The Diary of Michael Shiner
The Education of Michael Shiner
Notes on this Transcription
Diary of Michael Shiner
Source of Manuscript
PrefaceReflecting on his hard won freedom, he once stated empahtically, "the only master I have now is the Constitution," and when asked to describe himself, he answered, "I am a laboring man in the paint-shop in the Washington navy-yard." 1 Today Michael G. Shiner is famous for his diary chronicling events at the Washington Navy Yard and the District of Columbia from 1813 to 1869. Among the diary's better known passages are Michael Shiner's accounts of the War of 1812, the 1833 abduction of his family by slave dealers and the strike of 1835. In Michael Shiner's lifetime (1805-1880) few if any of his acquaintances or family knew of his diary. It is only within the last few decades that scholars and historians have begun to examine the manuscript more closely. The Michael Shiner manuscript was acquired by the Library of Congress sometime after 1905 (the exact date and provenance is uncertain). Except for the more celebrated passages mentioned above there is no complete transcription of Michael Shiner's diary. What follows is an effort to place Michael Shiner before a wider audience by providing a complete transcription of his manuscript.
Born in 1805, Shiner grew up near Piscataway, Maryland on land belonging to the Pumphrey family. His early life was closely bound to the property and fortunes of the brothers William Pumphrey Jr. (1761-1827) and James Pumphrey (1765-1832). Both men were Maryland famers and slaveholders. William Pumphrey Jr., owned a mid-size farm “Poor Man’s Industry” in Piscataway which he operated with enslaved labor and where the young Shiner probably lived and worked as a young boy. James Pumphrey owned property in Prince Georges County but resided in the District of Columbia. From his early Diary entries, young Michael probably spent the majority of his youth working in the District of Columbia. (Clark, Edythe Maxey William Pumphrey of Prince George's County, Maryland, and his descendants. Anundsen: 1992.)
About 1828 Shiner married Phillis, surname unknown. Phillis and Michael would have had the opportunity to meet regularly since Michael worked in the District nearby. Phillis was born in 1808 and James Pumphrey purchased her in Virginia in 1817. For economic reasons Michael and Phillis’s respective masters most likely countenanced their living together near the Navy Yard. (District of Columbia Archives, Recorder of Deeds Office, James Pumphrey, Liber AP No. 40, dated 9 October 1817, p. 28.)
Slaveholders typically gave consent to marriage since any children born of such union were the slaveholder’s property. Despite Shiner’s extreme reticence regarding his private life, we know something of his family from other sources. The young couple had the following children: Ann, born 1829, Harriet, born 1830, Mary Ann born 1833, Joseph, born 1836, Sarah, born 1838 and Isaac M., born 1845. The Shiner’s were active in the Ebenezer Methodist Church where Michael and Phillis took part in church adult classes then open to free and enslaved blacks.
Like many slaveholders William Pumphrey rented his young bondsmen to the new navy yard. Indeed the first surviving naval document specifically mentioning Michael Shiner is the “Muster Book of the U.S. Navy in Ordinary at the Navy Yard Washington City, from 1 January to 31 December, 1826.” On this muster roll Shiner is recorded as “Ordinary Seaman” with the notation that he was first entered on the Ordinary rolls on 1 July 1826.
In the early nineteenth century shipyard, the Ordinary was where naval ships were held in reserve, or for later need. Typically these older vessels had seen hard service abroad and were awaiting restoration, but due to the small naval appropriations of the era, repairs were not possible. Ships in Ordinary normally had minimal crews comprised of semi-retired or disabled sailors who stayed aboard to ensure that the vessels remained in usable condition, provided security, kept the bilge pump running, and ensured the lines were secure. Here enslaved African Americans worked as seamen, cooks, servants or laborers. The enslaved assigned to the Ordinary, performed many of the most unpleasant and onerous jobs. For example, the Washington Navy Yard Station Log records for the week of 15 January 1827, the Ordinary were assigned to scrape the hull of the ship Potomac, move timber from the saw mill, and help suppress a large fire at Alexandria. Positions in the Ordinary were attractive to District slaveholders, because the workers’ wages were paid directly to the owners or their agents, the payments were regular, and most importantly the Navy Yard ensured day to day supervision and security. Slaveholders had to provide clothes and quarters. One concession Navy made was to include enslaved workers in the emergency medical care provided on the Yard. (W. Jones to Dr. Edward Cutbush, 23 May1813 RG45 NARA.)
William Pumphrey became ill in the summer of 1827 and died in August of that year. Prior to his death he made a will leaving everything to his wife Mary and their children. In this will Pumphrey wrote that all his slaves, including Michael Shiner, were to be sold as “term slaves”, each for a specified period of time, and afterwards manumitted:
“My slaves to be sold for a term of years this winter my debts to pay (to wit) Nell, aged about 37 to serve for the term of two years; Michael, aged about 22 to serve fifteen years; Thomas, aged about 16 to serve twenty; Henry, aged about 10 to serve twenty six; Cornelius aged about 8 to serve twenty two; Warren aged about 6 to serve twenty four years; Leath aged about 4 to serve twenty four; Charlotte aged about 2 years to serve twenty six.” (Prince Georges County Register of Wills, William Pumphrey, 12 August 1827, Liber TT #1 folio 423)
Following William Pumphrey’s death his slaves were sold as term slaves, by his son Lloyd to various buyers. Each slave mentioned was to serve for the designated term of year and then freed. William’s actual motivation in drafting this provision to change his bondsmen from slaves for life to term slaves may have arisen from his Methodist principles or simply the need to secure greater economic benefit for his estate. Clearly, most term slaves spent the majority of their productive years working in bondage.
On September 8, 1828, Thomas Howard, Clerk of the Yard, purchased Shiner from the Pumphrey estate. The final estate inventory reflects this sale as, “Negro Michael sold to Thos. Howard for cash $250.00.” (Prince Georges County Register of Wills (Inventories) William Pumphrey Liber TT 7, Folio 218.)
Howard paid a high price but certainly knew the young man’s value. Howard would recoup his investment many times for in his position he oversaw the keeping and scheduling of all labor free and enslaved. This unique position gave him ample opportunity to observe and assess Shiner’s character and work record. Shiner was healthy and in the prime of life and Howard ensured he was steadily and profitably employed. For Shiner his sale to Thomas Howard meant he would remain in the District with Phillis, continue to work at the Navy Yard, and had attained the prospect of his freedom.
Four years later on December 4, 1832, Thomas Howard died and his last will stipulated:
“having purchased a Negro Man named Michael Shiner for the term of fifteen years only, and having promised to manumit and set him free at the expiration of eight years, if he conducted himself worthy of such a privilege, it is my will and desire and I hereby set free and manumit the said Michael Shiner, at the expiration of Eight years from the date of said purchase.” (Archives of the District of Columbia District of Columbia, Orphans Court (Probate) Court, Records Group 2, Records of the Superior Court, Will of Thomas Howard, 1832 Box 11.)
Fortunately for Shiner, Howard’s executors would faithfully comply with this provision. Despite Shiner’s prospective manumission his diary entries for 1833 reflect the continuing danger and precariousness of life for an enslaved family. Slaveholder James Pumphrey’s death on 3 March 1833 placed Phillis and the children in grave jeopardy. Shiner’s brief and heart felt record is all he ever relates regarding Phillis or his family. His Diary recounts his wife and the children “wher snacht away from me and sold” on the street of Washington by slave dealers and confined to their jail in Alexandria.
James Pumphrey’s death was the catalyst for he died intestate and to pay debts, his family needed to raise cash quickly. His oldest son Levi Pumphrey, was appointed administrator. Levi then purchased Phillis and two of her children on 27 April 1832 for $295. (Probate Court, Estate Records Group 2, Records of the Superior Court, Inventory of James Pumphrey 11 April 1832, O.S. 1559.)
Levi’s purchase was apparently the result of an agreement to sell Phillis and her children to the notorious firm of John Armfield and Isaac Franklin. Perhaps as a middleman, Levi hoped to gain a quick profit from these two slave dealers since the firm constantly advertised their ability to pay top price and their need for ever larger numbers of bondsmen in the expanding Southern market. Their advertisement appeared in the Daily National Intelligencer 14 July 1832:
CASH IN MARKET
We wish to purchase one hundred and fifty likely Negroes of both sexes from 12 to 25 years of age, field hands; also mechanics of every description. Persons wishing to sell would do well to give us a call, as we are determined to give higher prices for slaves than any purchaser who is now, or may hereafter come into this market.
All communication promptly attended to. We can at all-time be found at our residence, West end of Duke Street, Alexandria, D.C.
FRANKLIN & ARMFIELD
A price was quickly set for Phillis and her children. Luckily, after a few harrowing weeks, Shiner was able, with intervention and assistance of wealthy and powerful connections, to gain the release of Phillis and the children from Alexandria Jail and to secure their manumission. Here and elsewhere Shiner’s winning personality and ability to form lasting connections with wealthy and influential people gave him the protection of powerful patrons.
Now free, the Shiner’s quickly prospered. The U.S. Census for the District of Columbia dated 1 June 1840, reflects Michael Shiner and his family enumerated as a "free colored.” As a freeman he worked steadily as a painter at the Navy Yard, was able to save money and provide for his family. Phillis Shiner died sometime prior to 1849. The 1850 District of Columbia U.S. census lists Michael Shiner as living in Ward 6 and as a free black man, aged 46. The family was listed as: Jane 19 years (second wife), Sarah 12, Isaac 5, and Braxton 6 months. Michael Shiner continued to work at the Washington Navy Yard until sometime after 1870. In his later years Shiner became a prosperous businessman, took an active role in Republican Party politics, and was a leader in the black community. He died January 17, 1880, at the age of 75 during an outbreak of smallpox.
Michael Shiner begins his diary in 1813, the year of the British invasion of North America. We know from other evidence that in 1813, he was only eight or nine years old. Because of this, what we have for this first section of his manuscript is an important narrative memoir in which Michael Shiner recollects the important events he had witnessed in his youth, but wrote down many years later. What Michael Shiner wrote in "his book" was apparently simply for his own remembrance. In his Diary, Michael Shiner concentrates primarily on the public events in his life along with some limited but important personal incidents.
Many of Michael Shiner's observations can be compared with other contemporary records and in each case they ring genuine; from his description of the gleam of British soldiers' bayonets to his recounting of painful conversations with such people as "Mrs. Reid" (see August 1814). Some of his early passages do strongly suggest that they were later reworked to provide additional detail, for example, the lengthy descriptions of the District of Columbia militia units, the colors of the soldier's uniforms and the names of their unit members. His recounting of the launches of the U.S.S. Columbus and the U.S.S. Saint Louis (see his entries for the years 1819, page 17 and 1828, page 27) imply that this part of his manuscript was finished as late as 1867. Some information in the diary, including militia unit members' names, could only have been listed after the events had been recorded. On these and similar occasions Michael Shiner appears to have read and incorporated contemporary newspaper accounts, such as those found in the Washington Intelligencer for some events (e.g. U.S. Mexican War 1846-1848 and the Civil War 1861-1865).
After describing the British troop withdrawal at the conclusion of the War of 1812, Michael Shiner goes on to other entries chronicling the daily routine at the Washington Navy Yard. In these entries he provides illuminating and important details of early working conditions and social attitudes at Washington Navy Yard toward slaves and freeman. The Shiner diary also allows modern readers glimpses of evolving military/civilian relationships and the struggles of early federal workers for better pay and conditions of employment.
The Diary entries provide a valuable account of the volatility of the early District of Columbia, especially the crucial events of the year 1835. Here within the Diary we have an important and unique account of the Washington Navy Yard labor strike which sadly and rapidly morphed into the "Snow Storm" of 1835 (see page 60). This was a bitter race riot that required the active intervention of President Andrew Jackson and a strong contingent of U.S. Marines to finally bring it under control.
Occasionally to relieve the pressure and pain of his everyday existence Michael Shiner, like many ship yard workers, drank too much and when he did (December 24-5, 1828 [pages 30-32], June 17, 1831 [pages 41-44], and September 6, 1835 [page 66]), he records some very close calls with law enforcement (pages 30-32) and some angry white workers. As a result of these near catastrophes, he took the temperance pledge. On December 4, 1836 (page 74), he gave up liquor for good. Michael Shiner's diary includes vivid descriptions of other perils early shipyard workers endured. In one particular harrowing incident on February 20, 1829 (page 35) while working in a small boat he fell overboard and nearly drowned in the icy cold waters of the Potomac River and, as a result, later came close to freezing to death as he and his colleagues desperately searched for a fire. In other passages he shifts perspective and casts a careful eye to the heavens where he records notable celestial events such as total eclipses of the sun on February 12, 1831 (page 40) and the Denali Comet of 1858 (page 168).
Lastly, what the manuscript conveys best is Michael Shiner's genuine love of the Washington Navy Yard, his city and his country; all of this is evident throughout his manuscript (See particularly his entry for June 1, 1861, on page 178). After his death, the diary came into the possession of the Library of Congress (circa 1905) . Inside the manuscript, its donor annotated it with the following tribute which nicely captures the man and his work: "This book is a very valuable book and is very interesting. It is worthy of perusal. The author Michael Shiner was a Patriot may he rest in peace." (Michael Shiner manuscript postscript undated n.p.)
The Education of Michael Shiner
Michael Shiner's primary purpose in writing his diary appears to have been his strong desire to record the public events of his time. Recording those events that he wanted to preserve, Shiner seems to have little need to say anything about his life prior to his first entries in 1813. With only a few exceptions he writes very little about his state of mind, immediate family, marriage, children, other family members or his finances. From the manuscript we have no references to how he became literate.
As an antebellum freeman Shiner chose to closely guard his family safety, and privacy. To avoid suspicion, Shiner chose to keep his literacy a secret and avoid possible confrontations with whites. The Slave Code for District of Columbia in force during much of Michael Shiner's lifetime did not make teaching slaves to read and write illegal, but both District of Columbia custom and practice strongly discouraged such actions.
How did Michael Shiner learn to read and write? Fortunately we have two important clues: the first is an 1870 Department of Education of the District of Columbia Special Report. This official report and history of the District public school system relates (with remarkable candor for its time) the segregated history of education in early Washington, D.C. The report is quite clear that due to the race laws of the antebellum era, the only schools that most African Americans could legally enter were church Sunday schools. The report then goes on to list Michael Shiner as an actual example of one of the many individuals who learned to read and write in this manner:
"The Sabbath School among the colored people in those times differed from the institution as organized among whites as it embraced young and old and most of the time was given not to studying of the Bible but to learning to read. It was the only school which for a time they were allowed to enter.
First Presbyterian Church of Washington at the foot of Capitol Hill opened a Sunday school for colored people in 1826 which held regular meetings every Sunday evening for years and in it many men women and children learned their alphabet and to read the bible. Michael Shiner one of the most remarkable colored men of the District who remembers almost everything that occurred at the Navy Yard during his service of some 60 years there is of this number."2
Second, it is clear from the report that Michael Shiner was by 1870 a well known and respected figure. While he learned to read and write through the church Sunday school programs, he may have had further occasions to gain literacy in the Washington Navy Yard itself. The above-quoted report relates that Michael Tabb, a white teacher with abolitionist leanings, kept a small school at the Yard where "he taught in the afternoons under a large tree and large numbers of colored children attended this school." The report goes on to describe how Sailing Master Dove's wife, Margaret Dove, helped teach at this school and that one of her pupils was Alexander Hays. Like Michael Shiner, Alexander Hays, went on to eventually purchase his own freedom and to become a leader in the black community. In this tightly knit community, Michael Shiner and Alexander Hays almost certainly knew each other and most likely their mutual acquaintance was formed at the Washington Navy Yard. In his diary, Michael Shiner, notes Sailing Master Dove on a number of occasions and apparently held him in high regard, although far from certain, it is indeed possible, that Michael Shiner may well have spent what free time he could in lessons with Michael Tabb and Margaret Dove.
The Context of the Michael Shiner Diary: Slavery and
the Organizational Structure of the Washington Navy Yard 1820 -1865
Michael Shiner's diary depicts a world which while similar to ours in many surface aspects was vastly different. That our national past "is another country" is today readily accepted and has become something of a cliché, yet it must be stressed that for much of the first century and a half of the Washington Navy Yard's existence those who worked in its shops and offices lived in an environment that was often dramatically dissimilar to our present. Throughout much of the fifty-six years covered in Michael Shiner's manuscript for the thousands of laborers and mechanics who toiled at the Washington Navy Yard, poverty and financial insecurity were not vague conditions. Slavery was a legal institution, and the majority of the adult population of Washington D.C. had only limited or no political rights. In the Shiner Diary we gain a window on the values and attitudes of his era. In the Diary, we see reflected the conflict of beliefs and ideas by citizens of the District of Columbia, some whom advocated strict social hierarchy, racial subordination and deference to one's "betters," while mechanics and workers, white and black, free and enslaved, sought a more inclusive and just society.
The early Washington Navy Yard reflected the larger stratified society. At the very pinnacle of the Washington Navy Yard heirarchy was the Commandant (e.g., men like Commodores Thomas Tingey and Isaac Hull). Directly below the Commandant was another senior officer who acted much like a modern executive officer. This officer provided the workforce with day-to-day direction through implementing orders and insuring that the Commandant's wishes were carried out. During most of this period that officer was a senior First Lieutenant, although in some instances a naval Captain (e.g., John Cassin) performed similar duties.
From its rough beginnings in 1799, Washington Navy Yard civilians far outnumbered military members and for much of this period, there was only a small cadre of naval officers permanently assigned to the Yard at any one time. Some officers such as Marmaduke Dove (Sailing Master) or David Eaton (Boatswain) were assigned for long periods because they possessed special technical skills critical to the manufacture of early sailing vessels.
While the Washington Navy Yard Commandant in theory exercised almost unlimited authority over all matters related to naval officers, enlisted personnel, and the civilian workforce, in practice there were both institutional and customary checks on his decision making. At the top of heirarchy governing the civilian workforce were the yard clerks. Their jobs were primarily administrative in nature. A clerk such as Thomas Howard (Michael Shiner's master from 1828), who was the Chief Clerk, was near the very top of Washington Navy Yard civilian hierarchy and was paid a fixed or annual salary. As Chief Clerk, Thomas Howard had considerable responsibility in a position which bears little relation to our modern clerical employees. Thomas Howard was responsible for the Washington Navy Yard's official correspondence, the conduct and recording of the daily musters, and the review of all official outgoing correspondence. Most importantly Howard and other clerks often acted for the Commandant on budget, contracting, and administrative issues; here they exercised wide discretion within their particular domains. Thomas Howard's steady salary rather than per diem wage meant he enjoyed a modicum of financial security and access to a wider social sphere than the mechanics and laborers. The clerks could often afford to rent or own a house, keep horses, employ servants, and in some cases own slaves. The 1830 census for the District of Columbia reflects that Thomas Howard owned his home, supported a large family, and owned four other slaves in addition to Michael Shiner.
