USS Sea Gull (1818)

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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.

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