Page images




agitation of his look. We slung him, sycophant in the play; but, finding with a couple of ropes under the arms, all his requests were disregarded, he and he was hoisted upon deck. The came forward, and was descending the officers who remained assisted to se- forescuttle, when we demanded what cure him to the stump of the mizen- the lad wanted, and whether he mast. A lantern was brought, and - couldn't find any body upon deck? the few survivors who were near, “ Eh, (says Jock,) I saw the auld genclinging to whatever they could hold tleman of a mate ast there-a deadly by, crowded round, and joined in the sulky-looking sort of a body too, but he prayers which were read by one of would nae

_ Hush ! the officers. Oh! what a moment (says the Boatswain, he'll hear you.

. was that, when every heart poured That isn't the Mate, but a passenger forth its petition in fervency of spirit, we brought home from the island of while death was waiting to receive his Jamaica. lle's a very rich sugarprey. Before the officer had closed baker, but dreadfully cross and spiteful the book, and while the Amen yet --we're all afraid of him.”—“ Eh, be trenubled on their lips, a wild shriek good unto us! (returned the simple was heard from forward. The wave lad;) are all the sugar-Lakers like came like a huge mountain, curling its unto him? They must be a main commonstrous head, sparkling with foam, ical set !" lle was directed to go which rendered it more horrible in the down the half-deck and take a little blackness of the night-it struck the out of a cask; but he wouldn't attempt ship, rending her fore and aft, and en- it till one of his companions descended gulphed us in its dark abyss. There with him. “Eh, Jammie, (says the

. was a loud yell-it grew fainter--and first,) did you nae see the ootlandish all was hushed but the howling of the passenger body sitting aft on the quargale and the roaring of the billows. ter-deck?"_" Na, Jock, (replied the

-. Myself and eleven others alone were other,) wha was it ?"_“I dinna ken, saved." Poor Jem, however, was re- but they tellit me he was a sugar-baserved for another fate ; for, at the ker fron Jemakee ; but such an ugly close of the war, he became an out- cat-faced looking-Eh, Sir! (taking pensioner ; but, still desirous of brav- off his hat on observing the monkey ing the ocean, he shipped in a West grinning at 'em down the hatchway as Ingee-man, and made two or three if listening)-Eh, Sir,, 'twas nae you voyages ; but the last trip they were we were talking aboot, but anither gentaken by the Pirates, and all hands tleman, a sugar-baker in Soonderland. murdered. Jem used to come and Eh, Sir, we would nae offend your visit us old hulks at Greenwich; and countenince for the warld !" Ilowone day he told us a rum-story of a ever, no persuasions could induce North-country lad, apprenticed to a them to come on deck till they were Newcastle-man. “D'ye see, (says convinced that the gentleman passenJem,) we were laying just below the 'ger had forgiven them, and gone quiDock-gates at Blackwall, waiting etly to his cabin. for water in, when a Collier brig Upon the next thwart was Joe Henbrought up, and swung alongside dersen, him as is Boatswain of the

and having nothing much yacht building at Woolwich. Joe was to do, we went below to dinner. a hair-brained, careless fellow, but Well, aboard comes one of their ap- open and free-hearted; ready for any prentices to beg a little sugar. 'i aking thing, so that it did but promise misoff his hat, he preferred his petition to chief. He was in the Triumph at the a huge baboon of the Captain's dress. Mutiny, and was bow-man of the barge. ed in a blue jacket and trowsers, with Well, when Sir E left the ship, a great furry cap, that was seated on the boat landed at Sallyport, and Joe a cask

the quarter-deck. Jacko runs out the gang-board, while he obtook no notice of him, except to grin served a rough-looking Captain waita bit, while the poor fellow kept boo- ing on the beach, who hailed their old ing and booing, like Sir Pertinax Mac- skipper with, “ Good morning, Sir


of us ;


[ocr errors]

Erasmus, good morning.”- Good comical; and as soon as the Boatmorning, Captain EM (replied Sir swain's Mate piped down, a meeting Erasmus ;) I understand you are ap- was summoned to know whether they pointed to the Triumph, and I am very shouldn't send him ashore again; but sorry to say you will have a set of mu- an old Quarter-master advised to try tinous scoundrels to deal with.”. him first, for says he, “I knows the “ Never fear, Sir Erasmus, I am as gemman-he came in at the hawsemutinous as any of them, and I have holes, and understands what a seaman no doubt they will speedily discover is; therefore it arn't fair to shove him it.” So after shaking hands he jump- out of the cabin windows."

