Monday, August 12

Whatever Shall I Read Today?

In the event you haven't noticed, we research and write a LOT, there's always something new to discover on the Acasta website. You can find specific content by following the labels at the bottoms of each day's posts, or by clicking on the links below. Let us know what your favorite stuff is:

200th - Posts with this label are posts that have to do with the 200th anniversary of some event that took place during the War of 1812. Either with the Acasta herself, or the war in general.

Apple - Posts with this label are either written BY or about Acasta ship's carpenter Mr. Jas. Apple.

Baptiste - Posts with this label are either written BY or about the Acasta Surgeon's Mate.

Book Review - These posts take a look at books written about Naval subjects of interest.

Capt Hurlbut -  Posts with this label are either written BY or about Captain Tom Hurlbut, friend to the Acasta.

Capt Rehme - Posts with this label are either written BY or about Captain Sir James Robert Rehme, the captain of the ACASTA.

Capture - Information regarding historical captures made by the Acasta during her service.

CFNA- Posts related to the organization known as Crown Forces North America (CFNA).

Event Invite - These posts are invitations to the general public to attend specific historic events. A great way to figure out where the Acasta crew will be during the year!

History - Posts involving the REAL history of HMS Acasta or her crew

HMS Bounty - Articles or images concerning this particular vessel.

HMS Victory - Articles or images concerning this particular vessel.

Hollybrass - Posts with this label are either written BY or about Acasta crew member Samuel Hollybrass, a generally unpleasant sort of fellow.

Images - This label is given to any post that is picture heavy. Looking for lots of awesome War of 1812 or Royal Navy recreation pictures? Look no further! The Acasta has been gifted with some amazing photography over the years from a variety of sources.

In The News - Historical news articles that make mention of the Acasta or her crew.

Jane Austen Festival - Given to any post that has to do with the annual Jane Austen Festival that is held every July in Louisville, KY.

Letter Writing - Posts relating to writing letters that look to be from the period portrayed by HMS Acasta. Great help if you wish to participate in the Mail Packet project.

LIST This label is given to the series of reenactor list, Ways to improve, the best and worst things about the hobby, stupid questions asked by the public and so forth.

Master & Commander - Posts that have to do with the Aubrey-Maturin series of books by author Patrick O'Brian or the 2003 movie.

Mail Packet - This label will involve letters (real or digital) sent or received by Acasta crew. It also occasionally has to do with a call to readers for letters, a fun project for authors and historians alike!

Medical Journal - These posts have to do with entries in the Surgeon's log book. Some are transcriptions from log books of the period, some are fictional.

Miscellany - A grab bag of odds and ends posts that couldn't really be labeled anything else.

Mission 1 - All posts pertain to the Acasta's first play test of the "Spy Game", a first person activity played between teams at Mississinewa 1812.

Mission 2 - A writing exercise by members of the crew involving the 1813 chase of the US vessel, 'Young Teazer'

Mission 3 - These posts involve the Doctor's special assignment to take part in a mock Naval assault at Niagara on the Lake.

Mission 4 - The Acastas go ashore at the Fair at New Boston in an attempt to catch a spy, and the Doctor gets engaged!

Mission X - All posts related to the Doctor's covert mission to France.

Mississinewa 1812 - Given to any post that has to do with the annual Mississinewa 1812 event that is held every October in Marion, IN.

Mooney - Posts with this label are either written BY or about Acasta crew member Buzz Mooney.

Music - Music or lyrics (or both) to old period songs.

New Boston - Given to any post that has to do with the annual Fair at New Boston event that is held every Labor Day Weekend near Springfield, Ohio.

Night Watch - Given to any post that has to do with the annual Night Watch event that takes place in St. Augustine, FL.

Press Gang - Content and images from the Acasta's Press Ganging activities at events.

Purvis Lodge - Given to any post that has to do with

Real Crew - Posts with this label are either written by or about REAL historical members of the crew of the Acasta between 1797-1815.

Signal Flags - These posts involve images and information having to do with this means of communication during the War of 1812. Sometimes they even involve fun messages to be decoded!

Tall Ship - Posts with this label contain information about or images of tall ships.

The Doctor - Posts with this label are either written BY or about Acasta ship's surgeon Albert Roberts

Toasts - information pertaining to the Daily Royal Naval Toasts given at dinner.

Vassermann - Posts with this label are either written BY or about the Surgeon's personal servant James Vassermann.

Video - Any post with a video or a link to a video in it can be found here.

Wedding - These image heavy posts are all about the Doctor's 1813 style wedding.

Monday, August 5

Don't Forget Your Old Shipmate

We discovered after we got home from the Jane Austen Festival, that our friend and fellow Acasta member Jim Apple was hurt while on vacation. He sliced the palm of his thumb on his right hand, severing the flexor tendon and nerves. Not only did he have to have emergency surgery while he was far from home, but now he’s going to miss out on several months of work. 

A fund was set up to help him where you can very easily donate to help out our shipmate.He is dealing with medical bills from the injury and concerns about his income for the next few months while he recovers. He is a very private person and would never ask for help, so we’re asking for him. You can help by going to the link below.

And if you can’t donate NOW, donate LATER, and share the link around to those that may be in a position to assist! Thanks so much!

