Monday, March 27, 2017

The Enduring Journey of the USS Chesapeake-- Part 2

Charles Dickon is an Emmy-winning public radio and television producer based in Virginia.  His book "The Enduring Journey of the USS Chesapeake is available on Amazon for $22.

The 1813 battle of the Chesapeake versus the HMS Shannon was a big boost to British morale, proving that one of their frigates could beat a United States frigate in one-on-one battle.  It also provided the U.S. Navy with its "Don't Give Up the Ship" slogan.

After the battle, the Chesapeake served in the British Navu as the HMS Chesapeake.  It was broken up in 1820 and its timber eventually used in an English mill.

There is not only an account of the book at site, but you can get a lot of information by clicking across the top of the page.  There is more information on people, places, the mill, book notes and links.

Well Worth a Look.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Enduring Journey of the USS Chesapeake-- Part 1: A Book About the Ship

By Chris Dickon, Emmy-winning public radio and television producer from Virginia.

Mr. Dickon made a comment early on in my USS/HMS Chesapeake blog entries and is the author of a book on the subject, so has done a whole lot more research on it than I.

The USS Chesapeake was one of six frigates built in the 1790s and considered an "Unlucky Ship."  There was a death in Gosport Shipyard in Portsmouth on the ship's launching in 1799.  "In 1807 she was involved in a confrontation at sea that shocked the new American nation into a realization that it was now sovereign in the world and needed to be able to defend itself."


Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Body of James Lawrence-- Part 2: Many Burials

The battle between the USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon took place on June 1, 1813, off Boston.  James Lawrence, the Chesapeake's commander, was mortally wounded, taken below and taken prisoner when the ship surrendered a few moments later.  He died on June 4, en route to Halifax, Nova Scotia,  where he was buried with full military honors at what was Her Majesty's Canadian Dockyard.  It is now the Canadian Forces Base Halifax (CFB-Halifax).

However, his body is  no longer there.

It was disinterred at some time afterwards and taken to Boston where another funeral was held.  Later, he was reburied in Salem, Massachusetts.  Later, again, he was dug up and buried for a final time at the trinity Church cemetery in Manhattan, New York City.

A Long Way From Halifax.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Body of James Lawrence-- Part 1

In the last post I mentioned the burial of U.S. Navy Captain James Lawrence in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by the British with full military honors.

From Wikipedia.

The body of James Lawrence was reinterred at Trinity Church in New York City which also contains quite a few other notables:  Robert Fulton, Albert Gallatin, Horatio Gates, Alexander Hamilton and John Peter Zenger.

Also buried there are two War of 1812 veterans:

Franklin Wharton (1767-1868).  Commandant USMC 1804-1818.
Silas Talbot 1750-1813, U.S. Navy.  Second captain of the USS Constitution.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

HMS Shannon, After the Battle With the USS Chesapeake-- Part 1

The HMS Shannon was a 38-gun British frigate.

The British buried American Captain James Lawrence in Halifax with full military honors.  Six senior British naval officers served as his pall bearers.

The Shannon was in ordinary in Portsmouth 1814-1815.  Between July 1815 and March 1817 the ship was at Chatham undergoing extensive repairs that cost 26,328 pounds.  It was then returned to ordinary where it stayed until 1826 when it underwent some minor repairs at a cost of 4,969 pounds and then fitted for sea between August-December 1828 for 14,746 pounds.

It became a receiving ship and a temporary hulk at Sheerness in 1831.  On 11 March 1844 and was broken up at Chatham in 1859.


HMS Shannon-- Part 1: Statistics

Tonnage--  1,065

150 feet long

39.11 foot beam

Crew:  330 officers and enlisted

Armament, Upper deck--  twenty-eight 18-pdrs.

Lower decks--  eight 9 pdrs. and fourteen 32-pdr. carronades.


Monday, March 20, 2017

HMS Shannon-- Part 2: Information

From Wikipedia.

A 38-gun Leda-class frigate.

Ordered--   24 October 1803

Laid Down--  August 1804

Launched--  5 May 1806

Completed--  3 August 1806

Receiving ship--  1831

Renamed HMS St. Lawrence in 1844

Broken up in 1859


The HMS Leopard After the Chesapeake Affair-- Part 2

The HMS Leopard took part in a convoy in the Mauritius Campaign 1809-1811 in the Indian Ocean.  In 1812, it had its guns removed and was converted into a troopship.

On 28 June 1814, en route from Britain to Quebec and carrying 475 Royal Scots Guardsmen, the Leopard grounded on Anticosti Island at the outlet of the St. Lawrence River in a heavy fog.  The ship was destroyed, but all aboard survived.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Trouble On the High Seas-- Part 3: Seizing and Sinking American Ships


This sort of trouble wasn't new.  Ships of the British Royal Navy had been stopping American merchant ships ever since 1793, when England went to war with France.  It was England's war policy to stop all ships from trading in French seaports.  To make sure that American ships were not taking war supplies to France, British warships stopped them on the ocean and British sailors went on board to search the cargo.

French warships did the same.  If the French or British found enemy cargo on board, the ship might be sunk or captured.  Dozens of American ships were lost that way, and thousands of dollars' worth of goods were lost with every ship.


Andrew Jackson's Birthday Commemorated at the Hermitage-- Part 2

Thursday, the Tennessee National Guard will have a concert and there will be a 19th century-era steeplechase as well as a presentation by the Tennessee Militia reenactment group.

