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    Ship's Log for the Buenos Ayres Brig of War Republica Kept by Louis Goodwin for the period November 1817 through July 1818. More than 60 pages, of a log book measuring 7.5" x 12.25", with the remaining 100 plus pages left unused. Based on the content, the Republica was a privateer patrolling the West Indies, although sometimes it is unclear if they are engaging in outright piracy. Many factors contributed to a rise in piracy in the region, including Spain's loss of the colonies and the abolition of the slave trade. Goodwin's entries include many interactions with other vessels, and the crew of the Republica are eyewitnesses and participants. The log includes accounts of the capture of Amelia Island by US forces in December 1817, the death of Haitian President Alexandre Pétion, and the accidental deaths of two crew members.

    The events leading up to the capture of Amelia Island begin with the Republica patrolling the waters off the coast of Florida: 21st November 1817... At 4 P.M. came up with the Schooner Young Constitution, having American colours flying Union down, from Africa bound to Havanna. The commodore wished to know if he could be of any assistance to him, the reply was that he stood in need of nothing but the day of the month and week, which we gave him but finding he was playing us a Yankee trick. Mr. Black the 1st Lieut and a boats crew, at the hazard of their lives with the greatest difficulty boarded her & took possession. We could not distinctly learn the particulars it being impossible for the boat to return on account of a heavy sea & the gale increasing... 22nd Nov 1817... At 5.30 recd on board the prisoners from the prize. Gave Mr. Darling charge of her & dispatched her for Amelia Isld. At 6 made sail to the northward... 23rd November 1817... Commenced with pleasant weather all sail set in chase. At 1 P.M. came up with and boarded the Schooner Light from Charleston bound to the Havanna. Permitted her to proceed - ... At 3 the Hole in the Wall bore N.E by E.N.E. 7 miles Distance... At 9 P.M. came up with & boarded the Brig Montserat from Africa bound to the Havanna with 265 slaves on board. At 10 wore ship with the prize and stood to the eastward under double reefed top sails. The Berry Islands bearing S.E. distance 12 miles... 24th November 1817... At 4 Discharged the Prize Mr. Hewes master and ordered him for Amelia Island." During this period Amelia Island is under the control of French Privateer Louis Aury, who had joined forces with Americans Ruggles Hubbard and Jared Irwin, and these entries would suggest that the Republica is allied with these forces.

    Goodwin's entries continue daily giving accounts of activities aboard the Republica, and listing their captured prizes. His entry for December 14 mentions capture of another slave ship: "Commences with moderate weather. Wind S.W. at 2 A.M. the revenue cutter boat came along side with 42 slaves. Ordered her for Fernandina. At 3 the Launch & Cutter arrived with 94 slaves. At 11 A.M. Lt. Fleischman arrived in the sloop with 45 slaves. Left Mr. Black in charge of the prize."

    His entries continue: "Monday 15 This day commences with pleasant weather. Wind S.W. at 12 A.M. dispatched Mr. Howe with orders for the prize Brig to proceed if possible immediately for the River de la Plata. Tuesday 16. This day commences cloudy. All hands employed at the rigging. Sent 12 men on shore to keep a guard over the Negros several having already died & two missing. Wednesday 17. Sent all the old Bread on shore & recd 50 barrels of Bread on board also a new cable. At 8 A.M. Lieut. Black returned with part of the crew of the prize Brig & informed us that the US Schooner Lynx had possession of her and had ordered her for Savanna. Thursday 18. Commences with cloudy weather. All hands employed preparing to paint he Brig. This day the American Schooner Lynx arrived & anchored in American waters. Friday 19... Arrived in American waters the U.S. Brigs Davanna & Prometheus... Monday 22... The John Adams & Enterprize arrived, weighed anchor & dropt abreast of the Town. All hands employed at the duty of the ship. Tuesday 23. This day commences with remarkable pleasant weather. At 11 A.M. the American squadron got underweigh & stood in for Fernandina and came to an anchor opposite to the town at 12. The John Adams landed the American troops under the command of Col. Blankhead & at 3 P.M. they marched up & took possession of the fort & hoisted American colours. Wednesday 24... Arrived the Mexican Congress... Thursday 24... Arrived the Mexican schooner High Flyer & a prize schooner with 104 slaves on board. Was taken possession of by the American squadron."

    The Republica continues its patrol in the West Indies, and Goodwin's log all encounters with other vessels. Goodwin makes a single entry to cover the period from Monday, March 16 to Sunday, March 19, 1818: "Nothing remarkable took place until Sunday the 29th. The commodore returned from Port au Prince having met with a good reception by President Petion & settled everything amicably. This day a very unfortunate accident happened, while firing a salute a Powder Horn exploded & wounded Robt Edwards a seaman who died the next morning. Lieut. Fleischman was burnt considerably." Goodwin notes that Edwards was buried the next day. On April 1, he records news of President Pétion's (Haiti's first president) death, "a man universally beloved by his people."

    On the last page of entries, Goodwin notes on June 9, 1818, that the Republic anchors off Mobile Point. On July 14, he writes, "Sailed from Mobile Point for New Orleans in the brig Rising Sun, formerly Republica." His last entry notes their arrival in New Orleans. The log book also includes a crude ink drawing, filled in with pencil in the back. Much good content, and worthy of extensive research.

    Condition: Boards are bound in vellum, with some staining. Binding is tight, and interior pages are evenly toned. Light soiling on some pages, and small tear with paper loss occurring on a single page. Pastedown sheets are peeled at gutter, but do not affect tight binding.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    5th Tuesday
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