Monday 22 February 2021

2021 Admiral David Jewett and his descendants


 ADMIRAL DAVID JEWETT AND HIS DESCENDANTS                                                      

                                                     Eduardo C. GERDING


By your courage in tribulation, by your cheerfulness before the dirty devices of this world, you have won the love of those who have watched you “

                                                                     Guy Chapman ( A Passionate Prodigality, 1933 )

                                             Admiral David Jewett (1772-1842)

David Joseph Jewett was born on June 17, 1772 in North Parish, New London, Connecticut (USA), his father being Dr. Hibbard Jewett (1745-1814) and his mother Patience Bulkley (1749-1880). He was descended from Joseph Jewett, who had emigrated from Yorkshire, England, in 1638, and settled in Rowley, Massachusetts, USA. Two of his brothers Charles and George also served in the US Navy.

The Trumbull corvette

The Trumbull was launched at Jedediah Willer's shipyard in Norwich between 10 and 11 am on November 26, 1799 to "the acclaim of thousands of spectators." By February 19, 1800, the Trumbull corvette was fully manned with its commander David Jewett of New London receiving rave reviews from the local press. The Trumbull captured its first prey, the French six-gun schooner Peggy with a cargo of 35 tons of coffee, 70 barrels of sugar and a crew of eleven men. On August 6, 1800 she captured her second prey, a small schooner named Tullie. On March 23, 1801, the Secretary of the Navy sent instructions to Captain Jewett to pay the wages and discharge the crew of the Trumbull. On August 28, 1801, the Trumbull  was sold at the Tontine Coffee House in New York for $ 26,500.00.

The Military Peace Establishment Act

On March 3, 1801, under the directives of the third president of the United His request was very well received by Marcos González Balcarce, Secretary of War and Navy. In this way, the Director authorized Jewett to wage war, to capture by force the ships and properties that belonged to Spanish citizens when they were in neutral ports or shipping lanes of friends of that state in such a way that they could be tried and confiscated as legal prey by the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata. Jewett could sell or dispose of the captured assets as previously agreed with the government.On

On March 3, 1801 under the directives of the third President ofthe United States , Thomas Jefferson, and invoking economic reasons, the Military Peace Establishment Act  was written (reducing the crews by 60 percent), abolishing the rank of Master Commander that Jewett held. David Jewett was decommissioned on June 3, 1801.


After the War of Independence the British navy reduced too its staff from 110,000 to 26,000 men. Hundreds of men were left without work. About twenty enlisted in the Russian navy, whose oldest Admiral was the Scotsman Samuel Greig.


The Privateers and the War of 1812

During the United States' War of Independence, the Continental Navy ships captured 196 British vessels while privateer ships captured at least 600. In the War of 1812 there were 526 U.S. ships commissioned as privateer ships. The corsairs had a code of conduct. They never fired a shot under cover of a false flag. Capture was sought rather than destruction.

During the War of 1812, the total cost of building a 200-ton schooner, supplying it with weapons, and equipping it with a crew was approximately $ 40,000.

Officers and crew received half of the profits from the sale of captured ships and their cargo, the other half was received by the owners of the ships. In 1856 the Declaration of Paris, signed by seven maritime nations, prohibited privateer actions, precipitating their end.

Jewett nominal commander of the Chilean Navy

On September 20, 1814, General José Miguel Carrera y Verdugo appointed David Jewett as Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean navy. Jewett's name had been suggested to him by Joel Roberts Poinsett Consul of the United States in Buenos Ayres and by Commodore David Porter of Boston, commander of the USS Essex. Commodore Porter was a brave US Navy officer who on March 28, 1814, in inferior conditions in men and arms, lost, in the middle of a storm, a combat in Valparaíso against the British ships Phoebe and Cherub. General Carrera y Verdugo sailed in the brig Expedición to meet David Jewett in the US, but the latter had already offered his services to the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata. As a result of this we can say that Jewett was a nominal leader of an imaginary navy.


David Jewett and the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata

Why did Jewett choose our country? Some historians think that he did not want to be linked to the controversial Carrera y Verdugo. Another cause could be that the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata had appointed Lieutenant Colonel Guillermo Brown on March 1, 1814, who was a brilliant Irishman and with whom Jewett could have felt more comfortable. David Jewett arrived in Buenos Ayres on June 22, 1815. Since José Rondeau was in Upper Peru fighting, David Jewett offered his services to Ignacio Alvarez Thomas, who was then the Provisional Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata.

His request was very well received by Marcos González Balcarce, Secretary of War and Navy. In this way, the Director authorized Jewett to wage war, to capture by force the ships and properties that belonged to Spanish citizens when they were in neutral ports or shipping lanes of friends of that state in such a way that they could be tried and confiscated as legal prey by the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata. Jewett could sell or dispose of the captured assets as previously agreed with the government.

David Jewett  and Xaviera Carrera

Francisca Xaviera Eudocia Rudecinda de los Dolores Carrera y Verdugo was born in Santiago de Chile on March 10, 1781. Xaviera was the first daughter of Colonel of the Royal Militia Ignacio de la Carrera y Cuevas and Francisca de Paula Verdugo y Valdivieso; both belonging to families of the Spanish nobility. In 1800, Xaviera married Don Pedro Díaz de Valdez, a Spaniard who was to be in charge of the Office of the Judge´s Defense of the Army  belonging to the Captaincy of Chile.

The Carrera house in Buenos Aires was actually the headquarters of the so-called Carreriano Movement and therefore a center of intrigues and plots. It was precisely during these troubled years that Xaviera met Jewett who was impressed by her beauty. Armando Moreno Martín, compiler of the General José Miguel Carrera Archive, refers that Javiera was effectively in love with David Jewett based on a letter sent in 1818 by the American diplomat David Porter to his compatriot and former consul in Chile, Joel Robert Poinsset.

