Dates of Service: -
Charles Delavon’s place and date of birth are unknown.
Charles Delavon enlisted as a quartermaster on February 15, 1809 and joined USS President some time after enlisting.
Delavon joined Constitution’s crew as a quartermaster on June 17, 1810 as a transfer from USS President. He was assigned to carronade no. 9 as 1st captain. Delavon was demoted to able seaman on July 12, 1812. He departed after February 17, 1813.
The quartermaster was appointed by the sailing master and assisted the master’s mates with their duties. He helped supervise the stowage of ballast and provisions, coiled the anchor cables in the tier, supervised the men at the helm, and kept time with the watch-glasses. A quartermaster made $18.00 per month and received one ration per day.
The able seaman was the elite member of the crew. Having sailed for years “before the mast” on merchant vessels or worked his way up through the ranks in the navy, it was on him that the officers relied for the smooth operation of the ship. The traditional requirements for the seaman were that he be able to “hand (furl or take in a sail), reef (reduce a sail’s area), and steer,” but these were in fact the barest requirements for the seaman rating. In addition, they were expected to be familiar with nearly all aspects of shipboard labor. He had to be able to cast the sounding lead, be able to sew a sail with a palm and needle, and understand all parts of the rigging and the stowage of the hold. Furthermore, he had to know how to fight, as part of a gun crew or with small arms. It was from the ranks of the able seamen that the petty and warrant officers were drawn. The able seaman made $12.00 per month.
Battles and Engagements
Delavon participated in the battle with HMS Guerriere and received $42.62 ½ in prize money. He also participated in the battle with HMS Java and received $42.30 in prize money. On September 3, 1812, he volunteered to augment Commodore John Rodgers’ squadron when it was thought a battle with a British squadron was imminent; this threat turned out to be a false alarm.
Delavon’s place and date of death are unknown.