Manuscript Group 55, Guide to the Thomas Jefferson Boyce (d. 1853), Sailor,Journal 1829-1852 (Bulk Dates: 1829-1839)


Descriptive Summary
Biographical Note
Scope and Content Note
Access Points
Related Material
Administrative Information

Container List


Guide to the Thomas Jefferson Boyce (d. 1853), Sailor,Journal
1829-1852 (Bulk Dates: 1829-1839)
MG 55

The New Jersey Historical Society
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
Phone: (973) 596-8500 x249
© 2005 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by James Lewis as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

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.

Descriptive Summary

  Creator: Boyce, Thomas Jefferson, d. 1853
  Title: Thomas Jefferson Boyce (d. 1853), Sailor, Journal
  Dates: 1829-1852
  Abstract: Consists of a jounal kept by a U.S. Navy sail maker on the U. S. S. Peacock, 1829-1831; U. S. S. Saint Louis, 1833-1836; and the U. S. S. North Carolina, 1836-1839.
  Quantity: .01 linear feet (1 volume)
  Collection Number: MG 55

Biographical Note

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.

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Scope and Content Note

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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Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.

Use Restrictions

Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.

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Access Points

  The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.
  Subject Names:
    Boyce, Thomas Jefferson, d.1853.
    Hornblower, Joseph C. (Joseph Coerten), 1777-1864.
  Subject Organizations:
    North Carolina (Ship-of-the-line)
    Peacock (Ship)
    St. Louis (Sloop of war)
    United States. Navy.
  Subject Topics:
    Navy-yards and naval stations–New York–New York.
    Yellow fever.
  Subject Places:
    Caribbean Sea.
    Mexico, Gulf of.
    Newark (N.J.)
    New York (N.Y.)
    Pacific Ocean.
  Document Types:
  Subject Occupations

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Related Material

Manuscript Group 57, Lawrence Kearny (1789-1868), U.S. Naval Officer

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

This collection was donated by Joseph Black on April 15, 1878.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 55, Thomas Jefferson Boyce (d. 1853), Sailor Journal, The New Jersey Historical Society.

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Container List

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Journal kept by Thomas Jefferson Boyce for the voyages of 3 different ships 1829-1852

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