RARE MANUSCRIPT RULES AND REGULATIONS OF USS CONGRESS AND USS CONSTITUTION, 1817-1821.
The US Navy started with 6 original frigates from the Naval Act of 1794. The two most famous were Constitution and Congress which saw front line service during the War of 1812 and the Barbary Coast Wars. This well preserved total manuscript text was written by early American naval clerk for famous officers all with much acclaim in the early American Navy and are household names to any naval historian. Journal is about 200 pages and the first entry “FOR THE INTERNAL GOVERNMENT OF THE U.S. FRIGATE CONGRESS. CHARLES MORRIS, ESQ COMMANDER” dated September 1816 is 29 pages. Rules and regulations of every rank are noted. An additional 5 pages give details of the maintenance and firing of cannon. Interestingly enough, you have to turn the book over and upside down, now the book starts anew at the back which is now the front and we now have “INTERNAL RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE USS CONGRESS, ARTHUR SINCLAIR, ESQ. COMMANDING”. These 80 pages of manuscript are dated December 20, 1817 detailing same rules and regulations of every rank, but more detail about gunning and “quarters for action”. The last entry “INTERNAL REGULATIONS OF THE US FRIGATE CONSTITUTION JACOB JONES, ESQUIRE COMMANDING” is 20 pages of text and dates about 1821. The text is signed by Benjamin W Booth who was “Master Commandant” on the USS Constitution at that time, previously having service during the War of 1812 and most likely this was his book as he moved from the Congress to the Constitution. Benjamin Waller Booth (1790-1828) was from a prominent Virginia family. His father Mordecai was somewhat of a hero in helping save Washington Navy Yard during the War of 1812. Benjamin continued into service in the Navy until his death at age 38. CONDITION: Very good overall. Well preserved for a manuscript text 200 years old. Binding is sound and signature solid, light soiling and foxing. 3/4 leather binding with French wallpaper covers are scuffed, heavy edge wear and a few reductions. Hinges are sound with scuffing on spine. Text is bright and discernible. 52737-2 (15,000-25,000) – Lot 2056
Auction: Fine Art, Asian & Antiques - Winter 2018
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