Wood engraving from John Frost's The Book of the Navy, 1842.
Wood engraving from John Frost's The Book of the Navy, 1842.

Guide to the Journal of the U.S.S. Erie and U.S.S. Constitution, 1819-1821

MS 4

A collection in the
Special Collections & Archives Department,
Nimitz Library

Naval Academy Seal

United States Naval Academy
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5029

Prepared by: Mary R. Catalfamo

May 2004

Descriptive Summary

The Journal of the U.S.S. Erie and the U.S.S. Constitution was donated to the United States Naval Academy Library by Sophie Madeleine (Mrs Samuel F.) Du Pont. Accession No. 13821A.
1 volume.
Access to the Journal of the U.S.S. Erie and the U.S.S. Constitution is restricted to microfilm.
The Journal of the U. S. S. Erie and the U.S.S. Constitution is the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information
Preferred Citation:
Journal of the U. S. S. Erie and the U.S.S. Constitution, MS 4
Special Collections & Archives Department
Nimitz Library
United States Naval Academy

Scope and Content Note

Midshipman Samuel F. Du Pont (1803-1865) kept this journal, a continuation of the Special Collections & Archives Department’s MS 3, as part of his naval training. Approximately half of the volume, spanning the dates 2 October 1819 to 20 January 1820, details the cruise of the U.S.S. Erie (sloop-of-war) with the Mediterranean Squadron and its return to New York via the West Indies. The second half of the journal, covering the dates 12 May 1821 to 22 October 1821, relates to the cruise of the U.S.S. Constitution (frigate) from Boston to the Mediterranean to serve on station as the Mediterranean Squadron’s flagship.

The Erie left the Mediterranean Squadron at Gibraltar on 28 November 1819, carrying as passengers Captain Thomas McDonough, Master Commandant Henry E. Ballard, Master Commandant Joseph J. Nicholson, Lieutenant John Gallagher, and Lieutenant Benjamin Page, Jr. The ship arrived at New York on 20 January 1820.

Du Pont noted that on 17 March 1821 he received orders from the Secretary of the Navy to join the Constitution. The ship sailed from Boston on 12 May 1821, carrying Commodore Jacob Jones to his post as commander of the Mediterranean Squadron. Among the ports of call were Gibraltar, Port Mahon, Genoa, and Leghorn [Livorno]. Among the events Du Pont recorded are the firing of two twenty-four gun salutes, one at noon and one at sunset, on the Fourth of July, the arrival of a Dutch squadron at Leghorn on the 26 August, and the Dutch Admiral’s visit aboard the Constitution on 3 September.