A further distinction between naval yard clerks such as Thomas Howard and the Washington Navy Yard mechanics and laborers was political. The early District of Columbia's municipal charter narrowly defined voters as white male property owners. This effectively excluded almost all white mechanics and laborers, all blacks and all women. This limited form of white male suffrage would continue until 1848, with black males remaining effectively excluded from the franchise until after the Civil War and women until the passage of 19th amendment in 1920.
The next tier in the civilian hierarchy (below the Chief Clerk) were the Master Mechanics. Each trade had a Master Mechanic. These individuals were recognized experts in their specialty and usually had many years of trade experience. Master Mechanics often supervised large numbers of employees. Men such as Benjamin King (Master Blacksmith) or Phillip Inch (Master Painter and Michael Shiner's day-to-day supervisor) controlled large numbers of employees. Within each Washington Navy Yard shop it was the Master Mechanic who gave overall work direction through the Quarterman and lead man to the tradesman. Most importantly Master Mechanics had the power to hire and dismiss mechanics and laborers.
Next in order of importance came the Quarterman (leader of several work crews) then the lead man (or crew leader). Next came the trade mechanics. Mechanics were skilled tradesman who had successfully completed a five or six year trade apprenticeship in their field. Each trade had trainees or apprentices who were young workers in training. Each apprentice signed a binding legal agreement to return designated service in exchange for being taught his trade. Laborers were below the mechanics and were unskilled men who performed heavy but necessary work, such as digging, pile driving, and pulling or hauling of ships and ship parts.
From the nation's founding, slavery was an integral and legally recognized part of the new United States and slaves made up a significant but generally unacknowledged part of the Washington Navy Yard's antebellum workforce. At the Washington Navy Yard most African-Americans (free and enslaved) were confined to unpleasant less skilled work (e.g. caulking or working in the anchor shop). White mechanics and laborers frequently resented and feared their African-American co-workers and were especially apprehensive of those enslaved; many saw this population as a direct threat to their livelihood (Washington Navy Yard Blacksmith's petition of 1812).3 Michael Shiner's diary entries give us occasional glimpses of slavery's casual brutality, a brutality to which even the most trusted slaves (such as Commodore Thomas Tingey's young footman) could be subjected to when after his late arrival he was disciplined with a "starter" (see 1828, page 27). The Shiner Diary starkly reveals the sudden and terrible events that could break a black family, as when Michael Shiner's wife Phillis and their three young children were abducted by slave dealers and placed in a notorious slave pen in Alexandria, VA. They were taken off the public streets, just a few blocks from the navy yard (see page 53 entry for 5 June 1833).
At the Washington Naval Yard, white workers as well as free and enslaved African-Americans worked together for the most part in uneasy tension. Michael Shiner's diary entries capture this anxiety especially in the dramatic events of the 1830's where he describes his own precarious survival. In times of apparent and real danger or political upheaval such as the "Snow Storm," many of the District of Columbia's white workers resorted to violence and riot to intimidate enslaved and free African-Americans. (See Michael Shiner's account of the events of 1835-1836, on pages on 57-75, and his account of the election of 1857, on page 156.) The daily reality of this oppression is also reflected in Shiner's diary as he recounts his often perilous journeys to and from work.
Many of the Yard's early leaders, both military officers and senior civilians, owned slaves and benefited directly from their labor. Some of these leaders such as the Washington Navy Yard's first and second Commandants, Thomas Tingey and Isaac Hull, used their slaves as household servants, while other employees of a more entrepreneurial disposition like Naval Constructor Josiah Fox, Master Blacksmith Benjamin King, and Chief Clerk Thomas Howard had their slaves leased directly to the Navy.
While by the 1830's Naval Regulations prohibited officers from holding slaves except as servants, custom deemed otherwise. A report from Commandant Isaac Hull to the Board of Naval Commissioners gives some sense of how the issues of slavery were construed:
"I have understood from Captain Shubrick that when you were last in the Navy Yard you enquired of him whether Slaves belonging to Officers were employed at the Yard and at the same time informed him there was a positive order against employing Slaves belonging to Officers. I have caused a search to be made but can not find any such order either by circular or by letter receipted for this yard and I have found all the Slaves now in the yard and many others that I discharged since I took the Command here I took it for granted they were employed by Special Permission and that permission given because white men could not be found to work in the Anchor Shop. I now have the honor to forward a list of all the Slaves now employed in the Yard. Those belonging to the ordinary might be discharged and White Men or free Blacks taken to fill their places but I fear we could not find a set of men White or Black or men even Slaves belonging to poor people outside the yard to do the work the men now do in the Anchor Shops. The competent mechanics have long known them and I have no cause to complain on the contrary I consider them the hardest working men in the yard and as they understand their work they can do much more work in a day than new hands could and I should suppose it would require many weeks if not months to get a gang of hands for the Anchor Shop to do the work that is now done."4
In a previous report Hull had listed a total of 13 slaves employed at the Washington Navy Yard.5 Hull's list does not include slaves of masters such as Thomas Howard and Benjamin King who had leased their slaves to work at the Washington Navy Yard and allowed them a portion of their wages for their own personal use.
After his 1840 manumission, Shiner, as a freeman, was able to exercise some autonomy and freedom in his personnal life, though like other African Americans, the District's Black Codes, gave him only limited control over crucial aspects of his existence. Despite the District of Columbia's severe restrictions on freeman, the everyday racial prejudice and limited opportunities, the diary entries continued to reflect his profound religious faith, essential optimism and his hope for a more just future. Today his privately recorded thoughts and reflections are precious legacy that allows us a window through which we can catch glimpses of his world.
Notes on this transcription
The holographic folio manuscript that is the Michael Shiner Diary, is now located in the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. The Shiner manuscript contains 186 numbered pages. Pages 1-119 are in Michael Shiner's unique script. The handwriting from the middle of page 119 to page 179 appears in a different hand, perhaps in the more polished style of Michael Shiner's grandson, Louis Alexander. There is some internal evidence that Louis Alexander took charge of preparing the manuscript for the purpose of selling it some years after Michael Shiner's death. Pages 180-186 of the manuscript once again resume in Michael Shiner's singular script. In addition to the transcribed diary entries Louis Alexander prepared eight more pages for a chronological index with the corresponding manuscript page numbers. These page numbers, recorded by Louis Alexander, no longer strictly correspond to the pagination of the Diary because of an apparent oversight at page 157 and as a result there are now two page 157's; each different. Additionally, there are seven unnumbered pages that were pasted into the folio by Michael Shiner or his grandson. They are: the two unnumbered pages between pages 52 and 53, one unnumbered page between pages 87 and 88, one unnumbered page between pages 99 and 100, two unnumbered pages between pages 105 and 106 and one unnumbered page between pages 109 and 110. For the most part, Michael Shiner tried to keep his recollections in chronological order. However, for some of the earlier years (especially the 1820's), he placed material clearly in different locations on the same page apparently simply because he had run out of room.
While Michael Shiner had little or no formal education beyond that described above and at times his handwriting (particularly in the early sections) can be difficult to decipher, he could write a vigorous colorful prose. His spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalization are very much his own. Modern readers can see his pronunciation reflected in his spelling, which appears to be based on phonetics. I have done my best to transcribe his entries as he wrote them. Michael Shiner kept his recollections in a small shop note book and to save space divided some of his pages (14-33) into two sections with a vertical line running down the middle of the page. When making entries on some occasions, Michael Shiner, wrote using alternate left-to-right and right-to-left lines or what philologists like to refer to as boustrophedon.
His method of writing presents significant challenges to transcribe, since Michael Shiner rarely if ever used punctuation or paragraphs and some of his sentences are not always linked to his adjoining column. In transcribing all passages from the manuscript I have striven to adhere as closely as possible to the original in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and abbreviation, including the retention of dashes and underlining found in the original. Words and passages that were crossed out in the diary are transcribed either as overstrikes or in notes. When a spelling is so unusual as to be misleading or confusing the correct spelling immediately follows the misspelled word in square brackets or is discussed in an endnote.
The names of ships and certain individuals recorded in the Diary are italicized and are linked, where possible, to other Naval Historical Center records pertaining to that vessel or person. Lastly I have added some notes to help readers identify some of the personalities and incidents mentioned.
A color photo of the original manuscript can be seen at the Library of Congress website.
In the course of transcribing this manuscript for publication, I have incurred many debts of gratitude to numerous individuals and institutions. First I owe a special thanks and appreciation to Dr. Edward Marolda, Senior Historian and Dr. Regina Akers, Archivist both of the Naval Historical Center. Dr. Marolda's excellent work: The Washington Navy Yard an Illustrated History (Naval Historical Center, Washington, DC, 1999) which included Dr. Akers' article, An African American's Reflections first introduced me to Michael Shiner.
Mr. Glenn E. Helm, Director of the Navy Library, took a generous interest in this project and made the resources of that wonderful institution available. My thanks to him and his hospitable staff for letting me make digital images of rare naval documents; this made my trip from California to the Navy Yard a pleasure. Patrick Clancey, Naval Historical Center volunteer, has lent this project his superb technical expertise, valuable insights and organizing ability. Ms. Gail Munro, Head of the Navy Art Collection, Navy Museum, Washington Navy Yard generously contributed the information for the notes on Michael Shiner's 1822 visit to the 4th Street Ebenezer Methodist Church, the Reverend Yelveton T. Payton and Methodist church practices. The expertise of A. Davis Elliott of the Navy Department Library and library volunteer Nancy Hopkins was essential in preparing this online edition.
My thanks once again go to my former boss and mentor Dr. Vincent Vaccaro, now Senior Civilian Personnel Advisor, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department of the Navy, for his early support, sage advice, help and encouragement in this project. Thanks again to Mr. Stephen Payton my former colleague (no relation to the Reverend Payton) at the Washington Navy Yard who assisted me with some of the early research on Michael Shiner.
My thanks to the staff of two great conservatories of knowledge in Stockton, California: The Cesar Chavez Central Library and The University of the Pacific, Holt Memorial Library. Over the last two years I have made extensive use of their wonderful book collections and their old but still functioning microfilm readers. Thanks to the efforts of their respective staff, these old machines have been preserved allowing the microfilm of Michael Shiner's Diary to be transcribed for the Naval Historical Center's web site.
Mr. Wayne Hinton of Genealogytrails.com kindly helped edit an earlier version of extracts from Michael Shiner which was posted on his District of Columbia web site. I also want to thank the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division staff who were exceptionally accommodating in making it possible for me to obtain the microfilm of the Michael Shiner manuscript used in this transcription and for answering my questions regarding the manuscript history and provenance. My thanks also to Dr. Joseph E. Bisson, San Joaquin Delta College for his magnificent class in U.S. History that provided me numerous insights into the political and racial issues of the 19th century.
My thanks to Congressional Cemetery which is the final resting place of many early Washington Navy Yard military and civilian employees who's names are recorded in Michael Shiner's Diary. The Cemetery website http://www.congressionalcemetery.org/ is superb and simply one of the best tools for research on Washington Navy Yard and District of Columbia.
My particular thanks must go to Mr. Charles W. Johnson of the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., as he has done on many previous occasions; he once again graciously gave me his valuable time and unrivaled knowledge of the incredible NARA archival resources. Essential as well to the preparation of this transcription of Michael Shiner's Dairy were the wonderful staff at the Martin Luther King Library, Washingtoniana Division, Washington, DC. I want to thank MLK Library Archivist Mr. Ryan Semmes for his knowledge and kindness in answering my many questions and the help of his superb staff in locating documents relating to the probate of Michael Shiner's estate.
My deepest gratitude belongs to my wife and dearest friend Gene Kerr Sharp who has endured the pleasures pains and privileges of being so long in Michael Shiner's company.
John G. Sharp
Columbus Day 2007
Below are books on the District of Columbia, Washington Navy Yard and/or slavery that I found useful in researching the Michael Shiner Diary:
Adams, John Quincy. The Diaries of John Quincy Adams: A Digital Collection. Boston, MA: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2004. [Digital edition available at http://www.masshist.org/jqadiaries.].
Ambrose, Kevin, Henry, Dan & Weiss, Andy. Washington Weather: The Weather Sourcebook for the D.C. Area. Fairfax, VA: Historical Enterprises, 2002.
Crawford, Michael J., Christine F. Hughes, Charles E. Brodine, Jr., and Carolyn M. Stallings, eds. The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History. Vol. 3. Washington, DC: Naval Historical Center, 2002.
Diggs, Sr., Lewis S., ed. Baltimore City Directory for 1835/1836. Baltimore, MD: R.J. Matchett, 1835. [Available online at Africa Geneas.com.].
District of Columbia Department of Education. Special Report of the Commissioner of Education on the Condition of Public Schools in the District of Columbia, submitted to the Senate, June 6, 1868, and to the House, with Additions June 13, 1870. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1870.
Dudley, William S., et al. eds. The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History. Vol. 2. Washington, DC: Naval Historical Center, 1992.
Green, Constance McLaughlin. The Secret City: A History of Race Relations in the Nation's Capital. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967.
____. Washington: A History of the Capital 1800 -1950. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1962.
Hibben, Henry B. Navy Yard Washington: History From Organization, 1799, to the Present Day. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1899. [online at http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/wny_history.htm].
Howe, Daniel Walker. What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America 1815 - 1848. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Latrobe, Benjamin H.. Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Vols. 1-3. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1984-1988.
Maloney, Linda M. The Captain from Connecticut: The Life and Naval Times of Isaac Hull. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1986. [Maloney's discussion of the strike and riot of 1835 is by far the most coherent of the all the accounts of this remarkable and fateful year.].
Marolda, Edward. The Washington Navy Yard: An Illustrated History. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1999.
Morley, Jefferson. "The Snow Riot." Washington Post ( February 6, 2005): W14.
Peck, Taylor. Round Shot to Rockets: A History of the Washington Navy Yard and the Naval Gun Factory. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1949.
Report of Committees of the House of Representatives for the Second Session of the Forty - Second Congress. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1872): 471-473.
Sharp, John G. History of the Washington Navy Yard Civilian Workforce 1799-1962. Stockton, CA: Vindolanda Press, 2005. [This volume has full bibliography for most of the works cited in the preface. [Available online at http://www.history.navy.mil/books/sharp/Washington Navy Yard_History.pdf. Further information on the life of Michael Shiner has been assembled by John G. Sharp and is available online at http://genealogytrails.com/washdc/shiner.html.].
The Slave Code of the District of Columbia 1860 [Available online from the Library of Congress at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/sthtml/stpres02.html.]
Tremian, Mary. Slavery in the District of Columbia: The Policy of Congress and the Struggle for Abolition. New York: G.B. Putnam’s Sons, 1898.
The Washington Directory Showing the Name, Occupation, and Residence, of Each Head of a Family & Person in Business, Together With Other Useful Information. Washington, DC: S.A. Elliot, 1827.
