Correct Date of Death of Lt. Andrew Sterett
by Ship’s Historian Tom Jacobsmeyer
Date: June 18, 2021
FM: Tom Jacobsmeyer, Association Historian
Subject: Date of Death Confirmation for Andrew Sterett
Executive Summary: After significant research, I have determined that the date of January 9, 1807, is the correct date of death for Lt. Andrew Sterett.
Research on the Subject was accomplished using the Applied Research method. Data was collected by the use of internet available resources with 8 different sources accessed and information either used from the resource or that information led to other sources of information. The information that applied to this Subject was evaluated for efficacy and accuracy. All information was back sourced to the extent possible given the use of internet only information access. No in person library, archive, or museum sources were consulted in person. This process was chosen for simplicity and since the resulting report appears to support the conclusion then the accuracy of the process was confirmed.
The research process started with references provided by Charles Bond in the email dated June 9th, 2021. Using the primary reference “The Last Voyage of Andrew Sterett” US Naval Institute, April 2012, as a base I checked the research references in the document to determine the accuracy of the statements made. The reference for the US Supreme Court case JAMES SHEPPARD AND OTHERS, APPELLANTS v. LEMUEL TAYLOR AND OTHERS, APPELLEES. 30 U.S. 675, January 1831 provided substantial evidence to support the date of January 1807 as the month of the death of Andrew Sterett. The ship Warren, where he died, is reported in the court case as having arrived in Conception Bay, Chile on January 19, 1807. There are references in the court documents to Andrew Sterett’s death preceding the arrival of the Warren. There are supporting statements in the case documents for this date and Sterett’s death. “He died on 9 January 1807, a few weeks from his 29th birthday, and before the Warren rounded Cape Horn.”
Given that this is the record of the Supreme Court I accept the accuracy of the January date.
Conclusion: Andrew Sterett’s death was January 9th, 1807. References to June are likely to be misprints.
Note 1: When searching for internet info on Andrew Sterett note that the name is misspelled in several references as Sterrett
Note 2: The Wikipedia page for Andrew Sterett is now corrected for the January date. This page had both dates listed and is now correct according to the US Supreme Court case noted in References.
Cornel Law School, Legal Information Institute JAMES SHEPPARD AND OTHERS, APPELLANTS v. LEMUEL TAYLOR AND OTHERS, APPELLEES. 30 U.S. 675, January 1831
Reference from US Supreme Court case reference above:
The officers and crew of the Warren protested against this deviation from the prescribed voyage; and captain Sterrett(sp), from disappointed and wounded feelings, disdaining himself to engage in illicit trade, and unwilling to expose his officers and men to its perils and consequences, became partially deranged, and shot himself as the Warren was doubling Cape Horn.
Mr Evans, the chief mate, succeeded in the nominal command of the ship; but Mr Pollock asserted and maintained the entire control over her; and he ordered her to steer direct for Conception Bay and the port of Talcahuana, on the coast of Chili, where they were to feign distress, and ask for an asylum.
The vessel arrived on the 20th of January 1807, within a short distance of that port, after an absence from Baltimore of one hundred and twenty days; and on her arrival was hailed by the guarda costas of the government.