This seted into the boat, and they pulled tled it, and they never had cause to aboard. Well, the hands were turned repent of their delay. But I haven't up, the commission was read, and eve- time to tell you more now, Mr. Ediry one expected a speech, and a tor ; however, I'll try and recollect speech they had. “I'll tell you what something else about Joe and Captain it is, my men: I would advise you to E-and the old Triumphs, as, d’ye keep a sharp look-out, or I'll hang one see, they are all connected with the half of you.” This made them feel Barge's Crew.

[ocr errors]




Y :


Kensington, 220 July, 1824. hear of you or your work; never once TOU have sent me a copy of the above heard either named, until Capt. Phillimore, your compliments.' In page 359 of the introduced you and your book to the public. work, you quote the following words from Another preliminary remark. The mothe New Annual Register for 1814. It ment I heard of the beating, I said, that I would seem, too, that, when we were victo. strongly suspected that you deserved it ; rious over the Americans by sea, we were not for exposing the faults of the naval offigenerally indebted for our success, to a cers ; but for your endeavours to hide those greater superiority than even they had faults and to gloss over the shocking diswhen they were successful.' This was per- graces which we incurred during the war fectly true; and even far within the truth; with America. Never, as I shall clearly for, in many cases, they were victorious show, was suspicion better founded ! Nothwith an inferior force, both in men and ing can have a more mischievous tevdency. guns. Yet, having quoted this remark from It is to do all that you can to prevent such the Annual Register, you ask : Could an a change in the Navy as shall enable us to American Editor, or Mr. Cobbelt, have ut. face the foe another time. It is basely satered a more unblushing falsehood than is crificing the interests of the country to contained in this effusion of spleen? An your own interest, gratified by the sale of that, too, from so respectable a work as the your book to those whom you flattered and Annual Register ?'

apologized for. Never did man better de. After this, no respectable man will ex- serve a beating from some hand or other; pect me to treat you with any sort of cere- but, really, it was ungrateful in Blue and mony. I am about to remark on the book Buff to lay on the stick ! The devil will, I that you have sent me, and in which I find should suppose, pretty nearly get you for the above passage; and I shall unquestion the lies that you have told to screen Blue ably ascribe its infinite mass of lies to in- and Buff ; and, for them to beat you! Oh! tention, to what it is evidently meant to ob- it is too much! I would, if I were in your tain you, namely, the favour of Blue and place, put forward, to the Court of King's Buff, and the sale of your poor, shuffling, Bench, the great merit, public spirit, and badly written book, before you attempted patriotism shown by my lying at such an to make which, you ought to have hesought uncommon rate. Here,' I would say, some one to teach you how to put words see, my Lord, and Gentlemen of the Jury, into sentences.

how I have lied for the honour of our beBefore I proceed to remark on the con- loved country!' And then, turning round tents of your book, I will observe, that I my naked shoulders, I would exclaim, and, had given you no sort of provocation to behold my reward! speak of me as a notorious retailer of im- I shall now make some remarks on your pudent falsehoods. You published your book, which, from its very manner of bebook, it seems, in 1817. Not only then ginning, from its very tone at the outset, had I never offended you; not oply had I bids us expect a tissue of miserable apolonever even heard of you ; but, never did I gies. When, unlil now, did the historian of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

until now,


[ocr errors]

English naval fights think it necessary to occasion of this treatment. Your humaniwrite a preliminary essay on the nature of ty breaks forth upon this occasion. You timber and shot, on weight of metal, on the rival Sir James in his tender feelings for effect of this or that sort of powder, and the poor British sailor. In short, the exthe like? But, I am a little before my ceedingly well known humanity of all such story, and will return to it presently. persons, seems to have been very predomiWhen,

did the historian of Eng- pant upon this occasion. But here you lish naval fights think it necessary to set were less cunning than you generally have out with a sweeping declaration, that all been. You give us the injured British subthe accounts of the enemy were false ? ject's deposition. You were foolish for that. With boundless abuse of all belonging to You should have confined yourself to a that enemy? These are very bad signs : round assertion without any particulars. and these signs we find in almost every Particulars are always injurious to histori. page of your history. I have only to no- ans like you. You begin the story of the tice your base attack on the American ill-treated British subject thus : “ Shortly Commander, Porter, in order to show how after the declaration of war, Captain Por. shameless your conduct has been in this ter ill-used a British subject, for refusing respect.

