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Andrew Hull Foote is known for his naval service and contribution to reforms in the US Navy. At the time of this letter, it appears that Foote was on a Mediterranean cruise aboard the USS Cumberland. Chaplain Charles S. Stewart writes to Foote from New York to encourage his prospect and promise for moral and spiritual good upon the USS Cumberland.


Hudson St. St. John’s Square New York, Nov. 23d 1843. My dear Foote, You will think me unmindful of my promise in regard to the books for the “Cumberland.” I have not, however, neglected my duty in the case; and have defended writing for so long a time only from the hope that the “Manuel”[?] was to be in print in season for the departure of the frigate. In this I am disappointed as the work is yet in press and I see from the papers that your ship has sailed. I’m willing to remain under an importation of neglect in your mind I hasten by the first packet to inform you of the truth in the case. I will take care that a supply be sent out to you by the first store ship, or other opportunity, after the volume is in print. In the abstract, setting circumstances aside, I should delight to be careering with you on the bosom of the Deep blue sea with the opportunity of discharging under the authority of such men as Com. Smith, Captain Breese and your self the Duties of a chaplaincy in the manner in which I know they can be discharged and with the results which under the blessing of God I have seem to follow war on board a Man-of-War. In saying “setting circumstances aside” I mean the circumstances which find me at home and surround me with no ordinary comfort & blessings combined with a wide field of usefulness [illegible, page torn] [verso] -tion to the regular sources of the Sabbath the daily evening prayer with the constant opportunities of access to the men which a chaplain has on board ship and I would give stricty[sic], humanly speaking, that the word of God would not return unto Him void or fail in prospering that where unto it is sent. There is nothing like the regular sun set prayer for eliciting the better affections of the sailors heart and nourishing in his bosom impressions and principles of virtue and piety. I trust that Mr. Talbot will prove the right kind of man _ one who not only has the Spirit of his office but an aptitude to win the sailor’s confidence and make sure his respect. Should such be his character secure for him at sea at least, the privilege to him in his station the blessing to your ship of the evening sacrifice of thanksgiving and prayer. Simply as a matter of discipline I feel warranted from my own experience in saying that properly attended & judiciously performed it does more for the good order, quietude & harmony of a ship’s company than a dozen restrictive and punitory measures without it would or could. Com. Smith I know held this service in high estimation on board the Guerriere in 1829 and I know of no circumstance or after observation on his part that could lead to a change of opinion. I hope you may already be in the enjoyment of it and that your ship and crew will participate in all the blessings promised to the "habitation"? (not limited to those of the dry land) which daily [illegible, page torn] their upon to God. [page 2]It will give me great pleasure to hear of the promise and prospect of moral and spiritual good on board the Cumberland and I shall be happy to receive a line from you occasionally at your leisure especially if it is to say that all is well among the inhabitants of Mahon whom you may see I beg a most grateful & reverential remembrance to Mr. Gaynor _ an Israelite indeed in whom there is no guile. He is full of benevolence and good works and will be found an excellent Almoner for any who may have a trifle to confer from time to time upon the unknown and meritorious suffering poor of that city. He was a father to me in kindness and affection at a time of trial and outrage and I shall ever hold him in high reservation[?] & filial regard. [illegible, paper torn] is only your fourth day [illegible, paper torn] sea and it is not yet time to communicate any thing new. Remember me most kindly to your family friend who preceded you in crossing the Atlantic. I hope your meeting with them will not be long delayed. By this time they will be leaving Paris it is probable and will anticipate your arrival in the Mediterranean. Let me know something of the Morale of your ship when time shall have given it a character. [?] best wishes & prayer for the protection of Providence & the blessings of His Grace upon your self & all who sail with you I remain as ever very sincerely your friend Charles Samuel Stewart

Creation Date



New York


New York


New York


United States

Creator Life Dates



Commodore Joseph Smith, Captain S. L. Breese, Andrew Hull Foote, Chaplain, Charles S. Stewart, Gaynor, Port Mahon, Mahon, Mediterranean, USS Cumberland, USS Guerriere, New York, Hudson Street, St John's Square, Navy, 23 November 1843, 1843

Resource Identifier


Date Digital

May 2014

Document Type



Military History | Social History | United States History

Format (medium)


Format (IMT)




Digitization Specifications

800ppi 24-bit depth color; Scanned with an Epson 15000 Photo scanner with Epson Scan software; Archival master is a TIFF; TIFFs converted to PDF with Adobe Acrobat XI Pro.


The original from which this digital representation is taken is housed in The Littlejohn Collection at Wofford College, located in the Sandor Teszler Library.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Letter to Andrew H. Foote aboard the USS Cumberland, from Chaplain Charles Samuel Stewart, writing from New York, dated November 23, 1843.



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