Correspondence between Thomas F. Rowland, Colonel William Borden, and J.B. Andrews regarding the fabrication of ironwork parts needed in the construction of the ironclad, USS New Ironsides. Thomas F. Rowland, Colonel William Borden.
Correspondence between Thomas F. Rowland, Colonel William Borden, and J.B. Andrews regarding the fabrication of ironwork parts needed in the construction of the ironclad, USS New Ironsides

Correspondence between Thomas F. Rowland, Colonel William Borden, and J.B. Andrews regarding the fabrication of ironwork parts needed in the construction of the ironclad, USS New Ironsides

Greenpoint (Brooklyn), New York: 1861. This 3-page letter and endorsement measure approximately 8” x 9”. It was apparently delivered by courier between Rowland’s Continental Iron Works and the Providence Tool and Armory Company, which employed both Borden and Andrews, as there are no postal markings. The letter has two horizontal folds and the cover is docketed, “W. Borden Order. – Oct. 22d/61.” It is in nice shape with some small splits beginning at the folds. Very good. Item #008823

The Brooklyn shipyard, especially Rowland’s Continental Iron Works, was an especially bustling place when this order was placed. The U.S. Navy had recently learned that the Confederacy was soon to launch the CSS Virginia (better known as the Merrimac) and had contracted for the rapid construction of three ironclad prototypes with three different firms. Maxon, Fish and Company began what was to become the USS Galena, Merrick & Sons designed what would become the USS New Ironsides, and Battery Associates led the conglomerate that would build the USS Monitor.

Rowland’s firm was subcontracted to build the Monitor’s hull at the Geenpoint shipyard and apparently elements of the other two vessels as well. In this document, Borden urgently forwards Rowland’s order to Andrews to fabricate fittings for carriages to hold eight 8” guns and ten pivot or slide carriages for Parrot guns. In Rowland’s order to Borden, he includes a sketch and detailed specification of the fittings for the 8” gun carriages.

The archivist at the Mariners’ Museum, the official repository of the Monitor Collection believes these parts were most likely used in the construction of the New Ironsides, although that cannot be positively confirmed as no archives of company records for Merrick & Sons exist.

A unique record of a critical shipbuilding project in the middle of a Civil War arms race.

Price: $750.00