The relationship between David Jewett and Xaviera Carrera  perhaps be compared to that of John Paul Jones and Delia (Countess of Nicolson) wife of Count William Murray Nicolson. On April 8, 1818, Toribio Luzuriaga, governor of Mendoza, had Luis and Juan José shot, which spiritually destroyed Xaviera. The latter was able to escape to Montevideo with the David Jewett´s help in a time of political upheaval.Xaviera passed away twenty years after David Jewett and her image still stirs deep feelings among the Chilean society.


The Invincible Brig

According to some records, a British warship called HMS Challenger was acquired by a Paris resident from Rhode Island named Prebble. This ship, called The True Blooded Yankee, took part as a privateer in the War of 1812 against the British, its first owner being Colonel Denis from Philadelphia. She was able to sail from the French ports of Brest, Morlaix and l'Orient. In total, The True Blooded Yankee captured six ships and 21 smaller vessels, one of whose prey was valued at four hundred thousand dollars. According to a letter sent by John Murray Forbes on October 26, 1821 to United States Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, The True Blooded Yankee was commanded by Captain David Jewett and the ship had been renamed Invincible.

The Invincible was an amazing 440-ton brig, it was 40 meters long, 6.10 meters wide, 6.75 meters deep, and 3.75 meters deep. He was armed with twenty 18-pound guns, fourteen 24-pound carronades and six 12-pound guns with a crew of 180 men.The documents from the fort of Buenos Ayres confirm that Jewett was the owner of the Invincible and that his lawyer was David Curtis DeForest another American enthusiastic about the cause of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata.

The Invincible was later captured in Bahia and Jewett imprisoned for 17 days. The Brazilian authorities alleged that Jewett was acting on behalf of a government that did not enjoy the sympathy of the King of Portugal.

John Murray Forbes slanders

John Murray Forbes was merely serving as a US agent of commerce in Buenos Ayres by the time David Jewett arrived with the Invincible. He never saw with good eyes the privateer activities of his compatriot, fearing perhaps of having diplomatic problems with Spain.

According to Forbes, while an agent was filling out authorization forms at New York Customs to set sail from Savannah, Georgia, Jewett took advantage of the breeze and escaped with the brig, subsequently presenting himself to the authorities of the United Provinces of the River of the Silver. His slander did not prosper.

Jewett and other Americans threatened to file a report with our authorities, which could have cost Forbes his job. There is no doubt that the latter had given false testimony and, fearful of what might happen to him, he wrote again to the US Secretary of State asking this time for "some decent job in the United States."

In his letter to John Quincy Adams dated July 16, 1822, John Murray Forbes bitterly complained that “All British and renegades from my own country such as Thomas L. Halsey, W.P. Ford, David Jewett, Thomas Taylor and others of their kind have declared war on me "

The peoples´gratitude

The Invincible returned to Buenos Ayres in the spring of 1817 after sailing for 27 months during which it attacked every Spanish ship that crossed our waters on its way to the fortifications of the Pacific.

Captain David Jewett returned his letter of marque certificate on September 26, 1817. Between 1815 and 1817 the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata captured approximately 70 Spanish ships.

The Buenos Aires Gazette of June 16, 1819 expressed how grateful the inhabitants of our country were to David Jewett.


 te:Juan Larrea's mother (Catalan and member of the First Board) was the godmother of one of DeForest's daughters. DeForest, who was named Honorary Citizen of Buenos Ayres, made a great fortune and according to some historians  had business relationships with Manuel Moreno and with a well-known privateer named Pierre Lafitte. David DeForest was appointed Consul General of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata and later returned to the United States where he purchased a beautiful home in New Haven.


The Heroína frigate

On August 9, 1819, Patricio Lynch asked the Ministry of the Navy of the United Provinces of Río de la Plata for the letter of marque certificate and the appropriate armament for a 475-ton frigate built in Spain. Said requirements were made based on Article No. 5 of the 1817 regulations for privateering activities. Lynch suggested to the authorities that the ship be christened Tomas Guido requesting in turn that David Jewett be its commander. The government refused to baptize the ship with the name Guido because he was still in active service. Lynch eventually agreed that the ship would be named Heroína (Heroine). According to some historians, the name of Heroína would have been put in honor of Xaviera Carrera.

Director Rondeau promoted David Jewett to Army Colonel and appointed him commander of said frigate. His Second Commander would be Sergeant Major John W. Adams. Six Lieutenants and one Second Lieutenant were assigned to him. Jewett personally chose the surgeon. Among the officers was Midshipman Acevedo trained in the Royal Navy and the nephew of a certain Goyena who held the same rank as in the Spanish navy. The rest of the crew consisted of 42 Creoles, including 28 convicts, 7 sailors forced to board and 3 volunteers. The marque certificate was issued to him on January 15, 1820, setting sail on January 20 of that year from the anchorage of Los Pozos, although some authorities report that it was in Ensenada where he completed the cam.

David Jewett's first mission, in the midst of such political instability, was to lead a division made up of the Heroína frigate, the Gálvez and 25 de Mayo brigs, the Invincible and various barges, blockade the port of Buenos Ayres and inspect the anchored ships.

 David Jewett was ordered to sail as a privateer through the South Atlantic with a double mission: to reaffirm the sovereignty of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata in the Malvinas Islands and secondly to stop the abusive activities of fishing boats. This document was later published in August 1829 in the Mercantile Gazette.

Lynch was quick to ensure that this frigate was in excellent condition which, as we will see, was not true. The Heroína turned out to be  slow to pursue other warships.

