Wednesday, April 23

Tuesday, April 22

Open Call to Writers


Open Call to ALL Reenactors, 
Historians and Creative Writers!

The Royal Navy reenacting group that represents HMS Acasta will be attending the Jane Austen Festival in July of this year. One of the things that I'd like to be able to do is deliver a 'mail packet' full of letters to the various Acasta members. This is a project that I have undertaken in the past with other groups with awesome results.

This is where YOU come in!

Anyone who would like to submit a period correct letter to add to the packet is encouraged to do so! We'd love to have your contribution, however large or small! Anything added to the packet will help to enhance the historical experience for not only the Acastas who receive them, but for the public who will attend the Festival as well.



At last year's event, the Mail Packet was a huge hit with the Acastas and the public alike. Mr. Midshipman Raley delivered the packet to the Captain about mid-day on Saturday and the letters were passed out.

Some examples of things that we got as part of the project:

The Doctor got a secret coded message from Sir Joseph Blaine with the Admiralty. Obviously from a Patrick O'Brian fan.

Lt. Tumbusch got a notice from the Dutch East India Company letting him know that his stock was now worthless.

Rev. Mr. Griswold got a letter letting him know of the death of one of his parishioners.

Mr. Raley got a letter from his 'mother' back home written a professional author of nautical historical fiction.

A letter arrived for the Purser from a mysterious wife and children he claimed to know nothing of.

Capt. Freymann got a letter from a father in England looking for news of the location of his two sons.

Need some ideas for what to write? Try one of these:

Letter from a friend or colleague back home. 
(But none from 'family' this year if you please, last year we had to leave a letter out because Mr. Raley got TWO letters from his 'mother')
A bill or request for payment.
An overdue payment of debt.
A letter carrying news of the war(s)

Or, use the link below to see some other types of period letters:

The Complete Letter Writer...

Wondering what a period letter looks like? Here are some beautiful examples:

http://www.bathpostalmuseum.co.uk/john-palmer/

Contact me to find out where to send your finished letter… or questions, or for any other additional information.

Finshed letters will need to be to ME by the end of June so that they can find their way into the Mail Packet!

Don't know WHO to write to? Here's the lot of Acastas who are usually to be found at the festival:

So pick up your pen and paper and get writing, and HAVE FUN!

Monday, April 21

Meet Mr. Crabb

CRABB.
Acasta Midshipman under Capt Wood, c.1806

Joseph William Crabb entered the Navy, 4 Sept. 1801, as Midshipman, on board the Royal Sovereign 100,' Capt. Rich. Raggett, flag-ship in the Channel of Sir Henry Harvey. He afterwards, until May, 1806, served, in the Mediterranean, and again on the Home station, on board the Acasta 38, Capt. Jas. Athol Wood, Doris 36, Capts. Rich. Harrison Pearson and Patrick Campbell, Diamond 38, Capt. Thos. Elphinstone, and Chiefonne 36, Capt. P. Campbell. We then find him accompanying the latter officer into the Unite 36, in which frigate, under Cant. Edwin Henry Chamberlayne, he continued until Oct. 1815.

Source: A NAVAL BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY: COMPRISING THE LIFE AND SERVICES OF EVERY LIVING OFFICER IN HER MAJESTY'S NAVY, FROM THE RANK OF ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET TO THAT OF LIEUTENANT, INCLUSIVE. Compiled from Authentic and Family Documents. BY WILLIAM E. O'BYRNE, ESQ.
LONDON: JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, PUBLISHER TO THE ADMIRALTY. 1849.

Friday, April 18

Post Labels

The eclectic band of historical reenactors and interpreters that makes up the 'CREW' of HMS Acasta spans a wide spectrum of real life occupations.

We are made up of students, educators, academics (a surprising number of us are teachers) even a Ph.D., present and former Coast Guard and U.S. Naval men, artists & artisans, tailors, musicians, professionals & executives. We even have a freelance copywriter, farrier & presidential presenter thrown into the mix for good measure! (hint: look for the fellow that looks like Jackson from the twenty dollar bill!)

