1818-1833 - An Early Naval Surgeon
Original text by Jennifer L. Neff and Wendell F. Lauth October 2007
Dr. Ticknor Became a Surgeon on the USS Macedonian, 1818 – 1821
From January 1819 to March 1821 the famous old warship operated off the Pacific coast of South America, giving aid and protection to commercial ships during disorders following Latin colonial revolts. She returned to Boston in June 1821.
Brief Background of Dr. Benejah Ticknor
Dr. Benejah Ticknor was born in Vermont on May 22, 1788. When his father died, the mother moved the family to Litchfield County Connecticut. In June of 1814 Judson Canfield brought Dr. Ticknor to Canfield, Trumbull (now Mahoning) Co. Ohio, to practice medicine. There he married Gesie Bostwick on February 28, 1816. She was a sister of Mrs. Herman Canfield (Judge.)
Before coming to Canfield Dr. Ticknor had completed an application to become a U.S. Naval surgeon, however, after a significant lapse of time, he thought that he had not been selected and had full intentions of making Canfield his permanent home. However during the summer of 1818, he was surprised to receive orders to report for duty at Boston Harbor. Much to the regret of Canfield, he left immediately.
Dr. Ticknor Became a Surgeon on the USS Macedonian, 1818 – 1821. From January 1819 to March 1821 the famous old warship operated off the Pacific coast of South America, giving aid and protection to commercial ships during disorders following Latin colonial revolts. She returned to Boston in June 1821.
He served as a US Naval Surgeon from 1818 to 1833. He made his first voyage around the Cape Horn in the Frigate Macedonian leaving Boston September 20, 1818, and arriving at Valparaiso on January 28, 1819. On the return trip the ship touched at Rio Janeiro and various other ports, reaching Boston in 1821. He made six voyages on-board national vessels; the fourth was to the East Indies; the fifth to the Mediterranean; and the sixth to China and Japan. He was three times appointed Fleet Surgeon, and served on the ocean over fifteen years and in naval hospitals for over twenty years.
From Yale College he received an Honorary Doctor of Medicine Degree. He was also elected Honorary Member of the American Medical Society. He retired to a farm in Pittsfield, near Ann Arbor, Michigan where he died on September 20, 1858 at the age of 70y 3m 29d.
A biography by Canfield’s noted historian, Dr. Jackson Truesdale
Mahoning Dispatch, Canfield Ohio, Fri, Nov. 19, 1897 - Article No. 46
Excerpt on Ticknor and the US Navy:
“In June, 1814, Dr. Benejah Ticknor, by the solicitation and in company of the Hon. Judson Canfield, settled in the town of Canfield for the practice of medicine. It is true he did not remain here many years before he was called upon to serve the nation in a wider sphere. Yet he came to Canfield with the intention of making the place his permanent home. He married a Canfield lady whose kindred lived and died here. While in the employ of the government, the doctor, if he had wished to exercise his right to suffrage, he could have voted nowhere else. If he had resigned his office position, he may have intended to return here. Surely, we think, he should receive honorable mention among the early residents of Canfield.
Mr. Whittlesey, through whom we obtain about all that we know of the doctor, was evidently impressed with his worth and great learning. His manuscript covers many pages, from which we have only room for a few items. Dr. Benejah Ticknor was born in the state of Vermont, May 22, 1788. His father lost his life by some accident, leaving the mother in destitute circumstances with a numerous family of children to care for and support. Judged by results, it may be supposed this duty was discharged with great fidelity and success. Three of the sons became eminent in their profession or as scientists and authors. Before the death of the father, the family had changed their residence from Vermont to Salisbury, Conn. Although so many of the sons became eminent as scholars, we see no mention of their attending any college.
The son Benejah studied medicine and after obtaining a license to practice, and in order to improve his knowledge of surgery, made application for the position of assistant surgeon in the U.S. Navy. Hearing nothing of his application, he supposed it was unfavorably considered. Thinking the growing west would afford a wider field for the practice of his profession, he accepted a proffered seat in the carriage of Mr. Canfield, and upon his arrival in June, 1814, opened his office in the village. Our authorities are not very clear as to what success or the want of it he met with as a practitioner while here, but they do say the doctor was unassuming and retiring in his manners, frank and sincere in word and action. That is to say, he was devoid of all blarney, that very necessary accomplishment for the gaining of success by doctors, and we may as well add "store- keepers". Notwithstanding this defect, we have no doubt but that in time he would have won his way to success as a country practitioner. But the doctor's modesty did not prevent his courting and marrying in 1816, one of Canfield's best of ladies, Miss Getie (sic) Bostwick, a daughter of a distinguished Episcopalian clergyman of Massachusetts. We have heard of and mentioned this lady before in previous sketches. Notably as the companion of Mrs. Whittlesey when she came to Ohio in 1806. She was a sister to Mrs. Herman Canfield, with whom she made her home. Our time has expired, leaving something more to be said of Dr. Ticknor next week.”
Mahoning Dispatch, Canfield, Ohio, Fri, Dec. 17, 1897 - Article No. 47
Excerpt on Ticknor and the US Navy cont.:
“Editor Dispatch: - We left Dr. Ticknor at the end of our last article in the midst of a happy honeymoon that no doubt continued through life. Our fathers and mothers differed greatly in their views of the marriage relation from what obtains with too many of the present age - with them it was for life - now on trial, or, as we Methodists say, on probation; this probation is repeated again and again, and each time made more of a botch than the first. Verily we hope our people will ere long learn that our ancestors in their day were wiser than this generation in relation to this all-important question.
It would seem that from the first the application of Dr. Ticknor for admission to the navy as surgeon was favorably received, and in the interval the department was simply waiting for a time when his services would be needed. It also appears that it was almost an accident that the Doctor heard of his appointment. He had changed his residence, the department knew not where. His brothers in Connecticut, noticing the list of appointees, informed him that he was on the list. The Doctor informed the department of his address and awaited further orders.
On a Thursday, sometime in the summer of 1818, Dr. Ticknor entered the office of Mr. Whittlesey saying he had received orders to report for duty at Boston harbor, and that he had determined to leave for there the following Monday. Mr. Whittlesey remonstrated with him on the ground that he was not allowing himself sufficient time to adjust his business; that his order to report did not peremptorily fix a day, and that such promptitude was not necessary. But the doctor was unyielding. When he made up his mind to do a thing, it must be done. When Monday came, the time had been so well used that he was ready to leave, and did so. Mr. Whittlesey and other friends as a mark of esteem and respect for the doctor, escorted him on horseback as far as Poland. Dr. Ticknor's first service as surgeon was on board the old warship Macedonia, and his first cruise occupied about three years. In all, he made six, covering a period of 15 years. Each cruise was in different quarters of the globe. From assistant surgeon, he was promoted to surgeon in full, and finally to surgeon in the Mediterranean and East Indian squadrons. This rapid promotion would surely indicate merit and devotion to duty. His health became impaired by exposure in tropical climates, and as a measure of safety and appreciation for many subsequent years, his official duties were confined to various navy yards or naval depots. As age crept on, he retired to a farm in the close vicinity of Ann Arbor, in Michigan, still retaining his official position in the navy and subject to be assigned for further duty at any time. On this farm he died in his 71st year. The date of his death is not given, but by knowing the date of his birth and age, it was probably in 1859. The doctor and wife were not the parents of any children, but they made amends for this by adopting and educating several. One of these became the worthy and esteemed wife of our late fellow citizen, Warren Hine.
Up to this point but little has been said to distinguish Dr. Benejah Ticknor above the average professional man who has shown reasonable skill and devotion to duty. We have abundant testimony to the fact that he was far in advance of such as a scholar and original investigator, and this was accomplished in spite of obstacles that would seem insurmountable to an ordinary man. He never spent an hour within college walls as a pupil; never recited a lesson to a college professor. When a poor, friendless orphan boy, he studied while his mates slept. By force of his indomitable will, retentive memory, patience, perseverance, system and method, he became a profound scholar in spite of adverse surroundings. Every moment was watched and used for a purpose - no opportunity to learn neglected. He mastered and spoke several modern languages - Hebrew, Greek and Latin were daily read. Mathematics were his special delight and he studied as a diversion, abstruse works in this science not taught in Harvard and Yale. It may be wondered that so learned a man was not more of an author. This was a matter of regret and disappointment on the part of his scholarly acquaintances. What he might have done had life been prolonged, we do not know. One writer in speaking of what had come from his pen, expressed the hope that much more would be found among his posthumous papers that should be published. As it was, the doctor contributed the medical journals valuable articles on tropical diseases that came under his observation that were eagerly sought after by the medical press and extensively read by the profession. He also contributed articles of a scientific nature to a number of other journals.
