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George Foster Emmons.

The navy of the United States, from the commencement, 1775 to 1853; with a brief history of each vessel's service and fate online

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Online LibraryGeorge Foster EmmonsThe navy of the United States, from the commencement, 1775 to 1853; with a brief history of each vessel's service and fate → online text (page 26 of 26)
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Dec. 21, a treaty of peace concluded with the Emperor of Mo
rocco.

A treaty of peace concluded with the Dey of Algiers.
1736 Nov. 4, a treaty of peace concluded with the Bashaw of Tri
poli. The foregoing three treaties caused a suspension in
the building of three of the above frigates.
1797 The Constitution, United States, and Constellation were

launched, and these form the nucleus of our present navy.
1798 May 28, commanders of public armed vessels of the United
States instructed by President John Adams to make repri
sals upon the French commerce.

July 7, an act of Congress declaring the treaties between
France and the United States null and void, in consequence
of their repeated violation by the French.



DATES OF REFERENCE.



203



1798 July 9, an net authorizing the capture of any armed vessels of
France.

July 11, establishing a Marine Corps " as an addition to the
present military establishment."

Nov. 1C, Capt. Loring, of the British squadron, impressed 5
seamen out of the U. S. S. Baltimore, Capt. Phillips, off
Havana.

1799 Jan. 10, Capt. Phillips dismissed from the Navy on account
of the above transaction.

Dec. 14, George. Washington died.

1800 Laws (still in force) for the better government of the Navy of
the United States.

The seat of Government transferred to Washington, D. C.
1801 Feb. 3, treaty of peace ratified with France, and proclaimed
by the President on the 18th.

March 3, the Navy placed upon a peace establishment, and
all but 14 vessels sold. These having been previously di
vested of their armament, stores, &c., only brought 309,330
at public sale.

March 23, the U. S. ship Herald, Capt. Russel, was despatch
ed to recall our cruisers.

May 14, hostilities commenced by the Bashaw of Tripoli.

June 10, a formal declaration of war by the Bashaw of Tri
poli. See Table for the subsequent events connected with
this war.
1803 Oct. 12, peace re-established with Morocco, after reciprocal

octs of hostilities.
1805 June 3, peace concluded with Tripoli, and no more tribute to

be paid.
1806 April 25, H. B. M. ship Leandcr, Capt. Whitby, fired into

one of our coasters, off Sandy Hook, killing one man.
1S07 Robert Fulton made his first trip to Albany and back by
steam power ; was 22 hours going and 30 hours returning
to New York.

June 22, H. B. M. ship Leopard, 50, Capt. Humphries, fired
into the U. S. ship Chesapeake, 40, Cnpt. Jas. Barron. offour
coast, killing 3 men and wounding 18, including among the
latter Capt. O. and his aid ; the Chesapeake not being in a
state to resist, Capt. Barren surrendered his ship, and per
mitted 4 seamen to be taken out of her. One of these was
subsequently hung as a deserter; one died in prison; and
the remaining two were returned to the commanding officer
at Boston, by a British lieutenant in command of H. B. M.
schooner Bream, June 13, 1812, only 5 days previous to
the declaration of war.

July 2, all British ships were ordered to leave the U. S. ports
in consequence of the above outrage.

Dec. 22, an embargo was laid upon our vessels, that continued

in force until 1809.
1809 March 4, embargo act repealed, and the non-intercourse act

passed.

1810 Jan. 2, Murat, King of Naples, received orders from Paris to
seize all our vessels and cargoes.

May 1, all French and English vessels prohibited from enter
ing tlie ports of the U. S.

June 24, H.,B. M. ship Moselle fired into the U. S. brig Vixen

near the Bahamas.

1811 May 16, the U. S. ship President, Commo. Rodgers, ex
changed several shots with H. B. M. ship Little Belt in the



night, in which accidental affair 33 men were reported to
have been killed and wounded on board of the latter, and
one wounded on board of the former.
1812 April 14, embargo laid upon the U. S. vessels for 90 days.

