List of Officers and Men of the ship Ariel (Oct 1780)

List of Officers and Men of the ship Ariel (Oct 1780). The remaining crew of John Paul Jones’ former command the Bonhomme Richard, who were not discharged or now under the command of Peter Landais on the Alliance, were ordered on board the ship Ariel on 16 June 1780. The vessel left L’Orient under Jones on 5 September 1780 and departed Groix Roads on 7 October 1780. Returning to her deepwater anchorage at Groix Roads five days later on 12 October 1780, the ship came back into port at L’Orient on the following day. The last entry in her published log is dated 14 October 1780. The ship Ariel departed France again bound for America on 18 December 1780, arriving in Philadelphia on 18 February 1781. This undated List of Officers & Men belonging to the American Continental Ship of War Ariel, Commanded by the Honorable John Paul Jones, Esq is published in The logs of the Serapis- Alliance- Ariel edited by John Sanford Barnes (1911). This list of 125 men closely parallels the List of Officers & Men belonging to the Ship of War Ariel, Commanded by the Honorable John Paul Jones, Esq dated 23 September 1780 located in Box XII of the Benjamin Franklin Papers at the University of Pennsylvania with subtle differences. Also included in Box XII of the Franklin Papers are two other lists associated with the ship Ariel: an undated list of 72 French volunteers and another undated List of Officers & Men belonging to the Ship of War Ariel which includes substantial changes in the crew of the 23 September 1780 list, 37 French volunteers and ten “Gentleman Passengers.” An Alphabetical List of Officers and Men of the Ship Ariel (Oct 1780) derived from this list will be located shortly on this website and will offer alternate spellings of names (in parenthesis) to assist internet browsing.

Richard Dale, Lieutenant
Henry Lunt, Lieutenant
Samuel Stacey, Master
Matthew Maize, Purser
Amos Windship, Surgeon
John Frankford, Master’s Mate
Thomas Potter, Midshipman
Beaumont Groube, Midshipman
Nathaniel Fanning, Midshipman
Joseph Hitchborn, Midshipman
Arthur Robinson, Midshipman
Jonathan Lander, Midshipman (Run)
Khervillon, Discharged
John Peacock, Surgeon’s Mate
John Dailey, Surgeon’s Mate (Run)
Abisha Perkins, Surgeon’s Mate
John Chester, Carpenter (Run)
Jonathan Wheeler, Gunner
Daniel Russel, Steward (Run)
John Gunnison, Carpenter’s Mate
John Bourbank, Master at Arms
Edward Garrett, Boatswain’s Mate
Martin Shaw, Boatswain’s Mate
William Roberts, Cooper
John Yates, Gunner’s Mate
Preserved Syssell, Gunner’s Mate
Joseph Walker, Gunner’s Yeoman (Dd)
John Woulton, Quarter Master
Valentine Strong, Quarter Master
Elijah Johnson, Quarter Gunner
John Down, Quarter Gunner
William Clarke, Quarter Gunner
Thomas Austin, Quarter Gunner
Thomas Knight, Carpenter’s Mate
John Handerham Carpenter’s Mate
William Priest, Carpenter’s Mate
Edward Cooney, Seaman
William Pool, Seaman
Benjamin Stubbs, Seaman
Lawrence Furlong, Seaman
John Browne, Seaman
Andrew Ryan, Seaman
William Lee, Seaman
Daniel Willott, Seaman
John Wilson, Seaman
John Mosey, Seaman
Gerlano Bairdo, Seaman
Antonio Sponza, Seaman
Pier Loeby, Seaman (Run, Aug 5)
Andrew Markhouse, Seaman (Hoste)
Pedro Ambregue, Seaman
Antonio Mazzingay, Seaman
Augustino Martino, Seaman
Bernardo Jo Vera, Seaman
Thomas Golligan, Seaman
Richard Stephens, Seaman
John Duboy, Seaman (Run, Aug 10)
Harry Tommy, Seaman (Run, Sept 14)
Louis Groa, Seaman
John Obrey, Seaman
Joseph Antoine, Seaman
Aaron Goodwin, Ordinary Seaman
George Johnston, Ordinary Seaman
Samuel Matthews, Ordinary Seaman
Daniel Swain, Ordinary Seaman
John Rudderford, Ordinary Seaman
Peter Nuddle, Ordinary Seaman
Richard Wilson, Ordinary Seaman
John Hattin, Ordinary Seaman
John Ungey, Ordinary Seaman
Lewis Lennard, Ordinary Seaman
Dominique Portuguese, Ordinary Seaman
Joseph Morea, Ordinary Seaman
Lewis Marlin, Ordinary Seaman
Jacob Henry, Ordinary Seaman
Francois Bullon, Ordinary Seaman
John Thomas, Ordinary Seaman
Amos Wait, Ordinary Seaman
John Martin, Ordinary Seaman (Run)
Joanna Cushero, Ordinary Seaman
Jean Romaine, Ordinary Seaman
Andrew Roach (Oct 7)
Michael McGraw (Oct 18)
John Thompson, Landsman
William McCullock, Landsman
Charles Riley, Landsman
John Warren, Landsman
Isaih Jordan, Landsman
Nicholas Caldwell, Landsman
Lewis Pastillo, Landsman
Alexander Mayson, Landsman
Vinun Marc, Landsman
Pier Villerett, Landsman
Gulliam Langlois, Landsman
Noehauless, Landsman
James Makenzy, Cripple
John Jordan, Cripple
Joseph Brussen, Cripple
Abraham Martell, Servant
Antoine Jeremy, Servant
Charles Priley, Servant
Charles Steward, Servant
Samuel Getchell, Boy
John Wier, Boy
John Dupee, Boy
Samuel Gray, Boy
James Chester, Boy (Run)
James Mahany, Boy (Run)
John Duffy, Boy
John Hackett, Boy
Elijah Middleton, Boy
William Ears, Boy
Charles Glover, Boy, Captain’s Clerk
John Gilbrin, Boy
Tusan Lucas, Boy
John Mai, Boy
Joseph Cushon, Boy (Crossed Out)
Samuel Hammon, Boy
Aaron Burges, Boy
Louis Cushon, Boy (Crossed Out)
Jacque Blorga, Boy
Joseph Courdavieta, Boy
Titzerre, Boy
Robert Cudriaux, Boy
Claud Le Maitre