Whatever study or work, even of an humble character, he undertook was well done. It is said by one who knew him that while a resident of Canfield, no muscular woodsman could handle an axe with more expertness and effect. If he had turned his attention to well-digging or ditching, he would have excelled and acquired local fame for skill and completeness - the curves would be graceful, force and resistance would be adjusted to each other so that no waste of strength would occur. The doctor's death caused wide comment on the part of learned men, and to some extent by the public press. We have several of these made by men not addicted to senseless gush. We cannot afford the space to quote from any of them more than to say they are highly commendatory and more than bear us out in our humble sketch of Dr. Ticknor's attainments as a scholar.”
Ticknor in History of Canfield by Elisha Whittlesey and Frederick Wadsworth, written 1858-1859
Unpublished Handwritten Manuscript Repository: Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS)
Note about the manuscript: This handwritten volume contains the earliest known works of Canfield history, and subsequent histories of Canfield use it as a primary source, including John M. Edwards and Dr. Jackson Truesdale. A typed transcript prepared by Richard Ulrich is the source used here.
“Not long after the war was declared by the United States against Great Britain in 1812; Benajah Ticknor having been admitted to practice medicine and surgery, applied for the appointment of Assistant Surgeon in the Navy of the United States accompanied by suitable recommendations of his qualifications. He was then residing at Sharon in Litchfield County, Connecticut. His object was to perfect his knowledge in surgery. Not hearing from the Navy Department he concluded his application was not favorably considered, and his attention was turned to the Connecticut Western Reserve by the Hon. Judson Canfield, as more favorable for gratifying the rising hopes of a young practitioner, than in the old settlement of Connecticut, and he embraced an opportunity to come west, with him, who had a vacant seat in a carriage, in which he proposed to make the journey. He arrived at Canfield in the early part of June 1814, and soon commenced a successful career in the practice of his profession. His knowledge of Medicine as a science, and of diseases to which the human family is subject, with his frankness and sincerity, would insure him the confidence of any community where he might reside.
On the 28th of February 1816 he united in marriage with Miss Getie (sic) Bostwick, daughter of the Rev. Gideon Bostwick an Episcopal clergyman of Great Barrington, then deceased, and a sister of Mrs. Fitch Canfield, wife of the Hon. Herman Canfield, of whom mention is made in the sketch of the latter. They were worthy of each others affections and illustrated the harmony and happiness of the marriage state during a period of forty-two years.
He had settled as he supposed in Canfield during his life. Being informed by his brother at the east, that his name was on the list of Assistant Surgeons in the Navy; he wrote to the department in 1817 informing it, of his residence at that time, and requested information as to his appointment; stating if it had been made he should await orders. An affirmative answer was given on the __day of Dec. 1817 and he was informed he would be called to duty when his services were needed. In the fore part of September 1818, he came to my office on Thursday, I think, and said he had received an order from the Navy Department to report himself for duty at Boston. I asked him how soon he would leave? He said on Monday. I replied to him, he could not settle his accounts and arrange for his personal accommodations, and for the accommodations of his family at a day so early as he had mentioned, and I asked him if a day was designated for him to be in Boston? To my enquiry he replied in the negative; and repeated he should leave on Monday. His decision being made, I know so much of his firmness, as to cause me to withhold any further importunity. In the two intervening days, his accounts were adjusted and arrangements for himself and family completed, and on Monday in the forenoon several of us escorted him on horseback to Poland in testimony of the respect we entertained for him. During his absence I received several letters from him, which with other letters he wrote to me when aboard, in performing the different cruises mentioned in the obituary notices copied above are esteemed among my most valued correspondence. I have seen several officers with whom he sailed and they said without exception, he was the most perfect man in thought, word, and deed, with whom they have been associated.
Commodore Joseph Smith, new chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, when speaking of him to me last winter at Washington, said he was the most scrupulously honest of any man he ever knew, and he accompanied this remark by stating that when Dr. Ticknor was preparing to leave the Navy Yard at Charlestown, Massachusetts, where he had been stationed for the usual period and he being about to order some boxes for packing some of his things, was told by what had been held to be competent authority, there were in the Yard a large number of boxes, that were of no use to the United States, and that he could take such, and as many of them, as he needed, and that the uniform practice had been, and was, to take them, by officers, when leaving for duty. Dr. Ticknor said he was not responsible for the practice, it was not his, that the boxes whether worth much or nothing were not his, and that he would not take them from the United States, any sooner than he would take them from an individual.
