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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Biographical Sketch

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series I: Lists of officers and crew, 1842-1849

Series II: Letters, 1849

Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Letters concerning the slave trade and the USS John Adams, 1842-1849 MS 083



Title: Letters concerning the slave trade and the USS John Adams
Dates: 1842-1849
Abstract This manuscript collection contains a series of letters writting from Commander Levin M. Powell of the USS John Adams to Commodore George W. Storer. Powell comments on the ships supplies and condition, his sailing orders, and the slave trade, while the ship was off the coast of Brazil, near Rio de Janeiro.
Identification: MS 083
Quantity: 0.1 linear ft. (1 folder)
Language:
Repository: Woodson Research Center

Biographical Sketch

The USS John Adams was built in 1799. She served in the Barbary Wars, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and the Civil War. The U.S. Navy sold it in 1867. At the time of these letters the ship was commanded by Commander Levin M. Powell and attached to U.S. Naval Forces, Coast of Brazil, under Commodore George W. Storer.

The Letters contained within this collection are between Powell and Storer, and they discuss Powell's orders, including an order to suppress the slave trade to Brazil, as well as the ships condition, supply levels, and observations about the locales visited.

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Scope and Contents

The bulk of the letters are from Commander Powell in Rio de Janeiro to Commodore Storer, written between July and September of 1849, and concern preparations to carry out his orders to “proceed without delay to the Coast of Africa,” and to suppress the slave trade. Powell comments on the ship’s condition and the status of provisions, and comments on receipt of the “new guns.” In October 1849 Powell reports that “a slaver” had made port northeast of Rio and transferred slaves to a waiting steamer. He also comments briefly on conditions on the Rio de la Plata, and in Montevideo, Uruguay.

In addition, the correspondence contains Powell's detailed report on the test comparison of the naval nand 32 pounder guns.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish from this material may be obtained at the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, woodson@rice.edu.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Organizations)
United States. Navy -- History.
Subjects
Slavery -- Brazil -- History.

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Related Material

USS Adams Logbook held by the Woodson Research Center is not the same ship as this USS John Adams. This ship was built in 1799 and sold in 1867. The logbook of the USS John Adams indicates it was not built until 1876. It is not unusual for the U.S. Navy to give the same name, such as USS Saratoga or USS Bon Homme Richard, to succeeding generations of its ships.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Letters concerning the slave trade and the USS John Adams, MS 83, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Source of Acquisition

This manuscript collection was acquired...

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series I: Lists of officers and crew, 1842-1849

Folder
1 List of Officers of the USS John Adams, June 1842
List of Officers and Crew of the USS John Adams, August 22, 1849

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Series II: Letters, 1849

Folder
1 Navy Department to Commodore Storer, Orders to send the USS John Adams to the coast of Africa, July 28, 1849
Commander Powell to Storer, acknowledgement of orders to prepare for sea, August 22, 1849
Powell to Storer, Reporting ship ready for sea, September 14, 1849
Powell to Storer, acknowledgement of sailing orders, September 15, 1849
Powell to Storer, acknowledgement of instructions to suppress the slave trade, September 16, 1849
Powell to Storer, report of ship’s cruise to Campos, Brazil, 12 October 1849
Powell to Storer, reporting the ship ready for sea, 20 October 1849
Powell to Storer, acknowledging receipt of sailing orders and instructions, October 20, 1849
Powell to Storer report of problems with the storage tanks for beans and rice aboard ship, October 20, 1849
Powell to Storer, report of problems with the trim of the ship, October 22, 1849
Powell to Storer, reporting condition of ship’s battery and ordnance, October 22, 1849
Powell to Storer, report of the inspection team of the USS John Adams’ battery, October 1849
Powell to Storer, report of inspection of the guns and ordinance of the squadron, October 1849
Powell to Storer, Reporting the ship’s arrival at Montevideo and conditions in the city, November 13, 1849
Powell to Storer, reporting the return of his ship from the river La Plata, and conditions in Montevideo, November 30, 1849
Powell to Storer, acknowledgement of receipt of orders to proceed with all practicable dispatch to the Coast of Africa, December 4, 1849
Wrappers for miscellaneous letters from Captain Powell, USS John Adams

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