Archive for Mae Harrington

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.

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

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The Lost Letter: Beaufort Pirate Invasion, August ’14

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2015 by creweofthearchangel

By Alice Mason Sterling

Alice Mason Sterling

Dearest Sarah, my most beloved Stepdaughter,

I pray this Letter finds you and Sean in good health and that Sean’s Studies prosper. Father is most proud of him as am I. I write an Account of our most recent Journey to see your Father. Though the Times I spend with him are often infrequent and all too short, I treasure each and everyone of them. As I know ye love him and see little of him as well, I will impart several Pages, copied from my Journal, so that ye may see that he is well and continuing to help keep the Colonies protect’d.

Wednesday, August 6

Upon Sightings of Pirates in the coastal Waters, and credible Rumors of their Intent to attack the small Town of Beaufort, North Carolina, the Crewe of the Archangel made Plans to travel to Beaufort and assist the Townsfolk and local Militia in defending the Town.

Kitty and I arriv’d to-day, traveling under the Protection of Quartermaster Jack Roberts. Master Gunner Dorian Lasseter and his Indenture Josephine Legard arrived soon after. The Bosun’s Mate, Mitchell O’Sionnach, travel’d in their Company. We spent the several Hours raising Canvas and laying out the Camp, then took our evening Meal at an Establishment in Town.

My Husband and Stepson, Captain John Sterling and Joshua Merriweather Sterling, made port late this Evening. We are quarter’d near the Gaol and Pillory, which will make Captain Sterling’s Work all the easier once the invading Rabble are conquer’d and the Pirates brought to Justice. And surely they will be.

Thursday, August 7

The Captain and the Ship’s Officers spent the morning in Meetings with the local Authorities, making Plans for the defense of the Town. Later a pouring Rain drove us to the shelter of the the awning near the Quartermaster’s tent , where a rare hour of leisure allow’d for pleasant Conversation. All in all we were grateful for the Rain as it provid’d relief from the Heat and plaguing Mosquitoes.

Once the Downpour abat’d Josephine, O’Sionnach, Kitty and I ventur’d to a nearby burying Grounds. Though somber, I found it a quiet and lovely Place, with great twisting Oaks providing a green Canopy overhead.
20140807_155826 I could not help but wonder how many more Markers would be add’d in the coming Days if the Pirates did indeed attack.

Much to my relief, my Maid Charlotte Cole arriv’d late in the Afternoon, along with the Captain’s Steward Fionnan Murtaugh. Dr. Jerome Geiger arriv’d several hours later and our Company is now complete.


Friday, August 8

This Morning dawn’d warm and humid as the ones that preced’d it. The final setup and preparations within the Camp were seen to, with further Tents add’d for our Supplies and storage. At the Entrance to Camp the wither’d remains of a dead Pirate swing from a Noose. A gruesome sight, but hopefully one that will serve as warning to those who would follow the same Path.

With the Laundress’ inexplicable absence, Kitty and I took up the task of doing the crew’s Wash while Charlotte carri’d on with lace-making.

Charlotte Cole

The Smoke from Josephine’s Brazier waft’d pleasantly through the Camp as she prepar’d her Herbs and apothecary supplies, should they be need’d. Across the camp Dr. Geiger organiz’d his surgical Instruments and arrang’d them in a rather ghastly Display. O’Sionnach tend’d to the maintenance of Block and Tackle and the Master Gunner ensur’d that the crewe’s arms were ready to use at a moment’s notice. Fionn look’d after the Captain and continu’d work on the Archangel’s Flag, the Captain’s personal Ensign, while the Quartermaster oversaw the running of the Camp and our Supplies and my Husband continu’d with the battle Plans.

In the afternoon the Crew made a display of arms alongside the local Militia. The firing of the great Guns and the small Arms alike bolster’d the confidence of the Townspeople, who were understandably apprehensive at the threat of Invasion. Many of the Townsfolk visit’d our Camp after the Demonstration, taking interest in our tasks and our methods of operation within the Camp.

This evening a display of talent was provid’d from amongst the Town and all present, with our own Mistress McDonough paying a visit and treating us all to a Song from her Homeland.