He held, that no officer had the right to give away articles that belonged to the United States. He employed a carpenter to make him such boxes as his necessities required. An example worthy to be followed by many members of Congress, and by many who hold offices under the Government.
Dr. Ticknor’s mother was daughter of Daniel Bingham, brother of Caleb (Caleb Bingham graduated of Dartmouth College 1782) of Salisbury, Connecticut, a strictly honest and upright man of good sound mind and judgment, of marked independence of character, and plain frankness. He had generally disposed of the iron he took to Hartford to Colonel Jeremiah Wadsworth, and having on one occasion taken a load in a sleigh in the winter season, and the snow having unexpectedly melted, he walked through the mud of which his large cow hide boots retained as much as would lay upon them. Not being satisfied with the price offered at the store by Col Wadsworth’s clerks, he sought and found Col. Wadsworth at his house; having entered it at the front door and traversed on entry to the sitting room on a rich carpet. Having been informed, he could enquire, about town for purchasers, and if no one offered more, his clerk would pay the price he had mentioned; and as Mr. Bingham was retiring Col. Wadsworth said Mr. Bingham it is very muddy, and if you should come to the house again to see me, be pleased to come in at the back door. Mr. Bingham turned round squared himself, resolutely, casting his eyes upon Col. Wadsworth, emphatically said “Col. Wadsworth, Jesus Christ invites me into the Kingdom of heaven at the front door, and his house is as good as yours, and I shall not enter your house at the back door. ”Education and refined society forbade the like remark by Dr. Ticknor, but prominent traits of his character were decision, frankness, and independence.
He was the nephew of Caleb Bingham of Boston one of the most accomplished men of his day; the father of Mrs. General Towson whose kind affability and courteous hospitality were proverbial with all who visited Washington, before, she and the family were afflicted by the paralysis; that prostrated Gen. Towson, and after years of suffering terminated a life of great activity and of usefulness in the Military Service of his country.
Dr. Ticknor’s scientific acquirements are mentioned in the notice above and I shall not attempt to speak of them but I bear testimony to the purity of his character, to his indomitable resolution and enduring friendship. No one has over rated those high qualifications that preeminently distinguished him.
He boasted of no generous liberal act; but was thankful to an over ruling Providence, to have been made the instrument of doing good to his fellow men; and of promoting the cause of religion. ‘The end of the perfect man is peace.’”
DR. BENAJAH TICKNOR By Professor Beckwith of Litchfield, Connecticut
The following obituary article was written by Professor Beckwith of Litchfield. It is deemed proper to preserve it among the historical sketches of the settlers of Canfield, from the consideration that he was a resident here for several years and greatly esteemed, and from the further consideration that he was united in marriage to Miss Getie (sic) Bostwick who came to reside here in 1806 and held a prominent place in the esteem and affection of all of our people to whom she was known.
“Died at Ann Arbor, Mich. On the 20th ult. (20 Sep 1858) Benajah Ticknor M. D. in the 71st year of his age. Dr. Ticknor was born in Vermont, was the eldest of a numerous family of children who immigrated to Salisbury in this county (Litchfield) Connecticut. During the infancy of his children, the father was soon after killed by accident, leaving the care and support of his poor and friendless family upon the mother and elder sons. Destitute of resources and friends, Benajah found no resources for prosecuting that thirst for knowledge, which evinced itself, as the ruling passion of his soul in childhood; but he redeemed enough of time from the hours usually allotted to repose and recreation to pursue those studies which enabled his to commence the study of medicine, which he prosecuted so successfully that he passed a very credible examination for a license.
He subsequently made application for the appointment of Assistant Surgeon in the United States Navy which he received in 1814, and in 1824 was commissioned as Surgeon, which appointment he held until the time of his death. During this period he has been employed about fifteen years at sea, most of the time in long cruises as Surgeon and Assistant Surgeon. Thus he has seen more important and varied scenes, than almost any person now living.
He has also been stationed about ten years at the Navy Yard, at Brooklyn, and Charlestown, and other places of rendezvous. His health having been impaired by exposures in tropical climates, he has not been ordered to sea for the last ten years. The importance of the stations assigned him on sea and land – the destination of the squadrons, to which he has been attached are evidences of the confidence of the successive administrations in his professional skill and standing in the Navy.
