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This seaman's journal recounts a twenty-month voyage from Boston to the African coast to intercept slave-trading vessels as America approach the Civil War. Today the twenty-gun sloop USS Constellation is a floating museum in Baltimore Harbor; in 1859 it was an emblem of the global power of the American sailing navy. William E. Leonard served aboard the Constellation during a crucial and eventful period, chronicling it all in this remarkable journal. Sailing from Boston, the Constellation, flagship of the US African Squadron, was charged with the interception and capture of slave-trading…mehr

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Produktbeschreibung
This seaman's journal recounts a twenty-month voyage from Boston to the African coast to intercept slave-trading vessels as America approach the Civil War. Today the twenty-gun sloop USS Constellation is a floating museum in Baltimore Harbor; in 1859 it was an emblem of the global power of the American sailing navy. William E. Leonard served aboard the Constellation during a crucial and eventful period, chronicling it all in this remarkable journal. Sailing from Boston, the Constellation, flagship of the US African Squadron, was charged with the interception and capture of slave-trading vessels illegally en route from Africa to the Americas. During the Constellation's deployment, the squadron captured a record number of these ships, liberating their human cargo and holding the captains and crews for criminal prosecution. At the same time, tensions at home and in the squadron increased as the American Civil War approached and erupted in April 1861. Leonard recorded not only historic events but also fascinating details about his daily life as one of the nearly four-hundred-member crew. He saw himself as not just a diarist, but a reporter, making special efforts to seek out and record information about individual crewmen, shipboard practices, recreation and daily routine-from deck swabbing and standing watch to courts martial and dramatic performances by the Constellation Dramatic Society.