I will admit that this Account is not as coherent as it might be, given that the punch Bowl was pass’d not once but twice this evening as the Crewe sat together around the Table after dinner. T’is a fine thing to share such a fine Drink in such fine Company. Josephine provid’d a Dessert that we took turns cooking at the ends of sticks over the Brazier, something Kitty enjoy’d immensely. Now t’is late, and I shall retire with my Husband and pray for success and safety on the morrow.

Saturday, August 9

This morning we all feast’d upon a fine Breakfast serv’d by the Townsfolk, save for Quartermaster Roberts who remain’d behind to oversee the final preparations of a gallows that was built in case.

Well he did, for the threat of invasion by Pirates became a reality mere hours later. The gallows were mov’d to a public Square and their assembly complet’d before Crowds of curious onlookers shortly before the call to arms was given.
A solitary Pirate arriv’d in a small dingy, making bold Threats against the Town, and was driven off by a single Shot from one of the smaller Guns. Had that been all, the Town would have had an easy Day of it, but the persistent Pirates soon arriv’d in large numbers and the Battle began in earnest. The pirate ships fired upon the Town’s Defenders and were given Cannon Fire in return.
Running the guns

The Battle continu’d on Land as the Pirates took to disembark, but after a vigorous Defense by the Archangels, the Townsfolk, and the Militia, the Pirates were defeated.

Several Pirates were caught and put in the town Gaol, with two Irishmen going to a swift Trial and sentenc’d to be hang’d. As the Sky darkened and Rain began to fall in a light, steady Drizzle, the condemn’d were led forth and parad’d through the town Streets to the Square where the Gallows wait’d. The Procession was a somber one, with one Prisoner begging for his life and the other belligerent and violent, requiring Quartermaster Roberts to beat him frequently.
Captain Sterling overheard the younger prisoner’s pleas and allow’d him to argue for his Life, his Case being that a poor childhood and Poverty drove him to his crimes. He offer’d his skills as a Cobbler and was eventually grant’d a Pardon in hopes that he would better his future.

The second Prisoner, the vile O’Tierney, made no such pleas.
Instead he insult’d my husband in language that made my blood boil. God forgive me, I know vengeance is His alone, but there are times when I am glad to see justice done. With the noose already around his neck he assault’d Captain Sterling, taking my husband to the ground before Quartermaster Roberts could pull the prisoner away. As O’Tierney stood atop the block he request’d a final drink, which he then threw into the Captain’s face. The Pirate vow’d to see the Captain in hell, to which the Captain only laugh’d and remark’d, “I hardly think so,” and kicked the block from beneath the Pirate’s feet. He was hanged for his foul Murders of our innocent Sailors and other terrible Crimes.

With the Hanging concluded the Crowds gradually dispersed. The weary but victorious Crewe dismantled the Gallows and later sat together to partake of a fine Dinner in Camp. Another Bowl of punch and several Games of Whist lended to the celebratory mood.

Sunday, August 10

Parting from the Crewe is never easy, and many of us were already dreading the Farewells as we breakfasted together and began breaking up the Camp. The Rain held off until the very last, drenching many of us as the last Roll of canvas was placed onto the Carts. We took shelter in one of the Town’s Ordinaries and spent about half an hour discussing all that had taken place the previous Days. At last goodbyes were said and we broke company, taking solace in knowing that the Town remained safe and we would all soon assemble for another grand Adventure.

My Dear, I am happy to report that your Father sends his Love and will write to you and Sean, himself, as soon as he is able. I will end now, for I would see this Letter handed off to the Post before I and Kitty head for the Carriage back to Virginia.

We love you both and are eager to visit with you upon our return.

Your loving Mother,

Alice


Copyright August 2014 S. W. Permenter
Special thanks to the following photographers: S.W.Permenter, J.Otte, D.Tobin, C. Warner, M.Murillo

NOTE: Hangings are done by trained, experienced stunt people, followed by a safety demonstration. DO NOT TRY THIS ON YOUR OWN!

Congratulations to the Crewe of the Archangel

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2014 by creweofthearchangel

This year at Jamestown Settlement’s Military Through the Ages, the Crewe won, in the pre-modern category: honorary mention for Best Cooking, First Place for Best Clothing and First Place for Best Camp. But the best was the compliments from the judges who came to tell us that our documentation set the new standard. Well done Archangels.

