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Full text of "Memories of a rear-admiral who has served for more than half a century in the Navy of the United States"

THIS VOLUME 

Us Be&tcatefc 

TO 

THE MEMORY OF MY ESTEEMED FRIEND 
THE LATE 

ADMIRAL C. R. P. RODGERS 

WHOSE CONGENIAL COMPANIONSHIP REMAINS 

ONE OF THE PLEASANTEST MEMORIES 

OF MY LIFE 



PKEFACE 



HAVING read with great interest the Biography of 
Charles Biddle, edited by Mr. Henry Biddle, of Phila 
delphia, and having had occasion to write to the latter 
concerning some matters about which I happened to 
know he was well informed, I referred to the work 
above mentioned, and told him how much genuine 
pleasure the perusal of its pages had afforded me. In 
his reply, after most kindly giving me the information 
which I desired, he said : " As you have probably your 
self been so much around the world, you ought to leave 
some record of your travels and adventures, which I 
doubt not would be very entertaining and interesting." 

Such an idea had never occurred to me before this 
suggestion ; but when I reflected that I had served 
between fifty and sixty years in the Navy of the United 
States that I had been Commander -in -Chief of the 
European Station, Superintendent of the Naval Observa 
tory, Chief of Staff to commanding officers on several 
different occasions, President of the International Marine 
Conference, member of the International Meridian Con 
ference, had served in two wars, had roamed about the 
globe since I was sixteen years of age, and met many 
distinguished and interesting people I concluded that 
there might be some incidents in the experiences of all 



PREFACE 

those years that would make it worth while to commit 
them to writing. 

When first I undertook what has been to me a most 
agreeable recreation, I was not at all sure that I ever 
should publish this narrative, but was satisfied that it 
would, at all events, make interesting reading for the 
members of my family, even if it never went beyond 
the manuscript. 

The narrative contains the names of the following 
persons, with many of whom I have been intimately 
associated, and others I have known only casually : 

Admiral Farragut ; Admiral Porter ; Admiral Worden; 
Admiral Dewey ; Admiral Sampson ; Admiral Luce ; 
Lord Alcester ; Admiral Denrnan, R.N.; Admiral Kaz- 
nakoff, Kussian Navy ; Yice- Admiral Sir Yelverton Has 
tings, R.K; Yice -Admiral du Petit -Thouars; Rear- 
Admiral Bowden- Smith, R.N. ; Rear -Admiral Sir 
George Nares, R.N. ; Commodore T. ap Catesby Jones ; 
Captain Mahan; Captain Sigsbee ; ex-Secretary W. E. 
Chandler; President Arthur; President Cleveland; 
President McKinley ; Pope Pius IX. ; Pope Leo XIII. ; 
the Emperor Alexander II., of Russia ; the Emperor 
Alexander III. and the Empress Dagmar ; the Emperor 
of Brazil ; the King of Portugal ; King Oscar, of Sweden, 
and Queen ; King Christian, of Denmark, and Queen ; 
the King and Queen of Greece and the Royal family ; 
the Sultan of Turkey, Abdul Hamid ; the Khedive of 
Egypt ; the King of Hawaii, Kamehameha Y. ; Queen 
Emma, Queen Dowager of Hawaii; Liliuokalani, late 
Queen of Hawaii ; Frederick, Prince Royal of Prussia, 
afterwards German Emperor, and his wife ; the Duke 
and Duchess of Edinburgh ; the Duke of Connaught ; 
Lord Lytton ; Sir Edward Thornton ; Sir John Adye, 
Governor of Gibraltar; Sir Lintorn Simmons, Governor 

vi 



PREFACE 

of Malta ; Sir Charles Hall ; Secretary Elaine ; Mr. E. J. 
Phelps, Minister to Great Britain ; Mr. John Lee Car 
roll, ex -Governor of Maryland; Mr. David A. Wells; 
Mr. John C. Eopes ; members of the Adams family ; 
members of the McLane family, etc., etc., etc. 

S. R. FEANKLIN, 

Rear-Admiral, V. S. Navy. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I 

PAGE 

Ancestry New York in the Early Days of the Republic Recep 
tion of President Washington Old Merchants of New York 
Lincoln and Stanton 1 



CHAPTER II 

The Rear- Admiral as Midshipman Naval Conditions Half a Cen 
tury Ago A Training-Ship in New York Beginning of Sea 
Duties The Frigate United States and Her Officers 13 



CHAPTER III 

The First Cruise Madeira and Rio Manners on Board Ship- 
Improvement in the Service Boatswains and Gunners Brit 
ish and American Ships Uniforms A Gallant French Sea 
man. . 25 



CHAPTER IV 

Dom Pedro Duelling in the Navy Around the Horn In Val 
paraiso Callao and Lima Sailors Tricks A Conquest of 
California. . , 38 



CHAPTER V 

Winter in Monterey Father Junipero At the Sandwich Islands 
Trip to Mauna Loa Lively Times in Honolulu 52 

ix 



CONTENTS 
CHAPTER VI 

PAGE 

The Marquesas and Tahiti Salute Stories Herman Melville- 
Flogging in the Navy Change of Commodores A Coast 
Cruise Idle in Callao A New Mess Opera in South Amer 
ica Commodore Sloat The Levant s Company 61 

CHAPTER VII 

In Panama A Nicaraguan Journey In the City of Leon Be 
ginnings of the War with Mexico Fremont and Kit Carson 
Another Capture of Monterey Brazilian Midshipmen Stay 
at Rio Home Again 74 

CHAPTER VIII 

At the Naval School Life at Annapolis Fifty Years Since After- 
Fortunes of the Class " Reform Banquets " Coast-Survey 
Service Washington Society 87 

CHAPTER IX 

On Foreign Service The Spragues of Gibraltar Commodore 
Morgan Mess of His Flag-ship Winter Quarters On Leave 
in Rome Early Impressions 100 

CHAPTER X 

In the Adriatic A Royal Visit Fun at Spezzia Leghorn and 
Florence Naples under Bomba Balls at the Academy The 
Sa|u Carlo Pompeii and Vesuvius A Mournful Accident. . . Ill 

CHAPTER XI 

Baths of Lucca Pedestrian Efforts The Store-keeper at Spez 
zia Return to Naples A Promotion Louis Kossuth Aus 
trian Rule Venice, and Porpora s Theatre End of the Cruise . 123 

CHAPTER XII 

Deep-Sea Soundings An Abortive Cruise The Dolphin in a 
Hurricane In Peril from Water and Fire At Rest in Lisbon 
Coast Survey In Annapolis as Professor Captain Golds- 
borough A Practice Cruise White Sulphur Springs 134 

x 



CONTENTS 
CHAPTER XIII 

PAGE 

In the South Atlantic Lieutenant Rodgers "Sandy Welsh" 
In Rio Again Bahia A Slave-Trader s Palace Montevideo 
Agreeable Society Paraguay and Its Dictator Buenos Ayres 
End of the Cruise 149 

CHAPTER XIV 

"Ordnance Duty" The War Cloud Friendships Broken On 
the Macedonian Key West and Pensacola War-Time The 
Privateer Sumter La Guayra and Caraccas In Chase of the 
Slimier Home Again 164 

CHAPTER XV 

In Hampton Roads Raid of the Merrimac Destruction of the 
Congress and the Cumberland The Monitor Appears Fight 
of the Ironclads On the Dacotali End of the Merrimac With 
Farragut at New Orleans First Command on the Aroostook 
An Accident at Washington 176 

CHAPTER XVI 

With Farragut in the Gulf A Year of Blockade Fleet Captain 
at New Orleans Mobile A Night Adventure A Council of 
War Entry into Mobile Return to the North 190 

CHAPTER XVII 

A Pacific Command Life at Mare Island An Inland Expedi 
tion In the Yosemite Valley To Esquimault on Cable Ser 
viceAdmiral Denman Excursion in Washington Territory 
Up Fraser River 202 



CHAPTER XVIII 

California Again Promoted Commander Duck-shooting In 
Command of the Mo7iica?iTo Siberia After an Eclipse- 
Difficult Navigation A Bidarca In Plover Bay The 

Eclipse The Tchuktches of Siberia 214 

xi 



CONTENTS 
CHAPTER XIX 

PAGE 

In Honolulu A Gay Season Queen Liliuokalani The Mohi 
can Ball Eastern Duty Promoted Captain In Command 
of the Wabash Key West Rendezvous Captain of the Frank- 
lin On the European Station A Mistaken Salute Gathering 
at Carthagena Train-Robbers In the Grecian Archipelago. . 225 

CHAPTER XX 

Port Mahon A Negro Consul In Crete Admiral Worden 
The King of Portugal A Northern Cruise Royal Dinners 
Unwonted Honors to Worden Berlin and Copenhagen 
The Charms of Stockholm A Russian Naval Review Festiv 
ities at St. Petersburg 238 

CHAPTER XXI 

In the Baltic Reception at Kiel In English Waters Old Haunts 
in London Villefranche Gaycty in the Riviera Americans 
at Nice Wedding on the Ship 253 

CHAPTER XXII 

J. A. MacGahan In Lisbon The Channel Fleet Lord Lytton 
A Country Visit Captain Mahan Admiral Luce Return to 
the Mediterranean On Leave in Paris A Sudden Recall 
In Hurry to the East 265 

CHAPTER XXIII 

Life in Smyrna At Villefranche Mayoral Receptions Monte 
Carlo After "Boss" Tweed Return Home An Ugly Time 
on the Franklin Origin of a True Story "Ben" and the 
"Meadow-larks" 276 

CHAPTER XXIV 

Promoted Commodore The West Point Board of Visitors Ap 
pointment of Cadets Life in Washington Observatory Man 
agement In Command of the European Station Promoted 

Rear- Admiral 289 

xii 



CONTENTS 
CHAPTER XXV 

PAGE 

On the Flag-ship Pensacola At Work on a Derelict Toboggan 
ing in Madeira Festivities at Gibraltar and Cherbourg Fatal 
Balloon Experiment Copenhagen and Stockholm A Royal 
Visit Dinner at the Palace Mormon Propaganda The Amer 
ican Minister s Feast American Women Abroad 293 

CHAPTER XXVI 

In English Waters Mr. Phelps on Board Among the Docks 
A Southampton Banquet Boar Hunting at Tangier Changes 
at Nice A Christmas Dinner American Diplomatists An 
Extraordinary Request Interview with the Pope Americans 
in Rome The Highlands of Sicily 313 

CHAPTER XXVII 

At Malta Royal Dukes in Port The Duke of Edinburgh s Ball 
and Dinner Sir Lintorn Simmons Admiral Ward An Ex 
cellent Consul At Alexandria Reception by the Khedive 
The Pyramids Jaffa and Jerusalem American College at 
Beirut 329 

CHAPTER XXVIII 

Damascus Entrance to the City Shops and Churches The Pub 
lic Gardens Scriptural Scenes Damascene Houses Constan 
tinople "Sunset" Cox Courtesy from the Sultan The Sa- 
laamlic Audience at the Sublime Porte Social Enjoyments 
The Charms of Prinkapo An American Prima Donna 
Dining at the Palace 341 

CHAPTER XXIX 

Athens and the Greek Islands Sea-Bathing at Leghorn Amer 
icans in Italy Society in Genoa Eastward Again Winter 
in Alexandria Marvels of Our Consular System An Agree 
able Visit Mrs. Franklin at Athens Royal Hospitalities- 
Visit of the King and Queen Domestic Dinner at the Pal 
ace 360 

xiii 



CONTENTS 
CHAPTER XXX 

PACK 

A Run through Italy Trieste,Venice, and Bologna Life at Beau- 
lieu Cadets in a Collision The Baths of Lucca Country 
Excursions Retirement from Active Service Ceremonies of 
Farewell Home Again 375 

CHAPTER XXXI 

At Home in Washington Admiral Raymond Rodgers A Club 
Coterie Patriotic Societies The Memorial Society of Wash 
ington Suggestions and Plans International Marine Confer 
ence The Delegates and their Work Courtesies to their Pres- 
Ment Notes of the Proceedings 384 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



REAR-ADMIRAL S. R. FRANKLIN Frontispiece 

U. S. STEAM FRIGATE FRANKLIN Facing p. 232 

U. S. STEAM FRIGATE PENSACOLA " 300 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 



CHAPTER I 

Ancestry New York in the Early Days of the Republic Reception 
of President Washington Old Merchants of New York Lincoln 
and Stanton. 

MY great-grandfather, Thomas Franklin, was one of 
several brothers, members of an old Quaker family 
which resided in the City of New York during the 
days of the Eevolution. Their ancestors settled in and 
about Flushing, Long Island, many years before that 
period. "Walter Franklin, brother of Thomas, and my 
ancestral uncle, seems to have been the most prosperous 
of the brothers. Mrs. Lamb, in her history of the City 
of New York, speaks of him as a merchant engaged in 
the Eastern trade said to have had as much wealth in 
Eussia as in America. He built and occupied what was 
considered in those days perhaps the finest house in New 
York. It stood on what is now Franklin Square, and 
this Square, named for him, is said to have been the 
site of his gardens. 

Two of Walter Franklin s daughters married broth 
ers De Witt Clinton and George Clinton. When 
General Washington went to New York to be inau 
gurated as the first President of the United States, the 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

house of Walter Franklin was selected for the Presi 
dential Mansion, and was occupied as such for about a 
year. The accompanying letters will be found interest 
ing as describing the preparations made to place the 
house in a suitable condition to receive His Excellency, 
and also to show how he was met by the citizens of 
New York in the simple methods of the early days of 
the Kepublic. 

Kitty F. Wistar, to whom the following letter was 
addressed, was born in 1768, the third child of Caspar 
"VVistar and Mary Franklin, who was the fourth daughter 
of Thomas Franklin (born January 20, 1703), who mar 
ried Mary Pearsall in 1726. The Sarah Kobinson who 
wrote the letter was a Franklin who married Rowland 
Robinson, of the firm of Franklin & Co., in the Eastern 
trade. 

"NEW YORK, SQthofthe Fourth Month, 1789. 

"I feel exceedingly mortified and hurt, my dear cousin, that so 
many of my letters to thee have been miscarried. I have certainly 
written as many as half a dozen since thee left New York, although 
thou acknowledgest the receipt of but one, which almost discourages 
me from making another attempt, so uncertain is it whether it will 
ever reach Brandywine, but I cannot entirely give it up, as I am as 
sured they afford you pleasure. I received thine of the 4th, and was 
pleased to hear you are well, and that my dear uncle and aunt talked 
of making a New York visit. I shall wish for a wedding in the 
family often, if it will bring such good strangers ; so, my dear, insist 
on it, and do not let them disappoint us ; we promise ourselves a great 
enjoyment in their company. . . . 

" Great rejoicing in New York on the arrival of General Washing 
ton ; an elegant Barge decorated with an awning of satin, 12 oarsmen 
dressed in white frocks and blue ribbons went down to E. Town 
last fourth day to bring him up. A stage was erected at the Coffee 
house wharf, covered with a carpet for him to step on, where a com 
pany of Light horse, one of Artillery, and most of the inhabitants 
were waiting to receive him ; they paraded through Queen street in 
good form, while the music of the drums and the ringing of the bells 



LETTER TO KITTY F. WISTAR 

were enough to stun one with the noise. Previous to his coming 
Uncle Walter s* house in Cherry street was taken for him, and every 
room furnished in the most elegant manner. Aunt Osgoodf and Lady 
Kitty Duer had the whole management of it. I went the morning 
before the General s arrival to take a look at it, the best furniture in 
every room, and the greatest quantity of plate and China I ever saw ; 
the whole of the first and second story is papered, and the floors cov 
ered with the richest kind of Turkey and Wilton carpets. The house 
did honour to my aunts, and Lady Kitty, they spared no pains nor ex 
pense on it. Thou must know that Uncles Osgood and Duer were ap 
pointed to procure a house and furnish it, accordingly they pitched 
on their wives as being likely to do better. I have not done yet, my 
dear. Is thee not almost tired ? The evening after his Excellency s 
arrival there was a general Illumination took place, except among 
friends [Quakers] and those styled Anti - Federalist. The latter s 
windows suffered some, thoti may imagine. As soon as the General 
was sworn in, a grand exhibition of fire-works is to be displayed, which 
is expected to be to-morrow; there is scarcely anything talked about 
now but General Washington and the Palace, and of little else have I 
told thee yet, tho have spun my miserable scrawl already to a great 
length ; but thou requested to know all that was going forward. I 
have just heard that William Titus, of Woodbury, is going to be 
married to a sister of Uncle Bowne, mother of Thomas Bowne, who 
I believe thee knows ; Eliza Titus, her husband, and father, and 
mother, spent the evening with us last sixth day. Eliza is muck 
altered since I saw her, is much thinner and plainer. Marie de 
Courcy, too, has been in the town a fortnight, she made her home at 
Uncle Osgood s, but was a great deal among us all ; she is about mak 
ing a little tour into Connecticut, on a visit to a friend Lucy Ball, with 
Joseph Bull, who is now in town. Our families are all well, Hetty 
is still with us, Rowland and the girls love to you. Accept mine, my 
dear cousin, and write soon, to thy affectionate cousin. 

" SARAH ROBINSON." 

" Uncle Walter" Franklin was born in 1727, the old 
est child of Thomas Franklin and Mary Pearsall. His 
house was between Cherry and Queen Streets (now 

* Walter Franklin. 

f The widow of Walter Franklin, who married Dr. Osgood. Her maiden 
name was Maria Bowne. 

3 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Pearl Street), and he was senior partner of the firm of 
Franklin & Co. 

The letter addressed to Samuel Rhoades was written 
by the grandparents of the Kitty Wistar to whom the 
Sarah Robinson letter is addressed. Their son Thomas, 
who did marry Mary Rhoades, was their fourth child, 
born in 1734. Thomas Franklin was the great-grand 
father of General W. B. Franklin, Admiral S. R. Frank 
lin, and Colonel Walter S. Franklin. 

" NEW YORK, 12 mo., 20th, 1763. 
" To SAMUEL RHOADES & WIFE : 

"Dear Friends, As our son Thomas has for some time past ac 
quainted us of his Love and Good Esteem for your daughter Mary, 
and we, conceiving a good opinion of her and family, were well pleased 
with his choice ; but hearing it was a strait with you to part with 
her to come to this place, we could but sympathize with you in the 
affair, so were silent in the case on that account. However, he in 
forms us that 3 r ou have left her to liberty, and she has turned the 
scale for coming, we desire it will be made easy for you, and hope 
we shall always have a paternal care for her and conclude you are 
sensible. There is that attractive Power of Love in all hearts that 
can make one in the best part if adheared to ; if this should be the 
happy case, then it will be a Great Comfort to us all. Tho we have 
thus far expressed our minds, we know not what may happen between 
the cup and the lip, as the saying is, but shall contentedly submit all 
to the Great Director of all Good, and subscribe with love unfeigned 
to you and to your Dear Daughter Mary in particular. 

(Signed), " THOMAS FRANKLIN, 

"MARY FRANKLIN." 

From the autobiography of Mary Robinson Hunter, 
a daughter of Sarah Franklin and William T. Robinson. 
Mr. Hunter was or- Minister at Rio when this was 
written : 

<l Rio DE JANEIRO, 6/A December, 1845. 

"My mother s grandfather on her father s side was a wealthy 
farmer of the State of New York, born of an English father and a 
Dutch mother. They had a large family of sons, of whom my grand- 



LETTER TO THE FRANKLINS 

father was the youngest, and two daughters. Of five sons I can 
speak, having known them all as a child, and all treating me with 
overweening love and indulgence. James, the eldest, followed the 
occupation of his father, and inherited the homestead. He married 
a lady of high breeding, who used to come down from the country 
once a year to visit the families of her husband s brothers, who 
were settled as merchants, three in New York and one in Philadel 
phia. I well remember the awe her presence inspired among us chil 
dren ; the rustling of her silk, and her high-heeled shoes making her 
figure more commanding, and the reproach her never-ending knitting 
cast upon us idle and indulged children. 

" Walter, John, and Samuel resided in New York. They inherited 
large fortunes from their parents, which they put into trade, and the 
produce of China and other countries was wafted to our shores in 
their ships. Walter retired with an immense fortune from the firm, 
lived in the style of a nobleman, and drove an elegant chariot. On 
an excursion to Long Island, driving by a country-house, he saw, 
milking in the barn -yard, where thirty cows had just been driven in 
at sunset, a beautiful young Quaker girl. He stopped, beckoned 
her, and asked who occupied the house. With great simplicity, and 
without embarrassment, she replied, My father, Daniel Bowne. 
Wilt thou not alight and take tea with him ? My uncle accepted 
the invitation, introduced himself, was well known by reputation. He 
conversed with the farmer on the appearance of the farm, on his fine 
cows, etc., but not a word about the fair milk-maid. Presently the 
door opened, and she came in to make tea for the city friend, when 
her father said, Hannah, this is friend Walter Franklin, from New 
York. She blushed deeply, finding he made no allusion to having 
seen her before. The blush heightened her loveliness. She had 
smoothed her hair, and a fine lawn kerchief covered her neck and 
bosom. After three visits he asked her in marriage, and the fair 
maid was seated by his side in the chariot, on her way to take pos 
session as mistress of the most elegant house in the city, in Cherry 
Street, near the corner of Pearl. She had a numerous family of 
beautiful daughters. They swerved from the simplicity of Quaker 
ism, and became worldly and fashionable belles. The eldest, Sally, 
married a very wealthy man by the name of Norton, I believe of 
English birth, who was heir to an immense fortune, left him by a 
Mr. Lake, who lived near New York. The second, Maria, was the 
wife of De Witt Clinton. The third, Hannah, married his brother, 
George Clinton. They all had children. Their mother was left a 
widow just before the third daughter was born my uncle Walter 

5 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

dying, and leaving a rich young widow, and twenty thousand pounds 
to each of his daughters. His widow afterwards married a very re 
spectable Presbyterian named Osgood, who had some post under 
Government commissary of the army in Washington s time, I believe. 
She had a number of children by Osgood. The eldest, Martha, mar 
ried a brother of the famous Genet. My uncle Walter s house is now 
the Franklin Bank, named after its builder and owner. 

"I cannot remember the maiden name of my uncle John s wife, 
for it is of him I am now speaking, but when he married her she 
was a widow Townsend, with one beautiful daughter. She owned and 
lived in a house at the lower end of Cherry Street. Well do I remem 
ber the delightful parties assembled at this hospitable board, and now 
and then, as a great favor, taking turns with my brothers and sisters 
in going with my parents to one of Uncle John s oyster suppers. He 
was of a joyous, happy temper, and loved to tease children. He used 
to tell me how he pitied me for being so homely, all in good-humor 
and irony, but it would wound my budding vanity. He had a large 
family of sons and daughters, all plain in person. His son Thomas 
is, or was, well known in New York as an active, flourishing man, 
where his sons have succeeded him Marius, William, and some 
others, now on the stage of life. My uncle Thomas Franklin [great- 
uncle] settled as a merchant in Philadelphia, and left many children. 
His son Walter was an eminent lawyer in that city, and an accom 
plished, amiable man. Thus I have given an outline of my grand 
father s brothers. His two sisters are now to be brought forward. 
Sally, the eldest, married Caspar Wistar, of Pennsylvania, one of 
nature s noblemen a farmer living on the Brandywine, of German 
parentage, as his name designates. He lived in great luxury and hos 
pitality, and had several children ; his eldest daughter, Sally, married 
a merchant of Philadelphia, by the name of Pennock. Another 
favorite daughter, highly gifted in intellect, married late in life a 
Mr. Sharpies, and had two sons, one named Caspar. They married, 
I believe, two daughters of Bishop Onderdonk, but of this I am not 
quite certain ; one, I know, married a daughter of his.* 

"My grandfather s second sister, Mary, married a Colonel De 
Lancey, of French extraction. His father, I believe, came from 
France. I remember him as a little girl ; he did not love children, 
was of a morose disposition, and I trembled when I heard him ap- 

* Caspar Wistar Sharpies married Elizabeth, and Abraham Wistar Shar 
pies married Anne, both daughters of the Rt. Rev. Henry Ustick Onderdonk, 
Bishop of Pennsylvania. S. R. F. 



RECOLLECTIONS OF MY ANCESTORS 

proach, in a red velvet cap and brocade dressing-gown and slippers, 
when I was playing about, whilst on a visit to my aunt on Long 
Island. They had only one child, a daughter, beautiful in face and 
person, and with much French sprightliness and naivete. She mar 
ried, at thirty, a Mr. Staples of New York, and had, like her mother, 
but one child, a daughter. 

"I now proceed to my maternal grandfather, Samuel Franklin. 
While on a visit to his brother Thomas in Philadelphia, he became 
acquainted with and married Hester Mitchell, a young girl of an 
excellent Quaker family. One of her sisters married into another 
Quaker family, named Parish, of whom Dr. Parish, so justly cele 
brated as a skilful physician and a true Christian, is a member. An 
other sister of my grandmother s was the mother of a large family 
by the name of Marshall, in Philadelphia, several of whom are cele 
brated chemists and druggists. 

"My grandfather brought his wife to New York, and bought or 
built what was then thought to be a fine house in Pearl Street, a few 
doors from the corner of Beekman Street. Here his children were 
born. Several died in infancy ; only three lived to grow up. My 
mother was the eldest, a beautiful brunette, with brilliant eyes, curl 
ing hair, tall and graceful figure. The second, Abraham, married 
a very lovely woman named Ann Townsend, by whom he had thir 
teen children, now scattered about the world. The youngest, John, 
married a country girl of Long Island, named Charity Cornell, who 
was a good wife and a devoted mother to a large family of children. 
Mary, a beautiful girl, and said to resemble me in a striking way, 
married a Mr. Bond, I believe of Baltimore. My uncle Abraham died 
many years ago. My uncle John still lives in New York, but he must 
be more than seventy years of age. My mother grew and bloomed 
amidst the stirring times of the Revolutionary War, when the English 
were in possession of New York." 

The foregoing letters will be interesting to any of the 
Franklins, and those bearing other names who come 
from the same stock, and also, it may be, to the general 
reader, as depicting to some extent the manners and 
customs of the Colonial period. 

My grandfather was an officer of the Army, and 
married the daughter of the Colonel of his regiment, 
Jonas Simonds. Colonel Simonds was an officer of the 

7 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Army during the period of the Revolution, and was an 
original member of the Cincinnati. My brother, General 
Franklin, is now a member of that Society, and inherits 
through my grandmother, Colonel Simonds having left 
no male heirs. 

My father was an only child. He was a law student 
at the school at Litchfield, Connecticut, presided over 
for a number of years by Judge Gould and Judge Reeve. 
Many men who afterwards became distinguished in the 
political history of the country received their educa 
tion there as lawyers. Among others, I remember that 
Calhoun and Clayton were likewise students there, both 
prominent Senators in their day, from South Carolina 
and Delaware respectively. As I write from memory, 
many incidents of my life are so vague that they have 
passed almost entirely out of my mind, which, if they 
were recorded here, might have been interesting reading 
to those who come after me. These memoirs, therefore, 
must be taken for what they are worth a somewhat 
fragmentary narrative of my recollection of persons, 
and also of events, many of which occurred years and 
years ago. 

My father married about the time he completed his 
studies as a student of law at the school to which I re 
ferred above. He married at the early age of twenty- 
one. The object of his choice was Sarah Buel, a daugh 
ter of Dr. Buel, of Litchfield. She became the mother 
of six children, all of whom lived and grew up. My 
father was not destined to enjoy his family very long, 
for he was attacked with a malignant fever, and died 
from its effects when he was only thirty-eight years of 
age. He was convalescent when Mr. Buchanan, after 
wards President of the United States, made him a visit, 
and we thought they had an exciting political conversa- 

8 



MY FATHER AND MOTHER 

tion which produced a relapse from which he never ral 
lied. He was a man in the fulness of health and vigor, 
possessed of a splendid constitution, and the chances were 
that he would reach a mature age ; but it was otherwise 
ordered, and he died, mourned and lamented by all who 
knew him. He was an able and most popular man, be 
loved by every one, and, had he lived, I believe he would 
have reached an exalted position in this country. My 
mother was thus left to struggle through life with her 
six children, and was rewarded for her love for them, 
and for her devotion to their interests, by living to see 
them all well established in life. She died full of years, 
beloved by all, having reached the ripe old age of eighty- 
four. 

My father died in 1838. My elder brother, General 
Franklin, was sent the following year to West Point, 
where he was graduated four years later at the head of 
his class. He was placed in the Corps of Topographical 
Engineers, in which he held important positions of trust 
and responsibility until the breaking -out of the Civil 
War, when he rose rapidly to the rank of Major-Gen 
eral of Volunteers, commanded a corps d armee, and, 
later, the left Grand Division of the Army of the Poto 
mac at Fredericksburg. These facts are familiar to 
students of the history of the Civil War ; but still I feel 
that this is not an unfitting place again to call them to 
mind. I purpose to relate two or three incidents in his 
career which might be termed fragments of the un 
written history of the War. 

The first of these was told to me at Saratoga by General 
Slocum, whom I had known as a general office 1 " under 
my brother s command in the Army of the Potomac. 
He said that on a visit to Washington, from the head 
quarters of the Army, he had a conversation with Mr. 

9 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Lincoln about the condition of affairs there this was at 
the time when the Army was suffering from the incom- 
petency of its leaders he said to Mr. Lincoln to this ef 
fect, though probably not in the same language, " that 
we of the Army of the Potomac, who have assisted in 
fighting its battles, and who are pretty well acquainted 
with the capacity of its Generals, are satisfied that the 
proper man to command that Army is General Franklin." 
The President promptly replied to this effect : " I know 
that as well as you do, General Slocum, but it is more 
than I dare to do, to order him to that command." This 
answer explains itself when it is known that General 
Franklin was always a constant and uncompromising 
Democrat. 

Another incident may illustrate the animus of Mr. 
Stanton, Secretary of War, with regard to General 
Franklin. The General was at his home, slowly con 
valescing from a wound which he had received in the 
campaign on the Red River, when his horse was killed 
from under him by the same bullet which disabled him. 
At the time to which I refer, General Grant was with 
the Army in front of Petersburg. He sent to Franklin 
to come to him at his headquarters, to consult with him 
with a view of giving him the command of the Army 
then operating, or about to operate, in the valley of the 
Shenandoah. When Grant communicated with Stanton 
in reference to the matter, he found him so much prej 
udiced against Franklin that he declined to accede to 
his request. While Franklin was on his way back from 
Grant s Army he was captured, near Baltimore, by 
Harry Gilmore, but made his escape and returned to 
his home. Nothing more was said about the detail, 
and, to borrow a diplomatic expression, the incident 
was closed. Sheridan was ordered to command that 

10 



CAREEKS OF MY BROTHERS 

Army, and, as everybody knows, with the happiest re 
sults. 

Towards the close of the War, my brother went into 
business with the Colt Arms works at Hartford, Con 
necticut, and was made Yice-President of the Company. 
For the past sixteen years he has been chosen by Con 
gress as a member of the Board of Managers of volun 
teer soldiers homes, and has been the President of that 
body for the same length of time. He was appointed 
by Mr. Cleveland as the Commissioner from this coun 
try to the Paris Exposition of 1889. It might be inter 
esting to any one who peruses these memoirs to know 
of one of the influences which was brought to bear upon 
the President in making this appointment, which, I will 
state in advance, was entirely unsolicited by General 
Franklin. It was related to me by Colonel J. Schuyler 
Crosby. He said that he was dining with Colonel 
Jerome Bonaparte, in the company of Mr. Robert Mc- 
Lane, our Minister to France, and that in the course 
of conversation the question arose, and was discussed 
among them, who would be the proper person to repre 
sent this country on that occasion. Colonel Crosby 
told me that three names were mentioned General 
Franklin, Admiral Eaymond Rodgers, and myself. 
The consensus of opinion was in favor of General 
Franklin, for Mr. McLane had an interview with the 
President the following day, the result of which was 
that he was nominated, and confirmed almost immedi 
ately. The appointment did not interfere with his po 
sition as President of the Soldiers Home Board, which 
he continued to hold, and, as I have stated, still holds 
at the present time. 

My only surviving brother besides the General is Colo 
nel Walter S. Franklin. He entered the Army in the 

11 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

early part of the War, and was assigned to one of the 
new three-battalion regiments. He served on the Staffs 
of General Sedgwick and General Wright, and came 
out of the War a Colonel. He was afterwards Com 
mander of the Subdivision of Winchester, and, later, 
was assigned to one of the Western Universities as an 
instructor of tactics. Soon afterwards he left the Army 
and went into the iron business, in which he remained 
a number of years. Having been graduated at the Sci 
entific School at Harvard, with the first honors of his 
class, he was appointed by President Arthur one of 
the United States Light - House Board, of which he is 
now the senior member. He is also President of the 
Baltimore City Street Eailroad, to which position he 
was elected a few years ago, and now resides in Balti 
more. 



CHAPTER II 

The Rear -Admiral as Midshipman Naval Conditions Half a Cen 
tury Ago A Training - Ship in New York Beginning of Sea 
Duties The Frigate United States and Her Officers. 

I WAS appointed an acting midshipman in the Navy 
by Secretary Paulding, on the 18th day of February, 1841. 
In those days the appointments were thus made, and, if 
the Commanding officer with whom an acting midship 
man served made a favorable report on his aptitude for 
the service at the end of six months, a warrant was given 
to him creating him a midshipman. He was then what 
was called a warrant officer, but not a commissioned offi 
cer a most important distinction at that time, for there 
was an impassable gulf between these two classes, to 
which all can testify who have "gone through the mill." 
The warrant man was often made to feel by the commis 
sion man that he was not only an inferior officer, but an 
inferior being altogether. My home at that time was 
York, Pennsylvania, where I was born and bred. Will 
iam Gibson, a classmate of mine, also made York his 
home. He was appointed about the same time I was. 
He used to wear a little round jacket with Navy buttons 
on it, upon which I looked with envious eyes. He also 
wrote for the local newspapers, which was another cause 
of envy in me. I would write mental articles to try 
and get even with him. I thought mine pretty good, 
but no one ever saw them or knew of them but myself 
while his were published and read,, mine never saw the 

13 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

light. I was between fifteen and sixteen ; Gibson was, I 
think, a little my senior. "We both went to sea soon af 
ter. He became quite a distinguished poet, and was 
highly commended by N. P. Willis for his productions. 
We were always good friends in the service, but our 
paths seldom crossed. He died a number of years ago. 
At the period about which I am writing, the interval 
of time from the War which closed in 1815 was less 
than that between the end of the Civil War and the 
present time. There was no such thing as a Naval 
School deserving the name.* Midshipmen were sent 
to the Naval Asylum at Philadelphia (a sort of sailors 
home) after six years service, and there made a kind of 
preparation for examination, but there was no organi 
zation. They did as they pleased, studied or idled as 
suited their whims. There was a Professor of Math 
ematics, and also a Professor of French. There was 
no discipline. The name of the French Professor was 
Miere ; on entering the recitation-room one morning he 
found written on the black-board : " The study of the 
French Language, under the present circumstances, is a 
miere humbug." Of course the Professor was angry, but, 
as I stated above, there was no discipline, and such of 
fences went unpunished ; the Professors were obliged to 
get along as best they could. Not very long before the 



* Since writing this passage I have learned from Professor Soley s His 
tory of the Naval Academy that an effort was made to have Schools for Mid 
shipmen at the Navy-Yards at Boston, New York, and Norfolk; and, as a 
matter of fact, such did really exist. I will quote from Professor Soley s 
book : 

" Attached to each were one or two instructors and a few pupils. The De 
partment had lately issued an order (so called in the report, but more prop 
erly a suggestion) to all Midshipmen not otherwise employed, to repair to one 
of those schools to receive instruction ; but as there was no provision for al 
lowing them travelling expenses, few had taken advantage of it." 

U 



NAVY FILLED WITH MIDSHIPMEN 

time of which I have just spoken, the Midshipmen were 
examined at Barnum s Hotel, in Baltimore, for then 
there was no Naval School whatsoever. But there has 
been a great change since those days, and now the Navy 
can boast, with reason and pride, of one of the best edu 
cational establishments in this or any other country. 

About the time I was appointed there were between 
two and three hundred Acting Midshipmen created, ow 
ing to the fact that there were three or four Secreta 
ries of the Navy during the year 1841 ; the three I re 
member were Paulding, Henshaw, and Upshur. There 
seemed to be no legal limit to the number they could 
appoint, so each one exercised his power in providing 
for his friends, and the Navy was so filled up with Mid 
shipmen that, in order to employ them, it was necessary 
to crowd the steerages the places where the Midship 
men lived on board ship far beyond their capacity, so 
that in the Frigate in which I first went to sea the space 
which, looked upon from a non-seafaring point of view, 
was hardly enough to accommodate four people, had to 
be utilized for twenty-four. Another disadvantage of this 
over-appointing was that no appointments were made 
for five years, if I except the year 1842, when there were 
only twelve, or even a less number, of Acting Midship 
men created. So it happened that this useful class of 
young officers became very scarce, and had to be sup 
plemented by Masters Mates, a system which did not 
work well. They were not in a line of promotion, and 
hence without esprit de corps. Indeed, it took some 
years to overcome the inconvenience that this over 
stocking produced. 

In the spring of 1841 I was ordered to the Keceiving- 
Ship North Carolina, at New York. This line-of-battle 
ship was utilized for the purpose of receiving on board 

15 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

enlisted men, who were detained there until they were 
drafted for some sea -going ship. She, as well as the 
100-gun ship Pennsylvania, at Norfolk, served as a ren 
dezvous for Acting Midshipmen who were sent to them 
in order that they might pick up some of the " ways of 
the sea " before they were ordered to a regular cruiser. 
On board the old North, as we used to call her, there 
was a Professor of Mathematics, of the name of Ward, 
and there was some pretence of having school, but it 
did not amount to much. All that I remember is that 
I was taught some expressions, such as " din .," " lat.," 
and " departure," but I do not think I had the most re 
mote idea what they meant. I have never forgotten 
how the Professor, when twelve o clock was sounded, 
alwa} 7 s sent for his plate of ship s soup which was 
served to the crew, and how he smacked his lips and 
enjoyed it, which, indeed, we all did, for I remember 
how exceedingly good it was. 

There were two messes for the Midshipmen on board 
the North Carolina one, the gun-room mess, as it was 
called, and the other the steerage mess. I was assigned 
to the steerage, where we lived like pigs. The gun 
room was far more respectable. It was there that the 
Passed Midshipmen lived, and I think the Assistant Sur 
geons. As these were grown men, and knew how to take 
care of themselves, they had a very nice mess. Things 
became so bad in the steerage that it was finally aban 
doned and we were transferred to the gun-room, much 
to my delight. I formed friendships there that were 
continued throughout my service, and my whole condi 
tion was very much changed for the better. Captain 
Gallagher commanded, and the First Lieutenant was a 
man of the name of Morehead at times Lieutenant 
Whetmore acted in the same capacity. He wore spec- 

16 



I TIRE OF THE NAVY 

tacles, and we used to call him " Old Four-Eyes." They 
were both odd fish, as I look back at them now, but the 
Navy was filled with odd material in those days. Some 
of the ofiicers whom I remember kindly were Benham, 
Barton, Neville, Woodhull, Schenck, Green Bay, and 
others. They are all dead now. The one who was es 
pecially kind to me was Benham. I have always held 
him in affectionate remembrance. He died many years 
ago. 

During the summer months the ship was anchored off 
the Battery, and, to some extent, the duties were much 
the same as those performed in a regular cruiser. We 
had our watches to keep and our duty to perform, but 
there was not much to point her out as a war machine. 
There had been a long peace, and such training as now 
takes place on board our ships of war was not even 
dreamed of then. Indeed, there was comparatively lit 
tle of it in our regular cruisers ; people thought a great 
deal more of being sailor-men than military men. Sailor- 
men were, of course, very necessar}^ but the more im 
portant that is, the fighting -machine should never 
have held a secondary place. I soon became weary of the 
inactive and monotonous life I was leading. The future 
seemed to hold out nothing that was very alluring, and 
I strongly contemplated resigning and trying my fort 
une in some other walk of life. I talked over the matter 
with my uncle, Dr. Buel, who was a practising physi 
cian in New York, and he agreed with me that the pros 
pects were not very brilliant. However, both thought 
over the matter for several days, and agreed that as 
there must be Naval officers, and as I had embarked 
upon a career in which there was a certainty of exist 
ence, while any other would be an experiment, at all 
events doubtful, I should continue it ; and now I felt 

B 17 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

that I was fairly launched in my profession. I made 
several ineffectual attempts during the summer to get 
orders to sea, and even applied for the Brig Boxer, 
which was fitting for a cruise to the coast of Labrador. 
Finally, in September, I was ordered to the Frigate 
United States, which was fitting out at the Norfolk 
Navy- Yard. Accordingly, I repaired to my new post, 
and, staying on the way at the United States Hotel, at 
Philadelphia, for a night, I there encountered my new 
Commanding officer, Captain James Armstrong, a stal 
wart Kentuckian, about six feet tall and large in pro 
portion. I remember he wore a sort of leather cap 
adorned with a gold band with ragged edges. It was a 
slight thing to remember, but the grotesqueness of his 
whole appearance made an impression upon my youth 
ful mind which has never been effaced. He found out 
who I was, and that I was going to join his ship, and en 
gaged me in an agreeable conversation which made me 
feel comfortable, and seemed to me an auspicious be 
ginning of my cruise. 

I reported at the Norfolk Yard to Commodore War- 
rington early in October, and, as the ship was not yet 
ready to receive the officers and crew, remained for sev 
eral days at French s Hotel. I never shall forget how 
good the Lynn Haven Bay oysters tasted when the 
negro waiters produced them before me, with the ex 
clamation, " Navy officers very fond of oysters !" and 
I remember to have enjoyed my few days of ease there 
very much indeed. I met at the hotel my future mess 
mates, who were to be my close companions for three 
years ; there we formed our plans for messing, and dis 
cussed the coming cruise with that enthusiasm which 
belongs to youth alone. 

We were not long permitted to enjoy our ease. Orders 

18 



ON BOARD THE UNITED STATES 

came for us to repair on board the Frigate, and we were 
placed in our proper messes in the steerage, had our 
places in watches and divisions assigned to us, and soon 
settled down to regular work. I was put in the lar 
board mess somehow, for what reason I do not know, 
regarded as the "swell" place. Most of my friends, 
those with whom I had served in the Carolina, were 
there with me, and as we had seen more service in what 
Jack used to call the Guardo, we had a pretty good 
opinion of ourselves, and were disposed to look down 
on the men of the starboard steerage as youngsters, 
many of them having been recently appointed, and sent 
to the ship without any previous training whatsoever. 
We were green enough, ourselves, but they were greener 
Midshipmen still, and were consequently subjected to 
the hazing and running which fell to our lot on board 
the North Carolina, and which has been from time 
immemorial practised in all institutions by the older 
boys upon the younger ones, and, although a good 
deal modified now, will continue to be a custom for 
ever. 

After many trials and vicissitudes we finally settled 
down to the regular routine of a man-of-war. We 
elected a caterer of the mess, and lived comfortably 
enough for the time. Our trials came on with the night, 
for, as I have said, our mess-room, which was our bed 
room also, was about large enough fairly to accommo 
date two people, yet twelve of us were huddled together 
in this apartment like so many pigs in a pen. Our 
hammocks, instead of hanging loose to the sport of the 
wind, formed a sort of continuous sheet of canvas, dotted 
over with mattresses. We could neither turn in or out of 
them without disturbing our neighbors, causing growl 
ing and quarrelling which often led to serious conse- 

19 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

quences. I think there was but one basin for the morn 
ing toilet at the most, two but we made the best of 
our inconveniences, and accepted the situation with a 
good grace. Eanged around this luxurious apartment 
were the lockers for our clothes. They were not ample, 
but we accommodated ourselves to their capacity, and 
managed to get on with small wardrobes. We were 
permitted to go on shore occasionally, when we laid in 
our private stores, books for our journals, our quad 
rants, etc. 

In due time the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific 
Squadron, Commander Thomas ap Catesby Jones, ar 
rived, and hoisted his broad pennant. The Commodore 
was, I think, considered one of the best officers of his 
day. He had commanded a gunboat in the waters of 
Louisiana with great credit, being wounded in the arm 
in some affair in which his command was engaged, the 
effect of which he carried to his grave. He was al 
lowed a servant by the Government, to assist him in 
putting on and taking off his coat, which was quite im 
possible for him to do alone. His contemporaries were 
Shubrick, Warrington, Morris, Wilkinson, Claxton, and 
others, all of whom had served in the War of 1812. 
Stewart also commanded a squadron about this time, 
but he was older than those I have mentioned, and 
could hardly be called a contemporary. It will not, 
perhaps, be out of place here to relate a little anec 
dote which was told by Commodore Stewart to my old 
friend and classmate, the late Commodore W. T. Trux- 
ton. It seems that Commodore Truxton, the grand 
father of my friend, commanded the Naval Station at 
Baltimore. At the time to which I refer, Commodore 
Stewart commanded a brig which was fitted out there, 
and had been ordered by Truxton to proceed to sea on 

20 



OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES 

a certain day. Stewart reported on that day that he 
was altogether unprepared, and that it was impossible for 
him to sail, as he had not yet hoisted in his main-mast. 
Truxton s reply was : " Obey your orders." Stewart did 
sail at the appointed time, towing his main-mast astern. 
The wind was fortunately fair, and he continued on 
until he reached a point beyond the limits of Truxton s 
command, where he anchored, hoisted in his main-mast, 
and completed his preparations for sea. 

The Constitution, the former flag-ship of the Pacific 
Station, passed us on her way to the ISTorf oik Navy- Yard 
while we were lying at the buoy off Town Point. I 
shall never forget the impression the song of the leads 
men made upon me, as they called out : " By the mark 
five," " By the deep six," etc. ; it was music to my ear 
then, and has been ever since. I think the old song 
has ceased to charm, and has gone into disuse with the 
ships in which it was used. With our rapid-moving 
craft the Captain must know the soundings quicker than 
he did when they came to him only at the end of a stave 
of the old song. 

While it is not at all likely that these lines will ever 
meet the eye of any one who knew the officers of the 
Frigate United States as contemporaries, yet it might 
not be amiss to mention their names, as it is possible 
they might be seen by some of their descendants, for it 
is generally pleasant to know what our ancestors were 
doing, and where they were, many j^ears ago. The First 
Lieutenant was Isaac S. Sterrett, of Baltimore " Mob- 
town," as he used to like to call it, for it had earned 
that reputation at the time of which I speak. He was 
a good seaman, and knew his duties well. He did not 
remain long with us, since a vacancy occurred in a com 
mand soon after we reached the Pacific Station, and he 

21 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

was ordered to fill it. The Second Lieutenant, who was 
in those days the senior watch -officer, was Murray 
Mason. He was by no means a favorite with the Mid 
shipmen, for he had no hesitation in sending us to the 
mast-head for punishment. He was transferred soon 
after we reached the station to the Cyane, as First Lieu 
tenant. The other Lieutenants were Henderson, Du- 
lane\ r , Ball, and Avery. The Master was "W. A. Parker. 
At that time the junior of the ward-room line officers 
was called Master, which corresponded to the present 
Navigator, who ranks next to the Executive Officer. 
"Why the junior ever occupied that position, I have never 
been able to understand, as it is one of the most im 
portant and responsible ones on board of a ship of war. 
The change to the present system is, I think, a great 
improvement. The junior Lieutenant, Avery, was by 
far the best sea-officer I have ever seen on the deck of a 
man-of-war. His style was the best, his manner the 
most seaman-like, his voice was like music, and all the 
qualities that go to make up the best type of deck-officer 
were embodied in him. The men jumped at his call, 
and, although he did not spare them, they adored him. 
No officer on board ship could get the work out of them 
that he could. The Captain had the most implicit con 
fidence in him, and when we were buffeting about off 
Cape Horn, when he was Officer of the watch u all 
hands" were never called for getting the ship under 
short canvas, for he, with the watch on deck, was suffi 
cient of himself. Herman Melville, in White Jacket, 
calls him " mad Jack," and when he was making the 
ship snug in a heavy gale of wind he well deserved the 
sobriquet, although at other times he was as quiet as a 
lamb. To sum him up, he was a gentleman seaman of 
the first order. 

22 



GENERAL LOCKWOOD 

Of the other officers I do not remember any special 
peculiarities which they possessed that distinguished 
them from others of their class. They were generally 
good seamen, and looked out for the ship well when in 
charge of the deck. 

The only surviving officer that I call to my recol 
lection as I write is General Lockwood. He must be 
very nearly, if not quite, eighty years of age. He was 
our Professor of Mathematics, and was most zealous in 
his efforts to instil into our youthful minds the rudi 
ments of algebra and geometry. He carried us up to 
analytical geometry, and made those of us who took 
an interest in his teachings very good navigators. He 
also taught us history, and never lost an opportunity to 
instruct us in what we ought to know. I have always 
felt grateful to him for giving me such a good ground 
work in mathematics, as it enabled me to take a respect 
able standing in these studies when I went to Annapolis 
to prepare for my examination. He is now on the re 
tired list of the Navy, as a Professor of Mathematics 
having served a long and honorable career not only in 
the Navy, but as a general officer during the Civil 
War. General Lockwood may be said to have been 
one of the pioneers of the Naval Academy at Annap 
olis, for, with the exception of the time he served in 
the Army during the War, he was associated with 
that institution from its infancy. Of the Midshipmen, 
twenty-nine in all, with whom I served in the Frig 
ate United States, I know of no one now living, and I 
do not know that any of them lived long enough to at 
tain Flag rank except myself. Jeffers became a Com 
modore, and died in that grade. They had nearly all 
disappeared, in one way and another, before the War, 
and, so far as I can recollect, Jeffers and I were the 

23 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

only ones whose names were borne on the Navy Keg- 
ister after its close. This is all I have to say at pres 
ent of my first shipmates, but it is quite likely that 
I shall refer to them further on in the course of this 
narrative. 



CHAPTER III 

The First Cruise Madeira and Rio Manners on Board Ship Im 
provement in the Service Boatswains and Gunners British and 
American Ships Uniforms A Gallant French Seaman. 

THE Frigate United States sailed from Hampton Koads 
early in January, 1842. She was a ship about the size 
of the old Constitution, and was launched in the latter 
part of the last century. She was known among the old 
seamen of those days as the States Frigate, and had the 
reputation of being the swiftest ship in the Navy, and 
perhaps in the world. She was not what might be 
called a pretty ship in these days, and did not sit as 
gracefully on the water as the Constitution, for her best 
sailing-point was when she was trimmed by the head, 
which detracts very much from the appearance of any 
ship ; but she was so good in all other respects that her 
ugliness was forgotten. In the rating of the day, she 
was what was called a forty-four-gun Frigate ; and al 
though I do not remember the exact number of guns 
she carried, yet it was more than she was rated. The 
main-deck guns were long twenty-fours ; they had been 
taken from one of the captured British Frigates, and 
had a crown moulded on the upper part of the breech. 
The spar - deck battery consisted of forty - two - pounder 
carronades, and twenty-four-pounder bow-chasers. The 
higher calibre guns had not yet come into general use 
at all events we had none of them on board the United 
States. 

25 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

We shaped our course for Madeira ; the wind was fair, 
and we soon reached the Gulf Stream. We were glad 
to leave the cold weather behind us, for our discomforts 
in fitting out during the winter were very great. I have 
never forgotten the pleasing impression that this thaw 
ing out, so to speak, made upon my youthful mind. The 
sea, to be sure, was rough, but there was the bright 
sky overhead, and the deep blue sea underneath, and we 
were fairly off on our cruise. There was no more shiv 
ering as we marched up and down the deck in our night 
watches, and everything now seemed couleur de rose. 
The passage to Madeira was, I think, the ordinary length, 
about eighteen or twenty days. We managed to run into 
a gale of wind just as we sighted the Island, and were 
buffeted about for two or three days. It was not thought 
prudent to make the anchorage, for there is no harbor 
at Funchal, and it is necessary to anchor in very deep 
water, with the ship prepared to get under way upon 
the approach of bad weather. Vessels were always 
warned by the firing of a gun on shore when it was 
deemed unsafe to remain at anchor, so they always 
went to sea when this signal was given, for if they re 
mained too long, they were in great danger of being 
driven ashore. After the gale subsided, and the sea 
calmed do wn, we came to anchor near Loo Rock, and, soon 
after, the natives swarmed on board, bringing with them 
the most delicious grapes, and fruits of every variety. 
It is not difficult to imagine how eager we were to get 
at them after our long passage at sea; and then the 
fresh grub which followed soon after in the shape of 
beefsteak and onions and soft tack (bread), produced a 
sensation never to be forgotten. 

Our stay at Madeira was to be short I think it was 
only three days so we Midshipmen were allowed to go 



AT MADEIRA 

on shore, half of our number at a time. It was our first 
foreign port, and we of course enjoyed it to the fullest 
extent. I do not remember much of what we did, but I 
recall that we each hired a horse, and dashed wildly 
about the Island, reckless of consequences, each fellow 
trying to get ahead of the other, the owner or attendant 
of the horse hanging on by his tail all the time. How 
they managed to do it, I do not know, but they did, 
somehow or other. At this time our Consul was Mr. 
Howard March ; he was also a wine merchant, and lived 
in great luxury. I dined with him once, but I do not re 
member whether it was at this time or upon some sub 
sequent visit. I remember distinctly, however, that he 
produced some rare old Madeira that w^as nearly as 
white as water. At the time about which I am writing, 
Madeira wine was still much drunk in this country. We 
received on board many casks of it for the Commodore 
and his friends who had given him orders for it, and who 
wished their wine to have the benefit of a three years 
shaking up before it was delivered to them at home. I 
recollect distinctly some of the names of well-known 
people on the barrels, as they came on board to be, 
stored away for a cruise, deep down in the spirit-room of 
the Frigate. After everybody had had an opportunity 
of a run on shore, and our stores for the next passage 
had been received on board, the spirit-room well stocked 
for its curing process, and after the delights of our three 
days sojourn, we were not unwilling to proceed towards 
our station in the Pacific, for there was a feeling that I 
think we all shared, of strong "desire to be there. 

We sailed from Madeira in the early days of February, 
bound for Kio de Janeiro. We soon took the N.E. trades, 
and steered for the meridian at which we were to cross 
the equator ; for it is necessary, as all seamen know, to 

37 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

give one s self plenty of Easting, in order that when the 
S.E. trade-winds strike the ship she will have abundant 
room to weather Cape St. Koque, for ships have been 
known, when falling to leeward, to have to run back into 
the variables to make their Easting, and try it over again. 
When we reached the equator there was, as is usual, great 
excitement, for not one of the Midshipmen had ever 
crossed the line before, and the first crossing is always 
an interesting epoch to all who go to sea. Fortunately, 
Neptune s visit was not permitted on board the United 
States, as it is in most ships of war. I never knew why, 
but I suppose the reason was that there were so many 
greenhorns on board that it would have given him and 
his assistants altogether too much to do. 

Nothing of especial interest occurred until we sighted 
Cape Frio, the first land that is made in approaching 
the harbor of Eio. The next day we sighted the Sugar 
Loaf, a very striking landmark at the entrance of the 
harbor, and with a fine sea-breeze we shot past it and en 
tered one of the most beautiful bays in the Avorld in 
deed, taken together with its great capacity and gorgeous 
scenery, it is not equalled by any other that I have ever 
seen. We moored ship for a somewhat protracted stay. 
It was necessary to calk, provision, and water her, and 
make such other preparations as would render her snug 
for the passage around the Horn. We had completely 
changed the season, for, although we were in February, 
it was summer in Kio, and the weather was hot enough. 
It was, however, tempered by the sea-breeze, which 
blows here with the regularity of a monsoon every after 
noon ; and as the awnings were kept spread, the ship 
was comparatively cool and comfortable. We soon set 
tled down to the routine of harbor work. The neces 
sary preparations for the Cape passage went regularly 

28 



MANAGING A MESS 

on. The officers were permitted to visit the shore, as 
their liberty days, as they were called, came around. I 
think we all enjoyed the change from the sea -life. 
The fact of having fresh grub and fruit after our 
salt-horse (beef) and pork at sea was most agreeable. 
Our crockery was broken at sea, and our stores nearly 
all wasted, by the time we reached Rio. One of the 
principal articles of our table furniture was a cigar-box, 
from which we used to eat our soup, taking it in turns. 
"We called it the steamboat why, I do not remember. 
The salt beef would be placed on the table, and who 
ever said " First beef !" had the first cut. There was al 
ways a choice, because the delicate part of salt-horse is 
the fat, and the fellow speaking first, always got the 
best of that. We made it a point of honor that the first 
speaker should have the first choice. I often wonder 
that there was not a row about it, and how we man 
aged to keep the peace when the condition of things 
was so crude. There was something very cruel, as I 
look back at it, in permitting a lot of boys to be hud 
dled together, with no one to look out for their well- 
being, most of them only sixteen or under, with no expe 
rience, and expected to manage a mess. To be sure, one 
of the number was appointed by themselves caterer, but 
what could he know about keeping a boarding-house or 
disciplining servants, for such really were the duties he 
was expected to perform. There was something very 
faulty in this regard in those days, and we were suffer 
ers from a bad system. It is all changed now. The 
graduates of the Naval Academy are men when thev 
leave there, and are prepared for anything ; but then it 
was otherwise ; we were only green boys,kno wing nothing. 
The American man-of-war in the days about which I 
am now writing differed but in a slight degree from the 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

British ships of war of the time about which Marryat 
wrote, and made himself famous by his charming stories 
of the sea. To be sure, the flogging of Midshipmen was 
not permitted, but there is one instance on record when 
this was resorted to, although it is the only one which 
has ever come to my knowledge. The names of the 
parties to this transaction, and the circumstances at 
tending it, have long since passed from my mind, but I 
remember distinctly how the matter was discussed by 
us Midshipmen fifty years ago, and how the case was 
disposed of by the authorities, in such a way as to make 
us feel assured that it would never occur again. In 
most other respects our ships were the same in their 
internal economy as those on which Midshipmen Easy 
and Peter Simple had seen their service. Mast-heading 
was still resorted to, and I remember, in my own case, I 
was once kept aloft so long that I went quietly to sleep 
in the bunt of the foresail. On the occasion to which 
I refer, I was sent only to the foremast-head, but anoth 
er time I passed many hours at the maintopmast-head. 
I recall distinctly how we managed to smuggle a small 
bottle of whiskey to one of our messmates who was 
mast-headed ; and, while it was not enough to make him 
drunk, he was in a very happy frame of mind when he 
came down. This method of punishment, however, was 
brought to an end in the Squadron in which I saw my 
first service, by charges having been preferred against 
some Lieutenant for illegal punishment, of which mast 
heading was one of the specifications. The Lieutenant 
came to grief, and that system of punishment was never 
again resorted to in that Squadron. I have never heard 
of an instance of it from that day to this ; but yet we 
were a good deal " bullyragged " in various ways. I do 
not remember many instances when we were absolutely 

30 



A BOATSWAIN S WEAKNESS 

cursed by our superior officers, but the general tone and 
style were much the same as Marryat describes when 
he so vividly represents a First Lieutenant giving utter 
ance in the most polite manner to the choicest expres 
sions upon reprimanding some delinquent, and winding 
up by applying epithets to him which are familiar to 
the readers of Marryat s novels. The Boatswains and 
Gunners of those days were very much the same as 
those of Marryat s cruisers. The Boatswain of the 
Frigate in which I made my first cruise was an Eng 
lishman by birth, and had been promoted from the 
ranks. He had been a Boatswain s mate, and was 
what is called on board ship a good man, which means 
a man that does his work intelligently and well. He 
had the failing of most of his class : he would drink, 
and sometimes to excess. On one occasion, when he had 
been indulging steadily for some time, and was on the 
verge of delirium tremens, some of the Midshipmen con 
vinced him that he was dead, took him to his room, laid 
him out, put cents on his eyes, and left him in that con 
dition. He soon recovered, however, and returned to his 
duties. Such offences were readily condoned in those 
days, for they were frequent, not only with Jack, but 
with his master. The former no longer thinks it neces 
sary to get drunk when he goes on shore, and the im 
provement in this regard among naval officers has 
been most marked during the past fifty years. While 
at the time to which I refer drunkenness was very com 
mon, it is now, as a habit, almost unknown. A whole 
some dread of the examining boards, and the general 
improvement of the times in matters of temperance, 
have been instrumental in producing a personnel which 
is perhaps as little addicted to the vice of intemperance 
as that of any Navy in the world. 

31 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

While Boatswains have many of the peculiarities of 
the class from which most of them have sprung, which 
perhaps would unfit them for promotion to the higher 
ranks, there is no officer on board ship who is, in a gen 
eral way, more useful than they are. Advanced to the 
position which he occupies, first because he is a first- 
class seaman, and owing to his ability to lead men, the 
Boatswain is always on hand when any general work is 
going on, and is of the greatest assistance to the Execu 
tive Officer in managing the crew as a whole. Of course, 
as there is nothing to be done aloft these days in our 
new men-of-war, it might be said that his usefulness 
would be somewhat impaired; but if I were in com 
mand, now, of one of the modern ships, I should be 
very sorry to be without a Boatswain. The Gunner 
of the old days was not altogether unlike the Boat 
swain ; like him, he was generally promoted from the 
ranks, and, like him, must necessarily be a good seaman 
and leader of men. In addition to the charge of the 
guns and everything connected with the battery, he 
was also responsible for the main -rigging and every 
thing belonging to the main - sail, and as his domain 
bordered so closely upon that of the Boatswain, who 
had charge of the main-mast from the main-yard up to 
the main-truck, many a row between these old salts took 
place, and there was a sort of border warfare always 
going on. The Gunner with whom I served on my 
first cruise was a rare character. He had no mercy 
upon any delinquent subordinate, more especially if he 
sat upon the match-tubs, or interfered in the slightest 
degree with anything in connection with the battery, 
even though that interference might be entirely harm 
less. The match-tubs were little wooden vessels, hav 
ing a top with a hole in it, in which a lighted match, 

32 



AMERICAN NAVAL CUSTOMS INHERITED 

fixed upon an upright stick, was placed, and made to 
stand erect by a sharp iron point on the end opposite 
the match. It must be remembered that I am writing 
of the days when guns had to be touched off by match 
es. I am thus particular in describing the match-tubs, 
because the old Gunner, finding that the men used them 
for seats, placed some sharp iron spikes in them, so that 
any one sitting on them might receive an ugly wound, 
or, if he stepped upon them with bare feet, might be 
seriously injured. But what did he care ? The match- 
tubs were diverted from their proper use, and lie pro 
posed to get even with the perpetrators of so flagrant 
an offence. Of course he was not sustained ; the mat 
ter was brought to the notice of the proper authorities, 
and he was obliged to remove the spikes. He had the 
satisfaction, however, of showing what a high crime and 
misdemeanor he considered it, to sit on one of his match- 
tubs. This old Gunner is called by Herman Melville, 
in White Jacket, " Old Combustibles." Melville was a 
shipmate of mine, and of the Gunner as well. I shall 
probably have occasion to refer to him again in the 
course of this narrative. 

The customs of an American man-of-war came down 
by natural inheritance from those in force on board the 
ships of the mother-country. We piped to dinner, we 
rolled to grog, we played " The Roast Beef of Old Eng 
land," we had our Jimmy Ducks, whose duty it was to 
look out for the live - stock, our Jack o the Dust, who 
brought up the tail end of the Purser s staff, got up the 
grog, assisted in serving out provisions, and attended 
generally to any work that was going on in the Purser s 
department. Then there was " Jimmy Legs," the Mas- 
ter-at-Arms. Why this sobriquet was given to him I 
never knew, but possibly Jackie thought it appropriate, 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

because it was his duty to put his legs in irons when 
he deserved it. I might mention many other points of 
resemblance, which, indeed, were so striking in many 
instances that but for the Flag and the Crown on the 
one, and the Flag and the Eagle on the other, one might 
have imagined himself, if his eyes had been suddenly 
unbandaged, to be on board a ship of either nation. To 
be sure, there was more homogeneity in the crew of the 
British ship ; they looked alike, as if they belonged to 
the same nation, which, indeed, with rare exceptions, 
they did, while the American man-of-war of those days 
had a crew composed of men of all nations, and it was 
rarely the case that a majority of them were native- 
born Americans. 

Unlike any other Navy, the ships of Great Britain 
and the United States both carried a guard of infantry 
called Marines. They were looked upon somewhat in 
the light of the old Swiss Guards, a sort of protection 
to the throne. At that time Jack was altogether a dif 
ferent character from what he is now. The day of the 
usefulness of the Marines in that sense has passed away, 
and the matter of dispensing with them altogether is 
being discussed ; but they are such a useful body for 
the protection of Consulates, and service of a kindred 
nature, while they are still a portion of the crew, that I 
doubt the wisdom of withdrawing them from our men- 
of-war, in which opinion, I fear, I differ from many naval 
officers. 

While upon the subject of the old days of the Navy, 
it may not be out of place here to make some mention 
of the uniform that was worn at the time I entered it. 
When one reflects that the epaulets now worn originated 
from something that was once used to protect the shoul 
ders from a sabre-cut, it seems strange enough that we 

34 



NAVAL UNIFORMS 

should have worn but one, but such was really the case 
when I first went to sea. It was the uniform of a Lieu 
tenant, and was worn upon the right shoulder. There 
was no such thing as a frock-coat known to the service 
at that time, and it was long before the conservative 
feeling about the "swallow-tail" could be overcome. I 
remember that some officer who was a strong advocate 
for the frock-coat remarked that there was no especial 
objection to the swallow-tail, if the tails were changed 
to the front, as stomach protectors. There was no ob 
jection to the wearing of silk high hats in uniform in 
those days, but, although I have seen them worn my 
self, the custom was rapidly dying out. Gray trousers 
might be worn with blue jackets in fact, there was an 
indifference about uniform which at this day it is difficult 
to appreciate. In the perusal of Dr. McCauley s Life of 
Admiral Anson, to which I am indebted for what I say 
here about British naval uniform, I find that there was 
the same indifference to it formerly in the British ser 
vice as there was later in our own. He says that up to 
the middle of the last century there was no special 
dress or costume in the Royal Navy ; that on the Medi 
terranean Station it was a common thing for Lieutenants 
to purchase the soldiers old coats at Port Mahon and 
Gibraltar, when, trimming them with black, they would 
wear them as uniforms. The color of the breeches 
on every Station was quite immaterial, and left to the 
fancy of each officer. They were generally black or 
scarlet. Major Sennell, in a letter, says : " Sixty-two 
years ago in 1759 I saw a Master of a man-of-war 
who wore a red coat trimmed with black, and thought 
himself very smart. Perhaps," he says, " it was one of 
the Lieutenants old coats, as they then wore blue uni 
forms." 

35 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Navy blue was then but newly introduced, and was a 
novelty in the middle of the century. In a letter from 
Captain Keppel to Captain Saumarez, dated London, 
25th of August, 1747, he says : " My Lord Anson is de 
sirous that many of us should make coats after our own 
tastes, and that then a choice should be made of one to 
be general, and if you will appear in it here, he says he 
will be answerable that your taste will not be among the 
worst." What the uniform then selected was does not 
appear, nor can any Order in Council be found either in 
the Council Office or at the Admiralty, where Sir John 
Barrow caused careful search to be made. The gossip 
ing wits of the town said that the Duke of Bedford, the 
First Lord of the Admiralty, took the idea of blue, with 
white collars, cuffs, and facings, from the Duchess of 
Bedford s riding-habit. Be this as it may, the adoption 
of blue as the Naval color dates from that time. I pre 
sume the author means, by that time, about the middle 
of the last century. If any modifications in the details 
of uniforms were gradually introduced, the record of 
these must be found in the portraits of Naval Officers 
in picture-galleries, or in the costumes preserved in fam 
ily wardrobes and old chests, or in historical relics, such 
as the famous Nelson s coat in the show-case at Green 
wich Hospital. 

In the same work of Dr. McCauley from which I have 
just been quoting, I was so much struck with what I 
read of the gallantry of seamen under adverse circum 
stances that I thought it might not be amiss to relate 
here what he says in speaking of one of Anson s fights. 
It is as follows : " In the sea-fight between the fleets 
of Lord Anson and M. de Jonquiere, in which the for 
mer beat the Frenchman, M. St. George, the Command 
er of the Invincible, kept his colors flying some time 

36 



A FRENCHMAN S SURRENDER 

after the French Admiral had struck. M. St. George 
struck to Alison s ship, the Prince George, and when 
he went on board to deliver up his sword to the Ad 
miral, all were impressed by the courtesy and coolness 
of this French officer of the old, chivalrous type. He 
went frankly up to Anson, presenting his sword with 
the words: "Monsieur, vous avez vaincu I? Invincible, 
et La Gloire vous suit;" referring to the companion 
French ship, which was also captured. This neat com 
pliment was delivered in a charming manner, and the 
scene proved the beginning of a personal friendship 
which became very intimate, and ceased only with the 
Admiral s death. 



CHAPTER IV 

Dom Pedro Duelling in the Navy Around the Horn In Valpa 
raiso Callao and Lima Sailors Tricks A Conquest of Cali 
fornia. 

BUT to return to my narrative. Our stay at Kio was 
drawing rapidly to a close. Quite a number of the 
officers were presented to the Emperor Dom Pedro, I 
amongst the number. He was a boy, himself, then, not 
much older, if any, than we were. He became distin 
guished as a scientific student and philanthropist years 
after, and ruled in Brazil with a mild and beneficent 
sway. The people became impatient for a Republic, 
and could not await the death of the good Emperor, 
but dethroned him, and set up a Government of their 
own. They would not have had to wait long, even in 
the course of nature ; it broke his heart, and he died 
soon after he lost his throne. 

In those days, duelling was not punished by dismis 
sal, as it is now. Midshipmen, upon the slightest provo 
cation, would go out and have a crack at each other. 
One morning while we were in Rio, a party of friends 
of one side and the other went to see fair play, and wit 
ness the fight which took place between two youngsters, 
one of our mess, and one of the starboard mess. The 
distance was, I think, ten paces, and the weapons small 
pocket-pistols. The bullet of one of the youngsters 
passed unpleasantly near the head of the other, and, 
after firing two or three rounds without hitting, the 

38 



DUELLING IN THE NAVY 

seconds made the matter up, and the duel was off. But 
the principals never became friends. I presume there is 
no reason now why their names should not be men 
tioned. One was a very clever man of my class, and 
a messmate, A. C. Jackson ; the other, also a class 
mate, a very good fellow, of the name of Baldwin. 
They are both dead now, and the duel was fought more 
than fifty years ago. The cause which brought about 
the fight was most trifling, as were the causes of most 
of the infantile duels of those days. This pocket-pistol 
row, however, resulted in putting a stop to that meth 
od of settling difficulties in the Pacific Squadron ; the 
Commander-in-Chief, upon hearing of it, which he did 
soon after it took place, issued what was then known as 
" the duelling pledge." By the provisions of the pledge, 
every Midshipman in the Squadron was obliged to sign 
it upon pain of being detained indefinitely on board 
ship, without any leave whatever. Of course there was 
a show of rebellion in the youthful mind, but in the end 
we all signed it but one. In some of the ships of the 
Squadron which we joined later, it met with great oppo 
sition, and I think the midshipmen of the Yorktown all 
refused to sign. I fancy, on the whole, Commodore 
Jones did well, and may have saved lives which oth 
erwise would have been uselessly sacrificed, for even 
youngsters did not always fight with pocket-pistols. 

Somewhere in the latter part of February, 1842, we 
sent down our long poles, sent up our stump top-gallant 
masts, bent our best suit of sails, and got under way to 
round the Horn, the stormy Cape at the lower extrem 
ity of the Continent, which must be doubled before we 
could reach our much-desired station. The first week 
or two the weather was pleasant enough, but as we ap 
proached the Falkland Islands premonitory symptoms 

39 



MEMORIES OF A RE AR- ADMIRAL 

of what we might expect began to appear. We passed 
through the Strait of La Maire, and before many 
days we were up with the Cape. The winds were gen 
erally from the westward, so we banged about for days, 
making but little headway, being able to carry but 
short sail, and not gaining much on our course as the 
days went by. We were approaching the Cape Horn 
winter, and the nights were long, dark, and cold. There 
was but little to relieve the gloom and monotony. We 
saw plenty of albatrosses and Cape pigeons, and before 
we reached Valparaiso we caught some of the latter 
and made a pie of them, which I remember was uncom 
monly good, from our point of view, although the birds 
were fishy and strong, and hardly fit to eat. The ward 
room officers had laid in a good supply of Madeira when 
we were at the Island which produces it, and during the 
weary hours of the first watch there came up from 
below a sound of revelry that was very cheering, and 
helped to speed the tedious hours as we rolled and 
tossed and tumbled about off the pitch of the stormy 
Cape. I remember well some of the words of a Cana 
dian boat-song, which they sang night after night, and 
which made such an impression upon my youthful mind 
that I have never forgotten it. I never saw it in print, 
and remember only the refrain and a few lines of the 
song itself. Of course, without the air it loses its effect. 
It went something in this way : 

"Happy are we, fearless and free, 
Rowing our boat o er the deep blue sea. 
Ladies, at best, hold landsmen cheap 
Pull away merrily, all pull cheerily. 
Beauty smiles on the sons of the deep 

Pull away merrily, all pull cheerily. 
Happy are we, fearless and free, 
Rowing our boat o er the deep blue sea." 
40 



RECOLLECTIONS OF VALPARAISO 

The Cape was finally doubled, and we were fairly on 
our way to Valparaiso, with the sweetest breeze behind 
us, blowing us along at the rate of ten knots or more, 
while the air was becoming softer each day as we sped 
on our way. The barometer, which had been low for 
many days, began to rise, and so did our spirits, for vi 
sions of beefsteaks and onions and all the accompani 
ments rose vividly before us, and they were to be 
within our reach after a few more night-watches had 
rolled around. Just before we reached port, the Com 
modore killed a pig, and was good enough to send a 
portion of it to our mess. It happened to be my watch 
on deck, so my share was saved for me until it was 
over. When I went below I found it waiting me with 
some boiled rice, and although I have eaten a great many 
good dinners since, yet none have left such lasting im 
pression upon me as did the Commodore s roast pig and 
rice. It was about the only fresh grub, except the Cape 
pigeons, that I had had since we left Rio. Finally the 
land was made, we rounded the Point of Angels, known 
as reef top-sail point, on account of the sudden squalls 
that strike ships there, and came to anchor in deep water 
in the Bay of Valparaiso. 

Valparaiso, at the time of which I write, was perhaps 
the largest and most important seaport on the Pacific 
Coast. The largest mercantile houses, generally in the 
hands of English and Americans, were located here, 
branches of which were to be found in Lima as well. 
The most important were those of Alsop & Co. and 
Gibbs, Crawley & Co. To the former firm belonged 
Mr. George Hobson, of whom Americans might justly 
be proud. He lived in very handsome style, and alto 
gether did great credit to the country of which he was 
an honored citizen. He had several charming daugh- 

41 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

ters, who were great belles amongst the officers, and one 
of them, Hepsy, afterwards married Eeed Werden, who 
died as a Rear- Admiral on the retired list. I have been 
very intimate with "Werden and his wife, and enter 
tained a very high regard for them both. The Admiral 
died a few years ago. Mrs. Werden is still living. I 
have had many pleasant talks with her about the old 
days in Valparaiso. She passed all of her girlhood there, 
and had a very extensive acquaintance with Naval offi 
cers, so many of whom had from time to time touched 
at that port. We did not remain long in harbor, and in 
a few days got under way for Callao. The S. E. trade- 
winds prevail along the coast of Chili and Peru, so we 
were not many days making the passage. The weather 
was fine, and every one was glad at the prospect of 
reaching the headquarters of the Station, which Callao 
was at that time. There was our store-ship, and it was 
there that the Squadron assembled from time to time, to 
take on board provisions and stores. Upon our arrival 
we found a portion of the Pacific Squadron at anchor 
in the harbor ; the Cyane, the St. Louis, the schooner 
Shark, and the store-ship .Relief were amongst them. 
The Yorktown and Dale we- a- off somewhere on a cruise. 
The vessels that I have named comprised the Squadron. 
It was not a bad showing o^a Naval force in those dis 
tant seas, considering that the nation, since the adop 
tion of the Constitution, was only about fifty years old, 
but there was a growing American commerce at that 
time, and the whaling interests on the Pacific were 
large. Besides that, California was looked upon with 
envious eyes, both by the United States and Great 
Britain, so, after all, the force was none too strong. 

