United States

Nominal Guns44DANFS
NationalityUnited States of America
OperatorUnited States Navy
Keel Laid Down1796ref:740
First Commissioned11.7.1797ref:740
How acquiredPurpose builtDANFS
ShipyardPhiladelphia - Pennsylvania DANFS
Ship ClassUnited States ClassDANFS
Designed by Joshua Humphreys (1751-1838)DANFS
Constructor William Doughty (1773-1859)DANFS
CategoryFifth RateDANFS
Ship TypeFrigate DANFS
Sailing RigShip RiggedDANFS
Broken Up1862DANFS


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentDANFS
Length of Gundeck175' 0"US Feet53.34 
Breadth43' 6"US Feet13.1572 
Depth in Hold23' 6"US Feet7.0612 
Burthen1,576Tons BM 


1797Broadside Weight = 888 Imperial Pound ( 402.708 kg)DANFS
Upper Gun Deck32 American 24 Pounder
Quarterdeck16 American 42-Pounder Carronade
Forecastle8 American 42-Pounder Carronade

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
1797364 DANFS

5 Ship Commanders

11.7.1797 - 6.6.1801Captain John Barry (1745-1803)DANFS6.1810 - 4.1814Captain Stephen Decatur (1779-1820)DANFS1815 - 19.6.1819Captain John ShawDANFS1832 - 3.12.1832Captain John B Nicolson (d.1846)ref:8241841 - 1843Captain James Armstrong (1794-1868)B170

3 Commissioned Officers

5.1799 - 1799First Lieutenant Charles Stewart (d.1869)B0435.1799 - 1799Lieutenant Stephen Decatur (1779-1820)DANFS3.1813 - 23.7.1813First Lieutenant Lewis Warrington (1782-1851)W053

4 Warrant Officers

1802 - 20.11.1802Acting Master Ralph Izardref:11471802 - 20.11.1802Acting Carpenter Matthew Welchref:11471802 - 20.11.1802Acting Boatswain William Hunterref:11471802 - 20.11.1802Acting Gunner Thomas Decordyref:1147

3 Petty Officers

28.6.1798 - 13.6.1801Midshipman John Andrewsref:120310.4.1799 - 21.2.1801Midshipman Jacob Jones (1768-1850)DANFS1.5.1836 - 22.11.1838Midshipman George Henry Preble (1600-1885)B171

3 Marines

6.7.1799 - 15.12.1800Marine Private John Davis (c.1772-?)ref:11441.4.1800 - 15.12.1800Marine Private Mark Daniels (c.1776-?)ref:11449.7.1800 - 31.7.1801Marine Private James Aarons (c.1771-?)ref:1144

