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    Genealogical research about Ephraim Knowlton Hanks, his family, and his ancestors.
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Man of War Life
11 July 2004 02:00

I received a copy this week of the book Man of War Life that I mentioned earlier (found it for a great price on Amazon). The author's experience must have been very much like Eph's experience. Nordhoff ran away from home at around the age of 16, with desires to become a sailor. His motivations were a bit different than Eph's, but the conditions and their treatment were likely similar. Nordhoff mentions that upon joining he was rated as 'first class boy', which sheds light on Eph's 'rate', '1.c.b', as mentioned earlier in the Watch, Quarter, and Station Bill. Eph must have also been 'first class boy'. Nordhoff also clarifies what is meant by the 'Ship number'. Basically each sailor on board was assigned an id number called the 'ship number' by which the purser's and other records were indexed. It wasn't until reading Man of War Life and comparing it to Eph's experience that I realized that Eph came on with the Navy when only 16 years old.


© 2008, Daniel C. Hanks