Appointment of David Jewett of the Heroína, as Colonel in the service of the National Navy by the Supreme Director of the United Provinces in South America

The arrival to the Malvinas Islands

When David Jewett arrived in the Malvinas Islands, foreign ships were at anchor, mainly British and American. Jewett informed them about the reasons that forced the presence of an authority according to the government memo of November 2, 1820.

The commander of the Heroína sent a note to British Captain James Weddell in these terms:


            Heroína , State Frigate in Puerto Soledad, November 2, 1820


I have the honor of informing You of my arrival to this port being commissioned by the Superior Government of the United Provinces of the River Plate. I hereby take possession of this islands in the name of the country to which they naturally belong.

In fulfilling my duty I want to act with the greatest respect and equity towards all friendly colors. One of the main purposes is avoiding the abusive destruction of resources necessary for ships passing through or forced to land on the islands, and to do so that they can be supplied with the minimum of expenses and inconvenience. Since your purposes are not in conflict or in competition with these instructions, and in the belief that a personal interview will be of benefit to both of you, I invite you to visit me aboard my ship, where I will be pleased to offer you I accommodate as long as it pleases. I must also thank you for the kindness, to the best of your ability, to extend this invitation to any other British subjects in the vicinity. I have the honor to subscribe, sir, your most attentive and humble servant,

David Jewett,

Colonel Commander of the United Provinces of South America and Commander of the Heroína Frigate.


The next morning Jame Weddell walked 7 to 8 miles to Puerto San Luis where the Heroína was anchored, transferring aboard in a boat that he found on the beach. According to Weddell, "I don't think there has ever been, since Lord Anson's time, a ship more mined by scurvy than Jewett's frigate." He also said that Jewett had only 30 sailors and 40 soldiers of what was known to be a crew of 200 men. Weddell spent the night on the frigate Heroína and even helped Jewett the following day to bring the frigate into port.


In 1740, during the war with Spain, British Admiral George Anson (1697-1762) attacked settlements on the coasts of Chile. By June 1744 more than half of its 2,000-man crew had died of scurvy.


James Weddell was a British explorer, geographer, and whaler who sailed to Antarctica three times (1820, 1821-22, and 1822-23). He wrote a book recounting his adventures entitled "A Voyage Towards the South Pole in the Years 1822-24" (published in 1825). He was a man who admired accuracy and despised the baseless claims made by early explorers. Weddell passed away in poverty at the age of 47.

The  Heroína  commanded by David Jewett

Of the Heroina’s  200 men crew, 50  had died as a result of scurvy, 7 as a result of mutinies and  20 deserted in the Trinidad islands and Cape Verde. The sailors were in so bad shape that the officers themselves had to personally manage the winch in order to approach the Frigate to Port San Luis. By the time the Frigate Heroina arrived to Malvinas there were about fifty foreign vessels anchored at the Anunciación Bay formed by rough crews who respected nothing but force.  There were other witness as well as the British Frigates Indian (Captain Spiller) ,  Jane ( Captain Wedell ), Hety    ( Captain Bond), George ( Captain Richardson ) and British Cutters Beaufoy ( Captain  Brisbane) , Elisa (Captain Powell) and Sphrightly (Captain Frazier).  The following American vessels could be observed too : Frigates Eucane           ( Captain Knox ),  Governor Hawkins, General Knox, (Captain W. R. Orme ) , and New Haven, the American Brigs  Fanning, Harmony and Wasp and the Schooners Hero and Free Gift ( Captain Thomas Dunbard ). On December 6, 1820 he ordered his few brave battered remaining Marine Corps who could still manage a weapon to raise the flag of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata amidst the drum beats of  Cosme Damián Ulloa and  José Rodriguez’s whistle . A twenty one cannons salute ended the ceremony which according to British commander James Weddell  was filled with awesome power and dignity.


                                    Reproduction of the Gaceta de Madrid

Reproduction of the Redactor de Cadiz

How was David Jewett's trip to the Malvinas Islands?

There is no better way to describe the vicissitudes that David Jewett experienced than to transcribe the letter that he himself wrote while in Puerto Soledad.


                                              Port Soledad, Malvinas Islands,

                                              February 1st, 1821.

                                              On board the state Frigate Heroína.


Your Excellency,


                 Embracing this the first and only opportunity to announce the painful history of events which have followed in distressing and rapid succession, from our leaving the waters of La Plata, up to the present moment, imposes upon me a task that requires an abler pen and a mind less torn by sufferings, and less occupied by the continued combination of factious and designing villany:- but painful as the task is, and arduous, my duty demands it. I shall naught extenuate, nor aught set down in malice, in giving as concise a view of our past, and continued misfortunes, and present situation as circumstances will permit, reserving a more minute relation to a personal communication, if ever I am to have that honor.

                A very few days after our departure from the river, we had to encounter a series of violent gales, and contrary winds, which caused the ship to leak in such a manner as to damage much of our stores, and to discover the want of that character among the principal officers, required to constitute the necessary energy and union, to ensure success in the important object of our enterprise. Added to which was the distressing situation of my second officer Major Adams a worthy and meritorious officer, who was never able to be brought on deck after lifting our anchor before the city, until he expired on the 26th day of May.

             The First Lieutenant Mr. Joseph Hughes with a constitution worn out with debauchery, and mind with depravity, was rather an instrument to facilitate that factious spirit which began to respire, than to afford the indispensable aid to subordination, that his station required. Nor was the inexperience of the 2nd Lieutenant , or the visionary and credulous nature of his character, fitted to correct the train of evils, which daily arose, and his own weakness and ignorance led him to become, more, the inactive accessory, than the vigilant opposer, to the grounds of succeeding evils.

