Saturday, August 31, 2013

U.S. Navy "Subscription" Ships-- Part 3: USS John Adams

Yet another "Subscription" ship that saw service in the War of 1812 (and even the Mexican and Civil War), was the 30-gun frigate USS John Adams, built by the people of Charleston, South Carolina, and commissioned in 1799. Before the War of 1812, it served in the Quasi War and First Barbary War. /// It was converted to a corvette or sloop of war before the War of 1812. At the outbreak of the war, the ship was in Boston undergoing repairs and moved to New York for completion which didn't happen until 1814. /// It carried U.S. peace commissioners Henry Clay and Jonathan Russell to Europe under a flag of truce where it arrived in Norway. Returning, it carried dispatches concerning the Treaty of Ghent which ended the war. /// After the War of 1812, the John Adams participated in teh Second Barbary War, Mexican War and even the Civil War. (I'll write about its service in the last war in my Civil War Navy Blog.) Wikipedia says not to get the USS John Adams confused with the USS Adams. /// --Brock-Perry

U.S. Navy "Subscription" Ships-- Part 2: USS Essex

USS ESSEX: Of the these "subscription" ships, the one with the most noteworthy War of 1812 accomplishments, even though it was captured. The ship was a 36/32-gun frigate that fought in the Quasi War, First Barbary War and War of 1812. /// Built for $139,362 subscribed by the people of Salem and Essex County, Massachusetts. Presented to the U.S. Navy and commissioned in 1799. Its first commander was Edward Preble. /// The ship was captured by the British on 28 March 1814 and then became the HMS Essex. In 1812, it was commanded by Captain David Porter, father of Civil War Admoral David Dixon Porter. On board, he had a ten-year-old midshipman his foster son by by the name of David Glasgow Farragut. /// Definitely some famous naval names connected to this ship, including its fir st commander. /// --Brock-Perry

Friday, August 30, 2013

U.S. Navy "Subscription" Ships-- Part 1

These were ships that evidently added to the U.S. Navy through subscriptions by the states and in some instances, cities, even private interests. Evidently the Act of June 30, 1798 allowed this. Most were only in service for a few years and mostly built because of the so-called Quasi War with France (our former ally during the American Revolution). /// USS MARYLAND, 26-gun sloop built by public subscription in Baltimore. Commissioned in 1799 and sold in 1801. /// USS MERRIMACK, 28 GUNS, Launched by the Association of Newburyport Shipwrights and presented to the Navy in 1798. Saw service during the Quasi War and sold in 1801. /// USS BOSTON, Third ship with the name. A 32-gun frigate built by public subscription in Boston. Commissioned 1799. Fought in the Quasi War and First Barbary War. Burned at Washington Navy Yard 24 August 1814 during the War of 1812 to prevent capture by British (as was the USS New York). Never Heard of These Ships. --Brock-Perry

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Act of June 30, 1798

From Wikipedia/// I keep coming across this act as well as American warships built by the states and cities and turned over to the U.S. Navy. I'd never heard of it and always thought U.S. Navy ships were funded by the government, so had to do some research on it. I couldn't find much on the Act, except that it provided for ships to be built by the states and supplied to the Navy to supplement the original six frigates (including the USS Constitution) which were authorized by the naval Act of 1794. Most of the ships were used for just a short time from 1799 to 1801 and saw service during the so-called Quasi War with former Revolutionary War ally France. Some were still around during the War of 1812./// I'll be listing these "subscription" ships next week./// --Brock-Perry

Friday, August 23, 2013

HMS Nimrod-- Part 1

From Wikipedia./// Here we go again, I have just now spent considerable time researching this cannonball hole in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and the HMS Nimrod. Before the article I printed earlier today, I'd never heard of either the town or ship. I am learning a lot about it, but still do not have a definitive date for when the house was struck by the Nimrod cannonball./// Wikipedia did not have an article on the 1812 HMS Nimrod which evidently is the Nimrod in question here (there have been several HMS Nimrods). But it did say the Nimrod was an 18-gun Cruizer-class brig-slopp launched in 1812 and wrecked in 1827./// You Have to Wonder About a Ship Named the Nimrod. --Brock-Perry

