A Healthy Constitution: Dr. Amos Evans, Surgeon, U.S. NavyDownload
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, some free black men from the northeastern United States, struggling to make their way in a highly discriminatory American society, went to sea in the merchant marine and the U.S. Navy, including aboard USS Constitution.
This is the story of Dr. Amos Evans, a young surgeon who moved from tending patients in the Maryland countryside to participating in two of the most celebrated naval battles of the War of 1812.
To understand why seafaring was considered a good profession in the age of sail, we must look more closely at the daily routine of seamen in the early American navy.
The specter of starvation loomed large in the minds of sailors, and many of their lurid yarns focused on ghost ships with depleted crews or cannibalistic castaways. To guard against such unfortunate outcomes, naval vessels typically stocked enough provisions for extended cruises.
A description of Constitution’s material culture – the common items of everyday life – that went to sea during the War of 1812.
Like many other aspects of the early United States Navy, recruiting was a somewhat informal affair. Examine the minutiae of the naval recruiting process leading up to and during the War of 1812.