1870 - 1900 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT LETTERS FROM ONE SEAMAN TO A FRIEND, CAPTAIN AND CONFIDANT DETAILING HIS LIFE AT VARIOUS POINTS INCLUDING A DETAILED ACCOUNT OF THE FLORA, FAUNA AND CUSTOMS OF THE SAMOAN ISLANDS

By: CLAYTON SMITH RICHMAN [TO FREDERICK RODGERS]

Price: $3,055.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer are three letters from the life of Clayton Richman, who served in the United States Navy for 30 years, from 1870 to his retirement in 1900. The letters are written from different points of Richman’s life. The first letter is 1875, the second (and longest) is 1878, and the final letter was written in 1888. For each letter, Richman is serving on a different ship. In 1875, he is on the USS ‘New Hampshire’, in 1878, he is on the USS ‘Adams’, and the final he is serving on the USS ‘Independence’. Two of the letters deal with Richman’s illustrious life and career in the US Navy. The other (and longest) letter is an exemplary and rare account of the flora and fauna of life on the Samoan Islands in the late 19th century, as well as culinary customs of the native population. It is an original written report by Richman. It was produced on board the "USS Adams" while the United States Ship was at sea in the "Samoa Islands" in 1878. The ship was under the command of Commander Frederick Rodgers for whom the report was made. The first letter is from December 25, 1875 and written “Off Navy Yard Norfolk, Va.” The letter is addressed to “Commander Frederick Rodgers, Commanding U.S.S. Dispatch.” The letter is only one page long, and consists of the transfer of a seaman “Edwin Smith” from Richman’s ship, the ‘New Hampshire’, to Rodgers’, the ‘Dispatch’. It is signed, “Respectfully, Clayton S. Richman. Master Comdr.” The letter is written in black ink, in a large script that is easy to read. The page has some small tears on the corners and middle of the page, and slight discoloration from age. The second letter is sent from the “U.S.S. Adams 3d. Rate. At sea Lat.21.S. Long.177.W. August 25th, 1878.” This location is in the South Pacific, near the islands of Tonga and Fiji. Again the letter is sent to Frederick Rodgers. The letter is the longest in the group at 9 pages. It letter begins, “Sir: In regards to the Zoology - Birds, Animals, Fish, &c. Of the Samoan Islands of the facilities for attaining them - I noted respectfully present the following -” This is what Richman does for the next three pages, describing the animals, birds, and fish that he observes i the Samoan Islands. “Of the Animals - There are none worth of the name.” He notes the “Mountain Rat,” the numerous species of “Fur animals,” lizards, scorpions, and wild pigs, which he describes in detail as well as describing how the natives hunt them: “the natives provoke the pig to chase them, which is easily done, and when at close quarters, jump up a tree two or three feet from the ground and receive the pig on the point of the machete.” He writes that “There are many varieties of Birds - but all of them the smaller classes” and after a page of the various birds, writes that “Fish are numerous, both in the fresh and salt water, and of many varieties among which, may be mentioned - The Bonila, Dolphin Shark, Mullet, Blue Fish, Perch, Skip Jack, Gar, Eel, and many varieties of small fish resembling the sun fish and gaggle eye of the United States.” He notes how “the native are very expert with the spear” and then notes how they hunt the fish in groups. After talking about fish for two pages, he then writes that “it may not be inappropriate to give a brief description of the Natives manner of cooking and preparing them for the table, together with the other usual dishes that accompany meals at a Samoan dinner.” What follows are pages of descriptions of cooking a pig, and using its organs and blood to make food. He notes that birds are cooked in the same way as the pig. “Fish are usually eaten raw, but when cooked, are baked the same as a bird, leaving the scales on...” He speaks of two native dishes called “Palusami (a delicious coconut salad) and Fai-ai, an excellent vegetable salad dressing.” He talks about how those two are prepared. And finally, he talks about attending a Samoan dinner as a foreigner and how you must bring salt yourself, “for the Samoans use no seasoning, either in cooking or serving their dinners.” The letter is in good shape, with very slight discoloration from age. It is held together at the top by two pushpins. The last letter is written “February 10, 1888” from “Mare Island.” This last letter is also written to Rodgers. It begins, “My Dear Captain,” and he beings, “I am starting out on a caurus(?) again to see if I can’t get the judge & advocate Generalship which becomes vacant on the 12th of June.” The letter concerns itself with speaking of his campaign to become the Judge & Advocate General, against a man attempting to win his third time. “I fancy the staff will make a big fight for it” and notes that several people are running for the position. He notes, “I have (?) the longer record (75 approved records of different kinds) of any officer in the service - but that don’t count for much without political and personal backing.” He finally gets to his point, asking Rodgers, “Will you assist?” He finishes with pleasantries and signs the letter, “Yours as ever. C.S. Richman.” (Background: Career of Clayton Richman - Midshipman, 21 July, 1865. Graduated 7 June, 1870. Ensign, 12 July, 1871. Master, 2 August, 1873. Lieutenant, 26 February, 1878. Lieutenant Commander, 3 July, 1898. Retired List, with rank of Commander, 30 June, 1900.)

Title: 1870 - 1900 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT LETTERS FROM ONE SEAMAN TO A FRIEND, CAPTAIN AND CONFIDANT DETAILING HIS LIFE AT VARIOUS POINTS INCLUDING A DETAILED ACCOUNT OF THE FLORA, FAUNA AND CUSTOMS OF THE SAMOAN ISLANDS

Author Name: CLAYTON SMITH RICHMAN [TO FREDERICK RODGERS]

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

Publisher: NORFOLK VA SAMOAN ISLANDS SOUTH PACIFIC, 1870

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: Folio - over 12" - 15" tall

Seller ID: 0009047

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, CLAYTON SMITH RICHMAN, FREDERICK RODGERS, USS NEW HAMPSHIRE, USS ADAMS, USS INDEPENDENCE, USS DISPATCH, UNITED STATES NAVY, 19TH CENTURY NAVAL CAREER, SAMOAN ISLANDS, SOUTH PACIFIC ISLANDS, UNITED STATES COLONIALISM, US PACIFIC EXPANSION, FLORA AND FAUNA OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC, CULINARY CUSTOMS, MARE ISLAND, JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL’S CORPS, 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