USS Sea Gull (1818)

Last updated
History
US flag 26 stars.svg
Name:Sea Gull
Launched: November 1818
Acquired: by purchase, December 1822
Fate: Sold, 1840
General characteristics
Type: Steamer
Displacement: 150 long tons (152 t)
Propulsion: Steam engine and sails
Armament: 5 × guns

Sea Gull was a steamship in the United States Navy. She was the second steamship of the United States Navy and the first to serve actively as a warship.

Steamship Type of steam powered vessel

A steamship, often referred to as a steamer, is a type of steam powered vessel, typically ocean-faring and seaworthy, that is propelled by one or more steam engines that typically move (turn) propellers or paddlewheels. The first steamships came into practical usage during the early 1800s; however, there were exceptions that came before. Steamships usually use the prefix designations of "PS" for paddle steamer or "SS" for screw steamer. As paddle steamers became less common, "SS" is assumed by many to stand for "steam ship". Ships powered by internal combustion engines use a prefix such as "MV" for motor vessel, so it is not correct to use "SS" for most modern vessels.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.

Sea Gull was built as the river steamer Enterprise by the Connecticut Steam Boat Company, Hartford, Connecticut. She was launched in November 1818 and made her first trial run in July 1819. She was purchased by the US Navy in December 1822 for use as a shallow water vessel operating against pirates along the coast of Cuba, and renamed Sea Gull.

Cuba Country in the Caribbean

Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. The area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometres (42,800 sq mi). The island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 105,006 square kilometres (40,543 sq mi), and the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants.

After the gunboat had been outfitted with sails, Lieutenant John C. Newton commanded her during her passage to Norfolk, Virginia where, on 14 February 1823, Lieutenant William H. Watson assumed command. She then proceeded to Santo Domingo to join Commodore David Porter's West Indies Squadron. During May 1823, she served as guard vessel at Thompson's Island. On 13 September 1823, at Key West, Lt. Watson died, and Lt. Ralph Voorhees took command.

Norfolk, Virginia Independent city in Virginia, United States

Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 242,803; in 2017, the population was estimated to be 244,703 making it the second-most populous city in Virginia after neighboring Virginia Beach.

William H. Watson American military commander

Lieutenant Colonel William H. Watson (1808–1846) commanded the Battalion of Baltimore and District of Columbia Volunteers in the Mexican–American War. Prior to that, he had been a captain in the "Independent Blues" Company of the 5th Maryland and served with the West Indies Squadron of the United States Navy against pirates. He was killed in the Battle of Monterrey on September 22, 1846.

Santo Domingo City in National District, Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo, officially Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic and the largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean by population. In 2010, its population was counted as 965,040, rising to 2,908,607 when its surrounding metropolitan area was included. The city is coterminous with the boundaries of the Distrito Nacional, itself bordered on three sides by Santo Domingo Province.

In September 1823, Porter returned to Washington in Sea Gull, arriving in 43 days. She underwent repairs at the Washington Navy Yard from 25 October to 30 December 1823.

Washington Navy Yard former shipyard and ordnance plant of the United States Navy

The Washington Navy Yard (WNY) is the former shipyard and ordnance plant of the United States Navy in Southeast Washington, D.C. It is the oldest shore establishment of the U.S. Navy.

She returned to the West Indies in February 1824 where, on 30 March, Lt. Voorhees reported the recapture of the schooner Pacification. During April and May, with Lt. Jesse Wilkinson in command, she participated in an expedition along the coast of Cuba in search of pirates.

In June, Commodore Porter returned to Washington in Sea Gull, making the trip in nine days. In July 1824, Lt. Isaac McKeever assumed command and returned to the West Indies whence Sea Gull patrolled until March 1825. At this time, with the barge Gallinipper she joined the British frigate Dartmouth and two armed British schooners in a raid on a pirate vessel. The operation resulted in the death of eight pirates and the capture of 19.

