Sunday, July 13, 2008

Early America - Morality in the Navy

In my previous post I mentioned the Library of Congress, which has some excellent exhibits on early America. The first dealt with the Army; this one is about the Navy:

Congress particularly feared the navy as a source of moral corruption and demanded that skippers of American ships make their men behave. The first article in Rules and Regulations of the Navy (below), adopted on November 28, 1775, ordered all commanders "to be very vigilant . . . to discountenance and suppress all dissolute, immoral and disorderly practices." The second article required those same commanders "to take care, that divine services be performed twice a day on board, and a sermon preached on Sundays." Article 3 prescribed punishments for swearers and blasphemers: officers were to be fined and common sailors were to be forced "to wear a wooden collar or some other shameful badge of distinction."

See the L.O.C. article Religion and the Congress of the Confederation 1774-89

No comments: