Type and Characteristics - Heavy sailing frigate, one of six authorized (along with USS Constitution) by Congress 27 March 1794, built by Humphrey's Shipyard at Philadelphia, launched 10 May 1797, commissioned 11 July 1797, 1,576 tons, 175ft long x 43ft 6in beam x 23ft 6in draft, 11kts, armed with 32 long 24pdr cannon and 24-42pdr carronades, 400-600 crew, first commanded by Captain John Barry.

Log Period and Areas of Service - 1841-44, Pacific Squadron.

Summary of Service, c1841-44

1841 - Repaired at Norfolk, VA.

January 1842 - Appointed flagship, Pacific Squadron.

9 January 1842 - Departed Hampton Roads for the Pacific via Cape Horn.

17 August 1843 - Honolulu, Hawaii. Herman Melville, future author of Moby Dick, enlisted as an ordinary seaman.

1844 - Returned to United States.

14 October 1844 - Placed out of commission at Boston

Fate: Decommissioned at Norfolk, 24 February 1849. Left to rot until 20 April 1861 when the Navy Yard was captured by Confederate forces. The unburned hull was pumped out and she was commissioned as the CSS United States or Confederate States. Fitted out as a receiving and harbour defence ship, she was scuttled in the Elizabeth River, Va when the Navy Yard was abandoned in May 1862. The now USS United States, was raised, towed to the Yard and stayed there until March 1864 when the decision was taken to break her up. The work was delayed until late 1865.


United States 1

US Pacific Squadron 1842-43, USS United States on left

United States 3

Battle between USS United States and HMS Macedonian on 30 October 1812, leading to the latter's capture and service in the US Navy

A general note on the sources.