June 18, war declared by the U. States against Great Britain,
growing out of the many wrongs inflicted by her upon our
commerce by her blockades, decrees, forced constructions
of belligerent rights, &c., some of which have already been
recorded; and in addition to which, it appears by the re
port of President Madison to Congress, July G, 1812, that
while we had a right to suppose ourselves at peace with all
the world, the following seizures and condemnations of ves
sels, belonging to citizens of the U. S. , were made under the
authority of European governments :

BRITISH.

Captures, &c., prior to the orders in council of
Nov. 11, 1807 528

Captures, &c., subsequent to orders in council of
Nov. 11, 1807 389



Which were enforced up to our declaration of
war in 1812.

FRENCH.

Captures, &c., prior to the Berlin and Milan de
crees in 1806-7 206

Captures, &c., during existence of do 307

Captures. &c., since revocation of do 46

NEAPOLITAN.

Captures amounted to, during the above periods.
ALGERINE.

Captures, from 1784 to 1793, 5 ships, 5 brigs, and
3 schooners



917



55 J



47



13



Making a total of 153G

Besides several Spanish and Danish captures not enumerated,
any one of which, at this day, would probably cause some
difficulty, if not a war.

1814 Dec. 24, a treaty of peace was concluded at Ghent between the
U. S. and Great Britain. On the 28th of the same month it
was ratified by the Prince Regent, and despatched to the
U. S., in charge of Capt. the Hon. J. H. Mude, in H. B.
M. ship Favorite, where

1815 Feb. 18, it received the confirmation of the Senate and Presi
dent of the U. S.

March 3, the U. S. declare war against Algiers. See Tables
of Captures.

June 30, a treaty of peace concluded with Algiers by Commo.
Decatur.

Aug. 9, a treaty of peace concluded with Tripoli by Commo.
Decatur.



ADMINISTRATION



OF



THE NAVY DEPARTMENT



THE FIRST LEGISLATION OF CONGRESS IN REGARD TO THE NAVY,

1775, Ocl, 13, directed that one vessel of 10 guns, and another of 14 guns, be equipped as national
cruisers. At the same time a law was passed establishing a " Marine Committee," consisting
of Messrs. John Adams, John Langdon, and Silas Dean the place of Mr. Adams being after
wards supplied by Mr. Gadsden. This Committee was chosen by Congress from their own
members, and given control of all Naval matters.
Several changes and modifications followed, and in

1770, Nov., a " Continental Navy Board," consisting of three competent persons, was appointed
subordinate to the above Committee. The latter was subsequently divided into an " Eastern
Board," and " Board of the Middle District ."

1779, Oct. 28. A " Board of Admiralty " was established, consisting of three commissioners, who
were not in Congress, and two that were, who were given control of all Naval and Marine af
fairs.

1781, Feb. 7th. Alexander McDougall, a Major General, who hod been a Seaman in his youth,
was appointed " Secretary of Marine," with all the duties and powers previously confided to
the Board of Admiralty.

1781, Aug. An " Agent of Marine" was appointed to supersede all Agents, Boards, or Com
mittees, previously established by law. The duties of this office subsequently devolved on the
"Superintendent of Finances," who was the celebrated Robert Morris.
Legislation here cffosed upon this branch of the service, until

1789, Aug. 7, when a law was passed placing the Navy under the control of the Secretary of War,
where it remained until

1798, April 30, when a Navy Department was established at the Seat of Government, with a
" Secretary of the Navy," (Benjamin Stoddert,) at its head ; to which was added,

1815, Feb. 7, a "Board of Commissioner!!," composed of Captains of the Navy, subject to
appointment by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United
States. In the place of this Board, the law of

1812, Aug. 31, established the following Bureaus, to be attached to the Navy, Department :



ADMINISTRATION OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT. 205

ORGANIZATION OF 1842.

1 . A Bureau of Navy Yards and Docks.

