Archive for Charles Towne Landing

The Master Gunner’s Account: A Merchant Cruise to Charles Towne Landing

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2015 by creweofthearchangel

By Dorian Lasseter, Master Gunner of the Crewe of the Archangel

14 November, 1673

As we have need for repairs to the Archangel, and no war to be engaged as Privateers currently, most of the crew are on furlough. Some of us are a restless lot, so have signed on for a cruise in the life of a merchant. Having brought the Archangel to a drydock in Virginia, we signed on to crewe a coastal trader bound for the southern port of Charles Towne in Carolina. We came to the Ketch-rigged Pink, by the name of Adventure on account of the former crew had some misgivings with the owner and quit the vessel. Once papers were signed, those of us went aboard and made her home for the voyage. We traveled down the coast to the port of Charles Towne, arriving later than expected due to the failing light giving us some navigation troubles. Never the less, we arrived safely and offloaded some of the cargo to be traded in the morning. As the weather turned colder than expected, we kept our berths aboard instead of stretching out on shore.

15 November

The light of day came slowly, but crept through the gratings to wake us. We roused ourselves and others to make a fire for breakfast on shore and to finish the unloading of the cargo and setting up of the trading camp. Soon after we started breakfast, some of the townsfolk came to our camp to greet us and look over our wares. Soon the Landgraves arrived to take their choice of goods, as did several of the red men of the local tribes, who brought furs, pelts and skins to trade for cloth, muskets, axes and beads.

Once trading commenced, others from the town came to bid with us as well. While here, we were privy to the town exercising their battery of cannon, several Sakers and Greater Demi-Culverings, being of 6 and 12 pound shot respectively. Those men who were of the militia are trained well enough to put up a good defense, but I do not think they would fare as well if they were to do such aboard a ship, but I digress.

Back at the trading camp, we were treated to the mid day meal by some of the local women who prepared several fine dishes with fresh chicken, beef and vegetables, corn bread and a fine cobbler for dessert. For the afternoon we again settled in for trading, and provisions for the return trip. As the Adventure has no galley, all victuals would need to be prepared on shore, or otherwise be eaten cold aboard.

We were able to procure dried split peas, oats, salted fish and beef. Others of the crewe continued working on some minor repairs of the Adventure, serving line and repairing a spritsail. We also had others making lace, sewing clothing and washing some laundry. All of our goods were sold by the evening, and we dined on beef stew and chicken and dumplings. We made merry and enjoyed some spirits with our meal, enjoying each others company. As the light faded and again the chill came, we retreated to the ship and continued being merry, telling stories and singing until we grew tired.

MitchbyJO16 November

Again the light of dawn woke us and we made our way back to shore to break our fast. Some had indulged a bit much and were feeling low, but managed to keep up with the rest as we loaded our provisions and goods for the next voyage. As the wind shifted you could smell rain coming. We made haste, yet were unable to beat it. Wet canvas had to be stowed away from the provisions and such, much to our chagrin. We set sail in the rain, bidding farewell to the port of Charles Towne, not knowing weather we would be back before the new year, or ever. It was odd sailing out of a port in the dark, but haste made it necessary, as we were to head to Barbados and New Amsterdam before returning to Virginia before Christmas.

20141115_065147

Copyright November 2014 C. Madden
Photos by J.Otte, S.W.Permenter