forbidden, rather than be subject to the severities imposed upon them by the present condition of disorder in the Naval discipline.

          "Looking at t his state of things in the Navy, I think the occasion propitious to the adoption of a new system for the organization and government of the whole material constituting the crew of our ships; and I take advantage of the present time to submit to your consideration the outline of a plan which I trust will engage your attention, and receive the approbation of Congress."            

          First, proposes that the system of recruiting for each ship for a cruise be ended, and that the enlistment of seamen gradually be put on a basis promoting the establishment of career enlisted people with esprit de corps and a greater sense of status and worth.

          Second, seeks a prompt and effective system of punishments that results in disciplined crews ready to respond in any emergency.

          Third, proposes that disciplined, skilled seamen be formally identified and recorded in a departmental register at the end of each cruise.  Such men would be  provided certificates signed by the President attesting to their exemplary conduct, presented formally before the entire crew.  Such men would be rewarded by: (1) a $1/mo. increase in pay over the existing rate for every five years of honorable service up to a total of 20 years, and for every five year period thereafter regardless of conduct; (2) the privilege of leaving the Navy after 3 years of service, if not on cruise; (3) a man of more than 20 years honorable service to lose his additional pay only by decision of a court martial; (4) not being subject to corporal punishment; (5) after 3 years, an honorable seaman may be given a 6‑month furlough to make a merchant voyage, his Navy pay to resume on the date the voyage ends as long as he reports for duty within 90 days thereof; (6) authorization to wear a special badge on his uniform; and (7) being principal candidates for petty officer ratings in each ship  ("Seaman" in the above context, encompasses the grades of "seaman," ordinary seaman," and "landsman.")

          Also urges some plan to reduce to number of officers by retiring those no longer truly capable of active service.


To the 4th Auditor, 5 Jan 1853:


          "A Clerk is allowed to Commo Mayo, about to proceed to the coast of Africa, to take command of the U. S. Squadron on that station.  his [sic] pay to date from the time Commo Mayo hoisted his pennant on board the Frigate Constitution, he having been employed from that time."


To the 4th Auditor, 14 Jan 1853:


          Purser James H. Watmough of CONSTITUTION is permitted to allot $200/mo.


To the 4th Auditor, 19 Jan 1853:


          Lieutenant W. R. Gardner of CONSTITUTION is permitted to allot $75/mo.


To the 4th Auditor, 29 Jan 1853:


          The Navy Agent at New York has been authorized to advance travelling expenses to Passed Midshipman Colville Terrett from Washington to New York to take passage in CONSTITUTION to join USS MARION.


To the 4th Auditor, 15 Feb 1853:


          Boatswain Charles Johnston and Carpenter Lewis Holmes, both of CONSTITUTION, are allowed to allot $40/mo. each.


To the 4th Auditor, 18 Feb 1853:


          Wardroom Steward William T. Jacsune of CONSTITUTION may allot $18/mo.


To the 4th Auditor, 23 Feb 1853:


          Lieutenant C. R. P. Rodgers of CONSTITUTION is permitted to allot $84/mo.


Roll 5, Vol 9 (October 7, 1853 ‑ Mar 22, 1855)


To the President, 5 Dec 1853:




          "The African Squadron, Commodore Mayo, consists of his flag ship, Constitution, Commander Rudd, the Sloop Marion, Comr Purviance; and the Brig Perry, Lieut R. Le Page.  The Dale, Commander Whittle, sailed from Boston to join this squadron on the 17th October.

          "Commodore Lavallette [sic] returned from command of this squadron in his flagship, the sloop of War Germantown, Commander Nicholas, on the 30th of March.  The John Adams, Commander Barron, and the Brig Bainbridge, Comr Jno Manning, having been detached from this Squadron, reached the United States, the former on 23d July, and the latter on 26th August.             

          "Commander Lynch...returned to the United States in May last.  His communication to the Department, detailing the results of his reconnaissance, accompanies this report.

          "The opinion has heretofore been frequently expressed that there is no necessity for a squadron of so many guns on the coast of Africa, and that notice should be given to Great Britain, under the terms of the treaty in regard to the suppression of the slave trade, so as to be relieved from its obligations.  The commerce on that coast has of late years increased so greatly, and American Ships trading in that region have multiplied so much, that I am satisfied that the Squadron is needed, and is very effective in protecting our citizens, as well as suppressing the slave trade."