The Diary of Michael Shiner: The early history of Washington, DC, Dating from 1813 to 1865
Table of Contents
|Date 1813||Page 1||Fire and Hose Companies Organized|
|" " 1813||" " " 1||War of 1812|
|" " 1814||" " " 3||About the War of 1812|
|" " 1816||" " " 15||Hard Winters in Washington DC|
|" " 1819||" " " 17||Very Hard Winters in Washington DC|
|" " 1819||" " " 17||United States Ship Columbus Launches|
|" " 1825||" " " 17||United States Frigate Launched (Brandy Wine)|
|" " 1826||" " " 18||Big Fire in Alexandria Va|
|" " 1826||" " " 18||Merchant Ship Virginia Launched in Alexandria|
|" " 1827||" " " 21||United States Sloop of War St. Louis Keel was Laid|
|" " 1827||" " " 23||President John Quincy Adams boards a Sloop of War in Georgetown DC|
|" " 1828||" " " 34||The Lighters Launched at the Washington Navy Yard|
|" " 1829||" " " 36||The United States Marine Barracks (Burnt down)|
|" " 1829||" " " 38||Died Commodore Thomas Tingey, Commander of the Washington Navy Yard|
|" " 1829||" " " 38||Commodore Isaac Hull took Command of the Wash.|
|" " 1831||" " " 40||The darkest eclipse in Wash. DC|
|" " 1832||" " " 48||The United States Schooner Experiment Launched at the Wash. Navy Yard, Built by Winslow|
|" " 1832||" " " 48||President Andrew Jackson and his cabinet at the Navy Yard|
|" " 1832||" " " 49||Colery (colera) in Washington City|
|" " 1832||" " " 50||General Scott, returns from the Indian War in the South|
|" " 1832||" " " 50||The Launching of the United States Revenue Cutter Jackson|
|" " 1833||" " " 51||Andrew Jackson on his way to Richmond to lay a cornerstone met with a accident.|
|" " 1833||" " " 55||Metor fell from the elements and frighten the people very much|
|" " 1835||" " " 57||A turn out of the militia in Wash. DC|
|" " 1835||" " " 59||The first strike in Washington DC and Andrew Jackson called out every soldier in Washington|
|" " 1835||" " " 64||Cars started for between Baltimore and Washington|
|" " 1835||" " " 65||Stealing Copper from the Washington Navy Yard|
|" " 1835||" " " 70||Commodore Isaac Hull Leaves the Washington Navy Yard|
|" " 1836||" " " 71||The Launching of the United States Frigate Columbia|
|" " 1836||" " " 72||Commodore Daniel Patterson and Captain Joseph Smoot takes command of Navy Yard|
|" " 1836||" " " 72||Major General Santa Anna Mexican General was taken pisoner|
|" " 1836||" " " 73||Trouble with Indians In the south|
|" " 1836||" " " 74||The Battle of North Pont was celebrated in Washington DC|
|" " 1836||" " " 74||The United States post office was Burnt down|
|" " 1836||" " " 75||The 4th of March Martin Van Buren is President the second time|
|" " 1838||" " " 76||The United States Marine from their Fight in Florida|
|" " 1839||" " " 77||The Death of Commodore Daniel Paterson in the Wash Navy Yard|
|" " 1839||" " " 77||Ten Hours in the Federal Buildings|
|" " 1840||" " " 78||Death of Commodore Isaac Chancey (Chauncey)|
|" " 1841||" " " 79||Death of Commodore Thomas Holddig (Holdup) Stevens in Wash. Navy Yard|
|" " 1841||" " " 79||Died in the White house Major General Wm. Henry Harrison|
|" " 1841||" " " 80||Death of Major General Alexander Mc Comb Commander in Chief of the U.S. Army|
|" " 1843||" " " 82||Death of Commodore Isaac Hull|
|" " 1844||" " " 83||Sad Accident on Board Frigate Princeton|
|" " 1844||" " " 84||The Launching of the United States Sloop of War St. Mary's|
|" " 1845||" " " 86||The National Theater burnt down on the 5th of March 1845|
|" " 1845||" " " 86||The Mexican Minister demands his past port|
|" " 1845||" " " 86||The United States iron steamer Water Witch was launched the 26th day of March on Thursday|
|" " 1845||" " " 87||Death of Major General Andrew Jackson Ex. President of U. States|
|" " 1846||" " " 89||Dedicated the Odd Fellow Hall on 7th St. N.W.|
|" " 1846||" " " 90||The Battle of Harrington Hotel on Capitol hill|
|" " 1846||" " " 92||Commander Charles Macaulay took Command of the Wash. Navy Yard in September|
|" " 1846||" " " 94||The launching of the United States Steamer Frigate Union|
|" " 1847||" " " 96||Celebrating the Mexican War in this City the Whole City was slit up|
|" " 1847||" " " 97||Some facts about the Mexican War|
|" " 1848||" " " 101||Death of Ex President John Quincy Adams|
|" " 1848||" " " 101||Laying the Corner Stone of the Washington Monument|
|" " 1849||" " " 103||Death of James Polk ex President of the U.S.|
|" " 1849||" " " 104||Commodore Henry E. Ballard took Command of the Wash. Navy Yard, the 1st of Oct|
|" " 1849||" " " 104||The Arrival of the English Sloop a Minster of War Vacar with Lord Bullwer from England|
|" " 1850||" " " 105||Death of ex senator John C. Calhoun|
|" " 1850||" " " 105||Death of Major General Zackary Taylor at the white house|
|" " 1851||" " " 107||Corner Stone was laid at the Capital in July|
|" " 1851||" " " 109||The Library of Congress was burnt in July|
|" " 1852||" " " 112||The President and his Cabnit visited the Wash. Navy Yard|
|" " 1852||" " " 113||Death of Henry Clay A Senator|
|" " 1852||" " " 115||Commodore Charles Morgan took Command of the Wash Navy Yard|
|" " 1852||" " " 116||Death of Daniel Webster|
|" " 1853||" " " 118||Death of Commodore Charles Morgan in Wash Navy Yard|
|" " 1853||" " " 121||The President Franklin Pierce visited the Wash Navy Yard|
|" " 1854||" " " 132||The Nebraska Bull Passed|
|" " 1855||" " " 135||Captain French Forrest took Command of the Wash Navy Yard|
|" " 1855||" " " 136||The Launching of the U.S. Steam frigate Minnesota on the 10th day of Dec|
|" " 1856||" " " 165||Commodore Lavallette took Command of the Wash Navy Yard|
|" " 1857||" " " 152||The National Theatre burnt down|
|" " 1857||" " " 156||Election takes place in Wash|
|" " 1858||" " " 165||Lord Napier and the British Secretary at the Wash Navy Yard|
|" " 1858||" " " 165||Commodore J. Rudd took Command of the Wash Navy Yard|
|" " 1859||" " " 171||Commodore Buchanan took Command of the Wash Navy Yard|
|" " 1859||" " " 172||Launching of the United States Steamer Anacosta [Anacostia]|
|" " 1860||" " " 175||Dedication of the Washington Statue|
|" " 1860||" " " 176||Arrival of the Jappanees at the Washington Navy Yard|
|" " 1861||" " " 178||Justice Clark Administers the Oath of Allegiance to the Mechanics of the Wash Navy Yard|
|" " 1861||" " " 178||The Emancipation of the District of Columbia|
|" " 1865||" " " 184||President Lincoln was down at the Wash Navy Yard on good Friday the 14th 1865 with his Wife|
|" " 1865||" " " 186||Michael Shiner Saw eleven Presidents take there seat and some Presidents twice (the end)|
1 B 1813
ther was a Horse Company organised in this City of Washington by Captin lower Caul well Docter Edward Clark Belong to it and James Freind Formly a Baker on the Hill thomas renols formly a tarvin keper at the eastern Branch Bridge on pensylvan avenu James kely formly kept a redervus on the navy yard hill 6 a Baker use to to Belonge to this company by name of Burns formly use to Have a Bake house South of the long row and a Brother in law of lawer george Water stone all those a bove named gentelman use to Belong that Company organise in 1809 by Captin thomas Carley a young man by the name of Spanagle his father John Canon Was a Black smith formly kept a Black Smith shop south of the Congress Burial ground 7 rigments of infertry by Captain thomas carbrly ther was a Company of feild artilery organnised at the same time by Captin Samuel Burch and thomas Howard and thomas Warfield and louyd pumphrey 8 and Joseph Bro[wn] formerly a police of the 5Ward Isaac phillips use to Belonge to it his Mother formerly kept a little shop Below the captol all those above named gentleman use to Belong to it
A mmelitia [militia] Company organnised by captin thomas Huse formly kept a store on pennsylvania avenu ner the Centre Market elisha phumphery uto belong to it John Moody use to Belonge to it9
a company Wher organise at the same time by captin Joseph lassen on the navy yard hill wm lasky Belong to it Henry adams Belong to it
A Rifle Company Wher organised the Same time by Captin Wiliam Doughty Henry Aukward belong to it James Roads belong to it the Dress of this Rifle company war green ankeen [nankeen] yelin fringin and the caps Was made of Wild bear skin When i was a smal Boy those captins use to attend to ther drill all day and drill the men the best part of the night as for Colnal Daughrty he was like a bildear
captin stalls [Stull's]company of george town was orgernised in 1813 [they wore] Blu ankeen and red fringin and Was a sruead an and Well organises company and Well drilled in them days they wher active as cats
A Nother company Wher orgernise at the same time by captin Wiliam Moore ason in law of old captin nailer the father of lutenant colnal Henry nailer
lutenant elaxdraiar Mc comik sr Belong to Burchis artilry company and Mr James young Brother in law of Mr eledrania Mc comik lutenant shedrick Davis belong to Rushes artilry company in 1813 and 1814
[First three lines of this page crossed out and illegible.]
the early part of augst 1814 the British armmy landing at Benedick under the command of genral ross Was assailed by the american armmy under the command of genral Winder ther they had several light ingagement and the same time the British Where hererass [harassed] by comerder Barnny and under comerder Barnnys command Wher the united Staets Merrines and sailers and colnal samul Miler then the american army fell back on a [illegible-garrison?] cauld charls branch in prince george is county in the State of Maryland betwen uper Marl Borough and the Wood yard on Monday the 22 day of august  they had a -
and the 23 day of august on tusday night the american armmy laid on ther arms and Biv o uactin [bivouact in] for that night then next Morning on the 24 day of august 1814 on Wensday Between 3 and 4 oclock in the Morning they Burnt the eastern branch Bridge That Where done to prevent the British from crossing for feare they should reverse ther March and then they Went forth and burnt the sloop of War on the stocks and one or 2 other vessels and all those orders that Was carid out Wher giv in by the president of the united Staets the honable James Madason and the honable Secatary of the Navy Mr [William] Jones at sun rise the same morning two men came in on horse back from the direction of Blades Barge bringing news the British armmy wher advancin over the Baldes Barge Bridge and this news reaching the american camp aroused the spirit of the americans to force ther march in douB Ble quick time to asail the British at Bladens Barge Bridge gest as the amierin cun armmy got two Blades Barge the British army Wher Jest advancin doWn rossis hill and a Bout 2 hours after the american army left the City of Washington under the comMand of genral Winder comerder Barnny [Commander Joshua Barney] commandr Jo though his skill forced his March all night on the 29 of august 1814 on tusday though Mary land and arired at Washington and landid his men in 2 hours [illegible] the american armmy had left Washington
he lanid his Men betwein Noth east and South east of Washington Navy yard Which at that day Where caled the ferry Which
orderd to advance a cross the Water and in that time it Wher understod that genral Ross said the lord What has this Mon broght us to and at that time comerder Barnny Wher Working fearful havoc annorent [among] them and at that time comerder Barny hors Wher shot from under him and he Where Woundid and also colnal Samul Miler Wounid and at this time aBritish oficer stept up with rord at comeder Barnny we hav caught you at last drawing hi sord a cross the Back of his neck But you too good a man to kill and at that time the americans had fled in confusion and they had [illegible-ceased?] firing at Blades Barge and At that time the Americans wher flying trough the City comerder Barnney were taken prisoner and colnal samul Miler then the British Armmy taken up ther line of march for Washington wher a numbesr of the British soldiers felled in their ranks on the way to Washington from Blades Barge12 by the loss of blood Between the eastern toll gate and Blades Barge the British solders fell in holes to the right and left and still the British armmy continued the march on Washington Jest as We saw the armmy coming above the toll gate in Washington We heard the tread of British army feet Master left a colard man and wher ourselve with a olde lady By the name of Mrs reid on capitol hill then as son as we got a sight of British armmy raising that hill they looked like flames of fier all red coats and the stoks of ther guns painted with red ver Milon [vermillion] and the iron work shind like a spanish dollar the colard man near Mrs reid saw this and My selve and the colard Man started and ran and i started to ran two and ole
Mrs reid caught hold of Me Wher are you runig to you niger you What do you recon the Brtish Wants With such a niger as you and at this time John had run and hid his selve in a bake oven that Wher owne by a Man named Burns the British armmy Still continued ther March on towards the capitol ontill they got against a large Brick house on Capitol Hill fronting Mary land avenu and frontting 2 Street formly oned By Judge Suel of Mary land and Wher ocepied formly the Judge and his famly every Session of Congress This house now sets to the North east of the united Steates Senate and as the British army aproach that house under the commamd of genral Ross and his aids his horse Wher shot from under him in a twinkale of the eye house Wher sorouned By British armmy and search all through up stairs and down stairs in search of the Man that shot the horse from under genral but no Man was found after they found that they
Mr Mc comack had a verry larg store
that Night iBelieve the Whels - Wher Mufeld [wheels were muffled] and the horeis feet [horses' feet] for they Went a way so easy that you scaresly could hear them the
then on the same day the 29 of august 1814 after the
then we never herd from the British no More in Washing ton untel genral Jackson at New orleans in the state of louisianer the British commence With ther Daring Move Ments in cariaing oft various things and very ner doing as they pleased Which at sopoesed a great Many of our people trafic with them and it was distinly [distinctly] understood that the Honable Major genal andrew jackson wher not there When this proceedce wher going on and all this wher done about the last part of December 1814 and When the honable Major genrl andrew Jackson arived at the City of New orleanse in the last part of December 1814 he found City in an awful condition the people Wher moveing out and Making no effort What ever to Defend the city the genral found that such effort was exhaustin he ameditely Made a Recouisition on the governer of the staete of louisianer for to be enterd into servis ameatly to prvent the invasion of the British armmy into the City of new orleans as the genrals request of the govner Wher not gratified speedly he takein responibility of the legislators power in his owne hands and com mence heaveing up intrenchments and Directing Batriys in posion that Would flank the emermy right or left or front and he place the City under Marshal law for none go out he evry Man to a Man com to his Work all that Wher able to carry a Misket or sword or a pistol or that could help to
and in the Mean time he Wher fortafiing the City the ladys of all Classes came to him in great Distress ringing and twisting ther hands What should they do for protecion the genral reply Was to them go to your home My prety fair Maids for if they get to you they Will have to Walk over my dead Boddy in the erl ly part of January 1815 the sieg Com menced By the arm my of the united states under the Command of the honable Major genral andrew jackson against the British arm my under the command of sir lord pacinham [Major General Sir Edward Michael Pakenham] and the sieg contined ontil the 8 day of January 1815 on sunday the British armmy Wher Drove back time after time with great Slaughter the british armmy left field in posession of the Honable Major genral andrew Jackson and the united states armmy on the 8 day of January 1815 on Sunday But they [the British] Wher permitid on the 9 day of January on Mon day to search for ther oficers that wher killed on the field of Battle they Wher permited by a flag of truce and the British armmy that wher sent to take new or leans they wher pickt men they had faced Walls of fier al through urope Never Wher noune to flinch from the Mouth of the canon or point of the Baynet or the sword they Wher under the command of Sire lord Welington and it wher no use time after time the colmns of the Brit ish arm my advance to the american fier But it was all in vain for sire lord pack in ham on coverd himselve and led one thoussand men in person and he Wher killed instantly and the British columns Melted befor the american Bateries
the treaty of peace Wher made at the city of gent [Ghent] after the Battle of New or leans [on the] 8 day January 1815 peace reach the City of Washington betwen the goverments on the 22 of February 1815 on Wens day
ice commence erlly in november 1814 and a continued freesing until the Middle of March 1815 and 1815 January 14 they haul Wood a cross the eastern branch by Wagon loads with six horses and they Wher a deseas went through County cauld the swell toung that kill the horse it apeared that they Wher no cure for it they couldent get anny thing down the throat they dropt down dead most every wher and at last the people caught this disease and they wher very few of them that caught it got over it but they Wher a old Docter lady that liv in prince georges county the state of Mary land by the name of Mrs Darry and al she attendid to she wher successful in cureing for she wher verry attentive and tracterble for She highly rectermendid by the phersisiansners [parishioners?] of prince georges county the state of Mary land and particerly by olde Docter hodges of prince georges county the state of Mary land and all Mrs Darrys Medirins [medicines] Wher made princilble out of erBs [herbs] and 1816 wher a hard Winter for they Wher three black spots in the sun afte the Winter closed the sun become to as red as blood ther Wher a frost evry night the hold sumer the Wher no corn Made scarrly aBout in different section of the country it Where all Whitherd up 15
the honable James Monroe take in his seat the 4 of March 1817 on Tuesday the Honable John quincy adams takin his seat the 4 of March 1825 The Honable John quincy adams taking his seat the 4 of March 1823 monday The Honable genral andrew Jackson take his seat the 4 of March 1829 on Wensday the Honable Major genral andrew Jackson taking his seat the 2nd time the forth of March 1833 on monday and snow on the ground the honable Martin van Buren Then taken his Seat the forth of March 1837 on Satuday sluich and snow on the ground the Major genral the Honable Wm henry harrison takeing his Seat the 4 of March 1841 on Thursday the Honable colnal James K polk take his Seat the 4 of March 1845 on tueday rainny and dr lin the Honable Major genral Zackerries [Zachary] Taylor taken his Seat the 5th of March 1849 on
Monday the Honable Brigader genral Franklin pierce Taken his Seat the 4th of March 1853 on friday and Snowd a little and rain a little the Honable James Buckhanan taken his Seat the forth of March 1857 on Wens day a Beautiful
The Honable James Monroe president of the united States left his Seat on the 4th of March 1823 friday the Honable John quincey adams president of the united States left his Seat on the 4 of March 1829 on Wens day the Honable Major genral andrew Jackson left his Seat the 4 of March 1837 on Sataday the Honable Martin van Burren president of the united States left his Seat on Thursday the honbale John Tyler presidnet of the united States left his Seat on the 4th of March 1845 on tueday the Honable James k polk left his Seat the 4of March 1849 on Monday the Honable Milard fillmore president of the united States left
his seat the 4th of March 1853 on friday the Hon Brigadier genral Franklin pierce left his Seat the 4 of March 1857 on Wensday and a Beatiful day
1816 a Hard Winter
1817 a Hard Winter and
1818 a Hard Winter and
1819 a pretty Hard
Winter twoand in
1820 a Hard Winter and
1821 a Hard Winter and
1822 a Hard Winter and
1823 a Hard Winter and
1824 a Hard Winter and
1825 a Hard Winter and
1826 a Hard Winter and
1827 a Hard Winter and
1828 a Hard Winter and
1829 a Hard Winter and
1830 a Hard Winter and
1831 a Hard Winter and
1832 a Hard Winter and
1833 a Hard Winter and
1834 a Hard Winter and
1835 a Hard Winter and
1836 a Hard Winter and
1837 was a beatiful fall for they never gatherd in ther garden stuff in the District of Columbia until nearly cristmas and the 1 part of 38 it commence With a snow and sleek so the Winter of 38 Was a cold Dreary Winter for never shal for get it for i Was coming a long by the engine house in the fifth Ward and They Wher aan olde lady coming up the Hill wards the church
1821 the Reverance Mr payton16 a Methodis preacher Wer sent in charge of the Ebenezer church by the Methadis Confrence in the Six Ward and i Believe he was the greates Methodis preachers that ever ask a nickel for his Walk and Conversation proved he caried the love of god in his heart and all his cry to his fellow man Was to repent and turn to god it made no difference What kind of a man he War he made no distinc sion for he died tryunphpant by the [grace?] of god for the Worst sinners in the City of Washington at that time like him when Mr payton aproach them With the Word of the lord they would Be as calm as a lamb and so should be the Walks of every minister of the gospel no Matter what Denomanation he is
for no foller of the lord and Saver Jesus Christ orght not to be ingage in annything that are sinful or dangeros in the sight of god for god is a Jest god for he noes the screts of all men hearts and he is the searcher and regulator of all men for the last sermen i herd Mr payton preac Was in the eben neiser [Ebenezer] Church the 21 day of December 1821 at a Wattch Meetin for i came nine or ten miles to hear him preach for I never forget it for that verry Night it snowed and me goin back Home Next morning the snow had fell to the depth of six inches and better the bottoms of my shoes came off nearly and i had to go home Bare footed nearly and this Was the 1 day of Janauary 1822
and she ask me to take hold of her hand and at that time they was a tremendou sleik on the ground and i Made evry efert to get her up the hill so We our lady and My selv both slip and Way We Went over and over like a Barrel and people Wer all looking at us so That i Jest Merly Then Time to help the old up and i then i sneak oft and Was glad to get
