Sep 28, 2017 - Sale 2455

Sale 2455 - Lot 178

Price Realized: $ 5,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
(NAVY.) Carroll, Michael B. Letterbook of a naval lieutenant in New Orleans. [56] manuscript pages, 4to, contemporary 1/2 calf, disbound, with original boards present; edge wear to some leaves with minor loss of text, a few cello tape repairs. New Orleans, LA, July 1808 to September 1809, plus one leaf from May 1810

Additional Details

Michael B. Carroll (circa 1768-1831) was a naval lieutenant stationed at the naval yard in New Orleans. Many of the letters in this volume are written to his commanding officer Commodore David Porter. An 11 August 1808 letter to Porter describes problems with civilian contractors: "All the carpenters that was employed in the yard have this evening quit," after having been docked pay for missing a roll call. Nine days later, he writes to three of the carpenters, stating that "it is entirely out of my power to encrease your wages." Other letters describe ship repairs in detail, or name employees terminated for drunkenness. A detailed "Statement of Officers & Men Employ'd in the Arsenal" is dated 17 February 1809. Carroll wrote to General James Wilkinson, the army's Commander in Chief, on four occasions. Three July 1809 letters are addressed to George Farragut. On 18 July 1809 he describes a savage beating delivered by two mates to a quartermaster: "Forsot hauled him on the floor, beat him with his fist & feet & finished by killing him. The next day the civil authority demanded them." This letterbook documents an interesting period between the American acquisition of New Orleans in 1804 and the outbreak of the War of 1812.