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X X X W.
THE undersigned, commanding the Exploring Expedition, has deferred acknowledging the great gratification he has received from the reports of the commanders of the different vessels respecting the officers and crews, during their late arduous cruise, and takes this opportunity, not only to offer them his thanks, but to assure them that he has duly represented the same to the government; and feels great confidence that in the coming service they will show an equal alacrity and obedience to their officers, and a determination to carry out the views of the government and the country. CHARLEs WILKEs, Commanding Exploring Expedition. U. S. Ship Vincennes, June 15th, 1839.
U. S. Ship Vincennes,
In consequence of the changes which have become necessary in the Exploring Squadron (under my command), you are hereby appointed commander of the United States Schooner Flying-Fish, one of the vessels attached to the same, until further orders.
Your compensation will be the same as the lieutenants commanding schooners on the coast survey, when the Exploring Squadron left the United States, which will include all expenses while on shore and afloat.
I have appointed Passed Midshipman Knox an Acting-Master, with orders to report to you for duty on board the Flying-Fish.
I am, &c.,
Commanding Exploring Expedition LIEUT. CoM. R. F. PinkNEy,
U. S. Schooner Flying-Fish.
THE undersigned, commanding the Exploring Expedition, has attentively examined the proceedings of the Naval Court of Inquiry, relative to the detention of the boat at Good Success Bay, in March last, and the conduct of Lieutenant Dale, who was in charge of her. In the opinion of the court he concurs; having been an eye-witness to the principal transactions, and believes that the whole difficulty and detention of the boat arose and was occasioned by the inexperience of Lieutenant Dale in managing a boat in the surf: the mode of using the ample means he had ; a want of determined perseverance to execute his orders; and some procrastination in effecting his progress through the surf; being influenced by the timidity of some of those with him, arising from the novelty of the situation they were placed in. In consideration of the remarkably long confinement of Lieutenant Dale under suspension, and being fully impressed with the opinion of the court relative to his good conduct and attention to the men during his detention on shore; he is restored to duty, and will resume his duties accordingly. The undersigned takes this opportunity to impress upon all under his command, the great necessity of adhering strictly to and carrying orders into execution, and of obtaining information relative to the best modes of surmounting difficulties before encountering them; also, to provide themselves fully with the means necessary to execute orders; and all those who may be passengers in boats to abstain from interfering or giving advice, unless it is asked,—as many delays and difficulties may thus be avoided. He cannot refrain from expressing the high opinion he has of the conduct of Lieutenant Hartstein; also, of John Moore (quarter-master), Francis Williams (boatswain's mate), and Samuel Stretch (quartermaster), who volunteered in the attempt to afford assistance to the party on shore, and he desires to return them his thanks for their conduct. The Naval Court of Inquiry, of which Captain William L. Hudson
is President, is hereby dissolved.
Commanding Exploring Expedition U. S. Ship Vincennes, g g Expe
Callao, June 20th, 1839
U. S. Ship Vincennes, Harbour of Callao, June 22d, 1839. SIR,We, the undersigned officers of the Exploring Expedition, under your command, respectfully take the liberty of addressing you on the subject of those officers who have incurred your displeasure in consequence of having been engaged in a duel; and whom, it is understood, you intend sending to the United States, with a recommendation to the proper authority that they may be dismissed the service. We are very far from arrogating to ourselves the right of discussing the propriety of any course you may think proper to adopt, with regard so those gentlemen; but, when we consider the youth and inexperience of the parties, we are convinced that the affair was entered into without proper reflection upon the ill effect that such conduct would have upon the reputation and efficiency of the service upon which we are engaged, and that the decided expression of your displeasure will be sufficient to deter others from the commission of a similar error; and we respectfully assure you that it would be the source of great gratification to all of us if you could render it consistent with your duties and responsibilities, as the commander of the Expedition, to overlook the offence against the discipline of the service, of which those officers have been guilty, and restore them to their duty. We have the honour to be, very respectfully, (Signed) Robert F. PINKNEy, Lieutenant-Commandant Overton CARR, Lieutenant. JAMES ALDEN, Lieutenant. A. LUDLow CASE, Lieutenant. O. H. PERRY, Lieutenant. John B. DALE, Lieutenant. JAMEs H. North, Acting-Master. Augustus A. BALDwiN, Acting-Master. GEORGE F. EMMONs, Lieutenant. Thomas A. BUDD, Lieutenant. SAMUEL R. KNox, Acting-Master. WILLIAM SPIEDEN, Purser. GEORGE F. SINCLAIR, Acting-Master. Joseph A. UNDERwood, Lieutenant. H. J. HARTSTEIN, Lieutenant.
