Ship Named Charles Doggett

Menu – Ship Named Charles Doggett

Learning About the Ship or Brig “Charles Doggett”

In the 1970’s when I went by the name “Charles Doggett” (as opposed to “Charlie”) and worked at the Baptist Brotherhood Commission in Memphis, fellow worker Lee Holloway brought me a book titled Yankee Ships in Pirate Waters. It chronicled stories of adventure upon those 1700’s &1800’s merchant ships that sailed from New England around the world bringing rich cargoes back home.

Chapter 7 is titled “Children of the Sun” and is summarized as “How the men of the ‘Charles Doggett’ angered a witch-doctor, fought Fiji cannibals, and saved a sister-ship from yellow pirates in the gulf of Tongking.” Lee had picked it up at a used book sale for $1. It became an interesting treasure for me as I wondered who the ship was named after. (See paragraph below.) The book was copyrighted 1931 by author Rupert Sargent Holland.  There is a list of his books (he wrote a lot) found on GoodReads but so far no biography. The one chapter in this book about our ship is quit interesting – good reading!

A Major Link to Nashville

Then in the 1990’s or early 2000’s Jack Benz at First Baptist Nashville approached me one day and asked if I knew anything about the ship Charles Doggett? All I could tell him was the above story of an adventure story book. Then he revealed something even more interesting. He is related to Captain William Driver, the Captain of the Charles Doggett Ship who is buried in our own Nashville City Cemetery. He like me was interested in knowing who the ship was named after. But he also was the first to tell me that William Driver was the one who gave the American Flag the nickname “Old Glory” after hiding it inside a quilt during the civil war to avoid destruction by rebels. After the war his family donated it to the Smithsonian Institute. In 2006 that flag was on display in Nashville at the Tennessee State Museum for 8 months and soon many people knew about the Brig Charles Doggett. See newspaper article linked in Menu.

The Tennessee Encyclopedia article

The Old Glory page on Wikipedia

The Tennessean newspaper articles listed in the Menu below.

William Driver Papers 1803-1937   Tennessee State Archives & Library


Notable Quotes of William Driver:

“My ship, my country, and my flag, Old Glory.”

“There is no such thing as zero risk.”

Relationship to HMS Bounty & “Mutiny on The Bounty”

Both this display and the story book also revealed that it was the Charles Doggett and Captain William Driver that rescued the survivors of the famous mutiny on the HMS Bounty in 1789. Wow! What fun this is! I learned later that Jack’s family has also done a lot of research and have submitted a movie script which is yet to be financed and filmed. I have seen the proposal and script and boy would this make a great movie! Sure hope it is someday! Hey! There have been 5 movies about Mutiny on the Bounty: The Mutiny of the Bounty (1916); In the Wake of the Bounty (1933)Mutiny on the Bounty (1935); Mutiny on the Bounty (1962); The Bounty (1984)


Final Resting Place of The Charles Doggett

In a 2017 email Mark Wiener wrote me to say:

“The Pitcairn Government claims the Charles Doggett some time after 1835 was wrecked at Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.”

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