of 1839 a Hard Winter 1840 a Hard Winter 1841 a Hard Winter 1842 a Hard Winter 1843 a Moderate Winter and Janurery the splenderes January That i ever seen the hold Month like a indian sumer a White forst evry night and were in the Middle of the day for you to Work With your coat off and the Winter dident commence unitl the 1th of feuary and March paid up for the hold of it for they Was snow fell the 16 of March 1843 Moore then a knee deap in some places on thursday a hard Winter 44
1844 a Hard Winter
1845 a Hard Winter
1846 a Hard Winter
1847 a Hard Winter
1848 a Hard Winter
1849 a Hard Winter
1850 a Hard Winter
1851 a Hard Winter
1852 a Hard Winter
1853 a Hard Winter
1854 a Hard Winter
1855 a Hard Winter
1856 a Hard Winter
1857 a Hard Winter
1858 verry little snow But Wet and cold Winter But not much snow
the united States Ship Columbus 74 Constructed and built by Colnal Wiliam Doughty and launch on the 4 of march 1819 on monday at Washington navy yard the united States Ship Columbus 74 forty 8 years old united States frigate potomac [Potomac] first Class built by Colonal Wiliam Doughty and launch 1821 frigate potomack 46 years old
the united States frigate Branday Wine [Brandy Wine] Wher launch the 16 day of june 1825 on thursday at Washington navy yard and constructed and Built by Colnal Wiliam Dougthy17 and Wher fited out expresly to carry genral layet [LaFayette] home to france comader Charls Morris had command of her first lieutenant of the Branday Wine Was lieutenant gregry sail master elisha peck the united States frigate Bran day Wine 42 years old they commence heaving out at Washington navy yard the united State frigate congress [Congress] 36 gun ship 3rd class on the 27 of March 1826 on Monday to examine res [rust] and to put new keil on her copering [coppering] of her they Wher fitting her out for some station but the Macedonia [Macedonian] takeing her place
When they commence heaving out commodor thomas tinsay [Thomas Tingey] Wher present captain Walter Booth Wher present first lieutenant thomas crale Wher present sailing master Mama duke Dove colnal Wiliam Doughty wher present Master builder James owner Wher present Boatswain Daived eaton Wher present Benjamen king sr18 quaterman quaterman Joseph herbert quarterman george grant quaterman Wiliam aik oun
fier Broke out in the alxdrania in the state of virginia on the 17 of January 1827 on Wensday and the Disspatch came from alxdrania on the 18 day of January 1827 on thursday to the people of Washington early in the moring cauling on them to com down speedily [to] assist in putting the fier out
launching of a new Merchant Ship at alxdrania her name was virginia the 24th day of December 1826 on saturday
and orders came from the navy Department the same moring from Honable secatary of the navy samul southard to the commanding officer of the Washinton navy yard comerder thomas tingey to send every Mercanic and labors and engines out of the yard and every man that were Wher able to travel and orders Wher obeied promptly by comander tin say and the men Wher dispatched in Double quick time and the people of Washington and george town Went hand to hand to assist them in putting fiers out the mecanics Wanted
to put the engines over By the shears and take them down on the ice but Captin Walter Booth stop them and taken a round over the long Bridge19 by horse and hand they [had] one engine in the yard now that broke down 2 Befor We got ther and they wher no time DeladeWhat ever for the oficers caried us in a half canter and a dog trot Comerder thomas Tinray [Thomas Tingey] Commandeid Washington Navy yard Went Down to alexdrania that day Captin Walter Booth sectiond in command went Down to alxdrania that day colal archable henderson Went down that day Which wher a commander of the united Staets Merines Core Lieutenant Henry R Tyler caried down that day a Detachment of the united States Merines down to alex drania (He) carid them Down in Double quick time Purser Mr timothy Wind Went down to alexanria that day Colnal Wiliam Doughty the naval contractor went Down that day the master Builder James owner sr went Down and sailing master edward Barry went down that day Boats swain David eaton Went down that day to alexdranina and Mr William Speedon went down that day which at that time was clerk to Mr Wind the purser all the Master Workmen and Mechanics and Laborers of all classes went down that day a circumstance accrued between sailing master edward Barry and a colled man by the name thomas pen ton [penton] didnt conduct himseve so Well When we wher a coming home and Mr Barry gave him a repramand and it apears that tom pen gave him some insolents and Mr Barry when got home he reported him to captin Booth friday the 19 day of January 182720
We all hands of the ordernary men Wher cauledup in to the rigin loft to giv an acount of our selves captin Booth Wher present in the loft first lieutenant thomas crab and Sailing master edwar Barry who had prefered the charge against thomas pen captin Booth sais now thomas pen you are brought befor me for usin abusive and insultin language to an officer of this yard what have you got to say for your selve captin thee had kein a ben drinkin and if the said anything to Mr Barry out of the Way they are sorry for it and if thou pleases and if Mr Barry pleases to excuse the will never do so no more sire dont you no the danger of givin insolence to an officer Well tell the captin if thou please excuse me this time never do so no more sire Mr Barry reply i will excuse him this time captin now Thomas pen i will let you oft as Mr Barry has excuse you Now captin and Mr Barry the[y] is ten thousand times oblige to thou for letin [him] off captin Booth and first lieutenant crab sail Master edward Barry Boatswain David eaton turned their backs and laught and told Tom to go on now and behave your selves and never struck him a crack When pen got up to the ordernary house among the men are sais Tom pen by the powers of Mol kely didnt the(y) tell thou if ever thou let the[e] get into quaker sistom that thou would never Wip the[e] so Tom pen got clear of the cats [cat of nine tails] that day by talkin quaker to captin Booth and the rest of the oficers Whil captin Booth was as fine a oficer as ever steps his foot on a ship deck for i never heard captin Booth use profane word the most word he ever use to use
was by george for captin booth was a perfect gentelman for he wher the one that adopted those rigin screw in heavin frigate Congress out in 1826 he often use to speak of a quicker plan in runin up the rigin wit the screw the time they were done by scraping the frigate Congress on one side they would have righ ther up and set the rigin on the other side and in them days the shoe wer turned into dead eye then lanerds [lanyards] were received through each eye and then each shard had a louft block with tails imitatin a stoper and those tails wer made fast a round a shard a round above then lowerd that wher raised into the dead eye that cornectid in the chains the hook of the Double block that way rigin in them days wher set up captin Booth said at that time they could be a quicker way to addopted to set up the rigin So captin Booth wher the first inventor of those rigin screws which a gang of rigin be set up in half the time that it use to be set up shrods or stays The united states sloop of war St Louis was the first to carry those rigin screws and she carried them on her miesent [mizzen] shrouds 21 both starbord [starboard, i.e., the righthand side of a ship] and loarboard [larboard] that was in place of the dead eye Which to this day goes by the name of Booth riggin screws22 Which i believe is intirer sacerfactry to the navy Department The united staets ship sloop of war St. Loius her keil wher laid in the uper ship house the 12 day of febuary 1827 on monday one cedar tree planted in washington navt yard one apple tree planted by Micial Shiner
in front of the boatswain house the 17 day of March 1827 on satuday and the Boatswain said to me those trees Will not live and my reply was to the Boatswain ser those trees will be here when you and me ar dead and gone the 4 of July 1828 on friday Comerder Tinssys [Tingey] gig Wher orderd to be ready to carry up above georgetown for to take the Honable John quincy adams president of the united States a shore the Coxswain of the comerder gig was John M green thomas payne Henry over John Williams John Thompson Basil Brown and Michial Shiner crew was compose of colerd man except the coaxman the boat crew wher Dress in full uneform and that moring colnal henderson Barge was got ready and Wher mandit with ten Merrines and 1 Sargeant Who wher caxsmen of the boat and those boats wher got ready by run sire i never shall forget it as long as i live in the morning at sun rise while us wher all down at the boat the salute was fierd they Wher a dog that use to follow the century a bout he hadent bein long in the yard he come from the contry and the Marine uste to feed him and every time the centry would relieve he would relieve too the century was down ther wher we wher geting the boat ready and the dog wher there two and interfering the salute the first gun that wher feird way went the dog and for every leap he made he hollord and he never stop till got out side the yard and we never seen more and first leiuenant kelly and sailing master edward Barry
they ask Mr green What was the Matter With that dog Mr green anserd and said the dog was frighting at the salute that wher fired at that time the 2 boats all ready to go up above georgetown and the comerders gig Wher fited out expresly for we take the Honable Mr John qunicy adams a shore up above georgetown and at that down came captin Thomas holdup stevens in company with lieutenant colonel charles broom of the united States Marine corps first lieutenant kely said the gig was all ready sire captin stevens said Broom come get in with me colnal Broom answered and said i beg to be excuse i want to exercise my Boys this moring Colnal Broom got in his Barge and told them up oars and stand by to let fall let fall shov oft give way good morning captin never mind said Captin Stephens to colnal Broom i will be long side of you to sectly that right sais colnal Broom i want to give your colerd Boys a sweat this morning colnal Broom started about fifteen minits Before captin stephens started The reason that colnal Broom started before Captin stephens was the captin was waiting for a message from commodore Tingey after the captain received the message he asks Mr green if all wher right Mr green sais yes sire then Mr green sais up oars my lads shove off let fall giv way captain steiphens sais give way my lads let us go in search of colonel Broom then we over took colnal Broom at the arsenal and we wher about to pass him along the captin sais fair you well Broom and colnal Broom sais hold on stephens and run along side and take in passenger captin stephens sais ease your larboard oars pull your starb
ard oars until the gig got along side of the colnals barge then we taking the colnal on the board of the gig after then colnal got on board captin stephens sais give way my lads mind you my brave fellers they are a parcel of boats in the potomac to day and i want to see what you can do for them at that time there wher five hundred boats in the river and none of them could hold a light when we got to the arsenal the potomac river wher darkend with boats before us and behind us we look down the river and seen some boats coming and they look they scarily touch the water but they wher coming and at that time we had pass some the fastes rowing in alexandria they wher no boat in the river that day that day out the five hundred that could beat the comerders gig when we got up to george town Jest as we got ther the president came down in his carrige in company with the Honable secretary of war Major genral Miller and the Honable secretary of the Navy Samuel l southard23 and the rest of his cabinet and a great many other distinguished gentelman then they went on bord of the surprise steam boat and at last we hadent the pleasure of taken the president ashore in the gig the steam boat started in full paced up the river Mr green his orders to follow the steam boat up the river then we followed the steam boat and kept along sid of her until we got to the very landing place and the steam boat run so close that they shoved the gang way out and
the preident walk ashore and all his cabnet all the other Distinich gentelmen and ladys and went up to the verry spot and they wher great masses of people wher there that day and several volunteer companies and plenty of everything [to] eat and drink and the Honable Mr John Qunicy adams presiident of the united states pulled oft his coat and takein hold of the spade as if he was going to set in for a days work and went right in to it and that the beginning of the chesapeake and ohio cannal24 and then the hold of the posesion [procession] Retired and after the posesion retired then we then we had the pleisure of tring the strenth of the surprise steam Boat the ohter row boats that went up with us and we run pass all the boats we got down to george town ten minits befor the steam boat then we had wait until that steam boat with captin thomas hold up stephens then when that steam boat arived then we takin the captin in the gig and the lieutenant Colnal charles Broom of the united states Marine corps and we started from george town and landed the Captins orders wher to Mr green gave My complements to Mr John kely which at that time wher first lieutenant of Washington navy yard to giv all those boys liberty that wher in the gig to day
for they have cunducted them selvs verry well to day when we embark from the stone house to the yard and after we got to the yard and put the gig away then Mr kely pass us all out and then we went to on capitol Hill and had a good frolic to our selves and ther we remained until run down at the same time we wer at a restaurant on capitol Hill kept by a colerd man by the name of george lee formly by a slave to old mr water stone and set free by mr water stone the father of lawyer mr George water stone this coller man that i have referenc to kept all kinds of liqurs he had one kind of liquer wer caled spark fier one called the rear and tair and Tom Cat and one caled the panter on of the Drinks caled the run from the gun then ther wher one kind called warmherin liqure and he had one called Didnt now wher you wer so we drank of those diferent kinds of liquer until we got squrananerd [separated?] from each other as for my part When i found my selve on the next moring on the 5 day July 1828 on satuday near the congress burin ground [Congressional Cemetery] i wher layin by yoke of oxin and well guarded by killdes and wip poor wills and wher some fifteen minits befor i knowd wher i wher and when i came to my selve i found my selvf without anny hat and wanerd away to the navy yard then and got very near the navy yard came a cross a collard yong man and he said are you drunkin
soiler and i kept a sidelin up to the fellow until i got hold of him and they wher mud hole close by i seised hold of the felol and we had small tussel for a while and i throd the felow into the mud hole then i stagerd oft about my business and went into the yard then as i got under the arkcade i met comerders tingey's coachman a collerd man by the name of sam reid he said are you got sober yet and i sais to him you blak vilian and i hauld oft and knock him down and the sentry run in betwein us and parted us and reported us and reported me to the first lieutenant of the yard and the same time they wher a lad comerder tinsay foot man25 had been cuting some of his shines at the house on the 4 and they taking him down to the rigin loft that it give him a starting and they wher going to give me starting two but captin steiphens excused me and first leutant kelly sailing master Edward Barry so that ended the fourth of July 1828 on friday26 launching of the united states sloop of war st louis at Washington navy yard built and constructed by colnal William Doughty on the 16 day of august 1828 on saturday i shall never forget that day the Honable John quincy adams came down that day and his cabnet and the naval commissioner and comerder John rogers27 at that time wher preident of the
The Saint Louis is 39 years old
of naval Board of commisners they had got all ready for the launching and Colnal Doughty inform comerder tinssay and captin steiphens and first lieutenant kelly that they wher all ready now sire for seting up Colnal Doughty gave orders to Mr owner to set up the and at that time they all Classes of people ther to witness the launching of the sloop of war and the thrid time they set up shores wher all turn a drift sawed away in two then takein the batter rams and gave her one or two Raps with that and it didnt mover her and they batter ram her a Dozen times and still it coulent move her comerder Rodgers ask Mr owner what was the Matter with her Mr owner said i done no what the Matter with her sire but we will try and find out at that time the comerder had got aBoard the ship himselve by two man rops [ropes] on the loarboard gang way he look all up and down the ship he put on one of the old time man of war looks and vinegar counternance and then went to the waist [middle] of the vessel on the larboard side and look over the gunnels [gunwhales or side of the boat] and requested of the first lieutenant Kelly who wher first lieutenant of the Washington Navy yard to send all the men a board the ship that can be spaird and as they came a Board and as they Wher coming aBoard the comerder sais Come abord My brave fellow and after all the men got a Board the Comerder sias take your selves aft on
the qaurter Deck and lay aft my brave fellows lay aft colnal Doughty is the way all clear ther colnal Doughty to comerder Rogers sais all cleare sier comerder Rogers sais to the men stand by my Brave fellows to shake yourselves shake your selves My brave fellows and dance her down for she must go down an one or two shouts of [off] went the vessel as she wher going oft comerder rogers look over the side of her and told the Secatary of the navy and some More gentelman that wher standing ther that i believe she wher hung sire and so she wher hung they wher a ro bin [ribbing?] nail some how or nother acadetntially wher drove through the launchin ways and got in the slip that wher baecause of retaining the vessel on the stocks she would have bein launch sooner if it hadnt been for that Dinner wher givin on board the united states sloop of war st louis by captin John D Sloat and his oficers at washington navy yard the 18 day of December 1828 on thursday at that time the st louis wher hauld around by the North gable end of the lower ship house her stern wher hauld right a though of the united states frigat congress a thirty six gun ship then the Congress laid down stern of the lower ship house her stern between south and south east and she wher made a receiving ship while they wher fitting out the St louis crew
the united states sloop of war st louis embark from the Washington Navy yard in command of captin John D Sloat and his oficers on the 20 day of December 1828 on satuday a steam boat towed her out by the name of long Branch and she dropt down below alexdrania She laid of and on from sosher blaif from the 20 December 1828 on satuday until 22 day of December 1828 on Monday on the 21 day of December 1828 on Sunday we had takein Mr David eaton the Boat swain of the Washington Navy yard and sargent andrew Marks and Mrs Marks and Mrs Jones the sister of Mrs Marks on board of the united states sloop of War St louis we eat a fine Diner on board the ship the united states sloop of War st louis embark from the bluff Alexdrania on the 22 day of December 1828 on Monday her Destination was for the pacific ocean and i have never seen her since the 21 of December on wensday Mr Eaton taking the launch from the Washington navy yard and taking the light sails of the st louis up in the launch to the long bridge and put them on the steam boat potomac to send them to Norfolk for the united states sloop of war st louis after we came back from the long bridge we got us a pass from captin thommas holdup steivens i got a pass to pass and repass from the 24 day of December 1828 until the 31 day of December
1828 on the 24 day of December 1828 after getting this pass from captin steiphens i came out of the yard with the intention of going over to my masters which wher thommas horard sr [Thomas Howard Sr] which at that time he wher clerk of washington navy yard as i wher going over home i came across a parsel of boys and i had a couple pounds of pouder in my pocket and i wher going to carry it down the country to have som sport amonst the youngsters the boys sorounded me with fier crackers and i Had cristmas in me two they made a great noise for a while and i wher right in senter of them and you May Depend on it the lit me up torch light fashion for a while with the fier crackers they wasnot a fighting but they wher nineteen or twenty boys aroun me and in the mean time while we wherin our sport they came along a Justice of the peace by the name of Mr Clemont huit he said you scamp what are you doing here to me he hauld of and struck me and i hauld off and struck him again but if i had of know at that time he wher a Justice of the peace i never would have offer to raise my hand to him i have often regreted it although they wher nothing turned out serious between us. fo it wher Mr huit duty as an officer to stop all quarals and all gatherrings in the streets and at that time they run me up in an alley cauled smack alley on niger hill28 and i kept them all out of the alley until my Master came when Master tom my came up he sais Mike you scamp what is the matter with you Do you know who i am Yes sire Master Tom my i said He sais com along and go with me yes sais i Master Tom my i will with you any Wher and then he takein hold of me and takein me to the Navy yard gate
and at this time they wher a Bout 2 hundred men and Boys together and after they got me Down to the gate it wher some time befor they could get in side i cutting up my Monky shines and at that time adguant [Adjutant] Henry R tyler that is now wher first Lieutenant at the gate at that time of the Merrines after they got in to the gourd house they put me into the cells and put me in Double irons hand and foot and then they kept me until the 25 day of December 1828 on thursday between 4 and 5 oclock in the morning when Master Tom my came and takein me out and carried Me Douwn home as we Wher going along Master tom my ask Me did i know i had done i
