[U.S.S. DELAWARE] - Robert B. STORER
[Manuscript log of the U.S.S. Delaware, kept by Robert Storer, during her final cruise home from the Mediterranean]
[Various places]: Jan. 1, 1844 - Mar. 22, 1844. Quarto. 62pp.
Original brown cloth. Cloth moderately soiled and stained. Light dampstaining to some of the text.
An American Navy cruise in the Mediterranean.
Manuscript log book of the U.S.S. Delaware, kept by seaman Robert B. Storer, during the ship's final voyage. The U.S.S. Delaware was launched in October 1820. She spent most of her active duty cruising in the Mediterranean, where she served in the interests of American commerce and diplomacy in that area, though she also spent several years stationed in Brazil, patrolling the coasts of Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina to represent American interests during political unrest in those countries. She began her final voyage to the Mediterranean in February 1843, setting out from Rio de Janeiro. This log covers the last three months of the Delaware's active service, documenting her return voyage from the Mediterranean to Norfolk. She arrived home in March 1844, and was still at the naval yard in 1861, when she was set afire with other U.S. ships in order to keep them from falling into Confederate hands. The log begins with the ship at anchor in Mahon harbor, off Minorca in the Mediterranean. Storer keeps details of provisioning the ship and readying to sail for first 12 days of January. As is standard with ship's logs, he records speeds, winds, and weather conditions, as well as the positioning of the sails. Everyday events such as inspecting the crew or holding "divine service" on Sundays are noted, as well, as are sightings of other ships' sails and exchanging colors with passing vessels. The Delaware sights the coast of Spain and moves into the Atlantic around the third week in January; on February 2, crew member Jacob Lawrence, a marine, dies (though Storer does not say from what), and his funeral service is held the next day, and Lawrence's body is committed to the deep. Also of note, the Delaware investigates a wreck on Feb. 15: "At 7.45 hauled up the courses, hauled down the jib and laid the main and mizen topsails to the mast, and sent a boat to board the wreck. At 8.15 the boat returned from the wreck; discovered her to be the English Hermaphrodite Brig 'Halifax' of 'Halifax,' loaded with lumber, water logged and foremast sawed off, nothing living on board." The rest of the voyage is uneventful and relatively smooth, and the Delaware sights the Cape Henry light house on March 4th. The last few days are recorded as the ship is anchored at Hampton Roads, including a salute to the passing of former Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Gilmer, who died on February 28th.