Napoleon Bonaparte’s Testimony of Jesus Christ and Christianity

Napoleon Bonaparte quotes regarding Jesus Christ

Napoleon Bonaparte regarding Jesus Christ [Click to enlarge]

Editors Note: The comments of Napoleon are recorded in various instances and I haven’t found any two that record them in exactly the same way; therefore I am providing you with two different instances here that have some similarities and yet are different, the differences being so diverse and profound I find it necessary to provide them both.

GEN. W. W. BURNS, Asst. Commissary General, U.S.A., sends us, with the request that we should publish, Napoleon’s remarkable testimony to the mysterious power of Christianity, which has become famous through the report of Las Casas. Though it is no doubt familiar to many readers, it is so eloquent an acknowledgment by one of the greatest of men of the existence of a greater than man, that we reproduce it here as requested. In sending it Gen. Burns says:

“The disposition of education is to substitute reason for faith in religion. The intellect, proud of its achievements in science and philosophy, assumes celestial wings, and, like Icarus, would mount to the spheres to find out infinity. The first flight of infidelity makes essay upon the divinity of Christ. The conception by the Virgin was above the known laws of nature, and therefore beyond the finite reason of man. The major premise of a logical syllogism being a mystery and not a received axiom is, to reason, a false assumption from which philosophical truth cannot be deduced. Logic is stopped at the base, and the gods of reason, without faith, must sweep the “divinity of Christ from their horizon.” Mystery, not being a received finite axiom, is false. Nature is admitted true, and deduction, follow, that man is but an animal dies when his heart ceases to beat. Faith is a delusive hope; there is no place for a soul beyond the grave. Since reasoners accept only received deductions from grater reasoners, the fall of ingenious Icarus may be checked to save from destruction by spreading opinions from the acknowledged greatest mind the world has known, and, because of its greatness, associated with infidelity. The following from the lips of Napoleon to Las Casas (himself an infidel), may, therefore, be timely. Nothing could be added without weakening this almost divine discourse.”

There exists an infinite Being compared with whom I, Napoleon, with all my genius, am truly a pure nothing. I perceive him, God; I see him; have need of him; I believe in him. . . . I know men, and I affirm that Jesus, Christ, was not a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires the gods of other religions; that resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and whatever other religion the distance of infinity. The religion of Christ is a mystery which subsists by its own force, and proceeds from a mind which is not a human mind. We find in it a marked individuality, which originated a train of words and maxims unknown before. Jesus borrowed nothing from our knowledge. He exhibited in himself the perfect example of his precepts. Jesus is not a philosopher; for his proofs are miracles, and from the first his disciples adored him. In fact learning and philosophy are of no use for salvation; and Jesus came into the world to reveal the mysteries of heaven and the laws of the Spirit. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires; but upon what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ alone founded his empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for him, It was not a day or a battle which achieved the triumph of the Christian religion in the world. No, it was a long war, a contest of three centuries, begun by the apostles, then continued by the flood of Christian generations. In this war all the kings and potentates of the earth were on one side; on the other I see no army, but a mysterious force: some men scattered here and there in all parts of the world, and who have no other rallying point than a common faith in the mysteries of the cross. I die before my time, and my body will be given back to the earth to become food for worms. Such is the fate which so soon awaits him who has been called the Great Napoleon. Paganism is the work of man, Numa, Lycurgus, Memphis, Confucius; Mahommed, and the gods I recognize as beings like myself .. legislators, lawgivers (nothing announced them as divine), with foibles and errors which ally them to humanity. It is not so with Christ; every thing in him astonishes me. His spirit overawes me, and his will confounds me. Between him and whoever else in the world there is no possible term of comparison. He is truly a Being by himself. His ideas, His sentiments, the truths which he announces, His manner of convincing, are not explained, either by human organization or by the nature of things. His birth and the history of his life; the profundity of his doctrine, which grapples the mightiest difficulties, and which is, of those difficulties, the most admirable solution. His gospel, His apparition, His empire, His march across the ages and the realms—everything is, for me, a prodigy. A mystery insoluble, which plunges me into a reverie from which I cannot escape; a mystery which is before my eyes, there, a mystery which I can neither deny nor explain. Here I see nothing human—the nearer I approach the more carefully I examine; every thing is above me—everything remains grand, of a grandeur which overpowers me. His religion is a revelation from an intelligence which certainly is not of man. There is there a profound originality which has created a series of words and of maxims before unknown. Jesus borrowed nothing from our sciences. One can find absolutely nowhere, but in him alone, the imitation of the example of his life. He is not a philosopher, since he advances by miracles, and from the commencement his disciples worshiped him. He persuades them far more by an appeal to the heart than by any display of method and of logic. Neither did he impose upon them any preliminary studies or any knowledge of letters. All his religion consisted in believing. In fact, the sciences and philosophy avail nothing for salvation, and Jesus came into the world to reveal the mysteries of heaven and the laws of the spirit. Also, he has nothing to do but with the soul and to that alone he brings his Gospel. The soul is sufficient for him as he is sufficient for the soul. Before him the soul was nothing; matter and time were the masters of the world. At his voice everything returns to order; science and philosophy become secondary. The soul has recognized its sovereignty. All the scholastic scaffolding falls as an edifice ruined before one single word—faith. What a master! and what a word ‘ which can effect such a revolution. With what authority does he teach us to pray! He imposes his belief and no one, thus far, has been able to contradict him: first, because the Gospel contains the purest morality, and also because the doctrine which it contains, of obscurity, is only the proclamation and the temple of that which exists where no eye can see and no reason can penetrate. Who is the insensate who will say no to that intrepid voyageur who records the marvels of the icy peaks which he alone has had the boldness to visit? Christ is that bold voyageur. One can doubtless remain incredulous, but no one can venture to say, it is not so. Unquestionably, with the skill of thinking, one can seize the key of the philosophy of Socrates and Plato, but to do this, it is necessary to be a metaphysician, and moreover with years of study one must possess special aptitude. But good sense alone, the heart, an honest spirit, are sufficient to comprehend Christianity. The Christian religion is neither idealogy nor metaphysics, but a practical rule, which directs the actions of man, corrects him, counsels him, and assists him in all his conduct. I search in vain in history to find the similar to Jesus Christ or anything which can approach the Gospel. Neither history nor humanity, nor the ages nor nature, can offer me anything with which I am able to compare it or explain it. Here everything is extraordinary. The more I consider the Gospel, the more I am assured that there is nothing there which is not beyond the march of events and above the human mind. Even the impious themselves have never dared to deny the sublimity of the gospel, which inspires them with a sort of compulsory veneration. What happiness that book procures for those who believe it I What marvels those admire there who reflect upon it!

All the words there are embedded, and joined one upon another, like the stones of an edifice. The spirit which binds these words together is a divine cement, which now reveals the sense, and again vails it from the mind. Each phrase has a sense complete, which traces the perfection of unity, and the profundity of the whole. Book unique where the mind finds moral beauty before unknown. and an idea of the Supreme, superior even to that which nature suggests. Who but God could produce that type, that ideal, of perfection, equally exclusive and original?……..

Christ proposed to our faith a series of mysteries. He commands with authority, giving no other reason than those tremendous words—I am God… He, declares it. What, an abyss he creates by that declaration between himself and all fabrications of religion. What audacity, what sacrilege, what blasphemy, if it were not true! I say more: the universal triumph of an affirmation of that kind, if the triumph were not really that of God himself, would be a plausible atheism, an excuse and a reason for it.

Moreover, in propounding mysteries, Christ is harmonious with nature, which is profoundly mysterious. Human life is a mystery, in its origin, it organization, and its end. In man and out of man everything in nature is mysterious. The creation and the destiny of the world are an unfathomable abyss, as also the creation and destiny of each individual. Can one wish that religion should not also be mysterious? The Gospel is not a book, it is a living being, with an action, a power which invades everything that opposes its extension. . . . What a proof of the divinity of Christ: with an empire so absolute, he has but a single end-the spiritual amelioration of individuals the purity of conscience, the union to that which is true—the holiness of the soul. Christ speaks and at once generations become his, by stricter, closer ties than blood–by the most sacred, the most indissoluble of all unions. He lights up the flames of love, which consumes self-love, and prevails over every other love. The founders of other religious never conceived of this mystic love, which is the essence of Christianity, and is beautifully called charity. In every attempt to effect this thing, namely, to make himself beloved, man deeply feels his own impotence. Christ’s greatest miracle, therefore, is the reign of charity.

What an abyss between my deep misery, and the eternal kingdom of Christ, which is proclaimed, loved, and adored, and which is extending over the whole earth! Call you this dying? Is it not living rather? The death of Christ is the death of a God, which would be the annihilation of the universe.

It is also recorded one day, Napoleon was speaking of the Divinity of Christ; when General Bertrand said:—

“I can not conceive, sire, how a great man like you can believe that the Supreme Being ever exhibited himself to men under a human form, with a body, a face, mouth, and eyes. Let Jesus be whatever you please,—the highest intelligence, the purest heart, the most profound legislator, and, in all respects, the most singular being who has ever existed: I grant it. Still, he was simply a man, who taught his disciples, and deluded credulous people, as did Orpheus, Confucius, Brahma. Jesus caused himself to be adored, because his predecessors, Isis and Osiris, Jupiter and Juno, had proudly made themselves objects of worship. The ascendency of Jesus over his time was like the ascendency of the gods and the heroes of fable. If Jesus has impassioned and attached to his chariot the multitude, if he has revolutionized the world, I see in that only the power of genius, and the action of a commanding spirit, which vanquishes the world, as so many conquerors have done—Alexander, Caesar, you, sire, and Mohammed—with a sword.”

Napoleon replied:—

“I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires, and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and whatever other religions the distance of infinity.

“We can say to the authors of every other religion, ‘You are neither gods, nor the agents of the Deity. You are but missionaries of falsehood, moulded from the same clay with the rest of mortals. You are made with all the passions and vices inseparable from them. Your temples and your priests proclaim your origin.’ Such will be the judgment, the cry of conscience, of whoever examines the gods and the temples of paganism.

“Paganism was never accepted as truth by the wise men of Greece; neither by Socrates, Pythagoras, Plato, Anaxagoras, or Pericles. On the other side, the loftiest intellects, since the advent of Christianity, have had faith, a living faith, a practical faith, in the mysteries and the doctrines of the gospel; not only Bossuet and Fenelon, who were preachers, but Descartes and Newton, Leibnitz and Pascal, Corneille and Racine, Charlemagne and Louis XIV.

“Paganism is the work of man. One can here read but our imbecility. What do these gods, so boastful, know more than other mortals; these legislators, Greek or Roman; this Numa; this Lycurgus; these priests of India or of Memphis; this Confucius; this Mohammed’?-absolutely nothing. They have made a perfect chaos of mortals. There is not one among them all who has said any thing new in reference to our future destiny, to the soul, to the essence of God, to the creation. Enter the sanctuaries of paganism: you there find perfect chaos, a thousand contradictions, war between the gods, the immobility of sculpture, the division and the rending of unity, the parceling out of the divine attributes mutilated or denied in their essence, the sophisms of ignorance and presumption, polluted fêtes, impurity and abomination adored, all sorts of corruption festering in the thick shades, with the rotten wood, the idol, and the priest. Does this honor God, or does it dishonor him? Are these religions and these gods to be compared with Christianity?

“As for me, I say, No. I summon entire Olympus to my tribunal. I judge the gods, but am far from prostrating myself before their vain images. The gods, the legislators of India and of China, of Rome and of Athens, have nothing which can overawe me. Not that I am unjust to them. No: I appreciate them, because I know their value. Undeniably, princes, whose existence is fixed in the memory as an image of order and of power, as the ideal of force and beauty: such princes were no ordinary men.

“I see, in Lycurgus, Numa, and Mohammed, only legislators, who have the first rank in the State; have sought the best solution of the social problem: but I see nothing there which reveals Divinity. They themselves have never raised their pretensions so high. As for me, I recognize the gods, and these great men, as beings like myself. They have performed a lofty part in their times, as I have done. Nothing announces them divine. On the contrary, there are numerous resemblances between them and myself,—foibles and errors which ally them to me and to humanity.

“It is not so with Christ. Every thing in him astonishes me. His spirit overawes me, and his will confounds me. Between him and whoever else in the world there is no possible term of comparison. He is truly a being by himself. His ideas and his sentiments, the truths which he announces, his manner of convincing, are not explained either by human organization or by the nature of things.

“His birth, and the history of his life; the profundity of his doctrine, which grapples the mightiest difficulties, and which is of those difficulties the most admirable solution; his gospel, his apparition, his empire, his march across the ages and the realms,—every thing is for me a prodigy, a mystery insoluble, which plunges me into reveries which I can not escape; a mystery which is there before my eyes; a mystery which I can neither deny nor explain. Here I see nothing human.

“The nearer I approach, the more carefully I examine, every thing is above me; every thing remains grand,—of a grandeur which overpowers. His religion is a revelation from an intelligence which certainly is not that of man. There is there a profound originality which has created a series of words and of maxims before unknown. Jesus borrowed nothing from our science. One can absolutely find nowhere, but in him alone, the imitation or the example of his life. He is not a philosopher, since he advances by miracles; and, from the commencement, his disciples worshiped him. He persuaded them far more by an appeal to the heart than by any display of method and of logic. Neither did he impose upon them any preliminary studies, or any knowledge of letters. All his religion consists in believing.

“In fact, the sciences and philosophy avail nothing for salvation; and Jesus came into the world to reveal the mysteries of heaven and the laws of the spirit. Also he has nothing to do but with the soul; and to that alone he brings his gospel. The soul is sufficient for him, as he is sufficient for the soul. Before him, the soul was nothing. Matter and time were the masters of the world. At his voice, every thing returns to order. Science and philosophy become secondary. The soul has reconquered its sovereignty. All the scholastic scaffolding falls, as an edifice ruined, before one single word,—faith.

“What a master, and what a word, which can effect such a revolution! With what authority does he teach men to pray! He imposes his belief; and no one, thus far, has been able to contradict him: first, because the gospel contains the purest morality; and also because the doctrine which it contains of obscurity is only the proclamation and the truth of that which exists where no eye can see, and no reason can penetrate. Who is the insensate who will say ‘No’ to the intrepid voyager who recounts the marvels of the icy peaks which he alone has had the boldness to visit? Christ is that bold voyager. One can, doubtless, remain incredulous; but no one can venture to say, ‘It is not so.’

“Moreover, consult the philosophers upon those mysterious questions which relate to the essence of man and the essence of religion. What is their response? Where is the man of good sense who has never learned any thing from the system of metaphysics; ancient or modern, which is not truly a vain and pompous ideology, without any connection with our domestic life, with our passions? Unquestionably, with skill in thinking, one can seize the key of the philosophy of Socrates and Plato. But, to do this, it is necessary to be a metaphysician; and moreover, with years of study, one must possess special aptitude. But good sense alone, the heart, an honest spirit, are sufficient to comprehend Christianity. The Christian religion is neither ideology nor metaphysics, but a practical rule which directs the actions of man, corrects him, counsels him, and assists him in all his conduct. The Bible contains a complete series of facts and of historical men, to explain time and eternity, such as no other religion has to offer. If it is not the true religion, one is very excusable in being deceived; for every thing in it is grand, and worthy of God. I search in vain in history to find the similar to Jesus Christ, or any thing which can approach the gospel. Neither history, nor humanity, nor the ages, nor nature, offer me any thing with which I am able to compare it or to explain it. Here every thing is extraordinary. The more I consider the gospel, the more I am assured that there is nothing there which is not beyond the march of events, and above the human mind. Even the impious themselves have never dared to deny the sublimity of the gospel, which inspires them with a sort of compulsory veneration. What happiness that book procures for those who believe it I What marvels those admire there who reflect upon it!

“All the words there are embedded, and joined one upon another, like the stones of an edifice. The spirit which binds these words together is a divine cement, which now reveals the sense, and again vails it from the mind. Each phrase has a sense complete, which traces the perfection of unity, and the profundity of the whole. Book unique! where the mind finds a moral beauty before unknown; and an idea of the Supreme, superior even to that which creation suggests. Who but God could produce that type, that idea of perfection, equally exclusive and original?

“Christ, having but a few weak disciples, was condemned to death. He died the object of the wrath of the Jewish priests, and of the contempt of the nation, and abandoned and denied by his own disciples.

“‘They are about to take me, and to crucify me,’ said he. ‘I shall be abandoned of all the world. My chief disciples will deny me at the commencement of my punishment. I shall be left to the wicked. But then, divine justice being satisfied, original sin being expiated by my sufferings, the bond of man to God will be renewed, and my death will be the life of my disciples. Then they will be more strong without me than with me; for they shall see me rise again. I shall ascend to the skies, and I shall send to them from heaven a Spirit who will instruct them. The Spirit of the Cross will enable them to understand my gospel. In fine, they will believe it; they will preach it; and they will convert the world.’

“And this strange promise, so aptly called by Paul ‘the foolishness of the cross,’ this prediction of one miserably crucified, is literally accomplished; and the mode of the accomplishment is perhaps more prodigious than the promise.

“It is not a day, nor a battle, which has decided it. Is it the lifetime of a man? No: it is a war, a long combat, of three hundred years, commenced by the apostles, and continued by their successors and by succeeding generations of Christians. In this conflict, all the kings and all the forces of the earth were arrayed on one side. Upon the other, I see no army but a mysterious energy, individuals scattered here and there, in all parts of the globe, having no other rallying sign than a common faith in the mysteries of the cross.

“What a mysterious symbol, the instrument of the punishment of the Man-God! His disciples were armed with it. ‘The Christ,’ they said, ‘God, has died for the salvation of men.’ What a strife, what a tempest, these simple words have raised around the humble standard of the punishment of the Man-God! On the one side, we see rage and all the furies of hatred and violence; on the other, there are gentleness, moral courage, infinite resignation. For three hundred years, spirit struggled against the brutality of sense, conscience against despotism, the soul against the body, virtue against all the vices. The blood of Christians flowed in torrents. They died kissing the hand which slew them. The soul alone protested, while the body surrendered itself to all tortures. Everywhere Christians fell, and everywhere they triumphed.

“You speak of Caesar, of Alexander, of their conquests, and of the enthusiasm which they enkindled in the hearts of their soldiers; but can you conceive of a dead man making conquests, with an army faithful, and entirely devoted to his memory. My armies have forgotten me even while living, as the Carthaginian army forgot Hannibal. Such is our power! A single battle lost crushes us, and adversity scatters our friends.

“Can you conceive of Cæsar as the eternal emperor of the Roman senate, and, from the depth of his mausoleum, governing the empire, watching over the destinies of Rome? Such is the history of the invasion and conquest of the world by Christianity; such is the power of the God of the Christians; and such is the perpetual miracle of the progress of the faith, and of the government of his Church. Nations pass away, thrones crumble; but the Church remains. What is, then, the power which has protected this Church, thus assailed by the furious billows of rage and the hostility of ages? Whose is the arm, which, for eighteen hundred years, has protected the Church from so many storms which have threatened to ingulf it?

“Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ alone founded his empire upon love; and, at this hour, millions of men would die for him.

“In every other existence but that of Christ, how many imperfections! Where is the character which has not yielded, vanquished by obstacles? Where is the individual who has never been governed by circumstances or places; who has never succumbed to the influences of the times; who has never compounded with any customs or passions? From the first day to the last, he is the same, always the same; majestic and simple; infinitely firm, and infinitely gentle.

“Truth should embrace the universe. Such is Christianity,—the only religion which destroys sectional prejudices; the only one which proclaims the unity and the absolute brotherhood of the whole human family; the only one which is purely spiritual; in fine, the only one which assigns to all, without distinction, for a true country, the bosom of the Creator, God. Christ proved that he was the Son of the Eternal by his disregard of time. All his doctrines signify one only and the same thing,—eternity.

“It is true that Christ proposes to our faith a series of mysteries. He commands with authority, that we should believe them,—giving no other reason than those tremendous words, ‘I am God.’ He declares it. What an abyss he creates by that declaration between himself’ and all the fabricators of religion! What audacity, what sacrilege, what blasphemy, if it were not true! I say more: The universal triumph of an affirmation of that kind, if the triumph were not really that of God himself, would be a plausible excuse, and the proof of atheism.

“Moreover, in propounding mysteries, Christ is harmonious with Nature, which is profoundly mysterious. From whence do I come? whither do I go? who am I? Human life is a mystery in its origin, its organization, and its end. In man and out of man, in Nature, every thing is mysterious. And can one wish that religion should not be mysterious? The creation and the destiny of the world are an unfathomable abyss, as also are the creation and destiny of each individual. Christianity at least does not evade these great questions; it meets them boldly: and our doctrines are a solution of them for every one who believes.

“The gospel possesses a secret virtue, a mysterious efficacy, a warmth which penetrates and soothes the heart. One finds, in meditating upon it, that which one experiences in contemplating the heavens. The gospel is not a book: it is a living being, with an action, a power, which invades every thing that opposes its extension. Behold! it is upon this table: this book, surpassing all others [here the emperor deferentially placed his hand upon it], I never omit to read it, and every day with the same pleasure.

“Nowhere is to be found such a series of beautiful ideas; admirable moral maxims, which pass before us like the battalions of a celestial army, and which produce in our soul the same emotions which one experiences in contemplating the infinite expanse of the skies, resplendent in a summer’s night with all the brilliance of the stars. Not only is our mind absorbed; it is controlled: and the soul can never go astray with this book for its guide. Once master of our spirit, the faithful gospel loves us. God even is our friend, our father, and truly our God. The mother has no greater care for the infant whom she nurses.

“What a proof of the Divinity of Christ! With an empire so absolute, he has but one single end,—the spiritual melioration of individuals, the purity of the conscience, the union to that which is true, the holiness of the soul.

“Christ speaks, and at once generations become his by stricter, closer ties than those of blood,—by the most sacred, the most indissoluble, of unions. He lights up the flames of a love which prevails over every other love. The founders of other religions never conceived of this mystical love, which is the essence of Christianity, and is beautifully called charity. In every attempt to affect this thing, viz. to make himself beloved, man deeply feels his own impotence. So that Christ’s greatest miracle undoubtedly is the reign of charity.

“I have so inspired multitudes, that they would die for me. God forbid that I should form any comparison between the enthusiasm of the soldier and Christian charity, which are as unlike as their cause!

“But, after all, my presence was necessary: the lightning of my eye, my voice, a word from me, then the sacred fire was kindled in their hearts. I do, indeed, possess the secret of this magical power which lifts the soul; but I could never impart it to any one. None of my generals ever learned it from me. Nor have I the means of perpetuating my name and love for me in the hearts of men, and to effect these things without physical means.

“Now that I am at St. Helena, now that I am alone, chained upon this rock, who fights and wins empires for me? who are the courtiers of my misfortune? who thinks of me? who makes effort for me in Europe? Where are my friends? Yes: two or three, whom your fidelity immortalizes, you share, you console, my exile.”

Here the emperor’s voice trembled with emotion, and for a moment he was silent. He then continued:—

“Yes: our life once shone with all the brilliance of the diadem and the throne; and yours, Bertrand, reflected that splendor, as the dome of the Invalides, gilt by us, reflects the rays of the sun. But disaster came: the gold gradually became dim. The rain of misfortune and outrage, with which I am daily deluged, has effaced all the brightness. We are mere lead now, General Bertrand; and soon I shall be in my grave.

“Such is the fate of great men! So it was with Caesar and Alexander. And I, too, am forgotten; and the name of a conqueror and an emperor is a college theme! Our exploits are tasks given to pupils by their tutors, who sit in judgment upon us, awarding censure or praise. And mark what is soon to become of me: assassinated by the English oligarchy, I die before my time; and my dead body, too, must return to the earth, to become food for worms. Behold the destiny, near at hand, of him whom the world called the great Napoleon! What an abyss between my deep misery and the eternal reign of Christ, which is proclaimed, loved, adored, and which is extending over all the earth! Is this to die? is it not rather to live? The death of Christ—it is the death of God!

For a moment the emperor was silent. As General Bertrand made no reply, he solemnly added, “If you do not perceive that Jesus Christ is God, very well: then I did wrong to make you a general.”

Whatever else one may say in response, it is difficult to explain this away as mere eloquence. In fact, it was to counter mere eloquence and such artificial power that Napoleon said what he did. With unbelievable insight, he saw how Jesus Christ conquered. It was not by force, but by winning the heart.

Sources: Army, Navy, Air Force Journal & Register, Volume 18, 1881 and numerous other sources that record various instances of Napoleon’s words concerning Jesus including the Christian Classics Ethereal Library @

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The 2nd Amendment: The Militia and the Right of the People to Bear Arms

2nd Amendment Militia Right to Bear Arms

U. S. v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S., 542 2nd Amendment Militia and Right to Bear Arms [Click to enlarge]

What this is saying is our Rights are not given by the Constitution or men, they are our birthright given by God, we can neither give them away, nor can they be taken from us, Thomas Jefferson said as much himself. The constitution only enumerates those rights and spells out in the 2nd amendment the government is prohibited from restricting those rights in any way what-so-ever. This includes any legislation of any form that tries to enforce any gun control laws, or restrict the peoples able to possess any type of firearm available or the ammunition needed to use those firearms in the protection of our selves, our families, our rights, our property and our country etc.


1319. Right to bear arms.—A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. (See Note 1) Constitution of the United States, second amendment.

NOTE 1: The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for Its existence. The second amendment means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress, and has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the National [i.e. Federal] Government. (U. S. v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S., 542.)

[Cite as United States v. Cruikshank, 25 F. Cas. 707 (C.C.D. La. 1874) (No. 14,897), aff’d, 92 U.S. 542 (1876). NOTE: This is the district court decision which was appealed to the Supreme Court (United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1876)). This case concerns an enforcement of rights under the fourteenth amendment including the first amendment right to assemble and second amendment right to arms. The Supreme Court decision held that these rights are not granted by the constitution and do not depend upon it for their existance. The lower court used similar reasoning on P. 710: “With regard to those acknowledged rights and privileges of the citizen, which form a part of his political inheritance derived from the mother country, and which were challenged and vindicated by centuries of stubborn resistance to arbitrary power, they belong to him as his birthright, and it is the duty of the particular state of which he is a citizen to protect and enforce them, and to do naught to deprive him of their full enjoyment. When any of these rights and privileges are secured in the constitution of the United States only by a declaration that the state or the United States shall not violate or abridge them, it is at once understood that they are not created or conferred by the constitution, but that the constitution only guaranties that they shall not be impaired by the state, or the United States, as the case may be.”

1321. Defining terms.—Whenever the words ” State or Territory” are used in the “Act to promote the efficiency of the militia, and for other purposes,” approved January twenty-first, nineteen hundred and three, as amended, they shall be held to apply to and include the District of Columbia. Sec. 74, Act of Feb. 18,1909 (35 Stat. 636).

1322. Composition of the organized.—The militia shall consist of every able-bodied male citizen of the respective States and Territories and the District of Columbia, and every able-bodied male of foreign birth who has declared his intention to become a citizen, who is more than eighteen and less than forty-five years of age, and shall be divided into two classes: The organized militia, to be known as the National Guard of the State, Territory, or District of Columbia, or by such other designations as may be given them by the laws of the respective States or Territories; the remainder to be known as the Reserve Militia: Provided. That the provisions of this Act and of section sixteen hundred and sixty-one, Revised Statutes, as amended, shall apply only to the militia organized as a land force. Sec. 1, Act of May 87,1908 (35 Stat. 309).

1323. Exemptions.—The Vice-President of the United States, the officers, judicial and executive, of the Government of the United States, the members and officers of each House of Congress, persons in the military or naval service of the United States, all custom-house officers, with their clerks, postmasters and persons employed by the United States in the transmission of the mail, ferrymen employed at any ferry on a post road, artificers and workmen employed in the armories and arsenals of the United States, pilots, mariners actually employed in the sea service of any citizen or merchant within the United States, and all persons who are exempted by the laws of the respective States or Territories shall be exempted from militia duty, without regard to age. Sec. 8, Act of Jan. SI, 1903 (32 Stat. 775).

1324. The same.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require or compel any member of any well-recognized religious sect or organization at present organized and existing whose creed forbids its members to participate in war in any form, and whose religious convictions are against war or participation therein, in accordance with the creed of said religious organizations, to serve in the militia or any other armed or volunteer force under the jurisdiction and authority of the United States. Sec. 8, Act of Jan. SI, 1903 (38 Stat. 775).

1325. Organization.—The regularly enlisted, organized, and uniformed active militia in the several States and Territories and the District of Columbia who have heretofore participated or shall hereafter participate in the apportionment of the annual appropriation provided by section sixteen hundred and sixty-one of the Revised Statutes of the United States, as amended, whether known and designated as National Guard, militia, or otherwise, shall constitute the organized militia. On and after January twenty-first, nineteen hundred and ten, the organization, armament, and discipline of the organized militia in the several States and Territories and the District of Columbia shall be the same as that which is now or may hereafter be prescribed for the Regular Army of the United States, subject in time of peace to such general exceptions as may be authorized by the Secretary of War. Sec. 2, Act of May 27, 1908 (SB Stat. 399).

Source: The Military Laws of the United States, 1915; By the United States War Department

Copyright © 2010 – 2015 TeaPartyEdu Foundation Truths The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

Iran: How Obama Stopped Worrying About Nuclear Proliferation and Started Loving the Bomb


Most of the following I tweeted this morning out to the twitter accounts listed below, one tweet at a time. Here I put it all together for posterities sake!

NOTE TO POLITICIANS: .@Whitehouse @Senate @HouseGOP,

@BarackObama is NOT Augustus, the USA is NOT Rome, and We are not in decline, No Matter How Much You All Wish It!

The Fight Left in We The People Will Outlast You ALL! We Will Remain Long After You & Yours Are Dead and Buried! We The People Do, and Will Remain, and Stopping US For You, Would Be Like Trying To Stop A Freight Train With A Hot Wheels Roadster!

No Matter the Deals You All Make With Our Enemies Against We The People! No Matter The Deals You Make With Each Other Against The Best Interests of the Republic! We The People Remain AND WILL Remain Long After You And Your Posterity Are Gone!!

And Sure! We Can Go All Nuclear War With Iran and The West in 10 Years Time, or even 15-20 as John Kerry who served in Vietnam tried to extend the time frame after his boss Obama, mistakenly let the proverbial cat out of the bag and informed NPR, yes he planned and was planning on Iran growing exponentially the nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, beginning with the nuttiest group yet to obtain nuclear weapons through Obama’s foolishness, the Iranian Mullahs. And Yes, Obama and Kerry were lying about the content of the deal he and Obama made with the Iranians, just as Iran’s supreme leader [sic] said they were, yes the “supreme leader” [sic] did say the American’s, and yes, sadly Obama and Kerry belong to said group. However Obama and Kerry are as far from being true Americans as the east is from the west and one side of the universe from the other. The distance between Obama, Kerry and their team in the Whitehouse from the true red-blooded American patriots could not be greater. So Yes! Let’s Go Ahead and Separate Out The Wheat from the Tares! I’ve been looking forward to that for quite some time.

And I Got NEWS For You #ISLAMLovers You Will Not Be Among The Wheat!!

It Is Simple Really, Ask Yourselves Are We Feeling Lucky Today? How You Want It?

The ONLY Working Partisanship In Washington DC is the Political Class, Against We The People Class!

No! Don’t Think We Are Being Fooled By You Barrack Who-Is-Insane Obama, John Ball-Less Boehner, and Mitch Michelle-my-belle McConnell!

You! Are! All! Ball-Less! Bastards! Selling Out Your Country and People, Where’s Your Thirty Pieces?

Had Enough Yet? No? Good…I Am Just Getting Started!!

The Only One NOT Selling Out His People….Is Still a Bastard In Every Sense of The Word, Literally and Figurative! Barack Obama, he’s Standing With His People, Just As He Said He Would, Muslim Bastard!

All of you at Fox News and the Moderate RINO Wing of the Republican Party, or perhaps we should just Finally state the truth and call you all historical democrats, that is since you let the Marxist, Communist, Nazi, Fascist, Socialists take over the democrat party.

Then again we could just narrow it down even further and just call you all as well as the current makeup of the democrat party, leftwing enemies of America, her cause and her right! Because that is what you all are, whether you call yourselves democrats, moderate republicans, Marxist, followers of reasonableness however you want to call yourselves.

The fact remains your still enemies of America and the cause of Liberty! So if you all don’t want to finally come clean and tell it like it is, that you all wish to take us down the same path to serfdom, only difference being is how fast you wish to take US there!

You all should own it, love it, and live by it because you can’t hide anymore,  your current dumb ass administration has blown all your cover! Own it! Live it! Love it!

We the People are coming for you!

Captain James Davis

Copyright © 2015 TeaPartyEdu Foundation Truths The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

Machine of Good Government Separating the Wheat from the Tares!

Machine of Government

Good Machine of Government

The Machine of Good Government Created by the Wisdom Imparted to the Founding Fathers of America! I say “Wisdom Imparted to the Founding Fathers of America” because it was not their wisdom, it was the wisdom of God and Christ Jesus our Lord they loaned the Founding Fathers. Not that the Founding Fathers had or gained of their own volition, choice or opportunity!

Reminder to my TeaParty Peeps & Christian Patriot brothers & sisters from our dear forefather Edmund Burke

“When bad men combine the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

Editorial Note… While watching it this week in the hospital, One of the things that struck me when watching the “Killing Jesus” movie from Bill O’Reilly’s historically accurate account of the life and death of Jesus. It was based SOLELY on historical accounts, nothing came from the Bible. This is why I saw it in the Light that I did, because I wasn’t looking at it as an account from the Bible which I love so tenderly, but as a historically accurate accounting of the greatest life who ever graced the earthen soil, and who ever gave of Himself to teach us so much about the way God meant for us to live our lives. O’Reilly and his collaborative author used ONLY historical accounts from people who were actually there.

Looking at it simply from a historical perspective caused me to see it in a New Light. The Leftist democrats today in America, use the very same tactics, rhetoric,, etc. against US on the Right and of “THE RIGHT” that they used against Jesus Christ in His time. It really is extraordinary how they Never Ever Change!

THE LAW OF GOD as it relates to our treatment of personal enemies, is clearly laid down in the closing verses of the Fifth Chapter of Matthew. No other part of the law is so hard for men to obey and obedience to no other part is more necessary in order to make men Christ-like. It is in brief this: Ye have heard that it was said an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; but I say unto you, “Resist not him that is evil; but whosoever smiteth thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you, that ye may be the sons of your Father which is in heaven.”

The Christian World recognizes this, theoretically at least, as a divine command which is to be obeyed; and whenever a Christian admits malice and personal hatred into his heart, and cherishes them and does not make any effort to expel them, he knows perfectly well that he is no longer in a state of grace, but is in rebellion against God. There is undoubtedly an immense amount of this rebellion in the Christian Church; but that does not change in the least the law of God respecting the treatment of personal enemies. That law is well established and well understood even if it is not well obeyed.

But a question of a different nature arises when we have to deal—not with personal enemies—but, so to speak, with public enemies, with knaves and evil doers, who may be classed as the enemies of all righteousness, through whom all sorts of corruption are brought into society or the Church or the State. These may be frankly, avowedly evil men, or they may be evil while pretending to be good. What is to be our attitude towards these? How are we to treat them as individuals?

According to the commonly accepted idea, the true and heroic soul must be ready at all times to defend all good and attack all evil. It must be utterly unselfish and self-sacrificing. It must be on the alert for the discovery of objects of attack and objects of defense. It must be untrammeled by circumstances and conditions. It must recognize no such thing as mere expediency. It must allow nothing but absolute right. In short, the hero must be a man of war to whom peace must not be permitted till every enemy of right and justice has been subdued.

That under this definition very few heroic souls can be found, goes without saying. Recall your own experience in life and you will not find it difficult to see that you have encountered a good deal of wrong, which you have not only done nothing to prevent, but against which you have not even borne any special testimony. It may not be humiliating to know that we are not heroic souls, as certainly most of us know that we are not; but it is humiliating to live in the midst of evil for the suppression of which we make no particular effort, and to feel all the time that we are perhaps not only cowardly, but also guilty of criminal neglect.

I should be very sorry to say anything which would excuse a cowardly neglect of duty or let men feel comfortable while they permit all manner of wrong to be done which they possibly might prevent. But I am of the opinion that even the holiest of wars ought not to be entered into without discretion and that even for the individual in society, the highest morality permits the free use of the tomahawk and scalping knife much less frequently than is supposed. I wish to throw upon this most interesting and perplexing subject of a Christian’s proper attitude towards wrong as embodied in bad men and bad measures, the light reflected from the teachings of Jesus, the world’s greatest hero, whose precepts and examples alike it is our highest honor to follow. I shall be much disappointed in the result if it shall not appear that the divine Master, whose soul in the presence of evil sometimes flashed with a Sinai-like righteous indignation and at other times was as gentle as a mother with her babe, has not left us some instruction that is not entirely in accord with the Christian world’s commonly received opinions on this subject.

One of the favorite methods of Jesus for imparting truth was the parable. Everybody must admit that His parables present truth in a very vivid and impressive manner. One may easily lose the connection of thought and mistake the logic of Paul’s Epistles. But no one need ever miss the point in one of Jesus’ parables. The simplicity and clearness with which they are expressed cannot easily be improved. They so perfectly reflect human experience in all ages that they are as instructive today as they were when they were first uttered by Jesus. One of these interesting parables is that of the tares and wheat. A certain man sowed good seed in his field, but in the night an enemy sowed tares. When the grain appeared, the tares also appeared. The servants of the farmer were much disturbed at the appearance of the tares and asked the master if he wished them to go and gather the tares up. But he answered with great wisdom, “no, lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up the wheat also. Let both grow together till the harvest. And in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, gather ye together first the tares and hind them in bundles to burn them—but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Now as an abstract proposition, tares are bad and they are especially bad among wheat. Under certain conditions nothing wiser could be done than to gather up the tares as soon as they are discovered; but, if they are so mixed with the wheat as to be not easily separated, and the destruction of the one is to be the destruction of the other, true wisdom says, wait awhile.

The simple statement of this parable in perfect accord as it is with Jesus’ practice, illuminates the subject we are considering. What is wanted is wheat. The question of tares or 110 tares is of no consequence except in its relation to the wheat. If to root up the tares is to root up the wheat it would be the height of folly to disturb either; and if by possibility the wheat can grow to a mature and profitable harvest in spite of the tares, then it is the highest wisdom to let both grow together. And this truth, so simply drawn from the ordinary operations of the farmer’s field, governments in the exercise of their exalted powers, and churches in their disciplinary zeal and individuals with more of the zeal, of the servant than of the wisdom of the master, all alike will do well to heed.

We may deduce from this teaching the general proposition that we may not do even a right act, nor an act which under other circumstances would be a positive duty, if the outcome is to be injurious to the Kingdom of God, or to express it more secularly, if the outcome is to be destructive of the general good. In other words, Jesus teaches what Paul taught. All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient. I may do things or refuse to do things on the ground of expediency. I am not required to hit every knave’s head that I see, if as a consequence a number of honest people, including myself, are going to have their heads broken. Human society is a very complex affair. The dependence and interdependence of the parts are so complex as to baffle analysis. Perhaps there is nothing more disturbing to the peaceful working of this organization than a well-meaning moral lunatic who insists on his right to run amuck—who rushes here and there and everywhere, stabbing right and left at all whom he encounters, and who insists also that everybody who does not run amuck with him is a coward and a knave. His fanatic soul never pauses for an instant to consider the possibility of destroying good as well as evil.

It is unquestionable that we are obliged to endure, with what patience we may, a great deal of evil simply because we cannot get rid of it without bringing on others a great deal of undeserved trouble and suffering and imperiling the general welfare. Jesus bore in silence the tyranny and injustice of Roman power as exercised in Judea, over his own people, although the destruction of Roman power and the liberation of the Jews was what the Jews expected of the promised Messiah; and the silent patience of the Divine Master has been a power for good in the world through the centuries far transcending all that could have been accomplished by open denunciation of the Romans or incitement of his countrymen to rebellion. He was a reformer—but not a destructive reformer. The evolution of goodness was what he sought, and his silence respecting many public evils, is suggestive alike of the most sublime patience and of the highest wisdom.

Every thoughtful man, who looks at the world as it is today, must be impressed by the strange blending of good and evil, not merely in the world as a whole, but in its various organizations and even in the character of individuals. No matter how noble may be the purpose for which institutions exist, none of them are found to be perfect in operation; and no matter how grand a man may be in his character, no one is to be found who is not more or less like Nebuchadnezzar’s image–some part of him at least clay, and, therefore, easily broken.

In this mixed condition of human society and human character we are really none of us qualified to pass final judgment upon our fellows and proceed to execution; nor are we called upon to do so. You remember that memorable scene recorded in the eighth chapter of John, where the Scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman deserving death under the law and asked him what they should do to her, and he answered: He that is without sin among you—without this sin—let him be the first to cast a stone at her. There wasn’t any such man in the crowd. They, when they heard Jesus’ answer, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last. And Jesus was left alone and the woman standing in the midst.

If we are not qualified to pass final judgment upon our fellow men, it is manifest that, while we cannot help having opinions as to people’s character, we are under no obligation to express our judgment of men, even bad men as we think, and to vindicate our judgment by our own acts—except so far as Jesus did—and the exception, as will appear later in this address, is a most important one.

In general, established governments are to be obeyed, but there is such a thing as the right of revolution. But this is not an unqualified right. It is not permitted to every dissatisfied citizen to raise the standard of revolt even though the government be unjust and oppressive. There must be a reasonable prospect of success.

Revolution means blood-shed and misery—an awful uprooting of wheat as well as of tares. No nation should be plunged into this recklessly without any prospect of bettering its condition after all its bloody struggles. So that even in matters so large and dreadful as revolutions, the question of expediency is a controlling one; and the would-be-revolutionists are bound to inquire whether, as a result of their plans, more good or more evil is likely to be experienced. And if this is true of conflicts with organized society or government, it is not less true of conflicts with parties, churches, and individuals. Conflicts may be entered into wisely only when great evils are likely to be removed without greater evils being produced. A church suffers from the presence of a disreputable member; but it is a good deal better to let that tare grow till the harvest, than to stir up a church quarrel, generally the fiercest of all quarrels, and root up a great many stalks of wheat. Let both grow together till the harvest, says the Master, lest while ye root up the tares ye root up the wheat also.

The entire history of persecutions in connection with the Christian church is a history of attempts to root up supposed tares before the harvest. The line of persecution is almost unbroken through the centuries—Saul verily thinking he ought to do what he did against the Christians—Catholics persecuting Protestants, and Protestants persecuting one another and Catholics when they got the chance—down even to the early days of New England when the Puritans—not the Pilgrims— persecuted Quakers and Baptists; and the echoes still come to us from ecclesiastical councils which discipline or excommunicate men for differing with their brethren in creed or worship— the power of putting to death no longer existing—and as one travels back over the ground on which these historic events have occurred, it is painful to see that there is much more of wheat wilted and shriveled in the sun than there is of tares uprooted.

No half way measures—says the fanatic. Perfection or nothing. This is all nonsense. It is not Christ-like. Tearing everything to pieces is not Christ’s plan. Because Caesar gets more than he ought, and God less than he ought, “Down with Caesar and give him nothing,” says the fanatic. “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things which are God’s,” says Jesus, even at the moment when Caesar is a tyrant lording it over Judea.

Charles A. Dana was once Horace Greeley’s assistant on the New York Tribune. He exhibited the same characteristics for which he was noted many years as editor of the New York Sun. Any public man whom he had reason, as he thought, to believe to be a fraud or a knave, he attacked most mercilessly. His victims of course writhed under his attacks and they and their friends became enemies of the Tribune. Mr. Greeley stood it as long as he could, but at last he called a halt, exclaiming, “Dana, no paper on earth can stand it to attack all the scoundrels in the world.”

There are a great many people who are glad to see scoundrels exposed and attacked; but there are not very many who wish to join in the attack. They look on with complacency because the attack seems proper enough and they are not in it and therefore no odium attaches to them. It is for this reason that political reform is for the most part spasmodic or a failure. Somebody discovers that reform is needed and he tries to bring it about. The rest look on perfectly willing that he should try and even hoping that he will succeed—but without them. He does try—gets little sympathy and less help—soon finds that the forces of evil are much more compact and better organized than the forces of good—finds himself at last defeated and alone—and retires from the contest with a firm determination that the next man who tries to do anything for public and political reform, shall be somebody else than himself.

When we contemplate the condition of things even in our own country, or shall I say especially in our own country, we cannot fail to be impressed with the undesirable character of much which goes on. Bribery and corruption are manifestly dangerous to the republic. This is a representative government. We cannot meet in mass conventions for legislative purposes as New England has so long done in her town meetings. We choose our representatives. They with the representatives of all the rest of the people make laws, and elect United States senators who help to make laws for the whole country. Now, if the representative refuses to represent; if he is open to offers of pecuniary benefit for his vote; if he will vote for the candidate for senator who will give him the most money or offer him the best place; if he will vote for or against bills for public acts for a bribe, he has betrayed his constituents and set an example which if generally followed would make a farce of government and put all power into the hands of those who are rich enough and corrupt enough to buy legislatures. Such things are done and we know it. They are disgraceful, of course, to the briber and the bribed. But what are you going to do about it? The man who bought the votes has his seat in the United States senate or whatever else he wanted, all safe enough. The man who sold his vote has his money in his pocket or in some other place where it cannot be traced—and he does not feel a bit lonely, for there are so many others who have had their pockets lined in the same way that he has no lack of companionship. Nobody doubts what has been done. Nobody can prove anything, and if anybody did prove anything the matter would be whitewashed and he would have trouble for his pains. Such things go on in almost every state in the Union. They are disreputable, wrong, destructive of the best interests of the country. You regret to have things so; but you are busy and cannot look closely into these matters. If your own representative is guilty you will see to it that he does not get nominated again. You go to the next caucus, and sure enough the unfaithful representative is not a candidate. A new man is up for the nomination—apparently a clean man —one who can be trusted. You are delighted and gladly vote for him, and he is elected—but you learn later that he is the twin brother of the last man. Of course I am not speaking of this particular legislative district in which we are assembled. I need not say that this district, has not been represented recently by that sort of men. I am speaking of what is true in many more places and states than it ought to be; and I am calling attention not to the fact that so much bribery and corruption and trading exist, as everybody knows, but to the apparent helplessness of the people who do not like it and yet do not prevent it. They grumble and complain and call hard names and then let things go till the next election, when they generally go to the polls and help elect a brother-in-law of the twins.

Now the trouble with many reformers in politics is that they are a great deal more bent on pulling up tares than they are on raising wheat, and yet, wheat is the only good thing to be got and it there is no wheat the tares do no special harm. One saloon more or less in Sodom would make but little difference. To illustrate—let me, without offence to any one, say a few words respecting what so many people profess to have a holy horror of—the machine in politics. What is a machine? It is “a combination of bodies so connected that their relative motions are constrained, and by which, force and motion may be transmitted and applied to the production of some desired effect.” In mechanics, nothing better than a machine can be desired. This is the age of machines and a machine is always more than a match for untrained hand-labor.

In almost every state and every city of any size, there is what is commonly known in politics as the machine. It is an organization of men who go into politics more or less as a business. They give time, thought, and energy to it. They all have a common purpose and they work together with a harmony which makes the name machine eminently appropriate. Sometimes they do no great harm—they simply win where the other men fail. The reason that the other men fail is because they are in politics only in a half-hearted way, and they act without concert. When the time for the caucus comes, the machine is ready. It has its candidates for delegates. It knows just whom these delegates, if elected, will vote for.

It knows whom the men nominated by the delegates will vote for. It has a complete list of candidates who can be depended on from the local precinct to the United States senate. The machine has been attending to this business all the time. It is a compact organization, thoroughly disciplined, knowing its own men, able to predict the result, and in most cases sure to win. The dissatisfied element outside, good citizens, reformers, grumblers, loud advocates of pure politics, have no perfect organization, no plan that is worthy of the name, no candidates who are more than half-hearted in the fight, and so to the last everything is all sixes and sevens, a great deal of honest purpose and virtuous patriotism is wasted— not for anything very positive, but mainly to smash the machine—and the machine wins. There is no help for it. The regular army always beats the mob. It pays once in a great while to expose a company of raw militia to the fire of a thousand regulars, as it did on Lexington Green on the nineteenth of April, 1775; but in the ordinary processes of war it is criminal waste of life. And in politics it is hardly less a criminal waste of energy and high sentiment to array against a compact political organization having a definite purpose, an unorganized mass of citizens, without discipline, without leaders, and without plans.

If men want pure politics and honest officials they must give systematic attention to the matter, and not trust to a little spirit of excitement just before election, when in all probability it is too late to do any good. Eternal vigilance is the price of honest legislation as well as of liberty.

No one certainly can dislike the machine in its ordinary sense as a combination for corrupt purposes, more heartily than I do. But a machine is all right if it is properly used and used for proper purposes. And the only way to fight a bad machine is with a good one. If honesty is ever to win in politics, the men who desire it, must take their first lesson in practical politics from the machine and organize to some purpose. And until people who believe in honest legislation can be so banded together as to act with some of the efficiency of the machine, there is very little use in the individual citizen’s trying to pull up tares in the field of politics, except it be for his own moral exercise and growth.

If your idea of a proper caucus is one to which men shall go without any forethought as to candidates, your idea will never be realized. Somebody will have thought about it. If you have not, the machine doubtless has. Organization, concert of action among men of like minds is not only proper but desirable.

If the object to be secured is a good one, it is no worse because there has been an organized effort to secure it. Of course if the object to be secured is bad and the machine works for it, the machine is bad; hut it is so because it is working for evil and not at all because it is a machine. The lesson to be derived from all this is just what Edmund Burke said more than a hundred years ago. “When bad men combine the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” My point is this. Be earnestly active for something good, and not merely active against something bad. Keep sowing wheat, and do not confine your energies to pulling up tares. It is all right to remove temptation from the young by shutting up saloons and gambling dens if you can; but it is better to fill the minds of the rising generation with high ideals of noble living than to spend all your energies in removing temptation. It is even better to have men who cannot be tempted than it is to have no temptation.

Organize then for the attainment of the best things, and not merely for the temporary suppression of bad things. There will be, in spite of all that you can do, a good many tares growing with the wheat until the harvest; but it will be a poor harvest indeed, even if you pull up all the tares, if at the end there is no wheat.

There are those who say that civilization and even the Christian church are built upon injustice and robbery, and there is nothing to be done but to let both go and return to the simplicity of nature. That seems to me a wholesale rooting up of the wheat in order to get rid of the tares. Learning, Science, Literature, Art and Religion have been doing their best for centuries to make the world better; and they have succeeded in evolving from the primeval savage the modern civilized man and from the primitive bestial selfish degradation the modern methodical and systematic care for self, mixed with not a little altruism or brotherly kindness—and now our modern prophets want to destroy civilization and all that it implies, because, forsooth, some people own property which they never earned, and the members of the Christian church, unlike their Master, have every night where to lay their heads. And yet these prophets sleep regularly on just as soft pillows as the rest of the church, and draw their salaries from the accumulations of civilization with as much regularity and zest as if they liked it.

There is no question whatever as to what a man’s attitude towards all recognized wrong ought to be. If he is a true man, it cannot be anything but an attitude of disapproval. But it is a question and a momentous question what he shall do about it. Here comes in the warning of Jesus—”Lest ye root up the wheat also. Let both grow together till the harvest.” Ah! there is to be a harvest, is there? Be comforted, my brother, you who have vexed your righteous soul with the unlawful deeds of the wicked, like Lot in Sodom—be comforted. There will be a harvest, and the harvest comes with great regularity, sometimes to individuals and sometimes to nations. A good many things will be revealed at the harvest. First, it will be found that the tares are not wheat. Second, it will be found that the Lord of the harvest does not value tares as he does wheat, and next it will be found that he does not make the same disposition of tares that he does of wheat. There comes a time, you see, when tares are neither mistaken for wheat nor treated as wheat. Suppose you do not dig up all the tares you see. There is sure to come a time when the tares will be got rid of. The harvest is a great discriminator.

The wheat will be gathered into the barn. It is valuable. It will feed and sustain men and women and children. The tares will be burned—not as fuel—they are worth nothing even as fuel—they will be burned not to do good, but simply to get rid of them. They are worthless—worse than worthless. They must be destroyed, because they are noxious. Bind them in bundles and burn them—and the rascality that you have longed to fight goes out at last in the cleansing flames of an awakened public conscience.

Does all this appear like lowering the standard of duty? Is a true life substantially summed up in minding your own business? Well—a good many lives would be better than they are if they were so summed up. But that is not my meaning. I have not yet said quite all that I have to say. There is one further lesson to be learned from Jesus and it is the most important one.

Jesus was, indeed, wonderfully patient. Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? Jesus let Judas stay among the disciples as long as he would. He knew what Judas was; yet, he did not turn him out, excommunicate him, nor do anything else to him of a disciplinary nature. If he, with his perfect character, could stand the presence of such a being, we ought to be able to stand it till the harvest, if it is necessary.

But with all his tenderness towards all classes of men, Jesus never left the wrong-doer in doubt as to his judgment of the wrongdoer’s character. Even Judas knew that the Master understood him.

Jesus treated the woman of Samaria with great kindness. No other Jew would have talked with her. His disciples were astonished when they found him talking to her, for the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. But the woman did not go away with the impression that Jesus approved of her mode of life. When he said to her, “He whom thou now hast is not thy husband,” she knew what he thought of her.

Do not so associate with evil men as to make them believe that you think that they are all right. Jesus never did that.

To the woman condemned under the law, but at whom no man was found innocent enough to cast the first stone, Jesus said: “Neither do I condemn thee.” I do not pass sentence of punishment upon you. But ‘go and sin no more,’ told her what he thought of her life and conduct. God forbid that any one of us should refuse to give a helping hand to man or woman who, having been bad, repents and tries to be good. For them, the message spoken in kindness must always be—”Go and sin no more.”

“He receiveth sinners and eateth with them,” said the Pharisees. Only six days before the crucifixion they said of him as he went to the house of Zaccheus, the chief tax gatherer of Jericho, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” They would not have done so. But he did. Was he less opposed to sin and crime than they were? But he did not go to be “hail fellow well met” with sinners, whether publicans or Pharisees. He associated with them only for their good, and he never sought to curry favor with them by pretending that he thought that they were on the whole ideal men. The Pharisee who thought he was doing Jesus great honor to admit him to his table and who was greatly disturbed because a woman who was a sinner had been permitted by Jesus to anoint his feet with ointment after she had washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair—receives the rebuke he deserves, high-toned aristocrat though he was. “I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet. Thou gavest me no kiss. My head with oil thou didst not anoint.” I have received at your hands no special kindness and hardly ordinary civility; but this woman at whose presence you are sneering, has with marvelous tenderness, unselfishness and liberality, more than supplied the defects of your self-complacent hospitality. Wherefore I say unto thee, her sins which are many—no concealment of that fact even in the presence of the woman—which are many, are forgiven her—for she loved much.

Jesus was the friend of publicans and sinners, as the Pharisees said. He was a helpful friend, full of sympathy and kindness and charity. But he never associated with them as persons with whose life he was satisfied and whose character He approved. He met them always as one trying to lift them out of evil and induce them to seek a better life. In a word His charity was no bestial indifference to the distinction between good and evil, or between honest men and knaves.

There is a proper time for pulling up tares, and when that time comes, they should be uprooted. First, in the development of our own characters. If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee; and if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee. Second, in our relations to others—whenever the results will not be injurious to the general good. And third, with nations, whenever humanity demands that the organized power of Christian states shall be used for the relief and protection of the oppressed and down-trodden.

Such a time came 100 years ago to Christian Europe, when Turkey had filled up the measure of her iniquity by the murder of hundreds of thousands of helpless Armenians—her own subjects. But the Concert of Nations of Christian Europe, silent, selfish, jealous of each other, afraid of each other, stood by and permitted the Turk, already drenched to the shoulders in the blood of Armenia, to proceed still further and cut the throats of their brothers of Christian Greece in their heroic but useless struggle. Then was the time for these nations to strike a blow that would have avenged the wrongs of centuries. Then was the time for rooting up tares without the slightest danger of rooting up wheat. Such a time as this now exists in the Middle East with ISIS terrorists, along with Saudi and Iran State sponsors of terror—there still being some in Turkey to uproot. But Christian Europe, because the nations could not agree and a general European war was deemed worse even than the murder of Armenians, reserved its strength for the easier task of dismembering and parceling out China in the East, and left the unspeakable Turk undisturbed and unpunished.

It has been reserved for the young republic (The United States of America) of the West to set for Christendom an example of a foreign policy inspired not by selfishness, but by generosity and real nobility of spirit.

Our country was then engaged in a war with Spain, entered into, so far as appears, with little or no prospect of material gain to ourselves, but solely in the interest of humanity—to protect the people of Cuba from cruelty and wrong heaped upon them for centuries by Spanish oppression. No war was ever engaged in by any nation for more unselfish reasons; and if the God of Battles shall give the victory to our arms on sea and land, as I cannot doubt that He will, my earnest hope is that my country may not forget the high mission of mercy in which it is engaged, and may not, carried away by the lust of power and glory, convert a great contest in the interest of humanity, which ought to be an inspiring example to Christendom for all time to come, into an ordinary struggle for wider dominion and the gratification of unholy ambition. God save the Republic.

