"JOURNAL, U. S. SHIP CONSTITUTION,"

KEPT BY MIDSHIPMAN W. P. BUCKNER (1844‑5),

IN USS CONSTITUTION MUSEUM


 

 

List of Officers includes Midshipman Robert Patton, Boatswain Robert Simpson, Assistant Surgeon R. McSherry, and Lieutenant Fabius Stanley.

 

26 Mar 1844 [first entry] "...Rec'd 3 chronometers and one set of charts..."

 

28 Mar 1844 "Received a spare jib boom secured it across the stern.."

 

1 Apr 1844 Quartermaster Henry Barnes mentioned.

 

5 Apr 1844 Captain's Cook James Dungee mentioned.

 

12 Apr 1844 Towed from Gosport by USS ENGINEER. "Received 100 Paixhans shot."

 

29 Apr 1844 Shipped Seaman John Swift.

 

1 May 1844 Midshipman Warley and 1 Private to hospital.

 

2 May 1844 Midshipman Patton to hospital.

 

3 May 1844 "Stowed the half main yard outside under the waist anchor & netting..."

 

5 May 1844 "Got up a subscription for a seamans library for the ships company..."

 

10 May 1844 "...caulking in the air ports, Took down the galley...on account of it smoking so badly. We now have a new one [on the "Espy plan"] which is not a great deal better."

 

11 May 1844 John Gunn deserted from the market boat at New York.

 

18 May 1844 Seaman Charles Lee deserted from 3rd cutter at New York.

 

20 May 1844 Midshipman M. P. Jones reported.

 

26 May 1844 Midshipman J. M. Maury reported. [This entry repeated on 29 May 1844.]

 

27 May 1844 Seaman James Vandervoot [sic] shipped.

 

17 Jul 1844 "...the martingale was carried away in the upper sheave..."

 

24 Jul 1844 King Neptune's suite: 6 barbers, 6 constables, 6 guards, 4‑5 messengers. Spliced the main brace afterwards.

 

28 Jul 1844 "...spring the dolphin striker..."

 

3 Aug 1844 Examples of "fast sailers" [for frigates]: 276 nm in 1 day; 240 nm/day for 3 days in succession.

 

16 Aug 1844 Midshipman Warley's court martial began; ended 18 Aug.

 

22 Aug 1844 Joseph Shafer flogged for fighting.

 

24 Aug 1844 Midshipmen Warley and Knapp transferred to USS UNITED STATES for return to US.

 

25 Aug 1844 Seaman George Smith deserted from 3rd cutter at Rio.

 

31 Aug 1844 "Struck the main deck bow guns below on the berth deck."

 

18 Oct 1844 Ship hailed by "a one eyed gent" saying, "Wat you cum frum. You sabee me. Me sabee you. You presents me. Me presents you." Prince Willie an old man with few gray woolly hairs and a little beard, which he stroked. Prince John Green ["one eye"]. Armed with spears. Kitty Clover. One‑eyed Riley. Jim Crow. [All are Madagascar natives.]

 

3 Nov 1844 Madagascar flag is white with queen's name "in it:" Radavallo Manzata. "Kingdom of Ovah." Previous ruler, King Radama, "kicked the bucket."

 

26 Nov 1844 John White and William Jones (#2) deserted from 1st cutter at Zanzibar. (Returned by US Consul next day.)

 

2 Dec 1844 Punished White and Jones, as well as John Collins for having taken their clothes.

 

3 Dec 1844 "Zanzibar water" blamed for growing sick list.

 

19 Dec 1844 [night] Seaman John P. Watson died ‑ 1st of cruise; buried at sea next morning [20th].

 

22 Dec 1844 1615 Musician Christian Fisher died; buried at 1830. Personal effects auctioned off 23 Dec.

 

30 Dec 1844 0840 Seaman John Peters died; 1540 buried at sea.

 

6 Jan 1845 0930 Midshipman Mason died; 1600 buried at sea.

 

4 Feb 1845 Charles Springer died of dysentery; buried in Singapore.

 

15 Feb 1845 Stephen Hoyt died; buried in Singapore.

 

19 Mar 1845 Lieutenant Chaplin's expedition up Borneo's Sambas River consisted of 6 officers [including Midshipman Buckner], 23 men, 3 Marines.

 

23 Apr 1845 "...scraping black paint off the combings [sic] of the hatches..."

 

29 Apr 1845 Auctioned off personal effects of John Thompson (#2). Spliced the main brace in honor of birthday of Captain Percival's daughter.

 

Following the 30 Apr 1845 [final] entry: "Very well Mr Buckner Percival."

 

Note: Foremast shortened 3'; mainmast, 5'; and mizzen, 2' prior to cruise in order to reduce tendency to labor.

 

Boats mentioned: launch, 2 quarter boats, 1 boat named DECATUR, 1st cutter, 3rd cutter, gig.

 

Midshipman Buckner noted that the Professor of Mathematics weighed 220‑odd."

 

 

The notes taken here reflect only information not included in other journals from this cruise included in this database.