Mr Rowman actid verry kind with me and he let his men put me across the piscataway creek29 in His boat and when i started leaving his farm Mr Rowman himselves did not want me to come away after they landed me at fort Washington no soniner then i landed on the Warf they wher a passel of soilgers on the warf and i dress sailer fashion blu frock shirt and Blu Trousers and blue round a Bout and red vest tarpolon hat hell loe Jack wher did you com from i told them i came from Washington Navy yard som of them i dont believ that this fellow is a run away from the st louis i had terible affray with them on the warf anny how i got them oft me som How or Nother and in the Mean time the affray wher i heard a corple say step up and tel the Major that they are a Black felow Down here cuting up shines and i believe he is run from the united States sloop of War st louis and this time i had i had got away from them and i had got up to an old lady house that set a little North west from the fort [She] verry fine white old lady by the name of Mrs Norffolk the house that Mrs Norfolk lived in were built by a man named of [illegible] brother-in-law to the one that built fort Washington and fort Monroe i were in Mrs Norfolk's and then came soldgers at the Door ask Mrs Norfolk didnt they a collard man caul ther Mrs Norfolk said no and i had bein a teling Mrs Norfolk about the fray and it apeard that these Men want to kick up a row with me anny how and i didn't stay but a verry little after that and i bid Mrs Norl folk fare well as sais she they are a wild set of men her now Mike for the Major haves a heaps of Trouble with them at that time fort Washington was commanded by Major Mason united States armmy major mason and his companys were order[d] ther from the east port
1824 and the companys at fort Washington wher orderd to east port in 1824 under the command of Captin thomas Childs of the united states armmy after leaving fort Washington the 26 day of December 1828 on friday i had to go all long the shore of swan creek for to get out of those fellows for they were after me like hawks and i never stop until i reach Washington but i Didnt go in the yard that night i stop at mans house by the name of Mr Jesse Morison near the navy yard and Ship carpternter by trade and a finer family of White people that ever live on the hill and on the 27 of December 1828 on saturday and i reported my selve in the yard to the officers
the 31 day of December 1828 on Wensday we bering the lighters from the Washington Navy yard and landed at General Vernesis warf on 18street to Move first luitenant Wm Ramsey [to] that Washington Navy yard Which Wher at that time wher the first lieutenant he live on pennsilvanerner [avenue] a little above the War Department house siting back some distance from the avenu and this ended the proceeding of 1828
The 1 day of January 1829 on thurs day the last levve [levée] that Wher givin by the Honable ex preident Mr John qunicy adams and on that day lieutenant Ramsey gave us a pass to go to a young colerd Mans fueral that died near the navy yard gate by the name of John Brion after the burial wher over i Wher standing near the Navy yard gate and captin Steiveins had bein up to the preidents levve and Basil Brown was a Driving of his carrige he look out of his carrige sais Bassil aint that Mike Bassil sais yes sire the Captin caulled me30
he sais com to me sire walk your selve in the yard sire i gave you permission the other day to go down in the country to see your friends and you went over on the other Hill and kicked up a row with the Magistrate and you shal not go out of the yard for 6 Month then my libity was stopt from the first day of January 1829 on Thursday until the 25 of January 1829 on Sunday 29 January 1829 on Thursday Mr James Smith a riger by trade at that time Wher part of the Washington Navy yard were sent down to alexandria on that with the Jolly boat31 for to get varous articlues for the oficers and 3 or 4 of the ordonary men went down with him and the ice Wher Jest a breaking up in the river and among those articles that wher got for the oficers they was a Half of pilot bread that belong to commerder [Commodore Tingey] tinsay Mr Smith sais Mike take that barrel and Carried it forard so as to give your Selves Room to row so i Takein hold of the barrel and went backward to passies it forward bein That the the gunels [gunwhales] of the Jolly boat Wher very shallo the Hops [hoops] slips off the Barrel and over Board i went the barrel of bread still Remained in the boat [there] was ice floating on the river and i went down the third time and the kind providence of god i came up evry time right by the boat and the last time i came up John thomson grab me by the top of the head and i scird hold of the boat i was so over Joyed when i got in the boat thank god Mike shiner aint ground yet thom pen was seting aft an although in the boat told mr smith by the power of Moll kelly Mike shiner over Board after we got all the things fick in the boat said Mr Smith sais now Boys ar you all ready well mike come in here and get something to Drink and mr smith Takein Me into the team [steam] Boat tavern that was kept by a man named Steaurt
[later] in the boat now and warmin our selves after we got in the boat we rowed up from alexandria in foety nine Minites and i had Jest Belong to mr Horord Sr [ Thomas Howard Sr] one year that day
the Senter [sentry?] house of the united States Merine Barracks at Washington Burned down on the 20 day of febauary 1829 on friday snow on the ground all the officers except commerder tinsay [Commodore Thomas Tingey] and he were laiding very ill at the time and all the Master Work men and Mercanic and labours of the Washington Navy yard at the fier captin thomas holdup stevens was at the fier first lieutenant wm Ramsey sr that wher the first lieutenant of the washington navy yard at that time Mr timothy Wind purser of the washington navy yard was ther sailing master edward Barry was ther boatswain David eaton was ther Mr george Marshal gunner was ther and Mr Selvylder Caolineer [Salvadore Catalano] 32 which at that time belonged to ordnance was ther
we went out to the fier at that time a little before the bell rang for twelve and stayed at the garrison until between 1 and 2 oclock in the night and the coldest night i ever felt in my life the hose were led from the garrison to reservoir at the market house it were so cold that the hose freeze up they formed lines in different sections passed the water with a bucket to the fier they worked like men ther were a little Disturbance ocurd betwein a fier[men] from te city and Samuel Brigs a fiermen of the an a casta [Anacostia River] But that was soon setled by captin Wm easby interfering Which at that time were Master Boat Builder of the Washington Navy yard that Wher a Hard Winter they wasnt 2 cord of Wood on the commmercial Warf they wasnt no Wood in the navy yard [ illegible] and they were not ten ton of coal in the yard they wher condem frome War
Which laid near the iron foundry that is now and they had to chip oft that to fier the engines With about 1 oclock that Night we came in the yard and it wher so cold that our feet Wher Wet and stif that we didnt know hardly Wither we Wher Walking on the ground or no and after we came in we went down to the cook house they was not as Much fier in the kook house as you could hold in your two hands We look in our chest and tinder box and the flint and [s]truck a light and we look a round out doors to sie if we could find any thing to make a fier we couldnt find any thing out doors and the snow was banked up all around the house We Came in and they Wher a long bench seting befor the fier place they was man laing on it by the name of James Sims we found that we could not get any wood and we roled him off and he fell off on the floor likin a log Drunk and half frozen together we takes a axe and split the bench up and we made a fier out of this bench and warmed and dried our feet After we warm and dried our feet the man who was laing on the bench he got up and then he want to fight us he put me in the mind of a snake but we cooled him oft the Senter House at the time when it caught on fier Wher ocupied by lutenant Colnal Charles Broome of the united States Merrine Cor and his family on the 21 of febuary 1829 on saturday we Wher outside gatherin up the Hose and getting the things in the yard
it snowed on the 22 of of Febuary 1829 on Sunday
Died in Command of the Washington navy yard Comerder thomas tinsy on the 23 day of febuary 1829 on Monday and snow on the ground and a fine officer he was and a gentelman
Comerderr isaac Hull takeing comMand of the Washington Navy yard the 11 day of april 1829 on Saturday33 When comerderr hull taking command of the Washington navy yard he found it in an awful condition in holes and gullys and piles of timber laing about the yard all that square in front of the first lutenants quaters and 2 lieutenants and the Docter it Was nothing but yellow clay and that square in front of the comerders quarters was in the same condition and all the guns piled up on the left hand side of the road as you go into the gate from the flag staff clear down to the comerders ofice that were at that time the comerder laid all those places aft in the squares and had them fence it in the square Wher the paint shop is now where all cultivated and all this square where the ordnance shop is and the brass gun foundry and the shell house and laboratory and the rocket house and the water ran all along there When comerder Hull came to the yard he had to timber sheds built the mould loft built and all is laid as comerder Hull laid it off The water run jest back of the comerders ofice that is now and all the dock at the uper ship house were caving in and wharfs caving in all those wharfs were extended out were done by comerder hull except that piece done by captin William S Sango Sivil engeneer of the Washington navy yard When all this Work Wher going on and he Wher filling up and Building some of those days sais he this yard will be full of buildings34
the day that comerder Hull taken command of the Washington Navy yard they Wher a seamen by the name of Wells one of the Crew of the St louis that had bein missin ever since the 19 of December 1828 on friday and it Was surposed that he run a way and they never could here anny thing from him until the 4 day of april 1829 and he came up at the north west Corner of the lower Ship house he came up right under the frigate congress laorboard Bow it was sersposed that he went to go a shore that night before the St louis went a way and got hung under the Chain cable Wells wher a Welchmen by birth and they wher a inqust [inquest] held over him and he was bured in the potters field
lieutenant Wiliam Ramsey sr left Washington navy yard the 20 of March 1830 on Wensday sailing Master edward Barry Died in Washington navy yard on the 2 day of May 1830 on Sunday Boatswain David eaton was struck with a toung of a carry log in Washington navy yard on the 11 day of May 1830 on tuesday struck him right across the small of the back they wher an old man had hold of the toung by the name of thosn pen they had the log touning and he Couldnt hold the toung
the Darkes eclips that ever i saw was in 1831 the 12 of febuary on saturday35 it lasted from half past 11 oclock until Half past 3 oclock it was so dark at diner our [hour] in Washington navy yard that we Had to light the candles to see how to eat in each ordnance room at that time Mr houard [Mr. Thomas Howard Sr] could hardly see how to coal the [illegible] i never shall forget a remark that a painter made he said to Mr houard that you ought to have a candle now to caul the coal the painters name was Wiliam prince was a gerneymen [journeymen] painter painting the water casks for the united states frigate potommac which was fitting out at the Washington navy yard that time they wher painting them out in the upper ship house Phillip inch Master Painter John giptson [Gibson] gerneymen painter Wiliam keith gerneymen painter edward Bevan gerneymen painter and Wiliam prince gerneymen painter and at that time the United States frigate potomac was fitted out expressly for to go on to peru and Chile to Chastise the Desprodadoes [Desperadoes] the deparado wher committed on the American Merchant Ships by the Malays genral Jackson determined to chastise them and bring them to an honrable term That duty was assined [assigned] to commerder John F. Downes and takein command of the united States frigate potomac that were fitted out at washington navy yard in 1831 The united States frigate potomac embarked from the under the command of Comerder John Downes and his first lieutenant edsum Shubrick and the remainer of the oficers and crew on the 30 day of may 1831 on Monday and she came in front of the united States assnal [United States Arsenal] at washington
and She remaind ther from the 30 of may oft and on until the 15 day of June 1831 on Wensday [when] the united States frigate potomac left her Moorines [moorings] in front of the united States arsenal under the command of comerder John Downes i have never heard of the Malays robbing or Murdering any of the American vessels or crew after that
3 united states schooners imbark from washington navy yard one wher commanded by lieutenant Wiliam P pearssy one wher commanded by lieutenant carry Seldon Jr the son of the late Major Seldon sr formrly Wher naval Store keeper at the washington navy yard and the third schooner was commanded by lieutenant kennedy i don't know wether Mr pearssy was senior officer or Mr kenady they imbark on the 17 of June 1831 on friday i shal never forget that day Mr inch sent me out that day in a battor with some canvass hose to them vessels Jest as the vessels were getting ready to go away and i put the hose on Board the vessel and i got so drunk when started to come a shore instead of coming to the yard the Boat drifted down towards the popplars point poor lieutenant Seldon made the men lower one of his boats down to bring me back to the yard they brought me back to the yard and i was completely i went a round the ordeinary house and there was a lader laing ther [ladder laying] by ordernary Basil Brown 36 Wher the Cook of the ordernary at that time he sugested to me and i Bet you cant take this loder on your
neck and go round the yard and Bellow like a Bull i sais to Bassil stop i want to carry some light wood over to the Navy Store first i taken a piece of the beam of a frigate and i taken it out of that bottom where the camBuse [camboose]36a shop is no at that time it wher caul rotten row i takein the piece of Beam and carry it over to the navy store and throw it down in the store at that time Mr James adams Wher naval store Clerk at washington navy yard and he said then What the matter With old Mike he has Bein Wher the Sun Shines hot after i came out of the store i went over to ordanary and got my ladder ten feet long and then i went a long by the Captins house and every Step i made i went like a wild varment and when i made i went towards the gate i change my voice to a Whip poor will and at that the painters Wher painting the Docters House i went to the Docters gate and tried to get in to the Docters gate and tried with the ladder around my neck i found that i couldn t get in that away i taking the ladder off of my neck and left outside and i met Mr inch at the door sais he what is the mater Mike and i made one yel caught hold of the door and but a hanel out the door and Mr inch sias i believe me mike going crazy and they were a collerd man in the house of the [name] of Jim Sims he told Jim to catch hold of me and i Clinch him and i flung him Clear down in the basement and at that time the porches belong to those quarters wher separate
by this time the bell rang for twelve and i had got out side of the Docters and had my lad der a round my neck and i started from the Docters house down the yard and as i came to a long by the flag staf and i met first lieutenant Joseph Crooss Second lieutenant Cook and the Master work man and Merchanics they all were going out to diner and the next men i met wher my master Mr hourard [Howard] and at that time wher Clerk of the yard he caught holde of the ladder and sais this fellow got the devil in him he has had the devil im him for 3 weeks he hung on to the lad der and i carried him from the flag staf clear a round to the orderna ry house and when i was going along with the lad der i hardly felt that he had hold of the lad der and we got around to the ordanary house Mr houard got tried at me and they wher a kick rug broom setting up by the ordernary house37 Mr hourard taking hold of this broom he stuck me over the face and eyes with it and sais you out dacious [audacious] scamp what do you mean i jump at him38 and made a yell he struck me with the broom over the face and eyes and in them days it was cauled a snout and grouter and by this time captin Aulick came along and he Cauled to me to come him ask me what was the matter with me. i told him that i was drunk sire captin Aulick told me to step to the gate with the Merrines until i got sober i told captin Aulick he was a officer and he had eagle buttons on and i jump down in the dust on my hands and feet rap my head into the dust Made one yell and captin
Aulick sais I believe the fellow is crazy any how and at that time the relieve was coming up and captin aulick cauld the merines and itold him that i didnt want to go with the merines and i woutent go with them and the corpral of the guard By the name of lee a irish man by birth he takeing hold of me Corpral lee and me and his gun Both fell to the ground and we Broke our holds and got up the merines of the guards had me by the hands and feet and lee got so mad that he stuck his Baynet in my left shoulder and commerder Hull was standing at the corner of the ofices and told them not to hurt him and take me along carefully and at last Mr [Marmaduke] Dove the Sailin master had to take me up to the guard house they ironed me Hand and Foot and put me in the cels some of the Mehcanic lost ther diner that day it was a complete JuBerlee and nex moring on the 18 they Brought me out before captin aulic they wher 2 sargeant and 2 private Brought me out and Captin aulick ask me what was the matter with me yester day i told him that i was drunk Sire Well what do you think ought to be done with you anny thing that captin the officers choses to do with me you went a holering aBout the yard yesterday like a crazy fillow dont let me heare anny more of it Shiner he said Mr Dove dont let Shiner have anny moor grog to day and Captin told me go and report your selve to Mr inch Master painter for duty the oficers where kind too they never stop my libity when i youster get tight i Merly done it to have fun i never done
it to hav anny ill feeling against anny man white or black and on the 18 of January 1831 on saturday comerder Hull and captin aulick39 and first lieutenant Joseph Cross and second lieutenant Cook a son in law of Mr James owner sr formely Master Ship Builder of the Washington Navy yardand Sailing Master Marma Duke Dove that time of teh Washington Navy yard the comerder and these oficers granted me my liberty again and as i wher going home that eveing Before i got to my Masters house i saw one of the children and it came up to me then he letf me and Ran back to the hous sais he grand Mother Mikes is a Coming and all way i was going towards the hous i said com home com home come home and Jest as i got Righ a gainst the door My olde Mistess Wher Standing in the doore with a Stick in her hand and She had 3 good Raps at Me sais She owe you nigger villian come home is it now i wonder wher he got that at that some others new thing that nigger Brougt a Bout here ow red eyed nigger look at his eyes is red as a cock tairapin you niger you i am not a fraid of yous sais she for Thommas and Nancy spiles every nigger they have this lady was the Mother of Master Tommy howard Sr Master Thommas houward and Mrs nancy houward they wher as finer a Misteress and Master that ever wher born may the lord Bless them and i hope they are at Rest and may the lord grant that i may see them [illegable] in peac40
the 16th day of December 1831on friday night the wind Blow from the north west with out intermission it Bloed So that night that the winder blinds got lose from ther buckkles and they Shatered six or seven large lights larg light of glass twelv by 18 ½ on the seventeen of December 1831 on Saturday the wind continu to Blow and it came with a huricane and in puffs the Bell rang as usual at Sun rise on the 17 after all the fiers wher made comerder Hull had them all put out and they were no work in the yard that day Comerder Hull had the yard closed that day for feer of fiers takein place commerder hull had 3 or 4 larg holes cut in the River and the engines putout in case fier Should take place Right Below comerders ofice that is how those preparations Wher made there by comerder Hull so they wher no person worked in the washington navy yard But Mr Phillip P inch and my Selve held the ladder while mr inch put those larg light of glass in. It was cold er nuf that day to freese anny thing that fell particlar anny things like water
The Death of James pumphrey Sr the 3 day of march 1832 on Saturday in washington died in washington Sargent Major alexandria forrest the 11 day of March 1832 on Sunday Sargent Major forrest a on commissiond oficer beloning to the Staff and the Sargent Major wher burid on the 12 day of march 1832 on Monday and Jest as the burin Started they Came up an awful hail Storm and it hail nearly 20 minues wout [without] intermis sion i never shal for get it as as i live for mr thomas nokes and my Selve were in the paint Shop in washington navy yard on that day and the rest of the painters Wher Working up at the larbertary and when the hail can it appeard like it Struck the Ship house first and i said Mr nokes lord What is that and a few minutes after that Between the paint shop and the Riggin loft you could go and Spade the hail up by the Spade full some of it was as larg as a small hen egg on wher it had a fair play at the houses it made the glass fly particular those houses that hadent anny blinds or Shades to them
in 1832 was a great Tuberlle [Trouble] with the painterr after the Hail Storm
the united States Schooner experiment wher launched in washington navy yard in the uper ship house the 14 of March 1832 on wensday and built by a old gentelman by the name of Winslow from new york She wher built without knees and her Seames wher caulkd with poplar Wedges and White lead and cotton then she wher fitted out at the yard. The officers that wher attached to her wher captin Wiliam Mervine and first Lieutenant Franklin Buckhannan and other surboarderate oficers the guner of the schooner experiment wher mr John martin Received his appointment from the Honable Major genral Andrew Jackson preident of the united States the 31 day of march 1832 on the day befor she sailed from the yard She wher visited by the Hon Major genral Andrew Jackson preident of the united States and his cabnet and difrent Senorters and Reprantative from difrent States the honable levi wood Berry [Levi Woodbury] Wher Sectertary of the Navy at that time and he wher a Honable and accomplished gentelman for he issued a proclamation in 1831 [illegible] to the navy