          "...Reorganization of the Navy

          "...The abolition of punishment of flogging, without legalizing some substitute therefore, has already occupied the attention of Congress and the country, and severely tested the forbearance and ingenuity of officers, and the character of our seamen.  This subject has enjoyed by earnest and anxious inquiry, and I have no hesitation in expressing an opinion against its restoration.  Having recently visited many of the ships in commission, conversed with the veteran sailors, and listened to the narratives of officers who have had the command of large crews since the law of 1850, my decided conviction, concurred in, too, by many officers who originally opposed its abolition, is, that its restoration would create discontent and desertion, and prove positively prejudicial to the efficiency of that branch of the public service.  But, at the same time, I cannot too seriously urge the policy of legalizing some substitute therefor.

          "It is said that the confinement of the disorderly and refractory seamen is but little punishment to them but rather burdensome and oppressive to the faithful, whose increased labours make them the sufferers, and create a reluctance on the part of good sailors to remain in the service.  This suggestion merits consideration.  I propose a remedy by which the punishment of the indolent and deserter will increase the pay of the faithful, and thereby tend to promote his contentment instead of murmurs.

          "The sailor on shore is reckless and wasteful; afloat he is remarkably avaricious, and daily counts over the balances due him, and estimates his reckonings of pleasures at the end of his cruise by the amounts he hopes to realize.

          "If a good sailor does the work of the indifferent, punish the laggard by a forfeiture of pay, not to the government, but to the faithful sailor, and he will do the additional labor with additional goodwill, and without a murmur.

          "If the deserter leaves his shipmates overtasked with increased burdens by his desertion, change the present regulation ‑‑ let the deserter's pay be forfeited to the faithful portion of the crew, and not, as now, to the government.

          "Instead of investing the commander of the ship with this responsibility ‑ in cases involving either a forfeiture of pay or a discharge from the service ‑ let a commission of a certain number of officers of the ship be detailed and constituted a court, whose decisions shall be subject to the approving power of the commanding officer.  This would be very simple, would break the force of captious caviling at the single judgment of the commander, and would obviate the necessity, expense, delay, and demoralizing influence of frequent courts‑martial, composed, as at present, of a higher class of officers.

          "Let this minor court on every ship, with the approving, reserving, or mitigating power of the officer in command, have plenary power to confine offenders, with a reduction of rations ‑ with or without pay.  Empower the commander, upon the recommendation of this commission, to discharge offenders with forfeiture of pay...

          "The establishment of this tribunal on each ship of war on a cruise would tend much to secure obedience from the crew to those in command, and thus, instead of flogging and other degrading punishments, substitute close confinement, forfeiture of pay, reduction of rations, denial of liberty and shore privileges.  These would punish the offending.  Let the honorable discharge, temporary leave of absence pay, the distribution of the merit fund, liberty and shore privileges, be the reward of the meritorious and true."


To the 4th Auditor, 2 May 1854:


          Sailmaker William Bennett of CONSTITUTION has permission to allot $45/mo. for 2 years commencing next 1 Aug.


To the 4th Auditor, 10 Jul 1854:


          Sailmaker William Bennett of CONSTITUTION has permission to allot $25/mo. for 2 years from 31 Jul next.


To the President, 4 Dec 1854:




          "...The African Squadron, Commodore Isaac Mayo, consists of his flag‑ship, the frigate Constitution, Commander J. Rudd, the sloops‑of‑war Marion, Commander H. Y. Purviance, and Dale, Commander Wm C. Whittle.  The brig Perry, Lieutenant R. L. Page, after having been on the station two years, arrived at Norfolk on the 15th of July.  The Constitution and the Marion will be relieved early in the ensuing year, at which time they will have been two years on that station.

          "The vessels of this squadron have been actively, and in many instances successfully, engaged in checking the slave trade, and some of them have been regularly cruising on the coasts most frequented by slavers.  The officers in command have also had it in their power to render assistance to merchant vessels in distress, and to our growing commerce, exposed to many dangers on the African coast."

          "...Discipline of seamen and the enlistment of boys as apprentices

          "...I consider it all important that the Commander of any vessel should be authorized by law to order a summary court‑martial for the trial of the petty officers and those below them; that they should have the power to punish by dishonorable discharge in any port; by confinement on reduced rations and without pay, with extra labor and denial of shore privilege.  When the seaman knows that these punishments can be promptly inflicted by the officers in command of the ship, he has much to deter him from disobedience."


To the 4th Auditor, 16 Feb 1855:


          "Mr. John L. Heylin, Secretary to the Commander in chief of the U. S. Squadron on the coast of Africa, has been permitted to allot sixty dollars of his monthly pay."


