New York Public Library

kewl dude
10th March 2010, 05:21

member John Anderson provided this link: keyword=ships New York Public Library

I spent about five hours today on my 40k dial-up viewing all 105 pages, 2,097 thumbnails of maritime related Trade Cards, Cigarette Cards, photographs, sketches and oil paintings from the 1400s to late 1940s. All types of ships being built, launched, in service, derelict: Pirates including those chained on deck, walking the plank and hung from the yardarm, sea battles, mutinies, slavers and passenger ships with interior as well as exterior views, concert programs and menus, detailed port views. Mostly Europe, the Middle East and the America’s, some Asian. A LOT of New York City and New York State. Some early ship radio pictures, naval, maritime and port personnel. The front cover of a WW II US pamphlet: How to Abandon Ship. Scans of some hand written or typed pages including a list of ship names in an unknown WW I convoy.

I attach one of the fifteen pictures I saved: GeorgeWashington.jpg.

In the early 1990s the US Navy caused a lot of controversy when they advertised that they were around before US Merchant Mariners. In 1995 while preparing a merchant marine website on Geocities, that was closed by Yahoo October 2009, I researched this claim by, eventually, reading eighteen maritime history books borrowed from the Carlsbad CA Public Library.

The last paragraph of my piece reads:

On April 13, 1789 a merchant marine Captain named Thomas Randall, who is buried in the Trinity Church graveyard near the southern tip of Manhattan; was coxswain for a barge manned by twelve more merchant marine captains. They rowed George Washington from Elizabethtown Point (New Jersey) to Wall Street for his inauguration as the first president of the United States.

So this may be a caption for the attached image?

My entire piece:

US Navy or Merchant Marine - Which came first?

Historians tell us America began when European seafarers discovered and swiped it from the people already living here. They named these natives Indians, because they thought this was India.

While others may have come to this land before him, it was a cloth salesman named Cristoforo Colombo, later known as Christopher Columbus sailing under the Spanish flag, who is officially designated as the discoverer of America, on October 12, 1492. In my research for this piece, three maritime history books said Christopher Columbus was Portugese by birth, two said he was an Italian from Genoa.

After him followed true Spanish seafarers. In 1499 - 1500 Alonso de Ojeda, Amerigo Vespucci and Vicente Yannez. In 1501 Rodrigo de Bastidas. In 1508-09 Juan Dias de Solis and Sebastian de Ocampo. In 1513 Juan Ponce de Leon discovered Florida. Over the next generation many more Spanish explorers enlarged the knowledge of this vast new land.

When I was a kid I was taught in school that the Pilgrims were the first settlers, creating Plymouth in 1620, after their arrival on the good ship Mayflower. But there were many attempts before then. The British first created settlements in America in Virginia in 1585 and New England in 1587 but this hold was tenuous. Often these settlers would abandon this land and return to England after experiencing harsh winters. The Dutch, meanwhile, established their settlement in New Amsterdam in 1609, but they also tended to come and go.

Some historians say the first ship built in America was the thirty-ton Virginia built on Maine’s Kennebec River in 1607. The second, named the Onrust, was built in 1615-16 by the Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam. But other historians say there were as many as seven Spanish and French ships built on coastal America before the Virginia. In 1631 on Manhattan Island the Dutch built the largest ship that would be built in this country for 150 years. It was a huge 600-ton merchant vessel named Nieuw Nederland.

In these early colonial days there were no roads so commerce between colonies was seaborn. In just a few years many ships were being built in this country, using experienced shipbuilders imported from the old country. Three hundred and eighty nine ships were built in twelve of the thirteen original colonies in 1769, Massachusetts leading the way with 137. Only space heating exceeded shipbuilding in wood consumption. The wooden ships of the era needed 400-500 board feet of lumber per ton. Using a figure of 20,000 tons of ships built per year this translates to as much as 10 million, hand sawn, board feet or as many as 20,000 trees.

The people who settled this rich new land of America quickly overcame obstacles and soon found themselves with a surplus of commodities. So they began exporting them by sea. In 1759 New York alone sent 80,000 barrels of flour to England, and Virginia was exporting tobacco. By this time New England sailors, especially, but seamen from all the coastal colonies became well known and respected in the far reaches of the world.

Friction began with the colonists and their home country, England, as early as 1760 but did not come to a head until 1775. America was so dependent upon the sea for commerce and communication Britain thought her North American colonies could be beaten by sea power alone. Here was this upstart child of 2-1/2 million population thinking they could beat the parent of 7-1/2 million population. In England there was even talk of withdrawing the 30,000 men of the British army and leaving matters to the Royal Navy. To thwart this end of the struggle George Washington asked the Continental Congress, in July of 1775, to create a navy. The Americans had a lot of sailors, fishermen and traders, who knew how to handle ships.

On October 27, 1775 John Adams was successful in persuading the Continental Congress to fit out "with all possible despatch" two vessels to be used to capture British shipping. By the end of the month two more were approved. The merchantmen Alfred, Columbus, Andrew Doria, and Cabot had land based cannon brought aboard and lashed down. Later, two schooners, the Wasp and the Fly and the sloops, Providence and Hornet were added. Thus was born from a nation of seafarers the eight ship Continental, later the United States, Navy. At its Revolutionary War peak in 1777 the Continental Navy had only 34 ships and 5,000 men.

On September 3, 1783 the Treaty of Paris was signed, officially ending America’s war with England. The Continental Navy was disbanded, by1784 the last ships had been sold. The seamen returned to their merchant ships and with the nation at peace there seemed no need for a navy. This is the first example of how the United States government treats the US Navy and, later, the US Merchant Marine, during times of “peace”.

On April 13, 1789 a merchant marine Captain named Thomas Randall, who is buried in the Trinity Church graveyard near the southern tip of Manhattan; was coxswain for a barge manned by twelve more merchant marine captains. They rowed George Washington from Elizabethtown Point to Wall Street for his inauguration as the first president of the United States.

Greg Hayden

10th March 2010, 06:01
I first visited New York Public Library in 1967, as Libraries go it really was BIG, very Interesting, with many more books than Cardiff, but the books were not as old as those in Cardiff or St Davids Cathedral. I only spent five hours there, but the results of my work paid off with an extra five days in the States, of which I spent three in Washington D.C.; a town which not too many seafarers get to. The stay included lunch at the the World Bank, in the Delegates Dining room, dinner at a Georgetown restaurant, a trip to Arlington and a walk UP the Washington Monument, capped with breakfast for 90cents with free coffee!

10th March 2010, 06:16
kewldude, can you please confirm the first website, marmuseum. I have tried it and get no joy.
Also, which of the 3 websites that you have given has the 105 pages of maritime related stuff. Be patient with me as I am computer illiterate.
Feel free to conatct me on if you prefer.