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Washington Navy Yard Pay Rolls of Mechanics and Laborers
 July 1811
Furnished by : John Sharp

Washington Navy Yard Pay Rolls of Mechanics and Laborers July 1811

Introduction: The Pay Rolls of Mechanics and Laborers dated July 1811 are our earliest surviving pay rolls for civilian employees at any of the United States Naval Ship Yards The next surviving pay rolls, are dated 1819, and are from New York, Charlestown and Gosport Naval Yards respectively. These 1811 pay rolls list nearly two hundred Washington Navy Yard (WNY) civilian employees names, stations (occupations), number of days worked, price (wage) per day, total due each man and the acknowledgement signature or "mark" of employee for the amount received from the purser. These documents were compiled at the direction of the Secretary of the Navy, Robert Smith, who in his January 10, 1804 letter to Captain John Cassin, Acting Head of the Washington Navy Yard, ordered that:
All the workmen, laborers &c employed in the yard or in repairing the Ships &c are to be employed under the direction and controul of the Superintendent of the Yard, and to be paid for their services such compensation as may be agreed upon with him; - the amount of daily wages to be ascertained in the following manner viz.

           It shall be the duty of the Clerk of the Yard, daily and every day at morning, noon and Evening to muster every person employed, carefully noting in a Muster roll prepared for the purpose each and every person that may appear to be attending to their duty or employment, and their particular occupation and the object of employment; as well as such as may appear to be absent with the cause of absence (if understood).- Having a due regard in making the said Musters to the convenience of the persons employed and the Interests of the public, attending for the purpose, whenever circumstances may render it necessary, at the Shops or places of employment: and to deliver daily one copy of the muster roll so made out to the Superintendent, retaining another copy in his possession. -

And it will also be the duty of the said Clerk at the end of every month to make out Separate payrolls for the respective objects of the employment headed in the manner herein after directed, varying in the description so as to designate each separate object of employment viz. -
"Payroll for the Ship - Carpenters, Caulkers, Laborers &c employed in repairing the frigate United States in the month of Jany1803." - Including in the said respective payrolls every person employed in that particular object, designating their respective occupations and stating the number of days work actually performed, ascertained from the muster rolls made out as herein before directed; which payrolls he will then submit to the inspection of the Superintendent, whose duty it will be to compare the same with the muster rolls in his possession, and if it shall appear to him that the time of employment is therein correctly stated, he will certify it to be so, and insert opposite to the name of each person the daily wages at which they are respectively to be paid, and then to hand the payrolls so certified and inserted to the purser of the Yard, with directions to extend the amount due to each person and pay the same, taking their receipts on the payrolls. -1

 

Historical Background: Secretary of the Navy, Robert Smith, issued his direction on pay rolls in response to complaints received from yard workers concerned about the integrity of the pay process (the Secretary of the Navy's office was only twelve blocks from the Yard), and also to assist yard officers who wanted a better system to insure civilian attendance and one comparable to those they knew from their active naval service afloat. As a consequence of Smith's order, for nearly a century,2 large amounts of time and effort were spent ensuring the accuracy of the Yard's daily muster procedures. Robert Smith's elaborate requirement that each WNY employee muster three times daily and personally sign for the amount due, was designed to place a check on unscrupulous foremen or naval pursers who might be temped to abuse their positions. Secretary Smith's other purpose appears to have been to gather indicators as to the nature and amount of time his employees were spending on a specific ship or work project. Today these early little known records are a treasure trove of information for genealogists and historians researching early Washington, D.C. labor and family history. Some of these 1819 payrolls are unique in that they document family relationships, apprentice indentures, and most importantly slave and free Black employment and thus provide valuable information for those studying American History and the District of Columbia.

Each of these pay rolls required the Clerk of the Yard, Thomas Howard, to draw up the complete lists of employee names. Each name on the pay roll was compiled from the prescribed three daily musters where Thomas Howard or Francis Barry (Clerk of the Check) would read out each man's name and check their presence or absence. Typically the men were paid monthly, which meant that toward the end of each month a register of names was composed on the pay roll (the pay roll document was literally a roll of paper, and some were as long as six feet). On the appointed pay day each mechanic or laborer would muster by division and present himself to Naval Purser Louis Deblois,38 or his clerk, as their names were called and receive wages for which they would sign their acknowledgement or make their X mark. Procedure also required Master Mechanics to sign for their indentured apprentices and slave masters or their designated agent to sign for their enslaved employees. Based on the July 1811 pay roll, about 20 percent of the employees on the rolls made their X mark. Each signature or X mark was witnessed by the Purser or his clerk. This completed payroll was then submitted to Captain John Cassin who as the Washington Navy Yard's second in command certified its accuracy and submitted the payroll to Commandant Thomas Tingey (1750 -1829) for submission to the Department of the Navy.

The Year 1811 was a busy time for the Washington Navy Yard, whose principle task was to build and refit naval ships. That summer most of the WNY workforce was laboring on the brig Hornet, which in January 1811 was hauled out of the Potomac River into a Ship House where she was found to be in bad condition because her futtocks were rotten and the ship's beams were falling. All that summer yard carpenters worked to restore the ship's hull while joiners completely rebuilt the ships interior.3 At the same time the workforce was also restoring the sloop Wasp which arrived on 21 May 1811 and was completely dismantled; her armaments, stores and ballast removed, her decks and upper works were caulked, her rigging refitted, her sails mended and she was painted throughout. Commodore Thomas Tingey took pleasure in pointing out how efficient his building efforts were in contrast to those of private builders in Baltimore.