Vol 10 (March 22, 1855 ‑ November 29, 1856)


To the Solicitor of the Treasury, 2 Jul 1855:


          "By the 2d and 3d sections of the Act of April 16, 1816, in relation to the Navy Pension Fund, the Marshals and district attorneys of the U. S. are directed to transmit to this Department certain accounts, statements &c in prize cases.  As these requirements of the law have not been observed in the case of the 'H. N. Gambrill,' you are respectfully requested, if there is any information on file in your office which will supply the defect, particularly in relation to the Marshal's account of costs and charges, to have it communicated to the Department."


To the Secretary of the Treasury, 11 July 1855:


          "I have the honor to transmit herewith, a certificate of deposit with the asst Treasurer at New York for $2763.31, proceeds of sale of Prize Schooner 'H. N. Gambrill;' and to request that you will cause the amount to be covered into the Treasury, one half to the credit of the Captors and the other half to the credit of the Navy Pension fund."


To the 4th Auditor, 6 Aug 1855:


          Forwards CONSTITUTION's prize list for H. N. GAMBRILL.


To the 4th Auditor, 7 Sep 1855:


          "In the case of Elihu Morris, an insane ordinary seaman, late of the Constitution whose account was transferred to you from the Rec'g Ship at Boston, an order has been given for his admission into the Government Asylum for the Insane.  If he has been marked as discharged, the discharge will be considered as revoked, and if marked as a deserter, you will have the mark erased and consider him as in the service until the expiration of his term of enlistment."


To the Commissioner of Pensions, 20 Nov 1855:


          Reports the only reference to a James F. Kittridge being in CONSTITUTION is the following log entry: "Gibraltar Bay April 13th 1822  Sent Joseph Maria and James Kittridge on board the Brig Margerata bound to Boston to report themselves to Cap. Isaac Hull."


Roll 6, Vol 11 (December 1, 1856 ‑ September 11, 1858)


To the President, 6 December 1858:


          "Annual Report...

          "I cannot omit to invite attention to the very inadequate provision that has been made for the accommodation of midshipmen at the Naval Academy.  The number of midshipmen authorized by law is 464, and the whole number in the service is but 236.  Of these there are at the Academy 189; while provision has been made for only 180; and there are there are [sic] thirty‑three congressional and territorial districts still vacant, having no midshipmen at the Academy or elsewhere in the service.  The Academy is already crowded to overflowing, and should these vacancies only be filled, without filling the whole number of vacancies in the corps which are now 228, the pupils could not be accommodated.  In this state of things, no appointments could be made during the present year, except from the districts which have no midshipmen in the service.  As this is the only mode of gaining admission into the navy, the way appears to be effectually blocked up, and there is and must be consequently, a great deficiency of officers in the lower grades of the service; an evil which cannot fail seriously to detract from the efficiency of this great arm of the public defence."


Vol 12 (September 13, 1858 ‑ August 21, 1860)


To the President, 16 Apr 1859:


          "I have the honor to submit herewith for your signature a Commission for Captain Charles Stewart conferring upon him the rank of Senior Flag Officer of the United States Navy on the Active List, prepared agreeably to the Joint Resolution of Congress approved 2 March 1859."


To the Commissioner of Pensions, 3 Nov 1859:


          "The Department has to reply as follows to your letter of the 22d ultimo in relation to the services of the 'Constitution' during the Mexican War

          "1st  No Order appears on the records of this Department from it to the Commander of the Constitution to report to the Commanding Officer of the Pacific Squadron for duty at any time during the cruise in question from 1844 to 1846 inclusive.

          "But from the extracts (herewith enclosed marked A) it will be seen that the Constitution was for a time ‑ from Jany 14th to April 22s, 1846, under the orders of the Commander of the Pacific Squadron, upon his own responsibility, and that his action was subsequently approved by the Department.

          "2d  From the reply of the 4th Auditor (copy herewith enclosed marked B) in answer to an inquiry of this Department, it appears that the crew of the Constitution  received extra pay for services on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, in 1846, under the Act of March 3, 1853.

          "3d  The extract also herewith enclosed marked C, from a communication dated Sept 27, 1846 addressed to the Department by the Commanding Officer of the Constitution, will show that the vessel did convoy certain merchantmen from Rio de Janeiro on towards the United States."


To the President, 2 Dec 1859:



          "Naval Academy

          "...For the purpose of increasing the efficiency of the navy, without materially increasing the annual charge upon the treasury [sic] I have transferred the new members of the fourth class of acting midshipmen to the sloop of war 'Plymouth,' attached to the Academy, thereby enlarging the accommodations provided there without the expense of new buildings; and arrangements have been already made to accommodate eighty five pupils and their instructors on board of that vessel."