Callao is the seaport of Lima, about six miles distant 
from that city. At the time about which I write, it 

43 



GAMBLING AT CALLAO 

contained but few inhabitants, and these were near 
ly all connected with commerce and shipping interests, 
in one way and another. There were two hotels in the 
place, and any one who happened to be in Callao in 
1842 will probably remember, as he stepped on to the 
landing from his boat, a large sign that appeared be 
fore him, with these words upon it, " Marine Hotel, by 
Zuderell." It was a famous resort in those days for the 
officers of the Squadron. Zuderell was a Frenchman, a 
handsome, well-dressed fellow, and polite as a dancing- 
master. He gave very nice dinners, and when he wished 
to be especially polite to any one he would say, " Dine 
with me to-day; I engage you" -which meant that 
you were not to pay for your dinner. Every night 
there was gambling at his establishment, which was al 
ways conducted in a most orderly way, for all improper 
persons were excluded from his house. The game that 
was played there I have never.- seen anywhere else. 
There was a green cloth on^he table, crossed in the 
centre by two white lines at right angles with each 
other. In the alternate angles were marked the letters 
A and S. The A s were opposite each other, and the S s 
opposite in the same way.- \fphe banker threw a pair of 
dice from his hand, and ce$ta in figures of what turned 
up were for the A s, and certain others were for the S s. 
Of course, when one lettelr won, the other lost. Around 
the table could be seen, almost any night, officers of the 
Navy of all nations, from Midshipmen up well into the 
higher grades. Occasionally there would be a difficulty 
between two of the players, but such things were very 
rare. I remember one night a Midshipman, a friend of 
mine, who had probably been drinking, as he was great 
ly addicted to that vice, snapped a pistol at the head of 
one of the players. Fortunately, it did not go off. My 

43 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

friend expressed to me afterwards his great delight that 
the result was not serious. Had the pistol gone off, he 
probably would have killed the man, and saddened his 
own life for ever. The poor fellow of whom I speak 
became a drunkard, was out of the Navy and back 
again several times, but I believe the habit became so 
confirmed that he never could conquer it. There was 
another house of good cheer, which any old Pacific 
cruiser of those days will remember. I do not know 
that it had any name but " Davy HowelPs." It was 
kept by Davy, who married a Spanish wife about three 
times his size. I can see her now, after a lapse of fifty 
years, hustling about the house, and carrying things 
with a high hand, while Davy himself was always meek 
and humble, and dared not say that his soul was his own 
in the presence of Isodora. This establishment was more 
a resort for merchant Captains and Mates than for Na 
val officers, but I well remember how, when I was Mid 
shipman of the market-boat, I would go there and get a 
most delicious cup of coffee and toasted French rolls. 
Truly there are some things one never forgets, trifling 
as they may be, and, in my case, this is one of them. 
There were an abundance of grog-shops for sailors, and 
a few little thread-and-needle stores; but what I have 
mentioned above was about all there was of Callao in 
those days. 

The Commander -in -Chief, immediately after our ar 
rival, gave orders to the Fleet to provision and water 
ship, and prepare for sea. The most experienced of the 
Midshipmen were placed in charge of the large boats 
of the Frigate, which were filled with water-casks and 
despatched to the mole, day after day, until the wa 
tering was completed. I mention the watering on 
this occasion because of an ingenious way of smuggling 

44 



HOW MEN-OF-WAR S MEN GOT LIQUOR 

liquor on board, that Jack had discovered as the work 
proceeded. It seems that the water was conveyed to 
the mole through pipes. The fountain-head, which I 
believe was a receiver that was filled by a pump served 
by the men, was some distance from the mole. When 
there was a sufficient head of water in the receiver, 
Jacky would place a small skin (intestine), filled with 
liquor, in the upper part of the pipe, whence it would 
be conveyed by the water rushing through to the mole. 
The Jacky in the boat, being in collusion with those at 
the upper end, would feel it as it passed through the 
canvas hose which led from the mole end of the pipe 
into the cask in the boat. The cask was then marked, 
and the other Jacky on board, who was striking the 
water below, and who was also in collusion with the 
others, would thus know where to look for it. So, in 
this way, they managed to get a good deal of liquor on 
board before the trick was discovered. Men - of - war s 
men, in those days, would resort to the most ingenious 
devices to get liquor. In a ship in which I served dur 
ing the War, before the spirit ration had been discontin 
ued, it seemed that the men of the Engineer Depart 
ment were getting drunk in the most unaccountable 
manner, and as there was no way, at the time to which 
I refer, of getting liquor from the shore, an examination 
of the spirit -room was made, when it was discovered 
that a large cask filled with whiskey butted up against 
an iron bulkhead (partition) which separated the spirit- 
room from the engine-room. The men in the last-men 
tioned place were smart enough to inform themselves 
of this fact. They drilled a hole through the iron, and 
then through the cask, and then inserted a faucet into 
the cask. It is needless to say that they had many a 
good spree before the clever trick was discovered. 

45 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

While on this subject, I think it will not be out of 
place to mention an occurrence which took place in Nor 
folk, while we were getting the whiskey on board for 
the outward-bound cruise. At such times unusual vigi 
lance is practised, and every safeguard possible, to pre 
vent the men from getting possession of any of it, is 
made use of in the vicinity of the place where it is being 
handled. Strange as it may seem, notwithstanding all 
these precautions, some clever Jackies managed to roll 
a barrel forward. It was late in the day, and no results 
appeared until after dark. Then such a bedlam broke 
loose as it is difficult to imagine. Nearly every man 
forward of the main -mast seemed to be drunk. The 
Executive Officer, and, indeed, all the officers, were 
obliged to rush forward and knock down and drag out 
until a scene of debauchery such as I have rarely wit 
nessed could be controlled ; and yet the contents of the 
barrel had not all been consumed. Under the guns 
and on the berth-deck were found quantities of whis 
key in buckets and tin pots, which were captured and 
put in places of safety. It must be remembered that 
the Frigate had a crew of five hundred men. Many of 
them were so drunk that they gave no trouble, but 
others had to be roughly handled and ironed, so that 
they could do no harm to themselves or any one else. 
It was a scene never to be forgotten, and such a one as, 
I fancy, has rarely occurred on board a ship of war. By 
ten o clock everything had quieted down without any 
serious results, although at one time it did look bad 
enough. The next morning, when the day of reckon 
ing came, there were so many prisoners that it was 
thought better to condone the whole thing; so Jack 
had his spree and went unpunished. 

While the Frigate remained at Callao we were all per- 

46 



LIMA FIFTY YEARS AGO 

mitted to have a run to Lima. I do not remember that 
there was any mode of transportation at that time ex 
cept on horseback. Short as the distance was between 
the Port and the City, the route was infested by high 
waymen, so that the trip was attended with considerable 
risk. However, our party made the journey there and 
back unmolested. Lima, at the time to which I refer, 
was one of the most considerable cities of South Ameri 
ca. It was beautifully situated on a vast plain, and in 
the distance could be seen the snow-clad Cordilleras 
towering thousands of feet towards the sky. Through 
the city, passing in the middle of the streets, a limpid, 
sparkling stream rushed rapidly by on its way to the 
sea. The to\vn seemed clean, and well-built in the 
Spanish style. The houses, at most, are only two stories 
high, built in order to eliminate as much as possible the 
danger from earthquakes, which had been very destruc 
tive in Peru ; so much so that Callao was at one time 
almost entirely submerged. Lima has not kept pace with 
the other important cities of South America ; it has been 
torn for a century and more by internal dissensions, and 
I presume has been a prey to revolutions from its in 
fancy. The War with Chili was a tremendous blow to 
its progress, from which it has never recovered ; and its 
unstable government, that seems the normal condition, 
will, unless a radical change takes place, be a constant 
impediment to the City s growth and to the progress 
and advancement of the people. The hotel at which the 
American officers generally put up was the Bolo de Oro. 
It will be remembered by any one who visited Lima in 
1842 as the best-known house of entertainment. The 
fare was good enough, but the beds were infested with 
fleas indeed, one might say that every bed in South 
America at that time was in the same condition. I have 

47 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

slept in a great many of them in the course of my life, 
and have always found that to be the case. 

The Squadron was now prepared for sea, and one fine 
morning the Commodore made signal to weigh, and the 
ships formed in column, the flag-ship in advance. We 
were close-hauled, and, as we were going to Valparaiso, 
which was to windward, were by the wind during nearly 
the whole passage. We finally reached there, after a 
voyage of nearly a month. Ships going from Callao 
to Valparaiso haul by the wind, on port tack, with 
the southeast trades, and remain on that tack until 
they reach "the variables," about the latitude of Val 
paraiso, and to westward of the Island of Juan Fer 
nandez, or Eobinson Crusoe s Island ; there they pick 
up a strong westerly wind, and boom along towards 
Valparaiso at their best speed. With us it was from 
eleven to twelve knots, which was fast for those days ; 
but it must be remembered that the Frigate United 
States was the greyhound of the Navy at that time, 
and sustained her reputation for many years. The 
Squadron remained in and about Valparaiso long enough 
to give the men "liberty," as leave to go on shore was 
then called. Jack had not much indulgence of this kind 
at the time about which I write, for he was always a 
drunkard then, and during the time of the liberty-giving 
the ship was necessarily in a state of more or less dis 
organization. It is all changed now, and Jack can 
go on shore, and behave decently, and come back with 
his clothes on, which was not the case in those days, for 
he almost always sold his jacket before he returned to 
the ship. He was very much given to overstaying his 
leave, and we youngsters would be sent on shore with 
our swords buckled to our sides to bring him on board. 
If he was disposed to be amiable, he would come with 

48 



PREPARING FOR WAR WITH MEXICO 

us; if not, he would resist. It was a curious sight to see 
a boy of sixteen managing, and often with great skill, a 
six-feet sailor large enough to eat him up. We remained 
but a short time at Valparaiso, and then got under way 
for Coquimbo, when liberty was given to those of the 
crew who did not get on shore at the former place. We 
had a good deal of trouble in getting them back, for 
they strayed off to Serena, an inland town, and it was 
necessary to send our police force after them before they 
would return. We sailed from Coquimbo for Callao, and 
arrived there in the usual time, which, as the southeast 
trade-winds blow continually, is about a week. 

Soon after our arrival the Commodore issued orders 
for the Squadron again to prepare for sea for a cruise to 
the northward. About this time the relations between 
the United States and Mexico were very much strained. 
Commodore Jones had seen in some newspaper a corre 
spondence between those high in authority in both coun 
tries, of such a character that he felt sure that war must 
inevitably follow. His mind was soon made up. The 
first blow to be struck on this coast must be the seizure 
of California ; and to that end he bent all his energies 
for the next two months. The flag-ship, as well as I can 
remember, took the Cyane and Dale in company, and 
we all sailed away together for far-off California, which 
it took us many days to reach. We were constantly ex 
ercising, on our way up, and getting ourselves in the 
best possible trim for war. I remember that some of the 
Midshipmen gave so keen an edge to their cutlasses that 
one could almost shave with them. We never knew the 
object of the expedition upon which we were -bound 
until we reached the coast of California. One morn 
ing, with a fresh top-gallant breeze, the Frigate United 
States and the Sloop Cyane swooped down upon two Mex- 
D 49 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

lean merchantmen, that were bound to sea from Mon 
terey, and we knew that some kind of a war had be 
gun. We stood into the Bay of Monterey under Eng 
lish colors, turned the merchant vessels back, and they 
were for the time prizes to our ships. 

And now the war began in earnest. We came to an 
chor in the harbor, a mimic army was at once organized, 
and we proceeded immediately to take possession of the 
place. The army was marched on shore, advanced up 
the hill to the Fort, and, finding it abandoned, we hauled 
down the Mexican flag which was left there flying when 
the garrison evacuated, and hoisted the Stars and Stripes 
in its place. I was one of the army of occupation, and 
the prospect of a little soldiering in a foreign land was a 
most pleasing anticipation ; but, alas, after we had been 
there one night, and had had the excitement of the long 
roll, as a strange dog came within our lines, we were or 
dered on the day following the occupation to fold our 
tents, lash up our hammocks, and then to proceed down 
the same hill which, twenty-four hours before, we had 
marched up so gayly, with colors flying and drums beat 
ing, in all the pomp and circumstance of glorious war. 
It seems that the Commodore went on shore, after hav 
ing disembarked his army, and had a consultation with 
the American Consul and the select-men of the town. 
Another newspaper was produced, so different in tone 
from that which had caused the war, that peace was im 
mediately proclaimed, and the army of occupation or 
dered back to the ships. It was a bold dash on the part 
of Jones, but hardly a wise one. Of course the Govern 
ment of the United States was obliged to give satisfac 
tion to that of Mexico, so the Commodore was recalled 
and relieved from his command. The citizens of Mon 
terey were of course very much alarmed at this raid 

50 



CAPTAIN COOPER 

upon their town, and most of them fled to the country. 
It was not without a good deal of persuasion that they 
consented to return, especially the women, who were 
dreadfully frightened at this unexpected descent upon 
their quiet and unoffending homes. I think they were 
very much influenced to look more favorably upon us by 
Captain Cooper, who married a Californian woman. He 
had become domesticated here years before, and had 
been Captain of a whaler, or an American craft of some 
kind, before he finally settled down in California. 



CHAPTER V 

Winter in Monterey Father Junipero At the Sandwich Islands 
Trip to Mauna Loa Lively Times in Honolulu. 

THE Commodore now determined to remain in Mon 
terey for the winter. It was the winter of 1842-1843. 
The people became very friendly, and many a dance 
and jolly time did we have at their houses. Indeed, it 
was a grand thing for us Midshipmen, this sojourn at 
Monterey, for the girls taught us how to dance, and 
nearly all took advantage of our opportunities. My 
especial instructress was Anita Cooper, the daughter of 
the Captain to whom I have referred above. We never 
could get the girls to go on board ship ; the custom of 
the country would not permit them to go without their 
mothers or duennas, who were, I presume, afraid of sea 
sickness, for there was almost always more or less mo 
tion in Monterey Bay. The old people were always 
glad to have us at their houses, and there was a public 
room where we would often meet quite informally and 
have a dance. The favorite dance was the contradanza, 
made up of a great many figures, more than I have ever 
seen anywhere else. The country -dance, as it is some 
times called, is not uncommon in other parts of the world, 
but I have never seen it danced with so much grace as it 
was by these simple children of California. There were 
other Spanish dances which I had never seen or heard 
of before. Any one who happened to be in California 
in those days, and who went at all into the primitive 

52 



BUYING HIDES FROM CALIFORNIANS 

society of the country, will remember with how much 
grace and ease they would dance the Jota and the Ja- 
rabe dances, which were peculiar to California. 

The trade in hides, so graphically described by Dana 
in his Two Years Before the Mast, came to a close a 
short time before the period of which I am now writ 
ing. It will be .remembered by those who have read 
that most interesting work that the Boston ships that 
came to that coast in search of hides and tallow were 
fitted as stores, with regular counters like a dry-goods 
store on shore, where anything could be purchased from 
a cart-wheel to a penny whistle. While the crews of the 
ships would be on shore curing their hides and prepar 
ing them for shipment to the United States, the Su 
percargo and his aids would be selling goods over the 
counter on board ship to such customers as would care to 
purchase them ; and there were many to whom it was a 
great accommodation, for these ships contained amongst 
other things the wearing apparel of ladies, such as it 
was difficult to find in that far-distant land, and they 
would often be thronged with these fair Californian 
dames, who were getting what they wished in ex 
change for the hides which their husbands and fathers 
had sold to the Boston Yankees. There were no 
butchers in Monterey, so every day one of us Mid 
shipmen accompanied the ships butchers to the sham 
bles, to which point a couple of bullocks were brought, 
and there we would pass the afternoon. The purpose 
of our presence was to see that the butchers behaved 
themselves properly, and did not stray away or get 
drunk while at their work. We all thought it a sort 
of lark, and a pleasant way to pass the afternoon. 
If, by any chance, our charge happened to drink too 
much, as they sometimes did, in spite of all our vig- 

53 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

ilance, it was all the worse for us on our return on 
board. 

The winter was passing away, and the salt provisions 
of the Squadron were getting short. As long as we 
could remain at Monterey, there was an abundance of 
fresh beef, but the time was coming for a renewal of 
our cruising, and it was necessary to look to the future. 
There were plenty of salt provisions at Honolulu, so the 
Commodore shifted his flag to the Cyane, and sent the 
Frigate to that point, to fill up with all she could store 
and return to Monterey. In less than thirty days we 
were back again, much to the astonishment of every 
one. It was thought it would take us nearly sixty 
days, and when we were seen standing in the bay it 
was thought something had happened to us, and that 
we were returning without having accomplished the pur 
pose for which we were sent. It was the quickest trip 
on record at the time, and I do not believe that any 
sailing-ship has ever made better time since. 

Upon the site of the old fort which we had recently 
so ingloriously captured stands, at the present time, a 
statue of Father Junipero, modelled out of a solid block 
of granite. The figure of the Reverend Father stands 
on the bow of his boat with its arm outstretched, grasp 
ing in its hand a Cross, emblematic of his mission to 
that distant part of the world. 

In 1769, Father Miguel Jose Serra Junipero was ap 
pointed Superior of a band of Franciscan Priests, who 
were sent to California to take charge of the Missions 
in that country. After encountering many obstacles, 
he reached San Diego on the 16th of July, 1769, where 
he founded his first Mission. He afterwards went to 
Monterey and founded the Mission of St. Carlos, on the 
3d of June, 1770. He then travelled over all California, 

54 



CALIFORNIA PACIFIED 

founding Missions and making many converts to Chris 
tianity. Finally he returned to Monterey on the 1st of 
January, 1783, and from that time his health rapidly 
declined. 

The monument to which I have referred was erected 
by the bounty of Mrs. Stanford, of California, as a fit 
ting tribute to one who, one hundred years before, had 
been such a conspicuous figure in the country which af 
terwards became her home. 

Our work in California was now accomplished. The 
people seemed to have forgotten that we came there 
with hostile intent, and nothing could exceed the friend 
ly feeling that existed between us and the Californians. 
We remained long enough to bring about this state of 
things, and now it was time to go. It is very difficult 
for me, after the long interval of time, to remember the 
disposition of the Fleet after we left the coast of Cali 
fornia, and I am a little at a loss to remember exactly 
where we went, immediately, in the Flag-ship; but my 
impression is that we touched at Mazatlan, en route to Cal- 
lao, where we arrived after a passage of fifty or sixty days. 
As I was in the Pacific on this my first cruise about 
five years, and served in three different vessels, I am a 
good deal confused about places and dates. To some of 
the ports I went so often that I am sometimes mixed 
in my mind as to whether events which come up before 
me occurred when I was attached to one ship or anoth 
er ; and as I write from memory, and am trying to re 
late incidents which occurred more than fifty years ago, 
I must be pardoned if the narrative seems from time to 
time confusing to the reader, as Tvell as to me. 

Upon arrival at Callao from our northern expedition, 
we immediately made preparations for a cruise amongst 
the South Sea Islands. We first went to Honolulu ; I 

55 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

do not remember if it was before we started or after 
the cruise to the Islands had begun that information 
reached us that Commodore Dallas was ordered out to 
relieve Commodore Jones. At all events, we were to 
be absent from the coast for some time, and it would be 
no easy matter for the new Commodore to catch us; 
indeed, it did look very much as if we were running 
away from him. I remember one day, as we were roll 
ing along with a fine breeze after us, we carried away 
the maintop - gallant - mast, when the broad pennant 
came down by the run, and Lieutenant Avery remarked 
that it had been kept up ~by the run for some time. We 
reached the Sandwich Islands, after a passage of about 
forty days. We first went to Byron s Bay, where the 
town of Hilo is situated, and came to anchor quite close 
inshore. Everything was very green and beautiful, and 
towering over our heads was the great volcano of Mauna 
Loa. Close to the town was a charming waterfall, and 
a fresh-water stream, which was the favorite bathing- 
place of the Kanaka girls, who were like ducks in the 
water, and would jump from fearful heights into the 
boiling, tumbling waters beneath the falls. We found, 
after our arrival, that Lord George Paulet, Command 
ing H.M.S. Carysfort, was at the Islands. It seems 
he had some difficulty with the authorities, and, like 
our Jones in California, took temporary possession of 
the country. He removed all the taboos, which pro 
duced a good deal of demoralization amongst the na 
tives, and undid for the time much of the good work 
that the missionaries had done. He soon discovered, 
however, that he had made a mistake, and restored the 
Islands to their proper owners. At the head of the 
missions at Hilo was the Eeverend Mr. Coan. He 
seemed to be an excellent man, and no doubt had the 

56 



VISIT TO MAUNA LOA 

interest of the natives entirely at heart. Mr. Coan was 
of great assistance to us in fitting out our expedition to 
visit the great volcano. He came on board one Sunday 
and took the place of the Chaplain, and, although more 
than fifty years have elapsed since, I remember the 
text to this day ; it was, " The Law of the Lord is per 
fect." 

Permission was granted to as many of us as could be 
spared to join the party that was making up for a visit 
to the Volcano of Mauna Loa, one of the greatest natu 
ral curiosities in the world. So much has been written 
about it and its various eruptions by Mr. Coan himself 
that I feel that I could add very little to what has al 
ready been said. Our expedition consisted of about 
thirty people and about the same number of horses. 
Most of the white people had horses, although some 
preferred to walk, while the Kanakas, one of whom was 
told off to each of us, were all on foot. They carried 
immense calabashes in which were stored a change of 
linen for us, and such other articles as^we were obliged 
to take along. We made a gay-looking caravan as we 
emerged from the little village of Hilo. After proceed 
ing some hours we came to a halt for rest at a mission- 
school, where we refreshed ourselves, and then contin 
ued our journey to the edge of the great crater, where 
we arrived about nightfall. "We had only time to get 
a view of the magnificent scenery that was spread out 
before us, and see the lurid light away down in the 
crater, before darkness set in, when we made our dis 
positions for the night. As the darkness increased, the 
great seething, boiling, heaving mass of molten lava, as 
it rushed about the great lake of fire, grew brighter and 
brighter until the whole heavens were illuminated with 
a brilliant red light, that, combined with what I have 

57 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

just mentioned, produced a scene exceedingly beautiful. 
"We gazed upon it until the fatigue we had undergone 
admonished us that we had better turn into such beds 
as we could improvise. They were rough enough, but 
we were young, and could put up with almost anything. 

We made an early start, and did all the exploring 
that was possible in the one day that we had allowed 
ourselves to be in the crater. We could not approach 
very close to the molten lake, but there were little 
streams flowing into it to which we could get close 
enough to insert our walking-staifs and bring out pieces 
of lava which would harden on the end of the sticks. 
It was a grand and rare sight to see this lake of liquid 
fire, its waves rushing from side to side with no regular 
motion, but meeting each other and producing a jet of 
lava which would rush many feet into the air with an 
indescribable bang and roar. After we had made our 
selves tired and weary with seeing and exploring, we 
were glad enough to return to our camp on the edge 
of the great crater and enjoy our supper, after which 
we turned in for the night. The next morning we 
started back for Hilo, thoroughly satisfied with our 
most interesting and instructive expedition. We re 
mained after our trip but a short time in Byron s Bay. 
We got under way from there early in the morning of 
the day upon which we sailed, and with a fresh trade- 
wind rushed through the Islands, passing Lanai about 
mid -day, and, as we were making about twelve knots 
an hour, we reached Oahu and anchored off Honolulu 
before dark. 

The Constellation, with Commodore Kearny, was at 
the Islands with us. She was the Flag-ship of the East 
India Station, as it was then called, on her way home 
by way of Cape Horn, having gone out by way of Good 

58 



A LARGE BALL AT HONOLULU 

Hope, thus making the voyage around the world. The 
United States and Constellation drew too much water to 
enter the inner harbor, and the anchorage outside of 
the reef was a rough place to lie. To get from there 
to the shore was a long and weary pull. The Cyane 
was lying inside, so altogether it seemed like a large 
force for our little Navy in that far-distant land. The 
presence of so many officers made it gay for Honolulu, 
and the town was painted red many times while we were 
there together. The Constellation made quite a stay in 
port after her long passage across, and her officers had 
received a good deal of hospitality. They gave a large 
and handsome ball in appreciation of the kindnesses 
they had received, to which all Honolulu was invited. 
It was a most exciting event for us youngsters, who had 
been so much at sea that a large ball was a great nov 
elty, and those of us who went enjoyed it immensely. 
There were but few young girls in Honolulu at that 
time I mean few besides the natives, who could hardly 
be said to be society girls at that period in the history 
of Hawaii ; but there were there a number of interest 
ing married women, who were representatives of all 
nations, and, as I remember, they made an excellent ap 
pearance. At all events, it made that impression upon 
my youthful mind, and I have no doubt that the ball 
was a very handsome affair. I remember a nice-looking 
girl to whom my attention was called by Temple, who 
recently died as a Rear- Admiral. He informed me that 
she was the only spinster in the room. I looked at her 
with wonder and admiration, but I doubt whether I 
knew in those days what a spinster was. Any one who 
was in Honolulu during the year of 1843 will remem 
ber the charming little hotel in existence at that time, 
the proprietors of which were jolly Fred Thompson and 

59 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Mr. Carter, both well-known names in Honolulu in those 
days. The whole community was indebted to them for 
the only public-house that existed at that time. 

Honolulu always was, and always will be, one of the 
most attractive places in the world. The climate is de 
licious. Life is made easy, or was in those days, by 
the facilities which rendered house-keeping a pleasure 
and an agreeable pastime. It was a dolce far niente 
kind of a life which every one led ; servants were 
abundant ; houses were never closed when the occu 
pants happened to go out, and nothing was ever missed 
on their return ; so life passed easily along. The na 
tives seemed happy, the foreigners wore an air of con 
tent, which indicated that they were satisfied with life 
and what Honolulu gave them, and altogether there 
was a charm about existence there at that time more 
easilv to be imagined than described. 



CHAPTER VI 

The Marquesas and Tahiti Salute Stories Herman Melville 
Flogging in the Navy Change of Commodores A Coast Cruise 
Idle in Callao A New Mess Opera in South America Com 
modore Sloat The Levant s Company. 

IT was not without feelings of regret that we left 
this charming spot and got under way for the Island 
of Nukuhiva, of the Marquesas group. The sailing was 
beautiful, as the trade-winds drove us along from eight 
to twelve knots an hour, and, after the usual passage, 
we anchored in the lovely Bay of Nukuhiva. This Bay 
makes one of the most beautiful harbors I have ever 
seen. Completely landlocked, it would be difficult to 
discover the entrance were it not for a very pronounced 
landmark near it. The mark is a vertical streak of some 
discolored matter, which is easily made out, and by sail 
ing directly for it the entrance comes full in view. The 
natives of the Marquesas group were far behind those 
of the Sandwich Islands. I believe, even up to the time 
I write, the Missionaries have made no impression upon 
them. I am not sure but some of these had beeD eaten, 
for the Marquesans were cannibals of the worst kind, 
and no one who desired to escape roasting ever vent 
ured away from the coast, where, if this horrible cus 
tom existed at all, it was in a very modified form. No 
traces of it ever came under our observation, but grue 
some stories were told of what constantly took place in 
the interior. 

61 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

We did not remain long at these Islands, where there 
was nothing to do but look at a lot of half-naked sav 
ages, but got under way and sailed for Tahiti, passing 
by numerous islands, which formed a sort of Archipela 
go of the South Seas. The islands are of coral forma 
tion, many of them already complete and flourishing, 
while others were just forming, and showed but a few 
feet above the water. In a few days we reached Ta 
hiti, where we took a pilot, which I mention only be 
cause he insisted in calling Point Yenus Point " Wenus"; 
I can see him now on the poop, in the most emphatic 
manner telling the Captain from time to time that he 
must " weather Point Wenus before he could fetch the 
anchorage." After working to windward for some time 
we finally succeeded in accomplishing that necessary 
feat, and anchored in Matavai Bay. This Bay was easier 
of access for vessels of heavy draft than Papiete Bay, 
although the latter was a better harbor, entirely pro 
tected by the reef, which locked it in completely. We 
remained a week or ten days at this charming Island, 
which we all enjoyed very much. The luxuriant growth 
of everything here, the variety of the flora, and the 
rich coloring of all that the earth produces were most 
pleasing to the eye. One never tired of what was call 
ed the Broom Road, which was a green archway, re 
sembling, more than anything else to which I can liken 
it, a tunnel through the thickest of foliage. This road 
was about a mile long, connecting the two villages of 
Matavai and Papiete, and the archway was made up 
of every conceivable tropical plant. Bits of sunlight 
occasionally found their way through the foliage, but 
this lovely promenade was always in the shade, and at 
all times of the day one could be cool and comfortable 
within its green walls. The natives are, I think, the 

62 



SALUTE STORIES 

most comely of all the aborigines who inhabit the Pa 
cific Islands. It was here that the mutineers of the 
Bounty found the wives that they carried off with them 
to Pitcairn s Island. At the time about which I am 
writing the French had not yet assumed a protectorate 
over the Society Islands, but they did soon afterwards. 
There was a Queen who came on board, but I do not 
remember whether it was Pomare, well known in the 
history of the Islands, or some other Queen. Ladies 
of that rank were not uncommon in those days in the 
South Seas. At all events, she was a Queen to be 
saluted, and we gave her five guns, which made her 
very happy. She was very much tattooed, and I re 
member she drew up her cotton skirt and exhibited her 
leg, covered with India -ink. She was treated with 
every consideration by the Commodore, and returned 
to her Island feeling more like a Queen than ever. 

Speaking of the salute reminds me of the following 
story : It is the custom of men-of-war of all nations to 
salute the flag of the country whose port they enter. 
When there is any doubt about the salute being return 
ed, an officer is sent to inform the authorities that a 
salute will be fired, provided it is returned. One of our 
ships on entering a Chinese port sent word to the Man 
darin in command that the Captain would be happy to 
salute him if he would return the salute. The reply of 
the Mandarin was, that the idea was a very beautiful 
one, but that he had no powder. There is another 
salute story which I may as well repeat here. An old 
classmate of mine was the Aid to a Captain of the 
old days, and once accompanied him on a visit to a 
Portuguese man-of-war. The Captain, when he got into 
his boat, saw some preparations for saluting being made, 
when he rushed up the ladder and called out, "JSTo salute ! 

63 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

no salute !" and when he had again taken his seat in 
the boat he said to his Aid, "You have no idea, Mr. 
, of the advantages of speaking the foreign lan 
guages." The fact is, he knew no language but his 
own. 

We had now been cruising amongst the Islands of the 
Pacific for some months, and were not sorry when the 
time came to get under way for the coast. Savage and 
half-civilized life become very irksome when the nov 
elty is worn off ; after having been a long time in the 
eastern part of the Mediterranean, I have felt a sense of 
relief upon reaching a place where I could no longer 
see a fez. At Tahiti we picked up some seamen who 
were there on the Consul s hands. They were entered 
on the books of the ship, and became a portion of the 
crew. One of the number was Herman Melville, who 
became famous afterwards as a writer and an admiralty 
lawyer. He had gone to sea for his health, and found 
himself stranded in the South Pacific. I do not remem 
ber what the trouble was, but he and his comrades had 
left the ship of which they were a portion of the crew. 
Melville wrote a book, well known in its day, called 
White Jacket, which had more influence in abolishing 
corporal punishment in the Navy than anything else. 
This book was placed on the desk of every member of 
Congress, and was a most eloquent appeal to the hu 
mane sentiment of the country. As an evidence of the 
good it did, a law was passed soon after the book ap 
peared abolishing flogging in the Navy absolutely, with 
out substituting any other mode of punishment in its 
stead; and this was exactly in accordance with Mel 
ville s appeal. He said : " Abolish it at once, even if you 
substitute nothing for it ; but abolish it." 

I do not think that I remember Melville at all ; occa- 

64 



HERMAN MELVILLE 

sionally will flash across my memory a maintop-man flit 
ting about the starboard gangway with a white jacket 
on, but there is not much reality in the picture which 
it presents to my mind. In his book he speaks of a cer 
tain seaman, Jack Chase, who was Captain of the main 
top, of whom I have a very distinct recollection. He 
was about as fine a specimen of a seaman as I have 
ever seen in all my cruising. He was not only that, 
but he was a man of intelligence and a born leader. 
His top-mates adored him, although he kept them up to 
the mark, and made every man do his share of work. 
Melville has given him considerable space in his book, 
and seems to have had intense admiration for him. He 
mentions also a number of officers whom it is not diffi 
cult to recognize. The Commanding Officer, who had a 
very red face, he called Captain Claret ; a small but very 
energetic Midshipman, who made himself felt and heard 
about the decks, he called Mr. Pert ; the Gunner was 
" Old Combustibles." He gives no names, but to any 
one who served in the Frigate United States it was easy 
to recognize the men by their sobriquets. Melville cer 
tainly did a grand work in bringing his ability as a 
writer and his experience as a seaman to bear upon this 
important matter I mean corporal punishment which 
had been the subject of so much discussion in and out of 
Congress. He was an eye-witness of the system, and 
able to judge of it from personal observation ; he knew 
how much it might be abused by an unfeeling and ty 
rannical Captain. I saw enough of it myself to be sick 
ened with its use and abuse. I saw a man once flogged 
around the Fleet, which means that he was taken from 
ship to ship, and at each one received a portion of the 
one hundred or more lashes which he had been con 
demned to receive. Not that he might not have de- 
E 65 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

served very severe punishment, but there was something 
very painful in having to be an unwilling witness to this 
kind of torture. 

Herman Melville was so deeply impressed by the in 
justice that this system worked, and felt so strongly 
upon the subject, that he says, referring to some matter 
in which he himself was the person in question and when 
this punishment might have been resorted to, that he 
had made up his mind, when the worst came to the worst 
and there was no escape, to seize the Captain by the 
waist and jump overboard with him locked in his arms. 
I will dismiss this unpleasant subject by mentioning a 
case of peculiar hardship which came more immediately 
under my observation on board a ship on which I once 
served, because the person in question seemed to have a 
special liking for me. He was a man of some education, 
and had drifted into the service and away from his home 
for some cause which, if I ever knew, I have forgotten 
now. I think he was employed as a writer on board the 
ship in which I was serving at the time, and made him 
self useful in that way. He used often to talk to me 
and tell me of his troubles, and I would listen. He had 
a sort of literary tendency, and kept a journal in which 
he jotted down from time to time events of one kind 
and another that had occurred on board. Somehow it 
came to the ears of the authorities, the journal was ex 
amined, and something was discovered for which it was 
thought he deserved to be flogged. I always thought it 
a peculiarly hard case, for it seemed to me this man had 
as much right to make such notes as he pleased in a pri 
vate journal as he had to do anything else in the world. 
The poor fellow, whose name I will not mention, dis 
played his literary fancies in doggerel rhymes and acros 
tics. He once wrote an acrostic to me, some of the lines 



A PARTLY REMEMBERED ACROSTIC 

of which I remember, and which I will produce here to 
show of what curious material the crew of a man-of-war 
was, at that time, composed. It ran thus : 

" Since thou hast chosen for thy lot 

A home upon the heaving main, 
May sorrows be by thee forgot, 

Unfelt a tyrant s chain. 
Each day may conscious virtue bring 

Light-hearted joy to cheer thy way, 
Refreshing like the flowers of spring 

Fierce winter s cheerless ray." 

The remainder has passed entirely out of my mind, ex 
cept the last three lines, and they ran as follows : 

11 Like him, the sage whose name you own, 

In journeying down thy pathway, lone, 

Ne er heed the shafts of malice thrown." 

I lost sight of this poor fellow when I was transferred 
to another ship, but he was humiliated and heart-broken, 
and I do not think he ever felt the same after the trouble 
came upon him which I have just mentioned. 

We had an uneventful passage from Tahiti to Val 
paraiso, as we bowled along with the fresh southwest 
winds. Before we reached our port we sighted the Isl 
ands of Mas-d-Fuera and Mas-d-Tierra, a few hundred 
miles off the coast of Chili, nearly due west from Val 
paraiso. It was one of these Islands upon which Defoe 
laid the scene of the story of Robinson Crusoe. In pass 
ing them, one cannot help thinking of the desolate life 
of Alexander Selkirk, and the dreary years he passed 
here in solitude, and everything connected with that sad 
but interesting history. He was left here by the Captain 
of the ship on which he was serving, in consequence of 
a quarrel he had with him, and was rescued some years 

67 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

afterwards by Captain Woodes Rodgers, who command 
ed a British privateer. Dampier, who was with Rodgers, 
had known Selkirk in former years, and pronounced him 
an excellent man. He was afterwards given the com 
mand of Rodgers s Hospital Ship, and did good ser 
vice in his little Fleet. Afterwards he went to England, 
where he was made much of, and a monument was 
erected at Juan Fernandez to his memory, either by the 
British Government or by the officers of some man-of- 
war that had been long stationed in those waters. 

As I have no journals or notes of any kind to which 
I might refer for dates, I can only say that about the 
time of which I am now writing we had reached the 
middle of the third year from the time when the ship 
was put in commission, which would make it 1843. 
Upon our arrival at Valparaiso, the first news that 
reached us was that Commodore Dallas had arrived on 
the Station to relieve Jones. The Constellation hap 
pening to be in Valparaiso when we were there, Jones 
quietly stepped on board of her and sailed away, round 
Cape Horn, for home, leaving Dallas to pick up the 
Squadron as best he could, thus avoiding the unpleasant 
ness of the ceremony of a regular relief, which under 
the circumstances would have been very embarrassing, 
as Dallas no doubt felt that Jones had gone off on his 
Island cruise in order that he might retain his command 
for a longer period. It was thought that a meeting at 
that time might have led to serious consequences, and 
that a duel might have been the result ; so it was better 
as it was. Poor Dallas died soon after, and Jones lived 
to command the Pacific Squadron for the second time. 

After the departure of Jones, the Frigate United 
States sailed for Callao, now ceasing to be a Flag -ship. 
Upon our arrival we found the Frigate Savannah, which 



DEATH OF DALLAS 

had been sent out to be the Flag-ship of the new Com 
modore. We were not permitted to remain long in the 
harbor, for Dallas sent us on a long cruise to the coast 
of Mexico. The object of the cruise was, I think, to see 
if we could pick up what was then called freight, which 
meant the conveying of silver from Mazatlan to some 
point where it could be shipped to England. We made 
the trip, and returned to Callao. Nothing could have 
been more uninteresting than this long and tedious voy 
age, which occupied more than a hundred days. As we 
were standing in for anchorage and began to make out 
things in the harbor, we discovered a long line of boats 
in procession pulling in for shore. Then we saw the 
Pennant of the Flag-ship at half-mast, and then heard 
the booming of minute-guns. Poor Dallas was being 
conveyed to his last resting-place. He had not enjoyed 
his command long, having been upon the Station only 
about four months. He was a popular officer, and had 
many warm friends that sincerely mourned his loss. 
The command of the Squadron now devolved upon Cap 
tain Armstrong. He immediately transferred the com 
mand of the United States to Captain Stribling, and 
took command of the Savannah himself, and also of the 
Squadron, as Senior Officer on the Station. The Frigate 
United States was ordered to prepare for the homeward- 
bound cruise. The Store-ship Relief was lying at Callao 
in want of watch-officers. As an inducement to me and 
others to volunteer to remain out, it was held out to us 
that we should have regular charge of a watch, and that 
ail the duties and responsibilities of a watch-officer would 
devolve upon us. Wilcox and I were very warm friends, 
and we agreed to remain. 

The Relief was commanded by Lieutenant H. K. 
Hoff, and was a fixture in the harbor of Callao. What 

69 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

I did during the idle months which I passed in her there 
it is now difficult for me to conceive. We had a pleas 
ant mess, consisting of Hammersley, a Passed Midship 
man, who was Acting Lieutenant, Wilcox, John K. "Wil 
son, and myself, Midshipmen. Purser Storer and his 
clerk were also in the mess, although the former had a 
room in the cabin. The Purser, Mr. Storer, passed most 
of his time in Lima, so I saw but little of him. After 
several months of this lounging, idle life, the Relief was 
ordered to Valparaiso for some purpose, either to show 
the flag or to get stores. We sailed accordingly, and 
after a rather long passage came to anchor off the city. 
We had now reached the year 1844, more than two years 
after I first visited Valparaiso, during which time it had 
advanced considerably in population and importance. 
A new and exceedingly fine opera-house had been con 
structed ; the best kind of Italian opera was given by 
first-class artistes, and the opera-house and all connected 
therewith was the absorbing topic. All the world went, 
and the two prime donne were the heroines of the day. 
So great was the impression they made upon my youth 
ful mind that although I have seen and heard many 
singers since, whose names at the time were very famil 
iar to me, yet they have many of them passed entirely 
from my mind, while the names of Tadolini and Rossini 
are still fresh in my memory. One was a contralto, the 
other a soprano. I had no personal acquaintance with 
them, but I looked upon them with that sort of admira 
tion with which I might look upon a Queen now. The 
operas that they most frequently figured in were "I 
Puritani" and "Lucia"; and when I could hear them 
in these I used to think my happiness was complete. 

Up to the time about which I write there had been 
no hotels in Valparaiso worthy of the name. Two young 





MR. OLIVER O DONNELL 

Americans, Thibault and Pollard, and an Englishman 
of the name of Townsend, supplied the deficiency by 
establishing one, which I presume might be called a first- 
class house. It was certainly excellent for that day, but I 
heard afterwards that they went into it too extravagant 
ly, and soon came to grief. In those days we saw many 
more merchant vessels flying the American flag than 
we do now ; then our sails whitened every sea ; now it 
is a rare thing to see one. There were several at Val 
paraiso at the time the Relief was there ; one that I 
recall distinctly, the Seaman, of Baltimore. Her Cap 
tain was Captain My rick, who had his wife on board ; 
and we of the Relief visited them frequently. There 
was also on board, either as a passenger or Supercargo, 
Mr. Oliver O Donnell, of Baltimore, with whom I was 
very intimate. He was a handsome, charming young 
fellow in those days, and we all became very fond of 
him. He afterwards married the sister of Governor 
Carroll, of Maryland. The Governor is now one of my 
most intimate friends, of whom I see a great deal in the 
winter at Washington. I often see also the daughter 
of my old friend O Donnell, who is a charming girl. I 
mention these things because they are associated in my 
mind with those of far-off days in Valparaiso, when we 
Americans used to spend our evenings together, gener 
ally at the opera. One of our party, whose image comes 
back to me now as I write, was a delightful young fel 
low from Virginia, son of our Minister to Chili, Mr. 
Crump, who was a highly creditable representative of 
our country, and one of whom all Americans could be 
proud. 

We were soon obliged to tear ourselves away from 
these pleasant scenes and make our way back, to resume 
the dulness and monotony of life at Callao, where we 

71 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

anchored after the usual eight or ten days passage. 
Our ships made it in that time, running as they did be 
fore a fair trade-wind. We resumed our idle life, which, 
happily, was not destined to be of long continuance. 
Commodore Sloat soon afterwards arrived, and assumed 
command of the Squadron ; and the Levant happening 
in about that time, I was, at my own request, ordered 
to join her. On board of the Levant were two of my 
most intimate friends, Midshipmen Welsh and Wells. I 
was made very happy by this change, not only on that 
account, but because I longed for more active service, 
and she was a cruiser that was always on the go. 

We were not long idle, but were sent off at once to 
Panama, as much for the mails as anything else ; for 
the facilities for getting letters in those days were very 
poor. I was once without them, during my cruise, for 
a period of eighteen months. We would miss them at 
one place and then another, and they were forwarded 
along, so they would follow us all around the Pacific. 
We made an extraordinarily long passage, having en 
countered a succession of calms that persecuted us for 
many days. We had all this calm weather in the Bay 
of Panama, which can probably beat the world for 
the stillness of its surroundings; I never have known 
any re-ion where calm continues so great a length of 
time. The officers of the Levant were Commander H. N. 
Page, Lieutemv ^ Handy (commonly known as Bob), Joe 
Adams, Alexander Murray, Louis McLane, and Dorsey 
Read. The Surgeon was Gilchrist, and the Purser Rit- 
tenhouse. My impression is that Louis McLane and I 
are the only survivors. Welsh died young. Wells lived 
to be a Rear- Admiral, as also did Murray. They both 
died only a few years ago. They were fine fellows, 
and it is pleasant to be able to look back upon my ser- 



LOUIS McLANE 

vice with men so agreeable as were my shipmates of 
the Levant. Louis McLane left the Navy soon after 
the Mexican War. He was successful in business in 
California, and made a large fortune ; he stands, very 
high both socially and in the business community of 
Baltimore, where he now resides. I have known him 
off and on for more than fifty years, and have never 
known in all respects a higher type of man. He was a 
great loss to the Navy, as< he would have been to any 
calling in which he might have been engaged. He was 
the leading man in the Levant, and would be such in any 
position in which he might be placed. McLane belongs 
to a distinguished American family. His father was 
Secretary of the Treasury and Minister to England. 
His brother Robert has been our Minister to France, 
and has filled other distinguished positions. The strain 
which produces such men is largely developed in Louis. 



-rn*. 



CHAPTER VII 

In Panama A Nicaraguan Journey In the City of Leon Begin 
nings of the War with Mexico Fremont and Kit Carson An 
other Capture of Monterey Brazilian Midshipmen Stay at Rio 
Home Again. 

WE did not remain long at Panama. I went on shore 
several times, and found it interesting, inasmuch as it 
differed entirely from the other South American cities 
with which I was familiar. The houses seemed to me to 
be three or four stories high, and there was an appearance 
of antiquity about them that was very alluring. Every 
thing else I had seen in the Southern Continent seemed 
new and fresh. The passage back to Callao was long 
and tedious. It had to be made against a light head 
wind with an adverse current. I can conceive noth 
ing in all sea -going life more dull than beating up 
the coast of Peru for Callao. Some days we would 
make nothing to windward ; some days we would lose, 
and be worse off than we were the day before ; and 
then again, by keeping in-shore, we would get a slant 
and make a good leg along. We finally arrived at 
Callao, and rejoined our Squadron. 

Commodore Sloat soon dispersed the ships, and scat 
tered them through the North Pacific. My friends 
Welsh and Wells were to be examined for their promo 
tion, and as we were now in the year 1845, and their 
examination took place in 1846, they left us, and went 
home for instruction at the Naval Academy, which was 

74 



EXPEDITION INTO NICARAGUA 

soon to be established at Annapolis. I had now only 
one messmate, Midshipman Gordon; he and I shared 
the port steerage together, so that we had the greatest 
abundance of room. We were excellent friends, but 
one day we had a quarrel, and did not speak for some 
time; but a visiting Midshipman came on board who 
was a friend to both of us, and, soon seeing the situa 
tion, said: "What is the matter? The whole mess 
seems to be in a row." And so, in this playful way, 
the matter was made up. We remained intimate friends 
ever afterwards. My cruising, henceforth, until the re 
turn of the Levant to the United States, was in the 
North Pacific. We went to the Sandwich Islands, 
which made my third visit to that interesting group ; 
we cruised along the coast of Central America, and re 
mained for a while at Eealejo, where there was then a 
snug little anchorage, in the mouth of the river, which 
now is, I think, the site of the present Corinto. 

From this point a party was made up for an expedi 
tion towards the interior of Nicaragua. It had no ob 
ject but that of seeing the country and enjoying a little 
relaxation from the monotony of life on board ship. It 
is, I find, very difficult after this long interval to remem 
ber who composed the party besides myself, but I do re 
member one charming fellow who was with us ; he was 
known in those days as little Dorsey Eead. He was 
our Sailing-Master bright, high-spirited the life of 
the party. Purser Blttenhouse also accompanied us. 
Any one who ever knew him remembers this kindly, 
genial gentleman. I shall never forget the beautiful, 
bright morning that we started from the ship ; it was 
not yet daylight ; the stars shone brightly as we pulled 
along the banks of the beautiful stream towards the 
point where we were to take our horses for the trip. 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

The weather was warm at Kealejo, but I shall always 
remember the freshness of the morning air as we sped 
along to our destination, where our guide with the 
horses saddled them, and every preparation was made 
for a start. We soon found ourselves passing through 
a beautiful country, with the finest forest trees I have 
ever seen. I did not then know what they were, but, 
as the mahogany-tree grows to a great size, I presume 
that many of them were of this beautiful wood. As 
we proceeded, the weather became hot, so that we were 
obliged to discontinue our journey and lie by during 
the heat of the day. We always found some hospita 
ble hut, where the family and the chickens seemed all 
to live together, and where we could always be provided 
with a comfortable meal. In the evening we would re 
sume our journey, and continue on late into the night. 
We then stopped for a few hours to rest, stretched on 
the hide beds of the country, for there were no such 
things as mattresses. We were tired men, however, 
and the sleep was most refreshing. Long before day 
we would be off again, and continue until again arrested 
by the heat. I often dropped off to sleep as we rode 
along, and then would wake up surprised to find that I 
had not fallen from my horse. 

We continued in this way for two or three days, 
through a beautiful country all the time, never tiring 
of the lovely scenery by which we were surrounded. 
We passed through many interesting little villages, the 
inhabitants of which were a mixture of aborigines and 
Spaniards ; for in Central- American countries the races 
mingled more than they did with us, and, although 
native characteristics were predominant, yet Spanish 
was the language spoken throughout nearly all the 
land. My impression is that the original language 

76 



JONAS DIBBLE 

had entirely died out, for it must be remembered that 
Spanish influence had been felt there for several cen 
turies. We finally reached the city of Leon, which was 
practically the end of our journey. There were no hotels 
in the city, so we billeted ourselves upon an Englishman 
named Jonas Dibble. He had married a wife of the 
women of the country, who was very pretty, and did 
the honors of his establishment very gracefully. lie had 
been so long in the country, and was so unused to hear 
ing English spoken, that he had almost forgotten his own 
language, or rather, I should say, did so to that extent 
that he would use English words that conveyed a mean 
ing which he did not intend. I do not remember that he 
was engaged in any particular occupation, but he seemed 
happy enough, although he complained that the Kevolu- 
tionists sacked and ransacked, to use his own expression, 
from time to time, so that he felt very poor, and was full 
of apologies for the plain manner in which he was obliged 
to live. However, he was very kind and hospitable, and I 
do not know what we should have done without the food 
and shelter which he gave us during the two or three 
days we were at Leon. The day after our arrival we 
visited the lake of the same name. It was a fine sheet 
of water, and when the Nicaragua Canal shall have been 
in operation for a century its shores will no doubt be 
studded with villas and its waters ploughed by steamers 
and yachts and water-craft of every description. 

We returned to the ship much in the same manner as 
we came from it, and, although we had a charming trip, 
we were, nevertheless, glad to get back to our ship s home 
and the comforts which surrounded us there. It is al 
ways found after a sojourn on shore that a ship has a 
great many comforts which one not accustomed to ship- 
life can hardly understand, especially when she is on a 

77 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

foreign cruise and the ship is one s own home. I am 
reminded, as I write, of a little incident, apropos of this 
subject, told to me by my friend Lieutenant-Commander 
Ames, long since dead. There was an old seaman who 
was employed at Annapolis, in a better position than 
he had probably ever occupied in his life. He had 
saved some money, had built himself a house, and was 
altogether comfortable. He went to Ames one day and 
said : " Mr. Ames, I am getting a kind o tired of this 
here kind of life, and I feels, sir, as how I d like to be 
off again. To be sure," he went on to say, " they pays 
me well, and treats me well, and I has a house, sir a 
good house. Why, Mr. Ames, my house has all the 
comforts of a ship into it, sir, but I ain t happy here 
nohow, and I wants to be off." So Jack has an appre 
ciation of the comforts of a ship as well as his master. 

We sailed from Kealejo, and soon after found our 
selves at Mazatlan, where the rest of the Fleet was as 
sembled as a sort of Squadron of observation. The year 
1846 had arrived, and the Mexican War was close upon 
us. While we were at Mazatlan, Lieutenant Gillespie, 
of the Marine Corps, arrived with despatches for Fre 
mont and Mr. Larkin, our Consul at Monterey. He 
traversed Mexico from Yera Cruz, having passed himself 
off as a merchant. Strange to say, his real character 
does not seem to have been suspected by the Mexicans, 
so he came through unmolested. Commodore Sloat, in 
order to avert suspicion, sent him to Monterey by way 
of the Sandwich Islands. In January, 1846, Fremont, 
who was upon one of his exploring expeditions, found 
himself about one hundred miles east of Monterey in 
the San Joachim Valley, when he required rest for his 
horses. He went in person to Monterey to see General 
Castro, who was in command there, in order to get per- 

78 



FREMONT IN MEXICO 

mission to remain in the Valley during the winter. Cas 
tro granted his request, but, as it was not approved by 
the Mexican Government, he took opposite ground, and 
tried to rouse the people to look upon Fremont and his 
party as public enemies. The American settlers in the 
Valley wished Fremont to assume the offensive, offering 
to assist him, but as he knew nothing yet of a state of 
war existing between the two countries, and not wish 
ing to compromise his own, he declined. However, he 
marched his small party, consisting of sixty backwoods 
men, to within thirty miles of Monterey, when he took 
up a position on the Sierra Nevada Mountains, raised 
the American flag, and prepared for resistance. 

Castro marched out towards Fremont s party, but did 
not attack them. Finally Fremont, thinking there was 
no immediate probability of war with Mexico, started 
on his march for Oregon. He had not proceeded very 
far when he was overtaken by Gillespie, who followed 
him up through a hostile Indian country and delivered 
his despatches. Fremont now lost no time in retracing 
his steps, and in about a fortnight reached the Valley of 
the Sacramento, near Sutter s Fort, a place of defence 
which had been established by Captain Sutter, a Swiss, 
who had been settled in the country for some time. 
From that point Fremont sent Gillespie to San Fran 
cisco for provisions. When he reached there, Captain 
Montgomery, of the Portsmouth, sent Lieutenant Hunter 
in charge of a launch to meet Fremont, which he did on 
the American Fork. Hunter was accompanied on this 
expedition by Purser Watmough, afterwards Paymaster- 
General of the Navy, and Assistant Surgeon Duval, who 
desired to visit Fremont s camp. A sort of warfare had 
at this time begun between the Californians and the 
American settlers. Some of our people had captured 

79 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Sonoma, and brought in as a prisoner General Vallejo. 
So the Revolution, as it was called, was inaugurated. I 
do not think that the parties on either side yet knew 
that war existed between Mexico and the United States ; 
the settlers asserted that they were driven to revolution 
in self-defence. 

Some fighting took place, and a proclamation was is 
sued by a settler, setting forth the causes of the war, and 
declaring California independent of Mexico. A flag was 
adopted, which was a grizzly-bear upon a white field. A 
very interesting character at that time was Kit Carson, 
Fremont s second in command ; indeed, his whole force 
formed a most attractive group as they camped on the 
green where they had established their bivouac for the 
night. A party of us went out from Monterey to call 
upon them. We were amply repaid for it, for they 
talked with us pleasantly for a long time, and what 
they had to say could not be otherwise than most inter 
esting, for each one was unique in his own particular way. 
They had come all the way from the borders of our 
Eastern civilization, and this of itself surrounded them 
with a sort of romantic interest, which I have never felt 
to the same extent in any other group of men. Kit 
Carson paved his way to a commission in the Arm y. I 
never knew what became of the others.* 

While all this was going on, war was actually in ex 
istence, and Commodore Sloat had arrived in Monterey. 
The conduct of the war in California is a matter of his 
tory. I was one of the landing -party that took pos 
session of Monterey, and expected to belong to Purser 
Fauntleroy s troop, which was being formed as a sort of 

* For that part of the narrative in which Fremont, Gillespie, Cas 
tro, and Vallejo figure, I am indebted to General Wilcox s History of 
the Mexican War. S. R. F. 

80 



COMMODORE BIDDLE S SARCASM 

web-foot dragoon corps ; but McLane was going to be 
one of that force, and Captain Page was not willing 
further to deprive his ship of officers, so I was not per 
mitted to go. The troop was actually formed, and did 
good service, and not until Commodore Biddle took 
command of the Squadron was it disbanded, and the 
officers ordered back to their ships. I heard afterwards 
that Biddle, upon his arrival to take command, sent for 
the officers who composed this troop, and put the ques 
tion to each one: "Well, sir, what are you Colonel 
or Major or Captain ?" and when he would get the reply 
he would say : " Well, Major, you proceed on board 
your ship and report to your Captain as a Naval of 
ficer." I believe Biddle was very much given to sar 
casm, and what I have just stated is an illustration of 
that peculiarity. 

Soon after the occupation of the ports on the coast 
of California, and while the war was progressing tow 
ards a successful termination, the Levant was ordered 
to return to the United States. About this time Sloat 
was relieved by Stockton, and, later, Biddle appeared 
on the coast in the Columbus and assumed command. 
My recollection of the events which occurred between 
the taking possession of Monterey and the time the 
Levant sailed for home is very vague. The names of 
some of the streets in San Francisco recall to my mind 
some of the officers of the Squadron Avho figured at 
that time ; as. for instance, Stockton Street, Powell 
Street, Montgomery Square, etc. Some of these officers 
figured in the efforts to establish civil government in 
California at that time. They were Alcaldes of towns, 
etc. Powell was the Surgeon of the Warren, Mont 
gomery the Captain of the Portsmouth, and so it went ; 
and thus it was that the impress of these names was 
p 81 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

made upon the infant city of San Francisco, which 
soon became the metropolis of the Pacific. I am 
under the impression that we conveyed Commodore 
Sloat to Panama, and that he returned to the United 
States in that way. I remember that we went there, 
and took with us Lieutenant Trapier of the Cyane, 
who was going home to resign, to become an Epis 
copal clergyman. Such a transformation was so rare, 
that the fact of his being with us on our homeward- 
bound trip fixed itself in my mind so firmly that I 
remember him, while I do not positively remember the 
presence of a more important person, the Commodore 
himself. 

We had a long passage to Valparaiso, where we 
touched en route to the United States. While we were 
there the Columbus, with Commodore Biddle, came in. 
She was a splendid specimen of the line-of-battle ship 
of that period. She had been a long time in commis 
sion, and was commanded by Captain Wyman. Her 
Executive Officer was Commander Selfridge, now liv 
ing, upward of ninety years of age. There were no 
finer officers, each in his particular way, than the three 
I have just mentioned in our Navy, or, indeed, in any 
other at that time. Biddle found orders for himself 
here to proceed to California and assume command of 
the Naval forces there, which he accordingly did, as I 
have stated above. 

I had by this time done so much cruising and had 
so much experience at sea that I was entrusted with 
a Lieutenant s watch, and became one of the regular 
watch-officers of the ship. I do not remember what the 
occasion was, but the Captain told me one day that he 
had as much confidence in me as he had in any officer 
on board. I felt, of course, very much complimented, 



EDUCATING BRAZILIAN MIDSHIPMEN 

and I felt also that I had not entirely wasted my time 
during the five years of my cruising in the Pacific. A 
number of my classmates, who were on board the Co 
lumbus, were transferred to the Levant, in order that 
they might go home and prepare for their examina 
tions. Amongst them was a fine fellow Whiting. He 
was a watch -officer on the way home as well as my 
self. Whiting always stood well in the service, and 
became Chief of the Bureau of Navigation. He finally 
grew blind, and was obliged to retire as a Captain. 
Congress, however, as a reward for good service, made 
him a Commodore on the retired list. He died but late- 
ty, in consequence of an accident. There was another 
Midshipman of my class who came on board, a man 
named Forrest. He was a peculiar fellow ; had some 
thing the matter with his eyes, and when any one used 
the pepper-box at the table he jumped up, as if he 
were shot, and felt that he had met with a personal 
affront, so much did he dread getting the pepper in his 
eyes. 

The Columbus had on board for instruction five or 
six Brazilian Midshipmen who were transferred to the 
Levant for passage to Kio. They did not seem to have 
profited much by the cruise, as only one of them had 
acquired English, and that in a very small way. They 
had been taken on board at Eio by the Columbus, on 
her way out, and had had the benefit of their cruise to 
China and back to Valparaiso. As we were at war 
with Mexico, it was embarrassing to have foreign offi 
cers on board, so they were sent home with us. They 
were young men of good Brazilian families. When we 
were at Rio, on our way home, we received a good deal 
of attention from their relations and friends. While 
on board the Columbus, they of course messed with the 

83 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Midshipmen, but, somehow or other, they did not get 
on well, and, with two or three exceptions, managed to 
make themselves very unpopular. When they came to 
us they labored under the disadvantage of coming not 
pleasantly recommended. 

We had a comfortable passage around the Horn. As 
it was the summer season, we had abundant daylight, 
so we crept up close to the stormy Cape, and had stud 
ding-sails set while in sight of it. This is something 
that can rarely be said of Cape Horn, for one is much 
more likely to be under short canvas all the time while 
cruising in those seas. We reached Rio de Janeiro in 
due course of time, and came to anchor in its beautiful 
harbor. At the time of which I write, our Minister at 
Rio was Henry A. Wise, of Virginia, who had been a 
Member of Congress, and was well known. He had 
been the second of Graves when he killed Cilley in the 
celebrated duel which was fought a few years before. 
Cilley had a son in my class, and it is said, with how 
much truth I do not know, that the son was at Rio 
while Mr. Wise was Minister, and that he was in charge 
of a boat that conveyed Mr. Wise to the ship on board 
of which Cilley was serving as a Midshipman. The 
Minister s house was the headquarters of the officers, 
who visited there very pleasantly. One of his daugh 
ters was married afterwards to Dr. Garnett of the Navy, 
who happened to be attached to a ship which I presume 
was a good deal at Rio. There was another American 
family there, that of the Naval Store-keeper Mr. Fergu 
son. He belonged to what had been a very useful class 
of officers in their time. They were Masters not in the 
line of promotion, employed as Naval Store-keepers on 
foreign stations, and, indeed, wherever they could be 
found useful. Mr. Ferguson was a man of high char- 

84 



HOME AT LAST 

acter, strictly attentive to his duties, and filled with 
great ability the position which he occupied. I mention 
him so particularly because I had such high respect for 
him. His daughter, who was then Miss Kate Ferguson, 
married Paymaster Watson. They had three children ; 
one is now a Commander in the Navy, and the daugh 
ters married, one Lieutenant Miller, and the other Pay 
master Rand. Mr. Ferguson was very precise in his 
manner of talking, and I shall never forget his descrip 
tion of some empty barrels which had once contained 
flour. I was a member of the survey upon what these 
barrels once held. In Mr. Ferguson s description of the 
articles he said, "These barrels once contained flour; 
they have been perforated by rats, and the contents 
thereof destroyed." It struck me at the time as being 
such a precise and quaint way of putting it before us 
that I have never forgotten it. 

We soon finished our preparations for the homeward- 
bound passage and sailed for Norfolk, having a delight 
ful journey home through the trade- wind region. One 
incident of the trip is worth recording ; it is this : It 
was my morning watch. The weather was lovely, the 
trade-winds blew fresh, and we were rattling along at 
about eight knots an hour, when a flying-fish missed his 
calculation, and, instead of passing over the ship in his 
flight, landed at my feet. It was a beautiful sight for 
one who had not tasted anything fresh for twenty days. 
It can be well conceived that I lost no time in captur 
ing him and sending him down to the cook to be pre 
pared for breakfast. I need not say that I enjoyed the 
meal. We were a very happy party when Cape Henry 
was sighted. I had been absent from friends and home 
for more than five years, and when I landed in Norfolk 
I felt like a stranger in my own land. And now my 

85 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

long cruise was ended, and my Midshipman days prac 
tically over ; the next thing was my examination. What 
I may term the first part of my career was closed when 
the Levant went out of commission and the crew were 
paid off. 



CHAPTER VIII 

At the Naval School Life at Annapolis Fifty Years Since After- 
Fortunes of the Class "Reform Banquets" Coast- Survey Ser 
vice Washington Society. 

I WAS granted three months leave of absence, and 
went to York, Pennsylvania, where I passed the sum 
mer of 1847 with my mother, who resided there. A 
portion of my class was at that time at the Naval 
School at Annapolis, preparing for examination. They 
had been there since October. Those of us who had 
just returned to the United States would have lost the 
advantage of half the time which was allotted to us 
if we had gone immediately there upon our arrival in 
the country. We were given the option of either going 
to the school or waiting until the coming October. 
Most of us, if not all, adopted the latter course. I re 
mained at home until October, and then reported for in 
struction at Annapolis. 

The " date " of 1841 was so large that it was thought 
best to divide it into three sections; the first section 
was graduated in 1847, the second in 1848, and the 
third in 1849. The Naval Academy was then in its in 
fancy. Two classes only had been graduated there that 
of 1840 and the first part of that of 1841. We former 
ly spoke of a class as a " date "; this referred to the year 
of our entry into the Navy. Since those days it has 
been called " class," and the class of such and such a 
year means the year in which it is graduated. The 

87 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Superintendent of the Academy in 1847 was Captain 
Upshur. He was a very worthy man, possessed of a 
kindly nature, and exceedingly conscientious and zealous 
in the performance of his duties, and in all respects a 
most creditable Superintendent. Pie had an unruly set 
of devils to manage, for we were no longer boys, most 
of us being more than twenty-one years of age. We 
often tried the old gentleman sorely by our youth 
ful pranks of one kind and another, for, although there 
was an effort at discipline, we were just at that age 
when we were hard to control. I shall never forget 
one occasion when there had been a row in town be 
tween some roughs and some Midshipmen who were 
out on a lark. Word was passed to those inside, and 
nearly the whole class, armed with pokers and other 
weapons which were near at hand, rushed out to the 
scene of action. However, by the time we reached 
there quiet had been restored, and nothing more seri 
ous than a broken head or two resulted from the fray. 
The next morning the Superintendent called us all up, 
and delivered to us a lecture upon the impropriety of 
our conduct. He began to lecture in such a precise and 
peculiar manner that the first phrase was long remem 
bered and quoted by those who desired to be funny at 
the old gentleman s expense. It ran thus : "Raining 
as it was, and sick as I was, I was aroused from my 
bed," etc. 

The professors of the Academy at that time were, 
Chauvenet in Mathematics, Lockwood in Navigation 
and Infantry tactics, and Giraud in French ; Dr. Lock- 
wood lectured to us in Chemistry, and some one taught 
us Ward s Gunnery. I went to the Academy with the 
advantage of having been through a course of Mathe 
matics extending through Analytical Geometry, and in 

88 



MY TEACHERS AT ANNAPOLIS 

Navigation, and through Nautical Astronomy. I had 
therefore a fair knowledge already of the subjects in 
which I was to be instructed. I at once took a good 
standing in the first section, and maintained it during 
the time I was at the Academy. Professor Chauvenet, 
our instructor in Mathematics, had the faculty of im 
parting what he knew to others in a higher degree 
than any man I have ever known, and he had also the 
peculiar faculty of discerning whether a man at the 
blackboard knew what he was talking about or not. 
He became, in time, perhaps the first mathematician in 
this or any other country. I have always retained for 
him a most profound respect and esteem. His tran 
scendent talents soon placed him beyond the compara 
tively obscure position of a Professor of Mathematics 
in the Navy, and he was transferred to a higher sphere 
of usefulness in some Western institution of learning of 
high standing, where I believe he remained until he died. 
Professor Lockwood, who was associated with Chauve 
net as an instructor in the early days of the Academy, is 
still living. He is a graduate of West Point, and was 
my shipmate in the Frigate United States. He taught 
me about all I knew, up to the time I went to the 
Naval School, and I have always felt under deep obli 
gations to him for the pains and trouble he took to 
instil into me the rudiments of Mathematics, which I 
found afterwards so useful. He was associated with the 
Academy, more or less, from the time it was established 
until he was retired, with the exception of the time 
when he was with the Army during the Civil War, in 
which he served as a General officer of Volunteers. 
Professors Chauvenet and Lockwood were very impor 
tant factors in the building-up of the Naval Academy, 
and were largely instrumental in starting it with the 

89 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

high character it has ever since maintained. The Pro 
fessor of French, Mr. Giraud, was an excellent instruc 
tor, and during the nine months we were taught by him 
we became sufficiently well grounded to enable us to 
pursue the study of the language afterwards with great 
advantage. 

When the class as I shall henceforth call it, in defer 
ence to the custom now in use assembled at Annapolis, 
it was placed in four sections, arranged for conven 
ience alphabetically. After a few days, when the Pro 
fessors had learned enough about us to satisfy them as 
to our qualifications, we were arranged in four sections 
still, but now it was according to the knowledge we had 
displayed. It was my good-fortune to be put in the first 
section, not because I deserved to be there on account of 
special merit, but because I had the advantage of a Pro 
fessor on board ship, while many of those in the fourth 
section had had no such good -fortune. Indeed, there 
were amongst the men in that section, Midshipmen of as 
much natural ability as those in the first, but they had 
served in small vessels which had no Professors, and 
so had not had the advantages that we had. The whole 
system of Naval education in those days was rough and 
crude, and did not seem altogether fair ; the wonder is that 
we got on as well as we did. My room-mates were John 
Yan Ness Philip, George E. Morgan, and William Mer 
cer. The first two have been dead for many years. 
Philip left the Navy, but entered it again when the 
Civil War broke out. He died of yellow-fever as Execu 
tive officer of the R. R. Cuyler. His Captain, known in 
those days as Frank Winslow, died also. Strange to say, 
they were the only two cases on board that proved fatal ; 
the rest of the officers and crew escaped entirely. Mor 
gan died before the War, on board some ship of which 

90 



SOME OLD SCHOOLMATES 

he was the Navigating officer. Mercer resigned, and I 
think is now living in some place on the Hudson Eiver. 
We occupied room No. 1, in what was then called Apollo 
Row. It should be known that the Academy is upon 
the site of what was once Fort Severn, and the only 
accommodations for the Midshipmen were the barracks 
formerly occupied by the soldiers. These barracks were 
situated in different parts of the enclosure, which in 
those days was called " the Yard," borrowed, I pre 
sume, from Navy -Yard. They were in disconnected 
groups. Each group had its designation. Ours was 
Apollo Eow; then there was Eowdy Row and Brandy- 
wine Cottage and the Abbey. These names all had 
some significance. Brandywine Cottage was so called 
because it was occupied by Midshipmen who had recently 
returned from a cruise in the Frigate Brandywine. The 
Abbey was named by some elegant fellow who wished 
to have a high - sounding title to his temporary home ; 
and Rowdy Row was so called because it somehow hap 
pened that the noisy and boisterous element always con 
gregated there. I never knew why Apollo Row was so 
called. 

Most of the men who were with me at the school have 
passed away. There were many fine fellows amongst 
them, men who made their mark in the world, and be 
came distinguished not only as Naval officers, but in the 
walks of civil life as well. The names of men who come 
vividly before my mind now are Pembroke Jones, Billy 
Parker, Allan McLane, John Upshur, Nag Hunter, Gus 
McLaughlin, and others who stood prominently in the 
foreground. Jim Jouett was also there ; he was a gallant 
fellow, who distinguished himself at the Battle of Mobile 
Bay, and captured with the Metacomet, under his com 
mand, the Confederate gunboat Selma. And there was 

91 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Eoe, who distinguished himself in a naval engagement in 
Albemarie Sound, by gallantly dashing his wooden gun 
boat, the Sassacus, into the ironclad Albemarie, in an at 
tempt to sink her. Both of these latter became Rear- 
Admirals, and both are still living. Of the men whom 
I have mentioned, the one in whom I have taken the 
most interest is Parker. He is still living, having occu 
pied during his career many places of trust and respon 
sibility. Parker went South when the Civil War broke 
out, or he would have been a Eear- Admiral on the re 
tired list. He is a charming fellow altogether, and full 
of talent. I meet him now from time to time, and al 
ways with a great deal of pleasure. Pembroke Jones 
also served in the South during the War. I do not re 
member whether he resigned before the beginning of 
hostilities or not; he was one of the best men at the 
school, and it was always a pleasure to hear him recite, he 
was so clear and thorough. Chauvenet rarely asked him 
a question, but when he finished would, in his quiet 
way, say, " That is sufficient, sir." We always knew 
that Jones s mark was about perfect. In those days 
the marks ranged from 10 to 0. Now they range from 
4 to 0. Allan McLane was a member of a distinguished 
Maryland family, to which I had occasion to refer when 
speaking of his brother Louis in another part of this 
narrative. He was a fine, manly fellow of great good 
sense. He did not remain long in the service after he 
passed his examination, but became identified, in one 
way or another, with the Pacific Mail Steamship Com 
pany, and rose, by regular gradations, to its Presidency. 
When he retired from that position he went to Wash 
ington, built a fine house there, and made that city his 
place of residence until he died, only a few years ago. 
He had amassed a large fortune, made, like that of his 

92 



LIFE AT ANNAPOLIS 

brother Louis, by his individual exertions. McLane was 
a man of excellent standing in the community in which 
he resided, and was in all respects a man of the highest 
character. Gus McLaughlin, as he was always called 
by his friends, was a lovely fellow. I was his grooms 
man when he married. 

Life at the school was pleasant enough for those of 
us whose standing in our classes warranted the feeling 
that there was no doubt about the final result of our 
examination. With those in the fourth section, where 
there was a great deal of doubt in the minds of many, 
the nine months at the school were not passed on a bed 
of roses. I remember hearing a man say one day that, 
if he did not pass, Chauvenet s wife would be a widow. 
Of course this was an exaggeration, but it proved to 
me that the state of mind that many of them were in 
during those trying days was not a thing to be envied. 
There was a good deal of dissipation at the school at 
the time I was there, for checks upon our freedom of 
action were very few. There was not much discipline, 
for, as I have said before, we were all grown men, most 
of us of twenty-two years of age and upward. About 
this time the Chartists were holding their mass-meet 
ings in London. There was no parallelism between what 
we called our " reform banquets " and the Chartist meet 
ings, but I remember that it was these meetings which 
suggested the name. Every Saturday night, for several 
months, we assembled at the room of some choice 
spirit, where we were regaled with whiskey and cigars, 
and crackers and cheese, and swapped yarns and sang 
songs until nearly midnight. Towards that hour but 
few of the revellers were left. Those who were sober 
enough remained, and finally separated, each one going 
his way towards his quarters ; and thus ended the " re- 

93 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

form banquet." I happened one Sunday morning to 
be passing by a room where there had been a banquet 
the night before. Lieutenant Sidney Smith Lee a 
brother of Eobert E. Lee who was Executive Officer 
of the school, was passing at the same moment. He 
called my attention to this " banquet - hall deserted," 
and, raising his hands with an air of intense disgust, 
asked me if I had ever witnessed such a sight. Empty 
bottles were lying about the floor, half-smoked cigars 
were scattered in all directions, chairs were turned up- 
sidedown, and everything in the room indicated that 
it had been the scene of rollicking dissipation. Lieu 
tenant Lee was an amiable man, and, while he deplored 
the existence of such irregularities, he seemed powerless 
to prevent them. As I have stated before, there was 
little or no discipline at the school in those days. The 
autumn, winter, and spring passed away. The days 
resembled each other very much, and I was glad when 
the time for our examination was at hand. The nov 
elty had worn off, and was succeeded by a monoto 
nous, school-boy sort of life, varied by some outside so 
ciety and the Saturday nights which I have described 
above. 

