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Letter to Mr. Ride

3 December 1957

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Op-292 ER/mw


3 December 1957


Dear Mr. Ride:

I have your letter of 26th October 1957, in which you ask for information about ships and men that will help you in compiling your book on the Old Protestant Cemetery in Macao. I am very glad to send herewith the data which we have found in records of The Navy Department.

USS Brandywine
        From the log of the Brandywine we have the following:
        1844- Oct. 16 -- Charles Ganger, musician departed this life
        1844- May 31-- Hiram Tarbox (spelled this way), seaman, departed this life
        In 1844 there was no regular school of music in the Navy. The musicians were enlisted men, mostly     foreign born. They had regular military duties.  They did pipe the men when manning the capstan: gave     concerts and played for receptions, etc.

USS Constellation
        From the log of the Constellation
        1842- Aug. 25-- Nathaniel Simpon, seaman, departed this life
        It was the practice for many years to identify a US Naval vessel by its class, for example the U.S. Frigate Brandywine. As now used. “USS” before the name of a ship means “United States Ship”  and indicated that it is a vessel of the United States Navy.

USS Enterprise
        From the log of the Enterprise
        1836-June6 6-- At 8 hoisted the colors half mast in report to the memory of Lieutenant Commander         Archibald S. Campbell, who departed this life at 8.50 last night (June 5, 1836). His rank         was Lieutenant Commander.

USS John Adams
        From the log of the John Adams
        1839- June 15 --Edward J. Larkin (Captain’s Clerk) departed.The selection and discharge of a Captain’s Clerk of Secretary was a matter coming under the cognizance of the commanding officer, and his tenure of office was likewise dependent upon that officer. They were not classified as officers or seamen. The relative rank of a captain's clerk or secretary was a follows:
        Secretary ----Lieutenant
        Clerk---- Midshipman

USS Marion
        From the log of the Marion
        1851 -Mar. 15 ---Henry Jones, seaman, departed this life on the 14th inst. At Hospital. Macao.         The Muster Roll of the Marion lists Henry Jones as a native from the country of Denmark.         The Muster Roll also lists Herman Rawlings (spelled this way) as a native of Denmark.
        1851- Nov. 13--- JamesWest ( no first of Joseph given). Seaman. Died on the 12th inst. at the Portuguese Hospital, Macao.

        From the East India Squadron Letters, 1851-1853
        Commodore John H. Aulick reports the death of Lieutenant Benjamin S. Gantt (spelled this way), on         March 12, 1852

        The Marion cruised in the China Sea and surrounding waters between March and November 1951.

USS Peacock
        The East India Squadron was organized in 1835 with its base at Hong Kong. The Peacock and the     Enterprise were two vessels forming the newly established squadron under the command of Commodore     Edmund P. Kennedy, and they were in Macao in 1836.

USS Perry
        From the log of the Perry
        1844- June --- Midshipman George W. Harrison departed this life

USS Plymouth
        From the log of the Plymouth
        1849- June 19--- John P. Griffin, seaman, fell from aloft and was injured. At 5.10, June 20, 1849, he         departed this life.
        1848- Aug. 30----- Samel Smith, seaman, departed this life having fallen from aloft whilst furling sails.
        From the Marine Corps records
        1849- Aug.30---- Valentine Swearlin, marine, native of Newstadt, Germany, died at Macao.

USS Powhatan
        From the log of the Powhatan
        1855- June 20--- John Dinnen, seaman, departed this life
        1855- June 21-- Washington F. Hickman, seaman, departed this life
        1853- Oct.4---- Lieutenant Joseph H. Adams, departed this life
        The Powhatan was a steam frigate

USS Saratoga
        From the log of the Saratoga
        1852- Aug. 30 ---- Thomas A Denson (ships steward) departed this life
        This is the correct name.

USS Susquehanna
        From the log of the Susquehanna
        1852- May 12---- Daniel Cushman, quartermaster, departed this life.

        It is not generally possible for us to identify a man without the name of the ship to which he was attached. It was believed that the following men were merchant service, as we have been unable to locate any Navy service for them:- Francis W. Bacon, George W.Biddle, Capt. Henry G. Bridges, J. Ferdinand David, George H. Duncan, Captain James. B. Endicott, T.W.Riddles, Capt. S.H. Slate.

        Fleet surgeon John F. Brooke (correct spelling) died Oct. 17, 1849.

        Sandwith B. Drinker was appointed an acting agent for the U.S. Navy on March 26, 1848. We have no record of his death.

        Thomas W. Waldron was appointed a naval storekeeper. June 10, 1843.  He died September 8, 1844.

        In Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution by Gardner Weld Allen published by The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1927, there is mention of a Nathaniel Kinsman who commanded the Schooner Satisfaction in 1779. We have no further record of him.

        We have no information on the Schooner Kappa or the Cutty Mombarruck. The American Barque Valparaiso was a two ten merchant vessel. Her home port was Philadelphia, Pa.

        In a Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Sea and Japan performed in the years 1852, 1853, and 1854, under the Command of Commodore M.C. Perry, Washington, 1856, mentions that the telegraphic apparatus, under the direction of Messr, Draper and Williams,was soon in working order…. However, in checking the list of men belonging to the several ships composing the naval expedition, in command of Commodore M.O. Perry, 1853-1854, there was no mention of John P. Williams. We have no further record of this man.

        We have consulted our Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, which was created by an act of Congress, August 31, 1842, and they can find no record of a U.S Naval Hospital established at Macao. Also, a spot check of the reports of the Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State and the record of the Public Health Service, originally called the Marine Hospital Service, was made for us by the National Archives, but no information was found of this hospital.

        We have no idea what the ships did for tombstones in those days. Once in a while there is an entry in the records which says the messmates took up a subscription for a tombstone.

        We are unable to furnish detailed information concerning the ages, illnesses, etc. of the above mentioned men, but I am very glad to send herewith transcripts of the service of the vessels you are interested in, which will give you the teenage, rig, armament and movements.


Sincerely yours,

Mr. L.T.Ride
Vice- Chancellor
University of Hong Kong
The Lodge
1 University Drive
Hong Kong



Navy School Musicians- Code 145- Ref.Lib.- Mr. Miller- Ex. 256 Also Lt. Lorton---- Code 11-- ex. 41159

Mrs. Carrol- Archives- 181- 3346-- Consular and diplomatic records Mr. Pascal 
181-8171--- Public Health Service
Bur.of med. And Surgery
Enlisted Records -18 W

Navy Library
Amer.Battles Monument Assn.-- ex 63683

Cemetery Branch- Quartermaster Corps- Memorial Div.   55806
Mrs. McClintock- Mrs. Sorsnal
Mr. Fisher---72582

Muster Rolls - East India Squadron Letters-- Marine Corps

Mr. Kenneth Hall- Nat. Archives--- Merchant service vessels 

Published: Tue Sep 22 09:56:30 EDT 2020