Friday, August 31


John Frank Jarboe was born in Breckenridge County Kentucky and raised on a farm near the tiny town of McDaniels. 

Graduating from high school in 1973 he was never interested in history.  But since, in addition to tracing his genealogy back to the 11th century, Frank has spent the past 25 years researching the events surrounding The Second Great Awakening of 1800 and the religious atmosphere in the 17th to the early 19th centuries.   

Frank spent 35 years as a photographer, with most of those years being the manager of a professional photofinishing lab.  In addition to his years in photography, Jarboe and his wife Carol along with their two daughters operated a small farm on which they raised sheep, horses and chickens.  They also ran a horse-drawn carriage service for 10 years.  Frank & Carol are grandparents to 6, one of which resides in heaven.

Frank & Carol’s journey into reenacting began in 2003 with the idea of incorporating Frank’s research into the persona of a frontier minister.

Since that time, the couple has traveled extensively (averaging about 44 weekends each year) doing 18th c. presentations as Parson John and his indentured servant Maggie Delaney – or early 19th c. as Rev. John P Griswold (a family name) and Lady Caroline Linnington.  As an ordained minister, Rev. Jarboe regularly conducts time/place appropriate church services along with other ministerial duties such as weddings and funerals.

Wednesday, August 29

7 Historical 'Facts' Learned From Reenactments

It is with tongue firmly planted in cheek that I offer you the following post. What would happen if you attended a historical reenactment knowing nothing about history? What lessons would you learn?

7.) Everyone used to live in tents in the old timey days
Just go to any historic reenactment and look around. The event grounds will be virtually awash in canvas shops and domiciles of all shapes and sizes.

6.) Historic stuff only took place on weekends
It's true! Have you ever been to a historical reenactment on a Tuesday? Historical events of import also generally occured between May and October.

5.) Battles took place according to the printed schedule
Battles in the era were opened and/or closed by music parades and had announcers on the field telling the public about what was going on with a microphone through big speakers.

4,) All soldiers had terrible aim
I got that sharpshooter up in the tree!
Nailed 'em.
Pew pew!
We nailed that Zeppelin!
Okay before you pen me a sternly worded email about the finer points of weapons safety... I realize that you're supposed to cant and elevate and so forth. But elevating sure does make for some funny pictures!

3.) Almost nobody ever got killed in battle
Just watch any battle reenactment. A line of troops marches into a harrowing volley of enemy fire and one dude falls down dead! Then to add to the confusion, all the dead jump up at the end of the battle and march off with their unit.

2.) All events of historical significance ended at 3-4pm on a Sunday afternoon
Sometimes earlier if the participants think they can get away with pulling their cars onto the field to pack up and beat the rush.

1.) Fairies Existed
Been to a Ren-Faire lately? Yeah, that happened.

If you have enjoyed reading this or the other adventures of the HMS Acasta, be certain to become an honorary member of the crew. This is a easy way to show us that you're out there and paying attention. It is a simple matter really, there is a blue button at the very bottom of the page that will allow you to join.

And Second, I would ask that you comment from time to time on the posts that interest you the most. This is an excellent way to let the crew of the Acasta know what you, the reader, is the most interested in seeing. It is always most gratifying to know what the readers like. For those of you that have commented in the past, we thank you for you support and interest!

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Thanks for reading!

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Tuesday, August 28

Images from the Year so far...

Some images of our year and events from 2018. Click any image to enlarge.

Monday, August 27

Midshipman George Gambier

Acasta Midshipman under Capt. Kerr, c.1809-1811

George Cornish Gambier is brother of Capt. Robt. Gambier, R.N.

This officer entered the Navy, 18 June, 1808, as Sec.-cl. Boy, on board the Thisbe 28, Capt. Wm. Rogers, bearing the flag in the river Thames of Hon. Hen. Edwin Stanhope; served, as Midshipman, from 20 Oct. 1809, to 14 Nov. 1811, of the Unicorn and Acasta frigates, both commanded by Capt. Alex. Robt. Kerr, in the Bay of Biscay; then joined the Malta 80, bearing the flag in the Mediterranean of Rear-Admiral Benj. Hallowell ; and, on 6 March, 1815, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. His next appointments were, on the East India station, to the Orlando 36, Capt. John Clavell, Minden 74, flag-ship of Sir Rich. King, and Topaze 46, Capt. John Rich. Lumley. He assumed command, 7 Dec. 1819, of the Curlew sloop, and on 4 June, 1821, was posted into the Dauntless 24.

He was paid off, on his return from India, towards the close of 1823, and since that period has been on half-pay.