to fight against his country." You should In your preface, you say, that you shall have stopped there ; for, though every one not meddle with the causes of the war. who knows any thing of the Americans That was a very impartial resolution to be would have been sure that this is a most sure! The cause of the war was a very wicked lie ; yet as only a small part of the singular one, and was very necessary to be people of England do know the Americans mentioned. You would not say any thing in this respect, the lie might have passed either, as to the manner in which it was currently enough ; but you, like a very conducted by the two parties. Why so foolish man, must refer to the New York shy upon these points? You can go out of paper for the truth of your assertion; and your way often enough to abuse the Ameri- must insert, forsooth, the deposition of the cans collectively and individually; and yet ill-used Englishman, who was, and who you will not say a word upon the cause of proves himself to have been, a inost proflithe war, of the manner of conducting it! gately fraudulent scoundrel, who deserved Singular forbearance, in a man whose eve- a hundred thousand times the punishment ry page teems with abuse of the enemy ! that Captain Porter inflicted upon him.

With your leave, I will, however, say a However, here is the scoundrel's deposition, little upon both these points; and, if there as inserted by yourself. be any blood beneath that skin of yours ; if 6. The deposition states, that John Ewing there be any pores in that skin through was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Eng. which for the blood to appear, pray, Mr. land : that he resided within the United James, do prepare to treat us to a little States since 1800, and has never been natublush for once in your lifetime.

ralized ; that, on the 14th of October, The cause of the war, and the sole 1811, he entered on board the Essex, and cause of the war, was the impressment of joined her at Norfolk ; that Captain Por. American seamen on board of Ainerican ter, on the 25th of June, 1812, caused all ships by English men of war on the high hands to be piped on deck to take the oath

This was the sole cause of the war. of allegiance to the United States, and gave And was it not cause enough? Was there them to understand, that any man who did ever any thing more unjust, cruel, or tyran- not choose to do so should be discharged: nical, than to take Americans out of their that when deponent heard his name called, ships, put them on board of our ships of he told the Captain that, being a British war, take them for years away from their subject, he must refuse taking the oath ; on home, parents, and friends ; compel them which the Captain spoke to the petty offito expose their lives in fighting for us, and cers, and told them that they must pass fighting too against their own friends and sentence upon him ; that they then put him allies? This was the real and sole cause into the petty launch which lay alongside of the war; and it ought to have been the frigate, and here poured a bucket of tar stated by a man who was about to give an over him, and then laid on a quantity of account of the manuer in which these Ame- feathers, having first stripped him naked ricans fought to avenge their wrongs.

from the waist; that they then rowed him Now, as connected with this matter, let ashore, stern foremost, and landed him.

come to your abuse of Conimodore That he wandered about, from street to Porter; and, in observing upon that abuse, street, in this condition, until Mr Ford I will show what a surprising hypocrite you took him into his shop, to save him from

You tell us at page 85, that Sir the crowd then beginning to assemble ; James Lucas Yeo felt indignant, at read- that he staid there until the police magising in the public papers of the ill treatment trate took him away, and put him in the city. of a British Sailorby Captain, or Com- prison for protection, where he was cleansed modore Porter. You tell us that Sir James and clothed. None of the citizens molested expressed his contempt of Captain Porter or insulted him. He says he had a protecfor this ill treatment of a British Sailor.tion, which he bought of a man in Salem, You tell us that Sir James Lucas Yeo was of the same name and description with himvery likely to express his abhorrence of the self, for four shillings and six pence, which



- are.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

hegot renewed at the Custom-House, Norfolk! lashes. This deponent says, himself and the He says he gave, as an additional reason other three impressed with him, did refuse to the Captain why he did not choose to

to enter, and each of them were then whipfight against his country,that if he should be ped five dozen lashes. On Wednesday foltaken prisoner, he would certainly be hung. the same offer made to us to enter, which

lowing we were agaio brought up, and had Here, then, this villain consesses that he entered on board the American ship Essex, dozen lashes each.

we refused, and we were again whipped five

On Saturday after, the and got the bounty, of course; that he did like offer was made to us, and, on our refuthis as an American cilizen ; that he im- sal, we were again whipped three dozen posed upon the American Captain and offi- lashes each. On Monday following, still recers, by means of a certificate of birth, which fusing to enter, we were again whipped two he had bought at Salem, from an American dozen each. On Wednesday followiog we of the same name and description wilh him- were again whipped one dozen each and self; and that he had even got the certifi- ordered to be taken below and put in irons cate renewed at Norfolk. He could not

till we did enter; and the Captain said, be get this done without a false oath ; but, till they did enter.

