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Yankee Ships and Yankee Sailors: Tales of 1812   By:

Yankee Ships and Yankee Sailors: Tales of 1812 by James Barnes

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[Illustration: "It was Lieutenant Allen!"]

Yankee Ships and Yankee Sailors: Tales of 1812


James Barnes

Author of "Naval Engagements of the War of 1812" "A Loyal Traitor," "For King or Country," etc.

With Numerous Illustrations by R. F. Zogbaum and Carlton T. Chapman.

New York The Macmillan Company London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd. 1897

All rights reserved

Copyright, 1897, By The Macmillan Company.

Set up and electrotyped October, 1897. Reprinted November, 1897.

Norwood Press J. S. Cusbing & Co. Berwick & Smith Norwood Mass. U.S.A.

To my Brother


In presenting this volume of "Tales of 1812" it is not the intention of the author to give detailed accounts of actions at sea or to present biographical sketches of well known heroes; he wishes but to tell something of the ships that fought the battles, whose names are inseparably connected with a glorious past, and to relate incidents connected with the Yankee sailors who composed their crews "A Yankee Ship and a Yankee Crew" thus runs the old song; it is to exploit both in a measure that is the intention of this book. Brave fellows, these old time Jackies were. Their day has gone by with the departed day also, of the storm along captains, the men who carried sail in all sorts of weather, who took their vessels through dangerous passages unmarked by buoys, with only the fickle wind to drive them, who sailed into the enemy's cruising grounds, and counting on the good Yankee pine and live oak, had perilous escapes and adventures which fiction cannot exaggerate. It stirs one's blood to read of these. Surely, it will not arouse a hatred for by gone enemies, to hark back to them.

The incidents made use of in the following pages are historical, or at least authentic some may perhaps come under the head of tradition. Tradition is historical rumor; it may be proved by investigation to be actual fact, or it may be accepted at its face value, on account of its probability. To investigate, one is led to break open and dissect and sometimes we destroy a wealth of sentiment in the proceeding; by casting aside tradition that is harmless we destroy the color of history; we may lose its side lights and shadows that give vividness and beauty to the whole effect. It has not been a spirit of research into the science of history, or a chance for deep delving into figures and records, that has animated the author, although he has drawn upon state papers for material, and all correspondence and important references can be vouched for. He has endeavored to refreshen the colors by removing the dust that may have settled. He has touched the fragile bric a brac of tradition with the feather duster of investigation. There is sufficient excuse for everything that is written in this book. Facts are not lacking to prove much here to be true. It will not confuse our historical knowledge to accept it thus.

We can draw accurate conclusions as to what kind of men these fine old fellows were; how they looked; how they spoke and acted. Their deeds are part of the nation's record, and their ships exist now in the shape of a few old hulls. We can mark how carefully and strongly they were constructed; we can imagine them swarming with men and quivering beneath the thunder of broadsides. The author has tried to put the sailor back upon his ship again. Here we have the old tales now retold; retold by one who loves to listen to them, therefore to talk about them. This is his prologue to the telling, and that is all there is to it.



Allen, of the Chesapeake 1

Reuben James, Able Seaman 23

The Men behind the Times 33

The Coward 51

The Scapegoat 87

The Loss of the Vixen 109

In the Harbor of Fayal 125

The Escape of Symington 147

The Narragansett 171

Fighting Stewart 195

Two Duels 215

Dartmoor 235

The Rival Life Savers 259

Random Adventures 271

List of Illustrations

Opposite Page

"It was Lieutenant Allen!" 18

"Reuben James sprang forward" 30

"'What d'ye mean by attackin' a peaceful whaler?'" 47

"Carefully he lowered away" 79

"'Stay here no longer though I would have you with me'" 104

"Everything was done that good seamanship could direct" 120

"There was a figure crawling up below him" 141

"She came about like a peg top" 167

"Over fence and hedge" 190

"A discussion that grew more heated every moment" 212

"'I observed it,' said the Lieutenant" 225

"The deadly volley" 258

"'Now we have him, lads!'" 268


Give a ship an unlucky name, and it will last throughout the whole of her career... Continue reading book >>

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