16 AUGUST 1803 - 6 MARCH 1804


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Edward Preble
3rd Captain


16 Aug 1803 [Tuesday] Draft on sailing: 22'5" fwd; 23'9" aft -- "...two scuttle butts..." -- "Rigged the Forge for the first time and Set the armers [sic] to making Blaying [sic] Pinns [sic]..."
17 Aug 1803 "...fitting the armer's [sic] forge..."
18 Aug 1803 "...the Constitutions upper deck is Very Badly constructed for Stowing the booms The badness is this if the Boats is [sic] stowd. Lowe [sic] The Spairs [sic] Extends [sic] so fair [sic] out on the gangway as to prevent working the gangway guns..." -- found the larboard lower shrouds "...stranded Which we suppose was done when the Constitution was on a Carreen [sic]..."
19 Aug 1803 "...coppering the upper part of the deck which is over the armers [sic] forge..."
20 Aug 1803 "...numbering hammocks..."
21 Aug 1803 Seaman Richard Beedland fell from the mizzen top, striking his head and chest.
24 Aug 1803 Butter stowed in spirit room.
25 Aug 1803 Canvas covers for fire engine.
26 Aug 1803 Armorers making "iron work for Securing the half ports over the guns..."
27 Aug 1803 1800 Seaman Richard Beedland died of his injuries; 2100 buried at sea.
31 Aug 1803 "We put in all the half ports and Secured them." -- "...the scuttles in the gun room...and between decks..."
2 Sep 1803 Exercised at battle stations -- "...Bags are to be served out to the Ships Company in Lieu of Chists [sic]..."
4 Sep 1803 [Sunday] Read Articles of War.
7 Sep 1803 "Strange sail in sight to the Eastward one of which a frigate under French colours. At 1/2 past 1PM tacked to the Northward and cleared ship for action. The sail I mentioned at noon standing towards us hoisted Mediterranean colours. At 1/2 past 2 shortened sail and boarded her. The frigate [MAIMONA] belonging to the Emperor of Morocco mounted 30 guns and carried 150 men Capt Hodge Tucker [Anwed?] [sic] 23 days from Sallie [sic] on a cruise with the American passport dated at Tangier 23rd July 1803, and signed by James Simpson with the Consular seal. She was examined by the boarding officer, after this by Col [Tobias] Lear who is a passenger on board of Constitution as Consul general to the Barbary Powers."
15 Sep 1803 Six men to a mess -- each mess has 1 chest.
20 Sep 1803 "...scuttles which communicate from the out Sides of the Ship to the officers cabings [sic] in the Gunroom" -- Midshipman Thomas Baldwin discharged for conduct unbecoming ashore at Gibraltar.
21 Sep 1803 On 14 August 1803 the ship had on board 93 leaguers (320 gallons each), 97 butts (130 gallons each), and 107 gang casks (50 gallons each).
22 Sep 1803 The ground tier has 27-28,000 gallons in it.
24 Sep 1803 Watch officers mentioned: Gordon, Jencks, and Tarbell.
26 Sep 1803 Seaman Robert Burrell fell overboard and was picked up by the jolly boat; repeated for Seaman Joseph Marlet later in the day.
27 Sep 1803 Additional watch officer mentioned: Robinson.
2 Oct 1803 [Sunday] Bushel-basket-shaped grate stoves for circulating air and drying out belowdecks; Preble's design weighing 40-45# each, said to be "superior" -- each stand in a "receiver" to catch ashes and coals (number not specified).
3 Oct 1803 Moorish prisoners attempted sodomy with ship's boys; placed under full-time guard -- Seamen James Johnson and William Garling deserted from the watering boat.
4 Oct 1803 Seamen George Summers, Robert Liddy, James Carling, James Willison, and Hugh McCormack given 12 lashes each for neglect of duty.
8 Oct 1803 Seaman James Chamberlain died in the AM and buried at sea in the PM.
14 Oct 1803 Private John Morgain [sic] died.
18 Oct 1803 Boatswain John Willson discharged as incompetent; replaced by John N. Cannon -- Seamen John Plover and William Brown deserted by swimming.
20 Oct 1803 Seaman Hugh McCormack attempted desertion (confined in irons until 9 December) -- Sailmaker Heal suspended for insolence.
22 Oct 1803 Moored in Tangier Bay.
24 Oct 1803 Arrived at Cadiz; quarantined for 72 hours.
31 Oct 1803 On sailing on 14 August, the ship had two 22" cables of 120 fathoms each for the small bower, a similar one for the sheet; now she has two 21" 120-fathom cables for the best bower.
2 Nov 1803 45,180 gallons of water on board.
3 Nov 1803 Seaman George Lesent given 36 lashes for drunkenness, theft, and neglect of duty; John Cherry, John Fitzgerald, George Summers, Henry Appleton, Pat Tool, and James Butler given 24 each for drunkenness and neglect of duty -- crew ordered to drink grog at tub to prevent trading of spirits.
