To Begin

I began this project in 1990 – researching the story of the US sloop of war Connecticut and her crew.  A book is in process but I plan to share a few things along the way through this medium.  This also provides a method for those interested in the story to contact me.  I cannot release too much pending the book, but I can give you some information should you inquire.  I am also researching as much detail about the various crewmembers and others closely associated with the story of this vessel; I have the intention to put together and publish a biography for each person I can collect sufficient information to makeit worthwhile.  Check back from time to time to see who I add to the list of those I have enough data to even mention!

I have very good detail regarding the vessel’s Navy career during the Quasi-War between the US and France.  When this conflict – a sort-of “police action” – was concluded, Congress elected to dramatically downsize the new Navy, selling off about a third of the vessels, “mothballing” or putting in “ordinary” another set, but keeping many of the vessels that were destined to become famous in part from the Tripolitan war but more so from the War of 1812.  The Connecticut was one of those sold off in NY to the merchant service, and I have carefully traced her path until the end in 1808.  Developing a sense of the importance of the men who served in her, be they naval or merchant marine, I have accumulated a great deal of data regarding them as well, keeping in touch with the descendants of a few, and generally trying to acquaint those who are related to the individuals involved with their ancestors.  I also try to determin the final resting places of these men as closely as possible, in some cases impossible, to honour them by including photos of their headstones in their files and, once completed, installing copies of their bios with the local historical societies.

This has been a very involved project, far more detailed than I had expected when I took it on.  There have been some extremely helpful and interested people who have helped the project along, becoming directly involved, in some cases, for specific portions of the project.  They will certainly be mentioned in the grand book regarding the vessel and in the biographies as each are assembled and printed.  I am so very grateful for their help and  encouragement!


6 thoughts on “To Begin

  1. I’m interested in gathering information on the 1799 USS Connecticut. I’m with the Greater Middletown Military Museum, and this USS CT was built here in Middletown. I’m particularly interested in drawings or specifications that might be used to construct a display model. The museum will also be looking for speakers for events in conjunction with our local historical society.

  2. Mr. McClellan

    I hope that I can be of help. I do not wish to give too much away as I have a book in process… But it is now 23 years of researching this vessel and her crew(s) and I am under the belief that I have the single largest collection regarding her. A biography on her first commander, Captain Moses Tryon of Wethersfield, is about completed in first draft before I hand it to some peers for advice and a final re-write and then hopefully publication. I will be happy to give a talk… Surviving images is an awkward topic that I am trying currently to resolve with some measured success to date. As for a display model, I am working towards the very same idea! However, you likely have greater funds to have it done versus my truncated time schedule to do it myself. I am interested in creating some dialogue and seeing where we go from there! Please feel encouraged to stay in touch!

    Best regards

    Joseph Morneault

    • I am, in fact. I have just taken a break for the evening on the re-write of the Moses Tryon biography, adding new information and waiting on data from a court case in which Capt. Tryon had given testimony. Are you a Gildersleeve of the Chatham – Portland Gildersleeves?

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