Rank(s): Master’s Mate
Dates of Service: -
Birth Date: 6/18/1790
John Day was born on June 18, 1790 in Salem, Massachusetts. He was the son of Jonathan Day and Mary Silver.
John Day was appointed master’s mate of Constitution by Commodore Bainbridge on October 8, 1812. He joined the crew before October 28, 1812. In 1812, he was in command of the foretop. On April 3, 1814, Day dislocated his arm and broke his shoulder. The injury is described as stated: “while in the line of his duty and in the act of going into the steerage, he slipped and fell, by which fall his right arm was dislocated and his shoulder severely bruised and broken;” “said injury incapacitated him from obtaining his living by manual labor; his arm and shoulder having ever since said event, been weak and painful and particularly so after any exertion, and being at all times unable to raise his arm or hand to his head” and “within two or three days after…he went on shore in consequence of said dislocation and injury; that he continued for several months to suffer severely from said injury, carrying his arm in sling; when finding himself in consequence thereof unable to resume his duties…he was at his request in the month of July…paid off and discharged.” He departed on May 2, 1814.
Master’s mates were assistants to, and under the direction of, the sailing master. A master’s mate was in charge of the log line and glass by which the ship’s speed was recorded. He made regular entries in the log, and saw to the adjustment of the forward sails. He was also to be attentive to the stowage of the anchor cables, making sure they were clean and well-coiled so as to be let out quickly when needed. The master’s mate also had to be well-versed in stowing ballast and provisions in the ship’s hold. He received $20.00 per month and two rations per day. Prior to an Act of January 2, 1813, master’s mates were rated as petty officers.
Battles and Engagements
Day participated in the battle with HMS Java and received $42.30 in prize money.
After 1814, Day had a business venture in Salem, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine. It failed about 1837. In 1837, he was a mariner in Salem. In 1837, John Mussey of Portland described Day as stated: “from personal knowledge of Mr Day since his residence in this City [Portland, Maine] [I] can freely state that he is esteemed one of our most worthy citizens.” His place and date of death are unknown.