Portsmouth Naval Shipyard launching its first new construction, the 74-gun USS Washington
|Builder:||Portsmouth Navy Yard|
|Laid down:||May 1813|
|Launched:||1 October 1814|
|Commissioned:||26 August 1815|
|Fate:||Broken up, 1843|
|Type:||Ship of the line|
|Length:||190 ft 10 in (58.17 m) p/p|
|Beam:||54 ft 7.5 in (16.650 m)|
|Draft:||24 ft 4 in (7.42 m)|
|Depth of hold:||19 ft 9 in (6.02 m)|
USS Washington was a ship of the line of the United States Navy.
A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th through to the mid-19th century. The ship of the line was designed for the naval tactic known as the line of battle, which depended on the two columns of opposing warships maneuvering to fire with the cannons along their broadsides. In conflicts where opposing ships were both able to fire from their broadsides, the side with more cannons, and therefore more firepower typically had an advantage. Since these engagements were almost invariably won by the heaviest ships carrying the most powerful guns, the natural progression was to build sailing vessels that were the largest and most powerful of their time.
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 U.S. Navy is the third largest of the U.S. military service branches in terms of personnel. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the third-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force and the United States Army.
The ship was authorized by the United States Congress on 2 January 1813 and was laid down in May of that year at the Portsmouth Navy Yard under a contract with the shipbuilders, Hart and Badger. The ship was launched on 1 October 1814 and was commissioned at Portsmouth on 26 August 1815, Captain John Orde Creighton in command.
William Badger was a master shipbuilder operating in Kittery, Maine, United States who built more than 100 vessels.
After fitting out, Washington sailed for Boston on 3 December 1815. In the spring of the following year, the ship-of-the-line shifted to Annapolis, Maryland, and arrived there on 15 May 1816. Over the ensuing days, the man-of-war welcomed a number of distinguished visitors who came on board to inspect what was, in those days, one of the more powerful American ships afloat. The guests included Commodore John Rodgers and Capt. David Porter, Col. Franklin Wharton, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and President and Mrs. James Madison. The Chief Executive and his lady came on board "at half past meridian, to visit the ship, on which occasion yards were manned and they were saluted with 19 guns and three cheers."
Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. Situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, 25 miles (40 km) south of Baltimore and about 30 miles (50 km) east of Washington, D.C., Annapolis is part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. Its population was measured at 38,394 by the 2010 census.
David Porter was an officer in the United States Navy in the rank of captain and the honorary title of commodore. Porter commanded a number of U.S. naval ships, including the famous USS Constitution. He saw service in the First Barbary War, the War of 1812 and in the West Indies. On July 2, 1812, Porter hoisted the banner "Free trade and sailors' rights" as captain of USS Essex. The phrase resonated with many Americans. Porter was later court martialed; he resigned and then joined and became commander-in-chief of the Mexican Navy.
Franklin Wharton was the third Commandant of the United States Marine Corps.
Washington then sailed down Chesapeake Bay and embarked William Pinkney and his suite on 5 June. On 8 June, the ship of the line set sail for the Mediterranean flying the broad pennant of Commodore Isaac Chauncey, the commander of the Navy's fledgling Mediterranean Squadron. Washington reached Gibraltar on 2 July, en route to her ultimate destination, Naples.
The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary in the U.S. states of Maryland and Virginia. The Bay is located in the Mid-Atlantic region and is primarily separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Delmarva Peninsula with its mouth located between Cape Henry and Cape Charles. With its northern portion in Maryland and the southern part in Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay is a very important feature for the ecology and economy of those two states, as well as others. More than 150 major rivers and streams flow into the Bay's 64,299-square-mile (166,534 km2) drainage basin, which covers parts of six states and all of Washington, D.C.
William Pinkney was an American statesman and diplomat, and was appointed the seventh U.S. Attorney General by President James Madison.
Isaac Chauncey was an officer in the United States Navy who served in the Quasi-War, The Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. In the latter part of his naval career he was President of the Board of Navy Commissioners.
