Tag Archives: Maritime History

African-American War of 1812 Veteran Being Honored


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Sackets HarborAfrican-American US Navy War of 1812 Veteran Julius Terry is set to be honored at the Lakeside Cemetery in Sackets Harbor, NY on Saturday September 29, 2018. The dedication of his new grave marker will be at 10 am, in the cemetery adjacent to Military Road.

African-Americans made up approximately twenty-five per cent of the US Navy during the War of 1812. In July 1813, Commodore Isaac Chauncey reported “nearly 50 blacks” on board his flagship the General Pike, 15% of the crew. The schooner Scourge had an all-black gun crew, roughly 20% of the ship’s crew. By autumn 1814 possibly 450 African-Americans served in the Navy at Sackets Harbor. Continue reading

Escape from Slavery: The Life of William Grimes


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Brig Casket Boston Samuel Davis Master Entering the Port of Palermo“Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave” a 68-page pamphlet self-published in the city of New York in 1825, begins with a note addressed “TO THE PUBLIC.” In the introductory note, Grimes explained:

“Those who are acquainted with the subscriber, he presumes will readily purchase his history. Those who are not, but wish to know who Grimes is, and what is his history, he would inform them, generally, that he is now living in Litchfield, Connecticut, that he is about 40 years of age, that he is married to a black woman, and passes for a negro, though three parts white; that he was born in a place in Virginia, has lived in several different States, and been owned by ten different masters; that about ten years since, he ran away, and came to Connecticut, where, after six years, he was recognized by some of his former master’s friends, taken up, and compelled to purchase his freedom with the sacrifice of all he had earned. That his history is an account of his fortune, or rather of his suffering, in all these various situations, in which he has seen, heard, and felt, not a little.” Continue reading

Adrift: An 1856 Tragedy on the Atlantic


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adriftBrian Murphy’s new book Adrift: A True Story of Tragedy on the Icy Atlantic and the One Who Lived to Tell about It , with contributions from Toula Vlahou (Da Capo Press, 2018), tells the story of thirteen victims and a tragedy on the Atlantic Ocean.

The small ship making the Liverpool-to-New York trip in the early months of 1856 carried mail, crates of dry goods, and more than one hundred passengers, mostly Irish emigrants. Suddenly an iceberg tore the ship asunder and five lifeboats were lowered. As four lifeboats drifted into the fog and icy water, the last boat wrenched away from the sinking ship with a few blankets, some water and biscuits, and thirteen passengers. Only one would survive. This is his story. Continue reading

Annual Tugboat Roundup In Waterford This Weekend


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Harvey with Dazzle paint jobThe annual Waterford Tugboat Roundup is set for this weekend, September 7-9, with an estimated 30 boats expected to attend. The boats range from historic to modern tugs, workboats, fireboats, crew boats, tenders and more.

A main attraction of the Roundup will be the new paint job of the Harvey. This historic fireboat became itself a palette for Tauba Auerbach, an artist commissioned by the Public Art Fund and 14-18 Now Exhibition. The rendering of the Harvey shows contradictory directions of whites and reds, emulating the ‘dazzle designs’ applied to ships during World War I to confuse U- boats in firing torpedoes. Continue reading

SS United States Exhibit Opening at National Lighthouse Museum


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full speed ahead to the fabulous ss united statesThe National Lighthouse Museum, in partnership with the New York Chapter of the SS United States Conservancy, has announced a new exhibit “Full Speed Ahead to the Fabulous! SS United States.” This exhibit, on display at the National Lighthouse Museum from June 14th to August 3rd, celebrates the career of the luxury liner known as “America’s Flagship.”

The exhibition’s grand opening will take place on Thursday, June 14th at 6:30 pm and will be followed by a screening of the recently discovered short film Colossus on the River (1965; Run time approx. 15 min). Continue reading

Sailing History At Jay Heritage Center May 16th


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the new york yacht clubAuthor John Rousmaniere is set to give a lecture on American sailing history on May 16th at 7 pm at the Jay Heritage Center.

John Rousmaniere’s 30 books range over a world of topics, but he is best known for writing about sailing in all its facets – including seamanship, storms, sailing safety, the America’s Cup, and stories of America’s yacht clubs, including the New York Yacht Club, where he is club historian. His illustrated talk is about what he calls “The Golden Pastime.” Continue reading

LILAC Season Opens With Shipwrecks Exhibit May 25th


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Partially scrapped tugboats at Witte's yardThe summer season gets underway at the museum ship Lilac with the exhibit Great Shipwrecks of New York’s ‘Great’ Lakes and The Hidden Hulks of New York Harbor, on view through July 4, 2017. The exhibit opens Thursday, May 25 with a reception that is open to the public from 6 to 9 pm with a cash bar.  David White, Recreation Specialist from New York Sea Grant (NYSG) will share reflections on “The Future of Our Maritime Heritage.” Continue reading

Maritime Museum Offering Riveted Steel Structure Workshop


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The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum will offer a four day Riveted Steel Structure Workshop on May 20-21 and 27-28, 2017. In this hands-on workshop for ages 16+, participants will learn the basics to the craft of riveting from Instructor Jeff Dardozzi, while participating in the creation of a full-scale riveted steel and timber structure to be erected on site by the participants. The workshop will also include a tour of one of the oldest riveted steel ships on Lake Champlain. The workshop will be held from 9 am to 4 pm each day. Workshop fee is $300, $275 for Lake Champlain Maritime Museum members. Continue reading