The early Washington Navy Yard employed large number slaves who were leased to the Yard by their masters. Some of those who benefited from this unique arrangement were WNY senior civilian employees, men like: Thomas Howard, (Clerk of the Yard), Benjamin King, (Master Blacksmith) and John Davis of Abel, (Master Plumber). In addition some of these same men had indentured trade apprentices. Most of their apprentices were young white males, although some senior civilians such as Josiah Fox, (Naval Constructor), actually indentured their slaves. The exact number of employees, apprentices and slaves employed at WNY varied with the season and the work at hand. Typically WNY reduced staff in the winter and took on more employees in spring and summer. Most employees listed were per diem except for senior civilian who were paid an annual salary. As per diem employees the time worked for mechanics and laborers varied a great deal. During the month of July caulkers worked on average one day while blacksmiths, joiners, and carpenters 24 days. The exact number of slaves employed on the July 1811 Pay Roll is extremely difficult to calculate since the list for July 1811 is incomplete and the Clerk of the Yard used the same expression "Basil [Brown] of Mary Nevit" to denote slave and master but also uses similar language such as: "Charles Venable of Benjamin King" to describe an indentured apprentice and his Master Mechanic. The years prior to August 1814 (on 24 August 1814 the Yard was burnt less it fell to the invading British) appear to have had more enslaved workers and reportedly as many as fifty apprentices.4 I have made appropriate notes where it was possible to document the nature of the relationships.

Black Employees: In the Navy Yard, white workers and free and enslaved African Americans worked together especially in the anchor shop in uneasy tension.5 Many of Navy's early leaders were aware of this tension and occasionally they took steps to limit the number of slaves employed less they provoke open animosity. Some years later, the Board of Naval Commissioners Circular dated 17 March 1817, specifically bared the use of enslaved labor without the expressed permission of the Board. Sadly such orders routinely ran up against the entrenched resistance of white workers in performing what they viewed as menial work. John Davis of Abel, WNY Blacksmith Foreman, once summed up rather candidly the prevailing attitude ( 13 March 1817 letter to Thomas Tingey), "I believe [speaking of Black men] second to none in the establishment & his Ability seldom equaled by any . . . If any Impropriety exists in the employment of such it has been unknown to me heretofore as we have found by long experience that Blacks have made the best Strikers in the execution of heavy work & are more easily subjected to the Discipline of the Shop & less capable of to leave us on any change of wages."

Acknowledgements:

Glenn Helm, Director of the Navy Library, for his extraordinary efforts over the years in making the wonderful resources of the Navy Library available to everyone and his ever thoughtful advice on naval records and transcription.

Wayne Hinton, my editor at Genealogytrails.com Washington DC, for his patience and expertise in putting these WNY archival documents before a larger public.

My thanks once again to Mr. Charles W. Johnson Archives Specialist, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., who generously gave his help and assistance in locating and giving me the opportunity to study and photograph these unique records of the Board of Naval Commissioners.

My appreciation to the District of Columbia Archives, who under the leadership of Dr. Stephanie Scott, Secretary District of Columbia, make the District records readily available to historians and members of the public. Also my thanks to two members of her staff, Mr. Robert Jordan and Mr. Ali Rahmaan, Archivists, District of Columbia Archives, who were able to locate important early Washington, D.C. records related to WNY indenture apprentices and masters.

Transcription Method: This transcription was made from digital images of the 1811 Pay Roll of Mechanics and Laborers which was photographed at the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. As noted earlier the July 1811 Pay Roll shows evidence of being incomplete and certain individual names appear more then once on different sheets of the roll. In transcribing this listing I have striven to adhere as closely as possible to the original in spelling, capitalization, punctuation and abbreviation including the retention of dashes, ampersands and overstrikes. The pay roll listings for 1811 are unique as they cover only one month; July 1811. The July 1811 Pay Roll has 196 employees' names (plus names of slave owners, their agents and the names of Master Mechanics who signed for their indentured apprentices. On the rolls, employees are arranged by department. The numbering system generally appears to follow where they were employed by the Navy Yard. Occasionally there are gaps in the listing, where there are tears in the manuscript or where I was unable to provide a clear image or where it was not possible to determine what was written, I have so noted in brackets. Where possible, I have attempted to arrange the transcribed material in a similar manner to that found in the July 1811 Pay Roll. All transcriptions of documents quoted from the National Archives and Records RG45 are mine.

