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Cover Art
Author Rodgers, Bradley A.

Title Guardian of the Great Lakes : the U.S. paddle frigate Michigan / Bradley A. Rodgers.

Published Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, [1996]


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  359.325 RODG    AVAILABLE
Physical description 214 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 187-204) and index.
Contents I. The Infancy of Iron -- II. Performance, Perceptions, and the Tests of Iron -- III. The Attack of the Lake Michigan Timber Pirates -- IV. The Beaver/Mackinac War and the Assassination of King Strang -- V. The Iron Diplomat and the Civil War on the Great Lakes -- VI. Michigan's "Peninsula War" -- VII. "The Fenian Ghost Is Walking Again" -- VIII. The Wolverine -- App. A. Shipwrecks, Rescues, and Collisions Involving the USS Michigan -- App. B. Commanders of the USS Michigan -- App. C. Ordnance of the USS Michigan -- App. D. Ship's Statistics.
Summary Guardian of the Great Lakes is the saga of the USS Michigan, an archetypal iron-hulled war steamer launched in 1843. Its mission was to patrol the often volatile Great Lakes region, quelling port town civil disturbances, while at the same time rescuing both Canadian and American ships in distress. Though built as a deterrent to British naval strength, the revolutionary U.S. Navy side-wheeled frigate soon became entangled in civil duties. Like a magnet for trouble, the Michigan found itself unavoidably attracted to calamity, leaving in its wake a collection of eyewitness accounts to these momentous yet largely forgotten occurrences. Incidents such as the timber rebellion of the 1850s, which occurred in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan, are documented for the first time. Other episodes such as the assassination of "King" Strang on Beaver Island and the destruction of the community there are studied under the light of newly discovered sources. Still other chapters reveal the chaos created by the Civil War on the lakes, the destructive mining strikes of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and the tragic, bloody Fenian invasion of Canada. Between major calamities lay the vagaries of maritime life on the Great Lakes detailed in the records of the Michigan's crew. From their social and community life in Erie, Pennsylvania, to storms, shipwrecks, and sickness, the records kept by the men of the USS Michigan have helped to produce in this book an accurate and detailed narrative of naval and maritime life on the Great Lakes during this important period. Guardian of the Great Lakes richly details the creation of this experiment in iron and its eight-decade patrol on the Great Lakes. The text paints awell documented picture of the northern Great Lakes frontier that proved nearly as unpredictable as its fabled brutal storms and white squalls.
Subject Michigan (Paddle steamer)
United States. Navy -- Sea life -- History -- 19th century.
Paddle steamers -- Great Lakes (North America) -- History -- 19th century.
Ships, Iron and steel -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Great Lakes (North America) -- Navigation -- History -- 19th century.
United States -- History, Naval -- To 1900.
ISBN 0472096079 (hardcover : alk. paper)
0472066072 (paperback: alk. paper)