Rank(s): Able Seaman
Dates of Service: 10/1/1813 - 2/20/1815
Anderson’s place and date of birth are unknown.
Beginning in January 1814, Anderson left a $6.00 per month allotment to a woman named Mary Anderson. She was probably his wife.
Anderson joined Constitution ’s crew as an able seaman on October 1, 1813 in Boston. He was transferred to the prize HMS Cyane on February 20, 1815.
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. Anderson was a member of the larboard watch and was stationed on the maintop.
Battles and Engagements
Anderson was on board for the battle with HMS Cyane and Levant on February 20, 1815. He shared in the $20,000 awarded the crew for the capture of Cyane , and received $22.19 as his share for Levant.
During the battle, he was stationed at gun no. 6 on the forecastle, where he served as a fireman and a boarder.
Anderson’s place and date of death are unknown.