What does this odd lot all have in common? A love for the history of the Royal Navy and passing it on in a unique way to the public.

You can find specific content by following the labels at the bottoms of each day's posts, or by clicking on the links below, the NEW labels are highlighted in YELLOW:



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. Want to know what was happening on a particular date? Here you go.

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.

Capt Freymann - Posts with this label are either written BY or about Acasta ship's Captain Robert Freymann

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

Lt Ramsey - Posts with this label are either written BY or about Acasta ship's Second Lieutenant Michael Ramsey.

Lt. Hamilton - Posts with this label are either written BY or about Acasta ship's First Lieutenant Jim Hamilton.

Lt. Tumbusch - Posts with this label are either written BY or about Acasta ship's Third Lieutenant Tom Tumbusch.

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!

Midshipman Raley - Posts with this label are either written BY or about Acasta Midshipman David Raley.

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!

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

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.

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

Red Box - Content and images having to do with the "Red Box' game.

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!

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.

Thursday, April 17

USS Constitution, her blog

From the Log Lines site:
Log Lines is the blog of the USS Constitution Museum's curatorial department. Here, you can take a behind-the-scenes look at the Museum's archives and collections, gain new insights into Constitution’s history, and explore some of our favorite artifacts and recent acquisitions.

Contributors:
Matt Brenckle, Research Historian
Kate Monea, Archivist
Harrie Slootbeek, Collections and Exhibits Manager
Sarah Watkins, Director of Collections and Learning


Wednesday, April 16

Captain Philip Beaver

PORTRAIT OF CAPTAIN PHILIP BEAVER R.N
(1766 - 1813) in naval full dress uniform, looking to the left.
Oil on canvas. Size 30 x 25  by John Opie
Philip Beaver (28 February 1766 – 5 April 1813) was an officer of the Royal Navy, serving during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He played a varied and active role in several notable engagements, and served under a number of the most notable figures of the Navy of the age. 

Beaver was promoted to captain on 10 January 1801. He received the prestigious appointment to command the flagship, and took an active role in the operations on the coast of Egypt from 1800 to 1801. He quickly tired of the monotony of maintaining a blockade and obtained permission to take the frigate HMS Déterminée to Constantinople with dispatches. The Sultan wanted to acknowledge Beaver's services, and offered him a large sum of money, which Beaver refused. He did however accept a diamond box for himself and a gold box for each of the lieutenants. Beaver was also rewarded with the Order of the Crescent.

The Peace of Amiens temporarily ended the war with France, and Beaver and the Déterminée were ordered home. The Déterminée was paid off at Portsmouth on 19 May 1802, and Beaver was put in charge of the sea fencibles of Essex in July 1803. He was highly successful in these duties, and three years later returned to sea, having been appointed to command the 40-gun frigate HMS Acasta. He sailed her to the West Indies, remaining there until after the capture of Martinique in February 1809. He returned to England and after a few months, was appointed to command the 38-gun HMS Nisus, departing aboard her for the East Indies on 22 June 1810. He arrived on the station and joined the squadron under the command of Vice-Admiral Sir Albemarle Bertie. Beaver played a distinguished part in the capture of Mauritius in November 1810. Beaver and the Nisus then moved to a squadron under Rear-Admiral Robert Stopford and took part in the conquest of Java in August and September 1811. He spent nearly a year in Mozambique and off the coast of Madagascar, and received orders by the end of 1812 to return to England.

The Nisus was making her return voyage, when she put into Table Bay towards the end of March 1813. Beaver had complained of a slight indisposition previously, but became seized by a violent inflammation of the bowels. He spent a few days in excruciating pain, before dying on 5 April 1813. He had been a highly efficient and professional officer, and had attracted the patronage of highly placed and influential senior officers. He was widely read, and had read the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica during one cruise. In common with many officers of the period, he was a strict disciplinarian, but was never charged with tyranny. His early death and the bankruptcy of his agent placed his family in financial difficulties, with his widow having to provide for six children. She became a matron of Greenwich Hospital school.