Daily Archives: May 1, 2014

Joshua Barney: “Second rate Barges are unsafe, as they took in much water, and swim too deep”

On May 1, 1814, Joshua Barney wrote to William Jones with reports from the Patuxent. The Chesapeake Flotilla’s “look-out boat” had spotted British ships on the Potomac and the Chesapeake Flotilla struggled with their “Second rate Barges.”

Patuxent May 1st 1814


This morning I left the Patapsco with the Vessels mentioned to you in mine of the 29th. Arrived here at 4 P M, I shall send over land in the morning to “point look-out,” for information respecting the Enemy; I am informed here, that a ship and two or three Schooners lay in the Potomac two days ago; my look-out boat is still below me, and I expect to hear from her tomorrow;

The information I shall receive from Point look out, will determine my movements; I shall be delayed here a day, to get a Mast for one of the Barges, which was carried away coming down, we had a fresh gale down, the Second rate Barges are unsafe, as they took in much water, and swim too deep, although I have lightened them very much since I was at Annapolis, by changing the 18 pounder for a 12, and having but a few days provision & water onboard,

I am Sir with respect your Obt. Servt.
Joshua Barney

This letter from Joshua Barney to Secretary of the Navy William Jones is cross-posted from the Blog of 1812 courtesy the Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum.

May 1st.
Latt 50 17 N., Long 10° 55′ W. At 4 A M saw a sail to the East’d. It being calm, out sweeps and swept for her. At 9 made her out to be a Man of War Brig. At 10 a breeze sprang up, when she made ail sail in chase of us. At the Same time we backed and stood from her, when she commenced firing at us. At Noon we had her courses down.

From the journal of the Privateer Armed Schooner Lawrence, May 1, 1814. Maryland Historical Magazine, Volume 3, Number 2, June 1908, p. 171-176.