Laundress Mae Harrington Laundress Mae Harrington
Mlle Josephine Legard Mlle. Josephine Legard
Armourer & Blacksmith Adam Cyphers Armourer & Blacksmith Adam Cyphers
Dr. Jerome GeigerShip’s Surgeon, Dr. Jerome Geiger
Master-at-Arms Heartless Master-at-Arms Heartless
Cook & Able Seaman David M. AtlasCook & Able Seaman David M. Atlas
Master Gunner Dorian LasseterMaster Gunner Dorian Lasseter
Midshipman Joshua MerriweatherMidshipman Joshua Merriweather
Lady's Maid Charlotte Cole & Alice Mason Sterling
Lacemakers: Blue Hood: Lady’s Maid Charlotte Cole. Cocked Hat: Captain’s Wife Alice Mason Sterling
Cook's Mate John KnyffCook’s Mate John Knyff
Quartermaster Jack RobertsQuartermaster Jack Roberts
Bosun's Mate Mitch O'SionnachBosun’s Mate Mitchell O’Sionnach
Sean with ship biscuitMidshipman Sean Merriweather
L'il SnotLearning the Lace trade, Alice Mason’s daughter KittyFionn MurtaughCaptain’s Steward Fionn Murtaugh
Bosun Israel CrossBosun Israel Cross
PrincessCaptain Sterling, Master Gunner Lasseter and Princess


Crewe Photo
Military Through the Ages 2014

A Beating of Another Type…Laundry

Posted in How to with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2013 by creweofthearchangel

Laundry

A brief discourse on the methods of laundry aboard ship. Penned by Mae Harrington, a servant, indentured to John Sterling; he being captain of the Archangel, a private ship of war.

Duties
As ship’s laundress to the captain and his officers, all matters of washing, ironing, and mending fall to my care. Though I am achingly weary after a day at the tubs, there is something soothing in the repetition which makes my task less daunting.

Materials
The tools are my trade are few, and simple in their construction. Two large wooden tubs, slatted and heavy. One for washing, the other for rinsing. A basket of straw, loosely woven. A wooden paddle, or “beetle”, long of handle, broad and flattened at one end.

Methods
Though chamber lye or a mixture of ashes and animal fat will produce the desired cleanliness, I prefer to use lye made from the ashes of a hard wood such as oak, apple, or cherry. As fires aboard ship are hazardous and limited in their use, I procure a fair amount of ash before we leave our port. I fill the basket with layers of straw, gravel, and ash, then filter the ash through the weave of the basket by pouring hot water over top and letting it drain into the tub.
Piling dirty laundry into the tub, I allow it to soak for a period of time- pushing it to and fro with the end of my beetle. It is then heaped up or spread out on whatever is at hand…I prefer to use the deck of the ship, if a quiet corner may be found. Beating each piece of laundry with the paddle loosens the weave and helps to free the dirt trapped in the threads. It is then returned to the tub for a final scrub in the lye water, then rinsed in the barrel of clean water, wrung out, and hung or spread out to dry.

Sources:
http://www.oldandinteresting.com/history-of-laundry.aspx
http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/misc/soap.htm

Copyright October 2013/J. Ashing

Cayo Hueso

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2013 by creweofthearchangel

Josephine’s Journal
The Account of an Indentured Servant’s Adventures with the Crewe of the Archangel

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November 23
Today, Monsieur Lasseter informed me that we would be leaving on the morrow for the southern-most point of Spanish Florida. He was vague in his information, as happens on occasion; saying only that Capitaine Sterling had received word from British authorities that he was to regain order in the area as well as conduct a trial for the Admiralty. It seems that the British troops stationed there are experiencing difficulty in maintaining their power amongst the pirates. I questioned the Master Gunner as to whether we would be fighting the Spanish pirates or the British troops. He answered not, leaving me only to speculate. I have gathered my herbs in preparation for travel, focusing on wound-healing as I am expecting the power transition to not go smoothly.

Submitting papers before weighing anchor

Quartermaster Roberts paying the ship’s chandler as we tie up any loose ends

November 24
The crewe gathered at our cottage in the Carolina colony this evening, Continue reading