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Washington Navy Yard
1808 Reduction In Force

Furnished by : John Sharp


1808 Reduction In Force

Historical Background:
Beginning in the Winter of 1807, the Embargo Act, led to a tightening of the naval appropriations. In response, on 21 April 1808, Secretary of the Navy, Robert Smith, gave Commodore Thomas Tingey direction to reduce his workforce at the Washington Navy Yard.
"Our expenses at the Yard must be reduced. They are at present astonishingly great. You will take a particular view of all the different departments & of each class of laborers the work to be performed, and number of the laborers necessary to perform the minimum of labor necessary to perform it & report the sum to me in your opinion as to the retrenchment which must most economically be made. You will at sometime send to me a muster roll of all the persons of every description employed in the Yard designating the monthly or daily pay allowed to each & in case of black whether they be free or Slaves & where they were Slaves the persons to whom they respectively belong and you will communicate all such other circumstances as may be know to you or as may be disclosed to you whist you shall be making the enquiry, herein directed, which maybe calculated to assist in the retrenching in the most judicious manner the expenses of the yard."1

On 5 May 1808, Commodore Thomas Tingey, responded with his plan to reduce his workforce in accord with Secretary Smith's direction. As the Secretary required, Commodore Tingey, listed his workforce plus the names of his Black employees both free and enslaved. To accomplish this reduction Tingey had ordered Naval Constructor, Josiah Fox, to examine his workforce and prepare a separate list of his employees with details as to how he would set about reduction. As can be seen in his letter below Fox felt very strongly about his workforce and his opposition to any reduction led to his dismissal.

At Washington Navy Yard reductions in force could be devastating for employees since the vast majority of the Yard were per diem workers, paid a daily wage but hired and let go as the needs of the naval service dictated. As such these early Yard workers were particularly vulnerable since any prolonged unemployment could rapidly lead to destitution; most workers had little savings to fall back on while imprisonment for debt within the District of Columbia was a daily reality sanctioned in law. Commodore Tingey and Naval Constructor, Josiah Fox, both attempted to mitigate the number Yard workers to be dismissed but while both men were concerned about the Yard workforce they each had organizational and personal differences that were hard to reconcile if not impossible.

In the 19th century the traditional naval system of command and control consisted of a sea going captain whose word was law and whose orders were obeyed by all aboard without question. The Commanding Officer of a naval vessel at sea literally held the power of life and death. On land and in command of a naval shipyard the situation was markedly different, especially if that land was the Washington Navy Yard. Here only blocks from the nation's capital, Yard employees like Josiah Fox (1763-1847) Naval Constructor (Naval Constructors were naval civilian employees comparable to naval architect or engineer) who often had different or conflicting agendas than that of the WNY Commandant. Commodore Thomas Tingey WNY Commandant was born the son of an Anglican Clergyman in the City of London. Josiah Fox was born into to a middle class Quaker (Society of Friends) family at Falmouth, Cornwall England. Both Josiah Fox and Thomas Tingey were immigrants to United States. Each had made a name for himself, Thomas Tingey as a successful merchant captain and later for his naval victories against the French. Josiah Fox had trained as a shipwright in the Royal Dockyard Plymouth and quickly established a reputation as naval architect and on 4 May 1804 he was appointed "Naval Constructor and Ship Carpenter" for the Washington Navy Yard at the salary $2, 000 per annum plus a house for himself and family, fuel to heat the dwelling, the liberty to take as many apprentices as he should choose. Fox's salary was similar to that of Commandant Thomas Tingey.

All most from the start their relationship was rocky and neither got on with the other. Josiah Fox considered himself as reporting to the Secretary of the Navy, Robert Smith and looked to the Navy Department for his instructions. Thomas Tingey on the other hand, as the WNY Commandant, was used to being obeyed and expected deference from all civilians employed at WNY. In 1806 Fox requested a furlough to conduct some private business and received the Secretary of the Navy approval but bypassed Commandant Tingey; this slight was not forgotten. Josiah Fox attempted to better organize his workforce along more rational line was met with skepticism by a great many employees who thought Fox's Quaker notions of economy and simplicity would reduce their hours of work. Another cause of friction with many of the men and the Master Mechanics centered about Fox's move to stop or reduce some popular practices such as breaks for whiskey and grog which Commodore Tingey out of a sense of noblesse oblige was willing to tolerate. Perhaps though in the end it was Fox's ardent Federalism which gradually lost him the support of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

Thomas Tingey considered Fox's failure to address his request for leave to him insubordinate. The result was as historian Henry Hibben noted "He and the Commandant seem not at all times or indeed any time to have been in hearty accord."2 The real issue was Josiah Fox believed he should rightfully report to the Secretary of the Navy who had hired him and who provided for his salary. In addition, the Department of the Navy accorded Josiah Fox a large workforce of mechanics for ship design and repair and a separate budget and as a consequence he and his successors were often able to set their own agenda and work schedules which led to repeated conflicts with WNY Commandants. Below is the list Josiah Fox provided of his workers and his budget for 1808. Fox was discharged on 11 May 1809 by Navy, Secretary Paul Hamilton, after Fox refused to cut his workforce in compliance with a reduced Congressional appropriation.