              The 3rd , 4th and 5th Lieutenants destitute of the principles of duty seemed to have contented themselves in maintaining a neutrality, and without using their exertions to check a current of evils, which in the sequel would not only destroy the harmony, but the grand object of the expedition: - and left me without a single officer to give the necessary aid, either in timely checking those growing evils, or to prevent that contagion diffusing itself thro’ a number of villains, who have been discovered among the crew.

                At a moment when the factious disposition of officers had given vent to the evil intentions of a part of the crew, the general cause of complaint  was made as to the bad sailing of the ship, her leaking, and incapacity for a successful cruize, even previous to my arrival before the port of Rio Janeiro - off which to our inexpressible regret it was discovered, that the bad quality of our water casks, had lost by leakage, the greater part of our water, and would compel an immediate abandonment of that station for the necessary supply. It was thought best to proceed to the Island of Trinidad, for that purpose, as a return to the River Plata would produce ruin and delay. 

                On our arrival at that Island it was found only possible to obtain a partial and very limited supply - which required the necessary quantity for further operations, to be obtained in some situation where the casks might be landed and repaired, and the bends and bows of the ship be caulked: Under such distressing and injurious circumstances, it was viewed as indispensable to pursue a track across the Equator for the northern hemisphere, leaving the coast of Brazil, and seek the necessary supplies of water and repairs in some one of the Cape Verde Islands, for which we accordingly proceeded.

               In this passage, the restless and factious spirit of both officers and men, discontented with the sailing of the vessel and her leaking made it a pretext that combined among various of them to protest to me against the state of the ship, and to solicit or demand my going to the United States of America direct. Such an idea or movement I opposed as unnecessary, rash, and ruinous to the concern, and dishonorable in the extreme, and was so fortunate as to quiet, if not destroy, for that moment, the intention.

               We pursued our northern destination until our arrival at the Cape Verde Islands, where with every vigilance possible were repaired as far as circumstances would permit, both water casks and hull of the vessel, and proceeded towards the coast of Spain; examining such vessels as we met/ and could sail fast enough to speak (to)/ until the 27th day of July 1820 when we got sight of a heavy ship of war or strong armed ship at 10 o’clock in the morning and immediately made sail in chase, which from the near equality of sailing, we were unable to come up with, until after midnight.  Having myself received a hurt two days before, which disabled me from standing on deck long at a time, I ordered the chase to be pressed with all possible sail, and to call me when within gunshot. I declared to the officers that in the event of her proving to be an enemies (sic) ship whatever her force it was my intention to bring her to close action the moment I could lay my ship alongside and gave orders to clear the ship accordingly. On coming up with the chase, the weather being clear moon-light, we being to windward and within half musket shot, she from appearances confirmed the first opinion that she was a ship of war –

                At this moment and before hailing, she fired a shot, which passed between the foremast and bowsprit end. I then hailed her several times, to which at length received an indistinct answer, by some understood to be “Portuguese” - I ordered him to send an officer and boat on board, which being repeated several times, and as often refused, I found it necessary to enforce the demand, and assured him both in Spanish and English, that unless he complied I should fire into him, and being again refused, I ordered Lieut. Edwards to fire from the Fore Castle of the upper deck one gun across his forefoot elevating the same, which was accordingly done, and as soon as fired, was returned from the ship with a full broadside of round grape and longrage (sic - could be long range) musketry and repeated with a brisk fire, being then within a short pistol shot distance - I ordered the batteries to be opened upon her which was continued for the term of fifteen minutes close action, when she was silenced for the space of two or three minutes - hearing cries and groans on board of her, I immediately ordered a cessation of firing, supposing her to have struck, when she directly resumed her action, then at half pistol shot distance, which I as soon returned with two broadsides, when they cried for quarter, stating that they had struck on which I despatched Lieut. Edwards and the necessary officers and men to take charge for the night; she proved to be, as you will perceive from the documents herewith presented, the Ship Carlotta of 22 heavy guns besides small arms, with a crew of 62 men and 14 passengers from La Bahia de todos os Santos bound for Lisbon with a full cargo. Under all considerations I officered and manned the ship, keeping her in company; and on examining the state and condition of our supplies, I considered it indispensably necessary to take a direction through the Azores, Madeira, Canaries, and Cape Verd, Islands, to the Southern Hemisphere, and accordingly on the 6th day of August then in sight of Fayall, with light airs of wind and calms we continued our course to the South East for the Island of Madeira. At this time the greatest extent of our provisions was for eighty days, and much of that in bad condition & of bad quality, which, together with the still uncertain state of the water casks - the situation of the ship - the conduct of the officers - the distance from our place of our ultimate destination, with the want of any resources of credit, or orders for obtaining any supplies in any part of Europe or the United States rendering that impossible, together with the expiration of twelve days in which we could make but little progress, in connection with the calms incidental to those latitudes at that season of the year, and the baffling winds to be expected in the vicinity of the Islands thro’ which we anticipated to pass - and the same to be looked for in crossing the Equator to the Southern Hemisphere, impelled me to make my course direct thro’ the Cape Verd Islands - Hence to push with all possible despatch, keeping in company the ship taken, and in case of securing a fortunate passage across the equator, on reaching the coast of Brazil, should the provisions and state of the ship permit, to remain on that station as long as possible, and accordingly made the best of our way for the Islands, with light and baffling winds, and in consequence our advance but very slow. On the 12/13th August began to unfold itself a dark and horrid complot of conspiracy for murder, Robbery and Piracy - it was discovered and the proceedings, with termination, as far as hitherto disclosed will be found detailed in the various documents that will be remitted by this opportunity.

          I shall only briefly state, the short notice and manner by which I discovered and suppressed this daring and horrid attempt, and submit my conduct to that Government, whose standard, by the assistance of Divine Providence I have been permitted to protect, and save the lives of a few of her sons, who have been my companions in the painful and desperate crisis.