John G. Sharp

           14 May 2008

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

PAY ROLL for Blacksmiths, employed in the Navy -Yard, Washington
in the month of July 1811
No. NAMES STATION Total
Number
of Days
Worked
Price
per
day
Total
amount
due each
man.
Dollars
Total
amount
due
each
man
Cents
We Acknowledge
to have received
of Louis Deblois
Purser
the
several sums
opposite each of
our names, in
full for the
work done at the
Navy-Yard,
Washington for
the month July
1811
Witness
1 George
Knowling
Blacksmith
Shop
16 ¾ 1.50 25 12 George Knowling J. Pierce
2 John Bishop   25 ½ 1.80 45 10 John Bishop J. Pierce
3 Henry Adams
of John Davis6
  26 .85 22 10 John Davis of Abel J. Pierce
4 Jo. Byers of
Davidson7
  24 ½ .85 20 82 John Davidson J. Pierce
5 Jim Brown of
Thomas
Murray8
  10 ½ .85 15 72 Thomas Murray J. Pierce
6 Benjamin
Booth
  25 ¾ 1.70 43 77 Benjamin
his X mark
Booth
J. Pierce
7 James Bury   22 ¾ 1.80 40 95 James Bury J. Pierce
8 Bill Bean   15 ¾ .85 13 38 Bill
his X mark
Bean
J. Pierce
9 Washington
Bowie of
Walter Cox9
  20 ¾ .85 17 23 Walter Cox J. Pierce
10 John Concklin   18 ¾ 1.70 31 87 John Concklin J. Pierce
11 Phillip Carver   7 ¼ 1.75 12 65 Phillip Carver J. Pierce
12 Singleton
Crawford of
John Davis
  24 ¼ .65 15 76 John Davis of Abel J. Pierce
13 Luke Cannon
10
  18 ¼ .85 15 65 Luke
his X mark
Cannon
J. Pierce
14 Nat Ducket   22 ¾ 1.25 19 33 Nat
his X mark
Drucket
J. Pierce
15 David Davis of
James Cassin
  18 ¼ .85 15 54 James Cassin J. Pierce
16 Lut of John
Davis
  24 ¾ 1.25 30 93 John Davis of Abel
order filed in this
office
J. Pierce
17 Jo. Edwards of
Alexandra
Smith
  22 ½ .85 18 90 Joseph Cassin J. Pierce
18 Kinsey Griffith   22 ¾ 1.75 39 81 Kinsey Griffith J. Pierce
19 Jerry Cotton of
Azariah11
  20 ¾ .85 17 63 Azariah Gratton J. Pierce
20 Henry Kurtz12   18 ½ 1.80 33 30 Henry Kurtz J. Pierce
21 Tom of
Benjamin King
13
  22 ¾ 1.70 19 53 Benjamin King J. Pierce
22 John Mackey   19 ¾ 1.50 33 30 John Mackey J. Pierce
23 Basil of Mary
Nevit
  23 .85 19 55 Mary
her X mark
Nevit
J. Pierce
24 Frederick
Bopp14
  25 ½ 1.80 45 90 Frederick Bopp J. Pierce
25 Hambleton
Perry of
Benjamin King
  25 ¼ 1.25 31 56 Benjamin King J. Pierce
26 William
Parsons
  25 ½ 1.80 45 90 William
his X mark
Parsons
J. Pierce
27 George
Plowden of
15 Alexandra
Smoot
  24 ½ .85 20 82 Joseph Cassion order
filed in this office
J. Pierce
28 Charles
Sanderson
  20 ½ 1.70 34 82 Charles
his X mark
Sanderson
J. Pierce
29 William
Sanderson
  22 1.70 37 40 WmSanderson J. Pierce
30 Thomas
Sanderson of
Benjamin King
  2 ¾ .80 2 20 Benjamin King J. Pierce
31 Thomas Sutton   20 ½ 1.70 34 85 Thomas Sutton J. Pierce
32 Jo. Smoot of
Alexandra16
  23 ½ .80 19 97 Joseph Cassion order
on file in this office
J. Pierce
33 Nat Sims   23 ¾ .85 20 15 Nat
his X mark
Sims
J. Pierce
34 Jo. Thompson
of Walter
17 Clarke
  25 .85 21 25 Walter Clarke J. Pierce
35 Charles
Veneble of
Benjamin King
18
  25 ¼ 1.37 34 71 Benjamin King J. Pierce
36 Edward
Wayson19
  25 ½ 1.80 45 90 Edward
his X mark
Wayson
J. Pierce
37 Anthony
20 Washington
of Sarah
  23 .85 19 55 Thomas L.
Washington Attorney
order on file in this
office
J. Pierce
38 Charles
Washington of
Sarah21
  23 ¾ .85 20 18 Thomas L.
Washington Attorney
order on file in this
office
J. Pierce
39 Samuel Ellis
Steam Engine
  26 2.00 52 00 Samuel B. Ellis J. Pierce
40 Name crossed
xxx out &
illegible
            J. Pierce
41 James Gardner
of Samuel Ellis
22
  5 ½ .65 3 57 Samuel B. Ellis J. Pierce
42 Isaac Roby   24 ½ .85 20 82 Isaac
his X mark
Roby
J. Pierce
43 George
Rowland
  4 1.50 6 00 George Rowland J. Pierce
44 Michael
Lowman
  24 .85 20 40 Michael
his X mark
Lowman
J. Pierce
45 William Roby   24 .85 21 03 William Roby J. Pierce
46 James Seaton   25 ½ 1.80 43 20 James Seaton J. Pierce
47 Stanislaus
Ridgley
  24 1.80 43 20 Stanislaus
his X mark
Ridgley
J. Pierce
Total         $ 1232.38      

Navy Yard Washington August 1, 1811 I certify the above is accurate and that those listed above worked against their
certified names (Signed)     John Cassion
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
PAY ROLL for Carpenters, Joiners, Laborers, &c. employed in the
Navy -Yard, Washington.    in the month of July 1811    on the Ship Hornet
No. NAMES STATION Total
Number
of Days
Worked
Price
per
day
Cents
Total
amount
due
each
man.
Dollars
Total
amount
due
each
man
Cents
We Acknowledge
to have
received
of Louis Deblois
Purser
the
several sums
opposite each of
our names,
in full for
the work done
at the Navy-
Yard,
Washington for
the month July
1811
Witness
1 Edward
Grant
Carpenter 17 ¾ 1.81 32 12.5 Edward N. Grant J. Pierce
2 George
Grant
  5 1.81 9 05 George Grant J. Pierce
3 William
Hamden
  1 ¼ 1.81 2 2       his
Wm X Hamden
      mark
J. Pierce
4 Thomas
Jarvis
  26 1.81 17 06 Thos Jarvis J. Pierce
5 Thomas
Young
  9 ½ 1.81 17 19 Thomas Young J. Pierce
6 William
Concklin
Carver23 19 2.06 30 14 Wm M
Concklin
J. Pierce
7 Robert
Brown
Joiner24 18 ¼ 1.56 28 47 Robert Brown J. Pierce
8 William
Burdine25
  22 1.56 34 32       his
Wm X Burdine
      mark
J. Pierce
9 Philip
Bishop
  25 ¾ 1.56 40 17 Philip Bishop J. Pierce
10 Robert
Clarke
  26 1.56 40 56 Robert Clarke J. Pierce
11 George
Crandell
  23 1.56 35 85 G. Crandell J. Pierce
12 Vincent
Cemalier of
John Davis
  11 1.00 11   John Davis J. Pierce
13 John Davis   10 ¼ 1.56 28 47 John Davis J. Pierce
14 Nicholas
26 Fitzpatrick
  14 ¾ 1.56 23 01 Nich
Fitzpatrick
J. Pierce
15 James Fry27   24 ½ 1.56 15 92 James Fry J. Pierce
16 Thomas
Hurdle
  23 ¾ 1.56 37 95 Thomas
Hurdle
J. Pierce
17 John
Meyers
  25 ½ 1.56 39 78 John Meyers J. Pierce
18 James Mc
Farland
  23 ¼ 1.56 36 27 James Mc
Farland
J. Pierce
19 James
McElewaine
of John
Davis
  9 ½ 1.56 14 25 John Davis J. Pierce
20 Barne
Parsons
  25 ¼ 1.56 39 39       his
Barne X Parsons
      mark
J. Pierce
21 John Smith   22 ½ 1.56 34 71       his
John X Smith
      mark
J. Pierce
22 John Smoot