Ladies And Gentlemen:

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Peace is the desirable condition of life. I can ask nothing better for you than that in the earnest pursuit of the various occupations in which you may engage, you may enjoy peace, and may steadily grow in wisdom and in favor with God and man.

As today you recall the efforts which you have made to secure an education, you cannot but rejoice that your work is done and that the reward is assured. But in the midst of your rejoicing there must come thoughts of those who started with you but have fallen out by the way, and especially of those two, bright scholars and loyal friends, Carl Huhn and Edna May Stock, who had already won honors and confidently expected to stand here with you today, but who already have been promoted to a higher service above. The memory of your dead classmates cannot but chasten somewhat your expressions of joy on this auspicious occasion; and it will come to you many times in your future life as a solemn reminder of what we all at some time or other must meet. But for you the past at least is secure. You have found by your experience here, that wisdom’s ways are ways of pleasantness and that all her paths are peace. So may you find it in the future. And now, as we part, I beg you to accept my heartiest wishes for your happiness and usefulness in this life, and for an immortality of joy in the life hereafter. Farewell.

Sources: Bible, Killing Jesus, The Ariel, Volume 21

Copyright © 2015 TeaPartyEdu Foundation Truths The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

Caring for Our Troops: Protecting those Who Risk their Lives to Protect Us by Helen Love

God bless & Jesus keep our military men, women and families. We Could Never Do Enough!

God bless & Jesus keep our military men, women and families. We Could Never Do Enough!

Caring for Our Troops: Protecting those Who Risk their Lives to Protect Us

Serving in any army, particularly one as actively engaged in warfare as the US Army and the rest of the forces, is a big price for any soldier to pay. Political views aside, the courageous women and men who serve in the forces are immediately putting their lives on the line because they believe in protecting their country and the values upon which it was founded. These are people who, when returning home, are not only filled with an immense pride and dignity, but a deep love for their homeland which they will defend with their lives. But it is not only their lives that they put on the line – it is their livelihood, and quality of life itself. The work they do often leaves devastating implications on themselves and their loved ones, especially in the case of PTSD. And more than ever, veterans are left in the dark when it comes to getting the proper healthcare, as well as the chance to enjoy a normal, civilian life.

When it’s Over

… it’s never really over. People who sign up for the military are more than aware that it is a life-changing decision for themselves and their loved ones, and that nothing will ever be the same again. But this does not immediately render their right to a normal lifestyle as non-valid. While many people who have served are able to return to a civilian lifestyle and enjoy a regular job, bring up a family, and celebrate life in general, there are many others who struggle to adjust and find employment. The country’s turmoil with the recession has made employment difficult for people across a wide spectrum of demographics, even those with high qualifications from leading post-secondary institutions. People who have served in the forces have an incredible set of skills and qualifications, not only from their training but from their experiences on the field and the emotional growth and resilience they have cultivated. These people – dedicated, loyal, disciplined and trustworthy – make the perfect candidates for employees, yet are often considered “over-qualified” or in some cases, too far removed from civilian life.

Everyone deserves a fair chance to make a living, especially those who have risked their lives to protect others. Healthcare and a chance for employment isn’t an entitlement but a right. Healthcare has come a long way for veterans who are now covered for life, but this doesn’t mean that they always receive the best care and for illnesses such as PTSD, this is detrimental. Veterans also receive discounts on transportation on major routes for Greyhound and Amtrak, and individual businesses may choose to offer advantages as well as a small token of appreciation for the time they have served. When venturing abroad, vets can also look into coverage for pre-existing conditions if their healthcare doesn’t take care of their needs outside of the US. Fortunately, there are many companies offering viable options, but coverage should extend for vets outside of the US as well if they choose to travel. The Foreign Medical Program is responsible for taking care of the medical needs of vets abroad, but they are subject to certain criteria like injuries which are a result of an incident while in service. For some veterans, going abroad is a chance to make a new start, rebuild family life, and have a new experience – this is right we should all have. Surely veterans should have this chance too.

Additionally, the number of homeless veterans is also alarming. Various factors such as unemployment and ongoing mental health issues, as well as the lack of a personal support system and a stable infrastructure in place contribute to many living on the streets. As well as facing extreme weather conditions, physical health problems and worrying about their next meal, they also face the stigma of being homeless and being outcast by society.

We praise our military and we use them not only to fight the battles of a few men in power, but as the beacon of strength and loyalty which is symbolic of the United States. We uphold our Armed Forces which a pride and fervor which is virtually unparalleled in the rest of the world. So why, then, do we give our vets such a cold welcome when the homecoming ceremonies are over? It’s time to change things and give them a country they can still be proud to fight for, and a life they can live when they have sacrificed everything for us.

Copyright © 2015 TeaPartyEdu Foundation Truths The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

PTSD: The Final Battle by Helen Love


This is a freelance article by Helen Love

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Final Battle For Many Brave Troops

Many troops are surviving difficult and unspeakable traumas on the battlefield, only to return home and face another battle, this time against an enemy that has no face. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is generally brought on as a result of witnessing terrifying or life threatening events, and no situations fits this scenario more than being in a war zone. Recent statistics suggest that as many as four out of five veterans of the Vietnam War suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder at some point in their lifetimes after they had returned home and reintegrated into normal society after the war. From the more modern wars that are fresher in the public’s collective consciousness, it has been found that at least 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan was veterans have suffered from or are suffering from either PTSD, depression or both. However many senior members of the military expect that this figure will rise significantly, and that the mental effects of operating within the theater of war on our brave troops is much more dramatic than was originally expected.

Understanding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Although the symptoms and the severity of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder differ from person to person, some of the key characteristics of the condition include experiencing severe anxiety, suffering from flash backs of the traumatic event and having nightmares or uncontrollable thoughts. It is perfectly normal to experience any or all of these symptoms after you have witnessed a traumatic event, but if the symptoms last for more than a couple of weeks, then it’s likely that you are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and may well need help and support to overcome the condition. Your doctor is likely to propose a treatment plan that combines medication to lessen and control your symptoms in conjunction with therapy to help you process and overcome the traumatic events that have caused your PTSD.

Notable Historic Cases of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

It’s important to remember that suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder is nothing to be ashamed of. Notable historic military leaders, such as Alexander the Great are thought to have suffered from the illness. After having spent most of his life engaged in various battles, Alexander the Great ended his life as an alcoholic who was highly suspicious of everybody around him and easily alarmed. At the end of his career he his pathological suspicion meant that he had all of the lieutenants that had served immediately under him killed. Although the term didn’t exist at the time, in modern terms it is clear that his years on the battle field had left Alexander the Great with severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

In a comparatively more recent example of warfare induced Post Traumatic stress disorder, research has also revealed that hero and founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale (sometimes called ‘The Lady of the Lamp’) also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder on her return from the Crimean War. Conditions for the nurse were unimaginably hard: she was working for 20 hours every day, and dealt with the most troublesome and difficult patients herself, dealing with conditions such as frostbite, gangrene and dysentery on a daily basis. Once the war was over and Florence returned home, her personality was completely changed. She displayed symptoms of anorexia, chronic fatigue, insomnia, irritability and then took to her bed for thirty years, simply not being able to find a reason to get up. Again, although the condition wasn’t  discovered and categorized at the time, all of this symptoms are key indicators of post-traumatic stress disorder and several scholars have confirmed it is clear that Florence Nightingale also suffered from the condition.

The point is that no one is immune from the risks of developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: the illness is not discriminatory, and it affects people from all lifestyles and backgrounds. There is no shame in struggling with PTSD, particularly if you have returned from serving your country in the theater of war. What is important is that you recognize the signs of condition, and seek help as soon as possible, so that you can get your life back on track and achieve the happiness you deserve.

Copyright © 2015 TeaPartyEdu Foundation Truths The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams Explain Why Muslims Turn to Terrorism

Jefferson quote concerning the advantages of serving Jesus

Thomas Jefferson concerning the advantages of Jesus’ mission  [Click to enlarge]


The first countries to declare war on the newly formed United States were the Muslim Barbary States of North Africa….From 1783, until the Presidency of George Washington in 1789, the newborn Republic had no strong central authority, and that is when the Barbary pirates struck.

In 1784 Congress voted to send Thomas Jefferson to Europe in order to join John Adams and Benjamin Franklin who were already there.  These three Ministers Plenipotentiary [Ministers Plenipotentiary: a person, especially a diplomat, invested with the full power of independent action on behalf of their government, typically in a foreign country.] were tasked with negotiating various treaties with other nations / states that would benefit the United States of America in her infancy. These treaties needed to be negotiated due to the colonies breaking away from the mother countries and gaining independence from Britain in the American Revolutionary War of Independence.

These treaties allowed for transactions of commerce with other nations, and in the context of the Barbary States were negotiated to stop the attacks on American merchant ships, the capturing, ransoming, and enslaving of American sailors by the Musselmen or Barbary pirates {i.e. Muslims] who believed it their god-given right to “tax”, kill or sell into slavery non-believers as the Ambassador of Tripoli told Thomas Jefferson, when Jefferson asked him on what grounds the Barbary state Muslims felt they had a right to attack unprovoked the ships, sailors and merchants from other nations. [See letter from Jefferson & Adams to John Jay dated March 28, 1786, relating their conversation below; According to the appeasers in the democrat party and Obama, Muslim Terrorists have been misinterpreting the Qu’ran for centuries. The Barbary states started attacking vessels of Christian nations and the nations themselves almost since they killed, enslaved and conquered the Roman Catholics and other christian governments in the Muslim Conquests of North Africa]

Before I go further: In the last year I have heard two different ex-jihadi Islamic terrorists refer to what the Islamists taught them. Not only were they taught by the mosques that they would go to paradise and have 72 virgins. They were also taught that if they died while killing the infidel, [non-Muslims] not only would they go to heaven “without judgement” so would all of their family. Now that’s a pretty strong teaching , if you were already of such loose morals, you could kill those who were doing nothing to harm you, it would be a strong draw. For the White House to suggest the Muslim terrorists commit atrocities because of they have no jobs, or they come from poor neighborhoods etc., is just ignoring the facts. The Muslim who beheaded the woman in Moore Okla., had a job, the Ft. Hood shooter had a career. the 19 hijackers that flew the planes into the World Trade Towers were mainly from rich or well-to-do families. So we can brush that aside, as an excuse for their behavior.  They are motivated by a religion that promotes ungodliness, selfishness and that reflects the basest thoughts and feelings of humanity. They are not motivated by economics, unless those economics help them in their jihadist cause.

If we analyze why this would be a draw to the Muslim terrorists, who without conscience commit the brutal acts they do in the name of their god. It is because they are selfish individuals to begin with, they also are susceptible to their basest lusts. Inspired because of the 72 virgins they will receive after death shows their basic lusts. Never mind all of the women and little girls they have been raping or forcing into marriage, the 72 virgins should be enough to convince people that these Muslim terrorists are motivated by their fleshy. carnal nature. The fact they are drawn by the teaching they will go to heaven “without judgement” shows how they are motivated by selfishness, which is also a part of mans carnal nature.  As I have said elsewhere, the Islamic terrorists are following in the footsteps of Mohammed who was the original and first Islamic terrorist.

The story of Mohammed’s aggression has been documented in detail by his biographers, – surprise raids on trade caravans and tribal settlements, the use of plunder thus obtained for recruiting an ever growing army of greedy desperadoes, assassinations of opponents, blackmail. He ordered the expulsion and massacre of the Jews of Medina, attack and enslavement of the Jews of Khayber, rape of women and children, sale of these victims after rape, trickery, treachery and bribery employed to their fullest extent to grow the numbers of his religion  He organized no less than 86 expeditions, 26 of which he led himself.

At the Battle of Badr, Mohammed after gaining the victory ordered those slain, who he considered “infidels” to be buried in a well in the area of Badr, as his Muslim followers were dumping the dead bodies of those they had killed, Mohammed is said to have stood at the mouth of the well and naming the dead one by one, demanded of them if they had found the promises of God true, as he had done. “You were a bad kindred to your prophet,” said he; “others declared me true, but you called me a liar and drove me from my native place, while strangers gave me protection.” The Muslim followers interrupted him by asking if he addressed the dead. “They hear me as well as you do”, he replied, “although they cannot answer, and they now find true what I formerly declared to them.” This shows Mohammed was also motivated by self-aggrandizement, which is also a base trait of the carnal man.

I’ve heard various Muslims like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and others talk about how there needs to be a reformation of, or in Islam like there was in Judaism or in Christianity. One thing about the reformation in Christianity. Christian reformation happened to 1. get the sacred scriptures into hands of the people, and 2, to get back to the simplicity of Christ’ teaching and to follow his example and words. How can a reformation of Islam do the same as the Christian reformation, if people continue to follow example of Mohammed and the Quran? It would seem to me, if you want a true religion of peace, with a man of peace to follow, real reform of Islam would be Christianity! If you have reform of Islam and get rid of all the teachings of fundamental Mohammedeans you would have to discard the Quran, or else you take the risk in the future of young men reading the Quran & once again following the example set forth by founder. The founder of Islam being Mohammed, just how do you reform Islam into a religion of peace when its founder was a man of war? The growth and spread of Islam has always been accompanied by the sword. It is a teaching that appeals to what is base & corrupt in man.

Extract from the Secret Journal of Foreign Affairs, May 7th, 1784

“Mr. John Jay was elected Secretary for Foreign Affairs, having been previously nominated by Mr. Gerry. On motion of Mr. Hardy, seconded by Mr. Gerry,

Resolved, That a Minister Plenipotentiary be appointed in addition to Mr. John Adams and Mr. Benjamin Franklin, for the purpose of negotiating treaties of commerce.

Congress proceeded to the election, and the ballots being taken; Mr. Thomas Jefferson was elected, having been previously nominated by Mr. Hardy.

Instructions [were sent] to the Ministers of the United States for making peace with Great Britain, dated May 30th, 1783.

Instructions [were sent] to the Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States of America at the Court of Versailles, empowered to negotiate a peace, &c, dated the 29th of October, 1783, May 7th, 1784, and May 11th, 1784.

On the report of the Committee, to whom was recommitted the report on sundry letters from the Ministers of the United States in Europe, Congress came to the following resolutions:

Whereas, instructions bearing date the 29th day of October, 1783 were sent to the Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States of America at the Court of Versailles, empowered to negotiate a peace, or to any one or more of them, for concerting drafts or proposition for treaties of amity and commerce with the commercial powers of Europe:

Resolved, That it will be advantageous to these United States to conclude such treaties with Russia, the Court of Vienna, Prussia Denmark, Saxony, Hamburg, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Genoa, Tuscany, Rome, Naples, Venice, Sardinia, and the Ottoman Porte.

The attitude of Muslim terrorists has scarcely changed since the time of Mohammed. Again, according to the appeasers in the democrat party and Obama, Muslim Terrorists have been misinterpreting the Qu’ran for centuries.


Grosvenor Square, March 28, 1786.


Soon after the arrival of Mr. Jefferson in London, we had a conference with the Ambassador of Tripoli at his house.

The amount of all the information we can obtain from him was, that a perpetual peace was in all respects the most advisable, because a temporary treaty would leave room for increasing demands upon every renewal of it, and a stipulation for annual payments would be liable to failures of performance, which would renew the war, repeat the negotiations, and continually augment the claims of his nation; and the difference of expense would by no means be adequate to the inconvenience, since 12,500 guineas to his constituents, with ten per cent. upon that sum for himself, must be paid if the treaty was made for only one year.

That 30,000 guineas for his employers, and £3,000 for himself, was the lowest terms upon which a perpetual peace could be made; and that this must be paid in cash on the delivery of the treaty, signed by his Sovereign; that no kind of merchandizes could be accepted.

That Tunis would treat upon the same terms, but he could not answer for Algiers or Morocco.

We [Adams & Jefferson] took the liberty to make some enquiries concerning the ground of their pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation.  [Note they clarify “nations who have done them [i.e. Muslim Barbary States] no injury”]

The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of their prophet [i.e. Mohammed]; that it was written in their Koran; that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners; that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners; and that every Mussulman [Muslims] who was slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.

That it was a law that the first who boarded an enemy’s vessel should have one slave more than his share with the rest, which operated as an incentive to the most desperate valor and enterprize; that it was the practice of their corsairs to bear down upon a ship, for each sailor to take a dagger in each hand and another in his mouth, and leap on board, which so terrified their enemies that very few ever stood against them; that he verily believed the devil assisted his countrymen, for they were almost always successful. We took time to consider, and promised an answer; but we can give him no other than that the demands exceed our expectation and that of Congress so much that we can proceed no further without fresh instructions.

There is but one possible way that we know of to procure the money, if Congress should authorize us to go to the necessary expense; and that is to borrow it in Holland. We are not certain it can be had there, but if Congress should order us to make the best terms we can with Tunis, Tripoli, and Morocco, and to procure this money wherever we can find it, upon terms like those of the last loan in Holland, our best endeavor shall be used to remove this formidable obstacle out of the way of the prosperity of the United States.

Enclosed is a copy of a letter from Paul R. Randall, Esq., at Barcelona. The last from Mr. Barclay was dated Bayonne. It is hoped we shall soon have news from Algiers and Morocco, and we wish it may not be made more disagreeable than this from Tunis and Tripoli.


Overview of actions by Thomas Jefferson, the first President to declare war on Muslim Terrorists

Muslims who kept attacking the people of the United States for no other reason than the teachings of their false prophet Mohammed told them too. The Islamic Terrorist Muslims didn’t need the excuses the democrat party, Obama and the liberal leftists in the United States now give them, Muslim terrorists need no further provocation than the fact the United States of America exists, the people in the U.S.A. are not followers of Islam, the U.S.A. is founded on Christian principles, we are infidels and therefore are to be subjugated, enslaved, or put to the sword. It is really that simple, we exist, therefore we are their enemies.

Begin overview:

Before the United States obtained its independence in the American Revolution, 1775-83, American merchant ships and sailors had been protected from the ravages of the North African pirates by the naval and diplomatic power of Great Britain. British naval power and the tribute or subsidies Britain paid to the piratical states protected American vessels and crews. During the Revolution, the ships of the United States were protected by the 1778 alliance with France, which required the French nation to protect “American vessels and effects against all violence, insults, attacks, or depredations, on the part of the said Princes and States of Barbary or their subjects.” After the United States won its independence in the treaty of 1783, it had to protect its own commerce against dangers such as the Barbary pirates. As early as 1784 Congress followed the tradition of the European shipping powers and appropriated $80,000 as tribute to the Barbary states, directing its ministers in Europe, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, to begin negotiations with them. Trouble began the next year, in July 1785, when Algerians captured two American ships and the dey of Algiers held their crews of twenty-one people for a ransom of nearly $60,000. Thomas Jefferson, United States minister to France, opposed the payment of tribute, as he later testified in words that have a particular resonance today. In his autobiography Jefferson wrote that in 1785 and 1786 he unsuccessfully “endeavored to form an association of the powers subject to habitual depredation from them. I accordingly prepared, and proposed to their ministers at Paris, for consultation with their governments, articles of a special confederation.” Jefferson argued that “The object of the convention shall be to compel the piratical States to perpetual peace.” Jefferson prepared a detailed plan for the interested states. “Portugal, Naples, the two Sicilies, Venice, Malta, Denmark and Sweden were favorably disposed to such an association,” Jefferson remembered, but there were “apprehensions” that England and France would follow their own paths, “and so it fell through.” Paying the ransom would only lead to further demands, Jefferson argued in letters to future presidents John Adams, then America’s minister to Great Britain, and James Monroe, then a member of Congress. As Jefferson wrote to Adams in a July 11, 1786, letter, “I acknolege [sic] I very early thought it would be best to effect a peace thro’ the medium of war.” Paying tribute will merely invite more demands, and even if a coalition proves workable, the only solution is a strong navy that can reach the pirates, Jefferson argued in an August 18, 1786, letter to James Monroe: “The states must see the rod; perhaps it must be felt by some one of them. . . . Every national citizen must wish to see an effective instrument of coercion, and should fear to see it on any other element than the water. A naval force can never endanger our liberties, nor occasion bloodshed; a land force would do both.” “From what I learn from the temper of my countrymen and their tenaciousness of their money,” Jefferson added in a December 26, 1786, letter to the president of Yale College, Ezra Stiles, “it will be more easy to raise ships and men to fight these pirates into reason, than money to bribe them.” Jefferson’s plan for an international coalition foundered on the shoals of indifference and a belief that it was cheaper to pay the tribute than fight a war. The United States’s relations with the Barbary states continued to revolve around negotiations for ransom of American ships and sailors and the payment of annual tributes or gifts. Even though Secretary of State Jefferson declared to Thomas Barclay, American consul to Morocco, in a May 13, 1791, letter of instructions for a new treaty with Morocco that it is “lastly our determination to prefer war in all cases to tribute under any form, and to any people whatever,” the United States continued to negotiate for cash settlements. In 1795 alone the United States was forced to pay nearly a million dollars in cash, naval stores, and a frigate to ransom 115 sailors from the dey of Algiers. Annual gifts were settled by treaty on Algiers, Morocco, Tunis, and Tripoli. When Jefferson became president in 1801 he refused to accede to Tripoli’s demands for an immediate payment of $225,000 and an annual payment of $25,000. The pasha of Tripoli then declared war on the United States. Although as secretary of state and vice president he had opposed developing an American navy capable of anything more than coastal defense, President Jefferson dispatched a squadron of naval vessels to the Mediterranean. As he declared in his first annual message to Congress: “To this state of general peace with which we have been blessed, one only exception exists. Tripoli, the least considerable of the Barbary States, had come forward with demands unfounded either in right or in compact, and had permitted itself to denounce war, on our failure to comply before a given day. The style of the demand admitted but one answer. I sent a small squadron of frigates into the Mediterranean. . . .” The American show of force quickly awed Tunis and Algiers into breaking their alliance with Tripoli. The humiliating loss of the frigate Philadelphia and the capture of her captain and crew in Tripoli in 1803, criticism from his political opponents, and even opposition within his own cabinet did not deter Jefferson from his chosen course during four years of war. The aggressive action of Commodore Edward Preble (1803-4) forced Morocco out of the fight and his five bombardments of Tripoli restored some order to the Mediterranean. However, it was not until 1805, when an American fleet under Commodore John Rogers and a land force raised by an American naval agent to the Barbary powers, Captain William Eaton, threatened to capture Tripoli and install the brother of Tripoli’s pasha on the throne, that a treaty brought an end to the hostilities. Negotiated by Tobias Lear, former secretary to President Washington and now consul general in Algiers, the treaty of 1805 still required the United States to pay a ransom of $60,000 for each of the sailors held by the dey of Algiers, and so it went without Senatorial consent until April 1806. Nevertheless, Jefferson was able to report in his sixth annual message to Congress in December 1806 that in addition to the successful completion of the Lewis and Clark expedition, “The states on the coast of Barbary seem generally disposed at present to respect our peace and friendship.” In fact, it was not until the second war with Algiers, in 1815, that naval victories by Commodores William Bainbridge and Stephen Decatur led to treaties ending all tribute payments by the United States. European nations continued annual payments until the 1830s. However, international piracy in Atlantic and Mediterranean waters declined during this time under pressure from the Euro-American nations, who no longer viewed pirate states as mere annoyances during peacetime and potential allies during war.


The cowardice of the Muslims were exhibited back then, just as it is today. The Jihadists attack only those who are ill equipped to defend themselves or attack only by subterfuge, then they hide behind women, children and civilians. Until very recently the so called moderates had not stood against the Jihadis with the rest of the world. 

Overview of War with the Barbary Muslim States

Congress declared war on Tripoli during the first Presidential term of Thomas Jefferson who as shown above was completely against paying tribute to the Muslims to keep them from attacking American interests. Jefferson wanted to annihilate them. See Thomas Jefferson First Annual Message as President December 1801

While we were thus broadening our territories at home, we were having trouble abroad with no less formidable enemies than Algerine pirates who infested the Mediterranean Sea, and all the coasts of southern Europe. The Barbary States, you know, comprise the countries of Algiers, Morocco, Tunis, and Tripoli, and are formed of a narrow strip of land in northeastern Africa. They are inhabited by Moors, Turks, Arabs, and a sprinkling of Jews. The principal religion is that of Mohammed, and they were sworn enemies to all Christian nations. For years the pirates of the Barbary States, or, as they were generally called, ” Algerine pirates,” had been a terror to every merchant vessel who came to trade with the countries near the Mediterranean. Any unlucky, ship, which found itself near the Atlantic coast of Africa, might see at any moment an odd-looking boat with long lateen sails, swooping down upon her from some sheltered inlet or harbor, where she had lain at watch for her prey. In a twinkling she would sail alongside the merchantman, grapple her, drop her long sails over the vessel’s side, and a host of swarthy, turbaned Moors, with bare, sharp sabres held between their teeth, belts stuck thick with knives and pistols, would come swarming over from sails and rigging, boarding their prize from all sides at once. The merchantman, with a crew untrained to fighting, would surrender. Every man on board would be made prisoner, and carried to Algiers or Tripoli to be held for the payment of a large ransom. If this sum were not paid they were sold as slaves in the public marketplaces.

It is wonderful [amazing], when we read of this thing, to see the terror in which these miserable, half clad pirates held half a dozen European nations. Italy feared them as a mouse fears a cat; Holland and Sweden trembled at the name of Algiers; Denmark paid them yearly a large tribute; the only nation of whom they stood in awe was England. For her, they had some respect, as one of their proverbs, “as hard-headed as an Englishman,” testifies.

When the pirates found America had become an independent nation, they immediately made demands on the government to pay them tribute. The Emperor of Morocco, Dey of Algiers, Bey of Tunis, and Bashaw of Tripoli (such were the high sounding titles of these squalid potentates) all thought they had found a new nation weak enough to submit to their piratical demands. And at first the United States did submit in the most astonishing manner. They sent consuls to the Barbary States to arrange on the amount of money or presents to be given these rulers to buy their favor and exempt our ships from their plunder. General Eaton, an officer who had served in the Revolutionary War, was one of these consuls, and very indignant he wiis at the manner in which his government submitted to the demands of these barbarians. When he called to see the Bey of Tunis, he was ordered to take off his shoes in the anteroom, and enter In his stocking feet. When he approached the bey in the stifling little den only eight by twelve, which served for grand audience chamber, he was ordered to “kiss his majesty’s hand.” “Having performed this ceremony,” says the bluff old soldier, “we were allowed to take our shoes and other property and depart, without any other injury than the humiliation of being obliged in this way to violate one of God’s commandments and offend common decency.”

These potentates of Barbary were constantly begging. They asked for ships, gunpowder, arms, cloth, and jewels from our consuls. General Eaton says, while he lived in the consulate at Tunis, not only the bey, but his minister and half a dozen officers of his court, sent for their coffee, spices, sugar, and other groceries, to the American house, demanding it as tribute. Once the bey saw there a handsome looking-glass, for which he sent next day, and the American consul could do no better than pack it off to him. If he refused to comply with any demand, the bey threatened to let his pirates loose on the American trading vessels. Here is a specimen of the letters sent by this prince of pirates to the Danish consul.

“On account of the long friendship subsisting between us we take the liberty to give you a commission for sundry articles, naval and military, which I find indispensable. I give you six months to answer this letter, and one year to forward the goods. And remember, if we do not hear from you we know what steps to take.”

As demand followed demand, and our consuls found it was like filling a bottomless tub with water to satisfy these fellows, they began to demur.

“When will these demands end?” asked United States Consul Cathcart of the Bashaw of Tripoli. “Never! They will never be at an end,” answered the bashaw, coolly. “Then I will declare war on my own responsibility,” said the consul. And so finally war was declared.

In 1804 the American squadron, under Commodore Preble, was sent into the Mediterranean, and bombarded the city of Tripoli. they arrived shortly after the pirates had captured the American ship Philadelphia. The officers and crew of the captured vessel were taken to Tripoli and a ransom of five hundred dollars a head placed on each man. The Philadelphia was anchored in the harbor in plain sight of the town.

One of the officers on Preble’s ship, young Stephen Decatur, begged to be allowed to destroy the Philadelphia, in order that the pirates might not be able to use her in their war against the United States. Permission was given him, and Decatur took a party of picked men and started on his adventure. He first captured a boat belonging to the pirates which was loaded with a cargo of women slaves they were sending to the markets of Constantinople. This vessel he fitted up and new baptized The Intrepid. She sailed into the harbor of Tripoli one midnight with all her crew, Lieutenant Decatur, except the man at the helm, lying flat on their faces on the deck. The ship was hailed, but her captain gave plausible answers till they reached the side of the Philadelphia. In a moment Decatur and his crew had boarded her, and throwing over the deck pitch, tarred cloth, and all sorts of combustibles, set fire to her. Before the enemy had recovered from their surprise, the Intrepid with all sails spread was outside the harbor, which was lighted up as brightly as noonday by the burning ship. Decatur lost not one man, while the Tripolitans lost twenty, or nearly that number, who were surprised on the ship, and part of whom were drowned from leaping off the burning vessel.


Decatur burning the Philadelphia

In the mean time General Eaton Eaton forms a convention with Hamet, the expelled bashaw of Tripoli, for the subjugation of that government: an army is raised in Egypt, and Eaton appointed general under Hamet: from Egypt they cross a desert 1000 miles in extent, to Derne, a Tripolitan city on the Mediterranean, which they attack and carry, in which Eaton is wounded, another battle is fought, and Eaton again victorious, June 10, 1805: the bashaw offers terms of peace, which are, acceded to, and 200 prisoners were given up.


Lieutenant Decatur

The American valor in this war had the good effect of convincing the pirates that the United States was not a country to be trifled with. They said we were too much like the English, and for the present no more demands were made for either ships or jewels as presents, by these autocrats of the seas.

  On the breaking out of the war between the United States and England in 1812, the Algerines and their associates seized all the American ships that came in their way. On the conclusion of peace, in 1815, the United States’ government determined to put an end to the disgraceful system of piracy by the Muslim Barbary States. An American squadron under Commodore Decatur was dispatched to the Mediterranean. Two Algerian ships of war were taken by Decatur, immediately after passing the Straits of Gibraltar. He then suddenly made his appearance before Algiers.

  The Dey, terrified by these unexpected movements, was glad to make peace on any terms, and a treaty was dictated by the American commodore. The Dey was compelled to make indemnity for the spoliations committed on American commerce, to renounce all claim of tribute from the United States, and give up all the Christian prisoners without ransom. The other Barbary powers were struck with a panic at the fate of Algiers, and agreed to the same terms. Thus the United States of America was the first Christian nation that threw off the disgraceful servitude of paying tribute to the pirates of the Mediterranean.

 The European nations were ashamed any longer to submit to the yoke, and the Congress of Vienna resolved to put an end to Christian slavery in Barbary. In pursuance of this determination, a British fleet, under Lord Exmouth, bombarded Algiers in 1816, and compelled the Dey to submit, as he had done to the Americans.

 The Barbary states after this remained quiet; but in 1827 the French became involved in a quarrel with the Algerines, and in 1830 a powerful armament was sent from France, which took possession of Algiers. The Dey was deprived of his authority, and allowed to go into exile’ in foreign parts. The French established themselves permanently in the city.

A note from the Ancient Historian John Foxe;

It is amazing when reading Foxe’s accounts, after 13 1/2 centuries the Muslims have done little to change their tactics and techniques, both “moderate” and extremists.


In no part of the globe are Christians so hated, or treated with such severity, as at Algiers. The conduct of the Algerines towards them is marked with perfidy and cruelty. By paying a most exorbitant fine, some Christians are allowed the title of Free Christians; these are permitted to dress in the fashion of their respective countries, but the Christian slaves are obliged to wear a coarse grey suit, and a seaman’s cap.

The following are the various punishments exercised towards them: 1. If they join any of the natives in open rebellion, they are strangled with a bow-string, or hanged on an iron hook. 2. If they speak against Mahomet, they must become Mahometans, or be impaled alive. 3. If they profess Christianity again, after having changed to the Mahometan persuasion, they are roasted alive, or thrown from the city walls, and caught upon large sharp hooks, on which they hang till they expire. 4. If they kill a Turk they are burnt. 5. If they attempt to escape, and are retaken, they suffer death in the following manner: they are hung naked on a high gallows by two hooks, the one fastened quite through the palm of one hand, and the other through the sole of the opposite foot, where they are left till death relieves them. Other punishments for crimes committed by the Christians are left to the discretion of the judges, who usually decree the most barbarous tortures.

At Tunis, if a Christian is caught in attempting to escape, his limbs are all broken; and if he slay his master, he is fastened to the tail of a horse, and dragged about the streets till he expires.

Fez and Morocco conjointly form an empire, and are the most considerable of the Barbary states. The Christian slaves are treated with the greatest rigour: the rich have exorbitant ransoms fixed upon them; the poor are hard worked and half starved, and sometimes, by the emperor, or their brutal masters, they are murdered.

Sources: The Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States of America from the signing of the Definitive Treaty of Peace, dated September 10, 1783; to the Adoption of the Constitution, March 4, 1789. Published under the direction of the Secretary of State, from the original Manuscript in the Department of State, conformably to an Act of Congress, approved May 6,1832.
America and the Barbary Pirates: An International Battle Against an Unconventional Foe by Gerard W. Gawalt, Library of Congress online.
Islam vs the United States by Niall Kilkenny, 2009
A History of Africa by Samuel Griswold Goodrich; 1850
The History of Our Country from Its Discovery by Columbus to the Celebration of the Centennial Anniversary of its Declaration of Independence. by Abby Sage Richardson; 1875

Copyright © 2010 – 2015 TeaPartyEdu Foundation Truths The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

National Register Sons of the American Revolution Delaware


Among the monuments that grace
Thy realm, and mark some storied place,
Make room, oh, Liberty!
For one plain stone, to tell the world
Where first in battle was unfurled
The banner of the free.

The flag beneath whose graceful folds
Each man a crown and sceptre holds—
Each, king of this proud land;
But ‘neath its white and crimson bars,
Its azure field of glittering stars,
Is felt no tyrant’s hands.

They little knew, our honored sires,
That kindled freedom’s altar fires,
This flag came at God’s call.
Nor dreamed they of a day to be
When it should float on land and sea,
High-throned over all.

Come back, dear flag, with added stars,
Come, torn with storms of other wars,
Here was thy course begun.
High waving here ‘mid loudest cheers,
And looking out across the years,
Review thy victories won.

Come, spirits of heroic dead,
Who ‘neath this banner fought and bled.
That this soil might be free;
Inspire us as we gather round
The stone set in this holy ground—
A shrine of liberty.

God of our fathers, now let fall
Thy benediction over all
This land of ours, so fair;
Be with us while we dedicate
This sacred tablet to our State—
Beloved Delaware.

Copyright © 2010 – 2015 TeaPartyEdu Foundation Truths The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

Thomas Jefferson Constitutional Powers Usurped by the Supreme Court

Thomas Jefferson Supreme Court Usurpation of Power (Click to enlarge)

Thomas Jefferson Supreme Court Usurpation of Power (Click to enlarge)

For anyone who doesn’t know the Supreme Court itself in the United States has become Unconstitutional, from ruling things Constitutional that are anything but, to assuming powers not delegated to it by the Federal Constitution, nor intended for it by the Framers. Wake up people! The House of Representatives in Congress are the People’s Power in the Federal Government. The Senate and Senators represent their respective states and the interest of those states. When you let the Executive or Senate Encroach you nullify that Power. The People’s Power: One of the House of Representatives Powers is of the Purse i.e. Funding or Defunding those things the Executive branch puts forth. People you’re letting the Media con you into thinking a government shut down because of funding disputes is a bad thing. The people are the real power in the United States, we are the final arbitrators of the Constitution. If we find the things the Executive, Legislative or Judicial powers of the United States are doing to be Unconstitutional, we can view them as null and void ourselves. We don’t need the Supreme Court to rule them Unconstitutional.  The Constitution begins with:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

It does not say We the Executive, We the Legislature, or We the Judiciary, it says WE THE PEOPLE!

“All power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people. That government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty and the right of acquiring property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their government whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purpose of its institution.” ~ James Madison; June 8, 1789


Article IX of the Constitution says: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Article X says: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

In a letter to Mr. M. M. Coray, under date of October 21, 1823, Thomas Jefferson said:

At the establishment of our Constitution the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the Government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a free hold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors, only passed silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping by little and little the foundations of the Constitution and working its change by construction before any has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm had been visibly employed in consuming its substance.

“Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction. I say the same as to the opinion of those who consider the grant of the treaty-making power as boundless. If it is, then we have no Constitution. If it has bounds, they can be no others than the definitions of the powers which that instrument gives. It specifies and delineates the operations permitted to the Federal Government, and gives all the powers necessary to carry these into execution. Whatever of these enumerated objects is proper for a law. Congress may make the law; whatever is proper to be executed by way of a treaty, the President and Senate may enter into the treaty; whatever is to be done by a judicial sentence, the Judges may pass the sentence. Nothing is more likely than that their enumeration of powers is defective. This is the ordinary case of all human works. Let us then go on perfecting it, by adding, by way of amendment to the Constitution those powers which time and trial show are still wanting.”Thomas Jefferson to Wilson C. Nicholas,Writings of Jefferson, Paul L. Ford Ed., viii. 247. (Monticello, Sep. 1803.)

Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Judge Roane

Popular Forest, September 6, 1819.

Dear Sir,—I had read in the Enquirer, and with great approbation, the pieces signed Hampden, and have read them again with redoubled approbation, in the copies you have been so kind as to send me. I subscribe to every title of them. They contain the true principles of the revolution of 1800, for that was as real a revolution in the principles of our government as that of 1776 was in its form ; not effected indeed by the sword, as that, but by the rational and peaceable instrument of reform, the suffrage of the people. The nation declared its will by dismissing functionaries of one principle, and electing those of another, in the two branches, executive and legislative, submitted to their election. Over the judiciary department, the constitution had deprived them of their control. That, therefore, has continued the reprobated system, and although new matter has been occasionally incorporated into the old, yet the leaven of the old mass seems to assimilate to itself the new, and after twenty years’ confirmation of the federated system by the voice of the nation, declared through the medium of elections, we find the judiciary on every occasion, still driving us into consolidation.

In denying the right they [the Supreme Court] usurp [comandeer; take a position of power or importance illegally or by force] of exclusively explaining the constitution, I go further than you do, if I understand rightly your quotation from the Federalist, of an opinion that ” the judiciary is the last resort in relation to the other departments of the government, but not in relation to the rights of the parties to the compact under which the judiciary is derived.” If this opinion be sound, then indeed is our constitution a complete felo de se [one who commits suicide or who dies from the effects of having committed an unlawful malicious act: an act of deliberate self-destruction.]. For intending to establish three departments, co-ordinate and independent, that they might check and balance one another, it has given, according to this opinion, to one of them alone, the right to prescribe rules for the government of the others, and to that one too, which is unelected by, and independent of the nation. For experience has already shown that the impeachment it has provided is not even a scare-crow; that such opinions as the one you combat, sent cautiously out, as you observe also, by detachment, not belonging to the case often, but sought for out of it, as if to rally the public opinion beforehand to their views, and to indicate the line they are to walk in, have been so quietly passed over as never to have excited animadversion, even in a speech of any one of the body entrusted with impeachment. The constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please. It should be remembered, as an axiom of eternal truth in politics, that whatever power in any government is independent, is absolute also ; in theory only, at first, while the spirit of the people is up, but in practice, as fast as that relaxes. Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass. They are inherently independent of all but moral law. My construction of the constitution is very different from that you quote. It is that each department is truly independent of the others, and has an equal right to decide for itself what is the meaning of the constitution in the cases submitted to its action ; and especially, where it is to act ultimately and without appeal. I will explain myself by examples, which, having occurred while I was in office, are better known to me, and the principles which governed them.

Thomas Jefferson: Confidence in Government (Click to enlarge)

Thomas Jefferson: Confidence in Government; Sedition Act (Click to enlarge)

A legislature had passed the sedition law. The federal courts had subjected certain individuals to its penalties of fine and imprisonment. On coming into office, I released these individuals by the power of pardon committed to executive discretion, which could never be more properly exercised than where citizens were suffering without the authority of law, or, which was equivalent, under a law unauthorized by the constitution, and therefore null. In the case of Marbury and Madison, the federal judges declared that commissions, signed and sealed by the President, were valid, although not delivered. I deemed delivery essential to complete a deed, which, as long as it remains in the hands of the party, is as yet no need, it is in posse [what is possible] only, but not in esse [what is real], and I withheld delivery of the commissions. They cannot issue a mandamus [“writ of mandate” which orders a public agency or governmental body to perform an act required by law when it has neglected or refused to do] to the President or legislature, or to any of their officers. [The constitution controlling the common law in this particular.]

When the British treaty arrived, without any provision against the impressments [recruitment by force] of our seamen, I determined not to ratify it. The Senate thought I should ask their advice. I thought that would be a mockery of them, when I was predetermined against following it, should they advise its ratification. The constitution had made their advice necessary to confirm a treaty, but not to reject it. This has been blamed by some; but I have never doubted its soundness. In the cases of two persons, antenati [ancestors], under exactly similar circumstances, the federal court had determined that one of them (Duane) was not a citizen; the House of Representatives nevertheless determined that the other (Smith, of South Carolina) was a citizen, and admitted him to his seat in their body. Duane was a republican, and Smith a federalist, and these decisions were made during the federal ascendancy.

These are examples of my position, that each of the three departments has equally the right to decide for itself what is its duty under the constitution, without any regard to what the others may have decided for themselves under a similar question. But you intimate a wish that my opinion should be known on this subject. No, dear Sir, I withdraw from all contests of opinion, and resign everything cheerfully to the generation now in place. They are wiser than we were, and their successors will be wiser than they, from the progressive advance of science. Tranquillity is the summum bonum [the highest good] of age. I wish, therefore, to offend no man’s opinion, nor to draw disquieting animadversions [criticism or censure] on my own. While duty required it, I met opposition with a firm and fearless step. But loving mankind in my individual relations with them, I pray to be permitted to depart in their peace; and like the superannuated [old fashioned, out of date] soldier, “quadragenis stipendiis emeritus”[not sure on translation: “After forty serving their terms, retire”] to hang my arms on the post. I have unwisely, I fear, embarked in an enterprise of great public concern, but not to be accomplished within my term, without their liberal and prompt support. A severe illness the last year, and another from which I am just emerged, admonish me that repetitions may be expected, against which a declining frame cannot long bear up. I am anxious, therefore, to get our University so far advanced as may encourage the public to persevere to its final accomplishment. That secured, I shall sing my nunc demittis [the prayer of Simeon in Luke 2:29–32]. I hope your labors will be long continued in the spirit in which they have always been exercised, in maintenance of those principles on which I verily believe the future happiness of our country essentially depends. I salute you with affectionate and great respect.

In a letter to Thomas Ritchie, under date of December 25, 1820, Mr. Jefferson said: “But it is not from this branch of government [the House of Representatives] we have most to fear. Taxes and short elections will keep them right.

“The judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working underground to undermine the foundations of our constitutional fabric. They are construing our Constitution from a coordination of a general [federal] and special [local] government to a general and supreme one alone. This will lay all things at their feet, and they are too well versed in English law to forget the maxim, ‘Boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem.’ [‘it is the duty of a good judge to enlarge his jurisdiction.’ It denotes that a good judge’s duty is to amplify the remedies of the law] We shall see if they are bold enough to take the daring strides these five lawyers (judges) have lately taken. Having found from experience that impeachment is an impracticable thing, a mere scarecrow, they consider themselves secure for life; they skulk for responsibility to public opinion, the only remaining hold upon them, under a practice first introduced into England by Lord Mansfield. An opinion is huddled up in conclave (perhaps by a majority of one), delivered as if unanimous, and with the silent acquiescence of lazy or timid associates by a crafty chief judge (Marshall), who sophisticates the law to his mind by the turn of his own reasoning. A judiciary law was once reported by the Attorney General to Congress requiring each judge to deliver his opinion seriatim and openly, and then to give it in writing to the clerk to be entered on the record. A judiciary independent of a king or executive alone is a good thing, but independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government.”

In a letter to Archibald Thweat. under date of January 19, 1821, Mr. Jefferson further said:

I am sensible of the inroads daily making by the Federal into the jurisdiction of its coordinate associates, the State governments. The legislative and executive branches may sometime err, but elections and dependents will bring them to rights. The judiciary branch is the instrument which, working like gravity, without intermission, is to press us at last into one consolidated mass. Against this I know no one who, equally with Judge Roane himself, possesses the power and the courage to make resistance, and to him I look and have long looked as our strongest bulwark. If Congress fails to shield the States from danger so palpable and so imminent, the States must shield themselves, and meet the invader foot to foot.

In a letter to Mr. C. Hammond, under date of August 18, 1821, Mr. Jefferson declared:

“It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression, that the germ of dissolution of our Federal Government is in the constitution of the Federal judiciary, an irresponsible body, working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little to-day and a little to-morrow, and advancing its noiseless steps like a thief over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States and the government of all be consolidated into one. To this I am opposed, because when all governments, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the check provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the Government from which we separated. It will be as in Europe, where every man must either be pike or gudgeon, hammer or anvil. Our functionaries and theirs are wares from the same workshop, made of the same material and by the same hand. If the States look with apathy on this silent descent of their Government into the gulf which is to swallow all, we have only to weep over the human character formed uncontrollable but by a rod of iron, and the blasphemers of man as incapable of self-government become his true historians.”

In a letter to Colonel Nicholas, under date of December 11, 1821, Mr. Jefferson said:

“I fear, dear sir, we are now in such another crisis, with this difference only, that the judiciary branch is alone and single handed in the present assaults on the Constitution. But its assaults are more sure and deadly as from an agent seemingly passive and unassuming. May you and your contemporaries meet them with the same determination and effect that your father and his did the alien and sedition laws, and preserve inviolate a Constitution which, cherished in all its chastity and purity, will prove in the end a blessing to all the nations of the earth.”

In a letter to William T. Barry, under date of July 2, 1822, Mr. Jefferson said:

“We already see the power installed for life, responsible to no authority, advancing with a noiseless and steady pace to the great object of consolidation. The foundations are already deeply laid by their decisions for the annihilation of constitutional States’ rights and the removal of every check, every counterpoise, to the engulfing power of which themselves are to make a sovereign part. If ever this vast country is brought under a single government, it will be one of the most extensive corruptions, indifferent and incapable of a wholesome care over so wide a spread of surface. This will not be borne, and you will have to choose between reformation and revolution. If I know the spirit of this country, the one or the other is inevitable. Before the canker is become inveterate, before its venom has reached so much of the body politic as to get beyond control, remedy should be applied. Let the future appointment of judges be for four or six years, and renewable by the President and Senate. This will bring their conduct at regular periods under revision and probation, and may keep them in equipoise between the general and special government. We have erred in this point by copying England, where certainly it is a good thing to have the judges independent of the King. But we have omitted to copy their caution, also, which makes a judge removable on the address of both legislative houses. That there should be public functionaries independent of the nation, whatever be their demerit, is a solecism in a republic of the first order of absurdity and inconsistency.”

In a letter to Judge Johnson, under the date of March 4, 1823, Mr. Jefferson said:

“I can not lay down my pen without recurring to one of the subjects of my former letter, for in truth there is no danger I apprehend so much as the consolidation of our Government by the noiseless and therefore unalarming instrumentality of the Supreme Court. * * * For in truth there is at this time more hostility to the Federal judiciary than any other organ of the Government.”

In a letter to Edward Livingston, under date of March 25, 1825, Mr. Jefferson wrote:

“Time and changes in the condition and constitution of society may require occasional and corresponding modifications. One single object, if your provision attains it, will entitle you to the endless gratitude of society, that of restraining judges from usurping legislation. And with no body of men is this restraint more wanting than with the judges of what is commonly called our General [Federal] Government, but what I call our foreign department. They are practicing on the Constitution by inferences, analogies, and sophisms [a fallacious argument, especially one used deliberately to deceive] as they would an ordinary law. They do not seem aware that it is not even a Constitution formed by a single authority, and subject to a single superintendence and control, but that it is a compact of many independent powers every single one of which claims an equal right to understand it and to require its observance. However strong the cord of compact may be, there is a point of tension at which it will break. A few such doctrinal decisions as barefaced as that of the Cohens happening to bear immediately on two or three of the large States may induce them to join in arresting the march of Government and in arousing the co-States to pay some attention to what is passing to bring bark the compact to its original principles or to modify it legitimately by the expressed consent of the parties themselves, and not by the usurpation of their created agents. They imagine they can lead us into a consolidate government, while their road leads directly to dissolution. This member of the Government was at first considered as the most harmless and helpless of all its organs, but it has proved that the power of declaring what the law is ad libitum [“at pleasure” or at the discretion of the performer] by sapping and mining slyly and without alarm the foundations of the Constitution can do what open force would not dare to attempt.”

These opinions and warnings of Jefferson are very pertinent at this time. The pity is that all have not paid heed to them for the past half a century. Now, let us see what another great expounder of the Constitution has said. In a speech at Fort Hill, July 26, 1831, Mr. Calhoun said:

“No one has been so hardy as to assert that Congress or the President ought to have the right or to deny that if vested finally and exclusively in either, the consequences which I have stated would not necessarily follow; but its advocates have been reconciled to the doctrine on the supposition that there is one department of the General Government which, from its peculiar organization, affords an independent tribunal through which the Government may exercise the high authority which is the subject of consideration with perfect safety to all. I yield, I trust, so few in my attachment to the judiciary department. I am fully sensible of its importance and would maintain it to the fullest extent in its constitutional powers and independence, but it is impossible for me to believe that it was ever intended by the Constitution that it should exercise the power in question, or that it is competent to do so, and if it were it would be a safe depository of the power. Its powers are judicial and not political, and are expressly confined by the Constitution to all cases in law and equity arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and the treaties made or which shall be made under its authority, and which I have high authority in asserting excludes political questions and comprehends those only where there are parties amenable to the process of the court.”

Governor Pingree, of Michigan, expressed himself in these words:

* * * I consider government by injunction, unless stopped, the beginning of the end of liberty. Tyranny on the bench is as objectionable as tyranny on the throne. It is even more dangerous, because judges claim immunity from criticism, and foolish people acquiesce in their claims. To enjoin people from assembling peaceably to discuss their wrongs is a violation of first principles. * * * (Railroad Trainmen’s Journal for September, 1897, p. 832.)

Sources: The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia: A Comprehensive Collection of the Views of Thomas Jefferson by Thomas Jefferson
The Life and Writings of Thomas Jefferson Including all his most important public utterances on Public Questions by Samuel Eagle Forman
Hearing Before the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives by House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary

Copyright © 2014 © 2015 TeaPartyEdu Foundation Truths The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

Thomas Jefferson Second Annual Address as President December 1802

Thomas Jefferson concerning Divine Will

Thomas Jefferson concerning Divine Will (Click to enlarge)


To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:—

When we assemble together, fellow citizens, to consider the state of our beloved country, our just attentions are first drawn to those pleasing circumstances which mark the goodness of that Being from whose favor they flow, and the large measure of thankfulness we owe for his bounty. Another year has come around, and finds us still blessed with peace and friendship abroad; law, order, and religion, at home; good affection and harmony with our Indian neighbors; our burdens lightened, yet our income sufficient for the public wants, and the produce of the year great beyond example. These, fellow citizens, are the circumstances under which we meet; and we remark with special satisfaction, those which, under the smiles of Providence, result from the skill, industry and order of our citizens, managing their own affairs in their own way and for their own use, unembarrassed by too much regulations, unoppressed by fiscal exactions.

On the restoration of peace in Europe, that portion of the general carrying trade which had fallen to our share during the war, was abridged by the returning competition of the belligerent powers. This was to be expected, and was just. But in addition we find in some parts of Europe monopolizing discriminations, which, in the form of duties, tend effectually to prohibit the carrying thither our own produce in our own vessels. From existing amities [friendships], and a spirit of justice, it is hoped that friendly discussion will produce a fair and adequate reciprocity. But should false calculations of interest defeat our hope, it rests with the legislature to decide whether they will meet inequalities abroad with countervailing inequalities at home, or provide for the evil in any other way.

It is with satisfaction I lay before you an act of the British parliament anticipating this subject so far as to authorize a mutual abolition of the duties and countervailing duties permitted under the treaty of 1794. It shows on their part a spirit of justice and friendly accommodation which it is our duty and our interest to cultivate with all nations. Whether this would produce a due equality in the navigation between the two countries, is a subject for your consideration.

Another circumstance which claims attention, as directly affecting the very source of our navigation, is the defect or the evasion of the law providing for the return of seamen, and particularly of those belonging to vessels sold abroad. Numbers of them, discharged in foreign ports, have been thrown on the hands of our consuls, who, to rescue them from the dangers into which their distresses might plunge them, and save them to their country, have found it necessary in some cases to return them at the public charge.

The cession of the Spanish province of Louisiana to France, which took place in the course of the late war, will, if carried into effect, make a change in the aspect of our foreign relations which will doubtless have a just weight in any deliberations of the legislature connected with that subject.

There was reason, not long since, to apprehend that the warfare in which we were engaged with Tripoli might be taken up by some others of the Barbary powers. A reinforcement, therefore, was immediately ordered to the vessels already there. Subsequent information, however, has removed these apprehensions for the present. To secure our commerce in that sea with the smallest force competent, we have supposed it best to watch strictly the harbor of Tripoli. Still, however, the shallowness of their coast, and the want of smaller vessels on our part, has permitted some cruisers to escape unobserved; and to one of these an American vessel unfortunately fell a prey. The captain, one American seamen, and two others of color, remain prisoners with them unless exchanged under an agreement formerly made with the bashaw [pasha], to whom, on the faith of that, some of his captive subjects had been restored.

The convention with the State of Georgia has been ratified by their legislature, and a repurchase from the Creeks has been consequently made of a part of the Tallahassee county. In this purchase has been also comprehended part of the lands within the fork of Oconee and Oakmulgee rivers. The particulars of the contract will be laid before Congress so soon as they shall be in a state for communication.

In order to remove every ground of difference possible with our Indian neighbors, I have proceeded in the work of settling with them and marking the boundaries between us. That with the Choctaw nation is fixed in one part, and will be through the whole in a short time. The country to which their title had been extinguished before the revolution is sufficient to receive a very respectable population, which Congress will probably see the expediency of encouraging so soon as the limits shall be declared. We are to view this position as an outpost of the United States, surrounded by strong neighbors and distant from its support. And how far that monopoly which prevents population should here be guarded against, and actual habitation made a condition of the continuance of title, will be for your consideration. A prompt settlement, too, of all existing rights and claims within this territory, presents itself as a preliminary operation.

In that part of the Indian territory which includes Vincennes, the lines settled with the neighboring tribes fix the extinction of their title at a breadth of twenty-four leagues from east to west, and about the same length parallel with and including the Wabash. They have also ceded a tract of four miles square, including the salt springs near the mouth of the river.

In the department of finance it is with pleasure I inform you that the receipts of external duties for the last twelve months have exceeded those of any former year, and that the ratio of increase has been also greater than usual. This has enabled us to answer all the regular exigencies of government, to pay from the treasury in one year upward of eight millions of dollars, principal and interest, of the public debt, exclusive of upward of one million paid by the sale of bank stock, and making in the whole a reduction of nearly five millions and a half of principal; and to have now in the treasury four millions and a a half of dollars, which are in a course of application to a further discharge of debt and current demands. Experience, too, so far, authorizes us to believe, if no extraordinary event supervenes, and the expenses which will be actually incurred shall not be greater than were contemplated by Congress at their last session, that we shall not be disappointed in the expectations then formed. But nevertheless, as the effect of peace on the amount of duties is not yet fully ascertained, it is the more necessary to practice every useful economy, and to incur no expense which may be avoided without prejudice.

The collection of the internal taxes having been completed in some of the States, the officers employed in it are of course out of commission. In others, they will be so shortly. But in a few, where the arrangement for the direct tax had been retarded, it will still be some time before the system is closed. It has not yet been thought necessary to employ the agent authorized by an act of the last session for transacting business in Europe relative to debts and loans. Nor have we used the power confided by the same act, of prolonging the foreign debts by reloans, and of redeeming, instead thereof, an equal sum of the domestic debt. Should, however, the difficulties of remittances on so large a scale render it necessary at any time, the power shall be executed, and the money thus unemployed abroad shall, in conformity with that law, be faithfully applied here in an equivalent extinction of domestic debt. When effects so salutary result from the plans you have already sanctioned, when merely by avoiding false objects of expense we are able, without a direct tax, without internal taxes, and without borrowing, to make large and effectual payments toward the discharge of our public debt and the emancipation of our posterity from that moral canker, it is an encouragement, fellow citizens, of the highest order, to proceed as we have begun, in substituting economy for taxation, and in pursuing what is useful for a nation placed as we are, rather than what is practiced by others under different circumstances. And whensoever we are destined to meet events which shall call forth all the energies of our countrymen, we have the firmest reliance on those energies, and the comfort of leaving for calls like these the extraordinary resources of loans and internal taxes. In the meantime, by payments of the principal of our debt, we are liberating, annually, portions of the external taxes, and forming from them a growing fund still further to lessen the necessity of recurring to extraordinary resources.

The usual accounts of receipts and expenditures for the last year, with an estimate of the expenses of the ensuing one, will be laid before you by the secretary of the treasury.

