In former days, the captain’s clerk was a junior “civil officer” in the Navy who had a decent command of the English language, could copy the captain’s out-going letters in a “fair round hand,” and maintained files of all his employer’s correspondence. The present Captain’s Clerk is a database created by Commander Tyrone Martin in 1986, based largely on primary historical sources. The documents in this section represent more than thirty years of research and writing. Nearly all of the contents relate to USS Constitution. Where a document is not included in its entirety, the quote or note listed in its place relates to the ship (leaving out “Constitution” saves a lot of space!).
Most of the files are working documents. Research never stops and may, from time to time, modify or expand the material in a number of entries. At the moment, the focus is on primary information concerning the ship’s first line service, from 1797 to 1855.
If you are interested in short articles about various aspects of Constitution’s history, go to The Captain Speaks. Most of the Ship’s Logs have been transcribed, giving a glimpse of the daily occurrences of shipboard life. Constitution has had many captains over the years, and these may be found in the Commanders section. Something worth recording has occurred on just about every day of the year in the ship’s long history, and you will find it in Calendar.
Only a portion of the full Captain’s Clerk database is reproduced here. For more information about other published and unpublished material available in the database, please visit the database homepage, or send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.