Pirates and Patriots, Tales of the Delaware Coast

By Michael Morgan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3. SHIPWRECKS AND WARS

THE WRECK OF THE FAITHFUL STEWARD

In 1785, the 48 members of the Lee family arrived in Londonderry, Ireland, where they boarded the Faithful Steward under the command of Captain Conolly M’Causland. The rigors of even a routine crossing the Atlantic Ocean were well known; and the Lees joined 200 other passengers crammed into the primitive quarters aboard the three-masted sailing ship. The four dozen members of the Lee family probably shared not more than a small cabin or two. Most of the passengers ate, slept, and whiled away the time crowded together in one area below the main deck. Some may have lounged in the hold, where the ship’s cargo of new copper coins was stored. During pleasant weather, passengers could get a little fresh air on the top deck and watch the crew work the sails.

Close quarters and boredom were the least of the problems for those aboard the Faithful Steward. The lack of fresh food and poor food preservation techniques exposed ocean travelers to a diet that could be deadly. In the late 18th century, shipboard fare included salted meat, potatoes, cheese, and dried peas. The salted meat was months old and the diet lacked important nutrients. The damp conditions at sea rotted the potatoes and made the cheese grow moldy. The peas were sometimes so hard that hours of soaking would not soften them. The Faithful Steward’s passengers may have also eaten ship’s “bread” that was more like an oversized cracker, known as “sea biscuit” and later by the descriptive name “hardtack.”

-45-

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Pirates and Patriots, Tales of the Delaware Coast
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Maps vii
  • Table of Contents xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1- Colonists and Cutthroats 3
  • Chapter 2- Patriots and Tories 21
  • Chapter 3- Shipwrecks and Wars 45
  • Chapter 4- Dark Secrets and Dark Corners 63
  • Chapter 5- Civil War Divides Sussex 97
  • Chapter 6- Vacationers and Beachcombers 121
  • Chapter 7- Shipwrecks and Sun Worshippers 135
  • Chapter 8- Into a New Century 149
  • Chapter 9- Between the Wars 163
  • Chapter 10- World War II. Pearl Harbor Echoes on the Coast 181
  • Chapter 11- Into the Modern World 199
  • Bibliography 213
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