Washington made port at Naples on 25 July, and Pickney debarked to commence his special mission—to adjust the claims of American merchants against the Neapolitan authorities. The talks ensued well into August. At the end of the month, the demands of diplomacy apparently satisfied, Washington set sail.
For the next two years, the ship-of-the-line operated in the Mediterranean as flagship of the American squadron, providing a display of force to encourage the Barbary states to respect American commerce. Dignitaries that visited the American man-of-war during this Mediterranean cruise included General Nugent, the commander in chief of Austrian forces (on 5 August 1817) and Prince Henry of Prussia (1781–1846) (on 12 August 1817).
Laval Graf Nugent von Westmeath was a soldier of Irish birth, who fought in the armies of Austria and the Two Sicilies.
Prince Frederick Henry Charles of Prussia was a Prussian prince and army officer.
On 1 February 1818, Commodore Charles Stewart relieved Commodore Chauncey as commander of the American Mediterranean Squadron, at Syracuse harbor, after which time Washington cruised to Messina and the Barbary Coast. She set sail for home on 23 May 1818—convoying 40 American merchantmen—and reached New York on 6 July 1818. The next day, the Vice President of the United States, Daniel D. Tompkins, visited the ship; and the warship blocked her colors at half-mast on the 8th, in honor of the interment of the remains of General Richard Montgomery, who had been killed leading the Continental assault against Quebec in 1775.
Charles Stewart was an officer in the United States Navy who commanded a number of US Navy ships, including USS Constitution. He saw service during the Quasi War and both Barbary Wars in the Mediterranean along North Africa and the War of 1812. He later commanded the navy yard in Philadelphia and was promoted to become the Navy's first flag officer shortly before retiring. He was promoted to rear admiral after he retired from the Navy. He lived a long life and was the last surviving Navy captain who had served in the War of 1812.
Messina is the capital of the Italian Metropolitan City of Messina. It is the third largest city on the island of Sicily, and the 13th largest city in Italy, with a population of more than 238,000 inhabitants in the city proper and about 650,000 in the Metropolitan City. It is located near the northeast corner of Sicily, at the Strait of Messina, opposite Villa San Giovanni on the mainland, and has close ties with Reggio Calabria. According to Eurostat the FUA of the metropolitan area of Messina has, in 2014, 277,584 inhabitants.
The term Barbary Coast was used by Europeans from the 16th century to the early 19th to refer to the coastal regions of North Africa inhabited by Berber people. Today this land is part of the modern nations of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.
Following her return to the United States, Washington was commanded by Captain Arthur Sinclair until 1819.
Washington did little cruising thereafter, remaining at New York as Commodore Chauncey's flagship until 1820. Placed "in ordinary" that year, the ship-of-the-line remained inactive until broken up in 1843.
(The dimensions of the ship are uncertain, since no plan has survived, and there is evidence that the shipbuilder's plan was never sent to the Navy.)
USS Brandywine was a wooden-hulled, three-masted frigate of the United States Navy bearing 44 guns which had the initial task of conveying the Marquis de Lafayette back to France. She was later recommissioned a number of times for service in various theaters, such as in the Mediterranean, in China and in the South Atlantic Ocean.
USS Independence was a wooden-hulled, three-masted ship, originally a ship of the line and the first to be commissioned by the United States Navy. Originally a 90-gun ship, in 1836 she was cut down by one deck and re-rated as a 54-gun frigate.
The first USS Raritan was a wooden-hulled, three-masted sailing frigate of the United States Navy built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, laid down in 1820, but not launched until 13 June 1843, sponsored by Commodore Frederick Engle. She was one of the last sailing frigates of the United States Navy.
USS Columbus was a 90-gun ship of the line in the United States Navy. She was launched on 1 March 1819 by Washington Navy Yard and commissioned on 7 September 1819, Master Commandant J. H. Elton in command.
The third USS Delaware of the United States Navy was a 74-gun ship of the line, named for the state of Delaware.
USS Franklin of the United States Navy was a 90-gun ship of the line.
