OF LIEUTENANT MELANCTHON T. WOOLSEY
WHILE IN USS ESSEX AND USS CONSTITUTION,
APRIL 1804 ‑ 7 DECEMBER 1807,
ONEIDA COUNTY HISTORICAL
SOCIETY, UTICA, NY
Journal #3, 26 Apr
1804 ‑ 25 Jul 1806
May 1804 ‑ Joined ESSEX at Alexandria,
5 Jul 1804 ‑ Sailed for the Mediterranean.
Oct 1804 ‑ Arrived at Malta.
Present were CONSTITUTION, PRESIDENT, CONGRESS, JOHN DAMS, schooner ENTERPRIZE
and 2 prizes to
Oct 1804 ‑ Sailed for Syracuse.
2 Nov 1804 ‑ CONSTITUTION, PRESIDENT,
and a stores ship arrived at Syracuse.
Nov 1804 ‑ Captain Rodgers took command of CONSTITUTION.
Nov 1804 ‑ CONSTITUTION sailed for Lisbon.
Feb 1805 ‑ CONSTITUTION arrived at Malta
at 3 PM, 7 days from Gibraltar.
2 Mar 1805 ‑ CONSTITUTION sailed on
May 1805 ‑ Arrived at Tripoli,
joining CONSTITUTION and PRESIDENT.
7 Jun 1805 ‑ Sailed in company with
CONSTITUTION for Malta;
CONSTITUTION entered at 3 PM on the 8th.
Jun 1805 ‑ CONSTITUTION arrived at Syracuse.
CONSTITUTION sailed again at 10 PM, taking Tripoline prisoners home.
4 Jul 1805 ‑ CONSTITUTION dressed ship
at 8 AM; at noon, each ship of the squadron in succession fired a federal
salute. A banquet for 120 persons held ashore, and a ball aboard CONSTITUTION that
Jul 1805 ‑ Squadron underway for Malta at 3 PM. Order of sailing:
Starboard wing SYREN, Gunboats 2 -‑ 5, and VIXEN; Center division, CONSTITUTION, CONSTELLATION, JOHN ADAMS,
ESSEX, transports and sloops; Larboard wing NAUTILUS, Gunboats 6, 8, 9, 10,
Jul 1805 ‑ Arrived at Malta.
Jul 1805 ‑ Squadron underway for Tunis
in same formation, but with ESSEX at the rear
of the center division.
Jul 1805 ‑ Squadron arrived at Tunis
and anchored in line ahead.
Aug 1805 ‑ "John Graves & John Pindar two Seamen belonging to
the Constitution were agreeable to the sentence of a Court Martial flogged
through the fleet for having claimed protection of the English
Men of War at Malta."
Aug 1805 ‑ Lieutenant Blake, 1st of CONSTITUTiON reprimanded
by the president of a court martial for having abused his superior officer.
May 1806 ‑ Woolsey received orders to join CONSTITUTION along with
Lieutenants [Charles] Ludlow,
[William] Burrows, and Amory, and Doctor [Patrick] Sim.
May 1806 ‑ Captain Hugh G. Campbell relieved Captain John Rodgers in
CONSTITUTION, and "a general exchange of officers and some of the men took
Woolsey became 2nd Lieutenant, replacing Lieutenant Oliver Hazard
Perry, who returned home. Exchanges done, CONSTITUTION had the following officers:
Captain Hugh G. Campbell; Lieutenants Charles Ludlow (1st ), M.
Woolsey (2nd) , William Burrows (3rd), and William Lewis (4th);
Marine Lieutenant William Amory; Master William Bagget [sic]; Surgeon Patrick
Sim; Purser Gwinn Harris; Surgeon's Mate Collister; Master's
Mates D. Rochas, W, Anderson,
Chauncey, Shields, and Wilmore; Midshipmen A. C. Ludlow, Kerr, and Henry; Carpenter Godley; and
3 Jun 1806 ‑ Fired a 21 gun salute in
honor of King George III's birthday.
Jun 1806 ‑ Sailed to Algeciras.
Jun 1806 ‑ Sailed for Malaga.
Jun 1806 ‑ 1515 Arrived at Malaga;
Jun 1806 ‑ Seaman James Carson (27 years old) died of a bursting blood
vessel. 2200 Buried at sea.
4 Jul 1806 ‑ 0100 fired at 21‑gun
salute in honor of the day. The Wardroom hosted a dinner for U. S. Consul
Kirkpatrick, the Captain "being too unwell."