The Board which examined us assembled in June. 
As well as I can remember, the President was Commo 
dore Morgan. Two of the Captains were Gwin and 
Armstrong; there were others, but they have passed 
out of my mind. The examination in Mathematics was 
by printed questions, to which we wrote out answers. 
They had to be handed in from our desks in the exam 
ination hall within a fixed time. The consequence was 
that, if we found much difficulty in any one question 
that was likely to detain us, we were obliged to give it 
the go-by in order to answer a reasonable number of 

94 



GRADUATION AND AFTER-EMPLOYMENT 

the others. In the examination for Seamanship, each 
Captain would take a Midshipman and give him a long, 
exhaustive sitting in that branch. To any one who had 
given much attention to the subject, it was not very 
difficult, for there were but few questions in Seaman 
ship at that time with which an intelligent Midshipman 
was not more or less familiar. There was no Professor 
of Seamanship at the school, as there is now, but we 
drilled each other, and so became pretty well posted 
during the six years of probation that we had had be 
fore going to the school. 

The examination was over, and a feeling of exhilara 
tion came upon me that it is difficult to describe. I had 
been cramming for nine months, and the delight at be 
ing able to throw everything off my mind was some 
thing to be experienced but not described. We were 
all happy except the "bilgers." These poor fellows 
had not only the mortification of failure, but the pros 
pect of another nine months at the school, for it was the 
rule to give the " bilger " a second, and I think some 
times a third, chance. My recollection is that we were 
all granted one month s leave, and that we were ex 
pected to report for duty at the end of that time. I 
was detailed for the Coast Survey, and about the middle 
of the summer joined the party of Lieutenant S. P. Lee. 
We worked off shore to the southward of Cape Henlopen. 
In the spring and autumn we would work in the Ches 
apeake Bay, and in the winter be stationed in Washing 
ton. We had a very pleasant party ; some of the mem 
bers of it were men who were well known in their day. 
Frank Winslow was our Executive Officer. Alexander 
Murray, Whiting, Simpson, Preble, McLaughlin, and 
others, who have passed out of my mind, also belonged 
to it. Most of these men became Eear- Admirals, and 

95 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

did good service. The Chief of the party, Admiral Lee, 
and I, I believe, are the only survivors. 

The people who lived on the coast of Maryland and 
Delaware in those days were but one degree removed 
from savages. They were a cross between the small 
farmer and the wrecker. They never cast their eyes upon 
a vessel but that the glance was accompanied with the 
thought of what a fine prize she would be. I heard one 
of the principal men amongst them say one day, upon 
looking at our steamer: "How I would like to wrack 
her." "We were obliged to live with these people while 
we were at work on the coast, as we could rarely com 
municate with the vessel after the day s work was over. 
We did attempt camping out at times, but our appli 
ances were very crude, and it was, if anything, a rougher 
life than that of living with the natives. When, how 
ever, our stations were near enough to make it conven 
ient to meet after our work of the day was over, we 
found it on the whole pleasant to rough it in camp and 
do our own cooking. There was one family with which 
we lived that exceeded in roughness anything I have 
ever known in all my experience. One day at dinner 
one of the young women of the family was helping to 
some string-beans. I saw her examining the spoon with 
which she was serving them with much interest. It 
seemed to occur to her that it wanted washing; where 
upon she inserted it into her mouth, and it came out 
washed. I asked the person to whom the beans were 
served, and whose head was turned away at the time, if 
he knew what had occurred. When I told him what it 
was, he said : " Oh, you ought not to see such things." 
One of the young women of this same family, relating 
to me how a schooner had come from Philadelphia and 
landed some excursionists near their place, said that the 

96 



MRS. LAMB S BOARDING-HOUSE 

schooner had "fifty head of girls on board." I mention 
these things to illustrate the crude condition of the peo 
ple who occupied these shores fifty years ago. Since 
then, there is no doubt the school - master has been 
amongst them, and a watering-place Rehoboth Beach 
has risen where we then had our stamping-ground. Al 
though these people were wreckers, they never attempt 
ed to extort from us, which will be at once seen when I 
mention the fact that we boarded for thirty-seven and 
a half cents a day on fairly good food. When we could 
manage to camp together, the outside work was pleas 
ant enough ; but when I was alone with an attendant, 
and was obliged to trudge two miles every evening after 
the day s work was over, and then sleep in a feather-bed, 
eaten up by mosquitoes, it was wretched enough. 

When the working season was over, our party was 
transferred to the Coast Survey Office in Washington, 
where we passed the winter. Simpson and I took rooms 
together, and made ourselves very comfortable. We 
lived at Mrs. Lamb s boarding-house, opposite Willard s 
Hotel. The hotel in those days was a sort of head 
quarters for officers of the Army and Navy, a kind of 
club, at a time when Washington had np clubs worth 
mentioning. We had a good many visitors in our 
quarters, for it was a convenient place to drop into from 
across the street. Amongst others that we used to see 
a great deal of were the brothers Hull and John Quincy 
Adams, both charming men, each in his way, but totally 
unlike. John died many years ago; he went down in 
the Albany, which ship was never heard of after leaving 
port. She disappeared somewhere in the West Indies, 
and her fate is unknown to this day. Adams was a bluff, 
sailor-man sort of a fellow, a thorough gentleman, al 
ways well dressed, and was in all respects a thoroughly 
Q 97 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

good man-of-war s man. As an illustration of his sailor 
way of putting things, I will relate an incident which 
occurred in Florence. He and I formed a portion of a 
party that went to the city for a stay of a few days. 
When we arrived there everybody was immediately 
making suggestions as to going here and there at once, 
whereupon John Adams spoke up and said: "Now if 
you will give me this evening to get the bearings and dis 
tances of things, I will go to hell with you to-morrow." 
We all agreed that he was right, and acted upon his 
suggestion. Hull Adams was the reverse of John ; the 
latter hated society, while Hull was devoted to it, and 
was always one of its greatest favorites. He was full of 
talent, and if his lot had been cast in another direction 
he might have reached a position of prominence in the 
country, in common with many of the members of the 
distinguished family to which he belongs. One of his 
great attractions was the sweetest of tenor voices. I 
can hear him now, as he used to ring out the words : 

" O that a Dutchman s draught might be 
As deep as the rolling Zuyder Zee !" 

He and his sister, Elizabeth Adams, never married. 
They have been the warmest of friends and companions 
for many years. I am strongly of the impression that 
they are both now living. If they are, she must be 
nearly ninety, and he cannot be very far behind her. 
Both Hull and John were great favorites in Washington 
that winter amongst the hosts of fine fellows that formed 
the male portion of the society of the city. 

I went very little into society myself during the win 
ter. I believe I was a subscriber to the Assembly Balls, 
which were held in the old Globe Building, somewhere 
in the neighborhood of Four and a Half Street, on Penn- 



WASHINGTON SOCIETY IN THE FORTIES 

sylvania Avenue. It was the only dancing-hall in Wash 
ington at the time, except Carusi s Saloon, as it was called, 
and that was a small affair. I remember well some of 
the girls who figured at those balls, and who are now 
living. They were charming girls then, they are lovely 
old ladies now. If this narrative should ever meet their 
eyes, they may recognize themselves. They are hardly 
old enough yet, however, to be called old ladies, perhaps 
they never will be. I remember dining with Mr. and 
Mrs. Gales that winter. Mr. Gales was one of the firm 
of Gales & Seaton of the National Intelligencer. There 
were present at the dinner besides the host and hostess, 
Miss Gales, Miss Anne Lizzie Buckler, and Miss Anna 
Clarke. They are all three now living. Miss Gales, 
who at that time was one of the leaders in society, is 
now a translator of French and Spanish in the State 
Department. She has accepted the change in her cir 
cumstances with the greatest good grace, and seems as 
bright and cheerful now as she did in those far-off days. 
Miss Buckler, of Baltimore, married Kolando, of the 
Navy, who died years ago. I had the pleasure of seeing 
her only a few days since. Miss Clarke is a daughter 
of Matthew St. Clair Clarke, one of the greatest wits 
of his day ; she married my brother, General Franklin. 
These ladies, as I said before, are all living now, and 
are in fairly good health. They are warm and devoted 
friends to this day. 



CHAPTER IX 

On Foreign Service The Spragues of Gibraltar Commodore Mor 
ganMess of His Flag -ship Winter Quarters On Leave in 
Home Early Impressions. 

ASIDE from the Assembly Balls and one or two dan 
cing-parties, my recollections of that winter are very 
vague. It came to an end, however, and time for active 
work on the Survey was again approaching. The par 
ty reassembled somewhere near the mouth of the Pa- 
tuxent Eiver, and began running lines of soundings 
in Chesapeake Bay. We had not been employed many 
days at this work when orders came detaching me from 
the Coast Survey and ordering me to the Eazee Inde 
pendence. The Independence was fitting out at Nor 
folk to be the Flag-ship of the Mediterranean Squadron ; 
and while I was pleasantly located with the familiar 
surveying-party, I could not help feeling that the pros 
pect of a cruise in the Mediterranean was more allur 
ing than the work upon which I was then engaged. I 
soon reported at Norfolk in obedience to my orders. 
Captain Conover was the Commanding Officer, and Tom 
Craven, as he was called in those days, the Executive. 
The ward -room was full to overflowing. Beaumont, 
who was the Second Master and Junior ward -room 
Officer, was without a room. " Beau," as we called him, 
was a very amusing fellow, the life of the ward-room 
mess, but was given to saying sharp things, and occa 
sionally made enemies ; he was liked, nevertheless, by 

100 



GOING ON FOREIGN SERVICE 

nearly every one. Beau and I were great friends dur 
ing the cruise. We had one little difficulty, but we 
soon made it up. 

We sailed from Hampton Koads about the middle of 
the summer of 1849. The steerage was composed of 
two messes, the Passed Midshipmen occupied the port 
steerage, and the Midshipmen the starboard. We had 
a comfortable mess and lived well. The conditions had 
changed very much since my first cruise, when we were 
all boys. Now we were men verging on twenty -five 
years of age. I do not remember whether any of my 
messmates ever attained to Flag rank. Two of the 
ward-room officers did, as did also one of the Midship 
men. The three to whom I refer were Craven, Beau 
mont, and Skerrett. The Civil War intervening, sent 
some of them South ; they became scattered, and I lost 
the run of them. 

We had a passage of about twenty days from Hamp 
ton Koads to Gibraltar. The weather was pleasant, and 
nothing of especial interest occurred during the run. 
At that time the Consul at Gibraltar was Mr. Sprague, 
father of the present incumbent. Father and son have 
filled the Consular office at that place for about seven 
ty years. I do not remember the father, but tradition 
has handed him down as a man of the highest char 
acter, who filled the position he occupied with rare abil 
ity. His son, Horatio Sprague, I have known more or 
less intimately for many years, and it gives me much 
pleasure to say that I have never in all my experience 
known a Consulate that stood higher than that of 
Gibraltar as administered by Mr. Sprague. He has 
always been a great favorite with the British officials, 
as well on account of his high character as a gentleman 
as for the ability with which he discharges the duties 

101 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

of his office. To the travelling Americans who happen 
to go to Gibraltar he is always kind and courteous; 
and when we have sick officers or seamen in the Gov 
ernment Hospitals, he very rarely permits a day to pass 
without visiting them in person and seeing that all 
their wants are attended to. I trust that he will live 
yet many years to do honor to the country which he 
represents with so much credit and ability, as well as 
to the Consular Corps, of which he is an old and distin 
guished member. Mr. Sprague was always doing some 
thing that made him agreeable to me during the many 
times I visited Gibraltar in the course of my cruising ; it 
was either a dinner at his house, or a picnic at his coun 
try-place, or something to make my time pass agreeably 
at the Rock. He was always invited to the official dinners 
that were given to our Admirals, and no dinner given to 
us at the Rock ever seemed complete without the pres 
ence of Mr. Sprague. If our Consular Service was made 
subject to the Civil Service rules, and its members formed 
a permanent Corps, our interests would be much better 
cared for, and men like Mr. Sprague would be more 
frequently encountered. Any one who has had much 
to do with our Consuls abroad is entirely satisfied that 
the system as at present administered is a dismal failure ; 
and, as long as these offices continue to be the refuge 
of the spoilsmen, the inefficiency of the incumbents will 
continue. I am glad to know, however, that there is a 
project on foot to improve the system, and to place it 
upon a basis calculated to reflect credit upon its pro 
moters as well as upon the country. 

The Independence did not remain long at Gibraltar. 
We sailed for Spezzia, which was then the headquar 
ters of the Squadron. Here we found the steam Frig 
ate Mississippi, with Commodore Morgan on board. He 

102 



COMMODORE MORGAN 

shifted his flag to the Independence, and henceforth she 
became the Flag-ship. Commodore Morgan was one of 
the most interesting Naval characters of the day. He 
had served in the War of 1812, on board the Constitution, 
and had many curious stories to relate of those historic 
times. I do not know what his age was, but he seem 
ed to me, as I look back, very old for his years, or for 
what ought to have been his age. He was extremely 
gouty, and moved about with difficulty ; but as no great 
activity was necessary to command a Squadron in time of 
peace,! presume he made what in those days might have 
been considered a very fair Commander -in -Chief. He 
seemed to me to be a man of intelligence, had a good 
deal of humor, and was a good judge of character. His 
letters to the Department were all well written and the 
subjects well thought out. He was personally attrac 
tive, and any one who was intimately associated with 
him, as I was, could not help liking him. I was at one 
time on his staff, so that I saw a good deal of him and 
his family. At this time he was married to his second 
wife, who was a charming woman, the daughter of Mr. 
Eitchie, who had been our Consul at Madrid. She had 
been intimately thrown with Washington Irving, and 
in my conversations with her about him she conveyed 
to my mind a most pleasing impression of that distin 
guished writer. There were two children by this mar 
riage, and although there was considerable disparity in 
years between the Commodore and Mrs. Morgan, yet, 
on the whole, it was a very happy, interesting family. 

The Mediterranean Squadron at this time consisted 
of three large Frigates the Independence, the Cumber 
land, and the old Constitution the Steamship Missis 
sippi, and the Sloop Jamestown. The coming together 
of the Squadron produced a great many changes. Some 

103 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

officers were invalided home, and Passed Midshipmen 
were promoted to fill vacancies thus created. Amongst 
others so promoted was Nelson, who became a General 
of Volunteers during the Civil War. Every one at all 
familiar with those times will remember that he was 
shot to death by Jefferson C. Davis. Nelson was pro 
moted from the Mississippi and ordered to the Inde 
pendence as Second Master, Beaumont becoming First. 
Nelson stood more than six feet in his stockings, and 
was otherwise very large. Lieutenant George Chap 
man, one of the greatest wits of the day, used to speak 
of the two as Beaumont and Flesher. I was very fond 
of Nelson, but I do not think he was popular with his 
comrades. He knew a great deal himself, and had a 
very unpleasant way of telling others how little they 
knew. I presume it was this peculiarity which caused 
him to meet his death in the manner he did. I think, in 
his quarrel with Davis, he told him that he was sur 
prised that a graduate of West Point should possess so 
little knowledge about the military point which they 
were discussing. I cannot help thinking that if Nelson 
had lived he would have greatly distinguished himself 
during the Civil War. Mr. Lincoln used to speak of him 
and the late Admiral Carter as his web -foot Generals. 
Nelson was a great talker, and had at command a good 
deal of native wit. No one surpassed him in an after- 
dinner speech, and, take him all in all, he was an exceed 
ingly clever man. I could never understand whether 
he was getting off a practical joke upon our Minister 
at Naples, or whether he thought that he was giving 
him the proper advice ; at all events, he told the Min 
ister that when he went to court he should wear his 
sword on the right side, emblematic of his peaceful call 
ing, which I believe he really did. Nelson was fond of 

104 



JOE BRADFORD 

a joke, for I remember being with him at a party in 
Naples when some lady standing at his side, and hav 
ing nothing more interesting to say, asked him who I 
was; whereupon he replied: "Why, do you not know 
who that is ? He is the grandson of our great Benja 
min Franklin." " Ah, yes," she replied, " I see the like 
ness at once." One or two rather amusing stories were 
told of him when he was in Washington on the eve of 
the Civil War. Being a Kentuckian, he was supposed 
to have Southern sympathies. On one occasion somebody 
said to him : " Now, Nelson, you are from Marysville, 
Kentucky ; suppose you were ordered down there to fire 
into your native town." Nelson replied, without hesi 
tation : " Nothing would give me greater pleasure than 
to knock that place down, for it is the d dest, meanest 
place in the whole country." On another occasion he 
was in the company of some South Carolinians who 
were expressing their views about the situation very 
freely, when he said, "If the President will give me 
one thousand men and as many shovels, I will go down 
and shovel South Carolina into the Atlantic Ocean." 

One of my messmates, whom I remember with a great 
deal of pleasure, was Joe Bradford. He was a sort of 
connection of the Commodore, and was one of my pred 
ecessors on his staff. He was a gallant fellow, and 
had fought a duel with a man whose name I think was 
Comegys ; Bradford had a very narrow escape, and 
came near losing the number of his mess. He was 
struck in the chest, but the bullet glanced from his 
breastbone without penetrating. It was a close call, 
and he carried the scar to his grave. Although a fine 
character, he was not very popular with his messmates. 
He was at times bitterly sarcastic, and was withal a 
good deal of what we call on board ship " a growl." I 

105 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

remember the caterer of our mess threatening one day 
to get a dog and tie him to the stanchion as a set-off 
against his growling. Bradford did good service dur 
ing the Civil War. He was Chief of Staff to Admiral 
Dahlgren, and served with great energy and ability. I 
often met him after the cruise was over, and always 
with a great deal of pleasure. We were once at the 
Old Sweet Springs in Virginia together; one day he 
took it into his head that he wanted to drive over to 
the White Sulphur. He had some difficulty in getting 
a conveyance, when as a last resource he asked the son 
of the proprietor of the hotel, who was a great swell, if 
he could assist him in getting a buggy. I presume that 
the young man thought that Bradford took him for a 
livery-stable man, for he replied : " Do you wish to in 
sult me ?" whereupon Bradford replied : " I would like 
to know who you are before I answer that question." 
The young man then said : " My name is Norval." Brad 
ford at once replied by asking him if he was a son of 
the man who fed his flocks on the Grampian Hills. Of 
course young Norval was very much infuriated by this 
time, and told Bradford that he was not, but that he 
was a fighting man, whereupon the former said : " I 
am not a fighting man, but am in the peaceful pursuit 
of a buggy." The matter was noised about the Springs, 
Bradford s ready reply about the Grampian Hills took 
with every one, and he was the lion of the hour. There 
is another anecdote about Bradford which I cannot help 
relating. We were beating up the Adriatic against a 
strong wind called a Bora. He was officer of the deck, 
and was working the ship very satisfactorily. The First 
Lieutenant was an officious fellow that Bradford did 
not like. He happened to see him through the corner 
of his eye letting go a rope. The Lieutenant did not 

106 



DUVAL AND ROCHELLE 

know that he had been seen, so Bradford gave himself 
a little time, when, turning to one of the mizzen-top 

men, he said, " What d d chuckle-head let go that 

weather vang [rope] ?" " Oh ! I did that," said the First 
Lieutenant ; when Bradford said, " Oh ! I beg your par 
don," knowing of course all the time who had done it. 
Some one heard the Lieutenant say a few moments after 
wards, " These Passed Midshipmen are a d d sight too 

smart." Bradford did not long survive the Civil War. He 
died of heart disease, from which he had suffered for years. 

Before proceeding with this narrative of the cruise, I 
must mention, for my own satisfaction, my old class 
mates, Duval and Rochelle. Duval was a good deal 
older than the rest of us, and it was said that he had 
been a Postmaster before he was appointed a Midship 
man. He was an immense man, and was one of those 
always trotted out when any one wanted to see the 
little Midshipmen ; a man of genial, kind temperament, 
as all will testify who knew him in those days. I lost 
sight of him after the beginning of the Civil War. He 
was from North Carolina. Eochelle was a gallant fel 
low, a Virginian, who, like Duval, went with his State. 
He had a certain amount of dry humor, and when we 
spoke of the President s message at any time, and were 
discussing its merits, he would say, " That is all very 
well, but wait until you read the message of the Gov 
ernor of Virginia." I heard of him during the Civil 
War, and think he did good service in the Confederacy. 

The Independence did not cruise much during the 
autumn of 1849. She went into winter quarters in the 
harbor of Baias, a small seaport not far from the Bay of 
Naples. Here we made every preparation for a pro 
tracted stay, for it was not usual for the ships of war of 
any nation to cruise during the winter in the Mediterra- 

107 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

nean unless there was some urgent necessity ; they were 
kept in harbor, for it is a stormy sea from December to 
March, and the wear and tear upon cruisers was very 
great. In the summer the weather is fine, and the 
cruising is done in that season. It was formerly said 
that the Mediterranean had but four harbors June, 
July, August, and Port Mahon. The winter at Baias 
was dull enough. The trip to Naples was attended with 
a certain amount of trouble and expense, so with us 
Passed Midshipmen it was not often made. I took a 
month s leave of absence, and went to Home, accom 
panied by a classmate, Gilmor Hoffman. There were 
no railroads, and it was necessary to choose between a 
poor steamer to Civita Yecchia and the diligence direct 
to Rome. "We chose the latter method. It took a lori 

o 

time to go, travelling by night as well as by day. Be 
sides Hoffman and myself, William Butler Duncan, who 
afterwards became a prominent banker in New York, 
was one of our party. There was a Mr. Ronalds, of 
whom we saw a great deal while in Rome, and I have 
always been under the impression that he afterwards 
became the husband of the famous Mrs. Ronalds, who 
was well known in Europe some years ago, and was re 
markable for her beauty. 

When we reached Rome, Hoffman and I took rooms 
in the Via Condotti, and dined at the Hotel d Angle- 
terre. Our hostess was a pretty little Roman matron, 
who took excellent care of us, and gave us the freshest 
of eggs and the best of coffee for breakfast. We passed 
our time, as most tourists do, visiting churches, and 
ruins of baths, and picture-galleries without end. We 
always brought up about one o clock in the Piazza del 
Popolo, where there was a place of refreshment, well 
known in those days, the name of which I have now 

108 



RECOLLECTIONS OF A WINTER IN ROME 

forgotten ; it was a place to see everybody. We always 
took a curious kind of luncheon, consisting of delicious 
pastry and brandy -and -water. After this we would 
sally out again in the afternoon, and always finish with 
a visit to St. Peter s. I think it is the rule with tourists 
to visit St. Peter s every day ; at all events, it was at 
that time. It seemed to me to grow in grandeur every 
time I passed its portals, and I never tired of roaming 
about this vast structure, filled with so much that is 
beautiful in painting and sculpture, the grandest monu 
ment on earth to the great Church which erected it. 
The Holy Father was not in Rome, but an exile in Na 
ples. All Europe had run wild with revolutionary 
frenzy, and while Pius IX. was most liberal in his views, 
the revolution went beyond him, and he was obliged to 
fly to Portici, where the King of Naples had placed one 
of his palaces at his disposal. The French, under Gen 
eral Baraguay d Hilliers, were in charge of the Govern 
ment. The Roman revolution had been put down, but 
the French Government had not yet found the time ripe 
for the return of the Pope. This was in the winter of 
1849-50. I think he went back soon afterwards. 

We happened to be in Rome during the Carnival, and 
witnessed the procession of carriages in the Corso, the 
throwing of confetti, etc. While we were looking on 
from our balcony, we saw the Corso instantly cleared 
by the military. The cause of this was that an infernal 
machine of some kind had been thrown into the car 
riage of Prince Canino. The Prince, who belonged to 
the Bonaparte family, had taken sides with the Liber 
als. He had been warned, I believe, not to take part in 
the procession, and was told that if he did, something 
terrible might happen. He did not heed the advice, and 
the consequence was what I have just stated. Fortu- 

109 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

nately, no one was hurt, although the torpedo exploded 
upon impact in the carriage. I believe the matter was 
dropped, for I never heard of it again. 

Our Minister at Rome at this time was Mr. Cass, son 
of Lewis Cass, the well-known American statesman. He 
was very much respected, not only by the authorities, 
but by the Americans residing in and passing through 
Rome. It was during this visit that I first knew Mr. 
Hooker, then a young banker just rising into promi 
nence. I met him years afterwards, a well-known, pros 
perous man, very much respected and liked by every 
one. He died only a few years ago. I fancy that most 
Americans who have visited Rome during the last forty 
years knew Mr. Hooker, and many of them have been 
the recipients of his kindness and attention. 

The time had now arrived for returning to the ship. 
I had seen the Eternal City ; and although I have visited 
it several times since, I feel that the impression made 
upon me then has been more lasting than that of any 
of my more recent visits. The greatest cathedral in the 
world stamped itself upon my mind so firmly that its 
image has never been effaced, while the memories of the 
Apollo Belvedere, the Laocoon, the Transfiguration, and 
the Beatrice Cenci have been a joy forever. I have 
seen them often since, but this first sight of them in my 
youth fixed them indelibly upon my mind. The work 
of art of all others which seemed to have taken the 
strongest hold upon me was the Apollo Belvedere. I 
often went to the gallery of the Vatican, and would find 
myself continually returning to this beautiful statue, to 
have another look at it before I left the Palace. It 
seems to me that this instinctive yearning to see over 
and over again a great work of art is of itself sufficient 
evidence of the great merit which it possesses. 

110 



CHAPTER X 

In the Adriatic A Royal Visit Fun at Spezzia Leghorn and Flor 
ence Naples under Bomba Balls at the Academy The San Carlo 
Pompeii and Vesuvius A Mournful Accident. 

DURING the following two years we cruised about the 
Mediterranean, going as far west as Lisbon, and as far 
east as Trieste. I shall not undertake to follow the ship 
in her passages from port to port, for, as I write from 
memory, it would be a difficult thing to do, nor would 
it be especially interesting to any one who should hap 
pen to peruse these pages. In those days of sailing- 
ships (with the light summer winds of the Mediterra 
nean) it took a long time to get about, and we visited 
the same ports over and over again, our cruising being 
confined principally to the coast of Italy. I think there 
was some diplomatic reason for our going to Lisbon ; 
I remember that our Minister, Mr. Clay, who was a son 
of the great statesman Henry Clay, took passage with 
us into the Mediterranean when we left there. 

The cruise up the Adriatic as far as Trieste was 
made owing to some misunderstanding which occurred 
between the Captain of one of our ships and the Aus 
trian authorities, while that ship was on a visit to 
Trieste. The Commodore considered the matter so se 
rious that he felt it necessary to go there in person, in 
order to do away with the unpleasant impression that 
had been made by his Captain. The old gentleman suc 
ceeded in making himself very agreeable to the Aus- 

lll 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

trians, and when we left the entente cordiale had been 
entirety restored. 

It was not common for so large a vessel as the Inde 
pendence to visit Trieste. Thousands and thousands of 
people from all around the country came on board, to 
see what they considered a great curiosity. Peasants 
who had never before seen such a sight came from 
Croatia and Dalmatia, and the numerous provinces 
around the head of the Adriatic. Not only did the 
peasantry come, but we had also many distinguished 
visitors, among others the King of Saxony and the 
Ban of Croatia, the same prince who assisted the Aus- 
trians so effectually in putting down the Hungarian 
Kevolution. He brought with him his wife, a very beau 
tiful woman ; and the Commodore, as he escorted her 
around the ship, moved his gouty legs over the ground 
with much more agility than was his usual custom. The 
old gentleman had been a great gallant in his youth, 
and this beautiful Princess seemed to have inspired him 
with some of his old-time sprightliness. The King of 
Saxony again stirred the old gentleman up to extraor 
dinary exertions. We were all in full uniform to re 
ceive the King, and while assembled at the starboard 
gangway, expecting him to come on that side, the Com 
modore, discovering suddenly that he was making for 
the port ladder, rushed about as wildly as his legs would 
let him, and " shooed " us all over to the other side with 
an exclamation " Don t you see the King coming on 
that side ?" The yards were manned, and all the proper 
honors were paid, and I think His Majesty went away 
very much pleased. The Commodore, as I have inti 
mated before, was a very queer character. It was often 
difficult to determine whether he was joking or in ear 
nest. He had been accustomed to the usages of good 

112 



MORGAN AT TRIESTE 

society all his life, but in showing the King around the 
ship, instead of addressing him according to the well- 
received usage in communicating with majesty, as " Your 
Majesty," he would say, " Step this way, King, if you 
please "; or, " Let me help you down this hatch, King." 
I never could quite understand whether it was droll 
ery on his part or not. The Commodore was a great 
tobacco-chewer, and one day when he was going to dine 
with His Majesty I happened to be the officer of the 
boat which was conveying him to the shore. Drayton, 
his Flag Lieutenant, I observed, was watching him with 
great interest, and the reason was that we were getting 
very close to the place where he was to dine with the 
King, and yet he was chewing tobacco, with all the evi 
dences of it around the corners of his mouth. Drayton 
could stand it no longer, and called his attention to it. 
The old gentleman apologized, and, with the aid of sev 
eral pocket - handkerchiefs, made himself presentable. 
He dined a large number of Austrian officers one day, 
as a sort of wind-up to the festivities prior to our sailing 
away for the coast of Italy. They were all pretty well 
filled with wine by the time dinner was over, and ad 
journed to the poop-deck. He presented a most comical 
appearance, with his wig slued one side, and his eye, 
which always looked as if it were glass, rolling around 
in the most quizzical manner. He was surrounded by 
Austrians, who seemed all to be talking to him at the 
same time. He was backing away from them, as they 
were gesticulating at him, until he reached the end 
of the poop, and could go no farther without going 
overboard, when he threw up his hands in despair, 

exclaiming: "I don t understand a d d word you 

say !" I do not know whether they understood or ap 
preciated what he said, but to me, as I looked on, it 

H 113 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

seemed as if he was tired to death with their German 
talk. 

The Independence passed a good deal of her time at 
Spezzia. The Squadron was continually going there for 
provisions. The Sardinian Government had placed at 
the disposal of our Government some unoccupied build 
ings at the Lazaretto, which were generally well stored 
with beef and pork and other provisions, as well as 
Naval stores of all kinds. Our Store-keeper was a most 
efficient man of the name of Spaulding. He, as well 
as his successor (Colonel Long), will be long remembered 
by any Naval officer who happened to be there at the 
time under mention. There was very little to interest 
us in Spezzia. It was an exceedingly dull Italian town, 
though beautifully situated on a Bay of the same name, 
surrounded by the most beautiful scenery. From the 
ship the white marble of the quarries of Carrara was 
full in sight, and its contrast with the soft blue tinge 
of the Italian mountains formed one of the finest bits 
of scenery I have ever looked upon. There was but 
little to tempt us to the village itself ; but at the Laza 
retto, where we generally anchored, about five miles 
from town, there resided a family of the name of Bolero. 
The Commessario, as he was called, had charge of the 
Lazaretto, and the dwelling in which he lived consisted 
of a number of very large rooms, and was indeed a sort 
of an Italian palazzo. So, instead of going to Spezzia, 
we passed nearly all of our evenings at the house of the 
Commessario. The family consisted of Madame Bolero 
and four daughters, who were interesting, pleasing girls. 
We would take some of the bandsmen just enough to 
play dance-music with us, put them in one of the large 
rooms to which I have referred, and dance in any other. 
AVe would keep it up night after night until eleven or 

114 



LEGHORN FIFTY YEARS AGO 

twelve o clock. How the four girls stood it I cannot 
imagine, for there were generally ten or twelve of us, 
and the girls were obliged to do duty for all. Catta- 
rina, whom I remember now with a great deal of pleas 
ure, who was the prettiest and brightest of all, was my 
especial favorite, and as she seemed to appreciate my 
liking for her, I think I had more than my share of 
the dancing. The old people fell into the American 
ways, and permitted their daughters to walk with us, 
even going so far as to let Cattarina correspond with 
me. They all learned more or less English, and Catta- 
rina s letters were very quaint in their broken-English 
style. She became engaged to an Italian Naval officer, 
a very nice fellow, the son of an Admiral ; but this en 
gagement was broken, and she afterwards married the 
Captain of a transport, which was employed soon after 
in conveying troops and stores to the Crimea. After 
leaving the Mediterranean, I never saw anything of the 
family again, and entirely lost trace of them. 

Occasionally we anchored off Leghorn. The break 
water had not then been constructed, so it was neces 
sary to anchor a great way off, and we generally found 
it very rough getting to and from the shore. It is a 
blowy hole, and the passage back and forth, when the 
boats were crowded, was attended with considerable 
risk. Since then an extensive mole has been built, 
and it is now one of the safest and best harbors in the 
Mediterranean. Leghorn, many years ago, was settled 
by a rough set, but no traces of its rowdy origin seemed 
to be left at the time of our visit, and the sea-bath 
ing is perhaps more celebrated than any other in the 
Mediterranean. People go from all parts of Italy to 
bathe in the beautiful blue sea which washes its shores. 
Leghorn can also boast of one of the finest hotels in 

115 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Europe the Grand Hotel. It was built and is owned 
by a friend of mine, Signer Fabricotti, and although it 
does not pay expenses in the winter, yet he keeps it open 
all the year round, and the London Times can be read 
there every day of the year. Fabricotti built this hotel 
rather as a monument to his family than with the expec 
tation of making money out of it. He is a very rich 
man, and his family have been the possessors of the 
quarries of Carrara marble for more than five hundred 
years. 

In the year 1850, and perhaps some years before that, 
there was a railway from Leghorn to Florence. I think 
every one took advantage of the easy way in which this 
beautiful city could be reached. I was one of a party 
to make the journey to which I have referred before in 
speaking of my friend Lieutenant John Quincy Adams. 
In those days there were but two prominent hotels in 
Florence, the Hotel du Nord and the Hotel de York. I 
do not remember at which of these we stopped, for, 
somehow, my ideas of that trip at this distant day are 
very much mixed up. It seems to me that our short 
sojourn there rests in my mind now a sort of medley of 
the Yenus de Medici, the Arno, the Uffizi and Pitti 
palaces, flower-girls, the cafe where we took our coffee 
and eggs in the morning, and the Cascine. The time 
of our stay was very short, and everything we did and 
saw was so hurried that the resultant of all must neces 
sarily be very confusing. But I could never forget, even 
if I had not seen them since, Eafael s Madonna della 
Segglola, Titian s Flora, and the Yenus de Medici 
three of the most beautiful works of art, each in its 
way, that have ever been produced by the hand of man. 

The winter of 1850-51 we passed in Naples. In those 
days ships were obliged to anchor in the open 

116 



AT NAPLES IN 1850 

where there was little or no protection against the 
strong winds and heavy seas which drove in from the 
southeast. Now, there is a well -placed mole behind 
which they lie, and are as safe as if they were moored 
in a basin. At the period when we were there, many a 
chain was parted and many an anchor lost ; there were 
times when the ship was in considerable jeopardy. By 
great good-luck we generally managed to get our an 
chors, but there was one gale during which two bower 
anchors were on the bottom without chains attached to 
them, and we were relying upon the two sheets, both 
of which were down ; one of them with a hemp-cable 
bent to it. Often we could not communicate with the 
shore, so heavy was the sea thrown in the Bay by the 
southeast gale. At this time one of the Bourbon Fer 
dinands occupied the throne of Naples, or the Two 
Sicilies, as the kingdom was then called. The King was 
known as "Bomba" all over Europe. Pie was a fat, 
heavy, coarse man, whose throne was then tottering un 
der him, destined soon to fall to pieces. His Govern 
ment was an absolute despotism. The prisons were full 
of political prisoners, and people were dragged from 
their homes and from the cafes upon the information 
of police spies, and incarcerated in the most loathsome 
dungeons. It was said, in those days and I believe 
with truth that the most refined men would be chained 
to common felons in these horrible holes. Mr. Glad 
stone appeared in Naples about this time, and pub 
lished to the world these horrible atrocities, so that 
when Naples fell, as she deserved to, there was no voice 
throughout the universe raised in her defence. 

There were three brothers of the King who flourish 
ed in Naples in these days, and who were very much 
in evidence at the grand balls, at the theatres, or driv- 

117 



MEMORIES OF A RE AR- ADMIRAL 

ing an English drag on the Eiviera di Chiaja. I would 
say that they were all the superiors of their brother, 
which would not be saying much for them either. Prince 
Luigi was a handsome fellow ; he could be seen almost 
any afternoon driving on the Chiaja and Villa Reale, his 
drag filled on the outside with his friends and boon 
companions. I think he aped the English, and liked to 
do things as they did. The Count of Syracuse was a 
coarse, heavy man. Count Trapani, the youngest broth 
er, seemed to be a harmless sort of fellow ; he was a 
great theatre-goer, and might be seen almost any even 
ing at the San Carlo or the other Royal theatre, the 
Fonda. He was the only one of the brothers married 
at that time, and his wife, a delicate -looking Princess, 
always accompanied him on these occasions. I do not 
think it ever was a pleasant sight for these Bourbons 
to see the American flag flaunted before their eyes dur 
ing the three winters that we passed there. Indeed, 
while they were obliged to make a show of civility, 
they placed all sorts of obstacles in the way of our go 
ing and remaining there, by long quarantines and other 
methods ; but we went and remained all the same. 

Naples was then probably more attractive to foreign 
ers than it has been at any time since. Americans had 
their Minister to protect them, and were quite inde 
pendent of the system of espionage which was conduct 
ed in all parts of the city, from the smallest wine-shop 
to the luxurious hotels of the Chiaja. We were always 
invited to the grand balls that were given by the Acad 
emy of Music and Dancing. They were the most ele 
gant entertainments I have ever seen; there was no 
such thing as a supper, as we understand it, but at a 
buffet in one corner of the room coffee and tea and their 
accompaniments were served by powdered lackeys. The 

118 



GRAND BALLS AT NAPLES 

elegance of these balls consisted in the selectness of the 
guests, in the superb costumes, and in the orderly man 
ner in which they were conducted. No one could en 
ter this charmed circle unless he could show quarterings 
on his shield, and even such as could were not admitted 
if they presented themselves at the entrance without 
slippers with silver buckles. The exceptions to this 
rule were the foreign military and naval men, who went 
in uniform, of course, and were not supposed to wear 
slippers in that dress. ISTo dances were permitted ex 
cept the deux-temps waltz and quadrilles. All others 
were considered vulgar in the eyes of this aristocratic 
circle. There was always an American contingent to 
be seen, nor were the Americans the least elegant of 
the many stylish women who graced these assemblies. 
They were generally arrayed in their best gowns, for 
the reputation of these balls was known throughout 
Italy, and as our countrywomen are renowned for their 
beauty and good taste all over Europe, we never had 
reason to fear that we should not be well represented. 
I have now in my mind s eye a lady whom I knew then, 
and with whom I often danced at these entertainments ; 
it is Mrs. Hoffman, wife of Mr. Wickham Hoffman, a 
well-known American, who has served as Secretary of 
Legation in the most important capitals of Europe, and 
was afterwards our Minister to Denmark. Mrs. Hoff 
man was a very pretty woman, and was always exceed 
ingly well dressed. I have had the pleasure of meeting 
her very often since. She now resides in Washington, 
and although, like myself, she is not as young as she 
was in those days, she is still an exceedingly attractive 
woman. 

The San Carlo Theatre was at that time in the very 
heyday of its glory. Next to the Scala at Milan, it was 

119 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

the largest in Europe, and its audiences were esteemed 
the most critical in the world ; a prima donna, having 
passed the ordeal of an appearance on the boards of the 
San Carlo, might sing without hesitation in any opera- 
house in the world. The German music had not yet 
taken the high position which it now maintains, and the 
Italian composers held sway. Yerdi s operas, with those 
of Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini, Mercadante, and others of 
less note, were alone produced on the stage of that day. 
It is wonderful how well they were gotten up, consider 
ing the small price paid for a place at the opera, which 
was, in our currency, thirty -two cents for a reserved 
seat. The ballet at the San Carlo was probably, at that 
time, the finest in the world ; Europe was ransacked to 
find the best dancers. I have often known the opera 
to be neglected, but after the curtain dropped and the 
ballet began, the people would flock in crowds to see 
the dancing. 

Of course, I visited Herculaneum, Pompeii, and Vesu 
vius. I read Bulwer s Last Days of Pompeii for a sec 
ond time, and was prepared to feel an especial inter 
est in the buried City. Indeed, no one can roam among 
its ruins without a feeling of sadness, as he reflects upon 
the awful doom which so suddenly fell upon it and its 
inhabitants. As I write, I am reminded, in connection 
with this subject, that there is but one step from the 
sublime to the ridiculous, by the remark of an American, 
who on visiting the ruins said that it was a great shame 
that the King of Naples permitted Pompeii to remain so 
long in want of repairs. I remember very little about 
Herculaneum. Indeed, there is but little to see. Its de 
struction was caused by molten lava, while that of Pompeii 
was the result of a shower of ashes, which lasted long 
enough effectually to do its work. My visit to Vesuvius 

120 



AN ERUPTION OF VESUVIUS 

was but a counterpart of all excursions to that inter 
esting point. I was young and vigorous then, and I 
thought it would be an easy matter to ascend the Cone. 
I saw that the guides hung about me, knowing, with 
their large experience, what was sure to happen, and in 
my case did happen very soon. I struggled for ten min 
utes, sliding back one step for every two that I took for 
ward, until, weary and exhausted, I took not only one 
guide, but two, one to boost me from behind, and the 
other to pull me in front. Let no one ever attempt this 
feat thinldng he is going to succeed, for ninety-nine out 
of a hundred are sure to fail. The descent is quite an 
other affair. One has but to plant his feet in the ashes 
and start down, when he goes to the foot of the Cone by 
his own gravity. 

While the Independence was at Naples a very active 
eruption of Vesuvius took place. All Naples went to see 
it. Amongst others was one of my messmates, Passed 
Midshipman Charley Bayard, a cousin of our late Am 
bassador in London. He stood looking on as the scoria 
was darting up into the heavens and flying off to lee 
ward, apparently in no more danger than thousands of 
others, when a piece of red-hot lava, deviating from the 
course that the other pieces were taking, struck him on 
the shoulder, setting his clothes on fire, and inflicting a 
wound which lacerated his flesh in such a terrible man 
ner that it became necessary to amputate his arm at the 
shoulder. The shock of the blow, together with the am 
putation, was too much for him: lockjaw set in, and 
he died in a few days. He was a charming fellow, and 
one of my most intimate friends. The affair produced 
the most profound feeling of sympathy throughout the 
whole of Naples, for it was known to every man, woman, 
and child in the city. Bayard had a cousin on board 

121 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

the Independence who was a messmate of mine ; he was 
then Carroll Tucker, but later he changed his name to 
Tucker Carroll. Poor Bayard s death was an especially 
heavy blow to him. Tucker was the Commodore s clerk, 
and Bayard was his aid. They two lived on shore, and 
were constantly together. Carroll, like his cousin Bay 
ard, was a lovely fellow, for whom I formed a very 
strong attachment. 



CHAPTER XI 

Baths of Lucca Pedestrian Efforts The Store-keeper at Spezzia 
Return to Naples A Promotion Louis Kossuth Austrian Rule 
Venice, and Porpora s Theatre End of the Cruise. 

THE winter of 1850-51 passed away, and the Indepen 
dence started off on her summer s cruise. I did not go in 
her, but joined the Commodore, of whose staff I was 
then a member, at the Bagni di Lucca. The military 
family consisted of Lieutenant Percival Drayton, Flag 
Lieutenant, Francis de Haas Janvier, the Commodore s 
Secretary, and myself. The Commodore was accompa 
nied by his wife and two children. The old gentleman 
was trying the waters for his gout, but it was a hopeless 
case. I fancy he was never any better. The Baths of 
Lucca was a much more fashionable resort in those 
days than it is at present. The place belonged to the 
Dukedom of Tuscany, and the Grand Duchess made it 
notable by her presence there every summer. She al 
ways gave a ball during the season ; we, of course, at 
tended the one given while we were there. I remember 
it well, because I was introduced to an English girl, a 
Miss Franklin, who took me for a countryman of hers. 
She at once asked me if I was not attached to the 
Thunderer, then lying at Leghorn. I replied that I was 
an American, when she said, " Why, you do not talk 
like an American," which was no compliment, for I think 
we take fewer liberties with the English language than 
the English do themselves. 

123 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Dray ton and I took our breakfast at a cafe, and dined, 
part of the time, at Pagnini s Hotel, and part of the time 
at a restaurant. I remember that our breakfast cost 
just eleven sous, which gave us a couple of eggs each 
and all the coffee and bread and butter that we wanted. 
The dinners at Pagnini s seemed to me much more 
stylish in those days than they did when I went there, 
as a Eear-Admiral, many years afterwards and lived at 
the same Hotel. I had the curiosity, during my last 
visit, to look at the hotel register, where I found the 
names of many of my shipmates who had visited the 
Bagni nearly forty years before. Drayton and I were 
both good walkers. "We scoured the country around, 
and climbed many a mountain-peak in our pedestrian 
excursions. The tops of the hills were generally crowded 
with little villages, which resembled wasps nests when 
viewed from a distance more than anything else to 
which I can compare them. Strange to say, although 
these places were separated from each other only by a 
few miles, the inhabitants of one would speak a different 
language from that of their neighbors, having the Ital 
ian language as a base. 

The Commodore and his family left the Baths of 
Lucca by carriage ; Drayton and I went on foot. We 
were travelling through the Apennines, and, as the coun 
try was hilly and rough, we were enabled to keep up 
with the carriage most of the time. "We all arrived, in 
good condition, in Pietro Santo, Drayton and I having 
made about twenty-five miles in very good time. We 
were, of course, somewhat foot-sore upon our arrival. 
The carriage party were fatigued from their long drive, 
so we remained at Pietro Santo for the night to rest. 
The next day we went to Genoa en route to Spezzia, 
where we were all going, to await the arrival of the Flag- 

124 



WALKING FROM GENOA TO SPEZZIA 

ship. Drayton and I were so proud of our late pedes 
trian achievement that we determined that we would 
walk from Genoa to Spezzia, a distance of from seventy- 
five to eighty miles. "We accordingly started off, in fine 
condition, as we thought, for the trip, and it turned out 
that Drayton was, but that I was not. He had become 
hardened to that kind of work in Switzerland, where 
he had walked a good deal, and I was a comparative 
novice. The first day we walked twenty-eight miles in 
seven hours and a half, little short of four miles an hour ; 
but I was so stiff and used up that it was impossible for 
me to proceed on foot the next day\ I consequently 
was obliged to take a carriage for the rest of the way. 
Drayton, however, continued, and made the same time 
the following day, and came into Spezzia the next. We 
found upon our arrival that the Flag-ship had not yet 
reached there, and we all took up our quarters at the 
Hotel Croce di Malta. It was dull enough. We were al 
most the only occupants of the house. Day after day we 
awaited the arrival of the ship, but she did not come. 
The winds were light, so we were obliged to wait pa 
tiently. I was anxious to get afloat again, and was tired 
of roaming, away from my companions and shipmates. 
One day I was made very happy by the arrival from 
Alexandria of one of my classmates McCauley. His 
father was our Consul-General there, where his son had 
been on a visit to him. It brightened up our little party 
to have some new blood infused into it, and we got on 
very well afterwards, until the arrival of the ship. Mc 
Cauley and I were very intimate during the rest of the 
cruise. He died a few years ago, a Rear- Admiral on the 
retired list. The monotony of our life w T as somewhat 
relieved by the arrival of an Opera Company at Spezzia. 
I was very much surprised to find that an unimportant, 

125 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

dull, uninteresting place like this could attract so good 
a Company. I took a season-ticket, for which. I think I 
paid ten francs, and found that I was much more than 
repaid for my outlay. The opera that I especially re 
member was " Lucrezia Borgia," and although I had seen 
it at more pretentious theatres, I do not remember that 
I ever enjoyed it more. An Opera Company travelling 
in Italy, where even the peasants may be musical critics, 
cannot afford to be bad. It may be bad compared with 
companies of the very highest class, but to be successful 
at all the artists must be good. 

If these pages should happen to meet the eye of any 
Naval man who was in Spezzia during the years of 
1851-52, he cannot fail to remember Colonel Long, the 
Naval Store-keeper who succeeded Mr. Spaulding. As 
I recall him, he was a North Carolina politician, pure 
and simple. I doubt if he had ever been beyond the 
precincts of his Congressional District before he came 
abroad. He was doubtless given the position as a re 
ward for political services to the party in power in his 
own especial locality. While he was a most kindly man, 
high-toned and honorable, and of the strictest integrity, 
he was hardly calculated to fill the post of Naval Store 
keeper at Spezzia. The kind of life that he was now 
called upon to lead, his contact with a people whose 
habits and customs were so entirely different from those 
to which he had always been accustomed, were so em 
barrassing that the only wonder is that he got on as 
well as he did. Fortunately he brought out a clerk who 
was a linguist, and who therefore was of great assist 
ance to him in his intercourse with the Italians. The 
old Colonel kept open house, and was the soul of hospi 
tality. His establishment was a sort of headquarters 
for the officers of the Squadron. A bottle and glasses 

126 



COLONEL LONG S STORMY VOYAGE 

always stood on the table in the centre of his reception- 
room. The Colonel was once ordered to send some 
stores to the Squadron at Naples. In those clays the 
only way of getting material from a point where steam 
ers did not touch was by means of small sailing-vessels, 
which I think were called Bobos. So the Colonel char 
tered a Bobo, and filled her with provisions. He was 
very conscientious, and felt it his duty to see, himself, 
that they were delivered in good condition to the Fleet. 
There was no other way of doing this, according to the 
Colonel s mode of thinking, than by going in the Bobo 
himself to see that no harm came to the stores for 
which he held himself responsible. So he went on board 
with his clerk, and they sailed away for Naples in their 
tiny craft. All went well at first, but a gale of wind 
came on, and the little vessel was belabored so sorely 
that they almost gave themselves up for lost. The 
skipper fell on his knees and implored protection from 
on high for himself ; he had but little concern for the 
cargo, while that was, of course, the Colonel s chief in 
terest. The latter then made him a speech in his best 
North Carolina style, and implored him to go to work 
and try and save the vessel and cargo. The skipper was 
at last moved to make a final effort, so, with the assist 
ance of the Colonel and his clerk, he managed to get the 
Bobo once more under control. The gale soon after 
wards abated, and they arrived safely in Naples with the 
Colonel s precious cargo. The kindly old gentleman 
never passed through such dangers before, and he was 
henceforth a hero in the eyes of his old friends in the 
Fleet, who were glad to welcome him after the perils he 
had encountered on his stormy voyage. I lost sight of 
him when I returned to America, but I shall never for 
get his kindly, genial nature. Everybody liked him, in 

127 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

spite of his odd ways, his stump-speech style of conver 
sation, and his manner of dress, which was always pecul 
iar ; he was dressed for dinner from morning to night ; 
in other words, the Colonel lived in a swallow-tail coat, 
as many other Americans did at that time. 

We were all glad to be once more in Naples. The 
winter of 1851-52 was to be our last. The Commo 
dore had promoted me to fill a vacancy as Master, or, 
as it is now called, Navigator. I had, therefore, but 
little to do while the ship was in winter quarters. I 
passed a good deal of my time on shore, going to the 
Opera in the evenings, and occasionally to a ball or 
evening party. I did not go much into society. In 
deed, with the exception of the large affairs, the visiting 
part of what is called society was confined principally 
to the boxes in the opera-house. It was there that we 
generally visited our friends, and between the acts the 
boxes presented a gay scene of well-dressed men and 
women. As I stated before, I was very intimate with 
McCauley. There was another McCawley, the junior 
Marine officer of the Independence, with whom I was on 
the same intimate terms; though of the same name 
they spelled it differently. We had a large room to 
gether, where we could all sleep, so that if the weather 
were bad, or we were up late at a ball, we always had 
a place to which we could retire. Our room was at a 
lodging-house in the Yia Carmenelli, kept by an old 
woman who was a great talker. Dray ton used to say, 
notwithstanding, that she spoke no language under 
the sun. She took good care of us, however, gave us 
clean beds, and our coffee and eggs when we cared to 
breakfast in our room. Of my room-mates, the Navy 
McCauley died as a retired Eear - Admiral, and the 
Marine officer McCawley became the Colonel Com- 

128 



FESTIVITIES AT NAPLES 

mandant of the Marine Corps. They were both fine 
fellows, and we passed many happy days together. 

Besides the balls of the Society of Music and Dan 
cing, which I have before described, very handsome 
entertainments were given by the Bankers Muricoffre. 
At these balls could be seen all the distinguished 
strangers in Naples, as well as the resident society. I 
remember seeing there the great singer Lablache, well 
known in musical circles in those days. He left a 
stronger impression upon my mind than any other per 
son, on account of his great size. Another entertain 
ment which was largely attended was the fortnightly re 
ception of the French Minister, Odillon Barrot, or his 
brother, I am not quite sure which. I remember dis 
tinctly the easy manner in which he received his guests, 
and the graceful ways of his wife, who stood by his 
side. These receptions, next to the grand balls to which 
I have before referred, were the most recherches assem 
blages I have ever attended in Naples. Barrot was the 
representative of the Prince President, Louis Napoleon, 
and a man of charming personality. He bore, as every 
one familiar with the history of those times knows, a 
name which stood very high in France during the as 
cendency of Louis Bonaparte, at all events during the 
part of it about which I am now writing. His recep 
tions were always well attended by the best people in 
Naples. Louis Kossuth was at this time one of the 
most prominent characters in Europe. The Govern 
ment of the United States had placed at his disposal a 
ship of war, to convey him and his followers to the 
United States. It will be remembered that they had 
asylum in Turkey, and the Government of that country 
agreed to turn them over to the United States. The 
Steam Frigate Mississippi was sent to Constantinople 
i 129 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

for them, and appeared at Spezzia while the Flag-ship 
was there. Commodore Morgan had an interview with 
Kossuth, at which I was present, and which I found 
extremely interesting. Kossuth had learned English 
from a dictionary, and from a copy of Shakespeare 
which he happened to have in his possession, and took 
advantage of his long sojourn in Turkey to make him 
self familiar with the language. I must confess I was 
very much surprised to find with how much fluency and 
eloquence he spoke it, and how beautiful his language 
was. He addressed Mrs. Morgan as " Your ladyship," 
thinking, I presume, that as she was the wife of a Flag 
Officer, she ought to have some title. I was very much 
impressed with the grandeur of this wonderful man. 
Had he been successful, he would have stood very high 
amongst the world s patriots, as indeed, he does now. 
The Austrians were successful for the time, but Hungary 
has emerged from her downtrodden condition, and has 
taken her place as the equal of her ancient oppressor. 

At the time to which I refer Austria exercised her 
power in Italy in an offensive and disagreeable manner. 
As an example I will mention an occurrence which took 
place when the Independence was in Trieste. I was one 
of a small party of officers who visited Venice. Our 
passports were vised in due form by the authorities, so 
that we should have been put to no inconvenience what 
ever. When we were about to leave, the passports of 
the party were sent for, as customary, by the people of 
the hotel at which we were staying. For some un 
known reason mine did not arrive with the others, and 
I was informed that I must appear in person at the 
police station and receive my passport there. I do not 
remember that there was any explanation, or that any 
apology was made for putting me to this inconvenience. 

130 



IN VENICE 

I felt very much inclined to kick somebody, but I pre 
sume if I had indulged in this luxury I should have 
found myself in additional trouble, so I contented my 
self with grumbling and looking savage, and returned 
to the hotel, where I rejoined my party. This visit to 
Venice, aside from the little episode to which I have 
referred, was exceedingly pleasant. The city was a 
place of much less importance then than it is now, for it 
has become one of Italy s great Naval Arsenals, which 
makes it a port of great consequence. In 1850 it was 
a place of resort for those who desired to see the unique 
city of the world a city whose streets are water-ways, 
and whose ve icles are swift-gliding gondolas. It was 
a novel and interesting experience to be conveyed for 
the first time from point to point in comfortable float 
ing carriages, but it was a strange feeling to be travers 
ing a great city and hearing no noise but the cry of the 
gondolier as he approached a street corner. This cry is 
given in order to advise those who were passing on the 
cross-street to be on the lookout. On one occasion our 
gondoliers were not on the lookout, and we were run 
into right amidships, without any especial damage be 
ing done to the gondola. Our men, however, were both 
precipitated into the water, but they immediately swam 
back and resumed their places on the bow and stern of 
their strange, peculiar craft, and went on rowing as be 
fore. A short time before this visit to Venice I had 
been reading George Sand s Consuelo, and had become 
much interested in the theatre of San Samuele, which 
in its day was the famous theatre of Venice, where the 
great Maestro Porpora was accustomed to bring out 
such pupils as he was educating for the stage. The 
book was so cleverly written that it invested this theatre 
with a peculiar interest, and I could not feel satisfied to 

131 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

leave Venice without seeing it, if it was still in exist 
ence. So Drayton and I searched until we found it. 
The theatre had been out of use for many years, and 
now looked like an old storehouse that might be the 
receptacle of its departed glory ; for, as I looked into 
it, I could see nothing but a wreck of scenery, broken 
benches, and the debris of what once had been the 
Grand Opera-house of Yenice. Judging from the sur 
prise of the old woman who seemed to have charge of 
this pile of rubbish, I doubt if any one had ever visited 
the place before with the same object that we had. 

The cruise of the Independence was now drawing to a 
close, and we began to make preparations for the home 
ward-bound passage. The Commodore came on board 
with Mrs. Morgan and the children, and we squared 
away for Gibraltar. When we reached the Spanish 
coast the wind blew strong from the westward, so that 
we were obliged to beat up against it. We finally reached 
the Eock; after resting awhile, so to speak, under its 
lee, we succeeded in beating far enough to windward to 
fetch the anchorage finally, but it was hard work, and 
about all the old Independence could do. Apropos of 
getting into Gibraltar from the eastward, on another 
occasion the Independence was being towed by the Mis 
sissippi^ when the latter signalled that she was getting 
short of coal, and if the wind continued strong was 
doubtful of her ability to tow us through. My friend 
Beaumont was talking to Drayton, who was making 
signals on our part, and finally asked him what they 
were talking about; whereupon Dra}^ton replied in a 
playful way, " That is none of your business." Beau 
mont said, " I know what it is the Mississippi says : 

"If this wind does not abate, 

I cannot tow you through this strait. " 
132 



SECOND CRUISE ENDED 

" And you say : 

" As long as you have wood and coal, 
Tow away with heart and soul. " 

It so happened that what Beaumont put so happily in 
verse was practically what they were saying. 

We sailed for home in June, 1852, and had a pleasant 
run down the trade- winds, towards the West Indies, 
then kept away for New York, where we arrived on 
the Fourth of July, having made a full three years 
cruise. I had but little to do on the passage over, for, 
being the Second Master, I was not responsible for the 
navigation. I plotted the position on the Commodore s 
chart each day, which gave me an opportunity of fre 
quently seeing Mrs. Morgan, who, as I have before 
stated, was a charming woman, and with whom I had 
almost daily chats. In a few days after we anchored 
at the Navy- Yard, the ship was paid off, the officers 
were granted three months leave of absence, and so my 
second cruise was at an end. 



CHAPTER XII 

Deep-Sea Soundings An Abortive Cruise The Dolphin in a Hurri 
cane In Peril from Water and Fire At Rest in Lisbon Coast 
Survey In Annapolis as Prof essor Captain Goldsborough A 
Practice Cruise White Sulphur Springs. 

I WAS not permitted to enjoy my leave of absence 
very long. Before three months had expired I was or 
dered to the Steam Frigate Saranac, very much against 
my inclinations. She was to go to the Station from 
which I had so recently returned. These orders, under 
different circumstances, would have been very agree 
able, but I was not anxious to return to the Mediterra 
nean so soon. I did not sail in her, however, being de 
tached and ordered to the Brig Dolphin. About this 
time the Dolphin was being fitted for a cruise in the 
jS orth Atlantic, to take deep-sea soundings between the 
coast of America and the coast of Ireland, with a view 
of ascertaining if a plateau existed which would render 
feasible the laying of a cable between the two shores. 
She had been already once employed in this arduous 
service. The appliances for this kind of work were very 
crude at that time, and I do not think the methods then 
employed could have been very satisfactory. Since 
those days deep-sea-sounding instruments have reached 
a high state of perfection. In addition to this work, we 
were directed to examine the ocean for dangers that 
were marked doubtful, with a view of erasing them from 
the charts, and also for determining surface and deep- 

134 



BEGIN CRUISE IN BRIG DOLPHIN 

sea currents. It always seemed to me most absurd to 
start a small vessel, which in bad weather had all she 
could do to take care of herself, across that stormy area 
of the North Atlantic Ocean extending from New York 
to Ireland, just at the beginning of the season when 
gales were to be looked for, which it was but reasonable 
to suppose would, in all probability, continue to blow, 
with short intervals of moderate weather, more or less 
violently for the following six months. I understand 
that the reason given for this by the Observatory was 
that the Dolphin, having already been loaned to that in 
stitution for this especial work, would have been placed 
by the Navy Department on regular cruising duty if 
this examination had been deferred until spring. The 
result of the cruise goes to show how unwise it was, and 
how little forethought was exercised. 

We sailed in October, bound on a cruise northeast, 
and, as might have been expected, were dashed into gale 
after gale ; and, although we made some attempts at deep- 
sea sounding, I doubt if any of the work done during the 
cruise was of the least service. "We continued on, how 
ever, when, upon reaching a point about the middle of 
the North Atlantic Ocean, we encountered a hurricane 
which gave us our coup de grace, and caused us to square 
away for Lisbon, about the nearest point where we 
could find a harbor sufficiently secure to repair damages. 
Before proceeding further with my narrative, I will 
mention the names of the officers of the Brig Dolphin. 
Her Commander was Lieutenant Berryman ; I was, al 
though a Passed Midshipman, the Executive Officer and 
Navigator ; the watch-officers were Truxtun, Morris, 
and Kennon, Passed Midshipmen, and Garland, who was 
a Midshipman ; the Surgeon was Dr. A. A. Henderson. 

On the night when the hurricane struck us I was ly- 

135 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

ing in my bunk, and although I knew that it was blowing 
fresh, I had no idea of the violence of the wind until 
Truxtun, who had kept the first watch, came down to 
turn in. As he was marking the strength of the wind, I 
said, " What do you mark the wind ?" " Twelve," he 
replied. " "Why," I said, " twelve means a hurricane." 
He then said, " If this is not a hurricane, there never was 
one." But the wind continued to increase, and at day 
light it was blowing harder than I had ever known it to 
blow in my experience. We were lying to, under the 
shortest possible canvas we could show I have forgot 
ten whether it was the fore trysail or main stay-sail. 
At all events, it was all she could stand, and with this 
she was heeling over nearly on her beam ends. The 
Captain suggested getting her before the wind. I ad 
vised him against it, and he did not insist upon it. My 
opinion then was that she would swamp, and I think so 
now. I told him I did not think we could do any better 
than we were doing under the circumstances. But the 
Brig continued, if any thing, to heel more than ever, 
and every now and then we would ship an ugly sea. 
The Captain and I then held a consultation, and we de 
termined to throw the lee gun overboard. Our battery, 
which was on a peace footing, consisted of only two 
32-pounders. I accordingly went to work with a gang 
of men, and had nearly all the preparations made when 
the Brig made a deep lurch, and at the same time 
shipped a tremendous sea, which swept me and my men 
down into the lee scuppers. I thought I was gone, and 
while I lay in the water for a very brief instant I felt a 
sort of indifference as to whether I was ever going to 
get up again or not. However, the Brig righted almost 
instantly, and to my surprise I found myself on my feet 
again. I then jumped up on to the cabin trunk, put my 

136 



THE DOLPHIN TAKES FIRE 

arm around the main-boom, and with the assistance of 
my gang of men, who by this time were also on their 
feet and at their stations, the gun was launched into the 
ocean. We were obliged to throw overboard also a 
great many deep-sea-sounding reels, made very heavy 
by the twine with which they were bound ; and as they 
were stowed in the launch, amidships, and high above 
the rail, they made a good deal of top-hamper. The 
Brig now became a great deal easier, and I felt that the 
worst was over. One of the heavy seas which struck us 
stove in the Brig s side to such an extent that eleven of 
the stanchions which supported the bulwarks were car 
ried away, and one of the seams near the water s edge 
opened to a considerable extent. 

After we had escaped from what at one time seemed 
almost certain destruction, when the Brig was in immi 
nent danger of foundering and if she had done so no 
one would have been left to tell the tale a new danger 
threatened us, which seemed even more alarming than 
that which we had just passed through. When the cy 
clone was at its height, a tank of linseed-oil had been 
wrenched away from its securings and the contents 
thereof discharged into the hold. There was so much 
to be thought of during the storm that no one seemed to 
think of what the consequences of this drifting oil might 
be. The wind and the sea had both abated, so that we 
took advantage of it to strike our only remaining gun 
down into the hold. After this had been done I went 
below, and was trying to get some much-needed rest in 
a hammock, when I heard all hands called to quarters. I 
immediately rushed on deck, and was met by the officer 
of the watch, who informed me that the Brig was on 
fire. I went forward at once, thinking that the linseed- 
oil might have saturated the sails in the sail-room, there- 

137 



MEMORIES OF A REA&-ADMIRAL 

by producing spontaneous combustion. I had the sail- 
room broken out and the sails placed on deck, and found 
no traces whatever of fire. The smoke continued to 
ascend from the fore-hold, and it was evident that the 
origin of the fire was there. We hoisted barrel after 
barrel, and found nothing until a barrel of pitch came 
up all blackened and charred, showing that the fire had 
made some headway where this pitch-barrel came from. 
The next hoist brought up a crate of oakum which had 
been entirely saturated with the oil, and was partly con 
sumed from spontaneous combustion. Had it been in 
close contact with the pitch but a short time longer 
the fire would have been communicated to the pitch, 
when I think we could not possibly have escaped de 
struction. We threw the burning crate overboard, and 
then made an examination of the hold. By this time 
the heat had decreased considerably, yet we continued 
to deluge the place with water, and persevered in doing 
so until it became evident that we had reached the seat 
of the trouble when we found the crate of oakum. It 
was a very close call, for the staves of the pitch-barrel 
were nearly burned through, and discovery before this 
was entirely accomplished was all that saved us. The 
fire was very demoralizing, and caused a good deal of 
consternation ; and as I was working my way back aft 
along the weather bulwarks for the gale had not yet 
entirely subsided I heard a poor devil of a Marine, who 
was in a great state of alarm, say to his surrounding 
comrades that the gale was bad enough, but the fire was 
much worse than the gale ever was. There was now 
nothing to do but abandon our northern cruise, which 
the commanding officer at once determined to do. For 
tunately the winds favored us, and we ran along nearly 
two hundred miles a day, reaching Lisbon, which was 

138 



GOOD TIMES IN LISBON 

about fifteen hundred miles off, in about eight days. "We 
went to work at once to repair damages, which occu 
pied a period of about six weeks. 

In the meanwhile we enjoyed a season of rest, which 
was very grateful after the trying times we had since 
leaving the United States. The winter weather was 
very delightful in Lisbon in that year, and we enjoyed 
it thoroughly. Lisbon is not a very gay capital, and 
there was but little to do but go to the Opera. It so 
happened that there was an excellent company there at 
that time. They were giving Italian operas, and I used 
to listen to " La Sonnambula " night after night with a 
great deal of pleasure. Our Minister to Portugal at that 
time was Mr. Shaddock, a New England man. and a very 
creditable representative of our country. He had stay 
ing with him a charming niece Miss Kimball. Her 
presence made the Legation a very attractive house to 
visit. I passed more time there, perhaps, than any of 
my companions, and we became great friends. I found 
her to be very attractive, and she helped me to spend 
very pleasantly much of my time at Lisbon, which oth 
erwise would have been dull and uninteresting. She be 
came the wife of General Berdan, a well-known officer 
of the Civil War, who died only a few years ago. They 
had two charming daughters. One became the Countess 
D Aunay, and the other the wife of Marion Crawford. 
I have met Mrs. Berdan frequently since those far-off 
days, and we are yet great friends. She is still a hand 
some, attractive woman. 

Our repairs were now finished, and we bade good-bye 
to our friends and the Opera, and sailed away from the 
Tagus. We touched at Teneriffe and communicated 
with the Consul, saw the famous Peak, and then made 
the best of our way for Madeira. There was no especial 

139 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

hurry for our getting home now. The cruise had been 
a failure, and we might as well show the flag here and 
there, and trifle away a little time before approaching 
our own coast while the stormy season was still upon 
us. We were not much of a man-of-war, to be sure, as 
one gun of the two with which we started was at the 
bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and the other in the hold. 
We passed a few days agreeably at Madeira, and then 
ran into the tropics, and made a sort of zigzag course to 
the westward between the parallels of twenty and thirty 
degrees north latitude, doing some work in our line, but 
nothing, I fancy, that was ever of any use. We finally 
reached Norfolk, I think, some time in March, 1853, 
after the most uninteresting and uneventful and useless 
cruise that one could possibly conceive of. I went to 
Washington, visited the Navy Department, and was de 
tached in about the time it takes to tell it. 

During the rest of the year of 1853, and until Octo 
ber, 1854, 1 was employed on the Coast Survey. Lieu 
tenant Maxwell Woodhull commanded the party with 
which I served. He had under his command the schoon 
ers Gallatin and Madison. Woodhull commanded the 
Gallatin^ and Rutledge the Madison. We worked in 
the neighborhood of Wood s Hole, and did some work 
on the coast of New England, and also in the neighbor 
hood of Sandy Hook. Rutledge, our Captain, was a 
typical South Carolinian of that day, a high-toned, hon 
orable fellow, of a sensitive nature, and easily offended. 
One of the officers of the Madison said at the table one 
day, when the servant handed him the rice, that he had 
no respect for any man that ate rice ; he said it thought 
lessly, but it gave mortal offence, as Eutledge, in com 
mon with all South Carolinians, thought that rice, of all 
vegetable foods, was the best. He never spoke to this 

140 



ANOTHER COAST-SURVEY EXPEDITION 

officer again, nor would he take enough notice of him to 
call upon him for any duty ; he utterly ignored his pres 
ence on board ship. During the foggy or blowy weath 
er we passed most of our time at Monomoy Point, where 
we were well sheltered; but it was the dullest of all 
holes. Our Surgeon, who had nothing in the world to 
do, was constantly singing a sort of refrain : 

"How it gives my bosom joy, 
To be once more in Monomoy." 

We ceased from our labors in the autumn of 1853, and 
the party removed to Washington for the winter work. 
There was not really much for any one to do, except 
the draughtsmen, so the members of the party scattered 
and spent their time as they pleased. 

In the spring of 1854 I joined another Coast-Survey 
party, which was under the command of Lieutenant 
Stelwaggen. We had a steamer called the Bibb. Fox- 
hall Parker was our executive officer; in the party 
were Quackenbush, Stout, and my old friend Truxtun, 
and some others. We had a very agreeable mess. Our 
work was in the neighborhood of Nantucket Shoals. We 
made our headquarters at Edgartown, on Martha s Vine 
yard, where we were frequently detained by fogs and 
weather that was unfavorable for outside work. The 
work was not very interesting, but the mess was pleas 
ant, and the summer glided happily away. My brother, 
General Franklin, was the Engineer Light-house Inspec 
tor of the extreme Eastern district ; indeed, he was the 
only Inspector. The establishment was in its infancy, 
and the system of having Inspectors of both services in 
each district had not yet begun. After the summer 
work on the survey was over I made him a visit at Port 
land, which seemed rather a remote region in those days 

141 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

to one who had lived always in the neighborhood of 
Mason and Dixon s Line ; but I found my sojourn there 
very agreeable. There was a charming little society in 
Portland, and I soon came to know the people very well. 
It was while on this visit to my brother, in Octo 
ber, 1854, that I received orders to Annapolis, to report 
for duty to the Superintendent of the Naval Academy. 
I was at once placed in the Executive Department, 
which was then a sort of Department of discipline and 
order. The Academy had not yet emerged entirely 
from the condition in which it was when I was a stu 
dent there, but matters were very much improved. The 
four-years system was in full operation, but there was 
still a nine-months class of unruly devils, about twenty- 
one years of age, that we found ve^ difficult to man 
age. The reins were drawn a good deal tighter than 
they had been on us, for we had not been supposed to set 
an example to others, while they were, and they were 
very restless under discipline and restraint. If I remem 
ber aright, this was the last class to go to the Academy 
under the old system. They belonged to the class of 
Admiral Kirkland, Skerrett, and others of about that 
time. I found the duties of the Executive branch of 
the Academy but ill-suited to my tastes. It seemed to 
me that we were a sort of police force, and I could not 
get quite accustomed to the kind of espionage which was 
expected of us, so I seized an opportunity which soon 
offered of being changed into the Department of Ethics 
and English studies. The Chief of the Department was 
Professor Nourse ; and while his name is before me I 
cannot resist telling of a remark of Jimmy Howison. as 
we used to call him, who was then Secretary to the Su 
perintendent. The Superintendent and his Secretary 
were walking together one day, when the latter saw 

142 



CAPTAIN LOUIS GOLDSBOROUGH 

Professors Nourse and Coffin approaching them, where 
upon he said : " Captain, there you behold the begin 
ning and the end of life." 

The Superintendent of the Academy at this time was 
Captain Louis Goldsborough, a man of immense size, 
who must have weighed not far from three hundred 
pounds, an able and accomplished officer, with manners 
somewhat rough, so that he would almost frighten a 
subordinate out of his wits, but he was au fond an ex 
ceedingly kind-hearted man. His bark was a great deal 
worse than his bite. He was a good talker, though, 
like most men of his kind, apt to use a good many su 
perfluous words. I remember, in an order for the instruc 
tion of the officer left in charge for the summer, in re 
ferring to the steam-boiler he said, " If the water gets 
low, and cold water is admitted to the boiler, it will in 
fallibly burst." He had given an order that we Assist 
ant Professors should not be absent more than twenty- 
four hours. I desired to go to Baltimore, to be absent 
longer than the permitted time. In reply to my appli 
cation he said, " Understanding that Lieutenant Frank 
lin desires to go to Baltimore for the purpose of consult 
ing a physician, he has permission to be absent more 
than twenty-four hours." I replied that Lieutenant 
Franklin did not wish to go to Baltimore for the pur 
pose of consulting a physician. He then, in his reply, 
said that, " Notwithstanding this very proper correc 
tion, Lieutenant Franklin has permission to be absent 
beyond the time usually allowed." On another occa 
sion, during the summer, when I was about to return to 
Annapolis, to take my turn in charge of the Academy, 
the wife of the officer whom I was to relieve, who was 
very anxious to get away, said to him the evening be 
fore, "I am so afraid Mr. Franklin will not be back 

143 



MEMORIES OF A REAR- ADMIRAL 

in time for us to leave to-morrow." "Did he say he 
would, madam ?" was his reply. She said, " Yes, sir, 
he did." His rejoinder was, "Then, madam, he will 
certainly be here." I mention this to show what entire 
confidence he had in any one in whom he had confi 
dence at all. I cite the other anecdotes to illustrate his 
redundancy of language when fewer words would have 
answered as well. Louis Goldsborough, as every one at 
all conversant with the Naval History of the Civil War 
knows, came out of it with great credit and with so 
good a record that he was a prominent candidate for 
the position of Yice-Admiral when that gallant seaman 
and lovely character Kear- Admiral Eowan was elevated 
to that high office. Goldsborough received the thanks 
of Congress, and remained, in consequence, on duty long 
after the usual age of retiring. He died as a Eear- 
Admiral, well along in years. 

The second in command at the Academy was Com 
mander Joseph H. Green. There were a number of 
Greens in the Navy, so, to distinguish him, he was al 
ways known as Joe Green. He was the Commandant of 
Midshipmen, and was at the head of the Department of 
Seamanship as well as of Discipline. He bore a very high 
character, both as an officer and a man, and he managed 
his branch of the Academy with great ability. The 
Professors at this time, as well as I can remember, be 
sides those I have mentioned, were Chauvenet, Lock- 
wood, Giraud, Roget, Hopkins, and Seager. Some of 
them were very able men. My associates amongst the 
Assistant Professors were Parker, Yan Ness, Philip, 
Wainright, Scott, Wilcox, Mayo, and Buckner. There 
may have been others who have passed out of my mind. 
They were generally fine fellows, some of whom I re 
member with a great deal of pleasure. There was a 

144 



PRACTICE-CRUISE ON THE PREELE 

very pleasant society at Annapolis at that time. It was 
small, and composed of some of the old Maryland fami 
lies which had been distinguished in the early days of the 
Colony; amongst the most prominent were the Randalls, 
Hagners, Gills, Pinkneys, and many others. I was very 
intimate with the Gills, and, if this narrative should 
ever reach the eyes of any of the family, I desire them 
to know how highly I appreciate all the kindness I re 
ceived at their hands. 