of John
Davis
  11 1.20 13 20 John Davis J. Pierce
23 Jesse
Tenison of
John Davis
  11 1.00 11   John Davis J. Pierce
24 Joseph
Parsons
Carpenters
Laborer
21 ¾ 1.00 21 25       his
Joseph X Parsons
      mark
J. Pierce
25 Henry
Tietzen
  21 ¾ 1.00 21 75 Henry Tiezen J. Pierce
        $668.
  673
30
27
     

Navy Yard Washington August 1, 1811 I certify the above is correct & that the persons listed above have worked the
times against their respective names (Signed)     John Cassion
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
PAY ROLL for Joiners, employed in the Navy -Yard, Washington.
in the month of July 1811    Improvement of the Yard
No. NAMES STATION Total
Number
of Days
Worked
Price
per
day
Cents
Total
amount
due
each
man.
Dollars
Total
amount
due
each
man
Cents
We Acknowledge
to have
received
of Louis Deblois
Purser
the
several sums
opposite each of
our names,
in full for
the work done
at the Navy-
Yard,
Washington for
the month July
1811
Witness
1 Thomas
Allen
Carpenter 7 1.81 12 67 Thomas Allen J. Pierce
2 John Bean
of James
Owner
  13 80 10 40 Jas Owner J. Pierce
3 John Bennot
of James
Owner
  11 80 8 80 Jas Owner J. Pierce
4 Timothy
Crowley
  3 1.81 5 43 Timothy
Crowley
J. Pierce
5 Jesse Evans
of Lemuel
Towsend
  9 ½ 1.00 17 19 Thomas Young J. Pierce
6 William
Hamden
  9 1.81 16 29       his
Wm X Hamden
      mark
J. Pierce
7 George
Harley of

Lemuel
Towsend
  13 1.81 23 53 Lemuel
Towsend
J. Pierce
8 Benjamin
King
  24 1.81 43 44 Benjamin
King
J. Pierce
9 John Lynch   12 ¾ 1.56 40 17 Philip Bishop J. Pierce
10 John
Minitee
  26 1.56 40 56 Robert Clarke J. Pierce
11 William
McDowell
of Rob
Armstead
  23 1.56 35 85 Robert
Armstead
J. Pierce
12 Michael
Quiegley
Jun
  12 ½ 1.00 12 5 Michael
Quiegely
J. Pierce
13 Thomas
Hunter
  10 ¼ 1.56 28 47 John Davis J. Pierce
14 Mahlon
Cooper
Millwright 24 ¼ 2.50 61 25 Mahlon
Cooper
J. Pierce
15 Jonathon
Griddle
  24 ½ 1.56 15 92 Jonathon
Griddle
J. Pierce
16 Isaac Davis
Assistant
Foreman
Joiner 26 2.06 55 50 Isaac Davis J. Pierce
17 Clement
Boswell
  25 ½ 1.56 39 78 Clement
Boswell
J. Pierce
18 Samuel
Fowler
  26 1.56 40 56 Samuel
Fowler
J. Pierce
19 John
Gibbon
  24 ¾ 1.56 14 25 John Davis J. Pierce
20 Robert
Holly
  25 ¼ 1.56 39 39 Robt Holley J. Pierce
21 John Legree
of Jo Davis
  26 1.56 40 56 John Davis J. Pierce
22 William
Thompson
  23 ¾ 1.56 37 05 William
thompson
J. Pierce
23 Edward
Clemente
Laborer 11 1.00 11             his
Edward X Clemente
         mark
J. Pierce
24 Hezekiah
Langley
Laborer 23 ¼ 75 21 25           his
Hezekiah X Langley
         mark
J. Pierce
25 Thomas
Roby
Laborer 21 ¾ 1.00 21 75 Thomas Roby J. Pierce
        $ 674.
   676
51
81
     

