Rank(s): Able Seaman
Dates of Service: -
Dumaine’s place and date of birth are unknown.
When Dumaine joined the Navy in December 1813, he signed his enlistment papers with an “X” and so was likely illiterate. He enlisted as an able seaman, which suggests that he probably had some previous seagoing experience.
Dumaine joined Constitution’s crew as an able seaman on December 8, 1813 at Boston, MA. In 1814, he was assigned as shot passer to long gun no. 5 in the first division. He was transferred from the ship July 24, 1815 at Boston.
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, 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
In early 1814, Dumaine participated in a war cruise capturing three merchantmen and a small British man-of-war. He later served in the victories over HMS Cyane and HMS Levant on February 20, 1815; he received a share of the $20,000 prize for the Cyane and $22.19 in prize money for the Levant.
Dumaine’s place and date of death are unknown.