The Purveyor of the Academy at this time was Colo 
nel Swan, for whom everybody had a high respect. He 
not only provided for the Midshipmen s mess, but made 
those of us who were bachelors very comfortable by 
running our mess for us. Swan continued in this posi 
tion for many years, and hundreds of Naval officers can 
testify to his ability in the conduct of his business, and 
to his gentleman-like and kindly character. 

The winter of 1854 was not especially interesting. It 
was a daily routine of much the same kind of existence. 
I endeavored to teach the boys, and incidentally was 
teaching myself. I was very glad to have this sort of 
mental training, for it brushed up what I had already 
known, and taught me a good deal besides. About the 
beginning of summer, preparations were made for the 
practice-cruise of the Midshipmen. Parker and I and 
some others were detailed for the cruise, and were trans 
ferred to the Preble, which was commanded by Com 
mander Green. Wyman was the Executive officer ; he 
eventually became a Rear-Admiral. He had a stroke 
of apoplexy in Riggs s Bank one day, and was car 
ried to the house where we were both living. He 
was too ill to be taken up to his room, so he was 
placed in my bed, which was on the first floor, where he 
died. 

K 145 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

The cruise was not a very eventful one. The prac 
tice-ship cruising was then in its infancy. Proper pro 
vision for care and well-being of the Midshipmen was 
not then made, and the poor boys had a very hard time 
of it. They were ill-fed, and were not well cared for. 
This, of course, has all been changed since, but at that 
time there had been but one little experience in that 
line. We sailed from Annapolis towards the middle of 
June. Our final destination was Eastport, Maine, but 
we touched along at most of the important points lying 
between Annapolis and that port. The Midshipmen 
were instructed in Seamanship, Navigation, and Gun 
nery during the cruise, but all the other studies were 
suspended for that time. So the summer passed away, 
and the early autumn found us again in Chesapeake 
Bay. We had been entertained at various places during 
the cruise, so that the youngsters had opportunity of 
seeing something of polite life, as well as having the 
rough-and-tumble experience of a seaman ; Mrs. Little, 
a prominent lady of Portland, gave them a ball, which 
they enjoyed immensely, and there were lesser enter 
tainments as we cruised up and down the coast, which 
helped no-t only to amuse but improve them. We an 
chored in the Patuxent Eiver, and remained there sev 
eral days. While there, the foremast was stripped, and 
the Midshipmen were instructed in the practical part of 
rigging ship. This was always considered the finishing- 
up part of the cruise. When that was completed we 
got under way and went to Annapolis, and the practice- 
cruise was at an end. The routine of the Academy 
work again began. 

The winter of 1855-56 passed without any special 
incident. The practice-ship sailed away again, but I 
did not go in. her. I went off on leave, a part of which 

146 



AT WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS 

I passed at White Sulphur Springs. There I met my 
old friend and shipmate Joe Bradford, and we took a 
room together in what was then called Alabama Eow. 
This was in the days before the hotel which is now 
there had been built. The Caldwells were the owners 
of the property, and they pretended to keep a hotel, but 
we had to scratch very hard for a living, for they took 
the ground that it was the water and not the food for 
which they charged. My visit at these Springs at this 
time has left a very indistinct impression upon my 
mind; I do remember very distinctly, however, a Mr. 
Montcure, who always wore knee-breeches and top- 
boots ; as I thought of him then, he was the most aris 
tocratic-looking American I had ever seen. In getting 
to the Springs, much of the trip had to be made by 
stage. It was a slow but agreeable way of travelling 
then; now it would be intolerable. Many gentlemen 
from the Southern country went there in their own car 
riages, taking their slaves with them to take care of the 
horses and wait upon their masters at the hotel table. 
I remember so well that there was an old darky at the 
stable who had been there a great many years. It was 
his especial business to see that the servants went to the 
stables at a certain time to feed their horses, and then 
to see that they returned to the hotel ; so he could be 
heard calling at the top of his voice three times a day 
the following : 

Come up, come up, come up and feed, 
And then go and wash your hands 
And your faces, and go and wait on your 
Masters and your Mistresses." 



And your faces, and go and 
Masters and your Mistresses. 



But the railroad drove this old custom away. Fami 
lies found it more convenient to go by rail, and when 

147 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

the new hotel was finished the whole establishment was 
conducted on a very different plan. 

Bradford and I left the Springs together, and he ac 
companied me to Annapolis. My leave of absence had 
expired, and my tour of duty in looking out for the 
Academy during the recess had commenced. I re 
mained there until the return of the practice-cruise, 
when we all came together, and the Academy was in 
full blast. I did not remain very long there after this. 
Teaching boys had become a very irksome task. 



CHAPTER XIII 

la the South Atlantic Lieutenant Rodgers " Sandy Welsh " In Rio 
Again Bahia A Slave-Trader s Palace Montevideo Agreeable 
Society Paraguay and Its Dictator Buenos Ayres End of the 
Cruise. 

TOWARDS the end of the year of 1856 I was detached 
and ordered to the Sloop-of-war Falmouth. She was 
fitting out at New York for the South Atlantic Station. 
The prospect of a three years cruise on the coast of 
Brazil and the river La Plata was not very alluring, 
but there were worse places, so I made up my mind 
that it was not so bad, after all. The commanding offi 
cer was Commander Eben Farrand, a very kind-hearted 
and amiable man, who did all he could to make us hap 
py during the cruise. He insisted upon our using his 
cabin as our smoking-room, of which we were often very 
glad to take advantage. George Eodgers was the First 
Lieutenant, one of the finest seamen that ever stepped 
a ship s deck, and in all respects a man of the highest 
character. He converted the old Falmouih from a 
snub-nosed Sloop-of-war to one of the triggest ships in 
which I have ever served. Poor Eodgers was killed in 
the Civil War. He was gallantly fighting his ship at 
Charleston, when a projectile struck the grating-cover 
of the pilot-house of the Monitor which he commanded 
and shattered it to pieces. One of these pieces drove 
deep into poor Eodgers s brain, and he was instantly 
killed. A number of the officers who sailed on this 
cruise became Eear- Admirals, and are now holding that 

149 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

rank. They are Skerrett, Brown, Walker, Eamsay, and 
Kirkland. Skerrett is on the retired list, and the others 
are all now on duty. They were then Passed Midship 
men, with the exception of Skerrett, who was a Junior 
Lieutenant. 

The winter of 1856-57 was extremely cold. "When 
the Falmouth was ready for sea she had to be cut out 
of the ice at the Navy- Yard, and towed down to the 
open water in the Bay. While we were fitting out the 
ship the officers would go on board every day and at 
tend to the work, but it was too bitter cold to attempt 
to form the mess until we were compelled to do so 
at the last moment. Meanwhile most of us, including 
the Captain, lived at the Mansion House, in Chambers 
Street, New York, kept by Stelle & Letson. I mention 
this because it was an old Navy house, where officers 
could be exceedingly well cared for at reasonable prices. 
The proprietors owned a farm not far from the city, 
from which most of the supplies of the hotel were 
drawn. There were a number of these old-fashioned 
establishments in New York then, well known to Naval 
officers. Prominent amongst them was a restaurant kept 
by a man known as " Sandy Welsh." Apropos of his 
name : Admiral Thatcher once told me that some lady 
wishing to have her husband ordered to a certain ship, 
he said to her : " Why don t you write to Sandy Welsh ?" 
having the name in his mind, but meaning Charles W. 
Welsh, Chief Clerk of the Navy Department, who ran 
things there generally at that time. So she wrote the 
letter and addressed it to " Sandy Welsh, Chief Clerk," 
etc., etc. She received an immediate reply, as follows : 

" MADAME, Your letter has been received, but your request can- 
DOt be complied with. 

" (Signed) CHAS. W. WELSH (not SANDY)." 

150 



AT RIO DE JANEIRO 

The day we sailed from New York was bitter cold, 
but soon we ran into the Gulf Stream and thawed out. 
We had been so long in the ice at the Navy- Yard be 
fore sailing that the nail-heads of the copper about the 
water-line were worn off, and on the passage to Rio so 
much of the copper was torn away that, as there was 
no dry-dock in South America at that time, it was found 
necessary to return to the United States to have the 
ship docked. We remained but a short time on the Sta 
tion, and sailed for home to have this very important 
matter attended to as soon as possible, going to Ports 
mouth, N. H., where the ship was docked immediately. 
We were soon ready for sea again, and returned to our 
Station. The Squadron on the coast of Brazil then con 
sisted of but two ships. The St. Lawrence was the 
Flag-ship. Commodore French Forrest was the Com 
mander - in - Chief of this small fleet. Our cruising- 
ground was rather limited. The only ports which we 
visited during the cruise of two years and a half were 
Bio, Bahia, Montevideo, and Buenos Ayres. The most 
important of these was Rio de Janeiro, capital of the 
Brazilian Empire. It was constantly growing in im 
portance and increasing in population. Brazil was a 
mild monarchy, where the people were as free as the peo 
ple of the United States. The Empire was just then be 
ginning to build railroads, and had taken up the march 
of improvement in every way, and the country has been 
developing ever since. In a former part of this narra 
tive I have referred to the beauties of this magnificent 
Bay, but one never tires of calling them to mind, and 
the Organ Mountains, as they overlooked the harbor, 
seemed more beautiful than ever. Up in these moun 
tains is a celebrated watering-place called Petropolis. 
It has much the same relation to Brazil that Simla has 

151 



MEMORIES OF A RE AR- ADMIRAL 

to India. To this place flock in the hot summers the 
wealth and fashion of Brazil, and thus escape the in 
tense heat of that tropical region. I never visited Pe- 
tropolis, but passed several days at another watering- 
place not far from Rio, called Tajuca. It is by no 
means so high as Petropolis, but is still high enough to 
cause considerable relief from the sweltering heat of the 
City. The view from there is superb ; indeed, one can 
not go amiss, in this particular, from any point that 
overhangs this lovely Bay. 

There was not much to attract us to the shore, except 
to be rid for a while of the monotony of ship-life ; there 
was absolutely no society. Our Minister, Mr. Meade, 
was a Virginian, who lived at Boto Fogo, a beautiful lit 
tle suburb of Rio. He had quarters at the Hotel Grande 
Bretagne, a house containing large, cool, airy rooms. To 
this place a party of us would frequently go and pass 
the day and night. The sea-breezes would draw through 
the large rooms of this comfortable hotel, and we found 
we could spend twenty-four hours at a time very happily 
without going outside of the four walls. We would 
have our game of poker, our good dinner, and a com 
fortable night s rest, and would return on board ship 
the next morning very much refreshed, and go at our 
work with renewed vigor. Mr. Meade was a dignified, 
quiet gentleman, and a very creditable representative of 
our country. I do not know whether he was married or 
not, but he had no family with him. The name of the 
Consul at this time was Scott. We did not see much of 
him. I believe he made a good Consul, and had the 
commercial interests of the United States very much at 
heart. 

We did not remain at Rio much of the time during 
our cruise. That dreadful scourge, the yellow-fever, 

152 



COMMODORE FRENCH FORREST 

had fastened itself so firmly upon the place that it was 
no longer the resort it had been for ships-of-war in for 
mer years. "When I first went there, I think the fever 
was unknown, but at the time of which I write I be 
lieve Kio was never without some cases. The Purser 
of the Flag-ship was invalided home, which sent our 
Purser (Abbot) to her. The Commodore was very anx 
ious that I should take his place, so he appointed me an 
acting Purser; the disbursing officers of ships still re 
tained the old title, which has since been superseded by 
that of Paymaster. The office exempted me for the re 
mainder of the cruise from night-watches, and event 
ually gave me additional pay. I was very intimate 
with the Commander-in-Chief, and went about with 
him a good deal on shore. He was an amiable man, 
who took life very easy, and caught at pleasure as it 
flew ; I enjoyed being with him, for he had a sort of 
personal magnetism which made him an attractive com 
panion. The Commodore had no Flag Lieutenant, but 
Assistant Surgeon Peck was such a constant companion 
of his that we called him Flag Lieutenant. Peck was 
a very good fellow, and a very loyal friend of Forrest s. 
The Falmouth visited the Port of Bahia; and, al 
though the City is not very interesting, this visit was 
one of the most pleasing incidents of the cruise. Our 
Consul was a very charming man named Gilmer, 
who had filled the position for many years. He was 
also a merchant, and lived very comfortably in a large 
house on the hill, which is the resident part of the town. 
He had a very agreeable wife, and altogether their home 
was most attractive. They were good enough to invite 
the Captain and me to be their guests during our stay 
at Bahia, and we were very glad to accept the invita 
tion. Bahia is composed of two distinct cities. The 

153 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

business part, which is on the water-front, does not pos 
sess a single dwelling-house, while that on the hill is 
without a single commercial establishment. To go from 
the business to the dwelling part is like going into the 
country, and yet the distance between the two is not at all 
great, but the hill, which it is necessary to mount, is very 
precipitous, and in those days there were no means of 
being conveyed there except in sedan-chairs. These 
were suspended on a long pole, at either end of which 
was a stout negro, generally of the purest Congo blood. 
The motion of the sedan-chairs is not unpleasant, but 
quite unlike that of any other mode of conveyance. I 
went about a good deal in them in getting back and 
forth from my home at the Consul s. The negroes of 
Bahia were the finest of the race that I have ever seen. 
If the slave-trade did not then exist, it had only re 
cently been discontinued, so that the specimens I then 
saw must have been lately imported. They were as 
black as ebony, their forms almost perfect, and the ex 
hibition of strength in their muscular development was 
something wonderful. It could be easily seen, as they 
wore nothing but clouts about their loins. It was really 
a beautiful sight to see eight or ten of these fellows at 
the two ends of a pole, with an immense cask of sugar 
or molasses slung between them, singing as they trotted 
along with a load which seemed to me enough to crush 
them, saluting us as they passed by, varying their song 
to a sort of grunt, and giving us a pleasant smile as 
they lifted their feet from the ground all together, look 
ing as if they meant to say, " We don t mind it." 

One of the most interesting sights which I witnessed 
while I was at Bahia was the palace of a slave-trader 
a negro who had become immensely rich through traf 
fic in people of his own race. He had a number of 

154 



IN A SLAVE-TRADER S PALACE 

wives, whom he left in Africa. As his children grew 
up he would bring them, to Brazil and have them edu 
cated. On the day that we were at his palace there 
happened to be but one of them at home. She was a 
nice-looking, bronze - colored girl, with good features, 
well dressed in some simple, cool garment, suitable to 
the climate. Mr. Gilmer requested that she might be 
brought into the parlor where we were seated, where 
she soon made her appearance a little shy, but not 
enough so to make her appear at all ill at ease. She 
had apparently been brought up in luxury, and had 
perhaps learned good manners from governesses, or 
those who had had charge of her. The Consul, who 
seemed familiar with the usages of the establishment, 
asked her to play, when she sat down to the piano and 
rattled off some of the choicest bits of " II Trovatore." 
We were all delighted with this performance, for it was 
so exceedingly well done. Her father, the owner of the 
palace, was absent on the Coast of Africa, gathering 
a fresh cargo, with which to add to the wealth accu 
mulated in this nefarious trade in his own race, and 
possibly his own blood. I have never forgotten the 
remark of the Consul as we emerged from the building : 
" Gentlemen," he said, " this is all the result of wool 
and ivory." 

Besides sugar and coffee, I was very much surprised 
to find that tobacco of an excellent quality was also an 
article of commerce. The cigars seemed to me but 
slightly, if at all, inferior to those of Cuba ; indeed, I 
do not remember to have smoked better anywhere. 
They were well made, and of a delicious flavor. The 
wonder is that they have never been exported to the 
United States. At the time of which I write there 
were some very rich men in Brazil. There were diamond 

155 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

and coffee millionaires with them then, just as there are 
railroad and Standard Oil millionaires with us now. I 
was told by Colonel Garnett, an American who was there, 
employed in railroad building, that in the rich Province 
of Matto-Grosso there lived a princely Brazilian who 
owned vast estates, upon which he worked his slaves in 
thousands. He had his Catholic Chapel and his superb 
band of many instruments, and governed his people 
more like a ruler than a subject of the Emperor s. He 
was far removed from the seat of power, and as the 
Provinces were almost independent then of the central 
Government, he managed things pretty much according 
to his own whims. In 1858 the House of Maxwell, 
Wright & Co. still existed in Rio. It had made many 
fortunes for its people, but I think it was then approach 
ing its end, and I believe it has now ceased to exist 
altogether. It had been a great power in the mercan 
tile world ; its hospitable doors were always thrown 
open to Americans, and, as in the great houses in China, 
there were spare seats at the dinner-table every day, 
which officers were expected to fill without formal in 
vitation whenever it suited their convenience. 

Most of our time during the cruise was passed in the 
River La Plata. Montevideo was at this time a con 
siderable port, but by no means equal in importance to 
what it has since become. It was then torn by revolu 
tions, which were of very frequent occurrence, but in 
spite of this disorganized condition it has been steadily 
increasing, until now it has grown to be a large and 
handsome city. The Flag-ship St. Lawrence was obliged 
to lie three or four miles from the landing, and even 
then her draught of water was so great that she was 
frequently in the mud. The Falmouih, by her less 
draught, was enabled to lie quite in the port. We 

156 



AGREEABLE SOCIETY AT MONTEVIDEO 

anchored near Gowland s Wharf, and made prepara 
tions for a long stay. Soon we became quite domes 
ticated,, and mingled freely with the inhabitants, many 
of whom were very agreeable people. I have in my 
mind as I write the very interesting family of Don 
Juan Gowland, whose lovely daughter, Consuelo, mar 
ried Kirkland, the present Rear- Admiral. We went a 
great deal to Mr. Gowland s house, where we had music 
and dancing, and practised our Spanish. The Senora 
and her charming daughters always gave us a hearty 
welcome, and there is no family that I have met abroad 
of which I have a more pleasant remembrance. I have 
met Mrs. Kirkland since, and she is a lovely woman 
now, as she was a lovely girl then. She is the mother 
of several children, one of whom I know; she also 
was a lovely girl, and is now a lovely woman. 

I remember but one American who resided in Mon 
tevideo at that time. His name was Usher. He had 
been, I think, a Midshipman in our Navy, and was af 
terwards a Commander in the Brazilian Navy. He 
married a woman of the country and had an interesting 
family. His house was a great resort for the officers of 
the Squadron. We could hear our own language spoken 
there, and there we also practised our Spanish and drank 
mate, or Paraguay tea. This beverage is served in a 
sort of gourd, generally mounted with silver, into which 
is inserted a silver tube. It is drunk as we drink a julep. 
The hospitality of a house in that part of South America 
is not considered complete until the mate is brought in. 
Each one partakes of a few mouthfuls, and then passes 
it to his neighbor. The tube is sometimes too hot for 
comfort, but the Orientates, as Uruguayans are called, 
first sip it, holding the tube with their teeth, without 
touching their lips to it. In the long-run the teeth 

157 



MEMORIES OF A HE AR- ADMIRAL 

suffer from this practice, and I have noticed frequently 
in South America that the beauty of a face has been 
marred by the injurious habit. I do not believe, how 
ever, that any true Orientate or Portena could be in 
duced to abandon the custom; I believe they would 
make almost any sacrifices rather than give up this 
cherished luxury. I contracted the habit to some ex 
tent myself, but never became enthusiastically fond of 
it. Lauriana Usher, who was the beauty of the family, 
was a great favorite with us all. She spoke English 
very well, but was always most patient in teaching us 
her own language. She was a pretty, attractive girl, 
and a beautiful, graceful dancer, very amiable withal, 
and ready to do what she could to make the time of her 
half-countrymen pass pleasantly. She married a citizen 
of Uruguay, as I afterwards learned ; since then I have 
entirely lost sight of her. There were a great many 
Naval officers at Montevideo about this time, owing to 
the arrival of Commodore Shubrick in his Flag -ship, 
the Sabine, with a squadron of small steamers, about 
which I shall have something to say further on. Many 
of the officers who were there then will no doubt recog 
nize some of the Montevideo names that I am about to 
mention the Lafones, the Garcias, the Castillanos, the 
Jacksons, and others whose names I have forgotten. 
They were all prominent people then, and they added 
very much to the pleasure of our sojourn at Montevideo. 
There was a German there by the name of Bushenthal, 
perhaps the best-known, and probably the richest, man 
in the city. He was the first one to establish a good 
hotel in Montevideo. He placed in charge of it his 
butler and cook. It supplied a much-needed want, and 
we enjoyed its comforts very much. It was admirably 
conducted in every way, as I had ample opportunity of 

158 



PARAGUAY BROUGHT TO TERMS 

knowing, for I took up my quarters there when it was 
opened and remained there a long time. As I was 
Purser, I lived on shore, and fully enjoyed its comforts. 
Bushenthal, to whom we were indebted for all this com 
fort, was an elegant " dude " of about fifty, an excellent 
talker, and always faultlessly dressed. He had a lisp, 
owing to the loss of one of his front upper teeth. This 
vacant space was his especial vanity. He fancied that 
it distinguished him from others, and gave him an air 
peculiarly his own, so he never had the tooth replaced. 
He was an interesting man. I never tired of hearing 
him talk, and always liked him very much. 

The Kepublic of Paraguay was at this time a sort 
of military despotism. It was as much a state within 
itself then as Japan was. The Dictator Lopez dis 
couraged all intercourse with foreigners, and wished to 
have nothing to do with the outside world. He was 
represented as a cruel, blood-thirsty tyrant. His pred 
ecessor, Francia, was said to be such a monster that 
people grew pale even at the mention of his name. An 
American surveying-vessel, while examining some of the 
tributaries of the La Plata, passing near a Paraguayan 
fort, was fired into, and I think one of the crew was 
either killed or badly wounded. For this outrage the 
Dictator declined to give any satisfaction to the Gov 
ernment of the United States. After waiting patient 
ly for a long time, it was determined finally to send a 
Commissioner, backed up by a fleet, to demand repara 
tion at the cannon s mouth. The Commissioner s name 
was Boland ; his Secretary was the celebrated Sam 
Ward, afterwards " King of the Lobby " at Washing 
ton. The fleet was commanded, as I stated before, by 
Commodore Shubrick. The steamers of the fleet were 
a lot of broken-down hulks, unworthy of the name of 

159 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

ships of war, and a laughing-stock to other nations ; still, 
I suppose it was the best we could do, and as they 
frightened Lopez into making the terms we demanded, 
they answered our purpose as well as a better-equipped 
force. The Minister and his Secretary ascended the 
river in a vessel of war, and the result was that Lopez 
acceded to all our demands. I happen to remember a 
funny thing that Drayton, who was Commodore Shu- 
brick s Chief - of - Staff, told me at the time about Sam 
Ward. Everybody who knew anything about the great 
lobbyist will remember what a very high opinion he 
had of his own importance. "When the vessels were or 
dered to be ready to sail at three o clock in the after 
noon, he said to Drayton, "Why, they cannot sail at 
that time !" " Why 3" said Drayton ; and Sam replied, 
" Because my washed clothes would not be in at that 
hour." " Do you suppose they are going to wait for 
your washed clothes?" said Drayton. A failure to do 
this, Sam Ward thought, would be a very hard case in 
deed; I do not remember whether they were left be 
hind or not. Since the creation of the rank of Flag- 
officer, without any especial title, we had been in the 
habit of addressing our Commander - in - Chief as Ad 
miral, to which he took very kindly. When Commo 
dore Shubrick, whom everybody called Commodore, 
arrived on the Station, we were confronted with an 
embarrassing problem. Our own Chief was the junior, 
and yet he had the title of a superior officer. It was 
anomalous, to say the least of it. I do not remember, 
however, that any friction was caused by it, for Shu- 
brick soon sailed for home, taking his lame ducks with 
him. 

We soon settled down again to the routine duties of 
the Station. The " Admiral " took the Falmouth and 

160 



GOOD TIMES AT BUENOS AYRES 

went with us to Buenos Ayres. It was an uncomfort 
able place to lie at that time, for we were obliged to 
anchor three or four miles from the shore. It made 
but little difference to me, for, as Purser, I took up 
my quarters on shore. The " Admiral," Dr. Peck, and 
I established ourselves at the Hotel de 1 Europe, an 
excellent house indeed, the best at that time in Buenos 
Ayres. We found the Consul living there, so we formed 
at table &partie carree, and always dined together very 
pleasantly. The Consul was William Holley Hudson, 
an excellent officer, one of the most strikingly hand 
some men I have ever seen ; indeed, I have often known 
people turn around in the street to gaze at him ; nor 
do I wonder at it, for he was a pleasant sight to look 
upon. He was as good a fellow as he was a handsome 
man, and I was very much indebted to him for what 
ever enjoyment I had at Buenos Ayres. We saw a good 
deal of Mrs. Chandler, the wife of Chandler, who died a 
Rear-Admiral. Chandler was at the time attached to 
the surveying-vessel we had in these waters, command 
ed by Thomas Jefferson Page. Mrs. Chandler inter 
ested herself in getting up entertainments for us, and 
contributed largely to our pleasure while we were in 
the city. There was a very beautiful Portena (which 
means a native of the Port of Buenos Ayres) there at 
this time, named Carmencita Saavedra. She was a great 
favorite with all American Naval officers, and finally 
married an American merchant of the name of Zimmer 
man. I never saw her, I think, but once, yet her im 
age is still impressed upon my mind as if it were yes 
terday, so very beautiful was she at that time. The 
women of the River La Plata always seemed to me far 
superior to the men. They were as fine specimens of 
women as one would find in any part of the world, and 
L 161 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

generally made excellent wives and mothers. It was 
my good-fortune to be intimate with a family at Mon 
tevideo, where no English was spoken, so I was obliged 
either to keep my mouth shut or to speak Spanish, 
which I did, bad as it was. In this way I learned the 
language rapidly, and by the time I left the Station was 
a fairly good Spanish scholar. 

A great change has taken place in those waters since 
the days of which I write. Ships can go right up to 
the city and load at wharves, while at that time the car 
goes were taken out to the lighters in the river in horse- 
carts, and then lightered out to the ships in the stream. 
There were no railroads then ; now a railroad extending 
from Buenos Ayres to Santiago is nearly completed, if 
not entirely finished. Buenos Ayres is now a great 
city, probably the metropolis of South America. These 
cities of the southern half of the continent do not seem 
to be retarded by revolutions, but grow in spite of them. 
Even Patagonia and Terra del Fuego, which were con 
sidered a few years ago fit abodes only for the lowest 
grade of savages, have now become sheep-raising and 
gold -hunting countries, and have held out inducements 
strong enough to cause colonists from distant parts of 
the globe to settle within their borders. 

The cruise of the Falmoutli was now drawing to a 
close. "We had reached the middle of the year 1859, 
and had been absent from home about two years and a 
half. The terms of service of the crew were about ex 
piring, and it was nearly time to pay them off. I do 
not remember whether we were ordered home by the 
Department, or whether the " Admiral " gave us the 
order. Flag-officers in those days had to act a great 
deal more on their own responsibility than they do now, 
being, as they always are, at the other end of a tele- 

162 



RETURN FROM THE SOUTH ATLANTIC 

graphic cable. Forrest told me once that he had not had 
any communication from the Department for a year. 
Such a condition of things would seem impossible now. 
We accordingly sailed for home, and reached New York 
about the middle of the summer. The ship was paid 
off, and we all went to our homes with three months 
leave of absence. As I was Purser, I was delayed sev 
eral days in New York after the others left, but, as soon 
as I had paid off the crew, I followed, glad enough to be 
rid of the ship and to have finished the cruise, which 
had become very tiresome. 



CHAPTER XIV 

"Ordnance Duty" The War Cloud Friendships Broken On the 
Macedonian Key West and Pensacola War-Time The Priva 
teer Sumter La Guayra and Caraccas In Chase of the Sumter 
Home Again. 

AFTEK my leave of absence had expired I sought em 
ployment, and was ordered to the Washington Navy- 
Yard, where I reported for duty in the Ordnance De 
partment. There were several of us there, and I 
presume the idea was that we should pick up such infor 
mation as we could, but I do not remember that any one 
took the trouble to teach us anything. Naval officers 
had no such advantages then as they have now. There 
were no "War Colleges or Torpedo Schools ; there was no 
Bureau of Intelligence indeed, there were but few in 
ducements held out to us to get above the level of the 
routine Naval drudge. This is all changed now, and the 
modern men have opportunities which, well availed of, 
should make them the most accomplished Naval officers 
in the world. I soon tired of this Ordnance duty, as it 
was called. The only thing I ever did was to work out 
by rule of thumb some problem connected with the ten 
sile strength of iron. I never understood it, and no one 
ever took the trouble to explain to me the principle of 
what I was doing. I soon had my station changed to 
the Observatory. The facilities held out here for im 
provement in the higher branches of the profession were 
no greater than they had been in the Ordnance Depart- 

164 



CIVIL WAR THREATENED 

ment of the Navy- Yard. I do not mean to say that I 
would have availed myself of them if they had been, 
but I think the older officers should have shown more 
interest in the improvement of their subordinates in the 
scientific departments than they did at that time. I am 
glad to be able to say that it is so no longer. The work 
that the Superintendent gave me was to take from a lot 
of log-books the record of the thermometer and barom 
eter for each day, extending over a period of many 
months. This sort of thing, if kept up much longer, 
would, I feel sure, have dulled my intellect. A person 
who could barely read and write was quite equal to this 
humdrum work. I did not, however, remain long at it. 
I was detached, and went on leave of absence. 

It was now the summer of 1860. The country was in 
the fever heat of a most exciting political campaign. It 
was evident then that if Mr. Lincoln were elected there 
was trouble ahead. I passed a portion of the summer 
at White Sulphur Springs. Since 1856, when I had vis 
ited the Springs before, great changes had taken place. 
A new hotel had been built, commodious enough to 
take in all who were likely to patronize it. The man 
ager was an ex -Naval officer of the name of Hum 
phreys. Of course there was a great improvement upon 
the old days. People could drink the waters, and en 
joy the comforts of a good hotel besides, which was 
more than they could have done for years before. 
There were a great many people there from the South, 
but not many from the North. Indeed, Northern peo 
ple were quite out of place ; they were on Southern 
soil, and, with the feeling at that time, the Southerners 
considered it was peculiarly their own, and seemed to 
look upon us as intruders upon their domain. I had 
been a good deal in Washington, and some of the bitter- 

165 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

est partisans were amongst my most intimate friends. 
Dr. G win s family were there, and I had been in the 
habit of visiting very frequently at their house when I 
was in the city. Another of my intimate friends was 
Ben McCullough, the former Texas Ranger. Then 
there was Tod, of the Army, who was intimate with all 
of us (although I cannot call him a bitter Southerner) ; 
Mrs. Myers, whose husband was at that time an officer 
of the Army, in the Quartermaster s Department, was 
also there. We formed a very pleasant little coterie at 
the Springs, and although the times looked dangerous, 
none of us believed we were so near the most terrible 
Civil War that the world had ever known. Most of us 
separated then, not to meet, except for a short time in 
New York, until the restoration of peace. Many of 
those with whom I was intimate then survived the War, 
and I have been on more or less pleasant terms with 
them ever since. Mrs. Gwin is now living in California. 
I saw her only a few years ago in San Francisco ; her 
daughters, Mrs. Coleman and Miss Carrie, are there 
also. William Gwin, her only son, is, I believe, some 
where on the Pacific Slope. Mrs. Myers died only a 
few years ago. She was a lovely woman. She did not 
very long survive her husband, who was one of the most 
thorough gentlemen I have ever known. When he was 
about to die he named his pall-bearers, and I felt it a 
distinguished honor to be chosen as one of them. The 
others of the company were Eobert McLane, General 
Joe Johnston, and a few more whose names have passed 
out of my memory. Tod, of the Army, died while at the 
Arsenal at Jefferson Barracks. He was in the Ord 
nance and in charge of the works at that place. He 
had but little to employ his time, and amused himself 
raising blooded stock. One day, while driving one of 

166 



A STORY OF THE CIVIL WAR 

his own teams, he lost control of the horses, was precipi 
tated to the ground, and instantly killed. Dr. Gwin 
did not live many years after the War. I was a fre 
quent visitor at his house in San Francisco. He was a 
charming talker, to whom I always listened with the 
greatest pleasure. To my mind, Judge Jerry Black and 
Dr. Gwin were two of the most interesting men this 
country has produced. 

Most of us, after separating at the Springs, met again 
in New York. The Gwins, Tod, Ben McCullough, and 
I were inseparable. Miss Lucy Gwin and Ben McCul 
lough used to think that Tod and I were Abolitionists, 
and Miss Lucy, who hated one as she did a rattlesnake, 
was constantly chiding us with it, but she was not cer 
tain enough about it to let it interfere with her friend 
ship for us. But these pleasant friendships were soon 
broken up. Mr. Lincoln was elected and the troubles 
began to come. The Southern people went mad. and 
got the worst of it. But the War has been long over, 
and there are no better Americans at this day than our 
Southern brothers. I am reminded just here of a story 
told me by a friend, Captain Parker (commonly called 
" Billy " by his friends). The scene is laid in Norfolk ; 
the occasion was a small tea-party, and the subject under 
discussion the late Civil War. After some exciting talk, 
one of the ladies said, "The South has been defeated 
for the time, but she will rise again" Whereupon Cap 
tain S , formerly a Lieutenant in the Navy, said, 

" There is no rise in me." Which goes to show that the 
people who did the fighting knew what it was, and had 
no desire to renew it. 

I was ordered to the Frigate Macedonian late in the 
year of 1860. The Secessionists had taken possession of 
the Navy- Yard at Pensacola, and we were ordered to 

167 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

that point to form part of a Squadron of observation, 
for regular hostilities had not yet begun. The Macedo 
nian was fitting out in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 
where the weather at that time was intensely cold. By 
a piece of bad management the crew was sent from 
Boston on Christmas Day. The Navy- Yard was closed, 
as it was a holiday, and it was impossible to get even a 
candle with which to light the ship, or indeed any other 
necessary article. The crew was hustled on board, and 
we were obliged to take care of them as best we could. 
Of course Jackie was drunk he always gets drunk on 
such occasions, or, I should rather say, he did in those 
days and as we had no organization whatever, Lieu 
tenant Summer ville Nicholson and I were obliged to 
organize ourselves into a police force. We were com 
pelled to rush in amongst a crowd of drunken sailors, 
and knock down and drag out until we succeeded, final- 
\y, in restoring order. It was one of the most uncom 
fortable nights that I ever passed in all my Naval ex 
perience. The next day things shook down a little, and 
in a week we were in fairly good running order. 

The captain was u Jimmy" Glynn. I hardly ever 
heard him called by any other name, so I will let it 
remain so. Marine was the Executive officer. Sum- 
merville Nicholson, a dashing fellow, was Second Lieu 
tenant. Ward, who left us and went South, was one of 
the Lieutenants, and a nice little fellow, whose name 
was Babcock, was another. The Navigator was Bunce, 
who now commands our fleet on the coast. The Marine 
officer was McCawley, who afterwards became the Com 
mandant of the Corps. The two medical officers were 
Grier and Iglehart. The former became Surgeon-Gen 
eral, and is now living, not far from eighty years of age. 
Iglehart went South. He was a nice fellow, and I was 

168 



BOUND FOR PENSACOLA 

sorry to lose him. Most of these officers are now dead. 
Those only that I know are living are Grier, Nicholson, 
Bunce, and myself. 

When the ship was ready for sea we sailed for Key 
West, where we arrived after a reasonable passage. 
"Jimmy" Glynn performed as pretty a piece of sea 
manship when we entered Key West as I have ever seen. 
He took the ship right up to the wharf under sail and 
secured her there. Take him altogether, I think he was, 
perhaps, about the best seaman with whom I have ever 
served. To be sure, he ran the ship ashore several times, 
but he did not seem to mind that, and would say, " It 
was good practice for the officers and men to get her 
off." At Key West we re-stowed the hold, and, having 
finished that and some other work, we sailed for Pensa- 
cola, taking the Tortugas en route. In the latter place 
we found the late General Meigs in charge. Floyd, 
Buchanan s Secretary of War, had sent him there to 
get him out of the way, but Floyd did himself more 
harm than good, for Meigs did excellent work there, 
and soon established for himself a reputation in the 
Army which made him eventually Quartermaster-Gen 
eral, one of the very best the country has ever had. He 
came on board the Macedonian several times whilst we 
were there, and many years after the War he told me 
something which had long since passed out of my mind. 
He said that he saw me one day drilling my division at 
the guns ; that I had my ordnance manual in my hand, 
and that as I explained to the men their duties they 
exhibited so much intelligence, and seemed to be so 
anxious to take in all that I was telling them, that it 
made an impression upon his mind that had never been 
effaced. Somehow or other, strange to say, I seemed 
to recall the occasion to which he referred. I say, 

169 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

strange to say, for these drills were an every-day occur 
rence with us. 

We finally reached our destination off Pensacola. A 
singular state of affairs existed there then. The ]STavy- 
Yard was held by the enemy, while a Squadron of ob 
servation cruised off the harbor. The United States 
mails were still coming through, and one of our small 
steamers, flying a flag of truce, was constantly plying 
between the cruisers and the Navy- Yard. We did not 
remain here very long, not long enough to see the de 
struction which followed by the burning of the Navy- 
Yard by the enemy. About this time the European 
Powers, notably France, were taking advantage of the 
big contract we had on our hands to interfere in the 
affairs of Mexico, which resulted in the accession of 
Maximilian to the throne as Emperor of that country, 
and his final overthrow and execution later on. In view 
of the situation it was thought proper by our Govern 
ment to station a man-of-war at Yera Cruz to watch the 
course of events. We were selected, and soon sailed for 
that point, but it was the season of violent gales from 
the north. We anchored at Sacrificio, an island four 
miles from Yera Cruz, and remained at this anchorage 
for several months. It was about the dullest and most 
uninteresting work in which I have ever been engaged. 

Meanwhile the Civil War was upon us, and we re 
turned to Key West just in time to hear of the battle 
of Bull Eun. The privateer Sumter was out running 
amuck amongst our merchant - ships, and had already 
done a good deal of execution when we reached there. 
Every craft that was available, and that could be spared 
from other service, was sent in search of her, amongst 
others the Macedonian. It was a good deal like sending 
a tortoise to catch a hare. Still there was a possibility 

170 



FROM LA GUAYRA TO CARACCAS 

of meeting her in a neutral port, and " Jimmy " Gly nn 
told me that if he did so meet her he intended to sink 
her then and there, and leave the neutral nation to 
settle the matter with the United States as best she 
could. So we sheeted home our top-sails and kept away 
for the Spanish Main. Our first port was La Guayra, 
where we remained for several days. The Captain 
asked me to accompany him to Caraccas, and I was 
very glad to accept his invitation. We started off in 
dashing style in a vehicle drawn by three horses in the 
form of a spike-team. The distance was about twelve 
miles, and the ascent to the City about five or six thou 
sand feet. We flew along at a racketing pace with our 
mountain horses, which seemed to do their work with a 
hearty good-will, without any apparent effort, through 
out the whole journey. The trip from La Guayra to 
Caraccas is probably one of the most beautiful drives in 
the world. As one ascends, Alps seem to rise upon Alps, 
unfolding to the view scenery as grand and sublime as 
can be seen in any part of the world. As we descended 
the hills our driver would let his horses out, and they 
would rush down at a breakneck pace past the edges of 
ravines fearfully precipitous, the valleys lying a thou 
sand feet below. I would hold my breath as we 
rushed by them, for had a wheel worked off nothing 
could have saved us from destruction. There were no 
brakes on the wagons, nor were there breechings to the 
horses, so, when once started, there was nothing to stop 
them but the rise of the hill we were approaching. 
Dangerous as all this seemed, I was told that accidents 
were rare, for the vehicles were good, as well as the 
horses, and the drivers were excellent. We found 
Caraccas a very pretty city, very Spanish in its char 
acter, like all the cities of South America, clean and 

171 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

well drained, and very picturesque, not only from 
within, but from without as well. The climate is su 
perb, for it is there perpetual spring. While it is situ 
ated in the torrid zone, its great elevation so tempers it 
that one is never too warm or too cold. Venezuela 
will, no doubt, in time, become an important country. 
I think England appreciates this, and so hesitates to 
give up her hold upon the rich portion which she claims, 
and which but lately has been the subject of a diplomatic 
controversy. The early discoverers thought they saw 
in some portion of Venezuela something that reminded 
them of Venice, and so they gave it the name it now 
bears, that of Little Venice. 

We returned to La Guayra and sailed almost immedi 
ately for the Island of Trinidad. Beating to windward 
on that coast is a most difficult undertaking, to which 
Columbus, if he were living, could testify, for he tried it, 
with about the same success that we had. We endeav 
ored to keep close inshore in the hope of avoiding the 
strong current caused by the trade -winds. Then we 
tried beating through the passage between the Island of 
Magdalena and the mainland, where we plunked the 
ship ashore on two different occasions. It was all of no 
avail. We did gain a little to windward, but we were 
using up a great deal of time for a trifling result. We 
were still looking for the Sumter, without the most re 
mote chance of ever finding her. Still, Captain "Jimmy " 
Glynn thought it possible he might find her in some 
West India port, so he gave up Trinidad and squared 
away for St. Thomas. We had a good breeze and soon 
stretched across the Caribbean Sea. We sighted " Sail 
Kock " in the morning, and anchored at St. Thomas soon 
after. Apropos of " Sail Kock," which is so called be 
cause it resembles a ship under full sail, Glynn told me 

172 



AT ST. THOMAS 

that he sailed with some Captain who was so afraid of 
running into it that, in starting from the Spanish Main 
for St. Thomas, he never closed his eyes until he reached 
there. I can quite understand it, for I have known 
many such men in my experience. " Jimmy " was not 
one of them, however, for I never knew a bolder navi 
gator. Before reaching St. Thomas we spoke an Amer 
ican merchant-ship. She had been boarded by the Sum- 
ter, and, I presume, had everything of any value taken 
out of her by that privateer, and was then ransomed. The 
Captain of the merchant - vessel was ranging up and 
down the quarter-deck of his ship in a towering rage, 
denouncing the Captain of the Iroquois, who, he thought, 
ought to have captured the Sunder. A few days before 
he came very near doing so, but luck was against him, 
and she eluded his grasp one very dark night. I think 
she made her escape from Martinique. The Captain of 
the Iroquois had made every disposition to insure suc 
cess, but the fates were against him, and she escaped. 
He was James Palmer, of whom Farragut had a very 
high opinion. I think he commanded the Flag-ship 
when the Admiral passed the Mississippi Forts. Palmer 
died of yellow-fever in the West Indies after the War. 
He was a Rear- Admiral at the time, and commanded our 
squadron in those seas. We found St. Thomas, one of the 
Danish West India Islands, a very convenient stopping- 
place during the War. Our steamers were constantly put 
ting in there for coal. The ships were coaled by women, 
who formed a procession from the coal-pile, each one 
carrying a basket on her head. In this way a ship was 
rapidly coaled. It would be a valuable coaling station 
for the United States, which at one time was in negotia 
tion for it, but it would be so only if it were well forti 
fied. It seems to me that it would be very unwise for 

173 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

this Government to establish coaling stations at any 
point which is not fortified and controlled by it, for in 
time of war such stations would be easy prey to an ene 
my whose naval force might for the time be superior to 
ours. 

I presume that the authorities at the JSTavy Depart 
ment finally concluded that the Macedonian, in her pur 
suit of the Sumter, was engaged in a hopeless under 
taking, for we found orders at St. Thomas to return 
to the United States. We sailed for Boston about the 
15th of December, 1861, and soon reached the neigh 
borhood of George s Shoal. We buffeted about between 
there and Boston Bay, encountering gale after gale, ac 
companied with snow and intense cold. The weather 
was so severe that we could no longer keep the four 
hours watch, but took our turns more frequently, and 
only two hours at a time. I think it was altogether the 
roughest experience I had ever had. When the wind 
was fair for running in the weather was foul and we 
could see nothing, and when the weather was fair the 
wind would be ahead and we could make almost noth 
ing towards our port. During this trying weather one 
of the crew died. We had him laid out, and were keep 
ing his body with the hope of giving him a decent bur 
ial on shore, but the men, used up by the cold and loss 
of rest, attributed our ill-luck, in their own supersti 
tious way, to the retention of the body on board. So 
the Captain, in deference to this feeling, directed that it 
should be buried at once. The night was dark and 
stormy when the poor fellow was taken to the gang 
way, and in the presence of his messmates, by the light 
of a solitary lantern, was launched into the sea. We 
finally succeeded in getting into Boston Bay, but we 
were obliged to anchor and remain at anchor for several 

174 



LEAVE THE MACEDONIAN 

days, while the northwest gale that was blowing should 
blow itself out. The Macedonian was put out of com 
mission, and the crew transferred to the gunboats that 
were fitting out there. The officers soon dispersed; 
some went to their homes, others to the new duties that 
were awaiting them. 



CHAPTER XV 

In Hampton Roads Raid of the Merrimac Destruction of the Con 
gress and the Cumberland The Monitor Appears Fight of the Iron 
cladsOn the Dacotah End of the Merrimac With Farragut at 
New Orleans First Command on the Aroostook An Accident at 
Washington. 

IN the early days of 1862 I was ordered to duty at 
the Washington Navy -Yard. Captain Dahlgren was 
then in command. He directed me to give especial at 
tention to fitting out the Pinola, one of the forty gun 
boats that had been hurriedly built. They called them 
" plumpers," because they each carried one eleven-inch 
gun, with which, when they had a fair chance, they did 
excellent plumping execution. The Pinola was com 
manded by the present Rear-Admiral Pierce Crosby, 
now a Rear- Admiral on the retired list, a charming fel 
low, and always a gallant officer; he had an excellent 
record during the Civil "War, and I shall have occasion 
to speak of him again in reference to the operations in 
Mobile Bay. 

I did not remain long at the Navy- Yard, but was or 
dered as Executive officer of the Dacotah. I proceeded 
to Hampton Koads to join her, but she was somewhere 
on a cruise and had not reached there, so I took up my 
quarters on board the Roanoke^ awaiting her arrival. 
It was known that the Confederates had been employed 
for some time in converting the Merrimac, one of the 
ships of the old Navy, of the Wabash and Roanoke class, 

176 



VICTORY OF THE MERRIMAC 

into an ironclad. No special precautions seem to have 
been taken to meet such a vessel should she be a success 
and venture out to attack the wooden vessels moored off 
Newport News. The Monitor had been some time in 
course of construction at New York, and it was thought 
was perhaps completed, but she had not yet reached 
Hampton Koads. While we were in this unprepared 
condition, one fine morning in the early part of March, 
1862, the Merrimac, or Virginia, as the Confederates 
called her, steamed down from Norfolk and immediate 
ly attacked the Congress and the Cumberland^ then at 
anchor off Newport News. The Minnesota and the 
Roanoke got under way and went as near to the scene of 
the conflict as they could get ; the Roanoke was entirely 
helpless, as her motive power was hopelessly disabled, 
so we took a couple of tugs alongside and moved, though 
slowly, towards the scene of action. The Minnesota 
grounded, and my impression is that the Roanoke did 
also, but the latter succeeded in getting off. I was only 
a passenger on board, but the Captain gave me charge of 
the forward pivot-gun. We could not get within range 
of the fight, so could be of no great assistance. I think 
we were struck once or twice by the batteries at Sewall s 
Point, but sustained no injury other than the cutting of 
a shroud, or some slight hurt of that kind. 

Meanwhile the Congress and the Cumberland were en 
tirely at the mercy of the ironclad. After fighting gal 
lantly against tremendous odds, and with a certainty 
of destruction, and after great loss of life, finding that 
their shot bounded like india-rubber balls from the case 
mate of the Merrirnac, making no impression upon her 
whatever, while all of her shot pierced these two help 
less ships with terrible effect, the Congress surrendered, 
and the Cumberland soon sank with her colors flying 
M 177 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

as she went down. Meanwhile darkness set in, and the 
heavens were soon lighted up by the burning Congress. 
It was a beautiful sight, but one of the saddest I have 
ever witnessed. We watched it for several hours, then, 
like a tremendous bombshell, and with a roar that could 
be heard for miles around, the Congress went up into 
the air with a fearful explosion. The magazine had 
been reached by the flames, and what the fire had 
left unconsumed was blown into atoms. The Roanoke 
succeeded in getting afloat, and, expecting to meet with 
the same fate as the others if she remained where she 
was in her disabled condition, it was thought best to 
anchor near Fortress Monroe, where, with the assistance 
and protection thus afforded, she could more readily 
make an effort to save herself from destruction. During 
the evening a steamer came alongside from the Fort in 
charge of Captain Talmadge, of the Quartermaster s De 
partment, who requested Captain Marsden, of the Roa 
noke, to permit me to go with him down to the Minnesota. 
After a good deal of hesitation Marsden told Talmadge 
that he would let me go if he would return me on board 
by midnight. With this understanding, we started up 
towards Newport News and went on board. It was not 
a pleasing sight nor a hopeful outlook, for if the ship 
did not get afloat, it looked as if nothing would save 
her from destruction in the morning. Captain Marsden 
told me to say to Captain Van Brunt, of the Minnesota, 
that if he did not get his ship off by morning he would 
go down in the Roanoke and share its fate, whatever 
that might be. Instead of getting back to the Roanok.e 
by midnight, it was nearly four o clock in the morning 
when I made my report to Captain Marsden. 

Meanwhile the little Monitor, with Lieutenant Wor- 
den, had arrived from New York. She steamed down 

178 



THE MONITOR DEFEATS THE MERRIMAC 

at once, anchored near the Minnesota, and prepared for 
the ironclad conflict, which was sure to take place the 
next day. As soon as day broke, this strange-looking 
craft steamed gallantly towards the Merrimac and 
opened upon her with a hammering that she had little 
suspected. The fire was immediately returned, and thus 
began one of the most famous conflicts known to mod 
ern times. Famous, not only because it was a terribly 
hard-fought battle, but because it inaugurated a new 
system of Naval warfare, or perhaps it would be better 
to say Naval warfare by engines of war hitherto un 
known in Naval battles. What the effect of the fight 
was at the time can be easily imagined. To say noth 
ing of the prestige our Nav} 7 gained by it, it saved mill 
ions of dollars worth of property to the United States, 
and cheered the drooping spirits of the North, resulting 
from the loss of the Congress and the Cumberland. The 
Government and people of the country showed their 
appreciation of it by rewarding the gallant Worden for 
his services, but, in my opinion, not to the extent he 
deserved, taking into consideration the importance of 
the event and the results which followed from it. 

The Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Fox, arrived 
about this time at Fortress Monroe, and, seeing the 
danger to which our wooden ships were exposed, sent 
the Brandywine Store-ship up to Baltimore, and de 
spatched the Roanoke to New York. The Minnesota 
was retained and was the Flag-ship of Admiral Golds- 
borough. The JRoanoJce sailed immediately, and, as the 
Dacotah had not yet arrived, I found myself landed 
on the beach. Colonel John Taylor, Commissary of the 
Post, was kind enough to invite me to share his quar 
ters, which I was only too glad to do. The excitement 
at Old Point at this time was intense. Some strange 

179 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

and startling incident seemed constantly at hand. About 
dark, after the second day s fight, one of our Gunboats 
lying at anchor near Hampton took fire. The flames 
gained so rapidly that it was found impossible to sub 
due them, so she had to be abandoned. The magazine 
had probably been flooded, since there was no explo 
sion, but the guns were all loaded, and we knew that 
if they became sufficiently heated before the Gunboat 
burned to the water s edge they must discharge them 
selves towards the Fort, as well as in the opposite direc 
tion, for her broadside pointed right at us. And it was 
just this that did happen. Taylor and I walked down 
to the ramparts to look at the burning vessel, when a 
sentinel near by told us that we were not in a very safe 
place, that a ball had whizzed past him only a short 
time before. We rather pooh-poohed the idea, when 
another came screeching by, almost immediately after. 
We concluded that that was no place for us, so return 
ed to our quarters, and soon after retired. The next 
morning a piece of shell was found lying just outside 
of our rooms on the porch, and there was a hole in the 
roof which had been made by this fragment as it de 
scended, the fragment being, of course, a portion of an 
exploded shell from the guns of the burning Gunboat. 

In a few days after the incidents which I have just 
related, the Dacotah came in. and I assumed my duties 
as her First Lieutenant. McKinstry was the Captain, 
Ames the Navigator, Dr. Bloodgood the Surgeon, and 
Richard Washington the Paymaster. We had also 
some volunteer officers who had recently entered the 
service from the merchant marine. The Merrimac had 
only been scotched ; she was not killed. The Confed 
erates were losing no time in preparing her for another 
raid. We were not idle on our part. Mechanics were 

180 



CALLING BACK A FLAG-OFFICER 

working night and day in the little Monitor, and she 
was being put in condition once more to meet her for 
midable antagonist. The Ya/nderbilt had been placed 
at the disposal of the Government by her patriotic 
owner, fitted to ram, and we were satisfied that a fair 
blow from her would have been the finishing stroke to 
the Merrimac. The little Dacotah, of which I was the 
Executive Officer, also had orders to ram her if she came 
out. Probably at full speed we should have rammed a 
hole in her, but I doubt if there would have been any 
thing of the Dacotak left. Some one put the question 
to Admiral Goldsborough, who then commanded the 
Fleet in Hampton Roads, "What would become of the 
Dacotah after she had rammed the Merrimac ?" His 
reply was : " If anybody will tell me what becomes of 
the tallow-candle after it is fired through a pine board, 
I will answer that question." 

As time went on, the air was full of rumors about the 
coming out of this formidable craft, and there were 
many false alarms. Before I joined the Dacotah, while 
living with Colonel Taylor, Captain Poor, who was in 
charge of the Ordnance for the Navy at Old Point, and 
I, having heard that the Merrimac was coming out, and 
seeing a general rush for the beach, joined the crowd, 
and as we reached the landing found the Flag-officer in 
the act of shoving off. We hailed him and volunteered 
for service on board the Flag-ship. He seemed very 
much annoyed that we had dared to call him back to 
take us on board. However, he backed his boat into 
the landing and picked us up, and, after giving us a 
piece of his mind upon the impropriety of calling back 
a Flag-officer, became very amiable, asked us to dinner 
after we reached the Minnesota, and was extremel} 7 po 
lite for the rest of the time that we were on board. 

181 



MEMORIES OF A HE AR- ADMIRAL 

As I have said before, in another part of this narrative, 
his bark was worse than his bite. The report proved a 
false alarm, and at nightfall Poor and I returned to our 
quarters on shore. This state of expectation was kept 
up, and finally the Merrimac did poke her nose out, 
when we all got under way and stood up towards her ; 
but she found it prudent not to venture out too far. 
The Dacotah had a sharp encounter with the Sewall s 
Point battery. I do not know whether we hurt any 
body there. I do know that they did not hurt us. 

This state of things existed for some time longer. 
The toils were, however, gradually gathering around 
the fated Merrimac. The situation was such that she 
could not expect to hold out much longer. Norfolk 
either had fallen into our hands or was soon to do so, 
and it seemed that there was no place of refuge where 
she could feel secure, or avoid the danger of capture. 
She came down, however, one evening towards dark, 
and anchored about nightfall. It happened that we 
were the picket -boat for the night, and were conse 
quently considerably in advance of the rest of the fleet. 
I was called at midnight, and it was reported to me that 
the Merrimac was on fire. I went immediately on deck, 
and there she was, all in flames. The Confederates had 
decided to abandon her, and, to prevent our getting pos 
session, they wisely set her on fire. It was a beautiful 
sight to us in more senses than one. She had been a 
thorn in our side for a long time, and we were glad to 
have her well out of the way. I remained on deck for 
the rest of the night watching her burning. Gradually 
the casemate grew hotter and hotter, until finally it 
became red-hot, so that we could distinctly mark its 
outlines, and remained in this condition for fully half 
an hour, when, with a tremendous explosion, the Mer- 

182 



GOLDSBOROUGH IN DISHABILLE 

rimac went into the air and was seen no more. Thus I 
had seen in a brief space of time the explosion of the 
magazines of two large ships of war, an event so rare 
that to see one at all seldom comes within the experience 
of any one. 

It was now about daylight, or rather early dawn, for 
she burned from the first discovering of the fire at mid 
night until the explosion at four o clock. Captain 
McKinstry then ordered me to have a boat manned 
and go on board the Flag -ship myself, and report in 
person to the Flag-officer what I had seen. When I 
ran alongside the Minnesota, I found she was at night, 
or rather, I should say, early morning, quarters. The 
Admiral was ranging around the quarter-deck in a long 
night-shirt, which reached almost to his feet. Any one 
who knew Admiral Goldsborough can well imagine that 
he appeared to me like the ghost of some departed giant. 
He was surprised to see me, and when I told him my 
story he exclaimed in the most tragic manner, " Are 
you certain of what you tell me?" To this I replied: 
"As certain as I am that I am standing here, for I 
watched her burn for four long hours, and I know that 
the Merrimac exists no longer." " Then, sir," said he, 
"return on board and tell your Captain to get under 
way and go up to Norfolk." The whole scene was 
weird and tragic, and I shall never forget it. 

There is an amusing incident in connection Avith the 
last raid of the Merrimac that occurs to me as I write. 
Amongst the other vessels that had been collected to 
gether to destroy her was the Gunboat Aroostook, com 
manded by my friend Beaumont. It seems that nearly 
every one had some idea of his own how he was to 
render the Merrimac harmless. I remember that one 
idea was to run alongside of her and drop a shell from 

183 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

the yard-arm down her smoke-stack, the explosion of 
which would disable her. Beaumont had his crew 
make out of rattling-stuff a long net, or rather seine. 
His idea was to pay this out, and by towing it across 
the stern of the ironclad to foul her propeller, and thus 
neutralize her motive power. So when we were all 
under way together, but not in any special formation, 
McKinstry would continually be calling my attention 
to the AroostooL He seemed a good deal more afraid 
of her than he was of the Merrimac. " Where is Beau 
mont ?" he would continually say. " Keep out of Beau 
mont s way. Don t let Beaumont get near you. Keep 
your eye on the Aroostook" etc., so apprehensive was 
he that it would be our own propeller that would be 
fouled rather than that of the enemy. 

But to return to my narrative. I conveyed, as I was 
directed to do, the orders of the Flag-officer to Captain 
McKinstry, and we got under way and went to Norfolk, 
being soon followed by the rest of the fleet. I hap 
pened to have some business on board the Flag-ship after 
she reached there, and while on board the Flag-officer 
said to me : " One of the officers of the Merrimac is here 
on leave, and he declares emphatically that the Merrimac 
has not been destroyed." I replied that I did not care 
what he said, that there was no more doubt in my mind 
that the bones of the Merrimac were now at the bottom 
of the sea than that I was living at the moment. He 
then said : " Oh, I am perfectly satisfied with the cor 
rectness of what you reported, but let him enjoy his 
delusion." 

Soon after the events which I have just been relating, 
the Dacotah was ordered to New Orleans for the purpose 
of carrying despatches to Farragut ; she was considered 
about the fastest vessel of the Squadron, and was se- 

184 



WITH FARRAGUT AT NEW ORLEANS 

lected on that account. We were not long in making 
the passage, and found the Admiral with his Flag-ship, 
the Hartford, anchored in front of the city ; after hav 
ing made his gallant dash past the Mississippi Forts, he 
was resting for a while on his oars, making up his mind 
where the most effective blow should next be struck. 
He was buoyant in spirits, as indeed he always was ; I 
do not think I ever saw him depressed about anything, 
and I saw a good deal of him from time to time during 
my long service in the Gulf and in the neighborhood of 
New Orleans. I think Farragut was the pluckiest man 
I ever knew. I think he was absolutely insensible to 
fear; indeed, that feeling did not enter into his make 
up as a man at all. I do not believe that he could ap 
preciate the meaning of the word. I do not mean that 
he was so influenced in this way as to destroy his judg 
ment, and cause him to take unnecessary risks, for he 
had a great abundance of Naval wisdom, and knew well 
when to take great chances to accomplish great ends. 
He was, par excellence, the man for the times, as his 
glorious deeds have abundantly demonstrated. 

As soon as Farragut s despatches were ready, we left 
our anchorage in the Mississippi and returned to Hamp 
ton Koads. We were then employed for a while in 
blowing up the enemy s works on the James Eiver and 
destroying their guns. The destruction of the guns was 
generally accomplished by placing a shell in the muzzle, 
and then exploding the shell. In nine cases out of ten 
this method was attended with immediate success. But 
we found one exceedingly tough thirty -two -pounder, 
which resisted every effort we made in that direction. 
We tried filling it nearly if not quite full of gunpowder, 
and then jamming a shot in the muzzle and discharging 
the gun, but without any result, and it was finally dis- 

185 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

abled only by placing a Dahlgren-rifled howitzer close 
up to the trunnions and actually shooting them away. 
The Army had had its seven days fights, and its base 
was now at Harrison s Landing, on the James. Thither 
the Dacotah and the Gunboats were despatched to co 
operate with the Army. Another Squadron had been 
formed under the command of Admiral Wilkes, with 
the Wachusett as his Flag-ship. Wilkes had not been 
afloat for a long time, but he was an able man, and made 
an excellent Commander - in - Chief . He had had the 
reputation, when he commanded the Exploring Expedi 
tion, of being a martinet, but he was so no longer, for I 
cannot conceive that any Commander - in - Chief could 
have been more courteous in his intercourse with those 
under his command than was Wilkes. 

In the summer of 1862 my friend Beaumont fell ill, 
and I was ordered to command the Gunboat Aroostook, 
thus filling the vacancy caused by his detachment. This 
was, of course, a most agreeable promotion for me. It 
was the inauguration of command as a Lieutenant, and 
I never served on board ship in a lower position than 
that of Commanding Officer from that day to this. I 
was employed in my new command, as a part of my 
duties, in running between Harrison s Landing and 
Fortress Monroe. The Aroostook became familiar along 
the shore of the James, and was known by the ne 
groes as the " Old Rooster." About this time the con 
trabands, as the negroes who came within our lines 
were called, began to flock in in great numbers. They 
overflowed from the Army into the Navy, besides which 
we would sometimes pick them up along the shore our 
selves, in running up and down the James River. I 
came upon some of them one day, and asked them if 
they were not afraid of being shot in thus attempting 

186 



AT DINNER ON THE AROOSTOOK 

to make their escape, when one of them replied, and 
said, " No, saah, when we seed de Old Rooster coming 
along, we know d we was all right." I asked one of 
these same fellows one day, when we happened to be 
under fire for a little while, why he dodged when the 
balls flew over. His reply was, " Case we ain t used 
to it, saah." I thought his reply was a very good one, 
for dodging a shot as it passes over one s head is an in 
voluntary act. 

Just before the Army reached Harrison s Landing I 
had received a couple of cases of champagne from New 
York, which I knew would be a most welcome treat to 
my friends, who emerged hungry and thirsty from the 
campaign through which they had just passed. I went 
to the front with my cabin-boy as an orderly. He was 
dressed in a full suit of white, and as I passed General 
Newton s headquarters he said : " It was a dangerous 
thing for you to bring that orderly of yours up here, 
for nobody has any clean clothes around this camp, and 
somebody will take a fancy to them and take them 
away from him." I went to the headquarters of my 
brother, General Franklin, and there I found " Baldy " 
Smith and General Seth Williams. I asked them to 
dine with me the next day on board the Aroostook, and 
told them of what I had just received from New York. 
There was no hesitation about accepting the invitation, 
and they were all there at the appointed time. I do 
not remember what we had to eat, but I have a distinct 
recollection that we punished champagne enough to 
make us all very comfortable. The weather was hot, 
so I had the dinner-table set under the wind-sail. These 
were not punctilious times, so we took our coats off, and, 
with the assistance of a cool breeze brought down by 
the wind-sail, managed to dine in great comfort. I do 

187 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

not think I ever knew men to enjoy a feast more. The 
contrast between this and the rough experience through 
which they had just passed made this little episode all the 
more pleasant. They returned to the front, feeling, I am 
quite sure, as happy as if they had dined at Delmonico s. 
Both Armies seemed now to be taking a rest. Both 
seemed to require some recuperating after the cam 
paign in the swamps of the Chickahominy. For several 
weeks we remained at Harrison s Landing on our oars. 
The Gunboats were assembled near Jamestown Island. 
Commander Macomb, commonly called Billy Macomb, 
commanded the Genesee. He and I often went for ex 
ercise to the Island, and interested ourselves in the old 
graveyard, which was in a bad state of dilapidation. 
We would try to decipher the inscriptions on the tomb 
stones, many of which were so broken up and disfigured 
that they could not be read at all. One day, while tak 
ing our accustomed walk, we saw the Captain of a trans 
port schooner breaking off a piece of marble from one 
of the tombs. Macomb arrested him immediately and 
sent him on board the Genesee. He reported at once to 
the Admiral, by whom he was directed to hold him a 
prisoner, saying that he would have him tried for dese 
crating the graves of the dead. Macomb held the pris 
oner for a few days, when the latter said to him one 
morning when the men were holystoning the decks, 
" Captain, it seems to me to be a very hard case that 
you are holding me for the same offence that your crew 
are committing before your eyes. You will observe," 
he said, " that they are holystoning the decks of your 
vessel with pieces of marble obtained in the Jamestown 
graveyard." Macomb told me that it was, alas, too true. 
It is useless to say that the prisoner was released from 
custody and returned to his schooner. 

188 



LEFT IN WASHINGTON 

I served with the Army a short time longer. Its 
movements are, of course, a matter of history. I was 
ordered out of the James and up the Potomac to Wash 
ington. Some movements were taking place that it was 
thought would require the presence of the Gunboats 
there. Finding, after I anchored, that there was no 
prospect of my presence on board being required during 
the night, I went on shore. The Aroostook was anchored 
off the Arsenal. When I went down in the morning to 
go on board, I found, to my horror, that she was not 
there. I immediately communicated my dilemma to 
Colonel Ramsay, of the Ordnance, who was in charge of 
the Arsenal. He informed me that an officer had ap 
peared there during the night with orders for the Gun 
boats to proceed immediately to Aquia Creek. There 
was nothing for the Executive Officer to do, in my ab 
sence, but obey the order, which he did. Colonel Ram 
say at once relieved my mind by telling me that a 
steamer with ordnance stores would start for Aquia 
Creek in an hour or two, and that if I would come in 
and quietly breakfast with him he would promise that I 
should soon be restored to my command. I Avas im 
mensely relieved, and it is needless to say that I enjoyed 
my breakfast much more than I should have done if this 
lucky chance to get to Aquia Creek had not turned up. 
I remained at the latter place until the Army people 
left, and then went back to Washington. 



CHAPTER XVI 

With Farragut in the Gulf A Year of Blockade Fleet Captain at 
New Orleans Mobile A Night Adventure A Council of War 
Entry into Mobile Return to the North. 

THE Aroostook had been so constantly under steam 
that her boilers required thorough overhauling. I was 
directed to proceed to the Navy -Yard and place her in 
the hands of the authorities there, in order to have this 
necessary work attended to as soon as possible. I had 
a slight attack of James-River fever, and was glad to 
have the rest which this forced idleness gave me the op 
portunity of enjoying. While the workmen were em 
ployed upon the Aroostook I lived with some of my 
friends in the City, and found this little relaxation after 
my close confinement on board ship exceedingly agree 
able. The repairs were soon completed, and I was 
ordered to proceed with the Aroostook to the Gulf of 
Mexico, and report for duty to Admiral Farragut. I 
accordingly sailed for that station, and found the Admiral 
with the Hartford, his Flag-ship, in the harbor of Pensa- 
cola. She was then commanded by Commodore Palmer. 
The Navy- Yard was again in our possession ; officers 
had been ordered to it, and there was an organization, as 
far as it went. There were no quarters for those sta 
tioned there other than the kitchens of the houses, 
which was all that was left of them. The Yard had 
been almost completely destroyed. These kitchens were 
made habitable, but that was all ; it can hardly be said 

190 



BLOCKADING SERVICE 

that they were comfortable. The Yard, however, still 
served some good purpose. It was the coaling station 
for the blockading fleet off Mobile ; slight tinkering 
could be done to our lame ducks when they came in 
after a long tour of duty on the blockade. One of the 
Medical officers stationed there at this time was Dr. 
Tryon, the present Surgeon-General. He was always 
bright and cheery, and I remember well how much 
pleasure it always gave me to meet him when I would 
be passing a few days there while the Aroostook was 
coaling. 

I remained but a few days at Pensacola after my 
arrival from the North, being ordered by the Admiral 
to report to the senior officer off Mobile for duty on the 
blockade of that port. I remained on that duty from the 
autumn of 1862 until the autumn of the following year. 
It was very trying work, as all blockading service is. 
We had a little let-up about every six weeks, when we 
would have to go to Pensacola to fill up with coal. 
During the few nights we were there we could sleep 
with both eyes closed. On the blockade we slept with 
one eye open. During my year of service off Mobile we 
had several different commanding officers. The one I 
remember with most pleasure was John R. Goldsborough, 
who commanded the Colorado. He was a kindly, genial 
fellow, and we all grew very fond of him. Every fine 
day he would make signal to us to anchor near him. 
We would spend the day on board the Colorado, dine 
with him, and just before nightfall each one would 
proceed to the station to which he had been assigned for 
the night. 

The station which required the sharpest lookout was 
in the channel leading into Mobile Bay. There was no 
light shown, of course, and we were obliged to feel our 

191 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

way in after dark by the lead. To be on our station it 
was necessary to be within range of the guns at Fort 
Morgan, and before daylight we would stand out into 
the offing. Each of us would have this station for a 
week. It was our duty, in case anything attempted to 
run the blockade, to throw a rocket in the direction the 
vessel was going, and make such signals as had been 
agreed upon. It was an inglorious sort of station, for 
in case of parting our cable, should a heavy blow sud 
denly come up before we could get off shore with our 
small steam-power, there was danger of drifting down 
upon Fort Morgan, in which case we should have fallen 
an easy prey to the enemy. The blockade was fairly 
well sustained, but it is next to impossible to make any 
blockade entirely effectual. It was dangerous, however, 
to attempt to get in or out, and a good many ships were 
captured during the year that I served off Mobile. I 
succeeded in capturing a schooner loaded with cotton, 
which made a fairly good prize. I was there when the 
Confederate steamer Oreto, afterwards called the Flori 
da, succeeded in running the blockade. It was known 
that she had left her anchorage off the City, and was all 
ready to make a dash should the conditions be favor 
able. The night was dark when she made the effort, 
but it suddenly cleared. The wind came out fresh from 
northwest, and this was her chance. She ran past the 
fleet unharmed, and was immediatley followed by the 
Oneida and the It. R. Cuyler, the fastest ships of the 
fleet, and the only ones that had the slightest chance of 
catching her. A stern chase is a long one, and they fol 
lowed her for several hundred miles, but she had more 
speed than they, or in some way eluded them, for she 
finally ran out of sight. It was, of course, a great disap 
pointment to all of us that she was not captured and 

192 



ASSIST COMMODORE BELL 

brought back, for she had succeeded in running in some 
time before, eluding every effort that was then made to 
stop her. Now she was again at large, ready to com 
mit depredations upon our defenceless merchant-men. 

Soon after the events I have just related I was pro 
moted to a higher command. The Captain of the Onei- 
da went North, and I was ordered to take his place. 
She was a fast craft for those days, and I had great 
hopes of being able to do something with her, but, as 
she was of a rating which belonged to the next higher 
rank, I could not expect to retain her long. I think Le 
Roy was sent down to take command of her, and, as my 
vacancy on board the Aroostook had been filled, I was, 
so to speak, on the beach. I went to New Orleans and 
reported to Commodore Bell, who was Commander-in- 
Chief, Farragut having gone North after the fall of 
Yicksburg and Port Hudson. Bell s flag was flying on 
board the Pensacola, where he transacted his business, 
but he lived on shore, at the house of Dr. Mercer, a 
well-known man of New Orleans, who was very glad 
to have us take care of his house for him during these 
troublous times. When I went to report to the Com 
modore I found him sitting behind a pile of papers 
which had accumulated so upon his hands that he was 
almost entirely concealed behind them. He was very 
much overworked, and seemed to be depending entirely 
upon his own personal exertions to conduct the business 
of the Squadron, which consisted at this time of a great 
many vessels, large and small. He appointed me Fleet 
Captain and Chief of Staff. This was early in Septem 
ber, 1863. I went to work at once, and in a short time 
the great mass of matter which had accumulated disap 
peared, and the Commodore was immensely relieved. 
He told me afterwards that if I had not come to his 
N 193 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

rescue at that time that he would have been in his 
grave. I remained with Bell in this capacity until Far- 
ragut came down to resume command, when he brought 
with him, as Chief of Staff, Captain Percival Drayton, 
which relieved me of my duties as Fleet Captain. Bell 
went North, and Commodore Palmer was placed in 
command at New Orleans, while Farragut went afloat. 
I was assigned to duty as the Assistant to Commodore 
Palmer in New Orleans. During my stay there Ad 
miral Porter came down the river in his Flag-ship, the 
Black Hawk. She was the greatest curiosity as a man- 
of-war that I have ever seen. The Admiral had a lot 
of saddle-horses on board, and every day after dinner 
when the steamer was at the wharf he and his guests 
would start out for a ride. I had the honor of dining 
with him one day, and after dinner we mounted our 
horses on the forecastle and sallied forth, crossing the 
gang-plank to the wharf on horseback. For any one of 
the party who did not care to ride, there was a buggy 
for a drive. It was a very curious spectacle ; it is un 
likely that one of a similar nature will ever be witnessed 
again, and probably it never had been seen before, ex 
cept from this particular Flag-ship. This unique cav 
alcade passed through the City, went some distance 
beyond its limits, and then returned, recrossed the gang 
plank, dismounted on the forecastle, and the entertain 
ment was at an end. 

About the month of August, 1864, was the time Far 
ragut had fixed upon for his attack on Mobile. He was 
only waiting for a favorable day to run by the Forts. 
I think it was on the fifth of that month that he accom 
plished this memorable feat. He had directed that all 
hands should be called at daylight, and at the signal the 
fleet would stand into the Bay in column of vessels by 

194 



COMMUNICATING WITH FARRAGUT 

pairs, each pair lashed together. The order concluded : 
" The fleet will pipe to breakfast inside of Mobile Bay 
at eight o clock." It always seemed to me that there 
was something grand in this concluding paragraph of 
his order. There was no doubt in his own mind of his 
ability to carry out his designs. When he conceived a 
plan, it was already an accomplished fact, and in this 
he resembled Nelson in a very high degree. 

The morning of the day upon which the fight took 
place I was directed by Commodore Palmer to take a 
despatch- vessel and pass through Mississippi Sound, go 
on board the Sonoma, a Gunboat stationed at a point in 
the Sound where she could see into Mobile Bay, and 
make an effort to communicate by signal with Farrar 
gut, in case he had succeeded in getting inside that day. 
When I reached the Sonoma I found that it was impos 
sible to communicate with the Admiral by signal, al 
though the fleet was already inside. It then occurred 
to me that I might possibly succeed in communicating 
in person with Farragut, although such an attempt was 
not thought to be feasible, nor was it contemplated 
by my orders. It would be necessary to run through 
Grant s Pass, which connected Mississippi Sound with 
Mobile Bay, and to run close to Fort Powell, which 
guarded the pass. Fort Gaines was on the other side, 
but some distance off, and as the night was dark I 
thought with a small boat with muffled oars we might 
manage to steal by without being discovered, commu 
nicate with the Admiral, and pass the Fort again before 
daylight. I accordingly proposed the plan to Captain 
De Kraft, the Commanding Officer of the Sonoma, who 
agreed to furnish the boat, and said he would accom 
pany me. I must confess I considered the chances of 
getting to the Flag - ship in the Bay and back to the 

195 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Sonoma before daylight without being captured en route, 
to say the least, doubtful. I thought the enemy would 
be evacuating Fort Gaines, in which case we should be 
just in the track of their boats on their way to Mobile, 
as there was no other way for them to get there ; for 
now that the fleet was in the Bay, Fort Gaines was no 
longer tenable. 