Saving the Nimrod

From the July 23, 2013, Wicked Local Falmouth "Group forming to save the Nimrod in Falmouth" by Scott A. Giordano./// The Nimrod structure was hit by a cannonball from the British frigate HMS Nimrod back during the War of 1812. That structure is now scheduled for destruction. The group trying to save it has a site, www.SavetheNimrod.org./// The want the 11,000 square-foot building moved to a new site and then figure it will cost $1,650,000 to restore. Definitely a big project./// The Nimrod consists of two buildings. The smaller of the two was built in the 16th century and was the one hit by the HMS Nimrod. The hole it made remains, but the cannonball disappeared many years ago. The larger is an 18th century structure. Both were moved to their present site in 1920./// At first, they were a private home and then became the Boxwood Inn and Guest House. During the 1950s, it was the Nimrod Club until the 1970s when it became a restaurant./// Save the Nim. --Brock-Perry

Commodore Thomas Tingey

From Wikipedia./// Born in London, England, and served in the British Navy. Unverified legend has him serving in the U.S. Continental Navy. He was commissioned a captain in September 1798 and served in the Quasi War with France commanding the USS Ganges./// In 1800, he was appointed to supervise construction of the new Washington Navy Yard./// --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Commodore Thomas Tingey, Washington Navy Yard

From the August 10, 2010, Naval History Blog/// Commodore Thomas Tingey had been commandant of the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., since its founding in 1799. As the British approached the city in 1814, he correctly figured his yard would be a major target. Secretary of the Navy Jones ordered him to torch the yard, which he did./// The British entered the city August 25th and burned much of what Tingey had not./// It is estimated that the Washington Navy Yard suffered half a million dollars in losses./// And, then There Were the Ships. --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Other Property Burned by British in Washington, DC

Back on August 4th, I wrote about the USS New York, a frigate burned at Washington Navy Yard when the Brtitish captured the city in 1814. I'd always heard of the White House and other public buildings being destroyed, but hadn't heard of any warships. From Wikipedia. Before retreating from the city, American forces set fire to the Washington Navy Yard, founded by President Thomas Jefferson, to prevent capture of stores and ammunition. Also destroyed were the 44-gun frigate USS Columbia and the 18-gun USS Argus, both ships were nearing completion. There was no mention of the USS New York. Plus, the USS Argus must have been named after the USS Argus captured in British waters the preceding year. (I just wrote about that ship.) The only structures escaping destruction in the yard was the Latrobe Gate, Quarters A and Quarters B. Also spared were the Marine Barracks and Commandant's House. Their survival was attributed to the British respect for the Marine conduct at the Battle of Bladensburg.//// More Than I Thought. --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 Events on Maryland's East Shore-- Part 2

The new 1812 Memorial Park contains a two-and-a-half ton monument honoring twenty men who stood against 300 British soldiers at Slippery Hill, preventing an intended attack on Queenstown. It also has the name of every known Queen Anne's County militia who served during the war., some 1840 of them. Several signs around the monument tell the story of Slippery Hill. (I have written a lot about it, just hit the Slippery Hill label.) AUGUST 3RD later in the day, there will ne a marker dedicated at the point of Blue Bay Farm Road and Route 8 in Stevensville. It relates the story of British headquarters on Kent Island which was at the home of a local resident. AUGUST 4TH at the courthouse green in Centreville, a marker commemorating the county's militia and the courthouse being used as a recruiting center will be unveiled. Later, another marker will be unveiled at Centreville Wharf telling the story of Fort Point and its role protecting the Corsica River. These Folks Are Being Mighty Busy. --Brock-Perry

Monday, August 19, 2013

War of 1812 Events on Maryland's Eastern Shore Earlier This Month-- Part 1

From the July 24, 2013 My Eastern Shore Md site "Multiple War of 1812 events the weekend of August 2-4" by Jack Shaum. Queen Anne's County-- Queenstown/Grasonville, Stevensville and Centreville. This is a project of Queen Anne's County 1812 Commemoration Committee and the State of Maryland War of 1812 Commission. AUGUST 2ND: The dedication of a sign at Broad Creek Cemetery to commemorate the British landing at Kent Island. AUGUST 3RD: The main event of the weekend, the dedication of the new 1812 Memorial Park at Rt. 18 and Nesbit Road near Queenstown. Brock-Perry