Navy Yard Washington August 1, 1811 I certify the above is correct & that the persons listed above have worked
the times against their respective names (Signed)     John Cassion
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
PAY ROLL for Carpenters, Joiners, Laborers , employed in the Navy -
Yard, Washington. in the month of July 1811    General Repairs
No. NAMES STATION Total
Number
of Days
Worked
Price
per
day
Cents
Total
amount
due
each
man.
Dollars
Total
amount
due
each
man
Cents
We Acknowledge
to have
received
of Louis Deblois
Purser
the
several sums
opposite each of
our names,
in full for
the work done
at the Navy-
Yard,
Washington for
the month July
1811
Witness
1 William
Winters
Calker28 1 1.75 1 75         his
Wm X Winters
       mark
J. Pierce
2 Charles
Franklin
  1 1.75 1 75         his
Charles X Franklin
       mark
J. Pierce
3 Solomon
Bond
  1 1.75 1 75         his
Solomon X Bond
       mark
J. Pierce
4 John Martin   1 1.75 1 75         his
John X Martin
       mark
J. Pierce
5 Robert
Armistead
Carpenter 14 ¼ 1.81 25 19 Robert Armistead J. Pierce
6 Thomas
Allen
  5 1.81 14 48 Thomas Allen J. Pierce
7 Edward
Bland
  22 1.81 30 82 Edward Bland J. Pierce
8 John Bean
of James
Owner
  5 1.81 [illegible] [illegible] Jas Owner J. Pierce
9 John Bennet
of James
Owner
  5 1.81 4 [illegible] Jas Owner J. Pierce
10 Timothy
Crowley
  22 1.81 39 82 Timothy
Crowley
J. Pierce
11 George Cox   25 1.81 25 79 George Cox J. Pierce
12 Cornelius
Cohoon
  7 ¼ 1.81 13 12         his
Cornelius X Cohoon
       mark
J. Pierce
13 Thomas
Davis
  18 1.81 58 5 Thos Davis J. Pierce
14 John Dutton   5 ¼ 1.81 9 [illegible] John Davis J. Pierce
15 Jesse Evans
of Lemuel
Townsand
  5 1.00 5 [illegible] Lemuel
Townsand
J. Pierce
16 Philip
Evans of
Lemuel
Townsand
  19 .65 12 25 Philip Evans J. Pierce
17 Edward
Grant
  2 ¼ 1.81 4 27 Edward Grant J. Pierce
18 George
Grant
  19 1.81 34 9 George Grant J. Pierce
19 William
Hamden
  5 1.81 9 5 William
Hamden
J. Pierce
20 George
Hawley of
Lemuel
Townsand
  12 1.81 21 72 Lemuel
Townsand
J. Pierce
21 John Horner   26 1.81 17 06 John Horner J. Pierce
22 John Lynch   8 ½ 1.81 13 38 John Lynch J. Pierce
23 George
Lake
  20 ¾ 1.81 37 55 George Lake J. Pierce
24 William
McDowell
of Robt
Armistead
  4 1.00 4   Robert Armistead J. Pierce
25 Michael
Quigley
Jun
  12 1.00 12   Michael
Quigley
J. Pierce
26 Thomas
Talbert
  4 ½ 1.81 8 17 Walter Turner
for Orders
filed
J. Pierce
27 Dennis
Vermillion
of james
Owner29
  16 ½ 65 10 71 Jas Owner J. Pierce
28 Samuel Winter   25 ¼ 1.81 45 70 Sam Winter J. Pierce
29 Thomas
Young
  6 ½ 1.81 11 76 Thomas Young J. Pierce
30 Thomas
Hunter
  21 1.81 38 01 Thomas
Hunter
J. Pierce
31 Peter
Carrico
Carpenter
Laborer
19 ½ 1.00 19 50 Peter B.
Carrico
J. Pierce
32 Elisha
Padgett
  23 ¼ 1.00 23 25         his
Elisha X Padgett
       mark
J. Pierce
33 Samuel
Smallwood
  8 ½ 1.00 8 50 Samuel
Smallwood
J. Pierce
34 Hen 30
Smallwood
of James
Tench
  24 ½ 1.00 15 18         his
James X Tench
       mark
J. Pierce
35 James
Thelkold
  24 ½ 1.00 21 50 James
Thelkold
J. Pierce
36 John
Coulson
Calker 9 1.50 13 50 John Coulson J. Pierce
37 George
Diamond of
Jno
Hebron31
  24 ½ 80 19 60 John Hebron J. Pierce
38 John
Newman of
Jno Hebron
  14 65 9 10 John Hebron J. Pierce
39 Edward
Vidler
Overseer
Laborer 26 1.50 39   Edward Vidler J. Pierce
40 Anthony
Thorton
  26 1.40 36 40 Anthony
Thorton
J. Pierce
41 Bill Barnes
of Thomas
32 Howard
  21 75 15 75 Thos Howard J. Pierce
42 Jess
Boarman of
H M Queen
  13 ¼ 75 10 31 John Queen
Administrator
of Mrs. Queen
J. Pierce
43 William
Clark
  24 75 18           his
William X Clark
       mark
J. Pierce
44 Daniel
Casey
  15 75 11 25 Daniel Casey J. Pierce
45 Gerrard
Davis
  21 75 15 75         his
Gerrard X Davis
       mark
J. Pierce
46 Francis
Davis
  23 ¼ 75 17 43 Francis Davis J. Pierce
47 Abram
Davis of
Thomas
  8 ¾ 75 6 56 Thos Davis J. Pierce
48 Morty
Garroughty
  15 75 11 25         his
Morty X Garroughty
       mark
J. Pierce
49 James Gill   19 ½ 15 14           his
James X Gill
       mark
J. Pierce
50 Sam Grant
of Miss
Shantley
  19 ¾ 15 14 81 Eliza Shantley J. Pierce
51 Charles
Hambleton
  16 ½ 15 12 37         his
Charles X Hambleton
       mark
J. Pierce
52 James
Harvey of
Anthony
Thorton
  25 75 18 75 Anthony
Thorton
J. Pierce
53 Rodger
Howard of
Thomas
  24 ¼ 75 18 18 Thos Howard J. Pierce
54 Andrew of
Thomas
Howard33
  25 ¾ 75 19 31 Thos Howard J. Pierce
55 Harry
Hicks34
  7 75 5 25         his
Harry X Hicks
       mk
J. Pierce
56 Henry
McCoy
  31 ¼ 75 15 93         his
Henry X McCoy
       mk
J. Pierce
57 Richard
Clane
  17 ¾ 75 13 31         his
Richard X McClane
       mk
J. Pierce
58 Locklin
McKinnon
  15 ¼ 75 11 43         his
Locklin X McKinnon
       mk
J. Pierce
59 Joseph
McDowell
  16 ¾ 75 12 56         his
Joseph X McDowell
       mk
J. Pierce
60 James
McDunnick
  21 ¼ 75 15 93         his
James X McDunnick
       mk
J. Pierce
61 Bob
Maddox of
Notley
  18 ¼ 75 13 65 William Pnasit
order on file
J. Pierce
62 Ned of
Mary Nevit
35
  26 85 22 10         her
Mary X Nevit
       mk
J. Pierce
63 Thomas
OBrian
  26 75 19 50 T. OBrian J. Pierce
64 John
ONeale of
William
  19 ½ 75 14 62 Wm O Neale J. Pierce
65 John Orm   25 ½ 75 19 12         his
John X Orm
       mk
J. Pierce
66 Pad Paine of
the Queens
  12 ¼ 75 9 18 John Queen
Administrator
of the M. Queen
J. Pierce
67 Luke Rivers
of Michael
Low
  15 ½ 75 11 62 Mich Low J. Pierce
68 Peter Selby
of Philip36
  22 ¾ 75 17 06 Joseph Enep
order on file
J. Pierce
69 Sam Selby
of Verlinda
  24 75 18           her
Verlinder X Selby
       mk
J. Pierce
70 Cornelius
Smith
  19 ¼ 75 14 43 Cornelius Smith J. Pierce
71 Harry
Smallwood
of John
Gibson
  25 ¾ 75 19 31         his
John X Gibson
       mk
J. Pierce
72 James
Tench
  25 75 18 75         his
James X Tench
       mk
J. Pierce
73 Matthew
Toole
  4 ¼ 75 3 18         his
Matthew X Toole
       mk
J. Pierce
74 Peter
Whalen
  7 ¼ 75 5 43 [blank space
no signature]
J. Pierce
75 Dick White   11 ¼ 75 8 43         his
Dick X White
       mk
J. Pierce
76 Zeph
Woodland
of William
ONeal
  22 ½ 75 16 87 Wm ONeal J. Pierce
77 Frank of
Mrs
Vermillion
  14 ¾ 75 13 11 Henrietta
Vermillion
J. Pierce
78 William
Brown
  8 ¾ 75 6 56         his
William X Brown
       mk
J. Pierce
79 Dennis of
Mrs Evans
  13 ¾ 75 10 31 Jesse Barnes J. Pierce
80 Michael
McGrath
  10 ¾ 75 8 06         his
Michael X Mc Grath
       mk
J. Pierce
81 Arch Savoy   12 ½ 75 9 15         his
Arch X Savoy
       mk
J. Pierce
82 Cupid slater
of Major
Shanley
  11 ¼ 75 8 43 Maria Shanley J. Pierce
83 Bill Smith
of Betsey
Magruder
  11 ½ 75 8 62 Elizabeth Magruder
by Maria Shanley
order on file
J. Pierce
84 Toby
Forrest of
Betsey
Magruder
  11 ½ 75 8 62 Elizabeth Magruder
by Maria Shanley
order on file37
J. Pierce
85 Walter
Langley
  11 ¼ 75 8 43         his
Walter X Langley
       mk
J. Pierce
86 Gerrard
Brooks of
David
Dobbins
  10 ¼ 75 7 68 David
Dobbins
J. Pierce
87 Jo Evans
cart driver
  25 ½ 75 19 12         his
Jo X Evansy
       mk
J. Pierce
88 Stephen of
Sally
Adams
  25 ½ 75 18 93 Thos Howard
order on file
this office
J. Pierce
89 John Forrest
of Richard
  18 ¼ 75 13 68 Rich Forrest J. Pierce
90 Jim Forrest
of Richard
  16 ¼ 75 12 18 Rich Forrest J. Pierce
91 Ignatius
How
  20 75 15   Ignatius House J. Pierce
92 [illegible]              
93 William
Boone
Navy Yard
Washington
above is correct
& that the
persons listed
above have
Calker 9          
92 William
Boone
Calker 9 1.50 13 50         his
William X Boone
       mk
J. Pierce
93 Joseph
Athee
Laborer 10 ½ 75 7 87         his
Joseph X Athee
       mk
J. Pierce

