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Author Topic: I need some help...  (Read 1267 times)
akumabito
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« on: November 25, 2007, 12:19:42 am »

I could really use some help with fact-finding for a story I am writing. I won't go into too much details, but I can say it is set in East Africa, in the second half of the 19th century. I am looking for two sets of information.

The first concerns the life -or more accurately; death-of Seyyid Said Bin Sultan, first Sultan of Zanzibar. I have found a number of interesting websites, but there is some confusion about his death. He dies on 19 October 1856. Some sources say he died on Zanzibar, others that he died on board a British Navy vessel en-route to Zanzibar from Oman. Although it is needless to say the latter would suit the story better, I would really like to know which version is historically accurate. 

The second bit of information I'm after concerns the ship he allegedly died on. The main source I am using on Seyyid mentions he died on board the British Warship Victoria. As far as I could find out though, there was no H.M.S. Victoria at that time. And the Victoria-class warships were in use prior, and after the date of his death, but not exactly at that time, although I could be mistaken. I did find information about Her Majesty's Colonial Steam Sloop Victoria - which was launched in Australia, and a paddle sloop of the same name launched in India. It seems unlikely it's any of these vessels, but I'd really like to ID the ship involved.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Professor Lidenbrock
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2007, 11:20:39 am »

I was very intrigued by your post & have looked into it myself.Unfortunately there do seem to be a great many contradictions & no primary source documents that I have as yet been able to locate.
As far as I can tell if it was a warship it was not called the Victoria & if it was called Victoria then it was not a warship.
I shall keep looking,in the hope of posting something more helpful than this.
Good luck & good hunting.
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AFGNCAAP
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2007, 12:49:25 pm »

Everyone seems to be writing and needing advice right now!  Wink As I can sympathize, I searched a bit for an answer, though I believe many of the the sources I found were mostly those that gave you this trouble--I may never trust a single source on matters of history again. However, one thing I did notice was that while the ship being a warship is not always brought up in the articles I'm finding, the name Victoria always does. If I had to guess, I'd say the warship part is what they got wrong, but there are always more places to try...
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akumabito
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2007, 12:59:03 pm »

Thanks anyways for looking!

I am sort of stuck with my story without it.. I initially planned on writing a 5 or 6 page story for the Steampunk Magazine, but after writing about 7 or 8 pages ( Grin ) I figured with some polishing and some interesting new story lines it could very well be extended to a full-length story. So far I'm aiming for 100 A4 pages, but who knows...?

I'll keep looking anyway.. If I can't find any conclusive answers in a week or so, I suppose I'll allow myself some more artistic freedom in making the alternate history up. I really like to incorporate a large number of actual historical events though.

You wouldn't happen to have a list of British Naval vessels of the period between 1850 and 1890?
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Professor Lidenbrock
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2007, 01:19:38 pm »

I'm afraid that I don't have such a list about my person,but these chaps may be of some use.
http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/index.htm
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AFGNCAAP
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2007, 01:29:52 pm »

I found a list of ships in the 1700s (not too helpful)...I found this one from 1894...
http://www.generalist.org.uk/docs/navy1894.html
There are many lists out there, but I can't seem to hit the right date range. The above post's resource looks a little more helpful, but maybe this can be worth something, being as close as it is.  Embarrassed
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PT Sideshow
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2007, 03:03:54 pm »

Can't really help other than being a reading junkie, I can state one thing as a fact. It seems that most authors that have written about events in the past. Have used a very liberal artistic license to fill in the blanks.
Stop and think if you become famous one day in the future. How much day to day info will be out there for people who write about you to find. Memory of family and friends will be embellished with only the good things mostly and things that you never did,but may have talked about doing have become fact.
So if you have to take some liberties. You can all ways say it was an undercover warships as it has happened so many times in our military history of the planet.
As a hack writer I once meet told me,"Embellish, embellish and never let the facts get in the way of a good story. As by the time they figure out that it is Bull sh*t it will become legend and they can't change it."
As the infamous statement attributed to Barnum. According to a police captain
Inspector Alexander Williams of the New York Police Dept. It was used by a notorious confidence man named "paper collar Joe" (Joesph Bessimer) The complete statement goes. "There is a sucker born every minute, but none ever die"
So I think that what ever way works without facts to support one way or the other will work for you.
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Professor Lidenbrock
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2007, 03:34:11 pm »

History Hollywood style?
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