Books by Donald Shomette
2000. 376 pp. 7 ins x 10 ins.
ISBN 0-87033-527-8 $34.95
Tidewater Publishers is pleased to announce the publication of
Lost Towns of Tidewater Maryland, written by Donald G. Shomette.
During more than thirty years of exploration on the Chesapeake,
noted historian, marine archaeologist, and former staffer Library of Congress
Donald G. Shomette has made many important member of discoveries, from the
intact remains of the flagship of an American fleet lost in the War of 1812 to
the Kent Island site of the first European settlement in Maryland. During his
extensive research into tidewater history, Shomette uncovered a wealth of
information about early Maryland's long-forgotten efforts to create and erect
scores of urban centres and seaports in the colony Between 1668 and 1751, no
fewer than 130 towns and seaports were ordered by the government to be
established throughout tidewater Maryland. The scope of these development
programs was unrivalled by any other colony. In their concerted efforts to
establish a framework of multiple urban centres, the architects of these early
plans unfortunately embraced traditional European concepts that were ill suited
to the realities of a tobacco economy. In addition, their stubborn belief in the
supremacy of man over the forces of nature doomed most of the communities to
short lives and ultimate collapse. Many ports died aborning, some in precise
syncopation with the silting up of the waterways upon which they had been
erected. Some succumbed to the pressures created by the single-crop tobacco
economy. Others survived temporarily, only to fall victim to the brutal ravages
of warfare. A scant few lived long enough to witness the arrival of the
industrial age with its steamboats, railroads, and inland canal system before
gasping their last. Today less than a score of the original towns and ports
survive. This is the story often early Maryland seaports, chosen to represent a
cross-section of all. Each was unique in the manner in which it was given birth,
flickered into existence against all odds, matured, and finally expired. The
history of Maryland's early efforts at town and port development is not just a
tale of buildings and wharves, but also of the men and women-seamen and farmers,
jurists and soldiers, politicians and priests, freemen and slaves-who created
them, lived and worked in them, held court in them, worshiped in them, defended
them, and often perished with them.
ISBN 0-89089-513-9. $29.95 Plus $5.50 for shipping in the U.S.
The true story of HMS de Braak might have
been borrowed from the pages of a Robert Louise Stevenson novel, for it is a
classic account of shipwrecks, treasure maps, Weather Witches and mystics
hunters and mountebanks. Author Donald Shomette recounts an amazing tale of
intrepid deep-sea adventure and the all-consuming lust for gold.
As the hulk was pulled from the sea, the reality behind the myth
was uncovered - and one of the worst archaeolgical debacles in American history
was launched. The locations and conditions of artefacts from the De Braak
wreckage - so necessary for historical analysis - were inadequately recorded, or
not recorded at all. Many small artefacts were lost forever because the outflow
from the airlift system used to dredge up the remains of the ship was not
screened. Although the Delaware required that all activities be properly
monitored and that artefacts be properly inventoried and analysed for function
and placement, the salvors seemed concerned only with the treasure for which
they blindly lusted - for naught.
And other Tales of the Lost Chesapeake
1996. 400p. 6 ins x 9 ins.
ISBN 0-87033-480-8. $29.95
In this archaeological trilogy, Shomette
provides a tour of the treasures beneath the Chesapeake Bay. The
New Jersey, which sank in the waters of the Chesapeake in 1870, is the
subject of the first part of this absorbing narrative. The wreck, a veritable
time capsule of history, became the subject of large-scale relic hunting and
also of cutting-edge technology, through the use of remotely operated vehicles,
ultrasonic mapping, and imaging sonar
Tidewater Time Capsule
Tidewater Time Capsule
This being a true History of Pirates, Picaroons, and
the Sea Raiders on the Chesapeake Bay,
ISBN 0-87033-343-7. $22.95
Here is a dazzling array of swashbuckling pirates, picaroons, and sea rovers pitted against the often feckless representatives of an out post government authority in the Chesapeake Bay region. It is an exciting and dramatic 200 year history that begins grimly with the "starving time" in the Virginia colony in 1609and ends with the peaceful resolution of the Othello affair with the French in 1807. In between lies a full panoply of violent and bizarre buccaneering incidents that one is hard pressed to imagine from the vantage point of the very early twenty first century.
Shipwrecks on the Chesapeake
Maritime Disasters on the Chesapeake Bay and Its Tributaries
1982 336 pp. 6 ins x 9 ins
ISBN 0-87033-283-X. $19.95
The author, a marine archaeologist, shares his great interest in
the tragedies and disasters that occurred in the Bay and its tidewater region
over a 370 year period. He lists more than 1.800 events that took place between
1608 and 1978, but elaborates on a few of the more significant catastrophes and
military losses. Some stand out for their impact upon the course of human
events, while others are notable for their immense toll on life and property.
Included are the tales of incredible bravery, courage and fortitude, as well as
as stories of cowardice, stupidity, and ineptitude.