Friday, August 24


Shea W. McLean was born and raised in Mobile, AL and is of Scottish and English heritage. His father was a steamship agent in the Port of Mobile which is, presumably, how he received his fascination with all things maritime. McLean was an exchange student at Kings College, University of London, in 1986 and received his BA in History at the University of South Alabama in 1987. While still in college, he received his commission in the United States Army in 1984. After a brief stint in the Army, McLean decided to continue his education and received his MS in Nautical Archaeology at The Florida State University in 1997. Since then, McLean has pursued a lifelong career in nautical history and maritime archaeology.

Over his 30+ year career as a marine archaeologist and museum curator, McLean has worked on a myriad of archaeological projects and is a member of several historical societies. His archaeological exploits range from early vessels of exploration (De Luna’s 1559 colonization fleet) to a number of civil war era vessels (Confederate submarine HL Hunley, CSS Alabama, etc.) with a healthy dose of colonial vessels in-between. 

McLean’s expertise and interest lay mainly with historic artifacts, ship construction, celestial navigation, and maritime history. He has been a living historian and reenactor since 1998.

McLean currently serves as the Curator of Battleship USS Alabama Memorial Park in Mobile, AL. He spends much of his time with his beloved wife Caroline Newton-Jones McLean (Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK) and his three cherished daughters: Brooke, Chelsea, and Katherine.

Thursday, August 23

The Purser and the Captain

Today's post penned by S. Diatz 
who portrays our Ship's Purser N. Armitage

"..this day, our frigate, HMS 'Acasta', was given command to a new captain, Sir James Robt. Rehme, K.B. His stirring address was very inspiring and his words resonated to the entire crew. Many of them were very hopeful of 'prize money' that can be won, 'for those sailors and ships that are bold, disciplined, intrepid and do their duty'

As 'Acasta's' purser, I was heartened he relayed his faith that I would keep our vessel..'well stocked with quality victuals and clothing, going forward'.." 

-Nicholas Armitage, RN, Portsmouth

Wednesday, August 22

The Viscountess

Today's post penned by S. Diatz 
who portrays our Ship's Purser N. Armitage

"..away from the glittering ballroom, in the 'gaming salon', as that long elegant evening progressed, the play at the dice-table became very intense..and the young Viscountess hazarded a small fortune in the stakes. Each succeeding cast was more costly to her ladyship.. she would then be forced to tender a hefty sum, in a 'draft upon her bankers', to Mr Armitage, who had much more experience and skill, at those gaming tables of Town.." 

"..after the long evening of gaming..when Viscountess 'G' had lamented her leaving the ballroom, for the gaming salon..she ruefully tendered her heavy 'note of hand', to Mr Armitage. Lesson learned ..that the 'safety of the dance-floor' should never be taken lightly, when skilled gamesters an evening's entertainment.."

'The Grand Ball', held at The Pendennis Club, Mayfair, London,

Tuesday, August 21

1st Class Volunteer Samuel Linden

Today's post written by Teri Linden

Samuel Linden was 8 years old when he was pressed by HMS Acasta into joining their Navy.  

During his “interview” (some say interrogation) then ship’s boatswain, Mr. Hollybrass upon asking young Mister Linden for his age and getting a reply of, “8,” continued refusing the answer, prompting Linden to respond he was 10, until finally the exhausted lad complied telling Hollybrass he was indeed, “10!”  This prompted Hollybrass to immediately sign the lad up for service having him put his slight chicken scrawl signature on a sailor’s contract and telling the boy he needed to report in 3 days for duty and to set sail.  

Young Mister Linden was not duped by this in the least and proceeded to inform his mother the entire weekend that "on Monday, we need to come back so I can go to sea with His Majesty's Royal Navy!”  

This set in motion a series of events over the next 5 years where young mister Linden followed the Acasta Crew to their various event’s shores to sail with the Acasta Crew, learn their trades and crafts and gain ranks among them, currently holding position of 1st Class Volunteer after being promoted from Ship’s Boy last year.

A side note about young Mr. Linden... we encountered him at the Fair at New Boston where we do Press Gang and recruitment activities with the public... we tell the newly 'recruited' men to report back on the following Monday so we can 'go to the ship'. Linden's been reporting back ever since!

Monday, August 20

American Duchess for Men?!

In the event that you missed the exciting announcement, American Duchess will be manufacturing shoes for MEN soon! 

Lauren asked if she could have our acting Third Lieutenant and new Captain to pose in order to promote said shoes and they did so gladly! 

As you likely already know, American Duchess is already well known for making a variety of amazing period shoes and boots for ladies. The first run of their men’s footwear is said to be a latchet shoe, a pump and a hessian boot! Everything a fashionable regency gent could ever need.

Posted herein, you will find the images taken at Locust Grove to promote the upcoming men’s shoe line from American Duchess!