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2 Responses to List of Officers and Men of the ship Ariel (Oct 1780)

  1. Ruth Jordan Thoden says:

    Can anyone tell me more about the John Jordan cripple named in this list
    of officers and men of the shi;p Ariel

  2. Joe says:

    In the “List of Officers and Men of the Continental Ship, Bon Homme Richard” dated 26 July 1779 published in the anonymously authored “The Logs of the Serapis-Alliance-Ariel under the Command of John Paul Jones 1779-1780” and edited by Captain John S. Barnes (1911), John Jordan is listed as a Landsman who entered on board the Bon Homme Richard at Brest, France on 2 March 1779. Author John Henry Sherburne in “The Life and Character of the Chevalier John Paul Jones” (1825) notes John Jordan, whose native country is identified as Bengal, as a seaman wounded in the Bon Homme Richard’s engagement with the Serapis on 23 September 1779. Bengal is located at the apex of the Bay of Bengal where the Ganges River empties into the Indian Ocean separating India from Pakistan. The British East India Company had dominated this region from a mercantile and administrative perspective from early in the seventeenth century until seventy-five years after the American Revolution. In fact, a second list of the Bon Homme Richards’ men identifies Jordan as “English”. Senate Documents published in 1862 which include a “Statement of distribution of Prize Money allotted to the Officers, Seamen, Etc. of the Bon Homme Richard” identify Jordan as a “New Hand”. Like all the other men and officers of the Bon Homme Richard, new and old hands alike, none were still alive to collect their share of the Serapis prize money authorized in 1848 and paid out without interest in 1862- over eight decades after the celebrated sea battle which brought John Paul Jones glorious celebrity. John Jordan’s heirs were entitled to $130.26.

    Several secondary sources suggest John Jordan was black, the most recent “Give Me a Fast Ship” by Tim McGrath (2014). McGrath writes of the Bon Homme Richard’s surgeon Dr. Laurence Brooke, “One of his first patients was John Jordan [one of several blacks aboard], the East Indian, his right leg pulverized by a British cannonball.” Perhaps it is this description as an East Indian which suggests Jordan’s race, as I have not been able to locate the specific primary source which identifies the crewman as “Negro”, the more common identifier in ship’s books or logs of the age. In any event, clearly John Jordan was among the 137 men of the Bon Homme Richard wounded in action but who survived his gruesome wound to travel home with Captain Jones aboard the ship Ariel. As you discovered, Jordan is rated as a “Cripple” on the undated “List of Officers and Men of the ship Ariel” presumed to be recorded about October 1780. The vessel first left L’Orient under Jones on 5 September 1780, departing Groix Roads on 7 October 1780. Returning to her deepwater anchorage at Groix Roads five days later on 12 October 1780, the ship came back into port at L’Orient on the following day. The last entry in her published log is dated 14 October 1780. The ship Ariel departed France again bound for America on 18 December 1780, arriving in Philadelphia on 18 February 1781.

    We next find Jordan’s name appearing in the Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Volume 22 (1914) for the date of 19 February 1782 noting, “That the memorial of John Jordan and others, seamen wounded and disabled in the naval service of the United States be read in Congress that the subject may be taken up and some general provision be made in such case, which we think reasonable and expedient to be done.” That petition on behalf of John Jordan, James McKinsey [or McKenzie], Nicholas Caldwell and Joseph Brussel(s) [also known as Guisseppe Broricellia from Naples] is dated 11 February 1782, apparently drafted at sea in the Ariel while approaching American shores. Their request for monetary consideration for their wounds was referred to a special committee of the Continental Congress consisting of Thomas Smith, Richard Law and Thomas Bee while their request for prize monies owed for the capture of the Serapis was referred to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs Robert Livingston.

