Talk:US frigate Chesapeake

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There is a problem with the naming of this article. The United States does not designate sailing vessels with "USN". Vessels of the United States Navy are designated as USS, which stands for United States Ship. This article should be titled USS Chesapeake. See Wikipedia article USS Chesapeake (1799). Opus 10:28, 4 January 2009 (GMT)

See WikiPOBia talk:Style Manual. I think the salient point is that POB used the designation "USN" for the Chesapeake (perhaps his research revealed that as the actual designation used at the time?) so that is what is used here. Some discussion of this in the article might be appropriate, since this is likely to be a continuing source of confusion. Jblumel 15:06, 4 January 2009 (GMT)

United States Navy prefix "USS"

Hello - I used "USN" when I named the Constitution article because the style manual said to do so ... but your discussion prompted me to look a little further, and I found the following quote from the Naval Historical Center website, at [1].

"Into the early years of the 20th century there was no fixed form for Navy ship prefixes. Ships were rather haphazardly identified, in correspondence or documents, by their naval type (U.S. Frigate ____), their rig (United States Barque ____), or their function (United States Flag-Ship ______). They might also identify themselves as "the Frigate _____," or, simply, "Ship ______." The term "United States Ship," abbreviated "USS," is seen as early as the late 1790s; it was in frequent, but far from exclusive, use by the last half of the 19th century."

The exclusive use of "USS" by the U.S. Navy was apparently not official until an executive order in 1907.

Paulster13 03:47, 5 January 2009 (GMT)

When one googles "USN Chesapeake", the only hits referring to the ship are to this WIKI, so it does not appear to be a common usage. The Navy officially calls this ship the USS Chesapeake.[2] In an online document of the United States Congressional Record from 1820-21, the Chesapeake is referred to as "the frigate C." or "the United States frigate C." with "frigate" in lower-case as a descriptive term rather than part of the formal nomenclature of the ship.[3] I have not yet found a single authoritative reference from any period that uses the "USN" designation. As an American, I can say that the use of the term "USS" for American naval vessels is so widespread and natural as to have the strength of convention. Opus 13:05, 6 January 2009 (GMT)
There are a couple of issues here. First, there are essentially two Chesapeakes: the historical Chesapeake and POB's fictional Chesapeake. While similar in most regards, POB's Chesapeake exists only in the pages of FOW (well, perhaps there is a passing reference in SM, or elsewhere), while the real Chesapeake has a history independent of POB's work. POB apparently referred to the ship as "USN Chesapeake", whereas the real ship was originally known, as pointed out, as simply "the frigate Chesapeake". (Although, despite the lack of references at hand, I have in email, somewhere, a discussion of this issue that indicates that it was indeed common before 1907-09 (there seems to be some disagreement over the exact date) to refer to U.S. Navy ships using "USN", "USF" and other designations, without any particular consistency.)
Can you give the location in the POB narrative that uses the USN designation for this or any other ship? I have searched and searched and have been unable to find one. I have read through the middle of book 8 without encountering a single reference. Opus 02:42, 8 January 2009 (GMT)
Going back to the original email I have where this was discussed among the wiki admins (from the middle of '07), it was said that, "POB used USN in FSoW and Surgeon's Mate," but no specific page or ship reference, I see, was given. (I previously, mistakenly said FOW, rather than FSoW.) However, a quick google book search gives several results: USN Search -- Jblumel 03:13, 8 January 2009 (GMT)
OK, I see that. There certainly are not very many places where he did this. There are a great many ship references in his books in which he employed no such usage. Why he would do so in only a couple places does not make sense. Perhaps he found this usage on occassion in some ship logs or diaries that he consulted—perhaps British sources. It certainly was not a usage employed by the Americans then or at any other time. Opus 00:53, 9 January 2009 (GMT)
If you do the same book search for "USS," it does show up -- in The Commodore. It makes no difference to me how this exchange of views is resolved; I really don't care one way or the other. But if it's a wiki about POB's books (and maybe not as much of a wiki about the usages of the US Navy) shouldn't we all use the form that POB used more often? ... or maybe no prefix at all for US Navy ships, like was suggested above?Paulster13 07:10, 9 January 2009 (GMT)
Yes, USS is also used in some places, and, more frequently I think, at least for "foreign" ships, no designation at all. So, I think no designation at all, with mention of the commmon, and POB designation when these differ, is the best policy. As pointed out, this is a wiki about POB's books, not the US Navy (If it were a wiki about any navy, it would be a wiki about the British Navy, of the time.), and the goal is to provide information in that context. So, unless someone has a compelling contrary argument, we'll move this article to "Chesapeake" and someone (Paulster?) can add a short discussion of the USS vs. USN issue, and perhaps create and link to an article on the issue of ships designations? (Paulster, again? Since you seem to have done some research on this.) Jblumel 12:46, 9 January 2009 (GMT)
Secondly, one of the goals of this wiki -- this was part of the discussion before WikiPOBia was set up -- is to present information that is accurate to the time, as a means of furthering readers' understanding of POB's work and the period in which it is set. On that basis, and because there was no official designation used at that time, I would support renaming (moving) this article to "Chesapeake" (or "Chesapeake (ship)", the disambiguation text to differentiate it from other "Chesapeake" references, and to avoid having to move it once again), without designation, and including a discussion of the designation/name issues in the article. Redirects for both designations can also be created. This should resolve the issue of the article showing up in searches, while maintaining historical and literary accuracy.
It might also be appropriate to create a separate article on Ships' names (or something to that effect) where these issues are discussed in more detail. I would also suggest that we update the style manual to more accurately reflect the purpose and philosophy of WikiPOBia in this regard -- i.e., that the names and designations accurate to the period and POB's fiction are to be preferred over any specific convention expressed there. -- Jblumel 14:42, 6 January 2009 (GMT)
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