          On the night of the 13th of August when the fatal deed was to have been perpetrated, between twelve and one o’clock under the silence and darkness of night, the champions had doomed all but the assassin band to bleed. At the hour of Eleven o’clock all the officers with few exceptions were asleep and defenceless - confident security seemed to possess all - but myself. From eight o’clock an inexplicable impression of some latent danger deprived me of sleep, and as usual at that hour, without undressing I reclined in my cot, satisfied that the centinels (sic) were on the alert and faithful, and strove to divest myself of what I considered a visionary impression, or attack of lowness of spirits - but in vain - the impression at nine o’clock was stronger than my reason, and I was impelled to rise, and in disguise went on deck, where to my surprise I saw Sailing Master Thomas leave the gundeck forward without a hat, come on the Fore Castle, pass aft and down to the cot of Mr. Hughes the 1st Lieutenant, and behind a blanket which was suspended for a curtain, remain some minutes whispering with Mr. Hughes, from whence he went to the Wardroom. I then returned to my cabin reflecting on the cause of his visit, at an hour in which his duty did not call him to so singular an adventure. I remained until ten o’clock, when, in the disguise as before, I went on deck, where I again found Thomas sitting between the bows of the boats forward, without a hat, and several men moving on the forecastle, and near him, on his discovering me, he went below. With some encreased apprehension at such singular occurences, I returned to my cabin, where reflexion gave me no relief - I remained there until twenty minutes before twelve o’clock, midnight, when again I went upon deck, and found a perfect silence reigning thro’ every part of the ship - I passed unobserved by the officers or people on the Quarter Deck to the starboard gangway which appeared to me to be without any person but myself, when a low voice said, Colonel be on your guard, your life will be attacked this night - In the same low voice, I asked at what hour, the voice replied in one hour - I asked who was at the head of such a conspiracy, the voice replied Mr. Thomas - I then asked who else, but got no reply -  I searched for the person who might have given the information but found none. I instantly returned to my cabin, armed myself, and immediately went on deck when the same silence existed as when I had left it.

            I called immediately the Captain and Lieutenant of the troops, and Lieutenant Carnelia, and instantly ordered Mr. Thomas into double irons, at the same time ordering on deck the boatswain, gunner, the masters mate John L. Clark and ship’s steward Mr. J.L. Goss, armed the troops and doubled the sentinels with loaded pistols, and proceeded to secure such as I supposed to be the principals, which will be shewn, by adverting to the autos (sic) and proceedings which followed.

            I cannot omit my gratitude to my aid Lieut. Luciano Castelli whose cool, prompt, and energetic assistance shewed (sic) the veteran, in a gallant youth - the conduct of Dn Vega was unrivalled, the Captain of the troops the subordinate officers and soldiers, acquitted themselves to the honour of our standard.

             Lieutenant Carnelia who in the Fiscal’s report will appear to be compromitted (sic) during this trying moment has manifested, and conducted with, much energy, and afforded me every assistance in his power. When the scourge of death had so far reduced or numbers, that it was extremely difficult, from the number of sick, prisoners, and guard, to secure the sails from the sudden and tempestuous weather which we have had to encounter, to do so, Lieut. Carnelia has shewn the best example and used every exertion, at all times; - and ever since our arrival, at which time only ten seamen could be found to do duty, and those more or less affected by scurvy - On the 28th day of August last the avenging hand of death, began its slow but destructive attacks, with the most awful symptoms of inveterate scurvy, sweeping to destruction the strongest, and with few exceptions, all it met. Its first ravages commenced in the Prize, when the greatest exertions were made to save the infected, and prevent the fatal attacks upon others; three times the crew of that ship was in great measure changed, and transferred to this ship whereby from the character of a cruizer, my ship became literally a floating hospital, whence were daily committed to the deep, more or less bodies, victims of this horrid malady.

             The state of sickness and mutiny on board my ship might have been supposed a sufficiency of the bitter cup, when astonishing to be told, at the moment of this crisis, I discovered that an intention and plot was formed to murder the officers, take possession of, and run away with the prize. This also I was fortunate in suppressing, and to keep the ship in company with me, until the 20th day of October last, three days before striking soundings on the north bank of this Island, at which time we encountered a very violent gale from the N.W to W. during which we entertained much apprehension for the safety of both vessels, and in the height of the gale lost sight of the Prize, since which I have no intelligence of her - I cannot however believe her to be lost, from the very superior strength of the ship, and having seen her about two hours before the tempest abated.

             The state of the Heroína on entering this port cannot be adequately described and scarcely imagined. Only ten effective seamen calculated to do the duty of the ship, to attend the sick, the dying, and to bury the dead - without the most distant hope of relief, but from the salutary effects of the fresh earth, and a partial cessation from the heavy duty of working the ship through a series of tempestuous weather and severe cold, the fatigue of which, helped on by the despondency, from witnessing the rapidity of the hand of death, encreased by terrors, and sufferings from the violence of the weather left me all but abandoned - in this situation I entered the Bay of this port on the 27th/civil/day of October 1820 at the close of the same. Finding myself in a situation to bring the ship to an anchor, and unable to reach the port, I ordered it to be done, being then about ten miles distant from the ancient town of Soledad.

                On the following day I proceeded in my boat to explore what resources might be afforded by this place, as the only dependence for saving from an immediate dissolution (I may say) the survivors of misfortune: who from the bad quality of our provisions, the short allowance, and total want of vegetables, and fresh stock, were reduced to the verge of despair - Under the dilapidated state in which I found the remains of this once habitable place, I was compelled to form tents with the shattered sails of my ship, to shelter the sick, which was done as early as early (sic) as possible. I was enabled to reach a safe anchorage for my ship, when on landing the sick and affected, the sudden change of air, and effect of the earth, gave an equally immediate termination to the existence of many, and relief to others. The limited resource for vegetable supplies, and the laborious exercise of the chase gave but a partial refreshment to the sick, and those able to do duty. Nor was it until the 12th day of December following, when all the survivors were found sufficiently recovered to be brought on board - and the sails of the ship were found to have suffered much during the time on shore, from the violence of the winds and weather.