No change being deemed necessary in our military establishment, an estimate of its expenses for the ensuing year on its present footing, as also of the sums to be employed in fortifications and other objects within that department, has been prepared by the secretary of war, and will make a part of the general estimates which will be presented to you.

Considering that our regular troops are employed for local purposes, and that the militia is our general reliance for great and sudden emergencies, you will doubtless think this institution worthy of a review, and give it those improvements of which you find it susceptible.

Estimates for the naval department, prepared by the secretary of the navy for another year, will in like manner be communicated with the general estimates. A small force in the Mediterranean will still be necessary to restrain the Tripoline cruisers, and the uncertain tenure of peace with some other of the Barbary powers, may eventually require that force to be augmented. The necessity of procuring some smaller vessels for that service will raise the estimate, but the difference in their maintenance will soon make it a measure of economy.

Presuming it will be deemed expedient to expend annually a sum towards providing the naval defence which our situation may require, I cannot but recommend that the first appropriations for that purpose may go to the saving what we already possess. No cares, no attentions, can preserve vessels from rapid decay which lie in water and exposed to the sun. These decays require great and constant repairs, and will consume, if continued, a great portion of the money destined to naval purposes. To avoid this waste of our resources, it is proposed to add to our navy-yard here a dock, within which our vessels may be laid up dry and under cover from the sun. Under these circumstances experience proves that works of wood will remain scarcely at all affected by time. The great abundance of running water which this situation possesses, at heights far above the level of the tide, if employed as is practised for lock navigation, furnishes the means of raising and laying up our vessels on a dry and sheltered bed. And should the measure be found useful here, similar depositories for laying up as well as for building and repairing vessels may hereafter be undertaken at other navy-yards offering the same means. The plans and estimates of the work, prepared by a person of skill and experience, will be presented to you without delay; and from this it will be seen that scarcely more than has been the cost of one vessel is necessary to save the whole, and that the annual sum to be employed toward its completion may be adapted to the views of the legislature as to naval expenditure.

To cultivate peace and maintain commerce and navigation in all their lawful enterprises; to foster our fisheries and nurseries of navigation and for the nurture of man, and protect the manufactures adapted to our circumstances; to preserve the faith of the nation by an exact discharge of its debts and contracts, expend the public money with the same care and economy we would practise with our own, and impose on our citizens no unnecessary burden; to keep in all things within the pale of our constitutional powers, and cherish the federal union as the only rock of safety—these, fellow-citizens, are the landmarks by which we are to guide ourselves in all our proceedings. By continuing to make these our rule of action, we shall endear to our countrymen the true principles of their constitution, and promote a union of sentiment and of action equally auspicious to their happiness and safety. On my part, you may count on a cordial concurrence in every measure for the public good, and on all the information I possess which may enable you to discharge to advantage the high functions with which you are invested by your country.

Copyright © 2014 © 2015 TeaPartyEdu Foundation Truths The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms July 6, 1775


June 23, 1775, John Rutledge of South Carolina, William Livingston of New Jersey, Franklin, Jay, and Thomas Johnson of Maryland, were appointed & committee ” to draw up a declaration, to be published by General Washington, upon his arrival at the camp before Boston.” The report was brought in the next day, and on the 26th, after debate, was recommitted, and Dickinson and Jefferson added to the committee. A draft prepared by Jefferson being thought by Dickinson too outspoken, the latter prepared a new one, retaining, however, the closing paragraphs as drawn by Jefferson. In this form the declaration was reported June 27, and agreed to July 6.

References.— Text in Journals of Congress (ed. 1800), I., 134-139. The case for the colonies in 1775 is best stated in John Adams’s Novanglus (Works, IV., 11-177), in reply to a series of newspaper articles by Daniel Leonard, over the signature of Massachusettensis. The two series were printed together at Boston in 1819. See also Chamberlain’s John Adams, the Statesman of the Revolution.

A declaration by the Representatives of the United Colonies of North-America, now met in Congress at Philadelphia, setting forth the causes and necessity of their taking up arms.

IF it was possible for men, who exercise their reason to believe, that the divine Author of our existence intended a part of the human race to hold an absolute property in, and an unbounded power over others, marked out by his infinite goodness and wisdom, as the objects of a legal domination never rightfully resistible, however severe and oppressive, the inhabitants of these colonies might at least require from the parliament of Great Britain some evidence, that this dreadful authority over them, has been granted to that body. But a reverence for our great Creator, principles of humanity, and the dictates of common sense, must convince all those who reflect upon the subject, that government was instituted to promote the welfare of mankind, and ought to be administered for the attainment of that end. The legislature of Great-Britain, however, stimulated by an inordinate passion for a power not only unjustifiable, but which they know to be peculiarly reprobated by the very constitution of that kingdom, and desperate of success in any mode of contest, where regard should be had to truth, law, or right, have at length, deserting those, attempted to effect their cruel and impolitic purpose of enslaving these colonies by violence, and have thereby rendered it necessary for us to close with their last appeal from reason to arms.—Yet, however blinded that assembly may be, by their intemperate rage for unlimited domination, so to slight justice and the opinion of mankind, we esteem ourselves bound by obligations of respect to the rest of the world, to make known the justice of our cause.

Our forefathers, inhabitants of the island of Great-Britain, left their native land, to seek on these shores a residence for civil and religious freedom. At the expense of their blood, at the hazard of their fortunes, without the least charge to the country from which they removed, by unceasing labour, and an unconquerable spirit, they effected settlements in the distant and inhospitable wilds of America, then filled with numerous and warlike nations of barbarians. — Societies or governments, vested with perfect legislatures, were formed under charters from the crown, and an harmonious intercourse was established between the colonies and the kingdom from which they derived their origin. The mutual benefits of this union became in a short time so extraordinary, as to excite astonishment. It is universally confessed, that the amazing increase of the wealth, strength, and navigation of the realm, arose from this source; and the minister, who so wisely and successfully directed the measures of Great-Britain in the late war, publicly declared, that these colonies enabled her to triumph over her enemies. —-Towards the conclusion of that war, it pleased our sovereign to make a change in his counsels. — From that fatal moment, the affairs of the British empire began to fall into confusion, and gradually sliding from the summit of glorious prosperity, to which they had been advanced by the virtues and abilities of one man, are at length distracted by the convulsions, that now shake it to its deepest foundations. —The new ministry finding the brave foes of Britain, though frequently defeated, yet still contending, took up the unfortunate idea of granting them a hasty peace, and of then subduing her faithful friends.

These devoted colonies were judged to be in such a state, as to present victories without bloodshed, and all the easy emoluments of statuteable plunder. —The uninterrupted tenor of their peaceable and respectful behaviour from the beginning of colonization, their dutiful, zealous, and useful services during the war, though so recently and amply acknowledged in the most honourable manner by his majesty, by the late king, and by parliament, could not save them from the meditated innovations. — Parliament was influenced to adopt the pernicious project, and assuming a new power over them, have in the course of eleven years, given such decisive specimens of the spirit and consequences attending this power, as to leave no doubt concerning the effects of acquiescence under it. They have undertaken to give and grant our money without our consent, though we have” ever exercised an exclusive right to dispose of our own property; statutes have been passed for extending the jurisdiction of courts of admiralty and vice-admiralty beyond their ancient limits; for depriving us of the accustomed and inestimable privilege of trial by jury, in cases affecting both life and property; for suspending the legislature of one of the colonies; for interdicting all commerce to the capital of another; and for altering fundamentally the form of government established by charter, and secured by acts of its own legislature solemnly confirmed by the crown; for exempting the “murderers” of colonists from legal trial, and in effect, from punishment; for erecting in a neighbouring province, acquired by the joint arms of Great-Britain and America, a despotism dangerous to our very existence; and for quartering soldiers upon the colonists in time of profound peace. It has also been resolved in parliament, that colonists charged with committing certain offences, shall be transported to England to be tried.

But why should we enumerate our injuries in detail? By one statute it is declared, that parliament can “of right make laws to bind us in all cases whatsoever.” What is to defend us against so enormous, so unlimited a power? Not a single man of those who assume it, is chosen by us; or is subject to our controul or influence; but, on the contrary, they are all of them exempt from the operation of such laws, and an American revenue, if not diverted from the ostensible purposes for which it is raised, would actually lighten their own burdens in proportion, as they increase ours. We saw the misery to which such despotism would reduce us. We for ten years incessantly and ineffectually besieged the throne as supplicants; we reasoned, we remonstrated with parliament, in the most mild and decent language.

Administration sensible that we should regard these oppressive measures as freemen ought to do, sent over fleets and armies to enforce them. The indignation of the Americans was roused, it is true; but it was the indignation of a virtuous, loyal, and affectionate people. A Congress of delegates from the United Colonies was assembled at Philadelphia, on the fifth day of last September. We resolved again to offer an humble and dutiful petition to the king, and also addressed our fellow-subjects of Great-Britain. We have pursued every temperate, every respectful measure: we have even proceeded to break off our commercial intercourse with our fellow-subjects, as the last peaceable admonition, that our attachment to no nation upon earth should supplant our attachment to liberty. —This, we flattered ourselves, was the ultimate step of the controversy: but subsequent events have shewn, how vain was this hope of finding moderation in our enemies.

Several threatening expressions against the colonies were inserted in his majesty’s speech; our petition, tho’ we were told it was a decent one, and that his majesty had been pleased to receive it graciously, and to promise laying it before his parliament, was huddled into both houses among a bundle of American papers, and there neglected. The lords and commons in their address, in the month of February, said, that “a rebellion at that time actually existed within the province of Massachusetts Bay; and that those concerned in it, had been countenanced and encouraged by unlawful combinations and engagements, entered into by his majesty’s subjects in several of the other colonies; and therefore they besought his majesty, that he would take the most effectual measures to inforce due obedience to the laws and authority of the supreme legislature.” — Soon after, the commercial intercourse of whole colonies, with foreign countries, and with each other, was cut off by an act of parliament; by another several of them were intirely prohibited from the fisheries in the seas near their co[a]sts, on which they always depended for their sustenance; and large reinforcements of ships-and troops were immediately sent over to general Gage..

Fruitless were all the entreaties, arguments, and eloquence of an illustrious band of the most distinguished peers, and commoners, who nobly and strenously asserted the justice of our cause, to stay, or even to mitigate the heedless fury with which these accumulated and unexampled outrages were hurried on. — Equally fruitless was the interference of the city of London, of Bristol, and many other respectable towns in our favour. Parliament adopted an insidious manoeuvre calculated to divide us, to establish a perpetual auction of taxations where colony should bid against colony, all of them uninformed what ransom would redeem their lives; and thus to extort from us, at the point of the bayonet, the unknown sums that should be sufficient to gratify, if possible to gratify, ministerial rapacity, with the miserable indulgence left to us of raising, in our own mode, the prescribed tribute. What terms more rigid and humiliating could have been dictated by remorseless victors to conquered enemies? in our circumstances to accept them, would be to deserve them.

Soon after the intelligence of these proceedings arrived on this continent, general Gage, who in the course of the last year had taken possession of the town of Boston, in the province of Massachusetts-Bay, and still occupied it is a garrison, on the 19th day of April, sent out from that place a large detachment of his army, who made an unprovoked assault on the inhabitants of the said province, at the town of Lexington, as appears by the affidavits of a great number of persons, some of whom were officers and soldiers of that detachment, murdered eight of the inhabitants, and wounded many others. From thence the troops proceeded in warlike array to the town of Concord, where they set upon another party of the inhabitants of the same province, killing several and wounding more, until compelled to retreat by the country people suddenly assembled to repel this cruel aggression. Hostilities, thus commenced by the British troops, have been since prosecuted by them without regard to faith or reputation.— The inhabitants of Boston being confined within that town by the general their governor, and having, in order to procure their dismission, entered into a treaty with him, it was stipulated that the said inhabitants having deposited their arms with their own magistrates, should have liberty to depart, taking with them their other effects. They accordingly delivered up their arms, but in open violation of honour, in defiance of the obligation of treaties, which even savage nations esteemed sacred, the governor ordered the arms deposited as aforesaid, that they might be preserved for their owners, to be seized by a body of soldiers; detained the greatest part of the inhabitants in the town, and compelled the few who were permitted to retire, to leave their most valuable effects behind.

By this perfidy wives are separated from their husbands, children from their parents, the aged and the sick from their relations and friends, who wish to attend and comfort them; and those who have been used to live in plenty and even elegance, are reduced to deplorable distress.

The general, further emulating his ministerial masters, by a proclamation bearing date on the i2th day of June, after venting the grossest falsehoods and calumnies against the good people of these colonies, proceeds to “declare them all, either by name or description, to be rebels and traitors, to supersede the course of the common law, and instead thereof to publish and order the use and exercise of the law martial.” — His troops have butchered our countrymen, have wantonly burnt Charlestown, besides a considerable number of houses in other places; our ships and vessels are seized; the necessary supplies of provisions are intercepted, and he is exerting his utmost power to spread destruction and devastation around him.

We have received certain intelligence, that general Carelton [Carleton], the governor of Canada, is instigating the people of that province and the Indians to fall upon us; and we have but too much reason to apprehend, that schemes have been formed to excite domestic enemies against us. In brief, a part of these colonies now feel, and all of them are sure of feeling, as far as the vengeance of administration can inflict them, the complicated calamities of fire, sword, and famine. We [From this point the declaration follows Jefferson’s draft.]  are reduced to the alternative of chusing an unconditional submission to the tyranny of irritated ministers, or resistance by force. —The latter is our choice. —We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary slavery. — Honour, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them, if we basely entail hereditary bondage upon them.

Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable. —We gratefully acknowledge, as signal instances of the Divine favour towards us, that his Providence would not permit us to be called into this severe controversy, until we were grown up to our present strength, had been previously exercised in warlike operation, and possessed of the means of defending ourselves. With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverence, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather then to live slaves.

Lest this declaration should disquiet the minds of our friends and fellow-subjects in any part of the empire, we assure them that we mean not to dissolve that union which has so long and so happily subsisted between us, and which we sincerely wish to see restored. — Necessity has not yet driven us into that desperate measure, or induced us to excite any other nation to war against them. — We have not raised armies with ambitious designs of separating from Great-Britain, and establishing independent states. We fight not for glory or for conquest. We exhibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle of a people attacked by unprovoked enemies, without any imputation or even suspicion of offence. They boast of their privileges and civilization, and yet proffer no milder conditions than servitude or death.

In our own native land, in defence of the freedom that is our birth-right, and which we ever enjoyed till the late violation of it — for the protection of our property, acquired solely by the honest industry of our fore-fathers and ourselves, against violence actually offered, we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed, and not before.

With an humble confidence in the mercies of the supreme and impartial Judge and Ruler of the Universe, we most devoutly implore his divine goodness to protect us happily through this great conflict, to dispose our adversaries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby to relieve the empire from the calamities of civil war.

Copyright © 2014 © 2015 TeaPartyEdu Foundation Truths The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

VA Scandal Whistle Blower Reveals How Government Bureaucrats Empire Build & Grow Fiefdoms

Veterans Deserve Better!


In an interview with Neal Cavuto: Whistle Blower Scott Davis Who at the request of the VA [Veterans Administration] office of Inspector General to confirm rumors or activity at the VA Health Eligibility Center (HEC) in Atlanta dealing with the destruction of 17,000 applications for VA healthcare. Davis Reveals the Big story is the Back Log of Over 600,000 Individual applications for VA Health Care as well as the 17,000 Health Benefit Applications Were Deliberately Destroyed by VA Union Employee Members. Davis adds “That’s shameful.” I agree!

When asked by Neal why the VA HEC would destroy the applications. Davis also Reveals White House Pressure For VA HEC to hit their numbers, you’ve heard a lot about the 14 day turn-around time for the hospitals, but what most people don’t know is, there’s a 5 day turn-around time for applications and if we don’t hit that 5 day turn-around time it effects performance goals for people in senoir leadership positions. Davis went on to say. “What happens is that we’re currently neglecting not only the right thing to do which is to process applications. Not delete them, we have a huge system integrity issue at VA. For example, the VA right now can’t even tell investigators what happened to those applications, because they can’t verify where they are, what happened to them, if they were deleted, why were they deleted and why were there was no paper record showing the justification for deleting those records.”

Neal said “We’ve asked for a statement from the VA on this, we’ve yet to get one…I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt here.” Neal went on to ask if the workers just got overwhelmed and dumped the applications in the trash. Davis responded: “I know there were suspect activities before I started working there in 2011, what I can tell you is there is so much pressure on the employees to get stuff done, so that management can meet goals…So what happens is instead of VA focusing on doing what’s right for our nations veterans, meaning taking time, processing each application diligently and appropriately, pressure is placed on front line employees to overwork themselves, rush through the application process to hit goals for members of management.”

Neal asked Davis if the goal was a dollar goal or to get the applications complete. Like to keep on top of it to make sure there were no delays or Keep on top of it and get rid of something that could hurt our numbers. Davis responded from what he had seen “it is based on a performance goal…What you find is there is extensive pressure placed on the staff…to focus our attention to applications that are based on specific campaigns coming out of Washington. For example; We actually put applications aside so we could focus on the ACA [Obamacare] applications that came in last summer. That’s wrong, we should focus on each veterans application as they come in, not because of special campaigns coming out of [Washington] D.C.”

When Neal remarked about the protections provided by federal law to whistle blowers.
Davis said also “I reached out to White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors [one of Obama’s top advisers, who Obama put over analyzing VA problems] to share my concerns about the VA and to give Nabors a copy of my Whistle Blower Complaints. Somehow that correspondence & complaint was given to the very same management group at the HEC who was harassing me. Davis added: “I received an email from my current manager Sherry Williams saying ‘I’m contacting you on behalf of acting Secretary Gibson and Rob Nabors.’ I let the White House, Mr. Nabors, and Acting Secretary Gibson know this had happened. To this date they have taken No Action against Miss Williams.”

Davis went on to say “I contacted the Inspector General to let them know what Miss Williams had done, and keep in mind Miss Williams used to work for the Inspector General. Which makes it even more shameful. I was told by the Office that was Investigating the HEC, They could not address the issue that I had to call a Hot Line. When I called the Hot Line, the Hot Line told me to call the Office of Special Counsel. Now I did get a contact from the White House Counsel’s Office or [White House] Office of Special Counsel,.. and I use that name,.. and I contacted that Person to file a complaint. But, I want to be honest…The only reason I haven’t been fired today is because I have been working with Chairman Miller’s Team [Chairman Jeff Miller. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs] as well as my Congressmen Tom Price and Senator Johnny Isaacson. If I did not have elected Officials working with me to address these issues, I would have easily been terminated a long time ago. Especially I would have to thank the team over at AJC [Atlanta Journal Constitution] that broke the article this weekend.”

Neal says “it seems the VA going years back, is overwhelmed and cannot handle the workload”
Whistle Blower Davis responded “I think if you allow the employees and the people who go to work everyday to service our nations veterans, the work will get done, the money is there, it’s over 160 Billion dollars in the [Federal] Budget. But you brought up a key point Neal, and that is, this goes back years, and that’s because the leaders in the VA, in particular VHA, the healthcare side have been in leadership at VA in many cases, some before I was even born at the start of their career at the VA”

Neal said it seemed like the lifelong bureaucrats at the VA seemed to jump through hoops in order to get those bonuses and make the numbers.” Scott Davis responded “I think a lot of managers did it to make the numbers to get the bonus, but also look at the influence of government. People in government don’t just do what they do for their bonuses….They also do it to Empire Build. The more you hit your numbers the more you can expand your department, you can expand your Fiefdom at VA as I like to call it. So for example in our department where we work. We brought in about 4 or 5 new GS-15 Positions. These are 130-150 thousand dollar a year positions, yet we haven’t done anything to bring in workers who can actually bring down the workload. That’s what a veteran wants. He or she wants their healthcare application processed, they don’t need another executive to stand around looking at other people doing the work.”

Neal asked, if there was any metric or was there some sort of quality [assurance] ..something like JD Power type award, or recognition, or bonus for behavior that would make things better for Vets?

Davis reveals: “I can tell you from the whistle blowers I have talked too, that work at VHA. Their account is, it was the Bonus Structure was more about Rewarding the Executives, and it Incentivised not fully disclosing Medical Needs of the Veterans. For example if people in Congress knew that veterans needed more medical care, they probably would have given us more money to send vets to mental health professionals, to send people to specialty care physicians. If you don’t disclose that information the veterans don’t get the monies they need for the care they deserve and have earned.”
Copyright © 2014 © 2015 TeaPartyEdu Foundation Truths The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

Veterans: Neighbors Helping Heroes Let’s Seriously Get Mobilized


We in America have a sacred trust to serve our veterans and fallen heroes families! I am starting this to get help to our veterans / heroes and to get neighbors involved in helping veterans with anything the veteran or families of our fallen heroes may need. If you are a veteran or someone who has the heart to help heroes and / or their families in your area please fill out the form and we will connect you with people in your area. This includes current or past military personnel who need help in any way, we will work to connect you with the resources and people in your area with expertise in whatever problem you or your families are facing. Please keep in mind this is an endeavor we are just beginning and it will take time to get the networks started, however with your patience and our perseverance, we will accomplish the mission before U.S. Helping those who unselfishly chose to answered when our nation called.

If you are a patriot who is interested in getting involved helping those who deserve it the most, please sign up and we will connect you with those in your area who are now calling on our nation to serve with honor, those who honorably served. We can do this America, we can fix the problems in our nation despite and in spite of the government who seems more interested in protecting themselves and harming Americans than in truly addressing the many problems we face. Hopefully this will be a good step in that direction.

Etiquette of the National Emblem i.e. Flag

Patch_these-colors-dont-run-us-flagEtiquette of the Stars and Stripes, i.e. The American Flag

Code Drafted by Representatives of Sixty-eight Organizations of National Scope Under Lead of American Legion.

National Flag Represents a Living Country and is Itself Considered a Living Thing

On Flag Day, June 14, 1923, representatives of 68 organizations, including the Bureau of Education, met in Washington for a conference, called by and conducted under the auspices of the American Legion, to draft an authentic code of flag etiquette. President Harding opened the conference with an address, which was followed by addresses by Theodore Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, John J. Tigert, United States Commissioner of Education, and others.

The code drafted by that conference is presented here. Although those rules have no official Government sanction, they represent the authoritative opinion of the principal patriotic bodies of the United States and of Army and Navy experts, and are binding on all of the organizations which took part in the gathering. School officers and teachers will find the rules worth calling to the notice of school pupils and citizens generally.

These rules have been published in a booklet by the Service Star Legion, and is for sale by that organization. The cautions on the use of the flag have been published in poster form, suitable for displaying in classrooms. Further information may be had from Mrs. William T. Davies, chairman of national patriotic education, 117 North Fourth Street, Martins Ferry, Ohio.

Fundamental Rules of Heraldry Observed

There are certain fundamental rules of heraldry which, if understood generally, would indicate the proper method of displaying the flag. The matter becomes a very simple one if it is kept in mind that the national flag represents the living country and is itself considered as a living thing. The union [white stars on a field of blue] of the flag is the honor point; the right arm is the sword arm, and therefore the point of danger and hence the place of honor.

1. The flag should be displayed only from sunrise to sunset, or between such hours as may be designated by proper authority. It should be displayed on National and State holidays and on historic and special occasions. The flag should always be hoisted briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously.

2. When carried in a procession with another flag or flags, the flag of the United States should be either on the marching right, i. e., the flag’s own right, or when there is a line of other flags the flag of the United States may be in front of the center of that line.

3. When displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, the flag of the United States should be on the right, the flag’s own right, and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.

4. When a number of flags are grouped and displayed from staffs, the flag of the United States should be in the center or at the highest point of the group.

National Flag Above All Others

5. When flags of States or cities or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States. the national flag should always be at the peak. When flown from adjacent staffs the Hag of the United States should be hoisted first. No flag or pennant should be placed above or to the right of the flag of the United States.

6. When flags of two or more nations are displayed they should be flown from separate staffs of the same height and the flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.

7. When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of building, the union of the flag should go clear to the head of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.

8. When the flag of the United States is displayed in a manner other than by being flown from a staff it should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag’s own right, i. e., to the observer’s left. When displayed in a window it should be displayed the same way, that is, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street. When festoons, rosettes, or drapings of blue, white, and red are desired, bunting should be used, but never the flag.

Union to North or East

9. When displayed over the middle of the street, as between buildings, the flag of the United States should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east-and-west street or to the east in a northand-south street.

10. When used on a speaker’s platform, the flag should be displayed above and behind the speaker. It should never be used to cover the speaker’s desk nor to drape over the front of the platform. If flown from a staff it should be on the speaker’s right.

11. When used in unveiling a statue or monument, the flag should not be allowed to fall to the ground but should be carried aloft to wave out, forming a distinctive feature during the remainder of the ceremony.

12. When flown at half-staff, the flag is first hoisted to the peak and then lowered to the half-staff position, but before lowering the flag for the day it is raised again to the peak. On Memorial Day, May 30, the flag is displayed at half-staff from sunrise until noon and at full staff from noon until sunset, for the Nation lives and the flag is a symbol of the living Nation.

13. When used to cover a casket the flag should be placed so that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave nor allowed to touch the ground. The casket should be carried foot first.

14. When the flag is displayed in church it should be from a staff placed on the congregation’s right as they face the clergyman. The service flag, the State flag, or other flags should be at the left of the congregation. If in the chancel, the flag of the United States should be placed on the clergyman’s right as he faces the congregation and other flags on his left.

15. When the flag is in such a condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display it should not be cast aside or used in any way that might be viewed as disrespectful to the national colors, but should be destroyed as a whole, privately, preferably by burning or by some other method in harmony with the reverence and respect we owe to the emblem representing our country.


1. Do not permit disrespect to be shown to the flag of the United States.

2. Do not dip the flag of the United States to any person or anything. The regimental colors, State flag, organization or institutional flag will render this honor.

3. Do not display the flag of the United States with the union down except as a signal of distress.

4. Do not place any other flag or pennant above or to the right of the flag of the United States.

5. Do not let the flag of the United States touch the ground or trail in the water.

6. Do not place any object or emblem of any kind on or above the flag of the United States.

7. Do not use the flag as drapery in any form whatever. Use bunting of blue, white, and red.

8. Do not fasten the flag in such manner as will permit it to be easily torn.

9. Do not drape the flag over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle, or of a railroad train or boat. When the flag is displayed on a motor car, the staff should be affixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the radiator cap.

10. Do not display the flag on a float in a parade except from a staff.

11. Do not use the flag as a covering for a ceiling.

12. Do not use the flag as a portion of a costume or of an athletic uniform. Do not embroider it upon cushions or handkerchiefs or print it on paper napkins or boxes.

13. Do not put lettering of any kind upon the flag.

14. Do not use the flag in any form of advertising nor fasten an advertising sign to a pole from which the flag of the United States is flying.

15. Do not display, use, or store the flag in such a manner as will permit it to be easily soiled or damaged.

Proper Use of Bunting

[Bunting: patriotic and festive decorations made from such cloth, or from paper, usually in the form of draperies, wide streamers, etc., in the colors of the national flag.]

Bunting of the national colors should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping over the front of a platform, and for decoration in general. Bunting should be arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below.

Salute to the Flag

During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in a review, all persons present should face the flag, stand at attention, and salute. Those present in uniform should render the right-hand salute. When not in uniform, men should remove the headdress with the right hand and hold it at the left shoulder.. Women should salute by placing the right hand over the heart. The salute to the flag in the moving column is rendered at the moment the Hug parses.

When the national anthem is played those present in uniform should salute at the first note of the anthem, retaining this position until the last note of the anthem. When not in uniform, men should remove the headdress and hold it as in the salute to the flag. Women should render the salute as to the flag. When there is no flag displayed, all should face toward the music.


The Funeral Scene at Arlington for those Sailors killed on the U.S.S. Maine


In 1898 the USS Maine was sent to Cuba to guard American interests there due to rebellion by the Cubans against their Spanish rulers. It arrived in Havana January 25, on the evening of February 15, the harbor was lit by a massive explosion that ripped through the forward section of Maine as five tons of powder for the ship’s guns detonated. Destroying the forward third of the ship, Maine sank into the harbor. There have been different theories as to what caused the explosion that sank the ship.


On March 23, 1912, the American nation wrote the final chapter of the tragedy of the old battleship Maine, and paid its tribute to the heroes who were sacrificed on the altar of patriotism fourteen years ago. With a wealth of sentiment, the bones of sixty-seven unidentified dead resurrected from the harbor of Havana, were consigned by a reverent republic to the sacred soil of Arlington national cemetery to be mingled with the dust of the country’s hallowed dead.

President Taft and his cabinet, both houses of congress and all the other officials of the government set aside the day and did homage to the dead.

Before the services at the graves, a solemn service was held on the south front of the state, war and navy buildings. This was attended by the president and vice president and other officials and members of congress.

One by one the army gun caissons bearing the bones of the dead, in thirty-four caskets, rolled up to the plot in the cemetery and the president and every one in his party and the great crowd uncovered. From across the open chasms of upturned earth came the dirges from the marine band. A field of flowers upon the new turned sod told of the reverence in which the dead were held. Thousands who thronged the streets of the national capital when the funeral cortege made its solemn way through the streets, uncovered their heads when the coffins came and so remained until the procession had passed.

An enormous throng had gathered at the south front of the state, war and navy building when the procession reached there. The coffins had been removed from the scout cruiser Birmingham at the navy yard at noon amid much ceremony. Through crowd-lined streets they were escorted to the scene of the first ceremonial. Hushed silence paid its tribute throughout the progress of two miles.

President Taft occupied a chair in the center of the esplanade. On his right the Cuban minister sat throughout the services, an interested auditor, on his left was Rear Admiral Charles D. Sigsbee, who was captain of the Maine, and Rear Admiral Wainwright, who was executive officer of the ill-fated ship. Both bowed their heads when Father Chidwick, chaplain of the old Maine, recounted the scenes that attended the destruction of the vessel. Chaplain Chidwick spoke from a full heart. His eyes were wet when he began.

“For the aid of a new people and the advancement and glory of our own country,” he said, “these heroes gave up their lives—this sacrifice that we see before us was made. To-day we thank God we sent forth our soldiers, not with vengeance in their hearts, but with the feeling of humanity and justice, to right the wrong.

“We have placed no responsibility for the tragedy, and thank God for that. We wish everything good for the nation with which we now are at peace, and whose prosperity we desire. Nevertheless, the ship was an altar, and the men who perished, a sacrifice.”

A sharp patter of hail fell when President Taft, bareheaded, walked to the front of the platform. He did not try to shield himself from the storm and waved aside the proffer of an umbrella. The great crowd of citizens, hedged in by the military, heard him in respectful silence.

When the president had concluded, Right Rev. W. F. Anderson pronounced the benediction, the artillerymen on their horses saluting. The crowd was uncovered. This ended the exercises in the city.

The long line of cavalry, artillery, infantry, seamen and marines marched the six miles from Washington to the Virginia burying ground to the strains of dirges and slow-timed funeral marches. Along the way, a silence more impressive than cheers, greeted them.

One by one the coffins were lifted by reverent hands from the gun carriages and borne to the open graves, on a rain swept hill overlooking the Potomac river. In the center of the waiting graves stood the old anchor of the Maine. Its iron shank bore a plate inscribed:

“U. S. S. Maine, blown up Feb. 15, 1898. Here lie the remains of 163 men of the Maine’s crew, brought from Havana, Cuba, and re-interred at Arlington, Dec. 20, 1899.

The bones of the unidentified heroes to-day were consigned to earth with those whose names were known.

As each casket was lowered into the earth, one of the “jackies” who bore it remained at the head of the grave with the star spangled union jack in his hands, its trailing end covering the coffin beneath. As grave after grave received its dead, the squadron of silent sentinels increased.

Eventually the entire plot was studded with sailors standing bareheaded in the rain.

When the last casket had been lowered and the flowers, almost knee deep beside the graves, had been arranged, Chaplain Bayard read the Episcopal service for the dead.

He was followed by Maurice Simmons, commander-in-chief of the United Spanish War Veterans, who paid a high tribute to the loyalty and sacrifice of the dead. Three members of the order came forward and took up their places beside the open graves. The first cast upon the coffin a sprig of evergreen, emblematic of the undying love a country owes its defenders and the affection comrades feel for their memory.

The second veteran placed upon the casket a white rose, which he declared was indicative of the life hereafter of those who died in defense of the flag. The third placed a small United States flag beside the other symbols.

The bands played a dirge, a squad of soldiers fired a salute, and a navy bugler sounded the melancholy melody of “taps.” Then followed a national salute from the guns of the fort, and the ceremonies were ended.

Source: Illinois State Historical Society – 1913

The Warriors Poem: Forget-Me-Not


The Warriors Poem: Forget-Me-Not

Forget not that life is like a flower, which no sooner is blown than it begins to wither.

“THE beautiful little flower, commonly called ‘Forget-me-not’ blooms in luxuriant profusion on the graves of the heroes of Waterloo.”—Journal or a Private Gentleman.

Amid the fallen warriors’ tombs,
Where heroes’ ashes rot,
A lovely little flower there blooms—
The sweet “forget-me-not;”
It fair and beautiful appears,
Though sown “mid carnage, groans, and tears.

There are, whose mould’ring ashes lie
Where banners proudly sweep;
Where gilded scutcheons mock the eye,
And marble statues weep;
Oh! there is grief enough in stone,
But hearts that burst with sorrow none.

More holy far than these the spot
Where rest the warriors’ bones;
Though marble statues mark it not,
Nor monumental stones;
There needs no sculptural pile to tell
Where those who bled for freedom fell.

Oh! no—beneath her silent pall
Should dark oblivion hide
The fond remembrances of all
We hold most dear beside,
The flowers upon their graves forbid,
That their remembrance should be hid.

Their flowery epitaph is writ
Where Nature’s footsteps tread;
‘Twas Freedom’s self indited it,
Above too deathless dead;
And you may read upon the spot,—

I ask no more—unstrung and broken
My feeble lyre—I crave
Of tender grief this one sweet token,
That on my lowly grave
These lovely flow’rets may appear.
Planted by those who loved me here.
— RHETA ROTAU St. John’s, March 17, 1829

General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s D-Day Message June 6th 1944

gen-dwight-d-eisenhower-paratroopers-d-day-1944SUPREME HEADQUARTERS

Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

ANCIENT SEA TERMS (Comprehensive List)


After working on this for a week in Word, when bringing into wordpress it messed up. Will get back to, to better format, thank you for your patience. Will also be adding pics of old ships.

“In short, what with dead-eyes and shrouds, cats and cat-blocks, dolphins and dolphin-strikers, whips and puddings, I was so puzzled with what I heard that I was about to leave the deck in absolute despair. And, Mr. Chucks, recollect this afternoon that you bleed all the buoys,'”—Peter Simple.

The Virginia 1st Ship built in America @ the Popham Colony Coast of Maine

The Virginia 1st Ship built in America @ the Popham Colony Coast of Maine

There is a well-known passage in “Peter Simple,” in which Mr. Chucks, the boatswain, receives certain orders from the first lieutenant respecting mousings, turk’s-heads, and goosenecks. “In short,” says Peter, “what with dead-eyes and shrouds, cat and cat-blocks, dolphins and dolphin-strikers, whips and puddings, I was so puzzled with what I heard that I was about to leave the deck in absolute despair.” He lingered long enough, however, to hear the lieutenant order Mr. Chucks to bleed all the buoys during the afternoon, a remark that drove the midshipman in terror into the cockpit. Others besides Peter Simple have been puzzled by sailors’ language. Of all the various features of the procedure in marine courts of inquiry nothing is so curious as the* bewilderment excited in the legal breast by the statements of the nautical witnesses. “We was going along all fluking when the wind drawed ahead. We trimmed sail, and in fore and mizzen-tor’garns’l, when a bit of a sea makin’ her yaw, ‘Mind yar luff, you soger/ sings out th’ ole man, an’ as he says this one of the jib-guys parted and sprung the boom, for ours wor spritsail gaffs, and the jib-guy and afterguy wor fitted in one, with a half-crown round the gaff end— are yar a followin’ of me, sir?” If one could imagine a statement of this kind delivered to a lawyer, it might not be hard to figure the expression of face with which it would be received. What is a legal gentleman, whose knowledge of the sea is limited to a run from Dover to Calais when the Long Vacation gives him a spell of liberty, to make of such expressions as “boot-topping,” “pazaree,” “timenoguy,” “Scotchman,” “rombowline,” “puddening,” “leefange,” and a hundred other words more bewildering still? And yet it is certain that if a sailor has to talk about his calling, he must use the language of the sea. There are no synonyms for “sister-blocks,” “kevels,” “sennit,” “girt-line,” “French-fake,” and the rest of the vocabulary. If a lawyer cannot understand how the bight of a rope can be whipped into a snatch-block without passing the end through the sheave, there is nothing in language outside the terms of the marine statement of the process to enable him to master the sailor’s meaning.


Indeed, sailors’ talk is a dialect as distinct from ordinary English as Hindustanee is, or Chinese. English words are used, but their signification is utterly remote from the meaning they have in shore parlance. A yard ashore means a bit of ground at the back of a house; at sea it is a spar. Every cabman knows what a whip is; but at sea it is a tackle formed by a single rope rove through a block. A traveller ashore is a well-known individual; but at sea he becomes an iron ring fitted so as to slip up and down a rope. A lizard is not a reptile, but a bit of rope with an iron thimble spliced into it, just as a bull is a small keg, and bees pieces of plank at the outer end of the bowsprit. Beating is not striking, but sailing by tacks; a bonnet is not for ladies’ wear, but a piece of canvas laced to the foot of a jib; whilst a cat’s-paw has as little to do with the feline animal as fiddles and harpings have with music.

India Company Ship

East India Company Ship 1825

Sailors’ language, however, is by no means wholly compounded of the terms referring to the various parts of ships. Hardships and perils, cruel treatment, bad food, and the like, have imported a mass of rough sayings into the forecastle, many of which are sanctified by touches of rude poetry. Jack’s ditties, too, are frequently vehicles of his emotions. When he does not know how to “growl” fairly, he will put his feelings into a topsail-halyard song, and often has the anchor come up to a fierce chorus compounded of improvised abuse of the ship and the skipper, to which expression could not be given in a quieter method. A ship’s carpenter once told me that he was clapped in irons and lay manacled for six weeks in a voyage to China for writing the words of a song which the sailors sang on every possible occasion when the captain was on deck. He gave me a copy of the words, which I found to be a rude enumeration of Jack’s troubles, every stanza winding up with a shout of “Board of Trade, ahoy!” Some of the verses are quite to the point. The first runs

“I’m only a sailor man—tradesman would I were,
For I’ve ever rued the day I became a tar;
Rued the rambling notion, ever the decoy
Unto such an awful life. Board of Trade, ahoy!”

An East Indiaman

An East Indiaman

One can imagine the skipper pricking up his ear at this shout, and looking very hard at the men who were chorusing it The song goes on :—

“I snubb’d skipper for bad grub, rotten flour to eat,
Hard tack full of weevils ; how demon chandlers cheat!
Salt junk like mahogany, scurvying man and boy.
Says he, ‘Where’s your remedy?’ Board of Trade, ahoy!”
But worse follows:—

“Can ye wonder mutiny, lubber-like, will work,
In our mercantile marine, cramm’d with measly pork?
Is it wonderful that men lose their native joy,
With provisions maggoty? Board of Trade, ahoy!”

East India Company Steamer 1835

East India Company Steamer 1835

By this time, we may take it, the skipper was feeling about for a loose belaying-pin. But the exasperating touch was yet to come:—

“Oh had we a crew to stand by when we’re ashore,
Show this horrid stuff that pigs even would abhor!
Sue the swindling dealer who’d our health destroy.
What say ye, oh sailor friends? Board of Trade, ahoy 1
“Dutchmen here before the mast, and behind it too!
Dutchmen mate and carpenter, Dutchmen most the crew!
Foreigners to man our ships, horrible employ!
What’s old England coming to? Board of Trade, ahoy!”

Early Screw Steamer

Early Screw Steamer

I quote these verses at length, as a fair sample of the sort of “growling” Jack puts into his songs. Unfortunately he is somewhat limited in melodies. Some of them are very plaintive, such as “The Plains of Mexico” and “Across the Western Ocean,” and others have a merry, light-hearted go, such as “Run, let the bulline run!” “Whisky, Johnny!” “Time for us to go,” ” I served my time in the Blackwall Line.”

But the lack of variety is no obstruction to the sailor’s poetical inspiration when he wants the “old man” to know his private opinions without expressing them to his face, and so the same “chantey,” as the windlass or halyard chorus is called, furnishes the music to as many various indignant remonstrance’s as Jack can find injuries to sing about. The provisions have for years been a sore subject with the sailor.

USS United States 1797

USS United States 1797

His beef and pork have earned more abuse from him than any other thing he goes to sea with. “What’s for dinner to-day, Bill?” I remember hearing a sailor ask another. “Measles,” was the answer, that being the man’s name for the pork aboard his vessel. “Old horse,” is the sailor’s term for his salt beef; and some old rhymes perhaps explain the reason :—

“Between the main-mast and the pumps
There stands a cask of Irish junks;
And if you won’t believe it true,
Look, and you’ll see the hoof and shoe.
Salt horse, salt horse, what brought you here,
After carrying turf for so many a year,
From Bantry Bay to Ballyack,
Where you fell down and broke your back?
With kicks, and thumps, and sore abuse,
You’re salted down for sailor’s use.
They eat your flesh and pick your bones,
Then throw you over to Davy Jones.”

US vs Macedonian

US vs Macedonian War of 1812

Out of his sea fare, however, such as it is, Jack nevertheless manages to manufacture several dishes, of which the names are worthy of the contents and flavor. “Lobscouse,” “dandyfunk,” “dogsbody,” “seapie,” “choke-dog,” “twice-laid,” “hishee-hashee” are among some of the delectable entries which the sailor contrives to get out of his kids. Whatever is at hand is popped into these messes; nothing comes amiss, “from a potato-paring to the heel of an old boot.” Soup-and bouillon is another standing sea-dish, and, taking it all round, is the most disgusting of the provisions served out to the merchant sailor. I have known many a strong stomach, made food-proof by years of pork eaten with molasses, and biscuit alive with worms, to be utterly capsized by the mere smell of soup-and-bouillon. Jack calls it “soap and bullion, one onion to a gallon of water,” and this fairly expresses the character of the nauseous compound. Sea-puddings, as there is scarcely any variety that I know of among them, have not many names. “Duff” means a large lump of flour and grease boiled in a bag; “doughboys”—pronounced “doboys,” the o broad—are the same flour and grease in small lumps. Dough jehovahs are a Yankee pudding, and worthy of the people who first taught the British sailor to eat pork with treacle. Bread in sailors’ language means biscuits; the bread that landsmen eat is called by Jack “tommy ” and “soft tack.” Tea is “water bewitched,” and no better title could be found for the pale yellow liquor thick with stalk-ends, which fills the sailor’s hookpot when he goes to breakfast or supper.

Old Portaguese Ship in a Gale

It may be that the resentment kindled in the sailor’s soul by the nature of the ship’s stores induced him to extend his poetical imagination to all who had anything to do with the provisions, for assuredly the cook has not escaped. He is variously designated ; sometimes he is “Drainings,” sometimes “Slushy,” and sometimes “Doctor,” while the steward is called “Flunkey,” and the steward’s mate “Jack in the Dust.” The carpenter is more politely termed “Chips,” and “Sails” does duty for the sailmaker. Many an old prejudice survives in sea-language; as, for instance, the word “soger” (soldier), which is as strong a term of contempt as one sailor can fling at another, whilst “sogering” means to loaf, to skulk; as if in Jack’s opinion loafing and skulking were characteristics of the soldier. “Lobster ” is another of his terms for the military man, suggested, of course, by the red coat. The marine used to be Peter Pipeclay in the Navy; I am ignorant whether the name is preserved; but another old term is to this day current among merchantmen, who will speak of a Navy sailor as “Johnny Haultaut,” in reference to the well-braced yards, the taut running rigging and the snug bunts of the man-of-war. The merchant seaman, however, has not escaped his own fertile invention, and does not apparently blush to figure as “Jack Muck” and “Shellback.”

Captain Cooks Ship

It is peculiar to the sailor to call all foreigners “Dutchmen.” No matter whether a man be a Dane, a German, a Norwegian, a Swede, in Jack’s estimation he is a “Dutchman.” I once asked a sailor what he meant by a Dutchman. “Why,” said he, “any man who says yaw for yes.” This love of generic titles, no doubt, induces sailors to make the word “growl” stand for complaining, abusing, &c. If a man murmurs at the pea soup, he is “growling.” If he mutters at being roused out in his watch below, he is “growling.” Whether he grumbles under his breath or shouts at the skipper in a white fury, he is “growling.” It is one of the most elastic words in the seaman’s language. Many curious terms and expressions have found their way into the sea dialect. “Dowse the glim ” is to put out the light; and ” Dowse that, now,” is a sailor’s way of saying ” Hold your tongue.” To “tumble up” is to come out of the forecastle or any other part of the ship, and ” lay down” is to descend from aloft. “All hands, tumble up! men, tumble up !” bawls the boatswain, thumping on the scuttle; and “Fore-topsail yard, there! lay down, d’ye hear?” are orders which do not seem to correspond with a landsman’s notions of the things required to be done. Seamen are fond also of odd ejaculations, such as “Bully for you!” and “^There she goes, boys! put another bit of beef in soak!” when the wind freshens up and the ship swings through it with a sharper plunge.


Another ejaculation on a like occasion is, “There she blows! whilst she creaks she holds !” “More beef!” is a cry often raised when men hauling on a rope find they want help. It means, “.Tail on here more hands.” Equally suggestive is the expression “A hurrah’s nest, everything at top and nothing at bottom, like a midshipman’s chest,” intended to express the utmost state of disorder, when nothing wanted can be found. “Working Tom Cox’s traverse—three times round the long boat and a pull at the scuttlebutt,” signifies the behavior of a man who is as slow in his work as he can be, out of spite for having been ill-treated, or from any other motive of resentment. Unpopular captains have suffered much from “Tom Cox’s traverse;” when men sent aloft are always dropping their jobs, and coming down on pretence of having forgotten something; when the anchor is sluggishly raised and without a chorus; and when nothing is done with a will.

Other favorite expressions are “Handsomely over the bricks,” that is, walk carefully, mind where you are going; “There are no half-laughs or purser’s grins about me, mate—I’m right up and down like a yard of pump-water,” used when a man wants *o let the others know he is in downright earnest; “I’d weather him out, if he was the Devil himself,” one meaning of which is, “I’ll stick to the ship, let the skipper do his worst;” “It’s a good dog nowadays that’ll come when he’s called, let alone coming before it,” a sailor’s excuse for not showing himself forward in stopping a mischief, for not choosing to act until he was ordered; “I didn’t come through the cabin windows,” that is, “I’m a sailor: I worked my way aft from forwards; I know my duty and am not going to be taught it;” “The girls have hold of the tow rope, and can’t haul the slack in fast enough,” when the ship is homeward-bound and sailing fast—an image full of rude poetry it always seemed to me; “He hasn’t got the hayseed out of his hair,” applied to a greenhorn from the country; though such is Jack’s love of the country that “to sell a farm and go to sea” is a favorite expression of his to denote the very height of imbecility. “As independent as a wood sawyer’s clerk” is a phrase, apparently of American origin; one may often hear it used among sailors. “I’ve been through the mill, ground, and bolted,” is to assert immense experience, and the uselessness of anybody attempting to ” try it on.” To “know the ropes ” is the same assertion qualified. “Every hair like a rope yarn,” “Every finger a fishhook,” “He hasn’t a lazy bone in him,” are all high compliments. Then there are scores of such phrases as “working their old iron up,” “long togs,” for shore-going clothes; “ride a man down like the maintack,” to go on punishing him with plenty of hard work; “up keeleg,” “paying a debt with the fore-top til,” namely, sailing away without paying; “cracking on,” piling on canvas or keeping a ship under a heavy press in a strong wind; “an Irishman’s hurricane—right up and down,” a calm; “Davy putting on the coppers for the parson,” the noise a tempest makes in approaching; “keep your weather-eye lifting,” &c.


Of many sea-phrases the meaning is really so subtle as utterly to defy translation, whilst many fit the vocational conditions so accurately that any divergence from the exact expression will puzzle a seaman as much as if he was being ordered about in French. There are shades of signification in the terms which a man must go to sea as a sailor to understand. No books will give them. They are not to be mastered by listening to seamen talking. There would seem to a landsman no particular appropriateness in such a phrase for instance as ” sleep in,” though it somehow happens that at sea no other term would do. And the same thing may be said of such expressions as “to turn in all standing,” meaning without removing your clothes. Any way, it is quite certain that to stop a sailor from telling his story in his own fashion is, to use his phrase, “to bring him up with a round turn ;” and to expect him to find other words than those which occur naturally to him in relating incidents of a profession crowded with expressions to be heard nowhere except on board ship, is to put him upon a labor of definitions which even a Samuel Johnson would, I suspect, very promptly decline.


Sailor’s Language & Sea Terms—Numerous words and expressions in common use, originated in sailors’ language, applicable to the conduct of a ship, or employed with reference to its rigging or other parts.


A. B.—The letters signifying able-bodied seaman or able seaman.
Aback.—A ship is said to be aback when the wind presses her sails backwards against the masts, so as to force her sternways or drive her bodily to leeward.
Abaft.—Anything behind another thing is called abaft it; as the wind is abaft the beam, the galley is abaft the foremast.
Able-bodied.—Healthy, strong, fit for duty.
Able seaman.—The rating of the best or head sailors of a crew, to distinguish them from ordinary seamen and boys.
Able-whackets.—A game of cards that used to be popular in the forecastle: when a man lost he was beaten over the hands.
Aboard.—On a ship. On board. It is the sailor’s word for on board. Keep the land aboard is to keep it close.
About.—Newly tacked. “She has gone about” means that a vessel has gone round, head to wind, so as to bring the wind on the other bow.
Above-board.—Honest, fair, honorable in speaking or dealing. “I’ll be above-board with you ” means I’ll be frank and tell you the truth.
Abox.—To brace the yards abox is to lay the fore-yards aback, or so brace them that they shall be against the wind.
Abrase.—To smooth down a plank.
Abreast.—Opposite to. Alongside of. “We brought up abreast of the lightship,” that is, We dropped anchor so as to bring the lightship on a line with our beam.
Abrid.—A pintle-plate. The pin on which a rudder turns.
Abroach.—A barrel is abroach after it has been tapped for use.
Abstract log.—A copy of all the more important entries in the logbook.
Aburton.—The position of casks stowed athwartships; that is; from side to side across the. hold.
Acast.—An old term for being cast away or shipwrecked on an island or a desolate shore. Yards are braced acast in weighing anchor, so as to cause the vessel to cant in a given direction.
Acater.—An old term for a ship-chandler, or rather one who furnished a ship with provisions.
Accommodation-ladder.—Steps at the gangway, over the side, to enable people to enter or leave a vessel. The ordinary name is gangway ladder. There are no stairs at sea; everything is steps or a ladder.
Ackman.—A person who commits piracies on fresh water.
A-cockbill.—When the yards are topped up at an angle with the deck. The anchor is said to be cock-billed when it hangs at the cat-head.


Early Ocean Steamer

Accommodation Ladder—A temporary stairs at the sides of vessels, for the accommodation of officers and visitors.
Acon.—A flat-bottomed boat used in the Mediterranean.
Acting commission.—A commission for filling the vacancy caused by the death of a naval officer on a station.
Acting order.—An order for filling up the vacancy caused by the invaliding of a naval officer.
Active service.—Serving against an enemy, whether in his presence or in his neighborhood; serving on full pay.
Act of God.—A term indicating perils of the deep beyond human power to control or oppose, as when a ship is struck by lightning or founders in a storm, being tight and sea-worthy at the time and ably commanded.
Adjustment— is the term for the settlement by an average-adjuster of the indemnity to be paid by the person who takes the risk to the person insured after the loss of the vessel.
Adjustment of the compass.—The term for noting the errors of a ship’s compass by swinging a ship so as to test the compass by various bearings.
Admiral.—The chief commander of a fleet.
Admiral of the Fleet is an honorary distinction, but it nevertheless renders the bearer of it the highest officer in the British Navy.
Adrift.—Broken loose. “She went adrift from her moorings” means the ropes or chains that held her parted and let her go loose.
Advance-note.—A note formerly given to merchant seamen in part payment of their wages. It differed from the Allotment Note (which see) in that it was made payable to the holder unless the seaman failed to proceed in his ship.
Advance-squadron.—Ships of war on the look-out.
Advice-boat.—A vessel employed in war-time for the transmission of intelligence.
Adze.—A kind of axe, having an arching blade set at right angle to the handle, and used by carpenters, coopers, &c.
Affair.—A word indicating an engagement, a fight at sea without decisive results.
Affreightment.—A contract of affreightment is the letting of the whole or part of a ship for cargo.
Afore.—The forward part of a ship. Sometimes used for before, as afore the mast.
Aft.—The hinder part of a ship; as, “The captain was aft,” meaning he was on the quarter-deck or poop at the hinder end.
Aft-castle.—In olden times this was a kind of small round house or wooden structure on the hinder part of a fighting-ship.
After-body.—The name given to the form or shape of a ship from the middle or amidship part of her to the stern.
After-cloths.—The hindmost portions of fore and aft sails in which they are furled and which bring the seams up and down.
After-guard.—The hands stationed aft to work the sails there.
Afternoon watch.—The watch from noon until four p.m.
After-peak.—A portion of the hold in the after-part of a ship, corresponding with the fore-peak.
After-sails.—All the canvas on the main and mizzen-masts of a fullrigged ship and barque, and on the main-mast of a brig.
After-timbers.—All the timbers abaft the midship part of a ship.
After-yards.—The main and mizzen-yards of a full-rigged ship. The main-yards of a barque or brig.
Aground.—A vessel is said to be aground when she is ashore or held fast upon a shoal.
Ahead.—The forward part of a ship. Also in advance of a ship. The opposite of abaft.
Ahold.—An old word, signifying lying close to the wind, as we now say close-hauled.
Ahoy.—A call for attention from a person at a distance. As “Brig ahoy! where are you coming to?” ” Ship ahoy!” “Hallo.” “What ship is that?” &c.


The Mother of P and O Steamers 1834

A I.—A character used in the classification of ships, and denoting vessels which have been built in accordance with certain rules. There are several of these characters, such as 1oo A I 90 A I, 80 A 1, A 1 in red, AE, E,  &c.
Air-cone.—A place in the marine engine for the reception of the gases from the hot well.
Air-ports.—Holes in a ship’s bow for ventilating her.
Air-pump.—A part of a marine engine to take away the air and gases which come from the water in the boiler and which cannot be condensed.
Air-pump bucket valves.—Valves in the air-pump bucket opening upwards on the descent of the piston, and closing on the upward stroke, lifting water, &c, into the hot well.
A-lee.—Said of the helm when it is put down. “Helm’s a-lee!” the warning in tacking a ship that the rudder is turned so as to bring the ship’s head into the wind. ” Hard a-lee !” means hard over, put the rudder as far as it will go to windward.
Alert.—Smartly alive and on the look-out. Alertness is a sure sign of a good seaman.
All aback!—A cry to denote that the wind is pressing the sails against the mast and stopping the progress of the vessel.
All ataunto!—Said of a ship when all her masts are aloft.
Allege.—A boat used in some French rivers and harbors for ballasting vessels.
All fluking.—Said of a ship that goes along sailing with the wind well abaft the beam, and the weather clew of the main-sail hauled up.
All gone!—A seaman’s answer to the order “Let go !” when the order is obeyed.
All hands.—The whole of the crew of a vessel. When the watch below are summoned to help the watch on deck, the cry is always “All hands reef top-sails,” “All hands shorten sail,” or whatever may be the reason for which they are required.
All hands, Hoy!— the word given to assemble the ship’s company.
All-hands work.—Work that requires the whole ship’s company to perform it. Tacking, reefing top-sails, shortening sail in a sudden heavy squall, bringing up, getting under weigh, would be called all-hands work.
All in the wind. — Said when the sails are shaking through bad-steering, or by a sudden swing and come-to of the ship that brings her head into the wind.
Allotment-note.—A note given to a merchant seaman in part payment of his wages, and made payable only to one of certain relations or a savings’-bank.
Allowance.—The quantity of provisions, water, rum, &c., served out to each man at sea.
All-standing.—Fully dressed. To turn in all-standing, is to go to bed with one’s clothes on. Brought up all-standing, means to be taken unawares, to be brought to a stand suddenly.
Aloft.—On high. Any part of the masts is called aloft. To go aloft is to climb the rigging. It is also the sailor’s word for heaven, as “His soul is gone aloft.”
Alow.—A term sometimes, but very rarely used for below, and then perhaps only for the sake of alliteration, as ” She had studding-sails aloft and alow.”
Altitude.—An arch of a vertical circle intercepted between the centre of the object and the horizon.