Barge flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river, canal transport of heavy goods, usually pushed by tugboats

A barge is a flat-bottomed ship, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Some barges are not self-propelled and must be towed or pushed by towboats, canal barges or towed by draft animals on an adjacent towpath. Barges contended with the railway in the early Industrial Revolution, but were outcompeted in the carriage of high-value items due to the higher speed, falling costs and route flexibility of railways.

Frigate Type of warship

A frigate is a type of warship, having various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.

A schooner is a type of sailing vessel with fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts. The most common type has two masts, the foremast being shorter than the main. While the schooner was originally gaff-rigged, modern schooners typically carry a Bermuda rig.

Sea Gull continued to operate with the squadron until July 1825, when she was ordered to return to the east coast. She was subsequently surveyed, found unfit for further sea duty, and fitted out as a receiving ship at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There she served until she was sold in 1840.

There is a painting of the USS Sea Gull at the Custom House Museum in Key West FL by David Harrison Wright 2003.

Related Research Articles

USS <i>Hornet</i> (1805) US Navy brig commissioned in 1805

The third USS Hornet was a brig-rigged sloop-of-war in the United States Navy. During the War of 1812, she was the first U.S. Navy ship to capture a British privateer.

Francis Gregory United States Navy admiral

Francis Hoyt Gregory was an officer in the United States Navy during the War of 1812 through to the Civil War, serving then as a Rear Admiral.

USS <i>Lynx</i> (1814)

USS Lynx, a 6-gun Baltimore Clipper rigged schooner, was built for the US Navy by James Owner of Georgetown, Washington, D.C., in 1814, intended for service in one of the two raiding squadrons being built as part of President James Madison's administration’s plan to establish a more effective Navy, one capable not only of breaking the British naval blockade, but also of raising havoc with the British merchant marine.

Josiah Tattnall United States Navy officer

Commodore Josiah Tattnall, Jr. was an officer in the United States Navy during the War of 1812, the Second Barbary War and the Mexican–American War. He later served in the Confederate Navy during the American Civil War.

USS <i>John Adams</i> (1799)

The first John Adams was originally built in 1799 as a frigate for the United States Navy, converted to a corvette in 1809, and later converted back to a frigate in 1830. Named for President John Adams, she fought in the Quasi-War, the First and Second Barbary Wars, the War of 1812, the Mexican–American War and the American Civil War. At the end of her career, she participated in the Union blockade of South Carolina's ports. She then participated in a historic raid that Harriet Tubman, the former slave and Union operative, organized with Union colonel Montgomery. John Adams led three steam-powered gunboats up the Harbor River to Port Royal. The squadron relied on local black mariners to guide it past mines and fortifications. The squadron freed 750+ slaves and unsettled the Confederacy. Tubman was the first woman in U.S. history to plan and execute an armed expedition.

USS <i>Shark</i> (1821)

The first USS Shark was a schooner in the United States Navy. Built in the Washington Navy Yard to the designs of Henry Steers, Shark was launched on 17 May 1821. On 11 May 1821, Matthew C. Perry was ordered to take command of Shark, and the ship was ready to receive her crew on 2 June 1821.

USS <i>Vixen</i> (1803) United States Navy schooner

USS Vixen was a schooner in the United States Navy during the First Barbary War. Vixen was one of four vessels authorized by Congress on 28 February 1803. She was built at Baltimore, Maryland, in the spring of 1803; and launched on 25 June, Lieutenant John Smith in command.

The first USS Porpoise was a topsail schooner in the United States Navy.

Mosquito Fleet

The term Mosquito Fleet has had a variety of uses around the world.

Diabolito or Little Devil was a 19th-century Cuban pirate. One of the more violent of the era, he engaged the United States Navy and was one of the main fugitives pursued during later American naval expeditions in the Caribbean during the 1820s.

