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Constitution

2402
Old Ironsides
Nominal Guns44DANFS
NationalityUnited States of America
OperatorUnited States Navy
Ordered27.3.1794ref:740
Keel Laid Down1796ref:740
Launched21.10.1797DANFS
First Commissioned7.1798ref:740
How acquiredPurpose builtDANFS
ShipyardBoston - Massachusetts DANFS
Ship ClassUnited States Class (1796)DANFS
Designed by
Joshua HumphreysAmerican
Designer
Ship Builder
Service 1751
DANFS
Constructor
George ClaghornAmerican
Ship Builder
Service 1748
DANFS
CategoryFifth RateDANFS
Ship TypeFrigateDANFS
Sailing RigShip RiggedDANFS
Still in Existance21.10.1797DANFS

Dimensions


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentDANFS
Length of Gundeck174' 10"Imperial Feet53.0352 
Length of Keel145' 0"Imperial Feet44.196 
Breadth43' 6"Imperial Feet13.1572 
Depth in Hold14' 3"Imperial Feet4.2863 
Draught Aft23' 0"Imperial Feet7.0104 
Burthen1,576Tons BM 

Armament


1798Broadside Weight = 588 Imperial Pound ( 266.658 kg)DANFS
Upper Gun Deck30 American 24 Pounder
Spardeck16 American 18 Pounder
Spardeck14 American 12-Pounder

8.1812Broadside Weight = 881 Imperial Pound ( 399.5335 kg)DANFS
Upper Gun Deck30 American 24 Pounder
Spardeck32 American 32-Pounder Carronade
Spardeck1 American 18 Pound Carronade

12.1812Broadside Weight = 616 Imperial Pound ( 279.356 kg)DANFS
Upper Gun Deck30 American 24 Pounder
Spardeck16 American 32-Pounder Carronade

12.1815Broadside Weight = 704 Imperial Pound ( 319.264 kg)DANFS
Upper Gun Deck30 American 24 Pounder
Stern Chaser2 American 24 Pounder
Spardeck20 American 32-Pounder Carronade

Crew Complement


Date# of MenNotesSource
1798360Establishment?DANFS
12.1815377Actual?

25 Ship Commanders


DatesRankNameSource
22.7.1798 - 5.6.1799Captain
Samuel NicholsonAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1746-1811
5.6.1799 - 8.9.1801Captain
Silas TalbotAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1749-1813
8.9.1801 - 14.4.1802Lieutenant
Isaac HullAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1815
30.6.1802 - 13.5.1803Master
Nathaniel HaradenAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1777-1877
1803 - 1804Acting Captain
Thomas RobinsonAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1750-1850
B052
14.5.1803 - 28.10.1804Commodore
Edward PrebleAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1761-1807
ref:234
28.10.1804 - 9.11.1804Captain
Stephen DecaturAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1820
DANFS
9.11.1804 - 30.5.1806Captain
John RodgersAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1837
30.5.1806 - 8.12.1807Captain
Hugh George CampbellAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1770-1820
20.2.1809 - 17.6.1810Captain
John RodgersAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1837
17.6.1810 - 15.9.1812Captain
Isaac HullAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1815
15.9.1812 - 18.7.1813Captain
William BainbridgeAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1827
DANFS
18.7.1813 - 16.7.1815Captain
Charles StewartAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1842
31.4.1821 - 5.12.1825Captain
Jacob JonesAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1799-1826
31.3.1824 - 14.10.1825Captain
Thomas MacdonoughAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1770-1804
14.10.1825 - 5.12.1825Captain
Daniel Todd PattersonAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1800-1832
23.1.1826 - 21.2.1826Captain
George Campbell ReadAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1804-1862
21.2.1826 - 19.7.1828Captain
Daniel Todd PattersonAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1800-1832
3.3.1835 - 18.8.1838Captain
Jesse Duncan ElliottAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1774-1845
1.3.1839 - 8.11.1841Captain
Daniel David TurnerAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1794-1850
DANFS
15.7.1842 - 16.2.1742/43Captain
Foxhall Alexander ParkerAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1783-1883
13.12.1843 - 5.10.1846Captain
John PercivalAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1784-1862
9.10.1848 - 4.9.1849Captain
John GwinnAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1786-1848
18.9.1849 - 16.1.1851Captain
Thomas Anderson ConoverAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1782-1864
18.9.1849Lieutenant
James H BrownAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1799-1899

8 Commissioned Officers


DatesRankNameSource
3.1798 - 8.9.1801First Lieutenant
Isaac HullAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1815
E-WIKI
22.7.1798 - 5.1798Lieutenant
Edward PrebleAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1761-1807
ref:234
1803 - 1804Lieutenant
Charles GordonAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1769-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Lieutenant
Joseph TarbellAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1768-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Lieutenant
Samuel ElbertAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1804
B052
1812First Lieutenant
Charles MorrisAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1799-1841
1812Lieutenant
George Campbell ReadAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1804-1862
1812 - 29.12.1812Lieutenant
John C AlwynAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1782-1812
W005

11 Warrant Officers


DatesRankNameSource
c.1.3.1799 - c.27.8.1800Chaplain
William AustinAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1799-1800
Resigned
ref:1203
1803 - 1804Surgeon's Mate
Patrick SimmsAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1801-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Surgeon
James WellsAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1799-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Master
Nathaniel HaradenAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1777-1877
ref:1132
1803 - 1804Purser
Noadiah MorrisAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1801-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Chaplain
Peter LeonardAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1801-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Boatswain
John N CannonAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1803-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Gunner
William SweenyAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1803-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Sailmaker
Isaac SteelAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1803-1804
B052
1812Master
John C AlwynAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1782-1812
W005
1821Surgeon
George S SprostonAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1783-1883
USNR-1821

