1868 ARCHIVE OF TWO [2] NOTEBOOKS AND JOURNALS OF MIDSHIPMAN AND NAVIGATOR OF THE STEAMER ‘DACOTAH’, INCLUDING A LOG BOOK OF A TRIP TO SOUTH AMERICA, AND A BOOK OF IMPRESSIVELY DETAILED NOTES AND IMMACULATELY DRAWN ENGINE DIAGRAMS

By: JAMES MCFADDEN GRIMES

Price: $5,455.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good+


On offer are two amazing books kept by the Midshipman James McFadden Grimes aboard the U.S.S. steamer ship ‘Dacotah’. The first is a journal on a cruise from Panama Bay down the Coast of South America to Peru and then Chile, and the other is an extraordinary notebook of detailed drawings, comprehensive diagrams, mathematical figures, and many other notes dealing with his time aboard the ship and the knowledge that he possessed to be a part of the crew. The first book (the journal) begins at anchor in Panama Bay with the ship under orders to sail to Arica, Peru. Grimes is a “Midshipman,” and was a Naval Academy graduate. He would be promote promoted to ensign in 1868 but until then his rank was ‘midshipman’. During the 1868 cruise of the Dakotah, Grimes is in charge of the navigation of the vessel and served directly under the ship’s captain Commander W. F. Spicer. Each page of the journal contains the daily logs of the ship’s location, course changes and headings, and notes on atmospheric conditions. In addition, Grimes makes notes on daily activities and orders, sightings of other naval vessels and commercial ships, and reports on crew discipline and punishments. The course and destination ship, wind direction, ‘Force’, Barometric pressure, and outside temperature are measured hourly and put down in the book. The chart begins at ‘1’ (for 1AM) and continues to 12, then begins again at ‘1’ (for 1PM) and then ends again at ‘12’. On occasional pages, the observed latitude and longitude, course, distance traveled that day, and ‘Lat D.R.’ and ‘Long D.R.’ (meaning the ‘Dead Reckoning’ latitude and longitude) are logged as well. A typical log reads like this: At Sea making passage to Arica, Peru. Tuesday May 26th, 1868. The day opened cloudy, rained now and then till 10 A.M. Cloudy and pleasant during remainder of the day. At 5.30 A.M. lighted fires in port boiler and got ship ready for sea. Ships draught ? 12.9in. Aft. 12ft-5in. At 11.20 made signal to Steamer Saranac, Capt. Fraily, for permission to get under way, which was granted. At 11.25 hove up port anchor. At 12.15 started ahead, and stood down bay of Panama in charge of navigation. At 2 P.M. took departure, Island of Bona. At 6 P.M. went to quarters. Secured anchor and under-chains. Made sail as wind allowed. Wind light. Sea smooth.” Periodically, Commander Spicer inspected the journal and signed the book “Examined. Wm. Spicer, Comdr.” On June 24, the Dacotah arrived in the harbor of Valparaiso, Chile. The ship remained there throughout the period covered by this journal, until October 31, 1868. At that time Grimes formally signed and submitted the journal to Commander Spice for examination. There is a chance that the keeping of the journal was a requirement for his promotion to ‘ensign’ that year. In Valparaiso, the officers of the Dacotah received visitors from the British and Chilean natives and the American Consul. The journal reveals the many shipboard activities and duties expected of a young officer. Grimes describes inspections, routine ship maintenance, the distilling or condensing of fresh water, target and musket practice (there is also talk of exercising the crew at ‘the great guns’), dumping rotten food overboard, and practice repelling pirates. Crimes also records details of crew members punishments and court martials. Infractions include desertion, fighting, disobedience, neglect of duty, and ‘skulkin’ (ignoring one’s duties). Punishments include suspension, demotion, and confinement in ‘double’ or ‘single irons’: “At sea Jun 21, 1868. At 10 AM mustered the crew and read the articles of war for also the preceding, findings, and sentences of a summary court-martial, convened on board the ship for the trial of John Hickey (C.H.) [coal heaver] accused of desertion and John McNeilly (C H) of disobedience of orders. In each case, the accused was found guilty, by a plea of guilty, and were sentenced. John Hickey to 30 days solitary confinement in double irons, on bread and water. And John McNeilly to be discharged the service, with a bad conduct discharge, and loss of 3 months pay as Coal Heaver which sentences were approved and ordered to