We waited until it was pitch-dark ; then, with a small 
boat with muffled oars and a pilot, we started on our 
somewhat hazardous expedition. Fortunately, it was 
a still, dark night, and there was nothing to retard our 
progress. "We pulled slowly and steadily, and in about 
two hours we found ourselves alongside the Hartford. 
I went on. board and was met at the gangway by Dray- 
ton, who, as I said before, was Farragut s Chief of Staff. 
He was, of course, very much surprised to see me, and 
at once asked me where I came from ; and when I re 
plied that I had come in one of the Sonoma? s boats 
through Grant s Pass, he exclaimed : " Well, that is the 
best thing that has been done yet communication is 
already open "; and then he conducted me to the Ad 
miral. Farragut was delighted to see me. He placed 
his two hands on my shoulders and began at once to 
relate to me the incidents of the fight. He was in the 
best of spirits, as he always was, and now he had an 
especial reason for being so, for he had made a gallant 
dash and achieved a brilliant victory. I then had a con 
versation with Kimberly, the present able and gallant 
Admiral, who was the Executive Officer of the Hart 
ford. He pointed out to me the dead and the dying, 
who were lying about the decks, the former sewed up 
in their hammocks, all ready, poor fellows, to be launch 
ed into the sea. Kimberly told me that they had lost 
heavily, and it was only necessary to look around the 

196 



EVACUATION OF FORT POWELL 

decks to be convinced of the truth of his statement. It 
was about midnight when I reached the Hwriford, 
where I remained nearly an hour, a time of mingled 
feelings of joy and sadness. The melancholy spectacle 
of those poor fellows, as I saw them stretched out in 
death, haunts me still ; but it was war, and at such a 
time one must accustom himself to such scenes. I re 
member that in the early part of our civil strife I went 
through the wards of the Hospital at Norfolk, which 
was filled with wounded men, and although it was an 
unpleasant task, I did it for the sole purpose of famil 
iarizing myself with the horrors of war. 

After having received the Admiral s instructions for 
Commodore Palmer, I started back. It was then about 
one o clock. There was plenty of time to pass Fort 
Powell before daylight, so we pulled slowly and quietly 
along, and had reached the most critical point, which was 
just abreast the Fort, when there was a brilliant flash 
and a tremendous explosion, and Fort Powell had gone 
up into the air. The enemy had evacuated, and, in 
leaving, had destroyed their little stronghold, which had 
withstood the smashing fire of our ships in the fight 
of the day before. I continued on, and in due time 
reached the Sonoma. I immediately started for New 
Orleans, and arrived there in time to make the first 
report of the occurrences in Mobile Bay, and of the 
destruction of Fort Powell. Commodore Palmer sent 
me at once to General Canby, Commander-in-Chief of 
the Army of the Gulf, to whom I gave a detailed ac 
count of all I had seen. 

Fort Morgan did not hold out much longer. It was 
entirely cut off from the Confederacy, and was soon 
compelled to surrender to the Army. Its brave Com 
mander, General Page, had charges brought against him 

197 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

of violating the rules of war by destroying property 
which must inevitably have fallen into the hands of the 
United States when he surrendered, which it was sure 
he would be obliged to do in a very short time. It 
seems that when the Colonel to whom he surrendered 
looked around and saw the destruction, he said to Gen 
eral Page something which was very offensive, and need 
not be repeated here. Page was taken to New Orleans 
and held there as a prisoner of war for some time. Com 
modore Palmer had been an old friend of his, and had 
it in his power to render his captivity lighter than it 
otherwise might have been. He was enabled to walk 
about the City through Palmer s good offices, and was 
made comparatively comfortable. I had it in my power, 
also, to show him some kindness, which he always re 
membered and appreciated. These charges about the 
destruction at Fort Morgan, it was thought, ought to 
be investigated. General Canby therefore ordered what 
he called a Council of War, consisting of General Hurl- 
but and General Totten, on the part of the Army, and 
I was appointed the member on the part of the JSTavy. 
Captain De Witt Clinton was appointed Judge Advo 
cate. It was ordered that General Page should accom 
pany us to Fort Morgan, and that the investigation 
should be made in his presence. We accordingly took 
a steamer at New Orleans, and the party proceeded to 
Fort Morgan. It happened that the officer in command 
of the Fort was the same one who had been so offensive 
to General Page at the time of the surrender. We all 
stepped up to the officer, who met us at the entrance of 
the Fort, and shook hands with him. Page remained 
quiet with his hands behind his back, when the officer 
in command stepped up and said, " How do you do, 
General Page?" at the same time extending his hand 

198 



IN COMMAND OF RAM TENNESSEE 

to shake hands with him, but Page did not move, and 
remained in the same position, with his hands behind 
his back, whereupon the Colonel said, with much feel 
ing, " General Page, I appreciate that, and under other 
circumstances I would take proper notice of it." But 
Page was immovable, and thus the incident closed. I 
thought Page was right then, and I think so now. The 
Council of War held its sessions, and we took the testi 
mony that was within its reach, which was sufficient 
to satisfy us that General Page had not violated any 
of the rules of war, and he was, consequently, acquitted 
of the charges. In looking at it now, and as I saw it 
then, it seems to me that the idea of holding the enemy 
responsible for the destruction of that which must be 
considered his own as long as his flag is floating over 
it, is absurd. It might as well be said that a belligerent 
has not the right to run his ship on shore and set fire 
to her when he sees that his capture seems inevitable. 
"We returned to New Orleans and made our report, 
which was approved by General Canby, and thus the 
matter ended. General Page s friends were very much 
gratified at the result of the investigation, for no one 
that knew him ever for a moment thought that he had 
been guilty of anything that was not honorable in mat 
ters connected with the surrender of Fort Morgan or 
anything else. 

I resumed my duties at headquarters, and for a while, 
in addition thereto, commanded the captured Earn Ten 
nessee. Farragut went North, having finished his life s 
work, and was resting on his well-earned laurels. Ad 
miral Thatcher was sent down and assumed command of 
the Naval forces in the Gulf. The City of Mobile was 
still in the hands of the enemy, but was not long to re 
main so ; the Army and Navy were drawing the toils 

199 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

close around it. We broke up the headquarters at New- 
Orleans, and Commodore Palmer and I joined Thatcher 
in Mobile Bay. The City was protected by shoal water, 
so that we could not get close up to it. There was a 
roundabout way of approaching within range by a nar 
row river, guarded by forts and torpedoes. An attempt 
was made to clear the river of torpedoes by running a 
sort of net made of rattling - stuff from bank to bank. 
A certain distance above the net was thoroughly dragged 
by our boats. When that area of the river was pro 
nounced clear the net would be shifted higher, and the 
same process again pursued. Thus a system of parallels 
was run, and preparations were made to approach tne 
City by the river. Captain Crosby, now a retired Rear- 
Admiral, conducted this work. He was exceedingly 
zealous in the performance of this duty, and worked at 
it with untiring energy. While these preparations were 
going on, the Confederate commander at Mobile, feeling 
that the capture of the City was a mere matter of time 
and a very short time evacuated, so there was noth 
ing for us to do but to take possession. 

A commission was appointed, consisting of two Army 
officers, and of myself on the part of the Navy, with in 
structions to proceed to Mobile and receive the surrender 
of the City at the hands of the Civil Authorities. I ac 
cordingly went on shore and joined my colleagues of the 
Army several miles outside of the City. Here we entered 
a carriage and were escorted to the confines of Mobile 
by a regiment of infantry. There we were met by the 
Mayor and other City Authorities, and the formalities 
of delivering up the City to us were carried out. It re 
minded me somewhat of such scenes in olden times, 
when the heralds would blow their horns and demand 
that the keys of the gates of the City should be delivered 

200 



LIEUTENANT-GENERAL RICHARD TAYLOR 

up to the conquerors. It was sad, as we drove through 
the streets, to witness the depression which pervaded 
everything. There was an air in all the surroundings 
of a conquered city and a vanquished people. We made 
it as little humiliating as possible, but it was evident that 
the people felt the situation keenly, for they realized that 
the cause of the Confederacy was now truly a lost cause. 
After the fall of Mobile I returned to New Orleans, 
and during the rest of the time that I remained in South 
ern waters I commanded the Portsmouth. The War 
was now drawing towards its close, and I gave up my 
command and went North. I took passage in one of the 
steamers of the Cromwell Line. One of my fellow-pas 
sengers was Lieutenant-General Eichard Taylor, late of 
the Confederate Army. I had known Taylor before the 
War. Our relations had always been of the most cordial 
nature ; and although we had been for several years past 
trying to cut each other s throats, yet we met at this time 
on the same friendly terms that had existed between us 
before the Civil War. He was one of the most charm 
ing men that it has ever been my good -fortune to en 
counter, a brilliant talker, an excellent raconteur, never 
at a loss to illustrate by some apt quotation or suitable 
proverb the well-rounded sentences of his conversation. 
I met Taylor again some years afterwards ; we crossed 
the Atlantic together in 1873. I found him then the 
same genial gentleman that I had known before. He 
was most agreeable and entertaining, as he always was. 
He had an appreciative set of men during this voyage to 
enjoy his talk ; amongst others were Admiral Case and 
Frank Corbin, of Paris, the latter a well-known Ameri 
can long resident in France. 



CHAPTER XVII 

A Pacific Command Life at Mare Island An Inland Expedition 
In the Yosemite Valley To Esquimault on Cable Service Ad 
miral Denman Excursion in Washington Territory Up Fraser 
River. 

I WAS allowed to remain at home a very brief period. 
My friend Wainwright Scott, who had commanded the 
Sayinaw in the Pacific, died very suddenly, and I was 
ordered to take his place. I took passage in the 
McClelland for Aspinwall. She was commanded by 
Captain Gray, a well-known seaman, who had made 
himself very useful during the War in command of 
United States transports. The voyage was uneventful, 
and we reached our port in the usual time. There was 
a queer character on board who had a peculiar fad, which 
was to represent himself as that which he was not. To 
me he was a Captain Reed, of the Marine Corps ; to 
another he was Weston, the great pedestrian ; and to a 
lady who was on her way to China, he was Mr. Seward, 
our Consul-General at Hong-Kong. He offered himself 
to her as an escort to her destination. When Captain 
Gray heard of his pranks he sent for him, gave him a 
piece of his mind in very strong language, and threat 
ened to put him in irons if he did not desist from his 
efforts to delude the passengers with his various aliases. 
It had the desired effect, and he was seen and heard of 
no more. 

I took the train for Panama and went on board the 

202 



WITH MR. BOWMAN AT ACAPULCO 

Golden City, commanded by a well-known veteran sea 
man, Commodore Watkins. This title was given to him 
as the Senior Captain of the line, and he was permitted 
to fly a broad pennant. "Watkins was a rare old sea-dog, 
very popular with every one. People were obliged to 
go to San Francisco in those days by steamer ; it was 
esteemed an especial privilege to make a passage with 
the Commodore, and business-men would endeavor so to 
arrange their affairs that they would be enabled to strike 
the vessel which he commanded. The Saginaw, the 
vessel to which I had been ordered, was at Acapulco, 
and at that point my voyage in the Golden City came to 
an end. I assumed command at once, but, finding that 
there were no conveniences for messing on board, I was 
glad to accept an invitation from the agent of the Pacific 
Mail S. S. Company Mr. Bowman to live with him 
during my stay at Acapulco. He was a most agreeable 
fellow, and should this narrative ever meet his eye I 
beg that he will accept my best thanks for his politeness 
to me at that time. We lived delightfully, and I shall 
never forget the pleasing sensations which I experienced 
as we would breakfast and dine in the open air in a little 
embowered nook just outside of the house, enjoying all 
the freedom of tropical life in our loose summer attire. 
The harmless little green lizards would sport in and out 
amongst the green leaves of the bower over our heads, 
scarcely distinguishable from the leaves themselves. It 
was a dolce far niente sort of existence, but I was not 
permitted long to enjoy it. I received orders to proceed 
with the Saginaw to San Francisco. An economical 
order had just been issued from the Navy Department 
requiring all steamers, without regard to class or rig, to 
proceed when at sea under sail. It was a sort of iron 
clad order, and since it was impossible to get anywhere 

203 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

in the Saginaw under sail alone, owing to her peculiar 
rig and the small amount of canvas that she could 
spread, it placed the commanding officer in an embar 
rassing position. He must either drift about at the 
mercy of the wind and waves, or he must disobey a 
positive order. However, upon consultation with Cap 
tain Scott, of the Saranac, it was determined that I 
should proceed under steam. So we sailed in due course 
of time, and, to use the language of the sea, bucked up 
against the prevailing southwest winds for about ten 
days, at the end of that time anchoring off the City of 
San Francisco. 

I had anchored in the same spot twenty years before, 
when the village which then existed there was Yerba 
Buena, and California was a province of Mexico. Since 
then, as if by enchantment, a great city had sprung up 
on this very spot, which at that time was but little more 
than a barren sand-beach. It is difficult to conceive a 
transformation so complete in so brief a period. As 
the Saginaw was very much out of repair, I made up my 
mind that I would have to remain a long time at Mare 
Island, to which point I had taken her in order to have 
the necessary work accomplished. I found there Cap 
tain Davenport, of the Lancaster, whose ship was in the 
same category. He was messing on board the receiving- 
ship Independence, and invited me to join his mess, 
which I was very glad to do. Captain Parker, who 
commanded the Independence, was also one of the mess, 
so we had a very pleasant partie de trois. Existence at 
Mare Island in those days, like that at most Navy- 
Yards, was extremely dull. We managed to amuse 
ourselves, however, with the small circle of Navy peo 
ple, who were very hospitable and kind to us, and we 
passed most of our evenings at the house of one or the 

204 



LOUIS McLANE AT SAN FRANCISCO 

other of the Officers families. I would make occasional 
visits to San Francisco, and while there was always a 
guest of the Union Club. It was the time when Flood 
and O Brien and Barry and Patten and the " Poodle 
Dog" held sway on Montgomery Street. Many a 
thirsty soul was refreshed at these famous houses of 
entertainment, whose owners amassed wealth enough 
to make themselves felt in the world s business since 
those days. I think these establishments have gone out 
of existence, for I never hear of them now. My old 
friend and shipmate Louis McLane was living at San 
Francisco at this time as agent of Wells, Fargo & Co. 
He had resigned from the Navy some years before, and 
was one of the few of the Naval and military men who 
had abandoned their profession and gone into business 
life that was successful. As a rule, their training did 
not fit them for the active, pushing methods of those 
times, and they generally ended up wiser but sadder 
men. McLane is a man who would have been success 
ful in any walk of life. In the Navy he belonged to 
the highest type of men of that profession, and I felt 
sure when he left it that he would attain to eminence in 
any thing which he undertook. I hunted him up when 
I went to San Francisco, and found him living delight 
fully, with his interesting family, in one of San Francis 
co s most comfortable habitations. He was getting up 
an expedition to the Yalley of the Yosemite, and in 
vited a number of guests, including me amongst them. 
I was very glad to accept his kind invitation, and ob 
tained a leave of absence of two or three weeks, which 
was about the time it was thought would be occupied 
in accomplishing all he desired. 

In the party were about a dozen persons, including 
children, all apparently in good condition, full of spir- 

205 



MEMORIES OF A BEAR- ADMIRAL 

its, and in all respects well equipped for the journey. 
"We went by steamer as far as Stockton, and then 
changed our mode of travel to a large four-horse wagon, 
and a buggy with two horses. McLane managed the 
wagon and I drove the buggy, always having with me 
one of the party as a companion. As about thirty 
3 7 ears have elapsed since that time, and as I have no 
notes with which to refresh my memory, the exact 
route which we took after leaving Stockton rests in my 
mind in an exceedingly undefined state. I do remem 
ber, however, that we visited en route the Mariposa 
group of Big Trees, that I rode on horseback through 
the entire length of the trunk of one of them which 
had been felled and hollowed out, and that we saw the 
stump of another which had been smoothed down and 
was used as a dancing-platform. Its extent was thirty- 
three feet in diameter and one hundred feet in circum 
ference. It is said by those who are skilled in that kind 
of lore, and can determine the age of a tree by the num 
ber of its concentric rings, that these great trees first 
took root about the time Our Saviour was upon the 
earth. "We went to a place called Black s, and I think 
it was there that we left our teams and pursued the 
rest of our journey on horseback. This place takes its 
name from its owner, whose special peculiarity was 
that he had not worn a hat for twelve years. We 
passed the night at Black s, and then were in the sad 
dle, our only means of transportation, for several days, 
and, indeed, until we returned there on our homeward 
journey. 

The trip was a very wearisome one, and when we 
reached Prospect Point, the view from which takes in 
the valley, we were tired enough. This magnificent 
scene from the tops of the Sierra Nevada has been so 

206 



A WEEK IN THE YOSEMITE 

often described by travellers that I will not attempt to 
add anything, and therefore content myself by saying 
that I do not believe it is surpassed by anything on the 
face of the earth. Our descent from that point to the 
valley, about four thousand feet below, was slow and 
tedious. Our horses were sure-footed, and conveyed us 
in safety around many a sharp and craggy turn, when 
a slip would have launched us into the abyss hundreds 
of feet beneath. We finally reached in safety the River 
Merced, at the foot of the valley, on the banks of which 
stood the hotel that was to be our home for the next 
seven or eight days. It was kept by a man named 
Hutchison. A most primitive place it was, but trav 
ellers were glad to find a habitation in which to lay 
their heads, where they could be sheltered by four 
walls and a roof. The rooms were partitioned off by 
canvas, boards being unattainable there. No doubt all 
is now changed. One week in the valley at that time 
was an unusually long stay. While we were there 
people would arrive, flit before our eyes for a day, and 
disappear. Not so with us. We went for a week, and 
a week remained. Our protracted sojourn gave us an 
opportunity of enjoying this charming spot at our 
leisure. We visited and revisited the falls and other 
places of interest at leisure, never feeling hurried. 
There were no washerwomen here at that time. The 
men of our party would recline on the banks of the 
Merced, while the ladies would wade into the river and 
wash their clothes in its cold and limpid waters. The 
Merced River is the outcome of the melted snow of the 
Sierra Nevada, and as it flows through the Yosemite 
Yalley it is still almost ice-water, so short a distance 
has it traversed since it was changed from snow to 
water. McLane and I used frequently to bathe in it, 

207 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

much to the horror of the inhabitants of that country, 
who looked upon such an act as certain death ; but we 
were both young and vigorous, and I have never been 
able to discover that it did either of us any harm. My 
pleasure during this interesting visit to the Yosemite 
was very much enhanced by the presence in the party 
of Miss Mary McLane, a most charming member of her 
distinguished family. She was very sympathetic, and I 
look back with the greatest pleasure to the many happy 
hours I passed in her society. She married afterwards, 
and I never have had the pleasure of meeting her since. 

Soon after my return to the Navy -Yard at Mare 
Island the Saginaw was detailed by the Government to 
assist the Company that was about to lay a cable across 
Behring Strait in continuation of a line of telegraph 
across the American continent, then across Siberia, thus 
completing telegraphic communication between America 
and Europe. I sailed from San Francisco in the summer 
of 1866, accompanied by some of the officers of the Com 
pany. In due course of time the Saginaw anchored in 
Esquimault Harbor, which was as far north as she ever 
reached. It was during this summer that the Atlantic 
Cable, after a long silence, began to talk again. It was 
upon the supposition that it had ceased for ever so to do 
that the Company with which /was serving had been 
formed, but now it was discovered that this long and 
expensive route would not be required, for the old line 
worked continuously and satisfactorily. The whole proj 
ect was therefore abandoned. 

I remained in Esquimault for several months, waiting 
for instructions from somebody, but none came for a 
long time, and I do not remember exactly how I did get 
away from there ; but I did, finally, sail for San Fran 
cisco, either in November or December. The harbor of 

208 



THE DENMANS AT ESQUIMAULT 

Esquimault is one of the most beautiful in the world. 
The heaviest ships lie there at anchor as if they were 
lying in a mill-pond, so smooth is the water at all times. 
The swell of the ocean is never felt there, and it is truly 
a haven of rest. The whole of this section was called 
at that time British Columbia. There was another Brit 
ish Colony on the Fraser Eiver, called New Westminster, 
which had a Colonial Government separate from that 
of British Columbia, of which Victoria was the Capital. 
Victoria is situated on the shores of a small Bay not 
far from Esquimault, but its harbor is suitable only for 
small vessels. This little City had rapidly reached the 
size and importance that I found it possessed when I was 
there. It was the point of departure from the coast for 
the Caribou mines, and its progress was stimulated by 
their output, but when they decayed Victoria became a 
dead town, and remained so up to the time I left, in the 
winter of 1866. 

During most of the time that the Saginaw lay at 
Esquimault, Admiral Denman, with his Flag -ship, the 
Suite), was there. This was a great pleasure to me, for 
I became very intimate with the Admiral and Mrs. 
Denman, and dined with them frequently. Their house 
was but a stone s-throw from the ship, which was anch 
ored close up to their front door. The Saginaw was 
not much farther off, so it was an easy matter for me to 
get back and forth at night. At most, if not at all, the 
British stations a house is provided for the Admiral by 
the Government, which is always very generous towards 
its high officials, both civil and military. I became 
aware at this time of a custom of the British Navy 
which I had never known before. It is this : When a 
small vessel is in company with the Flag-ship, the Ward 
room mess of the latter make the Commanding Officer 
o 209 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

of the former an honorary member of the mess. This 
is a great convenience to the Captain of the small vessel, 
for he can, while in port, discontinue his solitary and 
expensive mess, and take his meals in the Ward-room 
of the Flag-ship with more comfort and with greater 
economy. The mess of the Sutlej did me the honor to 
extend this courtesy to me, but I never availed myself 
of the privilege. As a matter of course, the Captain of 
the small vessel pays his mess-bill in the Ward-room of 
the other. Apropos of this, the Duke of Edinburgh, 
who is an Admiral in the British Navy, told me that he 
was once an honorary member of a Ward-room mess, 
and was telling a fellow - Captain of its advantages. 
Some time after, this Captain was going out in some 
ship to take command of a vessel on a foreign station. 
He of course lived with the Captain of the ship in which 
he was taking passage, but desired to be an honorary 
member of the Ward-room mess. When he made his 
application, the reply was that they would see him 

d d first. The Duke thought this was rather a 

good joke. I thought so myself. I will mention that 
at the time the Duke told me this story he was an hon 
orary member of the Ward-room mess of his own Flag 
ship, and always took his luncheon there when he felt 
disposed so to do. 

The Commanding Officer of the Suilej, Denman s 
Flag-ship, was Captain Coode, and the Commander was 
Sullivan, who was the Executive Officer. The former I 
have never heard of since. The latter became a Flag- 
officer in the Koyal Navy. There was a small vessel, 
a sort of tender to the Flag-ship, lying at Esquimault at 
this time, the Sparrowhaivfc ; her Captain was Com 
mander Porcher. Porch er and I became very intimate. 
We dined together nearly every day; he would dine 

210 



TRIP UP THE FRASER RIVER 

with me one day, and I with him the next, which I think 
we mutually found to be a very agreeable arrangement. 
Esquimault was an exceedingly dull place, and the long 
period of time during which I was detained there ren 
dered life very monotonous. My intimacy with Porcher 
tended in a large degree to alleviate the situation. We 
scoured the country in walks which we took daily, re 
gardless of the weather. We would wrap ourselves up 
in our water-proofs, for it was now the rainy season, and 
paddle through the woods and fields, spinning off some 
times eight or ten miles a day. We would return to 
our ships as dry as a bone, and sit down to our tete-a- 
tete dinner with excellent appetites. The Admiral sent 
Porcher to San Francisco from time to time for the 
mails, which would occupy about ten days ; I missed 
him on such occasions very much, but managed to get 
through the time as best I could. 

I left the Saginaw at Esquimault, and went with 
some friends into Washington Territory, visiting Port 
Townsend, Seattle, and Steilecombe. They were then 
insignificant and unimportant places, but now Seattle 
has become a large City, and the United States has a 
Navy- Yard and a large dry -dock at Port Townsend. 
It was thought at the time that the present State 
of Washington would never amount to much as an 
agricultural country, on account of the shallowness of 
the soil, but its water facilities were then, as they are 
now, grand, and its shores are washed by a beautiful 
inland sea, not surpassed, I am confident, by anything 
of a like character in the world. 

Through the kindness of Captain Fleming, an Ameri 
can who owned and commanded a steamer on the Fra- 
ser River, I was enabled to make a trip up that beauti 
ful stream. The scenery was grand all the way up to 

211 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

New Westminster, the Capital of the British Colony of 
that name. Mount Baker, the most beautiful cone prob 
ably in all the world, was almost constantly in sight, 
and one never tired of gazing on its snow-clad peak 
thousands of feet above. At New "Westminster I met 
the members of the Colonial Government, all gentle 
manlike men, whose names in this long interval of time 
I have forgotten. The Fraser, at some points in its 
course, is a raging torrent ; it seemed to me almost im 
possible that any steamer could make headway against 
it. The one in which I was embarked was a high- 

o 

pressure stern -wheel boat. Her boilers were exposed 
to view, and when it was necessary to climb up one of 
these torrents they would become red-hot, so great was 
the necessity to " fire up " in order to get steam enough 
to keep the boat going. At times I do not believe she 
moved over the bottom more than a knot an hour. 
Although the situation seemed rather appalling to one 
not accustomed to it, I believe she seldom failed to 
make a successful trip. From New Westminster there 
is a beautiful macadamized road through the mountains 
towards the Caribou mines, a splendid piece of engineer 
ing. In some places it was necessary to cut into an 
almost vertical mountain-side, so that in passing over 
the road one finds himself with a roof of rock over his 
head and a yawning precipice hundreds of feet below. 
I took a drive one day while there, and frequently, when 
we came to one of these ticklish places, there would be 
a lot of Indians with packs on their heads strung along 
the road. The rascals would always stand in a row on 
the inside track, and the wonder is that the horses did 
not take fright, but I suppose they had from long usage 
become accustomed to it. The Indians never by any 
chance took the precipice side of the road, determined, 

212 



SIR JAMES DOUGLAS 

I presume, that if anybody was to be dashed into the 
abyss below it must be we, not they. 

The Governor of British Columbia at this time was 
a very gentlemanlike Englishman of the name of Ken 
nedy ; he afterwards became Sir Arthur Kennedy, and 
occupied a like position in some distant Colony, I think 
Australia. He had an interesting family, consisting of 
several daughters, one of whom married Lord Guilford, 
who commanded one of Her Majesty s Ships in those 
seas. There was a good deal of style kept up in this 
mimic court, and dinners and receptions and garden- 
parties were of frequent occurrence. The society was a 
good deal like that of a garrison at an Army post ; it 
was small, and each member of it, naturally enough in 
such a community, was taken up with the affairs of his 
neighbor, which of course led to gossip and to conver 
sation of a kind very uninteresting to an outsider not 
especially concerned about Colonial social affairs. 

Sir James Douglas was at this time at the head of 
the Hudson s Bay Company in this part of the North 
west. He was a very interesting character I think he 
had worked his way up from a subordinate place until 
he reached the highest position that could be attained 
in this portion of the Company s domain. Sir James 
had married an Indian woman, which was not at all an 
uncommon occurrence with the employes of the Com 
pany; indeed, it was encouraged, in order that they 
might become attached to the soil and entirely weaned 
from the ties of home and country. Sir James had 
several very handsome daughters, with scarcely a trait 
of the Indian about them to distinguish them from women 
of pure white blood. I was told, however, that in the next 
generation the grandchildren partook in a very decided 
manner of the characteristics of their mother s mother. 

213 



CHAPTER XVIII 

California Again Promoted Commander Duck- shooting In Com 
mand of the Mohican To Siberia After an Eclipse Difficult 
Navigation A Bidarca In Plover Bay The Eclipse The 
Tchuktches of Siberia. 

I SAILED from Esquimault for San Francisco in No 
vember or December, 1866. The passage was rough 
and boisterous, for in that season of the year the stretch 
of the Pacific between those two ports is subject to 
violent gales, and the little Saginaw was a good deal be 
labored before she reached her destination. I remem 
ber one night when it was blowing a heavy southeast 
gale, one of the non-combatants came to me as I was 
wearing ship to get her head off shore, and inquired, 
" What s up ?" I replied that nothing was up, but I 
suspect I was as glad as he was when the gale abated, 
for I never considered the little Saginaw a safe craft in 
a very heavy gale, although somehow she managed to 
keep on top of the seas that were sufficiently high, had 
we been caught in their trough, to have engulfed us. I 
was glad enough to anchor in San Francisco. I pro 
ceeded to Mare Island the- folio wing day, and soon after, 
having been promoted to the rank of Commander, I was 
detached, and turned over the command to my successor, 
Lieutenant-Commander Mitchell. I soon after relieved 
my friend, the late Kear- Admiral Baldwin, as Inspector 
of Ordnance at the Navy -Yard. During the time 
I was stationed at this Yard we had three different 

214 



SPORT IN CALIFORNIA 

commanding officers Commodore John K. Goldsbor- 
ough, Commodore Alden, and Hear- Admiral Craven. 
Goldsborough was my former Commanding Officer off 
Mobile. I had a high regard for him then, and our 
pleasant relations continued while we were together at 
Mare Island. Alden was a pleasant fellow, but, some 
how, he never seemed to me to be serious about any 
thing. It always appeared to me that he regarded life 
and all there was in it as an immense joke. To Admiral 
Craven I became very much attached. He was very 
fond of cards, and if he could not get any one to play 
with him he would play solitaire for hours at a time. 
He had a charming family ; his daughters then, with the 
exception of Emily, who was very lovely, were little 
girls. Mrs. Craven was one of the sweetest women I 
have ever known. 

California, although not comparing with what it had 
been, was still a great country for sportsmen ; the wa 
ters were teeming with wild fowl of every description. 
There was a small schooner, the Joe Smith, belonging 
to the Yard which we would stock with fresh grub and 
beer and go off in for a week s shooting. The Admiral 
generally made one of our party, and no one enjoyed it 
more than he. We would go up the Napa Eiver, and 
with our small boats scour the tules (swamps), and also 
to Suisun Bay, above Benicia ; at the end of these little 
cruises returning laden with canvas - backs, sprigtails, 
widgeon, and teal. The canvas -backs we shot from 
blinds made with the high spear-grass of the tules ; the 
teal, from behind points as they would fly swiftly by, 
which was beautiful sport. In the ponds we would find 
mallard, in the marshes yellow-legged snipe, and on the 
shores of San Pablo Bay quantities of plover. Indeed, 
so abundant was game at this time in the vicinity of 

215 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Mare Island that the ducks would venture close up to 
the houses. I remember that one of my sporting com 
panions and I put out our decoys one evening at a point 
about five minutes walk from my house. We made an 
early start in the morning, and returned to a nine-o clock 
breakfast, having bagged forty -two canvas -backs and 
other ducks. There was a novel method of duck-shoot 
ing in California at that time, which I have never seen 
in any other country. In the spring of the year, when 
the tender young wheat is appearing above the ground, 
just about dusk the ducks swoop down in flocks of thou 
sands and feed upon it. The sportsman crouches down 
in the field, making a blind for himself if he can ; as they 
rush by, flying low, he has a beautiful time. 

Between my duties and my sporting, time went on 
until, in the latter part of 1868, or early in 1869, I was 
ordered to the command of the Mohican, a Steam Cor 
vette of full sail and auxiliary steam power, but not, 
however, very good at either. I had hardly completed 
my preparations for sea when I received an order to 
convey to Plover Bay, on the coast of Siberia, some 
scientific gentlemen sent there by the Government for 
the purpose of observing the total eclipse of the sun. 
These gentlemen were Professor Hall, the discoverer of 
the satellites of Mars, and Mr. Rodgers, a gentleman of 
high scientific attainments, who was an employe of the 
Naval Observatory at Washington. I found them both 
charming gentlemen, well fitted, I thought, for the re 
sponsible work for which they had been selected. I do 
not think I ever knew Mr. Hall to frown. His face was 
like a sunbeam, and as he walked the deck I often ob 
served a smile pass over his face, his mind probably 
holding intercourse with the heavenly bodies, with which 
he was on such intimate terms. 

216 



DIFFICULT NAVIGATION 

I sailed from San Francisco in the summer of 1869, 
giving myself ample time to reach Plover Bay by the 
7th of August, the day upon which the eclipse was 
to take place. Leaving San Francisco, I made the best 
of my way towards Nanimo, a port of Vancouver Isl 
and, where I filled the bunkers with coal, and toc a 
deck-load besides, and, much as I desired to economize 
fuel, so important to us on this voyage, I must confess 
I was not sorry when the deck-load was consumed. I 
had intended to touch at Sitka to replenish my fuel, but 
when I emerged from the water which makes the pas 
sage between Vancouver Island and the mainland, there 
seemed to be a good chance, so I stretched across for 
Oonalaska, where I expected to find coal, and was not 
disappointed. 

In all my cruising I have never encountered such 
difficult navigation as that which confronts the seaman 
in making his way from the Pacific Ocean into Beh- 
ring Sea. There are several passes between the Isl 
ands, and, like the Arkansas Traveller, if the naviga 
tor takes one, he will wish he had taken the other. I 
made the land in the vicinity of Akoutan Pass, and 
promptly decided to try it there. Everything for the 
moment seemed to be propitious, the weather was clear 
and all other conditions seemed favorable. I thought 
then I had a fair start through, but suddenly, as fre 
quently happens in those latitudes, the fog shut down, 
and I was obliged to reduce from full speed to very slow 
going. There seemed to be no prospect of the fog lift 
ing during the night, which was now upon us, and, sur 
rounded as we were by islands, with a strong current 
which might at any moment drift us upon unseen dan 
gers, I reluctantly determined to anchor. We were now 
well in the Pass, and, although in one hundred fathoms 

217 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

water there was no help for it, I was obliged to let 
go an anchor, and for the moment felt secure. There 
was nothing now to do but quietly await the lifting of 
the fog. The nights were very short in the summer in 
this high latitude, and I hoped at early daylight to be 
able to proceed towards ray destination. It lighted up 
a little during the night, sufficiently so to enable a small 
Kussian boat (a bidarca) to come alongside. This bi- 
darca contains two hatches, one for each sitter, a water 
proof is secured to the hatch, so that the sitter in get 
ting into his seat passes through this water-proof and 
draws it about his neck as if he were getting into a bag, 
so that no water can get into the boat unless it passes 
down his neck, and if he draws the strings tight enough 
no water can get in at all. When the occupants are in 
their seats, properly adjusted, the canoe (for such it 
really is) is like a bottle tightly corked. In these frail 
craft the Aleuts and those who trade in these seas trav 
erse hundreds of miles in communicating with each 
other amongst the Aleutian Islands. 

The one in question was occupied by a Greek Priest, 
who was visiting his parishioners in the many islands, 
and by an American Captain whose name, I think, was 
Kedfield, who commanded an American Brig from San 
Francisco called the Amelia. His vessel was a sort 
of whaler and trader in whatever he found profitable. 
They were very much astonished to find the Mohican 
anchored in the middle of the Pass. The Captain in 
formed me that I was lying in a very dangerous place, 
and advised me to get out of it as soon as I could. 
This suggestion was not at all necessary, for I had de 
termined to do so as soon as it was possible. The Priest 
who accompanied the Captain, I must confess, elicited 
my warmest admiration. He had left his wife and chil- 

218 



AT OONALASKA 

dren at Oonalaska, and ventured forth in this frail bark 
to visit his parishioners at the various islands amongst 
the group. It was an exhibition of zeal and devotion to 
his Church and flock which I thought commendable in 
a very high degree. As soon as my visitors left and 
the fog had somewhat lifted, I made an effort to heave 
up the anchor. It was for the time, however, fruitless, 
for the tide was running so swiftly from Behring Sea 
into the Pacific Ocean that I found it quite impossible 
to do anything. As soon as the tide began to slack I 
made another effort, which was successful. The weath 
er had now cleared up, and I lost no time, with all the 
speed of which the Mohican was capable, in making the 
best of my way to Oonalaska, where I came to anchor in 
its snug harbor, happy to feel that I was through this 
Pass, which had caused me so much trouble and anxiety. 
1 filled up with coal, and gave our people a little resting- 
spell before proceeding farther north. 

I was reminded here of Campbell s poem, a copy of 
which I do not remember to have had with me, but I 
happened to recall one line : " The wolfs long howl 
from Oonalaska s shore," and it conveys to my mind the 
idea of the desolation which one feels in so high a de 
gree in these far-off regions of the North. Oonalaska 
was a small settlement at that time, a sort of head 
quarters for the Russian Fur Company. Its only occu 
pants were those connected with that Company, the 
Greek Priest and his family, and the Aleuts. Every 
thing about was Russian. There was a Russian bath, 
though a very primitive one. Then there was tea made 
in the samovar, and served in glasses instead of cups, 
seasoned with lemon instead of sugar. I remember 
there was a beautiful clear trout-stream running through 
the village. We tried to catch some of the trout with 

219 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

our civilized appliances, but were not successful, while 
the natives would make a hook out of a bent pin and 
take them without any trouble. Having filled up with 
coal and rested our people, we got under way for Plo 
ver Bay. We passed the Pribyloff Islands, about which 
we hear so much in these days, for they are the islands 
which the great herds of seals occupy concerning which 
there is so much controversy at the present time be 
tween this country and Great Britain, as well as all 
other nations interested in the question. In three or 
four days we sighted the high land near Plover Bay, 
and soon came to anchor in that beautiful harbor. Plo 
ver Bay is so called from the fact that a British explor- 
ing-vessel called the Plover was once frozen in here, and 
remained during the whole of a long Arctic winter. 

We made ourselves snug, and I immediately sent the 
astronomers on shore, accompanied by the carpenter 
and his gang. An observatory was soon constructed, 
and there was nothing now to do but await patiently 
the 7th of August, which was the date of the total 
eclipse. Meanwhile the Navigator was employed in 
making a survey of the Bay, and the officers and crew 
whiled away their time with shooting-parties, and par 
ties of exploration, and such amusements as offered 
themselves. The whole surrounding country presented 
a scene of utter desolation. Here and there a blade of 
grass or a small wild-flower might be seen, but the soil, 
if it might be so called, was so thin that cultivation was 
entirely out of the question. The whole country is a 
desert, and the possibility of being caught here by some 
accident to the machinery would sometimes dawn upon 
me and make me for the moment feel very uncomfort 
able. Such an accident would probably have involved 
our being frozen up for the winter, and having to live 

220 



AN ECLIPSE AT OONALASKA 

for months in dismal darkness. For such a contingency 
we were entirely unprepared. In Oonalaska, strange to 
say, two of our crew deserted. Every one knows that 
Jack is a very peculiar character, but one would hardly 
suspect him of taking the chances of bettering his con 
dition by deserting in these desolate regions ; but one 
accustomed, after long association with him, to his pecu 
liarities, is never surprised at anything he does. These 
two deserters made their way to an island not far dis 
tant from Oonalaska. "When I satisfied myself that they 
had gone there, I saw that there was no escape for 
them. I directed the Marine officer to take the whole 
guard and deploy as skirmishers, so that they would 
stretch from one end of the island to the other. In this 
way they advanced across the island, and found the men 
on the opposite shore, quietly washing their clothes. 
They were brought on board, of course, and thus this 
effort to better their condition was suddenly brought to 
a close. 

At length the day to which we had been looking 
forward with so much interest arrived. The sun rose 
bright and clear, and there was not a cloud to be seen. 
The hopes of the astronomers and of all of us ran high. 
We thought there could now be no doubt but that our 
labors would be crowned with entire success. About 
half an hour before the time for the observations upon 
the eclipse the heavens became speckled over with a 
sort of mackerel sky, which, although not sufficient to 
obscure the sun from the ordinary observer, interfered 
materially with the fineness and exactness which the 
astronomers had hoped for. To us amateurs it was a 
magnificent spectacle, for we could distinctly see the 
corona, or flames of the sun, darting away from the 
edge of his disk millions of miles into space. My rec- 

221 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

ollection is that the eclipse occurred about eleven o clock 
in the morning, and that the day became so dark that 
the sea-gulls that were feeding in the water around the 
stern of the ship put their heads under their wings, 
thinking night was upon them, and went fast asleep. 
The natives were awe -stricken by what was taking 
place, and manifested by the expressions of their faces 
that something supernatural was going on. At all 
events, it was something far beyond their simple com 
prehension. 

The object of this expedition was now accomplished, 
but, before bidding adieu to Plover Bay, I think it would 
be well to say a few words about the inhabitants of 
this remote country. They are a race of Esquimaux, 
or perhaps it would be more correct to say Indians. 
The name given to the people who occupy this part of 
Siberia is Tchuktches. While the Esquimaux are a di 
minutive race, these Indians are large and muscular, and 
some of them very handsome. I do not think this can 
be said of the women, however, for there is nothing 
especially striking about them in any way. They re 
semble almost any Indian squaw that we are accus 
tomed to seeing in this country. These people are 
obliged by their climate to dress almost entirely in 
skins and furs, and I think in most cases, when once 
put on, they remain there until they are worn out. 
Prompted by curiosity, I asked one of the women to 
remove her leggings and moccasins to show me her 
foot, which she did without hesitation. Her leg seemed 
to be very slim, and her foot showed evidences of hav 
ing been in the moccasin for a very long time. These 
Tchuktches are a very amiable and friendly race, and, 
although there are instances on record where they have 
committed outrages upon vessels stranded on that coast, 

222 



RETURN TO SAN FRANCISCO 

I do not think at the time about which I am writing 
there had been any recent occurrences of such acts. As 
we entered Plover Bay a large boat filled with these 
people came out to meet us. They came alongside, and 
I permitted them to come on board. They swarmed all 
over the ship, and seemed delighted with everything 
they saw. To any one who cruised in those seas at 
that time the name of one of the aborigines should be 
familiar the name of Nok-um. He had been em 
ployed by American or English traders on that coast 
from time to time as a pilot, and had learned a good 
deal of English, for he was an intelligent fellow and a 
man of a great deal of observation. Nok-um came on 
board to see me the day of my arrival accompanied by 
his wife. She had an ugly lump on her forehead, which 
her husband had given her the night before when he 
was drunk. They seemed, however, to have made up, 
for they were on the best of terms while on board. 
E"ok-um, as I have said, was a bright fellow, and very 
appreciative. I showed him a Colt s revolving fowling- 
piece, when he threw up his hands, and, using a strong 
expression to give emphasis to what he said, exclaimed, 
" Melican man knows everything !" 

I lost no time in leaving Plover Bay behind me. The 
astronomers with their appliances were brought on 
board with the least possible delay, and the night of 
the day upon which the eclipse took place we were 
well on our way towards the Aleutian Islands. Two 
or three days brought us up to the Passes. I am not 
sure whether we left Behring Sea by the same Pass 
through which we entered it, but I remember that it 
was a lovely day, that the scenery was grand, that an 
active volcano was belching forth volumes of smoke, 
that the Mohican was doing her best with all the steam 

223 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

and sail that she could carry, and that we were all happy 
at the prospect of getting back again to civilization. It 
was blowing very fresh, and I had double-reefed the 
top-sails, thinking it possible I might have to carry sail 
hard to fetch through the Pass. This is exactly what 
did occur. The wind freshened to half a gale, heading 
us oif, so that we were running almost parallel with the 
land and were making some leeway. I was running at 
full speed, with the engine doing its best. I dared not 
reduce sail, for fear of making more leeway, so I got 
up the preventer-braces, determined to hang on to the 
double-reefed top-sails as long as possible. The situation 
was rather trying, for in case the gale increased so that 
I could carry no sail, I doubted my ability to find my 
way back through the Pass into Behring Sea. Fort 
unately we were enabled to hold on to our canvas until 
we had made a good offing, and by midnight the condi 
tion of things was very much improved, so that I felt 
there was need no longer for apprehension that we 
might have to pass the winter in these hyperborean 
regions. By daylight we were clear of everything, and 
fairly in the Pacific Ocean. I now made the best of my 
way to Esquimault, in British Columbia, and, after fill 
ing up with coal, sailed for San Francisco. Upon reach 
ing that port I sped the astronomers on their way to the 
East and reported to Admiral Turner, Commander-in- 
Chief of the Pacific Squadron, for duty under his com 
mand. 



CHAPTER XIX 

In Honolulu A Gay Season Queen Liliuokalani The Mohican 
Ball Eastern Duty Promoted Captain In Command of the 
Wabash Key West Rendezvous Captain of the Franklin On 
the European Station A Mistaken Salute Gathering at Cartha- 
gena Train-Robbers In the Grecian Archipelago. 

I WAS not long kept idle, for the Admiral s Flag-ship 
was undergoing repairs, and I was directed to prepare 
the Mohican to take her place temporarily for a cruise 
to the Sandwich Islands. The Admiral and his Chief 
of Staff, Commander Philip Johnson, came on board, the 
Admiral s flag was hoisted at the mizzen of the Mohican, 
and we sailed for Honolulu. We ran south, took the 
northeast trade-winds, and in due course of time were 
secured in the snug harbor of Honolulu, where we re 
mained for about six weeks. 

The presence of a man-of-war in Honolulu always 
gives rise to an unusual amount of gayety. Dinners 
and balls and entertainments of all sorts were immedi 
ately devised. The Admiral and his staff and I were 
presented to the King, and were soon after invited by 
him to dine at the Palace. I think the Kamehameha at 
that time (1869) was the fifth of that name, commonly 
called Lot. He was a kindly, genial man, and if any 
one could have heard him converse without seeing him 
he would have been taken for an educated American 
or English gentleman. His manners were exceedingly 
good, and one could not be associated with him without 
p 225 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

liking him. We all went to the dinner, which was good, 
and everything was served in excellent taste. After 
the feast His Majesty, Johnson, and some of the other 
guests, sat down to a game of poker, a game in which 
the King took great delight. On this occasion there 
was no limit to the betting, and it turned out to be a 
higher game than I was accustomed to play ; but I was 
in for it, seated by the side of Majesty. It was a case 
of noblesse oblige, and I could not back out. It so hap 
pened that I was in great luck. I drew to three eights, 
and picked up another; His Majesty held at the same 
time a full of aces, so it took fours to beat him. The 
betting was of course very lively, and continued to be 
so until the pile on the table amounted to about one 
hundred and fifty dollars. Then there was a call by 
one or the other I do not now remember which. The 
cards were then shown, and I bagged the pile. When I 
returned to San Francisco my friends informed me that 
it was reported that I had won ten thousand dollars 
from the King of the Hawaiian Islands. We had sev 
eral entertainments of this kind during our stay, at 
which His Majesty was always present. 

Our Minister, Mr. Pearce, was at that time living at 
the house of Mrs. Dominis, the mother of John Dominis, 
who was then the Governor of Oahu. John Dominis 
married Lydia, who was a high Chiefess at that time, 
afterwards becoming Queen, and now the dethroned 
Liliuokalani. She also lived with Mrs. Dominis, and, as 
I was very intimate with the Minister, and saw him 
nearly every day, I was necessarily thrown a good deal 
with Lydia. I remember one day, when John Dominis 
and I had been up late at a party the night before, he 
asked me to go up to their room, which I did, when we 
both threw off our coats and lay down on the bed in our 

226 



MRS. BISHOP AT HONOLULU 

shirt-sleeves. While we were lounging there Lydia was 
moving about the room, pursuing her usual employ 
ments. The breath of scandal had never reached her, 
and, so far as I knew, her reputation and character \vere 
beyond reproach. The Dowager Queen Emma was at 
Honolulu at that time, living quietly at her country- 
place near the city. She was a pretty woman, and 
maintained the dignity of her position extremely well. 
She always appeared accompanied by an attendant. 

One of the native women whom I remember with 
great pleasure was Mrs. Bishop, the wife of an American 
who was a banker in Honolulu. She was very hand 
some, was a highly educated and accomplished woman, 
and would have done credit to any society in the world. 
I have dined at her house, and have rarely been more 
beautifully entertained. If these lines should meet the 
eye of any one who was in Honolulu about that time, I 
am sure he will corroborate all I have said about her. 
Mrs. Bishop was well known, not only in her own City, 
but in San Francisco, and had the faculty of making 
friends wherever she went. A charming family of 
Americans resided in Honolulu at that time Mr. and 
Mrs. Williams and their little daughter ; they lived de 
lightfully in ISTuana Valley. I shall never forget an ex 
tremely pleasant dinner at their house, nor shall I ever 
forget those that I have taken with them in Washing 
ton, where they now reside. They are still much as 
they were in those days, and their little daughter has 
grown up to be a charming and highly cultivated young 
woman. I see a great deal of them now, and we often 
talk about those by-gone days at Honolulu. One of the 
characters there at that time was a Mr. Wodehouse, the 
British Minister. I have heard of him recently in con 
nection with the late troubles there, but exactly in what 

227 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

way I do not now remember. He was so thoroughly 
English, as indeed he ought to have been, that our Min 
ister, Mr. McCook, spoke of him as a man who always 
carried a copy of England in his pocket. It was this re 
mark, I think, that caused me to remember him as well 
as I do. 

The time for our departure was now rapidly approach 
ing. We had received a great deal of attention, and de 
termined to show our appreciation of it by giving as 
grand a ball as the resources of the Mohican would al 
low. The ship was accordingly turned over to the 
managers, and she was soon so transformed that she 
could hardly be recognized as a man-of-war. His Maj 
esty and the royal people, together with the whole of 
the society of Honolulu, came to the ball. It was a 
great occasion, and none failed to avail himself of such 
an opportunity. It is contrary to the Naval regulations 
to have poker on board ship ; but knowing the King s 
fondness for it, I took the responsibility of disregarding 
them for the time and made a card-room of my cabin, 
in order that he might indulge in his favorite game. 
The ball was a great success, and I think every one 
went home pleased, except, perhaps, His Majesty him 
self. The contretemps which gave rise to this supposi 
tion I will now proceed to relate. 

The late Queen, whom, as I have before stated, I 
knew very well, and whom I shall call Lydia in future, 
for that is the familiar name by which she was known 
in those days, sent a message to me one day that she 
desired to see me. I called at her bidding and found 
her entirely alone. She did not proceed at once to the 
business about which she had sent for me, but asked 
me to sit down and play a game of cribbage with her, 
which I did. A visitor came in, which interrupted our 

228 



PROMOTED TO CAPTAINCY 

game, but as I felt sure it was not for the purpose of 
playing a game of cribbage that she had sent for me, I 
remained until the visitor departed. She then began her 
story. She told me how much they were all devoted to 
the King, how he departed from his usual custom to 
attend our ball, and that he did so to do away with an 
impression that he was not favorably disposed towards 
Americans. She then went on to say that it had been 
told to them, meaning those near the throne, that when 
it was reported to the Admiral that the King was about 
to leave the ship, instead of going to the gangway to 
see His Majesty into the boat, as is usual in such cases, 
he made the remark, " Let the King go to the devil !" 
I expressed myself very much surprised, and at once as 
sured Lydia that it was quite impossible that the Ad 
miral could have been guilty of such a want of respect 
for His Majesty, and that I was confident that he had 
not made the remark ascribed to him, and was sure 
nothing could have been further from his thoughts. As 
a matter of fact, I had heard nothing of the occurrence 
as reported. Lydia expressed herself entirely satisfied, 
and the entente cordiale was restored. 

I think it was in November, 1869, that we sailed from 
Honolulu for the Coast of the Pacific, and reached there 
about the end of the year. Soon after this I was de 
tached from the Mohican, and later was on duty at 
Mare Island Navy- Yard, where I remained for some 
time and then went East. I was on duty for a while 
at the Washington Navy- Yard, and also at New Lon 
don, and then remained for a time on leave. 

I was promoted in 1873 to Captain, being then forty- 
eight years of age. Promotion was made at an earlier 
age then than it is now, for it would be a rare thing at 
this time to find a Captain under fifty. Soon after my 

229 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

promotion I was ordered to command the Wabash, as 
Chief of Staff to Admiral Case, who was going out to 
relieve Alden, as Commander-in-Chief of the European 
Station. We sailed from New York together in the 
old Cunarder Russia the last of the side- wheel steam 
ers of that line in the spring or early summer of 1873. 
We passed a few days in London and Paris, and in 
due time reached Villefranche, where we found Alden 
with the Flag-ship Wdbash, Captain Temple, and the 
Brooklyn, Captain Bryson. Alden shifted his flag to 
the latter ship and sailed for home ; Case hoisted his on 
board the Wabash, and assumed command of the Squad 
ron, while I relieved Temple in command of the ship. 

We did not remain long at Yillefranche, but started 
soon for a cruise to the eastward, touching at a number 
of the Greek islands and getting as far east as Trieste. 
We remained for several days at the PiraBus, whence we 
went to Athens, and were all presented to King George 
and Queen Olga. We made but a brief stay in the East, 
and upon returning to headquarters at Villefranche we 
found orders for the Squadron to proceed immediately 
to Key West. 

There was a war-cloud hanging over the country, 
caused by the Virginius affair. It looked very much 
as if we were to have war with Spain, and the Squadron 
from the coast of Brazil and a large force from the 
North were ordered, like ourselves, to rendezvous at 
Key West. It was one of the most powerful demon 
strations that this country had ever made, certainly the 
largest since the Civil War. Rear- Admiral Case com 
manded the whole force. Scott, who commanded the 
West India Station, and felt sensitive about another 
Flag Officer s commanding on the Station which had 
been his, was permitted by Case to take his Flag-ship to 

"230 



LEAVE THE WABASH FOR THE FRANKLIN 

another part of the Station. While negotiations were 
going on in reference to the affair in question, the fleet 
was not idle. We had daily exercises at fleet ma 
noeuvres, torpedo-practice, target-firing, and such other 
work as would fit the fleet for action in case diplo 
macy failed. I doubt if there was any Naval force of 
its size in the world that would have given a better ac 
count of itself than this fleet. It so turned out that 
everything was amicably arranged. These events took 
place late in 18Y3 and early in 1874. After the peace 
ful solution of the problem which had for some time 
been agitating the Cabinets of the United States and 
Spain, this Naval force was dispersed. The Wabash, 
which was my command, had about completed her 
European cruise, and it was ordered that the Franklin, 
which had just come out from home with a fresh crew, 
should take her place as Admiral Case s Flag-ship. The 
question then arose who was to be her Captain. Simp 
son certainly had a better claim than I, but, on the other 
hand, Case, to whom I was Chief of Staff, was so anx 
ious that I should return with him to Europe that he 
told me that if I was not permitted to do so he would 
throw up the command. It was certainly very compli 
mentary to me, and I have always appreciated this par 
tiality on the part of the Admiral. Fortunately, Simp 
son wished to return to the North, and was entirely 
willing to exchange commands with me. This arrange 
ment was approved by the Department, and so I went 
to the Franklin as Captain of the new Flag-ship. Thus 
ended an embarrassing situation, which bid fair at one 
time to bring my European cruise to a sudden termina 
tion. Before returning to our Station we made a brief 
visit to Havana, where we found it very pleasant, now 
that the entente cordiale was restored. Soon after this 

231 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

peaceful visit, which but a short time before we thought, 
if we went there at all, might be a hostile one, we sailed 
for the Mediterranean, and reached our headquarters in 
due course of time. 

It was now the spring of 1874. Spain was in the 
throes of internal dissension. The revolutionists had 
captured Carthagena, and had commissioned and sent 
out on a raid along the coast the then powerful battle 
ship Numancia. Her mission was to bring to terms any 
of the loyal cities within her reach. She was pur 
sued by the British Ship Swiftsure, Captain "Ward, and 
a German ship-of-war, Captain Werder, and driven back 
into Carthagena, they threatening to fire upon her if 
she failed to obey their directions. The Numancia was 
officered and manned by the revolutionists, and was very 
much such a man-of-war as we read of during the days 
of the French Revolution, one of the kind that Nelson 
once captured, on board of which there had been a revo 
lution the night before, when the Captain was deposed 
and a petty officer was elected in his place. Under such 
circumstances it was thought by her people that she 
had better do as she was told, so she steamed quietly 
back into port. 

One bright morning the Franklin arrived off Cartha 
gena, and saw that the Spanish flag was flying at the 
Fort. As we were entirely ignorant of the events which 
I have just been relating, the Admiral ordered the na 
tional salute to be fired, which was returned from the 
shore. I was told afterwards that the Intransigentes 
then said, " Ah ! the Americans are with us ; now we 
are all right!" We soon after came to anchor, and 
were visited by a Lieutenant from a British man-of-war, 
who asked the Admiral if he understood the state of 
affairs then existing in Carthagena ; and upon his reply- 

232 



AT CARTHAGENA 

ing in the negative he explained to him the situation, so 
that we found we had been saluting the Rebels. It was 
awkward, but there was no help for it now. Before we 
anchored, however, the Spanish Flag-ship with the loyal 
Admiral on board came along, and we saluted him. A 
boat was then sent from us to him with an officer, who 
was directed to explain the situation, and we heard of it 
no more. 

The condition of affairs was such now in and about 
Carthagena that the Admirals of the different nations 
serving in the Mediterranean were directed to assem 
ble there. I do not remember the names of any of the 
Admirals or ships, but that of Vice- Admiral Sir Yelver- 
ton Hastings, in his Flag-ship the Lord Warden. There 
were there, however, Italian, French, and German ships, 
and our own Flag-ship. We were there rather to pro 
tect our own interests than to take part with what I 
suppose might be called the representatives of the Euro 
pean Concert at that time. As is usual when a number 
of ships-of-war of different nations come together, there 
is a good deal of dining and wining, and in this case 
there was no exception to the rule. Sir Yelverton Has 
tings was an able Admiral and a charming man, to my 
mind head and shoulders above any of the other Euro 
pean commanding officers then assembled at Carthagena. 
He seemed to be, par excellence, the central figure about 
whom the others revolved, and in saying this I do not 
mean to belittle the others, for they were all men of a 
high order of merit, and all did their share towards sup 
pressing the lawlessness which then existed on the coast 
of Spain. One thing struck me when I was on board the 
Lord Warden as a little curious, but perhaps not unusual, 
which was that the officers, in addressing the Admiral, 
would call him " Sir Yelverton " instead of " Admiral," 

283 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

thus using the civil title in preference to the military 
one. In addition to the blockade of the insurgent port 
by a Spanish Squadron, the place was invested by the 
Army under General Martinez Campos, who has filled 
many positions of trust and responsibility since those 
days, notably as Commander - in - Chief of the Spanish 
forces in Cuba during the rebellion no\v in existence 
there. Some of our officers went to the front, and were 
received by him with great kindness and courtesy. 
Every one knows that he was relieved of his command 
in Cuba because he did not conduct the suppression 
of the rebellion with that severity which his Govern 
ment thought was demanded of him. At Carthagena 
he soon brought the insurgents to terms, and restored 
this important Arsenal to its legitimate Government. 

While on the Spanish coast we visited Barcelona, and 
made up a party to Montserrat, a monastery ten or 
fifteen leagues from the City, well up in the mountains. 
At one time in the primitive days of Spain it was most 
useful to weary and belated travellers, who went about 
the country on horseback as well as on foot, and were 
glad enough to find this hospitable resting-place, where 
they could pass the night without money and without 
price. At this time there was a regiment of Carlists en 
camped near the monastery. As we approached it we 
were stopped by their sentinels, but after some formali 
ties were permitted to proceed. They were a fine-look 
ing set of men, who seemed very much in earnest, and 
enthusiastic about the cause in which they were en 
listed. As I spoke some Spanish, I took occasion to 
talk to them from time to time, and they exhibited an 
intelligence unusual in private soldiers. This, however, 
is not to be wondered at, for, although their ranks con 
tained many rough characters, yet there were to be 

234 



ESCAPE SPANISH BANDITS 

found in them also some of the best blood of Spain. 
The Colonel of the regiment was going, the next day 
after our arrival, to Barcelona in disguise. As that City 
was in possession of the Government party, we all 
thought it was at the risk of his neck, but he seemed 
to be under no apprehension, and begged me to say to 
the Admiral that he would be happy to be the bearer 
of any despatch he might have to send. I thanked him 
on the part of the Admiral for his kind offer, and told 
him that we were going there ourselves the next day. 
Sure enough, on the next day, as we were alighting from 
the diligence that conveyed us to the point where we 
took the train for Barcelona, the Colonel was at the sta 
tion, and gave me a nod of recognition as he passed me. 
I have never yet been able to understand how he went 
within the lines of the enemy apparently with so little 
concern. 

Later, I visited Montserrat for the second time. The 
cause of the Carlists had come to grief, and the troops 
had recently been disbanded. The country was overrun 
with highwaymen, and we were soon made to feel their 
presence near us. Our party were in the train on the 
way from Saragossa to Barcelona, when suddenly it 
stopped in an unusual place. In the carriage in which 
I was the silk screen which conceals the light from above 
had been drawn, as we all felt disposed to take a nap. 
It was to this happy circumstance that we owed our 
escape from a visit of a party of banditti, who thought, 
as the compartment was dark within, that it contained 
no occupants. The train was stopped by these worthies 
by a red signal displayed in front, the universal railway 
signal for danger ahead. The engineer and fireman 
were seized and placed on the road-side, with an armed 
sentinel over them. The robbers then went through the 

235 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

train, excepting the carriage in which I was. On each 
side of each carriage they placed a man with a sort of 
blunderbuss ; then one of their number would enter with 
a long knife in his hand, demanding money and watches. 
And so they went through the whole train, escaping 
with their plunder, which, after all, including watches 
and money, did not amount to more than about twelve 
hundred dollars. Our Commissioner, who was con 
ducting the party, and who had with him a bag of 
money for the payment of fares and other expenses of 
the expedition, had the presence of mind, when he saw 
what was coming, to throw his bag in amongst the coal, 
thus concealing it from view. 

After our visit to Barcelona we went to Marseilles, 
making but a short stay in the muddy waters of the 
harbor, from whence we were glad to get away. "We 
then went to Yillefranche for a while, and enjoyed the 
delights of Nice and Monte Carlo. 

The time now approaching for the summer s cruise, 
we bade adieu to those friendly shores and stretched 
away for the Grecian Archipelago, where we visited a 
number of the islands of which it is composed. I hap 
pened to be at Zante on Sunday, and went to early mass. 
The church was very small and very plain. The acolyte 
who served the mass was the French Consul, as there 
was no one else to officiate. The Greek Nomarch, the 
principal official of the little fort, was present, although 
not a Catholic. His chief occupation seemed to be to 
keep order amongst the crowd of unruly children who 
had drifted into the little chapel to see what was going 
on. My attention from time to time would be attracted 
by seeing the Nomarch crack a restless urchin over the 
head with his baton of office. Cruising in the Grecian 
Archipelago is not especially interesting. Apart from 



AT ZANTE AND MILO 

its classic associations this group has nothing of particu 
lar interest to recommend it to the traveller. The prin 
cipal occupation of the day would be a drive in the 
evening. At Zante we saw growing the currant of 
commerce, which is, after all, no currant at all, but a 
small grape, which grows in bunches like the ordinary 
grape. The word currant is simply a corruption of 
Corinth Corinth grapes, then corinths, then currants. 
At the island of Milo, where was found the celebrated 
" Venus," we remained a few days for target-practice. 
There seemed to be no one there from whom to get 
permission, so we made a target of a side of a hill and 
blazed away. The harbor is perfect, being completely 
land-locked, but the island seems to be of no importance 
whatever. In the times of ancient Greece it was no 
doubt of great value, but now it has the reputation of 
being a pest-hole, and has become almost entirely de 
populated. We went as far east as Smyrna, and after 
a short stay there we returned to the western part of 
the Station. 



CHAPTER XX 

Port Mahon A Negro Consul In Crete Admiral Worden The 
King of Portugal A Northern Cruise Royal Dinners Un 
wonted Honors to Worden Berlin and Copenhagen The Charms 
of Stockholm A Russian Naval Review Festivities at St. Peters 
burg. 

I HAD never been to Port Mahon, and was very glad 
when the Admiral directed me to proceed with the 
Fra/nMin to that place. It was formerly the head 
quarters of the Squadron, and the Navy is filled with 
traditions of events which took place there years and 
years before. While I am writing I am reminded of a 
little ditty illustrative of the stormy character of Cape 
de Gatt, and the comforts associated with Port Mahon. 
It was thus : 

"Off Cape de Gatt I lost my hat, 

And where do you think I found it ? 
In Port Mahon, behind a stone, 
And all the girls around it." 

A number of Naval officers married here, and some 
of the best people in America come of Mahonese ances 
try, amongst others Farragut and Benet, one the great 
Admiral, the other a distinguished officer of the Army. 
At this time (1875) there was a negro Consul at Ma 
hon. Upon our arrival I sent a boat for him, when he 
came on board and received his salute of seven guns. 
Of course the situation was new and embarrassing for 
him, but he acquitted himself with as much dignity as 

238 



THE ORGAN AT PORT MAHON 

could reasonably be expected. He made a theatre-party 
for the officers while we were there, which the Admiral 
and I declined, or perhaps it would be better to say that 
we did not intend to go. Upon hearing this the Ward 
room officers decided that, as the Admiral and Captain 
were not going, they did not care to go either, where 
upon I sent word to them, that under the circumstances 
I should not only go, but go in uniform, and desired 
them all to do the same. I felt sure that in pursuing 
this course I was carrying out the wishes of the Gov 
ernment. So we not only went to the theatre, but the 
Consul had prepared a most elaborate supper for us at 
his house, of which we all partook. Commander Ames, 
who was of the party, and was entirely equal to the 
occasion by his wit and fun, made everything pass off 
most satisfactorily. The Consul was happy, and I felt 
that I had done my duty. 

At Port Mahon there is one of the finest organs in the 
world, perhaps the only object of special interest to be 
found there. We were taken to the church which con 
tains it, and it was a great treat to hear the melodious 
sounds which were produced. The reason why this 
grand instrument is at so insignificant a place as Mahon 
is this : Many years ago the vessel in which it was the 
principal cargo, while making its way from the place 
where it was made to Civita Yecchia, thence to be 
taken to Kome, was stranded upon the island of Mi 
norca, of which Mahon is the most important seaport. 
The vessel was a total loss, but the organ was saved, 
and as it was found that the expense of reshipping it to 
Rome Avas greater than it was thought wise to incur, it 
was placed in the church where it now is, and from 
which it will probably never be removed. 

There are three things, especially, for which Port 

239 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Mahon is famous. One is its excessive cleanliness, for 
the whole town is whitewashed every Saturday. An 
other is the delicious shell-fish which is called the date- 
fish a kind of mussel, which, as a very minute animal, 
works its way into a porous rock, and there goes on in 
creasing till it becomes two inches long. The rock is 
then broken and the date- fish is removed. The name 
has been given to it because of its resemblance to the 
date. It is considered a great delicacy, and ranks high 
among the shell-fish of the world. The last of the three 
things for which I have said Mahon is famous is the 
Salsiche a kind of sausage that is said to be very de 
licious, and in the traditions of the old Navy no supper 
at Port Mahon was complete unless these two delicacies 
formed a part of the menu. 

During this summer we visited the Island of Crete, 
which has become famous by its efforts to throw off the 
Turkish yoke, and during these latter days has been the 
scene of events which came near embroiling Europe in a 
general war. We anchored in Suda Bay, where the 
European Admirals have been lately assembled, a deep 
sort of fiord, well protected, where fleets may lie safely 
at anchor with almost any wind that may blow. Canea, 
which is the principal town on the island, may be 
reached by crossing a sort of neck of land which sepa 
rates it from the Bay. I never knew why it was not 
built upon this beautiful Bay, where it would be so 
much better protected than where it now lies. A large 
party of us took horses and donkeys and rode over to 
Canea, a distance of about six miles. We found at the 
end of our journey a Greco-Turkish town, in itself utter 
ly uninteresting, but the trip was a pleasant novelty 
which amply repaid us. In the autumn of this year the 
Franklin and Alaska went to Spezzia for an overhaul- 

340 



REAR-ADMIRAL JOHN L. WORDEN 

ing. Both ships had been actively cruising, and the boil 
ers of the Alaska were very much in want of repairs. 

The time for the retirement of Admiral Case was now 
rapidly approaching. He had been informed by the 
Department that he would be relieved by Admiral 
"Worden, and was directed to proceed with the Franklin 
to Lisbon to meet the new Commander-in-Chief. We 
accordingly left the Mediterranean, and reached Lisbon 
in time to make the change in the Squadron Command 
ers on the day that Admiral Case retired. The Pow- 
hatan, Captain Jouett, had arrived with Worden and his 
family, so that everything was ready for the change at 
the appointed time. Case shifted his flag to the Pow- 
hatan and sailed away for home. 

The European Station was now in command of 
Eear- Admiral John L. Worden; his flag had been 
hoisted on board the Franklin, and all the formalities 
usual at such times had taken place. The reputation of 
this gallant and able Naval officer is so well known, and 
has become so much a matter of history, that anything I 
could say here could hardly add to the lustre which now 
adorns his name ; but from my long intercourse with him 
always of a most cordial and friendly nature I can 
say with truth that I found him possessed of those 
qualities which would naturally lead up to the very acts 
of gallantry and heroism which made him famous, not 
only in his own country, but in every land where deeds 
of daring and valor are held in high esteem. I not only 
learned to admire Worden, when I served with him as 
Captain of his Flag-ship, but I formed for him an affec 
tion which I have entertained ever since, and which I 
shall continue to feel for him as long as I live. 

Soon after Worden s arrival he was presented to the 
King of Portugal. He was accompanied by all the other 
Q 241 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

members of the staff as well as by me. As I remem 
ber the King, he was unprepossessing in appearance, but 
seemed to be intelligent, especially in matters pertaining 
to the sea. His Majesty and the Admiral had a short 
conversation about modern men-of-war, after which we 
backed ourselves out, and the presentation was at an end. 
We were also presented to Don Fernando, who had been 
the King-Consort to the late Queen. He had married 
after his wife s death an American woman who, I think, 
was from Boston. After the interview with her hus 
band, the Admiral, upon the strength of her being an 
American, asked to see her. Don Fernando then retired, 
and she made her appearance. She sat and conversed 
with us some time, then rose and left the room, and thus 
terminated this ceremonial. 

The Flag-ship sailed from Lisbon some time in Febru 
ary, 1875. We touched en route at Tangier and Gibral 
tar, and then made the best of our way to Yillefranche. 
It had been the intention of the Admiral, upon his ar 
rival on the Station, to order Captain Carter, of the 
Alaska, to the command of the Flag-ship, and I was to 
be ordered to the Alaska to finish my cruise in her ; but 
during the passage to Nice he thought a good deal about 
the matter, and concluded that it would serve the pur 
poses of harmony better to preserve the status quo, so 
this contemplated change was never made. I remained 
in command of the Franklin for the remainder of the 
cruise, and returned in her to the United States. The 
repairs to the Alaska, which had been at Spezzia since 
we sailed from there for Lisbon to pick up the Admiral, 
were now about completed. Worden had laid out for 
the summer a cruise to the Baltic, so the Franklin and 
Alaska sailed from Yillefranche for the North some 
time during the spring. 

242 



DINE WITH CROWN-PRINCE OF GERMANY 

When we reached the North Sea we ran into the 
Kiver Elbe and went up as far as Gliickstadt. The Ad 
miral s fame had spread through the whole maritime 
world ; he had inaugurated the first ironclad fight known 
to Naval history, and was honored and feted wherever 
he went. The German Minister at Washington had 
made a request of our Government that he should be 
directed to visit with his Flag-ship the waters of Ger 
many. The officials of that rising Naval power were 
desirous of meeting a man whose fame had long since 
spread to her shores. Leaving the ship at Gliickstadt, 
the Admiral, accompanied by his staff, went to Berlin, 
where we met many of the distinguished people of the 
German Government. Bismarck was not in the city at 
this date, but he had left directions that no pains should 
be spared to make the Admiral s time pass, during his 
stay in Berlin, as pleasantly as possible. Frederick, af 
terwards Emperor, was then Crown-Prince ; his widow, 
who is still living, is a daughter of Queen Yictoria. 
The Admiral and his staff, and Captain Carter, of the 
Alaska, were invited by the Crown-Prince to dine with 
him at one o clock at Potsdam ; of course we all went. 
The dinner company was composed of more than a hun 
dred people. What surprised me was to find that at 
that hour the men wore dress-coats and the women were 
decolletees. There were not many black coats, for the 
men were nearly all officers of the Army and Navy. 
The Admiral sat near the Crown -Princess, and every 
honor and distinction possible were conferred upon him. 
After dinner the royal carriages arrived, and we were all 
taken to Sans Souci and driven around the grounds of 
that charming spot. Dinners and all sorts of fetes were 
given in the Admiral s honor, to all of which, as his 
Chief of Staff, I was invited. Our Minister at Berlin at 

243 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

this time was the Hon. J. C. Bancroft Davis. He and 
his charming wife did honor to the country which they 
represented with so much credit, and were largely in 
strumental in making the Admiral s visit agreeable to 
him while he was in Berlin. They lived there in excel 
lent style, and it was a great pleasure to us Americans 
to see our Legation in the hands of those who repre 
sented the best type of our countrymen. 

After a reasonable stay in Berlin we returned to the 
ship, and soon after we reached her sailed away for the 
Baltic. After the usual passage we anchored off the 
City of Copenhagen, where we remained long enough to 
be presented to their Majesties, the King and Queen of 
Denmark. Besides the feeling which one has towards 
almost any ruler, there is an especial interest attached 
to these Sovereigns, because their children, particularly 
at the present time, are objects of unusual interest. 
Their son George is the present King of Greece. He, 
as every one knows, has been prominently before the 
public in these latter days in consequence of the Crete 
imbroglio and the Greco - Turkish war. Their eldest 
daughter is the Princess of Wales, and their daughter 
Dagmar is the Dowager Empress of Kussia. I have 
had the honor of meeting and conversing with both King 
George and Empress Dagmar, and have found them 
both most interesting personages. The Admiral, Cap 
tain Carter, and I were invited to dine at the palace 
with the Koyal family. We accepted, of course, and 
had altogether a most agreeable time. The dinner 
was good, as Koyal dinners always are. The Eoyal 
family, consisting of the King, Queen, and Princess 
Thyra, sat together, as is the custom, on one side of the 
table, and the Admiral, Captain Carter, and I sat oppo 
site to them. There were a few other guests, but not 

244 



AT STOCKHOLM 

many. The conversation, after a little stiffness at first, 
soon became general, for their Majesties spoke English 
fluently, so that there was no difficulty in conversing 
with them. As the dinner advanced, the King, then the 
Queen, and then the Princess, each in turn, would ask 
each of us to take a glass of wine with them, and so the 
dinner passed along pleasantly enough. Carter, who was 
sitting next to me, said, " I am going to ask the Princess 
to take wine with me." I replied I hardly thought it 
was the custom. Whereupon Carter said, " Well, I am 
going to do it." The Princess smiled sweetly, and 
touched her glass to her lips, and was, perhaps, rather 
pleased at our American and unconventional way of do 
ing things. The Princess Thyra was unmarried at that 
time, but has since become the wife of the Duke of 
Cumberland. We remained but a short time after this 
at Copenhagen, where we had a very pleasant visit. 
Our Minister to Denmark at this time was the Rev. Dr. 
Cramer, who had married a sister of General Grant. 
He seemed to me to be a very excellent representative, 
and his wife was an intelligent, agreeable woman. Dr. 
Cramer died in January, 1898, being Professor of Phi 
losophy in Dickinson College. 