4 Nov 1803 New stream cable: 125 fathoms of 12 3/4" -- shipped 24 seamen and 2 Marines.
5 Nov 1803 Acting Midshipman John Bartel discharged for unofficerlike conduct at Gibraltar -- provided with passage to US.
6 Nov 1803 Underway from Cadiz.
15 Nov 1803 Seaman Thomas Jones given 36 lashes for drunkenness, insolence, and neglect of duty; James Button given 24 for drunkenness and neglect of duty.
16 Nov 1803 Private Edward Madden, transferred to CONSTITUTION from USS ARGUS 3 days earlier, given 48 lashes for refusing duty, contempt toward his commanding officer, insolence to a superior, and attempting to desert.
17 Nov 1803 Seaman George G. Brown died.
23 Nov 1803 Watch officer mentioned: Elbert.
24 Nov 1803 News of loss of PHILADELPHIA received from HMS AMAZON, met at sea.
27 Nov 1803 Dispatches brought from Malta confirming PHILADELPHIA's loss.
29 Nov 1803 Seaman Mark Clark given 36 lashes for drunkenness, neglect of duty, and stealing rum; John Smith, John C. Smith, John Shaw, and Matthew Brofey given 24 each for drunkenness and stealing rum.
30 Nov 1803 Purser James Smith Deblois died and was buried ashore.
1 Dec 1803 Chaplain Morris appointed Purser -- Midshipman Gadsden sent to sick quarters ashore.
3 Dec 1803 [Saturday] Peter Leonard appointed Chaplain -- painting bowsprit.
7 Dec 1803 Seaman John Lyon given 36 lashes for desertion, drunkenness, and neglect of duty; Matthew Mathers, John Carter, and John Bower given 24 each for drunkenness and neglect of duty; John Decker received 6 for drunkenness.
9 Dec 1803 Seaman Hugh McCormack ordered to duty.
14 Dec 1803 Cleaning below decks.
16 Dec 1803 Seamen Patrick Tool and William Williams given 24 lashes each for drunkenness and neglect of duty; John Driscoll given 24 for AWOL and neglect of duty; and Private John Rowe given 24 for sleeping on post.
17 Dec 1803 Private George Crutch given 24 lashes for embezzlement and selling stolen goods.
23 Dec 1803 Captured ketch MASTICO, flying Tripoline colors (CONSTITUTION flying British colors at the time).
24 Dec 1803 1300 Sent an officer, a petty officer, and 7 men to take MASTICO to Syracuse -- 20-25 prisoners taken out of the prize and placed under guard below decks.
26 Dec 1803 Armorer repairing head guard rails.
31 Dec 1803 At Syracuse -- prisoners quarantined in MASTICO.
4 Jan 1804 Making a new fore topgallant mast -- coopers making buckets.
5 Jan 1804 [Thursday] Seaman Thomas Farrell died.
8 Jan 1804 The bowsprit in the ship is the same one installed on 8 Dec 1798.
9 Jan 1804 Refitting rigging -- blackening lower and topsail yard.
11 Jan 1804 Received 15 kegs of yellow ochre, 2 of red paint, 7 small ones of black paint, and 50 gallons of black varnish -- "...breechings for 18 pounders..."
12 Jan 1804 Master's Mate Burris transferred to USS VIXEN as Acting Sailing Master.
15 Jan 1804 36 fathoms of 9" and 46 fathoms of 6" used in gammoning and woolding bowsprit.
21 Jan 1804 Seaman John Sloan died.
22 Jan 1804 Painting hammock cloths -- "...painting the leading blocks and the ring bolts on the gun carriages..."
23 Jan 1804 Repairing the small cutter.
24 Jan 1804 Scraping the bends.
25 Jan 1804 Painting ship, masts, gun carriage ring bolts, gratings, and the straps of leading blocks.
28 Jan 1804 Nine prisoners returned from MASTICO, now out of quarantine.
29 Jan 1804 Painting the ship and blacking the bends.
30 Jan 1804 "...painting...the gun carriages and the masts..." -- landed 43 blacks, slaves, from MASTICO; the 19 Tripoline crewmembers and 7 Greek slaves all now in CONSTITUTION.
31 Jan 1804 "...waist guns..."
1 Feb 1804 Painting continues.
2 Feb 1804 Private George Crutch given 48 lashes for drunkenness, neglect of duty, stealing, and attempted escape -- painting the barge and dressing hammock cloths.
10 Feb 1804 Lieutenant Dent sent to ENTERPRIZE temporarily, together with 1 midshipman and 31 seamen.
11 Feb 1804 Lieutenant Elliot temprorarily ordered to ENTERPRIZE.
19 Feb 1804 Lieutenant Decatur returned from raid on Tripoli in which he and a band of volunteers destroyed the captured PHILADELPHIA -- Lieutenant Dent et al returned from ENTERPRIZE.
22 Feb 1804 Whitewashing betweendecks and cable tiers -- planking up the gangways between the mainmast and the fore rigging which was formerly covered with canvas.
23 Feb 1804 "...scraping the topmasts..."
25 Feb 1804 Reference made to a green capstan.

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