16 Petty Officers


DatesRatingNameSource
15.7.1798 - 31.5.1802Acting Midshipman
Lewis AlexisAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1827
ref:1203
1800Master's Mate
Humphrey AldenAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1800
ref:1203
1.6.1802 - 1804Midshipman
Lewis AlexisAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1827
B052
1803 - 1804Midshipman
Charles G RidgelyAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1769-1869
B052
1803 - 1804Midshipman
Daniel S DexterAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1777-1877
B052
1803 - 1804Midshipman
Alexander LawsAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1800-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Midshipman
Henry P CaseyAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1800-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Midshipman
John M HaswellAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1800-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Midshipman
Joseph IsraelAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1801-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Midshipman
William LewisAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1777-1877
B052
1803 - 1804Midshipman
Francis C HallAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1803-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Midshipman
Leonard HunnewellAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1803-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Midshipman
Joseph NicholsonAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1779-1879
B052
1803 - 1804Acting Midshipman
John ThompsonAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1762-1814
B052
1803 - 1804Master's Mate
Hethcote J ReedAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1801-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Master's Mate
David DeaconAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1769-1804
B052

5 Marines


DatesRankNameSource
1800Marine Lieutenant
William ArmoryAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1750-1850
W051
1800Marine Captain
Daniel CarmickAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1768-1816
W051
1803 - 1804Marine Lieutenant
Robert GreenleafAmerican
Marine
Service 1801-1804
B052
1803 - 1804Marine Captain
John HallAmerican
Marine
Service 1801-1804
B052
1812 - 19.8.1812Marine Lieutenant
William S BushAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1762-1812

Service History


DateEventSource
22.7.1798First sea trip commencesDANFS
30.6.1802In ordinary, BostonDANFS
1807In ordinary, New YorkDANFS
19.8.1812Constitution vs Guerriere
19.8.1812Took the Frigate
Guerriere (38) 1806-1812
British 38 Gun
5th Rate Frigate

29.12.1812Constitution vs Java
29.12.1812Took the Frigate
Java (38) 1811-1812
British 38 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
off the coast of Brazil

14.2.1814Took the Sloop
Pictou (16) 1813-1814
British 16 Gun
Unrated Sloop
taken and burnt

20.2.1815Action of 1815-02-20
20.2.1815Took the Post Ship
Cyane (22) 1806-1815
British 22 Gun
6th Rate Post Ship
off Madiera
TRN4
20.2.1815Took the Post Ship
Levant (20) 1813-1820
British 20 Gun
6th Rate Post Ship
off Madiera
TRN4
1816In ordinary, BostonDANFS
1821Service in the MediterranianDANFS
1828In ordinary, BostonDANFS
1835Flagship Mediterranian squadronDANFS
1839Flagship Pacific squadronDANFS


Fleets

DatesFleetFleet CommanderSource
1803-1804American Mediterranean Squadron 1803-1804
Edward PrebleAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1761-1807
 
1804-1805American Mediterranean Squadron 1804-1805
Samuel BarronAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1749-1810
 
1805-1806American Mediterranean Squadron 1805-1806
John RodgersAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1837
 

 

Previous comments on this page

Posted by Brian Stephens on Tuesday 1st of April 2014 18:14

United States Frigate, Constitution,
off Boston Light, Aug. 30. 1812 - Rhode Island Gazette

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that on the 19th inst. at 2, P.M. being in latitude 40: 42, and longitude 55 : 48, with the Constitution under my command, a sail was discovered from the mast-head bearing E by S or E. S. E. but at such a distance we could not tell what she was. All sail was instantly made in chase, and soon found we came up with her. At 3, P.M. could plainly see that she was a ship on the star board track under easy sail, close on a wind; at half past 3, P.M. made her out to be a frigate; continued the chase until we were within about three miles, when I ordered the light sails taken in, the courses hauled up, and the ship cleared for action. At this time the chase had backed his main top-sail, waiting for us to come down. As soon as the Constitution was ready for action, I bore down with an intention to bring him to close action immediately, but on our coming within gun shot, she gave us a broad side and filled away, and wore, giving us a broad side on the other tract, but without effect; her shot falling short. She continued wearing and maneuvering for about three quarters of an hour, to get a raking position, but finding she could not, bore up, and run under her top-sails and jib, with the wind on the quarter. I immediately made sail to bring the ship up with her, and 5 minutes before 6, P.M. being alongside, within half pistol shot, we commenced a heavy fire from all our guns, double shotted with round and grape, and so well directed were they, and so warmly kept up, that in 15 minutes his mizen-mast went by the board and his main-yard in ths s???ings and the hull, rigging and sails were very much torn to pieces. The fire was kept up with equal warmth for 15 minutes longer when his main-mast and fore-mast went, taking with them every spar, except the bowsprit; on seeing this we ceased firing, so that in thirty minutes after we got fairly alongside the enemy, she surrendered, and had not a spar standing, and her hull above and below water so shattered, that a few more broadsides must have carried her down. After informing you that so fine a ship as the Guerriere, commanded by an able and experienced officer, had been totally dismasted, and otherwise cut to pieces, so as to make her not worth towing to port. In a short space of thirty minutes you have no doubt of the gallantry and good conduct of the officers, and ships company, I have the honour to command; it only remains with me to assure you that they all fought with great bravery; and it gives me pleasure to say, that from the smallest boy in the ship to the oldest seaman, not a look of fear was seen.











They all went into action giving three cheers, and requesting to be laid close along side the enemy. Enclosed, I have the honour to send you a list of killed and wounded on board the Constitution, and report the damages she sustained, also a list of killed and wounded on board the enemy, with his quarter bill, &c. I have the honour to be, with very great respect, Sir, your obedient servant.
Isaac Hull.

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