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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
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Other titles in the Emil and Kathleen Sick Lecture-Book Series in Western History and Biography series:

Warship Under Sail: The USS Decatur in the Pacific West

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Warship Under Sail: The USS Decatur in the Pacific West Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ordered to join the Pacific Squadron in 1854, the sloop of war Decatur sailed from Norfolk, Virginia, through the Strait of Magellan to Valparaiso, Honolulu, and Puget Sound, then on to San Francisco, Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, while serving in the Pacific until 1859, the eve of the Civil War. Historian Lorraine McConaghy presents the ship, its officers, and its crew in a vigorous, keenly rendered case study that illuminates the forces shaping America's antebellum navy and foreign policy in the Pacific, from Vancouver Island to Tierra del Fuego. One of only five ships in the squadron, the Decatur participated in numerous imperial adventures in the Far West, enforcing treaties, fighting Indians, suppressing vigilantes, and protecting commerce. With its graceful lines and towering white canvas sails, the ship patrolled the sandy border between ocean and land. Warship under Sail focuses on four episodes in the Decatur's Pacific Squadron mission: the harrowing journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean through the Strait of Magellan; a Seattle war story that contested American treaties and settlements; participation with other squadron ships on a U.S. State Department mission to Nicaragua; and more than a year spent anchored off Panama as a hospital ship. In a period of five years, more than 300 men lived aboard ship, leaving a rich record of logbooks, medical and punishment records, correspondence, personal journals, and drawings. Lorraine McConaghy has mined these records to offer a compelling social history of a warship under sail. Her research adds immeasurably to our understanding of the lives of ordinary men at sea and American expansionism in the antebellum Pacific West.

Review:

"The world that Dr. McConaghy has captured, both aboard the Decatur and in the ports it visited, will be unfamiliar to almost everyone who reads this book; indeed, that strangeness or lost-ness is one of her major points. The maps and historic images help to make that world more concrete." Coll Thrush, author of Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place

Book News Annotation:

McConaghy (public historian of the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle) has written an engaging history of the Decatur that will be of interest to Seattleites and any reader interested in the early history of the American West. Based on her reading of the journals, letters, and records that survived, McConaghy recreates in vivid detail the unusual posting of the ship at the brand new settlement of Seattle, describing the difficulties of maintaining naval discipline on board a ship where the enticements of shore were so near at hand. She gives thoughtful analysis to the representation of the Native peoples and their interaction with the settlement, providing a nuanced view of the naval officers' prejudices and priorities. The remaining chapters provide the same careful presentation to the Decatur's voyage through the Strait of Magellan, its participation in a colonizing mission to Nicaragua, and its service as a hospital ship off the coast of Panama. This is a rich resource, both for 19th-century American politics and the human side of ship life. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Warship under Sail shows life on a battleship on the eve of the Civil War from the bottom up. It traces the Decatur's five-year tour in the mid-1850s, which included stops in Honolulu, San Francisco, and Central America as well as in Puget Sound.--Lorraine McConaghy is a historian at the Museum of History and Industry, Seattle

About the Author

Lorraine McConaghy is the historian at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780295989556
Author:
Mcconaghy, Lorraine
Publisher:
University of Washington Press
Author:
McConaghy, Lorraine
Subject:
United States Territorial expansion.
Subject:
Decatur (Sloop of war)
Subject:
Military Science
Subject:
Military - Naval
Subject:
Military - United States
Subject:
United States - Antebellum Era
Subject:
Military-Naval History
Subject:
Maritime History
Subject:
Northwest History
Copyright:
Series:
Emil and Kathleen Sick Lecture-Book Series in Western History and Biography
Publication Date:
20090131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
344
Dimensions:
10 x 8.5 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Nautical
History and Social Science » Military » Naval History
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » General
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
Transportation » Nautical » Pacific Northwest » General

Warship Under Sail: The USS Decatur in the Pacific West Used Hardcover
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Product details 344 pages University of Washington Press - English 9780295989556 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The world that Dr. McConaghy has captured, both aboard the Decatur and in the ports it visited, will be unfamiliar to almost everyone who reads this book; indeed, that strangeness or lost-ness is one of her major points. The maps and historic images help to make that world more concrete."
"Synopsis" by , Warship under Sail shows life on a battleship on the eve of the Civil War from the bottom up. It traces the Decatur's five-year tour in the mid-1850s, which included stops in Honolulu, San Francisco, and Central America as well as in Puget Sound.--Lorraine McConaghy is a historian at the Museum of History and Industry, Seattle
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