7 Jul 1806 ‑ Sailed for Gibraltar at 5 PM.
8 Jul 1806 ‑ Arrived at Gibraltar. Stores ship STAPLETON of Baltimore present.
Jul 1805 ‑ "The Green Cutter was sent to Algeziras [sic] with Messrs
Shields & Chippen in her ‑‑ She did not return until 10 oClock
on the 14th. The reason of the delay was that when the Officers landed
the Crew consisting of Wm Finley & John Milnes (two deserters from the
English Navy whom out of charity we took on board when they were out of
employ & almost starving in Spanish ports) & six others stole the Boat
& were making the best of
way for Tangier ‑‑ After much exertion in a hired boat they were
caught near that Bay ‑‑ on coming on board the two Officers were
& the men received two dozen each at the
Gangway except the two named who had each four dozen & were put in Irons for
further punishment ‑‑"
Jul 1806 ‑ Ran over to Algeciras.
Jul 1806 ‑ Sailed for Tangier at 1500. Just after 1 AM on the 23rd struck
the point of a reef to the eastward of Malabata, and passed over it without
damage, although the shock woke everybody up.
Proceeded instead for Cadiz.
Jul 1806 ‑ Arrived at Cadiz.
Journal #4, 25 Jul 1806 ‑ 3 Dec 1807
Aug 1806 ‑ Sailed at 1500 for Larache,
evening passed 8 liners of Collingwood's fleet.
Aug 1806 ‑ Off Larache at 1600; sailed for Tangier.
Aug 1806 ‑ Arrived at Tangier at 1700.
Aug 1806 ‑ Sailed to Gibraltar.
3 Sep 1806 ‑ Sailed for Lisbon, touching at Tangier enroute.
6 Sep 1806 ‑ Scaled the guns by firing a
7 Sep 1806 ‑ Arrived at Bellum at 1310.
Lord St. Vincent nearby in HMS HIBERNIA (110 guns).
Sep 1806 ‑ Ran up the Tagus River to Lisbon.
Sep 1806 ‑ Took out fore and mizzen masts; replaced the former and
repaired the latter.
Oct 1806 ‑ Surgeon Patrick sim died "after a painful and lingering
Oct 1806 ‑ Surgeon Sim, a Catholic, interred in the Church of Corfo [sic]
Santo; Surgeon's Mate McAllister made Acting Surgeon.
8 Dec 1806 ‑ With a new foremast and a
new gang of lower rigging, sailed for Cadiz.
Dec 1806 ‑ Arrived at Cadiz
Dec 1806 ‑ Sailed for Gibraltar.
Dec 1806 ‑ Arrived at Gibraltar.
Dec 1806 ‑ Having loaded 5 months stores, sailed for Algiers.
Dec 1806 ‑ Arrived at Algiers
early in the morning.
3 Jan 1807 ‑ Sailed at 0900 for Tunis with Consul
General Lear aboard.
Jan 1807 ‑ Arrived at Tunis
in the evening.
Jan 1807 ‑ Consul General Lear went ashore.
Jan 1807 ‑ Sailed at midnight for Malta and water.
Jan 1807 ‑ Off Malta.
1 Feb 1807 ‑ Surgeon Heap joined the
ship from Malta.
At 1345 sailed for Syracuse.
2 Feb 1807 ‑ Arrived at Syracuse at 1715; HORNET present.
Feb 1807 ‑ Sailed for Tunis at 0700;
HORNET for Leghorn.
Feb 1807 ‑ Anchored at Tunis
at 1700; ENTERPRIZE arrived at same time.
