Archive for the ‘underwater archaeology’ Category
The Merchant Vessels: City of Atlanta
From some of the research I’ve managed to find out about its captain Leman Chapman Urquhart, born in Canada on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick in the village of Castalia, it can be seen that he was not the regular captain of the ship. It had many previous captains, for a short time, according to the record read. The ship itself was laid down in 1903 in West Chester, Pennsylvania and I recall converted, perhaps during its construction, from coal to oil. He was my maternal grandfather’s brother, Lawrence George Urquhart’s older brother and other siblings grew up on the island, though in my grandfather’s time Lawrence enlisted in the Canadian Army fighting in Europe when he was, we hope, 16 (not 15). Leman C. Urquhart was a “Master Mariner” according to his business card and employed as a harbor pilot in the Savannah, Georgia harbor. They had both worked for “Savannah Lines” I think I recall him saying. My grandfather was later a crash-boat operator for flights out of New York near the current LaGuardia Airport. The City of Atlanta berthed in New York City and Savannah, Georgia making regular trips between the two cities. The NY Harbor-Sandy Hook Pilot’s Association thought, war declared, ships tied up in various rules and applications and perhaps having a harbor pilot as the captain, City of Atlanta may have an easier egress from the port of New York. Later correspondence about its wreckage stated since it was sunk purposefully to be a hazard to shipping, it may have been cleared by wire to some degree and is still cited as a hazard. The whole area off the North Carolina coast is a danger to magnetic compass bearings, warning on the navigation charts that anomalous magnetic readings are likely to be encountered.
At the base of a flagpole I recall is printed his name and other islanders who died for our freedom. We were then visiting the house my grandfather had bought in North Head, Grand Manan Island, N.B. As youngsters too young to travel much there, he later sold it to two school teachers on the island. The flagpole is just out-front of the church between two brass cannons, marked “Eccles”.
There is also a volume about the The Second Happy Time (Wikipedia) codenamed Operation Paukenschlag or: Operation Drumbeat, billed as “The Dramatic True Story of Germany’s First U-boat Attacks Along The American Coast In World War II,” by author: Michael Gannon, publisher: Harper Perennial in 1991 (review by Daryl Carpenter). Brought to their attention, perhaps “Lehman Urquart” that is the Leman Chapman Urquhart name will be corrected in the second edition.
I read online this creme was confiscated and destroyed (google doc) by the USDA for libelous packaging, in fact containing near 12% mercury. May 15, 1912 and ordered destroyed by the marshal. Perhaps however, the "retro" looking bottle was produced by the Owens Corning glass company for some pharmaceutical business that then produced another mixture, i.e., one that the FDA wouldn’t be concerned with, which ended up in Amelia Earhart’s "kit". DiscoveryNews
I worked with two underwater archaeologists who had worked for a short time in Port Royal while excavating the so-called “Ronson Ship” buried at a former dock or slip in NYC. The ship, from the dead “teredo” or shipworms found in it showed the ship had been in the Caribbean and North Atlantic according to biologists. Maybe there? The point is, Port Royal could be used as a “time capsule” by which we can look at other finds, serendipitous or otherwise. And despite its “reputation” was an important port of call in the early days of nation formation and should be protected by UNESCO. It’s also a very easily accessible dive, for many, unlike others that require more danger, from the sea, equipment and entanglements another reason to keep its exceptional archaeological sites. Besides, where else can you find the “wrath of the maker”? Huffington Post
As an archaeology tech in the US surprised I am by a few recent events in this regard. Testing a new R.O.V. for underwater survey they discovered one of the mini-subs was sunk by the US with a hole to the base of the conning tower. They state that from the records, it was the first shot fired at the battle. Recent film analysis shows one in the inner harbor, attacking by torpedo. Maybe you’ve seen that film James Caan was in, about Allied mini-subs "Submarine X-1" (1969).
I read Mainichi Shimbun ("Daily News") a non-native researcher lamented the lack of research in the days that led directly to the battle. He or she had uncovered a story of "too late" translated "declaration of war" which one would assume was for diplomats. An unusually warm December day brought the translators to a burial service, outside, D.C. The minister took advantage of fine weather, stretching it to a two hour service. They got back too late on a weekend to translate the communiqué. The researcher suggests we go back to piece back the events. Germany declared war shortly after it, and began "Operation Drumbeat" sending US ships at sea in coastal and international waters to the bottom. My grand-dad’s brother, Leman Urquhart, was captain of the "SS City of Atlanta" and lost with over 40 others, sunk in that January after the December "Day of Infamy".
– Huffington Post 5/30/2012
This may well be the Buttermilk Falls that had exclusive rights to grind wheat into flour, represented by wooden barrels on the official seal of New York. Ground wheat from the Hudson River valley, baked in the city into “hardtack” was known around the world aboard ships. New York flour helped relieve famine in Europe, i.e. Italy and elsewhere, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Just below it was one of the proposed locations of a “Great Chain” to stop the large British Navy ships of the line from a “divide and conquer” of the colonies, north and south.
– graphics from a family genealogy blog on-line, info from “The Marine Society of the City of New York 1770-1995 A Concise History”, by Gerald Barry, 1995.