Navy Yard Washington August 1, 1811 I certify the above is correct & that the persons listed above have worked
the times against their respective names (Signed)     John Cassion
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
PAY ROLL for Painters , employed in the Navy - Yard, Washington.
in the month of July 1811
No. NAMES STATION Total
Number
of Days
Worked
Price
per
day
Cents
Total
amount
due
each
man.
Dollars
Total
amount
due
each
man
Cents
We Acknowledge
to have
received
of Louis Deblois
Purser
the
several sums
opposite each of
our names,
in full for
the work done
at the Navy-
Yard,
Washington for
the month July
1811
Witness
1 Patrick Kain Painters
Shop
26 2.50 65   Patrick Kain J. Pierce
2 James Mc
Donald
  18 ¼ 1.50 27 37 John Donald  
3 James
Gardner
  17 ½ 1.25 31 87       his
James X Gardner
      mk
 
4 John Gibson   25 1.00 25         his
John X Gibson
      mk
 
5 Jess Cross
of Patrick
Kain
  18 65 11 70 Patrick Kain  
6 John
Rawlings
Laborer
  26 75 19

180
29

50
      his
John X Rawlings
      mk
 

Navy Yard Washington August 1, 1811 I certify the above is correct & that the persons listed above have worked
the times against their respective names (Signed)     John Cassion
 

 

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 45, section 70. Payrolls and Lists of Civilian Personnel at Navy Yards, Washington Navy Yard, Payrolls of Mechanics and Laborers, 1811
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Endnotes:

 

1 National Archives and Records Administration Records, Group 45, Naval Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library DNA, RG45, SNL, 1804, Vol. 6, No.278 (M149, Roll No.6)

2 General Orders for the Regulation of the Navy Washington DC circa 1833 -1850 reflects how these regulations were implemented over time at the Navy Yard.
http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/wny1850rules.htm

3 Peck, Taylor A History of The Washington Navy Yard and U.S. Naval Gun Factory, United States Naval Institution Annapolis Maryland 1949 p. 45

4 The figure of fifty apprentices is found in a letter to the Board of Navy Commissioners from Lt. John Harradan, dated 5 August 1815. On 11 May 1815, Commodore John Rodgers, President of the Board of Navy Commissioners, writing to WNY Commandant Thomas Tingey bluntly stated the Navy's view of the overall work atmosphere at the Yard prior to 1814.