               Nor can I here omit stating that our situation was still more agravated (sic), by having in the number of our sick, several of the mutineers, whom humanity compelled me to land, and consequently was bound to keep a guard on shore. For this service, in the first instance I gave the command to the gallant Vega, who acquitted himself to my full satisfaction: in turn he was relieved by the Captain of the Troops, who from that period seems to have manifested a disposition factious and disgusted. The appearance of such disposition was first manifested by his violent correspondence, on my embarking again the recovered sick and prisoners, and taking the ruining sails on board, at which time I also withdrew the guard from shore. On his coming on board, he secretly attempted the seduction of the officers to join in compelling me, at once to leave this place, and go to Buenos Ayres in the state the ship was - As a witness to this conduct, I must name that gallant and honorable youth my aid sub Lieutenant Dn Luciano Castelli. Captain Ansoategui finding none of the officers willing to second him in the attempt, with the exception of Midshipman Marilio, was on the 20th day of January 1821 prompted to make a Public Protest, copy of which with our whole correspondence will accompany the present. It is to be observed that not content with including the Troops in his protest, he also speaks of the injury to the crew of the ship. In conversation afterwards with an officer he asserted, that he had been urged to the measure by the Gunner, Boatswain, and the Masters Mates, to make the protest general in their names also - But on those officers being called upon to say, whether it was the case, they not only denied the fact, but said that they never held any intercourse with him upon the subject, nor ever had entertained the idea of taking such a step - for further information upon this point also I beg leave to refer again to my aid Don Luciano Castelli. In consequence however of his attempt to seduce the ships officers, and this his formal renunciation of any and every responsibility appertaining to his office, as it was considered, I suspended him from command of the Troops, and to remain as a passenger, until the pleasure of the Supreme Government was known, with the option of taking his passage in an English ship then in this port and bound to the Pacific.

           It is here with much pain that I am compelled to state that any want of harmony should have existed with the sons of the country I serve, but be assured that every exertion has been made to avoid so unhappy an event: but without prejudice or partiality I am obliged to state that such is the genius & temper of Captain Ansoategui, that it is impossible to steer clear of his vindictive and malevolent spirit - his exercise of it I must refer to personal relation, as being too unpleasant, here to present among the black catalogue of my troubles.    

           Should the disposition of Government place this ship again in commission it will be found necessary to give her the requiste (sic) repairs, and advisable to change most of the officers, and the great part of the crew.

            Persuaded that my misfortunes will be sufficient to induce the Supreme Government to provide for my immediate relief from my present painful and distressed situation, by sending a Commander of their confidence to supercede me - I rest assured that my supplication will be granted as early as possible.

                                                                      With the highest sense of


                                                                         I have the Honor to be

                                                                            your Excellency’s

                                                                            most Obedient and

                                                                             Devoted Servant


David Jewett, Colonel Commander of the Frigate Heroína, United Provinces of South America.

Jewett was forced to face not only the poor conditions of his ship but also the terrible scourge of scurvy that began aboard the Portuguese ship. These kinds of adverse circumstances were well known to US Navy officers. In fact, during a voyage to Whitehaven, John Paul Jones had to face an insubordinate crew and the presence on board of a traitorous Irishman named David Freeman.

 In disciplinary matter Jewett acted quickly and efficiently. James Thomas was court-martialed on board with his lawyer Tomas Carey. He was unanimously convicted and executed. Sergeant Major Laureano Anzoategui (1782-1847) who had objected to having to take charge of the prisoners was charged with insubordination and default. He was allowed to board a British ship. We know that his widow Josefa Ruiz Moreno unsuccessfully claimed the title of Warrior of Independence.

The man David Jewett trusted the most was Lieutenant Carnelia. The latter returned together with a prey, the American schooner Ramper commanded by Tomas Feren. Carnelia was accompanied by Corporal 1st Valerio Matute and soldiers Juan Castro and Francisco Ordoñez. The Ramper had sailed on December 1, 1820 from Lima and was heading to Cádiz, it was captured since it was carrying royalist merchandise. This fact led John Murray Forbes to accuse Jewett again.

Jewett transferred his command on February 1, 1821 to William Robert Mason who most often participated in the Cisplatin War. That same year a court martial was formed for all the rebels who participated in the aforementioned trip.


Description of Lieutenant Colonel and Commander William Robert Mason on board the San Sebastian prison ship . 4

                                                     Lisbon Bay, October 19, 1822

The Carlota and the American schooner were captured during the previous cruise and under the command of Colonel Jewitt. La Carlota fired a volley at La Heroína, as a result of which eight men were wounded, four of whom died almost immediately. By the laws of all belligerents, and in accordance with the ordinances of Buenos Ayres, this act was sufficient to declare her good prey.

 The American schooner, which is said to have been captured by the Heroine, came from Lima and was destined for Cadiz, where it was driving a shipment entirely Spanish-owned.

 David Jewett's military campaigns in Brazil

David Jewett set sail from Buenos Ayres on his Maipú ship arriving in Rio de Janeiro a month after Don Pedro I declared the independence of Portugal. The Maipú was a 284-ton ship with a crew of 100 men and 18 guns. He knew how to navigate under the name of Vicuña under the Chilean flag until he was captured by Spanish forces. It was later captured by the frigate Heroína and consigned to an American shipowner named John A. Daniels. The emperor himself acquired the Maipú and renamed it the corvette Caboclo, at the same time offering David Jewett a position in the imperial navy.

