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Thence Round Cape Horn
The Story of United States
Naval Forces on Pacific Station, 1818‑1923

by
Robert Erwin Johnson

The Author

Robert Erwin Johnson (b. Marshfield, OR Feb. 3, 1923, † Tuscaloosa, AL Jan. 28, 2008) was a history professor who taught for nearly forty years at the University of Alabama. As a young man, he served in the Coast Guard in World War II; he is best known for Guardians of the Sea: History of the United States Coast Guard, 1915 to the Present (Naval Institute, 1987), as well as several other books on naval and maritime subjects that won him a variety of awards.

Contents

Preface

vii

Chapters

Distant Stations

1

The Cruise of the Macedonian

17

From Ship to Squadron

27

Aground on Her Own Beef Bones

43

The Flying Welshman

59

Too Many Commodores

77

The Gold Mania

93

Guarding the Gold Steamers

113

Economy and Decline

124

A Stagnant Station

143

The Armored Cruiser Squadron

164

Pacific Fleet in the Atlantic Ocean

179

The Gold Mania

189

Appendix

Sailing Orders to Captain Downes

207

Officers Commanding United States Naval Forces on Pacific Station

209

Annual Composition of United States Naval Forces on Pacific Station

211

Characteristics of Ships Serving on Pacific Station

230

Bibliography

250

Notes [In this Web transcription, I've incorporated them in their chapters.]

Illustrations

1.

USS Macedonian under a jury rig, September 1818.
(The National Archives)

2.

Captain John Downes. (U. S. Naval Academy Museum)

3.

USS United States. (The National Archives)

4.

Commodore Isaac Hull. (U. S. Naval Academy Museum)

5.

USS Peacock in the Antarctic, 1839‑40. (U. S. Naval Institute)

6.

Lieutenant Charles Wilkes. (U. S. Naval Academy Museum)

7.

USS North Carolina. (Official U. S. Navy Photograph)

8.

American flag being raised at Monterey, California, 7 July 1846. (Official U. S. Navy Photograph)

9.

USS Vincennes and USS Columbus departing from Tokyo Bay, July 1846. (Naval Historical Foundation)

10.

USS Camanche, launched at Union Iron Works, San Francisco, 1864. (The Bancroft Library)

11.

USS Ohio. (Painting by Rear Admiral J. W. Schmidt, USN (Ret.) From the collection of R. E. Cragg, former Lieutenant Commander, USNR)

12.

Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones. (Official U. S. Navy Portrait)

13.

Commodore Robert F. Stockton. (U. S. Naval Academy Museum)

14.

Commander Robley D. Evans. (U. S. Naval Institute)

15.

USS Yorktown. (U. S. Naval Institute)

16.

Figurehead of USS Trenton. (Official U. S. Navy Photograph)

17.

Apia Harbor, 17 March 1889, following the hurricane.
(The National Archives)

18.

USS Wateree after a tidal wave at Arica, Chile, in August 1868.
(Official U. S. Navy Photograph)

19.

USS Pinta in Juneau Harbor, 1889. (Official U. S. Navy Photograph)

20.

Pago Pago, Samoa, 1908, with destroyers and armored cruisers at anchor. (The National Archives)

21.

USS Monadnock, Mare Island Navy Yard.
(Naval Historical Foundation)

22.

USS South Dakota in her 1916 rig. (Official U. S. Navy Photograph)

Technical Details

Edition Used

The edition followed in this transcription appears to be the first and only one. It is in the public domain because the copyright (© 1963 by United States Naval Institute) was not renewed in 1990‑1991 as then required by law — the very last year that law was in force; details here on the copyright law involved.

To judge from its stamp, bookplate, and label, my copy of the book was once in the Library of Congress, also the United States Coast Guard Academy Library; and at some time belonged to Harry Warner Frantz, a well-known journalist whose career (Biographical Note) included significant public service, including as an ambulance volunteer in World War I.

Illustrations

In the printed edition the 22 illustrations are gathered in a single signature following p128. I've moved each of them to what I feel are appropriate places.

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; a red background would mean that the page had not been proofread. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

The printed book was well proofread. The inevitable typographical errors were few, and all trivial: I marked them with a dotted underscore like this: as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the underscored words to read the variant. Similarly, glide your cursor over bullets before measurements: they 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. They are also few.

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: A sailing ship flying the American flag; the image serves as the icon on this site for the book 'Thence Round Cape Horn' by Robert Erwin Johnson.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is my colorization of the book's engraving of the U. S. S. Macedonian, Illustration 1.


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Site updated: 13 Jul 16