ALLEN T. BYRENS, LT, USN
Allen Byrens '47
Date of birth: unknown
Date of death: February 14, 1860
The Lucky Bag was first published in 1894.
Life & Loss
He was born in, and appointed to the Naval Academy from, Ohio.
Midshipman, 26 February, 1841. Passed Midshipman, 10 August, 1847. Dropped 13 September, 1855. Lieutenant, 15 September, 1855. Died 14 February, 1860.
In March 1859 he was ordered to the sloop Saratoga.
His journal is in the collection of the University of Michigan:
The A. T. Byrens journal, dating from December 1844 to August 1845, regards the voyage of the US Sloop Jamestown from Norfolk, Virginia, to Africa and its subsequent patrol of the West African coast (under the command of Robert B. Cunningham).
The journal includes a list of the officers assigned for the voyage and the US Sloop Jamestown 's dimensions. Byrens documented the daily activities of the crew, weather, visits from naval figures, and arrivals of various ships while they waited to depart Norfolk. They went to sea January 26, 1845, and Byrens commenced a sea log, recording weather, sailing details, and meteorological and navigational data. They harbored at Porto Praya, Cape Verde, on February 17 to resupply, and Commodore Matthew C. Perry (1794-1858) visited the ship before they continued on to Cape Mesurado.
On March 3, a group of Krumen served on the coast at Cape Mesurado and Commander Cunningham debarked to visit the "Governor of Monrovia," likely Joseph Jenkins Roberts (1809-1876). Stopping at Cape Palmas on March 14, Governor John Brown Russworm (1799-1851) and a "Chief of the Native Tribes on the cape" visited the Jamestown . Byrens recorded other African political figures' visits to the ship, including King Freeman when they stopped at Half Cavalley, Governor Roberts when they returned to Mesurado, and an unnamed "Governor of the Island" when they harbored at Porto Grande.
Throughout the journal, Byrens documented the places the ship harbored, including Porto Praya, Funchal, Palmas, and Porto Grande. As the Jamestown sailed along the African coast, Byrens also noted American, British, French, Danish, Spanish, and Portuguese vessels, and Africans travelling in canoes up to the ship. He made references to the punishment of crew members and the transfer of several Krumen to his ship, mentioning the later death of one of their number, "Jack Musquito." Byrens also recorded that the Jamestown fired "minuit guns as a tribute of respect to the memory of Andrew Jackson Ex President of the United States who died at his residence in Tennessee" (August 11, 1845). The journal closes with references to a court martial aboard the US Ship Yorktown at Porto Grande before Byrens, ill, was sent back to America.