Saturday, August 17, 2013

USS Argus

On the timeline I mentioned the USS Argus being captured by the HMS Pelican on August 14, 1813. I had never heard of the ship so further research was necessary. From Wikipedia. The Argus was a brig built in Boston and launched in 1803 with 142 crew and mounting 18 guns. Its first commander was none other than Stephen Decatur. It participated in the First Barbary War, Blockade of Tripoli and Battle of Derna. During the War of 1812, it broke the blockade of New York 18 June 1813, with orders to bring William H. Crawford to his post as ambassador to France. After the Argus did that, it began to raid British shipping off the coast of Britain. It captured 19 ships and caused the sloop HMS Pelican to set off in pursuit. On August 13, 1813, the Argus took its last two prizes, one of which had wine. Reportedly, the Argus' crew fully imbibed before the vessel was burned. The Pelican was close enough to spot the smoke and closed in for action. The next day, the two ships traded broadsides for 45 minutes before the Argus surrendered shortly before being boarded. Brock-Perry

Timeline for August 1813-- Part 2

AUGUST 10TH: USS Prowler and USS Julia captured by British fleet on Lake Ontario. Raid on St. Michaels, Maryland Armistice in Europe ends. AUGUST 12TH: Austria declares war on France. (It was much better for the British to be tied up in Europe than able to concentrate complete attention on the U.S.. AUGUST 14TH: USS Argus captured by HMS Pelican. AUGUST 24TH: British recapture Fort George. Brock-Perry

Friday, August 16, 2013

August 1813 Timeline-- Part 1

AUGUST 1ST: Major Croghan successfully defends Fort Stephenson against British attack. AUGUST 2ND: Battle of Fort Stephenson near present-day Fremont, Ohio. AUGUST 4TH: Admiral Perry successfully gets his fleet over the bar at Presque island, Erie, Pennsylvania, leading up to the Battle of Lake Erie. AUGUST 8TH: The USS Scourge and USS Hamilton both sunk in a savage storm on Lake Ontario. Brock-Perry

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Frigate USS New York Burned When D.C. Captured

I wrote about the second USS New York, a frigate built in 1800 by the citizens of New York. It was burned while in ordinary at Washington Navy Yard when the British captured the city August 24, 1814. You always hear about the White House being burned, but rarely of other losses from the 24-hour occupation. Read more about the ship in my Cooter's History Thing Blog. Brock-Perry

Thursday, August 8, 2013

War of 1812 Tall Ships Coming to Chicago-- Part 3

FLAGSHIP NIAGARA (USA)-- The tallest of the Tall Ships at the festival, the 198-foot long brigantine Niagara is one of the most authentic tall ships in the United States. Built in 1988, she is a reconstruction of the warship aboard which Commander Oliver Hazard Perry won the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. She offers three educational programs to the public and all students and trainees receive an authentic onboard living experience from sleeping on hammocks and meals cooked off of a woodstove. I imagine all of these ships will be taking part in the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie at Put-In-Bay, Ohio, over Labor Day weekend. I'd Go See Them If Not for Their Being in Chicago. --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 Tall Ships Coming To Chicago-- Part 2

LYNX (USA) The 122-foot long square topsail schooner Lynx is a replica of a naval schooner from the War of 1812. Served as a blockade-runner and warship, the original Lynx was among the first ships to defend American freedom. She serves today as a living history museum, flying flags and pennants from the 1812 era and crew members wear period uniforms in keeping with the 19th century American maritime traditions. PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II (USA) Is a 157-foot reproduction of an 1812-era Baltimore-built topsail schooner. Pride of Baltimore's mission is to promote Maryland's importance to U.S. and maritime history, in particular the War of 1812 and the penning of "The Star-Spangled Banner. She maintains an international sailing schedule with a crew of 11 and two rotating professional captains. Brock-Perry

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

War of 1812 Tall Ships Coming to Chicago This Week-- Part 1

From the July 28, 2013, Chicago Tribune Special Section "Tall Ships Chicago 2013. They'll be here August 7-11 at Navy Pier and there will be 14 of them. Two pages of the edition were devored to a thumbnail sketch on each ship and several had War of 1812 connections (and non 1812 one was even built of recycled German U-boats. I'll write about that in my history blog.) THE FRINDS GOOD WILL (U.S.) "We have met the enemy and they are ours..." Commander Oliver Hazard Perry, USN, sent that famous dispatch after the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813. His message went on to describe a merchant sloop turned man of war named Friends Good Will. The Michigan Maritime Museum launched a 101-foot square topsail sloop replica of that fateful ship in 2004. Today, the ship trains people in traditional maritime skills. Brock-Perry

