Lieutenant Commander L. Stuart
Taylor, USN (ret.) is the editor of Pacific Ocean Campaign, 1842 – 1844: Journal of a Cruise written by
Corporal Edward W. Taylor, USMC. According to the book description “Edited by maritime
historian Mary Kline Rose and L. Stuart Taylor, the great, great grandson of the journal writer, extensive care was taken
to compare contemporary journalists, archival documents, and the ship's logs.
USS Frigate UNITED STATES.
More than 160 years ago, Edward W.
Taylor penned this extraordinary journal while experiencing real life adventures as an observant young marine who guarded
Commodore Catesby Jones, a controversial Commander of the Pacific Fleet in the mid-1800s. Shipping out aboard the flagship
USS United States – the very first American vessel launched by Congress – the crew was proud of her speed and
heritage. The vessel often out-sailed and outraced her sister ships: USS Constitution, USS Constellation, USS President, USS
Chesapeake, and USS Congress.
Marine Corporal Edward W. Taylor served
in the capture and swift return of Monterey, CA, in 1843. A keen observer as an admiral’s guard, he kept a secret journal,
recording private visits of native royalty, prime ministers and international diplomats, merchants and missionaries –
those who reigned over the Pacific at the dawn of imperial aggression. Taylor’s three-year journal captured an early
Victorian world of naval personnel and townspeople in 19th Century Peru, Hawaii, Chile, Society Islands, Mexico, California.
Taylor witnessed a flogging through the fleet, the relief of his commodore’s command, and deadly preparations for war.
He detailed the human bonds and harsh conditions that existed among 500 men living in close quarters aboard an aging frigate
thousands of miles from home.
Examining a period of American history
that is little known and far less documented, Taylor’s journal is augmented by official letters, ship logs, memoirs,
and other journalists’ remarks. Here is proof that the world’s greatest literature is based on real life experiences.
His journal intimately recounts non-fictional characters and events that were retold by novelist Herman Melville.
Based on the outcome of this voyage,
dueling was abolished among officers, the ration of rum was eliminated from the fleet, and flogging was permanently outlawed
as naval punishment.”