6 Mar 1807 ‑ Consul General Lear
returned to the ship. Sailed at1100 for Algiers
"with light baffling winds and very thick hazey weather‑‑ At 5
the wind shifted to
NW took in the studding sails royals and
topgallant sails ‑‑ the wind freshening took 2 reefs in the
topsails we haul'd up the mainsail At 1/2 past 5
the gale increasing took the 3d reef in the
topsails‑‑ At 7 a very severe gale coming on clewed up the topsails
and foresail, carried away the starbd
foretack bumpkin and larbd foresheet ‑‑
split & partly carried away the mainsail though hawled up in the brails‑‑
The gale increasing to a hurricane
attempted to set fore and mizen storm
staysails the halliards of the former parted and the latter blew out of the
bolt ropes Handed all the topsails —
At 10 PM the gale had
increased to such a pitch that in order to save the main yard and prevent the
ship drifting as much as possible on a lee shore
sent hands up to cut the torn mainsail from
the yard all rigging being carried away except the clew garnets -‑ a very
small piece of the sail fell
inboard‑‑ At 1/2 past 11 after
much difficulty and danger to those aloft got the topgallant yards on deck
& housed the topgallant masts ‑‑ At the
same time set the fore & main storm
staysail [sic] ‑‑ From 7 PM until 1 o'Clock at night we were lying
up to the WSW & off to Sw 1/2 S at which
time we discovered the land on our lee beam
which appeared to raise very fast‑‑ From 10 till 1/2 past 1 we
sounded in from 50 to 25 fathoms
water muddy bottom we got up a range of three
Cables double bitted and a carpenter standing by to cut away the masts‑‑
At 1/2 half past 1 the
wind abated a little and at the same time
hawled more to the Westd wore ship & set close reefed topsails and storm
mizen it still blowing a very heavy gale of wind with a tremendous sea
heaving in from the Northd—. The ship pitched very heavy & made 6 inches
water pr hour – washed
away all the head‑‑ At 3 AM took
in the mizen topsail & hawled up the foresail At 4 AM we discovered the
Island of Imbres ESE of us about 4
miles dist At 6 we bore up fore Cape Bon‑‑
At 8 we hawled upon a wind round the Cape for
the Eastd under storm staysails and close reefed
maintopsail‑‑ There were fifty two
men in the surgeons return of the sick in the morning & most of them ill
with bruises recd in the night‑‑"
Mar 1807 ‑ The weather moderating, left the lee of Cape Bon and made for Algiers.
Mar 1807 ‑ Arrived at Algiers;
Consul General Lear went ashore.
Mar 1807 ‑ Sailed for Cagliari.
Mar 1807 ‑ A heavy sea stove in all the cabin windows "and carried
away the two Cabin bulkheads."
Mar 1807 ‑ Arrived at Cagliari.
1 Apr 1807 ‑ Surgeon Heap amputated the
right leg of OS John Moore at the thigh.
2 Apr 1807 ‑ William Marshall, Jr., died
of a hemorrhage of the lungs.
9 Apr 1807 ‑ Sailed for Malta at 1800.
Apr 1807 ‑ Arrived at Malta.
2 May 1807 ‑ Having fitted a new head
and bumpkin "& completed our water," sailed for Syracuse.
4 May 1807 ‑ Arrived at Syracuse; ENTERPRIZE there.
May 1807 ‑ ENTERPRIZE sailed for Leghorn.
May 1807 ‑ HORNET arrived from Tripoli.
2 Jun 1807 ‑ "...several of the
crew headed by George Prince chief Boatsns Mate came aft to demand of the Captn
what time this ship was to go home and
whether a ship was coming out to our relief
at all or not‑‑" 4 Jun 1807 ‑ Fired a 21‑gun
salute in honor of King George III's birthday.
6 Jun 1807 ‑ "At sunset a mutiny
broke out among the crew it began in the following way ‑‑ John Smith
one of the Forecastle men for disobedience of Lt Burrows
orders was taken forward on the Forecastle
(there being a party at dinner in the Wardroom) and ordered to be punished by
George Prince 1st
Boatsns mate with a
ropes end ‑‑ the offender refused to submit to the punishment
intended to have been inflicted on him alledging as a reason his
service being expired‑‑ Lt Burrows in order to inforce obedience to
his orders took a handspike from under one of the guns ‑ with which he
made a blow at the man‑‑ Wm
Pinckney (a boatsns mate) immediately drew a crow bar from under the same gun
as Mr Burrows suffered to strike
him with and in order to prevent their
touching him got up on the gun still holding the Handspike the only weapon with
which he could defend
himself‑‑ John Huland (a mizen
topman) told Mr Burrows the man should not be flogged & Prince threw down
his ropes end saying he would flog
no more with which all the crew or rather
all those that were then on the Forecastle gave three cheers‑‑ All
the officers appeared as well as the
Marines under arms on the quarter deck &
the ring leaders George Prince, Wm Pinckney, Jno Smith & John Huland were
secured and put in irons
under the sentinel's charge at the Cabin door‑‑
We then beat to quarters ‑- when Jas Thompson, Se[am]an attempted to
excite another mutiny by the cry of forward! forward! ‑ he was
immediately secured and the crew as usual went to their stations‑‑
Throughout the night a double watch of officers (well armed) a guard of Marines armed
and a sea watch of the crew was kept‑‑ At 9 AM the next morning
Captn Campbell came on
board mustered the crew and desired them to
state of their grievance if any‑‑ They complained of the different
modes of punishment Of being
obliged to serve after heir terms of service
had expired without any prospect of being returned and their spokesman the
ships Armourer told Captn
publicly & with impunity that he had exposed the ship the whole winter
without any apparent necessity for it & lying iin port without
making preparations for return now the weather
was good‑‑ Many other causes of complaint were advanced equally
absurd and insulting ‑ with the
foregoing. They also demanded when the ship
would go home ‑ & the release of the Mutineers saying that they were
no more culpable than the rest of the crew‑‑ Captn Campbell
promised them to return in August but refused to discharge the Mutineers All
hands were then called to witness
punishment ‑ three men were punished at
the gangway for desertion, two for drunkenness & one for theft."