Having received a strong application from all the officers of the squadron, in behalf of the young officers lately engaged in a duel, and believing that so remarkable a circumstance as the unanimous call of all their seniors, with their pledges that the reputation of the Expedition shall not suffer from the repetition of a like occurrence, and feeling also assured as I do, that nothing of the kind will again occur during the cruise, to cast a stigma upon the reputation of the squadron, and believing that the Honourable the Secretary of the Navy, after a perusal of all the documents in relation to this case, will coincide in my views, and justify my proceedings, I have determined under all the circumstances to retain them in the squadron.
Passed Midshipmen Lewis and Harrison, and Midshipmen Blair and Henry, will therefore rejoin the Peacock forthwith.
Commanding Exploring Expedition. U. S. Ship Vincennes, g g
Callao, June 23d, 1839.
U. S. Ship Vincennes, Callao, July 11th, 1839. SIR,
You will, on the arrival of the Sea-Gull at this port, proceed direct to Matavai Bay, Tahiti, Society Islands, pursuing the following route.
Steering a course that will take you in or about the longitude of 105° W., to the latitude of 20° S., which latitude you will pursue until you fall in with the Low Archipelago, and continue thereon until you reach the longitude of 134° W., where you will haul to the northward, and make two islands, called by the English Minerva and Serle Island, and by the French Clermont de Tonnerre: they are in about latitude 18° 32' S, longitude 136° W., the latter, or Serle Island, in latitude 18° 05° S., longitude 137° W. The French and English differ as respects the situation of this island.
From thence you will stand again to the southward, passing in the latitude of 20° S., to see if Turnbull's Island does exist: it is said to be in latitude 20° 10' S., longitude 143° W.; thence you will make and run over San Pablo Isle, another doubtful one, in latitude 20° S., and longitude 145° W., and from thence to Matavai Bay, where you will find me, or letters with the American consul, directing your further movements.
In the event of the Sea-Gull arriving after receipt of this letter, you will furnish her at Valparaiso with all necessary articles, and render her complete for the intended service. After having completed which, you will lose no time in proceeding on the route designated above.
Your attention is particularly called to investigating any shoal, reef or island that you may fall in with, not duly represented on your chart, taking azimuth bearings, when you have determined your situation.
If you should not possess the necessary charts of the Pacific Ocean, you will at once make a requisition on the navy agent for that purpose, getting the latest and the best; I have written to him accordingly to supply all your wants, believing that you will require nothing that is not necessary.
You will, of course, continue the usual observations of temperature, &c., and acquire as much information on your route as you can.
In the event of the Sea-Gull not being heard from within four months after the 1st of June, you have permission to return to the United States, or join the squadron on the Pacific Station, whichever may suit you own views. The attempt to follow the squadron would be impossible, with any chance of success; therefore I do not consider myself authorized to incur the expense, and devote the time of any officer to so vague a prospect of service.
Wishing you a pleasant and prosperous passage,
I am, &c.,
Commanding Exploring Expedition. LIEUT. CoM. T. T. CRAven, g Exp g
Similar instructions were given to Lieutenant-Commandant Craven at Callao, omitting those parts relating to Valparaiso.
U. S. Ship Vincennes,
Harbour of Callao, July 11th, 1839. SIR,
You will avoid by all means in your power a separation; in the event of such an occasion, you will steer for the island of St. Paul's, or its supposed locality; thence to the island of Minerva or Clermont de Tonnerre, in latitude 18° 32' S., longitude 136° W.; then hauling to the northward to make the Isle of Disappointment; thence by King George's Group, Waterlandt Land, and Dean's Island; and from thence to Matavai Bay in the island of Tahiti.
You will at each of these places make some stay, and remain at Matavai Bay until you hear from me.