Jewett, enlisted in the Brazilian Imperial Navy on October 6, 1822 with the rank of Capitão-de-Mar-e-Guerra (Captain) and was immediately given command of the frigate União, thus replacing Captain Luiz da Cunha Moreira.  Jewett was the first to raise the national colors of Brazil.

On November 22, 1822, David Jewett had his first mission in the Brazilian Imperial Navy. After completing his mission, Jewett returned to port on January 12, 1823. On April 4, Jewett, being part of Cochrane's squadron, was involved in a combat against the Portuguese forces, which he managed to rescue from his intended ambush.

After completing his mission, Jewett returned to port on January 12, 1823. On April 4, Jewett, as part of Thomas Cochrane's squadron, was involved in a combat against the Portuguese forces, which he managed to rescue from his intended ambush.

On October 12, 1823, as commander of the Piranga frigate (52 guns), David Jewett was promoted to Division Chief (Commodore) until December 20.


The Portuguese ambassador in London had made a clever political maneuver in obtaining from Great Britain a ban on British officers serving under the Brazilian flag. As a result of this, Taylor was discharged with Jewett running as Division Chief.

David Jewett was later appointed commander of the warship Pedro I (1,600 tons, 74 guns, and 650 men) on August 31, 1825.


Thomas Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald (1831), Marques de Maranhão, Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of Cruzeiro, First Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Naval Forces of Brazil

The Superior Military Council of Justice of Brazil ordered the arrest of David Jewett on the ship Pedro I for having expelled Sergeant João Cabral de Mello (accused of sodomy) from his frigate and for bad treatment of the midshipmen and volunteers on board. The imperial authorities appointed John Taylor of the Niterói as Jewett's replacement. Five months later he was acquitted for lack of evidence by the Emperor himself.

On August 21, 1824, David Jewett set sail from Rio de Janeiro in command of a naval force. Jewett arrived in Pernambuco on September 10, 1824. Jewett had to take charge of the entire squad and provide his support to Brigadier Brigadier Lima e Silva.

Jewett ordered the Piranga and Niterói frigates to bombard the enemy lines while the Imperial forces captured Boa Vista. On the 14th, Jewett bombarded the rebels with intense artillery fire that only ceased at 10:00 am in the presence of Captain Hunn of the British frigate Tweed. The latter, acting as a mediator, presented the surrender of the rebel President Manoel de Carvalho Paes de Andrade. Jewett was leaning toward a truce to which General Lima e Silva firmly opposed.

On September 25, 1824, Lord Cochrane returned to Recife aboard the Pedro I and received a full report from Jewett. Lima e Silva celebrated the victory by inviting David Jewett to a Te Deum that was held in the Olinda Cathedral.

The victory did not prevent Jewett from pointing out actions that seemed inappropriate for naval officers. As a result of this, on October 8, 1824, he submitted a report to the Minister of the Navy, part of which said the following:

I regret to inform you that three officers on board were as eager to fight for His Imperial Majesty's honor as they were to gain their own. They yielded to greed thinking that their actions would be justified by the support they gave their superiors in Maranãho. They departed from the high path of honor which should be obligatory for any naval officer or citizen deemed worthy to serve his Imperial Majesty protector of his people and the honor of the Empire. Therefore I hope that your Excellency, Counselor and Minister known for their correct sense of justice will take this account into account for the sake of his Imperial Majesty and the glory of his armed forces and apply this same zeal to punish vice and protect virtue.

On November 12, 1824, Cochrane after his proclamation to the inhabitants of Itaqui appointed Jewett as Chief of the Naval Forces aboard the Pedro I according to a document signed by his secretary William Jackson. On December 2, Jewett was appointed Division Chief of the Imperial Navy and General of the Forces of the Province of Maranãho. David Jewett was able to detect early and abort an attack on the Palace Headquarters by President Bruce whose intention was to assassinate Lord Cochrane.

                                         The main military campaigns of David Jewett in the Empire of Brazil


 David Jewett's wedding

Being Admiral and Commander in Chief Jewett was sent by the Emperor of Brazil to New York on July 8, 1826 to supervise the construction of two frigates for his government. On November 28 of that year he contracted liaison with Eliza McTiers widow of Henry McTiers who had died of diphtheria on April 11, 1823. They had only one son, the Reverend Augustine David Lawrence Jewett, DD (1830-1880).   

The Cisplatin War (1825-1828)

On April 10, 1826, David Jewett was appointed as Second Commander of the Brazilian Imperial Navy, replacing Rear Admiral Diego de Brito who had unexpectedly returned to Rio de Janeiro due to health problems. Two days later Jewett declared himself ill, refusing to take part in the war against the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata.

Perhaps we can apply here what von Hindenburg said many years later "Loyalty is the marrow of honor" (Paul von Hindenburg -Out of my Life, 1920.) and there is no doubt that Jewett was a man of honor.

In July 1827, Bernardino Rivadavia left the presidency and four months later David Jewett was appointed Chief of Division of the Côrte de Leste.

David Jewett and the slave trade

On November 3, 1827 Jewett commanded a division whose mission was twofold: on the one hand to protect British trade and on the other to prevent the slave trade from the African coast (Costa do Leste). This mission concluded on December 12 of that year.

David Jewett's last missions

Jewett was on leave in the United States from December 13, 1828 to August 15, 1830. On September 17, 1831 Jewett served as Minister of Commercial Affairs for the Empire of Brazil. According to Brazilian naval documents, David Jewett was appointed Commander of the Constituiçāo frigate and commander of the Port on October 14, 1831, disembarking on October 18. From this last date until November 18, 1831 Jewett was appointed Provisional Inspector of the Arsenal of the BrOn June 27, 1836 Jewett unsuccessfully proposed the construction of a steam ship for the Brazilian Navy. David Jewett retired at age 64 after 14 years of a brilliant career and subsequently entered a religious order.