Fulton's Steamboat 1807

Fulton’s Steamboat 1807

Amain.—An old word signifying smartly, bear a hand.
Amidships.—The middle part of a vessel. Also a sea term for the middle part of anything.
Amplitude.—An arch of the horizon contained between the centre of the object when rising or setting, and the east or west points of the horizon.
Anchor.—The well-known iron implement which when dropped overboard with a chain or rope attached to it holds a ship. It consists of several parts, i.e. the ring, the beam or shank, the arms and flukes, and the stock.
Anchorage-dues.—A charge upon vessels entering or using a river, dock, creek, basin, &c.
Anchor-ball.—An explosive that was formerly attached to a grapnel, and exploded when the grapnel was thrown on to the enemy’s side.
Anchor-buoy.—See Buoys. Anchor-chocks are pieces of wood in which an anchor rests when stowed on deck.
Anchor-hoops.—Circular irons for connecting the stock to the end of the shank of an anchor.
Anchor-light.—A single bright light shown by a ship when at anchor.
Anchor-lining.—A protection on the side of a ship to prevent it from being injured by the bill of the anchor when hove up.
Anchor-stocking.—A term in ship-building expressive of a mode of working in planks with tapered ends.
Anchor-watch.—The name given to the look-out that is kept aboard a ship when she is anchored.
Ancient.—The old name for an ensign.
Anemometer.—An instrument for registering the pressure of wind.
Aneroid.—A metallic barometer that indicates by a hand the height at which mercury will stand in the barometer.
Angel’s footstool.—An imaginary sail jokingly assumed to be carried by Yankee vessels. It is pretended to be a square sail and to top the sky-sails, moon-sails, cloud-cleaners, &c.
Angle-irons.—Bars of iron whose sections form two sides of a triangle, used for the ribs or frames of an iron ship.
Annular-piston.—A piston made in the form of a ring that encircles an inner cylinder enclosed by another. By this means the connecting-rod is lengthened.
Answer.—A ship answers her helm when she obeys the movement of her rudder.
Answering-pennant.—A flag that is hoisted when it is necessary to show that a signal is understood.
Any port in a storm.—This term signifies contentment with whatever may happen.

Bell's Steamboat 1812

Bell’s Steamboat 1812

Apeak.—The term to indicate when a ship’s cable is nearly up and down with her bows and the anchor on the ground.
Apron.— A timber within the stem of a wooden ship for the reception of the plank of the bottom and the heels of the foremost timbers.
Arched squalls.—Bursts of wind so called because they rise with a black cloudy arch. They are encountered in the eastern seas.
Arm-chest.—A movable case or chest for holding a ship’s small arms.
Arming.—The name given to tallow or soap that is placed in the hollow of a deep-sea lead so that the nature of the ground may be shown by the particles which adhere.
Armor-bolts.—Nut and screw bolts used in securing the armour plates on ironclads.
Armor-clad.—The designation of a man-of-war that is rendered shot-proof by immensely thick steel or iron plates.
Armorer.—One whose duty it was to look after and keep in repair the ironwork about a ship.
Arm-rack.—A frame for receiving fire-arms.
Arms.—A term for any kind of weapon. Also, the projections at the bottom of the shank of an anchor.
Articles.—A ship’s articles are the document in which are recorded the names and signatures of the crew, their wages, the food to be given, &c.
Artificial or spindle eye.—An eye in the end of a rope formed by hitching the yarns of the rope round a piece of wood and then scraping, marling, parceling, and serving them.
Ascensional difference.—An arch of the equinoctial intercepted between the sun or a star’s meridian and the point of the equinoctial that rises with the object.
Ashore.—A ship is said to be ashore when she takes the ground and sticks fast. To go ashore is to quit a ship or boat for the shore.
Ash-pit.—A portion of the furnace of a steamer below the fire-grate surface to allow air to get to the fire through the spaces between the iron bars, and also for receiving the ashes.
Asleep.—This word is applied to sails when sufficiently steadied by the wind to be prevented from flapping.
Aspic.—A twelve-pound gun used in olden times.
Astern.—Behind. Over a ship’s stern and at a distance, as ” The vessel was a league astern.” Also in the direction of the stern. “Go astern,” an order to the engine-room to reverse the engines.

US Yankee Clipper

US Yankee Clipper

Athwart.—Across. “Athwart our hawse” said of a ship crossing another’s bows.
Athwart hawse.—Across a vessel’s head.
Athwartships.—Across the ship. Also across anything.
Athwart the forefoot.—A cannon-ball fired athwart or across a vessel’s forefoot was a peremptory signal for her to bring to.
Atrip.—An anchor is said to be atrip when, after heaving at the windlass, the crew have raised the anchor off the ground, and it hangs by the cable up and down.
Avast.—An order to stop hauling or heaving; pronounced ‘vast. A word going out of fashion as used among seamen, who would formerly say ” ‘Vast there !” meaning, Stop that talking. It is now confined to ship’s work.
Average.—A term to express all losses and accidents to ships and cargoes which arise from perils of the sea, and for which underwriters have to pay.
Average-bond.—An agreement among consignees or owners of a cargo to pay any proportion of average.
Away aloft!—An order in the navy to the men to mount the rigging. In the merchant service it is customary to say ” Jump aloft.”
Away with it!—An order to lay hold of a tackle fall or any rope, and instead of hauling, walk away with it.
Awash.—Anything level with the water so that it is sometimes covered and sometimes left exposed is said to be awash.
Aweather.—The situation of the helm when put in the direction whence the wind blows, supposing that you are steering with a tiller.
Aweigh.—The anchor is said to be aweigh or away when it is lifted off the ground.
Awkward squad—A company of men backward in learning their ship duties
Awning.—A canvas shelter stretched over a deck or a boat.
Awning-decked.—This expression is not of old standing. It is meant to signify an iron vessel, the upper portion of whose sheer-strake plate is in line with the main deck beams, and that has a deck above the main deck.
Auxiliary screw.—The name given to a vessel fitted with a propeller that can be raised for sailing when not required; or lowered and connected for steaming.
Axial oscillation.—A term to indicate a pendulum-like movement of the central part of a storm.
Ay, ay, sir.—The orthodox reply to any order signifying that it will be obeyed.
Azimuth.—An arch of a vertical circle intercepted between the meridian of the place and the azimuth or vertical circles passing through the centre of any object.
Azimuth circles.—Great circles passing through the zenith and nadir. Azimuth compass.—An instrument for finding the magnetic azimuth or amplitude of a heavenly object.

Great Easterner 1859

Great Easterner 1859

Babbing.—A name given to a method of luring crabs by bait, and them netting them.
Bac.—The name of a French ferry-boat.
Back.—This term is applied to the shifting of the wind when it changes by a movement against the sun, i.e. from left to right.
Back.—To back a sail is to brace a yard against the wind so as to press the canvas against the mast. Back and fill is to alternately brace the yards against the wind and then forward to fill the sails. This is done in maneuvering to get out of a narrow passage, &c.
Back-balance of eccentric—is placed at the back of the eccentric pulley of a marine engine to balance it on the shaft.
Back-balance of slide-valves.—A weight at the end of the valve lever of a marine engine for balancing the slides.
Back-board.—A board in the stern sheets of a boat to support the back.
Back her!—An order to the engineer to drive a steamer backwards by reversing the action of the propeller or paddlewheels.
Backing.—The woodwork behind armour-plates.
Back-lash.—The term applied to the shock or jar caused by two pieces of machinery, one of which gives motion to the other, coming together with a sudden blow
Back-ropes.—Small leading-lines, grafted or hitched to the back of the cat and fish-hooks and long enough to reach from the rail to the water.
Back-staff.—A sea quadrant invented by Davis, the navigator, in the sixteenth century. It is usually called the cross-staff.
Backstay.—A rope to support a mast and leading down abaft it to the side of the vessel.
Back-sweep.—The hollow of the top timber of a frame. Back water!—An order to drive a boat sternways by the oars.
Baffling.—The wind is said to be baffling when it keeps constantly shifting from one adverse quarter to another.
Balanced-rudder.—A rudder pivoted on an extension of the keel instead of hanging to the stern-post.
Balance-reef.—A reef in a fore-and-aft sail. When the points of this reef are tied it makes the sail’s shape nearly triangular.
Bale.—To throw out water from a boat. Also to wind up, as to bale up yarns. Also a large bundle of wool or cotton.
Bale-goods.—Bundles, such as wool, Manchester bales, &c, in contradistinction to cased goods.
Bale-slings.—Slings formed of a circle of rope passed round the object to be slung, one end of the bight of the circle being passed through the other.
Balk.—Straight young trees when cut down and squared.
Ballahoo.—A name for a West Indian clipper schooner. Apparently she may also be a brig, to judge from “The Cruise of the ‘Midge.'”
Ballastage— is the levying of a charge for supplying ships with ballast.
Ballast-tank.—A tank or compartment in the bottom of iron steamships, or sometimes in the fore and after parts of the vessel, for the storage of water to serve as ballast.
Ballast-irons—are fitted to the bottom and sides of a ship when required, to reeve the ballast-boards through to prevent shifting.
Balloon jib.—A large jib made of light canvas and used by yachts in gentle winds.

Baltimore Clipper

Baltimore clippers.—Vessels built at Baltimore, famous for their speed. They were the first to set the example of increasing the length of a vessel to about six times her beam.
Bangles.—The hoops round a spar.
Banking.—Banking up fires is raking the coals to the back of the furnace to impede combustion, whilst at the same time it enables the engineer to be in readiness to get up steam.
Banyan day.—A term meaning a bad day, a disagreeable day. Derived from a custom of withholding meat from crews on certain days.
Barbette.—A ship that mounts guns which fire clear over the side, instead of through embrasures.
Barca-longa.—A Spanish lug-rigged vessel. Also a Spanish gunboat.
Barge.—A vessel rigged with or without a mast and a sprit-sail. Also a boat used by admirals and naval captains.
Bargee.—One of the crew of a barge or canal-boat.
Barge-mate.—The coxswain of a navy barge when the boat is occupied by a person of distinction.
Barge-men.—The crew of a navy barge.
Barget.—A small barge.

HMS Wild Swan

HMS Wild Swan

Bark.—A poetical term signifying any kind of vessel. So Byron.  “My bark is on the sea.” It is never used by sailors.
Bar keel.—An iron keel, made of massive bars united by scarphs.
Barkey.—A sailor’s endearing term for the vessel he likes.
Barometer.—An instrument for showing the weight or pressure of the air.
Barometer chart.—A chart on which the indications of the barometer are shown every day for a month in lines.
Barque.—A three-masted vessel. The two forward masts are ship-rigged. The after or mizzen-mast is rigged with a spanker and gaff top-sail.
Barquentine.—A three-masted vessel rigged like a brig on the fore-mast, and like a schooner on the main and mizzen-mast.
Barratry.—A legal term to express any fraudulent act committed by a seaman to the prejudice of the owners of the vessel.
Barrel-bulk.—The space occupied by casks in a ship’s hold.
Bar-shot.—-Two half-shot united by a bar of iron and formerly used for dismantling a ship.
Base-board.—The name of a board having the numeral feet marked upon it, and used in taking the form of a ship when built.
Bateau.—A Canadian boat. Also a name for a pontoon.
Bathing-machine.—A name given to the old io-gun brigs.
Batten down.—The hatches are said to be battened down when they are covered up with gratings or hatches, and tarpaulins which are secured by battens to prevent them from being washed away.
Battens.—Pieces of wood or iron placed round a hatchway to keep a tarpaulin over it in bad weather. Also pieces of wood fastened to the rigging to prevent it from being chafed.
Battering-ram.—A large piece of timber, armed at each end with iron caps and fitted with ropes. It is used for removing the angular blocks when a docked ship is sitting on them.
Battery.—A man-of-war’s broadside armament.
Battledore.—The name of a movable iron arm in the cable-bitts.
Battle-lanterns.—Lanterns which formerly lighted the decks of a ship at night when in action, to enable the men to see what they were about.

Bawley running up the coast by H S Tuke

Bawley running up the coast by H S Tuke

Bawley.—A Thames shrimping vessel. Beach-comber.—One who hangs about the shore on the look-out for jobs. It was chiefly applied to runaway seamen, deserters from whalers, who lived along the beach in South America, the South Sea Islands, &c. It is a term of contempt.
Beam.—That point of the sea or horizon which bears directly abreast of the midship section of a ship.
Beam-arms— Curved ends of iron beams for joining them with the ship’s side.
Beam-ends.—A ship is said to be on her beam-ends when she is so prostrated on her side by a hurricane or outfly of wind, or by shifting her cargo, as to submerge her lee rail.
Beam-engine.—A marine engine in which the reciprocating motion of the piston-rod is transferred through side rods and side levers to the connecting-rod, which by means of the crank continuously revolves the shaft.
Beams.—Those timbers in a ship which are placed across her to receive the decks.
Bear.—The situation of an object with reference to a ship, as, “How does the land bear?” in what direction is it by compass?
Bear.—An instrument for punching holes with the hand.
Bear a bob!—An expression signifying ” look sharp.”
Bear a hand!—An injunction to be quick, to look alive.
Bear away.—To alter the course so as to bring the wind more aft.
Bearding.—The part of the rudder that lies close to the stern post.
Bear down.—To approach an object from the weather side of it.
Bearers.—Cross bars in marine furnaces for supporting the ends of the fire-bars.
Bearing.—The bearing of anything is its situation with regard to the compass. As in speaking of a wreck, ” Its bearings were E. half N.”
Bearing-binnacle.—A small compass stand used in men-of-war.
Beating—is sailing as nearly as the sails will allow in the direction whence the wind is blowing.
Beating the booby.—Said of a man when he is warming his hands by striking his breast.
Beat to quarters.—A roll on the drum as a signal for the crew to go to stations before an engagement.

Old West Indiaman

Old West Indiaman

Becalm.—To becalm a sail is to intercept the wind from it, as the foretopsail is becalmed, when the wind is aft, by the main-topsail.
Becalmed.—A sailing-vessel is becalmed when the wind fails and leaves her motionless upon the sea.
Becket.—A handle made of rope.
Bed-bolt.—An iron bar on which the foremost end of the stool-bed of a gun-carriage rests.
Bedding.—The seating on which a boiler rests.
Bee.—A hook.
Beef.—” More beef!” an exclamation signifying that more help is wanted in pulling upon a rope, &c.
Beef-kid-—A tub into which the cook puts the men’s meat when cooked, and which is carried into the forecastle.
Bees.—Wooden chocks on the bowsprit to reeve the fore-topmast stays through.
Beetle.—A hammer or mallet used in caulking.
Before the mast.—Living in the forecastle, serving as a “common sailor.”
Behavior. —A ship’s behavior is the quality she exhibits under various conditions of weather.
Belay.—To make a rope fast by taking a turn with it over a belaying pin.
Belaying-pins.—Iron, brass, or wooden bars tapered, placed in holes in rails, hoops, &c.,to make the running gear fast to.
Belfrey.—A frame from which a ship’s bell hangs.
Bell-buoy.—A buoy with a bell inside or outside it, that rings as the buoy sways on the water. It is a fog or night signal.
Bell-rope.—A short rope spliced to a bell for striking the hours.
Bells.—The denoting of time on board ship. Eight bells signify noon or midnight, eight or four o’clock; half-past twelve, one bell; one o’clock, two bells ; half-past one, three bells, and so on to eight bells. See Dog Watch.
Belly.—The full or round part of a sail when distended by the wind. Also the central cloths of a sail.
Belly-bands.—Bands of canvas across a sail to strengthen it for the reef-points.
Belly-guy.—A rope used in supporting the middle part of shears.
Belly-stay.—An extra support for a mast, secured half-way up it.
Bend.—To bend a sail is to attach it to the yard. Also a bend is a knot: to bend the end of a rope to another is to tie it to the other.
Bending-cradles.—Iron vertical frames fitted with transverse beams, and used for bending armor-plates for men-of-war to the required shape.
Benjie.—The name of a straw hat worn by sailors.

Early Cunard Steamer

Early Cunard Steamer

Bentinck.—A triangular-shaped lower sail.
Bentinck-boom.—A spar for stretching the foot of a square fore-sail.
Bentinck shrouds.—Ropes formerly used and extending from the futtock staves to the channels.
Berth.—A vessel’s berth is the place where she lies alongside a wharf, quay, or pier, or at anchor; also, a berth is a sleeping place on board a ship.
Berth decks.—The ‘tween decks.
Berthing-rail.—A rail that formerly went round the head of a ship for the safety of the men when they were out on the head.
Best bower.—The larger of the anchors called the bowers.
Bethel.—A sailor’s meeting-house.
Between decks.—Usually pronounced ‘tween decks. The space between the main or upper, and the second lower decks.
Bezant.—A small Dutch yacht.
Bibbs.—The name given to timbers which are bolted to the hounds of a mast.
Bibles.—Small holy stones, no doubt originally so called because they oblige those who use them to kneel. They are also termed prayer-books for the same reason.
Bid-hook.—An old name for a small boat-hook.
Bight.—A bend or curve in a rope. Bring the two parts of a rope together, and you make a bight. Also a curve in a hawser or any other rope, though the parts be not together, is called a bight.
Bilboes.—Irons for securing a man’s legs. This is an old term.

Bilge.—The largest circumference of a cask. Also the round of a vessel’s bottom near the keel.
Bilged.—A vessel is said to be bilged when her bottom side is broken in by stranding.
Bilge-Keels.—Projections on the edge of a keel and on the bilges.
Bilge-pumps.—Pumps for bringing the injection water from the ship’s bilge instead of from the sea, in case of a leak.
Bilge-shores.—Timbers for supporting the bilge of a ship in a repairing dock.
Bilge-tank.—A tank with one of its lower edges cut off so that it may fit the ship’s side.
Bilge-water.—The water that has collected, from one cause or another, in the bilge. Its unpleasant smell has made its name well known.
Bill.—The point at the extremity of the flukes of an anchor. It was formerly called the pea.
Bill-board.—A ledge of wood over the side to support the fluke of an anchor.
Bill of health.—A document certifying to the healthy condition of the ship and place when she left her last port.
Bill of lading.—An acknowledgment in writing by the master of a ship of the receipt of cargo and freight.
Bill tricing line.—A line secured to the bill of the hook of the block of a yard-tackle for tricing it up to the lower rigging.
Billy boy.—A vessel like a galliot, with two masts, the fore-mast square-rigged. These vessels hail mainly from Goole.
Binding-strakes are deep planks between the hatchways. Extra thickness of planking in ships’ decks.
Binn.—A place for storing articles and rubbish.
Binnacle.—A stand, or box of brass, or wood in which a compass is placed.
Birds-nest.—A contrivance at a masthead from which whalemen keep a look-out.
Birthed.—Covered in with boards.
Bittacle.—The ancient name of binnacle.
Bitt-pins.—Iron bars employed to prevent the cable from slipping off the crosspiece of the bitts.
Bitts.—The ends of timbers which project through the decks. They are meant to fasten anything to.

Black Jack.—A name for the black flag flown by pirates.
Black South-Easter cap.—The name given to a canopy of dark cloud upon Table Mountain.
Blackwall lead.—A Blackwall lead is to take a rope under a belaying-pin and swig back on it. See Swig.
Blade.—The flat part of an oar.
Bleed the bags.—Opening bags of grain for filling up all spaces, to prevent shifting.
Bleed the buoy.—To let the water out of a buoy.
Bleed the monkey.—To steal grog from a mess-tub called the monkey. This term is exclusively naval. I have never heard of monkeys in merchant ships.
Blind.—A term applied to rivet-holes in two ship’s plates whose holes do not lie fair so as to make one clear orifice when placed together.
Blockading.—Preventing vessels from passing in or out of a harbor in war-time.
Block-model.—A miniature of a ship, a model, constructed in accordance with the specification of the ship to be built.
Blood and entrails.—The Yankee name for the British ensign.
Blow-off cock.—A cock at the bottom of a marine boiler for blowing down the boiler and for letting a portion of the water escape into the sea by the pressure of the steam.
Blow the gaff.—To inform against a man. “He has blown the gaff,” he has “split.”
Blow-valve.—A valve used for establishing the vacuum necessary to start an engine.

HMS Shannon

HMS Shannon

Blubber-boiler.—A name for a whaleman.
Blue Charts.—Charts whose backs are blue, sold by private firms: a term to distinguish them from official or Admiralty charts.
Blue Jacket.—A man-of-war’s man. Never applied to merchant seamen.
Blue nose.—A name given to a Nova Scotian.
Blue pigeon.—A name given to the sounding-lead.
Blue Peter.—A blue flag with a white square in the centre, hoisted at the fore to denote that the vessel is about to sail.
Blue shirt at masthead.—A signal to denote that assistance is required.
Bluff.—A term applied to a ship’s bows, and means full and square.
Bluff of the bow—The fullest point of a ship’s bow on either side.
Board.—A stretch by sailing on one tack. To make a long board is to go on sailing a long distance on one tack. A short board is of course the opposite. Also to board a ship is to enter her for a hand-to-hand conflict. Also to go on board of her, as “The pilot boarded us at such and such an hour.”
Boarding-knife.—A long double-edged sword, mounted on a straight handle, used in the operation of “cutting in” in whalers.
Board of Trade.—A department of the State that undertakes, inter alia, the general superintendence of matters relating to merchant ships and seamen, and that is authorized to carry into execution the provisions of the various Merchant Shipping Acts.

Boats.—Ships’ boats are variously named. Until recently in the merchant service those boats which hung by davits abaft the main-mast were called quarter-boats, the boat over the stern was called the gig, and the boat stowed forward was called the long-boat. All this is now altered. Boats are stowed on skids, and called first and second lifeboats, first and second cutters, pinnace, &c.
Boat hook.—A pole furnished with an iron hook and spike for shoving off or holding on to an object when .in a boat.
Boat iron.—A contemptuous term applied to the iron used by shipbuilders on account of its quality.
Boat-steerers.—Men who steer whale-boats when chasing whales. They are a kind of petty officers aboard whalers.
Boatswain.—One of the crew who has charge of the rigging and oversees the men. In the navy he is a warrant officer. In small merchant vessels he used to take the duties of second mate and keep a look-out. When merely boatswain he “sleeps in” all night unless all hands are called. He is a responsible man, a superior seaman, and heads the crew forward.
Bob-line.—A line used for suspending a plummet to point out the centre of certain blocks in a repairing dock.
Bob-stay.—A rope or chain to hold the bowsprit down to its place.
Body-plan.—The name given to a drawing descriptive of the largest vertical athwartship section of a ship.
Body-post.—A piece of timber rising from the keel of a vessel before the stern-post.
Boiler.—The generator and reservoir of the motive power of the steam engine. It is of various forms and construction, according to the place it occupies, the size of the ship, the fuel to be consumed, &c.
Bold.—This word is usually applied to a steep shore or coast that enables a vessel to draw in close.
Bolsters.—Supports for the eyes of the rigging.
Bolt of canvas.—A roll of sail-cloth from thirty-nine to forty yards long.
Bolt rope.—A rope sewed to the sides of a sail to give it strength.
Bolts.—Bars of iron or copper used in the building of wooden ships. Copper-fastened means fastened with copper bolts.
Bomb-lance.—An iron tube provided with wings and fired from a gun at a whale, in which it explodes.
Bomb-skip.—A vessel armed with mortars and howitzers for throwing shells.
Bond-note.—A list of bonded or warehoused goods presented at the Custom House.
Bonnet.—Apiece of canvas attached to the foot of a jib by lacings, and therefore removable.
Booby.—A sea-bird found in the tropics.
Booby-hatch.—A ‘small after-hatch in ships with poops, under the break of the poop, abaft the main hatch. But the name seems now to be given to a hatch in any part of the ship.
Book.—The name given to a number of hides.
Boom-boats.—Boats which are stowed on the spare booms of a ship. Boom-brace.—A tackle consisting of a whip and pendant fitted to the end of a studding-sail boom.
Boom fore-sail.—A square or fore-and-aft fore-sail, the foot of which is extended by a boom. Boom-irons.—Iron rings or hoops fitted at the yard-arms for the support of the studding-sail booms.
Boom-jigger.—A tackle used for rigging top-mast studding sail booms in and out.
Boomkin.—An outrigger at the bows, to which the fore-tack is brought.
Boom main-sail.—A fore-and-aft sail on the main-mast, whose foot is extended by a boom.
Booms.—Spare spars, top-masts, &c., stowed on deck.
Boom-sheets.—Ropes for steadying the spanker-boom and for adjusting it to the angle required by the sail.
Bora.—A furious wind encountered in the Gulf of Venice.
Bore.—The rushing up of water from the rapid rise of a tide when it is very large in proportion to its depth.
Born weak.—Said of a ship feebly built.
Boss.—A large protuberance forged on the inner stern-post of a ship into which the tube of the screw or propeller shaft is secured.
Bottomry is the pledging of a ship, cargo, and freight for money for the purpose of completing a voyage.
Bounty.—A reward offered to merchant seamen to ship in the Royal Navy.
Bout ship!—Namely, about ship ! The order for putting the vessel round on the other tack.
Bow.— TO bow the sea, said of a ship as she pitches or meets the sea when almost head to wind.
Bowers—A working anchor; there are two. See Best Bower.
Bow-grace.—A rope fender or protection used over the bows of a vessel to prevent the ice from injuring them.
Bowline-bridle.—Ropes spliced into cringles on the leech of a sail to which the bowline is toggled.
Bowline-knot.—The end of a rope laid over the standing part in such a way as to form a fixed bight. Other bowline-knots are, a running bowline, a bowline on a bight, and a bowlinebend. These and other knots cannot be taught by written explanations.
Bowlines.—Ropes attached to bridles or loops in the leech or side of a sail for dragging it forward to catch the wind when the yards are braced up.
Bowls.—A kind of small kegs for buoying nets.
Bowman.—The headmost rower in a boat.
Bow-fort.—A hole cut in the bow of a ship for loading and discharging timber.
Bowse.—To pull. Bowse taut! signifies haul taut.
Bowse up the jib.—Said of a man who drinks in order to get drunk.
Bowsprit.—A large spar projecting over the bows. In ships another spar is fixed on the bowsprit, called the jib boom and flying-jib boom. Formerly the flying-jib boom was a separate spar and could be rigged in and out like a studding-sail boom; but it is now of one piece with the jib boom, like a top-gallant and royal-mast.
Bowsprit-shrouds.—Ropes to support the bowsprit sideways, answering to the bowsprit as the shrouds do to the masts.
Box (to).—To put fish into trunks or boxes.
Box-hauling.—Wearing a vessel in a narrow circumference by running her up into the wind and backing the fore-yards.
Boxing.— The name given to a practice among smacks belonging to the N. and N.E. coast, of sending fish in boats to the steam-cutters for conveyance home.
Boring the compass.—Reciting the points of the compass all round.
Boxing-trim.—A term applied to a ship ready to fight.
Box-kelson.—A kelson formed of plates and angle irons across the top of the flooring to which it is fixed.
Box-keys.—Implements for turning the nuts of large bolts.
Box off.—To turn a ship’s head from the wind by backing a headsail.
Box-ventilator system.—A mode of ventilating the hold of a ship by means of tunnels, about eight inches deep, running fore and aft through the cargo, midway between the shifting boards and the sides of the ship; the sides of the tunnels being formed by boards held together by pieces of wood, and the ends terminating in open spaces or in shafts.
Boy.— An apprentice. Lads who formerly made a regular portion of a ship’s company. It is a term of contempt for a green hand. Therefore a” boy ” may be a man.
Braces.—Ropes attached to square yards to haul them round so as to adapt the sails to the direction of the wind. They take their name from the sails or yards which they govern; as the fore-top gallant braces, the main-topsail braces, the crossjack braces, the mizzen-royal braces, &c. Also the eyes by which a rudder hangs. See Gudgeons.
Bracket or longitudinal system.—A method of iron ship building in which the floor-plates are carried to the top of the double-bottom space, making that the floor for tonnage measurement.
Brails.—Ropes attached to the leech of a spanker or try-sail for taking it in. Hence you brail up a gaff-sail, and clew up a square sail.
Brake.—The handle of an old-fashioned ship’s pump.
Brass-bound and copper-fastened.—Said of a lad dressed in a midshipman’s uniform.
Brass-bounder.—A midshipman.
Brass-work.—All the brass on a ship’s decks, such as the rails, binnacle hood, &c.
Breaching.—A whale is said to breach when it rises with such velocity out of the water as to project three-fourths of its length in the air, and then in falling creates a mass of white water.
Bread-barge.—A tray for holding ship’s biscuit for immediate consumption.
Breadth-molded.—The greatest extreme breadth over the frames or ribs of a ship, but inside the plates or planking.
Break. —The forward termination of the poop called “the break of the poop” and the after termination of the forecastle.
Break-beams.—Pieces of timber introduced where planking terminates.
Breaker.—A small water-cask for a boat.
Break off.—A ship is said to break off when the wind draws ahead and forces her out of her course, or from the direction towards which she was heading at the time.
Breaming.—Cleaning a vessel’s bottom by burning.
Breast backstays.—Supports for a mast from the head of it to the chains.
Breast-hooks.—These are arms of timber or iron to unite the two sides of a ship’s bows.
Breast-rope.—The name of a rope over a ship’s side for a man to lean against when using the lead.
Breast-shores.—Timbers used for supporting a ship in a repairing dock.
Breech.—The angle of a knee-timber.
Breeching.—A rope to restrain the recoil of a gun when discharged.
Breeching-rings.—Rings in a ship’s side to make the breechings of a gun fast to.
Breech-sight.—A notch on a cannon to enable the gunner to aim the projectile.
Breeze.—Any kind of wind short of a gale, characterized by adjectives, such as strong breeze, fresh breeze, moderate breeze, light breeze, &c. Sailors usually say “a breeze of wind.”
Breezing up.—Said of wind gradually freshening.
Bricklayer’s clerk.—One of the hundred names given to a lubberly sailor.
Brick-system.— In iron ship building, a method that brings each butt at the middle of those plates which are just above and below it.
Bridge of the furnace.—The brickwork at the back of the furnace in a steamer.
Bridle-port.—A square port in a ship’s bows for guns or mooring bridles.
Bridles.—Fore and after bridles are ropes connected with the trawls used by smacks.
Brig.—A square-rigged vessel with two masts, tops, and cross trees. She is in all respects rigged like two masts of a full-rigged ship.
Brigantine.—A two-masted vessel. Her fore-mast is rigged like a brig’s; her main-mast like a schooner’s. She carries a square top-sail and topgallant sail.
Bright light.—A white or yellowish light, to distinguish it from green or red. “She carried a bright light at the mast-head,” that is, a lantern of uncolored glass.
Brine cock.—A cock attached to marine boilers for blowing off as much salt as is contained in the water that is blown off.
Bring up.—A vessel brings up when she drops her anchor.
Broach.—To open. To break in upon, as broaching cargo.
Broaching cargo.— Stealing from cargo whilst at sea or in harbor.
Broaching to.—When a ship’s head in running is swept round towards the wind.
Broad pennant.—A swallow-tailed flag flown by a commodore.
Broadside.—The whole side of a ship. Also said when the guns on a vessel’s side are discharged simultaneously or very rapidly one after another.
Broken water.—Agitated water among shoals or sunken rocks.
Brought by the lee—This is the situation of a vessel when, whilst running, the wind chops from one quarter to the other of her.
Brought to.—A vessel is brought to when stopped after being chased.
Bucket-rack.—A shelf with holes in it, in which buckets used for washing down the decks are kept.
Bucklar.—The lower part of a port-lid.
Bugle-man.—A person who formerly sounded a horn as a signal for sailors to board a ship.
Bulkhead.—Partitions to divide a cabin or hold, or to keep water from flowing beyond a certain space.
Bull.—A small keg.
Bullies.—A term of encouragement, if not of endearment, as ” Tail on here, bullies!” “We’re the bully lads !” &c.
Bulljine.— Sailor’s name for a locomotive engine; borrowed, like a good deal more, from the Americans.
Bullock-blocks.— Blocks under the trestle-trees, through which the top-sail ties are rove.
Bull-rope.—A hawser rove through a block on the bowsprit and attached to a buoy to keep it clear of the ship.
Bulls eye.—A wooden thimble without a sheave. Also a piece of thick glass let into the deck over a cabin.
Bull’s-eye squall.—A squall that comes in a clear sky and fine weather and shows like a bright white spot at or near the zenith.
Bully for you!—A kind of congratulatory address among sailors of a meaning impossible to define exactly.
Bulwarks.—The protection around a vessel, consisting of solid planking fixed to stanchions.
Bumboat.—A boat that comes off to ships to sell provisions, fruit, &c.
Bumpers.—The name of wooden fenders slung over a ship’s side when among the ice.
Bumpkin.—A small spar or out-rigger in the stern of a yawl. Also a timber on either quarter of a ship for the main-brace blocks.
Bumpkin-shrouds.—Small ropes for supporting a yawl’s bumpkin or out-rigger.
Bundle up!—A cry to sailors to come up! Jump up!
Bunk.—A shelf in a cabin or forecastle on which a sailor or passenger sleeps.
Bunker.—A space near the engine-room in a steamer where coals for consumption in the furnaces are kept.
Bunt.—The middle of a square-sail.
Bunting.—Stuff of which flags are made.
Bunt-jigger.—A tackle used in furling a whole top-sail.
Buntlines.—Ropes secured to the poop of a square-sail to haul that part of it up to the yard.
Buntline spans.—Pieces of rope with a cringle for the buntlines to reeve through.
Buntline-toggles.—Toggles strapped round the foot-rope of a sail for fitting the buntlines.
Bunt-whip.—A rope used in furling a course.
Buoys are of two kinds: one to denote danger and to serve as a guide to keep ships clear of shoals, rocks, wrecks, &c.; the other, styled anchor-buoys, are used to show the position of the anchor, that the cable may be prevented from fouling it when a ship is riding in a tide-way or changeable current. It is also of use to enable a master to recover his anchor when the cable is slipped or broken in a gale of wind.
Burden.—A ship’s burden is the weight in tons she can carry.
Burgee.—A flag with a name or sign upon it, to denote the service, club, &c , the vessel that flies it belongs to.
Burgoo.— Porridge. It is the sailor’s name for it.
Burton-pendants.—Ropes which hang down on each side of a top-mast for setting up the top-mast rigging, &c.
Bush.—A lining of metal to diminish friction.
Busses.—Dutch fishing-vessels.
Butter-box.—A lumpish, uncouth vessel. “She has the run of a butter-box.”
Butterfly.—A barge.
Butter-rig.—A butter-rigged schooner is a top-sail schooner whose top-gallant yard when lowered comes down on the top-sail yard and stows there.
Buttock.—A plank under the lower counter rail on the stern of a ship.
Buttock rules.—Metal fittings beneath the counter of wooden screw-steamers, connecting the two stern-posts.
Butts.—The ends of planks or iron or steel plates where they meet.
Butt-straps.—Iron plates fitted behind the butt-ends of plates on an iron ship.
By the board.—Overboard; over the ship’s side. “Her masts went by the board.”
By the head.—Said of a vessel when she is deeper, when afloat, in the fore than in the after part.
By the wind.—A sailor’s expression when he is “hard up.” Also said of a ship close hauled on a wind.

USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere War of 1812

USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere War of 1812

Cabin.—A room in a ship for sleeping and eating in. Berth is perhaps the correct name for a sleeping-compartment, as by cabin is generally understood the place where the meals are taken.
Cable.—A chain or rope to anchor by, 150 fathoms long. There are 12 lengths in a chain, every length being 12J fathoms.
Cable-laid.—A rope composed of nine strands, and made by forming three ropes of three strands each, laid from right to left, and then laying the three ropes into one from left to right, is called cable-laid.
Cable’s length.—One hundred fathoms.
Cable-tier.—A place in a ship where the cables are stowed.
Caboose.—An old name for the galley of a merchantman.
Cade.—A barrel of herrings.
Caissoon.—A floating gate to close the entrance of a dock.
Calavances.—Small beans used for soup instead of peas.
Caliber.—The capacity of the bore of a gun.
Calling of the sea.—A peculiar moaning sound heard on the coast, and interpreted to signify approaching bad weather.
Cam.—A metal disk, graduated, and used for giving the proper motion to the expansion valve of a marine engine.
Camber.—The name given in ship-building to a rise in a vessel’s deck in the centre of it.
Camel.—The name of a contrivance for helping a ship over a bar or shoal.
Camfer.—To remove the edge of a timber.
Can-hooks.—A chain with hooks for slinging a cask by the chimes.
Cannon-petro.—A piece of ordnance formerly used in ships; it threw about a 24 lb. shot.
Canopy.—An awning used in boats.
Cant purchase.—A tackle for turning a dead whale over, for flensing or flaying it.
Cantle-piece.—A batten, used in the building of certain kinds of smacks, placed above the platform to prevent it from rising.
Cantline.—A girtline. (See this word.)
Cant-timbers.—The timber in the extreme end of a ship, which is rounded off.
Canvas covers.—Covers for enclosing fore-and-aft sail’s when furled, extending from the end of the gaff to the tack-cringle of the spanker and try-sails, and for jibs the length of the foot of those sails.
Cap.—A piece of wood or iron that fits over the head of a mast or bowsprit to support the spar above or beyond, as a top-mast or a jib boom.
Capacity.—A ship’s burden.
Cape Cod-man.—A man who belongs to any part of the coast of Massachusetts south of Boston.
Cap of the block.—The upper piece of the tiers of blocks on which the keel of a wooden ship is laid.
Cap-scuttles.—Apertures in the deck with raised coamings.
Capsize.—To upset.
Capstan.—A barrel of wood or iron revolved by bars.
Capstan-bars.—Long pieces of wood made to fit the holes in the capstan, and used when weighing anchor, transporting ship, &c.
Captain.—A naval officer. Strictly speaking, he is the officer in command of a line-of-battle ship, or a frigate mounting 20 guns. Only naval officers of that rank have the right to style themselves captain, though it is nowadays assumed by even the skipper of a collier.
Caravel.—An old type of vessel with an undecked center, high bow and stern, and a forecastle and cabin for the crew.
Cardinal.—The cardinal points of a compass are North, South, East, and West.
Careen.—To heave a vessel down by tackles at the mast-heads; or she maybe careened by shifting weights to one side: a method of doing it that caused the loss of the ” Royal George.”
Carlings.—Short pieces of timber between the beams of a ship.
Carrick-bend.—A bend for joining two large ropes by loops which jam the ends.
Carronade.—A short gun, so-called because it was invented in 1779 at Carron in Scotland.
Carry.—To carry a ship is to seize her by boarding.
Carry away.—To break. To carry away a mast is to lose it by its breaking off.
Carvel.—A small lateen-rigged vessel.
Carvel-built.—A term signifying the planking of a vessel laid smooth and the seams caulked.
Case.—A whaleman’s term for the upper part of the head of a whale.
Case or Canister.—A shot consisting of a number of small iron balls packed in a tin case that fits the gun from which it is fired.
Cashier.—To dismiss from the Royal Navy by court-martial.
Casing-cover.—A place in the marine engine for the slide-valve rod to pass through.
Castaway.—A mariner shipwrecked on a desert place. Also, to willfully wreck a ship.
Casting.—The moving of the ship’s head away from the anchor after weighing.
Cast of the lead.—Plumbing the water with the lead to sound for the bottom.
Cat.—The tackle used for hoisting the anchor to the cat-head, sometimes called the cat-tackle. Also the cat-o’-nine-tails.
Cataract.—An arrangement, consisting of a brass cylinder filled with oil or water, for checking the fall of the expansion valves of marine engines when made upon the Cornish principle.
Cat-back.—A small line bent on to the cat-hook to turn the hook as required.
Cat-block.—A large block forming a portion of the cat-tackle.
Catch a crab.—To miss striking the water with your oar when rowing, the usual result of which is that you fall heels over head backwards.
Cat-chain.—A length of small chain to enable an anchor to be hove high enough to hook the catfall in vessels built with ram bows.
Catch-ratline.—Every fifth ratline is so called, because it is distinguished from the others by being seized to the after-shroud.
Cat harpens, or cat-harpings, were ropes formerly used under the tops for bracing in the shrouds.
Cat-head.—A large piece of timber that projects over the bows of a ship on each side for the anchor to hang to.
Cat-holes. — Places in a vessel’s quarters for springs or warps to lead through.
Cat-rig.—A fore-and-aft sail set with a gaff and boom that stretches very nearly the whole length of the boat.
Catspaw.—A light passage of air that ruffles the water. Also a knot for slinging by a hook.
Catted.—Cat-headed. Said of the anchor when it has been hoisted to the cat-head.
Cattle-pens.—Stalls or boxes in which horned cattle are carried at sea. The cattle are ranged in two rows, one on each side the ship, each beast having a separate head-rope, which is passed with a bight round one of the horns, and a half-hitch round the other, and then secured.
Caulk.—To drive oakum into the seams of planks.
Caulker.—A heavy dose of rum. Also, a lie.
Caulking.—An iron ship is caulked by a man holding against the edge of a plate a chisel or caulking-tool, which is struck with a hammer, thus filling up the crevices between the plates.
Caulking-irons.—Sharp iron wedges for driving oakum into the seams.
Ceiling.—The inside planking of a vessel.
Central track.—The line upon which the centre of a revolving storm moves.
Centre-burton.—A tackle sometimes used for sending a top-sail aloft.
Certificate of competency.—A certificate granted to persons who have passed the requisite examination for master, chief mate, only mate, or second mate.
Certificate of registry.—A form giving the name of a ship, her construction, measurements, tonnage, &c., signed by a registrar.
Certificate of service.—A certificate to entitle an officer who has served in a British foreign-going ship before January, 1851, or in a home-trade passenger-ship before 1854, to serve in the capacity he formerly filled.
Chafe.—Wear and tear.
Chafing-gear.—Mats, canvas, small stuff, battens, &c., affixed to the foot of sails, to backstays, &c., to prevent them from being rubbed through.
Chain-hooks.—Hooks used for dragging the cable along the deck.
Chain-pipes.—Orifices through which the cables lead out of the chain-lockers on to the deck.
Chain-plates.—Iron bars fitted to the sides to which the lower deadeyes are affixed.
Chain-pump.—A pump formed of buckets working on an endless chain and operated on by a wheel and handle.
Chalk for watches.—A method among crews of settling their turns at the anchor watch by making marks in divisions of a circle and then having them rubbed out.
Channels.—Platforms over the side nearly abreast of each mast, to which shrouds and backstays are set up.
Channel-rail.—A piece of molding for finishing off the front of a channel.
Chantey.—A song, a chorus.
Chapelling.—A name given to a maneuver by which a ship is wore without bracing the head-yards.
Charter-party.—A contract in writing for the letting of the whole or part of a vessel for freight.
Chart-house.—An iron or wooden deck structure on a steamer, for the convenience of consulting the charts.
Chase.—A pursued ship is called the chase.
Chase-guns.—The guns in the chase-ports.
Chase-port.—A port on each side amidships of a vessel to enable a gun to be fired forward.
Chasse-maree.—A French three-masted lugger for protecting the fisheries, &c,
Check.—To check a brace is to slack or ease it off a little.
Check-rope.—A rope made fast to anything stationary, for the purpose of bringing a moving vessel to a stand.
Checkered sides.—Said of a ship with ports painted on a white ground.
Cheeks.—Side pieces on a mast for the trestle-trees to rest on.
Cheeks, the marine.—An imaginary being in a man-of-war.
Chew of tobacco.—A quid. Also called a chaw.
Chilled-shot.—Cast-iron shot tempered to great hardness by being rapidly cooled.
Chimes.—The projected ends of the staves of a cask.
Chinse.— Caulking with a small iron.
Chips.—Sailor’s name for ship’s carpenter.
Chock-ablock.—Said when anything hauled by a rope through a block is brought hard up against the block.
Chocks.—Wooden supports for the bottom of a boat to rest on.
Chock up.—Said of anything hoisted when it is as high as it will go/
Chowder.—A mess of codfish, biscuit, &c.
Chronometer.—A timepiece to indicate Greenwich mean time for the purpose of finding the longitude.
Circles of longitude.—Great circles passing through the poles of the ecliptic and cutting it at right angles.
Circular friction-break.—An excellent suggestion to provide against the breaking of steerage-gear. A notched band of iron encircles the rudder-head at the deck, and the rudder-head is furnished with a tiller or break-handle. If the rudder-gear gives way, a man presses the break-handle down into the notched band of iron, and so stops the rudder at any required position.
Circular stern.—A stern furnished with stern timbers which heel upon the fashion timber, and extend round the stern from side to side.
Civil day.—A day that begins at midnight and ends on the next midnight.
Clack-valve.—A flat valve with a hinge joint.
Clamps.—The inside planking immediately under the shelf of each deck.
Clamp-screw.—A screw in the back of the index of a sextant used for fixing the index to the arc.
Clapper.—The valve of a pump-box.
Clasp-hooks.—Two hooks working on one pivot.
Classification clubs.—Clubs for insuring vessels.
Claw-off.—To ratch off a lee shore.
Clean swept.— A ship with all the ballast out.
Cleanser-boat.—A mud-hopper. See Hopper.
Clearance.—Papers presented by a shipmaster comprising his victualling bill, receipts for light dues, &c. Also the name given to the space between the piston and the cylinder bottom in a marine engine, at the end of a stroke.
Clear side.—The height from the water to the upper side of the plank of the deck from which the depth of the hold is measured.
Cleat.—A piece of wood to make the running gear, sheets, &c., fast to.
Clew.—The corner of a square sail. The after coiner of a fore-and-aft sail.
Clew-garnets.—Ropes attached to the clews of a course for hauling it up.
Clewing down.— Hauling upon the clew-lines without starting the sheets, so as to bring the yard down. Done in reefing.
Clew-jiggers.—Tackles for clewing up a top-sail. They lead over the forward side of a sail.
Clew-lines.—Ropes attached to the lower corners of square sails for hauling them up to the middle of the yard.
Clinch.—A half-hitch stopped to its own part.
Clinker, or clincher-built.—A vessel so built that the bottom edge of every plank overlays the next below it.
Clinker- bar.—A bar fixed across the top of the ash-pit.
Clinkers.—Matter not consumable by fire left on the fire-bars.
Clipper.—A sharp, fine-lined vessel: a fast sailer.
Close-hauled.—Said of a ship when lying close to the wind.
Close-port.—A port up a river.
Cloth.—A strip of canvas. See Bolt.
Cloud-cleaner—An imaginary sail jokingly assumed to be carried by Yankee ships.
Clove-hitch.— The end of a rope passed over anything and brought up under and around behind its standing part and up through its own part.
Clubbing.—Drifting with the anchor over.
Club-haul.—A method of tacking when on a lee shore by getting a spring on the lee anchor and leading the spring to the lee quarter, then putting the helm down, and when the ship loses way, letting go the anchor, hauling round the main-yards and cutting the spring when the sails are full on the other tack.
Clump-block.—A short, thick block of extra strength.
Clumsy-cleet.—A knee-brace in the bow of a whale-boat.
Coach-whip.—The pennant flown by a man-of-war.
Coalman.—A name for a collier.
Coamings.—Pieces of raised wood or iron to prevent water from rolling down the hatchways.
Coaning.—A method of uniting small pieces of timber.
Coaster.—A term applied to a vessel that trades between or among ports situated in the United Kingdom.
Coasting-chart.—A chart constructed on the presumption that small portions of the earth’s surface are planes.
Cob.—To beat a man with a piece of flat wood.
Coble.—A north country fishing or pilot boat.
Cock-bill.—The situation of an anchor when it hangs at the cathead.
Cocket.—A card affixed to a victualling-bill, and serving as a shipmaster’s customs-warrant for sailing.
Cockpit.—A place under the lower gun-deck of a man-of-war, made one of the most familiar of sea names by Captain Marryatt’s novels.
Cod.—To cod a man is to gull him.
Code pennant.—A flag hoisted to denote that the particular code of signals called the Commercial Code is used.
Codline.—An i8-thread line.
Coil.—To bring a rope into a small compass by forming it into rings, one lying on another. Also, to lay a rope over a belaying-pin in fakes.
Coir rope.—A rope made of cocoa-nut fibers.
Cold-chisel.—A chisel tempered for cutting cold iron.
Collar.—An eye in the end of standing rigging to go over the masthead.
Collier.—A vessel that carries coals.
Collier’s purchase.—Hooking the cat-block to a strop on the cable, and clapping on the fish-purchase to the fall.
Colors.—The ensign of the country to which a ship belongs and which she hoists.
Colt.—A piece of knotted rope for beating a man.
Column.—A number of men-of-war in a group.
Column of division.—Divisions of a fleet.
Combers.—Large seas or breakers.
Combing sea.—A large arching wave.
Combustion-chamber.—A place situated at the end of a furnace, through which the gases and flames pass before entering the tubes.
Come home.-—An anchor when it does not hold in warping, is said to come home.
Come to.—To round into the wind.
Come up.—To ease up a rope; to slacken it off.
Commander of a column.—The senior officer of the column.
Commodore.—The senior officer in command of a detached squadron.
Common steam.—Steam in contact with the water that produced Companion.—A wooden hood over a hatch.
Companion-ladder.—Steps leading down the companion-hatch to the cabin.
Compass-card.—A circle of mica or cardboard divided into thirty-two parts, called points of the compass.
Complain.—Masts and spars are said to complain when they creak during the laboring of the ship.
Complement.—The crew of a ship. The number of working hands necessary for the navigation of a vessel.
Composant.—A name given by sailors to the fiery exhalations which are seen burning at yard-arms and boom-ends in calms and gales of wind at night.
Composite great circle sailing. —When the Great Circle track carries the ship into a higher latitude than is proper, a certain latitude is assumed as the highest the ship should attain, and the shortest route under these conditions is called composite great circle sailing.
Composite ship.—A ship whose frame is composed of iron and covered with timber planking.
Compound engine.—An engine with two cylinders, into the smaller of which the steam enters and works the piston, and then passes into the large cylinder, where it is condensed.
Compressor.—A lever for stopping the chain cable when running out.
Con.—To direct the steering of a vessel.
Concluding-line.—A small rope leading down the middle of a Jacob’s ladder.
Condenser gauge.—A tube for indicating the vacuum in the condenser of a marine engine.
Constant of aberration.—Displacement in the sun’s longitude.
Constructive total loss.—The term applied to injuries of which the repairs would exceed the value of the ship damaged.
Contract.—A document embodying all the items contained in the various shipping bills.
Convoy.—One or more merchant-vessels sailing under the protection of a war-ship.
Coolie.—An Indian or Chinese laborer.
Cooper.—A person who repairs casks, &c., on board a ship.
Coopering.—The name given to a fraudulent traffic among north-sea smacksmen, who barter the fish belonging to their owners for tobacco and spirits sold by vessels which hang about those waters and whose people are called “coopers.”
Copper-bottomed.—Said of a ship whose bottom is sheathed with copper.
Copper-fastened.—Said of a wooden ship whose frames are secured to one another by copper bolts.
Coppers.—The boilers in the galley for cooking.
Cordage.—A landsman’s term for the rigging of a ship. Tackling is another shore word for the same thing.
Corner chock.—Removable pieces of wood to enable the wood-ends to be caulked without disturbing the hawse-pipes.
Corvette.—A flush decked ship with one tier of guns. Formerly she was sometimes furnished with a poop or round-house, and a top-gallant forecastle.
Cot.—A swinging bed formed of a frame covered with canvas.
Counter.—The hinder portion of a vessel forming a portion of her stern.
Counter.—An instrument fitted with wheelwork and an index hand, which hand is moved forward a certain distance in correspondence with every stroke of the engine. It is used to show speed, allowance being made for “slip.”
Counter-brace.—Heaving to.
Counter-bracing.—Working the sails so as to make a ship range ahead or stop at will.
Country-wallah.—An East Indian native ship.
Course.—The direction to be steered by a ship.
Courses.—The lowest sails of a square-rigged vessel.
Court-martial.—A court composed of five, but not exceeding nine, members, for trying naval officers and seamen charged with wrong-doing.
Court of Survey.—A court composed of a judge and two assessors for deciding cases of the detention of ships.
Cove-rail.—A molding on the stern of a ship for decoration.
Cowl.—The deck or top part of a ventilator for ventilating holds, engine-rooms, cabins, &c.
Coxswain.—One who steers a boat and has charge of her.
Crab-windlass.—A light windlass.
Cracking on.—To pile on sail in a strong wind.
Crack ship.—A first-class vessel for discipline, sailing, &c.
Cradle.—A fabric set to the bottom of a ship about to be launched.
Craft.—Any kind of vessel.
Cranage.—Payment for the use of cranes.
Crane.—A machine worked by hand or steam for loading and un-loading vessels.
Crane-barge.—A barge fitted with a crane.
Crane-lines.—Small ropes used for keeping the backstays clear of  the yards when braced sharp up.
Crank,—Want of stability. A ship that leans sharply under small canvas. Also, an iron handle for pumps.
Crank-hatches.—Protections on deck for the engine-cranks.
Crank-pin.—The pin to which the connecting-rod of a marine engine is attached.
Crazy.—A crazy ship is an old, rotten ship.
Creeper.—A kind of grapnel.
Crew.—All the officers and men who man a vessel.
Crib.—A small sleeping-berth.
Crimp.—A man who was formerly allowed to collect crews for ships. A plunderer of seamen. A lodging or boarding-house keeper for sailors.
Cringle.—A strand of rope, like an eye, confining an iron ring, worked into the bolt-rope.
Crinkum-crankum whales.—Whales which, according to the whalemen, “can’t be cotched.”
Cripple.—To disable a ship by firing at her.
Croaky.—A curved plank.
Cross.—To cross a yard is to send it aloft, fit the rigging, and leave it square or across.
Cross-bars.—Round bars of iron used as levers.
Cross-jack.—Pronounced cro’-jack. The lowest square-sail on a ship’s mizzen-mast.
Cross-jack yard.—The lowest yard on a ship’s mizzen-mast.
Cross-pauls.—Long pieces of plank marked with the breadth of a ship at various stations, and secured to the timbers to preserve the form of the vessel whilst she remains in frame.
Cross-piece.—A timber connecting two bitts.
Cross-sea.—A confused, heavy sea that follows a circular storm. Waves moving in different directions. “Chopping sea” is perhaps another term for the same thing.
Cross-spales.—Timbers to keep the sides of a vessel together until the knees are bolted.
Cross-staff.—An instrument anciently used for measuring altitudes at sea.
Cross-trees.—Cross-pieces of timber on top of the trestletrees.
Crotch.—A notched stick of a peculiar form, fixed in the starboard gunwale of a whaling-boat near the bow as a rest for the wooden extremity of the harpoon.
Crotch the boom.—To steady the boom of a spanker or gaff mainsail by resting it in the crutch or crotch.
Crowd.—To crowd sail is to set all sail. To crowd a vessel off’ is to claw off the land under a heavy press of canvas.
Crowfoot.—A number of small cords spreading out from a kind of block, and used to suspend an awning.
Crown.—That part of an anchor where the shank and arms meet.
Crown of aberration.—A spurious circle round the true circle of the sun.
Cruise.—Strictly, traversing a given part of the ocean on the lookout for an enemy. But a trip in a yacht or steamer that extends over a few days is now called a cruise.
Cruiser.—A man-of-war employed for the protection of merchantmen in the Channel and around the coast.
Crupper.—A ring-bolt for the train-tackle of a gun-carriage.
Crupper chain.—A chain passed round the bowsprit and the heel of the jib boom.
Crutch.—A fork to steady a boom when the sail is furled. See Crotch the boom.
Crutches.—Plates used in iron ships where the space becomes too narrow for beams and stringers. Also timbers or iron arms to unite the sides of a ship abaft.
Cubbridge heads.—Bulkheads formerly fortified with guns for firing along the decks in order to sweep them.
Cuckold’s neck.—A knot to secure a rope to a spar.
Cuddy.—The saloon under the poop.
Cuddy jig.—The sprawling about of landsmen at sea on a heaving deck. .
Cuddy-legs.— Large herrings.
Culvert.—A large drain to let out the water from a wet dock as the tide falls.
Cuntline.—The space between the bilges of casks stowed side by side.
Curios.—Curiosities. Objects collected by sailors in distant countries.
Current.—A body of water which, being in motion, carries all floating bodies with it.
Current-sailing.—A method of determining the true course and distance of a ship when in a current.
Cushee-piece.—A gun invented by Sir John Leake, in 1677. It was intended as a bow gun, and discharged shells and what were called “carcasses.”
Cut and run.—Literally this was only possible when cables were of hemp and could be cut. It is now meant to slip in a gale of wind.
Cut of his jib.—A man’s appearance. “I don’t like the cut of his jib,” said in reference to the appearance of a surly-looking man.
Cut out.—To cut out a ship is to carry her by boats when under a fort and remove her.
Cut-splice.—This is formed by cutting a rope in two and splicing each to the standing part of the other so as to make an oblong eye.
Cutter.—A ship’s boat. Also, a one-masted vessel fitted with a bowsprit to run in and out and a jib that sets flying.
Cutter-brig.—A square-rigged vessel with a fore-and-aft main-sail. She has two masts, the after one a jigger-mast.
Cutter stay fashion.—This is said of a dead-eye turned in with the end of the shroud down.
Cutting down.—Passing a knife over the lanyards of a hammock so as to let the occupant fall on deck.
Cutting in.—The dissection of a whale alongside a whaler, and the twisting of “the blanket” into the blubber-room fall ‘under this name.
Cyclone.—A revolving tempest of wind.
Cylinder-cover.—A lid through which the piston-rod of a marine engine works.
Cylinder-jacket. A casing to the cylinder of an engine to prevent the outer air from cooling the steam in the cylinder.
Dagger.—A timber that forms a portion of the bilge ways of a wooden ship.
Dahabeyah.—A boat used on the river Nile with an arched keel, and fitted with lateen sails.
Damper.—A contrivance for regulating the furnace of a marine boiler by increasing or diminishing the draught.
Dandy.—A vessel rigged like a yawl (see Yawl), but differing from a yawl by having a jib-headed mizzen and no boom to the main-sail.
Dandy funk.—A mess made of powdered biscuit, molasses, and slush.
Dandy wink.—A sort of winch used in smacks for heaving the trawl alongside.
Davis’s quadrant.—An instrument anciently used for measuring altitudes at sea.
Davits.—Curved iron bars affixed to a ship’s sides, by which her boats are suspended.
Davy Jones.—The sailor’s devil.
Davy Jones’s locker.—The sea, at the bottom of which Davy Jones dwells.
Davy putting on the coppers for the parsons.—Jack’s description of the noise made by an approaching storm.
Day’s work.—A term given to the computation made from the various courses, corrected, and their corresponding distances.
D-block.—A piece of timber at a ship’s side in the channels.
D-thimble.—A thimble lashed to the middle of a yard for attaching the slings.
Dead cargo.—A cargo that makes the ship sluggish or lifeless in a seaway, such as grain.
Dead-doo/s.—Doors outside those of a quarter gallery.
Deaden.—To impede a ship’s progress through the water.
Dead-eyes.—Circular pieces of perforated wood used for the lanyards of shrouds.
Dead-eyes under.—Said when a ship is hove down by the force of the wind or by shifting cargo until the dead-eyes of the shrouds and backstays are under water.
Dead fires.—Fires which burn dully or slowly.
Dead-head.—A lump of timber for buoying an anchor.
Dead in steering.—Said of a vessel very slow in answering her helm, most often in consequence of water being in her.
Dead-lights.—Shutters or coverings in open ports.
Dead-men.—Ends of gaskets or reef-points which are left exposed when the sail is furled.
Dead pay.—A term used in the navy to signify unclaimed money.
Dead-plate.—An iron plate fitted to a furnace, for coking bituminous coal before it is thrown into the fire.
Dead-reckoning.—Computing a ship’s position by the distance run as shown by the log, having regard to the courses steered, the leeway made, &c. A ship’s progress is reckoned in this manner when the weather is thick and no observations can be had.
Dead-rising.—The floor-timbers terminating upon the lower futtock.
Deadsheave.—An aperture in the heel of a top-mast for a second fish-tackle pendant.
Dead slow.—Said of engines revolving at the very slowest pace they can be made to work at.
Dead-wood.—Blocks of timber at each end of the keel.
Dead-works.—A term used to denote all the portion of a loaded ship above water.
Debark.—Landing from a ship.
Deck.—The planked flooring supported by the beams. See Maindeck, Quarter-deck, Forecastle, Poop, &c.
Deck-boy.—A smack apprentice.
Deck-hand.—One of the crew of a fishing-smack.
Deck-house.—A structure on the deck of a ship, in which the crew sleep and live.
Deck-line.—Marks upon a ship’s side to indicate the position of her decks. These marks are required by the law to be kept fixed.
Deck-load.—Goods or live stock stowed on the top deck of a vessel.
Deck-sheet.—A studding-sail sheet leading down on deck.
Deck-tackle.—A tackle to assist in weighing the anchor.
Declination.—The declination of an object is an arch of meridian contained between the equinoctial and the centre of the object. It is north or south according as the object is north or south of the equinoctial.
Deep.—The ocean.
Deepening.—Quitting shallow for deeper water, sounding with the lead as you go.
Deep-sea lead.—A lead of from 28 lbs. to 30 lbs. in weight, used for deep soundings.
Deep-waisted.—Applied to a ship whose deck between the poop and topgallant forecastle is deep.
Delivery valve.—In a marine engine, a valve at the top of the air pump near the hot-well to prevent the return of injected water.
Demand signals.—Flags hoisted as a request for attention.
Demi-cannon.—An old piece of ordnance used in ships. It threw about a 32 lb. shot.
Demijean.—A large bottle containing about five gallons, formerly used for storing rum, &c., on board ship.
Demurrage.—A stipulated sum to be paid by a charterer for delaying a ship after the expiry of the specified lay days.
Departure.—A point from which a ship begins her dead reckoning. Also the east or west distance a ship has made from the meridian of the place she departed from.
Derelict.—A vessel abandoned at sea.
Derrick.—A spar for hoisting weights.
Deviation.—A departure from the ordinary and usual course of a voyage. If without justification, it is taken, should disaster follow, as a discharge of the underwriter’s liability.
Deviation of the compass.—The effect produced on the compass by local causes.
Dhow.—An Arab vessel of about 200 tons, lateen-rigged
Dicky.—A term for a second mate.
Difference of latitude.—An arch of a meridian contained between two parallels.
Difference of longitude.—An arch of the equator intercepted between the meridians of two places.
Dinge.—Said of iron plates bent inwards by external pressure.
Dinghey.—A small Indian boat. Also a ship’s boat.
Dip.—The angle contained between the sensible and apparent horizons, the angular point being the eye of the observer.
Dip of the needle.—The deflection of one end of the compass needle below the horizon as either pole is approached.
Dip of the wheels.—Said of the depth of water over the top of the vertical board of a paddle-wheel.
Dipper.—A long tin cup for dropping through the bunghole of a cask of fresh water to drink from.
Dipping.—Dipping a sail is lowering it on one and then hoisting it on the other side of the mast.
Direct-acting engine.—An engine in which a rotary motion is obtained by a rod from the head of the piston to the crank acting without side levers.
Discharge.—To unload cargo. A certificate of discharge is a document that states the name of the seaman, the ship he has left, and other particulars.
Disengaging apparatus.—An apparatus for lowering boats by means of self-releasing hooks and other arrangements. There are various contrivances of this kind.
Dish.—To dish a sea is to ship a mass of green water over the head or side by a heavy pitch or roll.
Dismantle.—A ship is said to be dismantled when her masts and rigging have been knocked to pieces by shot.
Dismantling shot.—Shot used by the Americans in the war with Great Britain in 1812. It consisted of star shot, doubleheaded shot, chain shot, and other projectiles, which flew open and cut through the rigging.
Displacement.—The amount of water displaced by the immersion of a ship.
Distance.—The number of miles that a ship has sailed on a direct course in a given time.
Distant signals.—Signals consisting of black balls, pennants, and square flags.
Ditty-bag.—A bag used by seamen for holding small things useful to them.
Dockage.— Charges on vessels using floating docks.
Dockyard maties.—Dockyard artificers.
Doctor.—Sailor’s name for a ship’s cook.
Dag.—A cross-bar to secure the door of a man-hole for cleaning out a boiler. Also an iron bar used as a purchase. One end is placed against the thing to be lifted, and a tackle is hooked to a ring at the other end.
Dog-basket.—Used by the steward for the leavings from the cabin table.
Dogger.—A two masted Dutch smack.
Dogsbody.—A mess made of pea-soup, powdered biscuit, and slush.
Dog’s ear or Dog’s lug.—The part of a leech-rope of a top-sail between the head and reef-earing cringles.
Dog-sleep.—Short naps taken when a man should be awake.
Dog-vane.—A small flag or streamer at the mast-head or at the side to indicate the direction of the wind.
Dog-watch.—A subdivision of the usual four hours’ watch, so as to bring about a change of watches among the crew. The dogwatches are from 4 to 6, and from 6 to 8 p.m. They are called the first and second dog-watch.
Doldrums.—A belt of calms and light shifting winds close to the equator on either side.
Dollop.—A lump, a piece : as “a dollop of duff.”
Dolly.—A tool used in riveting the plates of an iron ship.
Donkey.—A sailor’s chest.
Donkey-boiler.—A boiler to work steam-winches, &c.
Donkey-engine.—A supplementary engine for doing work independent of the ship’s engines.
Donkey-frigate.—A ship-sloop of twenty-eight guns.
Double.—To round a headland. “Double the Horn,” to sail round it.
Double altitudes.—A method of finding the latitude by two observed altitudes.
Double-bottom. — Iron plates inside covering the frames and girders of an iron ship; the space between is called the double bottom.
Double capstan.—A capstan that can be worked both on an upper and lower deck at once.
Double strop.—A long single strop doubled.
Double top-sails.—Formerly the top-sails were whole sails. They are now divided by being bent to two yards, so that when the halyards of the upper topsail yard are let go, the lower top-sail represents a close-reefed sail.
Double wheel.—Two wheels one abaft the other, fixed on the same spindle, to enable two sets of men to steer the vessel when power is wanted there.
Double whip.—A tackle composed of two double-blocks, the upper one fixed, the lower one movable.
Doughboy.—Pronounced doboy. A small dumpling made of flour and slush.
Dowel.—A piece of brass inserted in the sheave of a block to save it from injury from the pin on which the sheave revolves. Also a piece of hard wood used in scarphing two timbers.
Dowel-bit.—A tool for cutting the holes for the dowels.
Dowelling.—A method of uniting timbers.
Downhauls.—Ropes used for hauling down a jib or stay-sail.
Dowse.—To extinguish, to put out.
Dowse the glim.—Tut out the light.
Drabler.— Canvas laced to the bonnet of a sail.
Draft of hands.— Men sent from one ship of war to another, to complete the latter’s complement.
Dragging.—A propeller is said to “drag” when the sails urge the vessel faster than the revolutions of the screw can propel her.
Dragging on her.—Said of a man who presses his vessel with canvas in a strong wind.
Draught.—The draught of a ship is the delineation of the various sections of her by line. Also the depth of water she takes to float in.
Drawing the boxes.—Removing the pump-gear in order to drop the sounding-rod to ascertain what water there is in the well.
Dredger.—A boat furnished with a kind of scraper called a dredge for catching oysters, &c. Also a vessel for cleansing harbors and the mouths of rivers.
Dress.—To dress a ship is to decorate her with flags.
Drift.—A tool used in iron ship-building for forcing into rivet holes which do not lie fair, so that the rivets may enter. Also the rate at which a current runs in the hour. Also to move helplessly with the wind and seas.
Drift-ice.—Detached pieces of ice through which a ship can sail.
Drift-net.—A large net with one-inch meshes, used for catching pilchards, herrings, &c.
Drip-pipe.—In a marine engine, a small pipe connected with the waste steam-pipe, and used for carrying off the condensed steam and hot water which have found their way into the “trap” at the top.
Drive.—To scud at the mercy of a gale.
Driver.—Another name for the spanker or mizzen.
Drogher.—A small West Indian vessel that carries passengers and trades among the ports of those islands.
Drogue.—A large bag made of canvas, thrown overboard to keep a ship head to wind or to deaden her way.
Drop.—The depth of a sail in the centre of it.
Druggs.—Two thick squares of wood clinched together and fitted in a whale-boat, to which is attached a line, one end of which is looped for immediately fastening to a harpoon.
Drum.—A frame of canvas hoisted as a storm warning.
Drumhead.—The top of a capstan.
Drum-hogsheads.—Hogsheads of liquor from which a third of the contents have been stolen.
Druxy.—Plank or timber in a decayed or spongy state.
Dry gale.—A storm of wind under a blue sky.
Dry provisions.—The term applied to tea, flour, sugar, peas, &c.
Dubb.—To smooth down wood with an adze.
Duck.—A kind of fine canvas.
Duck-up!—Haul up the clew of a sail.
Duff.—A pudding made of flour and slush, boiled in a canvas bag.
Dug-out.—A large West African canoe.
Dumb-blocks.—Blocks made of metal, used instead of dead-eyes.
Dumb-chalder.—A piece of metal on the stern-post for the rudder-pintle to rest on.
Dumb craft.—A vessel, such as a barge or lump, without sails.
Dummy.—A piece of strong upright wood on the deck of a smack, to which the trawl-warp is attached when fishing.
Dump.—A bolt for fastening planks.
Dungaree.—A light material worn as dress by sailors.
Dunhead.—A kind of barge.
Dunnage.—Pieces of wood upon which cargo is stowed to keep it clear of the wet at the bottom of the hold.
Dustoree.—Custom paid to a crimp in the East Indies.
Dutch caper.—In olden times a Dutch privateer.
Dutchify.—To dutchify a ship is to alter her square stern into a circular or elliptical one.
Dutchman.—A sailor’s name for Scandinavians and Germans as well as Dutchmen.
Earing.—There are two kinds of earing. Head-caring is a rope at the upper corner of a sail to secure it to the yard-arm. Reef-earing is a rope on the leech of a sail to secure it to the yard when reefed.
Ears.—The ears of a boat are outside knee-pieces forward.
Earth compass.—A compass placed in a cask filled with earth, to nullify the local attraction on board iron vessels.
Ease.—To pay out or slacken a rope gently.
Ease her!—A command to reduce the motion of an engine.
Ease the helm!—A command to shift the helm by a spoke or two to “meet the sea,” as it is called.
Ease up!—To slacken a tackle fall. To “come up” with a rope.
Easter.—The wind easters when it veers to the eastwards.
Easting.—The amount of progress made to the eastwards.
Easy!—Gently! not too fast!
Ebb.—The fall of the tide from the height of the flood.
Eccentric gear..—A method of giving motion to the levers of a marine engine by admitting steam alternately into the steam ports of the cylinder.
Ecliptic.—A great circle in the heavens which the sun appears to pass over in the course of a year.
Edge down.—To bear down upon an object by keeping the ship gradually and almost imperceptibly away.
Eduction-pipe.—A pipe in a marine steam-engine that conveys steam from the exhaust-side of the cylinder piston into the condenser.
Eight-man boat.—A Faroese whale-boat.
Eiking.—A piece of wood to make up a length.
Elbow.—Two crosses in a ship’s cables, when she is moored, caused by her swinging.
Elevator.—A contrivance for loading ships with grain.
Elliot’s eye.—A loop in a hemp cable fitted with a thimble and served.
Embargo.—A prohibition on a ship to leave a port.
Embark.—To enter into a ship.
End for end.—When a rope is unrove.
End on.—Said of a ship when only her bows or stern can be seen.
En flute.—A ship is said to be armed en flute when a portion of her guns are taken out and she is used as a transport.
Engine-bearers.— Portions of the seat for supporting the engines and boilers of a steamer. Also called engine-seating.
Engineer-—A person who has charge of the engines and is lord of the engine-room, and very often of the whole ship. There are two grades—first-class and second-class engineers, each of  whom are certificated. Every steamer of over 100-horse power must carry a first and second class engineer: under that power, an only or first engineer, who must be certificated.
Engineer Surveyor.—A person appointed to report upon the efficiency of the machinery of steam-ships.
Enlarge.—Said of the wind when it draws aft.
Equation of lime.—The difference between real and apparent time.
Equinoctial points.—Joints where the ecliptic and the equator intersect each other.
Escape-valves.—Weighted valves to allow of the escape of steam or water in the way of the movement of the piston.
Euvrou.—A kind of block for extending the legs of a crow-foot. See Crow-foot.
Even keel.—Said when neither end of a ship afloat is lower or higher than the other.
Every stitch.—All the canvas that a vessel carries.
Examinations.—In the merchant service officers are examined in seamanship and navigation, to prove their qualifications for the ranks to which they aspire. The qualifications may be briefly condensed as follows for foreign-going service: — SECOND MATE.—He must be seventeen years of age, and have been four years at sea. He must write a legible hand, understand the first five rules of arithmetic, and the use of logarithms; be able to work a day’s work, correct the sun’s declination for longitude, find his latitude by the sun, with other such problems; and understand all about the rigging and unrigging of ships, stowage, the rule of the road, signals, log-line, &c. ONLY MATE.—Must be nineteen years of age, and have been five years at sea. More knowledge is expected in him than in a second mate, for in addition he must be able to calculate the amplitude of the sun, and deduce from it the variation of the compass, find the longitude by chronometer, lay off the place of his ship on the chart, &c., and in seamanship understand all about the ground tackle, keep the ship’s log, know the use and management of the rocket apparatus, and so forth. FIRST MATE.—Must be nineteen years old and have been five years at sea, of which one year must have been either as second or only mate or both. Besides what is required for an only mate, a chief mate must be able to observe azimuths and compute the variation, compare chronometers and keep their rates, work the latitude by single altitude of the sun off the meridian, possess extensive knowledge of seamanship, of the shifting of large spars and sails, of the management of ships in storms, &c. MASTER.—Must be twenty-one years old and have been six years at sea, of which at least one year must have been as first or only mate, and one year as second mate. He will be asked more questions than those put to a mate: on magnetic attraction, tides, sounding, jury rudders and rafts, marine law as regards his crew, entry and discharge: also he is expected to know all about charter parties, Lloyd’s agencies, bottomry, and so forth. EXTRA MASTER.—This examination is voluntary. The certificate confers no privilege, and the only use of it is to show that the possessor has a good memory for what he finds in marine guide-books.
Expansion gear.—A contrivance for economizing steam in a marine engine by cutting off steam at any point of the stroke of the piston.
Expansion joints.— Joints fitted in steam pipes so as to allow for expansion and contraction.
Eye.—A loop at the end of a rope, a hole in an iron bolt.
Eye-bolt.—A bolt of iron with an eye in it, sunk into the deck or side as far as the eye.
Eyelet-holes.—Holes in the tablings and reef-bands of a sail for robands, reef-points, cringles, &c. “Eyes.”—This word is applied to holes opening in a sail owing to the force of the wind. “Eyes now showed in the main-topsail, and shortly after it was blown out of the bolt-rope.”
Eyes of a vessel.—The foremost point of the forecastle, betwixt the knightheads.
Eye-splice.—An eye formed in a rope by passing its strands through its standing part.
Facing.—Setting one piece of timber into another with a rabbet.
Fagged.—This is said of a rope whose end is untwisted.
Fair.—Said of the wind when favorable.
Fair-leader— A block, thimble, or strip of plank for running gear to lead through.
Fairway.—The navigable part of a river or channel.
Fake.—A single ring of a coil of rope.
Fall.—The hauling part of a tackle.
Fall aboard of.—To drop down foul of another ship.
Fall foul.—To fall foul of a man is to abuse or quarrel with him.
Falling glass.—The sinking of the mercury in a barometer.
Falls.—Tackles for hoisting and lowering boats at the davits.
False-keel.—Pieces of timber below the main keel to protect it in case of taking the ground.
Family boats.—The name given to smacks worked by members of one family.
Fancy-line.—A downhaul rove through a block at the jaws of a gaff.
Fang.—The valve of a pump-box.
Fanning.—Widening the after-part of a ship’s top.
Fantod.—A fiddling officer who is always bothering over small things.
Fast.—To make fast is to attach. “All fast!” a cry to denote that the rope is belayed or a turn taken.
Fast-fish.—A whaling-term, signifying that the whale belongs to the boat’s crew that is fast to it.
Fasts.—Wood or stone projections on a quay or pier for mooring vessels to. Also the ropes which hold a vessel.
Favor her!—A call to the helmsman to ease the helm, to let her meet it.
Fay.—To lie close to, as one piece of wood against another.
Fearn.—A small windlass.
Fearnought.—Thick woolen cloth that used to be, and perhaps still is, worn .by North-Sea pilots.
Feathering paddle-wheels.—Paddle-wheels of which the boards or floats enter and leave the water in a perpendicular position.
Feathering-screw.—A propeller whose blades can be placed in a direction parallel with the line of the keel. Meant for auxiliaries only.
Feather-white sea.—Said of the sea when covered with foam.
Feed-cock.—A cock near the bottom of a marine boiler for regulating the supply of water to the boiler.
Feeding-engine.—An engine for supplying tubular boilers with feed-water when the large engines are not working.
Feed pipe.—A pipe for introducing water into the boiler to take the place of the water that has passed off in steam.
Feed-pump.—A pump that supplies the boilers of a steamer with water from the hot-well.
Feed-water.—The water with which the boiler is supplied.
Felucca.—A vessel rigged with a lateen sail.
Fend.—To fend off, to save a boat’s side from collision or being chafed.
Fenders.—Pieces of timber, or cork, or stuffed canvas over a ship’s or boat’s side to prevent it from being chafed or injured.
Fetch.—To reach, to arrive at by sailing or steaming: as “we fetched the harbor.”
Fetch away.—To break loose, to roll or slide to leeward.
Fetching the pump.—Making it act by pouring water into it.
Fetch out.—To get out to sea from a bay, harbor, &c., by beating or sailing close.
Fid.—A bar of wood or iron passed through the fid-hole to support a mast.
Fiddle-block.—A double block with one sheave above larger than the lower one.
Fiddle-figurehead, or Fiddle-head.—The head of a ship that has no figure, but is decorated with a scroll shaped like a fiddle.
Fiddles.—A framework used to secure the dishes on a cabin table, to prevent them from rolling off.
Fiddley-house.—A barbarous term for the engine-house.
Fid-hole.—A hole in the lower part of an upper mast to receive the fid.
Fife-rail.—A rail round the main-mast fitted with belaying pins. Also the upper fence of the bulwarks of a man-of-war’s quarter-deck.
Fighting-lanterns.—See Battle-lanterns.
Fighting-sails.—The canvas on a ship when going into action.
Figure-head.—A bust or figure over a ship’s cutwater.
Figure of eight.—A knot shaped like the figure 8 used for preventing a rope from unreeving.
Filler.—A piece of timber to fill up in a made mast.
Fillibuster.—A pirate.
Filling.—In ship-building, wood introduced to make up for a defect in the molding way.
Filling-room.—Formerly in men-of-war, apartments where powder was filled into cartridges, and furnished with a powder-trough to empty the powder out of the barrels.
Fillings.—Timbers placed between the frames of a ship, fitting close and caulked.
Filling-transom.—A timber above the deck transom for securing the ends of the deck plank, &c.
Fine-weather rolls.—The rolling of a ship under a clear sky in a sea left by a storm.
Finishings.—The name of the quarter-gallery ornamentation.
Finns.— Natives of Finland. These men when members of a ship’s company were formerly regarded with great superstition by their shipmates. They were thought to possess the gift of second sight, to hold the winds in control, to keep a bottle of rum full, in spite of hearty pulls at it, a whole voyage.
Fin out.—A whaling expression used when a whale turns over dead.
Fire and lights.— Sailor’s nickname for the master-at-arms.
Fire-box.— A space in front of the boilers of a steamer over the furnace doors.
Fireman.—A stoker.
Firemen.—Men stationed at the guns of a man-of-war ready for active duty : their business being to extinguish fire, and also to act as boarders, &c.
Firing-up.—Plying the fires so as to obtain as much steam as possible.
First watch.—The watch from 8 p.m. till midnight.
Fish.—To bind spare booms, planks, &c., to an injured spar to support it. Also to hoist the fluke of an anchor by the fish tackle, and secure the inner arm and shank by the shank painter. The anchor is then said to be fished—an operation which follows catting.
Fish-davit.—A piece of timber or iron for hoisting the fluke of an anchor.
Fisherman s bend.—A knot formed by two turns through a ring, a half-hitch and the end stopped.
Fisherman’s walk.—” Three steps and overboard,” in allusion to the small space offered for walking in smacks, and therefore said of any confined space.
Fish-fag.—A disreputable, foul-mouthed woman.
Fish-hook.—A hook with a pennant for the fish-tackle to be hooked to.
Fish-tackle.—The tackle used in hoisting the fluke of an anchor.
Fit out.—To fit out a ship is to furnish her with masts, sails, anchors, provisions, men, &c.
Five-finger.—The star-fish.
Fixed blocks.—Fixed sheaves in a ship’s side.
Flag-officer.—An admiral.
Flag-share.—The admiral’s share in captures from an enemy.
Flagship.—The ship that carries an admiral’s flag.
Flag-staff.—A staff on a vessel’s stern.
Flairing.—When the topside of a ship’s bows falls outward from the perpendicular.
Flare.—A light made by firing a tar-barrel, &c.
Flare-ups.—Flames shown aboard a vessel as signals.
Flashing-light.—A beacon that shows flashes at short intervals, or groups of flashes at regular intervals.
Flashing-signals.—A method of signaling by means of flashes of light, used in the Royal Navy.
Flash-vessel.—A gaudy-looking but undisciplined ship.
Flat.—A sail is flat when the sheet is hauled down close. Also a sort of lighter, with one mast and a sail like a lug.
Flat-aback.—When the sails are pressed against the mast by the wind.
Flat aft.—Said of the sheets of fore-and-aft sails when hauled as taut as they will go.
Flat-plate keel.—A keel formed of iron plates bent dish-shaped.
Flat-seam.—Two edges of canvas laid over each other and sewn.
Flat-seizing.—A light seizing.
Flatten in.—To tauten the head-sheets.
Flaw.—A sudden burst of wind. Also an opening in a bank of fog.
Fleet.—To come up a tackle for another pull when the blocks have been drawn together. The cry is “Fleet ho!”
Fleeting.—Said of smacks which sail out to the fishing-grounds in fleets.
Flemish coil.—To coil up a rope with the end in the centre and the fakes outside of one another, the whole lying flat.
Flemish eye.—An eye formed in a rope by unlaying one strand and placing the remaining ends against the standing part.
Flemish horses.—Foot-ropes at the yard-arms of topsail and lower yards.
Flench-gut.—Whale blubber in long slices.
Flipper.—The hand.
Float.—A large flat-bottomed boat.
Floating coffin.—A rotten vessel.
Floating dock.—A fabric that is made to sink in order to receive a ship, and then to float so as to raise its burden above water. Also a wet dock.
Floating light.—A light-ship.
Floating on cargo.—Said of a vessel full of water, but kept afloat by her cargo, such as timber, cork, oil, &c.
Floating stage.—A platform on the water for painters, caulkers, &c.
Floats.—The boards or paddles fitted to the wheels of paddle steamers.
Flogging the glass.—Said of the old glasses used to denote time, when shaken to make the sand run.
Flood.—High water.
Floor-guide.—A timber between the floor and the keel.
Floor-plans.—Longitudinal sections of the water-lines and ribband-lines.
Floor-plates.—Formerly plates in the bottom of an iron ship corresponding with the floor-timbers in wooden ones.
Floor-ribband.—A timber for the support of the floors of a ship.
Flotsam.—Goods lost by shipwreck and floating on the sea.
Flow.—To let go the sheet of a head-sail.
Flowing sheet.—The sheet well eased off when the wind is abaft the beam.
Flue boiler.—A marine boiler constructed to confine the flame and hot gases generated in the furnace in narrow flues.
Flues.—Passages in a steamer’s boiler for heated air.
Fluke.—The end of each arm of an anchor.
Flunkey.—Sailor’s name for the ship’s steward.
Flurry.—The death-throes of a whale.
Flush.—Level, clear of encumbrance. Also, level with.
Flush-decked.— Having a clear sweep of deck.
Flush-scuttles.—Apertures whose framework is nearly level with the deck.
Flush-up.— Said of cargo that comes up to a level with the hatches.
Fly.—The length of a flag from the point of suspension and the extremity. Also the compass card before it is mounted.
Fly-away.—A mirage or fictitious appearance of land.
Fly-block.—A topsail tie-block.
Fly-boat.—A flat-bottomed Dutch vessel.
Fly-by-night.—A square sail formerly used by sloops when running.
Flying bridge.—An elevated bridge on steamers, forward of the funnel.
Flying-jib.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay from the foretopgallant mast-head to the flying-jib boom end.
Flying-jib boom.—A continuation of the jib boom for the flying-jib to set on.
Flying kites.—The lofty sails used in light weather, such as skysails, royal and topgallant studding-sails, &c.
Flying moor.—Letting go a weather anchor whilst the ship has way, and then, when the cable range is nearly out, letting go the other anchor.
Flying proa.—A vessel belonging to the Ladrone Islands. She is fitted with a large triangular sail attached to two booms which meet at the vessel’s head, and she is furnished with a long outrigger.
Flying-skysail.—A sky-sail that is stowed with the royal. The yard has neither lifts nor braces, and the clews are secured to the royal yard-arms.
Flying-to.—Coming up into the wind swiftly.
Fly-wheel pumps.—Pumps fitted with wheels, of which the revolutions greatly facilitate the labor of pumping.
Fog-dog.—A break in a fog. See Flaw.
Foggy.—Slightly drunk. Muddled with drink.
Fog-horn.—An instrument that delivers a powerful note as a signal in fogs. Worked by the mouth, bellows, and by steam.
Fo’ksle hand.—The same as fore-mast hand.
Foot.—The bottom of a sail.
Footing.—A fee exacted by sailors from one who goes aloft for the first time.
Foot-rails.— Moldings on a ship’s stern.
Foot-rope.—A rope suspended under a yard or boom for men to stand on. Also the rope at the bottom of a sail.
Foot-sugar.—A mixture of dirt and molasses served out to merchant sailors.
Foot-valve.—In a marine engine, a flat piece of metal in the passage between the condenser and air-pump.
Foot-waling.— Inside planking over the floor timbers.
Fore.—The forward part of a ship, or what is forward, as fore-mast, fore-hatch, fore-sail, &c. At the fore, means at the fore royal mast-head.
Fore and after.—A cocked hat. Also a fore-and-aft rigged vessel.
Fore-and-aft schooner.—A schooner without square yards.
Fore-bowline.—A rope to haul out the weather leech of the fore course.
Fore-braces.—The ropes by which the fore-yard of a ship, barque, or brig is swung.
Forecastle.—A compartment where sailors live, in the bows of a ship. Also the deck over the compartment is called the forecastle. In old marine works this is defined as a place fitted for a close fight on the upper deck forward.
Fore-course.—The fore-sail of a ship.
Forefoot.—The foremost part of the keel.
Fore-ganger.—A piece of rope attached to a harpoon.
Fore-guy.—A rope to steady the lower studding-sail swinging boom.
Fore-hold.—The hold between the main-hold and fore-peak.
Foreign-going.—Ships bound to ports outside the home-trade limits.
Fore-lock.—A piece of iron driven into the end of a bolt.
Fore-mast.—The lower mast nearest the bows of a ship.
Fore-mast hand.—A man serving before the mast.
Forenoon watch.—The watch from 8 a.m. till noon.
Fore-peak.—The hold in the bows.
Fore-rake.—The rake of the stem.
Fore-reach.—To shoot ahead in stays. To pass when close-hauled another vessel close-hauled.
Fore-royal.—The sail above the topgallant sail.
Fore-royal mast.—The mast above the fore-topgallant mast.
Fore-runner.—A small piece of red bunting or cloth on a log-line marking the inboard end of the stray. See Stray.
Fore-sail.—The lowest square sail on the fore-mast of a ship, barque, or brig. In a schooner it is a gaff fore-and-aft sail. In a cutter it is a jib-shaped sail.
Fore-scuttle.—A hatch by which the forecastle is entered.
Fore-sheet.—The ropes by which the lee corner of the fore-sail is hauled aft.
Fore-sheet horse.—An iron bar for the sheet of a sloop’s fore-sail to travel on.
Fore-skysail.—A small square sail above the fore-royal.
Fore-skysail mast.—The mast or pole above the fore-royal mast.
Fore-tack.—-The ropes which keep the weather corner of the fore-sail down.
Fore-topgallant mast.—The mast above the fore-topmast.
Fore-topgallant sail.—The sail above the fore-topsail.
Fore-topgallant studding-sail.—A sail set at the fore-topgallant yard-arm, and extended by a boom on the fore-topsail yard.
Fore-topgallant studding-sail boom.—A boom on the fore-topsail yard which extends the foot of the studding-sail of that name.
Fore-topmast.—The mast above the fore-mast.
Fore-topmast stay-sail.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay from the fore-topmast head to the bowsprit.
Fore-topmast studding-sail.—A sail set at the fore-topsail yard-arm, and the foot extended by a boom on the lower yard.
Fore-topmast studding-sail boom.—A boom on the fore-yard for extending the foot of the studding-sail so called.
Fore-topmen.—Hands stationed in the fore-top of a man-of-war, to attend to the sails and rigging above it.
Fore-topsail.—The sail that sets above the fore-sail in square-rigs.
Fore-yard.—The lowest yard on the fore-mast.
Forge.—To shoot ahead.
Forkers.—Dockyard thieves.
Forward there!—The exclamation when the forecastle is hailed.
Fother.—To stop a leak by drawing a sail filled with oakum, rubbish, &c, under a vessel.
Foul.—Anything twisted, anything that will not run is called foul. To foul a vessel is to collide with her and get locked. In olden times foul was used for storm: as “foul stay-sail,” for “storm stay-sail.”
Foul anchor.—When the cable is twisted round the anchor.
Foul hawse.—When the two cables get crossed.
Founder.—A vessel founders when she sinks.
Four-cant.—A four-stranded rope.
Foxes.—Rope-yarns twisted and rubbed with tarred canvas.
Fox-key.—A key with a wedge of metal fitted into the end to secure it in its place.
Frame.—The portion of a ship that consists of her form or shape.
Frap.—To bind by passing ropes round.
Free.—Sailing with the yards braced in.
Freeboard.—The side a vessel shows out of water.
Free-trader.—A class of vessels built to seek employment wherever there was most to be earned. They came into existence after the East Indian trade had been thrown open.
Fresh breeze.—A strong wind.
Freshen.—To ease out chain ; to shift a rope so as to relieve it; to alter the position of ballast. Also the wind freshens when it increases.
Freshen hawse.—Paying out a short length of cable to save the chafe. This was a custom when rope cables were used with service on them in the hawse-pipes.
Fresh grub or provisions.—Unsalted meat, baker’s bread, &c.
Fresh hand at the bellows.—Said as the wind freshens into a gale.
Fresh water.—Water shipped for drinking, but not always drinkable.
Fresh-water sailor.—A yachtsman. A green hand.
Friction rollers.—Rollers fitted in a block that the sheave may revolve easily.
Friction tube.—A means of firing a gun by ignition through friction of the priming in the tube.
Frigate.—A ship with one whole battery deck.
Frigate-built.—A ship with a waist led to by steps from the quarterdeck and forecastle.
Frigatoon.—A ship-sloop of war.
Fruit-clippers.—Small, fast, handsome schooners which formerly traded between Britain and the Mediterranean, in raisins, figs, currants, &c. Circa 1845.
Full and bye.—Sailing close to the wind, but keeping every sail full.
Full-bottomed.—A vessel with a wide hold.
Full feather.—Same as full fig
Full fig.—Full dress. Same as full puff, full feather.
Full for stays!—Keep her full for going about, that she may round handsomely.
Full man.—A coasting term for able seaman.
Full-powered steamer.—A steamer whose engines are powerful enough to do all the work of driving her in all weathers, as distinguished from an auxiliary, whose steam-power is insufficient in strong adverse winds.
Funnel.—The large upright pipe or cylinder on a steamer through which the furnace smoke is expelled.
Funnel-casing.—A. portion of the funnel of a steamer extending from the smoke-box to some distance upwards.
Funnel hood.—A projected portion of or protection to the funnel, raised some feet above the deck.
Funnel stays.—Wire or other stays to support the funnel.
Funny.—A clinker-built narrow boat for sculling.
Fur.—Deposit in neglected marine boilers.
Furnace.—Places inside the shell of a boiler for containing the fire.
Fusible plugs.—Plugs which melt at a certain temperature, and thus enable the steam to escape should the safety-valve fail.
Futtock-plates.—Iron plates with dead eyes to which the topmast rigging is set up and the futtock shrouds hooked.
Futtocks.—Pieces of timber connected with the floor in the bottom of a ship.
Futtock shrouds.—Iron shrouds leading through the sides of a top and connecting the topmast rigging with the lower mast.
Futtock staff— A piece of wood or iron crossing the upper part of the shrouds, to secure the catharpen less to.
Gab.—A notch for the pin of the gab-lever on the eccentric rod of a marine steam-engine.
Gabarre.—A French store-ship.
Gabert.—A Scotch barge or lump.
Gad-yang.—A Chinese coaster.
Gaff.—An instrument like a boat-hook used in the blubber-room of whalers. Also a spar for setting a fore-and-aft sail on.
Gaff-topsail.—A fore-and-aft sail set over the lower sails of a schooner, the spanker of a barque, &c.
Gaff-topsail downhaul.—A rope attached to the after-clew of the sail for taking it in.
Gaff-topsail outhaul.—A rope hitched to the clew of the sail and rove through a sheave at the gaff end for hauling the sail out.
Gage.—The position of a vessel as to another, weather-gage, lee gage, being to windward of her or to leeward.
Gain.—To gain the wind is to weather a vessel.
Gallees.—A vessel of the sixteenth century, described as long, low, and sharp-built, propelled by oars and sails, and used as a fighting-ship.
Galleries.—Platforms over the stern of ships, with access from the stern windows. Long since disused.
Galley.—A ship’s kitchen, formerly called caboose in merchantmen. Also a six or eight oared boat. Also a man-of-war’s boat used by the captain.
Galley-built.—A vessel was so called when her waist was only one or two steps in descent from the quarter-deck and forecastle. See Frigate-built.
Galley-growlers.—Loafing, mutinous grumblers.
Galley-punt.—An open sailing-boat used by pilots in the Channel off the Forelands.
Gallied.—Frightened. A whaling term.
Galliot.—A Dutch vessel with round sides, two-masted, the foremast square-rigged.
Gallows-bitts.—Cross pieces of timber on which spare booms and spars are stowed.
Game-ship.—Formerly a ship whose captain and mates could be corrupted by bribes to allow the cargo to be stolen.
Gamming.—A whaleman’s term for the visits paid by crews to one another at sea.
Gammoning.— Lashings to secure the bowsprit to the cutwater.
Gammon-knee.—A knee-timber bolted to the stem under the bowsprit.
Gang.—A number of a crew told off for a particular job.
Gangboard.—A platform on a man-of-war that connected the quarter-deck with the forecastle.
Gang-cask.—A 32-gallon cask. A cask for bringing water on board in boats.
Ganger.—Lengths of chain cable shackled to the sheet anchor.
Gangway.—A part of the vessel’s side, nearly amidships, by which people enter and leave a ship.
Gangway ladder.—A ladder over the side by which a ship is entered.
Gantline.—A girtline.
Garlands.—Fastenings formed of small stuff, used in taking in and out a mast.
Garnet.—A purchase for hoisting cargo.
Garters.—The irons in which a man’s legs are confined.
Gaskets.—Pieces of rope or sennit affixed to a yard, to pass round a sail to secure it when rolled up.
Gas-pipes.—The name given to those long, narrow iron steamers, whose length is nine or ten times the breadth of the beam. Formerly the length of ships rarely exceeded four-and-a-half or five times the beam.
Gather.—To haul in; as, gather in the slack, gather aft that sheet.
Gather way.—Said of a ship when she begins to move.
Gauntlet.—A rope to which hammocks are attached to dry after being scrubbed.
General average.—When a portion of a cargo is sacrificed, the remainder that is saved becomes subject to general average.
Geordie.—Nickname for a north-country collier.
Ghaut serang.—A shipping agent or crimp in the East Indies.
Gib.—A fixed iron wedge for tightening the straps and brasses of the different bearings in a marine engine.
Gift-rope.—A fast for a boat at the guess-warp boom.
Gig.—A small boat that used to hang by stern-davits, and called the captain’s gig, because used in harbor by the master of the ship.
Gilguy.—A term applied by seamen to anything they forget the name of.
Gimbal.—A ring that keeps the compass horizontal by moving freely on an axis within which it swings at right angles.
Gimblet.—To turn an anchor on its stock.
Gin.—An iron block, the sheave working in a cross.
Ginger-bread quarters.—Living in luxury—at least from a sailor’s point of view.
Girtline.—A whip purchase used for hoisting up rigging.
Give way!—An order to men who are rowing to pull with more force.
Gland.—A collar in a marine engine for encircling the piston and air-pump rod, &c., used for holding oil for lubricating and for compressing the packing of the stuffing-box it is screwed to.
Glass.—A telescope. Also the sand-glass used in heaving the reel log.
Glass water-gauge.—A glass tube attached to the marine boiler by brass fittings, and furnished with cocks to show the height of the water in the boiler.
Glim.—A light.
Glip.—The oily wake a sperm-whale, when alarmed, leaves behind it.
Glut.—A piece of canvas with an eyelet-hole sewed in a sail near the head.
Go below.—To leave the deck. A term for dismissing the watch below after all hands have been on deck.
Go below the watch.—An order intimating that the division of the crew whose turn it is to be below are no longer wanted on deck.
Gob-line.—A rope leading from the martingale.
Going about.—The act of tacking.
Going free.—Sailing with the wind on or abaft the beam.
Going large.—Sailing with the wind on the quarter.
Gone.—Loosened. “All gone !” means the rope is let go.
Good crop.—Formerly said of a deck that was much arched.
Goose-neck.—An iron outrigger to support a boom.
Goose-wing.—A fore-and-aft vessel running with the gaff fore-sail guyed out on one side and the main-sail on the other.
Goose-winged.—When the weather clew of a course is down and the lee clew and buntlines hauled up.
Gores.—The angles of the cloths which widen or deepen a sail.
Goring-cloths.—Pieces of canvas to widen a sail.
Grab.—An Indian coaster.
Grade.—A degree of rank.
Grafting.—The ornamentation of a rope’s end by making nettles of the strands.
Grain.—To be in the grain of another ship was an old-fashioned way of explaining that you were sailing ahead of her lying the same course.
Grain cargoes.—Any kind of grain: corn, rice, paddy, pulse, seeds, nuts, or nut kernels.
Granny’s bend.—A hitch that slips.
Grape.—Cast-iron shot packed in canisters.
Grappling-irons.—Irons used in fighting to hold ships together.
Grasp.—The handle of an oar.
Grass-comber.—A countryman shipped as a sailor.
Gratings.—A species of thick wooden lattice to cover hatches, or for decoration.
Grave.—To clean.
Graving-dock.—A dock which admits of a vessel being placed in it and grounded.
Great circle sailing.—The sailing by which the direct course to a place is to be shaped.
Greave.—To clean a ship’s bottom by burning.
Green sea.—A mass of water rolling over a ship without breaking.
Grenade.—An explosive ignited by a fuse and thrown by the hand.
Gripe.—A portion of a wooden ship’s forefoot. To gripe is for a ship to show a tendency to come up into the wind.
Gripes.—Supports for securing a quarter-boat as she hangs at the davits.
Grog.—Understood by sailors to mean rum drunk neat or with water.
Grog-blossom.—A nose reddened by drink. Also a pimple due to drink.
Groggy.—Half drunk.
Grommet.—A ring of rope.
Gross tonnage.—The aggregate cubic space in a ship below her uppermost deck, and in permanent closed-in spaces on her uppermost deck, which are used for cargo, stores, accommodation of passengers and crew, &c.
Ground-rope.—A rope on the under part of a trawl that drags along the bottom.
Ground-tackle.—A term that includes the anchoring apparatus.
Ground-tier.—The lowest range of casks in the hold.
Ground-way.—The lower piece of the tiers of blocks on which the keel of a ship is laid.
Grow.—A cable grows according as the ship stretches it from the anchor on one or the other bow.
Growl.—To complain, to grumble.
Guarantee engineer.—The name given to an engineer who is appointed by the engine builder, but paid by the owner of the steamer. The system is most injurious to discipline, as a “guarantee engineer” seldom considers himself under any obligation to obey or even to take notice of the captain’s orders.
Gudgeons.—Braces or eyes fixed to the stern-post, to receive the pintles of a rudder.
Guess-warp.—A rope to secure a boat to a swinging boom.
Guffy.—A soldier.
Guineaman.—A slaver.
Gulletting of rudder.—Spaces allowed between the pintles and the rudder where there are scores or indents to permit of the shipping and unshipping of the rudder.
Gun-fire.—The morning or evening guns.
Gun-gear.—Left-handed rope used for securing cannons on board ship.
Gunner.—A warrant officer who has charge of the ammunition, &c., in a ship of war. In the seventeenth century the post of gunner was very highly valued. He wore his sword on shore, kept company with the commissioned officers, was in receipt of whole pay, though he never went out of harbor, and if in action the commanding officers of a ship fell, the gunner took command.
Gunner’s daughter.—The gun to which boys were lashed for punishment.
Gunner’s mate.—A gunner’s assistant.
Gun-room.—The compartment in a ship of war occupied by the junior officers.
Guns.—An old expression signifying violent blasts of wind. “The guns were at times so violent that the sea appeared like precipices under their stern.” Hence the expression ” Blowing great guns.”
Gun-tackle purchase.—A tackle consisting of two single blocks, each fitted with a hook.
Gunwale.—The place where a ship’s upper deck touches the sides. Also the upper rail of a boat or vessel. Chiefly applied to boats.
Gurnet.—A pendant and tackle used for hoisting guns.
Gurnet-pendant.—A rope used in hoisting the breech of a gun.
Gurry.—A dark glutinous substance found on the back of the Greenland or right whale.
Gutted.—A gutted ship is a vessel whose inside is cleaned out of all fittings, &c., by the sea or by fire.
Guys.—Ropes acting as side supports of a boom.
Gyb.—The old spelling of the word “jib.” Hence, no doubt, the term gybing or jibing, formerly spelt and pronounced jibbing.
Gyver.—An old name for a double block.
Hail.—To call to another, to “sing out.”
Half-breadth plan.—A drawing descriptive of half of the longest and widest level section in a ship.
Half-crown.—The ends of a rope crossed, and seized at the crossing to form an eye.
Half-gunshot.—Said of a ship passing within half the distance that can be covered by the shot of her enemy.
Half-hitch.—The end of a rope taken round the standing part and passed through the bight.
Half-laughs and purser’s grins.—Sneers. Half-and-half meanings.
Half-marrows.—Inferior seamen.
Half-mast.—The situation of a flag lowered in respect.
Half-pike.—A small pike formerly used in boarding a ship.
Half-ports.—Shutters for the upper part of a gun-port.
Half seas over.—Half drunk.
Half-topsail.—A sail that sets with a gaff above the square-sail of a cutter.
Halyards.—Ropes to hoist yards, sails, flags, &c.
Hammock.—A piece of canvas fitted with a number of small ropes at each end, and slung up so as to form a bed.
Hammock-berthing.—The disposition in a man-of-war of the hammocks when stowed, as, for instance, the forecastle men forward, fore-topmen, main-topmen, &c., aft, quartermasters in the tiers.
Hammock-cloth.—Protection for the hammocks against wet when stowed in the nettings.
Hammock-nettings.—Stout nettings on deck in which the hammocks are stowed, and which in an action form a defense against musketry, &c.
Hand.—To furl, to stow sails. Also a sailor, one of a crew.
Hand-grommets.—Loops of rope worked round the jackstay of royal and topgallant yards for men to hold on by.
Handing-rooms.—Rooms in a man-of-war through which gunpowder is conveyed in fearnought shoots, that it may not pass straight on deck from the magazine.
Handle.—To handle a ship is to sail and maneuver her.
Hand-lead.—A lead of from 7 lbs. to 14 lbs. in weight.
Hand-line.—A lead-line.
Hand-masts.—Pieces of wood used in the construction of large sheers.
Hand over hand.—Dragging on a rope quickly with alternate hands.
Hand-pump.—A pump for getting water, beer, &c., out of casks.
Handsomely!—A cry to signify smartly, but carefully.
Handsomely over the bricks!—An exclamation signifying “go cautiously, mind how you walk.”
Hand-spike.—A lever of wood used in heaving round a windlass.
Handy Billy.—A name for the watch-tackle.
Handy ship.—A ship that is easy to work, that steers well, whose running-gear travels easily, &c.
Hanging-blocks.—Blocks through which the topsail-ties reeve.
Hanks.—Rings by which a fore-and-aft sail slides up and down the stay.
Harbor-bunt.—The bunt of a sail neatly stowed and well triced up.
Harbor-dues.—The charges for using a harbor.
Harbor-gaskets.—Short gaskets for giving a furled sail a handsome look.
Harbor-master.—An official who is responsible for the management of a harbor, the berthing of vessels in it, &c.
Harbor-work.—Remarks entered in a log when the ship is in port.
Hard a lee.—When the rudder is brought over to windward as far as it will go.
Hard a port.—When the rudder is brought over to starboard as far as it will go.
Hard a starboard.—The contrary of hard a port.
Hard a weather.—The contrary of hard a lee.
Hard case.—A severe, brutal mate or officer.
Hard gale.—A fierce gale.
Hard up.—When the rudder is brought over to leeward as far as it will go.
Harmattan.—A periodical wind encountered in the Gulf of Guinea, blowing from the north-east.
Harness cask.—A kind of cask on deck, in which the salt meat is kept for the immediate use of the men.
Harpins.—In wooden ships harpins are the ribbands formed of oak or elm plank at the extremities of the vessel. In iron ships they are made of angle-irons furnished with holes for securing the frames.
Harpoon.—A barbed iron instrument used in whaling, &c. A live harpoon is a harpoon in use.
Hatch.—An opening in the deck for admission into the interior of the ship.
Hatch-boat.—A small vessel whose deck consists almost wholly of hatches.
Hat-money.—Payment to a shipmaster for the care of goods.
Haul.—To pull.
Haul-bowline.—A seaman.
Haul out.—To warp out: as haul out of dock.
Haul out to leeward!—A cry in reefing, lo denote that the weather-earing is passed.
Haul the wind.—To turn a ship so as to bring the wind forward.
Hawk’s bill.—A small turtle with a mouth like a hawk’s bill.
Hawse-bags.—Bags for plugging the hawse-pipes.
Hawse-holes.—Holes in the bows through which the cables pass.
Hawse-pipe.—Iron piping in the hawse-holes to save the wood from chafing. “Hawse-pipe sailor.”—A man before the mast. One who starts in the profession from the forecastle.
Hawse-plugs.—Plugs for the hawse-pipes when the cables are unshackled and stowed away, to prevent the water from washing through them.
Hawse-timbers.—The timbers next the knightheads for the reception of the hawse-holes.
Hawser.—A large rope used for towing, &c.
Hawser-laid.—When the strands are laid from left to right.
Haze.—To punish with extra or unnecessary work.
Head.—The upper end of a spar. The bows of a ship. The top of a sail.
Head-clew.—The part of a hammock where the occupant’s head rests.
Head-earing.—A rope for bending the upper corner of a square sail to the yard.
Head-earing strop.—A strop at a yard-arm for bending the sail to.
Head-ledges.—Transverse hatch-coamings.
Head-pump.—A pump in the bows, used for washing down the decks.
Head-sails.—The jibs, fore-topmast stay-sail, &c.
Head-sea.—Waves running against a ship’s course.
Head to wind.—Lying with the bows facing the wind.
Headway.—A vessel’s direct passage through the water.
Head-wind.—Wind that prevents a ship heading her course. Wind directly in the path of a vessel.
Hearty.—My hearty, a stage term applied to a sailor.
Heart-yarns.—The centre yarns of a strand.
Heave and paul!—An exclamation to encourage the men at a capstan or windlass.
Heave and raise the dead!—Said in heaving up the anchor.
Heaver.—A short wooden bar used as a purchase.
Heave the lead.—An order to sound with the hand-lead.
Heave the log.—An order to measure the vessel’s speed with the log-line and glass.
Heaving down.—Heeling a ship by dragging her down with tackles affixed to the mast-heads.
Heavy metal.—Large guns.
Heck-boat.—A one-masted clinker-built boat.
Heel.—The lower end of a spar. To heel is to lie over, as in a breeze.
Heel-brace.—An iron support at the bottom of a rudder.
Heel-chain.—A chain from the bowsprit cap round the heel of the jib boom.
Heeling.—The lower end of a mast where the fid-hole is.
Heeling error.—An error in the compass of an iron ship due to her heeling to starboard or port. With her head to the northward- on the starboard tack easterly deviation is increased, on the port tack westerly deviation is increased. Heading south, westerly deviation is increased on the starboard tack, and easterly deviation on the port tack.
Heel-lashing.—A rope to secure the inboard end of a boom.
Heel-rope.—A rope for securing the inner end of a studding-sail boom to the yard.
Heels.—She has good heels, said of a swift ship.
Hell afloat.—A ship officered by brutal men.
Helm.—A term for all the steering arrangements of a ship.
Helm-port.—The aperture in the counter in which the rudder-head works.
Helm-port transom.—A timber to strengthen the helm-port.
Helm’s a lee!—The cry in tacking to intimate that the helm is down, and that the head- sails are to be flowed.
Hen-frigate.—A ship was so called when the captain’s wife influenced the routine, &c.
Hermaphrodite brig.—A two-masted vessel, brig-rigged forward, and fore-and-aft rigged aft.
Hide-rope.—Made from hide.
High and dry.—Out of water.
High latitudes.— Parallels towards the poles.
High pressure.—A method of disposing of used-up steam by letting it out by an escape valve.
Hitch.—To knot, to fasten. A hitch is a manner of making a rope fast. There are many different kinds, such as a timber-hitch, a rolling hitch, a Blackwall hitch, a marlin-spike hitch, &c. Also to hitch up the breeches, to pull them up.
Hitcher.—A boat-hook.
Ho!—A sailor’s cry for stop.
Hobbler.—A long-shore man of all work.
Hog.—A kind of scrubbing-brush.
Hog-back.—A frame of timbers joined together in the shape of a bow to compensate by strength for the want of depth of side.
Hogged.—A vessel is hogged when the middle part of her bottom is so strained as to curve upwards.
Hold.—The internal lower part of the hull of a ship.
Holding on to the slack.—Idling.
Holding water.—Checking a boat’s way by keeping the blades of the oars stationary in the water.
Holding on with his eyelids.—Said of a man aloft with nothing much to lay hold of.
Holidays.—Places left untarred on shrouds, backstays, &c., during the operation of tarring them.
Hollow sea.—Yawning waters after a gale.
Holophone.—A device for concentrating and directing the waves of sound for fog-signals.
Holy-stone —A stone used for cleaning a ship’s decks.
Home.—To sheet home, to drag the corners of the sails to the yard-arms. To come home, said of the anchor when, on the windlass being manned, it comes to the ship instead of the ship going to it.
Home-trade passenger-ship.—Any ship carrying passengers trading to English ports, and within the limits included between the River Elbe and Brest.
Homeward-bounder.—A ship sailing to the country she belongs to.
Housing.—All that part of the mast that extends from the heel to where it becomes visible on deck.
Housing a mast.—To snug a mast by lowering it without removing the rigging.
Hood.—A covering for a hatch, a binnacle, &c.
Hood-ends.—Ends of the planks which fit into the stem and stern posts.
Hook and butt.—The ends of timbers overlaying one another.
Hook-bolts.—Fitted to fasten lower deck ports.
Hooker.—A little smack that fishes with lines and hooks. Also a term applied by sailors to their vessels.
Hook-pot.—A kind of can with a hook for hanging to the edge of a bunk, &c., in which sailors bring their tea from the galley.
Hoppers.—A species of barge, usually built of iron and sometimes propelled by steam, used for carrying the mud dredged out of harbors, &c., to sea.
Horizon.—The sea-line that bounds the view of the spectator on the ocean.
Horns.—Outer ends of the cross-trees.
Horse.—A foot-rope. A breast-rope for a leadsman. An iron bar for a sheet to slide upon. A jack-stay.
Horse-latitudes.—A space north of the trade-winds in the Atlantic, where the winds are baffling.
Horse-marine.—A lubber.
Horse-power.—33,000 lbs., an expression indicative of the capacity of a steam-engine.
Horses.—The old term for foot-ropes.
Horse-shoe.—A piece of rope spliced into each leg of a pair of shrouds.
Hose.—A length of tubing for washing down the decks and for other purposes.
Hot-coppers.—The parched throat after a night’s debauch.
Hot-press.—The impressing of seamen without regard to their protections.
Hot-well.—A tank in a marine engine to receive the water pumped from the condenser by the air-pump.
Hounding.—All that part of the mast that extends from the deck to where the rigging is placed.
Hounds.—The upper part of the cheeks of a mast.
House-flag.—A flag denoting the firm to which the ship belongs.
Hoveller.—A man who furnishes chains, anchors, &c., to vessels which have lost theirs.
Hove short!—The cry to denote that the cable is up and down.
Hove-to.—The situation of a ship when her way is arrested by backing some of the sails and leaving the others full. A ship is sometimes hove-to in a storm under bare poles, that is, by bracing one set of yards forward and the others aft. Steamers are commonly hove-to head to sea, their engines slowly revolving. There is now a fashion coming in of heaving long steamers to stern on to the sea.
Huddock.—A cabin.
Hug.—To keep close to the wind in sailing.
Hulk.—A condemned hull, though it may be used.
Hull.—The fabric of a ship without her masts.
Hull-down.—Said of a ship when her hull is hidden behind the sea.
Hulled.—A vessel is said to be hulled when a ball strikes or lodges in her side.
Hunk.—To live with, to share with.
Hurrah’s nest.—”A hurrah’s nest—everything at top and nothing at bottom,” signifying the utmost confusion, that nothing wanted is to be found.
Hurricane-house.—A square of canvas in the weather rigging, to protect the officer of the watch when the ship is hove-to in a bitter gale.
Hutch-hooks.—Small cleats used in ship-building.
Hygrometer.—An instrument for showing the degree of moisture or dampness in the air.
Ice-bound.—The situation of a vessel prevented from proceeding on her voyage by being surrounded with ice.
Ice-floe.—Masses of ice, such as pack, stream, or drift ice, broken from the solid surface by the swell of the ocean and sent adrift.
“I didn’t come through the cabin-windows”—Meaning that the speaker learnt his profession in the forecastle.
“I’d weather him out, if he was the devil himself!’—Meaning that the speaker will stick to the ship and draw his wages, let the captain treat him as ill as he chooses.
Immersion.—The eclipse or disappearance of a satellite in the shadow of the planet.
Imp.—A length of twisted hair in a fishing-line.
Impress—To force into the naval service of the State.
In.—”In” means “take in,” as “in main royal,” “in flying-jib.”
In-and-out bolts.—Bolts driven into the hanging and lodging knees through the sides.
In-and-out haulers.—The ropes by which a standing gaff-sail is set or taken in.
Index-error.—Deviation from the coincidence of the reflected and direct images of a heavenly body viewed through a sextant.
Indiaman.—Formerly an East India Company’s ship ; now any large vessel that trades to the East Indies.
Indicator.—An instrument for measuring the pressure of steam in the cylinder.
Indicator-card.—A card divided into parts, upon which a pencil fixed at the top of the piston-rod marks a diagram showing the relation of the power developed to the consumption of fuel.
In draught.—A current running inwards or shorevvards from the sea.
In irons.—A ship is in irons when she is so caught by the wind that in working she will not cast one way or the other.
Injection pipe.—In a marine engine a pipe attached to the condenser for conducting injection water for condensing steam in the cylinder.
Inner and outer turns.—Method of passing the earings in reefing.
Inner jib.—A fore-and-aft sail setting on a stay from the fore-topmast head to the jib boom.
In-rigger.—A boat that has her rowlocks on the gunwale.
In shore.—Close to the land.
Inter-costal kelsons.—Strong additional fore and aft supports placed outside the angle-irons or ribs of a ship.
Internal safety-valve.—A boiler valve for the introduction of air when the inside pressure grows feeble.
International code.—A code of signals representing a uniform system of signaling at sea, and adopted by England, France, America, Denmark, Holland, Sweden and Norway, Russia, Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and Belgium.
Invoice.—A document describing goods shipped, together with charges, &c.
Inward charges.—The expenses incurred in entering a port.
Inward desertion.—Desertion of seamen from ships newly arrived in British ports.
Irishman’s hurricane.—”An Irishman’s hurricane—right up and down,” a dead calm. ,
Irishman’s reef.—The head of a sail tied up.
Irish pennants.—Fag-ends of rope, rope-yarns, &c, flying about.
Irish splice.—Turns hove in the lay of a ratlin until shortened in to the required length.
Iron horse.—An iron rod covered with painted canvas affixed to the head boards of a ship.
Issue-room.—A room in a man-of-war where provisions for immediate use are issued.
“It’s a good dog nowadays that 11 come when he’s called; let alone coming before it.” A sailor’s excuse for not showing himself until summoned.
“I’ve been through the mill, ground and bolted.”—Signifying that the speaker has had plenty of experience.
Ivory’s rule.—A method of solving the problem, “Latitude by double altitudes” of the same body, but applicable only to such bodies as do not change their declination in the interval.
Jabble.—”A jabble of a sea,” a confused, nasty sea.
Jack.—A flag composed of the union, i.e. St. George’s and St. Andrew’s cross. Also the name by which sailors are spoken of generally.
Jack Adams.—A fool.
Jackass-barque.—A vessel ship-rigged on the fore-mast, and fore and aft rigged on the main-mast.
Jack-block.—A block used in sending topgallant masts up and down.
Jack-boots.—Fishermen’s sea-boots.
Jack cross trees.—Iron crosstrees to support royal masts—out of date.
Jacket-cocks.—Cocks attached to cylinder jackets to free them from condensed water.
Jackets.—Coverings of cylinders of steam-engines.
Jacketting.—A rope’s-ending.
Jack in the dust.—Sailor’s name for the steward’s mate.
Jack-knife.—A knife slung by a lanyard and worn by sailors. A knife that closes, in contradistinction to a sheath-knife.
Jack-screw.—An appliance for stowing cotton, bales of wool, &c.
Jackson.—To stop tackles from travelling by jamming the blocks.
Jack-staff.—A staff for a flag on the bowsprit.
Jack-stay.—A bar of iron along the top of a yard to bend the sail to.
Jacob’s ladder.—Ropes fitted with wooden rungs from the crosstrees to the topgallant mast head.
Jam.—A ship is jammed in the wind when she is squeezed close up into it so as to lay half her upper canvas aback. A rope is jammed when it will not haul over a sheave.
Jambs.—Cabin doorposts, &c.
Jaw.—The hollowed end of a gaff. “Give us none of your jaw,” no impudence.
Jawing-tackle.—Capacity of talking.
Jawing-lacks.—A speaker is said to have his jawing-tacks aboard when he talks rapidly and at length.
Jaw-rope.—A rope over the jaw of a gaff, to keep it from leaving the mast.
Jaws.—A semicircle at the end of a boom or gaff, to keep it to the mast.
Jeer-block.—A block used in sending a lower yard up or down.
Jeer-capstan.—Formerly the name of a capstan between the fore and main-masts.
Jeers.—Jeers were an assemblage of tackles which, in the days when the lower yards came on deck, were used to hoist and lower them.
Jemmy Ducks.—In a man-of-war the ship’s poulterer.
Jemmy-Jessamy.—Dandified. “A jemmy-jessamy sort of fellow,” one who gives himself fine airs.
Jersey.—A woolen shirt or overall.
Jet-propeller.—A form of marine propulsion for forcing a vessel along by the ejection of columns of water.
Jetsam.—Goods thrown overboard for preservation of a ship in danger.
