University of South Carolina Press

Studies in Maritime History

Published by: University of South Carolina Press

Go

Browse Books in Series:

Studies in Maritime History

1

Results 1-4 of 4

:
Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

Captain James Carlin

Anglo-American Blockade Runner

Colin Carlin

Captain James Carlin is a biography of a shadowy nineteenth-century British Confederate, James Carlin (1833–1921), who was among the most successful captains running the U.S. Navy’s blockade of Southern ports during the Civil War. Written by his descendent Colin Carlin, Captain James Carlin ventures behind the scenes of this perilous trade that transported vital supplies to the Confederate forces. An Englishman trained in the British merchant marine, Carlin was recruited into the U.S. Coastal and Geodetic Survey Department in 1856, spending four years charting the U.S. Atlantic seaboard. Married and settled in Charleston, South Carolina, he resigned from the survey in 1860 to resume his maritime career. His blockade-running started with early runs into Charleston under sail. These came to a lively conclusion under gunfire off the Stono River mouth. More blockade-running followed until his capture on the SS Memphis. Documents in London reveal the politics of securing Carlin’s release from Fort Lafayette. On his return to Charleston, General P. G. T. Beauregard gave him command of the spar torpedo launch Torch for an attack on the USS New Ironsides. After more successful trips though the blockade, he was appointed superintending captain of the South Carolina Importing and Exporting Company and moved to Scotland to commission six new steam runners. After the war Carlin returned to the southern states to secure his assets before embarking on a gun-running expedition to the northern coast of Cuba for the Cuban Liberation Junta fighting to free the island from Spanish control and plantation slavery. In researching his forebear, the author gathered a wealth of private and public records from England, Scotland, Ireland, Greenland, the Bahamas, and the United States. The use of fresh sources from British Foreign Office and U.S. Prize Court documents and surviving business papers make this volume distinctive.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

Patroons and Periaguas

Enslaved Watermen and Watercraft of the Lowcountry

Lynn B. Harris

Patroons and Periaguas explores the intricately interwoven and colorful creole maritime legacy of Native Americans, Africans, enslaved and free African Americans, and Europeans who settled along the rivers and coastline near the bourgeoning colonial port city of Charleston, South Carolina. Colonial South Carolina, from a European perspective, was a water-filled world where boatmen of diverse ethnicities adopted and adapted maritime skills learned from local experiences or imported from Africa and the Old World to create a New World society and culture. Lynn B. Harris describes how they crewed together in galleys as an ad hoc colonial navy guarding settlements on the Edisto, Kiawah, and Savannah Rivers, rowed and raced plantation log boats called periaguas, fished for profits, and worked side by side as laborers in commercial shipyards building sailing ships for the Atlantic coastal trade, the Caribbean islands, and Europe. Watercraft were of paramount importance for commercial transportation and travel, and the skilled people who built and operated them were a distinctive class in South Carolina. Enslaved patroons (boat captains) and their crews provided an invaluable service to planters, who had to bring their staple products—rice, indigo, deerskins, and cotton—to market, but they were also purveyors of information for networks of rebellious communications and illicit trade. Harris employs historical records, visual images, and a wealth of archaeological evidence embedded in marshes, underwater on riverbeds, or exhibited in local museums to illuminate clues and stories surrounding these interactions and activities. A pioneering underwater archaeologist, she brings sources and personal experience to bear as she weaves vignettes of the ongoing process of different peoples adapting to each other and their new world that is central to our understanding of the South Carolina maritime landscape.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

A Sea of Misadventures

Shipwreck and Survival in Early America

Amy Mitchell-Cook

A Sea of Misadventures examines more than one hundred documented shipwreck narratives from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century as a means to understanding gender, status, and religion in the history of early America. Though it includes all the drama and intrigue afforded by maritime disasters, the book’s significance lies in its investigation of how the trauma of shipwreck affected American values and behavior. Through stories of death and devastation, Amy Mitchell-Cook examines issues of hierarchy, race, and gender when the sphere of social action is shrunken to the dimensions of a lifeboat or deserted shore. Rather than debate the veracity of shipwreck tales, Mitchell-Cook provides a cultural and social analysis that places maritime disasters within the broader context of North American society. She answers questions that include who survived and why, how did gender or status affect survival rates, and how did survivors relate their stories to interested but unaffected audiences? Mitchell-Cook observes that, in creating a sense of order out of chaotic events, the narratives reassured audiences that anarchy did not rule the waves, even when desperate survivors resorted to cannibalism. Some of the accounts she studies are legal documents required by insurance companies, while others have been a form of prescriptive literature—guides that taught survivors how to act and be remembered with honor. In essence, shipwreck revealed some of the traits that defined what it meant to be Anglo-American. In an elaboration of some of the themes, Mitchell-Cook compares American narratives with Portuguese narratives to reveal the power of divergent cultural norms to shape so basic an event as a shipwreck.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

USS Constellation on the Dismal Coast

Willie Leonard's Journal, 1859-1861

C. Herbert Gilliland

Today the twenty-gun sloop USS Constellation is a floating museum in Baltimore Harbor; in 1859 it was an emblem of the global power of the American sailing navy. When young William E. Leonard boarded the Constellation as a seaman for what proved to be a twenty-month voyage to the African coast, he began to compose a remarkable journal. Sailing from Boston, the Constellation, flagship of the U.S. African Squadron, was charged with the interception and capture of slave-trading vessels illegally en route from Africa to the Americas. During the Constellation’s deployment, the squadron captured a record number of these ships, liberating their human cargo and holding the captains and crews for criminal prosecution. At the same time, tensions at home and in the squadron increased as the American Civil War approached and erupted in April 1861. Leonard recorded not only historic events but also fascinating details about his daily life as one of the nearly 400-member crew. He saw himself as not just a diarist, but a reporter, making special efforts to seek out and record information about individual crewmen, shipboard practices, recreation and daily routine—from deck swabbing and standing watch to courts martial and dramatic performances by the Constellation Dramatic Society. This good-humored gaze into the lives and fortunes of so many men stationed aboard a distinguished American warship makes Gilliland’s edition of Willie Leonard’s journal a significant work of maritime history.

1

Results 1-4 of 4

:

Return to Browse All Series on Project MUSE

Series

Studies in Maritime History

Content Type

  • (4)

Access

  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access