To the Commissioner of Pensions, 5 Mar 1860:


          With regard to William Johnson's petition for a Navy invalid pension, the log book of CONSTITUTION makes no mention of him in relation to the JAVA action, nor is he listed among those then wounded.


To the Commissioner of Pensions, 15 Aug 1860:


          With regard to the application of Sarah Johnson, neither the log books of CONSTITUTION nor departmental records contain any information in the case of Gunner William Johnson.


Roll 7, Vol 13 (August 23, 1860 ‑ September 18, 1861)


To the President, 1 Dec 1860:



          "Of the sailing frigates, the United States is not worth repairing; the Constitution has been thoroughly repaired, and would last many years at the Naval Academy, where she is now stationed...

          "Naval Academy..

          "The measure adopted a year ago of placing the fourth class on board the sloop of war Plymouth, attached to the academy [sic], has proved entirely successful.  I have caused the frigate Constitution to be substituted for the Plymouth, and to be anchored in the harbor of Annapolis for the accommodation of the fourth class.  The historic recollections associated with this ship will exert a salutary influence on the minds of youth devoting themselves to the naval service.  It accommodates all the sections of the fourth class with study and recitation rooms, and the officers and acting midshipmen and the crew of the ship with sleeping and mess apartments..."


To the Secretary of War, 27 Apr 1861:


          "In consequence of the disturbed condition of affairs in Maryland and the hostile demonstrations towards the authorities of the Federal Government, the Naval school at Annapolis has become broken up.  And the frigate Constitution with some of the Officers and Students on board, has sailed for New York.

          "It is proposed therefore, that the personal [sic] and material of the Academy, be transferred to 'Fort Adams' Newport RI, at least for the present.  I have therefore to request that the War Department will authorize the fort to be appropriated for the use of the school until further orders.  And I would also request that the Steamer Baltic on her return trip, be authorized to receive on board the Officers of the School and their furniture, also the books, apparatus, and property connected therewith, belonging to the Government and transport the same to Newport."


To the 4th Auditor, 14 May 1861:


          Lieutenant B. B. Taylor of CONSTITUTION may allot $90/mo.


To the 4th Auditor, 15 May 1861:


          "The resignations of the following Acting Midshipmen attached to the school ship Constitution at Newport, R.I. have this day been accepted.  J. A. Peters, James C. Long, and Joseph B. Peyton."  [Long became an Acting Midshipman in the CSN.]


To the President, 4 Jul 1861:



          "The Naval Academy

          "The Naval School and public property at Annapolis attracted the attention of the disloyal and disaffected about the period when the conspiracy culminated.  Some demonstrations were made towards seizing the property: and also the frigate Constitution which had been placed at Annapolis, in connection with the school for the benefit of the youths who were being educated for the public service.  Prompt measures rescued the frigate and government property from desecration and plunder, and the young men, under the superintendence of Captain Blake, contributed, in no small degree, to the result..."


 Vol 14 (September 19, 1861 ‑ May 26, 1862)




Roll 8, Vol 15 (May 27, 1862 ‑ February 5, 1863)




Vol 16 (February 5 ‑ September 29, 1863)


To the 4th Auditor, 28 Aug 1863:


          "The Department informs you, in reply to your letter of the 26th inst., that Richard F. Dunn, late a Gunner in the U. S. Navy, lost a leg in the War of 1812, and was regarded thereafter as disabled from sea service."  [Dunn was in CONSTITUTION in the fight with GUERRIERE.]


Roll 9, Vol 17 (September 30, 1863 ‑ May 12, 1864)




Vol 18 (May 13 ‑ October 11, 1864)




Roll 10, Vol 19 (October 11, 1864 ‑ March 28, 1865)




Vol 20 (March 29, 1865 ‑ February 20, 1866)




Roll 11, Vol 21 (February 20, 1866 ‑ March 25, 1867)




Vol 22 (March 27, 1867 ‑ September 19, 1868)




Roll 12, Vol 23 (September 21, 1868 ‑ February 17, 1870)




Vol 24 (February 18, 1870 ‑ July 12, 1871)




Roll 13, Vol 25 (July 13, 1871 ‑ September 17, 1872)




 Vol 26 (September 18, 1872 ‑ November 29, 1873)




Roll 14, Vol 27 (December 2, 1873 ‑ December 31, 1874)




Vol 28 (January 2 ‑ December 31, 1875)




Roll 15, Vol 29 (January 3, 1876 ‑ February 16, 1877)




Vol 30 (February 17, 1877 ‑ March 11, 1878)


To the 4th Auditor, 26 Nov, 1877:


          "Mr. [James] Magruder under the circumstances is to be considered as a Paymaster's Clerk of a First rate vessel for the time he passed on the 'Constitution,' and entitled to pay as such, but this is not to be regarded as a precedent for other past or future cases."


