James West, Elements of Navigation  1785
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This volume (209 pages) contains instructions, diagrams, and tables related to many aspects of sailing and British naval ships. Multiple unidentified writers contributed to this book.

The first section is comprised of a manuscript excerpt from S. John Peschell's Observations upon the Fitting of Guns on Board His Majesty's Ships. Peschell, who was stationed on the HMS San Domingo in Bermuda, provided instructions for mounting, firing, and otherwise working with guns onboard a ship. He also discussed some differences between the Royal Navy and United States Navy, and wrote about the battle between the Shannon and the Chesapeake . The text is accompanied by charts showing elevations and depressions of the San Domingo 's guns and a copied letter from several ship captains to Admiral Richard Bickerton.

The remainder of the volume consists primarily of notes about naval vessels, intended for commanders. They concern ship construction, sailing methods, gunnery and first aid. Some instructions are accompanied by diagrams. Other information includes recipes, a list of items to be placed next to a ship's guns, and notes about ammunition. The end of the volume contains accounts of quill tubes, powder, shot, and wads on an unidentified ship from 1824-1825, and a list of addresses.

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