    Livingston’s reply to the President of Congress one week later and recorded in “The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Volume 6” (1857), reveals his mystification as to what to do with the matter. “Sir, I am somewhat at a loss to determine upon what principle the petition of John Jordan and others was referred to me, but presume that it was with a view to obtain from me such information relative to the distribution of the prize money arising from the prizes taken by the Bon Homme Richard as the papers in this office can afford. There were no papers relative to this transaction in this office; but among those of the Board of Admiralty I find a letter from Dr. Franklin to Francis Lewis, dated the 17th of March last, covering some inquiries on this subject, and a copy of a Concordat entered into by John Paul Jones, commanding the Bon Homme Richard; Pierre Landais, captain of the Alliance; Dennis Nicolas Cottineau, captain of the Pallas; Joseph Varage, captain of the Cerf; and Philip Nicolas Ricot, captain of the Vengeance; by which, among other things, they agree to divide their prizes agreeably to the American regulations, as they sailed under American colors and commissions; and constituted M. Chaumont their agent to receive and distribute the prize money in behalf of the crew of each ship, and to be answerable for it in his own private name. From Dr. Franklin’s letter it appears that the whole of the prizes belonged to the captors; that the King offered to purchase the shipsof-war they had taken, according to an established rate; that the seamen objected to it, and chose they should be sold at vendue; that this occasioned a delay in the sale; that he does not know the amount of the value of the prizes, nor whether they were distributed, which he considers as a private transaction between the officers and crews of the ships and M. Chaumont. From this state of facts, Congress will judge if anything more can be done relative to the claim of three of the petitioners to their share of the value of the prizes, (the fourth being out of the question), then to assist them in the mode of authenticating the evidence of their being entitled thereto, and to forward it with powers of attorney to the Consul of the United States in France. This I will readily do for them, and write to Mr. Barclay on the subject, without any express direction from Congress, when the petitioners shall call at this office.”

    Volumes 22 and 25 of the “Journals of the Continental Congress” suggest that the special committee of Congress designated to research and recommend an adjudication of John Jordan’s petition seeking half pay for his war inflicted disability was also up for a game of dodgeball. Over four months after the seamen’s original submission; Jordan, McKenzie and Brussel again presented their petition to Congress on 25 June 1782. On 8 July 1782 the Continental Congress referred the petition to Robert Morris, Superintendent of Finance as Agent of Marine, who took one year to investigate their claims. Morris’ report of 5 July 1783 reads, “That from examining the Papers in the Marine Office he finds that the Petitioners had signed the Continental Shipping Articles and were on Board the Bon Homme Richard commanded by Captain John Paul Jones on the 23rd Day of September, 1779, when that Ship engaged and took the British Ship Serapis, in which engagement the said Petitioners lost their Limbs as set forth in their Petition. That the said Petitioners were all entered as ordinary Seamen in the service of the United States. That the Resolution of Congress of the 26th day of August, 1776, giving Half Pay for Life to such Persons as might be disabled in the sea service cannot be applied to the said Petitioners as they were Entered by Captain Jones in Europe and had not before that time been Subjects of any of the United States. That equal Justice is due to all Persons who may enter into the Service of the United States, therefore the following Resolution is submitted to the Consideration of Congress: Whereas John Jordan, James McKinsey and Joseph Brussel, ordinary seamen belonging to the navy of the United States, have lost their limbs in action, on board the ship Bonne Homme Richard, commanded by Captain John Paul Jones, on the 23 day of September, 1779, [fighting under the American flag], Resolved, That the said John Jordan, James McKinsey and Joseph Brussel, be allowed [for their support], forty dollars per annum each, to be paid quarterly, and to commence from the time their pay ceased in the navy”.

    When the Agent of Marine’s recommendation came in front of the Continental Congress for a vote, Jordan’s petition appeared to in jeopardy based on widespread personal animosity towards Morris. In “Give Me a Fast Ship” (2014), McGrath writes however that “On September 15 [1783], the imposing Jordan hobbled in on crutches appealing to Congress’ sense of decency,” leading to passage by only three votes. Documents housed in the National Archives and available at Founders Online note payments to John Jordan in accordance with that Congressional action, $10.00 each on 12 February, 2 April, 2 July and 30 November of 1794. Another document from the same source records payments of $50.00 on 17 December 1790, and an additional $10.00 each on 21 January, 9 April, 2 July and 25 October of 1791.

    Still seeking prize monies owed him, John Jordan along with Thomas Knight- both identified as current residents of Philadelphia- presented another petition to Congress in early 1794. The unmarried Knight, now about forty-one, originally hailed from New Hampshire where he entered on the Ranger under John Paul Jones. Knight followed Jones to the Bon Homme Richard where he served as Carpenter’s Mate. On 6 March 1794, the “Journal of the House of Representatives” (1826) records, “Ordered, That the said petition be referred to the Secretary of War, with instruction to examine the same, and report his opinion thereupon to the House.” Just eleven days later on 17 March 1794, presumably due to a negative response from the Secretary of War, Jordan and Knight’s petition was read and ordered to “lie on the table”. As earlier noted, Jordan’s plea would go unanswered for another sixty-eight years, many decades after his death. I have no further knowledge concerning John Jordan’s personal history before 1779 or after 1794.

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