Ship Name

United States

Type

Frigate

Origins/Provenance

Philadelphia

Era

Maritime Republic (1751-1815)

Year Launched

1797

Home Waters

Atlantic

Function

Military

Displacement (tons)

2200

Length (feet)

175

Beam (feet)

44

Draft (feet)

14

Primary Propulsion

Human energy

Propulsion Specifications

three masted

Hull

wooden

Armament

30 24-pounders; 22 12-pounders

Crew

364

Historical Note

One of "Humphreys' frigates"--the infant Navy's very first commissions, built in Philadelphia by Joshua Humphreys. During the Quasi-War with France, John Barry used her to capture five prizes over two voyages. Over a decade later, the United States was pulled out by Stephen Decatur as part of John Rodgers' North Atlantic Squadron. Decatur left the squadron and engaged the HMS Macedonia, making her an American Navy vessel after a fierce battle. Sent to Algeria after the war with Britain, the United States spent the next three decades as a member of several squadrons the world over, hosting a barrage of crew members, including Herman Melville, whose fourteen months aboard in 1843-44 became White-Jacket, or The World in a Man-of-War (1850). She was seized along with every ship in the navy yard at Norfolk, VA by Confederate soldiers and soon after sunk to block access to the Elizabeth River.

Related Images

boat4_united_states_1812.jpg
Date: 1812

Date: 1812
Image ID: 778

Related People

Melville, Herman

Record ID: 105