He received from Yale College several years since the Honorary Degree of M. D. he was also elected Honorary Member of the American Medical Society and received several honorary notices from other sources. He was emphatically a self made man, who deprived of the advantages of instruction in a common school, attained an eminence in scholarship, and varied learning which gave him a rank among the most learned men of the age. He read the modern languages with fluency and Hebrew and Greek and Latin as his daily exercises. He was distinguished for his Mathematical acquisitions. The works of LaPlace, and other obtuse mathematical treaties, he read for pastime and amusement. He was familiar with classical authors and mathematical theories, and of which are not taught in the Universities of Harvard and Yale, and of which he acquired by his indomitable perseverance and protracted devotion to their acquisition. The great acquisition which he made in knowledge and science, and the eminence which he attained in professional life, are attributed in part to the systematic allotment of certain hours of each day to certain duties and studies. His professional duties were never neglected. The remaining hours, had each, their legitimate work. He rose early, and retired at a regular hour, and gave to his morning and evening devotions, epistolary and other writing, classical and mathematician studies, professional and other reading exercise and meditation, and his professional duties the time which was not receparily given to repose with such a system of intellectual and moral development of the entire man, it may not be surprising that a long life should yield such a rich and ample harvest. As a writer he possessed such merit, and contributed many able papers in various topics.
His observations on the treatment of diseases in tropical climates with cases which came under his observation, were eagerly sought after by the Medical journals, and well received by the Profession, and we hope to find that he has left behind him, much valuable matter, which he has with-held from the public during his life. He wrote much and kept a daily journal of all such incidents as were worthy of preservation. In his intercourse with the world, he was modest and unassuming, reserved in conversation, dignified, and manly in his bearing, abstemious in his living, temperate in his habits, faithful in his friendships, and withal a consistent Christian, ardently devoted to the worship, and ritual of the Episcopal Church, holding the place of Senior Warden at the time of his death. He treated with great liberality those who professed a different creed.
He married Miss Getie Bostwick, a daughter of a deceased Episcopal Clergyman of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, a lady of unusual merit. He had no children but educated several children, some of whom survive him. His liberal salary and prudent management of his pecuniary matters enabled him to make large donations to the active and useful benevolent societies of the day, the notice of which was seldom published in his name, as he made it a principle, not to “let his left hand know what his right hand did.” To those who would regard this brief notice of the deceased, as a fancy and ideal portrait we say, that the writer, from an intimacy with the subject of our notice, can vouch for the truth and accuracy of the record: “His record is kept on high.”
It may not be irrelevant to the subject, to say, that the deceased was brother to Doctors Luther and Caleb, the former of whom was President of the Connecticut Medical Societies, and the latter author of the Philosophy of Living, and other published works, both of whom were distinguished in life, and were like their elder brother self made men.”
The following was published by Beckwith at Ann Arbor:
“Dr. Ticknor whose decease at his residence near this city was stated in the last number of this journal, was born in the State of Vermont on the 22nd day of May 1788. He was appointed an assistant Surgeon of the U.S. A. in Dec. 1814.
He made his first voyage around the Cape Horn in the Frigate Macedonian leaving Boston September 20th 1818, and arriving at Valparaiso on the 28th of January 1819. On his return the ship touched at Rio Janeiro and various other ports and returned to Boston in 1821. He made six voyages on board national vessels, the fourth of which, was to the East Indies, the fifth to the Mediterranean and the sixth to China and Japan. He was three times appointed Fleet Surgeon, and served on the ocean over fifteen years; and in naval hospitals over twenty years. These facts show the high esteem in which he was held by the Navy Department. He returned from his last voyage in 1842, and retired to his farm in Pittsfield near this city in the spring of the year 1854, where he remained awaiting orders until his death.
The high appreciation of his character and services, is shown by the following preamble, a memorial, and resolutions adopted at a meeting of the Vestrymen of St. Andrews Church of Ann Arbor, held at the office of the Secretary on Tuesday evening the 21st instant.