In the continuation of our cruise we next went to 
Stockholm, and anchored in the beautiful waters of this 
lovely Venice of the North. Stockholm is, I think, one 
of the most beautiful cities in the world. There is a 
sprightliness and brightness about its waters which pro 
duce a most exhilarating effect. The city rises, as it 
were, out of the bosom of the Baltic, and one never tires 
of lying at anchor in its secure and pleasant harbor. 
King Oscar was not behind the others in doing honor to 
our Admiral. The latter was, with his staff, presented 
to His Majesty, who, in conversation with him, showed 

245 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

his appreciation of what the Admiral had done to make 
his name famous in the annals of Naval warfare. 
Amongst the many things which he did to render his 
visit agreeable was to place his yacht at the Admiral s 
disposal, and to send him, with his staff and such guests 
as lie thought would be agreeable to him, to one of his 
palaces, situated in these waters some distance from 
Stockholm. The palace to which we went is called 
Gripsholm. It was at one time occupied by the old 
Kings of Sweden, but now is more used as a place to 
which excursions are made by the Royal family for the 
entertainment of themselves and their friends. Noth 
ing could exceed the beauty of the scene as the yacht 
threaded her way amongst the many islands which lie 
between Gripsholm and Stockholm. The trip lasted 
most of the day, and was exceedingly pleasant and in 
teresting, not rendered any the less so by a delicious 
luncheon which was served as we wound around amongst 
the islands of this beautiful archipelago. Amongst the 
guests that I remember were the British Minister and 
his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Erskine, who were amiable peo 
ple, whose presence added very much to the pleasure 
of the occasion. I call to mind also Count and Countess 
Rosen, the latter an American, daughter of a well- 
known Philadelphia woman, Mrs. Bloomfield Moore. 
The Countess was a pretty and agreeable woman. I 
met her again on a subsequent visit to Stockholm, and, 
although ten years had elapsed, I found that time had 
dealt very gently with her, and that she was as pleasant 
and charming as ever. 

The summer was growing apace, and it was important 
that we should take advantage of the long days to fin 
ish our work in the Baltic. Soon after the events which 
I have just related, we bid adieu to our friends and the 

246 



NAVAL REVIEW BY KING OSCAR 

beautiful surroundings of this lovely spot, and the 
Franklin and Alaska tripped their anchors and sailed 
away for Cronstadt. At this time the Emperor Alex 
ander was entertaining King Oscar, of Sweden, who 
reached Cronstadt in a ship of war about the same time 
we did. Great preparations were making for reviews, 
both naval and military, illuminations, open-air ballets, 
and all sorts of fetes in honor of His Majesty of Sweden. 
The Naval force reviewed by the Emperor and King 
Oscar consisted of the Kussian fleet at that time at 
Cronstadt, the American ships of war Franklin and 
Alaska, and two Swedish ships of war one of these 
the ship in which Oscar had come from Sweden, the 
other being a small Swedish ironclad. Besides these, 
there was an American yacht, the Enchantress, owned 
by Count Loubat, on board of which, as his guest, was 
the well-known yachtsman Mr. Lloyd Phoenix. These 
vessels were all anchored in line. The Emperor and 
King were on board the Emperor s yacht Rurick. As 
they passed down the line, the yachts being already 
manned, each ship fired a salute consisting of every gun 
in her battery. With the Franklin it amounted to 
more than fifty guns, which was the largest salute re 
ceived from any one ship. Our Admiral was, for the 
time being, under the command of the Grand -Duke 
Constantine, who was then the General Admiral of the 
Kussian Navy. The Admiral had received his orders 
from the Emperor to report to the Grand -Duke for 
duty in the review, so he accordingly proceeded on 
board the Rurick, made his report, and was assigned 
his position. Count Loubat, of the Enchantress, also was 
directed to report on board the Rurick, and was likewise 
assigned his position. Before the review took place 
the Admiral, Captain Carter, and I were invited by the 

247 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Grand-Duke Constantino to a mid-day dinner on board 
the Rurick. I chanced to sit opposite to the Grand- 
Duke, and in conversing with him, across the table, the 
subject happened to turn upon tobacco, when, to my 
surprise, he told me that he had chewed tobacco for 
thirty years of his life. I had thought this habit was 
peculiar to Americans and sailors, but I presume he had 
contracted it during his early apprenticeship as a seaman. 
After the review was over the Emperor and King, 
with their suites, visited the Franklin. It was my good- 
fortune to be assigned to the Princess Dagmar as her 
escort around the ship. This Princess became Empress 
as the wife of Alexander III. She was always known 
as the most beautiful of the children of King Christian 
of Denmark. She is sister, as I have remarked, to the 
Princess of Wales and King George of Greece. I en 
joyed escorting her about the ship very much, for she 
was not only a very beautiful woman, but was most 
agreeable and charming in every way. Her great at 
traction was that she was so perfectly natural and well- 
bred, and one felt instantly when talking to her as he 
would when conversing with any pleasing and intelli 
gent woman. She appeared to be a great favorite with 
the Emperor, and he was constantly calling out to her, 
" Minnie," which seemed to be his pet name for her. 
The visit of the Imperial family was apparently enjoyed 
by them all, for they made a long visit. The King of 
Sweden, during his brother s reign, had been an Ad 
miral in the Swedish Navy ; he took an especial interest 
in everything I told him, and when I related to him 
something in connection with caring for the well-being 
of the crew, he forgot his Kingship, and, patting me on 
the back, said, " That s right, Captain ; always look out 
for your men." 



KINDNESS OF ADMIRAL BOUTIKOFF 

The day that these events which I have been describ 
ing took place was a busy one for the Imperial family 
as well as ourselves. There was to be an illumination 
at Peterhoff of all the public buildings and of the fields 
surrounding them as well. The Admiral and Staff were 
not only invited to assist at the festivities which were 
to take place, but were provided with apartments in 
the palace also. At this season of the year there is 
but a short period of darkness in St. Petersburg, but 
still it was dark enough to show off this beautiful dis 
play to great advantage. Around the edges of the 
buildings lights were placed, so that the whole outline 
of the palace and other buildings was drawn, as it were, 
in blazing fire. In the surrounding country small lights 
were placed so close together that they blended, one 
with another, producing the effect of burning fields. 
The whole scene was fairy-like and enchanting beyond 
description. 

In the steamer which conveyed us from Cronstadt 
to Peterhoff was Vice- Admiral Boutikoff. Fearing that 
there might be some contretemps touching our being 
properly placed at this grand fete, he detailed two of 
his officers to look out for us, and directed them not to 
let us out of their sight for a moment. He knew that 
a Master of Ceremonies had been ordered, upon our 
arrival at the palace, to take us in charge and to see 
that we should want for nothing. Boutikoff, suspect 
ing that this official might not properly be attending to 
the duties to which he had been assigned, said, in giving 
his officers his directions with regard to us, that he did 
not propose to leave us to the tender mercies of these 
courtiers. He was a grand old seaman, and was held 
by the Emperor in the highest esteem. When we 
reached our apartments at the palace the very thing 

349 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

happened that the Vice- Admiral had feared. The Mas 
ter of Ceremonies, whose name had been given to us, 
was not to be found. Meanwhile Boutikoff had disap 
peared, but his aids busied themselves in trying to find our 
man. It so happened that they found some one of his 
name, whom they brought up to the Admiral. He was 
dressed, however, more like a cook than a Master of 
Ceremonies, who wears a coat all emblazoned with gold 
lace. We concluded at once that this was not the man. 
Meanwhile, refreshments were brought to us in the 
shape of brandy-and-soda, after partaking of which we 
felt better, but the Admiral was naturally indignant that 
the official who had been told off to us was neglecting 
his duty, and that we were the sufferers. The young 
Russian officers who were still with us rather insisted 
upon bringing this fellow who looked like a cook to 
the Admiral again, but I advised him not to see him, for 
I felt sure he was not the man. Finally, the right man 
appeared, all covered over with gold lace. About the 
same time appeared upon the scene Vice- Admiral Bouti 
koff. Worden, full of indignation at the way this fel 
low had neglected us and his duties, was about to ex 
press himself accordingly, when Boutikoff stepped up 
and said, " Admiral, leave him to me," whereupon he 
gave him such a rating that he will probably never 
forget it. He then sent him about his business, and told 
him that the American officers could dispense with his 
services, and would have nothing to do with him, and 
thus ended this unpleasant but rather amusing episode. 
Amongst other festivities in honor of His Majesty of 
Sweden was a ballet in the open air. A sort of tem 
porary theatre was improvised for the occasion, and a 
selected corps de oallet made its appearance. This was 
one of the most brilliant spectacles I have ever beheld. 

250 



END OF FETE AT CRONSTADT 

I do not remember to have seen a man in the room who 
did not wear a uniform, and the women were gowned 
in their best evening attire. I think the performance 
lasted about an hour. In the interval between the acts 
the Emperor came over to where the Admiral was, and 
engaged him in conversation and paid him every atten 
tion. Alexander II. was one of the handsomest men in 
Europe. He was not only that, but he was an exceed 
ingly kind man, who had the good of his subjects very 
much at heart, and did all in his power to ameliorate 
their condition. He was assassinated, however, in the 
most brutal manner, and in this way was illustrated the 
remark made by some one that the government of 
Eussia was an absolute despotism tempered by assas 
sination. After the ballet we all adjourned to the gar 
dens of the palace ; a band of gypsies from the Yolga 
had been brought here to assist in the festivities. It 
was an uncanny scene that presented itself as we ap 
proached them. They were seated around a large fire, 
over which was suspended a caldron containing I do 
not know what. They were singing the songs of the 
land from which they came, and were listened to by a 
most distinguished and attentive audience. The Em 
peror and all the Imperial family stood close around 
them, and seemed to enjoy the wild strains of their pe 
culiar music with all their hearts. It was a scene which 
I shall never forget, for it made a deeper impression upon 
me than anything I saw during the whole of that most 
interesting day. This was the last act of the drama. 

The dawn was now upon us, the lights were fading 
away, and we were all glad enough to go to our beds. It 
was the intention of the Admiral, when we went to the 
festivities at Peterhoff, to avail himself of the invitation 
which had been given to become a guest at the palace, 

251 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

but as the garden scene that I have just described seemed 
to be the end, he thought we might as well return to 
Cronstadt. Amidst the great mass of vehicles of every 
description which were crowded together, ours was no 
where to be seen, so we jumped into the first one that 
stopped the way and drove down to the port. Fort 
unately Vice- Admiral Boutikoff s yacht was still there, 
and, as he appeared upon the scene about the same time 
with us, he invited us to return with him, and we ac 
cepted the invitation. We reached the ship in time for 
breakfast, having been up through the entire night. We 
were glad to get back, but more glad still to have been 
present at this most interesting/^, a privilege such as 
rarely falls to the lot of any one, unless, as with us, the 
accidents of the service happen to throw it in his way. 



CHAPTER XXI 

In the Baltic Reception at Kiel In English Waters Old Haunts in 
London Villefranche Gayety in the Riviera Americans at 
Nice Wedding on the Ship. 

WE had now finished our work at Cronstadt, which 
was the northern limit of our cruise. Soon after the 
events which I have just related the Franklin and 
Alaska got under way and sailed for Kiel. I found the 
cruising in the Baltic extremely interesting. Without 
any good reason for thinking so, I had been under the 
impression that the land which borders that sea was 
bold and precipitous, having in my mind, I presume, the 
high land which encloses the fiords of Norway. On 
the contrary, however, in the part in which we cruised 
the land was flat, and we could always see the spires of 
the churches in the cities before we saw the surround 
ing country. They had a very curious effect, as they 
would seem to shoot up out of the sea, rising higher and 
higher, until the churches and city and country would 
all suddenly come into full view. We found that the 
Franklin drew a little too much water to make the 
cruising altogether comfortable ; on two or three occa 
sions she grounded, once in a narrow, intricate channel, 
and again off Copenhagen, but we got her off in both 
cases without any difficulty or injury to the ship. 

At Kiel the Admiral was received with the same 
cordiality which had been accorded to him at Berlin. 
The officer commanding the Naval Station here was the 

253 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

same Captain Werner who had assisted in arresting the 
piratical raid of the Numancia along the coast of Spain 
when she was temporarily in the hands of the rebels, 
to which I have before referred in the course of this 
narrative. Nothing could have been more kind than 
the manner in which he treated us, putting us in the 
way of seeing everything of interest in this very inter 
esting part of Germany. 

Kiel is in Holstein, and came into possession of the 
German nation at the time the Schleswig-Holstein ques 
tion was settled, after the war of which it was the 
cause. This question, it will be remembered, agitated 
Europe a great many years, and concerning it some 
statesman said that there was but one man in the world 
who had ever understood it, and he was dead. It was 
worth Germany s while to fight for this port, for it is 
one of the finest harbors in the world. When we were 
there the canal between it and the North Sea was then 
talked about, but I do not believe that any steps had 
been then taken towards its construction, though to 
day it is an accomplished fact. The country around 
Kiel bears so strong a resemblance to the part of Penn 
sylvania in which I was born that in roaming about it 
I was constantly reminded of York County; the same 
kinds of farm-houses, with their great barns attached to 
them, many times larger than the houses themselves, 
are common to both places. Then, again, the Holstein 
cattle, the trees, and even the people themselves, car 
ried me back in spirit to my native State. After all, it 
is not very strange that I should have this feeling, for 
my impression is that the settlers of that part of the 
State to which I refer came from this very part of Ger 
many, and it is but natural to suppose that they would 
impart to the country which they made their home 

254 



VICE-ADMIRAL COMMEREL 

many of the characteristics of the Fatherland. Captain 
Werner, of whom I have spoken above, was a thorough 
German. In illustration of this I will relate a little in 
cident about him which will show that at least he pos 
sessed one of the characteristics of that nation in a high 
degree. I was out for a walk one day, and desiring to 
reach a certain point I asked Werner how to get there. 
There were three public-houses between where we stood 
and the point I desired to reach. Pointing to the first, 
he said, " Do you see that house ? Well, there you 
stop and get a glass of beer ;" then, pointing to the next, 
he said, " Then you go there and you get another glass 
of beer ; and so to the third place for another glass, and 
then," he said, "the next place," pointing it out, "is 
the place you wish to go to." Getting the glass of 
beer from time to time seemed to him to be an indis 
pensable part of the expedition. 

The summer of 1875 was passing rapidly away, and 
our work in the Baltic seemed to be completed. We 
sailed from Kiel, and squared away for Antwerp, where 
the Admiral had intended to touch en route to England ; 
but bad weather appeared to be coming on, and the pilot 
seemed doubtful about his ability to take us in, so with 
a strong, fair wind we crossed the Channel, passing the 
Goodwin Sands en route, and were snugly moored in 
the Downs before dark. The next day we got under 
way and went to Spithead. The Franklin anchored a 
long way from Portsmouth, and boating to and fro at 
this anchorage was very tedious, but with our steam- 
launch, which was an excellent sea-boat, we managed to 
communicate with the shore with more or less comfort. 
Yice- Admiral Commerel, who was at this time living at 
Southsea, was an old friend of Admiral Worden. As a 
Captain, he had commanded the ship which conveyed 

255 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

the remains of Mr. Peabody from England to the United 
States ; had then with his ship visited Annapolis, when 
Worden was Superintendent of the Naval Academy, 
and it was there that a friendship was formed between 
them which has lasted up to the present time. Com- 
merel invited the Admiral, Lieutenant Soley, and me to 
dine and pass the night at his house. I shall never for 
get how delightfully we were entertained, both by Lady 
Commerel and himself. They both possessed charming 
personalities, and without the slightest effort at enter 
taining made us feel at once as if we were in our own 
house. Commerel was a gallant Naval officer. He 
came ver}^ near losing his life in Africa during the 
Kaffir War. A bullet struck him in the chest and pene 
trated his body, but it seems it did not touch a vital 
part. It was, however, a source of great trouble to 
him as time went on ; he told me that it would wander 
about, and would frequently come near enough to the 
surface to be extracted, but before he could summon 
the surgeon it would be off again, wandering about 
as before. My impression is that he finally succeeded 
in having the ball extracted. I shall have occasion to 
refer to Commerel again, as we met at Southamp 
ton; I was then Commander-in-Chief of the European 
Station, and he was standing for Parliament for that 
district. In this country we "run" for Congress, in 
England they " stand " for Parliament. 

I took advantage of being in these waters to visit 
Nelson s Flag -ship, the Victory, which lies at Ports 
mouth as a monument to him and to Trafalgar. In 
treading her decks one cannot help being impressed 
with the momentous consequences to England of the 
great victory in which she bore the flag of the world s 
greatest Admiral, for, as Mahan, the greatest Naval his- 

256 



VISIT LONDON AGAIN 

torian of any age, has said, "When Trafalgar was 
won, England was saved," and the great Napoleon was 
obliged to divert the grand army which he had col 
lected for the invasion of her shores, and console him 
self, as best he could, with the victory of Austerlitz. 
Soon after our visit to Commerel the Admiral left for 
London, and I took the ship to Southampton. The 
Queen was at this time at Osborne. I passed the palace 
at an hour too early to salute, but I have regretted 
since that I did not so far disregard the regulations 
upon that subject as to do so anyhow, for I feel that 
too much honor cannot be paid to the woman who, by 
her long, beneficent, and prosperous reign, has elicited 
the admiration of the whole world. At Southampton I 
anchored off Netley Abbey, and soon afterwards went, 
myself, to London. 

I have been so often in that great City, which to me 
is the most interesting in the world, that I am very 
much mixed up as to what I did and what I saw at any 
especial time. Mr. Benjamin F. Stevens was then, as 
he has been for many years, the United States Dispatch 
Agent at London. One of his most faithful assistants 
is Mr. Petherick. To these two gentlemen all Naval 
officers who go to London must feel under the greatest 
obligation, for they have never spared themselves in 
ministering to their wants and in aiding them in every 
possible way, and not only themselves, but their wives 
and families as well. Petherick would accompany me 
to such places as the Cheshire Cheese, an old haunt 
of Dr. Johnson s, and the Cock Tavern, where Ben Jon- 
son used to hold forth. At the Cheshire Cheese I sat 
in the same seat in which BoswelPs hero was accus 
tomed to delight not only his biographer, but all his 
hearers. The beefsteak and beer were, I fancy, served 
B 257 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

in much the same way as they were when the great 
poets and other literary characters of the time visited 
this celebrated haunt. In the place where we took our 
luncheon it seemed that nothing stronger than beer was 
served to the guests, but we were afterwards shown to 
a room up-stairs where we partook of a cork and fath 
om of clay, which, translated, means a glass of Scotch 
whiskey and a clay pipe. At the entrance of the 
Cheshire Cheese was a bar, which was attended by a 
pretty barmaid, and many a passer-by on the Strand 
was no doubt attracted by her comely face and tempt 
ed as he went along to stop and take a drink. Another 
place of interest, which I think is not known to the or 
dinary tourist, is Crosby Hall. It is said that it was 
formerly the palace of Richard III., whether truthfully 
so or not I am unable to say. It was an excellent res 
taurant, however, and its dainty dishes were served by 
young and handsome English girls, generally above the 
medium height. With their pretty white caps and 
aprons, as they flitted about the dining-hall, they cer 
tainly made it a most attractive place to gratify one s 
palate and taste for the beautiful as well. The Criterion 
had a reputation for its good dinners, but I tried it and 
was disappointed. At Simpson s Tavern, where I dined 
very well, it was the custom, if one wanted a piece of 
roast-beef, to notify the waiter, when a huge piece was 
wheeled up to the table of the sitter and a slice was 
carved from it then and there. 

I do not think that I visited at this time many of the 
main objects of interest in which London abounds. I 
said to Mr. Stevens, one day, that I desired to get in 
formation upon a certain subject, whereupon he replied, 
" We will go to the British Museum." While there I went 
to the library, and in looking at the name of Franklin 

258 



CARRYING EXHIBITS TO PHILADELPHIA 

I lighted upon the names of my father, my brother, and 
a cousin of mine. It was very interesting, but it was 
not what I was looking for, and certainly not what I 
expected to see. What struck me most agreeably while 
I was in the library was the perfect order in which 
everything was conducted, how every one writing at 
the numerous desks was accommodated by the attend 
ants, in furnishing them with books either to keep with 
them or merely to refer to and then return. Such pro 
found silence reigned throughout that one could have 
heard a pin drop, and the whole machinery of the es 
tablishment worked like a well-regulated clock. 

The autumn of 1875 had now arrived. The follow 
ing year was to be that of our Centennial Exhibition at 
Philadelphia. The Government had decided to trans 
port, free of expense, the works of art of American art 
ists who desired to send them to the United States. In 
furtherance of this determination, the Admiral received 
an order to send the Franklin to Cherbourg to pick up 
these works, convey them to Gibraltar, and there trans 
fer them to the Government store-ship Supply, which 
would meet the Franklin there and receive them on 
board. The Admiral, of course, did not go in the ship, 
but directed me to take the Franklin to Cherbourg, 
receive the articles, and then proceed to Gibraltar, and, 
further, carry out the orders of the Department. 

I accordingly got under way from Southampton, but, 
the weather being foul for crossing the Channel, I an 
chored for the night at St. Helen s Bay. It blew hard, 
and, as the wind was constantly increasing, I let go a 
second anchor underfoot. In a sudden shift of wind, 
owing to some oversight in reference to the compressor 
the cable of the second anchor parted, but fortunately 
the port -bower brought the ship up, and she lay very 

259 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

comfortably at single anchor, with a long scope, for the 
remainder of the night. In the morning Lieutenant- 
Commander Nelson, the Navigator, an excellent officer, 
who had entered the service from the volunteer ranks, 
went to work with hearty good - will, succeeded in 
grappling the chain, and the anchor was soon again at 
the bows. With a fair wind we ran over to Cherbourg, 
where we remained only long enough to execute the 
orders of the Admiral, when we sailed for Gibraltar. I 
found at that port the Supply, Lieutenant-Commander 
Hayward, to which I transferred the works of art, 
which she conveyed to the United States. Daring this 
visit to Gibraltar I met the Duke of Connaught, who 
was stationed there as an officer of the British Army. 
He was a dapper young fellow at that time, and seemed 
to be a favorite with his comrades of the Army, and, in 
deed, generally with the people of the garrison. I had 
made all my preparations to sail on Saturday, and con 
sequently was obliged to decline an invitation to dine 
with him on that day. Although he occupied a sub 
ordinate position in the Army, as a Prince of the blood 
and son of the Queen he maintained a certain amount 
of state in Gibraltar, and entertained in a manner be 
coming his high rank. He was the second of Victoria s 
children that I had thus far met. 

I sailed on the day appointed for Villefranche, where 
I arrived in due course of time, and secured to the in 
shore buoy, which is so close that one can almost throw 
a biscuit on shore. Although there is plenty of water 
at Villefranche for the largest ships, yet we always 
took the old pilot who has been there for a generation, 
and who could always give us information with refer 
ence to the French Fleet ; for if it happened to be com 
ing to Villefranche we so arranged the mooring of our 

260 



ENTERTAINMENTS AT NICE 

vessels as not to interfere with the French in their own 
port. The Admiral returned from England soon after 
we arrived, and took up his quarters at Nice. We had 
been cruising very actively since leaving the Tagus, 
where Admiral Worden had hoisted his flag, and now 
hoped to have a season of rest, more especially as the 
winter was close upon us, when the ships rarely cruise 
unless there is some especial reason which might render 
it important to do so. The gales in the Mediterranean, 
in the winter season, are strong and frequent, and I 
remember that Yice- Admiral Sir Yelverton Hastings, 
R. N., advised Admiral Case not to permit his ships to 
be battered about in the winter unless there was some 
good reason for it, but to keep them in port, so that 
they would be ready for service in the spring, when he 
most required them. 

Nice, as every one knows, is the city of which Yille- 
franche, it might be said, is the port. It was always 
very gay when the ships were there in the winter, and 
they added not a little to the festivities which were 
constantly taking place both ashore and afloat. There 
w^ere two clubs, the " Cercle Mediterranee" and the 
" Cercle Massena" to both of which the officers were 
always invited. Then there were dinners and evening- 
parties at private houses, so that there was no end of 
gayety going on all the time. By far the most enjoy 
able, however, of all these entertainments were those 
given on board the Flag-ship at Yillefranche. An in 
vitation to these matinees was always eagerly sought, 
and all the gay world of Nice would flock in great num 
bers to these enjoyable dances ; and not only from Nice, 
but they would come from Cannes and Mentone, for the 
fame of these entertainments had spread all along the 
Riviera. 

261 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Our Consul at Nice at this time was Mr. Yeasey. He 
was admirably adapted to the position a peculiar one, 
in which good manners and good address were very 
large factors, and the kind of people with which he 
would have dealings were generally those accustomed 
to be treated with politeness and consideration. Such 
qualifications Mr. Yeasey possessed in a very high de- 
give, and they were thoroughly appreciated by all who 
came in contact with him. A rough and ill-mannered 
man, such as we often see in our Consulates, would be 
very much out of place in the American colony of Nice, 
and amongst those of our countrymen who pass through 
this pleasant winter watering-place as they flit along 
the Biviera. One of the most agreeable and interesting- 
American families residing at Nice at that time was that 
of Mr. Gignoux, a naturalized American citizen, who 
had lived for many years abroad, and finally settled 
down at Nice. He married Miss Christmas, who, I think, 
was from Brooklyn. They had a number of children, 
three of whom were living with them at this time. One 
was a widow, Mrs. Matthiessen, a lovely woman, who 
devoted most of her time to good works, and was very 
highly esteemed by the entire community. There were 
also two unmarried daughters, who were extremely 
handsome, and great favorites in the society of Nice 
in those days. Many were the pleasant entertainments 
that we had at the house of this charming family, whose 
hospitality will be long remembered by those who were 
there at the time about which I write. One of the 
most interesting characters residing there then was 
Madame Borell ; she was a member of the Astor fam 
ily ; had been a Maid of Honor to the Queen of Hol 
land, and had now taken up her residence at Nice. She 
entertained very handsomely, and it was a privilege, as 

262 



AN INTERRUPTED WEDDING 

well as a great pleasure, to be a guest at her delightful 
dinners. Amongst others who passed the winter of 75 
and 76 at Nice was the family of Mr. Storrs Willis, a 
brother of N. P. "Willis, who was, like his brother, a 
highly cultivated man of considerable literary ability; 
it consisted of Mrs. Willis, one of the handsomest women 
of her day, and three young ladies. They were charm 
ing girls at that time, and are charming women now. 
They all married officers of the Franklin. Commander 
Emory is the husband of one of them, Lieutenant Ward 
of another, and Mr. Broadhead of the youngest. The 
last named of these gentlemen resigned some years ago, 
but the other two are still in the service, and belong to 
the highest type of Naval officers. 

Ward was married on board the Franklin, by the 
Archbishop of Nice. I was a witness to the civil mar 
riage, which took place before that of the Church, by 
the prelate whom I have just named. On the appointed 
day, which opened most auspiciously, the marriage-bell 
was in place, the Archbishop had taken his stand in 
front of the happy couple, the guests were all assembled 
in their rich gowns, and the ceremony had begun, when, 
as if a cloud had burst immediately over our heads, the 
rain poured down in such torrents upon the awning, and 
so flooded the decks, that the ladies were obliged to 
trundle their handsome dresses, almost in the time it 
takes to tell it, to the deck below. The whole scene was 
transferred to the main-deck, where the ceremony was 
completed. This unlooked-for interruption did not, 
however, mar the jollity of the occasion, for every one 
looked upon it inconvenient as it \vas as a good joke. 

No Naval officer who was at Nice about this time can 
fail to appreciate the kindness of Mr. Edward Yial, who 
furnished our ships with coal, and through whom most 

263 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

of the business of the fleet was transacted. He not only 
attended to the public business, but was untiring in his 
efforts to make the officers and their families comfort 
able and happy. Madame Yial was a handsome woman, 
member of a noble Italian family, of agreeable, spright 
ly manners. She survived her husband, who died a few 
years ago, and has since consoled herself by marrying 
again, &prefet of one of the French provinces. 



CHAPTER XXII 

J. A. MacGahan In Lisbon The Channel Fleet Lord Lytton 
A Country Visit Captain Mahan Admiral Luce Return to the 
Mediterranean On Leave in Paris A Sudden Recall In Hurry 
to the East. 

OUR sojourn at this pleasant resting-place was soon to 
be brought to an end. Another Cuban war cloud ap 
peared upon the horizon, and the Admiral was directed 
to remove his command from the Mediterranean and 
proceed to Lisbon, there to await the course of events ; 
what the trouble at this time was has passed from my 
mind, but it terminated, as all the others have done, in 
an amicable adjustment with Spain. It was now the 
spring of 18T6. We sailed for Lisbon, touching at Gib 
raltar en route; the passage was uneventful, and in due 
time we reached our destination. I took with me in 
the cabin the war correspondent of the New York 
Herald, whom I had known before, as he was a passen 
ger in the Wabash when I took her to Key West, more 
than two years before. This was J. A. MacGahan, a 
very able man, whose life had been full of adventure, 
for he always took his life in his hands and braved 
every danger to accomplish his ends. He has written 
two charming books, the result of his experiences one 
is called Campaigning on the Oxus, and the other Under 
the Northern Lights the former relates to what hap 
pened in the Russian Army when he accompanied it, 
and the other to what he saw in the Jeannette when she 

265 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

went in search of the log-books of Sir John Franklin s 
Expedition. He was one of the favorite correspondents 
of Bennett, who always felt that whatever work he laid 
out for him to do would be thoroughly well done. I 
enjoyed the society of MacGahan very much, for he had 
many interesting experiences to relate, as he had been 
in many lands and seen many strange sights. When we 
reached Lisbon, he left us. I missed him very much, 
for it left a great gap in the mess, which had consisted 
only of him and me. 

We made a long stay at Lisbon. The war cloud 
hung in tfc e sky for some time before it disappeared al 
together, and we remained quietly at anchor in the 
Tagus. Our Minister at Lisbon was Mr. Moran, an ac 
complished and competent official. He had served a 
long time as Secretary of Legation in London, and had 
there attained a great proficiency in diplomacy, and had 
been a great favorite in London society. He told me 
that he had collected many volumes of matter which he 
intended to present to the State of Pennsylvania, with a 
request that it should not be published until thirty years 
after his death. I never could quite see how the State 
of Pennsylvania could publish such material at all. I 
passed a good deal of my time at the Legation, and 
never tired of hearing Moran relate his experiences of 
his many years of diplomatic life. He was suffering at 
this time with a sort of palsy of the left arm and hand, 
which not only affected his general health, but his spirits 
as well. He bore it all, however, with manly patience. 
His death, which took place some years ago, was no 
doubt hastened by this malady, for he was not an old 
man when he died. 

The British Channel Fleet happened in while we 
were there. It was commanded by Sir Beauchamp 

266 



SIR BEAUCHAMP SEYMOUR 

Seymour, whose sobriquet was " The Swell of the 
Ocean." He was an excellent Admiral and a most 
charming man. I dined with him several times on 
board his Flag-ship, and found him always a most ge 
nial and courtly gentleman. There was a good deal of 
dining and wining going on, as there always is when 
British and American Squadrons find themselves to 
gether in port for any length of time. Admiral Sey 
mour s dinners were very handsome affairs, as those of 
British Admirals always are ; he was a man of excel 
lent taste, and his dinners showed it. He was devoted to 
his profession, and liked to talk about matters relating 
to it. I remember asking him once if he did not like 
our expressions " line " and " column " better than theirs 
of " line abreast " and " line ahead," saying that I 
thought the former a more military way of expressing 
the same idea. He replied that there was a good deal 
to be said on both sides of that question, but did not 
seem to care to discuss it. Sir Beauchamp Seymour 
commanded the British Fleet at the bombardment of 
Alexandria, and was afterwards created Lord Alcester. 
I do not think I ever met him after we parted at Lis 
bon. When I was last in London he wrote me a note 
enclosing a card for the Senior United Service Club, 
which gave me the entree of that comfortable establish 
ment during the whole of my official sojourn in and 
about Great Britain. I had some correspondence with 
him when I was President of the International Marine 
Conference, but I lost sight of him soon after that. 

In the fleet under Seymour s command was Captain 
Lyon, afterwards Admiral Lyon. I remember he told 
me that it was a custom of his, or of the Service I am 
not sure which for the Commanding Officer to invite 
all the officers of every rank and grade to dine with him 

267 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

on what they call Commission-day that is, the anni 
versary of the day en which the ship was put in com 
mission. He told me that he had just dined fifty-four 
officers, including in the number the Boatswain, Car 
penter, Gunner, and Sail-maker. I thought this was 
doing pretty well for aristocratic old England. In the 
Navy of democratic America I do not believe such a 
thing has ever occurred. I think, however, it is a very 
pretty custom, and I see no reason why it should not 
obtain with us. When Lyon came to see me on board 
the Franklin he looked about my cabin with a view of 
seeing how many people I could dine, for he seemed 
full of the project which he had just carried out in his 
own ship. 

Lord Lytton was at this time the British Minister at 
the Court of Portugal. As every one knows, he was 
the "Owen Meredith" of Lucile. He lived in beautiful 
style in Lisbon, every part of his house showing evidence 
of his exquisite taste. On entering the hall the first 
thing which presented itself to the eye was a sort of 
receptacle filled with about a hundred yellow gourds of 
different kinds. The effect was very startling, and it 
seemed odd and strange, but nevertheless it produced a 
most pleasing impression upon the eye. His dining- 
room walls were so covered with rare china that one 
could hardly see them at all, and the whole establish 
ment was filled with things of beauty. He gave our 
Admiral a handsome dinner, to which I had the honor 
of being invited. At the time I thought it was altogether 
the most beautiful dinner I had ever attended. Every 
thing was delightfully cooked, and served in excellent 
taste, and, the wines were as good as could be had any 
where. The only lady present was Lady Lytton herself, 
and, besides our Admiral, the only distinguished guest was 

268 



LORD AND LADY LYTTON 

Sir Beauchamp Seymour, the Admiral I have referred 
to who commanded the British Channel Fleet. The 
dinner passed off most pleasantly. Lady Lytton, at 
the proper time, arose and retired to the drawing-room. 
The men sat for some time, as was the English custom 
at that day, and continued their wine-drinking. Finally, 
when I was quite sure we had all had enough, Lord 
Lytton said, " I know that you are all dying for a 
smoke ; whoever wants to smoke, follow me." Where 
upon we all rose from the table and followed him out 
of the dining-room. To my surprise, he ushered us into 
the drawing-room and said, " Here is where we smoke ; 
Lady Lytton likes it, and we always smoke here." Lady 
Lytton smiled sweetly, acknowledging the truth of what 
her husband had just said, and we all sat down to our 
cigars and coffee. Lady Lytton was a charming, hand 
some woman, in every way fitted to be the wife of a 
man so distinguished as Lord Lytton then was, and who 
was further to occupy positions of great trust and re 
sponsibility, first as Viceroy of India and afterwards as 
Ambassador to France. Lord Lytton conceived a great 
liking for Admiral Worden, and seemed to enjoy his 
society very much. He frequently visited the Franklin, 
and manifested his preference for him in many ways. 
During our stay in the Tagus, Lytton was appointed by 
Disraeli Yiceroy of India. At first he pleaded ill- 
health, and was rather averse to accepting the position, 
high and honorable as it was ; but, notwithstanding, the 
Premier insisted upon his going, and he finally accepted. 
He was obliged to go off hurriedly to England, and 
leave Lady Lytton in Lisbon to follow in a few days. 
On the day that she sailed Worden went himself in his 
barge to the landing and escorted her to the steamer. 
When Lytton was appointed to India he had not yet 

269 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

reached a very high position in the Diplomatic Corps, 
but Disraeli knew his man, and felt assured that he 
possessed the very qualifications which would fit him 
to fill with credit that exalted position. I was told by 
a British Admiral about this time that the Viceroy of 
India could spend from his salary all that was proper 
and necessary and yet at the end of his term of office 
easily have saved fifty thousand pounds. 

In the country, at some distance from Lisbon, at this 
time was living a Major Smith, formerly of the British 
Army. He also took a great fancy to the Admiral. 
He had resigned from the Army, and was afterwards 
appointed Consul at Lisbon. At this time he was living 
at a pretty place he had purchased, which was formerly 
a convent, and was operating a paper-mill. His wife, 
a handsome and interesting woman, was the daughter 
of an Admiral in the British Navy I think Admiral 
Keppel. Major Smith invited the Admiral, Lieutenant 
Soley, and me to visit him at his home, which was not 
far from the lines of Torres Yedras. We could not 
resist such an alluring opportunity of seeing something 
of inland Portugal. The convent, transformed into a 
dwelling-house, possessed every comfort that can be 
found in any well-regulated country gentleman s estab 
lishment in England, and, although there was not much 
to do, there was real enjoyment in passing a few days 
in this hospitable mansion. The Major was a good 
farmer, and his table was always loaded with the choic 
est products of the kitchen, garden, and dairy. We all 
appreciated the delicious cream and butter which the 
latter produced. We enjoyed this visit of three or four 
days very much, and returned to the ship with a lively 
appreciation of the Major s hospitality. 

The only American woman that resided at Lisbon at 

270 



CAPTAIN MAHAN 

this time was Madame Susa Lobo. She had married, 
some years before, the Portuguese Minister of that 
name, then representing his country at "Washington. I 
think her name had been Allen before she married. I 
used to see her from time to time, and enjoyed her 
sprightly and animated conversation very much. Her 
husband was not employed at this time. A few years 
afterwards I met her in the United States ; she had fall 
en into ill-health, and I think soon afterwards died. I 
have always remembered her as an agreeable and inter 
esting woman. 

It was during this visit to Lisbon that I met Captain 
Mahan for the second time. My first meeting with 
him was in the autumn of 1863, when I was Chief of 
Staff to Commodore Bell ; he came from the North, and 
reported for duty on board the Seminole. I suggested to 
him that there was a vacancy in the MonongaheLa, and 
that Bell might, if he were asked, transfer him to her ; 
he did ask, but was refused an officer named Prentiss 
was ordered to her, and was killed at Mobile. MahaYi, 
in a letter to me, says, " Perhaps we exchanged destinies." 
I have no hesitation in saying that, in my opinion, Cap 
tain Mahan is the foremost writer of Naval history that 
the world has ever produced. He is not only a clear 
and logical writer about every matter connected with 
that interesting subject, but his illustrations mark him 
as possessing literary ability of the highest order. I 
will quote, in corroboration of what I have stated, two 
or three examples. He says of the growth of the 
French Navy when fostered by Colbert : " Yet all this 
wonderful growth, forced by the action of the Govern 
ment, withered away like Jonah s gourd when the Gov 
ernment s favor was withdrawn." Again: "The sea 
power of England, therefore, was not merely in the 

271 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

great Navy with which we too commonly and exclu 
sively associate it. France had such a Navy in 1688, 
and it shrivelled away like a leaf in the fire." Then 
again, in speaking of the power of Napoleon : " Great 
as was the power of Napoleon, it ceased, like that of 
certain wizards, when it reached the water." These ex 
pressions are so indelibly fixed in my mind that I doubt 
if I shall ever forget them. Mahan s Life of Nelson, 
which I have just read, is so interesting, and differs so 
much from what has hitherto been written concerning 
that illustrious Admiral, that I trust he will continue 
his labors until he has presented us with the lives and 
characters of all the great Naval heroes known to his 
tory. 

In the preface to his second work on Sea Power, Ma- 
han says, in speaking of himself : " That the author has 
done so is due wholly and exclusively to the Naval War 
College, which was instituted to promote such studies. 
If further success attend his present venture, it is his 
hope that this avowal may help to assure the long un 
certain fortunes of the College to which and to its 
founder, Eear- Admiral Stephen B. Luce he gratefully 
acknowledges his indebtedness for guiding him into a 
path he would not himself have found." I make this 
brief quotation from Mahan to show what a high ap 
preciation he had of Admiral Luce, and also that it may 
give me an opportunity to say how entirely I am in ac 
cord with his idea of this distinguished Naval officer. 
Luce was one of my classmates, who early in his career 
gave promise of what he would achieve in the future. 
He was a great reader and student, and when he was 
still quite young published Luce s Seamanship, which 
was for years the text -book at the Naval Academy 
on that important branch of the profession. He after- 

272 



LEAVE LISBON FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN 

wards became interested in the training system, and did 
more than any one else to establish it upon a firm basis. 
One day, when we were together in Washington, he 
told me that he desired to have a conversation with me 
upon a subject to which he had been giving a great 
deal of thought ; it was that of the importance of the 
study of grand strategy by Naval officers. I thoroughly 
agreed with him in all he had to say upon the impor 
tant subject which he had so much at heart. He de 
sired to have established a War College at which Naval 
officers could take a post-graduate course, and he battled 
away against adverse criticism and serious opposition 
until his idea became embodied and the College was a 
fixed fact. 

I regard Luce as one of the most distinguished Naval 
officers this country has produced, and am glad to be 
able to place my opinion on record here. 

There was now no longer any reason why we should 
not return to the Mediterranean. Diplomacy, instead 
of war, had brought our differences with Spain to a suc 
cessful termination. Accordingly we left the Tagus, 
and soon found ourselves moored at the Flag -ship s 
buoy in Yillefranche. My cruise of three years would 
now soon be completed, and I informed the Navy De 
partment that I desired to be relieved when I had seen 
the usual amount of service afloat. When Admiral 
Worden knew of my application, he was so earnest in 
his desire that I should recall it that he caused his Flag 
Lieutenant to write to me expressing his strong desire 
that I should continue to command the Fra/rMin after 
my three years had expired, suggesting at the same 
time that I should take a long leave of absence in Eu 
rope and then return to my command. When I found 
that the Admiral had the matter so much at heart, I 
s 273 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

felt that I could no longer insist upon my application, 
and consented to remain. 

Having now determined to continue the cruise, I was 
granted a leave of absence, and left J^ice for Paris, in 
tending to be absent from the ship for a month or more. 
I took up my quarters at the Grand Hotel du Louvre, 
which was at that time to my mind a delightful hotel. 
The table d hote was excellent, and each guest was fur 
nished with a large carafe of excellent Macon wine, 
and if that gave out he was supplied with another. 
The price for all this was only six francs. A dame de 
comptoir sat at a table near the door of the dining salon, 
and for the consideration of the above-named price fur 
nished each guest with a ticket which gave him the en 
tree. There were two long tables parallel to each other, 
which stretched nearly the whole length of the salon. 
These tables were nearly always filled, and, as the room 
was brilliantly lighted, the scene presented was very at 
tractive. The dinner was served in courses, and, as it 
was always good, it was not difficult to imagine one s self 
at a well-ordered dinner-party. I amused myself stroll 
ing about Paris, and visited the various objects of in 
terest, so many of which present themselves in this gay 
capital. I had never seen the Jardin Malille, of which 
so much has been said and written, so one evening I 
drifted into that far-famed place of amusement. It 
happened to be an off night, and there was no dancing. 
I had expected to see that of which I had heard so 
much I mean, to see one of the dancing-girls kick off 
the hat of her partner as they whirled around in the 
mazes of the dance, etc. but the whole scene at the 
garden was as tame as it could be, and I felt very much 
disappointed at not having seen the great Parisian sight. 

I was not long permitted to enjoy the pleasures of 

274 



ORDERED TO SALONICA 

Europe s gay capital, for I had been there not more 
than a week when I received a telegram from the Ad 
miral directing me to join the ship without delay. The 
occasion of this abrupt ending to my leave of absence 
was some difficulty which had arisen in Salonica, which 
necessitated the presence there of the Admiral with the 
Flag-ship at once. I left Paris immediately, and the 
moment I joined the ship we got under way for the 
above-named port. It seems that some fanatical Mus 
sulmans had attacked and killed a Consul of some na 
tion, and in the broil our Consulate had in some way 
become involved, so that it was necessary for us to 
show a force as quickly as possible at that point. We 
lost so little time in getting there that I carried with 
me later dates from Paris than those carried by the 
regular mails. The Mediterranean was as quiet as a 
mill-pond during the entire trip, and the Franklin did 
her best. In all my cruising in that sea I have never 
known the scenery to appear so beautiful. As we passed 
through the Straits of Messina the sun was getting low, 
and would apparently set behind a hill, when suddenly 
it would rise to us again, at the same time shedding the 
loveliest coloring on all the surrounding country. It 
was one of those pictures that makes an impression 
never to be forgotten. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

Life in Smyrna At Villefranche Mayoral Receptions Monte Carlo 
After "Boss" Tweed Return Home An Ugly Time on the 
Franklin Origin of a True Story "Ben" and the "Meadow- 
larks." 

THE Salonica difficulty was soon arranged, but there 
was trouble brewing in the East, and the Admiral de 
cided to remain in those waters for the present. We 
went to Smyrna, where we lay at anchor for a consider 
able period. The Admiral went to Constantinople to 
consult with the Minister, Mr. Maynard. He was obliged 
to go by merchant steamer, as a ship of the size of the 
Franklin was not permitted to pass the Dardanelles. 
Turkey was in trouble, as she always is. Abdul- Aziz 
was found dead in his bath, and there seemed to be 
some confusion about the succession. I heard a good 
deal of talk about the Sheik ul Islam and the Softas, but 
I do not now know what it all meant ; it is difficult to 
understand Turkish politics when one is on the spot, 
but still more difficult to have an appreciation of it af 
ter a lapse of years. The joke of the day, I remember, 
was that " the late Sultan was no longer Abdul- Aziz, 
but Abdul as was." 

The Admiral returned from Constantinople, but af 
fairs in the East were so unsettled that he decided to 
remain some time longer in Smyrna. It was a dull, un 
interesting place. One could not venture outside of the 
limits of the City without risking an attack from brig- 



LEAVE SMYRNA FOR VILLEFRANCHE 

ands. The ruins of the great Temple of Diana of the 
Ephesians are not far from the City, but even after 
one takes the risk of seeing its site there is nothing but 
that to repay him, for scarcely a vestige of the ruin re 
mains. As we lay at Smyrna, day after day, the life be 
came very tiresome, and we all longed for the time 
when we would leave the fez, the veiled women, and 
the dirt of the East far behind us. The condition of 
affairs soon afterwards became such that its bearing 
upon the interests of the United States was of so little 
importance that the Admiral determined to take the 
Flag -ship to the western part of the Station. We 
accordingly sailed from Smyrna, and made our way 
towards the Headquarters of the Station at Yille- 
franche. We were dela3 r ed on this passage by a per 
sistent head-wind from the westward, which blew at 
times with such violence that we could make scarcely 
any headway against it ; indeed, we were obliged to 
anchor one night under the lee of the Island of Cyprus, 
in order to save fuel, which we were consuming at a 
rate altogether out of proportion to the end to be ac 
complished. I happen to remember this night so dis 
tinctly from the fact that years after one of the officers 
told me that some of his messmates had swum ashore 
to a village abreast of where the ship was anchored, 
had had a little frolic, and had then swum back again. 
The weather was warm, and I have a dim recollection 
of having given some of the officers permission to bathe 
alongside. This little escapade did not reach my ears 
at the time, or I should have felt it my duty to disci 
pline the offenders. I am glad it did not, for now, 
through the long interval of time that has since passed, 
I look upon it as a prank of a lot of dashing young 
fellows who were ready for anything. 

277 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

By morning the wind had sufficiently moderated to 
enable us to make good headway on our course, so 
we sailed for Yillefranche, where we arrived in the 
course of a few days, and settled down to the routine 
life of the place. It was a great boon to the inhabitants 
of this little town to have it the Headquarters of the 
American Squadron. It contained about a thousand 
inhabitants, and I think we contributed more than any 
thing else to the support of its people. It was an inter 
esting sight every day at noon to see a row of milk- 
women ranged along the port gangway, nicely dressed, 
wearing white aprons and white caps, dispensing to the 
sailors, for the consideration of a few sous, enough bread 
and milk to make them a comfortable meal, always ac 
companying the bargain with a pleasant smile to warm 
up Jacky s heart. They made a good deal of money as 
the laundry-women of the fleet, for although Jack al 
ways washes his own clothes at sea, yet he always likes 
to have an ironed shirt for Sunday and holiday wear. 
In various other ways the people managed to turn an 
honest penny. Their men were the boatmen of the 
Squadron, and I presume they often brought off to the 
ship as many as a hundred passengers in the course of 
a day. Our sailors would sometimes marry in Yille 
franche, but I doubt if they could always be relied 
upon to return to their wives after the cruise was over. 
It was altogether a very interesting little community, 
and there was always a strong friendship between the 
people of the fleet and those of this little French town. 

The Mayor of Yillefranche was a very interesting 
character named Pollonais. He had amassed a large 
fortune, and had built himself a beautiful villa on Cape 
Ferrat, a point which helps to make the harbor. He 
was an exceedingly charitable man, and untiring in his 

278 



GAMBLING AT MONTE CARLO 

efforts to make the people of the little community over 
which he presided prosperous and happy ; and when one 
saw the air of content which seemed to pervade these 
people, one could not help feeling that he had been suc 
cessful. His wife, Madame Pollonais, was not behind 
him in ministering to their wants and comforts, for her 
life was full of works of charity and kindness, and she 
was adored by every one who knew her. The Pollo 
nais were in the habit of giving large breakfast-parties 
every Sunday. The Commanding Officers of our ships 
of war, when they were at Yillefranche, were never left 
out of these feasts, for that is what they literally were. 
I have never forgotten the immense salmon which 
was always a part of breakfast, and which stretched 
from one side of the table to the other. Sunday was 
the reception-day of these hospitable people, and the 
breakfast guests were expected to pass the afternoon 
there and meet the visitors from Nice and those who 
were passing to and from Monte Carlo, for their villa 
was nearly in the direct route between these places. 

In those days, as perhaps now, every one went to 
Monte Carlo. For my own part, I can say with truth 
that I never played there, not as a matter of principle, 
but because it was distasteful to me to mix as a player 
with the crowd which surrounded the tables. I have 
chipped in with others to form a pool, but never won 
in a single instance. I used to take great pleasure in 
drifting into the little theatre connected with the Casino, 
where music of the choicest kind could always be heard. 
I also enjoyed the dinners and petits soupers which could 
be had there in perfection. I was told that one of the 
officers of the Squadron won a large sum of money, 
going up into the thousands, and that he had the good 
sense to send it home and to stop playing. When I 

279 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

was Commander-in-Chief of the European Squadron at 
a later day, I was obliged to shut down on some of the 
frequenters of Monte Carlo. I shall not mention the 
names of these gentlemen, but they will probably recog 
nize themselves if this narrative should ever meet their 
eyes. It has always been a mooted question whether, 
on account of the gambling at Monte Carlo, it would 
not be better to have our Headquarters at some place 
where there was not this temptation. The question 
then arises whether, if the people will gamble, it is not 
better that they should lose their money at a public 
table than to play amongst themselves and win from 
each other. There is a story about Monte Carlo, I pre 
sume well known to Naval officers who frequented that 
place, about some officer who had worked out math 
ematically how he could beat the bank, and induced 
some of his messmates to chip in with him. It was 
rather early in the night when he returned to the ship. 
As he came alongside he requested the boatman to wait 
a moment, and, rushing up to the officer of the deck, 
requested him to lend him a franc to pay the man for 
bringing him on board. It is needless to say that his 
mathematical problem proved a failure, 

It was now about midsummer of the year 1876. The 
Salonica affair having brought my leave of absence to a 
sudden termination, I determined to make another effort 
to have a few weeks of freedom from the care and re 
sponsibility of my command. Accordingly I took a 
leave, and ran about Europe for a while, taking in the 
Pyrenees, when I visited such places of interest as 
Lourdes, and saw there the famous grotto, so renowned 
all over the Catholic world; also the Bagneres-de- 
Luchon, the " Serchon " of Owen Meredith s Lucile. As 
one ascends the mountains at this place he encounters 

280 



MEETING - BOSS" TWEED AT VIGO 

lake after lake, until he reaches the region of perpetual 
snow, where he finds one the surface of which is always 
frozen. After remaining awhile in these mountains, I 
returned to Villefrance by way of lakes Como and 
Maggiore, and rejoined the ship. This trip, and the 
sights seen during journeyings over it, have been so 
often described by travellers that I will not undertake 
description here. 

The terms of service for which the crew of the 
Franklin had enlisted were now soon to expire. In 
September orders arrived from home directing the Ad 
miral to send the ship to the United States. He was 
to remain in command of the Squadron. The Trenton 
was then either on her way out or being fitted to be 
his Flag-ship. I accordingly bid farewell to Nice and 
its beautiful surroundings, and in a few days reached Gib 
raltar. While there, expecting to sail for home in a few 
days, a cablegram reached me directing me to proceed to 
Yigo in Spain, and there take on board " Boss " Tweed 
and convey him to the United States. The cablegram 
also directed me to treat him kindly, which I should 
have done anyhow. Upon my arrival at Yigo I im 
mediately made arrangements with the authorities to 
receive him on board. In order to avoid anything sen 
sational, it was agreed between us that a boat should 
be sent for him at ten o clock. By this time the crew 
would have been in bed for an hour, for we always 
"piped down," as it is called, at nine o clock. As he 
came on board I was at the gangway and said, " How 
do you do, Mr. Tweed ?" whereupon some one who ac 
companied him I think his son-in-law stepped for 
ward and said, "Not Mr. Tweed Mr. Secor." This 
attempt at concealment was so weak that I took no 
notice of it, but accompanied him at once to the Ad- 

281 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

miral s cabin, which was to be his place of sojourn dur 
ing the voyage. It was not occupied by any one at 
this time, and seemed a very good place for him. I 
told him that a young man had been inquiring for him, 
whereupon he told me it was his son. He had too 
much sense to attempt any concealment himself. 

The passage home was uneventful and very long. 
The trade -winds were light, and we did not carry 
coal enough to justify me in using it up for the purpose 
of shortening the passage a little. Some of the officers 
would go into the Admiral s cabin during the voyage 
and play cards with my passenger to help him while 
away the time. F malty, after a long passage, we ar 
rived off our coast, having touched at St. Thomas en 
route to fill up with coal. It was a cool November day 
as we passed Sandy Hook. I delivered my charge to 
the proper authorities, anchored the ship off the Bat 
tery, and my cruise was at an end. It was not thought 
proper to put the ship out of commission at this time. 
The Presidential election had not yet been decided, and 
the times were uncertain. Things looked a little squally, 
and I was told by one in authority, who knew, that it 
was thought best to keep the Franklin in commission. 
I saw Mr. Robeson, then Secretary of the Navy, at the 
Fifth Avenue Hotel, and told him that I desired to be 
relieved ; he was very pleasant, and replied at once that 
he would accede to my wishes, and that I should have 
some pleasant duty assigned to me. In a few days 
Captain Ransom reported as my relief, and I was happy 
to turn over to him the finest ship that I think the 
Navy then possessed of the old type. 

Before bidding adieu to the old Franklin I must re 
late an incident of the cruise that might have been at 
tended with very serious consequences. When it was 

282 



A MUTINY SUPPRESSED 

nearly at an end, at a time when Jack is hoarding up 
his gains for his final frolic, the Department sent out a 
lot of working -clothes, directing that a suit should be 
issued to each man on board. As many of the men al 
ready had clothes in which they did their rough work, 
and as the new ones would have to be paid for out of 
their wages, they complained of this as being, what they 
thought, an act of injustice. When I learned what the 
feeling was, although I lamented the necessit}^ under 
the circumstances, of having to enforce the order, I felt 
that it must be done and that discipline must be main^ 
tained, cost what it might. I ordered the officer of the 
first division to call his men to quarters and direct each 
man in his division to take a suit of these clothes. The 
result was that the men all declined. I saw then that 
I must take the matter in hand in person. I sent for 
the Mas ter-of- Arms and asked him how many irons he 
had, to which he replied that he had two hundred pairs. 
I then had the men mustered on the quarter-deck. I 
called upon the first man on the roll, and asked him if 
he would take the clothes, to which he replied in the neg 
ative ; he was immediately placed in double irons. The 
second, third, fourth, and fifth men made the same reply 
and shared the same fate. Things began to look grave, 
but by a piece of great good-luck the sixth man hap 
pened to be one of my gig s crew ; he touched his hat 
respectfully and said, "I suppose I must, sir." Had 
this man not had a personal liking for me, the refusal 
to accept those clothes might have become general. As 
it was, after he set the example, the rest of the crew 
followed in his wake, and the cause of discipline tri 
umphed. 

I often feel uncomfortable now when I think of what 
might have been the consequence if the whole crew had 

283 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

followed the lead of the first five my irons would soon 
have become exhausted, and I should have been obliged to 
secure three hundred of the men in some other way ; and 
after they had all been secured, what then ? I could not 
recede from the stand I had taken, for I was obliged to 
maintain the discipline of the ship, for which I was an 
swerable to the Admiral. To be sure, there were still 
the guard of Marines, numbering fifty or sixty men, 
the servants and idlers, numbering perhaps as many 
more, but the ship would, for the time being, have been 
disabled, and so would have remained as long as this 
spirit of disobedience continued with the crew. I have 
always felt under the deepest obligation to the member 
of my boat s crew who, from his personal liking for me, 
sacrificed himself, I am sure, to relieve me from the very 
embarrassing position in which I was necessarily placed 
by the peculiar situation. I think that he felt that his 
shipmates were wrong in not obeying the order, but he 
also felt, I am sure, that their cause was a just one. Af 
ter the matter had thus been settled, without any further 
trouble, I caused the five men to be released from con 
finement. I then called up the petty officers, and told 
them that, since the crew had shown a better disposition, 
I would so far take the responsibility upon myself as to 
modify the Department s order, and require only those 
who had no working-clothes to accept a suit of those 
that had been sent out. This seemed entirely satisfac 
tory, and thus the matter ended. Not long after this 
affair there appeared in the New York Herald a most 
sensational notice, headed, " Mutiny on board the United 
States S.S. Franklin. The Captain seen on the Bridge in 
his Shirt-sleeves, Armed with a Eevolver, having already 
Killed Two Men," etc. This startling notice, calculated 
as it was to alarm the friends of the people of the Frank- 

284 



HOW THE KING FELL DOWN THE HATCH 

lin, was immediately telegraphed to the ship, whereupon 
Lieutenant Soley, the Admiral s Flag Lieutenant, at once 
placed himself in communication with the agent of the 
Herald in London, and the result was that the report 
was promptly denied the next day. 

Before leaving the subject of the Franklin I must re 
late a story well known to both the American and Brit 
ish Navies, although its real origin is known perhaps 
to very few in either service, in which the Franklin 
plays a very conspicuous part. The King of Naples and 
his suite were visiting a man-of-war lying in the Bay, 
when one of the suite, taking a wind-sail, which conveys 
the air through the hatchway to the lower decks, and 
very much resembles a marble pillar, to be a real pillar, 
leaned against it, and as it yielded to his weight he was 
precipitated down the hatch and broke his leg. The of 
ficer of the deck did not happen to see what had occurred, 
and was very busily engaged about the decks when an 
old shell-back Quartermaster rushed up to him, repeat 
edly touching his hat without receiving any recognition. 
Finally he could stand it no longer, and yelled out at the 
top of his lungs, " Please, sir, one of them Kings has 
fallen down the hatch !" I have heard this story told in 
many different ways, but the idea is always the same, 
that Jack s notion was that they were all Kings, suite and 
all. And now as to its origin. I was taking luncheon 
one day with the Commandant of the Naval Station at 
Gibraltar. His place of residence is situated well up on 
the Rock, commanding a beautiful view of the sur 
roundings and the anchorage. One of my fellow-guests 
at this luncheon was a retired British Admiral, whose 
name, I regret to say, I have forgotten. After having 
had a most agreeable time at the table, we all retired to 
a pretty little summer-house, where we smoked our 

285 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

cigars as we looked down upon the shipping in the Bay 
below. We had not been sitting long when the eye 
of the British Admiral happened to light upon the 
Franklin. Turning to me, he said, "Captain, do you 
happen to know that the ship you command is the same 
upon which occurred the event on which is founded 
that celebrated story, well known to both services, about 
one of them Kings ?" "When I replied that I did not, 
he proceeded to tell me how he knew it to be true, for 
he was on the spot himself. Ke said the Franklin was 
then a line-of-battle ship, and that he was a Midshipman 
on board of one of H. B. M. s. ships at the time ; that he 
remembered the event perfectly, and that it was im 
pressed upon his mind so strongly because the Surgeon 
of his ship was sent for from the Franklin to assist in 
setting the man s broken leg. So the story of " one of 
them Kings," which, as I said before, is a standard yarn 
in both services, belongs to the Franklin. 

It will be observed that I have spoken of the Frank 
lin as a line-of-battle ship, or, as they were also called in 
those days, a seventy-four. "When she was rebuilt she 
was an entirely different vessel, having, when I com 
manded her, but two fighting decks, whereas the original 
ship had three. I remember, when I was a youngster 
still, I wandered about her half-finished hull when she 
was on the stocks at Portsmouth, and wondered if it 
would ever be my fate to serve in this ship bearing my 
own name, never dreaming, then, that I should ever 
reach a rank high enough to command her. "While I 
was cruising in the eastern part of the Mediterranean, 
the similarity of the names would give rise to curious 
questions on the part of the Orientals, who, not being 
accustomed to Anglo-Saxon names, would always be 
puzzled until they thoroughly understood the situation. 

286 



"BEN" AND THE " MEADO W-L ARKS " 

The officers at the Quarantine Stations, when our Med 
ical officer would give the name of the ship, and then of 
the Captain, would say, " Yes, we understand ; but we 
want the Captain s name;" and when told it was Frank 
lin would look mystified and ask if the ship belonged 
to him, and would want to know if the ship was named 
after him, or he was named after the ship. 

The story of this cruise of the Franklin would be in 
complete if I failed to make some mention of a dog 
which held a large place in the affections of the officers 
and crew. This little animal, a brindled French terrier, 
was brought on board by one of the sailors when he re 
turned from his leave on shore. It was very small, and 
was immediately called " Ben Franklin," without regard 
to its sex. Almost the first thing that Ben did was to 
fall down a hatch and break her leg ; this was thought 
to be the end of Ben, but she was taken to the hospital, 
her leg put in splints, and in the course of time she re 
covered, although always limping a little afterwards. 
Lieutenant Stevens took an especial interest in Ben, and 
by care and attention she grew up to be a very respect 
able dog. Some of the officers formed themselves into 
a society, which they called the " Meadow-larks," mem 
bership in which was not confined to human beings, but 
might include anything that was new and strange, or 
any person or thing that was agreeable to them. So 
Ben became a member of this organization, as did also a 
comet which appeared in the heavens about this time ; 
and since the Queen of Greece was a special favorite 
with the members of the society, she was elected a mem 
ber also. Some of the " Meadow-larks" are still living, 
and, I think, look back with pleasure to the days when 
their little Club was first formed. 

Ben was soon a favorite with the crew ; they taught 

287 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

her all sorts of tricks, until she became very accom 
plished. Strange as it may seem, they taught her to 
sing, and almost always, when guests were on board, 
one of the sights was to have Ben up on the poop-deck 
to sing, and nothing that they had seen on board seemed 
to give visitors more pleasure, or excite more interest, 
than the performance of this wonderful dog. For a 
long time after she came on board, nothing could induce 
her to approach the quarter-deck ; she was, jw excellence, 
a forecastle dog. By degrees she became bolder and 
bolder, and was induced one day to go as far as the 
cabin ; but when she looked inside something seemed to 
frighten her, and she rushed forward, apparently very 
much alarmed. In a few days, however, she was em 
boldened to make another attempt, so that not long af 
terwards she was induced to come in and lie down on 
the sofa. All at once it seemed to have dawned upon 
her that she had found a soft spot, and soon she ceased 
to be a forecastle dog altogether. One of her peculiari 
ties was to eat raw potatoes, oranges, and apples, the 
only instance of the kind I have ever seen or heard of. 
At the end of the cruise I took Ben home with me, and 
she finally brought up on a farm near Washington, 
where she died. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

Promoted Commodore The West Point Board of Visitors Appoint 
ment of Cadets Life in Washington Observatory Management 
In Command of the European Station Promoted Rear-Ad iniral. 

WHEN I was relieved by Captain Ransom of the com 
mand of the Franklin, I took a short leave of absence, 
after which I reported for duty at the Navy- Yard at 
Norfolk, as Executive Officer of the Yard. This posi 
tion at that time carried with it no authority, and I was 
glad to be relieved, which I soon was at my own re 
quest. I was afterwards, for short periods, Executive 
Officer of the Naval Station at New London, and of the 
Navy- Yard at Washington. When Admiral Wyman 
was promoted, I succeeded him as Ilydrographer. I be 
came subsequently President of the Examining Board 
for the promotion of officers to the next higher grade. 
I was promoted to the grade of Commodore on the 28th 
of May, 1881. 

About this time I was appointed by the President 
one of the Board of Visitors to West Point. Associ 
ated with me on the part of the Army was General 
Augur. At that time it was the custom to have both 
branches of the Military Service represented on the 
Board, but I believe this practice has now been aban 
doned altogether. One of the most interesting of my 
colleagues was Mr. John C. Ropes, of Boston. His 
knowledge of military matters was something wonder 
ful; he was not only an expert in matters of grand 
T 289 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

strategy, but he was equally good in the most minute 
details connected with war. It was delightful to hear 
him discuss the great battles of the Civil War with the 
veterans who fought in them, with an intelligence equal 
to their own, and with a knowledge which it seemed 
quite impossible to possess without having been on the 
spot while the engagements were going on. In illus 
tration of what I have stated with reference to his 
knowledge of details, I think he had stored away in his 
brain the names of every Brigadier-General, if not of 
every Colonel of a regiment, that fought on the field 
of Gettysburg. Mr. Ropes possesses the finest private 
military library in this or perhaps any other country, 
and I fancy that there is but little in the volumes it 
contains that is not familiar to him in a greater or less 
degree. His knowledge of Napoleon, and everything 
connected with that great soldier, is wonderful; and 
while one might, perhaps, in view of the literature about 
Napoleon s life and times with which the world has re 
cently been flooded, differ from him in his admiration 
of Bonaparte, yet, upon the whole, it has always seemed 
to me his estimate of the man, and what he did for 
Europe, is correct. I was also very much struck with 
the ability which Mr. Eopes displayed in matters other 
than those that were military. It happened that there 
were two clergymen on the Board, and in one of our 
informal discussions he proved himself to be an excel 
lent theologian. Another member of our Board was Mr. 
David A. Wells, the well-known political economist. He 
would discourse upon his pet theme, " Free Trade," and 
I remember well, after enlarging one day upon how 
its existence in this country would benefit the people, 
he wound up by saying that if, with our fine climate, 
fertile soil, and industrious population, we could not get 

290 



DISCUSSION AS TO SELECTING CADETS 

on without a tariff, we had better get up and go some 
where else. Professor Yen able, from the University of 
Yirginia, was also one of my colleagues. He had been 
on General Lee s Staff at the battle of Gettysburg, and 
Mr. Eopes never tired of conversing with him upon this 
great fight, with regard to which he himself was so fa 
miliar. 

The subject of the best method of appointing Cadets 
to West Point, which would apply equally well to those 
of the Naval Academy, was informally discussed one 
day by the members of the Board. The question was 
whether it was better to appoint boys from public 
schools who had succeeded best in competitive examina 
tions, or whether better results could not be obtained 
by adhering to the custom of leaving the appointment 
to the judgment of the Member of Congress of the Dis 
trict from which the Cadet was to be named. My 
recollection of the result of this discussion is that the 
latter system was regarded as much the better of the 
two. It was argued that because a boy excelled in book- 
learning it by no means followed that he possessed the 
qualities necessary to make a good Military or Naval 
officer, as mere scholarship would not meet the require 
ments that these positions demanded ; while, on the 
other hand, the Member of Congress was more com 
petent to select the proper person, from the knowledge 
that he necessarily possessed of the children of his con 
stituents, with whom his position must, more or less, 
intimately throw him. I thought that the reasoning 
was good, and I think so now. Mr. David A. Wells 
wrote the report of the Board, and in conclusion said 
that the system of education and training at the Mili 
tary Academy was calculated to produce a class of men 
that would neither steal nor tell lies. 

291 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

During a portion of the years 1878 and 1879 I lived 
at the Ebbitt House, where I knew more or less inti 
mately a number of distinguished people. Major McKin- 
ley and Mrs. McKinley were then living there, both of 
whom I had the pleasure of knowing very well. When 
the Major was elected Governor of Ohio I wrote him a 
letter of congratulation, and the following is a copy of 
the letter which I received in reply : 

CANTON, OHIO, December 10th, 1891. 
"ADMIRAL S. R. FRANKLIN, Washington, D. C. : 

" My dear Admiral, Your very cordial letter of November 33d 
reached me in due course of mail, and would have been answered 
earlier, but I have been absent from home. 

" I want to say that of the thousands of letters I have received 
since election none have given me more real pleasure than yours. I 
remember very well fifteen years ago, when we were together at the 
Ebbitt House you a Captain. I remember the delightful days we 
had together. I have noticed from time to time with satisfaction 
the progress you have made in your profession, going through the 
various grades until you have reached the highest place. All these 
you have deserved. It seems to me, though, hardly right that you 
should be retired from, active service when you are really now at 
your best. 

"Mrs. McKinley joins me in kind regards to yourself and Mrs. 
Franklin. 

" Cannot you run over to Columbus and see us ? 

" Yours truly, 
"(Signed) WM. MCKINLEY." 

I have seen him several times since his elevation to 
the high position which he now occupies, and I still 
find him the same genial gentleman that he was in 
those days. 

General Sherman lived at the Ebbitt House at that 
time, and I had the pleasure of knowing him and his 
interesting family as well. The General invited me to 
accompany him to one of the annual reunions of the 

292 



REPLY TO THE TOAST OF "THE NAVY" 

Army of the Tennessee, which met that year at In 
dianapolis. I accepted the invitation, and went in com 
pany with him, General McFeeley, Commodore Law, 
and a number of others. At the banquet which formed 
a part of the occasion I was expected to reply to the 
toast to the Navy, and had written out a brief speech 
and committed it to memory. While we were at the 
table the newspaper men appeared and asked for my 
speech, which, as I knew it by heart, I gave without 
hesitation. As the dinner advanced, and the time for 
speech -making came, I found that so distinguished a 
statesman as Mr. Hendricks read his speech from a 
manuscript. With this example before my eyes I sent 
at once to the printer to have mine returned, in order 
that I might not appear presumptuous by an effort to 
extemporize when so distinguished a man as Hendricks 
had not done so. Meanwhile Sherman rose and replied 
to the toast to the Army, while I was becoming more 
and more nervous as he was nearing the end of his re 
marks, for fear that a copy of my speech would not be 
returned to me before he finished ; and, as a matter of 
fact, it was not. To my horror I heard Sherman say: 
" And now I will turn you over to Commodore Frank 
lin, who will talk to you about the Navy." It is a won- 
der to me now, as I look back to that scene, that I had 
not forgotten what I had to say altogether, but it so 
happened that I remembered every word of it and I 
believe I acquitted myself creditably enough. At a 
meeting that was held afterwards in the theatre, Gen 
eral Harrison who afterwards became President re 
plied to the toast to the ladies, and I have never for 
gotten how beautifully he spoke. 

In February, 1884, I was ordered to relieve Admiral 
Shufeldt as Superintendent of the Observatory. These 

293 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

orders were especially agreeable, for I was now occupy 
ing a position that had been held by my father-in-law, 
Rear-Admiral Sands, for seven years. I had now about 
three years and a half of active service before me, and I 
had expected and I think it was so understood at the 
Navy Department to remain at the head of the Ob 
servatory until I was retired ; but it was otherwise or 
dered, and I passed two years and a half of that time as 
Commander -in -Chief of the European Station. When 
I took charge of my new duties I found already at 
the Observatory Commander Sampson, a most compe 
tent officer, one who was in all respects admirably 
adapted to the position of Assistant to the Superinten 
dent, a good organizer, as well as a good astronomer. 
I found that under Admiral Shufeldt he had every 
thing in good running order, and the duties were so 
distributed that the right man was always to be found 
in the right place, and the work so arranged that the 
officers were employed in such branches of the scientific 
duties of the Observatory as suited each one s taste. I 
therefore found it necessary to make but little change. 
I did, however, create a permanent Board, whose duty 
it was to formulate a system of work for each year, 
which was to be communicated to the other Observa 
tories, in order that the work of all might be harmoni 
ous throughout. I think this plan was adopted by one 
of my successors, Commodore MclSTair, but I do not 
know whether it was adhered to by all of them. The 
Transit of Yenus Commission, of which I was a mem 
ber, was in existence at this time. My colleagues were 
Professors Newcomb and Harkness, both men of the 
highest order of scientific attainments. Professor New- 
comb has an international reputation, and not only is 
regarded as one of the first living astronomers, but he 

294 



HOW TO MANAGE AN OBSERVATORY 

has excelled in every other branch of science. Profess 
or Hall was stationed at the Observatory at this time. 
He had charge of the great Equatorial, which I think 
at that time was amongst the largest, if not the largest, 
in the world. He was most zealous and painstaking in 
his work with this instrument, as he was with every 
thing he undertook. He was the man of science whom 
I conveyed to Plover Bay some years before in order 
to observe the total eclipse of the sun ; I conceived an 
affectionate friendship for him then which I have con 
tinued to cherish ever since. To my mind he is one of 
the most charming of men. Every one knows that Pro 
fessor Hall discovered the satellites of Mars, by which 
discovery his name became well known all over the sci 
entific world, and by which he gained a reputation of 
which any astronomer might be proud. 

The scientific men of the country have been long 
endeavoring to secure the Superintendency of the Ob 
servatory for one of their number, and thus take it 
out of the hands of the Navy altogether. They have 
brought forward many arguments which have hither 
to been unavailing, and I sincerely hope they always 
will be. The head of the French National Observatory 
was formerly selected from amongst the scientific men 
of France, but it was found that the energies of that 
institution were always bent in the direction of the 
Superintendent s specialty, while other branches of the 
establishment would suffer. It was then decided, when 
this fact had been well determined, to place Admiral 
Monche at its head for a period of five years. It was 
thought that a Naval officer, without leaning towards 
any special branch of science, would direct the Observa 
tory in the interests of all ; and it so turned out. The 
Admiral remained for the five years for which he was 

295 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

appointed, in order that the experiment might be tried, 
and was continued in office afterwards, the conclusion 
having been reached that the experiment was success 
ful. This practical demonstration of the question seems 
to be the strongest argument in behalf of the system 
which now obtains with us that could be brought for 
ward. I do not believe, however, that the matter is yet 
settled, for I have understood that efforts are now being 
made to place at the head of our Observatory one of 
our most distinguished scientific men. 

I did not occupy the Superintendent s house during 
my tour of duty at the Observatory, having found Cap 
tain Sampson there, comfortably placed, and I had no 
desire to oust him. I remained with my family at the 
Portland, where I had a large apartment, and contin 
ued to live there until the warm weather came on. I 
then moved out to the Barber house, which was a part 
of the property that had been purchased for the site of 
the new Observatory, a charming spot, from which one 
could have the finest view of Washington and its sur 
roundings that can be found anywhere in the vicinity 
of the City. It was delightfully cool, and altogether 
a very pleasant place to pass the summer. I would drive 
into my office in the morning, attend to my official 
work, take my luncheon at the Club, and return to the 
country in the evening ; and so the summer passed rap 
idly away. At the end of August I was ordered to New 
port, as the President of the Board for the purpose of 
witnessing the examinations at the Torpedo School, 
after which I returned to my Station at Washington, 
where I remained until I was ordered to command the 
European Station, in February, 1885. 

The Pensacola was fitted out at Norfolk for my Flag 
ship. Captain Dewey, at my request, and with his own 

296 



CHANDLER, SECRETARY OF THE NAVY 

consent, was ordered to command her. Lieutenant- 
Commander Hitchcock was her Executive Officer, and 
Lieutenant Mansfield her Navigator. I was promoted 
to the grade of Eear- Admiral on the 24th of January, 
1885. The present Senator Chandler was the Secre 
tary of the Navy. He was, in my opinion, the best 
Secretary we had ever had up to that date. He had 
been connected with the Navy Department in former 
years, was thoroughly conversant with the needs of 
the service, and always had the courage of his convic 
tions. Secretary Chandler had offered me, some months 
before I received my orders to the European Station, the 
command of our forces in China, but I was obliged to 
decline, for reasons which he thought so good that he 
said if he were in my place he would not go either. 