Canadian Naval Dockyards in the War of 1812

AMHERSTBURG ROYAL NAVY DOCKYARD (1796-1813) NAVY ISLAND ROYAL NAVY SHIPYARD (1763-1813) Near Niagara Falls. I noticed that four of the dockyards (Naval Shipyard York, Penetanguishene Navy Yard and Anherstburg Royal Navy Dockyard and Navy Island Royal Navy Shipyard) were closed in 1813, probably because of the threat of American attack at exposed positions along the frontier between Canada and the United States. ROYAL NAVAL DOCKYARD HALIFAX (1759-1905) was sold to Canada in 1909 and became Royal Canadian Navy facility, now HMC Dockyard, part of CFB Halifax (Canadian Forces Base). Now, You Know. --Brock-Perry

Saturday, August 3, 2013

War of 1812 Royal Navy Dockyards in Canada

From Wikipedia. YORK NAVAL YARD-- York, Upper Canada (Today's Toronto, Ontario) Used 1798-1813 PENETANGUISHENE NAVAL YARD-- Penetanguishene, Canada (1813-1834) KINGSTON ROYAL NAVY DOCKYARD-- Kingston, Canada near Point Frederick (1789 to late 19th century) Expanded greatly during the War of 1812. Near where the Royal Military College of Canada is located today. Brock-Perry

Current Royal Navy Dockyards

Just for interest. These four Dockyards are still used by the Royal Navy in the British Isles: HMNB Devonport Faslane Naval Base Rosyth Dockyard HMNB Portsmouth These four are overseas: Gibraltar Singapore Mount Pleasant Base (Falkland Islands) Diego Garcia (Indian Ocean) Just of Interest. --Brock-Perry

Royal Navy Dockyard

Wikipedia. Another unfamiliar term for me. A Royal Navy Dockyard is a harbor where commissioned British ships are stationed as well as ones where ships are overhauled or refitted. In past years, the Royal Navy had a string of Dockyards around the world, but since World War II, the number has decreased to just four. Four of the Royal Navy Dockyards were classified as Great Dockyards: Portsmouth, Plymouth, Chatham and Glasgow. Then, there were Large and Small Dockyards. Halifax was classified as Small. Brock-Perry

The British North America and West Indies Station-- Part 3

Halifax, Canada, was the main base for the Royal Navy during the Seven Years War (French and Indian), American Revolution and War of 1812. In 1818, Halifax became the summer base of operations of the N.A.& W.I. Station. For the rest of the year, headquarters was switched to Bermuda. Bermuda was chosen, besides the weather, as a base from which the British Navy could better watch the United States. Brock-Perry

The British North America and West Indies Station-- Part 2

Evidently, the Atlante source, Naval Database, had it wrong when it referred to the station as the North America and West Indies, as, according to Wikipedia, the West Indies and North America stations were separate intil 1818 when the two combined. Then, it was renamed the Ameruica and West Indies Station in 1926. The two stations were formed to counter French forces in North America back in 1745. For its first 60 years, the North America Station was headquartered at Halifax Naval Yard in Nova Scotia, now CFB Halifax. The land and buildings were purchased by the Royal Navy Dockyard in 1758 and commissioned in 1759. Keeping It Shorter Than Usual Because of These Darn Run-on Paragraphs. --Brock-Perry

Friday, August 2, 2013

The North America and West Indies Station-- Part 1

Wikipedia. The HMS Atalante made captures while on, what the source called, the British North America and West Indies Station, something I'd never heard of. It is a formation of command for England's Royal Navy in the Western Hemosphere. much like during teh Civil War when the Union had such naval groups at the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron on West Gulf Blockading Squadron or the U.S. Navy had the African Squadron before the Civil War to stop slavers and the Neutrality Patrol before the country entered World War II. I have written about these in my Civil War blogs and World War I blog. More to Come. --Brock-Perry