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6:00 pm - 5:00 pm
MUSEUM:  
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SHIP:  
6:00 pm - 5:00 pm
MUSEUM:  
Closed Now

Ship's Crew

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John Clark

Rank(s): Able Seaman

Dates of Service: 8/5/1814 - 2/20/1815

Early Life

Clark’s place and date of birth are unknown.

John Clark joined Constitution ’s crew as an able seaman on August 5, 1814. He served in the prize crew of ex-HMS Cyane , captured on February 20, 1815, then rejoined the ship that May.

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

He participated in the battles with HMS Cyane and HMS Levant and received $22.19 in prize money. During his time on board, the ship made a war cruise capturing a small British man-of-war and three merchantmen.

Clark’s place and date of death are unknown.


Crew ID

2553