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Bill Thayer

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Truxtun of the Constellation
by
Eugene S. Ferguson


[image ALT: A photograph of an oil portrait (left profile) of a middle-aged man in military uniform, his somewhat unkempt hair in a queue. He is the 18c American naval officer Captain Thomas Truxtun.]

Portrait by Bass Otis, 1817,
in possession of the Long Island Historical Society.
Official U. S. Navy photograph

Commodore Thomas Truxtun, U. S. N.

v

Long Island Boyhood

1

Apprentice Sailor

6

His Majesty's Service

10

The New York Tea Party

13

Charming Polly

17

Round the State House Yard

20

Congress and Chance

23

Independence to Mars

27

Andrew Caldwell

33

Independence II and John Paul Jones

39

St. James

42

Commerce and Dry Goods

47

Doctor Franklin Comes Home

52

The New China Trade

60

In Canton to Canton

67

Trader at Canton

71

Summer at Home

77

Second Voyage to Canton

81

And Voyage to India

86

Owner of the Good Ship Delaware

91

Captain, United States Navy

100

Navigator

103

Frigates Are Planned

108

Frigates Are Begun

111

Delays and Live Oak

114

Captain in a Quandary

119

Maryland Constellation

122

The Launch

130

More Delays

135

Fitting Out

138

Shakedown Cruise

144

Petty Kingdom

152

L'Insurgente

160

Truxtun's Victory

170

Talbot, Dale, and Truxtun

178

La Vengeance

187

Senior Officer Present

198

President

206

Rank Rankles

213

To Quit the Service

221

In or Out?

226

Burr-Hamilton Interlude

233

Out for Sure

238

Burr's "Treason"

242

Jefferson's Embargo

249

The Last Chapter

256
300

Technical Details

Edition Used

The edition used in this transcription was that of my own copy of the book, © The Johns Hopkins Press 1956. That copyright was not renewed in 1983 or 1984 as was required by the then law in order to be maintained. The work is thus in the public domain; details here on the copyright law involved.

For citation and indexing purposes, the pagination is shown in the right margin of the text at the page turns (like at the end of this line);p57 these are also local anchors. Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.

Proofreading

As almost always, I retyped the text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if successful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

My transcription has been minutely proofread. In the table of contents above, the sections are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree. As elsewhere on this site, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

The printed book was remarkably well proofread; a very few typographical errors are all trivial, and therefore marked by a dotted underscore like this: as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the bullet or the underscored words to read the variant. Similarly, bullets before measurements provide conversions to metric, e.g., 10 miles.

A number of odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!‑‑ sic ‑‑> in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked.

Any other mistakes, please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have a copy of the printed book in front of you.



[image ALT: The profile portrait of a middle-aged man in military uniform, his somewhat unkempt hair in a queue. He faces left, looking at a three-masted sailing ship on a calm sea near shore. The ship is the 18c frigate U. S. S. Constellation, and the officers is its captain Thomas Truxtun; the image serves as the icon on this site for the book 'Truxtun of the Constellation'.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is my montage of the front and back of the book's jacket, respectively: the Constellation and the contemporaneous portrait of Captain Truxtun reproduced at the top of this page; for this icon, I've recolorized the latter to something like what the original painting must be or must have been. (I haven't seen the actual painting. Identical copies of a single version of it are found all over the Web, but I'm fairly sure it's a very poor red-deteriorated reproduction since the uniform was not dark brown. I used the well-known American Revolutionary War color scheme, which is in fact described as that of Captain Truxtun's uniform, pp133‑134.)


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Site updated: 23 Aug 13