Monday, October 4, 2010

Black Ship U.S.S. Saratoga Returns to Boston from Japan and the Hawaiian Islands

The January 1855 edition (page 3) of The Friend, published in Honolulu by Rev. Samuel C. Damon of the American Seamen’s Friend Society, reported the return of the Black Ship U.S. Saratoga from Japan and the Hawaiian Islands, quoting the September 6, 1854 edition of the Boston Atlas:

After the inspection of the U.S. ships Saratoga and Cyane, on Monday, the latter was put out of commission, in consequence of requiring extensive repairs. The Saratoga will also be repaired to considerable extent.

Shortly after the inspection by Commodore Gregory, the crews of both vessels received their discharge; and as a large number of “land sharks” were hovering around the vessels, with a view of securing the sailor’s hard earnings, Rev. Phineas Stowe, accompanied by Mr. Morrill of Amesbury, the other benevolent gentlemen, engaged the National Brass Band, and proceeded to the Navy Yard for the purpose of inducing the sailors to take up quarters at temperance boarding houses. They were well received on board ship by all classes.

A flag and various Japanese curiosities were presented to Mr. Stowe, and nearly 150 out of 200 on board the Saratoga, accompanied the apostle of temperance and humanity, the band leading the way. The procession marched through some of the principal streets of this city, to the Bethel on the corner of Lewis and Commercial streets, which had been beautifully decorated for the occasion.

After listening to addresses and music they were almost all safely housed in temperance quarters. Later in the evening, a temperance meeting was held in the Bethel, where addresses were made by the Mayor, Mr. Williams of New York, Messrs. Norrill and Stowe, and one of the crew of the Saratoga. Many took the pledge, and the occasion was a deeply interesting one.

To-morrow there is to be a picnic at Framingham, the company marching from the Bethel. Seldom has any benevolent enterprise been crowned with greater success than has thus far attended this. –Boston Atlas, Sept. 6.

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