William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
J.M. Taylor (Schooner) Records, 1862
James S. Schoff Civil War CollectionFinding aid created by
Rob S. Cox, November 1997
J. M. Taylor (Schooner) records
Robert M. Blackwell & Company
These letters and documents pertain to the commercial sailing vessel J. M. Taylor , on lease to the Federal government for Civil War service. The focus of the papers is Blackwell & Company's attempts to obtain restitution from the government for wartime damages to the vessel.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown.
J. M. Taylor (Schooner) Records, James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The collection is organized chronologically.
During the first year of the Civil War, the schooner J. M. Taylor was captured by John Perene, in employ of the mercantile firm of R. M. Blackwell & Co., whose offices were located at 144 Front Street, New York. In 1862, the J. M. Taylor was leased to the federal government to transport troops and horses from Alexandria, Va., to Fortress Monroe.
In April, 1862, Capt. Perene joked about the schooner becoming "lunch before dinner" for the Confederate iron-clad Merrimac , then patrolling the James River. Ironically, it was not the Merrimac that did in the Taylor : while carrying a cargo of fresh meat for Union troops on July 7, the Taylor became lunch for a barrage of Confederate artillery from the shore and was badly mangled. Blackwell & Co. spent months afterward repairing their prize and requesting restitution for damages of the government.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The letters and documents that comprise the J.M. Taylor records recount the fate of a commercial sailing vessel on lease to the federal government for wartime service. These papers appear to have been assembled at the office of Blackwell & Company in a topical file, with the bulk concerning Blackwell's attempt to get restitution from the government for the repair of the Taylor after it was damaged by shore fire along the James. The collection includes letters by John Perene to Blackwell & Company and copied extracts from the logbook of the J.M. Taylor .
- Restitution--United States.
- Taylor, J. M. (Vessel)
- United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Naval operations.