Charles Augustus (or Gustavus) Anderson [Laws D19]
DESCRIPTION: Anderson, the singer, is about to be hanged. He had had a good childhood, but went away to sea on the "Saladin." There he joined in a conspiracy with one Fielding; they murdered the ship's captain and others. Now he must pay the price
EARLIEST DATE: 1928 (Mackenzie)
KEYWORDS: sea execution mutiny
1844 - The Saladin mutiny
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar,Newf) US(NE)
REFERENCES (10 citations):
Laws D19, "Charles Augustus (or Gustavus) Anderson"
Doerflinger, pp. 290-293, "Charles Gustavus Anderson" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Greenleaf/Mansfield 158, "Fielding" (1 text)
Peacock, pp. 867-868, "Charles Augustus Anderson" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-NovaScotia 109, "Charles G Anderson" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-Maritime, pp. 196-197, "Saladin Mutiny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Mackenzie 113, "Charles Augustus Anderson" (1 text, 1 tune)
Beck-Maine, pp. 180-182, "Charles Gustavus Anderson" (1 text)
Ives-DullCare, pp. 197-198,243, "Charles Gustavus Anderson" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT 352, SLDNMTY2*
Mrs Thomas Walters, "Charles Augustus Anderson" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]
cf. "George Jones" [Laws D20] (subject)
cf. "Saladin's Crew" (subject)
Charles Gustavus Anderson
NOTES: The story of the Saladin mutiny is roughly as follows: The pirate Fielding, taken aboard the Saladin out of charity, convinces part of the crew to mutiny against Captain "Sandy" Mackenzie. (Mackenzie seems to have been a harsh officer, but the Fieldings -- a father and son -- probably hoped to capture the money stored on the ship.) Mackenzie and five others are killed, and the conspirators, realizing that they might be next, turn against the Fieldings and throw them overboard. The ship, left without an experienced navigator, is wrecked off Halifax (a place now called "Saladin Point"); the remaining conspirators are executed.
Most sources date the mutiny to 1844; Laws says 1843, but I'm guessing this is one of the many typos in his song list. Beck-Mains, pp. 178-180, gives a fairly detailed account of the mutiny and says that it was in 1842 that Captain Fielding and his teenage son George left England on the Vitula for Valparaiso, where he tried to capture a nitrate vessel. It was not until 1844 that he convinced Captain Mackenzie to take him home.
The four men executed were Charles Anderson, George Jones, John Hazelton, and William Trevaskiss. Three of the four have ballads about them. This one, about Amderson, is the most popular; "George Jones" [Laws D20] is also well-known; "Saladin's Crew," about Hazelton, was found only by Helen Creighton.
Creighton quotes an account from the 1924 Acadian Recorder that seems to imply that all three songs were written by a "Mr. Forhan" who saw the mutineers hanged when he was six years old. - RBW
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