The list drawn up lists 105employees by name and gives their occupations. This list is not a complete muster or pay document rather it was for use for the Secretary of the Navy to plan a reduction in force. One of Secretary Robert Smith's concerns was to learn the number and occupations of black employees both free and enslaved. Smith wanted to discharge as many slaves as possible although this proved far more difficult then he or his successors envisioned.

This list also includes some notable free black employees. Among them are WNY caulkers Moses Liverpool and Nicholas Franklin who in 1807 with George Bell helped establish the Bell School. These three black men were former slaves who used their wages, to help found the private Bell School. The Bell School was the first school open to black children in the District of Columbia. Notable too among the free black employees is caulker Cato Day. Cato Day's name is listed on an 1807 reward announcement as possible accomplice to an escaped female slave. Lastly there is caulker Henry Adams who had the courage to write to the Secretary of the Navy requesting higher comparable pay.

 

Transcription Method:
This transcription was made from the National Archives and Records Administration microfilm of the letter of Naval Constructor Josiah Fox dated 25 April 1808 and the letter of Commodore Thomas Tingey dated 5 May 1808. In transcribing these letters I have striven to adhere as closely as possible to the original in spelling, capitalization, punctuation and abbreviation (e.g. "Do" or "do" for ditto or same as above) including the retention of dashes, ampersands and overstrikes. Racial designations such as white man, black, etc are those used in the original documents. On the enclosure employee's names appear to be arranged by department. Where I was unable to print 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 letters and enclosure. All transcriptions of documents quoted from the National Archives and Records RG45 are mine.

John G. Sharp       June 27, 2008


  These images were hard to work from but perhaps this detail will suffice
           ( the original documents are in poor shape).

The names listed here by Naval Constructor Josiah Fox
include African Americans :
Henry Adams, Cato Day, Moses Liverpool and Nicholas Franklin
           all caulkers at Washington Navy Yard.


                                   Navy Yard Washington                       25 April 1808
	
	I have received your letter of the 22 Instant relative to the number of Workmen 
&c under my Direction which are which are contained in the following exhibit Vizt 
Foreman Shipwrights / assistant do and Quartermen.of Ship Carpenters6
- - - - Ship Carpenters351
- - - - - Apprentices to do &c. 9
- - - - - -Boys to turn Grindstones 4
      { 1 Foreman1
Caulkers{ Caulkers12
    4 { Apprentices do2
      { Oakum Boys 2 Hammers &c do 4 6
Gun Carriage{1 Foreman1
workers {Workmen2
      {Apprentice1
Mast Makers{1Foreman1
      {Workmen5
      {Apprentices3
Sawyers 5 {Sawyers- 5 & Laborers assisting as such 27
nspectors {Inspectors & Apprentice do 12
borer work {Borers, bolt devices, Carpenters Laborers14
Carvers-    {Carver 61
     ========
  128
turn over-
Workmen &c brought over128
 
      6 Gun Boats 
Quartermen2
   Carpenters25
   Sawyers4
   Laborers9
Apprentices ( 6 of whom belong to the Yard)9
Boy to turn Grindstones 1
1 Clerk1
  =======
  179 in all

 

With respect to the number of Workmen that might be discharged to reduce the expenses of the Yard, I can only say that the Circumstances must depend altogether on view of the Government (which I am entirely ignorant of) and of the existing times - If any of the Frigates are to be equipped for service and others taken in hand to repair and conserved this present Summer that cannot be affected without a large force. Independently

Where repairs are protracted to any length of time that the delay already taken place will not only defuse itself more extensively , but by causing destruction of the serving Timber, under repairs now more difficult and expensive.

It must be well know to you Sir that some of our first frigates are at this time almost perishing for want of repair and daily getting worse particularly the New York, President and Congress the Wales of the former almost dropping off her sides, and as we are now daily receiving supplies of good materials that has ever before fallen to our lot and the Summer season advancing then labor can be applied to the most advantage. I am compelled to say that I should think a reduction of the number of workmen at this time, to retrench the expenses only political (unless the appropriations are found sufficient) that the work should be pursued by the present number of workmen with all possible vigor. The only person I think that can be conveniently discharged is the Carver he having nearly completed his works on hand; his service may not be wanted many months. The foregoing reports and observations are very respectfully communicated and with great respect I am -

[Signed]       Josiah Fox
John Cassin Esquire 7
Master Commandant

 