The Vestry having heard with sorrow that Dr. Benajah Ticknor, the Senior Warden of this Church, and Surgeon of the U.S. A., departed this life at his residence; on Monday the 20th inst. At 9 o’clock a.m. in the 71st year of his age; in token of their respect, and the respect of the Church and Society for his memory, on account of his many virtues, his long and valuable services to his country, and the esteem in which he had been held by and among all his friends, and numerous acquaintances and neighbors, do order that this memorial, and the following resolutions, be entered upon the records of the church. He has enjoyed a long life of usefulness which he had spent in purity and in practice of Christian virtues and departed in ripe old age. His afflicted family who have lost their beloved head will deeply mourn his loss, and the friends and neighbors and acquaintances, and the members of this Church and society will long cherish his memory. As a further testimonial of our regard for the memory of the deceased:
Resolved; That we, the Junior Warden and Vestrymen will attend the funeral of our deceased brother; and accept the invitation to act as bearer upon the occasion. Resolved; That a copy of these proceedings be made and presented to the widow of our late brother. Also that copies be furnished for publication in the several newspapers of this city.”
More about the USS Macedonian
Period etching of USS Macedonian
“Frigate: tonnage 1,325; length 161'6"; beam 40'; depth of hold 18'4"; complement 306; armament: 28x18pdr, 2x12pdr, 2x9pdr, 16x32carr. 1x18pdr carr.) Rebuild #1: tonnage: 1,341, length 164'0", beam: 41' 0", depth of hold 18'0" armament: (designed): 32x32pdr medium guns, 24x32pdr carr., (carried): 32x32pdr meduim guns, 8x8" shell guns. Rebuild #2 (razee sloop) armament: 16x32pdrs, 6x8" shell guns”
From: http://members.cox.net/shipkiller/data/frigate/macedonian_frigate.html Howard Chapelle, The History of the American Sailing Navy: the Ships and their Development (New York: Norton, 1949) Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships James T. de Kay, Chronicles of the Frigate Macedonian (W.W. Norton, New York, 1995)
“The HMS Macedonian, a thirty-eight-gun sailing frigate, was built at Woolwich, England, in 1809, launched on June 2, 1810, and commissioned soon thereafter, Lord William FitzRoy in command. Among the original crew was thirteen-year-old Samuel Leech, who later wrote a memoir of his experiences.
Macedonian first delivered a company of soldiers to Lisbon, Portugal, then remained in the area, guarding against the possibility of French naval attack. During this period, FitzRoy made personal profit by falsification of records of ships' stores, for which he was court-martialed in March 1811 and dismissed from the service (he was quietly reinstated in August, presumably due to his aristocratic rank.)
FitzRoy's replacement, William Waldegrave, was an interim appointment whose command lasted for only a few weeks before he was himself replaced by John Carden. One of Carden's first actions was to hire a band, a move popular with the crew, but he did not get along with the first lieutenant David Hope.
In January 1812, Macedonian was ordered to secretly deliver some bills of exchange to Norfolk, Virginia, and to bring back an equivalent quantity of gold and silver specie, as part of a scheme to keep the Bank of England solvent. During the visit, Carden socialized with the notables of Norfolk, including Commodore Stephen Decatur (whom he was soon to meet under much less friendly circumstances), but bungled the mission by inadvertently revealing what was planned, and had to return to Lisbon empty-handed.
In September, Macedonian was ordered to accompany an East Indiaman as far as Madeira, then to cruise in search of prizes as long as his supplies permitted. The frigate left Madeira on October 22nd , but only a few days later, on the morning of October 25th , encountered the USS United States, commanded by none other than his erstwhile dinner host Decatur. The USA had just declared the War of 1812 on Britain, and both captains were eager to achieve personal glory in a fight.
On October 25th Macedonian was steering N.W. about 1000 miles west of the Canary Islands when, at daybreak, a sail was seen on the lee beam. Capt. Carden immediately stood towards and soon made out a large American frigate. After exchanging shots at long range for an hour a close action commenced. The enemy's force was so superior that there could only be one end to the battle; after two hours and ten minutes with all her masts badly damaged, all the guns on the quarter-deck and forecastle disabled except for two and a great proportion of the crew killed or wounded, Capt. Carden was forced to surrender his ship. His opponent was the United States, built with the scantlings of a 74-gun ship and armed with thirty long 24-pounders on her main deck and twenty-two 42- pounder carronades and two long 24-pounders on her quarter-deck and forecastle.
