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U.S.S. INDEPENDENCE Collection, 7/3/1815 - 11/15/1815, 9/20/1829

Manuscript Collection #1128

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: U.S.S. INDEPENDENCE Collection
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Journal of a Cruize in the USS INDEPENDENCE, Commodore William Bainbridge’s Flag Ship, Capt. William M. Crane, Commander, from Boston, July 2nd 1815 (3 July – 15 November 1815), compiled by an anonymous crew member, which describes the first overseas mission of the first ship of the line commissioned by the United States Navy, to deal with the piratical acts of the Barbary Powers against American merchant commerce in the Mediterranean Sea, bound in original calf leather over marbled boards, Entries clean and legible; also a letter from William M. Crane, Commanding Officer, U. S. DELAWARE, Port Mahon (9/20/1829) to Lt. William N, McKean, U. S. Sloop WARREN, ordering him to report to Lt. Thomas M. Newell, commander of the U. S. Schooner PORPOISE.
Extent: 0.03 Cubic feet, 2 items , journal and correspondence

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

April 16, 2008 2 items, 0.03 cubic feet; Anonymous. Journal of a Cruize in the U.S.S. INDEPENDENCE, Commodore William Bainbridge's Flag Ship, Capt. William M. Crane, Commander, from Boston July 2nd 1815 (7/3 - 11/15/1815) kept by one of the ship's officers, describing the voyage of the USS INDEPENDENCE, the first ship of the line commissioned in the United States Navy, together with the USS CONSTITUTION to deal with the piratical acts of the Barbary Powers against American merchant commerce in the Mediterranean Sea. Bound in original calf leather over marbled boards. Entries clean and legible; also a letter from William M. Crane, Commanding Officer, U.S. Ship DELAWARE, Port Mahon (9/20/1829) to Lt. William N, McKean, U.S. Sloop WARREN, ordering him to report to Lt. Thomas M. Newell, commander of the U.S. Schooner PORPOISE. Purchased. See preliminary inventory attached. Purchase (Special Manuscript Fund, Sara S. Batten Special Collections Endowment Fund, Bodo Nischan Manuscript Endowment Fund, Naval History Endowment), Ten Pound Island Book Co., Gloucester, MA

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

U.S.S. INDEPENDENCE Collection (#1128), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Purchase (Special Manuscript Fund, Sara S. Batten Special Collections Endowment Fund, Bodo Nischan Manuscript Endowment Fund, Naval History Endowment), Ten Pound Island Book Co., Gloucester, MA

Processing Information

  • Encoded by Mark Custer, April 25, 2008

  • Processed by Carmen Fernandez April 2010


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The USS INDEPENDENCE was the third U. S. Navy vessel to bear this name. The third INDEPENDENCE, the subject of this collection, was the first ship-of-the-line (i.e. battleship) commissioned in the United States Navy. After launching on 22 June 1814, she was immediately armored and assigned to protect the port of Boston during the War of 1812. On July 3, 1815, commanded by Captain William M. Crane, INDEPENDENCE began her first overseas voyage to help combat the piratical acts of the Barbary Powers in the Mediterranean Sea. The Barbary Pirates had already agreed to peace terms when the ship arrived in the Mediterranean, but INDEPENDENCE helped maintain the peace by traveling and docking in harbors and displaying the U. S. flag. INDEPENDENCE returned to Newport, Rhode Island, on November, 15 1815, where she became the flagship of Commodore John Shaw until placed in ordinary service (i.e. storage) in 1822.

INDEPENDENCE remained in ordinary status at Boston from 1822 until the Mexican War. In 1837, she was cut down to one covered fighting deck with poop and Forecastle. Upon the outbreak of war with Mexico, the Navy recommissioned her and she departed Boston on August, 29 1846 for the coast of California, where she became the flagship of the Pacific Squadron. After the war, INDEPENDENCE returned to ordinary service for most of her remaining life. In 1857, she proceeded to the Mare Island Navy Yard in California. There she served as receiving ship, where the Navy inducted recruits into naval service. She remained there until the Navy decommissioned her on November, 3 1912. Her name was struck from the Navy List on September, 3 1913. The Navy then sold her and her buyers partly dismantled her for scrap. On the night of September, 20 1919, the 98-year-old USS INDEPENDENCE was burned on the Hunter's Point mud flats to recover her metal fittings.

Sources: http://www.ussindependenceship.org/overview_ship.php http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/line/independ.htm

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

This collection documents the voyage of the USS INDEPENDENCE from July 3, 1815 to November 13, 1815. The collection contains the ships holograph log which provides information about the ships voyage from July to November of 1815. The log was kept by an unknown sailor aboard the ship. The log contains daily entries citing the ship’s direction, wind direction, distance traveled and the longitude of the ship’s first overseas voyage. The log also provides daily comments on weather, other ships encountered and land spotted. The log also comments on the crew’s exercise and any other significant events that take place. According to the log, the ship was at the following locations during the corresponding date periods. July 3– July 31, 1815 (Boston, Island of Corvo, Havana, Gibraltar, Rotterdam, St. Vincent, Cape Trafalgar and Newfoundland.) August 1- August 31, 1815 (Havana, Alicant, Cape of Gatt, Island of Alboran, Carthaginia, Tirana, Cape Gobia, Town of Pantelleria, Town of Tripoli and Island of Lauladosa.) September 1, 1815- September 30, 1815 (Island of Pantelleria, Cape Gobia, Cape Carthage, Cape Famina, Island of Zembua, Cape Farina, Island Blanco, Cape Serra, Velez Malaga and Menedaga.) October 1- October 31, 1815 (Bay of Gibraltar.) November 1- November 15, 1815 (New Haven.)

The collection also contains a letter dated September 20, 1829 written by Commanding Officer William M. Crane of the USS DELAWARE to Lt. William N. McKean, of the U. S. Sloop WARREN. In the letter, Crane orders McKean to report for duty on board the U. S. Schooner PORPOISE.

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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