Shipwright &c under the direction of Mr. Fox-       [25 April 1808]
James Owner   Foreman. 8 . . . 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p Day . . . . . . . . 325
Wm Smith   Assistant Ditto. 10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281
Four Quartermen. . . 11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ea . 2.06. . . . . . . . 1024
Forty two Shipwrights . . . . white . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . " . 2.16. . . . . . . . 8652
Eight . . . . " . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ". . . . . " . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ." . 1.81. . . . . . . . 1448
One blackman of Mr. Cocke . 12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .   
One Ditto of. . . . . Mr. Fox . 12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .   
      Caulkers   
John Hebron foreman. . 14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .256
John Coleson Journeyman. . 14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .175
Blacks    Jim Allen of Henry Allen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .175
     "        Solomon Bond - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .175
     "        Robt Claggett    } . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .175
                                        } of J. Clagett. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .   
     "        Aaron Claggett   } . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .175
     "        Henry Adams 15. Free . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .175
White man    Geo. Adams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .175
Black . .    Cato Day ..16 . . . . . Free . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .175
   do . .    Nic Franklin. . . . . . do 17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .175
White man    James Gunner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .175
Black . .    Moses Liverpool. . . . . . . free 18. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .   
   D: . .    J. Oliver. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .   
   
Apprentices to J. Hebron two / one at 1,20. one 1.75295
   
Black Boys . . . Aaron of Thos Davis 80
. . . . . . . . . . . . Andy Davis of Wm Smith 65
Ditto Reamers     B. Collins . . . . . . . free  80
S. . . . . . . . . . . . Peter Selby . . . . . . . of Phillip Selbey 19  80
S. . . . . . . . . . . . Bill Holmes. . . . . . . . of Joseph Cassion  80
S. . . . . . . . . . . . Dick Hamilton. . . . . . of Francis Hamilton  80
======================================================================= ============
Gun Carriage } James Badington foreman 216
makers . . . . . } Two journeymen Robert Rose 187
                      }                           Robert Dillon 206
                      } One Apprentice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120

Apprentices of Mr. Fox in addition to the first part    [25 April 1808]
Two apprentices of Josiah Fox at 1.60 p. day
three ditto ----of----- ditto-----at p.day 80
Charles Cannon of Jas Owner ----------
Thomas Talbert of ditto
James Carberry of Thomas Carberry 20
Robert Bentley of George Piney
Geo. Hentley of Lemuel C. Tousand 21
Benj Smith of William Smith
$ 3.20
2.40
1.00
1.00
80
1.00
1.00
1.00
Laborers under Mr. Fox in addition to the first page.
==========================================
Henry Featzer, ...........white,
Five Borers,..................Ditto
Thirteen Laborers ....................................Ditto ......ea 80............
One ..............................."..........................."............"...............
Henry Hicks, Black; of Mrs. Evans..............................................
Bill Bean ...........of T. Howard 22
Rodger Howard of ......Ditto ......Slave
Zeph. Western of T Catowell.....................................................................
 
Hezekiah Smallwood of Sam N. Smallwood ............................................
 
 
1.20
5.00
10.00
 
1.00
1.00
1.00
1.00
 
1.00
 $37.25

 

Black Smith &c    [25 April 1808]
Benjamin King 23 ------------- Master------------
John Davis of Abel 24             Assistant
Seven Journeymen . . . ea. 1.80 p day--------
 
four Journeymen . . . . . . . ea. 1.70 p day--------
 
Apprentice William Sanderson of Benj King
     Eight journeymen . . . . . . . .ea. 1.50 p day
Apprentice Bill Ardrey of Ben King 25
B. Slave - Tom King - of Ditto- - -
d. D: Bill Clabone of Dan Beat
     John Barber Apprentice of Will. McGee
                 {Geo Mc Coy--------------------------
white men {Joseph Roberts-----------------------
                 { Francis Dyson-----------------------
B. . . . . .      Three Slaves of Sarah Washington
d.   Slave . . Jo. Thompson of Walter Clarke- -
 
d.   d.      26Jo Smoot of Alexandra Smoot- - -
d.   d.      Pompey Slater of Ditto
d.   d.      Luke Cannon27 of Tho. Fenwick
d.   d.      Jo Edwards of David Dobbins hired
d.   d.      Jim Brown of T. Murray - -- -
white man ...Geo Downs
Ditto .....    . .Geo Eaget
S. . . . .     ..Jo Byers28 of Captain John Davidson
white man John Bean
S.      Davy Bean of Geo Bean
White man .. James Carroll
Apprentices Geo Barth of John Davis
     "      Ben Booth of Ditto
     "      29 Char. Venable of Benj King
     "      Hamilton Perry of ditto
white man Hen Sawyer of
S.             Nat. Duckett - Magruder of Georgetown
$ 2.40
12.00
6.80
1.    
12.00
1     
1     
12.00
1     
1     
1     
1     
80
80
80
2.50
80
80
 [illegible]
80
80
80
80
85
85
 80
 
