Warship under Sail: The USS Decatur in the Pacific West

Hardcover | October 26, 2009

byLorraine McConaghy

not yet rated|write a review

Ordered to join the Pacific Squadron in 1854, the sloop of war Decatur sailed from Norfolk, Virginia, through the Strait of Magellan to Valparaiso, Honolulu, and Puget Sound, then on to San Francisco, Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, while serving in the Pacific until 1859, the eve of the Civil War. Historian Lorraine McConaghy presents the ship, its officers, and its crew in a vigorous, keenly rendered case study that illuminates the forces shaping America's antebellum navy and foreign policy in the Pacific, from Vancouver Island to Tierra del Fuego.

One of only five ships in the squadron, the Decatur participated in numerous imperial adventures in the Far West, enforcing treaties, fighting Indians, suppressing vigilantes, and protecting commerce. With its graceful lines and towering white canvas sails, the ship patrolled the sandy border between ocean and land.

Warship under Sail focuses on four episodes in the Decatur's Pacific Squadron mission: the harrowing journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean through the Strait of Magellan; a Seattle war story that contested American treaties and settlements; participation with other squadron ships on a U.S. State Department mission to Nicaragua; and more than a year spent anchored off Panama as a hospital ship. In a period of five years, more than 300 men lived aboard ship, leaving a rich record of logbooks, medical and punishment records, correspondence, personal journals, and drawings. Lorraine McConaghy has mined these records to offer a compelling social history of a warship under sail. Her research adds immeasurably to our understanding of the lives of ordinary men at sea and American expansionism in the antebellum Pacific West.

Listen to Lorraine McConaghy talk about the book:

http://www.spl.org/default.asp?pageID=collection_podcasts

Pricing and Purchase Info

$42.95

Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

Ordered to join the Pacific Squadron in 1854, the sloop of war Decatur sailed from Norfolk, Virginia, through the Strait of Magellan to Valparaiso, Honolulu, and Puget Sound, then on to San Francisco, Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, while serving in the Pacific until 1859, the eve of the Civil War. Historian Lorraine McConaghy prese...

Lorraine McConaghy is the historian at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle.

other books by Lorraine McConaghy

Free Boy: A True Story of Slave and Master
Free Boy: A True Story of Slave and Master

Kobo ebook|Mar 1 2013

$19.19 online$24.87list price(save 22%)
Free Boy: A True Story of Slave and Master
Free Boy: A True Story of Slave and Master

Hardcover|Jul 20 2015

$110.19

Format:HardcoverDimensions:344 pages, 10.3 × 8.96 × 1.4 inPublished:October 26, 2009Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295989556

ISBN - 13:9780295989556

Customer Reviews of Warship under Sail: The USS Decatur in the Pacific West

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. Young America on the Pacific: "The Sailor of Manifest Destiny Views"2. The Decatur in the Old Navy: "To Command Our Own Seas and Coasts"3. Boston: Getting Under Way4. Episode 1. Through the Strait of Magellan: "Off to Californio!"5. Episode 2. Seattle: "Down Came the Indians, Like so Many Demons" 6. San Francisco: "This Reckless Life"7. Episode 3. Nicaragua: "Seeing the Elephant"8. Episode 4. Panama: "All the Subtle Demonisms of Life and Thought"9. The Civil War and BeyondAbbreviationsNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

Ordered to join the Pacific Squadron in 1854, the sloop of war Decatur sailed from Norfolk, Virginia, through the Strait of Magellan to Valparaiso, Honolulu, and Puget Sound, then on to San Francisco, Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, while serving in the Pacific until 1859, the eve of the Civil War. Historian Lorraine McConaghy presents the ship, its officers, and its crew in a vigorous, keenly rendered case study that illuminates the forces shaping America's antebellum navy and foreign policy in the Pacific, from Vancouver Island to Tierra del Fuego.One of only five ships in the squadron, the Decatur participated in numerous imperial adventures in the Far West, enforcing treaties, fighting Indians, suppressing vigilantes, and protecting commerce. With its graceful lines and towering white canvas sails, the ship patrolled the sandy border between ocean and land. Warship under Sail focuses on four episodes in the Decatur's Pacific Squadron mission: the harrowing journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean through the Strait of Magellan; a Seattle war story that contested American treaties and settlements; participation with other squadron ships on a U.S. State Department mission to Nicaragua; and more than a year spent anchored off Panama as a hospital ship. In a period of five years, more than 300 men lived aboard ship, leaving a rich record of logbooks, medical and punishment records, correspondence, personal journals, and drawings. Lorraine McConaghy has mined these records to offer a compelling social history of a warship under sail. Her research adds immeasurably to our understanding of the lives of ordinary men at sea and American expansionism in the antebellum Pacific West.Listen to Lorraine McConaghy talk about the book:http://www.spl.org/default.asp?pageID=collection_podcastsAn exciting and danger-filled true history of maritime adventure. - HistoryLink.org, HistoryLink.org