There will be a person playing the role of Andrew Jackson in attendance and throughout the day, a chance to see "An Evening With Five Presidents.

Friday and Saturday they will have 150 re-enactors having a War of 1812 encampment.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Andrew Jackson's Birthday Commemorated at the Hermitage-- Part 1

From the March 13, 2017, Lebanon (Tenn) Democrat "Trump to visit Hermitage for Jackson's birthday."

Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767.  On his birthday, yesterday, President Trump visited the Hermitage and placed a wreath at his grave.  However, unfortunately, the Hermitage was closed to the public that day, but with all this anti-Trump and anti-Jackson feelings around, probably a good thing.

However, the Hermitage is open today, March 16th, for what they're calling a Jackson Education Day.  This is the 250th anniversary of his birth.  They will be having Hickory Pole Racing, chocolate sampling and birthday cake.


Trump to Visit Hermitage for Jackson's Birthday-- Part 1

From the March 13, 2017, Lebanon (Tennessee) Democrat.

President Trump was to visit Andrew Jackson's Hermitage outside of Nashville on Wednesday before a rally in that city.  He becomes the 14th president to visit and the first since Ronald Reagan did in 1982.  He will lay a wreath on Jackson's grave.  Trump also has placed a picture of Jackson in the Oval Office.  All this coming at a time when Jackson is being blackballed by many for owning slaves and his treatment to the Indians.  Plus, his picture on the twenty dollar bills is going to be replaced.

I admire President Trump for taking this stance.

Andrew Jackson is a big reason the United States became as strong of a country as it is.

Way to Go, President.  --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The HMS Leopard: After the Battle With the Chesapeake-- Part 1

The HMS Leopard was a 50 gun, 4th class warship launched in 1790 and with a main battery of 22 24-pdr. long guns and 22 12-pdr. long guns.

The British were looking for four sailors, one British and three Americans,  known to have deserted and believed to have joined the Chesapeake's crew.

After the battle and removal from the Chesapeake, the four were taken to Halifax, where the British sailor, Jenkin Ratford, was hanged.  The three Americans were initially sentenced to 500 lashes, but hat their sentence dropped and the British offered to return them to the U.S..


USS Chesapeake Statistics-- Part 2

38-gun frigate

Length--  152.6 feet

Beam--  41.3 feet

Draft--  20 feet

Crew--  340 officers and enlisted

Armament--  29 18-pdr. long guns, 18 32-pdr. carronades, 2 12-pdr. long guns and 1 12 pdr. carronade.

(The USS Constitution carried 30 24-pdr. long guns for her main battery.)


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Stats on the USS Chesapeake-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

Ordered March 27, 1794

Builder:  Josiah Fox

Cost:  $220,667

Laid Down:  December 1795

Launched:  December 2, 1799

Commissioned:  May 22, 1800

Captured:  June 1, 1813


The USS Chesapeake's Legacy-- Part 2: A Cannon Remains in Nova Scotia

**  The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, holds artifacts from the battle, including the mess kettle and an officer's chest.

**  One of the Chesapeake's 18-pounder cannons is mounted beside the Province House which is the home of the Nova Scotia legislature.


Monday, March 13, 2017

The USS Chesapeake's Legacy-- Part 1 "Don't Give Up the Ship"

From Wikipedia.

**  Captain James Lawrence's last words, "Don't Give Up the Ship" has become a rallying cry for the U.S. Navy.

**  In September 1813, Oliver Hazard Perry named his flagship the USS Lawrence.  At the Battle of Lake Erie, he flew a broad blue flag with the words "Don't Give Up the Ship" on it.

**  The USS Lawrence's blood-stained, bullet-riddled flag was sold at auction in 1908 and purchased by William Waldorf Astor (American-born, but moved to Britain).  It is now at the Britain's National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, along with her signal book.


Unlucky Ship: The USS Chesapeake

From Wikipedia.

Almost from the beginning, the USS Chesapeake was considered an unlucky ship.  It was "the runt of the leader," the smallest of the frigates built back then.

Then, there were its ill-fated encounters with the HMS Leopard and HMS Shannon.

Two of her captains were court martialed.  And, there were the accidental deaths of several crewmen.


Friday, March 10, 2017

From the Chesapeake Mill Website-- Part 2


  The historical significance of this fine building arises first of all from the timber used in its construction.  These timbers come from the United States frigate Chesapeake, which was captured by the Royal Navy during the War of 1812.

Architecturally, the mill is the finest example of re-used ship timbers within an industrial building outside the confines of the Royal Dockyards.

In addition to this maritime heritage, the mill has been a prominent feature of the landscape in the Meon Valley, performing a vital function in the rural economy from its construction in 1820 up to 1976, when it ceased commercial operations.

On My List of Places to Go If Ever in England Again.  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, March 9, 2017

From the Chesapeake Mill Website-- Part 1: Lots of Stuff to Buy

You can find it at

You can take a virtual tour of the building, which now is an antique/gift store and evidently quite a popular tourist destination.


We have dealers who offer a wonderful mix of antiques and collectable, antique pine, kitchenalla, and country made furniture, Georgian and Victorian mahogony, oak and walnut furniture for the bedroom, sitting room, dining room or for occasional use.

With some dealers offering Antique and Vintage Jewelry, ceramics and glass from early Staffordshire Pottery, Oriental Porcelain and Victorian Glass through to collectable 20th century ceramics and Quality Glass.

There is an award-winning restaurant on site, currently #1 in Wickham.