Jun 1807 ‑ Having painted ship inside and out, and overhauled all topmast
and topgallant rigging, sailed for Messina.
Jun 1807 ‑ Arrived at Messina
in the morning.
Jun 1807 ‑ Sailed for Palermo.
Jun 1807 ‑ Arrived at Palermo
Jun 1807 ‑ Having filled up with bread, sailed on a light breeze for Leghorn.
2 Jul 1807 ‑ Arrived at Leghorn at 1800.
8 Jul 1807 ‑ Received on board the 98
"large boxes" containing the parts of the monument to be erected in Washington to the memory of the Off who fell at Tripoli
by their brother officers.
Jul 1807 ‑ Madame Le Ceppes, French "Consuless" at Leghorn, came on board with her 2 children for passage to Malaga. Underway at 0900
Jul 1807 ‑ Arrived at Alicante
at 2200; HORNET present.
Jul 1807 ‑ A ball on board from 1800 until dawn.
Jul 1807 ‑ Sailed with HORNET at 1430 for Malaga.
Jul 1807 ‑ Learned fromo a passing ship about the CHESAPEAKE‑LEOPARD
3 Aug 1807 ‑ Arrived at Malaga at 0800; Madame Le Ceppes landed at
9 Aug 1807 ‑ An arriving ship from Boston brought newspapers
receounting the CHESAPEAKE‑LEOPARD affair.
Aug 1807 ‑ Received dispatches from Washington
via schooner BALD EAGLE of New York.
Aug 1807 ‑ Entertained the Governor of Malaga on board.
Aug 1807 ‑ Having mounted 4 carronades in addition to the other guns,
filled up the forward magazine, and taken on bread and water, sailed for
Aug 1807 ‑ Arrived at Algeciras.
Aug 1807 ‑ WASP arrived from L'Orient.
Aug 1807 ‑ WASP sailed for Malaga.
Aug 1807 ‑ Sailed to Gibraltar.
5 Sep 1807 ‑ Fully provisioned, sailed
back to Algeciras
to await a favorable wind through the straits.
6 Sep 1807 ‑ WASP returned from Malaga.
8 Sep 1807 ‑ Sailed for home, WASP in
Sep 1807 ‑ John Barnes, ship's cook, died; buried at sea at 0700 next
7 Oct 1807 ‑ Split the maintopsail
"quite across" in very squally weather.
9 Oct 1807 ‑ 0900 water temperture 69.5;
at 1000, 62.5. So alerted, sounded and found 65 fathoms, nearing Georges Bank. At 1100, the water temperature was 52, dropping as it shoaled.
Oct 1807 ‑ At 1800 OS Thomas McKenzie fell overboard and drowned.
Oct 1807 ‑ Came to off Boston Light at 09030.
Oct 1807 ‑ At 1130 sailed into Boston
harbor, exchanging salutes with the fort. Anchored off Long Wharf.
Oct 1807 ‑ Visited by Governor Sullivan and suite.
Oct 1807 ‑ The crew mustered and informed that the ship had to be taken
around to New York;
there were no complaints.
9 Nov 1807 ‑ At 1700 WASP sailed for New York; the wind
prevented CONSTITUTION from accompanying her.
Nov 1807 ‑ Sailed at 0730.
Nov 1807 ‑ Encountered heavy gale that lasted 3‑4 days, and was
followed by another.
Nov 1807 ‑ Came to in the East River at
Nov 1807 ‑ Moved ship to the Navy Yard.
3 Dec 1807 ‑ Began discharging the crew;
finished the next day.
7 Dec 1807 ‑ Lieutenant Woolsey began an