Service History

22.2.1797 John Barry (1745-1803) was apparently given a commission including an order to command the United States (unconfrimed)
13.7.1798Left for Maiden Voyage to Boston in company with Delaware (20)
26.7.1798Left Boston for the CaribbeanDANFS
21.8.1798Arrived at Bridgetown but left again after three hoursDANFS
22.8.1798Took the Privateer Le Sans Pareil (10) off Guadalope
4.9.1798Took the Privateer La Jalouse (8)
18.9.1798Entered the DelawareDANFS
17.10.1798Left for a cruise off the New England coastDANFS
30.10.1798Returned to the Delaware after a tempest had forced her southDANFS
30.10.1798Departed for the West Indies, where John Barry was to command as Commodore
3.2.1799Sank the French Privateer L'Amour de la Patrie (6) (6), taking fifty-eight prisoners
22.2.1799Exchanged his prisoners for Americans with the French at GuadaloupeDANFS
26.2.1799Chased the French privateer Le Democrate and her prize - retook the prize, but Democrat escaped
19.4.1799Left the Caribbean as convoy for thirty merchantmenDANFS
9.5.1799Arrived at PhiladelphiaB043
10.5.1799Arrived at New Castle, DelawareDANFS
6.7.1799Left New Castle for Hampton RoadsDANFS
22.7.1799Arrived at Hampton RoadsDANFS
13.8.1799Left Hampton Roads in company with Insurgent (36)
12.9.1799Anchored off Newport, Rhode IslandDANFS
3.11.1799Left for France with American Commissioners on boardDANFS
4.1800Returned to New YorkDANFS
3.4.1800Returned to PhiladelphiaB043
28.4.1801Arrived Chester, Pennsylvania after a short cruise in the CaribbeanDANFS
17.5.1801Moved to the fledgling Washington Navy yardDANFS
6.6.1801Laid up in ordinaryDANFS
10.6.1810Sailed to Norfolk, Virginia for refittingDANFS
6.1812Put to sea as part of Commodore John Rodgers' squadron
8.1812Returned to BostonDANFS
12.10.1812Left Boston as part of Commodore John Rodgers' squadron
15.10.1812Parted company and cruised independentlyDANFS
25.10.1812Fought and took Macedonian (38) (38) near Medeira
25.10.1812United States vs Macedonian
25.10.1812Took the Frigate Macedonian (38) in the Atlantic
4.12.1812Arrived in New York with her PrizeDANFS
24.5.1813Left New York in company with Macedonia (36) and Hornet (16)
1.6.1813Driven into New London, Connecticut by a powerful British squadron with Macedonian and HornetDANFS
3.9.1815Left Boston for the Mediterranean where she stayed for four yearsDANFS
9.6.1819Arrived in Hampton RoadsDANFS
19.6.1819Decommissioned and laid up at NorfolkDANFS
1824Recommisioned as part of the Pacific SquadronDANFS
1828Started extensive repairs at the Philadephia Naval YardDANFS
1830Placed in ordinary at the New York navy yardDANFS

In the Mediterranean

1833Became part of the Meditteranean squadron until 1838DANFS
1839Deployment with the Home Squadron until 1840DANFS
1841Underwent repairs at NorfolkDANFS
9.1.1842Left Hampton Roads to become the Flagship of the Pacific SquadronDANFS
17.8.1843In HonoluluDANFS
14.10.1844Placed in ordinary at BostonDANFS
18.8.1846Recommissioned into the African SquadronDANFS
24.2.1849Decommissioned and placed in ordinary at NorfolkDANFS
20.4.1861Captured by Confederate troopsDANFS
29.4.1861Commissioned as CSS United States (also known as Confederate States)DANFS
15.6.1861Ordered turned into a receiving ship and armed with 19 deck guns as harbour defence
5.1862Sunk as blockshipDANFS
5.1862Raised by Union troops and towed back into the yardDANFS
18.12.1865Ordered to be docked at Norfolk, VA and broken up

Notes on Ship

Letter from the Naval Department secretary, May 20th 1799B043
You are allowed, besides officers of Marines and 44 privates which will be supplied you by the Major of the Marine Corps, and your commissioned and petty officers, the latter of which you will appoint, not exceeding 300 men and boys exclusive of marines. Of this number you will recruit not exceeding 175 able seamen. It is our best policy to create seamen; therefore you will take as large a proportion of boys as can be found useful on board. If you increase the number of ordinary seamen and boys you will consequently lessen the number of able seamen, and I think it will be found for the good of the service if you do so. You will allow able seamen 17 dollars per month, ordinary seaman and boys from 5 to 14 dollars, according to merit, all to be entered to serve one year, to commence from the ship's first weighing anchor on a cruise. You will be careful not to enlist any but sound and healthy persons, and that no indirect or forcible means be used to induce them to enter into the service. No negroes or mulattoes are to be admitted, and as far as you can judge you will exclude all of a suspicious character


Previous comments on this page

Posted by Brian on Friday 11th of December 2015 23:25

From the Providence Gazette Feb. 16, 1799 page 2 - We have received by Capt. Usher of the Schooner Commerce, of Bristol, from St. Vincents, the following account: THat Capt. Barry, in the frigate United States, on or about the 11th of February attacked a French privateer brig. of 14 guns; and after three broadsides, sank her. By the exertions of the crew of the frigate, about sixty of the commissioned ?/Sans? pirates were saved. The frigate afterwards went into Barbados, to take charge of a convoy.

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