To the President, 30 Nov 1877:



          "The following are employed as training ships:

          "Minnesota at New York; Constitution at Philadelphia; Saratoga at Norfolk; Dale as instruction‑ship at Annapolis; St. Mary's as Marine‑school ship at New York; and Jamestown as marine‑school ship at San Francisco.


To the 4th Auditor, 23 Feb 1878:


          Gunner J. Swift of CONSTITUTION may allot $100/mo.


Roll 16, Vol 31 (March 11, 1878 ‑ March 11, 1879)


To the Secretary of State, 20 Feb 1879:


          "I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter...of the 11 instant, enclosing a copy of a despatch, No. 214, dated the 25th ultimo, from Mr. Walsh, the minister of the U.S. at London, communicating his action in connection with the accident to the U.S.S. 'Constitution,' which went ashore at Ballard Point, Studland Bay.

          "I have to request that the thanks of this Department maybe communicated to the minister for his prompt course in taking such steps as were in his power to aid the 'Constitution,' on this occasion."


To the Secretary of State, 5 Mar 1879:


          "I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 3d instant, and a copy of a despatch of the 31st of January last, No. 217, and of its accompaniments, from the Minister of the United States at London, in relation to the measures taken by him on the occasion of an attempt being made by certain parties to arrest the U.S.s. 'Constitution' and cargo by a warrant from the Admiralty Court and to express the thanks of the Department for the same."


Vol 32 (March 11, 1879 ‑ April 20, 1880)


To the 4th Auditor, 21 Jun 1879:


          "The [CONSTITUTION] was not put in commission for sea service until January 9, 1878."


To the 4th Auditor, 31 Oct, 1879:


          Sailmaker's Mate Francis Evans of CONSTITUTION may allot $26.50/mo.


To the 4th Auditor, 3 Dec 1879:


          Gunner John B. Grainger of CONSTITUTION may allot $120/mo.


to the 4th Auditor, 3 Dec 1879:


          Sailmaker Harman Hansen of CONSTITUTION may allot $75/mo.


To the 4th Auditor, 5 Dec 1879:


          Schoolmaster John Bates of CONSTITUTION may allot $20/mo.


To the 4th Auditor, 5 Dec 1879:


          Carpenter John L. Thatcher of CONSTITUTION may allot $70/mo.


Roll 17, Vol 33 (April 22, 1880 ‑ August 5, 1881)


To the Postmaster General, 21 May 1880:


          Mentions 2/c Boy J. W. Simpson of CONSTITUTION.


To the 4th Auditor, 22 Jun 1880:


          Reports the resignation of Midshipman Jonathan K. Brice of CONSTITUTION as of this date.


To the 4th Auditor, 13 Sep 1880:


          Reports the resignation of Midshipman A. C. Paris of CONSTITUTION effective 1 Dec 1880.


To the Secretary of the Treasury, 29 Sep 1880:


          "I have the honor to request that the Collector of Customs at Baltimore, Md., may be instructed to admit free of duty and charges the articles herein mentioned, which are intended for the Naval service: one package or box of 408 Navy Cap ribbons for the crew of the 'Constitution,' the word 'Constitution' woven in the gold thread on each ribbon, arrived at Baltimore in the steamship 'Historian,' sometime in June last addressed to Paymaster Allen."


To the 4th Auditor, 27 Oct 1880:


          Reports CONSTITUTION was employed in convoying merchantmen from Rio de Janeiro toward the U. S. from 5 Aug to 16 Sep 1846.


To the 4th Auditor, 23 Mar 1881:


          Boatswain T. W. Brown of CONSTITUTION may allot $75/mo.


To the 4th Auditor, 21 Jun 1881:


          Mentions Paymaster R. W. Allen of CONSTITUTION.


To the 4th Auditor, 24 Jun 1881:


          Refers to "the late Robert Douglass, 2nd class Boy, U.S.S. 'Constitution'," whose clothing and bedding were destroyed to prevent infection.


Vol 34 (August 6, 1881 ‑ July 19, 1882)




Roll 18, Vol 35 (July 20, 1882 ‑ May 19, 1883)




Vol 36 (May 19, 1883 ‑ February 25, 1884)




Roll 19


          NOT SEEN


Roll 20


          NOT SEEN


The Captain's Clerk
1989, TGM