Death of David Jewett

David Jewett preferred to spend the last days of his life in Rio de Janeiro. He died on July 26, 1842 at the age of 70. His beloved wife Eliza Mc Tiers passed away a few months later. Jewett was buried in the Cemetery of São Fracisco de Paula (grave No. 56) dressed in his Brazilian navy uniform. In 1850, Jewett's body and the remains of other venerable priests of the Irmandade dos Minimos de São Fracisco de Paula were transferred to the new Cotumbí Cemetery (Rio de Janeiro).azilian Navy, leaving the Port Command on February 28, 1832.



Death certificate issued by the São Fracisco de Paula Cemetery- Rio de Janeiro- Brazil

On July 27, 1842, our brother David Jewett Head of Division is brought to us in a coffin and dressed in uniform, who is recommended to us by our Reverend Chief and other priests. Other assistants to the funeral attend. It is buried in tomb No. 56.        

Descendants of David Jewett

Mr. Dave Jewett, with whom I have a longstanding friendship, is 82 years old and has been retired for 20 years from the insurance industry. He was in charge of writing the policies for high-risk drivers. He currently lives in Willow Ranch, Sunnyvale, California. He is married to Josie (75). They had a son Larry, who with his wife Pam had twins Nicole and Michelle and a daughter Heather married to David and the parents of two teenagers.

The genealogical tree of his family that links him to Admiral David Jewett was timely published by The Society of Mayflower Descendants.7,8,9          


Mr. Dave Jewett and the painting of his ancestor Admiral David Jewett.

                   The painting is a copy of the original in The Rowley Public Library in Massachusetts.

                   Photo taken in 2014 when he moved from Washington to live near his daughter.

                  (Kindly submitted by Dave Jewett)

Picture taken in 2009 during the wedding of some cousins ​​of Dave Jewett. (Kindly submitted by Dave Jewett)

Final words


Anyone who takes the time to read David Jewett's entire life in depth will realize that he was undoubtedly a man of honor 1. Apart from his experience as Commander of the US Navy from April 6, 1779 to June 3, 1801, he is considered a hero by the Argentine and Brazilian Navy.

 In 2007, British authors tried unsuccessfully to rewrite the history of the Malvinas Islands 6 with the consequent response from famous Argentine academics 3. I will leave this matter in the hands of the academics.

 However, I feel obliged to point out some facts because they involve the honor of an American naval officer. Some British authors rely on three points to denigrate the life of Admiral Jewett.

 The first is to label him a pirate instead of a privateer because of the events with the Portuguese frigate Carlota and the American frigate Ramper. We have already seen the circumstances of the frigate Carlota according to the description of Lieutenant Colonel and Commander Guillermo Mason (Argentine sailor of English origin who succeeded Jewett).

 Regarding the American schooner Ramper, commanded by Tomas Feren, it had set sail on December 1, 1820 from Lima and was heading to Cádiz, transporting royalist merchandise. His capture was certainly not an act of desperation. It was denounced as an irregular act by none other than John Murray Forbes.

 Why do British authors underline this point? Simply because:  It is a moot point whether an announcement made by a pirate who keeps it secret can count as a valid territorial claim.

 The second is that there is no written record that Jewett had any special instructions to take possession of the islands. Nor can it be shown that he did not receive them verbally. Jewett wrote that the islands belonged to us by natural law.

 Third: That the taking of possession of the islands was published by the Argos only in 1821 is totally irrelevant. That Buenos Ayres did not make the official announcement does not make it invalid and that Great Britain did not have the appropriate channels for a reaction at that time is a childish argument.

 I want to point out:

 1. British authors describe Jewett's set sail on March 21, 1820 in search of Spanish victims. Spanish warships (like the Santander frigate) weren't exactly victims.

2. They contemptuously describe that Jewett vegetated in the Malvinas when in fact he was trying to recover his crew seriously affected by scurvy, a fact that was described even by Captain James Weddell himself, who at all times had an honorable attitude.

                                             Scurvy-  Admiralty Library-Naval Historical Branch-BBC News Mundo



In this Unfinished Business 5,  we may well say that the Jewett family can be very proud of their ancestor who arouses the greatest feelings of gratitude and respect in South America.




1-Gerding, Eduardo C.- The Quest of David Jewett (Bookends, 232 E. Ridgewood Ave. Ridgewood NJ). Selected in 2007 at the Naval History Symposium of  the United States Naval Academy  (Annapolis, Maryland).

2-Invasión lusobrasileña (28 de agosto de 1816 al 22 de enero de 1820)-Wikipedia.

3-Kohen, Marcelo Gustavo Profesor, Rodriguez, Facundo Daniel-The Malvinas/Falklands between history and law: Refutation of the British pamphlet : Getting it right: The real history of the Falklands/Malvinas .


4-Lima González Bonorino, Jorge F. –La Fragata La Heroína. Buque corsario al servicio del gobierno de las Provincias Unidas de Sud America. Revista Cruz de Sur, Número 27, Especial Año VIII, 9 de marzo de 2018.

5-McGuirk, Bernard-Falklands-Malvinas:An unfinished business.


6-Pascoe Graham , Pepper, Peter-Getting it right: the real history of the Falklands/Malvinas. A reply to the Argentine seminar of 3 December 2007, 2008.


7-Society of Mayflower descendants-Application for Membership-George Thomas Lawrence Jewett.

8-The Jewett family-Year book of 1911-Published by The Jewett family of America, Rowley, Massachussetts.


9-Winkler, Dave, PhD-Staff Historian-Naval Historical Foundation, USA (Personal communication).