Log of the proceedings of H. M. S. Comus

About the Project

The logbook of the proceedings of the ship, H.M.S. Comus. The log reports the actions taken by the ship as part of a six-month assignment with the West African Squadron, including accounts of encounters and armed conflicts with pirate slavers. The mission of the ship, under Captain John Taileur, was to suppress piracy and disrupt the illegal West African slave trade. During the mission, they captured 10 ships and freed close to 10,000 enslaved men and women. The H.M.S. Comus, a 22-gun sixth rate man-of-war had a distinguished record capturing Spanish, Danish, and other ships, including the American ship, Jane Barnes, during the War of 1812. The Comus was also the first man-of-war to ascend the Old Calabar River to Duke Town (Nigeria), where in March 1814, her armed boats captured seven Portuguese and Spanish vessels with 550 enslaved on board. Help us transcribe this historically important and detailed Log of the Comus that provides early evidence of the Royal Navy’s vigorous policy to enforce the British ban on slavery by shutting down slave trade routes and seizing slave ships at sea.

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(4 out of 5)

Level 1 --- BEGINNER

Content: all typed
Language: English
Format: letters, diaries, flyers, pamphlets, and one-page documents
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required

Level 2

Content: mostly typed, handwritten in print, or otherwise very clearly written/readable
Language: English
Format: memorabilia, advertisements, image captions, telegrams, diaries, letters, notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required


Content: typed and handwritten materials in cursive or print
Language: English
Format: newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, letters/diaries/notes that may include annotations or margin notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: experience reading cursive writing may be useful

Level 4

Content: handwritten materials, primarily in cursive or somewhat difficult to read (predominantly from the 19th and 20th centuries) , audio recordings that are relatively easy to hear/decipher, and scientific materials
Language: English and/or other languages that use Roman script but may require the use of diacritics (French, Spanish, German, Italian, etc.)
Format: audio recordings, letters, diaries, notes and other written materials, projects with templated fields and special instructions
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: some knowledge of non-English Roman-character/script languages and diacritics may be useful, as well as experience reading cursive handwriting. A general knowledge or familiarity with scientific terminology.

Level 5 --- ADVANCED

Content: handwritten materials in cursive (from the 19th century or earlier) or in a non-Roman script language, audio recordings that are difficult to hear or are not in English, specialty materials/projects such as numismatics projects and the Project Phaedra notebooks 
Language: foreign languages that use non-Roman characters (Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Greek/Cyrillic, Native American and Indigenous languages, etc.) and English 
Format: audio recordings, columned data/tables, manuscripts, letters, diaries, notes, currency sheets, coins
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: knowledge of a specific language and access to a keyboard with the characters in that language may be required for certain projects. Experience reading cursive handwriting and familiarity with 19th century (or prior) handwriting and conventions/abbreviations may be useful, as well as knowledge of scientific terminology, astrophysics data, or linguistics.

Project Progress (details)
50pages completed





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