85
65
80
80
 65
85
 
85
 $ 60.90

 

 

Laborers    [25 April 1808]
            30Thomas Howard... Overseer -----------------------150
            Daniel Dobbins ........ Ditto ............................. 150
            Eighteen White Laborers ................ea 75 p. day1350
            &Six free Black .......................... "........ " .......450
Slaves Jo Button of William Small .............NY.................  75
            Blanton Dyson of Edw. Fitzpatrick ......hired...........  75
            William Bean of Colmore Bean........NY.....................  75
            Caesar Dyson of William Dyson ......NY...................  75
            George Gratton of William Boswell {moved from the city........  75
            Phil Hammond of Verlinda Selby...............................  75
            Bill Hamilton of Frederick Hamilton..........................  75
            William Mason of Alexa Smoot....................................  75
            Sander Naylor of John Naylor.......................................  75
            Nace ......d............Ditto.................................................  75
            Ned Nevitt of Mary Nevitt............................................  75
            Geo: Vigunet of Richard Vigunet .......NY....................  75
            Jim Standard of Tim Catowell.....................................  75
            Charles Smoot of Alexandra Smoot.............................  75
            Geo. Smallwood of Sam. N. Smallwood ......................  75
            Jo. Washington of Sara Washington ............................  75
            Tom Wood .........Daniel Brant .....................................  75
            Dick Washington of Sarah Washington ......................  75
            William Baker of Thomas Wheat................................  75
Add One free Black  75
 $ 36.00

 

Sail Makers    [25 April 1808]
===================================================================
            William Sanford.....................Master .....................   
            Holden Spenser ....................foreman ................... 206
            William Spenser ........Journeyman ....................150
            Two Apprentices .....of W. Sanford .........ea 1.50 300
            Two Ditto.......of .............." ....................ea 1.00 200
             75
            One Ditto .......of ................" ......................................  75
  =============
  9.31
Riggers   
==================================================   
               Barth Byant Master   
            Four Journeymen ..................ea 1.50600
            Moses Taylor Laborer .................  00
            Hugh Jones " ..............................  75
Slave    Jo. Mason ......of Jo Cassin .....................................  75
  =============
  850
Joiners   
==================================================   
               Shadrach Davis......32......Master   
            Two Journeymen............ea..........2.06.................. 412
            Twenty four Journeymen...ea......1.56......................3744
            William Burdine 33 later Apprentice of S. Davis, 156
            two apprentices.............of Ditto ea 80...................160
            John Meyers ... Apprentice of Ditto..............120
            James Mc Elwaine ..................of ".....................  80
            William Fowler, Sawyer ..........................................150
Slave    Jason Postan , Sawyer of Barth Poston 100
  =============
  $ 52.07

 

Mast Makers    [25 April 1808]
===================================================================
            Peter Gardner.34 ..........Foreman ...... per day...............300
            two journeyman...... of Ditto ea ..".......206.......... 412
            two journeymen ........of " ..............."........160320
            Slave one Davey Gardiner Ditto....do....... 180
            Three Apprentices of P . Gardner ............. 80 240
  =============
  $ 14.52
     
Block Makers   
            John Cummins Master 250
            John Mace Assistant 35 ..................ea 1.50 150
            Nine Journeymen .................ea per day ....140 ............1260
            One Apprentice " ..............................  75
            One Laborer......of Jo Cassin .....................................  75
  =============
  $ 8.10
     
Painters [25 April 1808]   
==================================================   
            William Binkley ........ Master ..............................250
            Two Journeymen............ea..........1.25.................. 250
            Two Apprentices...ea...... 50...................... 100
            One Laborer..................................................................  75
  =============
  $ 6.75

 

Boat Builders    
==================================================   
            George Mc Cauley Master 36300
            Three Journeymen..................ea 2.06 618
            One Ditto .............................................................150
            Two Apprentices ...................ea 1.20...........240
  =============
  $ 13.08
     
Coopers   
            Thomas Murray.....37 ... Master ..............................250
            Two Journeymen............ea..........1.25.................. 250
            Two Apprentices...ea......1.00.....................200
            Slave, Geo Carnes One Servant of T. Murray.........................................  60
  =============
  $ 7.60
     
Armorers   
            John Glascow per day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250
            Robert Collins apprentice of ditto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160
  $ 4.10

 

