The ship's log of the US Brig Porpoise, dated 19 February 1845 to 16 June 1846, was kept during a cruise from New York to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. It details navigational statistics, weather reports, sightings and hailing of other ships, and punishments of crew infractions. The author was probably Midshipman Benjamin Lee Henderson and the log was signed in fifteen places by Lt. Commander William E. Hunt.
The second U.S. naval vessel to bear the name, the US Brig Porpoise, was a hermaphrodite (square-rigged foremast and schooner-rigged mainmast) brig in the United States Navy. The US Brig Porpoise was launched 31 May 1836. When first launched, under the command of Lt. William Ramsay, the Porpoise conducted coastal surveys and pirate hunting along the southern coast of the U.S. Beginning in August 1838, the Porpoise under the command of Lt. Cadwallader Ringgold, participated in Lt. Charles Wilkes' four year voyage around the world with the United States Exploring Expedition Squadron which confirmed the existence of the Antarctic Continent, and returned to New York in 1842. From February 1845 to July 1847, Porpoise cruised in the Gulf of Mexico, participating in the naval operations against Tampico, Pánuco, and Veracruz during the Mexican-American War (1846-1847). Upon return to Norfolk, VA, after the war, she remained decommissioned until 1 January 1848. During the next 3 years the Porpoise hunted slavers along the west coast of Africa (1848-1851). She was decommissioned again on 3 August 1852 and recommissioned in May 1853 to join an exploring squadron under the command of Commodore Cadwallader Ringgold. After rounding the Cape of Good Hope the squadron explored and charted Pacific islands and shoals until it arrived in China in March 1854. The US Brig Porpoise parted ways with the squadron between Formosa and China and was last seen on 21 September 1854. It is supposed that she foundered in a heavy typhoon which occurred a few days after her separation from the squadron.
Full History of the US Brig Porpoise Available at the Naval History and Heritage Command Website: http://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/p/porpoise-ii.html
This collection contains the ship's log of the US Brig Porpoise, dated 19 February 1845 to 16 June 1846, probably kept by Midshipman Benjamin Lee Henderson and signed in 15 places by Lt. Commander William E. Hunt. The log begins during the US Brig Porpoise's commissioning at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on 19 February 1845. The ship sailed down the east coast of the United States for Norfolk, VA, rounded Florida and continued on to Galveston, Texas (saluting the Texas flag with a 21 gun salute on 14 May 1845). She eventually sailed back in February 1845 to Pensacola Bay, FL, to serve as part of the U.S. naval force in the Mexican-American War (1846-1847) in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean under the command of Commodore David Conner (1792-1856). During this time, the US Brig Porpoise made anchor several times at the islands of Sacrifcios near Vera Cruz, Cuba, Puerto Rico, St. Domingo, Azua, Puerto Plata, and Cape Haytien until July 1846. The ship's log details daily navigational statistics including sailing conditions, wind directions, courses, changes of course, latitude and longitude positions, as well as sightings, passing, and hailing other ships including the USS Princeton (a steamer ship). The daily logs also include reports of crew misconduct and punishments for infractions such as insubordination, drunkenness, fighting, and smuggling liquor.
Purchased from Carmen D. Valentino, Philadelphia, Pa.
Encoded by Jonathan Dembo, April 28, 2010
Processing completed by Mateusz Polakowski on March 24, 2016
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.