that all the seamen that wher on ships of war and the Merrines and all that wher in ordanary chose to stop ther grog that the goverment would alow them six 6 cents per day for it in aBout the Middle of april 1832 the united States schooner experiment Sail from washington navy yard and hadent retired [?] Many days Befor she had to return again and get fitted out with knees and beams
the time the colery broke out in about June and July august and September 1832 it Raged in the City of washington and evry day they wher twelve or 13 carried out to they graves a day and that wher small number to what died in diferent parts of the cuntry a day the sun rised and set Red prineerpally all that year out and two Black Spots could Be discovered disstint in the Sun about the size of a dollar i Believe that where a token of the deseas i never shal forget Docter Boyd the last part of august 1832 in the washington navy yard had a firm Sollid peace of fresh beef he had it run up to the flag sSaff at night and next morning when it were hauld down it wher Black and green and that convince the people that deseas wher in the air41
i never shal forget in october 1832 genral Scott arived home from the idian War to new york he hadnt bein long in new york befor he was orderard By the Honable Major genral Andrew Jackson president of the united States then after he arrived in Washington to received his orders from the president to go down to South Carolinene without delay the instruction that he received from the president honorab Carried out to the saisfactory to the government and the people without the lost of life and may the lord grant that south Caroliner and all the other states Cling to one another with the assistance of the Almighty god42 launching of the united States Revernu Cutter Jackson the 29 day of november 1832 on Thursday and Built at the washington navy yard by the Constructor Colnal Wiliam doughty and built in the upper Ship house The death of Mr Thomas howard Sr Died the 5 of December 1832 on Wensday in Washington formly clerk of the washington navy yard
the united states Revennu cuter Jackson Sailed from washington Navy yard the 5 day of January 1833 on monday under the command captin Sands the united States Treasury ofice Burnt down the 31 day of march 1833 between twelve and one oclock on Saturday an awful fier it gave such a light that you could see the paper flying in the air from the Building
The united States Revinner Marion Sailed from Washington Navy Yard under the command of captin Jones the 1 day of april 1833 on monday
A disturbance occured Between the Hon Major genral Andrew Jackson president of the united States and mr Randolph on Board of a Steam Boat at alaxandria virginia the 6 day of may 1833 on monday general Jackson didnt mind that he wher his way to Richmond to lay a conner Stone he wher accompanied by some of his cabinet and lieutenant colnal Charles Broom of the Merrines
and captin Wiliam Ramsey of the united states navy the genral Said the scondrel let me cane him and they wher after mr Randolph but they couldnt catch him a great excitement prevailin alexandria and Washington that morning but nevertheless the genral pursuit his way down to Richmand like a man as he wher and states man and gentelman and Soldger and as as greatest one that ever step ther foot in the field and thank god allmighty above all he wouldnt let one article of the federal constitution be trampled under foot if he knew it he wher as honest upright man as ever lived he paid no respect to persons while ever they done Right
the 5 day of June 1833 on wensday my Wife and Childdren philis Shiner [Phillis Shiner] wher sold to couple of gentelman Mr Franklin and mr John armfield and wher caried down to alexandria on the Six day of June 1833 on Thursday the 7 day of June 1833 on friday i went to alexandria 3 times in one day over the long Bridge and i wher in great distress But never the less with the assistance of god i got My Wife and Childdren Clear
they wher a Sad acident occured in Washington navy yard to germmen man by the name of Slake in Deck of the upper Ship House wher they whor Driving piles slake wher orderd to shove the pile out the poor fellow wher a green hand and in stead of him shovin it oft with something else he takein his head to push it oft and his head wher caught in between the plains and pile and his head wher takein right oft of his shoulders on the 18 day of June 1839 on tuesday in all those days that passed and gone the pile driving wher superindend by the Master Joiner when this accident ocured comodore Isaac Hull wher present and Captain John h. Aulick and first lieutenant Joseph Hull and Sailin Master Maramaduke Dove Boat swain David eaton
and mr thomas lindle that wher Master Joiner of washington navy yard wher present at that time and Mr John Smoot Sr quaterman to mr lindle wher presnt at that time
i am under ten thousand oblagation to the Hon major genral Ham lin for his kindness to me and my Wife and Children43 on the 7 day of June 1833 on friday the General laid a Detachment44 on my Wife and 3 childdren at mr armfield Jail and takein them from ther and put them in the county Jail of alexandria to wait action of the court and my wife and childdren Reemained in the county Jail in alexandria from the 7 of June 1833 until the eleven of June 1833 on Tusday and the Same day Mr levy pumphrey exacuted papers and Manermited them free the papers wher exacuted at the City Hall in washington she [Phillis Shiner ] came up from alexandria on the 12 day of June 1833 on wensday and i am allso under oblagations to Mr Steil and Mrs Steil for ther kindness to my Wife and Childdren while they wher in the Jail and may the allmighty Bless them they gave me such a Race at that time that all the people that wher acquainted with the affair in alexandria wher sorry for me and appeard to be wiling to Relieve me of my disstress45
i am under Great oblagation to Comodore isaac Hull for the time my Wife wher Sold to george he had command of the washington navy yard foer his kindness to me and allso to Captain John H Aulic46 for his kindness to when my wife were Sold to george and allso to captain Joseph Hull for his kindness to me at that time he wher first lieutenant of the washington navy yard and also under the same obligation to Major Cary Seldon who wher Naval Store Keepper and allso to Mr. John etheridge which at that time was Comodores clerk and allso to David eaton Boat swain
all those above name gentelman all of them wher wiling to help me out my my disstresses in a honest up right way when my Wife and Childdren wher snacht away from me and sold on the 5 day of June 1833 on wensday from near West alley between 7 and eighth st east May the lord Bless them all i shal never forget them
Mr John Judge a irish man by Birth Received his orders from the navy Department on the 18 day of october 1833 at washington navy yard on Thursday that his serrices wher no more Required Mr Judge wher Master of the Machinery and patend makein
Mr Wiliam ellis engineer Takein charge of the Machinery and engine of the washington navy yard the 17 of October 1833 on friday and wher master of his Business when he came to the Navy yard they wasnt But one engine and before Mr ellis left he constructed some engine in Washington Navy yard that are hard to Beat Ther are two engines in the washington Navy yard that are in the Copper Rolling Mill that wher Built by Mr. William ellis and the engine over to the ordnance Shop47
The Metors fell from the elements the 12 of November 1833 on Thursday in washington it frightened the people half to Death48
Starting of a large no 1 engin and all the machinery the 28 day of october 1834 on thursday She caried all the machinery that wher atached to her eight saws wher a going and two trip hammers one after another and all the Machinery throughout the Building. she carried it with the greates of ease i believe she would of carried as much again if it had wher started and all of the machinery by mr Bush and Co comodore Isaac Hull wher present and captain John galico and first lieutenant William J Belt and Sailin Master Mamaduke dove and boat swain David eaton and mr Bash and Co and mr William ellis wher present the engin and the Machinery proved entirely sacisfactory to the Department and to commodore Hull and his oficers After that mr wiliam ellis Started from that time improved the yard in Machinery at Washington navy yard
The Death of thomas lindle in washington the ninth day of November 1834 on Sunday at that time wher Master Joinner of the washington navy yard
Joseph C pagget a Ship Carpenter by trade fell From the larbard side of united States frigate Columbia in washington navy yard he [fell] off the stage that led into one spare Deck ports and he never stop untel he Reached the Slip poor fellow he hollered manfully on the 11 day of may 1835 on Monday moring at sun Rise mr pagget never came out no untel august and he is a smart tractable man as anny you can scare up in washington or out of washington49
they wher a great turn out of the Merlicia [Militia] in washington on the 27 day of June 1835 on saturday they wher the Ragedis white people that ever i saw in my life and they uniforms was of old rags and them that wher officer they aplelts wher of cowes hoofs and they had Drums and fifes and they had clare inets ther Drums wher composed of olde tin pans and olde pots and all kinds of olde sheet iron and they fluts clare inets and fifes and bugles wher composed of Rams horn and oyster horns
and they Marched all trough the City that day Befor the day wher spent they started to pay a visit to the presidents Mansion But the Hon Major genral Andrew Jackson not bein in favor of tramplin The law down under ther feet the gates wher closed on them and the genral wouldnt receive them then they Taken up they line of March on the presidents Mansion to the Navy yard to pay comodore Hull a visit and the Comodore had the gates Closed on Them They Marched a round on the Hill until a hour or two befor Sun then of the perrade they gatherd up near the navy yard gate at a Tav ern on 8 st kept by the name of Mr John Free and ther it ended with a fight it was so gooder man and gooder Boy Richard allen belong to it and Noble Clemons Thomas Parker and Mr John Rainbow and great manny Moore of them and i forget ther names and at that time they had commenced Rebuilding the Columbia friggte and at that time great many strange carpenters here from difrent parts of the country
the 28 day of July 1835 Tuesday they wher a great excitement prevailed in the washington navy yard a Bout some Compersision [compression] pins that wher forged in the Black Smith Shop they were a great many of them missin and they couldent give no account what became of them and they were orders given for them to keep a look out and to Deteced the person that were caught takein them and they caught the man at Dinner hour and he got outside of the gate before the sargent could catch him. i never shall forget the Sargent of the guard that day were sargent Denison But they were a united States warrent issued for the man and that night they caught the man and Brought him over and put him in Jail at that time they Wher rebuilding the Columbia frigate and the next day after this affair comodore Hull issued a [order] that no Mechanics or labores should not eat there Dinners in anny of those shops in Dinener hour and that time they were ship carpinters here from diferent parts of the country at work on the collumbia [Columbia] frigate and they got insilted at the ordes that50
Commodore Hull ishsared and evry one of them struck and said they wouldnt work anny moore and at the same time they wher collered man from Baltirmoore by the name of isral Jones a caulker by Trade he was the foman Caulker51 of those Colerded Caulkers and they wher fifteen or twenty of them here at that time Caulkin on the Col lumbia and the Carpinters made all of them knock oft two them and i the height of this excitement they were a Rumor flying around about a colered man by the name of Snow about a expression he had made about the Mechanics wifes god kowes wether he said those things or not and at that time snow kept a Restaurant on the Corner of six street and pennsilvanian west in the cellar and at the time all the Mechanics of classes gathered into snows Restaurant and broke him up Root and Branch and they were after snow but he flew for his life and that night after they had broke snow up they threatened to come to the navy yard after commodore Hull
But they didnt come that night and the nex day commodore Hull Received orders from the navy department from the Hon secretary of the navy Mr levy wood bury to fortify the yard52
in such a provision to protect all the government property Therin and him selve at Risk of all hazards and the yard were as well fortified as anny place i ever saw less then not time it were in a fighting condition by commodore Hull i dont believe they were going to be trouble to the yard they done it to tantalize commodore Hull in all this excitement the 7 of August 1835 on friday it was reported that Mrs Doctor Thornton young Mulat to man said that he was going to knock his Mistress in the head with axe and he were arrested and put in the Jail still the mob raged with great vigor and as fast as they were arrested they were lodged in Jail on the 8 day of August 1835 on saturday the mob surrounded the Jail and swear they would pull the Jail down and the Constable makin threats they said their objects was to get Mrs Thortons Mullateto man52a out and to hang him with out Judge or juror and evry effort was made by the Marshal of the District and the united States District Artoneny lawer Frances key Sr and the Hon53
Wiliam A Bradly that wher Mayo[r] of washington at that time evry efert wher made by the oficers to preserve peace and harmony among these men but all of it appeard in vain and they wher not surfichient Milertary force to guard the Jail and orders came down from the navy department to lieut Colnal Henderson that were at that time lieutenant colnal of the Merrine Core by the Hon Seceritary of the Navy levy Wood Berry to send a Detachment of united States Merrines without Delay to the guard the united States Jail in washington and lieutenant Colnal henderson complied speedly the Merines went up to the Jail on 8 august 1835 on Saturday and they done ther duty without faction or fav or. When this great excitement Commence the Hon Major genral Andrew Jackson that wher president of the united States that time Wher absent from the City and When it got in it height the general arrived home and after he arrived home he sent a Messenge to those gentelmen Merchanics to know what was the Matter with them
and if they wher anny thing he could do for them in an Hon [honorable] way to promote ther happiness he would do so some of repliyed to the genral that the negros had made diferent threats what they could do the general reply was to them by ertern nal god in this City there wher a Jail and a court and if those negros had violated anny law what ever they shal be tried by the court and punish serverly and gentelmen if you have in anny disposion to Rebelment to let me know it and i will lend you a hand in it and the general prevailed on all the oficers of the armmy and the navy to stand watch and watch and all the good citizens to preserve the law By the eternnal god the law must be preserved and shal be preserve at the [illegible] of Hazerds captain Wiliam Ramsay Sr united States navy wher on the Padrole and various other oficers of the armmy and navy the good Citizens of washington in a couple of weeks they had the City of washington as quite as a Church and the laws wher all respected and evry thing went on quietely
on the 12 day of august 1835 on wensday night those gangs had nearly expired but they gather in the 6 ward made a great cheering and the century [sentry?] that wher on the wall at the navy yard gave the Report to commodore Hull that those men wher coming and evry man were at his post in the yard from the Roll of the drum but those fellows Jest done it for to tanti lise comanodore hull they hadent no notion of comint to the yard and at that time in washington navy yard there wher 2 92 pound Canonade wher placed at the flag staff and ther Muzels right out the gate and charged heavily with grape and canister and if they had of Run compeled to discharge loads out of these they would of tore garison trects all to pieces and all houses out But thank god god every thing wher settled peaceBlelly without that and after this flurry they still continued working on the Columbia frigate
on the 25 day of august 1835 on tuesday the Cars started for the first time from washington to Baltimore and hold passel [of] people went and the councilman and the alldermen went free pasage to Baltimoore and back
among those posingers whe sailing master Mamaduke Dove of the united States navy
after all this mob wher over the Wife of the men that wher coght with the Copper in the washington navy yard she went to the Hon Major geeral andrew Jackson that were president of the united States at that time Crying with Tears in her eyes to the genral asking him Couldnt he Release her Husband from the Jail and he wher in the Jail and hadent had his trial yet and the generals Reply was to the woman to go home my good Womman and make your selve easy your hus band hadnt had his trial yet i have no demands over him yet for he is to be tried by 12 men and if he convicted and found guilty and then he falls in my hands and i will carry in the one door and bring him out the other an the man was wher convicted and found guilty and convicted sentence by the Judge and that tru hearted Honoble Major general andrew Jackson complied with his promise that he made to that poor Womman for the man were turned loose and went to his famly
on the 6 of September 1835 on Sunday they wher one half of us ran out of the yard we belonge to the ordinary at that time by 1 lieutenant William J Bell who wher 1 lieutenant of the washington navy yard at that time and then we hadn't had rain out of the yard before for 3 Weeks and better and as i where going i cauled at the guard house and i Borrowed a Dollar from a Merrine and his name wher Wheeler and he wher a watch maker by Trade now sais he dont get drunk Mike as you have repented in the yard so long you may get tight and i said know sir i want to let you know you may depend i got as tight as i could get pretty near and i got so Wild on Capitol Hill they jumped on me and i had to fight my way down until i got to the Catholic Church and when i got there all the people where going in the Church and i Made noise and holle like a hound and me and Mr van Horsix came out after me sais com Shiner go a way from here you are a bad fellow i got down on my hands and knees and poored up the gravel and told mr van horse six that i
wasent going to hurt him then i made a noise like a Cat before i left and i told mr van horse no if could lay dead spirits he couldent lay live one then he told me go off you Scamp you drunk and i went off verry quitely after he told me But after i came to my [illegible] senses i were sorry i came by the Church But nevertheless after i left the Church i fell in contact with some fellows and they want to take me anny how and i fought my way trough them Clear down on the navy yard. Hill and when i got down on the hill they doubled teamd on me down at forerest conner they pelted me with stones and brick bats and some them bounce off of me as some as i lined with the injin Rubber and i fought my way up as far as Mr nokes ally in front of the center house they had to caul out the Merrines to help Take me they Takin Tho and this Shot at me from [illegible] house and the ball Crazed some wher by the Censer [Sentry] house but they takein me that night and put me in
The lock up house and they had put some drunking wom man in ther and i Broke out of the lockup house then let the olde wom man out then they Sur roundered me with their forces that night and put me back again and Mr Bury wher police oficer of the 6 ward and i wher Brought out next morning on the 7 of September 1835 on monday and brought before mr James Marshal54 Madistrate and mr. Marshal came out of his doore with to try the case in the street and i ask mr Marshal where was his ofice and mr Marshal then [said] it was the United States case and he wouldnt try it that it must be Retried by Docter Clark then the case where brought up for Witness they had to the lockup house again and kept me in the lockup until sun down then they tried the case and Doctor Clark sais gentelman you all have appeared against this colord man and i dont see a scratch of pin on anny of you
now gentelmen Who are going to pay this man master for beating him up with Brick Bats55 and Stones Docter Clark said iam not going to be Humbug [?] in this way anny longer for i will give this man up to commodore Hull Mr Bury take mike in the yard and give him up to the commodore and this was after sun down and Bury police oficer takein in me in the yard and giv me up to first lieutenant William J. Belt and Bury said Mr Belt here Shiner sire the squire has sent him to the yard sire and lieutenant Belt said oh Shiner you have bein wher the sun shines a lot again go along Shiner down to the orenary house On the 8 day of September i went to my Work in the paint Shop on Tuesday and Captain galico Came by the Riggin loft and Cauled to mr inch Master painter and told him to send that Shiner out ther and when i came out Befor the captain which sais the Captain i let you out on libity sunday and you went fighting all over the City then the captain ask me was i fighting told yes sire i fought all i know how for they wher fighting me
[End of Manuscript]
First quote: Critic-Record, Washington, DC, September 12, 1873, second quote: Report of Committees of the House of Representatives for the Second Session of the Forty-Second Congress. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1872. [See Shiner testimony on pages 471-473.]
2. District of Columbia Department of Education, Special Report of the Commissioner of Education on the Condition of Public Schools in the District of Columbia, Submitted to the Senate June 6, 1868 and to the House with Additions June 13, 1870. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1870): 215, 221.
3. Significant racial tension was evident at the Washington Navy Yard from its beginning as the Navy Department attempted with limited success to manage a workforce consisting of white mechanics and laborers, free African Americans and significant numbers of slaves. See Dudley, page 524 and Sharp pages 16-17.
4. Commandant Isaac Hull's letter to the Naval Board of Commissioners, dated 5 April 1830, National Archives and Records Administration RG 45.
5. Commandant Isaac Hull's letter to the Board of Naval Commissioners, dated 8 May 1829, National Archives and Records Administration RG 45.
