Sunday, March 15, 2009

Navy Cooks 1792-1853.

The Navy Cook was a freemen of color and not a slave, at lest for the United States navy there were a few slaves cooks on private Privateers ships but for the most part all were freemen. The cooks job was a dirty an unrewarding one. There is very little known about the life of a navy cook of the 1700 & 1800 hundreds, oh their names are on records and in reports but there are no personal letters or diary’s known to exist to day and those that do exist are few. There were a few white men as cooks, they were known as “White Negro.” The rules and regulations of the cook were few, but were to be followed or the punishment would be harsh.

In the 1840’s and before there had been petitions in congress to do away with the Negroes on navy ships. The argument for it was at the time of a court-martial, it was argued that no negro should be aloud to testify against a white shipmate, stating that it was illegal as the negro was inferior to the white man. The other side of the argument was that if the Negroes were replaced by a white man he would be drawn down to nothing less then a “White Negro.”

This author tried to find some reports that talked about the cook but find none. However it was possible to find a few names and it was important for this author to put their names here less they be forgotten.

The rules and regulations of the Cook, 1818.

1. He is to have the charge of the steep tub, and is answerable for the meat put therein.
2. He is to see the meat duly watered, and provisions carefully and cleanly boiled, and delivered to the men according to the practice of the navy.
3. In stormy weather he is to secure the steep tub, that it may not be washed overboard, but if it should be inevitably lost, the captain must certify as to the loss, and the cook is to make oath as to the number of pieces so lost that it may be allowed in the purser’s account.

The rules and regulations of the Cook, 1826.

1. Article 359. He is to be responsible for the safe keeping and proper distribution of the fresh water, meat, and vegetables which may be delivered into his charge. He shall receive no meat unless it is properly tallied.
2. Article 360. He is to have the rations of the ship’s company properly cooked, and delivered to the cooks of the messes at such time as may be directed by the commander.
3. Article361. He is to see that the boilers and cooking utensils are kept perfectly clean, and shall preserve order and silence about the galley, and report offenders.


1. John Gallard.
2. Peter Seaver, Cooks mate.


1. Edward Broker.


1. John Shapely, Massachusetts.


1. William Cotter, Coter, Colter, Mew York.


1. Cotton Brown, Massachusetts.


1. William Thomson.
2. Thomas Jackson.
3. Thomas Jones.
4. Peter Adams.
5. George Fanner.
6. Hugh Francis.
7. Thomas Grey.
8. David Jackson.
9. Thomas Jackson.
10. Thomas Jones.
11. Jacob Lilleford.
12. Jack Lamb.
13. John Miller.
14. John Newel.
15. Henry Pannison.
16. William Spince.
17. John Thomson.
18. David Anderson.
19. John Chapley.
20. William Campbell.
21. Lam Drew.
22. John Doninico.
23. Joshua Frain.
24. Peter Hutson.
25. Joseph Sparrow.
26. Benjamin Shaw.
27. Wm. B. Smith.
28. Henry Shaw.
29. Mark Steel.
30. Rick Weeden.
31. Alexander Wilson.


1. Timothy Lane, New York.
2. Isaac Nicholson, Maryland.
3. Benjamin Kendrick, District of Columbia.
4. Abigail Jones, Widow, Massachusetts.


1. Daniel Waters.
2. James Henderson.


1. George Scott, Officers Cook.

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