Monday, July 29

New Monday Posting

The Acasta website you’re reading this on right now has served us well over the years since the founding of the unit in 2011. It’s allowed people to find us who might not otherwise have known we existed, it’s been a great place to post event and project photos, and it’s been the perfect spot for our Royal Naval research and historical fiction posts.

But online trends change over time and so must we. People have moved away from blogs in favor of more visual forms of social networking. Viewership and follower interaction on the Acasta site has decreased over the years as people moved away from the blog format to partake of their media in other places.

Therefore, instead of posting daily, the Acasta site will now have posts on Mondays, with the main emphasis being to shift more of our effort toward our Instagram page. Instagram is one of the top platforms for engagement. It’s an easy, friendly way to participate in the Acasta’s adventures! Likes and comments on the Acasta’s IG page are a SNAP!

Our goal with the Acasta Instagram is for each image to serve as a little window in time. As if the viewer is looking through to the War of 1812. Our standards are high, and we strive to bring you the best of the images from the many events we attend throughout the years.

Come follow us on Instagram!

Monday, July 22

American Impressment Protection Certificates

An article by Acasta member Nicholas Weremeichik

In 1796, President George Washington and the 4th Congress passed an “Act for the Relief and Protection of American Seamen.” This act would be a step towards curtailing the impressment of American sailors by Britain or other foreign powers into their navies. Provision was made for a legal document called an “impressment protection certificate” and would plainly state as follows in Section 4 of the act:

“I, (first and last name of state official), collector of the district of (municipality), do hereby certify, that (first and last name of applicant), aged (x) years, or thereabouts, of the height of (x) feet (x) inches, [ describing the said seaman as particular as may be] has, this day, produced to me proof in the manner directed in the act, intituled “An act for the relief and protection of American seamen;” and pursuant to the said act, I do hereby certify, that the said (first and last name of applicant) is a citizen of the United States of America: In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal of office, this day (x) of (x).” 

The state official is to preserve a copy of this document and proofs of citizenship for the records. An applicant would pay twenty-five cents for this service. Several extant examples of these have survived and are all different to a degree. Some certificates had more printed words and some more handwritten but all were compliant and legal if they followed the text above to the necessary extent.

Andrew Boteler, born in Maryland, USA.
5’-4” in height, 28 years of age
Notarized by John Keese in the State of New York on May 11th, 1796.

William Smith, born in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
6’-1” in height, 32 years of age, light complexion, light hair, light eyes
Signed by collector Samuel Bishop in the State of Connecticut on November 7th, 1801.

Joseph S. Foster, born in Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA.
5’-7” in height, 18 years of age, dark complexion
Signed by collector William R. Lee in the State of Massachusetts on November 24th, 1806.

Henry Shapely, Jr., born in Gospers, New Hampshire, USA.
5’-5 3/8” in height, 30 years of age, dark complexion, grey eyes
Signed by collector Joseph Whipple in the State of New Hampshire on May 13th, 1808.

William Skiddy, born in Westchester County, New York, USA.
5’-3@ ‘/2” in height, 16 years of age, light complexion, light hair
Signed by collector David Gelston in the State of New York on June 5th, 1810.

Joseph Gladding, born in Westchester County, New York, USA.
5’-8” in height, 21 years of age, “pesh” complexion, dark hair, blue eyes, moles on right cheek and left arm
Signed by collector Charles Collins in the State of Rhode Island on February 6th, 1812.

To see more records of Impressment Protection Certificates, check out the Registers of Seaman’s Protection Certificates database at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut:

1796 Act for the Relief and Protection of American Seamen

Wednesday, June 26

June 1799 Captures

The London Gazette 
Publication date: 8 October 1799 

Monday, June 17

Acasta and the Valiant

17 June 1813,

Valiant was in company with Acasta when they came upon Wasp in pursuit of an American brig off Cape Sable. The three British ships continued the chase for another 100 miles before they finally were able to capture the brig. She was the letter of marque Porcupine, of more than 300 tons, and was carrying a valuable cargo of brandy and silks from Bayonne to Boston. In his letter to the Admiralty of 7 September, a copy of which was printed in the London Gazette, Captain Robert Dudley Oliver of Valiant described Porcupine as being only eight months old and an uncommonly fast sailer. After the capture, Wasp, which had recaptured a prize that the privateer Young Teazer had taken, sailed in search of the privateer. 

HMS Valiant was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 24 January 1807 at Blackwall Yard.
From the London Gazette.

Wednesday, June 5

What a Bosun Wears

'Sailors Carousing' 1802 by Julius Caesar Ibbetson (1759–1817)
And the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty do hereby further give Notice, that the Uniform directed, in pursuance of His Majesty's Order on the 17th November 1787, to be worn by the Warrant Officers of His Majesty's Fleet, viz. Blue Cloth Coat, with Blue Lappels and round Cuffs, fall down Collar, Three Buttons to the Pocket and Cuff, white lining, but not edged with white; Button with an Anchor, same as the Captain's former one; white Cloth Waistcoat and Breeches. Shall be worn only by Gunners, Boatswains and Carpenters; and the subordinate classes of Warrant Officers shall not be allowed to wear Lappels.

From the Admiralty Rules, 1807

It it generally believed that the seated fellow  visible at the left through the doorway/window in the Ibbetson painting above, is a Bo'sun given his mode of dress and the chain about his neck. See enlargement detail.

Above Left: Bo'sun, HMS Venerable, 1799. Above Right: Bo'sun's Mate, HMS Gloucester, 1812