Recapitulation
===============================================================
Shipwrights &c ........................................................................................ $ 159.06
Ditto............................................................................................................ 14.53
Block Makers.............................................................................................. 8.10
Painter......................................................................................................... 6.75
Boat Builders.............................................................................................. 13.08
Coopers......................................................................................................... 7.65
Sail Makers .................................................................................................. 9.31
Riggers ........................................................................................................ 8.50
Joiners..............................................................................................................52.07
Black Smiths &c &c........................................................................................ 60.90
Laborers ...........................................................................................................36.--
.Apprentices under Mr. Fox..............................................................................12.80
. laborers under Ditto........................................................................................24.45
. Armorers ........................................................................................................ 4.10
  =========
$427-50 427.50
Deduction amount of Laborers 36.-
  ======
  391.50
  =======
Contemplated deduction of wages 12 ½ per
on $ 391.50_________is $ 48.93-

Whole monthly reduction ............................................................................$ 1272.18
  =======
Navy Yard Wash. 5th May 1808

[Signed]            Thos Tingey

 


 
As preparation to reduce the Washington Navy Yard work force, Commodore Thomas Tingey, submitted the following two lists to the Secretary of the Navy. The first list dated 16 April 1808 enumerates those enslaved individuals to be discharged while the second dated 12 May 1808 is a list of enslaved individuals to be retained in the service of the Washington Navy Yard their owner and how they were to be employed.

 

List of
Black Laborers Discharged from the Navy Yard Apr 16th 1808


===============================================================================

NamesTo whom belonging -
===============================================================================
Washington Bowie
Danl Brant
Lewis Butler
Robert Kramer
Bill Barber
Scipio Brown
Wat Summerville
Ned Young
Jim Elgin
Charles Brisco
John Sherwin
Stephen Smoot
Dick Barber
Nelson Conray
Jerry Gratton
Charles Moody
Henry Naylor
Joseph William
Nich Pie
Jack Buchanan
Bill Sanders
Gustavius Ward
Robert Brant
Allen How
John Templeton
Thos Howard /hired man/
Timothy Caldwell
Freeman
      "       "
James Kemp/hired man
David Dobbin
John Minister
Alexander Smoot
Thos Howard/hired man/
Samantha Wilson
Azariah Gratton
Mich Low
John L. Naylor
John Wakins
Thomas Router / hired man/
W. King
Upton Caroll
Navy Yard Washington
           22nd April 1808

          Thos Tingey

 
List of Slaves who were considered Necessary to retain Viz


===============================================================================

NamesTo whom belonging -How employed in the Yard
===============================================================================
Joe Byers Capt. Jno Davidson of Wash Striker in the Smiths Shop
Jim Brown Thos Murray     Master Cooper Ditto
Luke Cannon Mr. Fenwick Dist of Columbia Ditto
Joe Edwards David Dobbins Overseer of Yard Ditto
Brazill Nevitt Widow Nevitt     of Wash Ditto
Joe Smoot Alex Smoot     Ditto Ditto
Josp Washington    }   Ditto
                              } Widow Sarah WashingtonDitto
Char Washington    }   Ditto
Davey Bean George Bean     Do Blower in the Smiths Shop
Leck Nally Rebecca Nally Do Ditto
Pompey Slater Alex Smoot Do Ditto
Bill Barnes Thos Howard Overseer of Yard ( hands) Carpenters Laborer & Carver
Bill Campbell Mr. Fenwick Dist Columb Ditto
Henry Hicks Mr Evans of Wash Ditto
Rodger Howard Thos Howard Navy Yard Ditto
Luke Barbour Mich Laine of Wash Ditto
Zeph Woodward Thos Caldwell     Do Ditto
Bill Holmes Joseph Cassin     Do Pitch Boiler
Henry Smallwood    }Widow Comd Smallwood     Do TurnersGrindstone
Hezriah Smallwood }Widow Comd Smallwood     Do Do
Peter Selby Phillip Selby     Do Calkers Rammer
Bill Hamilton Francis Hamilton Do Do     Ditto
 
             Navy Yard Wash 12th May 1808
[Signed]       Thos Tingey
 

End Notes :

1 Robert Smith, Secretary of the Navy, , letter to Commodore Thomas Tingey dated 21 April 1808

2 Henry Hibben, History from Organization to Present Date Government Printing Office Washington DC 1890 page 43 on line at : http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/wny_history.htm

3 Ship carpenters Josiah Fox writing circa 1804 stated that WNY carpenters would have their own tools and

"The Ship Carpenters already employed in the Navy Yard will be arranged as soon as it can be conveniently done into Companies and placed under the Command of such Quartermen as shall be judged expedient, other Carpenters as well as those attached to them will be placed inlike manner and also all such as may from time to time be admitted into the Yard - They will apply to him for directions respecting their work from those orders they are not to deviate, but execute the same with diligence, Care, Fidelity Oconomy and dispatch - To enable each Carpenter to perform his work with promptitude, he will provide himself with the following Tools, which he will take care to keep in good working order : Therefore no plea will be admitted that any deficiency [illegible] in his work arises from want of the necessary Tools or that they were in bad order - Vizt
1 Broad axe	}	1 Foreplane	}	3 Spike gimblets/ sizes/
1 adze		}	1 large Bevel	}	1 Chalk line
1 Handsaw	}	1 Pocket  do	}	1 pan of Compasses
1 Venmaul	}	1 Square -	}	1 2feet rule-
3 Chisels		1 Gauge -

4 Oakum is made from the picking apart old hemp ropes which the ship caulkers then used to insert between the planks of a ship to make it watertight. This was typically done with a special hammer or wedge then hot pitch was poured on and a hot caulking iron applied to seal the seam. Young "oakum boys" were used to keep the ship caulkers supplied with oakum.

