TABLE OF CONTENTS
1829-1852 (Bulk Dates: 1829-1839)
The New Jersey Historical Society
Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. August 2005. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
Thomas Jefferson Boyce was a sail maker in the United States Navy from 1829 until about 1849. He sailed the Caribbean Sea and in the Gulf of Mexico while serving on the United States Ship Peacock from September 14, 1829 to May 1831, and on the United States Ship St. Louis from August 14, 1833 to April 8, 1836. He then journeyed on the Pacific Ocean while serving on the United States Ship North Carolina from November 17, 1836 until 1839. While on the Peacock he survived a bout of yellow fever, however, he was hospitalized later in Norfolk, Virginia, after a relapse. He recuperated in Newark, New Jersey and afterwards served at the Navy Yards in New York City where he was erroneously discharged for taking payments for teaching boys how to make sails. President Millard Fillmore reinstated Boyce before his death on March 25, 1853.
Thomas Jefferson Boyce kept this journal from 1829-1852, with bulk dates of 1829-1839, during his time of service aboard the Peacock, St. Louis, and North Carolina. The journal has daily entries noting the weather, who came aboard the ship, which ships were spotted, destinations, and tasks performed. Since Boyce was a sail maker he spent most of his time repairing sails and awnings. A printed copy of “The Complaint and Petition of Thomas Jefferson Boyce for Twenty Years a Sail Maker in the United States Navy” (Newark, NJ, 1852), which has an introduction by his friend Joseph C. Hornblower, is bound into the journal. This complaint documents Boyce’s troubles with the commander of the Navy Yard in New York City and pleads with the government to review his case and reinstate him.
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This collection was donated by Joseph Black on April 15, 1878.
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 55, Thomas Jefferson Boyce (d. 1853), Sailor Journal, The New Jersey Historical Society.