America's Naval Heritage

A Catalog of Early Imprints from the Navy Department Library


Navigation, Seamanship, and Signals

U.S. Brig Somers 

U.S. brig Somers.

  USS Columbus. Unnamed Yeoman (attribution).

Watch, Quarter & Station Bill of the U.S. Ship of the Line Columbus, Bearing the Broad Pennant of Commander Chars. W. Morgan. 1843. 143 [56] p. illus., 35 cm.

This richly illustrated watch, quarter, and station bill details positions for all shipboard evolutions from making sail to general quarters. It includes hand drawings of ships, ship guns, manning of the yardarms, sundry decorations, and drawings of St. Paul's Cathedral, Gibraltar, and Venice and music to accompany each ship call. Contents include "List of Officers," "List of Petty Officer," "Forcastle," "Fore Top," " Main," "Top Mizzen, Top," "Afterguard," "Waiste," "Apprentices," "Marines," "Band," "Quarter Bill," "Boarder's. Pikemen. Firemen. Wenchmen and Sail trimmers," "Mooring and Unmooring," "Reefing and Hoisting," "Tacking and Veering," "Making Sail from Single Anchor," and "Anchoring." Touched with color and falling technically between primitive and schooled in production, these drawings stand as superlative examples of sailor art. Of particular note is a series of twelve drawings depicting the cutters, gigs, lifeboats, and launches of Columbus. The unidentified artist has executed each drawing with remarkable coloration and linear detailing. In many cases he shows the oarsmen or crew handling the running rigging in position on board these support craft. Musical bars and notes followed by the names of the sailors assigned to the craft appear below the drawings. Six other noteworthy drawings detail sailors in position on the yardarms of the main and mizzenmasts. Attired in blue trousers and wearing broad brimmed, black headgear, these sailors, at quick glance, seem like a chorus line in the acrobat's domain performing high above the seas.

 

Jenkins, Thornton A. (1811-1893).

The United States Naval Signal Code. Prepared by Authority of the Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, by Thornton A. Jenkins. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1867. 69 p., illus., plates (part colored), 24 cm./P>

The illustrations in this signal code are extensive. Plates III-XVIII are colored and cover "Fleet, Division and Squadron Flags," "Day Distinguishing Pendants," and "Night Distinguishing Lights." The colored plates are followed by Plates XIX-XLIII and a-d that present "Army Signals." The other roman numeral plates deal with order of sailing, steaming, and retreat. The Navy Department Library copy is inscribed: "Commodore Lanman from Commodore Jenkins-20th September 1867."
 

 

 National Ensign, Union flag, commanders' pendant, and flag of the Secretary of the Navy.

 

National Ensign, Union flag, commanders' pendant, and flag of the Secretary of the Navy.