5 Sawyers sawed the many logs and large pieces of wood used to create staves, keels and bows of wooden ships. Ship carpenters couldn't carry out their trade without the sawyer supplying him with dressed and prepared lengths of different woods. This sawing of logs was often done in a pit by two men the journeyman sawyer on top (Top Sawyer) typically did the actual cutting for which he received higher wages while and apprentice or Pit (Pit Sawyer) literally stood in a pit to steady the log.

6 Carver is most likely William Concklin who was still working as a carver in 1811 see
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/WNY/wny1811julypayrollmech.html & end note number 23 for more on ship carvers.

7 John Cassin (c 1758-1822) was a captain of merchant vessels before his appointment as a Lieutenant in the navy in the early 1800's. He became a master Commandant in 1807 and Captain in 1812. He commanded US Naval forces in the Delaware during the war of 1812. He acted as an executive officer for Commodore Thomas Tingey from 1804 until 1808.

8 James Owner, Master Shipwright       http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/apprenticedocuments/appvermilliondtoowner.html
had a long career at WNY and often had had least six apprentices working with him.

9 Shipwright Foreman In circa 1804 Josiah Fox wrote a brief description of what the duties and responsibilities his Foreman of the Shipwrights would perform :

"The Foremen of the Ship Carpenters will have control over the Assistant Foreman, Foreman Afloat, Quartemen, Foreman of Caulkers together with all Workmen and other persons who only be placed under them respectively - He will also have the general Superintendency under the Constructor of all the Ship Carpenters work, of whatsoever nature it may be. He will be furnished from time to time with such orders by the Constructor as he may think necessary for the benefit of the service from which he will in no wise deviate, but will on the same executed in most prompt and efficient manner and with as little expense to the United States as possible he will be careful to see that none but the best and sound materials be made use of in Building or repairing ships of War, Carpenter department from being injured Wasted wantonly destroyed or improperly expanded. [Three lines deleted] together with the Species, to who delivered, and for what object expanded and he is to see that no alterations whatever are made in the Ships whilst under repair without express orders being given for that purpose."

10 William Smith, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Washington Navy Yard engineer, knew William Smith, and in letter to John Mason dated 17 July 1807 assesses his character in relation to an appointment as Captain of the Navy Yard Militia Company.

Mr. Smith proposed Captain is the second foreman of the shipwrights. He is a good tempered Man, of irreproachable morals, beloved by the men, and possessing influence among them. But otherwise has neither the Knowledge of the military management of body of men nor the skill in the use of rifle which he ought indispensably to posses. As a marksman he is absolutely unknown, and perhaps never attempted to hit a mark in his life.
The Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers 1805-1810

Volume 2, p 53-454 editor John C. Van Horne, Yale University Press New Haven 1986

11 Quartermen Shipwrights Josiah Fox stated that

"Each Quarterman will have placed under him from time to time such Workman and other Persons, as the Constructor may deem necessary that he will form into a regular Company over whom having control will be answerable for the successful performance of their several duties

An he is to direct them in the execution of their work he will take special care that whatever may be assigned them to perform shall be mounted with care, oconomy, and dispatch

He will plan with each of his best Workmen, as a Mate, an Apprentice or such, other Person, as circumstances may dictate and will endeavor to have all Apprentices that may be attached to his company, instructed in the best manner he can, in all parts of his Business, and he will be careful that they be kept constantly at their work and do not trifle away their time etc -

He is to make a daily return to the Constructors Office of his Company noting the absences /and if to be obtained the cause of absences in which return he will also state the Works they may be employed on and the of the Ship etc attached to, And whomever any of them shall be required to perform Work or any Services for another Department, he will notify the same on said return Specifying the department and Works -"

13 Buller Cocke became Naval Purser in 1798 and served as the Washington Navy Yard storekeeper from 1 August 1804. Buller Cocke resigned in 1816. Like some other WNY officers Buller Cocke owned slaves and leased them to the Yard.