would punish the damned Yankee rascals

We were then put in when the scoundrel was called up to take

irons, and laid in iroos three months. "Darthe oath of allegiance to the United States, ing the time of our impressment the ship had he, with his false certificate in bis pocket, au action, and captured a French ship. Beput forward his character of British subject, fore this action, we were taken out of irons, in order to get discharged, and to cheat and asked to fight, but we refused; and af the United States out of the bounty ! ter the action, we were again ironed, till the

And, Mr. James, humane Mr. James, ship arrived at London. Afterarriving there, this is the British subject, is it, on account

we first heard of the war with America, and of whose treatment, by Captain Porter, Sir that the Guerriere was taken. This depoJames Lucas Yeo felt so indignant ! Oh!

nent took his shirt, Samuel Davis and Wm. hypocrisy ! these are the days of thy pow- and stars for the American colours, and hung

Young took their handkerchiefs, made stripes er! But, come, Mr. Historian, Mr. Sin- it over a gun, and gave three cheers for the cerity ; come, what was this ill-treatment ? victory. The next morning at six o'clock, --Was it flaying alive, or pretty nearly we were brought up and whipped two dozen flaying alive, such as, we shall see an inno. lashes each, for huzzaing for the Yankee cent and gallant American seaman experi- tlag: Shortly after this we were all releasencing ? No; Captain Porter, or rathered, by the assistance of the American Con

This his petty officers, tarred and feathered the sul and Captaio Hall, who knew us. atrocious, the fraudulent, the hypocritical, deponent further saith, that they had ail the perjured villain. They then rowed him protections, and showed them and claimed

to be Americans at the time they were im. ashore, "stern foremost,' and landed him.

pressed. JAMES TOMPKINS.” He was, and Captain Porter knew very

“ Sworn before me, this 17th day of April, well that he would be cleansed and clothed' 1813, at which time the said James Tompby the people of Norfolk; and there the kids showed me his wrists, which, at his redetestable villain was left to claim his birth- quest, I examined, and there appeared to be right as an Englishman, to enjoy the marks and scars on both of them, occasionfriendship of Sir James Lucas Yeo and to ed, as I suppose, from his having been in have you for his historian and eulogist !

irons. WM.W.BOGARDUS,Jusi. Peace.” Now for a proof of your sincerity. You I call upon the reader to compare the know very well what had bee; the treat. treatment of these four innocent, gallant, ment of American seamen impressed by and faithful men, with the treatment of the our ships of war; but, not one single word villain for whom you affect to have felt so would you say of that. I have recently re

much compassion. I beg of the reader to published the case of James Tompkins, of observe, that you say not

one word of these Ulster county, New York; but I will here you keep a guarded silence upon this sub

instances of intolerable oppression; that republish it again. The reader, will ob- ject; I beg of the reader to observe this, serve, that these things were the cause of and then I am sure he will not want any the war, and of all the disgrace that arose thing to enable him to make a just estimate out of that war.

of your sincerity. I do not, and I never Duchess County, state of New-York---58 : did, take upon me to VOUCH for the truth

“ James Tompkins, being sworn, saith, of these American affidavits. I say, as I that he is a native of Ulster county, oppo- always said, that there is not a man on earth site Poughkeepsie ; that he sailed out of who would more sincerely rejoice to see New-York in the month of April, 1812, in these affidavits contradicted in form, and the ship. Minerva, bound to Ireland; that, from authority. But, never have they been on the homeward-bound passage, in July thus contradicted; and they contained a after, this deponent, with three other Ame- statement of those allegations which, true or rican seamen, Samuel Davis, .William false, produced that war of indelible disYoung, and Job Brown, were impressed, grace to England, to disguise or disfigure the and taken on board of the British ship Ac- facts of which war, is the object of the work tion, David Smith, Captain. We were tak- of which you have sent me a copy; for en on Saturday evening; on Monday morn- which work you say that you have recelved ing we were brought to the gangway, and the applause of the Duke of Clarence, and informed we must enter op board ship, and for which you have my hearty contempt. live as other seamen, or we should live on I dow return to notice the novelty of your oatincal and water, and receive five dozen manner of beginning to write a history of



English naval fights. As I observed before, hastily built up with soft wood and light one can see from the preface to your book, frames ; and then, manned with an impressed that it is going to contain a string of misera- crew, chiefly of raw hands and small boys, ble apologies. Your whole book contains sent forth to assert the rights, and maintain 528 pages of your own writing, 109 pages of the character, of Britons, upon the ocean. which are occupiell with preparing the rea- In June, 1812, when the war with America der for the defeats which are to follow. commenced, the British navy consisted of What, einploy a hundred pages in order to 746 ships in commission. Had these have show that the English ships could not be ex. been cleared of all the foreigners and ineffecpected to be a match for the American ships! tive hands, how many ships would the reThe sight of these hundred pages is quite mainder have properly manned ? enough for any moderate man. However, “ To the long duration of war, and the my readers shall have a little specimen of rapid increase of the navy, may be added a your preparatory motions. They shall see third cause of the scarcity of seamen ; the your ingenious string of reasons why the enormous increase of the army. In DecennAmerican frigate Constitution ought to beat ber, 1812, we had, in regulars alone, 229,149 and capture the Guerriere!