Jettison.—The throwing over of goods from a ship for her preservation in a time of danger.
Jewel-block.—A block at the topsail and topgallant yard-arms for the studding-sail halyards to reeve through.
Jib.—A fore-and-aft sail. In large ships there are generally three jibs: the outer and inner jibs, which set on stays on the jib boom; and the outermost jib, called the flying-jib, that sets on a stay on the flying-jib boom.
Jibber the ribber.—A wrecker’s trick of luring a ship to destruction by showing a false light.
Jib boom.—A spar supported by the bowsprit and extending beyond it.
Jib guys.—Ropes which support the jib boom sideways.
Jib-header.—The name for a gaff-topsail, shaped like a jib, used in yachts.
Jibing.—When the wind gets on the lee side of a fore-and-aft sail, and blows it over.
Jib of jibs.—A jib that corresponds with a “star-gazer,” being indeed an impossible jib.
Jib-topsail.—A small jib that is set above the jib of a yacht.
Jib-traveler.—A ring that travels on the jib boom for the tack of the jib.
Jigger.—The watch-tackle, or Handy Billy. Also a small pump formerly used for feloniously abstracting liquor from casks.
Jiggered.—Jiggered up, I’m used up. “Well, I’m jiggered” seems to be an expression of astonishment.
Jigger-mast.—The lower and last square-rigged mast on a four masted vessel.
Jigger-topgallant mast and royal mast.—The masts above the jigger-topmast.
Jigger-topgallant sail and royal.—The sails above the jigger-topsail.
Jigger-topmast.—The mast above the jigger lower mast.
Jigger-topsail.—The sail bent to the jigger-topsail yard.
Jigg up!—A cry raised when a jigger-tackle is ready for hauling upon.
Jimmy Green.—A sail that sets on a jib-boom guy.
Job.—A task; work to be done.
Jobation.—A lecture.
Johnny Haultaut.—Merchant-sailor’s name for a man-of-war’s-man.
Johnny Raw.—A greenhorn.
Jolly.—A marine.
Jolly-boat—A ship’s boat, formerly so called.
Jolly-jumpers.—Light sails set above sky-scrapers, &c.
Jumper.—A frock made of duck or fine canvas.
Jumper-braces.—Ropes for guying down the sprit-sail gaffs to an angle with the horizon when at sea.
Jumping-—A practice on board colliers discharging. It is performed by four men holding whip-lines attached to a rope rove through a block. At the end of the rope is a basket which when filled the men hoist up by jumping backwards off a kind of platform.
Jump-jointed.—Iron plates laid flush or smooth upon a ship’s side.
Junk.—Condemned rope unlaid; also salt beef.
Jury-mast.—A temporary mast to replace one that has been lost.
Jury-rudder.—A temporary contrivance for steering a ship when her rudder is lost.
Kat.—A timber vessel.
Kanakas.—Natives of the South Sea Islands.
Keckling.—Rope wound round the long ends left in splicing the eye in a rope cable, the ends having been wormed into the lays of the cable.
Kedge.—A small anchor.
Kedging.—Using the kedge anchor to warp the ship by.
Keel.—The lowest and principal timber of a wooden vessel. In iron ships there are several kinds of keel, such as flat-plate keel, bar keel, bilge keel, &c. Also the name of a species of barge or lighter on the rivers Tyne and Wear. A keel of coals is twenty-one tons, five cwts.
Keeleg.—”Up keeleg” means up anchor.
Keel-haul.—An ancient punishment that consisted in dragging a man under a vessel’s bottom.
Keelman.—One who works a Newcastle keel.
Keelson.—An internal keel lying fore and aft upon the main keel.
Keel-stroke.—The curvature of the keel forward.
Keep away!—To put the helm up in a squall, so as to run before it. Keep off.—To keep away.
Keep your luff!—An order to the helmsman to keep the ship close to the wind.
Keep the compass afloat.—Twitching a compass-bowl to remedy the sluggishness of the card.
Keep your weather eye lifting!—Keep a bright look-out.
Kenning-glass.—Old name for a telescope.
Kentledge.—Pieces of iron for ballast.
Ketch.—A vessel rigged with a little gaff mizzen, like a yawl.
Kettle-bottom.—A flat-floored ship.
Kettle-net.—A mackerel net.
Kevel.—A strong piece of wood used as a cleat for a heavy strain.
Kevel-heads.—Tops of timbers above the deck, used for belaying ropes to.
Key.—A long wharf.
Key or cay.—A Bermudan or West Indian coral shoal.
Key model.—The model of a proposed ship.
Kick the bucket.—To die.
Kid.—A kind of tub in which the crew’s dinner is placed and taken into the forecastle.
Kid or cod.—To joke, to deceive by joking misrepresentations.
Kingston’s valves.—Conical valves to close the apertures in a ship’s side in case of accident to blow-off cocks, &c.
Kink.—A twist in a rope.
Kippering.—A mode of curing fish.
Kit.—A sailor’s wardrobe.
Knees.—Projections on each side the hounds, for the support of the forepart of the trestle-trees.
Knight-heads.—Timbers next to the stem, the ends of them come up through the deck and form a support for the bowsprit.
Knock off!—Desist, stop; also to give up, as “To knock off the sea.”
Knock-toe.—A galley punt (which see).
Knot.—A sea-mile of 2027 yards.
Knots.—The ends of ropes variously twisted, such as single wall, single wall crowned, double wall, Matthew Walker, diamond knot, stopper knot, shroud knot, Turk’s head, &c.
Knuckle.—An angle in a timber.
L’s—The three L’s are lead, latitude, and look-out. The look-out probably includes the fourth L, which should be lights.
Labor.—A vessel labors when she strains, wallows, rolls heavily.
Lacing.—Line with which a jib or stay-sail is bent to a stay.
Lady’s hole.—Formerly in men-of-war a place where the gunner’s small stores were kept. The man appointed to look after those stores was called a “lady.”
Lady’s ladder.—Said when the ratlins on shrouds are placed too close to one another.
Lagan.—Goods sunk in the sea.
Laid up.—The situation of a vessel when dismantled and not in use.
Lairs.—Dock accommodation for cattle.
Lambusting.—A rope’s-ending.
Land-blink.—A brightness of the atmosphere seen on approaching snow-covered land.
Land-breeze.—An off-shore wind.
Land-fall.—Making land when at sea.
Land ho!—The exclamation when land is first sighted.
Landing.—The edge of a plate, in an iron ship, where it overlaps another.
Land-mark.—A shore sign, such as a windmill or church spire, to direct a navigator in steering his ship.
Land-sharks.— Boarding-house keepers, runners, crimps, and all such people as prey upon sailors.
Landsmen.—The old rating of boys or ordinary seamen on their first voyage.
Land-tacks.—”Take to his land-tacks,” said of a sailor when he goes ashore for a frisk.
Lanyard.—A piece of line to sling or hold anything by. A small rope used to set up rigging with.
Lap.—A term used when the slide valve of a marine engine is at its middle position.
Lap of valve.—The projection of a portion of the slide valve to regulate the admission of steam into the cylinder of an engine.
Larboard.—The term formerly used for the port or left-hand side of a ship.
Larbowlines.—The name formerly given to the port watch.
Lash.—To secure with a line or rope.
Lashing-eye.—A loop for a lashing to reeve through.
Latchings.—The eyes in the head-rope of a bonnet for lacing it. (See Bonnet.)
Lateen.—A triangular sail.
Latitude.—The latitude of a place is its distance from the equator, measured by an arch of meridian.
Latitude in.—The latitude at which a ship arrives.
Latitude left.—The latitude from which a ship has departed.
Launch.—A ship’s boat. To launch is to liberate a vessel into the sea.
Launch-carronade.—A twelve pound gun formerly carried in a man-of-war’s launch.
Launch ho!—Signifying ” no higher.”
Launching-ways.—Beds of timber on which a vessel slides in a cradle when launched.
Lay.—To come or go.
Lay down—lay aft—lay forward—lay aloft. The lay of a rope is the direction in which the strands are twisted.
Lay.—Whalemen are paid “by the lay,” i.e. they have a share in the proceeds of the catches.
Lay along.—”She lay very much along,” an old-fashioned phrase signifying that the ship was pressed heavily over on to her broadside by the force of the wind.
Lay-days.—Days specified in a charter-party for loading and discharging.
Lay in!—An order to men to come off a yard.
Laying top.—A piece of wood used in rope-making.
Lay out!—An order to men to make their way along a yard towards the ends. Also, to lay out a warp is to carry it in a boat to a distance from the ship to which one end is attached.
Lazarette.—A space in the after end of a ship in which provisions, stores, &c., are kept.
Lead.—A term used when the piston of a marine engine is at the end of the stroke.
Lead.—The lead of a rope is the direction it takes, rove or otherwise, said only of running-gear.
Leading-block.—A block for directing a tackle.
Leading column.—The headmost column of the ships of a fleet.
Leading part.—The part of a tackle that is pulled when the tackle wants overhauling.
Lead line.—A line attached to a leaden weight and used for ascertaining the depth of water. The hand-line is from twenty to twenty-five fathoms long; the deep-sea lead-line from 100 to 200 fathoms.
Leak.—A hole, an aperture, a rift in a ship that allows the water to penetrate into her.
Leakage.—Loss of liquid cargo by the leaking of it.
Leave.—Permission to be absent.
Leave-breaking.—Not being back within the time required.
Ledges.—Pieces of timber in the framing of the deck let into the carlings for supports.
Lee-board.—A large board at the side of a flat-bottomed vessel to prevent her driving to leeward when on a wind.
Leech.—Side of a sail.
Leech-line.—A rope to haul up the leech of a sail to the yard.
Leech-rope.—That part of the bolt-rope to which the side of a sail is attached.
Lee fang.—A rope for hauling in a fore-and-aft sail, rove through a cringle.
Leefange.—An iron bar on which the sheets of a fore-and-aft sail travel.
Lee side.—The side opposite that against which the wind blows.
Lee-tide.—A tide that sets the ship to leeward.
Leeward.—Towards the lee side, on the lee side.
Leeward ebb.—When the wind and tide are both setting out.
Leeward flood.—When the wind and tide are both setting in.
Leewardly— Said of a vessel that drifts with the wind.
Lee way.—The drift a ship makes when sailing near the wind.
Lee wheel.—The lee side of the helm, applied to the helmsman who holds the lee spokes.
Leg.—A board or run on a single tack.
Legs.—She has legs, said of a fast ship.
Lend a hand!—A call for help in hauling, &c.
Length between perpendiculars.—The length of a vessel, measured on her main deck, from the fore side of stem to the after side of sternpost.
Let draw!—The order to let the jibs go over to leeward in tacking.
Let fall!—The order to drop a sail when the gaskets are cast adrift.
Let fly!—An order to let go a rope quickly.
Let go and haul!—An order in tacking to swing the fore-yards and brace them up.
Letter of marquee.—A privately-owned vessel furnished with a commission empowering her to make reprisals on enemy’s ships.
Levanter.—A strong Mediterranean wind.
Levelling-blocks.—Massive plates used in iron shipbuilding for bending the frames.
Liberty.—Leave of absence.
Liberty-men.—Those of a crew who have a holiday ashore.
Liberty-pole.—The fore-mast.
Lieutenant.—A commissioned officer next in rank under a commander.
Life-line.—Any line stretched along to prevent men from being washed away.
Lifting propeller.—A propeller that can be raised or lowered to prevent the engines from “racing” (see this word). The absence of a keel-piece between the inner and outer sternposts enables the propeller to be depressed until the lower part of it is beneath the keel.
Lifting sail.—A sail whose tendency is to raise the bows out of water—such as a jib or square fore-sail.
Lifts.—Ropes to support the yard-arms and leading thence to the mast-head.
Light.—To haul over. Light out, haul out, or haul over.
Light.—Said of a ship in ballast.
Light dues.—Dues levied on ships passing and benefiting from lights, beacons, buoys, &c.
Lighter.—A large boat for the conveyance of cargo.
Lighterman.—One who conveys goods in a lighter.
Lighthouses.—The legal definition includes floating and other lights exhibited for the guidance of ships.
Light-port.—An aperture for showing a light through.
Light-room.—A compartment furnished with windows for the safe transmission of light to enable the gunner to handle the ammunition, &c.
Lights.—Lamps, to be carried at night by vessels to indicate their character, &c. A steamer carries a bright light at the fore-mast, a red light on the port side, a green light on the starboard side. A sailing ship carries a red light on the port side and a green light on the starboard side. A steam or sailing ship at anchor shows a single white light. A pilot vessel carries a white light at the mast-head.
Light-ship.—A vessel with a mast-head light or lights, anchored near sands, shoals, &c.
Lightsman.—One of the crew of a light-ship.
Limber boards at plates.—Coverings to the limbers to keep dirt out of them.
Limber-clearer.—A chain passed through the limber-passage for clearing it.
Limbers.—Gutters formed on each side of the keelson to allow the water to pass to the pump-well.
Limber-strakes.—The first band of inside plank from the keelson.
Lime-juicer.—Nickname given by Americans to British ships and sailors on account of the lime-juice served out in our Mercantile Marine.
Limmer.—A side rope for a ladder or steps.
Line.—The sailor’s name for the equator.
Line abreast.—Ships of a column ranged in line abeam of each other.
Line ahead.—A term in fleet maneuvers applied to a column when its ships are in one line ahead of each other.
Line-of-battle ships.—Before the days of ironclads ships of seventy-four guns and upwards.
Liner.—A line-of-battle ship. Also, one of a line of ocean-going ships.
Line-tub.—A tub in a whale-boat to coil up the line used in whaling.
Lingo.—Sailor’s name for a language he does not understand.
Lining.—The inside planking of a ship.
List.—The inclination of a vessel to port or starboard through bad stowage of cargo or other causes.
Live-lumber.—Passengers, cattle, &c.
Lively.—Buoyant in a seaway.
Liverpool button.—The name for a kind of toggle used by sailors when they lose a button off their coats.
Live stock.—The pigs, sheep, poultry, &c., tarried by a ship to kill for provisions during the voyage.
Living gale.—A tremendous gale.
Lizard.—A piece of rope fitted with an iron eye or thimble for ropes to lead through; it has sometimes two legs.
Lloyd’s agents.—Persons appointed at ports for the protection of the interests of insurers of ships.
Lloyd’s Registry.—A community of ship-owners and others who publish a register in which, on payment of fees, they enter particulars of ships. They appoint surveyors to inspect and grant certificates to ships.
Loaded factors.—Calculations expressed in figures for loading ships to ensure a certain height of side or freeboard.
Load-line.—A mark on each side of a merchant vessel to indicate the line of immersion in salt water to which the owner intends to load the ship for the voyage.
Loblolly boy.—Old name for sick-berth attendant.
Lobscouse.—A mess consisting of meat, biscuit, slush, &c., baked.
Local attraction.—The influence of iron or steel in the neighbourhood of the compass upon the needle, called aberration of the needle.
Locker.—A fixed long box used as a seat; a place to stow things away in, such as chain-locker, where the cables are kept.
Log.—A salt water mudworm. Also the apparatus for showing speed
Log-book.—A journal kept by the mate relating to the weather, winds, courses, &c.
Logged.—A man is said to have been logged when his name is entered in the official log-book for insubordination, &c.
Loggerhead.—A sort of post fitted to a whaling-boat’s bottom and rising about two feet above the level of the stern platform.
Log-line.—A line wound on a reel. At the end of the line is a piece of wood with a peg in it called a logship. On the logship being thrown overboard the velocity with which the vessel leaves it astern is measured by a second-glass.
Log-minutes.—Entries in a log-book.
Log-ship.—A piece of wood or canvas bag at the end of a log-line for catching the water whilst the log is being hove.
Log-slate.—A slate on which the officer of the watch writes down particulars to be afterwards copied into the log-book.
Long-balls.—Shot fired from a long distance.
Long-boat.—A ship’s boat usually carried forward of amidships in sailing vessels.
Longers.—The name given to the longest of a freight of casks.
Longitude.—The longitude of a place is an arch of the equator between the first meridian and that which passes through the place.
Longitude in.—The longitude at which a ship arrives.
Longitude left.—The longitude from which a ship has departed.
Long legs.—Long tacks.
Long lizard.—A pendant for carrying the lower boom topping lift out to the fore-yard-arm.
Long shoreman.—Literally, one who lives along the shore, such as boatmen, watermen, &c. It is a term of contempt often applied to a sailor.
Long splice.—A connection formed by unlaying a length of the strands of two ropes, laying up one strand in the room of another, and dividing and knotting.
Long stay.—When the cable forms a small angle with the ground, owing to the anchor being some distance ahead.
Long-togs.—Clothes worn ashore.
Long topgallant mast.—A topgallant mast, royal mast, and skysail mast all in one.
Loof.—A term to indicate the beginning of the curve of the planks as they approach the stern. Also, the old term for the after part of the bows of a ship.
Look-out.—The man stationed to look out for whatever he can see.
Loom.—An enlarged appearance, due to fog or darkness. Also, the part of an oar that is in a boat when the rest of it is out. To loom is to show up large.
Loose-fish.—A whaling term signifying that the whale is fair game for anybody who can catch it.
Louvered boards.—A kind of venetian blinds over a ship’s ports.
Lowdah.—A Chinese sailing-master.
Lower away!—Lower an object down.
Lower cheek.—A knee bolted to the bows of the ship and knee of the head.
Lower counter-rail.—A projected molding on the stern of a ship.
Lower deckers.—Guns on the lower deck.
Lower fore-topgallant sail.—The under portion of a double topgallant sail whose clews are stretched upon the topsail yard.
Lower fore-topsail.—The under portion of the fore-topsail whose clews are stretched upon the fore-yard.
Lower main-topsail.—The under portion of the top-sail, whose clews are stretched upon the main-yard.
Lower missen-topsail.—The under portion of the top-sail whose clews are stretched upon the crossjack yard.
Lower-studding-sail.—A large square sail extended beyond the fore-yard by the fore-topmast studding-sail boom and the swinging boom.
Louver studding-sail tripping-line.—A line leading through a thimble in the middle of the lower studding-sail and bent to the tack for taking it in.
Lower yardmen.—Men whose duty it is to furl or reef the courses.
Low pressure. —A method of disposing of used-up steam by passing it into the condenser through the eduction pipe and converting it into water.
Lubber’s hole.—An aperture in the tops so called because raw hands prefer to creep through it to going over the futtock shrouds.
Lubber’s point.—A mark on the compass bowl in a line with the ship’s head for the helmsman to keep the course to.
Luff.—A naval lieutenant. Also the weather side of a fore-and-aft sail. To luff is to bring a ship closer to the wind.
Luff-tackle.—A tackle consisting of a double and a single block, each fitted with a hook.
Luff upon luff.—A luff-tackle hooked to the fall of another luff-tackle, thus increasing the purchase.
Lugger.—A vessel rigged with a lug-sail. She has two or three masts. Some luggers carry top-sails.
Lugsail.—A sail shaped somewhat square and hoisted by a yard.
Lump.—A lighter.
Lumpers.—Men employed in taking in and discharging cargo.
Lunar day.—The interval between the moon’s departure from, and return to, the same meridian.
Lunar observation.—The measurement of the angular distance between the moon and sun, or between the moon and certain stars or planets.
Lunars.—Lunar observations: a method of obtaining the mean time of the day or night from the observed altitude of a celestial body, and comparing it with the mean solar time at Greenwich as shown by chronometer.
Lurch.—The sudden heavy roll of a ship on one side.
Lying along.—The situation of a ship pressed down by a gale.
Made mast.—A mast made of several pieces.
Magazines.—Powder-rooms in a man-of-war, called the fore and aft magazines.
Magnetic axis.—The direction of the magnetism of the needle.
Magnetic course.—A compass course corrected for deviation and leeway. Or the angle that a ship’s track makes with the magnetic meridian.
Main bowline.—A bowline that hauls out the weather leech of the main-sail.
Main-hatch.—The aperture in the deck through which the main-hold is entered.
Main-hold.—The central portion of the hold.
Main-mast.—The middle lower mast of a ship.
Main-royal backstay.—A support leading from the head of the royal mast.
Main-royal mast.—The mast above the main-topgallant mast.
Main-royal stay.—A support leading forward from the head of the royal mast to the head of the fore-topmast.
Main-royal staysail.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay from the main-royal mast-head to the head of the fore-topmast.
Main-royal yard.—The yard above the topgallant yard.
Main-sail.—In a ship the sail that is bent to the main-yard. In a schooner the sail that is extended by a gaff and boom on the main-mast. A boom main-sail is a main-sail the foot of which is extended upon a boom. This term is sometimes given to a brig’s try-sail.
Main-sail haul!—The order to swing the main and mizzen yards in tacking.
Main sheet.—The ropes by which the lee lower corner of the mainsail is hauled aft.
Main-skysail mast.—The mast above the main-royal mast.
Main-skysail.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay between the fore and main masts.
Main-stay.—A support leading from the head of the main-mast to the deck.
Main-tack.—The ropes which keep down the weather lower corner of the main-sail.
Main tackle.—A tackle used in securing the mast, setting up rigging, &c.
Main-top bowline.—The bowline for hauling out the weather leech of the main-topsail.
Main-topgallant.—In former times a flag was always said, when hoisted at the mast-head, to be flown at the main-topgallant, because in those days ships did not carry royal masts.
Main-topgallant backstay.—A support leading from the head of the topgallant mast.
Main-topgallant mast.—The mast above the main-topmast.
Main-topgallant stay.—A support leading forward from the head of the main-topgallant mast to the head of the fore-mast.
Main-topgallant staysail.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay from the topgallant mast-head to the head of the foremast.
Main-topgallant yard.—The yard above the topsail yards.
Main-topmast.—The mast above the main-mast.
Main-topmast backstay.—A support leading from the head of the top-mast to the side of the ship.
Main-topmast stay.—A support leading forward from the head of the top-mast to the deck.
Main-topmast staysail.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay from the top-mast head.
Main-topsail yards.—Double yards next above the main-yard.
Mainwales.—Lower wales into which the maindeck knee-bolts come.
Main-yard.—The lowest yard on the main-mast.
Main-yard men.—Men on the sick list.
Make.—To descry, as to make land. Also to approach, as the tide makes.
Make bad weather.—Said of a ship that rolls heavily and takes in water on deck.
Make eight bells!—The order to strike the bell eight times, signifying that it is noon by the sun.
Make headway.—The direct way a ship makes in sailing or steaming
Making bad weather.—Said of a vessel laboring heavily, shipping quantities of water, &c.
Make sail.—To add to the canvas already set.
Make water.—To leak.
Mallet.—A small wooden hammer
Man.—To man is to furnish a ship or boat with a crew.
Managing owner.—One of a firm who superintends or looks after all the business of a ship, and whose name is registered at the custom house of the ship’s port of registry.
Manger.—A kind of shelf in a man-of-war’s bows behind the hawse holes, with a coaming and scupper holes, meant to receive and eject the water when the cables are bent.
Manhandled.—Rudely handled by men. Moved by their force of muscle.
Manhole.—An aperture to enable a man to enter a marine boiler to clean it.
Manifest.—A document containing ship’s name, port of registry, registered tonnage, particulars of cargo, port of loading and discharge, list of passengers, stores, crew, &c., signed by the master.
Maneuvering.—Working a ship by her sails.
Man-of-war fashion.—Said of a merchant-ship in smart order, with a good crew, &c.
Manometer.—A steam-gauge.
Man-ropes.—Lines over the side of a ship to hold by in mounting or descending the steps.
Man the windlass!—The order to get the anchor up.
Mares’ tails.—Feather-like clouds indicative of wind.
Marine.—The Navy or the Merchant Service. Also a man belonging to the troops employed in the Navy.
Marine.—An empty bottle. Sometimes called dead marine or marine officer.
Marine Boards.—Local Marine Boards were appointed to carry out the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts.
Marine glue.—A glutinous, adhesive substance used in shipbuilding.
Mariner.—A sailor.
Mariner’s compass.—An instrument for steering ships. It consists of three principal parts—the card, the needle on its lower surface, and the case.
Marine stores.—The ropes, sails, provisions, &c , of a ship.
Marks.—Depths marked on the hand lead-line; i.e. 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, 15, 17 and 20 fathoms. The marks between are called deeps. Thus “by the mark 7 ” means seven fathoms, “by the deep 9” means nine fathoms. The fractions are a half and a quarter. 5 1/2 fathoms are called “and a half five,” 5 3/4 fathoms are called “a quarter less six.”
Marl.—To wind rope or small stuff round a rope.
Marline.—Two-stranded small stuff.
Marline-spike.—A bar of tapering iron with an eye at the thick end, used for opening the strands of rope for splicing, &c.
Marling-hitch.—A knot used in the process of marling.
Maroon.—To maroon a man is to set him ashore on a desolate coast or island.
Marooned.—Set ashore alone on a desert island or coast.
Marry.—To join ropes together with a worming.
Martingale.—A spar under the bowsprit end, used for guying down the headstays.
Massoolah boats.—Madras surf-boats.
Mast carlings.—Timbers which frame the partners.
Mast coat.—Canvas fitted round the mast, where it penetrates the upper deck, to prevent water from draining through the aperture.
Master.—The captain of a merchant ship.
Master mariner.—One who holds a certificate from the Board of Trade, showing that he has passed his examination as a master mariner. The master of a merchant-vessel.
Mast-head.—The portion of the mast from the eyes of the rigging to the top of the mast.
Mastheading.—Sending a midshipman aloft as a punishment.
Mast-head men.—Look-out men aloft.
Mast-partners.—A framing of timber between the beams for the support of masts.
Mate.—Signifies chief mate. There are 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and even 5th mates. The chief mate is the officer next in rank to the captain. He heads the port watch. The term also signifies an assistant, such as cook’s mate, boatswain’s mate, carpenter’s mate, &c.
Mats.—Made of old unlaid rope and used as chafing gear.
Maul.—A large iron hammer used by shipwrights.
Meaking iron.—A caulker’s tool for extracting oakum from seams.
Measured mile.—A nautical mile for testing speeds of steamers.
Medical inspector.—An inspector appointed by the Board of Trade or a local Marine Board to inspect, on application, any seaman applying for employment on board a ship.
Medico.—Ship’s doctor.
Meet her when she shakes!—The order to shift the helm when a vessel rounds into the wind.
Mercantile Marine Fund.—A fund created by fees, light-dues, ballastage rates, &c., and chargeable with salaries and expenses in connection with marine boards, lighting the coasts, lifeboats, and other expenses.
Mercator’s chart or projection.—A chart on which the meridians are drawn parallel to one another, the meridional degrees being increased between the parallels, so that the proportion between a degree of latitude and longitude may be everywhere preserved on the chart.
Mercator’s sailing.—The art of finding on a plane chart the progress of a ship along a given course.
Merchantman.—A passenger or cargo vessel.
Mess.—The division of the crew, or the officers who eat together.
Messenger.—A rope or chain for heaving in the cable.
Metacentre.—Sir. E. J. Reed defines this word thus: —”As regards the ‘metacentre,’ I must explain that in former times, when ‘initial stability’ alone was calculated, the word ‘ metacentre’ had a much more limited meaning than it possesses now. It formerly had relation to the upright position of the vessel, in which case the buoyancy acts upwards through the centre line of the ship’s course. After receiving a slight inclination the vessel has, as we have said, a new centre of buoyancy, and the buoyancy itself will act upwards along a fresh line slightly inclined to what was previously the upright line. This point was called the ‘metacentre.’ It is shown that when a ship is much more inclined, the point at which two consecutive lines of the buoyancy’s upward action will intersect may not be and often will not be in the middle line of the ship at all, but this point is nevertheless called the ‘metacentre,’ and the use of the word in this extended sense has recently become general.”
Metacentric height.—A delusive method of calculating a ship’s stability by computations which fix the metacentric height between points based upon the submerged volume of the hull, the weight of the machinery, freight, equipment, &c.
Metage.—Charges for weighing cargo.
Microscope.—A small lens for reading off the divisions on the graduated limb and vernier of a sextant.
Middle latitude sailing.—A method of navigating a ship, compounded of plane and parallel sailing.
Middle timber.—The central timber in the stern.
Middle watch.—The watch from midnight till four in the morning.
“Midge” system.—A system instituted by the Board of Trade for authorized persons to board all ships entering the port of London and induce the sailor to have his money forwarded to whatever part he is going to, in order to anticipate the harpies who prey upon seamen. “Midge” was the name of the steamer employed for the purpose of boarding.
Midshipman.—A naval cadet. In the merchant service a youth who does boy’s work for which privilege his friends pay the owners of the vessel.
Midshipman’s nuts.—Pieces of biscuit.
Mincer.—The name given to the sailor aboard a whaleman, whose duty it is to mince the horse-pieces of blubber for the try-pots.
Minion.—An old piece of ordnance used in ships; it threw a 4 lb. shot.
Minute-guns.—Guns fired every minute at a funeral.
Miss stays.—To fail in tacking.
Mitch board.—A crutch to support a mast when lowered
Mitts.—Rude gloves worn by sailors in very cold weather.
Mizzen.—A large fore-and-aft sail on the mizzen-mast of a ship or barque. Also called spanker.
Mizzen boom.—A small spar at the foot of a yawl’s mizzen.
Mizzen-mast.—The aftermost lower mast.
Mizzen-royal mast.—The mast above the mizzen-topgallant mast.
Mizzen-royal yard.—The yard above the topgallant yard.
Mizzen-topgallant mast.—The mast above the mizzen-topmast.
Mizzen-topgallant staysail.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay from the topgallant mast-head to the head of the mainmast.
Mizzen-topgallant yard.—The yard above the topsail yards.
Mizzen-topmast.—The mast above the mizzen lower mast.
Mizzen-topmast staysail.—A fore-and-aft sail that sets on a stay, from the topmast head to the main-mast.
Mizzen-topsail yards.—The yards above the crossjack yard.
Mocking system.—A term applied to the method of building small vessels by bending battens to the stem, sternpost, and keel without laying off.
Monitor.—Armored steamer, of small draught, with one or more revolving turrets furnished with large guns. An American term.
Monkey.—An iron sliding ram used in driving in armor bolts in ironclads.
Monkey-block.—A small single block stropped with a swivel.
Monkey-poop.—This name has been given to a platform connecting a fore and after cabin in the after part of a vessel. It may also signify a very short poop.
Monkey-pump.—A pipe-stem or straw for sucking the contents of a cask.
Monkey-sparred.—Said of a ship when under-rigged.
Monsoons.—Trade-winds in the Indian Ocean.
Moon-blink.—Blindness caused by sleeping in the moonlight.
Mooney.—Partially intoxicated.
Moon-rakers.—Small sails above the sky-sails.
Moon-sail.—A sail above the sky-sail.
Moon-sheered.—Said of a ship with high upper works.
Moor.—A ship is moored when she has two anchors down in different directions.
Mooring-board.—A device to enable a ship moored and belonging to a fleet to ascertain the bearing and distance of either of her anchors from a given point.
Mooring-pipes.—Apertures in a steamer’s side for leading ropes for mooring purposes.
Moorings.—Buoys to which vessels are fastened.
Mooring-swivel.—A swivel to prevent a ship from getting a foul hawse when moored.
Moorsom’s rule.—A method of ascertaining the internal capacity of a ship by expressing it in cubic feet, and dividing by 100, each 100 feet to be a ton.
Morning gun.—A gun fired to announce daybreak.
Morning watch.—The watch from four a.m. till eight a.m.
Mortar.—A gun to throw life-lines to vessels in distress.
Morticed-block.—A single block of wood hollowed to receive a sheave.
Mortices.—Square holes in the trawl-heads used by smacks for the trawl-beam to fit into.
Molding-book.—A manuscript book containing information relative to the moldings of timbers, &c, used in some shipyards.
Molds.—The patterns of a vessel’s frames.
Mouse-lines.—Lines stretched over a ship in a dock to suspend a plummet to. They are intended to point out the centre of the docking blocks.
Mousing.—Small stuff wound round a hook to prevent it from slipping.
Mowree.—A New Zealander.
Mudhole.—An aperture near the bottom of a marine boiler for removing the deposit of mud and scale.
Mudlarks.—Formerly a name given to river thieves.
Mud pilot.—A pilot who carries a ship between the Docks of London and Gravesend.
Muffle.—To muffle oars is to put mats or canvas round the part that rests in the rowlock or between the thole-pins.
Munions.—The pieces between the lights in the galleries of ships in former times.
Muntz’s metal.—A combination of metals used for sheathing a vessel’s bottom.
Murdering-pieces.—An old name for cannons which were mounted upon the after part of the forecastle, with their muzzles greatly elevated.
Muster.—To muster the watch is to call over their names, each man answering, that it may be known all are on deck. In the same way the crew is mustered.
Nadir.—The nadir of a place is a point in the heavens immediately under it.
Name board.—A board affixed to the bows of a vessel on which her name is written.
National ship.—A state ship, a ship of war, a public ship.
Nautical Almanac.—An important and valuable work, full of calculations, and essential to the navigator.
Nautical Assessor.—A retired shipmaster or naval officer appointed to assist magistrates and justices of the peace in deciding upon marine questions.
Nautical mile.—6080 feet.
Naval armament.—Ships of war fitted out for a particular service.
Naval court.—A court composed of three to five members, consisting of a naval officer not below the rank of lieutenant, a consular officer, a master of a British merchantman, and the others, British merchants, ship-masters or naval officers.
Naval hoods.—Planking above and below the hawse-holes.
Naval lines.—Lines for holding truss-pendants parallel, that they may render more easily.
Naval officer.—One belonging to the royal navy.
Naval Reserve.—Merchant seamen who have volunteered to serve in the royal navy in war time. They are paid a trifling sum per year and are entitled to a pension.
Nave-hole.—A hole in a gun-truck for the axle-tree.
Navigable.—Said of a channel or river capable of being navigated.
Navigation.—The art of conducting a ship through the sea from one place to another. It is divided into two branches, Seamanship, comprehending the knowledge of the sails, rigging, steering, &c., and Navigation Proper, that is, the finding the ship’s latitude and longitude with the sextant, &c.
Navigation laws.—Protective laws framed with the idea of promoting the interests of British shipping and British seamen. Long since repealed.
Navigator.—One who can steer his ship by the art of navigation, but not necessarily a seaman.
Neaped.—Stranded by a spring tide, and having to wait for the next spring tide to float.
Neap tides.—Low tides coincident with the moon’s second and fourth quarters.
Near.—Close to the wind.
Necked.—Said of a treenail when bent or cracked in the timbers of a ship.
Necking.—A molding on the taffrail.
Necklace.—A rope or chain with legs fitted round the mast-head and used for making hanging blocks for the jib, stay-sail and stay, fast to.
Negative slip.—The neutralization of a certain amount of the propulsion of the screw of a steam-ship, due to the water dragged after her in her wake.
Nettings.—Where the hammocks in men-of-war are stowed, fitted round the ship on top of the bulwarks.
Nettles.—The halves of yarns in the unlaid end of a rope twisted up for pointing or grafting.
Net tonnage.—In sailing ships, the deduction from the gross tonnage of the tonnage of space appropriated to the use of crews. In steamers, in addition to the deduction of crew space, the gross tonnage is further reduced by an allowance for spaces occupied by the propelling power.
Neutral bottom.—A ship that in war-time takes no part with the belligerents.
Newcome.—A fresh hand just arrived.
News.—” Do you hear the news?” an exclamation that sometimes follows the call to the watch below to turn out.
Ninepin block.—A block shaped like a ninepin, and used as a fairleader.
Nip.—A short turn in a rope.
Nipcheese.—The old name for the purser’s steward.
Nippering.—Securing nippers by cross turns to jam them.
Nippers.—Marled yarns for binding the messenger to the cable and used for various purposes.
N.M.—New measurement. A method of ascertaining the internal cubical contents of a ship by certain calculations. Enacted in 1854.
Nock.—The upper fore-end of a sail that sets with a boom.
Nog.—A treenail or fastening.
No man’s land.—The old name of a space between the belfry and the bows of a boat stowed on the booms.
Nominal horse-power.—A power assumed to equal 33,000 lbs., raised one foot high in one minute.
Norie’s Epitome.—The best treatise on navigation ever published.
Non-return valve.—A valve in connection with the feed-cock of a marine boiler, to prevent the return of the water from the boiler.
Nous.—Used at sea as a synonym for spunk.
Norman.—A wooden bar or iron pin.
Nose.—The stem of a ship.
Notaries public.—Persons authorized to draw up official statements made by a shipmaster, regarding damage, failure of merchants to furnish cargoes, &c.
Nothing off.—An order to the helmsman to keep the vessel close to the wind.
Notions.—A mixed cargo of small things for sale or barter.
Noting protest.—A protest noted by a shipmaster before a public notary, magistrate, or consul, when sea-perils have occurred. It forms the shipowner’s defense for non-delivery of goods, or for their delivery in a damaged state. It is also an instrument for the recovery of contributions from persons interested in the safety of the voyage. It also supports the shipowner in his claim upon the underwriters.
Number.—The number of a ship’s certificate of registry. Making her number is said of a ship hoisting the flags which indicate her name.
Nun-buoy.—A buoy tapering at each end.
Nurse.—The first lieutenant of a man-of-war commanded by a captain who is there by influence, but who has no capacity.
Oakum.—Yarns picked into hemp.
Oar.—A long piece of wood with a blade at one end.
Oars!—The command to stop rowing by raising the oars from the water and letting them lie horizontally in the rowlocks.
Oblique sailing.—A method of navigation adopted in coasting along shores, surveying coasts, &c.
Observation.—To get an observation is to take the altitude of a heavenly body.
Occulting.—A light visible for less than thirty seconds between eclipses.
Odd backstay.—The foremost one, serving as a breast backstay.
Odd shroud.—The after shroud.
Off and on.—Keeping near the land by heading in and standing out.
Officer of the watch.—The lieutenant or mate in charge of the deck.
Official log-book.—A book for special entries, such as sickness, death, desertion, mutiny, drunkenness, &c.
Offing.—Distance from the shore.
Oilskins.—The waterproof coat, leggings, and sou’-wester worn by sailors.
Old man.—The term applied to the captain by a crew.
Old standing rigging makes bad running gear.—Signifying that old seamen will not do for posts requiring activity, and usually filled by young men.
Oldster.—A midshipman or apprentice who has already made one or more voyages.
O.M.—Old measurement, known as Builder’s Measurement. This measurement was according to an old law of 1773. The length of the keel was multiplied by the breadth of the vessel measured in a prescribed manner, the product multiplied by half the breadth, and the whole divided by 94. The quotient was considered to give the true contents of the tonnage.
On a bowline.—Close to the wind with the bowline hauled out.
On a wind.—Sailing close to the wind.
On deck there /—A call from up aloft or from the hold for attention.
Only mate.—The only mate carried in a ship. For a steamer, he must be nineteen years of age, and must have served five years at sea, in order to qualify him for an examination for a certificate.
On the beam.—Said of an object right abreast.
On the bow.—Said of an object that bears more or less to the right or left of the bowsprit.
On the quarter.— Said of an object that bears abaft the beam on either hand.
Open hawse.—To ride with two anchors down without a cross in the cables.
Open policy.—A policy of marine insurance, that does not name the values of the interests insured, but leaves them to be ascertained, should a loss happen.
Order-book.—A book for entering the orders of an admiral or senior officer.
Ordinary seaman,—The term applied to a sailor who is rated after and next to Able Seaman.
Orlop.—The deck next the hold of a man-of-war.
O.S.—Initials to signify ordinary seaman.
Oscillating engine.—A marine engine in which the cylinder follows the oscillations of the crank.
Outer jib.—A fore-and-aft sail, setting on a stay, from the fore-topmast-head to the end of the jib-boom.
Outfit.—The stores, gear, furniture, &c., of a ship; a term signifying every requisite for a voyage. Also applied to clothes.
Outhaul.—A rope to haul out the spanker or a try-sail.
Out of gear.—A marine engine is said to be thrown out of gear when the eccentric is detached from the slide valve gear.
Outports.—All ports in Great Britain out of London.
Outrigger.—A boat with rowlocks extended by arms. Also a spar on the crosstrees to spread the royal and top-gallant backstays. Also a log of wood at the side of a boat, to prevent it capsizing. Also a spar to extend leading blocks or the foot of a sail.
Outsail.—A ship is said to outsail another when she beats her in sailing.
Outward desertion.—Desertion of ships outward bound, lying in British ports.
Outwards.—A term signifying that a ship is entered at the Custom House to depart from a home port for a foreign place.
Overboard.—Over the side; out of the ship.
Overfalls.—Casts of the lead showing great unevenness of bottom.
Overhand knot.—The end of a rope passed over the standing part and through the bight.
Overhaul.—Variously used. Overhaul a clewline, case it up; overhaul a tackle, pull on the leading parts so as to lengthen the interval between the blocks. Again, to overhaul is to examine. Overhaul the cable.—To ease the bights of the chain cable around the windlass barrel so that it may pay out through the hawsepipe.
Overloading.—Putting more cargo into a ship than she is safely able to carry in any condition of weather. Simple as the definition of this term appears, there are few words whose meaning has been more disputed. Owners have one definition, sailors another, the Board of Trade a third.
Over-rake.—Waves over-rake a ship when they break over her bows as she rides at anchor.
Over-rigged.—Top-hampered with heavy gear.
Over-sea.—Over-sea vessels are vessels from foreign ports.
Owners.—The proprietors of a ship.
Packet.—A mail-boat.
Pack-ice.—Fragments of ice heaped together.
Packing.—Metal rings, hemp, india-rubber, &c.. used to render pistons, slide-valves, &c., steam-tight.
Packing-box.—A steam-tight partition in a marine engine.
Pad.—A piece of timber fixed on a beam for the curve of the deck.
Paddle-box boats.—Boats fitted to the paddle-box bottom up.
Paddle-boxes.—Large semi-circular casings for enclosing the upper part of the wheels of a paddle-steamer.
Paddy.—Rice in the husk.
Painter.—A rope in the bow of a boat.
Palm.—The fluke of an anchor. Also a piece of leather with a shape of iron let into it, fitting around the hand and into the palm, and used by sail-makers in sewing canvas.
Pampero.—A squall encountered in the Rio de la Plata.
Paper-boat.—A boat sheathed with very thin planking.
Parallax.—The difference between the true and apparent place of a celestial body; the apparent place being its situation when viewed from the surface of the earth, and the true place its situation if observed at the same time from the centre of the earth.
Parallel motion.—A name applied to a contrivance in an engine by means of which the piston-rod is made to work in a straight line parallel to the inner surface of the cylinder.
Parallel of latitude.—A circle parallel to the equator.
Parallel sailing.—A method of finding the distance between two places in the same latitude when their difference of longitude is known, or of finding the difference of longitude answering to the meridian distance when a ship sails east or west.
Parbuckle.—A rope round a spar or cask for hoisting or lowering.
Parcelling.—Wrapping narrow strips of tarred canvas round a rope.
Parliament-heel.—The situation of a ship laid over by shifting her ballast in order to get at her bottom side.
Parral—That which confines an upper yard to the mast at the centre.
Part.—To break. “The rope parted,” the rope broke.
Particular average.—Damage or partial loss unavoidably happening to an individual interest through peril insured against.
Partners.—Frames of timber to solidify holes in which masts, capstans, bitts, pumps, &c., are sunk.
Pass.—To take turns with a rope or seizing, &c.
Passing-box.—A case formerly used in which powder was handed up for serving a gun.
Patent log.—An instrument of brass, a portion of which rotates in the water, the number of revolutions being expressed by miles on the indexes.
Patent reefing topsail.—A plan by which a top-sail reefs itself by the yard rolling up the sail as it is lowered.
Patent slip —A slip for hauling up vessels for repairs.
Paul-bitt.—A strong timber fitted with notched iron for checking the reverse action of the windlass by catching the pawls.
Paul-rim.—A notched iron ring let into the deck for the capstan pauls to work in.
Paunch.—A piece of wood formerly affixed to the fore and mainmasts of ships to allow the lower yards, in their descent, to pass clear of the mast hoops.
Paunch-mats.—Used for chafing gear.
Pawl over all!—Heaving the windlass round with one continuous motion.
Pawls.—Movable pieces of iron to prevent a capstan, windlass barrel, or winch from slipping backwards.
Pay.—To pay is to cover oakum in caulked seams with melted pitch.
Paying off.—When a ship’s head falls from the wind.
Paymaster.—The title of the person who fills the post on board a man-of-war formerly occupied by the purser. He has the charge of provisions, pays the crew, &c.
Pay out.—To pass out rope.
Pazaree.—A rope used for guying the clews of the fore-sail out by reeving it through a block on the swinging boom.
Pea.—The bill of an anchor. See Bill.
The Peace Pilot.—Today is the day of Uncle Sam’s peace. Tomorrow we may hear the rumblings of war at our sea gates. Prosperity has made the country rich; sooner or later we shall become the objective prey of a covetous nation. A Navy second to none is our only possible safeguard, but our Navy can never be adequate unless built upon the practical foundations of a Merchant Marine.
Pea-jacket.—A stout pilot-cloth all-round coat.
Peak.—The upper aftermost corner of a spanker or try-sail.
Peak-downhaul.—A rope at the end of the gaff to haul it down by.
Peak-halyards.—A tackle connected with the end of the gaff for hoisting it.
Peak-purchase.—A purchase for tautening standing-peak halyards.
Pennant.—Flown only by ships of war; the English is a long strip of bunting with St. George’s cross in the head. Also a rope to which a purchase is hooked.
Percentage of spare buoyancy.—The proportion borne by the part of a ship that is above water, and which part is for the purpose of floating her, to the portion that is under water.
Persuader.—A rope’s end, stick, belaying pin, anything a man can be struck with.
Petard.—A metal machine filled with gunpowder, and fired by a pole.
Petty officer.—A divisional seaman in the navy of the first class.
Philadelphia catechism.—The following doggerel is so called, Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thou art able, And on the seventh—holystone the decks and scrape the cable.
Philadelphia lawyer.—” Enough to puzzle a “—Jack’s growl over a story he cannot wholly disbelieve nor accept.
Picaroon.—A privateersman. Also a piratical vessel.
Piccary.—Small piracies.
Picking up a wind.—To deviate in search of trade or other constant breeze.
Pickling.—Rubbing brine into a sailor’s back after a flogging; also a mode of preserving naval timber.
Pick up.—To “pick up a sail” is to raise it on to the yard for stowing.
Pierced.—Pierced for guns means the apertures in a ship’s side through which guns can be discharged.
Piercer.—A kind of small marline-spike for making eyelet-holes.
Pierhead jump.—The tumbling of sailors aboard a ship at the last moment from the dock or pierhead.
Pierman.—A man employed by Harbor authorities for making fast or letting go warps, fasts, &c., for vessels, and doing other work about a harbor.
Pigs.—Pieces of iron used as ballast.
Pig-tail.—Tobacco for chewing. Sailors generally chew the plug or square.
Pilchard drivers.—Small Cornish smacks, half-decked luggers.
Pillar buoy.—A buoy having a tall central structure on a broad base.
Pillars.—Iron bars riveted to the beams of iron ships, and secured through the deck-plank to the beam below, to increase structural strength.
Pillow.—A block under the inner end of the bowsprit.
Pill yawl.—A Bristol Channel pilot-boat.
Piloting.—Piloting is divided into two branches. Common Piloting, which means the knowledge of how to coast along shore, and Proper Piloting, which means the knowledge of how to navigate a ship by the heavenly bodies when out of sight of land.
Pilots.—Persons licensed by the Trinity House, and by local authorities to navigate ships in certain waters.
Pilot-signals.—A ship requiring a pilot signals as follows: in the day time she hoists the Jack or other national color worn by merchant ships, at the fore, or a square blue flag, with a white square for a centre, hoisted over a flag composed of three vertical bars colored red white and blue, these flags representing P.T. in the International Code Pilotage Signal. In the night, a blue light every fifteen minutes, or a bright white light shown at intervals above the bulwarks.
Pin.—An iron bolt for the sheave of a block to travel on.
Pinch-gut.—A mean purser.
Pinch-gut pay.—Short allowance money.
Pinch-gut ship—The name that used to be given to ships in which sailors were badly fed.
Pink.—A ship with a very narrow stern. The narrow stern rendered the quarter guns very serviceable.
Pink stern.—A high narrow stern.
Pinnace.—One of the boats of a man-of-war.
Pin-racks.— Hoops fitted with belaying-pins round a mast.
Pintles.—The pins on which a rudder works.
Pipe down!—The order to send such of the men below as are not wanted on deck
Piragua.—A canoe made out of the trunk of a tree. See ” Robinson Crusoe.”
Pirate.—A robber on the high seas.
Pirate’s flag.—Used to be a black field with a skull and battle-axe, sometimes an hour-glass.
Pisco.—A spirituous drink manufactured in Peru, and much drunk by sailors in the South Seas.
Pitch.—A thick black substance obtained by boiling down tar; also the action of a ship alternately heaving and depressing her bows ; also the pitch of a screw propeller is the axial length of a whole turn of the thread.
Pitch-pole.—A sea is said to pitch-pole a boat when it hits her under the bows and throws her right up and down standing on her stern.
Pitch-poling.—A mode of killing whales by launching at them a lance to which is attached a warp to enable the harpooner to bring the lance back to his hand.
Pit-pan.—A flat-bottomed canoe.
Place.—The spot in which a ship is when at sea. Thus “everything relating to her place should be noted in the log;” that is, everything relating to the place she is in at the time of the occurrences,
Plane sailing.—An art of navigation based upon a supposition of the earth being an extended plane.
Plankage.—Charges on vessels in docks for the use of planks, for loading or unloading.
Plank it.—To plank it is to Je on the bare deck.
Planks.—Boards which cover the sides and form the decks of ships.
Plat.—Foxes braided.
Plate.—A sheet of iron or steel fixed to the frames of an iron vessel.
Plate-armor.—Steel or iron plates of great thickness on men-of-  war, to render them shot-proof.
Plate-riders.—Diagonal iron plates fitted on the outside of the frames of fir-built ships of a certain tonnage and length.
Plate-ship.—The name given to the old galleons which were freighted with jewels, plate, and other treasure.
Platform.—A fabric used in smacks for keeping the ballast in its place.
Pledget.—The string of oakum used in caulking.
Plug,—A piece of metal, wood, or cork to fill the hole in the bottom of a boat. Also a piece of cake tobacco.
Plug-hole.—A hole in the bottom of a boat to let the water drain out as she hangs at the davits, or stands on the skids.
Plumb.—Straight up and down, as “to stay the fore-topmast plumb.”
Plumber-blocks.—Blocks in a marine steam-ship in which the bushes are fixed in which the shafts or pinions revolve.
Plunger.—A small fast-sailing cutter with a centre board. Also a liston without valves.
Plunging fire.—Shot discharged from a higher level than that occupied by the object aimed at.
Ply.—To beat, to work to windward.
P.O.—Petty officer.
Pocket-bunker.—A bunker in the space between the cylinder of the engine and the sides of the boiler and upper stringers, and containing coal, usually the last used in a voyage.
Point.—To decorate a rope’s end by working nettles over it.
Point-blank.—Aiming direct at the heart of the object without elevating the gun.
Polaccre.—A two-masted vessel, her lower and top masts in one, without tops : but with top-mast crosstrees and fidded topgallant masts.
Polar distance.—An arch of the meridian contained between the centre of an object and either pole of the equinoctial.
Pole.—A name given to the sky-sail masts. The end of a tall royal mast, from the yard when hoisted, to the truck is sometimes called the pole.
Pole-compass.—An inverted compass fixed on the top of a staff to remove it from local attraction.
Pole mast.—A pole mast is a single mast, such as some steamers are rigged with. Sky-sail pole is the name sometimes given to the sky-sail mast.
Poles.—Timbers for cargo consisting of the trunks of trees.
Pommelion.—The hindmost knob on the breech of a cannon.
Pontoon.—A portable boat used in fixing floating bridges.
Poop.—A raised after-deck.
Poop downhaul.—An imaginary rope, a seaman’s jest, like “clapping the keel athwart-ships,” and other such sayings.
Pooped.—Struck by a sea that washes over the stern.
Poop-house.—A house upon a raised quarter-deck for masters and mates, &c., to live in.
Poop-lantern.—A light shown by the flag-ship.
Poppets.—Timbers to support the bilgeways in launching.
Popple.—A sharp, cross sea, in water not very deep, as near a coast, in a bay, &c.
Port.—The left-hand side looking from the stern towards the bows.
Port bars.—Pieces of wood to secure the ports from flying open inbad weather.
Port-fire.—A signal that when ignited bursts forth into a shower of fire.
Port-flange.—A batten over a port to prevent water from washing- in.
Port-hole.—A window for a cabin. An aperture in a ship’s side to point a gun through.
Port-lids.—Covers for the ports in rough weather.
Port of registry.—The port at which a ship has been registered.
Portoise.—The gunwale.
Port pendants.—Ropes fixed to the outside of a port-lid for working it by a tackle.
Port-ropes.—For hauling up and suspending the ports.
Ports.—Large holes in the sides of a ship.
Port sashes.—Glazed half-ports or windows for the admission of light.
Port tack.—Sailing close to the wind blowing over the left-handbow.
Port the helm!—Shift the helm so as to force the vessel’s head to the right.
Posted.—The old term for signifying the promotion from commander to captain.
Post-ship.—A name originally given to a twenty-gun ship to signify that she was of the lowest class to which a post-captain could be appointed.
Pouches.—Bulkheads for stowing purposes.
Pounders.—Said of a gun according to the weight of the ball it carries. Large guns are described by the diameter of their bore.
Powder-flag.—A red flag hoisted to indicate that the ship has gunpowder in her.
Powder-monkey.—formerly a boy who had charge of the cartridge of the gun to which he belonged.
Pram.—A Norwegian lug-rigged slipper-shaped boat.
Pratique.— License to trade and have communication with a place after quarantine or on the production of a clean bill of health.
Prayer-book.—A small holystone.
Press-gang.—A number of men dispatched from the crew of a man-of-war to seize merchant seamen and force them to serve in the navy.
Pressure.—Expansion or forcing power of steam calculated in pounds-weight upon the square inch of a boiler.
Preventer. —A rope used as an additional support for masts, booms, &c.
Preventer plates.—Additional irons for securing the chains.
Preventer stoppers.—Short ropes for securing the rigging in an engagement.
Preventive service.—The old name for the coastguard service.
Prick.—A mass of tobacco soaked in rum, and rolled up in canvas in a conical shape. Also a quantity of spun yarn laid up close.
Pricker.—A small marline-spike.
Pricking a chart.—Marking off on a chart the course made by a ship.
Pride of the morning.—A shower of rain.
Priming.—The boiling over of water in a boiler, due to muddy water, or to the commingling of different kinds of water, &c.
Prise.—To lift a weight with a handspike. To force anything open.
Prise-bolts.—Projections on a gun-carriage for the handspike to hold by, in raising the breech.
Prismatic compass.—A compass in which the divisions of the card are read by reflection at the same time that the bearing itself is taken.
Privateer.—A vessel furnished with a letter of marquee.
Prize.—A vessel captured from an enemy.
Prize-officer.—An officer in charge of a ship captured from an enemy.
Prong.—A small boat met with in Ireland. It has a high canoe shaped stem, and is used by fishermen for boarding their vessels, or for ferrying, &c.
Protected men.—A term signifying merchant seamen not fit to serve in the Royal Navy.
Protractor.—A small semicircle of brass or horn, for drawing or measuring angles.
Provisional detention.—The detention of a ship by the Board of Trade for survey, either for her final detention or release.
Prow.—The poetical term for the stem or bows. Also the old name for a bumpkin.
Puddening.—Mats, yarns, oakum, &c., used as chafing gear.
Pump-barrel.—The tube in which the pump-rod or piston moves.
Pump-brake.—The handle of the primitive hand-pump.
Pumps.—There are many kinds of ship’s pumps worked by steam or by a windmill or by hand.
Pump-spear.—The rod worked by the handle.
Pumps suck!—An exclamation to indicate that the vessel is free of the water that was to be pumped out.
Pump well.—An enclosure round the main-mast and pumps, where the water that penetrates a vessel collects.
Punt.—A little boat carried by small vessels.
Puoys.—Poles for driving barges or keels, by thrusting them laterally against the bottom of the river.
Purchase.—The power obtained by reeving a line through a block or blocks.
Purser.—Formerly a person on board a ship-of-war, who had charge of the provisions, clothes, &c.
Purser’s dip.—A little dip candle.
Purser’s grins.—”There are no half-laughs or purser’s grins about me. I’m right up and down like a yard of pump water,” meaning that the speaker is in earnest.
Pursers name.—A false name.
Purser’s shirt.—”A purser’s shirt on a handspike” said of ill-fitting clothes.
Putchers.—Contrivances used in the Bristol Channel for catching salmon. They are so fixed that the tide forces the fish into them.
Put off.—To quit a vessel, or the shore, in a boat.
Pyrites.—Gold-like scales in coal, and the cause of spontaneous combustion on board coal-freighted ships.
Q.E.D.—The name of the first iron screw collier built in this country, 1844. She was an auxiliary.
Quadrant.—An instrument for measuring altitudes at sea. It consists of an octant or frame, an arch or limb and an index, and is furnished with a nonius or scale, index and horizon glasses, shades and sight vanes. Also a yoke.
Quadrant tiller.—A yoke shaped in the form of a quadrant, See Yoke.
Quadrate.—To quadrate a gun is to adjust it on its carriage for level firing.
Quakers.—Sham guns, formerly used by merchantmen to frighten the enemy with an exhibition of strength.
Qualified pilot.—A person duly licensed by any pilotage authority to conduct a ship to which he does not belong.
Qualities.—A ship’s capacity for sailing, carrying, and the like.
Quant.—A bargeman’s long pole.
Quarantine.—The detention of a ship with sickness on board for a prescribed time, during which her people are allowed no intercourse with the shore.
Quarter.—The portion of a yard between the slings and the yardarm. Also the after-sides of a ship. Also sparing the life of a conquered enemy. An old sea term. “The crew called for quarter.”
Quarter-badge.—Ornamentation on the quarters of a ship.
Quarter-bill.—A list of the stations for men to take in time of action.
Quarter-blocks.—Blocks for the clew-lines and the sheets of the sail set above them to reeve through.
Quarter-boats.—Boats suspended on davits near the quarters.
Quarter-cask.—Half a hogshead.
Quarter-cloths.—Pieces of painted canvas over the quarter-netting.
Quarter-deck.—The after-deck of a flush-decked ship. When there is a poop, the quarter-deck extends from the break of the poop to a short distance forward.
Quarter-deckers.—The name given to officers who are sticklers for small points of etiquette, but who have little knowledge as seamen.
Quarter-fishes.—Stout pieces of wood hooped on to a mast to strengthen it.
Quarter-gallery.—A balcony that was formerly on the quarter of large ships.
Quarter-line.—Ships of a column ranged in a line, one being abaft another’s beam.
Quarter-man.—A dockyard officer.
Quarter-master.—A person whose duty is to attend to the helm.
Quarter-nettings.—Nettings on the after-part of a ship for the stowage of hammocks.
Quarter-pieces.—Projections beyond the quarters of a ship for adding cabin accommodation there.
Quarter-ports.—Apertures in the after-sides.
Quarters.—The officers’ and crew’s stations in an engagement.
Quarter-slings.— Supports for a yard on either side the centre of it.
Quarter stops.—Fastenings to keep the bunt of a large sail snug in sending it up or down.
Quarter-tackle.—A tackle fitted to the quarter of the main-yard for hoisting or lowering heavy articles.
Quarter-watch.—An arrangement in men-of-war by which only one fourth of the crew have the watch on deck.
Quashee.—A West Indian negro.
Quicken.—To increase a curve.
Quick-work.—Short planks between the ports. All that part of a ship’s side which lies between the chain wales and decks; so called because it was the work the quickest completed in building a ship.
Quid.—A piece of tobacco for chewing.
Quilting.—A coating for a vessel formed of ropes woven together. Also rope’s-ending a man.
Quoin.—A wedge to support the breech of a gun for depressing or elevating it. Also a wedge to steady casks.
R.—An initial signifying “run,” placed against the name of a deserter.
Rabbet.—The part of the stem and stern-post where the hood-ends fit into.
Race.—A strong tide. Also the engines of a steamer race when they work with great rapidity from the loss of resisting power, caused, for instance, by the breaking of the shaft or the dropping off of the propeller, or the raising of the stern of the ship, thereby lifting the screw out of the water.
Rack.—A fair-leader for running rigging.
Rack-bar.—A wooden lever.
Rack-block.—A piece of wood shaped into several blocks and used for fair-leaders.
Racking.—Seizing two ropes together.
Raddle.—To make flat work, such as boat’s gripes, by interlacing.
Raffle.— Odds and ends of gear, a muddle of rigging such as might litter a deck from the fall of a mast, &c.
Raft-port.—A bow-port, sometimes a port under the counter for timber-loading.
Raft-dog.—A piece of flat iron with the ends bent.
Rafting.—To float timber or casks to or from a ship by binding them together.
Raise tacks and sheets!—An order in tacking to let go the fore and main tacks and main sheet.
Rake.—The inclination of a mast from the perpendicular. Also to sweep a ship’s deck by firing along her whole length over her stem or bows.
Rakish.—Having the look of being fast and powerful.
Ram.—A projection at the stem of an iron-clad.
Ram-head.—A halyard-block.
Ram-line.—A line used for finding a straight middle line on a spar.
Ramming.—Driving a ship, furnished with a projection under her bows, stem on into another.
Ramshackle.—Disorderly. Said of a ship in a bad condition of hull and masts.
Randan fashion.—A boat rowed by a bow and stroke man, each pulling one oar, and a midship man pulling a pair of sculls.
Range— Range alongside, to draw abreast. Also an extent of cable ranged along the deck ready for letting go the anchor.
Range-heads.—The windlass bitts.
Rap-full.—Said of a ship on a wind when her sails are clean full.
Rasing iron.—A caulker’s tool for cleaning seams.
Rate.—The rate of a chronometer is the difference of its daily errors. Also the rating of a seaman is his rank or position.
Rational horizon—A circle parallel to the sensible horizon passing through the centre of the earth.
Ratlines.- Small ropes fastened to the shrouds, and forming a ladder.
Rat’s tail.—A rope’s end that tapers.
Rattle down.—To put on ratlines.
Rave-hook.—A tool for extracting oakum from seams.
Razee.—A line-of-battle ship cut down by one deck.
Ready about!—The order for all hands to go to their stations for tacking.
Rear-Admiral.—The admiral in command of the third division of a fleet. He carries his flag at the mizzen.
Rearing.—Said of the sides of a ship which are up and down like a wall.
Rear-ship.—The hindmost vessel of a fleet.
Rebojos.—Severe S.W. squalls encountered off the coast of Brazil.
Recall signals.—Lights or flags hoisted by a vessel to recall her boats.
Receiver of wreck.—A person appointed to take charge of any vessel stranded or in distress, and to receive depositions from mariners who have been in peril, &c.
Reckoning.—A ship’s reckoning is the account of the vessel’s position, by which it can be known at any time, approximately, where she is.
Red flag at masthead.—French privateers used to hoist this color before an engagement, to signify that, if they conquered, they would give no quarter.
Reef.—To diminish the expanse of a sail by knotting the reef points in it upon the yard, or at the foot of a fore-and-aft sail.
Reef a bowsprit.—To reef a bowsprit is to heave it by a heel-rope in board to the required fid-hole, and then set up the gear again.
Reef-bands.—Bands of canvas across a sail to strengthen it for the reef-points.
Reefbecket.—A becket with a toggle for reefing. The end of the becket is passed under the reef-line and then toggled.
Reefer.—A midshipman.
Reefing paddles.—To reef a paddle-wheel is to disconnect the float boards from the paddle-arms and secure them afresh nearer the centre of the wheel.
Reef in stays —Reefing top-sails when in the act of tacking.
Reef knot.—A knot formed of two loops, one enclosing the other.
Reef-line.—A rope affixed across a sail for passing the beckets under in reefing.
Reef-pendant.—A rope in the after leech of a boom main-sail for bowsing down, with a tackle, the after-leech to the boom.
Reef-tackles.—Tackles to haul out the leech of a sail to the yardarms when reefing it.
Reef-tackle spans.—Cringles in the bolt-rope.
Reeming.—Opening seams for the admission of caulking.
Reeming-beetle.—A large mallet.
Reeming-iron.—The tool used in opening the seams.
Reeve.—To pass a rope through a block or any aperture or eye.
Refit.—To repair damages. To put the rigging into proper condition.
Refraction.—The difference between the real and apparent place of a heavenly body.
Register.—A ship’s register is a document giving her name, tonnage, official number, &c.
Registrar-General of Seamen.—An officer appointed to keep a register of all persons who serve in ships which come under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts.
Relieve.—To relieve is to replace a man by another, so that he may rest. “Relieve the wheel,” an order for a man to take the helmsman’s place at the end of two hours.
Relieving tackles.—Tackles hooked on the tiller to help the helm in heavy weather.
Render.—To pass a rope through a place. A rope is also said to render when it surges or slips. Also to yield. A cable is rendered when it is eased.
Respondentia.—Money lent on security of cargo.
Retard.—A term applied to the time that has elapsed between the moon’s transit, at which a tide originated, and the appearance of the tide itself.
Revenue-cutter.—An armed, single-masted vessel for preventing smuggling.
Reverse valve.—A valve fixed on or near the top of a marine boiler, to prevent the straining of the boiler by the outside atmosphere when a vacuum takes place in the boiler.
Rhumb-line.—A track on the earth’s surface that cuts all the meridians at the same angle. Also rhumb-lines are the lines which divide the compass card into thirty-two points.
Ribbands.—Pieces of timber nailed outside the ribs of a wooden ship.
Ribbing-nail.—A large nail used in wooden ship building.
Riders.— Poles used in stowing flax, &c.
Ride.—To ride at anchor, to lie at anchor. “She rode easily,” said of a ship making good weather when hove-to in a storm.
Ride down.—To hang on to halyards, so as to help with one’s weight the men who are hauling. Also to come down a stay for tarring it.
Riders.—Timber from the keelson to the orlop beams for additional strength. Also casks stowed above the ground tier. Also contrivances for strengthening a wooden ship against hogging and sagging strains.
Ridge-ropes.—The ropes to which an awning is stretched. Also life-lines, stretched along in foul weather.
Riding-bills.—The bitts to which a cable is fastened when a ship is at anchor.
Riding-light.—A lantern hoisted or shown on board a vessel at anchor.
Rig.—The rig of a vessel means her character ; as brig-rig, barquerig, ship-rig,&c. Also to fit all the rigging to a ship’s masts.
Rig in.—To draw a boom in.
Rig out.—To run a boom out. Also to dress or outfit a person.
Rig the capstan.—To ship the bars ready for heaving.
Rigger.—A man whose vocation is that of rigging vessels.
Rigging.—Standing rigging consists of all those ropes which are fixed, such as shrouds, backstays, &c. Running rigging of all those ropes which can be pulled upon, such as halyards, clew-lines, &c.
Right ascension.—The right ascension of a celestial body is an arch of the equinoctial contained between the first point of Aries and the point of the equinoctial cut by a meridian passing through the object.
Right-handed.—A rope the strands of which are laid with the sun, i.e. from right to left.
Righting.—Said of a ship that recovers herself after having been thrown on her beam-ends.
Right the helm.—Put it amidships; in a line with the keel.
Right up and down.—Said of a dead calm.
Rim.—The edge of a top.
Ring.—An iron hoop at the upper extremity of the shank of an anchor for attaching the cable to.
Ring-bolt.—A ring fitted to an eye-bolt.
Ring-stopper.—Rope secured to a ring-bolt and attached to the cable through other ring-bolts as a precaution in veering.
Ring-tail.—A small sail, shaped like a jib and set outside the spanker.
Rivet.—A bar of metal used for securing the plates of an iron ship to the frames.
Roach.—The curve in the foot of a sail.
Road.—An anchorage clear of the shore.
Rotund.—A piece of line or sennit at the head of a sail to attach it to the jackstay.
Roband hitch.—A hitch for securing the pieces of rope which secure a sail to the jackstay.
Rocket.—A signal of distress. Also a means of firing a line to a ship in distress.
Rocket-apparatus.—A contrivance for throwing a line to a ship by a rocket; a block and rove line are then conveyed, by means of which a hawser is sent aboard, and the men are brought ashore in a cradle or breeches buoy.
Rode oj all.—An order to throw in the oars of a boat.
Roger.—One of the names of the pirate’s flag.
Rogue’s yarn.—A yarn in a rope for detecting its theft.
Roll.—To sway from side to side in contradistinction to pitch.
Rollers.—A violent swell during a calm ; attributed to the earthquake wave, but the origin is not satisfactorily known.
Rolling hitch.—A hitch for attaching the tail of a jigger. &c., to a rope.
Rolling tackles.—Tackles for steadying the yards in rough weather.
Rombowline.—Old rope, canvas, &c.
Rooming.—Running to leeward.
Rope—A line composed of threads of hemp, coir, manila, steel, or other stuff. The threads are called yarns; the yarns are twisted into strands, and the strands laid up into rope. Also to rope a sail is to affix ropes, called the bolt-ropes, to the sides of it all round, in order to strengthen it, &c.
Rope funnel.—A funnel formerly used, when a better was not to be had, for filling water-casks, and was made by flemishing a length of rope down, stopping the parts at each turn with rope yarns, and then turning it inside out so as to form a cone.
Ropemaker’s eye.—An eye or loop in a hemp cable formed by two strands twisted up on the bight.
Ropes.—”To know the ropes”—to know his business.
Rope’s-ending.—Beating a man or boy with the end of a rope.
Rope yarn—A thread of any stuff of which ropes are made.
Rope yarn knot.—A knot used in tying yarns together, formed by splitting the ends of two yarns, and knotting one of the split parts.
Rose.—A strainer at the heel of a pump to prevent choking.
Rose-lashing:—Lashing used for the eyes of rigging, &c.
Rosier.—A list for routine on any particular duty.
Rough-tree.—An unfinished mast or spar.
Round charter.—A charter on a round of voyages.
Round dozen.—Thirteen lashes when men were flogged.
Round-house.—A cabin built on deck roofed by the poop.
Round in.—To haul, as “round in the weather braces.”
Rounding.—A sort of small junk, unlaid. Also rope round a large rope.
Round shot.—A single solid iron shot of various weights.
Roundup.—To haul upon a tackle.
Rouse.—To haul taut; to pull in or drag forward.
Roving commission.—Liberty to an officer in command of a ship of war to cruise wherever he thinks proper.
Rowle.—A small crane.
Rowlocks.—Brass forks in a boat’s gunwale for rowing. Also holes cut in the gunwale for the oars.
Row-ports.—Apertures in the sides of a vessel near the water for sweeps.
Royal.—A light sail set over the topgallant-sail.
Royal masthead.—The upper end of the topmost mast of a ship, unless skysail masts are carried.
Royal yard.—The yard above the topgallant yard to which the royal is bent.
Rubber.—A contrivance for flattening the seams of a sail in sail-making.
Rudder-bands.—The hinges of the rudder. Also called braces.
Rudder chains.—Affixed to the hinder part of the rudder and worked by tackle when the tiller is damaged.
Rudder-rake.—The hinder part of the rudder.
Rudder-rods.—Rods fitting over sheaves, and used to steer steamers from the bridge.
Rudder-trunk.—A casing of wood fitted into the helm port for the rudder-stock to work in.
Rule of the Road.—Regulations for controlling the navigation of vessels in rivers and seas, for the avoidance of collisions, &c.
Rumbo.—Stolen rope.
Rum-gagger.—A sham sailor who begs.
Run-—The hollow curving in a vessel’s bottom that rises and narrows under the quarters.
Rundle.—The upper part of a capstan.
Rungheads.—Floor timber ends.
Run goods.—Goods which have been smuggled ashore.
Rungs.—Floor timbers.
Runlet.—A measure of eighteen gallons and a half.
Run money.—The money paid to the crew of a coaster for a short trip. Also money paid for apprehending a deserter.
Runner.—A crimp, one who furnishes crews. Also the cant name for a crimp. Also a single rope rove through a movable block. And formerly, a vessel that sailed without a convoy in time of war.
Runner and tackle.—A single block fitted with a lashing; the runner is rove through it and spliced round the double block of a tackle, of which the single block is fitted with a hook.
Running.—Sailing with the wind over the stern.
Running agreement.—An agreement entered into by a crew to make two or more voyages in a foreign-going ship, whose voyages average less than six months in duration.
Running bowline.—A bowline with the standing part running through it, forming a noose.
Running bowsprit.—A bowsprit, such as a cutter’s, that can be slided in and out.
Running rigging.—All the ropes of a ship which lead through blocks, &c., and can be hauled and worked. Also called running gear.
Ryak.—An Esquimaux boat, built of wood, whalebone, &c., and covered with skins. It has a round hole in the centre, in which the occupant sits.
Saddle.—A piece of wood fitted to a yard, hollowed for the upper part of a boom to rest in.
Saddle of jib boom.—A piece of wood affixed to the bowsprit to steady the heel of the jib boom.
Saddle of spanker boom.—A support for the jaws of the spanker boom on the mizzen-trysail mast.
Safety-valve.—A valve affixed to the marine boiler, and so arranged that when the steam in the boiler gets to any given pressure, the valve lifts and allows the steam to escape.
Sag.—To drift bodily.
Sagged.—A ship is said to be sagged when her bottom curves downwards through straining.
Sail-burton.—See Sail-tackle.
Sail-hook.—A hook for holding the seams of a sail whilst sewing it.
Sailing-gig.—An open boat fitted with a battened lug-sail.
Sailor’s blessing.—A curse.
Sailor’s pleasure.—Yarning, smoking, dancing, growling, &c.
Sailor’s waiter.—A term applied to the second mate of small vessels.
Sails are square or fore-and-aft. A square sail is fastened to a yard and hoisted up a mast. A fore-and-aft sail is fastened to a gaff or travels on a stay, or sets “flying,” that is, hoisted taut on its own luff.
“Sails.”—The sailor’s name for a ship’s carpenter.
Sail signals.—A method of signaling by means of setting or furling topgallant sails and royals.
Sail-tackle.—A tackle hooked round the topmast head, used in sending a top-sail aloft for bending.
Saker.—An old piece of ordnance used in ships. It is supposed to have thrown a six-pound shot.
Salinometer.—An instrument for showing the saline density of water in marine engines.
Sally-port.—A large opening on each quarter of a fire-ship through which the people who fired the train escaped. Also the port by which a three-decker was entered.
Salt.—A sailor.
Salvage.—The saving of a vessel or any portion of her cargo from a situation of peril or after shipwreck.
Salvage bond.—A bond signed by the master, binding the owners of the ship and cargo to pay a given sum, to be afterwards proportioned by the High Court of Admiralty, to the persons who have rendered the salvage services admitted to have been performed in the bond.
Salvo.— A discharge of several guns all together.
Sampan.—A small Chinese boat.
Sampson-post.—A timber structure fitted with a bell to sound in a fog.
Sand-glass.—A glass containing sand that runs for fourteen or twenty-eight seconds, used in heaving the log.
Sand-strake.—A name for the garboard strake.
Saucer.—An iron socket in which the foot of a capstan revolves.
Save-all.—A sail under a lower studding-sail to catch the wind under the boom.
Sawed off square.—Said of a ship with an up-and-down stem and stern.
Scalding down.—Blowing hot water over a marine engine for cleansing it.
Scale.—Crust that collects upon the inside of a marine boiler.
Scale pan.—A large shallow pan for receiving the insoluble particles of salt or “scale” from marine boilers.
Scaling hammers.—Hammers for removing the scale.
Scandalizing.—Hauling up the tack of a fore-and-aft sail and lowering the peak.
Scantling.—The strength or thickness of iron or wooden sides. Literally, the sides themselves.
Scarph.—The connection of one piece of timber with the other by the overlapping of the ends.
Schooner.—A two-masted vessel rigged with fore-and-aft sails. A topsail schooner has square yards forward. A two-topsail schooner has square yards on both masts. A three-masted schooner has three masts, all rigged with fore-and-aft canvas.
Schuyt.—A Dutch vessel rigged like a galliot.
Scoffing.—Eating. To scoffs, thing is to eat it.
Scope.—Length, as a long scope of cable.
Score.—The groove cut in the side and bottom of a block to fit the strop to.
Scotch coffee.—Hot water flavored with burnt biscuit.
Scotchman.—A piece of wood fitted to a shroud or any other standing rope to save it from being chafed.
Scotch-prize.—A capture by mistake.
Scow.—A kind of lighter.
Scowbank.—One of the crew of a scow. A term of contempt addressed to a sailor.
Scraper.—A triangular iron instrument for scraping the deck. Also a cocked hat.
Screw-alley.—Also called the tunnel. An avenue direct from the engine-room of a steamer leading as far aft as the stern-tube bulkhead.
Screw-well.—An aperture over the screw of an auxiliary for allowing the propeller to be lifted.
Scribe.—To mark packages in bond with the number and weight.
Scrimp.—Small, faint, as ” a scrimp wind.”
Scrimshandy.—An Americanism signifying the objects in ivory or bone carved by whalemen during their long voyages.
Scrive board.—A number of planks clamped edge to edge together, and painted black. On these boards are marked with a sharp tool the lines of the sections or frames which have been previously drawn upon it. Used in iron ship-building.
Scrowl.—A piece of timber fixed to the knees of the head.
Scud.—To drive before a gale.
Scudders —The name given to fishermen, who, in hauling in the nets, shake the meshes in order to jerk out the fish.
Scuffle-hunters.—Formerly a set of men who offered their services on board a discharging ship ; they wore long aprons, in which to hide whatever they could steal.
Scull.—A small oar. Also to propel a boat by working an oar over the stern.
Scupper-leather.—A flap of leather outside a scupper hole, to prevent water from entering,
Scupper-ports.—Apertures in an iron steamer’s bulwarks for freeing the decks from water.
Scuppers.—The gutter of a ship’s decks, the water-ways.
Scuttle.—To sink a ship by boring holes in her. Also the forescuttle (which see).
Scuttle-butt.—A cask on deck in which fresh water is kept.
Scuttles.—Small holes in the ship’s sides for lighting and ventilating.
Sea-anchor.—Spars lashed together and flung overboard, to prevent a ship hove-to from falling into the trough of the sea.
Sea-board.—Where land and water meet.
Sea-boots.—Tall boots well greased, used in washing down in cold weather, &c.
Sea-cunny.—A term that often occurs in the old marine annals. It means a Lascar quarter-master.
Sea-day.—A day that begins at noon and ends on the following noon. It begins twelve hours earlier than the civil day.
Sea gear.—Running rigging that is used in setting and taking in sail, &c., at sea, but which is unrove in harbor for neatness and to preserve it.
Sea-going.—Fit for the sea. As “in sea-going trim.”
Sea-lawyers.—Scheming sailors, versed in marine law, so far at least as it concerns the forecastle, and capable, like Midshipman Easy, of arguing the point with captains.
Sea-legs.—The capacity of walking the decks of a rolling ship without staggering.
Sea-license.—A special license qualifying the person to whom it is granted to act as pilot for any part of the sea beyond the limits of any pilotage authority.
Seams.—The joints of the external planking. Also the places where the cloths are sewn together in a sail.
Sea-work.—The account of the ship’s way, &c., entered in the log at sea.
Sea-worthiness.—Tight, staunch, strong, and in every way fitted for the voyage.
Second hand.—The man next to the one in charge of a smack.
Second mate.—An officer in the merchant service. He ranks after the first or chief mate, and heads the starboard watch.
Second rate.—A ship of seventy-four guns was so called.
Secret block.—A sheave in a shell with holes in one extremity, large enough to receive the rope.
“See all clear for stays!”—An order preparatory to tacking a ship.
Seizing.—The lanyard, line, or stuff, with which anything is made fast. To seize, is to make a thing fast, by securing it to a place; as to seize a flag in the rigging.
Selvagee.—Rope-yarns worked into a bight and marled with spunyarn. Used as block-strops, &c.
Semaphore.—A signal consisting of arms, whose different postures signify certain meanings.
Send down.—To send down a yard, is to cast off all the rigging, bend the yard-rope to the slings, and stop it to the quarters; sway away, to remove the lifts and braces, and then lower. A mast is sent down by a mast rope.
Send or Scend.—The impulse of a wave by which a ship is carried bodily.
Senior officer.—The officer in command of a ship or squadron for the time being.
Sennit.—Rope-yarns twisted into foxes and plaited.
Sensible horizon.—The line described by sea and water where they meet.
Serang.—An Asiatic boatswain.
Serons.—Bullocks’ hides in which South American indigo is packed.
Serve.—To supply a gun with ammunition and to handle it.
Service.—Small stuff laid tightly round a rope.
Serving-board.—A wooden implement for laying small stuff upon a rope.
Serving-mallet.—A wooden implement used for laying spun-yarn or other small stuff on a large rope.
Serving out.—Giving the allowance of provisions, water, or rum, to the crew.
Set.—The set of a current is the compass direction it moves in.
Set flying.—Said of sails which are set from the deck or tops, such as a studding-sail.
Setting.—To pole a boat or barge along.
Setting-up.—To set up rigging is to bring it taut.
Settle.—To sink slowly; to founder. A whale settles when it sinks bodily in a horizontal position without moving tail or fin. Also to lower slowly, as ” Settle away those halyards!”
Sextant.—An instrument with an arch of 120° for measuring angular distances to determine the longitude. It is constructed on the same principle as a quadrant, but is furnished with more appliances than that instrument, to insure greater accuracy.
Shackle iron.—An iron bar for drawing bolts.
Shade errors.—Errors due to inequality of the glass of the colored shades of a sextant.
Shafting.—The connected shafts or lengths of steel or iron bars to which the propeller of a screw-steamer is attached.
Shaft stool.—The base of the shaft bearings in the tunnel of a screw-steamer.
Shake-out.—To unknot the reef-points in order to expand more of the sail.
Shaking.—Shaking a cask is knocking it into staves which are made into bundles.
Shakings.—Old canvas, rope, &c.
Shallop.—A boat formerly carried by ships.
Shallow-waistcd.—Said of a flush-decked ship where there is no poop nor topgallant forecastle to make a well.
Shank.—The middle piece of an anchor.
Shank-painter.—The rope or chain by which an anchor is secured to a ship’s side.
Shanty.—A small house. Sailor’s name for a bad house.
Shaping course.—”We shaped our course for such-and-such a port,” meaning, “We headed the ship for the port in question, and steered for it.”
Shark’s-mouth.—That part of an awning that fits round a mast.
Sharp up.—When the yards are braced hard against the lee rigging.
Shear-legs.—Appliances used for getting out and landing heavy weights, such as boilers, machinery, engines, &c., also for masting and dismasting vessels.
Shear-pole.—A pole for swifting in the rigging to put the ratlines on.
Shears.—Spars lashed together at angles, and used for taking in masts.
Sheathing.—The metal on a ship’s bottom, usually called yellow metal.
Sheathing-boards.—Boards formerly affixed to the bottom of vessels to protect them from sea-worms, &c.
Sheath-knife.—A knife carried in a sheath fitted to a belt round the waist.
Sheave.—The wheel inside a block which revolves with the rope that is hauled through it.
Shebeen.—A low public-house.
Sheepshank.—Half hitches over the ends of the bight in a rope, to shorten it without cutting.