USS Congress was a nominally rated 38-gun wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. She was named by George Washington to reflect a principle of the United States Constitution. James Hackett built her in Portsmouth New Hampshire and she was launched on 15 August 1799. She was one of the original six frigates whose construction the Naval Act of 1794 had authorized. Joshua Humphreys designed these frigates to be the young Navy's capital ships, and so Congress and her sisters were larger and more heavily armed and built than the standard frigates of the period.
USS Constellation was a nominally rated 38-gun wooden-hulled, three-masted frigate of the United States Navy. She was named by George Washington to reflect a principle of the United States Constitution. She was built under the direction of David Stodder at his naval shipyard on Harris Creek in Baltimore's Fell's Point maritime community, and she was launched on 7 September 1797. She was one of the original six frigates whose construction the Naval Act of 1794 had authorized. Joshua Humphreys designed these frigates to be the young Navy's capital ships, and so Constellation and her sisters were larger and more heavily armed and built than standard frigates of the period. Her first duties with the newly formed US Navy were to provide protection for American merchant shipping during the Quasi-War with France and to defeat the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War.
USS Syren was a brig of the United States Navy built at Philadelphia in 1803. She served during the First Barbary War and the War of 1812 until the Royal Navy captured her in 1814. The British never commissioned her but apparently used her for a year or so as a lazaretto, or a prison vessel. She then disappears from records.
USS Lynx, a 6-gun Baltimore Clipper-rigged schooner, was built for the United States 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.
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.
Nautilus was a schooner launched in 1799. The United States Navy purchased her in May 1803, renaming her the USS Nautilus; she thus became the first ship to bear that name. She served in the First Barbary War. She was altered to a brigantine. The British captured Nautilus early in the War of 1812 and renamed her HMS Emulous. After her service with the Royal Navy, the Admiralty sold her in 1817.
The second USS Ontario was a three-masted, wooden-hulled sloop of war in the United States Navy, bearing 16 guns, and saw service during and following the years of the War of 1812 and in the Second Barbary War. Ontario was built by Thomas Kemp, Baltimore, Maryland, in 1813; blockaded in Chesapeake Bay through the War of 1812; and sailed from New York for the Mediterranean on 20 May 1815, Master Commandant Jesse D. Elliott in command.
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 Guerriere was the first frigate built in the United States since 1801. The name came from a fast 38-gun British frigate captured and destroyed in a half-hour battle by USS Constitution on 19 August 1812. This victory was one of the United States' first in the War of 1812.
USS Java was a wooden-hulled, sailing frigate in the United States Navy, bearing 44 guns. She was named for the American victory over HMS Java off the coast of Brazil on 29 December 1812, captured by the Constitution under the command of Captain William Bainbridge. HMS Java had suffered severe damage during the engagement and being far from home port was ordered burned.
USS Erie was a three-masted, wooden-hulled sloop-of-war of the United States Navy in the early 19th century.
The Mediterranean Squadron, also known as the Mediterranean Station, was part of the United States Navy in the 19th century that operated in the Mediterranean Sea. It was formed in response to the First Barbary War and Second Barbary Wars. Between 1801 and 1818, the squadron was composed of a series of rotating squadrons. Later, squadrons were sent in the 1820s to the 1860s to suppress piracy, primarily in Greece and to engage in gunboat diplomacy. In 1865 the force was renamed the European Squadron.
USS Spark (1813) was a heavily armed brig in the services of the United States Navy, built for service in the War of 1812. However, she was completed too late for that war and was assigned, instead, to the Barbary Wars in the Mediterranean. After two voyages in support of that action, she was assigned to suppress pirates in the Caribbean, where she was successful in capturing a number of pirate ships and their crews.
The USS Firefly, was a brig with two masts, square-rigged, formerly named Volant and originally built as a schooner for use as a privateer. The vessel was purchased at New York by the U.S. Navy on 8 December 1814 and was fitted out as US war ship with 14 guns and used in service during the War of 1812 and Second Barbary War of 1815. Firefly was purchased because of the several US blockade efforts where smaller ships with better maneuverability were needed for the task.