6. Navy Yard Hill was for most of the 19th century the residential area immediately around the Washington Navy Yard. Capitol Hill was the name for the area as far east as 6th Street Southeast, after which it was called Navy Yard Hill.
7. The Congressional Cemetery was established in 1802. Among the cemetery founders was Commodore Thomas Tingey. Many of the early employees of Washington Navy Yard are buried within its grounds, including Thomas Howard, Michael Shiner's master. The cemeteries of Washington DC, like nearly everything else in the District were strictly segregated with African Americans excluded until well into the 20th century. Michael Shiner was buried in Beckelts Cemetery on January 17, 1880, Archives of the District of Columbia, District of Columbia, Death Certificate, number 22895.
8. Lloyd Pumphrey, 1795 -1838 the son and heir of William Pumphrey was a District of Columbia building contractor.
9. The United States Army in June 1812, totaled just 6,744 officers and men. While the Congress had authorized a greater force for later that year, the country still relied on the militia system of uniformed state citizen-soldiers who were all volunteers with their own elected officers. Uniforms and weapons were supplied either by the men themselves or by their officers. The Washington Navy Yard had its own Navy Yard Rifle Company (later named Stull's Rifle Company), but like most militia companies, the Yard's unit had more enthusiasm than military skill. Benjamin Latrobe who knew the Yard well wrote (1807) that "Upon the whole I find that Navy Yard cannot produce a single good rifleman" See 1834, page 57 of the diary for Michael Shiner's comments on another group of District militia.
10. Wheelers Ferry was located across the Anacostia River.
11. Commodore Joshua Barney 1759-1818 was born in Baltimore, MD. He fought in numerous engagements in the American Revolution. Barney also fought in the War of 1812 and took part in the defense of Washington. He was badly wounded at the Battle of Bladensburg and taken prisoner by the British. Barney died in 1818 while traveling to his new property in Pittsburgh, PA.
12. The Battle of Bladensburg, MD, was fought on 24 August 1814. During the engagement the American militia and regular army units were defeated by British troops, and British forces were able to enter Washington, DC and burn the Capitol and White House. Commodore Thomas Tingey and other Navy Yard employees burned the Washington Navy Yard less it fall into British hands. The battle was derisively referred to as the "Bladensburg Races" due to the overwhelming British victory and hasty American retreat.
13. The Congreve rocket was named for the inventor William Congreve. The rocket consisted of an iron case of black power for propulsion and either an explosive or incendiary charge. The warheads were attached to wooden guide poles and were launched in pairs. They could be fired up to two miles although at any range they were fairly inaccurate and had a tendency to prematurely explode. They were as much a psychological weapon as a physical one for they were rarely if ever used except alongside other types of artillery. They were used at Battle of Fort McHenry, hence the "rockets' red glare" in our National Anthem.
14. The freezing cold and disease Michael Shiner refers to is confirmed in local and national records. In 1815 Mount Tambura on the island of Sumbawa (modern Indonesia) erupted killing perhaps 100,000 people and throwing immense amounts of ash and volcanic particles into the earth's atmosphere which led to drastic changes in weather patterns around the world. The year 1816 became know as "the poverty year," "eighteen hundred and froze to death," and "the year with no summer." Temperatures in Washington DC in June and July of 1816 were only in the low 60's. The damage to local crops and livestock caused by killing freezes in July and August drove farm prices up (e.g. oats went from 12 cents to 92 cents a bushel) and caused wide spread hunger and malnutrition among the poor of the District, leading to outbreaks of disease. The situation did not begin to improve until 1817.
15. Descriptions and records of weather occupy a large portion of Shiner's manuscript and were a major interest, and an important factor in his work life, and that of his colleagues. Changes in weather were crucial since most Washington Navy Yard employees worked out of doors, especially laborers and slaves. The workforce was primarily composed of per diem workers, and the practice at Washington Navy Yard and other federal shipyards was to retain only the absolute number of these men necessary for a given shop to operate or complete a ship repair. Accurate weather observations were therefore useful in projecting the number and types of workers required. Cold weather meant that large numbers of laborers (unlike carpenters painters and blacksmiths who could work indoors in a shop or shed) would be laid off until warmer weather made outdoor projects feasible. Early records reflect this trend as work was often reduced by 20% or more during the winter months (American State Papers, Volume 1: 848). Commandant Isaac Hull recognized this as a problem and did his best to keep as many laborers on the station rolls through the winter as possible observing that: "They have large families and can not make a cent to support them except what they receive from their labor at this yard. If I discharge them now I see no way for them to live through the winter." Maloney, Linda M. The Captain from Connecticut: The Life and Naval Times of Isaac Hull. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1986 p. 422.
16. The Reverend Payton's full name was Yelverton T. Peyton (1797 - 1831). He was the pastor of the Ebenezer Methodist Church in 1822 and 1823 when Michael Shiner attended the watch service he records. Lloyd Pumphrey and various members of his family were members of Ebenezer Methodist Church. Phillis Shiner and her children were slaves of the Pumphrey family. The Ebenezer Methodist Church was locate between 4th and G Streets. A "watch meeting" also known as a watch night service, is the New Year service where the many Methodist and other District churches congregations met to pray in the New Year. This information was kindly supplied by Ms. Gale Munro; see also Ferguson, W. M. (Rev.), Methodism in Washington.
17. Colonel William Doughty 1773 -1859 worked for many years as a naval constructor (similar to naval architect) at the Washington Navy Yard. He was popular among many Washington Navy Yard mechanics and laborers, and was supportive of the 1835 strike. That same year, Washington Navy Yard Commandant Isaac Hull appealed to the Board of Naval Commissioners unsuccessfully to have Doughty removed. William Doughty's career as a shipbuilder was long and very successful. In 1850 his real property was stated to be worth $35,000 (Source: 1850 US census of Washington, DC.).
18. Benjamin King (1764-1840) was for many years the Washington Navy Yard's Master Blacksmith. King was born on the Isle of Man and immigrated to the United States as a young man. King was first appointed Master Blacksmith in 1804 by Commodore Thomas Tingey and by 1817 his annual salary was $1,500.00 per year. King did much of the early iron work for the nation's capitol and held numerous District public offices. As Master Blacksmith, he supervised the anchor shop, which employed as many as 19 slaves (including 5 owned and leased to Washington Navy Yard by King). In 1830, Washington Navy Yard Commandant Isaac Hull unsuccessfully appealed to the Board of Naval Commissioners to remove Benjamin King for alleged incompetence. Benjamin King was later demoted to a non-supervisory position. King died in 1840 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
19. The Long Bridge was built in 1808 and was a toll bridge. The bridge was nearly a mile in length and by the late 1820's, the time of Michael Shiner journey, the bridges wood supports had begun to rot, making walking precarious.
20. The Washington Navy Yard Daily Log for 1827 provides the official Yard account of the fire at Alexandria, Virginia, Thursday, 18 January 1827 - These 24 hours fresh gales from the N.W. very severe cold frost morning. Laborers Riggers Ordinary Men Carts & Oxen working as above until half past 11 o'clock A.M. when Bell rung a letter from the Secretary of the Navy read aloud to the Workmen requesting Commandant Tingey to send all the force within his power to Alexandria to extinguish a large fire that took place there; the men took two fire engines and proceeded to Alexandria where they arrived about two o'clock; at about 3 o'clock they had orders from Capt. Booth to proceed home with the fire engines as all fire was extinguished by the exertions of the people of Alexandria City of Washington & Georgetown; they got the engines back to the Navy Yard about 5 o'clock PM. One of the Engineers got broke in some respect in going down but was temporary mended.
21. The mizzen mast was the after most mast in a three masted ship. The shrouds were standing rigging which stretched from the side of the ship to the mast, which, together with the staysails, held the mizzen mast vertical.
22. Rigging Screws were used to hold rigging. This was the general name used to hold masts, spars.
23. Samuel Southard was Secretary of the Navy from 16 September 1823 to 3 March 1929.
24. "[Page 20] Friday - Independence Day Chesapeake and Ohio Canal commenced. . .Between seven and eight this morning I went with my son John to the Union Hotel of Georgetown where were assembling the President and Director of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, the Mayor and Committees of the Corporations of Washington, Georgetown and Alexandria. The Heads of the Departments, foreign ministers and a few other invited persons. About eight o'clock a procession was formed and proceeded by a Band of music to the wharf where we embarked in the Steam boat Surprise; followed by two others we proceeded to the entrance of the Potomack Canal and up there on canal boats . . . to a spot selected for breaking the ground. The President of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal with a very short address delivered to me the Spade with which I broke the ground addressing the surrounding auditory consisting perhaps of two thousand persons. It happened that at first stroke of the spade it met immediately under the surface with a large stump of tree, after repeating the stroke three or four times without making any impression, I threw off my coat and resuming the Spade, raised a shovel full of the Earth, at which a general shout broke forth from the surrounding multitude, and I completed my address which occupied about fifteen minutes. . . [Page 21] . . . The incident that chiefly relieved me was the obstacle of the stump, which met and rejected the spade and my casting off my coat to overcome the resistance - It struck the eye and fancy of the spectators, more then all the rhetoric in my speech and diverted their attention from the stammering haste taken of a deficient memory."
John Quincy Adams diary 36, 1 January 1825 - 30 September 1830, pages 20 and 21 [electronic edition]. The Diaries of John Quincy Adams: A Digital Collection. Boston, MA: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2004. [Available online at http://www.masshist.org/jqadiaries.]
25. Commodore Thomas Tingey (like many prosperous naval officers) owned a number of slaves. In the 1820 District of Columbia U.S. census, he is described as owning five slaves. His slave footman was not the first to feel his wrath. Tingey was a rough and even brutal master; something of his attitude toward his slaves can be glimpsed in his 1821 reward notice for his runaway slave, Sukey Dean:
Whereas my servant Surrey calling herself Sukey Dean is strolling about the city, or in the vicinity sometimes attempting to hire herself out as a free women asserting she has my assent to do so; neither are true. She is short thick women of a yellow complexion now advancing to forty years of age, is a very good family cook, washes and irons well and understands the management of same - in short if her tongue were safely extracted she would be a most excellent servant. She has been a short time at the residence of Samuel H. Smith Esq. but finding that I assented to her remaining there immediately left. But whosoever will secure her in jail or otherwise of the three days advertisement in the city newspapers sells her at public venue for cash shall have on fourth of what she sells for in full cash less any charges.
Navy Yard Washington
16 August 1821)
26. At sea the boatswain would use a "starter," which was the end of thickly mounted rope to hit, whip or strike sailors to induce them to do something. In this instance it clearly appears to have been used to discipline Washington Navy Yard slaves.
27. Commodore John Rodgers (1772-1837) had a long and distinguished naval career. He served in both the Quasi War with France and in the War of 1812, and was later President of The Board of Naval Commissioners. The Board was a United States Navy administrative body in existence from 1815 to 1842, with responsibility for the Navy's material support. Commodore Rodgers was President of the Board from 1815 to 1824 and again from 1827 to1837.
28. The 1870 report on District of Columbia Schools (see page 274) gives the location as near "Eight Street between N and O Street in the Northern section of the City a location known as 'Nigger Hill' at that time center of a large colored population."
29. The Piscataway Creek is a tributary of the Potomac River located in Prince Georges County, Maryland.
30. From the Washington Navy Yard's surviving Daily Station Logs for the year 1828 there are two entries recording Michael Shiner activities. For Saturday 27 December1828, the officer of the watch, recorded: "Michael Shiner who has liberty out from Wednesday till Friday Morning has not come to the yard" Again on Sunday 28 December 1828, we read: " This day pleasant airs from the SW and fair weather. Michael Shiner got home this evening."
31. Traditionally the term Jolly Boat refers a boat carried on a ship, powered by 4 or six oars and occasionally yawl rigged sails.
32. Salvadore Catalano was a native of Palermo, Sicily. He served as pilot to Captain Stephen Decatur during the Navy's burning of Tripoli during Barbary Pirate Wars. On Captain Decatur's return to the Washington Navy Yard, Catalano chose to stay with the US Navy and was promoted to sailing-master. He worked for many years at the Yard and Michael Shiner would have known him well. He died 4 March 1846.
33. Commodore Isaac Hull commanded the Washington Navy Yard from 31 March 1829 to 1 October 1835.
34. The new Yard Commandant, Isaac Hull, made many changes upon assuming command in 1829. Isaac Hull was a former Captain of the USS Constitution and hero of the War of 1812. He was known for running a "tight ship", in contrast to Commandant Tingey (who was popular with the men) and was of a more taciturn disposition. In 1835, he was nearly 60 years old and suffering from acute hearing loss due to his many exposures to cannon and shell noise. After his appointment as Commandant, Hull rapidly found that mechanics at the Yard enjoyed many freedoms he was unfamiliar with in setting work priorities. Hull's subsequent actions to restrict the mechanics' customary practices, combined with the Washington Navy Yard mechanics' demand for a ten hour work day, led to the strike of 1835.
35. This solar eclipse was widely seen in the United States and for many people was a sign of dread and foreboding. An unsuccessful motion was even made in the U.S. House of Representatives to adjourn for the occasion. The black enslaved preacher Nat Turner saw this same eclipse as a vision from God of a "black angel" overtaking a "white angel." Turner's slave rebellion gained impetus among other slaves and, on 13 August Turner saw yet another spectacle - a sunspot visible to the naked eye. His rebellion began on 21 August but was quickly crushed and he and some of followers were executed. See: Lewis P Masur 1831: The Year of the Eclipse.
36. Basil Brown was born in Maryland in 1803. He manumitted prior to 1850 and worked as a laborer. He is listed in the 1870 Washington, DC census, which states that he then owned property worth $3,000.00.
36a. Camboose is an older nautical term for a metal ship's kitchen constructed to prevent a fire aboard wooden war ships. These kitchens were constructed at Washington Navy Yard.
37. The "Ordinary house" is where the ordinary seamen were lodged when stationed at a naval yard or in transit to another station.
38. In hitting his master back, Michael Shiner risked at the very least, a severe beating, but by playing "crazy" he managed to convince Captain Aulick (and apparently Thomas Howard) not to discipline him. See page 37 of the Diary where Michael Shiner adopted a similar strategy when he struck Clement Hewitt, a District magistrate.
39. Captain John H. Aulick was the Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard from 7 March 1843 to 21 February 1841.
40. Thomas Howard, Sr. was the Washington Navy Yard's Chief Clerk. Howard was Michael Shiner's owner from 1828 to 1832. The Thomas Howard family had at least four other slaves in addition to Michael Shiner, they were: Louisa Barton, John Davis, Maria Cartwright and Maria's two children Ann Sophia and Joseph Cartwright. Source: Will of Thomas Howard, of Washington Co., DC, dated 18 Nov. 1832, probated 21 Dec., in Book 4, pages 172-173(173-174), located in Record Group 2, Records of the Superior Court, District of Columbia Archives; also see District of Columbia Government, the Congressional Cemetery, 1621, Box 11. Thomas Howard's mother was in her 70's in 1831. The Howard residence was located on the northeast corner of 3rd and E Street.
41. In 1832 cholera was a relatively new disease, having just arrived in the United States from Asia by way of Europe. While there is no exact mortality figures for Washington, DC, in 1832 the disease killed over 3,000 people in New York and over 4,000 in New Orleans.
42. Michael Shiner is referring to the "Nullification Crisis" which was initiated by South Carolina's threat to succeed from the Union. President Jackson's strong response (which Shiner supported) ended the crisis.
43. John Armfield and Isaac Franklin were the nation's most notorious slave dealers. The firm's slave pen was located at 1315 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia, and managed by John Armfield. Isaac Franklin established and ran the firm's markets at Natchez and New Orleans. By the 1830s they were sending more than 1,000 slaves annually from Alexandria to their Natchez and New Orleans markets to help meet the demand for slaves in Mississippi and surrounding states. Franklin and Armfield's procedure was to send an annual overland coffle, or slave caravan, from Virginia to their Forks of the Road market near Natchez, Mississippi. If Phillis Shiner and her children had not gained their freedom they would almost certainly have been forced into a slave coffles leaving Alexandria,VA, in mid to late summer and forcibly taken through to Natchez, Mississippi, and the Forks of the Road slave market where they would have been sold to the highest bidder. During such overland marches male slaves were usually manacled and chained together in double files and were under the close supervision of mounted drivers. Women such as Phillis Shiner would have walked while their children and injured slaves rode in the wagons that accompanied the coffle. The white males guarding the coffles were normally armed with both guns and whips. In the period between 1825 and 1830 the average price for young adult male slaves in Virginia was $400. In contrast, Isaac Franklin sold four slaves (sex unspecified) at the Forks of the Road in 1826-27 for $700, $600, $500 and $450.
44. The proper reference is to a writ of attachment, which is a court order allowing a party to seize to take into custody another person's property (in the case of slavery, another person's slave).
45. The manumission reads as follows,
Know all me by these presents that I Levi Phumphrey of the city of Washington in the District of Columbia for divers good and sufficient causes me thereun to moving have manumitted emancipated set free and relieved from Slavery a negro women named Phillis and her three children named Ann Harriet and Mary Ann purchased by me at the sale of my father’s property the said Phillis being at the time age about twenty five years and her three children aged as follows Ann about four years - Harriet about three years and Mary Ann about four months the said Negro women Phillis is in good health and entirely competent to obtain livelihood for herself and children by her own labor. And that I do by these presents manumit emancipate set free and discharge from Labor & Slavery the said Phillis and her three children. In witness whereof I have hereto subscribe my name and affix my seal the 11th day of June in the year of our Lord one Thousand - Eight Hundred and thirty-three. (District of Columbia Free Negro Registers 1821 1861, Volume 2, pp.255 -256, NARA RG 21.)
Levi Pumphrey’s former slave “Hanson”, remembered “I was owned by Levi Pumphrey an old man with one eye, a perfect savage; he allowed no privileges of any kind, Sunday or Monday.” (Stills, William, The Underground Railroad (Revised Edition), Volume 2, Philadelphia: William Stills, 1886, p.115.)
46. See footnote 39.
47. William Ellis, Washington Navy Yard engineer, was born in Pennsylvania in 1807. He moved to Washington, DC, and later ran a successful business with brother Jonas Ellis at which manufacturing steam engines.
48. Michael Shiner was observing the "Leonid Meteor Shower." Another observer noted, "On the night of November 12-13 1833 a tempest of falling stars broke over the Earth... The sky was scored in every direction with shining tracks and illuminated with majestic fireballs. At Boston the frequency of meteors was estimated to be about half that of flakes of snow in an average snowstorm. Their numbers... were quite beyond counting; but as it waned a reckoning was attempted from which it was computed on the basis of that much-diminished rate that 240,000 must have been visible during the nine hours they continued to fall." From: Agnes Clerke Victorian Astronomy Writer. [This information was supplied by Peter Jennisken, Ph.D., of NASA in an email to John Sharp, dated June 20, 2007.]