Sheer.—The curve of a ship’s deck towards the head and stern. Also called spring.
Sheer-batten.—A piece of wood fixed to the shrouds above the deadeyes to prevent them from turning.
Sheer-drawing.—A drawing of a ship composed of three parts, i.e. the sheer plan, the half-breadth plan, and the body plan.
Sheer hulk.—An old dismasted, useless hull.
Sheering.—The shaping of any ship upwards.
Sheer off.—To shift the helm and get away.
Sheer-plan.—A drawing descriptive of half of the longest and widest and level section in a ship.
Sheer-streak.—The first plank below the covering-board.
Sheet-bend.—A bend for joining two ropes.
Sheet home.—An order to haul by means of the sheets the outer corners or clews of the sails to the yard-arms.
Sheets.—Ropes attached to the lower corners of square sails, and the after lower corners of fore-and-aft sails.
Sheeve ho!—A cry raised when the blocks of a tackle come together.
Shelf.—Internal ribs of wood along the whole length of a vessel to receive the ends of the beams.
Shell.—The outside portion of the case of a boiler. Also a projectile filled with a bursting charge. Also the outside part of a block.
Shelter-deck.—A name given to a deck that extends throughout a ship’s length and breadth. Such terms are quite new and apparently arbitrary, and consequently any attempt to define them must be unsatisfactory.
Shift.—To shift a sail is to unbend it and replace it by another.
Shifting-boards. —Movable boards in the hold of a ship to prevent the cargo from shifting in a sea-way.
Shimal.—A gale encountered in the Persian Gulf.
Shingle-tramper.—A coast-guardsman.
Ship.—A three-masted vessel with square yards, tops and top-mast crosstrees on each mast. Also, in law, any kind of vessel used in navigation, not propelled by oars.
Ship-boy.—An apprentice. A cabin boy. The term is obsolete.
Ship-chandler.—A tradesman who supplies ships with marine stores.
Ship-keeper.—A person who has charge of a ship in harbor when there is no crew aboard.
Shipmate.—Sailor’s word for brother-worker. One of a crew having relation to that crew. Messmate is one of a watch, having relation to that watch, because the members of it take their meals together.
Shipper.—One who embarks goods.
Shipping-bills.—Tapers containing particulars of the cargo to be shipped.
Shipping-master.—A person appointed to superintend the engagement and discharge of seamen, and to perform other duties.
Shipping-office.—An office where crews are engaged by captains, and where they sign articles.
Ship’s cousin.—One who lives aft, yet has to do the work of a foremast hand.
Ship’s husband.—A person to whom the management of a ship is entrusted by or on behalf of the owner.
Shipshape and Bristol fashion.—Spick and span. Everything smart above and below.
Ship-sloop.—Formerly a twenty-four-gun vessel that was rated as a ship when commanded by a captain.
Shipwright surveyor.—A person appointed to report upon the construction, life-saving equipment, water-tight bulkheads, &c., of iron and wooden ships.
Shiver.—To shiver a sail is to shake the wind out of it by luffing or bracing the yards to the wind.
Shoot the sun.—Taking its altitude.
Shop.—A dock term applied to three or more packages of tea arranged for the inspection of the brokers.
Shore.—To prop up a ship or anything with spars called shores.
Shore-anchor.—The anchor, when a ship is moored, that is between the shore and the ship.
Shore-cleats.—Pieces of wood fixed on a vessel’s side to support the shore-head when the ship is shored upright.
Shore-fast.—A rope that secures the vessel to anything on shore.
Short allowance.—A reduction in the quantity of provisions or water served out.
Short-handed.—Said of a ship without enough hands to work her properly.
Short-linked chain.—A chain without studs and consequently short- linked.
Short sea.—A quick jerky sea.
Short service.—Formerly said of chafing gear in a short range of hemp cable.
Short sheet.—A rope attached to the inner corner of a topmast studding-sail and belayed in the top.
Short-splice.—A connection formed by passing the six strands of two ropes over and under one another, and dividing the yarns so as to taper the splice.
Short topgallant mast.—A topgallant mast fitted with crosstrees above which a royal mast may be rigged and secured by a fid. See Slump topgallant mast.
Shot in the locker.—Money possessed by a seaman. “There is still a shot left in the locker,” or “the locker is low.”
Shot-lockers.—Places where the shot is kept in men-of-war, usually on each side of the fire-magazine.
Shot racks.—Iron rods fitted to hold shot.
Shot soup.—A name given to the pea-soup served out to the forecastle on account of the bullet-like hardness of the peas in it.
Shoulder-block.—A block with a projection in the shell to prevent the rope from jamming against the spar to which the block is affixed.
Shout.—A kind of punt used for shooting wild fowl. Also, standing drinks all round.
Shovel.—A term of con tempt applied to an incapable marine engineer.
Show a leg!—” Show a leg, there!” means, ” Show yourself” on the order being given to turn out.
Shrapnel.—Projectiles of shell for long range filled with bursting charge and bullets.
Shroud-laid.—A rope whose strands are laid from right to left.
Shrouds.—Ropes for the support of masts. They were formerly hemp, but are now nearly always of wire.
Shroud trucks.—Pieces of perforated wood seized to the standing rigging as fair-leaders for the running rigging.
Shrub.—An intoxicating drink sold in Calcutta to seamen.
Shuffle-board.—A game of quoits played on board ship.
Sick flag.—A name for the quarantine flag.
Sick mess.—The mess into which the sick men of a man-of-war’s crew are put.
Side ladder.—The gangway ladder (which see).
Side-men.—Men who attend the gangway to hand the side-ropes, &c., when a boat containing an officer or anybody of importance comes alongside.
Side or sister keelsons.—Timbers inside the frame of a ship abreast of the main-mast to strengthen the vessel in that part.
Side-pieces.—The name given to certain parts of a made mast.
Sidereal day.—The interval between the transit of a star over a meridian and its return to the same meridian.
Side-rods.—These are rods on each side the cylinder of a marine engine for producing a simultaneous movement.
Side-steps.—Small pieces of wood fixed to the side of a ship to serve as steps for climbing aboard.
Side-valve casing.—A cover to the nozzles or steam-ports on one side of the cylinder of a marine engine.
Sights.—Taking sights—taking an observation. To sight a mast is to watch it whilst it is being stayed.
Sight the anchor.— This is to heave it up until it shows, that it may be seen clear.
Signal-man.—A first-class petty officer in the navy who has charge of the signals.
Signal-stations.—Stations on the coast of England and abroad with which ships can communicate by means of the International Code of Signals.
Sill.—A piece of timber against which the gates of a dock close.
Silt.—Mud or shingle thrown up by the action of the tide.
Single.—To single a purchase is to unreeve the running part of it.
Single boating system.—Smacks fishing singly instead of in fleets. See Fleeting.
Single top-sail.—A whole top-sail—that is, the sail not divided by a yard. See Double Top-sails.
Single-whip.—A single rope rove through a fixed block.
Sing out.—To call, to hail. “Sing out!” also means, “Shout louder!”
Sing song.—Sailor’s name for a Chinese theatre.
Sinnit.—Grass laid up in plaits and used by sailors for making hats. See Sennit.
Siren —A horn for sounding blasts in foggy weather.
Sir-mark.—A particular mark to guide workmen in shipbuilding.
Sister-block.—Two blocks formed out of one piece of wood.
Six upon four.—Said of six men put upon rations which would be the usual allowance of four men.
Six-water grog.—Rum diluted by six times its quantity of water; reckoned a poor drink by Jack in old days, though in this age he gets nothing stronger than limejuice.
Skeel.—The name of a large kid or tub.
Skeet.—A scoop that was formerly used for wetting sails in light winds to accelerate the pace of the ship.
Skid-beams.—Supports on which booms and boom-boats are stowed.
Skids.—Large fenders over a ship’s side. Also supports on which boats are stowed on deck.
Skiff.—A long slender boat with a hole in the centre fitted with a sliding seat, used in rowing matches. It has nothing to do with sailors.
Skin.—To skin a sail is to roll it up taut and smoothly in the headband. Also the interior sides of a ship’s hold.
Skulls.—Small oars.
Sky-larking.—Horse-play; acting the fool.
Sky-light.—A glazed frame over a cabin, engine-room, &c., for the admission of light and air.
Sky-sail.—A small square sail that sets on a pole above the royalmast.
Sky-sail-pole.—A mast on which the sky-sail yard travels. It is a continuation of the royal mast.
Sky-scraper.—An imaginary sail set along with moon-sails, angel’s foot-stools, and the like, jokingly assumed to be carried by Yankees.
Slab.—The slack part of a sail.
Slab-line.—A rope to haul up the foot or slab of a course.
Slack helm.—Said of a ship that carries a lee helm.
Slack in stays —Slow in tacking; slow when in the act of going about.
Slack water.—The state of water in the pause between the flux and reflux of the tide.
Slatting.—The violent shaking of a fore-and-aft sail when in the wind or when being hauled down.
Sleepers.—Two cross-pieces over the top. Also knees which connect the transoms with the after timbers on a ship’s quarter.
Sleep in.—To remain in bed without being roused up to come on deck. To sleep through your watch on deck or all night.
Slew.—To turn.
Slice.—An instrument used for clearing the air-spaces between the bars of a furnace.
Slide-valve. — A valve that works on a cylinder-face for admitting steam to the upper and lower ports of the cylinder alternately.
Sliding gunters.—Masts fitted abaft a mast, and which may be easily got up and taken down.
Sliding keel.—A keel that may be lowered or raised at will by a winch or other apparatus.
Sling.—Passing a rope round anything to hoist it.
Sling-band.—A stout iron band round the centre of a lower yard with an eyebolt on top to which the slings are attached.
Sling-dogs.—Two iron implements shackled together and used in lifting timber.
Slings.—A chain or rope that suspends the centre of a yard. Hence “in the slings” means in the bunt or middle of a yard.
Slip —The loss of propelling power in the revolution of paddle wheels or a screw, due to the yielding of water; also to let a cable go overboard, to save the time that would be occupied in heaving up the anchor.
Slip-hooks.—Patent hooks for holding a boat at the davits; when the boat is lowered the hooks fly open and release her.
Slippery hitch.—A hitch or knot that gives when a strain is put upon it.
Slip-rope.—A rope bent to the cable and brought to the weather
quarter. Slip-shackle.—A shackle with a lever for letting go suddenly.
Slip-stopper.—A chain for stoppering the cable, for clearing hawse, unbitting, &c.
Slipway.—An inclined plane from which ships are launched.
Slives.—Heavy spars used in stowing hides.
Slobgollion.—Whaleman’s term for an oozy, stringy substance found in sperm oil.
Sloop.—A one-masted vessel with a standing bowsprit and fore-sail that sets on a stay.
Sloop-of-war.—A brig or corvette ship. She sometimes mounted eighteen guns, and, if deep waisted, twenty-six or twenty-eight.
Slops.—Clothes kept on board to sell to the crew.
Slop-shop —A ready-made clothing shop for seamen usually kept by crimps.
Sludge.—Thin spongy ice formed upon the surface of the ocean.
Slush.—Grease from the galley coppers used for greasing down the masts and making puddings for sailors.
Slush-bucket.—A bucket for holding grease, taken aloft for “greasing down.”
Slush-lamp.—A lamp used in some ships’ forecastle; it is fed by the filthy matter skimmed off the surface of the cook’s coppers. It is monstrous that owners’ parsimony should force sailors to use this vile-smelling light.
Smack.—A fishing-vessel, sometimes dandy-rigged, sometimes cutter-rigged with a jib that sets flying.
Smacksmooth.—Flush, as when a mast breaks short off the deck.
Small-arms-men.—The portion of a man-of-war’s crew trained to the use of muskets, pistols, cutlasses and other weapons which are called small arms.
Small stuff.—See Stuff.
Smart-money.—The pension given to wounded men.
Smasher.—A north-country seaman. Also the name by which the carronade used to be called.
Smiting-line.—A line used to loose a sail when confined by rope yarns.
Smoke-box.—A large receptacle for smoke in a steamer. The foot of the funnel is fitted into it through the funnel casing.
Smoke-sail.—A piece of canvas extended before the galley chimney to prevent the smoke from blowing aft when the vessel is head to wind.
Snags.—Stumps of trees which impede river navigation.
Snaking.—Winding small rope round backstays and stays and other large ropes, used in an engagement as a preventer should the rigging be severed. Also to pass small stuff round a seizing with marling hitches at the outer turns.
Snatch-block.—A block into which a ropes can be slipped without passing the end through the sheave-hole. The iron strop has a hinge to enable it to be lifted and closed.
Sneer.— To strain a vessel by carrying a heavy press of canvas.
Sneezer.—A gale of wind.
Sniffing valve.—A valve in a marine steam-engine connected with the condenser by a pipe under the air-pump. When pressed by steam entering the condenser it opens, otherwise it is kept shut by the pressure of the atmosphere.
Snotter.—A rope loop to prevent slipping, as, for instance, a block which is kept in its place at a boom-end by this loop. Also a rope for bending a tripping line to in sending down royal and topgallant yards.
Snow.—A vessel rigged like a brig, the only difference being that she has a try-sail mast for her try-sail.
Snub.—To bring up suddenly with an anchor and short range of cable. Also to check a rope suddenly.
Snug.—A ship is said to be snug when she is prepared to meet bad weather.
Sny.—An upward bend in a piece of timber.
So!—An exclamation to signify, “That will do!” “Enough!” “No higher,” &c.
Socket signal.—A rocket discharged from a socket to a great height where it explodes with much noise. It is fired by a friction tube attached to a lanyard.
Soft-tack. —Bread as distinct from biscuit, which is called ship’s bread.
Soger.—A soldier. A term of contempt applied to a sailor.
Sobering.—Loafing, skulking, idling, making pretend to work.
Solar day.—The interval between the sun’s departure from and return to the same meridian.
Soldier’s wind.—A fair wind either way, outwards or homewards; therefore a beam wind or thereabouts.
Sole piece.—A piece of timber on the heel of the rudder, meant to come easily off, should the ship take the ground.
Sole plate.—A plate that forms the foundation for a marine engine to rest on.
Solid bottomed.—Said of a vessel with close timbers in her bottom, no limbers and no proper water-ways. Any water, therefore, that a ship so built makes, has to find its way to the pump well through the ballast.
Solstitial points.—Two points of the ecliptic 90° distant from the equinoctial points.
Soniwax, or Sonnywax.—A term used by sailors when addressing boys. “Look here, my soniwax, turn to and,” &c. It is probably meant as a marine diminutive of son.
Sound.—To heave the lead. To plumb the bottom. A whale sounds when it throws its flukes aloft and sinks head foremost.
Sounding machine.—A machine dropped overboard and operated on by the water that turns a fan whose motion is communicated to the register wheels by which the depth of the water is shown.
Sounding-rod.—A rod marked with a scale of feet and inches, for dropping into the well to ascertain the depth of water.
Soundings.—In soundings, is being in water whose bottom can be reached by the lead. Soundings is the name given to the entrance of the English Channel between latitude 480 and 490
Soup and bouilli.—Pronounced soup and bully, and nicknamed by Jack, soap and bullion: preserved meat, vegetables, &c., in soup—usually horribly nauseous.
Southerly-buster.—A sudden gale from the southward in Australian latitudes.
Southing.—Distance made good to the south.
Sou’-wester.—A waterproof covering for the head, with a thatch down the back for the water to drain off by.
Space system.—A mode of ventilating a ship’s hold freighted with bags of rice. A tunnel is formed of the bags, placed fore and aft, leaving an empty space about a foot wide which forms the ventilating tunnel. This is also known as Heap’s system.
Span.—A rope made fast at both ends for hooking a block to the bight of it.
Span-blocks.—Blocks at the head of the top-mast and topgallant mast for studding-sail halyards to reeve through.
Span-irons.—Harpoons secured to the sides of a whale-boat above the thwarts.
Spanish burton.—A tackle consisting of two single blocks, one fixed, the other movable.
Spanish foxes.—Single rope-yarns unlaid and then rolled up. See
Spanish reef.—The yards on the cap.
Spanish windlass.—A purchase for bringing two taut ropes together.
Spanker.—The fore-and-aft gaff-sail on the mizzen-mast of a ship or barque. Also called Mizzen and Driver.
Spanking.—Sailing swiftly along with the wind so quartered as to keep the spanker full.
Spanner.—A key for screwing up nuts.
Span of rigging.—Is the length of the shrouds from the dead-eyes to the mast-head and down the other side.
Spar.—The term for any kind of mast, boom, &c.
Spar buoys.—A buoy showing only a mast above water.
Spar deck.—Defined as being the third deck from below. But the term is now used without much attention to the old meaning. It is best, perhaps, to define it as a light deck fitted over the upper deck of a vessel.
Spar-decked.—This term is applied to iron steamers whose sheer strake plate is half above and half below the line of main deck beams.
Spar down.—This is to place spars in the rigging for the men to stand on whilst rattling down.
Sparred.—A vessel is lightly or heavily sparred according as her masts and yards are below or above her dimensions in weight and height.
Speaking.—A vessel is said to speak, when she begins to throw the water from her bows. Also, speaking is to meet and hail a ship at sea or to signal her with flags.
Speaking-trumpet.—A tube for hailing and speaking through, when the ship to be spoken is too far off for the natural voice to make itself heard. It is also used for issuing commands in a storm.
Spectianeer.—The head or chief harpooner in a whaler.
Spell.—An interval of labour or rest. As, to take a spell at the pumps is to be actively employed ; to take a spell below, is to turn in and do nothing.
Spenser.—A try-sail.
Spent shot.—A shot near the end of its journey, but very capable of doing a deal of mischief.
Spewing oakum.—This is said of a vessel when through her laboring she forces the oakum out of her seams.
Spherical buoy.—A buoy showing a domed top above water.
Spider.—An iron outrigger to keep a block clear of the ship’s side.
Spider-hoop.—A hoop round a mast fitted with belaying-pins.
Spilling-line.—A rope for shaking the wind out of a sail by spilling it.
Spinnaker.— A large triangular sail used by racing yachts.
Spinnaker boom.—A boom to extend a spinnaker sideways when the wind is abaft.
Spirketting.—The planking over the water-ways.
Spitfire jib.—A small yacht’s jib made of strong canvas for rough weather.
Splice.—A connection formed by passing the ends of two ropes through their strands.
Splice the main brace.—An expression to denote serving out grog.
“Splice the standing, knot the running rigging.”—The method of temporarily repairing injuries sustained by the rigging after an engagement.
Sponsons.—Platforms or extensions on either side the paddle-box of a steamer.
Spoon-barge.—A barge furnished with an apparatus that lifts mud for dredging or cleansing purposes, and throws it into the bottom of the barge.
Spoon-drift.—A name given to the spray swept in a gale from the tops of seas and that forms a haze.
Spooning.—Running under small canvas. A very old and obsolete word.
Spread-eagle.—The posture of a man seized up to be flogged. To “make a spread-eagle” of a man is to flog him. “Brought to the gangway” means the same thing.
Spring.—A rope led from a ship’s quarter to her cable, to bring her broadside to bear upon a given object. Also a rise or curve in the bow or stem of a ship.
Spring-stay.—A preventer stay for the extra support of a mast.
Springtides.—High tides which occur after new and full moon.
Sprit-—A small sail carried by open boats. Also a sail carried by a barge called a spritsail barge.
Spritsail sheet-knot.—”No larger than a spritsail sheet-knot,” said of a small man or boy.
Spritsail topsail.—A sail that formerly extended above the sprit sail by a yard which hung under the jib boom.
Spritsail-yard.—A yard that formerly crossed the lower part of the bowsprit on which a sail called the spritsail was set. The spritsail was furnished with a large hole at each lower corner to let the water escape. The spritsail-yard was retained long after the sail was disused, but is now almost universally replaced by whiskers (which see).
Spritsail-yard fore and aft.—In former times, when men-of-war were rigged with these spars upon their bowsprits, they would, before boarding an enemy, haul the spritsail yards round on a line, or nearly so, with the bowsprit, so that they might not be in the way. This was called “spritsail-yard fore and aft.”
Spritsail-yarding.—Rigging a shark with a piece of spar through his nose and sending him adrift.
Sprocket wheel.—A wheel in the chain-pump worked by a handle.
Sprung.—A spar is sprung when the fibers of the wood are injured by straining.
Spuds.—Jack’s name for potatoes.
Spume.—Froth blown up by the wind. Very different from spray.
Spun-yarn.—Stuff made by twisting old yarns together with a little winch.
Spurling-line.—This used to be a line that was fitted to the wheel and an indicator to show the direction of the tiller.
Squall.—A sudden burst of wind of short duration; though, to be sure, a gale may sometimes come on in a squall.
Square.—Square-rigged, having yards instead of gaffs.
Square-butted.—This term is applied to a yard-arm sufficiently stout to enable a sheave-hole to be cut in it without weakening the spar.
Square knot.—A reef knot.
Square-rigged.—A ship; but the term is applied to any mast that carries square yards, such, for instance, as a brigantine, which you would describe as being square-rigged forward.
Square sail.—A large sail that is set from the deck upon the foreyard of a schooner.
Square-tucks.—Sterns square below, like boat’s sterns, with a modern stern built up from the counter.
Square yards.—Literally when the yards lie fair upon the masts exactly athwartships: but the term is also applied to very or long yards.
Squaring-marks.—Marks on the lifts and braces for squaring the yards.
Squaring yard signals.—A method of directing the bracing and topping of the yards by exhibiting hand-flags.
Squat.—A vessel is said to squat when she sails on an uneven keel.
Squatter.—To lie broad upon the water.
Squillagee.—A small swab.
Stabber.—A small marline-spike.
Staff.—A flag-pole.
Staff-captain.—A master of the fleet.
Staff-commander.—A master of fifteen years’ seniority.
Stage.—A platform hung over the side for men to stand on whilst painting, carpentering, &c.
Staith.—A structure for shooting coal into a ship’s hold.
Stanchion.—An upright support, such as the bulwark stanchions, the stanchions in a cabin, &c.
Standard.—A knee above the deck.
Standard compass.—A compass from which a ship’s course is given and referred to the steering compass by comparison
Standards.—Iron connections between the stern-post and deck beams of a screw-steamer to resist the vibration caused by the propeller.
Stand by! —An order to make ready. Literally, stand by the ropes, ready to let go.
Stand-by steering gear.—A wheel situated aft, working the rudder by screw-gear, for use in case of the midship steering-gear breaking down.
Standing.—Steering in a certain direction, as ” she was standing to the eastward.” Also, the part of a rope that is fast, that cannot be hauled on is called the standing part.
Standing gaff.—A gaff that does not lower, such as the gaff of a ship’s mizzen which is taken in by being hauled down the gaff and brailed up against the mast.
Standing jib.—A large jib carried by ships or barques, but now replaced by the inner and outer jibs.
Standing rigging.—All the ropes in a ship which are fitted and stationary, such as the shrouds, stays and backstays, martingale, bobstays, &c.
Stands.—The name given to poles placed across rivers to bar entrance.
Starboard.—The right-hand side, looking forward.
Starboard tack.—A ship is on this tack when she is sailing with the wind blowing over the right-hand bow.
Starboard the helm! —An order to shift the wheel so as to force the vessel’s head to the left.
Starbowlines.—An old name for the portion of the crew who form the starboard watch.
Star-gazer.—An imaginary sail, like sky-scraper (which see).
Start.—Any fixed thing forcibly moved without being wholly removed from its place, as from the blow of a sea or a collision, is said to be started. Also a cask is said to be started when it is opened.
Starting gear.—The general name of the levers, wheels, &c., used for starting marine engines.
Station staffs.—Curved battens used in shipbuilding.
Stations for stays!—In a man-of-war this means to make ready for going about.
Staves.—The pieces of wood which form the sides of a cask.
Stay.—A rope that supports a mast by leading forward. The stays take their names from the masts they support, such as the main stay, the fore-topmast stay, the mizzen-topgallant stay.
Stayed forward or aft.—Said of masts inclined towards the bows or the stern by ill-judged tension of the stays or backstays.
Staying.—Tacking. The act of beating or going about.
Stays.—A vessel is in stays when she is in the act of tacking It includes the whole procedure from the time of “helm’s alee!” to “let go and haul!”
Stay-sail.—A fore-and-aft sail that hoists upon a stay. Stay-sails take their names from the stays on which they travel.
Stay-tackles.—Tackles attached to a stay for hoisting weights or lowering them.
Steady!—An order to the helmsman to keep the vessel heading as she goes.
Steadying-lines—Ropes used in a boat for keeping her upright in hoisting.
Stealer.—The name given to a plank in a strake that does not extend right forward or aft.
Steam-chest.—A term that indicates the space above the water surface in the boiler of a marine engine.
Steam-circle.—A circle drawn on the chart round the port to which a steamer is bound, for calculating distance with reference to the amount of coal on board.
Steam-gauge.—An indicator for showing the pressure in pounds of steam upon the square inch in boilers.
Steam-pipe.—A pipe connected with the stop or communication valve of a marine boiler to convey the steam to the super heater or from one boiler to another or to the engines.
Steam-space.—The portion of the boiler, above the water-level, where the steam accumulates.
Steam-steering apparatus.—A helm that is governed by steam. A man revolves the wheel, but the steam-engine turns the rudder. There are many different sorts.
Steeple engine.—The name given to a marine engine whose guide to the connecting-rod works above the crank shaft.
Steep-tub.—A tub in which salt meat is soaked to freshen it.
Steerage.—The after interior of a ship under the saloon, if she has a poop. By some the steerage of a ship is apparently considered to be wherever her steerage passengers are lodged. The term, however, sufficiently indicates the right locality.
Steerage-way.—Said of a vessel that has just movement enough to answer her helm.
Steer-oar.—An oar used in steering a boat.
Steeve.—A bowsprit steeves more or less according to the angle it makes with the horizon. Also to stow freight, from stevedore (which see).
Stemson.—A timber used as a support for the stem.
Step.—A timber on which the heel of a mast rests.
Stern-all!—An order to rowers to back the boat.
Sternboard.—Making a ship go backwards by her sails.
Stern chaser.—A gun in the stern-port of a ship for firing at an enemy in the wake.
Stem-on.—Keeping the stern of a boat at the seas rolling after her. Also said of a ship that rounds and presents her stern as she recedes.
Stern-ports.—Ports between the stern timbers for lights, ventilation, &c. Also for guns.
Stern-sheets.—The after-part of an open boat.
Stem-tube.—A cylinder in the after peak of a steamer in which the propeller shaft works.
Stern-tube bulkhead.—A division at the foremost end of the lazarette, to prevent the water from entering the hold should any accident befall the propeller or shaft.
Stern-walk.—In the days of three-deckers this was a platform or gallery over the stern.
Stern-way.—The movement of a vessel carried or impelled backwards.
Stevedore.—A man who stows cargo in a ship under the captain’s order.
Steward.—A saloon waiter. One who has charge of the stores. Those under him are called under-stewards.
Sticks.—A name given to masts. “She has handsome sticks,” that is, she is handsomely sparred.
Stiff.—A term applied to a ship when she is able to bear a press of sail without heeling over to any great extent.
Stiffening-booms.—Booms used for steadying vessels from which the ballast has been removed, thus enabling them to be moved to their loading berths.
Stink-pot.—A contrivance thrown on an enemy’s deck. It gives forth a horrid smell. It is still used by Chinese pirates.
Stirrups.—Pieces of rope to support the foot-ropes, or rather, on long yards, to prevent the foot-ropes from making so deep a bight as to bring a man too low for working when standing on them.
Stock.—The cross piece on the upper part of the shank of an anchor.
Stockade.—Timbers joined by iron chains and strengthened by a cable twisted round them and mounted at each end with cannons. An old method of fortifying the mouth of a river.
Stocker-bait.—Small fish given by smack-owners to their apprentices to sell for their own profit.
Stocks.—A fabric of shores and blocks shelving towards the water in which ships are built.
Stock tackle and pendent.—A tackle for dragging in the upper arm of the anchor stock.
Stoke-hole.—A place in a steamer occupied by the men who feed the fires.
Stoker.—A trimmer or fireman who attends to a steamer’s furnaces.
Stools.—Small channels for the dead-eyes of the backstays. Also supports for the shaft bearings of a propeller-shaft.
Stop.—A fastening of small stuff. See Stopping.
Stop!—The cry in heaving the log. It is delivered by the person who holds the sand-glass to denote that the sand has run out and that the log-line must be checked.
Stop-cock.—A cock for shutting off communication between boilers.
Stoppage in transit.—A term signifying that an unpaid seller or consigner of goods has a right, on the insolvency of the purchaser or consignee, to stop delivery of those goods.
Stopper.—To pass a stopper is a method of securing a rope whilst it is being made fast.
Stopper-bolts.—Ring-bolts for the deck stoppers.
Stopping.—Fastening two parts of a rope together by binding them side by side.
Stop-valves.—A valve affixed to the upper part of a boiler for confining the steam or letting it into the steam-pipes leading to the engines. Also used for letting steam from one boiler into another.
Stop-water.—A plug driven into the scarph of a keel or the foot of the stem or stern-post to prevent the water from finding its way into the ship.
Storage.—Charges for storing articles of merchandise in dock accommodation.
Store-rooms.—Rooms in a man-of-war where the carpenter’s, gunner’s and boatswain’s stores are kept.
Storm-disk.—The thin whirling stratum of air that constitutes the cyclone.
Storm-finch.—A name for the petrel or Mother Carey’s chickens.
Storm-jib.—A fore-and-aft sail of stout canvas used by ships in heavy weather.
Storm-sails.—Sails of No. I canvas, bent for use in stormy latitudes.
Strand.—A number of yarns twisted and forming a part of a rope.
Stranded.—The situation of a vessel when ashore.
Stranger.—This name is given to a vessel that heaves in sight showing no colors, and of which no particulars can be ascertained.
Stray line.—About sixty or seventy feet of the log-line next the log-ship for paying overboard, so that the log-ship may go clear of the eddy.
Streak or strake.—A range of plates or planks along a ship’s side.
Stream a buoy.—Is to drop it overboard.
Stream anchor.—An anchor in size between the bower and the kedge. It is used for warping and sometimes for mooring.
Streamer.—A pennant.
Stream-ice.—The name given to ice when drifting along in a narrow line.
Stretch.—A board. A long stretch is to sail a long distance on one tack.
Stretchers.—Supports for the feet at the bottom of a boat for rowing. Also supports placed between the sides of a boat when hoisted and griped. Also yarns full of exaggeration or downright lies.
Stretch out!—An order to rowers to bend their backs.
Strike.—To submit to a conqueror by hauling down the colors.
Striking a mast.—Is to send it down on deck. See Housing.
Stringers are of two kinds: hold and deck stringers. The deckstringer is a strake of plating to stiffen the bottom plating, &c.; hold-stringers are connected to the bottom and riveted to alternate frames. They serve as strong internal fastenings in iron and wooden ships.
Stroke.—A single sweep of an oar through the water. Also the person who pulls the stroke or aftermost oar.
Stroke-side.—The side of a boat where the aftermost oar ships.
Strop.—Literally a strap. A ring of rope or iron round a block.
Studding-sails.— Sails extended beyond the usual square sails. They are hoisted by halyards leading through jewel-blocks at the yard-arms, and are extended at the foot by studding-sail booms. On the fore are the lower, topmast, and topgallant studding-sails: on the main, topmast and topgallant studdingsails. Royal studding-sails are sometimes carried.
Studding-sail boom.—A spar that rigs in and out upon a lower topsail or topgallant yard for stretching the foot of a studding-sail upon.
Studding-sail yard.—The spar to which the head of a studding-sail is attached.
Studs.—Pieces of iron across the middle of the links of a chain cable.
Stuff.—A word to denote small lines, yarns, &c., for seizing, serving, and the like.
Stuffing-box.—A means of packing the piston of an engine to keep it steam-tight.
Stump topgallant mast.—Topgallant masts without royal masts above them. They are also called short topgallant masts.
Sturisail.—Sailor’s pronunciation of studding-sail.
Sub-lieutenant. —A midshipman of the Royal Navy who has passed for lieutenant.
Sucking-pump.—A pump that raises water by exhausting the air in the pump barrel.
Suction pipes.—Pipes in a steamer for pumping the vessel out by the engines. They lead from the different compartments to the engine-room, and are, or should be, connected not only to the bilge-pumps on the main engines, but to the donkey pumps.
Sue.—When a ship is ashore, she is said to sue as the water leaves her.
Sugg.—To rock with the action of the sea when stranded.
Suit of canvas.—All the sails required to be bent, but not the spare sails.
Sumatras.—Winds encountered in the Straits of Malacca.
Sumner’s method.—A mode of finding out a ship’s position at sea when the latitude is doubtful or the chronometer inaccurate.
Sun dog.—A mock sun shining near the sun.
Sun-swing.—A term signifying the influence of the sun in its toand-fro motion between the Tropics upon the polar limits of the trade-winds.
Supercargo.—A person in a merchant-ship who manages the sales and superintends the commercial part of a voyage.
Super-heater.—A contrivance, variously constructed, placed in the up-take of a marine steam-engine, to increase the heat of the steam in its passage from the boiler to the engine.
Supper.—Tea is called supper at sea, being the last meal. A sailor never “drinks tea,” but “gets his supper.”
Supporter.—A knee bolted to the side of a ship and the cathead.
Surface-condenser.—A method of condensing steam from the cylinder of a marine engine, whereby the condensed steam returns to the boiler as pure water.
Surge.—A wave. Also to yield, to give, or to pay out, as surge the cable.
Surging.—The slipping of the cable round the windlass barrel, or of a hawser or rope round the barrel of a capstan.
Survey.—Observations, soundings, &c., for the construction of charts.
Surveyors.—Persons employed by the Board of Trade and Lloyd’s. The duty of the officers of the Board of Trade is to see that ships are seaworthy: that of the latter to see that they are built in accordance with Lloyd’s rules for classification. The former are supposed to act in the interests of human life, the others in the interest of property.
Swab.—An epaulette. Also a mop composed of rope-yarns used for drying the decks. Also a term of contempt when applied to a man.
Swallow.—The part of a block through which the rope reeves.
Swatchway.— An opening in a shoal. A narrow, navigable by small vessels, in a sand-bank.
Sway away!—An order to haul aloft, to hoist up.
Swear through a nine-inch plank.—An old sea-term expressive of a man who would swear to any lie. It was a favorite expression of Lord Nelson when referring to American skippers.
Sweating cargo.—A cargo, such as wool, that exudes and produces an atmosphere obnoxious to health, and susceptible of spontaneous ignition.
Sweating the purser.—An old term for wasting ship’s stores.
Sweeps.—Long, heavy oars.
Swell.—The heaving of the sea.
Swifter.—The forward shroud of a lower mast. Also a rope for keeping a capstan bar to its place when inserted in the capstan.
Swifter in.—To tauten slack standing rigging by bringing the opposite shrouds together.
Swig.—To drink. Also to haul taut.
Swing the monkey.—A game that consists in striking with knotted handkerchiefs a man who swings to a rope made fast aloft. The person the “monkey” strikes whilst swinging, takes his place.
Swinging-boom.—A boom at a ship’s side that extends the foot of a lower studding-sail.
Swinging-tray.—A tray in a cabin or saloon depending from the ceiling or deck. These trays are usually placed over the tables, so that glasses, decanters, &c., may be placed upon them. They swing with the roll of the ship, and thus prevent the things they support from capsizing.
Swing off.—To pull upon a taut rope at right angles. Also swig off.
Swipes.—The washings and rinsing of old beer barrels.
Swivel.—A revolving link of a chain cable. Every length of cable is swiveled. See Cable.
Sword mat.—A mat used as chafing gear.
Sympicsometer.—An instrument for measuring the weight of the atmosphere. It is used with the barometer whose indications it forestalls.
Tabernacle.—A wooden box, hollow above the deck and then solid to the bottom of the vessel. The mast steps in it, and is secured by a pin. The back is open, so that the mast can be lowered. When the mast is erect the tabernacle is closed by a clamp.
Table-cloth.—A white cloud that sometimes covers the top of Table Mountain, Cape of Good Hope.
Table-money.—An allowance to admirals and senior officers, outside their pay, for purposes of official hospitality.
Tabling.—The double part of a sail close to the bolt-rope.
Taboo.—A custom in the South Sea Islands. A piece of white tappa is fastened to a ship’s jib boom, as a sign that the vessel must not be boarded by the islanders. A ship so decorated is said to be under a taboo.
Tack.—The rope attached to the weather corner of a course. The foremost lower corner of a fore-and-aft sail.
Tack-block.—A block fitted at the outer end of a topgallant and main-topmast studding-sail boom.
Tacking.—Beating against the wind.
Tackle.—A purchase formed of a rope rove through blocks.
Tack-pins. — Also called jack-pins, belaying-pins.
Tack (to).—To beat, to go about, to reach.
Tail.—A rope at the end of a block for attaching it to anything.
Tail-block.—A block with a short length of rope spliced into the end.
Tail-jigger.—A tackle composed of a double and single block.
Tail of a gale.— The close of a gale.
Tail on I—An order to lay hold and pull. More often “tally on.”
Tail tackle.—A watch-tackle.
Taking a departure.— See Departure.
Tallow down.—To coat over the bright work of an engine with a mixture of white lead and tallow.
Tally.—To check freight going over the side in board or out.
Tallyman.—The person who tallies.
Tally on.—An order to catch hold and haul.
Tangent screw.—A screw for perfecting the contact of the index of a sextant.
Tap the admiral.—Said of a man who would drink anything.
Tartar.—A lateen-rigged vessel with one mast.
Tattoo.—Blue or red devices pricked into the flesh of seamen.
Taut hand.—The term for an officer severe in his discipline.
Taut leech.—Said of a sail on a wind when well set.
Tea chop.—A lighter in which tea for freight is brought alongside ships in China.
Tea wagon.—Formerly an East Indiaman.
Tell-tale.—An inverted compass fixed in a cabin.
Tend.—To watch a vessel at anchor as the tide turns, so as to keep her cables clear.
Tender.—A vessel waiting on another or others. A ship is said to be tender when she heels easily under a weight of wind.
Tenon.—The heel of a mast that fits into the step.
Terre Altos.—N.W. squalls encountered in the neighborhood of Rio Janeiro.
Test-cock.—A small cock fitted to the feed-pipe of a marine engine between the valve chest and boiler for drawing off feed water to test temperature.
There she breezes!—An exclamation used when the wind freshens and the ship drives through it at an increased speed.
Thermometer.—An instrument for showing the temperature of the air.
Thick and thin block.— Having one sheave larger than the other.
Thick-stuff.—An old author defines this term as “all plank which is thicker than four inches.”
Thimble.—An iron eye or ring grooved to receive a rope.
Thin waterway.—The deck-plank nearest to the waterway, and that follows the curve of the ship’s side.
Thole-mat.—A mat for muffling the sound of oars in the pins.
Thole-pins.—Pieces of wood fitted into the gunwale of a boat to steady the oars in rowing.
Thorough footing.—Passing the end of a rope through its own coil and then taking it to the capstan for a stretching.
Three-decker.—A ship with three whole battery decks.
Three-flag signals.—Three flags hoisted in alphabetical order and meant to represent questions and replies on general matters.
Throat.—The inner corner of a spanker or stay-sail. Throat halyards.—Halyards to hoist a gaff.
Throat seizing.—A seizing for block strops, &c.
Throttle valve.—A valve in the throat of the steam-pipe next to the cylinder for regulating the supply of steam.
Through the fleet.—An abolished punishment that consisted in towing a culprit through a fleet of vessels at each one of which he received a certain number of lashes.
Thrum.—To make a rough surface on a mat by inserting short strands of yarn.
Thwart.—A seat in an open boat.
Tic-a-tack.—A Chinese boat like a sampan.
Tide.—The regular rising and falling of the waters of the ocean.
Tide-rip.—A disturbance in mid-ocean caused by the meeting of two currents.
Tide-rode.—Swung by the force of the tide.
Tide sail.—”A captain on a tide sail,” that is, a captain ready to leave dock by the next tide.
Tier.—A range of casks. The range of the bights of a cable.
Tierce.—A cask of beef.
Tight.—Said of a vessel free from leaks. Also said of a man intoxicated.
Tiller.—A piece of timber or metal fitted upon the rudder-head fore-and-aft and used for steering.
Tiller-head.—The extremity of the tiller to which the wheel-chains are attached.
Tiller-ropes.—Ropes used before the adoption of wheel-chains, leading from the tiller-head round the barrel of the wheel.
Tilt.—A boat canopy.
Timber.—A term for all large pieces of wood.
Timber-heads.—The tops of the timbers above the decks.
Timber-hitch.—A rope passed round a spar, &c., and the end passed round and under its own part.
Timber-pond.—A space of water in the vicinity of docks for the convenience of storing timber.
Timbers.—The ribs of a wooden ship.
Time-ball.—A ball dropped in accurate correspondence with Greenwich time.
Timenoguy.—A rope to prevent the sheet or tack of a course from fouling in working.
Timoneer.—The helmsman.
Tipping the grampus.— Ducking a man for sleeping in his watch on deck.
Tip the nines.—To founder by being overset from press of canvas.
Toe a line!—Stand in a row.
Togged to the nines.—In full rig and dressed with uncommon care.
Toggle.—A pin through any kind of eye to prevent it from drawing out of its place.
Toggle-bolt.—For holding a small flag-staff by means of a strap.
Tomahawk.—A kind of pole-axe that was formerly used by boarders.
Tom Cox’s traverse.—” Tom Cox’s traverse, three turns round the long boat and a pull at the scuttle butt,” said of a man who shirks work, feigns to be busy in doing nothing, &c.
Tom Pepper.—A liar.
Tompion.—A plug in a cannon’s mouth.
Tonnage-deck .—The upper deck in ships which have less than three decks, and the second deck from below in all other ships.
Top.—A platform on each lower mast, to spread the top-mast rigging and for men to stand on in working aloft.
Top-awnings.—Hammocks in the rigging, stowed there to protect the men in the top.
Top-blocks.—Large single iron-bound blocks used for sending topmasts up or down.
Top-board.—A board formerly affixed to the after-side of tops and variously ornamented.
Top-burton.—A tackle composed of a double block fitted with a hook, and a single block fitted with a hook and thimble, whilst a long strop with a thimble at the end is fitted to the strop of the single block.
Top-castles.— Anciently the tops of ships.
Tope.—A small junk.
Topgallant breeze.—A wind not so strong but that a ship can show her main-topgallant sail to it.
Topgallant forecastle.—A raised structure on the forecastle of a ship, in which the crew sleep.
Topgallant sheets are flown!—Formerly a signal to intimate that an enemy was in sight.
Top-light.—A signal lantern on an admiral’s ship.
Top-lining.—A lining to prevent the after-part of a top-sail from chafing against the rim of the top.
Top-maul.—A large hammer used by riggers.
Top-men.—In a man-of-war hands stationed in the tops for working the upper sails.
Topping.—Boot-topping is cleansing a vessel’s bottom, and then smearing it with grease, &c.
Topping-lift.—A rope used for lifting up the end of a boom.
Top-rail.—A rail across the hinder part of a top.
Top-sail haul!—An order in tacking when the main-sail is furled.
Topsail sheet-block.—A block shackled or stropped into the clew of a top-sail for bending the sheets.
Top-swivel.—A small gun formerly worked in a ship’s tops.
Top the glim.—Snuff a candle.
Top-timbers.—The highest timbers on a vessel’s side.
Top up.—To raise a boom with the topping-lift.
Tormentor.—A fork used in fishing out the salt meat from the coppers.
Tornadoes.—Furious gusts of wind which blow from all parts of the horizon, chiefly encountered off the Guinea coast.
Tosher.—A small fishing-vessel.
Toss.—To throw up an oar and lay it down with its blade forward.
Tot.—A small measure. A tot of grog was the dose served out at the quarter-deck capstan in the days of grog at sea.
Tot of grog.—A gill of rum.
Touch.—A sail touches when it is brought so close to the wind that its weather leech shakes.
Touch her up.—Shake a vessel by luffing.
Touching.—Touching the wind is sailing so close as to keep the upper leeches lifting.
Touching at.—Anchoring or putting into a port during a voyage.
Tow.—To draw, to tug.
Towing bridle.—A chain to attach a hawser to for towing.
Tow-rail.—The arched rail on the after-part of a tug upon which the towing hawser travels or rests.
Town-ho!—An old whaling cry raised by the masthead-man on first sighting a whale.
“To work hard, live hard, die hard, and go to hell after all would be hard indeed!”—Jack’s philosophy.
T-plates.—Irons under a ship’s channels for extra strength.
Trade-room.—A Yankee name for a part of the hold where fancy goods for barter. &c., are kept.
Trade-winds.—Winds which prevail in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, between the limits of about 300 N. and S. latitude. On the N. side of the Equator the winds are called the N.E. Trades, on the S. side the S.E. Trades.
Trail-boards.—Ornamental boards on either side a ship’s stern.
Training-ship.—A ship for the training of boys for the navy and merchant-service.
Train-tackle.—A tackle for running guns in and out.
Trammel.—A net for river and sea work.
Transient ships.—Merchant-vessels which are neither liners nor regular traders; the term signifies that they are at one place to-day and somewhere else to-morrow.
Transoms.—Timbers across a ship’s stern for receiving the ends of deck planks, &c.
Transom stern.—The old-fashioned square stern.
Transport.—A ship that conveys troops.
Trapping-lines.—Lines passed round the hawsers from the quarters of a vessel having another in tow, to prevent the ends from getting foul of the propeller, should the hawsers part.
Traps.—A sailor’s traps are his clothes, bedding, chest, &c. When he talks of going ashore with his traps, these are the things he means.
Traveler.—An iron ring to slip along a rope.
Traverse a yard.—Getting it fore-and-aft.
Traverse-board.—A board for indicating a ship’s course, by pegs inserted in holes.
Traverse-sailing.—A method in navigation of reducing the zigzag track of a ship into a single course and distance.
Traverse tables.—Tables used for a variety of calculations in Navigation and chiefly for working out the dead reckoning.
Trawler.—A smack that fishes by shooting a trawl-net.
Trawl-warp.—A warp about 60 fathoms long, used by smacks in towing the trawl.
Treble-reefed.—Said of a top-sail with three reefs tied in it.
Treenails.—Long wooden pegs for fastening planking to timber, &c.
Trend.—The direction pursued by a coast. Also the lower end of the shank of an anchor.
Trestle-trees.—Fore-and-aft pieces on each side a mast to support the cross-trees and top.
Triatic stay.—A rope at the heads of the fore and main masts, fitted with thimbles to hook the stay-tackles to.
Trice.—To haul up.
Trick.—Two hours at the helm.
Trim.—The condition of a vessel with reference to her posture on the water. To trim a vessel is to adjust her posture afloat by the head or stern.
Trimmer.—A man employed in loading coal.
Trimming.—A beating or jacketing.
Trip.—To raise an anchor off the ground.
Tripping.—Lifting a mast to withdraw the fid.
Tripping-line.—For tripping a royal or topgallant yard in sending it down.
Trip-stopper:—A short chain secured by eyebolts to the side, and used for canting the anchor in letting go.
Tropics.—Are contained within the parallels of latitude 230 28 north and south of the Equator.
Trow.— A kind of barge.
Truck.—A round piece of wood at the head of the highest mast, with two holes, through which the flag-halyards are rove.
Trundle-shot.—A bolt of iron, pointed and furnished with balls of lead.
Trunk engine.—A marine engine furnished with a cylindrical casing fastened to the upper part of the piston, and constructed to slide steam-tight through the cylinder cover.
Trunk hatchway.—A hatchway framed down to a lower deck and presenting the appearance of a shaft.
Trunnions.—Arms of a gun, which serve as an axle for its depression or elevation.
Truss.—An iron crutch to keep a lower yard close to the mast.
Truss-strops.— Chain strops lashed on top of the yard for the truss pendants to shackle to.
Try-sail.—A fore-and-aft sail setting on a gaff.
Try-sail mast.—A small mast abaft a lower mast for hoisting a trysail on.
Try-work.—Large iron pots, used in whalers, built in brick-work and supported by stanchions.
Tub.—Grog-tub, for spirits; halyard-tub, for coiling away topsail halyards; match-tub, formerly for protecting the slow-match in an engagement.
Tubes.—Pipes connected with a steamer’s engines, through which the heat and flames pass, and which heat the water that surrounds them. Sometimes water is in the tubes and the heat outside.
Tubular boiler.—A marine boiler furnished with numerous tubes, surrounded with water, through which the flame and hot gases from the furnaces are led to the up-take at the bottom of the chimney.
Tuck.—The ends of the after-planks under the counter.
Tug.—A steamboat used for towing vessels.
Tumble up!—A cry to the men to bear a hand in coming on deck.
Tumbling home.—The depression inwards of a ship’s sides above the bends.
Tunnel.—A hollow space in screw steamers, extending from under the engine-room to the stern-tube bulkhead, in which the propeller shaft works, and meant to enable it to be inspected.
Turn.—To take a turn is to pass a rope once or twice round a pin or kevel.
Turn and turn about.—Alternate duty, one resting whilst the other works.
Turn in.—To go to bed.
Turn in a dead-eye.—To secure by seizing the end of a shroud or stay round a dead-eye.
Turning out reefs.—Shaking out reefs, unknotting the reef-points to enlarge the sail.
Turn in rigging.—Taking the ends of the shrouds round the deadeyes and securing them by seizings.
Turn out.— To get up out of bed.
Turnpike sailors.—Sham seamen who beg under pretence of having been shipwrecked.
Turn-table.—An apparatus for transferring a gun from one port to another. Also in a dock for transferring timber from ships into sheds.
Turn the hands up.—An order for all hands.
Turn to.—To go to work. To fall to. A favorite expression of sailors: “To turn to and do such and such a thing.”
Turn turtle.—To capsize.
Turn up.—” Turn the hands up,” send or call the men up from below.
Turret.—A massive iron structure on the deck of an ironclad man of-war, rising some feet above the breastwork, and furnished with machinery for working the large guns mounted in it.
Turret-ship.—A vessel furnished with revolving turrets fitted with ordnance of the heaviest class.
Twiddling-line.—A rope for steadying the wheel.
Twigging-line.—A line attached to the bowl of a compass to remedy its sluggishness by twitching.
Twig the fore.—Seeing that all the sails are properly furled and the yards square forward. “Twig the main” is the same thing, referring to the main-mast.
Twine.—Fine small stuff made from hemp, used in sail-making.
Twin-screw.—A vessel fitted with two propellers worked by separate engines.
Twin-ship.—A vessel formed of two hulls. The idea is as old as 1663, in which year Sir William Petty invented a double-bottomed ship that proved a failure.
Two bowlines.—A term in fleet maneuvers, applied when the ships of each column are ranged on each quarter of a single ship.
Two deck.—A ship with two whole battery decks.
Tye or tie.—A chain or rope attached to a yard for hoisting.
Typhoons.—Furious winds encountered in the China and Arabian Seas.
Unbend.—To untie. To remove a sail from a yard or a stay, &c.
Unbitt.—To remove the turns of a cable from the bitts.
Under canvas.—Said of a steamer using her sails only.
Under command.—Said of a ship over which there is control of the helm.
Under-manned.—Insufficiently furnished with men.
Under-masted.—Said of a ship whose spars are too small and short.
Under the lee.—In shelter from the wind by the shore or any other thing.
Under tow.—The back-wash of water in a recoiling breaker.
Under way.—Said of a ship that has just started after getting her anchor.
Underwriter.—One who takes the risk of insurance, and writes his name at the foot of the policy.
Union down.—The English ensign inverted: a distress signal.
Union Jack.—The union used separately.
Unmoor.—To get in one anchor that the vessel may ride by one only.
Unrove his life-line.—Said of a man who has died.
Unship.—To remove.
Up anchor!—The order to man the windlass.
Up and down.—A tackle consisting of a double block with a lashing and a single block with a hook.
Up boats.—The order to hoist the boats to the davits.
Up keeleg.—An expression signifying the act of starting to run away.
Up making.—Pieces of timber for filling up in building.
Upper counter rail.—A projecting molding on the stern of a ship.
Upper deck.—The topmost deck of a three-decked ship.
Upper fore-topgallant sail.—The topmost half of a fore-topgallant sail divided by a yard.
Upper fore-topsail.—The portion of the fore-topsail that is next the topgallant sail.
Upper main-topgallant sail.—The topmost half of a main-topgallant sail divided by a yard.
Upper main-topsail.—The portion of the main-topsail that is next to the topgallant sail.
Upper masts.—The masts above the lower masts.
Upper mizzen-topsail.—The portion of the sail next to the topgallant sail.
Upper works.—The fabric of a ship above water.
Up-take.—A portion of the boiler through which the smoke and heat pass into the funnel after they have left the tubes.
Up with the helm.—Put it so as to bring the rudder to leeward of the stern-post.
Valued policy.—A policy of marine insurance wherein the value insured is named.
Van.—The foremost ships of a fleet.
Vane.— See Dog-vane.
Vane-spindle.—A spindle at the masthead on which the dog-vane works.
Vangee.—An apparatus consisting of a barrel and crank breaks for pumping a ship.
Vangs.—Ropes used for steadying a gaff.
Variation.—Variation of the compass is the deviation of the points of the compass from the corresponding points of the horizon. It is termed east or west variation, according as the north point of the compass is inclined from the true north.
Vast.—Stop, as ‘vast heaving.
Veer.—The wind veers when it shifts from right to left, or with the sun. To slack out cable.
Veer and haul.—Said of a shifting wind. Also a method of pulling on a rope.
Vent.—An aperture near the breech of a gun by which the charge is fired.
Vent-bit.—A tool for clearing the vent of a gun.
Vent-piece. — That which contains the vent in a breech-loading gun.
Vent-plug.—A plug for stopping the vent of a gun against wet, &c.
Veritas.—A register of shipping in Paris.
Vernier.—A small scale for moving up and down a barometer scale.
Vertex.—A term used by Raper, who defines it thus:—” When the course shaped on the great circle (Great Circle Sailing) from each point is less than 900 (reckoning both courses from the nearest pole) the circle passes through a point in a higher latitude than that of either of the places. The point of extreme latitude reached, at which the ship, neither increasing nor diminishing her latitude for a time, steers E. or W. we shall call the Vertex.’t
Vertical fire.—Firing at such an elevation that the projectile drops nearly plumb.
Vessel.—Any kind of ship.
V.G.—An endorsement signifying “very good” on a seaman’s certificate of conduct. . .
Vice-Admiral.—The rank after an admiral, and indicated by a flag at the fore.
Victualling-bill.—A warrant obtained by a shipmaster to ship stores
for the use of the crew and passengers, containing a statement
of the stores.
Victualling yards.—Large repositories for marine stores, near the Royal Dockyards.
Viol.—A messenger used in weighing an anchor by a capstan. Formerly it was a large hawser.
Viol-block.—A large block, formerly used in weighing the anchor.
Virazon.—A S.E. wind veering to N.E. encountered in the neighborhood of the Rio de la Plata.
Visitation and search.—The right of every belligerent cruiser to overhaul a merchantman.
Vitry.—Also Vittory. A light canvas.
Volley.—A simultaneous discharge of fire-arms.
Voluntary stranding.—Running a vessel ashore to escape foundering, or any other danger.
Voyage.—A journey by sea out and home.
Wad.—A plug for keeping a shot in its place when rammed home.
Waggoner.—A famous old atlas used by seamen in past times.
Waist.—The deck between the main deck and the forecastle.
Waist-boards.— Berthing in a vessel’s gangways.
Waist-cloths — Coverings for the hammocks stowed in the waist-nettings.
Waisters.—An old name for seamen or boys of little use.
Waist-nettings.—The hammock-nettings in the waist.
Wake.—The track left by a ship in motion.
Wales.—Planks running the whole length of a vessel’s sides.
Walk back.—To reverse the action of the capstan so as to come  up or ease the rope round it.
Walking the plank.—An old mode of murdering by forcing a man to step overboard from a plank.
Walk up Ladder-lane and down Hemp-street.—Said of a man hanged at a yard-arm.
Wall.—A knot on the end of a rope.
Wall-sided.—A term applied to the top sides of ships whose sides, when she is afloat, look to be up and down like a wall.
Wapp.—A fair-leader. Also a shroud-stopper.
Wardroom.—A cabin in a man-of-war where the commissioned officers mess.
Wardroom-officers.—The commander, lieutenant, master, chaplain, paymaster, surgeon, marine officers, and assistant-surgeons.
Warm-sided.—Said of a ship mounting heavy batteries.
Warp.—The name given to a rope for dragging a ship into any required position.
Warping.—The act of hauling a ship into a required position.
Warrant.—A dock-warrant is a document representing goods warehoused in a dock.
Warrant-officer.—In the navy, the boatswain, gunner, carpenter, &c.
Wash-boards.—Angular pieces of wood placed under the lower cheeks and eikings of a ship.
Wash down.—To clean the decks with water and scrubbing brushes.
Watch.—The term applied to the division of a crew. There are two watches, i.e. the port watch headed by the mate, and the starboard watch by the second mate.
Watch and watch.—The term to signify four hours on deck and four below, alternately, save in the dog-watches, which are two hours each.
Watch, ho, watch!—The cry of men heaving the deep-sea lead as the fakes of the line drop from their hands.
Watch-tackle.—A small handy purchase consisting of a tailed double-block and a single block with a hook.
Water-bailiff.—An officer for the searching of vessels.
Water-ballast.—A method of ballasting a vessel by filling specially constructed compartments or tanks with water.
Water bewitched.—The tea served out to sailors.
Water-borne.—Sustained by the water, lifted by a sea. Said of a boat hanging at the davits that she was water-borne by the heeling of the ship.
Water-gauge cocks.—Small cocks placed in front of a marine boiler, by opening which the height of the water in the boiler is ascertained.
Watering.—Filling a ship’s tanks or casks with fresh water.
Water-line.—The line of flotation when a ship is loaded.
Water-logged.—A vessel full of water and floating on her cargo of timber, cork, or freight of that kind, is called water-logged.
Waterman.—This word is defined as one who gets his livelihood on fresh water; but it is generally used as another term for boatman, who rows for hire either on salt or fresh water.
Water-marks.—The figures on a ship’s stern showing the depth of water she draws.
Water-pads.—Harbor thieves.
Water-ports.—Openings in a ship’s bulwarks to free the deck of water.
Water-sail.—A sail set under the swinging boom when the lower studding-sail is set.
Water-space.—The term applied to the space for holding water, as, for instance, between the side of one furnace and the side of the shell of the boiler, or between the plates of the combustion chamber and the shell of the boiler.
Water-tables.—Sills to a ship’s windows.
Water-tight bulkheads.—Divisions in iron steamships to prevent them from sinking through injury by collision or from springing a leak.
Water-ways.—The planking along the scuppers.
‘Way aloft!—An order to go aloft for reefing, furling, &c.
Ways.—Timbers laid down for rolling weights upon.
Wearing.—To come round on another tack by passing stern to wind.
Weather.—To weather is to pass on the windward side of an object.
Weather-bitt.—That to which the weather-cable is secured when a ship is moored. Also to take an extra turn with a cable round the windlass end.
Weather-boards.—Protections for a ship’s ports when laid up in ordinary.
Weather-bound.—Stopped by adverse winds.
Weather-cloths.—Hammock covers of tarpaulin or painted canvas.
Weather-glass.—The barometer.
Weather-lurch.—A strong roll to windward. Also termed weather roll.
Weatherly.—Said of a ship that looks well up into the wind when on a bowline.
Weatherly ship.—Said of a ship that makes little or no leeway in working to windward.
Weather scuppers.—It is an old joke at sea to advise a greenhorn to get a handspike and hold it down hard in the weather scuppers to steady the ship’s wild motions.
Weather-side.—The side on which the wind blows.
Weather-tide.—A tide that sets the ship to windward.
Weather-wheel.—The side of the wheel on which the wind is blowing.
Wee-gee.—A method of working two pumps by long iron handles and ropes, instead of brakes.
Weevil.—A worm found in bad ship’s-biscuit.
Weigh—To lift.
Weighing.—Lifting the anchor off the ground.
Weight of metal.—The united calibers, in pounds, of all the guns which a ship can place in battery.
Well!—An exclamation, signifying that will do, as “Well the royal yard!” “Well the cross-jack yard!” Also a shaft that goes down to the keelson, used for sounding; and, in small smacks, a place in the hold into which the fish taken are thrown.
Well-cabin.—An after cabin without windows.
Well-deck.—A vessel with a long poop and forecastle, and between, a deck made deep by high bulwarks, is called well-decked.
Well man.—A man who is in good health.
Wester.—To draw to the westwards, said of the sun or wind.
Westing.—The distance made by course to the westwards.
Wet.—A wet ship is a vessel which takes water over her easily.
Wet dock.—An excavation, contiguous to the water, for the accommodation of ships.
Wet provisions.—The term applied to beef, pork, vinegar, rum, lime-juice, and suet.
Wharfinger.—The owner or keeper of a wharf.
What cheer?—A nautical salutation, meaning “What news?” “What luck?”
Wheel.—A wheel with handles for revolving the ropes or chains which move the tiller or yoke in steering.
Wheel-house.—A cover over the wheel for the protection of the helmsman.
Wheel stanchion.—The supporter of the axle on which the wheel revolves.
Where away?—How does the object bear? how is it situated with reference to the ship?
Wherry.—A small open boat. Also a large barge or lighter.
While she creaks she holds!—An exclamation used as a kind of encouragement to persevere in keeping the ship under a press.
Whip-jack.—A sham sailor.
Whipping.—Preserving the end of a rope by binding it with twine.
Whipping baskets.—Baskets used for discharging certain kinds of cargo.
Whip -upon whip.—A whip attached to the fall of another.
Whiskers.—Two booms or irons extending on either side a ship’s head for guying the jib booms.
Whistling-buoy.—A floating-fog signal, consisting of a buoy whose movements operate a whistle.
White-horse.—The name given by whalemen to a wad of muscles and tendons found in the tapering part of the whale and in the thicker portion of its flukes.
White-rope.—Manilla, and the ropes which do not require tarring.
White squall.—Burst of wind encountered off the African coast.
Whole top-sails.—Under whole top-sails; said of a ship sailing under top-sails without any reefs tied in them.
Who shall have this?—When provisions or other things are distributed, a man turns his back and asks ” Who,” &c.
Widows’ men.—Formerly imaginary seamen entered in the books as A.B.’s for wages which were paid to the Widows’ Fund.
Wift or waft.—A flag tied by a yarn in the middle of the fly, and hoisted as a signal.
Wild.— Said of a ship when she steers badly.
Willy-waws.—Whirlwind squalls encountered in the Straits of Magellan.
Winch.—A machine with toothed wheels and pawls, worked by a handle and used in discharging cargo, &c. Many winches are worked by steam.
Wind abeam.—Sailing with the wind blowing at right angles to the ship.
Wind and water.—A ship hit by a ball that penetrates her at the water-line, so as to make an aperture just above and just below the surface of the water, is said to be struck between wind and water.
Wind-bound.—The same as weather-bound.
Wind-gall.—A halo of light on the edge of a cloud, and reckoned a precursor of stormy weather.
Windlass.—A large barrel, revolved by handles, on the forecastle, and used in getting up the anchor. This was the old windlass. Now there are many patent windlasses worked by steam.
Windmill.—The name given to an apparatus that resembles the arms of a small windmill, fitted to the pumps, which are worked by the revolution of the arms. In the absence of steam no better device than this could have been invented for saving the cruel labor of long pumping.
Wind-rode.—The situation of an anchored ship that is swung by the wind instead of the tide.
Winds.—Beaufort’s figures denote the force of the wind thus: 0. Calm. 1. Light air. 2. Light breeze. 3. Gentle breeze. 4. Moderate breeze. 5. Fresh breeze. 6. Strong breeze. 7. Moderate gale. 8. Fresh gale. 9. Strong gale. 10. Whole gale. 11. Storm. 12. Hurricane.
Windward ebb.—When the tide is setting out and the wind blowing in.
Windward flood.—When the tide is setting in and the wind blowing out.
Windward great circle sailing.—The putting of a ship, in a foul wind, on the tack that enables her to lie nearest to her destination when steering upon the track of a great circle.
Wing.—The part of the hold or ‘tween-decks next the sides.
Wing and wing.—Said of a fore-and-aft rigged vessel when .going dead before the wind with her canvas out on both sides of her.
Wingers.— Casks stowed in the wings.
Wing ship.—A ship on the extreme left or right of a column.
Wire-drawn.—Said of steam when the steam-pipe of a marine boiler is so contracted as to diminish the pressure of the steam upon the piston during its stroke in the cylinder.
With a will.—Heartily. To pull with a will is to pull your best.
Withe.—An iron with a ring attached to it for rigging booms through: as, for instance, a short topgallant mast fitted with a withe to enable a royal mast to be rigged up.
Wood-backing.—The planking behind the iron or steel plates of armored ships.
Wooden.—An old name for ship’s carpenter.
Wooden-wings.—A name for lee-boards.
Wood-locks.—Pieces of wood, sheathed with metal, fixed to the stern-post to prevent the rudder unshipping.
Wood-sawyer’s clerk.—A term to denote ease and independence.
Woold.—To wind a piece of rope round anything.
Woolding.—A strong lashing tautened by the insertion of wedges.
Worked.—” I wore ship and worked for such and such a port,” meaning, ” I tacked and beat against the wind in order to reach the port.” Also said of packages of drugs carefully examined in dock for any damage which may have occurred during the voyage.
Working.—A ship is said to be working when her timbers and planking strain so as to let in water.
Work up.—The phrase for punishing a crew by keeping them at work beyond the usual hours. Sometimes “Work their old iron up.”
Worm.—A tool for withdrawing a charge from a gun.
Worming.—To fill up the hollows in the strands of a rope by coiling spun yarn around them.
Wreck bury.—A buoy painted green to denote the whereabouts of a sunken wreck.
Wrecker.—One who lures a ship to destruction for the purpose of plunder. One who steals wrecked goods, &c., which have been washed ashore.
Wring.—To strain.
Wring-bolts.—Bolts which secure the planks to the timbers.
Wring-staves.—Pieces of plank used with the wring-bolts.
Xebeck.—A vessel square-rigged forward and lateen-rigged aft.
Yacht.—A pleasure-vessel.
Yard.—A spar across a mast to fasten a sail to.
Yard-arm.—The end of a yard.
Yard-arm and yard-arm.—Lying side by side in an engagement so close that the yard-arms touch.
Yard-arm cleats.— Pieces of wood on the yard-arms where the lifts and braces are, where the head earrings are secured.
Yard on the cap.—The situation of a yard lowered as far as it will go down the mast.
Yard-rope.—A rope for sending yards up or down.
Yard-tackles.—Tackles attached to the lower yards for hoisting boats, weights, &c., in and out.
Yarn.—Threads of hemp or other stuff. Also a narrative.
Yaw.—When a ship’s head is swung by the send of a sea so as to throw her off her course, she yaws.
Yawl.—A man-of-war’s boat. Also a vessel rigged as a cutter, but carrying in addition a small sail at the stern called a mizzen.
Yaw-sighted.—One who squints.
Yaw-yaw.—Jack’s definition of a Dutchman, “Any man who says yaw-yaw for yes.”
Yellow admiral.—A retired post-captain not entitled to promotion because he has not served his time in the rank he retires from.
Yellow-flag.—Quarantine colors.
Yellow Jack.—The yellow fever.
Yeoman.—The man in charge of a store-room in a man-of-war.
Yoke.—A piece of timber or iron fitted to the head of the rudder athwartships. Used for steering a ship by a wheel placed forwards, or where a tiller cannot be used.
Young gentlemen.—The term by which midshipmen in the merchant-service are addressed.
Youngster.—A youth; a boy.
Yow-yow.—A small Chinese boat.
Yulohs.—Chinese oars.
Zenith.—The zenith of a place is a point in the heavens immediately above that place.
Zenith distance.—An arch of a vertical circle contained between the object and the zenith.
Zodiac.—A space in the heavens extending about 8° on each side the ecliptic.