CHAPTER XXV 

On the Flag-ship Pensacola At Work on a Derelict Tobogganing 
in Madeira Festivities at Gibraltar and Cherbourg Fatal Balloon 
Experiment Copenhagen and Stockholm A Royal Visit Dinner 
at the Palace Mormon Propaganda The American Minister s 
Feast American Women Abroad. 

I HOISTED my flag on board the Pensacola early in 
the year 1885, and joined her at Hampton Koads early 
in the month of May. The ship lay a week or ten days 
off Fortress Monroe while we were making our final 
preparations. There were a good many people at the 
Hygeia Hotel at the time, many of whom visited the Pen 
sacola. I remember that there happened to be there a 
party of women school-teachers from the North, who 
came on board in a body. One of their number, a smart 
Yankee girl, who was very much interested in every 
thing, not being able to suppress her curiosity, turned 
to the Captain and said, " Captain, what is the object 
of the expedition ?" She did not care to leave the ship 
without knowing all there was to be known. 

I invited my friend Dr. E. L. Keyes, of New York, to 
take passage with me to Europe, and he accepted the invi 
tation. It was a great pleasure to me to have him, and 
I think it was a pleasure, as it was a novelty, to him to 
go in that way. He was very much interested in what 
was going on during the passage across, and became a 
good man-of-war s-man. The apprentices seemed espe 
cially to attract his attention, for they were a bright set 

298 



DESTROYING A DERELICT 

of boys. "We had a school-master for them, and, strange 
to say, the one who was at the head of his class in every 
thing was a negro. 

We sailed from Hampton Eoads on the 18th of 
May, and soon after we hauled the fires and made the 
best of our way under sail. We had not been out many 
days when we made out to windward a barque appar 
ently lying to under a spanker. Upon further observa 
tion it was discovered that she was deserted, for no 
signs of life whatever were apparent on board of her. 
As she was dead to windward, there was no way of get 
ting at her except with steam, so we lighted the fires, 
steamed up to her, and sent a boat alongside. We found, 
as we anticipated, that she was deserted. Her log-book 
was on the cabin table, the last record having been made 
about eight days before. As she lay there she was an 
impediment to navigation. She was water-logged, being 
loaded with lumber, so that there was no sink in her. 
We at once went to work with our torpedoes, trying to 
destroy her, but we found it was no easy undertaking. 
The first torpedo drove a hole through her bottom and 
carried away the starboard yard-arm of the maintop- 
gallant-yard, leaving the port yard-arm intact. It 
seemed a hopeless task to attempt to sink her with tor 
pedoes, but we continued driving them through her un 
til her hull was so disintegrated that we felt sure she 
would go to pieces in the first blow. Night was now 
approaching, and bad weather was coming on at the 
same time, so we squared away on our course, leaving 
her to break up, perhaps that very night. 

We were bound to Madeira, and before many days we 
anchored in front of Funchal. We passed a few days 
here very pleasantly, living at one of the Reed hotels, 
which are well known to frequenters of Madeira. The 

299 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

hotel to which we went was exceedingly comfortable 
and very clean. The roast-beef of Madeira is finer than 
that of old England, and it was especially enjoyable af 
ter our rather long sea trip. There was not much to do 
during the few days that we remained here but loll 
about and enjoy the change from life on board ship. 
We did one thing, however, which I believe nearly ev 
erybody does who goes to Madeira ; I refer to the ex 
cursion on horseback to the Church of Pico Pico. This 
Church is situated well up in the mountains which 
form the Island of Madeira. The excursionists all 
mount their horses and ride up to this point. Then 
comes tobogganing on a large scale. The descent, that 
is in a different direction, is made in large sledges which 
hold two people very comfortably. Each of these sledges 
is managed by two men. The start is then made down 
the hill at a breakneck rate, the managers of these 
strange vehicles running through nearly the entire de 
scent at fall speed. The road over which the toboggan 
ing is done is nearly as smooth as glass, and resembles as 
much as anything to which I can compare it a huge 
mosaic, with its millions of small stones packed into the 
roadway. It looks dangerous, and feels so, as one 
speeds along, flying through the air, accomplishing in 
from five to ten minutes the descent, when it took more 
than an hour to go up. I found it rather exhilarating, 
and liked it so much the first time that I tried it again. 
I sailed from Madeira on the 14th of June, and reached 
Gibraltar on the 18th. I found the Kearsarge, which had 
just arrived from a long cruise on the coast of Africa, at 
anchor under the Bock. Her crew had been a long time 
subject to the malign influences of that climate, so I de 
termined to take her with me on a cruise into the Bal 
tic. During the stay of the Pensacola and Kearsarge at 

300 



FESTIVITIES AT GIBRALTAR 

Gibraltar, we received much attention. I quote from 
my correspondence with the Department upon this sub 
ject the following: " During the stay of both vessels at 
this port I have received every kindness and attention 
from the Governor, Sir John Adye, which have also 
been extended to the officers and crews under my com 
mand. I have endeavored on my part to show my ap 
preciation of it by reciprocating as much as possible 
what has been done by the Governor and the officers of 
the garrison." "We gave a matinee to the officers of the 
Station, which, of course, included the ladies of their 
families, and we invited the citizens of Gibraltar, the 
foreign Consuls, etc. I had constructed on the bridge 
a sort of dais, from which Lady Adye could view the 
dancing and get away from the crowd when she felt 
disposed. She did not remain there all the time, of course, 
and on one occasion, when she was mingling with the 
throng, I invited one of the other ladies of the garrison 
to accompany me to it, but she declined. I saw then that 
there was some little feeling about it, and, therefore, did 
not press her. My object was to do especial honor to Lady 
Adye, the wife of the Governor, but I saw that the dis 
tinction I made was not taken as I intended it should 
be, and, perhaps, it would have been better not to do 
it. The whole affair, however, was, I think, considered 
very creditable, and I feel sure that the Americans pres 
ent were not ashamed of it. Besides our Consul, Mr. 
Sprague, and his interesting family, there were present, 
also, Mr. Matthews, our Consul at Tangier, and his hand 
some young daughter. I remember how proud she ap 
peared to be that day as she danced under the folds of 
her own flag, which she seemed to love so much. 

Early in July I sailed with the Pensacola and Kear- 
sarge for Cherbourg, where we arrived on the 10th of the 

301 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

same month. The Naval Arsenal at this port is very 
extensive and strongly fortified. The harbor has been 
rescued from the sea by an immense breakwater, and is 
safe and commodious. A statue of Napoleon with his 
arm stretched towards the English Channel stands on the 
shore, bearing the following inscription : " J avais resolu 
de repeter d Cherbourg les merveilles cVEgypte" While 
this declaration has not been fulfilled, the French nation 
has made Cherbourg a military port of which any coun 
try might be proud. The Prefet Maritime at this time 
was Vice- Admiral du Petit-Thouars, whose wife was an 
Englishwoman. He invited me to accompany him on a 
grand review of the forces at Cherbourg, on the occa 
sion of one of their annual celebrations, I think the " Fall 
of the Bastille." I accepted the invitation, and found the 
affair most interesting. At night there was a grand re 
ception at his house, to which all the officers of both 
ships were invited, and we received every attention from 
the Yice- Admiral and Madame du Petit-Thouars. On 
Sunday I went to mass, and was very much interested 
in the manner in which the French churches are con 
ducted. There is a sort of uniformed sexton called le 
Suisse, who seems to be a kind of combination of sex 
ton and police officer, for he carries in his hand a baton, 
with which he could enforce his orders if necessary. 
Two collections were taken up, one, as was called out by 
the official, "Pour les pauvres" and the other "Pour 
VEglise" It was all very novel and interesting to me, 
although I had often been in French churches before. 

There was at Cherbourg at this time an American 
named Gower, who had become rich as one of the origi 
nal stockholders of the Telephone Company, and amused 
himself by spending his money in ways to suit his tastes, 
which were peculiar. The scheme which was now oc- 

303 



FATAL BALLOON EXPERIMENT 

cupying his attention was to blow up London or any 
other city by means of balloons, or, rather, by heavy 
projectiles dropped from them into the doomed city. 
He came on board to see me the day after my arrival, 
and explained his plan, which seemed to be visionary, 
but not impossible. He told me that the prefet had 
been very kind to him, and had sent some French sail 
ors to assist him in preparing his balloons for an experi 
ment which he was about to make. He was going to 
accompany the experimental balloon, that was a good 
deal smaller than his own, and of the size ordinarily 
used by aeronauts. He had finished his preparations, 
and was now waiting only for a favorable wind, which, 
in order to carry him over London, should be southwest. 
Finally, all the conditions seemed to be favorable. He 
invited Yice-Admiral du Petit Thouars, Bear-Admiral 
Kaznakoff, of the Russian Navy, and me to be present 
at the start. We accordingly all appeared upon the 
scene at the appointed hour. The inflated balloons 
were pitching and rearing in their efforts to get away 
from the fastenings. Gower was in the basket of his 
own balloon. He looked pale and nervous, not, I think, 
from apprehension of disaster, but rather from the feel 
ing of how much was depending upon the experiment 
he was about to make. We all stepped up to him and 
shook him by the hand, and wished him " Ion voyage." It 
was a lowering evening, the clouds and scud flying fast 
from the southwest. At the appointed time the fasten 
ings were cut, and the two balloons shot up into the sky, 
darting off to the northeast with the swiftness of the 
wind. We watched them for a while, but they soon dis 
appeared amidst the mist and clouds with which the 
atmosphere was filled, and were seen no more. About 
ten o clock that night, just as I was retiring, I received 

303 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

a despatch from the Vice - Admiral, in which he said: 
" My dear Admiral, I am afraid we shall never see our 
friend Gower again. The basket of his balloon was 
picked up in the Channel by one of my fishing-boats 
and brought to me. lie has probably been drowned." 
It was a great shock to me, and I could not help recall 
ing that pale and anxious face as we wished him bon 
voyage, when he was about to cut his fastenings and 
start off on his perilous trip. After the event which I 
have just related, many theories with reference to the 
fate of Gower arose, and were discussed in the news 
papers of the day. It was said by some that he had 
been picked up in the English Channel by some India- 
bound steamer, and carried to India, and every now 
and then some reference is made in the public prints to 
his perilous venture. I was called upon afterwards in 
London by his brother, who naturally desired to know 
all about his last moments, for what I saw of him would 
seem indeed to have been such, since surely he must 
have perished soon after we three Admirals shook him 
by the hand and bade him good-bye. His brother told 
me that there was a widow, who would probably call 
on me, but she never did. I have understood since that 
she was a well-known singer, who has lately figured in 
that capacity at musical entertainments at "Washington. 
She and her husband, I think, had been divorced, and 
were living apart at the time of his death. 

The following extract from a letter of mine to the 
Navy Department will show the feeling which existed 
with reference to Americans at the time I was at Cher 
bourg : 

" I have observed during my stay at Cherbourg that 
the French authorities have been very much impressed 
with the attentions paid to the representatives of 

304 



THE ROYAL FAMILY OF DENMARK 

France at the time of the reception of the Bartholdi 
Statue in New York, and they have done all in their 
power to show to me and the officers and men under 
my command how much they appreciate this kindness 
on the part of the people of the United States. On the 
other hand, I have done all that I could to foster these 
sentiments, and am sure that the presence of the Pen- 
sacola and Kearsarge in a French port at this time has 
done much towards cementing the good feeling which 
already existed between the two peoples." 

I sailed with the Flag -ship and Kearsarge for Co 
penhagen, where I arrived on the 26th of July. I 
had been presented to King Christian when I was at 
this Capital on a former occasion, and had then had a 
very agreeable dinner at the palace, where I met the 
Royal family, not only at dinner, but afterwards in the 
drawing-room. The evening which I passed with them 
was such as one might pass with any well-regulated 
family of well-bred people; the grandchildren, who were 
not at dinner, were brought in and mixed with the 
guests, and made themselves agreeable in their childish 
way. The Crown-Prince of Denmark was at the Royal 
palace on a visit to his family. He was accompanied 
by his wife, a most agreeable person, with whom I con 
versed a good deal during the evening. She was very 
fond of dancing, and when she told me how much pleas 
ure it gave her I suggested to her to make up her par 
ty and I would give them a dance on board. She was 
delighted at the idea, and told me that nothing would 
give her greater pleasure, but she said that as she was a 
guest at the palace she could not suggest the idea to 
Her Majesty, as any affair of that kind would have to 
originate with the Queen. I did not pursue the subject 
further, so the matter was dropped. I lived on shore 
u 305 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

most of the time that the ship remained in Copenhagen, 
and roamed around seeing the sights, some of which 
are especially interesting. The Thorwaldsen Museum 
would be a credit to any city, but it is especially so 
to Copenhagen, where are assembled so many of the 
works of its great sculptor. Munkaczy s picture of 
"Christ before Pilate" was on exhibition at Copenha 
gen at this time, and attracting a great deal of atten 
tion. It was then a great novelty. It has found its 
way to this country since, where it has had a great 
success. 

Our new Minister, Mr. Anderson, had just reached 
Denmark, having superseded Mr. Wickham Hoffman, an 
appointee of the former Administration. I had known 
the Hoffmans for a long time very pleasantly, and passed 
a good deal of my time at their house ; I have had oc 
casion to mention them before in the course of this nar 
rative. Hoffman had always been a most creditable 
representative American wherever he had been, having 
before this always served as Secretary of Legation, and 
he left Denmark with a high reputation both as a diplo 
mat and a gentleman. I invited both the Minister and 
the ex-Minister to take passage with me to Stockholm. 
They both accepted my invitation, and we had a very 
pleasant time together. Hoffman remained as the guest 
of Captain Dewey and myself for a fortnight or more 
and then returned to Copenhagen. 

I left the last-named place with my small Squadron 
after a brief visit, and reached Stockholm early in Au 
gust. I had been at this port on a former cruise and 
had had the honor of being presented to King Oscar 
at that time, but I thought proper, as Commander -in - 
Chief, to ask for another audience, which was promptly 
granted. 1 quote from my correspondence with the De- 

306 



PHOTOGRAPHS FROM KING OSCAR 

partment the following extract : " I asked for an audi 
ence with the King of Sweden and Norway, which was 
granted. I took occasion to say to him that if it would 
be agreeable and convenient for him to visit the Pen- 
sacola, I would be happy to receive him ; he appointed 
Tuesday, the llth inst., for his visit, and came on 
board that day with two of his sons and several mem 
bers of his Staff. All the ceremonies usual on such 
occasions took place, in addition to which I had the 
ship s battalion exercised in his presence, which seemed 
to interest and gratify him very much." To show the 
appreciation of His Majesty of his visit to the Pensa- 
cola, he immediately, upon his arrival on shore, sent me 
a note, accompanied with three photographs one for 
Captain Dewey, one for Commander Bridgman, and 
one for me. The following is a copy of the note re 
ferred to : 

" STOCKHOLM, August lltk, 1885. 

"DEAR ADMIRAL FRANKLIN, Hereby I send you three photo 
graph portraits of mine, of which I hope you will keep one for your 
self, and give the others to the Commanding Officers of the ships. I 
wish you a good and happy time at sea, and have seen you here again 
with great pleasure. Hoping it will not be the last time, 

"(Signed) OSCAR." 

At the audience to which I referred in my letter of the 
Department, an extract of which I have just quoted, I 
was accompanied by the two above-named Commanding 
Officers. His Majesty invited us to partake of a sort of 
mid-day dinner, which took place after the presentation. 
On one side of the table were seated the King and 
Queen and Royal family; just opposite to them sat 
Captain Dewey, Commander Bridgman, and I ; the 
Royal suite were distributed about the table on both 
sides. As the dinner was served, the conversation be- 

307 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

came general, and as King Oscar is a jolly sort of King, 
who took a glass of American whiskey with me when 
on board the Pensacola, the natural feeling of restraint 
which one feels on such occasions had passed away. 
His Majesty, who had succeeded his brother as King 
of Sweden and Norway, had, before he ascended the 
throne, been an Admiral at the head of the Royal Navy 
of Sweden. He appeared to take great pleasure in con 
versing about his experiences in his former profession, 
and, while talking about it at the dinner, looking Bridg- 
man full in the face, he said : " It is a profession to 
be preferred to my present one; don t you think so, 
Captain ?" "When, without a moment s hesitation, Bridg- 
inan said : " Your Majesty, I have only tried one of the 
professions, and therefore do not feel competent to de 
cide which I would prefer." A courtier would probably 
have agreed with the King, but this prompt reply pleased 
every one very much, and there was a general laugh all 
around the table. His Majesty seemed to have taken 
an especial liking to Bridgman, who was a handsome 
fellow of very pleasing manners. Indeed, this fancy ex 
tended so far that he invited him to remain in those 
waters and join a hunting-party that he was soon to 
give to the Prince of Wales. After dinner we adjourned 
to the palace grounds, where there was a free mingling 
of all those who were at the table. I had quite a long 
talk with the Queen, who was a German Princess, and 
I think a descendant of Eugene de Beauharnais, and, as 
the King himself was a descendant of Bernadotte, it 
might be said that this Royal family is the outcome of 
the French Revolution. In my conversation with the 
Queen, she referred with much feeling to the prosely 
tizing that was being done by the Mormons amongst 
their people ; how, by their flattering representations, 

308 



RECEPTION AT STOCKHOLM 

they have managed to induce many of them to embrace 
their faith, and go with the Mormon emissaries to the 
fertile fields of Western America. She asked me if I 
did not think our Government could do something to 
arrest this system, which she said caused her so much 
unhappiness. I could, of course, give her no encourage 
ment, and told her that I feared the Government of the 
United States was entirely powerless in matters of that 
kind, and I presume she felt the same way about her 
own. 

The approach to Stockholm from the sea is beautiful 
beyond description. As the Pensacola and Kearsarge 
would wind amongst the thousands of islands which bar 
the way, they would seem to be in the midst of an archi 
pelago of villas and country-seats, nearly every island 
containing more or less of these prettily constructed 
buildings. The band was on deck for hours replying 
to the salutes of the people, who, as we would suddenly 
appear in sight, would rush from the table with napkins 
and table-cloths, and, when they were exhausted, with 
sheets and pillow-cases, which they would wave fran 
tically in the air to signify their welcome to the stran 
gers. It seemed as if all Stockholm had gone to these 
summer resorts, for they were as thick as ant-hills. 
When we went to the audience and dinner at the 
country palace of the King, we passed many islands 
beyond the city, but we were then in a government ves 
sel of Sweden, which was not quite the same thing as 
approaching as visitors to their country, with our own 
colors flying. 

Our Minister at Stockholm at this time was Mr. Magee. 
He had not been there long, and felt a stranger at his 
new post. The advent of our little Squadron was a 
source of great pleasure and gratification to him, as the 

309 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

display of our flag always is to our representatives 
abroad. He gave us a very handsome dinner at the 
restaurant of the Public Garden a beautiful place of 
resort on the outskirts of the city, to which the citizens 
flock in great numbers, where, in feasting and revelry, 
they pass half of the summer nights, which at this 
season were nearly all daylight. He had invited to 
meet us some of the members of the King s Cabinet 
and other distinguished people. It was a feast, taken 
with its beautiful surroundings, well worth remember 
ing, and it has left a very pleasing memory. We drove 
out to the dinner, but the night was so lovely that we 
concluded to walk back, a distance of about two miles 
from the point from which we started. It was eleven 
o clock, and still daylight, as we marched in a proces 
sion to the boat-landing, where we separated and went 
on board the ship. My companion as we walked back 
was the Minister of Marine, a bright fellow, who in 
terested me very much in relating to me many curious 
things about his country. He told me, amongst other 
things, that the Swedes had been a very intemperate 
people, but a great reformation had taken place in this 
respect, and that they could be considered so no longer. 
This trait in the character of this people was entirely 
new to me, for when I first went to sea, fifty years ago, 
we had many Swedes amongst the crews of our ships, 
and my recollection is that they were amongst the best 
and soberest men we had. Notwithstanding the high 
latitude in which they live, they are a bright and sunny 
people, and Stockholm well deserves its name of the 
Venice of the North. 

Sweden is no exception to the rule that at nearly 
every Court in Europe there is at least one American 
woman, a wife of a member of the Diplomatic Corps. 

310 



LEAVE STOCKHOLM FOR SOUTHAMPTON 

At Stockholm it was Countess D Aunay, whose husband 
was the French Minister there at that time, and a promi 
nent member of the Corps. They lived in very hand- 
some style, as I can bear witness, for one of the most 
elegant dinners that I can remember I partook of at 
their hospitable mansion. "We had an entertainment 
for the Countess and other guests on board the Pen- 
sacola, at which there was another American, the Coun 
tess Rosen. Madame D Aunay is the daughter of the 
late General Berdan, and a sister of the wife of Marion 
Crawford. She was a very handsome woman, and, to 
use a slang expression, she held up the American end 
very well. Countess Eosen is the daughter of a well- 
known Philadelphian, Mrs. Bloomfield Moore. I had 
seen her ten years before, when I was cruising in the 
Baltic, and at the time of the visit now described she 
was still a handsome woman. Her husband is Count 
Rosen, of the Swedish Navy. 

The time which I had set apart for my cruise in the 
Baltic was now nearly expired, and I sailed a few days 
after the events about which I have been, writing, in 
tending to touch at Kiel on my way to Southampton, 
but the wind remained so persistently ahead that I 
determined to put into Copenhagen for coal, abandon 
the Kiel trip altogether, and go direct to Southampton. 
"When I anchored at Copenhagen for the second time 
my former passengers, the Minister and the ex - Min 
ister, Colonel Hoffman, both of whom had preceded me, 
were very much surprised until I related to them the 
cause. I found Hoffman in bed with a bad fit of gout, 
which he told me he had never had before ; I felt rather 
flattered to think this attack was, perhaps, the result 
of the good cheer of the Pensacola. As soon as we 
had filled up with coal I got under way and went to 

311 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Southampton, arriving there on August 26th, thus bring 
ing the cruise in the Baltic to an end. I left the ship, 
went to London, and took up my quarters at Carter s 
Hotel, in Albemarle Street, where my wife had pre 
ceded me. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

In English Waters Mr. Phelps on Board Among the Docks A 
Southampton Banquet Boar Hunting at Tangier Changes at 
Nice A Christmas Dinner American Diplomatists An Extraor 
dinary Request Interview with the Pope Americans in Rome 
The Highlands of Sicily. 

I REMAINED in and about London and Southampton 
for about six weeks before sailing for the southern part 
of the Station. Our Minister at the Court of St. 
James s at this time was Mr. Phelps. It is needless for 
me to say here how well we were represented by this 
distinguished diplomat ; he and Mrs. Phelps were held 
in the highest respect and esteem by all classes of the 
English people, and I am sure that our Minister at that 
time ranked high amongst the great Americans who 
have always filled this exalted position. Mr. Phelps 
was very fortunate in having attached to the Legation 
such men as Harry White and Commander Chadwick, 
the latter of whom was our able Naval Attache. Mrs. 
White and Mrs. Chadwick were both ladies who occu 
pied high social positions at home, and were enabled, 
thus, to assist their husbands in a very important branch 
of the diplomatic career. I invited Mr. and Mrs. Phelps 
and a party of Americans to visit the Pensacola, where 
they were entertained by Captain Dewey and me at 
luncheon. I had the honor of giving Mr. Phelps his 
first salute, which I remember because he told me it 
was the first he ever received. Amongst others pres- 

313 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

ent were some of my American friends whom I hold 
in high esteem. I mean Miss Alice Riggs and her 
sister, Mrs. Howard, and her children. The young peo 
ple had a dance on the main-deck, while those of us who 
were not so } T oung amused ourselves as best we could. 
It was all a novelty to the Minister, and, as he seemed 
pleased with everything that took place, I was satisfied 
with the result of the entertainment. The party re 
mained on board for several hours, and in the evening 
took train back to town. 

I met in London at this time Colonel Taylor, the secre 
tary of the various dock companies and Equerry to the 
Queen. The Tilbury Docks were just being construct 
ed, an immense work, which, during the excavations, un 
earthed many curious relics, going back even to the time 
of the Romans. Colonel Taylor asked me and my Staff 
to accompany a party of invited guests to visit this inter 
esting work. I had the pleasure of meeting there Sir 
Montagu McMurdough, who, with his charming family, 
entertained us afterwards at their pretty country-seat 
on the Thames. Lady McMurdough was the daughter 
of Sir Charles Napier, of Sinde, and was, naturally, very 
proud of the reputation of her gallant father. Colonel 
Taylor invited us to lunch with him at his offices, in the 
building of the East India Dock Company. We after 
wards accompanied him to the East and West India 
Docks. The sight which, interested me most in the 
West India Docks was the American Frigate President, 
which had been captured from us by the English in 
the war of 1812. There she lay, a fixture, to remain as 
long as she could be utilized for the purpose for which 
she was then used, that, I think, of a school-ship for ap 
prentices, and then, probably, to be broken up for fire 
wood. It seemed an inglorious fate for this gallant 

314 



ELECTION BANQUET AT SOUTHAMPTON 

American Frigate, which in her day was one of the 
finest ships of our Navy. We visited also the ware 
houses of the dock companies, filled with articles of 
the world s commerce of every possible description. I 
shall never forget the immense rum-cellar, stored with 
great butts containing hundreds of thousands of gal 
lons of this product of the West Indies. Amongst 
those of our party on this occasion were Lieutenant 
Mason and his wife, his mother, Mrs. Myers, and his 
sister, Mrs. Julian James. We all lived at the same 
family hotel, and formed friendships which have exist 
ed up to the present time. 

During these days in London I would frequently lunch 
at the United Service Club. Lord Alcester had sent me 
a card which gave me the entree during my official stay in 
England. I was glad to be introduced by one for whom 
I had so high a regard, and who was so highly esteemed 
by the members of the Club. I shall never forget those 
great English mutton-chops that were served to us for 
luncheon, resembling porterhouse steaks more than any 
thing else, nor can I forget the general air of good cheer 
and comfort which pervades the whole establishment. 

While the Pensacola was lying at Southampton, I was 
a guest at one of the banquets for which its people are 
quite famous. I had attended one on a former occa 
sion, when Admiral Worden was the guest of honor, and 
I was the Captain of his Flag-ship, the Franklin. That 
was a far more elaborate affair than the one about which 
I am now writing, for this, as well as I remember, was a 
sort of electioneering feast, the most important person 
present being Vice-Admiral Commerel, who was stand 
ing for Parliament for the City of Southampton. Com 
merel and I sat side by side, and were both expected to 
make speeches. By great good luck mine was called 

315 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

for first. I knew what was coming, and was prepared 
for it. I had strung together a few phrases embrac 
ing what was, I thought, the proper thing to say, and 
had learned my speech by heart. I suppose I stumbled 
through it well enough, for it was received with loud 
applause, which I presume it would have received in any 
case. Commerel congratulated me, and, he said, envied 
me at the same time, for his speech was yet to come, 
and he did not relish it any more than I had. It was 
altogether a jolly occasion of speeches, song, and wine. 

I sailed from Southampton with the Pensacola about 
the middle of October, leaving the Kearsarge behind to 
complete her repairs. I arrived at Lisbon on the 22d, 
and anchored in the Tagus, where I remained about a 
week. Our Minister at this time was Mr. Lewis, a de 
scendant of General Washington s family. We dined 
with each other, drove together, and so the week of my 
stay passed pleasantly away. I found Mr. Lewis a rep 
resentative of our country of whom all Americans might 
feel justly proud. The British Minister was Mr. Petre, 
an agreeable and accomplished diplomat. He invited 
me to dinner, which invitation I accepted, and we passed 
a very pleasant evening together. 

I sailed from Lisbon early in November, arriving on 
the 7th at Tangier, Morocco, where I remained until 
the 12th. Our Consul at Tangier was Colonel Mat 
thews, who had filled the position off and on for many 
years. He is a very competent man, speaks Arabic 
fluently, and has, I think, always been persona grata 
to the authorities of Morocco. He is again an appli 
cant for his old position, and I hope will succeed in 
getting reappointed. While I was there Colonel Mat 
thews made a boar-hunt for me. There was a large 
party of us from the ship, but I think it was more of 

316 



BOAR-HUNT AT TANGIER 

the nature of a picnic than anything else. "We were 
joined about lunch-time by the ladies of the Consul s 
family, who brought baskets well filled with everything 
that was good to eat and drink. Before they came we 
had all been placed in position in the brushwood, armed 
with rifles and revolvers, for both long range and close 
quarters, in case the boar should be wounded and make 
an attack upon us. The Arabs were then sent out for 
perhaps a quarter of a mile ahead ; they would then 
deploy and beat the brush in front of them, when it is 
supposed the frightened boar will go in the direction of 
those who are waiting to pink him with a rifle. At the 
same time the Arabs would hello, and make a tremen 
dous noise, shouting as they advanced towards those 
who were to kill the boar. On this occasion, however, 
no boar appeared. A poor unlucky dog ran across 
the line of fire, was taken for the game we were in 
search of, and was shot, and thus ended our day s sport. 
I was very much disappointed, for I had set my heart 
on seeing a successful issue to what is generally found 
to be at Tangier an exciting day s sport. "We all now 
gathered about the luncheon, which was served on the 
ground, and although we had not been successful in 
killing the animal, yet some cold boar was served to us 
from Colonel Matthews baskets, which we found very 
good indeed. The Consul was good enough to get up a 
large dinner-party for me while we were at Tangier, 
but a Levanter (an easterly gale) came up, which pro 
duced such an ugly sea that I was obliged at the last 
moment to give up going. I was very much disap 
pointed, and so was he, but it could not be helped. 

I had intended remaining in Tangier until the Levan 
ter had blown out, but it is not a secure harbor in an 
easterly gale, so I got under way and ran over and 

317 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

anchored under the Rock of Gibraltar. I remained at 
Gibraltar until the gale blew itself out, meantime filling 
up the ship with coal. I found on this visit our Con 
sul, Mr. Sprague, as kind and attentive as ever, losing 
no opportunities to make himself useful, always doing 
something to hold up still higher the American name, 
which both his father and himself had done so much 
to sustain. When the Levanter was over I sailed for 
Yillefranche, where I arrived after a pleasant passage 
of six days. 

Nearly ten years had elapsed since I had been in 
Nice before, and I found naturally that many changes 
had taken place, not only in the City itself, but amongst 
the many friends I had known when I was there in 
command of the Franklin. Mr. Yeasey, the model 
Consul whom we all liked so much, was dead and gone. 
Mr. Gignoux, at whose hospitable home I had passed 
so many pleasant hours, had died, and great changes 
had taken place in that interesting family. His two 
handsome daughters had married Frenchmen of the 
best type of the men of that nation, and were very 
happy in their home lives. I had the pleasure of seeing 
them and their husbands while they were on a visit to 
their mother, who still resided in Nice. Mr. Yial was 
still living, and was, as formerly, of great service to us 
in providing for the wants of the ships, and in making 
himself useful and agreeable to the officers and their 
families. 

During my stay at Yillefranche at this time the 
usual routine which generally took place while our 
ships were there was carried out. The crew were ex 
ercised in their various drills on board ship, and by the 
courtesy of the French Government we were permitted 
to land the Battalion of Seamen and Marines for ma- 

318 



CHRISTMAS DINNER AT NICE 

noeuvres on shore, while the boats were exercised in 
fleet sailing in the waters of the Bay. The social life 
was much the same as I have described it before in the 
course of this narrative. The entertainments on board 
the Flag-ship were, as before, the most popular of all 
the fetes that were given, and all Americans in and 
about Nice that were entitled to go to them were al 
ways invited. Apropos of what I have just said, I 
quote from my letter-book the following extract from a 
letter to the Secretary of the Navy : " The usual num 
ber of resident and travelling Americans are now here, 
and it gives me pleasure to grant them every facility 
for visiting the ships, which seems to afford them great 
gratification. In the low state of our merchant ma 
rine just now, it is about the only way they can expe 
rience the pleasure of seeing our flag in foreign waters." 
Amongst the Americans visiting at Nice this winter 
were Admiral and Mrs. Baldwin, Mrs. Nichols Beach, 
and her charming daughter. It occurred to me that it 
would be a pleasant thing for them to take their Christ 
mas dinner under the folds of the American flag. Cap 
tain Dewey and I, therefore, made a little dinner-party 
for them and a few other friends, which I think they 
all considered a very happy way of partaking of a 
Christmas dinner in a foreign land. Bennett s yacht, 
the Namouna, was lying at Yillefranche. We ex 
changed calls without meeting, but I happened to know 
him by sight, and stopped him in the street at Nice and 
introduced myself to him. When he heard my name 
he said, " Upon my word, I am very much relieved, 
for I thought you were some French Marshal with 
whom I had dined and whose name I had forgotten." 
Bennett made up a party of ladies and gentlemen and 
took us on a little sea excursion as far as Cannes. We 

319 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

had breakfast on board, and found him a charming 
host. He told us that when he named the Namouna, 
he thought it rather a stylish Persian name, but learned 
afterwards that it was as common in Persia as Bridget 
was in Ireland. 

The Pensacola sailed in January for Naples. Mr. 
Cope Whitehouse, the Egyptologist, went in her as pas 
senger. He had a letter from the Navy Department 
to me, asking me to give him an opportunity of making 
a passage in a man-of-war, which I was only too glad 
to do, for I was greatly prepossessed in his favor the 
moment I saw him. 

I did not go in the ship myself to Naples, but took 
advantage of what seemed a good opportunity to visit 
Rome. Mrs. Franklin and I took up our quarters at 
the Hotel Quirinal. We remained in Rome but a few 
days at this time, intending to return there, however, 
at a later period. After a brief visit we went to Naples, 
where I found the ship securely moored inside the mole. 
"We went to the Hotel Nobile, which is pleasantly situ 
ated on high ground in the new part of the city, where 
I remained during most of the time that the ship was 
in Naples. I had seen so much of this City when it was 
the Capital of a Kingdom that it seemed rather tame 
now compared to what it was in those days. Some of 
the gayety, however, of the old Capital still remained. 
There were grand balls given, at which the dancing 
would begin at two o clock. People who frequented 
them would go to bed and have a partial night s rest, 
would then dress and make a night of it. As for my 
self, I never went to any of them. 

While I was at Naples at this time, our Minister to 
Persia appeared upon the scene, en route to the country 
to which he was accredited. He had succeeded in hav- 



A MINISTER CRITICISED 

ing himself created a Major-General on the Staff of a 
Western Governor. He was full of a marriage which 
he had in contemplation with a very charming actress, 
a young woman of high character, who, as I understood, 
had promised to marry him. He was going to his Sta 
tion by way of Constantinople, and as I was going there 
myself I told him that if he could arrange a firman 
from the Sultan, permitting the Pensacola to pass the 
Dardanelles, he could be married on board the Flag-ship. 
He was quite full of it, and determined to make the 
effort. As I never heard that the firman had been 
granted, I presume it never was, and my impression is 
that the marriage never took place. I took the Minis 
ter on board ship with me one Sunday, and said to him 
as we were going on board that our regulations did not 
permit us to salute on that day, or I would be happy 
to salute him, but I saw such an expression of disap 
pointment creep over his face that I took the respon 
sibility and fired the guns. 

When I was in Eome for the short visit to which I 
have just referred, I did myself the honor of calling 
upon our Minister, Mr. Stallo, whom I found to be a 
very original character. He was not a Chesterfield, and 
the manner in which he deported himself as Minister 
subjected him to very severe criticism. He was an able 
man, and, I believe, of very high character, but he seemed 
unwilling to submit to the usages which obtained 
amongst his colleagues in the Diplomatic Corps and had 
been the custom for centuries. He said to me as I was 
taking my leave of him : " Admiral, do not expect me 
to return your call ; I am going soon to Sorrento, and 
will return it at Naples." I said in reply : " As you 
please, Mr. Stallo. If you will let me know when you 
are in Naples, I shall send a boat for you, which will 
x 321 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

take you on board ship." He then said, " Oh no ! I 
will take a shore-boat and go alongside." I then told 
him that I could not permit him to do that, but that 
it was my desire to treat him with all the respect and 
consideration to which his high rank entitled him. His 
reply was, "As you please," and so the matter ended. 
I subsequently went to Home, and as my call had never 
been returned I did not take the trouble to call upon 
him again. I was in my hotel one day, when the card 
of the Secretary of Legation was sent to me. When 
he entered my room he told me that he had been sent 
by the Minister to say that he desired to see me, when 
I at once replied that he had never done me the honor 
to return my call, and that if he desired to see me I 
could be found at almost any time at my hotel. After 
my first impulse, however, I reflected that he might 
wish to consult me upon matters connected with our 
Government, and I concluded to pocket the affront and 
go. When I reached his house, he received me most 
cordially, and told me that he had been searching for 
me, without success, that he had been to several hotels 
to look for me, etc., etc. I found when I was closeted 
with the Minister that my conjecture was correct, and 
that he desired to consult with me upon some matters 
in which our own Government might be involved. I 
passed two hours with him most pleasantly, and I have 
rarely met with a more interesting and agreeable man. 
I was almost willing to forgive him for his indifference 
to the etiquette demanded by his high position. 

During my stay in Naples at this time an extraor 
dinary request was made of me by the municipal au 
thorities, which I will relate in the form of an extract 
from a letter to the Secretary of the Navy, as follows : 
" A request was made through the U. S. Consul at this 

322 



VACCINATING A SHIP S CREW 

place yesterday by the Municipal authorities for per 
mission to come on board and examine the crew, for the 
purpose of identifying, as it was stated, an unknown ; 
they requested at the same time that the crew might be 
mustered for that purpose. I told the Consul to inform 
them that this was entirely out of the question, that an 
American man-of-war was United States territory, and 
that such a proceeding was unusual and unprecedented. 
It does not appear that there is any charge against any 
particular man, but against an unknown man they de 
sire to identify. My own opinion is that there was a 
sailors brawl on shore, an event which is not at all un 
usual, and that some of our men happened to be con 
cerned in it. It was entirely competent for the authori 
ties to have arrested on the spot, and to have tried, any 
offender against their laws, which it seemed they failed 
to do. I did not see how it was in my power to assist 
them, as I always do in such cases, when it can properly 
be done. I have mentioned this in my despatch in or 
der that the Department may be in possession of the 
facts in case it should go any further ; I think, however, 
that my refusal to grant the request will end the mat 
ter." 

There was a good deal of small-pox at Naples at this 
time ; indeed, I do not believe that the City is ever with 
out it. At the request of the Surgeon, I had two calves 
brought on board, and all the officers and men were 
vaccinated from them. It was a novel sight to see this 
performance, which I had never witnessed on board 
ship before. As it is the very best form of vaccine 
matter to be had, we all felt now pretty well protected 
from this terrible scourge. 

The time was now approaching when I intended to 
sail for a cruise to the eastward. I took advantage of 

323 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

the interval to make another visit to Rome. This time 
I went to the Hotel Molaro, where we found ourselves 
comparatively comfortable. My wife and I had the 
happiness of obtaining a card of admission to the Pope s 
Mass, and of receiving Communion at the hands of His 
Holiness himself. After the Mass, I had the honor of 
a personal interview with Leo XIII., and was, as every 
one is, profoundly impressed with the personality of 
the distinguished head of the Roman Catholic Church. 
His Holiness was very much interested to know all 
about the Flag-ship. He asked me if we had a Chaplain 
on board, and when I replied that we had, but that he 
was not of our persuasion, he did not seem to care to 
pursue the conversation on that subject any further. I 
left his presence deeply impressed with what I had seen 
and heard, and very much gratified to have had this 
opportunity of seeing and conversing with one of the 
greatest men of the age. 

I met at Rome at this time Mr. Charles H. Marshall. 
I had known him at home, but in my association with 
him at Rome I formed a strong friendship for him 
which has continued up to the present time. He was 
quite domesticated here, and knew everybody that was 
worth knowing in the place. He was especially atten 
tive to us, and his politeness added very much to our 
pleasure in the Eternal City. He was about making a 
journey to the East, and, as I was going soon to sail 
for that part of my station, I invited him to join me 
and accompany me in the Pensacola, which invitation 
he accepted, and was the guest of Captain Dewey and 
myself for about six weeks. I need not say that I en- 
jo}^ed his presence on board very much indeed. 

I had the pleasure of knowing at this time Mr. Story 
and his interesting family. The receptions at his apart- 

324 



AMERICAN GENTLEMEN IN ROME 

ment were attended by the best people in Rome, and 
were always most interesting occasions. Story was an 
excellent sculptor, and was full of talent of every kind; 
his art productions are familiar to all Americans. He 
did me the honor to suggest giving me a dinner at 
which would have been present all the Diplomatic 
Corps, but my friends said they felt it their duty to 
tell me that, although I should be the guest of honor, 
etiquette demanded that I should have to sit below all 
the Ambassadors and Ministers. I felt that under the 
circumstances this would be somewhat embarrassing, 
and so I was obliged to decline the honor. There were 
two Americans here to whom I feel under especial ob 
ligation Mr. Herriman and Mr. Hazeltine. The former 
was a gentleman of wealth and culture, who made Rome 
his home ; the other was an artist of great merit, brother- 
in-law of my friend Marshall. Both of them were 
American gentlemen of the highest type, and both lived 
in very handsome style. At the houses of these two 
Americans were assembled, twice a week, a number of 
cultivated men, mostly of the Diplomatic Corps, who 
would drop in after their dinner-parties, and pass the 
rest of the evening playing whist, and in conversation, 
which was always bright and interesting, for they had 
all seen a great deal, and were all men of the world. 
I attended some of these entertainments, and the mem 
ory of them remains in my mind as amongst the most 
agreeable evenings I have ever passed in any part of the 
world. They were always accompanied with something 
to cheer the passing hours and keep up our spirits until 
about two o clock in the morning. I had the pleasure 
of meeting on this visit to Rome Mr. Junius S. Morgan. 
He was living in the luxurious apartment of Mr. Wirts, 
and I shall never forget the pleasing impression that 

325 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

his gentle manners left upon me when I called upon 
him there. I also know his son Pierpont, who, like his 
father, is an excellent specimen of the American gen 
tleman. 

One of the most pleasant occasions that took place 
while I was in Rome at this time was a picnic to Ostia, 
at the mouth of the Tiber, given by Mrs. Mason, an Amer 
ican lady who was passing the winter here, and whom 
I remember most agreeably for her kindness and atten 
tion to us at this time. Ostia was a place of importance 
in the days of Ancient Eome, but at this time was of 
no consequence except as a place for excursions and 
picnics. My friend Marshall had intended to sail with 
me in the Pensacola from Naples for the East, but poor 
Herriman became so ill after our excursion to Ostia that 
he did not feel satisfied in leaving Rome while his friend 
was in such a critical condition. Both Herriman and 
Hazeltine had intended coming down to Naples to see 
us off, but this desperate illness of the former, from 
which he came very near dying, broke up this pleasant 
arrangement altogether. I was accordingly obliged to 
sail without Marshall, much to my regret. 

From Naples I went to Messina, and placed the ship 
in dry-dock. I went myself, accompanied by my staff, 
to a place up in the highlands of Sicily, called Taormino. 
There was a little Sicilian hostelry there, where we found 
ourselves very comfortable, but there was absolutely 
nothing to do but lounge about and look at Mount Etna, 
which was in front of us, towering away up into the 
clouds. It was too mountainous for walking, and so 
we remained most of the time around our little hotel. 
My Flag Lieutenant, my Secretary, and I would play 
dummy-whist three times a day, and this passed the in 
terval of time between our meals. The only occupants 

326 



ATTENDING MASS AT TAORMINO 

of the establishment were two maiden ladies of a cer 
tain age, who seemed to have gone there for rest and 
solitude, for it was one of the loneliest places I have 
ever known, but very restful. The scenery was grand, 
and one never tired of gazing upon Mount Etna, cover 
ed with eternal snow, and for ever pouring from its peak 
volumes of steam and smoke. I happened to be at this 
place on a Sunday, and went to mass, which was cele 
brated in a very primitive church. The congregation 
consisted of a very primitive people. I reached the 
church too early for mass, and so I waited and watched 
with great interest the people as they came in. Some 
would be accompanied by very young children, too 
young to leave at home unattended, so the mothers 
would either have to bring them or stay away from 
mass themselves ; some would be accompanied by dogs, 
who would lie down and behave themselves decorously 
during service. These people seemed to feel towards 
the church edifice as though it was their own home, 
for they would bring their knitting-work and ply their 
needles diligently while awaiting the arrival of the 
priest. It was all very edifying, for it proved to me 
how earnest they were in their faith, and how they re 
garded going to mass as a matter of course something 
to be done without the least ostentation or display. 

As we were leaving our little hotel to get into the 
carriage that was to convey us to Messina, I observed 
that one of the maiden ladies to whom I have referred 
above slipped into the hand of the Surgeon, who was 
one of the party, an envelope, which, upon being open 
ed, was found to contain a fee. One of our party said, 
" Doctor, I suppose you will return that, will you not ?" 
" Not at all," he replied ; " I was called in profession 
ally, and this is in payment of the services I rendered." 

327 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Upon reaching Messina, I found the Pensacola ready 
for sea, so I got under way and went to Malta. In 
making the passage from Naples to Malta the naviga 
tor passes the volcano of Stromboli, which rises abrupt 
ly from the sea, and which served the ancients as a 
light-house. Its fires are never extinguished, and they 
burn with the same glow that they did in those far 
away days. Scylla and Charybdis, at the entrance of 
the Straits of Messina, were considered a great stum 
bling-block to early navigation, but they have long since 
ceased to cause any anxiety. The former, consisting of 
some rocks on the Calabrian shore, and the latter of a 
whirlpool, might have been considered obstacles to small 
craft centuries ago. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

At Malta Royal Dukes in Port The Duke of Edinburgh s Ball and 
Dinner Sir Lintorn Simmons Admiral Ward An Excellent 
Consul At Alexandria Reception by the Khedive The Pyra 
midsJaffa and Jerusalem American College at Beirut. 

I BEACHED Malta on the 16th of April, when I found 
at anchor a large portion of the British Fleet under the 
command of Admiral His Eoyal Highness the Duke of 
Edinburgh. Prince Alfred and I exchanged courtesies 
at once ; I paid my respects to him, and he returned 
my call almost immediately. It was early in the day 
when he came on board the Pensacola, and in doing the 
honors I said to him : " Perhaps it is a little early for 
your Koyal Highness, but if it is not I shall be happy 
to offer you a glass of brandy-and- water." He replied, 
" Oh, not at all ; it will give me much pleasure." So we 
retired to the after -cabin, and had our drink and a 
cigarette. I found the Admiral Duke a most agreeable 
fellow, and had a very pleasant conversation with him 
at the time, and often met him very agreeably after 
wards during my stay in Malta. At the time he was 
on board he expressed his admiration several times for 
a little water-color of a mulatto boy painted by my 
sister-in-law, Miss Sands, and I have regretted ever 
since that I did not present it to him. 

Serving in his uncle s fleet, at this time, was the 
young Duke of York, the son of the Prince of Wales, 
who was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. He was 

329 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

attached to a ship commanded by Captain Stevenson. 
When I returned the Captain s call he was not at the 
gangway to receive me, but a dapper young fellow with 
a spy-glass under his arm stepped up, and, apologizing 
for the Captain s absence, invited me to his cabin, and 
said he would go immediately and inform him that I 
was on board. It turned out that this young gentle 
man was the Prince himself, who was the officer of the 
watch when I went on board. The Commanding Offi 
cer, who had been unavoidably detained, soon appeared 
in his cabin, the Prince accompanying him as far as the 
door ; he was rushing off to resume his duties on deck, 
when the Captain called him in and introduced him. I 
had half suspected it was he all the time, but was not 
at all sure. I found him a very pleasant young fellow, 
and invited him to come and see me on board the Pen- 
sacola, and told him I would be glad to have a battal 
ion drill for him. He seemed very much gratified, and 
accepted my invitation with apparent pleasure. In a 
day or two afterwards he and Captain Stevenson came 
on board, and I gave him the function I had promised. 
He expressed himself very much pleased, and I have 
no doubt that he was, for our Blue-Jackets, Marines, 
and Band, organized as a battalion, made a very hand 
some display. I then took him below, and gave him 
a glass of wine and a cigarette. I remember his ask 
ing me, as we were smoking our cigarettes, whether I 

o o o 

inhaled. I did not quite understand then what it meant, 
but I have learned since that it is the act of drawing the 
smoke into one s lungs, and then letting it remain for 
a while and puffing it out again. Since then the Duke 
of York has married, and is the father of a small fam 
ily. He is heir-presumptive of the Throne of the British 
Empire. 



DINING WITH DUKE OF EDINBURGH 

I was invited by the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh 
to the grand ball given to the citizens of Malta and the 
officers of the fleet and their families. I danced in 
the opening quadrille in the Duke s set, having for my 
partner an American woman, who had married an offi 
cer in the British Navy, whose name, I regret to say, 
I have forgotten. Afterwards I took the Duchess into 
supper, and we sat down at the table with two others, 
forming a partie carrte. I found the Duchess had a 
charming personality ; she chatted away at the supper- 
table, and made herself most agreeable. I was quite 
prepared to like her, for I was told that in the passage 
out in the Royal Yacht Osborne the weather was very 
bad, and her maids all became sea -sick, so that the 
entire care of her children devolved upon herself ; she 
bathed and dressed them, and did all the work for them 
that the maids were accustomed to do. She proved, on 
this occasion, that, although she was a Royal Duchess, 
she was entirely equal to the care of her children when 
occasion required, and although I suppose any woman, 
whatever might have been her rank, would have done 
the same thing, yet I could not resist a feeling of ad 
miration for her on this account when I met her face to 
face. 

The Duke invited me to dine with him and the 
Duchess at the Palace of St. Antonio, near Yaletta. I 
occupied the seat of honor on the right of the Duchess, 
having followed immediately after her as we walked 
into the dining-room from the anteroom in which we 
had all assembled before dinner. Into this anteroom 
had been brought the little Prince and Princess, the 
former in the dress of a sailor. I do not know that 
this was the custom before the State dinners, and flat 
tered myself that the little sailor-man was produced in 

331 



MEMORIES OF A REAK-ADMIRAL 

order that he might see the American Admiral. I found 
the Duchess a most agreeable dinner-table companion. 
The occasion passed off very pleasantly; while there 
was sufficient reserve on the part of the host and host 
ess to give dignity to the affair, yet no one was made 
to feel that it must necessarily be an occasion of great 
formality. As one, naturally, is more observant at such 
times, I noticed the disposition that the Duchess made 
of her impedimenta. As she took her seat at the table 
she placed on her left, advanced about six inches from 
the edge of the table, her fan, her gloves, and her lorg- 
non close alongside of each other, so that they occupied 
very little space and did not at all interfere with her 
left-hand neighbor. I am thus particular in citing this 
little incident, because I have so often witnessed the 
struggle that ladies have with these articles, in their 
efforts to dispose of them so as not to be embarrassed 
by them, that I thought if any one who might by 
chance read this narrative had no better system of 
their own, it might not be a bad plan to follow that of 
the Duchess. After dinner I sat down to a whist-table 
consisting of Her Eoyal Highness, two officers of the 
British Army, and myself. We played for shilling 
points, and the Duchess, who, by the way, was an ex 
cellent player, was, I think, when we settled at the end 
of the game, about the only winner. She was most 
amiable all the time, and by her gracious manner caused 
the evening to pass very agreeably. There was a good 
deal of hurnor in her conversation, visible from time to 
time. I remember when we happened to be talking 
about the Captain of her husband s Flag-ship, she said, 
" I do not like to play with Captain Fellows, he always 
scolds me so." Fellows, by the way, was a very supe 
rior player, and he no doubt suggested sometimes to 

332 



SIR LINTORN SIMMONS 

Her Highness how she might have made a better play, 
and she put it, in her humorous way, as scolding her. 
My whole intercourse with these distinguished person 
ages was most agreeable, and I recall it all with a great 
deal of pleasure. 

Sir Lintorn Simmons was at this time the Governor- 
General of Malta. He was a distinguished soldier of 
high repute, and his fine appearance and military bear 
ing marked him as a fine specimen of the British gen 
eral officer. I had the honor of dining with him several 
times during my stay at Malta, and Lady Simmons did 
me the honor of coming on board the Pensacola two or 
three times during my visit there. It was an agreeable 
and interesting family, that of the Governor, and they 
added very much to the pleasure of my sojourn at this 
interesting stronghold of Great Britain. The palace of 
the Governor was perhaps the finest of those occupied 
by the old Knights of Malta. The stairway, if it might 
be so called, was so gentle in its ascent that one could 
easily ride up on horseback. The dining- hall was an 
immense apartment, the walls of which were covered 
by the portraits of many a grim old warrior, while the 
halls were lined with the armor which their originals 
once wore. One is vividly reminded by everything 
he sees of the downfall and decay of these warrior 
Knights, and is gratified to feel that the legacy has 
fallen into such good hands. The Governor-General was 
very proud of his dining-table, which he had had con 
structed according to his own idea; it was a kind of sharp 
ellipse, so made that the host without effort could see 
every one of his guests. In the central part of this 
ellipse was a large mirror, so arranged that it had the 
effect of a lake dotted with islands. Forty people could 
easily be seated at the table, which I think was the 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

number that sat down to it the first day that I dined 
there. 

This distinguished British General was a great ad 
mirer of General Grant. He had just finished reading 
his book, and told me that before that he was not an 
enthusiastic admirer of the General, but he said that 
the events described therein, in which he was actively 
engaged, were so clearly the result of great military 
genius that he could not fail to award to him general 
ship of the very highest order. 

The officer who commanded the Dockyard at Malta 
at this time was Eear- Admiral "Ward. We had known 
each other, I was going to say, from infancy ; as a mat 
ter of fact, we first met as Midshipmen in the Pacific, 
away back in the forties ; afterwards we met when I 
commanded the AroostooJc, as one of the blockading 
fleet off Mobile. He was commanding a British ship-of- 
war at the time, and visited our fleet to communicate 
with the Senior Officer present ; he sent me some bot 
tles of rum, which were most acceptable. Ward and I 
again met in the Mediterranean ; he commanded the 
ironclad Swiftsure, and I was Captain of the Wabash. 
Then again, as I have before stated, he was in com 
mand at Malta, when I was Commander -in -Chief of 
the European Station ; and, finally, we met again in 
Washington, only a few years ago. There was a sin 
gular parallelism in our careers, continuing from the 
time we were both Midshipmen up through all the 
grades until we became Kear- Admirals. He gave me a 
very handsome dinner at Malta, at which were present 
the young Duke of York and many other notables. 

The American Consul was Mr. John Worthington. 
He and his charming wife were great favorites, not 
only with the Government people, but with the Maltese 

334 



GRANTED AUDIENCE BY THE KHEDIVE 

generally ; their tastes were such as to commend them in 
a high degree at a Military Post such as Malta is, where 
a mere politician would be entirely out of place. Mr. 
Worthington remained in this position for twelve years ; 
he held over the first term of the Cleveland administra 
tion, but was superseded during the second. He is 
again an applicant for his old place, and I sincerely 
hope he will be successful in getting it. The Worthing- 
tons had as a guest at their house a relative, Miss 
Gregory. I was a guest at the same time, and occu 
pied a room which had been hers before it was mine ; 
in the closet of this room her dresses were still hanging. 
One evening when I was absent from the house, and 
she was dressing for an entertainment of some kind, 
having already donned her satin slippers, she approached 
this closet for the purpose of getting her gown, when 
she plumped both slippered feet into my bath-tub, which 
happened at the time to be filled with water. I met 
her only a few years ago, when the incident was still 
fresh in her memory. She was a very interesting young 
girl, very pretty and very attractive. She is now the 
wife of Commander Savory, of the Ro}^al Navy. Worth 
ington took passage with us to Alexandria, and was the 
guest of the Captain and myself for a week or more. 
My friend Marshall joined the ship at Malta. 

My visit, which was a very satisfactory one, was now 
at an end, and I sailed for Alexandria, where I arrived 
early in May. I quote from my report to the Depart 
ment of the presence of the ship there the following : 
" On my arrival here I communicated with the Consul- 
General at Cairo, informing him that I desired an au 
dience with His Highness the Khedive. The audience 
was promptly granted, and I accordingly proceeded to 
Cairo with the members of my staff, and was received 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

by the Khedive on May 8th. His reception was of 
the most cordial and friendly nature. He expressed 
himself as having the most kindly feelings towards the 
United States, and referred with great pleasure to his 
association with General Stone and the other Americans 
who had served in his Army. After a reasonable time 
spent with His Highness I retired, much gratified with the 
reception which he had given me." During the audience 
Chibouks were brought in filled with the most delicious 
Turkish tobacco. A number of slaves, with Fez caps 
on their heads and with skins so black that charcoal 
would make a white mark on them, placed these in our 
hands, and then each one that had given us the pipes 
returned with a live coal to the guest whom he had 
before served and placed it in the bowl of his pipe. 
Coffee was then brought in, and, while we conversed, 
we smoked and sipped our coffee, and enjoyed the nov 
elty of the occasion. 

A visit to the Khedive is attended with a good deal 
of ceremony. For instance, the carriage which contains 
the visitor, if he is of sufficiently high rank, is pre 
ceded by what is called a Sais. He is a man dressed 
in a showy uniform, with a staff in his hand, who runs 
at a rapid pace about twenty yards in advance of the 
conveyance. The idea is, I presume, to clear the way 
as a sort of avant-coureur for the distinguished comers. 
On our arrival at the rail way -station at Cairo, I was 
very much struck with the manner in which the Sta 
tion-Master seemed to preserve order. When a train 
comes in there is a rush of baggage-carriers for the un 
wary traveller in such force that if one is not careful 
his hand-baggage will be seized by these importunate 
Egyptians, who insist upon carrying it nolens -volens. 
This wave of humanity is, however, generally arrested 

336 



"DOING" THE PYRAMIDS 

by the Station-Master, who stands at the top of the 
steps as one ascends towards the station, brandishing 
a horsewhip with a lash long enough to sweep the 
crowd ; this he brings down every now and then with 
a tremendous whack, and thus manages in a general 
way to keep the gang at bay. Lieutenant Staunton, of 
my staff, remarked as he witnessed this scene, " Well, 
a people that will stand that sort of thing does not de 
serve to be free." 

Our party all put up at Shepheard s Hotel, which 
seemed to be the best in Cairo. Although it was early 
in May, the weather was intensely hot, and the flies 
were so thick that one was obliged to keep some sort 
of fly-brush always on hand. I never saw these pests 
in greater numbers than they were at Cairo at this 
time. I presume as one ascends the Nile they are less 
in number, or I cannot conceive how the trip up the 
river could be enjoyable. The British had been in pos 
session of Egypt for some time when I w r as at Cairo, 
and the City was as orderly as possible ; one could roam 
the streets then at any time without fear of molesta 
tion. This civilizing people are still there, and I hope 
they are there to stay. Wherever they go they seem 
to influence the inhabitants for good. They bring or 
der out of chaos, cleanliness out of filth, and good out 
of everything. Our Consul - General at Cairo at this 
time was Mr. Caldwell, a very efficient officer, who thor 
oughly appreciated his position, and was most zealous 
in the performance of his duties. 

Unless one ascends the Nile, there is really not much 
to see or do in this part of Egypt after having made a 
visit to the Pyramids and Museum. Our party made 
the first of these excursions in a body. Some of them 
ascended Cheops, the greatest of all the Pyramids, and 
Y 337 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

entered the place of the tombs, but I was satisfied to 
look on and see them tugging their way to the top. It 
is a difficult work, and one should be young and vigor 
ous to undertake it. The guides are very expert, and, 
of course, are of great assistance to those who mount 
these vast structures; the visitors have to be boosted 
up, and almost lifted at times, from one step to the 
other. There was a time when some of the most expert 
guides would for a consideration mount like monkeys 
to the top of the great Pyramid and then rush down at 
a breakneck pace to the bottom ; and when it is remem 
bered that some of the steps are from four to six feet 
high, it will be seen how hazardous it seems. Those 
who were in the habit of performing this feat almost 
always died of heart disease, so that the Egyptian Gov 
ernment intervened, and finally forbade it altogether. 
So much has been said and written about the Great 
Pyramids and the Sphinx that I propose to touch very 
lightly upon them here. Descriptions of them are fa 
miliar to all those who are interested in Egypt and 
Egyptology. I will only say that they are great won 
ders, and that it is worth a trip across the Atlantic 
Ocean to see them. The American Egyptologist, Mr. 
Cope Whitehouse, who has been a student of everything 
Egyptian for many years, I have been told has a the 
ory that the Pyramids were built from the top down, 
and when one reflects upon the immense undertaking 
of transporting the great blocks of stone of which they 
are composed from the base to a point five hundred 
feet above, it would seem that there might be some 
thing plausible in his theory. I have never heard that 
any one else agreed with him. He had another theory, 
which was that if Lake Moeris could be restored to 
what it was in the days of the Ancients, the surround- 



AT CAIRO, JAFFA, AND BEIRUT 

ing country would be as fertile as it was in the time of 
Joseph. 

When I was in Cairo the Museum was in charge of 
the greatest of all Egyptologists, Maspero. He person 
ally conducted me around that interesting institution, 
and pointed out to me, amongst other mummies, that 
of Rameses II., one of Egypt s most famous Monarchs ; 
I think he reigned when the Children of Israel were 
captives in that country. My visit to the Museum was 
so hurried that it has left a very faint impression upon 
my mind, but I remember how interesting it was to 
wander around amongst the relics of this famous portion 
of the globe. Our party returned to Alexandria, and 
soon after our arrival there I sailed for the North. 
Before leaving I wrote to the Department a letter, from 
which I extract the following : " Everything seems to 
be quiet in Egypt at present, and the British are about 
to withdraw some of their troops, but it does not ap 
pear at all likely that they will remove them altogether 
in the near future, if they do at all." I arrived at 
Jaffa about the middle of May. While there I gave 
the officers and crew an opportunity of visiting Jeru 
salem, of which twenty - five officers and one hundred 
and fifty seamen availed themselves. 

At Jaffa the house of Simon the Tanner was pointed 
out to me. I went from Jaffa to Beirut, and met there 
the Governor-General of Lebanon, who, in accordance 
with the treaty between Turkey and the Powers, must 
be a Christian. He was a charming, agreeable man ; if 
I remember aright this was Rustem Pasha, an Italian 
by birth. While at Beirut I wrote to the Department 
as follows : 

" The presence of the Squadron here seems to have 
been a source of great gratification to the American 

339 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Missionaries; they felt that it strengthened their posi 
tion very much with the Ottoman authorities, and en 
couraged them in the good work in which they are 
employed. 

" The American College, of which Dr. Bliss, a Pres 
byterian clergyman, is at the head, is in a very flourish 
ing condition. In addition to the college proper, there 
are attached to the institution a Theological Seminary 
and a Medical School. The establishment is not at all 
sectarian in its character, but opens its doors to every 
branch of the Christian and Mohammedan faiths. I 
gave the Missionaries a very cordial invitation to visit 
the Pensacola, of which they availed themselves, and it 
was gratifying to see how much pleasure it gave them 
to find themselves for the time under the protection of 
their own Flag. They held a reception on shore, which 
was largely attended by the officers in uniform. The 
Orientals are so much impressed by display that when 
ever I desire to sustain the Consular Office or give 
strength to the Missionaries I direct that the uniform 
shall be worn." 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

Damascus Entrance to the City Shops and Churches The Public 
Gardens Scriptural Scenes Damascene Houses Constantinople 
"Sunset" Cox Courtesy from the Sultan The Salaamlic 
Audience at the Sublime Porte Social Enjoyments The Charms 
of Prinkapo An American Prima Donna Dining at the 
Palace. 

I TOOK advantage of the presence of the Flag-ship at 
Beirut to make a visit to Damascus. My party con 
sisted of Lieutenant Staunton, my Flag - Lieutenant ; 
Lieutenant Potts, my Secretary; and my friend Mr. 
Marshall, who was now on board the Pensacola. We 
made a very early start, I think about four o clock in 
the morning, and were soon rattling over a beautiful 
macadamized road at the rate of eight to ten miles an 
hour. The vehicle was a comfortable diligence of the 
French pattern; the road and everything connected 
with it were the property of a French company. The 
distance to Damascus was about seventy miles, and we 
changed horses, I think, ten times, so we always had a 
comparatively fresh team. The journey across the Leb 
anon and Anti- Lebanon mountains, although a long 
drive, was not fatiguing. The Druses who occupy this 
region are Christians, and I think Roman Catholics ; 
they were extremely polite to us as we passed along 
through their country, almost to obsequiousness, and 
would raise both hands over their heads and bow almost 
to the ground, always expressing with a pleasant smile 

341 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

their gladness to see us amongst them. The country 
through which we drove, especially in crossing the 
mountains, was arid and uninteresting. Almost parallel 
with the beautiful smooth surface over which we were 
travelling was the old track or roadway, if it deserves 
the name, which has been in use for centuries. The 
caravans of camels and donkeys, which in order to 
avoid the toll always traverse this path, made a very 
picturesque feature of the landscape. These Ships of 
the Desert, as the camels are called, were transporting 
supplies from the coast and the rich valleys of Syria 
and Asia Minor to Damascus in the desert. Except to 
change horses, we made but one stop during the whole 
journey, and this was at the junction where a road 
leads to Baalbec, about half-way between Beirut and 
Damascus. "We were very anxious to visit these famous 
ruins, perhaps the grandest in the world, and were 
deterred from doing so only by our unwillingness to 
submit to what we considered to be an imposition, for 
instead of charging us the fare from the junction to 
Baalbec, they insisted that we should pay all the way 
from Beirut in addition to the fare we had already 
paid to that point. This was too much opposed to our 
American ideas of fair play, so we abandoned the trip 
altogether. I regretted afterwards that we had not 
permitted ourselves to be imposed upon, rather than 
to have missed seeing these interesting ruins. After 
leaving the junction referred to above, we traversed a 
country in which one sees scarcely a blade of grass ; 
from that point until one reaches Damascus it is a 
barren desert. Not a dwelling nor a tree is seen for 
miles and miles, when suddenly the City of Damascus 
comes in full view, and a thrill of delight passes through 
the mind at the sight of the green trees and flowering 

342 



IN DAMASCUS 

meadows which go to make up this charming oasis. At 
about one league s distance from the City, the diligence 
reaches the River Bareda, and then comes what seems 
like a race between the diligence and the river. The 
horses are put at their highest speed, and the river, as it 
rushes and dashes and splashes along, seems almost to 
gain on the diligence. From that time until Damascus 
is reached, which seems but a few moments, the excite 
ment is very great ; the driver, the horses, the passen 
gers, and even the diligence itself, all seem to partake 
of the general enthusiasm. The Bareda as it enters 
Damascus divides itself into three separate streams, each 
one taking a different course as it flows through the 
City, so that no portion is left without the cleansing and 
fertilizing effect of its waters. 

When we alighted at our hotel we found a comfort 
able bath awaiting us, after which we sat down to an 
excellent dinner, and it was difficult to realize that we 
were now in the land of the Arab and the Bedouin. 
We were so little fatigued by the journey that I sat 
down with my staff officers and played several games of 
dummy-whist. Our representative here was a commer 
cial agent; I am not quite sure of his nationality, but 
he was a subject of the Turkish Empire, and I think a 
Christian. He was bed-ridden, but was very anxious 
to meet me, so I called upon him in his bedroom. He 
was a fine-looking fellow, with a -strongly marked East 
ern face. He had never been to America, but was a 
most enthusiastic admirer of the country which he rep 
resented. Of course his health was such that he could 
not give us his personal attention, but his son, an intel 
ligent young fellow, was untiring in his efforts to make 
things agreeable for us, and acted as our cicerone dur 
ing the whole of our stay. Turkish towns are so much 

343 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

alike, and the bazaars so nearly resemble one another, 
that what one sees in Constantinople he sees in every 
other place, perhaps on a smaller scale. The imper 
turbable Turk sits cross-legged on a sort of platform, 
which is a part of his store, and is surrounded by his 
wares. These bazaars are directly on the street ; im 
mediately behind the place where the proprietor sits 
is a doorway leading to a sort of warehouse, where he 
keeps an inexhaustible supply of the special article in 
which he deals. Each street has its specialty : there is 
a street for rugs, another for shoes, another for tinware, 
another for brass ware, and so on. I was very much 
interested in an artificer of brassware. He was em 
ployed manufacturing plaques, which were repousse 
work. He would place the plaque on a sort of anvil, 
or rather on that which served its purpose. This was an 
ordinary barrel sawed in half and then filled with pitch, 
which, when it hardened, would become the anvil. He 
would then place the plaque upon it, and it would pre 
sent just resistance enough to enable him to work with 
ease. I purchased a couple of these plaques from him, 
and I prize them, not for their intrinsic value, but be 
cause they are very curious specimens of that particular 
art. Our guide showed us all there was to be seen in 
Damascus, which, after all, is not very much. 

I went to church, and was surprised to see the Chris 
tian women masked like the Orientals. I did not know 
then that it was the custom, but it seems that it belongs 
to the East, and not to any particular sect. While the 
Mohammedans mask at all times, my impression is 
that the Christians and the Jews do so only on special 
occasions, for on visiting the Public Gardens, where the 
women assemble in great numbers, I have no recollec 
tion that any of them were masked. It was very in- 

344 



SIGHTS OF DAMASCUS 

teresting to visit these gardens and witness the distinc 
tion amongst the different sects. The Christians would 
sit in clusters by themselves; at some distance from 
them would be an assemblage of Jewish women, and 
at about equal distances from these two sects would be 
the Mohammedans. Not a man was to be seen amongst 
them. The Oriental idea cannot brook anything which 
violates custom. The gardens were pretty places, filled 
with flowers and shrubbery, traversed by little streams 
diverted from the Bareda Kiver, which added very much 
to the beauty of these places of resort. We would sit 
apart, smoking our narghiles and sipping coffee, while 
enjoying the novelt} of the scene. 

One of the most curious spectacles which I witnessed 
was the general bazaar, or market, where can be seen, 
if it might be so called, the peasantry of that part of the 
East selling their wares. Amongst others were some 
Bedouins of the desert, who scowled at us as if they 
would like to cut our throats a thing they probably 
would have done if they had found us in some by -place 
where there would have been no fear of discovery. The 
time of the last massacre of the Christians was not so 
far remote as to make it entirely safe for them even 
then. When we went about the streets in our carriage, 
the driver would drive recklessly amongst the crowd, 
and I was in constant dread that he would kill some 
one, then we probably should have been mobbed out 
right, which, in all likelihood, would have been the end 
of us. 

We saw the street spoken of in the Acts of the Apos 
tles as "the street which is called Straight," which, as 
a matter of fact, is crooked ; but great changes have 
taken place since the Apostles days, and it may have 
been straight at that time. We were shown the place 

345 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

in the wall where St. Paul was let down in a basket, and 
I can quite understand how the spot could have been 
marked, and known to generation after generation to 
the present time. 

Damascus is said to be the oldest city in the world at 
this time. Our Consul at Beirut, Mr. Bissinger, who 
was an excellect Oriental scholar, gave me a list of the 
different places in the Bible where it is mentioned. I 
think they were eighteen in number, beginning with the 
Book of Genesis. The Turkish dog, which is of no par 
ticular breed, exists here in great numbers. As at 
Constantinople, they are the only scavengers, and but 
for their presence these Eastern cities would be more 
pestilential than they are now, for I doubt if the in 
habitants would take the trouble to remove what the 
dogs devour. They are a noisy, yelping set, but so use 
ful that they are never seriously molested; they are 
cuffed and kicked, as a matter of course, but never are 
killed. These dogs do not belong to any one, but might 
be considered the property of the State ; they go on from 
generation to generation, unthought of and uncared 
for; their kennels are the street -corners, where may 
often be seen a mother with a litter of puppies. The 
noise of these brutes is something very annoying. I 
remember when I was lying in my Flag-ship, the Kear- 
sarge, close to shore at Constantinople, every now and 
then I would hear a dog concert. I happened to look 
on shore one day, in the direction from which it came, 
when I saw a sentinel swinging one of these animals 
by the tail. He was yelping as if he were being killed, 
and all the dogs in the neighborhood joined in sympa 
thetic concert. The sentinel had not much to entertain 
him, so he amused himself from time to time with this 
interesting diversion. Our cicerone, the son of the 

346 



"SUNSET" COX 

Commercial Agent to whom I have referred, conducted 
us around amongst the different quarters of Damascus 
which were inhabited by the Christians, Jews, and Turks. 
The first two were more interesting than the other, 
for we were asked into the houses of the occupants, and 
invited to sit down and take a cup of coffee, in the 
most friendly way. The houses had surrounding them 
a sort of yard, or what the Spaniards would call a patio / 
here the family would assemble, and, although it was 
surrounded by a high wall, the gate was always open, 
and they would invite us to join them there, and when 
we accepted would appear extremely gratified. We 
made several efforts to get into a Moslem habitation, but 
without success. These people are prejudiced against 
strangers, and they feared the contamination of admit 
ting them within their walls. 

We had now seen all that there was to see in and 
about Damascus, and returned to the ship after an ab 
sence of five or six days. Soon after my arrival on 
board I got under way and went to Smyrna, where I 
arrived about the end of May. At this port I shifted 
my flag to the JKearsarge, as a vessel of the size of the 
Pensacola was not permitted, under the treaty between 
the great Powers and Turkey, to pass the Dardanelles. I 
sailed from Smyrna for Constantinople in the Kearsctrge, 
and fully endorse all that has been said of the beauties 
of the approach to the Golden Horn ; it is grand, even 
sublime, but I shall make no effort to describe it, for I 
do not feel that I could do justice to that about which 
so much has been often written by many skilful pens. 
Upon my arrival off the City, I went, accompanied by my 
staff, to call on our minister, Mr. Cox, commonly called 
" Sunset." I was very much pleased with the manner 
of his reception, for I might say that it was with open 

347 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

arm**; and I feel sure that he was extremely gratified 
to have an American Admiral within the JirnitB of his 
bailiwick. Mr*. Cox, the charming wife of the Minister, 
wan with him, and assisted him in doing the honor** 
with ease and grace. Champagne tagan to flow, and 
the occasion wa, I am sure, pleasing and satisfactory 
to all concerned. Every one who knew Mr. Cox is 
aware of what a kindly, genial gentleman he was, and 
how he excelled a* a man of wit and enprit. I remem 
ber how he would often in a laughing way refer to his 
"damnation " (Dalmatian ) servant, and would ring all 
the change* on a joke, and get out of it all there was 
in it. My intercourse with him, during my stay in and 
about Constantinople, was most agreeable, and it given 
rne much pleasure to record it here. 

The day after rny arrival the Hultan sent an officer 
on board to welcome rne to the Bublirne Porte, and to 
tell me how much pleasure it gave him to see an Ameri 
can Admiral there. He also detailed an officer of the 
Imperial Navy as rny aide-de-camp, to be in constant at 
tendance upon rne as long as I remained in the waters 
of Constantinople. I found this aide most useful, for he 
bad been directed by the Hultan to take rne to the Irri- 
p-.n;j.l Treasury, a pla/:e of great inten-. -.t,, and al;io to 
show mo the great palaces arid other objects in and 
about the City which he thought it would be agreeable 
to see. At all of these places where it was worth while 
to take more than a passing glimpse we would rest 
awhile, and coffee would be served in the Hultan s cups 
and saucers, and we would smoke his cigarettes, and 
thus further fortify ourselves for sight-seeing. I drank 
o much coffee that day that I doubt if I slept much 
during the night. 

