1842 - 1844

Journal of a Cruise of the US Frigate United States
by Corporal Edward W. Taylor VII, USMC

NEW copy, direct from publisher. (Vancouver: Rose Wind Press, 2004). Numbered and limited to 500 copies. Inscribed by editors Mary Kline Rose and L. Stuart Taylor, the great-great-grandson of the journal writer.

Edited by maritime historian Mary Kline Rose and L. Stuart Taylor, extensive care was taken to compare contemporary journalists, archival documents, and the ship's logs.

More than 160 years ago, Edward W. Taylor penned this extraordinary journal while experiencing real life adventures as an observant young marine who guarded Commodore ap Catesby Jones, a controversial Commander of the Pacific Fleet in the mid-1800s. Shipping out aboard the flagship USS United States – the very first American vessel launched by Congress – the crew was proud of her speed and heritage. The vessel often out-sailed and outraced her sister ships: USS Constitution, USS Constellation, USS President, USS Chesapeake, and USS Congress.

Marine Corporal Edward W. Taylor served in the capture and swift return of Monterey, CA, in 1843. A keen observer as an admiral’s guard, he kept a secret journal, recording private visits of native royalty, prime ministers and international diplomats, merchants and missionaries – those who reigned over the Pacific at the dawn of imperial aggression. Taylor’s three-year journal captured an early Victorian world of naval personnel and townspeople in 19th Century Peru, Hawaii, Chile, Society Islands, Mexico, California. Taylor witnessed a flogging through the fleet, the relief of his commodore’s command, and deadly preparations for war. He detailed the human bonds and harsh conditions that existed among 500 men living in close quarters aboard an aging frigate thousands of miles from home.

Examining a period of American history that is little known and far less documented, Taylor’s journal is augmented by official letters, ship logs, memoirs, and other journalists’ remarks. Here is proof that the world’s greatest literature is based on real life experiences. His journal intimately recounts non-fictional characters and events that were retold by novelist Herman Melville, in his novel White Jacket.

Based on the outcome of this voyage, dueling was abolished among officers, the ration of rum was eliminated from the fleet, and flogging was permanently outlawed as naval punishment