13 Josiah Fox (1763-1847) for a brief biography of Fox see
http://wwhttp://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/biographies/bio2.html#Josiah_Fox

Fox owned two male slaves Edwin Jones and William Oakley whom he apprenticed and educated as shipwrights. Merle Westlake's biography Josiah Fox 1763-1847 Xlibris 2003 is the most recent study of this remarkable American ship designer. William Oakley AKA William Fox and was later manumitted and continued to work with Josiah Fox as freeman for many years see Westlake p.200. In his 11 August 1809 letter to Commodore Thomas Tingey dismissing Josiah Fox from his position as Naval Constructor Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton mentions Fox's young apprentices.

I have received your letter of yesterdays date. Mr. Fox may be allowed the whole of this present month to prepare & finally to settle his accounts and upon settling them satisfactorily he may be paid up to the 1st of Sept. All the apprentices of Mr. Fox excepting Wm. Fox may be continued in the Yard till 1st day of Sept, and after that day, if the public should require their services in the Yard, I shall have no objection to their being continued in the Yard at reasonable compensation for their services. Wm Fox must be dismissed immediately

14 John Hebron, Master Caulker, WNY employed a number of indentured apprentices; including "George Diamond" AKA George Liedman Morgan Dement who was apprenticed to Hebron 20 June 1808.
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/WNY/wny1811julypayrollmech.html

5 Henry Adams, a free black caulker, had served as a seaman on American merchant vessels and had worked as a caulker in Europe. In July 1809 he unsuccessfully wrote the Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton requesting higher wages see Thomas Tingey letter to Paul Hamilton dated 1 August 1809. Today we only have Commodore Thomas Tingey's response to Secretary Hamilton but even this limited one sided glimpse reflects Henry Adams had the courage to speak to power.

Sir I have been duly honored with your letters of the 24th & 31 ultimo accompanying letters from Henry Adams, which I am concerned that you should be thus pestered with, and will certainly endeavor to discover, who it is thus prone to disturb or destroy the regulations & discipline of this yard, by aiding such men as Adams with their pens and stimulating them to troublesome acts

Henry Adams, Sir is an ignorant impertinent Negro man, who however, it is allowed , is a good journeyman caulker, but his assertion that he "has much experience in his trade as a caulker in France & England" - is certainly devoid of truth: for by his own verbal account , he merely "helped" to caulk a merchant vessel h belonged to while laying in France - And, his operations in England it is presumed are not superior, if he wer worked there at all

The particulars relative to caulking & in his last letter are certainly correct, but they are such as have been in constant practice long before Adams, came into existence, and such as have been invariably practiced, on the public Ships repaired at this place.

I have been thus prolix on his subject, in the hope that no more of his letters, may be suffered to trouble you otherwise than as clue, to lead to the writers.

16 Cato Day, an African American caulker is mentioned in January 15, 1807 reward notice for a female slave who's owner alleged that Cato Day of the Washington Navy Yard may have assisted or harbored her.
http://genealogytrails.com/washdc/slavery/rewardnotices.html#catoday a reward notice

17 Black Caulkers For those blacks who were fortunate enough to find work as freemen, the caulking trade while difficult and onerous often provided them an opportunity to work at competitive wages and to gain some measure of independence. Among the other Washington Navy Yard black caulkers. In 1807 Nicholas Franklin and Moses Liverpool along with George Bell another caulker founded the first school for African-American children in the District of Columbia.

18 Moses Liverpool and his wife Patsey Dunlop were an important part of the free black community of the early District of Columbia. In 1835 Liverpool took his nephew Thomas Dunlop as an apprentice caulker a copy of his indenture is at: http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/apprenticedocuments/appinddunloptoliverpool.html
In 1807 Moses Liverpool, along with fellow WNY Black Caulkers, Nicholas Franklin and George Bell founded a school to educate Black Children. They each contributed money to the venture and had to take out announcements in the press to assure white citizens that the school would only teach free blacks. Liverpool, Franklin and Bell were probably illiterate.

19 Peter Selby, a slave of Philip Selby is also listed on the Pay Roll for July 1811 and endnote 36.

20 Thomas Carberry ( also Carbery) was appointed surveyor and inspector of timber by the Secretary of the Navy for WNY 20 March 1805. Thomas Carberry later became active in the politics of the District of Columbia and running as the poor man candidate he won a close election in 1822 by just a few votes and served as Mayor of Washington DC 1822 -1824. His brother James Carberry took over his position at the Yard as Timber Inspector. Bryan, Wilhelmus Bogart A History of National Capital Macmillan Company New York volume 2 pages 162-163.