USS Beagle was a schooner in the United States Navy during the 1820s. Beagle was purchased by the Navy on 20 December 1822 in Baltimore, Maryland, and commissioned early in 1823, Lieutenant John T. Newton in command.

Action of 9 November 1822

The Action of 9 November 1822 was a naval battle fought between the United States Navy schooner USS Alligator and a squadron of three pirate schooners off the coast of Cuba during the Navy's West Indies anti-piracy operation. Fifteen leagues from Matanzas, Cuba, a large band of pirates captured several vessels and held them for ransom. Upon hearing of the pirate attacks, Alligator under Lieutenant William Howard Allen rushed to the scene to rescue the vessels and seize the pirates.

West Indies Squadron (United States)

The West Indies Squadron, or the West Indies Station, was a United States Navy squadron that operated in the West Indies in the early nineteenth century. It was formed due to the need to suppress piracy in the Caribbean Sea, the Antilles and the Gulf of Mexico region of the Atlantic Ocean. This unit later engaged in the Second Seminole War until being combined with the Home Squadron in 1842. From 1822 to 1826 the squadron was based out of Saint Thomas Island until the Pensacola Naval Yard was constructed.

The first USS Greyhound was a U.S. Navy, two masted schooner which displaced 65 tons, was armed with three guns, and was in commission from 1822 to 1824.

Aegean Sea Anti-Piracy Operations of the United States

Aegean Sea Anti-Piracy Operations began in 1825 when the United States government dispatched a squadron of ships to suppress Aegean Greek pirates. Due to the Greek civil wars and the decline of the Hellenic Navy, the Aegean quickly became a haven for pirates who sometimes doubled as privateers. American merchant vessels were attacked, so the Mediterranean Squadron began escort and patrol duties. The operations terminated in 1828 as piracy ceased.

The first USS Terrier was a United States Navy schooner in commission from 1823 to 1825. It was part of the West Indies squadron and served transporting U.S. sailors, marines and supplies to the pirate infested waters of the Caribbean and was used to search out and attack pirate ships and pirate strongholds.

West Indies anti-piracy operations of the United States

The West Indies Anti-Piracy Operations refer to the United States Navy presence in the Antilles, and surrounding waters, which fought against pirates. Between 1817 and 1825, the American West Indies Squadron constantly pursued pirates on sea and land, primarily around Cuba and Puerto Rico. After the capture of Roberto Cofresi in 1825, acts of piracy became rare and the operation was considered a success although limited occurrences went on until slightly after the start of the 20th-century.

John R. Goldsborough United States admiral

Commodore John R. Goldsborough was an officer in the United States Navy. Goldsborough was made a cadet-midshipman in 1824 and as such saw action in the Mediterranean against pirates. In one incident, while in charge of 18 men he attacked and captured a Greek pirate ship with a 58 man crew.

USS Ferret was a two masted schooner, the third U.S. Navy vessel to bear this name, and was purchased 20 December 1822 at Baltimore, Maryland and commissioned early in 1823, with Lieutenant R. Henley in command. It was the first U.S. naval ship commanded by the famous naval hero David Farragut. Ferret served transporting U.S. sailors, marines and supplies to the pirate infested waters of the Caribbean and was used to search out and attack pirate ships and pirate strongholds for a little more than two years when her career was cut short when the vessel capsized in a gale force storm off the coast of Cuba.

USS <i>Wild Cat</i> (1822)

USS Wildcat was a two masted schooner displacing 48 tons and was part of a naval fleet, the West Indies Squadron, that sailed to the Caribbean to subdue the occurrence of pirate raids on merchant ships that had increased to almost 3,000 by the early 1820s. She was armed with three guns and had a crew of 31. Wildcat was commanded by Lieutenant Legare' who sailed her to Washington with a dispatch regarding the disposition of the squadron and other matters concerning the war against piracy in the Caribbean. On 28 October 1824 Wildcat was lost in a gale with all hands while sailing between Cuba and Thompson's Island, West Indies. Approximately 31 drowned.

References