                     It's the intention of the Board of the Navy Commissioners, to reestablish the Navy Yard at this place, as a building Yard only, & while stating to you this intention, it may not be improper for them to make you acquainted with their views generally with respect to the establishment.

                     They have witnessed in many of our Navy Yards & this particularly pressure in the employment of characters unsuited for the public service - maimed & unmanageable slaves for the accommodation of distressed widows & orphans & indigent families - apprentices for the accommodation of their masters - & old men & children for the benefit of their families & parents . These practices must cease - none must be employed but for the advantage of the public, & this Yard instead of rendering the navy odious to the nation from the scenes of want & extravagance which it has too long exhibited must serve as a model on which to prefect a general system of economy.

5 Dudley, William S., et al. eds. The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History, Vol. 1. Washington, DC: Naval Historical Center, 1985. P. 524 ALS, DNA, RG45, CL, 1812, Vol.3, No. 102 missing blacksmith petition was recently found and a copy is now in the collection of the Navy Library. In the part, the WNY white blacksmiths petition reflects the anger of white smiths toward black employees. "Your petitions further complain that they [ar]e now subjected to the insolence of negroes employed in the Navy Yard, altho' no redress is [suffic]iently provided for your petitioners, against the misconduct of blacks.". This 1812 petition was signed by Henry Kurtz, James Bury, Edward Wayson, William Parsons, Stanislaus Ridgley, Fredeick Bopp, Seth Robbinson, Charles Sanderson, Willaim Ardey and Henry Clark.

6 John Davis of Abel, Master Plumber owned a number of slaves.
For a brief biography of John Davis see
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/bio_davis_j.html

7 Joe Byers is listed in Secretary of the Navy, Robert Smith's letter to Thomas Tingey, dated 16 May 1808, Subject, slaves to be retained at WNY.

8 Jim Brown, a slave, listed in the 16 May 1808 letter

9 Washington Bowie, is listed as slave in a letter from Thomas Tingey to Robert Smith dated 16 April 1808. His master was recorded as Gustavius Ward. Commodore Tingey informed Secretary Smith that he had discharged Bowie and twenty other slaves in accord with Secretary Smith's instruction. Washington Bowie was apparently sold to Walter Cox and reemployed at WNY.

10 Luke Cannon was listed as a slave in the 16 May 1808 letter; he appears to be a free black employee since on the July 1811 Pay Roll Luke Cannon is signing for his own wages.

11 Possibly "Jerry Gratton", a slave of Azariah Gratton, listed in the 22 April 1808 letter of Commodore Thomas Tingey to Secretary of the Navy Robert Smith.

12 Henry Kurtz later became Foremen of the WNY Anchor Shop see Commodore Thomas Tingey's letter to the Board of Navy Commissioners dated 3 August 1816.

13 Benjamin King, Master Blacksmith (1779-1837)
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/bio_king_b.html
owned slaves some of whom he used as apprentices. The anchor shop was considered one of the most demanding and dangerous of all the work assigned in the Yard. Benjamin Latrobe recounts Master Blacksmith Benjamin King as a severe and harsh task master 'Ben. King is forging the Crank. He has thought proper to alter his opinion and is making it the most tremendous lump of Iron, the Necks 4 inches in diameter, the squares 5 inches. He now thinks it too weak. He has been swearing and whipping his black Strikers at a terrible rate these two days past ... "The Letters of Benjamin Henry Latrobe Benjamin Latrobe", vol 1 p. 911 to James Smallwood dated 5 Oct 1810

14 Frederick Bopp, blacksmith, was from Germany and is mentioned in a 15 April 1817 letter from Thomas Tingey to the Board of Navy Commissioners stating that Fred Bopp, a blacksmith, a good hand ( a German) has worked in the Yard from 1805 - the five years of his application for citizenship will expire by the sitting of the June Court when he will obtain it."

15 George Plowden may be a slave of Alexandra Smoot who owned and leased other slaves to WNY e.g. Joe Smoot.

16 Joe Smoot, a slave, listed in the 16 May 1808 letter.

17 Joe Thompson is one of the slaves listed in the 16 May 1808 letter. Thompson is also mentioned in
the Diary Of Michael Shiner                 http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/shinerdiary.html
page 22 entry for 1828 On 8 April 1829 in a List of Colored men free & Slaves now Employ'd in the Blacksmiths & Engine department & in Ordinary at the Navy Yard Washington. Joe Thompson is again listed as employed in the WNY Blacksmith Shop and a freeman. His occupation is described as "striker".

18 Charles Venable was indentured to Benjamin King Master black smith in 1807
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/appind_venable_c.html

19 Edward Wayson was born in Maryland about 1771 he is listed on the 1860 census for the District of Columbia as a Blacksmith age 89. 1860 Census for the District of Columbia, Roll M 653_104; 651 Image 88.

20 Anthony or Andy Washington is a slave listed in the 16 May 1808 letter

21 Charles Washington is a slave listed in the 16 May 1808 letter

22 Samuel B. Ellis, an Englishman , whom Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the Engineer who designed many of the building at WYN, helped to secure employment as the operator of the first steam engine. Ellis began work at WNY in January 1811. The Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe Vol. 1 1805-1810 p 910n3

23 In the early shipyards the ship carver was a distinct trade, figurehead and other carvings frequently decorated naval and commercial wooden ships in the age of sail. Carvings on a vessel were meant to show pride and to capture the public's attention. Naval and commercial vessels were required to have a name and the carvings frequently reflected that name