At a muster on the 28th it was determined that Macedonian had lost thirty-six killed, thirty-six severely wounded, many of whom were unlikely to recover, and thirty-two slightly wounded. Lieut. David Hope was severely wounded in the leg, and later even more so in the head, and taken below but was soon back again on the deck. Lieut. John Bulford was also wounded but remained at his quarters. Lieut. Samuel Mottley and the master, Mr. Walker, were unwounded. The prisoners were taken to New London were they were treated with great kindness by Com. Decatur and his officers who returned all the private property taken in the ship. They were taken by cartel to Bermuda where they faced a court martial on board San Domingo on May 27th and 31st, 1813. The "firmest and most determined courage and resolution" with which the officers and men of Macedonian behaved throughout the action was praised and they were all honorably acquitted.
Many (all - according to Com. Decatur) of the crew of the United States had served in the Royal Navy. A quarter-master discovered his first cousin on board her, two seamen found brothers and an officer's servant, a young lad from London named William Hearne, also found his brother. Macedonian made one futile attempt with United States and sloop Hornet to break the British blockade by way of Hell Gate, N.Y., 24 May 1813. She then remained in the Thames River, Conn., until the end of the War of 1812.
On May 20th 1815 she departed for the Mediterranean to join Commodore Decatur's ten-ship squadron in the Algerian War, a renewal of naval action against the Barbary powers, to stop harassment of American shipping. On June 17th the frigate assisted in the capture of Algerian flagship, frigate Mashuda by frigates Constellation and Guerriere, the sloops-of-war Epervier and Ontario.
The signing of a treaty with Tunis and Tripoli on August 7th , following that with Algeria in June, won maritime freedom in the Mediterranean. The next three years Macedonian patrolled there and off the East Coast.
From January 1819 to March 1821 the frigate operated off the Pacific coast of South America, giving aid and protection to the commercial ships in the area during the disorders following the Latin colonial revolts, before returning to Boston in June 1821. She next cruised in the West Indies helping to suppress piracy, into 1826.
On June 11, 1826 Macedonian departed Norfolk for service on the Pacific station, returning to Hampton Roads, Va., October 30, 1828 where she was decommissioned.
The ship had been entirely unserviceable for years but had been carried on the naval registers as a convenient method of obtaining maintenance funds from Congress. By her existence in the register her alleged cost of maintenance could be budgeted and so obtained from congress; then the funds could be diverted to other needs. Little or nothing was spent on the Macedonian herself.
It was decided to rebuild the ship as a frigate, as enough sloops were then in service, but commands for senior officers were in demand. The old ship, even though built from much praised English oak, was entirely rotten. A new ship was designed by Humphreys, a double banked, and much sharper then former US frigates, in fact a clipper model with a long and well formed run and proved to be a fast sailor. She was pierced for fifty-eight guns, but rated at thirty-six. Originally commissioned with 36pdr medium and a 8 8" shell guns. She had been intended to carry 32x32pdrs and 24x32 carronades, but proved incapable of carrying such a heavy armament. Early in her life, most of her spar deck guns were removed.
Work finally began in 1832 at the Norfolk Navy Yard, after funds and yard space was made available, The old prize frigate "being rebuilt" was not broken up until 1836, her figure head of Alexander the Great was transferred to the new ship, and just prior to launching of the "rebuilt" Macedonian, the old hulk "vanished". With Jamestown, she carried food to Ireland in the great famine, making good time under hard driving.
During 1849-1852, she was razed from a spar deck frigate to a spar decked corvette. Her relatively small size and sharp model made her unsuitable as a full fledged frigate. Stripped of her high spar-deck bulwarks, quarter galleries, head alterations, spars lengthened - a handsome ship resulted. This converted she was a 24 gun ship, and lasted until 1875, when she was sold.
Recreational use had been made of ether and people under the influence of it noticed that they no longer felt pain. This knowledge was applied during dental extractions and the discovery in 1818 solved one of the most important problems of surgery.
The National Medical Library traces their beginnings to 1818. In that year Dr. Joseph Lovell, the first Surgeon General of the Army, filled a few of his office shelves with books, journals, and pamphlets to serve as a reference collection for the Army surgeons under his command. In 1836 the growing collection was officially named the Library of the Office of the Surgeon General, United States Army. After the Civil War, the Surgeon General's Library received an infusion of medical books and journals from the Army's temporary hospitals, which closed at the end of hostilities. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/about/collectionhistory.html#A0
http://www.mariner.org/library/ Mariner’s Museum, Newport News, VA Largest maritime international history library in the Western Hemisphere