(1) Reverend Mason L. Weems Account In the winter of 1777-78, while Washington, with the American army, was encamped at Valley Forge, amidst all the perplexities and troubles and sufferings, the Commander-in-chief sought for direction and comfort from God. He was frequently observed to visit a secluded grove. One day a Tory Quaker by the name of Isaac Potts “had occasion to pass through the woods near headquarters. Treading in his way along the venerable grove, suddenly he heard the sound of a human voice, which, as he advanced, increased in his ear; and at length became like the voice of one speaking much in earnest. As he approached the spot with a cautious step, whom should he behold, in a dark natural bower of ancient oaks, but the Commander-in-chief of the American armies on his knees at prayer! Motionless with surprise, Friend Potts continued on the place till the general, having ended his devotions, arose, and, with a countenance of angelic serenity, retired to headquarters.

Friend Potts then went home, and on entering his parlor called out to his wife, “Sarah! my dear Sarah! All’s well! all’s well! George Washington will yet prevail!”

“What’s the matter, Isaac?’^ replied she; “thee seems moved.”

“Well, if I seem moved, ’tis no more than what I really am. I have this day seen what I never expected. Thee knows that I always thought that the sword and the gospel were utterly inconsistent; and that no man could be a soldier and a Christian at the same time. But George Washington has this day convinced me of my mistake.”

He then related what he had seen, and concluded with this prophetical remark! “If George Washington be not a man of God, I am greatly deceived — and still more shall I be deceived, if God do not, through him, work out a great salvation for America.”

(2) Benson J. Lossing’s Account: Isaac Potts, at whose house Washington was quartered, relates that one day, while the Americans were encamped at Valley Forge, he strolled up the creek, when, not far from his den, he heard a solemn voice. He walked quietly in the direction of it, and saw Washington’s horse tied to a sapling. In a thicket near by was the beloved chief upon his knees in prayer, his cheeks suffused with tears. Like Moses at the bush, Isaac felt the he was upon holy ground, and withdrew unobserved. He was much agitated, and, on entering the room where his wife was, he burst into tears. On her inquiring the cause, he informed her of what he had seen, and added, “If there is anyone on this earth whom the Lord will listen to, it is George Washington; and I feel a presentiment that under such a commander there can be no doubt of our eventually establishing our independence, and that God in his providence has willed it so.”

(3) Testimony of Devault Beaver: Extract of a letter from a Baptist minister to the editor of the (Boston) Christian Watchman, dated Baltimore, January I3, 1832:

“The meetinghouse (which is built of stone) belonging to the church just alluded to is in sight of the spot on which the American army, under the command of General Washington, was encamped during a most severe winter. This, you know, was then called ‘Valley Forge’ It is affecting to hear the old people narrate the sufferings of the army, when the soldiers were frequently tracked by the blood from the sore and bare feet, lacerated by the rough and frozen roads over which they were obliged to pass.

“You will recollect that a most interesting incident, in relation to the life of the great American commander-in-chief, has been related as follows: That while stationed here with the army he was frequently observed to visit a secluded grove. This excited the curiosity of a Mr. Potts, of the denomination of ‘Friends’ who watched his movements at one of these seasons of retirement, till he perceived that he was on his knees and engaged in prayer. Mr. Potts then returned, and said to his family, ‘Our cause is lost’ (he was with the Tories), assigning his reasons for this opinion. There is a man by the name of Devault Beaver, now living on this spot (and is eighty years of age), who says he has this statement from Mr. Potts and his family.

“I had before heard this interesting anecdote in the life of our venerated Washington, but had some misgivings about it, all of which are now fully removed.”

(4) Testimony of Doctor Snowden: The following note was written to the Rev. T. W. J. Wylie, D.D., pastor of the First Reformed Presbyterian Church, of Philadelphia, February 28, 1862:

My Dear Sir — Referring to your request, I have to say that I cannot lay my hands at present upon my father’s papers. I recollect that among his manuscript “Reminiscences,” was a statement of his interview with Mr. Potts, a Friend, near Valley Forge, who pointed out to him the spot where he saw General Washington at prayer in the winter of 1777. This event induced Friend Potts to become a Whig; and he told his wife Betty, that the cause of America was a good cause, and would prevail, and that they must now support it. Mr. Weems, in his “Life of Washington,” mentions this incident a little differently; but my father had it from Mr. Potts personally, and the statement herein made may therefore be relied on as accurate. I am, with great regard,

Yours truly,
James Ross Snowden.

Dr. Wylie says, “We have heard the incident just related from the lips of the late Dr. N. R. Snowden, who was informed of it by the person himself.”

    (5) General Knox A Witness It may be added that besides the individual named above as having witnessed the private devotions of General Washington at Valley Forge, it is known that General Knox also was an accidental witness of the same, and was fully apprised that prayer was the object of the Commander’s frequent visits to the grove. This officer was especially devoted to the person of the Commander-in-chief, and had very free and familiar access to him, which may in some measure account for his particular knowledge of his habits.

That an adjacent wood should have been selected as his private oratory, while regularly encamped for the winter, may excite the inquiry of some. The cause may possibly be found in the fact that, in common with the officers and soldiers of the army, he lodged during that winter in a log hut, which, from the presence of Mrs. Washington, and perhaps other inmates, and the fewness of the apartments, did not admit of that privacy proper for such a duty.

    (6) Independence Born Of Prayer “Few scenes have had so much moral grandeur in them as this. Repeated disaster and defeat had disappointed the army and the nation. Suffering, to an extreme degree, was in the camp, and thousands of brave men were without the necessities of life. The independence of the nation was in jeopardy. Attempts were made to stab the reputation of the commander, and to degrade him from office. Provision for the army was to be made, murmurs and discontents suppressed, calumny to be met, plans formed for a future campaign, the nation to be inspirited and aroused; an active enemy was in the neighborhood, flushed with recent victory, and preparing to achieve new triumphs; and in these circumstances the Father of his Country went alone and sought strength and guidance from the God of armies and light. The ear of Heaven was propitious to his prayer; and who can tell how much of the subsequent brilliant success of the American armies was in answer to the prayers of the American general at Valley Forge? To latest times it will and should be a subject of the deepest interest that the independence of our country was laid, not only in valor and patriotism and wisdom, but in prayer. The example of Washington will rebuke the warrior or the statesman who never supplicates the blessing of God on his country. It will be encouragement for him who prays for its welfare and its deliverance from danger.”

    “Example Of Christian Charity” While encamped at Valley Forge one day a Tory who was well known in the neighborhood was captured and brought into camp. His name was Michael Wittman, and he was accused of having carried aid and information to the British in Philadelphia. He was taken to West Chester and there tried by court-martial. It was proved that he was a very dangerous man and that he had more than once attempted to do great harm to the American army. He was pronounced guilty of being a spy and sentenced to be hanged.

On the evening of the day before that set for the execution, a strange old man appeared at Valley Forge. He was a small man with long, snow-white hair falling over his shoulders. His face, although full of kindliness, was sad-looking and thoughtful; his eyes, which were bright and sharp, were upon the ground and lifted only when he was speaking. . . .

His name was announced. “Peter Miller?” said Washington. “Certainly, Show him in at once.”

“General Washington, I have come to ask a great favor of you,” he said, in his usual kindly tones.

“I shall be glad to grant you almost anything,” said Washington, “for we surely are indebted to you for many favors. Tell me what it is.”

“I hear,” said Peter, “that Michael Wittman has been found guilty of treason and that he is to be hanged at Turk’s Head to-morrow. I have come to ask you to pardon him.”

Washington started back, and a cloud came over his face. “That is impossible,” he said. “Wittman is a bad man. He has done all in his power to betray us. He has even offered to join the British and aid in destroying us. In these times we dare not be lenient with traitors; and for that reason I cannot pardon your friend.”

“Friend!” cried Peter. “Why, he is no friend of mine. He is my bitterest enemy. He has persecuted me for years. He has even beaten me and spit in my face, knowing full well that I would not strike back. Michael Wittman is no friend of mine.”

Washington was puzzled. “And still you wish me to pardon him?” he asked.

“I do,” answered Peter. “I ask it of you as a great personal favor.”

“Tell me,” said Washington, with hesitating voice, “why is it that you thus ask the pardon of your worst enemy?”

“I ask it because Jesus did as much for me,” was the old man’s brief answer.

Washington turned away and went into another room. Soon he returned with a paper on which was written the pardon of Michael Wittman.

“My dear friend,” he said, as he placed it in the old man’s hands, “I thank you for this example of Christian charity.”

    Acknowledges Receipt Of Sermon: On March 13, 1778, he writes from Valley Forge to the Reverend Israel Evans, acknowledging the receipt of his sermon, as follows:

Your favor of the 17th ultimo, enclosing the Discourse which you delivered on the 18th of December, the day set apart for a general thanksgiving, never came to my hands till yesterday. I have read this performance with equal attention and pleasure; and at the same time that I admire and feel the force of your reasoning which you have displayed through the whole, it is more especially incumbent upon me to thank you for the honorable but partial mention you have made of my character, and to assure you that it will ever be the first wish of my heart to aid your pious endeavors to inculcate a due sense of the dependence we ought to place in the all-wise and powerful Being, on whom alone our success depends.

    Fasting: An order issued at Headquarters, Valley Forge, April 12, 1778, includes the following directions for a day of fasting and prayer:

The Honorable the Congress having thought proper to recommend to the United States of America to set apart Wednesday, the 22nd inst., to be observed as a day of Pasting, Humiliation and Prayer, that at one time, and with one voice, the righteous dispensations of Providence may be acknowledged, and His goodness and mercy towards our arms supplicated and implored:

The General directs that the day shall be most religiously observed in the Army; that no work shall be done thereon, and that the several chaplains do prepare discourses suitable to the occasion.

The ChristianPatriot2

Christian Above Patriot:The following order was issued at Headquarters, Valley Forge, May 2, 1778:

The Commander-in-chief directs that Divine service be performed every Sunday at 11 o’clock, in each Brigade which has a Chaplain. Those Brigades which have none will attend the places of worship nearest to them.—It is expected that officers of all ranks will, by their attendance, set an example for their men. While we are duly performing the duty of good soldiers we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of a Patriot it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of a Christian.

The signal instances of Providential goodness which we have experienced, and which have almost crowned our arms with complete success, demand from us, in a peculiar manner, the warmest returns of gratitude and piety to the Supreme Author of all Good!”

Thanksgiving Ordered: An order issued at Valley Forge, May 5,1778, begins as follows:

It having pleased the Almighty Ruler of the Universe propitiously to defend the cause of the United American States, and finally by raising us up a powerful friend among the Princes of the earth, to establish our Liberty and Independence upon a lasting foundation; it becomes us to set apart a day for gratefully acknowledging the Divine Goodness, and celebrating the event, which we owe to His benign interposition. The several brigades are to be assembled at nine o’clock to-morrow morning, when their Chaplains will communicate the intelligence contained in the Postscript of the Gazette of 2nd inst., and offer up a thanksgiving, and deliver a discourse suitable to the occasion.

“Washington, with his lady, and suite, Lord Stirling and his lady, with other general officers and ladies, attended the religious services of the Jersey brigade, when the Rev. Mr. Hunter delivered a discourse.”

    Recognizes Protection Of Providence: In a letter to Landon Carter, written from Valley Forge, May 30, 1778 he says:

“My friends, therefore, may believe me sincere in my professions of attachment to them, whilst Providence has a just claim to my humble and grateful thanks for its protection and direction of me through the many difficult and intricate scenes which this contest has produced; and for its constant interposition in our behalf, when the clouds were heaviest and seemed ready to burst upon us.

To paint the distresses and perilous situation of this army in the course of last winter, for want of clothes, provisions, and almost every other necessary essential to the well-being, I may say existence, of an army, would require more time and an abler pen than mine; nor, since our prospects have so miraculously brightened, shall I attempt it, or even bear it in remembrance, further than as a memento of what is due to the great Author of all the care and good that have been extended in relieving us in difficulties and distresses.”

Source: George Washington the Christian By William Jackson Johnstone (1919)


Gouverneur_MorrisGovernor Morris Born in Morrisania, N. Y., 1752. Died there, 1816. [The Life of Gouverneur Morris. By Jared Sparks. 1832.]

TO determine who should be appointed Minister either of the Finances, of War, of the Marine, or of Foreign Affairs, may be difficult; but it may not be so difficult to determine the qualities requisite for each of these departments, and having thereby established a rule, the proper persons will be more easily ascertained. These qualities will be classed under the different heads of genius, temper, knowledge, education, principles, manners, and circumstances.

Our Minister of the Finances should have a strong understanding, be persevering, industrious, and severe in exacting from all a rigid compliance with their duty. He should possess a knowledge of mankind, and of the culture and commerce, produce and resources, temper and manners of the different States; habituated to business on the most extensive scale, particularly that which is usually denominated money matters; and, therefore, not only a regular-bred merchant, but one who has been long and deeply engaged in that profession. At the same time, he should be practically acquainted with our political affairs, and the management of public business; warmly and thoroughly attached to America, not bigoted to any particular State; and his attachment founded not on whim, caprice, resentment, or a weak compliance with the current of opinion, but on a manly and rational conviction of the benefits of independence, his manners plain and simple, sincere and honest, his morals pure, his integrity unblemished; and he should enjoy general credit and reputation, both at home and abroad.

Our Minister of War should have a mind penetrating, clear, methodical, comprehensive, joined with a firm and indefatigable spirit He should be thoroughly acquainted with the soldiery, know the resources of the country, be most intimately informed of the geography of America, and the means of marching and subsisting armies in every part of it He should be taken from the army, and have acted at some time or other as a quartermaster-general, if not as a commander in a separate department He should be attached to the civil head of the empire, and not envious of the glory of others, but ambitious of honest fame; his manners those of a generous soldier, and not of an intriguing politician; disagreeable to no considerable body or denomination of men, and by all means agreeable to the commander-in-chief.

A Minister of the Marine should be a man of plain good-sense, and a good economist, firm but not harsh; well acquainted with sea affairs, such as the construction, fitting, and victualling of ships, the conduct and maneuver on a cruise and in action, the nautical face of the earth, and maritime phenomena. . He should also know the temper, manners, and disposition of sailors; for all which purposes it is proper, that he should have been bred to that business, and have followed it, in peace and in war, in a military and commercial capacity. His principles and manners should be absolutely republican, and his circumstances not indigent

A Minister of Foreign Affairs should have a genius quick, lively, penetrating; should write on all occasions with clearness and perspicuity; be capable of expressing his sentiments with dignity, and conveying strong sense and argument in easy and agreeable diction; his temper mild, cool, and placid; festive, insinuating, and pliant, yet obstinate; communicative, and yet reserved. He should know the human face and heart, and the connections between them; should be versed in the laws of nature and nations, and not ignorant of the civil and municipal law; should be acquainted with the history of Europe, and with the interests, views, commerce, and productions of the commercial and maritime powers; should know the interests and commerce of America, understand the French and Spanish languages, at least the former, and be skilled in the modes and forms of public business; a man educated more in the world, than in the closet, that by use, as well as by nature, he may give proper attention to great objects, and have proper contempt for small ones. He should be attached to the independence of America, and the alliance with France, as the great pillars of our politics; and this attachment should not be slight and accidental, but regular, consistent, and founded in strong conviction. His manners gentle and polite; above all things honest, and least of all things avaricious. His circumstances and connections should be such, as to give solid pledges for his fidelity; and he should by no means be disagreeable to the Prince, with whom we are in alliance, his Ministers, or subjects.