Dates of Service: 12/31/1813 - 4/3/1814
Cook’s place and date of birth are unknown.
William Cook joined Constitution ’s crew as a cook before December 31, 1813. In 1814, he had the watch assignment of starboard and the station assignment of idler. He was discharged after April 3, 1814.
The cook occupied an important position aboard ship. The cook did not truly cook, in the sense of making original dishes from scratch. On the contrary, his role was more supervisory than participatory. He oversaw the steep tub, the barrel in which the salt meat was allowed to soak before cooking. He tended the fire in the camboose (stove) to ensure the food was roasted, baked, or boiled properly, and oversaw the scouring of the copper boilers in which the crew’s rations were prepared. The selling of slush, the grease and fat that rose to the surface of the boilers during cooking, was his special privilege, but he first had to provide the boatswain with all that was needed for lubricating various moving parts on the ship. The cook received $18.00 per month.
Battles and Engagements
During his time on board, the ship made a war cruise capturing a small British man-of-war and three merchantmen.
Cook’s place and date of death are unknown.