Saturday, June 13, 2015


13 June 2015: As I mentioned in the last post, I was in Boston last week and had the opportunity not only to see the United States Ship of State in Dry Dock #1 at the Charlestown Navy Yard, but also to view (and photograph) a few of the wonderful new artifacts acquired by the USS Constitution Museum during the last year. The Museum is, as many of you know, the Voice of Constitution and contains artifacts relative to the ship and those who sailed her, both in the early period including the War of 1812 and her later period before she became an exhibit herself. The ship is, of course, still a commissioned vessel in the United States Navy. But let me show you a few of the really wonderful recent additions to the Museum's collections.

A trunk belonging to a lieutenant stationed aboard Constitution in the early 19th century recently went to auction. The Museum was the successful bidder and the contents were remarkable.


 The trunk in question belonged to Lt. McKinney who died while embarked in another ship in the Med. He had served aboard Constitution prior to his final tour. When he died, his belongings were packed up and sent to the New York Navy Yard. In it, were uniform elements, a pair of dancing slippers, gloves, his sword, fishing tackle, and writing paraphernalia.

 Also found in the trunk was a ladies watch which apparently Lt. McKinney had purchased for maybe his intended back home, but never returned to give it to her.

 Here is a detail of his sword. Interesting to note that the lieutenant was quite small in stature and his sword may have been made shorter than a "normal" one due to his diminutive size!


Another addition to the Museum's collection is this splendid oil painting of the launch of USS Constitution in 1797, done by internationally known marine artist Paul Garnett. It is particularly appropriate to the Museum now with the ship in dry dock and their new exhibit titled "From Forest to Frigate"

If you should find yourself in the Boston area, I would recommend a visit to the Navy Yard to see the Museum and catch a most unique perspective of the ship. The ship, by the way, is open now for tours.

Until next time, friends, I wish you
                                Fair Winds,
                                  Old Salt

PS Maritime Maunder has now passed 5,000 visits from people around the world! Thank you!

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