be carried into execution by the power ordering the court.” The second book (the notebook) contains detailed mechanical and engineering notes on such topics as iron ship construction, the “Dickinson Boiler,” analysis of salt water, coal, boiler appendages, safety valves, the “Telescopic Smoke Pipe,” and many others. There are also incredible and immaculately drawn diagrams and drawings of many ship apparatuses, including the ship’s screw propeller, superheaters, salinometer, safety valves, and illustrations on “the different strains to which iron vessels are subjected when at sea.” Many of these diagrams have numbers included on different parts of the drawing, with the accompanying notes as to what each number represents. These diagrams and notes show the impressive amount of knowledge needed for a steamboat crewman in the U.S. Navy. It was during Grimes’s time at the Naval Academy that a Department of Steam Enginery was inaugurated, meaning that Grimes may have been one of the first to be trained on steam engines at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. There are also many pages of mathematical equations done by Grimes near the end of the book. Because the pages of equations tend to involve many different types of equations, it is difficult to ascertain what the equations are of. However, the many mentions of longitude and latitude, it would seem many of the equations were done to calculate distance and position, as would be crucial to know as the navigator of a mid-19th century ship. There is also a page with the names of 20 men who (most probably) served with him on the Dacotah. The notebook also has one (1) loose letter, addressed to ‘Rebecca,’ dated July 30th, 1865, and signed “Affectionately. M. E. Smith.” The letter is religious in nature, reminding Rebecca of God and Jesus’ love. Who M. E. Smith was is unknown, but Grimes did have a sister named Rebecca, so it is possible she sent James Grimes this letter. The first book is titled in ink on front endpaper "Journal of Mids. Grimes Cruise on board U.S.S. Dakotah May 1868." It contains 162 pages of writing, in very legible black ink. The cover shows some wear and tear. The book is in very good structural shape. The notebook contains 288 pages, with over half containing some sort of writing or drawing. The writing is crisp and clear in ink, just like the first book. The notebook is also in excellent structural shape. (Background: James M. Grimes was born in 1847 in Cadiz, Harrison County, Ohio and entered the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1863. During Grimes’ naval career he served on various ships in both the Atlantic and the Pacific and at the navy yard in New York. He was injured in the line of duty and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1886. He died on June 17, 1924. The U.S.S. Dacotah (1859) was a large (996 long tons (1,012 t) steam sloop that served the United States Navy in the Atlantic Ocean as well as in Pacific Ocean. When the American Civil War occurred, Dacotah assumed the role of a gunship in the Union blockade of the Confederate States of America. Following duty off the coasts of South and Central America, Mexico, and California until 26 July 1869, Dacotah remained in an inactive status until sold at Mare Island Navy Yard on 30 May 1873.); Manuscript; Folio - over 12" - 15" tall; KEYWORDS:HISTORY OF, JAMES MCFADDEN GRIMES, MIDSHIPMAN, STEAMER ‘DACOTAH’, GUNSHIP, SLOOP-OF-WAR, POST CIVIL WAR ERA, PANAMA BAY, ARICA, PERU, VALPARAISO, CHILE, NAVAL ACADEMY, ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, COMMANDER W. F. SPICER, ENGINEERING DRAWINGS, STEAMSHIP DIAGRAMS, NAVAL MATHEMATICS, 19TH CENTURY NAVAL SCIENCE, NAVIGATION FORMULAS, US NAVY PUNISHMENTS, NAVAL CRIMINAL ENFORCEMENT, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D’ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL

Title: 1868 ARCHIVE OF TWO [2] NOTEBOOKS AND JOURNALS OF MIDSHIPMAN AND NAVIGATOR OF THE STEAMER ‘DACOTAH’, INCLUDING A LOG BOOK OF A TRIP TO SOUTH AMERICA, AND A BOOK OF IMPRESSIVELY DETAILED NOTES AND IMMACULATELY DRAWN ENGINE DIAGRAMS

Author Name: JAMES MCFADDEN GRIMES

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 19th Century Diary, All, 19th Century Manuscript,

Publisher: PANAMA BAY, ARICA PERU, VALPARAISO, CHILE, 1868

Book Condition: Good+

Seller ID: 0009033

Keywords: Keywords:history Of James Mcfadden Grimes MIDSHIPMAN Steamer ‘dacotah’ GUNSHIP SLOOP-OF-WAR Post Civil War Era Panama Bay ARICA