Manuscript Group 55, Thomas Jefferson Boyce (d. 1853), Sailor Journal, 1829-1852 (Bulk Dates: 1829-1839)
Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 55, Thomas Jefferson Boyce (d. 1853), Sailor Journal, 1829-1852
(Bulk Dates: 1829-1839), 0.1 linear foot / 1 volume
Call Number: MG 55
Kept by a 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. Bound in is a pamphlet,
“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 Joseph C. Hornblower.
Gift of Joseph Black, 1878.
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.
Joseph Black donated this collection on
April 15, 1878.
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 copy of “The
Complaint and Petition of Thomas Jefferson Boyce for Twenty Years a Sail Maker
in the United States Navy” is included in the journal. This complaint
documents Boyces troubles with the commander of the Navy Yard in New York
City and pleads with the government to review his case and reinstate him.
Processed by James Lewis, April 2001 as part of the “Farm to City”
project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records