Category : Sultana/Colonial History

Medical Tools

Vessels like SULTANA carried a doctor or surgeon on board.  These are some of the tools of the trade that would be used to assist sick or injured sailors.   Printables: Additional Links: An article exploring 18th medical tools from a modern perspective. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2605303/   The BBC has a humorous but informative video on 18th century Medicine in general. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6r9O2KVhSQ

Sultana Deck Tour

Learn the major parts on SULTANA including directions and the names of her four decks.   Printables: Additional links: Here is an article from the American Sailing Association about the definition of a schooner. https://asa.com/news/2015/12/09/whats-in-a-rig-the-schooner/   A look at different types of sailing ships that are similar, but have some differences, from Sultana.   https://www.starclippers.co.uk/the-different-types-of-tall-sailing-ships.html

Sultana’s Log Books

During the time she was commissioned by the British Royal Navy we have detailed logs on SULTANA’s history including where she sailed, what the weather was like, and how the crew behaved.   Printables:   Additional Links: An article from the US Navy exploring the role logbooks played in understanding the seas. https://www.usna.edu/Users/oceano/pguth/website/shipwrecks/logbooks_lesson/logbooks_lesson.htm   Stanford discussion about what we can learn from Logbooks. https://arcade.stanford.edu/content/logging-ships-log-medium-0  

Sultana’s Sails

Learn the names of SULTANA’s sails and how their shapes and positions will differently impact her movement.   Printables: Addition Links: An older video exploring what it takes to sail a ship. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6DZIvMZWzQ   A news story about a French sailboat that is a replica of an 18th century shipt. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fakw-bS3ujI

Sultana’s Rigging

The lines running from SULTANA’s masts are known as rigging.  Each line serves a different function.  How is it all organized?   Printables: Additional Links: An instructional video on rigging. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXNANoQ2BbE

Living Quarters

Life wasn’t easy for the crew of the original SULTANA.  Take a look at their living quarters below deck as you imagine the daily routine of an 18th century sailor.   Printables: Additional Links: An article about the daily life of sailing in the 18th century. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/life_at_sea_01.shtml   A video about the type of food people may have eaten aboard naval ships. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1NcWU0xTog

Tarring and Feathering

One of the best-known political cartoons of the 18th century illustrates the colonists’ displeasure at paying taxes.  In this depiction several businessmen can be seen tarring an feathering a British tax-collector.   Printables: Additional Links: A timeline of British taxation in the mid 1760s. https://www.loc.gov/collections/continental-congress-and-constitutional-convention-from-1774-to-1789/articles-and-essays/timeline/1764-to-1765/   A quick overview of  the Stamp Act. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/stamp-act-imposed-on-american-colonies   Article on the colonists’ response to British taxes in America. https://www.history.com/news/the-stamp-act-riots-250-years-ago

Engraving of Boston Harbor

King George responded to the unrest in the Colonies, including the Boston Tea Party, by landing garrisons of British troops in the Boston Harbor.  We know from her logs, that SULTANA was present for these events.   Printables: Additional Links: An article about Boston in the American Revolution. https://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/siege-of-boston   A National Park Service Guide to important places in Boston during the American Revolution. https://www.nps.gov/bost/learn/historyculture/rev-war.htm

History of Sultana

Prior to the American Revolution, the schooner SULTANA patrolled the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay ensuring that colonial ships had paid taxes on their cargo.    Printables: Additional Links: Here is an archived article on the internet about the original HMS Sultana. https://web.archive.org/web/20041217181616/http://www.schoonersultana.com/education_pages/wood_water_beef.htm   A video exploring some of the work that an 18th century sailor may have done on the HMS Sultana. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN7XoJ9PGNA Sultana’s Commanding Officer, Lt John Inglis   [/su_spoiler]  

The Boston Massacre

The tensions between the colonists and the British troops came to a head in events that became known as the Boston Massacre, an event whose dramatic retelling helped galvanize support for revolution.   Printables: Additional Links: A history channel article about the Boston Massacre. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-boston-massacre   A quick overview of the Boston Massacre from the History channel. https://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/boston-massacre


Before the days of electricity and refrigeration food had to be preserved and well-suited to transportation for months-long voyages across the ocean.  These are some of the staples of an 18th century sailor’s diet.   Printables: Additional Links: A Swedish video (with subtitles) about 18th century food aboard ships at sea.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwtC_PP98Qs   A video about Hard Tack on a ship. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyjcJUGuFVg

Flintlock Musket

This was a common weapon carried onboard SULTANA and across Revolutionary battlefields.  Take a look at how it functions as well as some of its potential shortcomings.    Printables: Additional Links: A historical look at the Flintlock musket, https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/flintlock-musket.html   Kentucky Fish and Wildlife examines the historical context of the Flintlock musket. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTISwguy0DU

Latitude and Longitude

The imaginary lines that run lengthwise and widthwise across the earth were crucial to navigation in the days before GPS.  Take a look at how sailors used mathematic calculations to keep their vessels on course. Printables: Additional links: Some basic information about latitude and longitude. https://www.britannica.com/science/latitude   A kid friendly overview of latitude and longitude, https://www.youtube.co/watch?v=MSA88mmFuyE

Navigation: the Octant

An octant was used to calculate a ship’s position on the earth using the mid-day sun.  By drawing a triangle between the sun, the ship, and the horizon line sailors could estimate their ‘dead-reckoning’.    Printables: Additional Links: The Smithsonian provides an overview on using the octant for navigation at sea. https://amhistory.si.edu/navigation/type.cfm?typeid=4   A tutorial for using the Octant. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0A_ue9DBmw

Navigation: Lead Line

When navigating waterways with unknown depths a lead line was used to quickly give measurements in order to keep the vessel from running aground.   Printables: Additional Links: An explanation of how the Lead Line was used. https://seahistory.org/sea-history-for-kids/leadline/   A quick tutorial for figuring out a depth at sea in the age before electonics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDE4SlYdn5E

Navigation: Chip Log

In order to calculate a ship’s position in the ocean it was important to take occasional measurements of her sailing speed.  A chip log was used to record, in knots, how fast the vessel was sailing.   Printables: Additional Links: Some information on the Chip Log. https://www.brighthubengineering.com/seafaring/60582-what-is-a-chip-log/   A kid friendly video explaining how the chip log was used. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXHgkKaOAxg

Sultana’s Tiller

SULTANA is steered not by a wheel, but with a tiller.  This device can manipulate the tiller from port to starboard allowing the vessel to maneuver.   Printables: Additional Links: A visual guide to an 18th century sailboat, including the tiller. https://cnx.org/contents/MKkkS-a6@3.2:ABAPE9px@8/Principal-Parts-and-Sails-of-19th-Century-Sailing-Ships   An explanation of the tiller’s role in steering the ship. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3UX67RjrL0  

The Triangle Trade

The Triangle Trade network between Europe, Africa, South America, and North America moved people and goods between countries so that any time a ship was moving between ports she was carrying something to trade.   Printables: Additional Links: An overview from PBS about the Triangle Trade. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/stories/articles/2016/01/11/triangular-trade   An article about the nature of the triangle trade. https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/blackhistory/africa_caribbean/britain_trade.htm   A visual explanation of the Triangle Trade https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNFiyJZQ-AM

African American Sailors

Examine what life was like black sailors, both free and enslaved, in the 18th century.  One of the crew listed in SULTANA’s muster book is Prince Gould, a 45-year old African American man.   Printables: Additional Links: A web page with a series of links to different kinds of African American sailors in history. https://portsidenewyork.org/afam-maritime   A video explaining the role of African Americans in the American revolution, including as sailors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3p-uo03CtE