21 Lemuel Townsend was a Master Shipwright is name is listed on the July 1811 Pay roll as Master to various shipwrights including George Hurley whose Apprentice Indenture is a at
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/apprenticedocuments/appinddunloptoliverpool.html

22 Thomas Howard Bill Bean and Rodger Howard were both slaves of Thomas Howard, Overseer of the Yard Laborers and later Clerk of the Yard. Thomas Howard also the master of Michael Shiner noted African American Diarist

23 Benjamin King, Master Blacksmith 1779 -1837 for a full biography of Benjamin King see:
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/biographies/bio3.html#Benjamin_King

24 John Davis of Abel Master Plumber
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/biographies/davisjohnofabel.html
worked for the Washington Navy Yard for over fifty years. Davis also worked on the White House and his name is found on 1807 invoice for work performed that was forward to Thomas Jefferson.
John Davis directed large numbers of workers and was master to numerous apprentices and slaves.

25 William Ardrey, was apprenticed to Benjamin King, Master Blacksmith. In 1808 Bill Ardrey would have been about 18 years of age. In March of 1810 Ardrey ran away from King but was back at work in the Blacksmith Shop by 1812 see
http://genealogytrails.com/washdc/slavery/rewardnotices.html

26 The Smoot family owned numerous slaves, writing on 7 January 1809, Secretary of the Navy, Rodger Smith, informed Commodore Thomas Tingey, "If white men can not be procured to supply Mr. Kings requisitions for 2 Strikers & should in your opinion be necessary to employ 2 additional Strikers you may if you know from experience that Mr. Smoots men are good and competent & employ them."

27 Luke Cannon a slave is listed on the Payroll of July 1811 endnote 10 as a Freeman

28 Jo Byers, a slave see Payroll of July 1811 endnote 7

29 Hamilton Perry and Charles Venable were both apprentices of Master Blacksmith Benjamin King
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/apprenticedocuments/appindvenabletoking.html
Both Perry and Venable entered into their apprenticeships in August 1807. Charles Venable was then about 14 years of age.

30 Thomas Howard 1779 -1832 for a biography of Thomas Howard and his last will and testament see
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/wills/wills1.html#Thomas_Howard

31 Slaves Many of the WNY slaves listed are also mentioned in Secretary of the Navy, Robert Smith's letter to Commodore Thomas Tingey dated 16 May 1808. This letter gives his decision as to which slave were to be retained see
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/WNY/secnavlet.html

32 Shadrach Davis Master Joiner had a reputation according to Benjamin Henry Latrobe "as perhaps the best Shipjoiner in the United States". Davis worked at the Washington Navy Yard and later went to work as Latrobe's clerk of the works, for the rebuilding of the Capitol 1815-1817. Davis also served on the Washington City Common Council from 1813 - 1815,. Davis was well liked by those he worked with and his subordinates. Davis died in 1818. When Benjamin Latrobe delivered his Memorial to Congress in Vindication of His Professional Skill dated 8 December 1818 he lauded Davis noting he "was the perfect master of my intentions respecting every part of the building" For more on Davis see The Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers edited by John C. Van Horne, Volume 2, 1805-1810 p119-122 and Volume 3, 1811-1820 pp. 962-963 and 1010.

33 William Burdine (1780-1858) at twenty eight years old was a bit older then most apprentices. William Burdine later became a leader among the men he is listed on the WNY Pay Roll of July 1811 see
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/WNY/wny1811julypayrollmech.html
Burdine is buried in Washington DC at Congressional Cemetery.

34 Peter Gardner Master Mast Maker is listed in a series of letters 1808 from the Secretary of the Navy Robert Smith to Commodore Thomas Tingey regarding employment
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/WNY/secnavlet.html

Peter Gardner had been charged with being absent with out leave. Secretary Smith found Gardner to valuable to dismiss and (7 September 1808) decided. Mr. Gardner may be continued Master Mastmaker of the Yard upon the following conditions That 250 Dollars shall be deducted from his pay, that is from the day he shall be reinstated, he shall receive at the rate of 750 per annum only instead of 1, 000$ per annum - and if his absence from the Yard was entirely his own act then he is to be allowed no pay - whatever for that period. If his absence was not his own conduct, then he is allowed his pay for that period.

35 John Mace, Assistant Master Block maker was one of the subscribers to a 13 August 1817 request to Commodore Thomas Tingey requesting that WNY Block maker wages be set at similar rate to that of other mechanics. Commodore Tingey agreed to raise their wages by twenty cents a day but not to the same level as the carpenters and shipwrights.

36 George McCauley Master Joiner is listed on the 1819 list of WNY salaried employees
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/WNY/wny1819payroll.html
His salary was $ 1,000 per year. His indenture for his apprentice George Thompson is
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/apprenticedocuments/appindstewartandthompson.html#Samuel_Thompson_to_George_McCauley_

37 Thomas Murray Master Cooper (Barrel Maker) Thomas Murray's name also appears on the 1819 list of WNY salaried employees
http://www.genealogytrails.com/washdc/apprenticedocuments/appindstewartandthompson.html#Isaac_Stewart_to_Thomas_Murray

 

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