Dates of Service: 8/17/1813 - 2/20/1815
Birth Date: 6/24/1787
Death Date: 1/2/1868
David Quill was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts on June 24, 1787, the youngest of Robert Quill and Elizabeth Brimblecome’s three children.
Quill married three times and was widowed twice. He married his first wife, Sally Homan, in Marblehead. Shortly after she died in 1829 he married Annis Ramsdell. Annis was the widow of Quill’s brother John Brimblecom Quill, who was seemingly lost at sea twenty years earlier. When Annis died in 1843, at 56, Quill remarried for the final time that same year to Hannah B. Martin, in Marblehead. Hannah outlived Quill by 25 years; she died at age 80 in 1893.
Quill was among the many young men in the seaside town of Marblehead who worked as a mariner. Quill, a tall man, stood 6 feet, 1 inch and had a dark complexion and dark eyes.
Quill joined Constitution ’s crew on August 17, 1813. Quill was rated quartermaster by the sailing master and assisted him and his mates. His duties ranged from coiling anchor cables, to stowing ballast and provisions, to supervising men at the helm. Quill earned $18 a month.
Battles and Engagements
Serving at his battle station at the ship’s wheel, Quill was wounded during the fight with HMS Cyane and Levant on February 20, 1815. The attending physician recorded that Quill “received a severe splinter wound upon the elbow the effects of which still remain in interrupting the free motions of the joint.”
After leaving Constitution in August 1815, Quill returned to Marblehead. For the next decade he returned to the Charlestown Navy Yard twice a year to be examined by navy surgeons. He received a $5-per-month pension stating in 1821. As early as 1814, Quill allotted $6 a month to Betsey Barry, his sister. Sometime after 1850, Quill took up the confectionary trade and seemed to have done well for himself, owning $600 in real estate. He died on January 2, 1868 at the age of 81.