How many frigates could have been What would, at any former time, have manned, and well manned, too, by draughts been said of such an attempt? An attempt from the light dragoons and the lightinfantry to prove that an Engiish ship ought to be regiments ? Nor is there a question--so inheaten by an American frigaie. However, viting were the bounties---that prime seamen let us first quote the passage, and remark would have enlisted in both. upon it afterwards. It is the beginning of a “The crews of our ships experienced a Chapter. You plead as if it were for your fourth reduction in strengti by the establishlife. Had you been the Captain of the ment, about six years ago, of the battalionGuerriere you yourself could not bave pleads marines; a corps embodied for the purpose ed with more zeal. I am sure that the rea- of acting on shore in conjunction with the der will say that this extract itself ought to seamen and marines of the ships. The bathave saved your back from the wrath of Sir talion-marines, about 2000 in number, conJohn Phillimore.

sisted of the pick of the Royal marines, “ From the battle of Trafalgar to the which, accordingly, became reduced to peace of 1815, (you begin far off, indeed!] weak, undersized men, and very young rethree-fourths of the British navy, at sea, cruits. Marines ought to be among the stoutwere consta, tly employed in blockading the est men in the ship, because until engaged in fleets of their enemies. of the remainder, close action, their station is at the guns, such as escaped the dull business of convoy- where great physical strength is required. ing, cruised about; but the only hostile ships Except on a few occasions in Canada and that, in general, crossed their tracks, were the Chesapeake, the battalion marines, aldisguised Deutrals from whom no hard knocks tho' as five a body of men as any in the two could be expected. Once a year or so, the services, have remained comparatively idle. capture of a French frigate by a British one

“ The canker worm that, in the shape of gave a momentary fillip to the service. " A succession of insipid cruises necessari- vitals of the British navy, could not exist

neglect, had so long been preying upon the ly begat, among both officers and men, habits among the few ships composing the navy of of inattention. The situation of gunner on

the United States. America's half a dozen board our ships became almost a sinecure. frigates claimed the whole of her attention. A twenty years' war of itself, was sufficient These she had constructed upon the most imto wear out the strength of our seamen; but a laxity of discipline, in all the essentials of proved principles, both for sailing and for

war. Considering that the ramparts of a a man of war's man, produced a much more battery should have, for one object, the sensible effect.

shelter of the men stationed at it, she bad “Instead of the sturdy occupation of built up the sides of her ships in the most handling the ships' guns, now seldom used compact manner; and the utmost ingenuity but on salutes, the men wer? tanght to pol- bad been exerted, and expense bestowed, in ish the traversing-bars, elevating screws, their final equipment. copper on the bits, &c. by way of ornament to the quarter-deck. Such of the crew as

" With respect to seamen, America had,

for many years previous to the war, been escaped this menial office, (from the unre

decoying the men from our ships by every cessary wear it occasions, lately forbidden ariful stratagem. The best of these were by an order from the Board of Admiralty) rated as petty officers. Many: British seawere set to reefing and unreefing the top

men had entered on board American merchant sails, against time, preparatory to a match vessels ; and the numerous non-intercourse with any other of His Majesty's ships that and embargo bills, in existence at different might happen to fall in company.

* Many were the noble exceptions to this, periods during the four years preceding the and many were the commanders, who, de- employment. So that the U. S. ships of war,

war, threw many merchant sailors out of spising what was either finical or useless, in their preparations for active warfare, had and still hoping to signalize themselves by

to pick their compliments from a numerous some gallant exploit, spared so pains, con

body of seamen. sistent with their limited means and the restraints of the service,to have their ships at all istration of the United States, the men were

“Highly to the credit of the naval admintimes,as men of war should be,in boxing trim. taught the practical rules of gunnery ; and

“ As Napoleon extended bis sway over ten shot, with the necessary powder, were the European contivent, the British navy, allowed to be expended in play, to make one that perpetual blight upon bis hopes, require hit in earnest. ed to be extended also. 'British oak and Bri- “ Very distinct from the American sea. tish seamen, alike scarce, contract-ships were men, so called, are the American marines.

« PreviousContinue »