SOLD! for $885.00.
(Note: Prices realized include a buyer's premium.)
- Low Estimate: $700.00
- High Estimate: $900.00
- Realized: $885.00
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Diary (log) of the steam/sail ship, U.S.S. Susquehanna written by Lt. Paul Shirley, 3/31/1856 – 5/22/1858 (approx. 168 pages total, two volumes). Paul Shirley (1820 – 1876) was born in Kentucky, December 19, 1820, and was appointed to the Navy, July 25, 1839; became master, December 3, 1853; lieutenant, July 24, 1854; commander, November 5, 1863; captain, July 1, 1870. While in command of the "Cyane of the Pacific squadron, he captured the piratical cruiser "J. M. Chapman, in 1863, for which he was complimented by Rear Adm. Charles Bell. While in command of the "Suwanee he took the piratical steamer "Colon at Cape Saint Lucas, Lower California, thereby saving two mail steamers that would have been captured. Subsequently, he was in command of the flag ship "Pensacola during the 1867-8 and after of the "Independence at Mare Island, California in 1869 and 1870. He died at Columbus, Ohio, November 24, 1876 (Ancestory.com). The 1856-58 diary covers the commissioning of the Susquehanna and its deployment to Key West, Fla.; to San Juan; and on to the Mediterranean Sea; to London to assist in laying of the first telegraph line, where Lt. Shirley met Samual Morse, from England to America; back to the Mediterranean when the cable broke after laying 335 miles of wire; then back to San Juan and Key West; finally to New York where he left to visit his family in Philadelphia. An entry on Oct 2, 1856 gives an account of Shirley's loyalties, "Received letter intelligence from home – Things look equally in a political way at home, what is to be the result of the insane & unholy war that the North are waging against the South is not in the power of man to tell; but it certainly looks to the rupture of our glorious Union, I think. Oh the political insanity and folly and wickedness of the Black Republicans in acting the part they do. God preserve my Country, I pray. Many years of my life have I devoted to the service of my country, but it is no long a foreign enemy we dread, the enemy is at home. As long as there is a party (?) to sustain the Federal Government, I will be found with it, but if matters come to the worst, I will shoulder my rifle and offer up my life in defense of the South, not simply because she is "The South, but because her cause is just, and I am one of her sons." Shirley ultimately served as a Union Commander during the Civil War. Ironically, Shirley takes command of the "Suwanee" in January 1865 with the primary mission of capturing or destroying the CSS Shenandoah (Refer to CSS Shenandoah archive lots in this sale). It is unsuccessful and the ship is later wrecked off of British Columbia in 1868. His diary is filled with remorse in waiting for a letter from home, as he left a wife and two sons in the States. Paul Shirley's interests extended to art and history and many of his entries describe the museums he visited in Europe and England. Also, his entries talk about the culture in Europe and the acquaintenances he met there. He detested the West Indies because of its hot weather and people and was very disappointed when their vessel received orders to return there from the Mediterranean. His dread and disappointment were justified because on returning, crew members started to become ill and die with the "fever, probably Yellow Fever. The first died on March 23rd, 1858. The number sick increased to 90 cases by April 4th. They received orders to sail for New York where they stayed at quarantine near Staten Island. After three days, the ship was ordered to Boston and the crew sent to a quarantine hospital. Lt. Shirley was released from the hospital and returned to Philadelphia to see his family. Unfortunately, his oldest son took sick several days later and died in his arms. His diary details the anguish he suffered during this sad time and records some of his final entries. CONDITION: Overall very good condition with pencil writing legible on all pages, minor toning. Scuffs to covers.