Constantinople is traversed almost entirely by water, 



THK MOUCHK AT CONSTANTINOPLE 

for the streets are so rough and so constantly out of 
repair that it would be almost impossible to use car 
riages. The places of interest are almost all bordering 
the edge of these beautiful waters, so in any case the 
conveyance by water is more agreeable. The harbor is 
always filled with boats of every description, from the 
.Alouche of the Ambassador, down to the tiniest craft of 
the rank and tile. The Mouche to which I have re 
ferred is a small steam-yacht which is a very important 
part of the equipment of every Ambassador. In it he 
makes his official calls, his calls of etiquette, and his 
pleasure excursions. They can be seen flitting about at 
all times, just as one sees the diplomatic carriages driv 
ing around in any capital city. 1 do not know whether 
our Government allows one to our Minister, and per 
haps Mr. Cox was obliged to pay for his out of his 
salary ; I infer from the shabby appearance of the Ameri 
can Alouche that the latter was the case. I had, while 1 
was there, a small steam-cutter built by Ilerreshoff, 
which answered my purposes for this kind of work ad 
mirably. Steam could be gotten up in her in about 
five minutes, so that, when I ordered her, by the time I 
was prepared to go she was at the gangway ready for 
work. The Turks took a great fancy to her, and the 
dockyard people borrowed her for the purpose of con 
structing a boat of the same pattern ; they had her a 
good while longer than I intended they should, but they 
are proverbial for not doing things in a hurry. Besides 
these small steamers which 1 have just described, the 
groat Powers keep always at Constantinople small sea 
going steamers in which the Embassies, in case of neces 
sity, could take refuge, for in this ill-regulated country 
there is no telling when an emergency might arise which 
would render such a step essential to personal safety. 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

One of the great functions in Constantinople is what 
is called the Salaamlic. This event occurs once every 
week. On that day the Sultan, attended by the ladies 
of the Harem and slaves, proceeds to the Mosque, which 
he enters, remaining for fifteen or twenty minutes at 
prayer. Most of the attendants await outside, and the 
horses are unhitched from the carriage which contains 
the Sultan s wives, for fear, I presume, that they might 
run away and wreck this precious cargo. In front of 
the Mosque a regiment of troops is drawn up as a body 
guard to His Majesty, and the occasion is one of great 
ceremony and Turkish solemnity. A few privileged per 
sons are permitted to occupy a position set apart for 
that purpose, where they can see all that is going on 
without being jostled by the crowd. I happened to be 
amongst the favored few, and so saw it all to great ad 
vantage. The Sultan was accompanied on the occasion 
upon which I was there by Osman Pasha, the hero of 
Plevna, who at that time was the close friend and ad 
viser of His Majesty ; they drove up together in an open 
buggy, and this part of the function seemed to me to be 
so simple and unpretending that I could hardly realize 
that it was a portion of this glittering pageant. 

After the Salaamlic, to which I have just referred, 
the Sultan received our Minister and me at a private 
audience. The only persons present were His Majesty 
and his Chief Master of Ceremonies, who was also his 
interpreter, Mr. Cox, Mr. Garguilo, our dragoman, and 
I. As we entered the audience - chamber, the Sultan 
was standing, and gave me a most cordial grasp of the 
hand, just as he would have done to the President of the 
United States. We all then took seats, and he opened 
the conversation with me, through the Master of Cere 
monies, for even if he had had a knowledge of English, 

350 



RECEIVED BY ABDUL-HAMID 

the same thing would have obtained ; the etiquette is, 
that the Sultan never converses directly with a for 
eigner; he communicates what he has to say to his in 
terpreter, he in turn to the dragoman of the foreigner ; 
the dragoman then communicates it to the foreigner. 
The reply gets back to the Sultan by precisely the same 
process reversed. This renders conversation somewhat 
slow and rather tedious, but nevertheless we managed 
to have a good deal to say to each other. Amongst other 
things he asked me if I should see the President upon 
my return, and when I replied in the affirmative he 
asked me to congratulate him in his behalf upon his 
recent marriage, and also upon the success of his Ad 
ministration. I promised that I would do so, which, as 
a matter of fact, I did at a private audience given to me 
by Mr. Cleveland on my return to the United States. 
While we were in the Sultan s audience - chamber the 
inevitable coffee and cigarettes were brought in, of 
which we partook while we carried on the conversation. 
He had also brought in to show me the model of an 
ironclad man-of-war which he proposed building, but I 
doubt if its keel has ever been laid. Abdul-Hamid, the 
Sultan about whom I have been writing, is the same 
who has come so prominently to the front during the 
recent troubles in Turkey, with regard to the Armenian 
massacres and the war with Greece about the Island of 
Crete. He impressed me, during the brief conversation 
I had with him, as a kindly man, whose face was ex 
pressive of good-nature and amiability, withal of a se 
rious character, and sensible of the high responsibilities 
which his position imposed upon him. I have always 
thought that Mr. Gladstone s strictures on him were 
not altogether fair, for I have no doubt that so far as 
in him lay he did all that he could to suppress the ir- 

351 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

regularities in his Empire. Between the fear of assas 
sination and the desire to benefit his subjects, he has 
for a long time been between the hither and the nether 
millstone. I doubt if he is a man of the sturdy courage 
of his predecessors, for during the rebellion of Arabi 
Pasha in Egypt he sent for Lew. "Wallace, our Minister 
at that time, with whom he was on very intimate terms, 
and asked his advice as to what he should do. Wallace 
said to him : " My advice to your Majesty is to put 
yourself at the head of ten thousand men, go to Egypt 
in person, and the rebellion will be crushed out at once." 
He immediately had a sort of paroxysm, and called upon 
his attendants to have the Minister taken out of the 
room, but, instantly recovering himself, he saw the error 
he had committed and became reasonable. The race 
of great Sultans has long since disappeared, and will 
probably never be seen again. Their headquarters were 
in the field, and the life they led was calculated to pro 
duce rugged warriors, while the mode of life of the 
Sultans at present can only produce effeminate men. 

During the first part of my stay at Constantinople I 
kept the ship at anchor off Topane, where the Ambassa 
dors gunboats are moored. It seems the most con 
venient point from which to reach the heart of the City. 
Later on, I took her up the Bosphorus and anchored at 
a place called Buyukdere, near the entrance of the 
Black Sea. At this point I was near Therapia, which is 
beautifully situated on the Bosphorus, and the resort of 
all the Diplomatic Corps during the summer months. 
The Bosphorus is more like a canal than an arm of the 
sea. Its shores on both sides are lined with palaces, the 
occupants of which step out of their front doors into 
their boats, which stop the way just as a carriage does 
in the street. There is no room for a vehicle of any 

352 



ENTERTAINED AT PRINKAPO 

description, the distance between the door and the water 
being only a few feet. Indeed, the Bosphorus resembles 
the Grand Canal at Yenice more than anything else to 
which I can compare it, and, if the gondolas were there, 
one could easily imagine himself in that unique city. 
The houses at which I visited most frequently while at 
Therapia were those of Sir Edward Thornton, the British 
Ambassador, and our Consul - General, Mr. Heap. Our 
Minister, Mr. Cox, was passing this summer at Prinkapo 
instead of at Therapia, as was his usual custom. The 
Thorntons were very polite to us, and gave us dinners 
and entertainments of all sorts. Lieutenant Potts, my 
Secretary, was a guest at their house for several days. 
The hospitable home of our Consul-General was always 
open to us, and evening after evening we assembled 
there for a rubber of whist. I would occasionally take 
my steam-cutter and run up into the Black Sea, but the 
contrast between its murky waters and the sunny Bos 
phorus was so great that I was always glad to get back 
again. 

Thus passed a week or ten days in this lovely spot 
most agreeably, but it was time for me to be again on 
the move. I bade farewell to these pleasant shores, and 
in a few hours the Kearsarge was at anchor off the Island 
of Prinkapo, one of the Princess Islands, which form a 
group in the Sea of Marmora. Within a few hundred 
yards of the place where the ship was anchored stood 
the palace of an Armenian, Mr. Azarian, who was a 
naturalized American citizen. He had married an 
American woman, who was very proud of her country, 
and she urged me to make her house my home during 
my stay in those waters. She told me, moreover, that 
I must have with me a member of my staff and my ser 
vant ; in fact, she said, " You must here make your keif" 
z 353 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

which is an Eastern word to express positive and entire 
comfort. I passed a charming week with this interest 
ing family. Mrs. and Miss Azarian were very intimate 
with most of the diplomatic people in Constantinople, 
and often on Saturdays the Thorntons and other young 
ladies from the different Embassies would come down to 
Prinkapo as their guests. The Secretaries and Attaches 
would also be on hand, so the times were very lively 
until Monday morning, when the men would return to 
the City. The house was very bright during their stay ; 
there were games of all kinds, and music and flirting, 
which would continue into the small hours of the morn 
ing. We sat down to dinner at nine o clock, and gener 
ally arose about midnight, when the evening would just 
begin. I would generally take advantage of some mo 
ment of confusion to steal off to bed. My room was so 
far removed from the sound of revelry which would 
naturally follow a dinner of three hours duration as 
not to cause me any inconvenience or interfere at all 
with my slumbers. The Orientals have a custom of 
placing near the head of the bed of every guest a jar 
of sweet substance, somewhat resembling marmalade, 
which they call " Turkish delight." I would console 
myself with a little of this, and forget the joys that I 
was missing below. The Kearsarge was lying so close to 
the Azarian palace that the band could be as distinctly 
heard as if it was in the house on shore. This proximity 
of the ship to the shore was a source of great pleasure to 
all parties, for there was a constant change of civilities of 
one kind or another going on from morning to night. 
Our Minister, Mr. Cox, and his wife were passing the 
summer quietly at Prinkapo at this time, and I had the 
advantage of seeing a great deal of them during my 
visit to the Azarians. I remember with much pleasure 

354 



HELPING AN IMPRESARIO 

a breakfast I had with them the day before I left the 
island. 

The servant who accompanied me to the house of 
Mrs. Azarian was a handsome mulatto named David. 
He was always a great favorite at the hotels where he 
happened to be with me. He would sit at the table of 
the host with the couriers and people of that class, and 
knew how to make himself agreeable. At the Azarians 
there was a rather pretty English nursery governess ; 
she and David happened to be thrown a great deal to 
gether. One day David wrote a note to her contain 
ing a proposal of marriage. We all considered it a good 
joke, but one of the young ladies of the family said that 
the governess had confided to her that if David had 
been a young man of better family she might have con 
sidered his proposition. As it was, however, she rejected 
him, and I do not think he ever quite got over it, for he 
was never the same afterwards. I was obliged soon to 
send him home, for I could never get any good out of 
him after the love affair. 

There was an American prima donna at Constanti 
nople at this time known as Mrs. Byron, who had 
taken a troupe of singers there for the Grand Opera, 
and was her own impresario. The result was a dismal 
failure. We all felt sorry for her, and were anxious 
to assist her in her difficulties. I first met her at the 
Salaamlic, and she afterwards came on board ship to 
see me. She happened to learn that the Sultan was 
going to give me a dinner, and the object of this visit 
was in connection with that event; she was accompa 
nied on this occasion by our Secretary of Legation, who 
desired to befriend her. She had sung, I think, at one 
of the Sultan s dinners, and I believe had received after 
her performance a hundred-pound note. She thought if 

355 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

she could be engaged for the dinner that was to be 
given to me, the same good-fortune would attend her. 
It was agreed that our dragoman should see the Chief 
Master of Ceremonies, who would naturally ask him 
how the American Admiral could best be entertained, 
which, as a matter of fact, he did. Our dragoman, Mr. 
Garguilo, who was a bright Italian, replied at once 
that he thought the Admiral would like to hear some 
American songs. The Master of Ceremonies said, at 
once, "How is it possible for us to find some one in 
Turkey to sing American songs?" whereupon Garguilo 
suggested to him that Mrs. Byron, the American prima 
donna, would be the very person he wanted for that pur 
pose. The Oriental mind at once seized upon this idea, 
thought it a good one, and thought also that it might 
be arranged. Nothing, however, came of it, for the Sul 
tan does not always appear at the dinners which he 
gives to strangers I believe he seldom does therefore 
such a plan as we had been trying to manage could not 
be carried out. As he did not appear at the dinner 
given to me, poor Mrs. Byron did not get her five hun 
dred dollars, and our little scheme to put some money 
into her pocket fell to the ground. She bettered her 
condition, later on, by marrying Colonel Mapleson, who 
arranged engagements for her and brought her to 
Washington, where she was entertained at the White 
House during the administration of President Harri 
son. 

It will perhaps be remembered by many that the Sul 
tan presented General Grant, on the occasion of his visit 
to Constantinople, with a pair of gray Arabian horses. 
The General did not care to accept so valuable a present, 
but finally consented to take one horse. His friends, how 
ever, urged him to accept another, which he finally agreed 

356 



EFFECTS OF VISIT TO CONSTANTINOPLE 

to do. When the second horse was sent it turned out 
to be a black one. Our dragoman, however, who was 
always ready for any emergency, went immediately to 
headquarters, and informed them there that the Presi 
dents of the United States rode on white horses, having 
in mind perhaps " Old Whitey " and President Taylor. 
Now, if there is anything which the Oriental mind holds 
dear, it is precedent and custom, so the black horse was 
withdrawn and the gray one substituted. I cannot 
vouch for the truth of this story, but it was told me by 
those who were present at the time and were parties 
to the transaction. 

In reference to the dinner given to me by the Sultan, 
to which I have referred above, I think I cannot do 
better than to insert here an extract from my letter to 
the Department about that time, as follows : " I have 
been assured by the Minister that my stay in the waters 
of Constantinople has been productive of great satis 
faction, not only to the Legation, but to the various 
religious and educational establishments which exist 
there and in that vicinity, and which are almost en 
tirely American in their character. I took occasion to 
visit with my staff the American (Robert) College and 
the American Female Seminary, at the time of their 
respective Commencements. I was much gratified to 
find that they felt that their positions were greatly 
strengthened by the presence of an American man-of- 
war, and the sight of the Flag in their midst seemed to 
encourage them to renewed efforts in the good work in 
which they are engaged. I also visited an American es 
tablishment in Stamboul, called the Bible House, which 
is under the management of the Rev. Dr. Bliss, a Pres 
byterian Clergyman. At this place is published the 
Bible in many languages, as are also other books of a 

357 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

kindred nature. Dr. Bliss called on board the Kear- 
sarge, and especially requested that I should visit him 
there, which I did with very great interest, and I think 
with much gratification to himself and all his employes. 
I was very much surprised and pleased to find in the 
midst of a people almost entirely Mohammedan this 
Christian Institution, conducted and managed as it 
might have been had it existed in an American city, 
instead of in Stamboul, and I am satisfied that it is 
doing a great deal of good amongst the Christians of 
the Turkish Empire. My relations with Mr. Cox, our 
Minister, have been of the most agreeable and cordial 
nature, and we have always been in accord in every 
thing that has been done during my presence in these 
waters, in my efforts to uphold the American name, 
which I am happy to say is highly esteemed throughout 
the whole East. On the 7th instant the Sultan enter 
tained us at dinner, and was represented by the Minister 
of Marine. In the adjoining room were also entertained 
fifty of the Rear Barge s crew, and he further extend 
ed his civilities by sending on board, to those who were 
not at the dinner, an entertainment of the same char 
acter. Mr. Cox accompanied us to the dinner at the 
Palace, and made some very happy and appropriate re 
marks on the occasion. On the following day the Sultan 
sent his son, the Prince Imperial, on board, as his repre 
sentative, to visit the Kearsarge / the appropriate honors 
were extended to him, and he made a speech to the 
officers and crew expressive of the Sultan s gratification 
at the presence of the ship at the Sublime Porte, and of 
his desire to make our stay there as agreeable as pos 
sible, to which I made a suitable reply. On the 9th 
instant the Sultan received the Minister and myself in a 
private audience, at which he was most cordial in his 

358 



THE SULTAN COMPLIMENTS CLEVELAND 

manner, and where he expressed himself in terms of the 
greatest friendship towards the President of the United 
States." 

In addition to the despatch from which I have just 
quoted, I sent a special one to the Department in refer 
ence to the conversation I had with the Sultan about 
the President. It was as follows : 

"PiRjsus, GREECE, July 13th, 1886. 
"Hon. W. C. WHITNEY, Secretary of the Navy. 

"Sir, I have the honor to inform the Department that at an au 
dience with the Sultan of Turkey of the 9th inst. he was so marked 
in his desire that I should convey to the President of the United States 
the expression of the high regard and esteem in which he held him, 
as well as his most cordial congratulations upon his recent marriage, 
that I feel it my duty to make a special despatch upon this subject. 
Had he made this request casually, I should have merely regarded 
it as one of the compliments usually paid on such occasions ; but after 
conversing with him awhile upon other subjects he returned to it 
again, and in an earnest and especial manner requested that I should 
not forget to convey his messages to the President ; I therefore place 
this despatch in the hands of the Department, in order that if it sees fit 
it may make known its contents to the President, and feel that I have 
thus fulfilled the obligations which the Sultan imposed upon me. 
" Very respectfully, 

"(Signed) S. R. FRANKLIN, 

" Rear- Admiral U. S. Navy, 
" Commanding U. S. Naval Force on European Station." 



CHAPTER XXIX 

Athens and the Greek Islands Sea-Bathing at Leghorn Americans 
in Italy Society in Genoa Eastward Again Winter in Alexan 
dria Marvels of Our Consular System An Agreeable Visit Mrs. 
Franklin at Athens Royal Hospitalities Visit of the King and 
Queen Domestic Dinner at the Palace. 

I HAD now been several weeks in the waters of the 
Turkish Empire, and had, I thought, accomplished the 
object of my visit to that part of my Station. I got 
under way from Prinkapo, and rejoined the Pensacola 
at the Island of Syra. I then went to Pirasus and Pha- 
lerum Bay. From the latter place I was, together with 
my staff and Commander Sigsbee, of the Kearsarge, 
presented to King George of Greece by our Minister at 
Athens, Mr. Fearn. Commander Sigsbee is the gallant 
officer who commanded the Maine, and behaved so 
handsomely when his ship was wrecked by an explosion 
in the harbor of Havana. The King, on the follow 
ing day, visited the Pensacola and Kearsarge, when we 
manned the yards and gave him a Koyal salute. Mr. 
Fearn, our Minister, was an agreeable man, and had a 
most interesting family ; they did great credit to the 
United States in representing us as they did there, and 
were great favorites with the best people, as well as 
with the Royal family. A few years ago he was ap 
pointed one of the Judges of the International Court 
in Cairo. When last I heard of him I am sorry to say 
he was very ill. 



BATHING AT LEGHORN 

I sailed from Phalerum Bay, which is near Athens, 
on the 20th of July, and arrived at the Island of Zante 
the next day. A friend of mine, Mr. Phocian Barf, a 
resident of Naples, had large interests at this island, 
and was the proprietor of a very pretty estate there. 
He had requested me if I went to Zante to visit his 
place, telling me, at the same time, that probably he 
would not be there himself, but would like me to see 
it. I accordingly paid it a visit, but found no one but 
the steward. When he discovered who I was, he placed 
in my hands a package which he said he had orders to 
give to me in case I should come to Zante. When I 
opened it I found, to my surprise, that it contained sev 
eral dozen doilies, made in varieties of patterns, and of 
the most delicate fibre. It was a beautiful present, and, 
as the proprietor was not there, there was nothing for 
me to do but accept it, which I did. 

I had now completed my cruising in the East, and 
sailed from Zante for the coast of Italy, arriving at 
Leghorn in the latter part of July. It was the height 
of the bathing season, and the place was filled with 
strangers from Kome and Florence and all the surround 
ing country. My wife, who had been in Switzerland 
during my cruise to the East, joined me here, and we 
took up our quarters at the Grand Hotel. The sea-bath 
ing of Leghorn is, to my mind, the finest in the world ; 
the water is beautifully clear, and the temperature most 
agreeable. The bathing-houses, or baraccas, as they are 
called, are so constructed as to project over the sea, as 
there is no beach like that to which we are accustomed 
in this country. The bathers enter the baracca from 
the shore side, and, when ready for the bath, descend 
a ladder into the water, which is about four feet deep ; 
then, by raising a sort of canvas flap, which is on the 

361 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

outside, they emerge into the ocean and find any depth 
they may desire. This system does away with the 
awkwardness of walking down a long beach to the wa 
ter, which is embarrassing to so many. There one sud 
denly appears to the spectators with only his head above 
water, and so can remain, if he desires, through the 
whole of his bath. Stockings are never worn by the 
ladies, for it is entirely unnecessary, since their feet are 
never seen. I remember on one occasion an American 
woman appeared upon the scene encased in black stock 
ings; she produced a sensation like unto that which 
would take place with us if the situation were reversed. 
I took almost daily swims at these beautiful baths, 
which were rendered very attractive, not only by their 
convenience, but also on account of their pretty sur 
roundings. Within a stone s -throw of them was the 
Grand Hotel, one of the finest in Europe, and closer 
still were a number of excellent restaurants, where one 
could dine or breakfast in great comfort after the bath. 
The officers of the ship and those of their wives who 
were present were constant patrons of these baths. 
There was nothing in Leghorn that gave us more pleas 
ure or rendered our stay there more agreeable than this 
daily diversion. I call to mind a little incident which 
occurred one day while I was swimming along that 
amused me at the time, and still amuses me when I 
think of it. Ensign Eames, the brother of the celebrated 
Emma Eames, was swimming in the opposite direction, 
and when he came abreast of me he brought himself 
to an upright position, and, treading water for an in 
stant, gave me a full military salute and passed on. 
Eames was always ready for a joke, even to not ignor 
ing the Commander-in-Chief, under any circumstances 
whatsoever. 



ATTRACTIONS OF GENOA 

There were several American Countesses at Leghorn at 
this time, amongst others the Countess Gianotti, whose 
husband held a high position in the household of the 
King of Italy. She was, before she married, a Miss 
Kinney. Another was the Countess Gherardesca, for 
merly a Miss Fisher, of New York. Both of them were 
excellent specimens of American women, and were both 
very much respected in Rome and Florence, where they 
respectively resided. My friend Mr. Fabricatti, whom 
I have mentioned before in the course of this narrative, 
gave me a dinner-party. Amongst the guests was Count 
Gianotti. Although, as I have stated above, he held a 
high position at Court, he seemed to go upon his sum 
mer travels without a dress-coat; thus the host was 
obliged to ask us to appear in frock-coats, in order to 
conform to this peculiarity of the Count. One of the 
most agreeable families residing at Leghorn at this time 
was that of Mr. Torrey, who was formerly our Consul 
at Carrara ; he lives here in great ease and comfort. At 
his table would be found green -corn and buckwheat- 
cakes, the products of his own country-place, and given 
to his American guests to remind them of their own na 
tive land. His daughter married an American Naval 
Officer named Berwin ; they reside in New York, and I 
think are very prosperous. I believe he is still on the 
retired list of the Navy. 

I left Leghorn late in September, and went with the 
Pensacola to Genoa; went on shore and took up my 
quarters at the Hotel du Pare. It was surrounded with 
beautiful gardens enclosed by high walls, which gave it, 
shut in as it was, the appearance of a beautiful chateau ; 
indeed, it was formerly the residence of an Italian noble 
man. We lived there very comfortably for several 
weeks. Amongst the distinguished guests tha,t were 

363 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

there at the time we were was the Comte de Paris. He 
seemed to be on easy terms with the landlady, consid 
ering the difference in their stations in life. We could 
hear them chattering away from where we would sit 
in the garden. I think he found her a good-natured 
person, and amused himself by gossiping with her. The 
Prince also knew very well Madame Garcia, a woman 
of Buenos Ayres ; her husband had been the Argentine 
Minister to the United States some years before; she 
was at our hotel, and seemed to be an old acquaintance 
of the Count s. Madame Garcia was a cousin of Manu- 
elita, the daughter of the famous Dictator of Buenos 
Ayres, Rosas, who held all that country in a state of 
terror fifty years ago. Manuelita was a great friend 
of American ISTaval Officers in those days, and there are 
some now living who no doubt remember her with pleas 
ure, for she was a great favorite, although the daughter 
of a bloodthirsty tyrant. Our Consul at Genoa at this 
time was a Mr. Fletcher, an excellent officer, who I 
believe still occupies that position. He was a great 
friend of Miss Folsom s, who afterwards became the wife 
of President Cleveland; she and her mother spent a 
long time in Genoa, and Mr. Fletcher was very kind 
and attentive to them while they were there. Mrs. 
Folsom was quite an invalid at the time, which I think 
caused them to make the protracted stay at Genoa. On 
one occasion during the cruise they both made a visit 
to the Pensacola, but I was not on board at the time. 
Mrs. Cleveland talked to me afterwards about the visit, 
after she had become the wife of the President of the 
United States. As a great secret my wife and I were 
taken to see a marble bust of Miss Folsom which was 
being made by a sculptor in Genoa ; it was the inten 
tion of Mrs. Cleveland to surprise her husband by pre- 
364 



DRIVEN FROM GENOA BY CHOLERA 

senting it to him on the first Christmas after their mar 
riage, which, as a matter of fact, she did. 

About this time the cholera made its appearance in 
Genoa. The Consul came on board and informed me 
that it was spreading rapidly, so there was nothing to 
do but leave at once. The Surgeon went on shore and 
obtained a clean bill of health, when I got under way 
immediately and sailed for Villefranche. There we 
were subjected to a quarantine of twenty-four hours, 
and as there were no evidences of the disease on board 
we were permitted to land at the expiration of that 
time. I had received an order from the Navy Depart 
ment, at the suggestion of the Department of State, to 
send one of the ships of the Squadron to the coast of 
Africa. I directed the Quinebaug to hold herself in 
readiness for this service, and despatched her, as soon as 
she was prepared for her cruise, to that part of the Sta 
tion. As it was important that our flag should be con 
stantly shown in the East, I sailed myself for Alexandria 
soon afterwards, touching at Palermo and Malta en 
route. I passed but a few days at each of these places, 
having found nothing of importance at either of them 
to detain me longer. Our Consul at the former port 
was Dr. Lee, who had been an official of the Depart 
ment of State, and was well adapted to the position 
which he occupied. Palermo is a pretty Sicilian city, 
built with the regularity of an American town, the two 
principal streets crossing each other at right angles, hav 
ing a small square at their intersection, resembling very 
much in that respect our Pennsylvania cities. On a 
former occasion when I visited this port, in consequence 
of the brigandage then existing, it was not safe to wan 
der far beyond the limits of the city, but now it was 
all changed. Palermo is not an interesting city to the 

365 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

ordinary tourist, but to the archaeologist the Island of 
Sicily is full of objects of the deepest interest. 

At Malta I found the Duke of Edinburgh with the 
British Fleet. I had met him there on a former visit 
to this island, as I have stated in another part of this 
narrative. We exchanged civilities, and I received every 
attention from him and the British authorities of the 
port, as I always did at their Military Posts. I re 
mained here but a few days, when I made the best of 
my way to Alexandria, where I arrived on the llth of 
December. I passed nearly the whole of the winter at 
this place, staying most of the time on board ship, where 
I was very comfortable far more so than I could have 
been on shore. The members of my staff messed with 
me, and as I had a good steward and an excellent 
French chef, we lived delightfully ; and so in this de 
licious winter climate the three months that we were 
there passed pleasantly away. Lieutenant Staunton and 
Potts, of my staff, and Lieutenant Alger, when he could 
be spared from duty, would go to the Club nearly every 
day after luncheon and have a rubber of whist. This 
recreation we kept up pretty much all the time we 
were there; indeed, without it I think our existence 
would have been dull and monotonous enough, but with 
this amusement the afternoons went like a flash. I 
would return on board ship towards dinner - time, and 
after dining would devote myself to reading and exer 
cise ; I would generally walk the bridge for two hours, 
and feel that I had then accomplished all the constitu 
tional that I required. I made it a rule not to dine out 
while I was here, for the trouble and exposure to which 
it would have subjected me deterred me from it. My 
cabin was so comfortable, and even luxurious, that I 
was entirely contented on board. I was often urged to 

366 



WHAT ALEXANDRIA LACKS 

break through my resolution, but I was inexorable. 
The Club people of Alexandria were extremely polite 
to us ; several Clubs were placed at our disposition dur 
ing the whole of our stay ; they would not entertain any 
proposal to pay for their use as ordinary subscribers 
did. These Clubs were delightful places of resort ; they 
were furnished in the very best style, and I have seen 
none more comfortable in any part of the world. Of 
course, they are kept up entirely by foreigners, general 
ly men of wealth. In going to and returning from the 
Club we would almost always drive. The horses, al 
though rather scrubby -looking, were all more or less 
thoroughbred. The street which we traversed was gen 
erally filled with people, but the drivers did not seem to 
heed that, and would dash along at a fearful rate, so that 
I was in constant dread lest some one should be killed. 

What struck me as most peculiar was that here in a 
seaport of more than two hundred thousand people 
there was no American Consul. Americans were con 
stantly passing through on their way to the Pyramids 
and the Nile, and yet the only person who could at all 
serve their interests was a sort of Commercial Agent, 
who, at the time I was there, was either a Missionary 
or a School-teacher, or perhaps both. I remember how 
difficult it was to find him. I have spoken of this 
want at home, but I doubt if any measures have been 
taken to remedy it. It is difficult to understand the 
workings of our Consular system, but we are all the 
time hoping for better things in this branch of the 
public service. 

The incident which I remember most distinctly while 
at Alexandria was a sand-storm. These do not often 
occur, but when they do they are about as unpleasant 
as any storm could be. The wind blows a gale as it 

36? 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

drives across the great Desert of Sahara, bringing with 
it not only clouds of sand, but, one might say, thick mists 
of it, filling the air, and penetrating everything, even 
to the ears and eyes. In passing over the ship it would 
find its way into every crevice and crack and key -hole. 
Nothing could escape it, the hair and tooth brushes were 
filled with it, and after the storm subsided there had to 
be a general cleaning-up of everything. "While this 
storm was upon us, although then not as severe as it af 
terwards became, there appeared upon the scene, as if 
she had come on the wings of the wind itself, a charm 
ing young woman whom I had known from her child 
hood Mrs. Mason, the wife of Lieutenant Mason, who 
was then in China. She was on her way, alone, to join 
him there. She was a brave woman, but she was so 
womanly and attractive that the passengers took the 
greatest interest in her, and were constantly minister 
ing to her wants. She had come in one of the P. & O. 
steamers to Alexandria, whence she would take the 
train to a point on the Eed Sea where she would re- 
embark for the far East. She happened upon us just 
at breakfast-time, and I know it gave her pleasure to 
be there, as it did us to have her. I feel sure that we 
all enjoyed our meal the more for having her with us, 
and that she felt happy at being once more under the 
folds of the American Flag. The wind had increased 
considerably while we were at breakfast, and I felt 
some concern about sending her ashore ; but it was neces 
sary for her to go and catch the train or miss her pas 
sage in the steamer, and she was the daughter of an 
Admiral and a sailor s wife, and seemed to have no 
hesitation about making the effort. I placed her in the 
steam-cutter and gave her in charge of Lieutenant Potts, 
of my staff, with the injunction that he had the care of 

368 



MEET MRS. FRANKLIN AT PIRAEUS 

a precious cargo, and that he must see to it that it was 
safely landed. As the tiny craft left the ship, pitching 
and tumbling and tossing about, I watched her with 
profound anxiety ; and when I saw her turn the point 
which placed her in smooth water, I heaved a sigh of 
intense relief. The days of the three months passed at 
Alexandria were so much alike that but for the few 
incidents that I have mentioned one was only the repe 
tition of another. Upon the whole, however, the retro 
spect is pleasant, notwithstanding its monotony, and I 
am glad to have had this experience. 

I sailed from Alexandria, and reached Piraeus about 
the middle of February. I had recently received an 
order from the Navy Department to send Lieutenant 
Staunton, of my staff, off upon special duty connected 
with the Office of Intelligence at Washington. I accord 
ingly despatched him at this point, and, as Mrs. Franklin 
was on her way from Switzerland to join me at Athens, 
it was convenient for him so to time it as to meet her at 
Brindisi en route. He accordingly did so, and placed 
her on board a little Greek steamer bound for Corinth. 
It can be easily imagined what kind of a craft it was, 
for when she called for the stewardess a small boy 
presented himself and said that he was the stewardess, 
and that there was no woman except herself on board. 
However, although this condition of things was not 
encouraging, she arrived safely at Corinth, where she 
was met by her son, Cadet Dutton, and me, when we 
went by train to Athens. Since that day a canal pierc 
ing the Isthmus has been opened, so that steamers can 
go directly there by water. Upon our arrival we went 
to the Hotel Grande Bretagne, where we took up our 
quarters and remained during the stay of the Pensacola 
at Piraeus. 

2 A 369 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Mr. Fearn was still our Minister at Athens. He gave 
a handsome entertainment soon after our arrival, at 
which their Majesties the King and Queen of Greece 
were present. Mrs. Franklin, who had just arrived, met 
them there for the first time, and was presented to them 
that night. The Queen afterwards sent for her and 
gave her a private audience at the palace. Their 
Majesties then gave me a state dinner, at which my 
wife was one of the guests. There were about thirty of 
us altogether. It was a very pretty affair, and seemed 
to me to be an enjoyable occasion for every one. As it 
was the season of Lent when we were at Athens, society 
was quite at a stand-still ; there were no entertainments 
save those of the most quiet kind. We dined with 
the French Minister and breakfasted at our Legation, 
where we met Mr. Tricoupis, the Prime Minister of 
Greece, and one of her most distinguished men. These, 
and a few teas, were about all the affairs of that nature 
which took place during our stay. We passed most of 
our evenings at our hotel, after dinner retiring to the 
coffee-room, where we would generally meet some agree 
able Greeks and Americans, and spend an hour or two 
with them. 

I invited the Royal family to visit me on board the 
Pensacola, and to take the mid-day meal with me, dinner 
or luncheon. It was really a dinner, for the distance of 
Piraeus from Athens, and the fact that they had to go 
afloat, would have made it very inconvenient for them 
to go on board at night and return afterwards to Athens. 
Besides that, they were very fond of going on board 
ship, and I felt sure they would like to pass the after 
noon there, which, as a matter of fact, they did. At the 
appointed time their Majesties came, accompanied by all 
the members of the Royal family. I invited our Minis- 

370 



ATHENS AND ITS RUINS 

ter and his wife, Captain Dewey,* and some of the prin 
cipal officers of the ship. My Staff-officers, Lieutenant 
Sargent and my step-son, Cadet Arthur H. Button, were 
also amongst the guests. The dinner passed off, as it 
seemed to me, very pleasantly ; there was no restraint, 
and as soon as the wine began to flow the conversation 
became general and animated. The band was some dis 
tance removed from the cabin, so that, while we enjoyed 
the music, our conversation was not at all disturbed by it. 
When the King came on board the yards were manned 
and a Royal salute was fired. The battalion of blue 
jackets and marines were put in full uniform, and drilled 
in the presence of their Majesties. The troops were then 
marched around the deck to the music of the band, and 
the whole scene was attractive and interesting. Towards 
evening the Royal family took their leave, apparently 
much gratified by their day on board. 

Except to the archaeologist, there is not much of inter 
est to be seen in or about Athens. We went to Eleusis, 
the scene of the mysteries, and lunched in the Temple 
of Ceres. We were frequent visitors to the Acropolis, 
and often strolled amidst its beautiful ruins. We never 
tired of gazing upon the Parthenon, with its exquisite 
proportions, mutilated as they are by the vandalism of 
both Christians and Moslems. We would stroll about 
amongst the columns of the ruined Temple of Jupiter 

* Since writing the foregoing, Captain Dewey has been promoted, 
and is now Commodore Dewey, commanding our Fleet in the East. 
He has just gained a most brilliant victory, has annihilated the Spanish 
Fleet at the Philippine Islands, and has, no doubt, by this time posses 
sion of the whole group. The country is now anxiously awaiting his 
report, filled with gratitude for what is already known, but it will not 
be satisfied until this gallant achievement is rewarded by the promo 
tion of Commodore Dewey, and by a vote of the thanks of Congress, 
both of which would be well merited and richly deserved. 

371 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Olympus, some of which are still standing, marking the 
site and bearing witness to the grandeur of this beauti 
ful structure of many centuries ago. We would some 
times pause in our walks and take a seat in an ancient 
Theatre, the ruins of which are not so complete but 
that marble seats are still there, with the initials of 
the owners yet upon them, which time has not entire 
ly obliterated. The names of the streets still remind 
one of the ancient Greeks, for many of them bear the 
names of their distinguished Poets and Warriors. The 
modern Athens is well built, and, if water is ever intro 
duced into it, promises some day to be a beautiful city. 
What it now wants is a sprinkling of green trees 
amongst its buildings, which are at present all white, 
and not a blade of grass exists to relieve the eye. The 
King told me that he had formulated a plan by which 
water was to be introduced into the City from a point a 
good many miles distant, for there was none available 
in any quantity close by. If he is successful, there is no 
reason why Athens should not be one of the most beau 
tiful cities in the East. 

I was very much struck with a peculiar custom of 
the Athenians in burying their dead. The body is 
borne upon a bier, dressed in the same costume that it 
was in the habit of wearing when living. The face is 
exposed to view and is painted so as to make it, as 
much as possible, resemble life. It is thus borne along 
the streets in procession, the mourners and other follow 
ers all being on foot. As it passes along the curious gaze 
upon the painted face of the dead, and perhaps think it a 
pleasant sight ; to me it was ghastly beyond expression. 

The time had now arrived which I had fixed for leav 
ing the East. I determined to take a leave of absence, 
go to Venice, and pass down through Italy to Ville- 

372 



DINING WITH KING GEORGE 

franche, which I eventually did. I had taken ray pas 
sage in one of the Austrian Lloyds steamers for Sunday 
evening. On Friday the King sent one of his aides to 
me with an invitation to my wife, my step-son, Cadet 
Button, of my staff, and me to dine quietly with him 
and the Queen on Saturday night, requesting at the 
same time that I should not wear my uniform, but 
should come in a plain evening suit. Mrs. Franklin 
and I were glad to accept, because we knew that we 
were going to meet the Royal family at a family dinner 
such as they had every day. At the appointed time we 
appeared at the palace, and were met at the drawing- 
room door by His Majesty himself. As we entered the 
room, my wife made her reverence to the Queen, and 
was about to kiss her hand, when she said, " No, that 
must not be," and kissed her on the cheek ; I regretted 
that it was not the custom to serve us both alike. I 
then kissed her hand, and the reception was accom 
plished. In a few moments dinner was announced, when 
the King gave his arm to Mrs. Franklin, and I gave 
mine to the Queen. At state dinners the Royal family 
always sit together, but on this occasion my wife sat on 
the King s right, and I, on the opposite side of the table, 
sat at the right of the Queen. The Royal children who 
were old enough sat at the table, and the younger ones 
hovered around us as we dined. Towards the end of 
the dinner, when it was time for the j^oungest to go to 
bed, he lingered, as if not quite ready to go, when the 
Queen said, " Do you know why he is hesitating about 
going?" and when my wife replied in the negative she 
said, "He has been promised that he might kiss you 
good-night, and that is what he is waiting for." This 
dinner was absolutely simple, just such as one might 
partake of at the house of any gentleman, at which no 

373 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

special preparations whatsoever had been made. There 
was red and white still wine on the table, but no cham 
pagne. There were no maids of honor, no gentlemen- 
in-waiting, absolutely no one but the Royal family and 
ourselves. After dinner we adjourned to the library, 
where His Majesty and I smoked our cigars, and the 
Queen and Mrs. Franklin joined us there. The little 
Princesses amused us by grinding a sort of organ-piano. 
A heavy frame containing the music that was to be 
played would be roused about by these girls and placed 
in the piano, when they would go to work and grind like 
mad. It was very interesting to see their efforts to enter 
tain their parents guests, for it seemed to give them so 
much pleasure to do it. After they had kept this up for a 
while, they retired, and at the proper time we took leave. 
The Queeii kissed Mrs. Franklin good-bye, and we return 
ed to our hotel, having passed a most agreeable evening. 
King George is the same Monarch who has so recent 
ly come before the public in the Greco - Turkish war. 
My pleasant acquaintance with him and his charming 
Queen added very much to the interest I felt in the late 
conflict. My sympathies would have been, in any case, 
with the Greeks, but this feeling was very much inten 
sified by my personal acquaintance with these interest 
ing Sovereigns. The King of Greece and his family 
are the only persons in the kingdom who have titles of 
nobility. Every other Greek, with the exception of the 
officers of the Army and Navy, never mind how exalted 
his station, is simply Mister. The Government is Re 
publican in its character, with an hereditary ruler, who 
has the title of King ; in all other respects it resembles 
a pure Democracy. I visited the Parliament, which 
consists of one Chamber, and was very much impressed 
with the dignity and simplicity of that body. 

374 



CHAPTER XXX 

A Run through Italy Trieste, Venice, and Bologna Life at Beau- 
lieu Cadets in a Collision The Baths of Lucca Country Ex 
cursions Retirement from Active Service Ceremonies of Fare 
wellHome Again. 

ON the Sunday following the dinner which I have 
just described I gave a parting breakfast to our Min 
ister and his interesting family, and embarked that 
evening on one of the Austrian Lloyds steamers for 
Trieste. We had a pleasant run up the Adriatic, touch 
ing at Corfu en route. Just before entering the port 
we had an ugly collision with a brig, which carried 
away her bowsprit and broke in our rail on the star 
board quarter. It was quite dark, and the grinding 
noise of the two vessels as they scraped by each other 
was most unpleasant ; but when I went on deck and 
heard the cocks crowing on shore I felt that if the 
worst should happen assistance was not far off. As it 
was, the damage was slight, and we were thankful to 
get off so easy. "We merely touched at this beautiful 
island, and kept on our way to Trieste, where we ar 
rived after the usual passage. The only incident besides 
the collision that impressed itself upon my mind during 
the passage was the fact that the agent of the com 
pany, who happened to be on a tour of inspection, drank 
every day at breakfast two bottles of red wine, and 
two also at dinner. Towards the end of the second 
bottle he would become exceedingly amiable and very 

375 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

talkative. We remained at Trieste only a portion of a 
day, but took advantage of our presence there to visit 
Miramar, that beautiful spot where Maximilian and Car- 
lotta had passed so many happy days together, and 
we could not help contemplating the sad fate which 
befell them both. The former, as is well known, be 
came the Emperor of Mexico, and was shot, while Car- 
lotta s life has been one of sadness ever since. 

We left for Venice by steamer about midnight, and 
reached that lovely place early in the morning. The ap 
proach was beautiful as we steamed along the Lido over 
a sea as smooth as a mirror, with hardly wind enough 
to fill the sails of all colors which were carried on the 
tiny craft amongst which we threaded our way tow 
ards the Grand Canal. We took up our quarters at the 
Hotel de 1 Europe, not far from where the steamer an 
chored, and were comfortably lodged in our apartment, 
in which it is said Yerdi composed the opera " Luisa 
Miller." Lieutenant Sargent, my Flag -Lieutenant, ac 
companied me from Athens. He sent for his wife, and 
we thus had a partie carree. We did in Venice what 
everybody else does went about in the gondola to 
gether, and saw all the sights. Amongst other things 
we did was to have our photographs taken while in the 
gondola, a trifling matter, which I mention only because 
our gondoliers, who were oldish fellows, and generally 
wore common though good clothes, got themselves up 
in their best garments for this, which to them was a 
grand occasion. They looked so different from what they 
did ordinarily that it was really pathetic to see the old 
fellows doing honor to their patrons in this way. When 
we were not doing the City in the gondola, we would 
lounge about the narrow streets, drift into the shops, 
and sometimes find a bargain. One day we happened 

376 



DRINK VODKI AT NICE 

to see a time-worn but beautiful engraving of the Blessed 
Virgin made from one of Rafael s paintings ; we priced 
it and were told it was fifty centimes (ten cents). We 
lost no time in clinching the bargain, and it is now, hav 
ing been cleaned and framed, hanging up in my dress 
ing-room at home. After we had passed a fortnight in 
Venice, we left for Nice, touching at Bologna on the 
way. In wandering about the latter city, I drifted into 
an umbrella store, and purchased what seemed to me to 
be a purely Yankee invention, although I had never seen 
one in this country. This was an umbrella that was 
opened by merely touching a spring in the handle, and 
it responded immediately. I was perhaps induced to 
purchase it because it seemed to me so strange that a 
labor-saving machine like this should be found in the 
ancient city of Bologna, where labor is a drug in the 
market. From Bologna we continued our journey, and 
took up our quarters, upon reaching the neighborhood 
of Nice, at Beaulieu, a pretty little village not far from 
Villefranche, situated between Nice and Monte Carlo. 
The hotel at which we stopped was prettily situated 
on the direct carriage-road between Nice and Monaco, 
which was rendered quite gay by the frequenters of 
Monte Carlo, many of whom preferred driving to going 
there by train. 

Amongst the sojourners at Nice at this time were 
the popular Russian Minister, M. de Struve, and his at 
tractive wife. He did us the honor of inviting us to 
breakfast, and gave us as a pousse-cafe some vodki, a 
Russian drink which corresponds with our whiskey. I 
found it very palatable, but strong enough to take the top 
of one s head off. They came on board the Pensacola, 
and gave us the pleasure of their company for part of 
the afternoon. Struve gave us some lessons in the use 

377 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

of the samovar, which was very useful to us afterwards, 
for without a knowledge of how to manage it, although 
it is very useful at a tea entertainment it is very diffi 
cult to manipulate ; I know of one instance in Washing 
ton where the tea was put into the boiler, and when the 
contents were drawn off the result was a kind of tea- 
soup. The samovar is really only a tea-kettle, a portion 
of which is the furnace that keeps the water contin 
ually boiling. It is of much use in the country where 
they have not hot and cold water constantly at hand; 
and in Eussia the samovar is very useful. Where one 
is travelling, he finds them of all sizes at his tavern; if 
he desires a bath, a large one is sent to his room ; if only 
a cup of tea, a small one. With the Russians they seem 
almost indispensable. 

While we were living at Beaulieu, the Pensacola was 
lying at Villefranche. The distance around Cape Ferrat 
by boat was several miles, counting from one of these 
points to the other, but there was a very narrow Isthmus 
touched by the water at Beaulieu and also at Ville 
franche. By crossing the Isthmus, which was a walk of 
about ten minutes, we were within a few yards of the 
ship anchored at Villefranche. In good weather Mrs. 
Franklin would come on board and breakfast and dine 
with me, and I would accompany her back to the hotel 
in the evening. The Quinebaug was with me at Ville 
franche at this time, and advantage was taken of so 
favorable an opportunity to exercise the crews of the 
two vessels, both in fleet tactics and in the landing of 
their crews for military exercises on shore ; the French 
authorities having very kindly given us permission to 
land an armed force on their territory, a privilege not 
often granted by one foreign Government to another. 

I had received an order, while at Villefranche, to send 

378 



AT THE BATHS OF LUCCA 

the Naval Cadets of the Squadron to the United States, 
preparatory to their examination, which would take 
place in June. They had left for Havre, and were to 
take passage in the French steamer Champagne. My 
wife and I were taking breakfast one Sunday morning 
with Mr. Pollonais, the Mayor of Yillefranche, when a 
despatch was slipped into my hand stating that a col 
lision had taken place between the Champagne and an 
other steamer, in which the latter had been sunk and 
the former so much injured as to render necessary her 
return to Havre. As my step-son, Cadet Button, was 
on board the Champagne^ I knew that my wife s anxiety 
would be intense if she knew of this before she heard of 
the safe arrival of the Champagne. I therefore withheld 
the information contained in the despatch, thinking to 
gain further knowledge of the matter when I reached 
the ship. When I returned on board a despatch was 
placed in my hands from Mr. Dutton himself, announc 
ing his safe return to Havre, and his intention to sail 
in another French steamer of the same line. My wife 
was made as happy by the last despatch as she would 
have been rendered miserable by the first. I learned 
afterwards that the American Naval Cadets were of 
great assistance to the Captain of the Champagne after 
the collision in quieting the fears of the passengers, in 
encouraging them to feel that there was no doubt that 
they would arrive safely in port. 

Soon after the events which I have just related the 
Flag-ship went to Spezzia, where she was placed in the 
dry -dock and thoroughly overhauled. I went, accom 
panied by my wife, to the Bagni di Lucca, where I re 
mained for several weeks. Lieutenant Staunton, my 
Flag-Lieutenant, and his wife were also of the party. 
We went to Pagnini s Hotel, where I had stayed nearly 

379 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

forty years before. I had the curiosity to look at the 
register of the hotel, and there saw inscribed the names 
of some of my shipmates during my first cruise as a 
Passed Midshipman. These baths at this time were no 
longer of the importance as a place of summer resort 
that they had been during my first visit. At that time 
the Grand Duchess of Tuscany held her court here, and 
many persons were attracted by the gaj^ety which that 
circumstance gave to the place. Since those days Italy 
has become a united country, and these Princes and their 
Principalities have all disappeared. I amused myself 
while here in taking the baths, not for medicinal pur 
poses, but because they were pleasant and even luxuri 
ous. 

Through this beautiful valley in which the baths are 
situated flow two small rivers, the Lima and the Serchio ; 
their waters are clear and sparkling, and, as they are in 
sight from every quarter of the village, they impart to 
the whole place an air of freshness which produces a 
most pleasing effect. The Stauntons and ourselves oc 
cupied much of the time while we were here by making 
excursions on mule -back to the various points of in 
terest about the baths. The mountains which surround 
this lovely valley are nearly all surmounted by little 
villages, resembling, more than anything else to which 
I can liken them, wasps nests plastered about on the 
different points. They were probably first placed in 
these inaccessible positions from motives of safety, so 
that they could more easily be defended than in the 
valleys below. As a rule, all the occupants of these lit 
tle towns were tillers of the soil. They would sally out 
each morning from their little nests on the tops of the 
hills, taking with them their agricultural implements, 
and after the day s work would drag them back again 



PREPARING TO RESIGN COMMAND 

and lock them up within the walls of their little cities. 
My impression is that this custom, which had obtained 
for centuries, has continued until a very recent date ; 
but now that Italy is united, and peace reigns amongst 
its inhabitants throughout the length and breadth of 
the land, it would seem to be no longer necessary. In 
our excursions we visited many of these villages, almost 
always meeting with some object of interest, besides 
the view from them, which was always superb. There 
were, of course, the churches, with sometimes a his 
tory connected with them, which the priest in charge 
seemed always glad to relate to us. It was thus that 
we passed two or three weeks very pleasantly, when 
we went to Leghorn by way of Pisa, where we passed 
one night at a hotel placed close down on the banks of 
the Arno. I met here, at the table d hote dinner, Mr. 
Eugene Schuyler, our former Secretary of Legation in 
Eussia, and we spent an interesting evening with Mrs. 
Schuyler and him; they were both cultivated people, 
and their presence there, caused the short time of our 
stay to pass very agreeably. Mrs. Schuyler belonged 
to the well-known New York family of Kings. Mr. 
Schuyler had seen a good deal of the Turkish atrocities 
in Bulgaria, and wrote a most powerful expose of them, 
which I think at the time was considered as having had 
some weight in bringing about the Kusso-Turkish war. 

We left Pisa the following day and went to Leghorn, 
where again we took up our quarters at the Grand 
Hotel. I found the Flag-ship there, and went on board 
and made my preparations for turning over the com 
mand to my successor. The 24th day of August was 
approaching, when by the operation of law I would be 
placed upon the retired list. My Flag-Lieutenant, Staun- 
ton, and I despatched our wives to Paris some days in 

381 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

advance of our intended departure, in order that all the 
preliminary arrangements with the dressmakers and 
cloakmakers and bonnet people might be made before 
our arrival. My successor, Eear- Admiral Greer, arrived 
at Leghorn a day or two before the day upon which I 
was to be relieved. On the 24th, at noon, my flag 
was hauled down and saluted with thirteen guns, and 
that of Admiral Greer was hoisted and saluted with the 
same number. The officers and crew were all assem 
bled on the quarter-deck. I read my orders detaching 
me as Commander-in-Chief of the United States Naval 
force on the European Station, and Admiral Greer read 
his, appointing him as my successor. I made a few re 
marks to the crew, shook the officers by the hand in 
bidding them farewell, when the parting Admiral and 
the coming Admiral went below and drank each other s 
health ; and the function was at an end. Admiral Greer 
was duly installed, and I was free to go and come as 
I liked. 

I passed the rest of the day on board, and did not 
leave the ship until about ten o clock, when I went di 
rectly to the train. I gave to the new Admiral and his 
staff that night the last dinner-party that I was to 
have on board the Pensacola, at which everything 
passed off in the most agreeable manner. When it was 
time to go to the train the barge was manned, and 
Admiral Greer with his Staff -officer, and Lieutenant 
Staunton, my Flag-Lieutenant, and I got into the boat. 
It is contrary to the regulations for the crew to be 
ordered to cheer any officer upon his taking or relin 
quishing a command, but it seems almost impossible to 
prevent an involuntary impulse of the kind. On this 
occasion, as the barge shoved off from the ship, I ob 
served an unusual commotion on board, and three hearty 



IN NEW YORK AT LAST 

cheers went up from the forecastle, which we returned 
from the barge ; then all was quiet, and we sped away 
for the landing at Scala Eeggia. When we reached 
there I bade my old barge s crew good-bye, when they, 
fifteen in all, stood up in the boat with their oars erect, 
the blades high over their heads, and gave me three 
rousing cheers. This last demonstration was most touch 
ing, for these hearty fellows had been rowing me about 
the waters of Europe for more than two years, and I 
felt very much attached to them. I then went to the 
train, where I found some of my Leghorn friends to 
speed me on my way. I kissed the hands of the ladies, 
and shook those of the men, and was off for Paris. 
Staunton and I took the night train, and reached our 
destination in due time the next day. I had never 
crossed the Alps before, and as I was now free from all 
the care and responsibility of my late command, I en 
joyed to the fullest extent the grandeur of the scenery 
through which we passed. 

We went to the Hotel de P Empire, and found our 
selves very comfortably lodged in a central position in 
Paris. Our passage had been taken in the Bourgogne 
for New York, and in a few days we were on board of 
her on our way home. My friend Charley Marshall, 
who had been with me on board the Pensacola in the 
East, had since then been appointed by Mr. Hewitt, the 
Mayor of New York, as one of the Dock Commissioners. 
I had written to him, asking him, now that he was a 
Dock Commissioner, to appear upon one of his docks 
when our steamer arrived and help me through with 
my trunks. Marshall was the first man I saw, and he 
did render me very great service in facilitating the ex 
amination of my baggage. 



CHAPTER XXXI 

At Home in Washington Admiral Raymond Rodgers A Club Co 
terie Patriotic Societies The Memorial Society of Washington 
Suggestions and Plans International Marine Conference The 
Delegates and their Work Courtesies to their President Notes of 
the Proceedings. 

AFTER our arrival in America we made a few visits 
to friends in the North, and then took up our abode in 
the City of Washington, where some years before I 
had built a small house, to serve as a sort of moorings 
after I had completed the active work of my profession. 
I resumed my old habits and went to the Metropolitan 
Club every afternoon for whist, and, with the other oc 
cupations that I found myself taking up, I learned that 
the retired list was not at all a place for simple loung 
ing, and soon discovered that all my time was fully 
occupied, and that it was, chiefly, to be so in the 
future. 

My most intimate friend and almost constant com 
panion at this time, and even up to the day of his death, 
was Admiral Eaymond Kodgers. I never in all my 
intercourse with men had so great an admiration for 
any one as I had for him; to this was added an affec 
tion which ripened from day to day into a friendship 
such as I had never formed with any other man. There 
was a long period of time during which not a day 
passed without our seeing each other. I had an attack 
of la grippe which confined me to the house for a fort- 

384 



DEATH OF TWO INTIMATE FRIENDS 

night. Rodgers came to see me every day except the 
last, when I felt sure that there was something wrong. 
The first time that I went out of the house after my 
attack, I called immediately at his hotel and found him 
ill in bed. I continued my visits each day, and soon 
felt that my poor friend would probably never recover ; 
and when I learned that his physician had given orders 
that no one but the members of his immediate family and 
I were to be permitted to see him, my worst fears were 
realized. He lingered but a few days after that, and 
then passed quietly away. Admiral Rodgers through 
out his whole career had always been an ornament to 
the Service ; in him were embodied all the finest traits 
which go to make up the highest type of the J^aval 
officer. Taking him altogether, he was, in my opinion, 
the most complete all-around man that I have ever 
known in any walk of life. 

Another of my intimate friends at this time was 
Kearney Warren. His sweet nature endeared him to 
every one who knew him. He and Rodgers and I would 
take long walks together, and the memories of those 
promenades rest with me as amongst the most pleasing 
recollections of those days. I would often dine with Mrs. 
Warren and him at their charming home, and I never 
shall forget how delightful those entertainments always 
were. The last few years of Kearney Warren s life were 
passed as an invalid, but owing to the tender care of his 
devoted wife his illness was almost painless, and his 
faculties up to the very last were as bright as ever. 
It was a melancholy satisfaction to me to have been 
selected as pall-bearer to these two friends, to whom I 
was so much attached during their lives, and for whose 
memories, now that they are gone, I cherish the fondest 
devotion. 

2s 385 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Amongst the other fine fellows who figured at the 
Metropolitan Club in those days, of whom I was very 
fond, were Jerome Bonaparte, Titian Coffey, David 
King, and Admiral Temple. They are all now dead. 
During their lifetime a number of us would assemble in 
a certain corner of the Club ; every day, about eleven 
o clock, Temple would occupy the same seat, and was 
tacitly acknowledged as Chairman or Head Centre of 
this little coterie. There is no subject under the sun 
that was not discussed there, and as those composing it 
were all men of the world, full of experiences of all kinds, 
what was said was not only instructive but interesting, 
and if it could have been collected into a volume might 
have been extremely entertaining. 

Governor John Lee Carroll, one of my most intimate 
friends, although not a resident of Washington, passed 
most of his winters there. I saw a great deal of him in 
those days, and formed a very strong attachment for 
him and his interesting family. I have visited them at 
their country-seat, Dougheregan Manor, where hospital 
ity is dispensed in the best Maryland style, and where 
American country life is seen in its very best form. 
When the signer of the Declaration of Independence 
said, " Write me down as Charles Carroll of Carrollton," 
he established for this family a motto and granted to it 
a patent of American nobility, both of which will endure 
as long as there is a United States of America. The 
Governor is still comparatively a young man, and I trust 
he has yet many good years before him. 

Amongst the notable characters in Washington at the 
present time is Colonel James G. Eerret, whom it gives 
me much pleasure to enumerate amongst my warmest 
friends. He is now about eighty-three years of age, 
and seems to me to be as full of youth as he was at sixty. 

386 



CLUB ENJOYMENTS 

He has been in political life since the days of General 
Jackson, and has filled many positions of trust and 
responsibility during that interval. He was sent a few 
years ago to the Legislature of Maryland, and held then 
identically the same position which he had occupied 
fifty-five years before. He looks now as if he might 
live to be a hundred. 

My habit is to go to the Metropolitan Club in the 
morning, where I get my exercise at pool for the day, 
and in the afternoon, for my recreation at whist. The 
most unique figure in our pool-party is General Van 
Yliet, and although he is upwards of eighty years of age 
he plays as well as any of us. Our party generally con 
sists of five ; its personnel changes from time to time, 
some disappear and others come along. Van Yliet, 
Admiral Greer, and I have been constant attendants for 
a number of years. The three that I have mentioned, 
and Mr. Lequer and Mr. Kichardson, at the present time 
make up the five. Our whist -party has consisted of 
much the same men for a number of years. As it is now 
constituted, the members are Colonel Berret, Admiral 
Greer, Ex-Surgeon-General Grier, Judge Hilly er, and 
I. JSTow and then an outsider comes in, and there 
are times when we form two tables, but these that I 
have named can be relied upon to be at their posts 
every day during the winter, when the weather is 
suitable. 

I have been thus explicit in mentioning the persons 
who figured in these games at the time I write, for if 
these reminiscences should ever be published, and some 
member of the Metropolitan Club of the future should 
happen to see them, it might not be uninteresting to him 
to know who the people were that did the same thing 
one hundred years ago that he was doing in his day, 

387 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

and it might be still more interesting if he discovered 
that some one of them was his great-grandfather. 

After my return from my last cruise I became a mem 
ber of a number of societies of a patriotic character 
such as the Society of the Sons of the Revolution, the 
Washington Monument Society, and the Memorial So 
ciety of the City of Washington. I was also chosen 
an honorary member of the Society of Foreign Wars. 
The Washington Monument Society seems to have out 
lived its usefulness, but it still holds meetings from time 
to time, generally for the purpose of electing new mem 
bers to fill vacancies. During the lifetime of Dr. Toner 
it was his habit to entertain at luncheon a large num 
ber of well-known people every 22d of February. A 
formal meeting of the Society would be held on that 
anniversary, after which several hundred guests would 
appear and do honor to the occasion*. 

The object of the Memorial Society of the City of 
Washington is a very commendable one. Its purpose 
is to preserve and mark with tablets containing inscrip 
tions any place or house which would be interesting as a 
landmark in history, and would serve to perpetuate the 
name and deeds of distinguished Americans. This Society 
is composed of a number of distinguished gentlemen. 
The President is Chief -Justice Fuller of the Supreme 
Court of the United States, and the Secretary is the 
Rev. Dr. Hamlin, pastor of the Church of the Covenant. 
Amongst the members are : Judge Hagner, Judge Ban 
croft Davis, Mr. Gardner Hubbard, Mr. Leiter, Mr. My 
ron Parker, and a number of other well-known men. 
I have made one or two suggestions to the Society 
which I hope some day will be carried out. I proposed 
that when the Constitution, Hartford, and Kearsarge 
were no longer utilized as ships of war they should be 



SUGGESTIONS TO MEMORIAL SOCIETY 

brought to Washington and permanently moored at 
some convenient point of easy access to the public. 
These ships should, as nearly as possible, be equipped 
in the same manner and have the same batteries that 
they had when they fought their battles. Once in a 
good state of repair, it would be an easy matter to keep 
them so, and it would require but few men to take care 
of them. An entrance-fee of, say, a dime might defray 
all the necessary expenses of such an establishment, 
even if but a fraction of the tourists who visit Washing 
ton should go on board of them. At the time I made 
this suggestion the Kea/rsarge^ which has been since 
lost, was still in existence. The other suggestion which 
I made was to have a tablet placed on the house now 
occupied by Mrs. Beale. On the H Street side of the 
house is now a blind door, which was formerly a real 
door ; I proposed to have placed there a tablet contain 
ing an inscription which shall read somewhat as fol 
lows : " This house is the property of Mrs. Beale. It is 
a portion of the estate of the late General Beale, who 
was formerly an Officer of the Navy, and later United 
States Minister to Austria-Hungary during the Admin 
istration of General Grant. It was through this door 
way that Commodore Decatur was carried when he was 
mortally wounded in a duel which he fought with Com 
modore Barron, from the effects of which he died soon 
afterwards. Decatur was one of the most gallant offi 
cers the Navy ever produced, and the burning of the 
Philadelphia, on the Barbary Coast, was pronounced 
by the great Admiral, Lord Nelson, the most daring act 
of the age." The only tablet which our Society has 
thus far placed is upon the house now used as the Cos 
mos Club, formerly the residence of Mrs. Madison, but 
it is in such a position that it is hardly legible from the 

389 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

street. The energies of the Society have been hitherto 
centred upon getting Congress to make an appropria 
tion for the purchase of the house in which Mr. Lincoln 
died. In this they have met with success, and it is now 
the property of the Society, or, at all events, under its 
control. It is to be hoped, now that this more impor 
tant point has been carried, more attention will be given 
to those of minor consequence. 

Early in the year 1889 the Secretary of the Navy, 
Mr. Whitney, sent for me and informed me that he de 
sired me to serve as one of the delegates to the Inter 
national Marine Conference which was soon to assem 
ble in Washington. Congress had passed an Act creating 
the Conference, and had invited all of the maritime na 
tions of the world to send delegates to participate in 
its deliberations. By the end of September nearly all 
of them had gathered at Washington, ready for the dis 
cussion of the programme which this Government had 
prepared and proposed to lay before them. We all 
assembled at the Diplomatic Chamber of the Depart 
ment of State, where we were met by the Secretary of 
State, Mr. Elaine, who made a brief but impressive ad 
dress. Then, upon motion of Mr. Charles Hall, a Mem 
ber of Parliament and the leading delegate from Great 
Britain, I was elected President of the Conference. We 
afterwards called in a body at the White House, and 
were presented to President Harrison. Lieutenant Cott- 
man was chosen Secretary, and by his able management 
we were soon prepared to proceed to business. Our first 
meeting was held at the house of Mrs. Wallach, which 
was hired for the occasion, and we continued our sessions 
there for a few weeks, when it was thought advisable to 
move to Wormley s Hotel, the large hall of which we 
occupied throughout the rest of the Conference. 

390 



DISCUSSIONS OF MARINE CONFERENCE 

The " Eules of the Eoad " was the topic that occupied 
most of our attention, but there was hardly a maritime 
subject that did not come in for a share of our delibera 
tions. The delegates from Great Britain at first declared 
their intention of taking part only in the consideration 
of the "Kules of the Road," but when they discovered 
that the delegates were almost, if not altogether, unani 
mously in favor of discussing the whole programme, 
they fell into line and continued with us to the end. 
When we were fully organized and in good working 
order, we found that we had a great deal of work before 
us, more than I had anticipated, and I fancy more by far 
than many of the delegates had contemplated. Instead 
of eating their Christmas dinners at ho3ne 5 as they had 
expected, when that day arrived they were a deliberative 
body on this side of the water. 

The proceedings of this Conference were published by 
the Department of State in three large volumes, so I do 
not propose to refer much to them in the course of this 
narrative. Easy access can be had to them by any one 
interested in their contents. The leaders in the debate 
were Judge Goodrich, then an Admiralty lawyer, but 
since then elevated to the bench, and Mr. Charles Hall, 
then a Member of Parliament, now Sir Charles Hall. 
Others who participated were Dr. Sieveking and Captain 
Mensing, of Germany; Captain Richard, of France; Cap 
tain Sampson,* of our Navy; Mr. Carter, Minister from 
Hawaii; Rear- Admiral Bowden- Smith; Rear- Admiral 

* Sampson served with me as Assistant Superintendent of the Naval 
Observatory when I was the Superintendent, and also as one of my fellow- 
delegates to the International Marine Conference. He now commands our 
fleet in Cuban waters, and is engaged in most important work, and I am 
confident that when he is heard from he will give an account of himself 
of which the country will be proud. 

391 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

Sir George Nares ; Mr. Flood, of Norway, and many 
more, but these I have mentioned were generally the 
talking delegates, though they were working members 
as well. They gave a great deal of information to their 
hearers, and were as intelligent a body of men, in my 
opinion, as ever discussed these important subjects. I 
have forgotten the exact number of the delegates, but 
it was somewhere in the neighborhood of seventy. 
Including myself, seven Admirals sat in the Conference : 
those from Great Britain were Sir George Nares, Bow- 
den-Smith, and Molyneux ; from Eussia came Admiral 
Kaznakoflt ; from Austria - Hungary, Admiral Spaun ; 
from Chili, Admiral Yiel. Admiral Bowden-Smith said 
to me, " Admiral, you command more Admirals than any 
one whom I have ever known or read of" he meant, 
of course, in a parliamentary way. Nothing could have 
been more harmonious than our proceedings ; points of 
order seemed to adjust themselves, and the manner of 
the delegates towards each other was always character 
ized by the utmost urbanity and courtesy. Towards me, 
as their Presiding Officer, and, indeed, at all times, they 
evinced the most profound respect, and I feel sure that 
when we separated there was a mutual feeling of the 
kindest nature between the delegates and the President 
of the Conference. 

There were some very handsome entertainments given 
during the stay of the delegates amongst us, but they 
left just before the gay season was at its height, so that 
in this respect they did not see Washington at its best. 
The Metropolitan Club extended to them its privileges, 
and they were in all respects treated with a considera 
tion which I think they highly appreciated. They pre 
sented to me a handsomely bound Album containing 
cabinet -size pictures of themselves, which I prize very 

392 



OPENING OF MARINE CONFERENCE 

highly as a memento of this gathering of most interest 
ing men from all parts of the maritime world. The 
Department of State also did me the honor to present 
me with the chair from which I presided, together with 
the gavel I used on that occasion. The latter had 
written upon it suitable inscriptions explanatory of the 
event. 

This seems to me to be an appropriate place for in 
serting into this narrative the few brief remarks which 
were made at the opening and closing of the Conference, 
which I quote from its protocol as follows : 

"WASHINGTON, D. C., Wednesday, October 16, 1889. 

" In response to the invitation extended by the Presi 
dent of the United States to all the maritime govern 
ments to be represented at an International Marine 
Conference to secure greater safety for life and proper 
ty at sea, delegates from the following countries, Aus 
tria-Hungary, Belgium, China, Chili, Denmark, France, 
Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, 
Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Siam, 
Spain, Sweden, the United States of America, and Ven 
ezuela, assembled at eleven o clock in the forenoon of 
October 16, 1889, in the diplomatic reception-room of 
the State Department. 

"After the presentation of the delegates to the Secre 
tary of State, the latter welcomed them in the follow 
ing words : 

" i Gentlemen : It is the cause of extreme gratification 
to the Government of the United States that its invita 
tion to the maritime powers of the world has been met 
with so general a response. Representatives from Asia, 
from Europe, from North and South America, and from 
the Isles of the Sea, will compose the Conference. On 

393 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

behalf of the United States I welcome you all, gentle 
men, to the honorable, the scientific, the philanthropic 
duties which lie before you. The already and the rap 
idly increasing intercourse between continent and con 
tinent, between nation and nation, demands that every 
protection against the dangers of the sea, and every 
guard for the safety of human life, shall be provided. 

" The spoken languages of the world will continue 
to be many ; but necessity commands that the unspoken 
language of the sea shall be one. That language must 
be as universal as the needs of man for commerce and 
intercourse with his fellow -man. The deep interest 
which the maritime nations have taken in the questions 
at issue is shown by the eminent character and the 
wide experience of the delegates to whom they have 
committed the important work. Again, gentlemen, I 
welcome you, and, after your preliminary organization 
is completed, it will be my pleasure to present you in 
person to the President of the United States. 

" The delegates having then assembled for permanent 
organization, Mr. Charles Hall, Q.C., M.P., one of the 
delegates from Great Britain, being granted the floor, 
nominated Hear- Admiral S. R. Franklin, one of the del 
egates from the United States of America, as permanent 
President of the Conference. This motion being sec 
onded by several delegates, and voted upon in the af 
firmative unanimously, Rear- Admiral S. R. Franklin was 
declared elected to the Chair; in accepting which honor 
he addressed the Conference in the following words : 

" Before proceeding to the further organization of 
the Conference, I desire to express to the delegates my 
high appreciation of the distinguished honor they have 
conferred upon me in selecting me to preside over their 
deliberations. 

894 



MARINE CONFERENCE CONCLUDED 

" < The little experience which my profession affords 
in the parliamentary duties I am now called upon to per 
form encourages me to hope for the indulgence of the 
Conference in any errors of judgment I may commit. 

" I feel that it is needless for me to say that in any 
rulings or decisions which I may be called upon to 
make, I shall endeavor to be governed by a spirit of 
entire fairness, and I trust that my efforts will meet the 
approval of the Conference. 

" Thanking you, gentlemen, for the honor you have 
done me, I now declare the Conference ready for its 
further organization. 

" Mr. William W. Goodrich, a delegate for the United 
States of America, then moved that the Conference 
adjourn until eleven o clock in the forenoon of Thurs 
day, October 17, 1889, to meet at the Wallach House. 
This motion being voted upon and carried unanimously, 
the meeting was declared adjourned. 

"The delegates \vere afterwards formally presented 
to the President of the United States; the latter, stand 
ing in the centre of the semicircle, spoke a few informal 
words of welcome, expressing his gratification that the 
Conference had assembled under such pleasant auspices. 
He expressed his deep personal interest in the result 
which might be anticipated, and, he trusted, attained, 
by the Conference, and hoped that the passage of the 
seas might be made as safe as it has been made rapid. 

" The President, in conclusion, said that the object 
for which the Conference had assembled was one which 
would attract universal interest, and its attainment 
would be warmly welcomed by all nations. . . . 

" Mr. Hall (Great Britain). < Mr. President, now that 
the labors of the Conference are concluded, I would ask 

395 



MEMORIES OF A REAR-ADMIRAL 

your permission to be allowed to move a resolution, 
which, I can assure you, is not a mere matter of form. 
I wish to move a proposition which I am sure will be 
accepted without a single dissenting voice iri this room, 
for it is a resolution to tender a hearty and cordial vote 
of thanks to you, Mr. President, for your courteous, im 
partial, and able conduct in the chair. 

" Now, Mr. President, I believe that there is not 
recorded in history any Conference at which so many 
Powers have attended as that which has been under 
your direction for the space of nearly three months; 
and I am certain that in future years we shall all of us 
look back with pride and satisfaction to the fact that 
our proceedings have not been marred by a single un 
pleasant feeling, by a single angry thought or word. I 
would fain like to say, on behalf of my immediate 
colleagues, the delegates for Great Britain, that we have 
a very deep sense of the kindness and good feeling 
which we have received from all of our brother-dele 
gates. We shall go away from here feeling that we 
have made many, many good friends, and with the firm 
belief and hope that we have not made a single enemy. 

" i When I refer to the good feeling and harmony which 
have prevailed throughout, I desire to state that it is 
due not only to the delegates themselves, but it is due 
in no little degree to the calm, judicial, and unbiassed 
manner in which you have conducted our proceedings, 
Mr. President. Therefore, it is with very great pleasure 
and very great pride that I express, however imperfectly 
I have done so, our gratification and thanks to you for 
your conduct in the chair. Mr. President, I would fain 
say more, but there are occasions when words will not 
come to the lips of the speaker, and I therefore move 
formally that a cordial vote of thanks be tendered by 



REPLY TO VOTE OF THANKS 

the Conference to its President, Bear-Admiral Samuel 
R. Franklin, for his courteous, impartial, and able conduct 
in the chair. 

" The President. i I thank you, gentlemen, for the 
kind words which have just fallen from the learned first 
delegate for Great Britain. Any language which I 
can command would inadequately express the feelings 
which I have upon this occasion. If I have administered 
the duties of my office to the satisfaction of the delegates 
present, it is owing in a great measure to the kind cour 
tesy which they have always displayed towards me, and 
to the courtesy which they have at all times extended 
to each other, even in the midst of the most heated 
debates. You have done your duty, gentlemen, with 
great ability, and with industry such as is rarely wit 
nessed in a Conference of this kind. Y T ou have worked 
untiringly and unceasingly, day and night. Now the 
results of your labors will come before the world, and I 
trust they will be found most satisfactory, as I hope and 
believe they will. In wishing you good-bye and a Happy 
New Y r ear, I trust that you will find the Atlantic smooth 
for your passage across, and that you will be received at 
home by your Governments with the credit which you 
all so well deserve. 

" The motion of the delegate from Great Britain ten 
dering a vote of thanks to the President of the Confer 
ence was put to the Conference, after having been sec 
onded, by Admiral Kaznakoff (Eussia), and unanimously 
adopted." 

The American delegates remained in session a month 
or two after the adjournment of the Conference, and 
then dispersed. The history of what occurred after 
wards it is not my purpose to discuss ; any one interested 

397 



MEMORIES OF A RE AR- ADMIRAL 

can find it in the archives of the Department of State 
and the Treasury Department. I will state, however, 
that it was thought expedient to pass an Act of Congress 
which provided for calling together the American del 
egates as a sort of advisory board, for the purpose of 
reconciling differences which had arisen between the 
nations interested in the recommendations of the Marine 
Conference. However, to make a long story short, the 
President s proclamation with reference to the "Kules 
of the Road," after many delays, went into operation on 
July 1, 1897. 

Upon the supposition that the American delegates 
might yet be called upon in reference to certain maritime 
matters, it has not been thought fit to adjourn that body 
sine die, so that after having been ten years on the 
retired list as a Rear -Admiral I still find myself in 
harness. 



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