24 Joiners specialized in ship interior carpentry such as ship cabins, berths, and hull spaces.

25 William Burdine (1780 -1858) "Mr. Burdine came to this city in the year 1804, and was one of the first hands employed in the pattern department of the Navy Yard , after the establishment of the Government works here; and few vessels built for the U.S. Navy since that period but what bear the marks of his handiwork; for, until within the last nine months, he has hardly ever been missed a day from his post in the pattern shop, during a space of fifty-five years, when the works there have been in operation. In the time of the war of 1812, Mr. Burdine, with many other citizens, shouldered his musket and went forth to do his duty in the field. He was a member of Captain Burch's company, during the war, and was one of the guards appointed to superintend the burning of the Anacostia bridge on the occasion of the visit of His Majesty's troops to Washington in August, 1814. He was the most active of the founders of the Navy Yard Beneficial Society in 1831, of which society he was a member up to the day of his death. In February last he was completely paralyzed (having been partially so for the last nine years) and from that stroke never recovered so as to be able to speak, to the time when called upon to render up his final account to the Great Author of all existence."
(Congressional Cemetery plot R137/252). see Congressional Cemetery on line obituaries
http://www.congressionalcemetery.org/

26 Nicholas Fitzpatrick (Joiner) is mentioned in a 15 April 1817 letter from Thomas Tingey to the Board of Navy Commissioners stating that Fitzpatrick came to the United States "at or under 8 years of age - having served all their youth to the trade and worked long in the yard - consider themselves citizens."

27 James Fry ( Joiner) is also mentioned in a 15 April 1817 letter from Thomas Tingey to the Board of Navy Commissioners stating that Fry and Fitzpatrick came to the United States "at or under 8 years of age - having served all their youth to the trade and worked long in the yard - consider themselves citizens."

28 Caulking is the process by which wooden ships are made watertight. To seal the cracks between the ship's wooden planks, caulkers use a caulking iron and mallet to stuff them with oakum (pieces of old rope) soaked in pitch (a dark, sticky substance like tar). When the wood gets wet, it swells, narrowing the cracks between the planks. The oakum also swells, ensuring that absolutely no water can leak through the cracks. Caulking requires a great degree of skill and experience to be done properly.

Both free and enslaved African Americans worked as caulkers also spelled "calkers". At WNY men such as George Bell, Moses Liverpool and Nicholas Franklin were able to purchase their freedom, support their families and become leaders in the African American Community. WNY and other naval and commercial shipyards in the first half of the 1800s employed large numbers of black caulkers. Although blacks also worked in other maritime trades (although they were banned from the prestigious position of ship carpenter), their roles as caulkers is especially significant because they dominated this industry.

29 Dennis Vermillion's, brother John Vermillion, was also employed at WNY as a boat builder apprentice in 1812
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/appind_vermillion_j.html

30 Henry or Harry Smallwood is a slave listed on the 16 May 1808 letter.

31 John Hebron, Master Caulker, WNY employed a number of indentured apprentices; "George Diamond" is possibly George Liedman Morgan Dement who was apprenticed to Hebron 20 June 1808.

32 Bill Barnes, a slave, listed on the 16 May 1808 letter, his master Thomas Howard, was Clerk of the Yard and was also the master of Michael Shiner (1805 -1880) see The Diary of Michael Shiner relating to the History of the Washington Navy Yard
http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/shinerdiary.html
Bill Barnes, mentioned in Shiner's entry for 1828 page 22.

33 Thomas Howard (1779-1832), overseer of the WNY laborers, later Clerk of the Yard owned slaves: Bill Barnes, Rodger Howard, Andrew and later purchased Michael Shiner. For a biography of Thomas Howard and transcription of his last will see:
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/howard_will.html

34 Harry Hicks, listed in the 16 May 1808 letter as a slave; he appears to be a free black employee since on the July 1811 Pay Roll Harry Hicks like Luke Cannon is signing for his own wages.

35 Ned Nevit is listed in a letter from Secretary of the Navy Robert Smith to Commodore Thomas Tingey dated 19 May 1808 as a slave to be retained in the service of WNY.

36 Peter Selby is probably the slave listed in the 16 May 1808 letter as "Peter Selly".

37 Elizabeth Magruder owned a substantial number of slaves, her last will, dated 27 March 1827, mentions a "negro man Bob Forrest" she also had a female slave named "Toby" its unclear what if any relations these individuals had to Toby Forrest.
Provine, Dorothy District of Colombia Free Negro Registers 1821-1861 vol. 1 p 27

38 See : Biography of Louis Deblois

 

Bibliography:

 

Brown, Letitia W. Free Negroes in the District of Columbia 1790-1846 Oxford University Press New York 1972

Dudley, William S., et al. eds. The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History, Vol. 1. Washington, DC: Naval Historical Center, 1985

Green, Constance McLaughlin. The Secret City: A History of Race Relations in the Nation's Capital.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967.

____. Washington: A History of the Capital 1800 -1950.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1962.

_____. The Economic Position of Free Blacks in the District of Columbia
in The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 58, No. 1. (Jan.1973), pp.61-72.

Latrobe, Benjamin Henry The Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe Volume 1-3 edited John C. Van Horne Yale University Press New Haven 1984 -1988.

Maloney, Linda M. The Captain from Connecticut: The Life and Naval Times of Isaac Hull.
Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1986.

Peck, Taylor Round-Shot to Rockets A History of the Washington Navy Yard and United States Naval Gun Factory.
United States Naval Institute, Annapolis, Maryland 1949

Sharp, John G. History of the Washington Navy Yard Civilian Workforce 1799-1962.
Stockton, CA: Vindolanda Press, 2005.
http://www.history.navy.mil/books/sharp/WNY_History.pdf

Shiner, Michael The Diary of Michael Shiner Relating to the History of the Washington Navy Yard 1813-1869
. Navy Department Library online, transcribed with an Introduction and Notes John G. Sharp 2007.
http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/shinerdiary.html

Tremian, Mary. Slavery in the District of Columbia: The Policy of Congress and the Struggle for Abolition.
New York: G.B. Putnam's Sons, 1898.

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