2. A Bureau of Construction, Equipment, and Repair.

3. A Bureau of Provisions and Clothing.

4. A Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography.

5. A Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.

For the Chiefs of these Bureaus the law specified that a Captain in the Navy should be ap
pointed to the 1st and 4th ; a skilful Naval Constructor to the 2d ; a Surgeon in the Navy to the
5th ; and the 3d was left open, with a proviso that the incumbent should receive a salary of $3,000
per annum. In regard to the 2d, Secretary Upshur remarks : " In providing a Chief for
the Bureau of Construction, Equipment, and Repair, the alternative was between a Naval Captain
qualified to equip, and a Naval Constructor qualified to build and repair ;" and adds, "I did not
hesitate to prefer the former, and the place is filled by a member of the late Board of Navy Com
missioners."

An officer of this grade continued at the head of this Bureau, with a Naval Constructor and
Chief Engineer attached to the same, until the 1st of July, 1853, when a subsequent law took effect,
disqualifying a Captain for this position, and leaving it open for the Secretary of the Navy again to
select from any oilier grade or position, " a skilful Naval Constructor." The result has finally been
a selection of an old experienced Naval Constructor,

The 3d, or Bureau of Provisions and Clothing, was originally given to a Civilian, the former
Secretary of the Board of Navy Commissioners j and at his death, to a Captain in the Navy ; subse
quently to a Citizen ; and finally to a Purser in the Navy, who is the present incumbent.

"Two Bureaus, in a spirit of economy, having been merged into one, without altering the original wording of the bill con
templating a division into two, has created the legislation and change that has followed.



30



206



ADMINISTRATION OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT.



NAVIES, ARMIES, TONNAGE, AND PU13LIC DEBT



OF THE



PRINCIPAL NATIONS IN THE WORLD IN J851,



NATIONS.


Navy.


Number
of
Guna.


Total
number of
Vessels.


Tonnage.


Standing Army.


Public Debt.


GREAT BRITAIN


678
323
175*
340|
IGOf
15Gt
125
76
GG
GO
50
47
30
34
33
15
10
5
5


18,000
8,000
7,000
2,400
5GO
GOO
2,500
2,257
800
900
721
114
700
131
1,120
484
15
24
36


34,090
13,679
750


4,144,115
595,444


129,000
265,463
700,000
34,000
23,000


5,000,000,000
1,330,000,000
733,000,000

1,500,000
1,100,000,000
731,000,000

40,000,000
120,000,000
1,300,000,000
180,000,000
160,000,000
25,000,000
80,000
100,000,000
10,000,000
120,000,000
105,000,000
34,000,000


FRANCE


RUSSIA


SWEDEN


301,000
307,058
178,000
395,824
4,535,451


NORWAY


3,664


AUSTRIA ,


NETHERLANDS


1,693


50,000
8,000
220,000
38,000
160,000
121,000
38,000
8,900
20,000
48,000
12,000
19,000
90,000
l.fcOO


UNITED STATES


TURKEY




SARDINIA






SPAIN






PRUSSIA


977


133,658


PORTUGAL


G REECE


4,000
4,710
4,000
733
1,520
JG1
2SG


159,080
168,978
100,000
37,588
133,402
22,770
82,053


DENMARK


NAPLES t


TUSCANY


PAPAL STATES


BELGIUM


HAMBURG









The above table is the result of several statements that appear to be reliable, and is also added for reference.
Besides 440 Gun Boats.
(Including Gun Boats,



NUMBER AND TONNAGE OF VESSELS BUILT IN THE U. S. FROM 1815 TO 1850.



Dates.


Ships.


Brigs.


Schooners.


Sloops,
and Steamers.


TOTAL.












Canal Boats.


Vessels. Tonnage.


1815


13G


224


680


274


I 314


154,624


1820


21


60


301


152 534


47 784


1630


25


56


403


JIG 37


637


58,094


1840


97


109


378


224 C4


872


118,309


1850


247


117


519


290 159


1,300


272,218



Registered Tonnage for 1850 1,585,711 I Registered Tonnage for 1851 1,726,307

Enrolled and Licensed for 1830 1,949,743 | Enrolled and Licensed for 1851 2,046,132



3,535,454



3,772,439



ADMINISTRATION OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT.



207



STEAM MARINE OF THE UNITED STATES, JULY IST, 1851.



External Navigation and Tide Wafers.

625 vessels. 96 of which are Ocean Steamers;

67 Steam Screw Propellers, and

80 Steam Ferry Boats;
213 being high, and
410 low pressure boats.



Inland Navigation, Lakes, Rivers, Sfc.