49. Joseph M. Padgett (1808 - 1865), Master Laborer, survived his fall to later become overseer of the yard laborers. Padgett was also one of the founders of Washington Navy Yard Beneficial Society, an organization which helped Yard workers with funeral expenses and provided for their widows and orphans. He is buried at Congressional Cemetery. His son (also named Joseph M. Padgett) worked at the Washington Navy Yard for over 50 years, retiring in 1920.
50. The orders to which Michael Shiner refers to are as follows: " The Mechanics and laborers employed in the Yard with the exception of the Anchor Smiths & Engineers are prohibited entering the Workshops Ship houses and other places where the public property tools are deposited during the hours allotted for meals. The Mechanics & laborers are forbidden to bring their meals into the Yard either in baskets bags or otherwise and none will be permitted to eat their meals within the Yard unless specifically permitted by the Commandant. The Anchor Smith Foundry men & attendants of the Steam Engines are so permitted wherever their fires are kept during meal hour " General Orders for the Regulation of the Navy Yard, Washington, DC (circa 1833 - 1850 Washington Navy Yard, orders no. 13 and 14].
51. Israel Jones lived in Baltimore, Maryland; his residence was on Forest Street, North of Douglass. Jones was a free black and foremen of the Baltimore-based caulking crew that Commandant Isaac Hull had brought to the Washington Navy Yard.
52. Michael Shiner refers here to the strike for a ten hour workday that took place that year at most federal shipyards. This movement began in the Philadelphia shipyard and rapidly spread down the eastern seaboard. While the Washington Navy Yard strikers failed to win a ten hour day that year, their names were later restored to the yard rolls and President Martin Van Buren in 1840 issued an executive order placing all federal shipyards on a ten hour workday.
The Yard strikers (as Michael Shiner wrote) blamed Commodore Isaac Hull for bringing in black caulkers from Baltimore, Maryland. These strikers believed that black workers were to be used to break their strike. This and other incidents exacerbated always simmering racial tension in Washington, and Washington Navy Yard white mechanics and laborers went on a three day rampage in which they threatened blacks and broke up their businesses and property. After days of disorder and riot, President Andrew Jackson ordered a company of US Marines to restore order.
52a. The "young mulatto" man was Arthur Bowen, 18 years old, and a slave to Mrs. Anna Thorton. Based on Mrs Thorton's accusation that Bowen tried to murder her, Arthur Bowen was tried and convicted of attempted murder. The prosecutor in the Bowen case for the District of Columbia was Francis Scott Key, the author of the "Star Spangled Banner." Mrs. Thornton eventually had second thoughts regarding her accusations and wrote to President Andrew Jackson a long letter, urging Jackson to pardon Bowen, which President Jackson did on 4 July 1836.
53. American historians have pointed out that the year 1835 saw more urban riots (53) than in any year prior to the Civil War. As in the case of the Washington DC riot described by Shiner, most of these riots were the result of white mobs attacking blacks or as in the Baltimore City riot of that same year, mobs attacking "foreigners" (i.e. Irish Catholics). See Daniel Howe, page 431.
54. James Marshall was a Washington, DC, Ward 6 blacksmith who also acted as a Justice of the Peace.
55. The Judge is here issuing a threat to the attackers. As a slave Shiner had virtually no legal rights as an individual and was considered an item of personal property. Although Shiner had no rights of redress personally against his attackers, his owner, Thomas Howard, had the right to bring civil legal action for compensatory damages against Shiner's attackers for any injury received by Shiner.
56. Captain John Gallagher relieved Commodore Isaac Hull as Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard. Gallagher served as Commandant from 1 October 1835 to 1 March 1836.
57. Captain Henry E. Ballard was Commandant of Washington Navy Yard from 1 October 1849 to 15 October 1852.
58. Captain Daniel Patterson was the Washington Navy Yard Commandant from 1 March 1836 to 25 August 1839.
59. In 1840 President Martin Van Buren, by Executive Order changed work hours in federal naval ship yards from 12 to 10 per day. The order as implemented on the Washington Navy Yard stated "By Direction of the President of the United States all public establishments will hereafter be regulated as to working hours by the "ten hour System". The hours for labor in this Yard will therefore be as follows viz: From the 1st day of April to the 30th day of September inclusive from 6 o'clock a.m. to 6 o'clock p.m. -- during this period the workmen will breakfast before going to work for which purpose the bell will be rung and the first muster held at 7 o'clock -- at 12 o'clock noon the bell will be rung and then home from 12 to 1 o'clock p.m. allowed for dinner from which to 6 o'clock p.m. will constitute the last half of the day.
From the 1st day of October to the 31st day of March the working hours will be from the rising to the setting of the Sun -- the Bell will then be rung at one hour after Sunrise that hour being allowed for breakfast -- at 12 o'clock noon the bell will again be rung and one hour allowed for dinner from which time say 1 o'clock till sundown will constitute the last half of the day. No quarters of days will be allowed." General Orders for the Regulation of the Navy Yard Washington DC. (Circa 1833 - 1850, order numbers 29).
60. Phillip Inch, Master Painter at the Washington Navy Yard (1794 - 1844) was born in Plymouth, England. Inch was Michael Shiner's supervisor for many years. He is buried at the Congressional Cemetery.
60a. Michael Shiner's diary refers to three different ships called Water Witch. The first Water Witch was a steamer built in 1844-45 at the Washington Navy Yard. She was originally designed to serve as a water supply vessel, but was unable to do so as her draft was too deep to pass through the locks of the Great Dismal Swamp. After attempting to convert her to a harbor vessel or tug was also unsuccessful, she was condemned and sent to the Philadelphia Naval Yard where her hull was extended by some 30 feet and she was refitted. Because of the extensive renovations to her hull, the ship was deemed a new ship and became the second Water Witch. Water Witch  saw action in the Mexican War, but developed problems with her hull and propulsion systems. In 1851, her hull broke down while sailing from Norfolk, Virginia. She was towed to the Washington Navy Yard and was placed out of commission on 25 April 1851. Her machinery was removed and her hull was used for gunnery practice (See page 111 of the Diary). A third Water Witch (a wooden-hulled, side wheel gunboat) was built at the Washington Navy Yard in 1851 (See page 106 of the Diary). Interestingly, the third Water Witch was siezed by the Confederate States Navy in the Civil War and burnt to prevent recapture by the United States Navy.
61. On 28 February 1844, the Screw Steamer USS Princeton departed Alexandria, Virginia, on a pleasure and trial trip down the Potomac River with President John Tyler and his cabinet and approximately two hundred guests on board. After the final firing of Commodore Stockton's Peacemaker cannon, the defective gun finally burst, which instantly killed Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur; Secretary of the Navy Thomas Gilmer; Captain Beverly Kennon (Chief of the Bureau of Construction Equipment and Repairs); Rep.Vigil Maxey of Maryland (Chargé d'Affaires to Belgium 1837-42); Rep. David Gardiner of New York; and the President Tyler's valet, a black slave named Armistead. The explosion also injured about 20 other people, including Stockton.
62. Gustavo's Higdon was the owner of a dry goods store on L Street. He did a lot of business with the Washington Navy Yard and probably knew Michael Shiner through these transactions.
63. Starboard is the right side of a ship or vessel.
64. Commodore Charles S. McCauley was Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard from 1 September 1846 to 1 October 1849.
65. On 9 August 1849 Michael Shiner married Jane Jackson (Feb. 1834 - April 21, 1884) in Washington, DC. Michael Shiner's diary does not have any reference to his second marriage or what became of his first wife, Phillis. His Diary is simply silent as to his family life with Janet Jackson, and the couple's children.
66. The 1850 US census for Washington, DC, 6th Ward, reflects that Michel Shiner was born in DC (1860 census states Maryland, as does the 1880 census for his daughter Mary, where she listed her father's birthplace as Maryland). The 1850 cenusus states that he was then 46 years old and lived with Jane Jackson Shiner, 19 years old, daughter Sarah E., 12 years old, son Isaac M., 5 years old and their infant son Braxton, 6 months old. Michael Shiner's occupation is listed in 1850 as painter. The census taker has listed Michael as black and stated that he is unable to read or write. Phillis Shiner (Michael Shiner's first wife) most likely died sometime after 1833, but there is no record reflecting the event. Based on the ages of the children, a date of circa 1848 seems probable. The 1850 census listed the total population of the District of Columbia as: 51,687, consisting of: White 37,941; Free Negro 10,059; and Slave 3,687. The Sixth Ward where Michael Shiner and his family resided had 46 male and 64 female slaves.
67. Joseph Mundell was born in Antrim County, Ireland, in 1809. He emmigrated to Philadelphia in 1827. Mundell enlisted first in the United States Army, serving eight years. He later joined the United States Marine Corps, where he served 25 years. Mundell served in both the Florida - Seminole and Mexican Wars. In all, he served for 33 years, rising to the rank of Marine Corps Quartermaster Sergeant. After his retirement he lived in Washington, DC, Ward 6 and went to work at the Washington Navy Yard as watchmen. He and his wife Martha had 11 children. Two of his daughters, Ellen and Anna, later worked for the US Treasury as currency folders. In 1851 in a notorious case referred to in Michael Shiner's Diary (see page 107), Joseph Mundell's 14 year old son Samuel Mundell was murdered by William Wells Marin in a dispute during a hunting excursion. Two of Joseph Mundell's other sons, Joseph Jr. and Jared Mundell, both served in the Civil War. After the war, Joseph Mundell's son, Jared, also went to work at the Washington Navy Yard where he labored for over half a century before retiring in 1920 as the yard's oldest male employee. Joseph Mundell died of consumption on 9 September 1874 and is buried at the Congressional Cemetery (R35/ 178).
68. Henry E. Ballard was Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard from 1 October 1849 to 15 October 1852.
Lajes Louis Kossuth 1802-1894 was a noted Hungarian patriot who led a failed revolution against Russian rule. After the 1848 Hungarian Rebellion he went into exile and visited the United States. Kossuth was immensely popular and given an enthusiastic reception in Washington, DC.
69. The Marine Railway was invented by Commodore John Rodgers in 1822 at the Washington Navy Yard. Basically the railway was a rail track used to move a vessel from the water. In Michael Shiner's era, manpower alone was used to move a vessel or ship up the railway, like iron rails to a ship house. This procedure was later mechanized with steam winches providing the motive power.
70. Captain Charles W. Morgan was Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard from 15 October 1852 to 5 January 1853.
71. In 1852, then Secretary of the Navy John P. Kennedy, arbitrarily attempted to set aside President Van Buren's 1840 ten hour workday order, and in order to increase production at Charlestown and Washington Navy Yard issued his own order to begin the workday at both yards an hour earlier, or from sunrise to sunset. This effectively extended the workday to eleven hours. At the Charlestown Navy Yard, Secretary Kennedy's order resulted in a strike of three hundred mechanics and laborers. At the Washington Navy Yard, employees also began work stoppages. Secretary Kennedy's order was quickly rescinded just forty-eight hours after it was issued and both yards returned to work.
72. Charles King was 19 years old. His father Martin King was a successful merchant.
73. John Rose was appointed to his position before the War of 1812. He was paid a salary of $1,500.00 per year.
74. George Edwards was a US Marine Corps' musician, 41 years of age, and lived in the 6th Ward with his wife Mary and three children. The George Edwards family lived one house away from Michael Shiner.
75. John H. Peake was Michael Shiner's Forman after the death of Phillip Inch. John H. Peake was born 1817 in the District of Columbia. In the 1850 census for the District of Columbia, Peake stated he owned his own residence (which was valued at $900.00) in Ward number 6. Peake was married, with one child, and continued to work for the Washington Navy Yard for many years. Peake later opened a paint store and (according to the 1870 census), by 1870 he owned real estate valued at $6,000.00. He died sometime after 1880.
Captain Hiram Paulding was Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard from 21 January 1853 to 30 June 1855.
76. Philip Barton Key was born in 1818, in Georgetown, in the District of Columb, and died 27 February 1859, in Washington, DC. He was the son of Francis Scott Key, the author of the lyrics to the National Anthem. Philip Barton Key was for a number of years the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. In 1859 Congressman Daniel Sickles shot and killed Phillip Barton Key for having had an affair with his wife, Teresa Bagioli Sickles. The murder took place on Lafayette Square, just across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. Sickles was acquitted on the basis of temporary insanity in one of the most controversial trials of the 19th century.
77. On Christmas Day, 1853, the San Francisco, was disabled and on 6 January 1854, she foundered with a loss of more than 200 lives. Upwards of 500 passengers were saved principally by the splendid work of the following ships: The Three Bells of Glasgow, the Antarctic from San Francisco and the Bark Kilby.
78. Many shipyard families maintained a tradition of working at Washington Navy Yard. The McCathran family served at the Yard until the 1940s.
79. Casting was always dangerous at Washington Navy Yard since super heated metals could crack the mold or slop over and burn the workers and destroy the cast.
80. Commodore French Forrest was the Commandant of Washington Navy Yard from 30 June 1855 to 15 August 1855.
81. The snowfall of 17 January 1857 affected many of the cities of the eastern United States. Washington, DC recorded a snowfall total of 24 inches. This storm, as Michael Shiner notes, was unique for its extreme cold and very high winds.
82. The "Plug Uglies" were an urban gang affiliated with the "Know-Nothing" Party. They were based originally in Baltimore, but spread rapidly to Washington, DC and other cities. In 1857 the Plug Uglies were brought to the District where they instigated a bloody riot involving over one thousand people in the District of Columbia. They were trying to prevent Irish-Americans from voting in Washington, DC's municipal elections. Ultimately six people were killed and many wounded before the Marines were able to suppress the fighting. According to one historian the Plug Uglies took their name from the large plug hats they wore.
83. Bell Boats were the design of James Buchanan Eads, one of the most outstanding civil engineers of the 19th century. Eads is noted for his development of diving bell techniques to salvage sunken steamboats. Eads' attention was attracted by the numerous losses of boats and cargoes. In 1842 he patented an adaptation of the diving bell and engaged in the salvage business. He built the first of a series of "bell boats" bearing the name Submarine and became very successful. The Navy Department used these boats to clear channels of underwater obstructions.
84. William Walker (1824-1860) was a physician, lawyer, and soldier of fortune who attempted to create an empire in South America. He overthrew the government of Nicaragua in 1856 and was briefly president of that country. Walker later attempted a similar venture in Honduras that resulted in his capture and execution by firing squad. William Walker held racist views and advocated setting up an agricultural empire based on slavery. His rash actions in Central America were lauded by many in the southern states where he was perceived of as man of destiny. Michael Shiner's praise for his former Washington Navy Yard Commandant, Commodore Hiram Paulding, stands out since Shiner seldom discusses his own political views. Commodore Paulding was the subject of severe criticism by southern senators once word of his arrest of William Walker reached Washington, DC.
85. Phillip Otterbach (1796-1858) was a butcher and resident of the 6th Ward. Otterbach was German immigrant who ran a very successful business. The 1850 Washington, DC Census indicates that he owned real estate valued at $125,000.00. His relationship to Michael Shiner is unclear.
86. Captain Ellie A.F. Lavellette was Commandant of Washington Navy Yard from 15 August 1856 to 14 May 1858.
87. The comet Michael Shiner observed was comet C/1858 L 1 (Donati) discovered in June, 1858 and widely visible during September, 1858. [Source: Email to John Sharp from Dan Green, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, dated 21 February 2007.]
88. Captain Franklin Buchanan was Commandant from Washington Navy Yard from 26 May 1859 to 22 April 1861. Shortly after the events Michael Shiner recounts, Captain Buchanan resigned his commission and joined the new Navy of the Confederate States, where he became a Rear Admiral.
89. John Brown was often called "Osawatomie Brown" because of his leadership of an anti-slavery group, which defended Osawatomie, Kansas (a town founded by abolitionists) against pro-slavery attackers on 30 August 1856. When Brown's "Army" was dispersed, the pro-slavery attackers destroyed the town. For more information on John Brown and the Battle of Osawatomie, see http://kansastravel.org/johnbrownmuseum.htm.
90. The 1850 U.S. Census for Washington, DC lists Michael Shiner as living in the 6th Ward, 55 years of age with his wife, Jane Jackson, 29 years old; daughter Sarah E., 21 years old; son Isaac M., 6 years old; daughter Rose Ann, 8 years old; and daughter Jane M., 3 years old. Michel Shiner is listed on the 1850 Census as a painter, with property worth $800.00. The 1850 Census lists Michael Shiner as being born in Maryland. The same census shows all of Michael Shiner's immediate neighbors being white.
91. Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren was the Washington Navy Yard's Commandant from 22 April 1861 to 22 July 1863.
92. The 1861 oath reads as follows: "I do solemnly swear that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully without any mental reservations against all enemies or opponents whatsoever; that I will observe and obey orders of the President of the United States and the officer appointed over me; according to the rules and articles for government of the United States." In all, over 400 Washington Navy Yard workers swore allegiance, while 37 chose not to take the oath and were dismissed.
93. The 1860 US Census for DC listed a total population of 75,080. Of this total, the inhabitants were broken down as follows: 60,764 White; 11,131 Free Negro; and 3,185 Slave. In Michael Shiner's immediate neighborhood,Ward 6 (where his family resided), the 1860 Slave Census listed 32 male and 48 female slave inhabitants.
94. Commodore John B. Montgomery was Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard from 31 December 1863 to 13 October 1865. Rear Admiral L. M. Goldsborough was Commandant of Washington Navy Yard from 14 October 1870 to 1 October 1873.
95. On the day of Lincoln's second inaugural, Noah Adams, another observer, noticed the same phenomena as did Michael Shiner. Adams recounted that as President Lincoln rose to speak: "Just at that moment the sun which had been obscured all day burst forth in its unclouded meridian of splendor and flooded the spectacle with glory and light." Quoted in Ronald C. White, Lincoln's Greatest Speech The Second Inaugural (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2005): 42.
96. On Good Friday in the late afternoon, President and Mrs. Lincoln went for a drive. They stopped in the Washington Navy Yard to view three monitors recently damaged in engagement in Fort Fisher, NC. The President talked of the time when could return to Illinois and live quietly. Pratt, Personal Finances, page 124; Rufus R. Wilson ed. Intimate Memories of Lincoln. (Elmira, NY: Primavera Press, 1942) 430.
Note: The Navy Department Library gratefully acknowledges John G. Sharp, former Assistant to the Director, Human Resources Office Washington, Washington Navy Yard (retired), for providing the above transcription, introduction and notes to the diary of Michael Shiner.