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Letters From History

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Benjamin Stoddart
1st Secretary of the Navy

June 14th, 1798

Dear Secretary, 

It gives me no great pleasure to write this letter. I’m afraid that your instincts were correct: The French cruisers indeed set sail from a port in the Caribbean. ’Twas eight days ago that our lookout spied the shadow of a Frog ship cast in the recesses of Acul bay. Since our man’s sighting, we have not once, but twice, run afoul of a Man O’ War flying the Fleur-de-Lis. No doubt the Frenchies wish to wrap their snaily hands round the throat of the thriving fur trade betwixt our colonies and those of the Spanish Main. Such a thing would be devastating to our young nation, and it is in that spirit that I formally request the state’s permission to engage these surrender monkeys in the trials of combat. My crew stands ready to man the cannons and rain down an ungodly hellfire upon the smelly bastards. The depths of the Locker await them.

In addition, you may notice that listed on the included shipping manifest are eleven kegs of ale and fifteen fathoms worth of hemp that were not aboard when we weighed anchor from Savannah. You see, such supplies have become a necessary boon for myself and the men. Ever since your office made illegal the practice of pledge cabin bitches ferrying officers to and from the pubs of yonder islands, we have been forced to bring the creature to the confines of the deck.

 While I am fully aware it is not corp policy to permit libations of such a kind to circulate among the men, I must say, the crew’s morale has been exorbitantly high. As a result, there has been no need for disciplinary actions, and barring Ensign Barry’s report that our ship was waylaid by a Kraken (we have come to believe that the good people of Jamaica may have laced our hemp with another intoxicant), there have been no problems of which to disclose.

Also, I would like to state for the formal record that I decry the state of these new recruits. As a member of the last real recruitment class, I must contend that these new members of our corp are soft as whale shit in July. For instance, I commanded one lad to clean the galley after the officers had eaten, and judging by the little cockmaster’s face, you would think I had disappeared up my own asshole. My god, man. As a recruit, I was once instructed to attempt relations with a dolphin that had caught itself in the rigging of our nets, and if it had not been for three flagons of rum I had ingested, I would have succeeded two-fold. I accepted such a challenge with no outward show of disgust or trepidation, knowing that if one ounce of resistance was detected, I would be lashed to the main-sail, genitals covered in hardtack, and left to the gulls. Now, the recruits are promoted within six weeks of coming aboard on their first voyage. How different the times are.

As for our present status, we safely await your orders moored in the docks of Havana. The crew are enjoying their leave and are currently in preparations to throw a rager with some local Cuban floozies this evening. If you can believe it, Acting Third Lieutenant Boyle was able to entice them aboard by simply posing them the lighthearted quandary: “pizza and fuck?” While again, I understand official corp policy does not allow for parties on board the ship, I have nevertheless given my permission for the event. I admit that I intend on taking advantage of the situation as well; this heavy frigate wont’ just be swaying because it sails the high seas, if you catch my drift.

I shall leave off here, for I have ingested one of the Boatswain’s hemp brownies and it is becoming increasingly difficult to put quill to paper. I must also confess that I plan upon beating my quarters before the lassies arrive in order to maximize the length of which I am able to stand at full mast. I wish you the best, my friend, and anticipate your new directives enthusiastically.


Andrew Nicholson 

Captain of the USS Constitution

P.S.- Give my best to your wife. I pray she still looks as banging in that lace corset as she did on our retreat to Nantucket. 

P.P.S.- I apologize, I had forgotten that you were not in attendance for that trip.

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Wooden hulled, three masted heavy frigate. Named by President George Washington.

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