765 vessels. 164 of which are Lake Steamers;

52 Steam Screw Propellers, and

43 Steam Ferry Boats.

The average tonnage of the Lake Steamers, 437; Ohio Ba
sin, 206, and Mississippi Valley, 273.



Total 1,390 Vessels; 113 Propellers; 123 Ferry Boats; 417,113 Tonnage; 29,377 Officers and crew; 39,203,696 Passengers

per annum.



HISTORICAL AND COMPARATIVE.

History informs us that vessels were built, fleets organized, and naval battles fought for the
supremacy of Empire six hundred years before our Saviour s advent upon earth.

Vessels, however, at this early period, and for the thousand years that followed, are represented
as open boats or undecked vessels, varying from one to fifty tons, the larger only fitted with a mast,
yard, and sail, which was used when the wind was fair; at other times they, like the smaller,
were propelled by oars and paddles; one of the latter usually serving in the place of the modern
rudder to guide or steer the vessel.

Without going farther back than our ancestors who peopled Albion during the Anglo Saxon
period, we find that vessels were then classed as "Ships," "Ceols," "Hulks," "Ascs,"and "Boats,"
which, to the number of several thousands, sometimes constituted the Navy of Great Britain. And
as early as A. D. 875, was commanded in person by King Alfred, the "Sailor King," who led to
victory against the Danes.

So early did Great Britain feel her supremacy upon the Ocean, (which to the present time she
has enjoyed with but few checks,) that Canute, "who was elected King by the fleet" in 1014, seat
ing himself upon the sea shore, and addressing the flowing tide with an air of authority, said : "Thou,
O sea, art subject to me, as is the land on which I sit; nor is there any one therein who dare resist
my commands."

Likewise, during the subsequent reign of King John, who is now, I believe, regarded as the
actual founder of the British Navy, this idea of supremacy was confirmed by a law, passed A. D.
1200, enjoining every ship that met the King s fleet at sea to lower her sails; a custom that has not
entirely gone out of fashion to this day.

During this period vessels were classed as "Great Ships," "Long Ships," "Galleys," "Sor-
necks," "Nasccllas, or Navaculas," "Passerettes," "Coqs," and "Barges." And although the larg
est of these in the English Navy had but one mast, it appears that, but nine years previous, King
Richard, while at the head of his fleet, and crossing the Mediterranean to Palestine, encountered.



208 ADMINISTRATION OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT.

captured, and sunk a large Turkish ship of three masts, whose enormous dimensions very much
excited the wonder and admiration of the English, some of whom called her a "Dromau," and
others a "Buss," and all agreed that she was not only a "marvellous ship," but the "dueen of
ships." And inasmuch as she is represented to have had on board 1500 souls, she must have ap
proached nearer to the size of modern built vessels than any that were constructed in England for
many years subsequent.

Of the varied changes that have since taken place in the size, construction, rig, and classifica
tion of vessels, it is not intended here to discuss nor exemplify, further than has been demonstrated
by these tables for a very brief period. Suffice it to say, that from the period last mentioned on to
the present, ships have gone on increasing in size and perfection; their batteries, or number and cali
bre of their guns, keeping pace with their increased dimensions, and their models varying to suit the
prevailing opinion of the age, until, by way of comparison, a line of battle ship at the present day
may be regarded as superior in force to any of the ancient fleets.

And yet it would be presumption in any of the present generation to suppose that we have yet
arrived at any thing like perfection in the art of ship building; for it will hardly be questioned, that,
during the comparatively brief period embraced in this compilation, in which we claim to have had
a Navy, the greatest changes in ship building have been witnessed; while those who regard
steam power as in its infancy, are looking forward to still greater changes in the next fifty years.
Already it is proposed to build a steam vessel in New York that shall be 500 feet long by 80 feet
beam, that will attain a speed of 30 miles per hour.



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Online LibraryGeorge Foster EmmonsThe navy of the United States, from the commencement, 1775 to 1853; with a brief history of each vessel's service and fate → online text (page 26 of 26)