Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.


NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USF Essex (I)


Frigate:
  • Built, date unknown, by Enos Briggs, Salem, MA
  • Launched, 30 September 1799
  • Commission, US Frigate Essex, circa 17 December 1799, CAPT. Edward Preble in command
  • First US man-of-war to double the Cape of Good Hope, in March and August 1800
  • Essex, CAPT. William Bainbridge in command, sailed to the Mediterranean to protect American trade and seamen from the Barbary Powers
  • Repaired at Washington Navy Yard in 1802, Essex, CAPT. James Barron in command, resumed her duties in the Mediterranean until the conclusion of peace terms in 1806
  • Placed in ordinary from July 1806 to February 1809 at Washington Navy Yard
  • Recommissioned, February 1809 to patrol American waters
  • During the War of 1812 Essex, CAPT. David Porter in command, successfully conducted combat operations against the British seizing numerous enemy prizes which included HMS Alert on 13 August 1812
  • Forced to surrender in the harbor at Valparaiso, Chile in February 1814 after engaging the British frigates HMS Phoebe and HMS Cherub
  • Repaired by the British and sent to England
  • Ex-Essex served as British prison ship at Kingston, Jamaica from 1833 to 1837
  • Sold at public auction in 1837
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Specifications:
    Displacement 850 t.
    Length on Gun Deck 141.5'
    Beam 37'8"
    Draft unknown
    Depth 12' 3"
    Speed unknown
    Complement 228
    Armament
    twenty-six 12-pdrs
    ten 6-pdrs
    Propulsion sail

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Essex (I) 911k Plan of the United States Frigate Essex.
    From On-line Journal of Research one Irish Maritime History
    Robert Hurst
    Essex (I) 305k Pen and ink sketch of the US Frigate Essex, 1799.
    From "The History Of American Sailing Ships", by Howard Irving Chapelle, Bonanza Books, New York.
    Robert Hurst
    Essex (I) 172k Pen and ink perspective drawn by Henry Rusk of the US Frigate Essex, 1799.
    From "The History Of American Sailing Ships", by Howard Irving Chapelle, Bonanza Books, New York.
    Robert Hurst
    Essex (I) 826k Plan of the US Frigate Essex as redrawn from the plan in the United States Navy files. Stern reconstructed. Extent of gangways in deck arrangement uncertain. Plan shows the vessel as originally built in 1797. Drawn by Howard Irving Chapelle.
    From "The History Of American Sailing Ships", by Howard Irving Chapelle, Bonanza Books, New York.
    Robert Hurst
    Essex (I) 369k Contemporary water color ship portrait of USF Essex by Joseph Howard. Tommy Trampp
    Essex (I) 277k US Frigate Essex capturing HMS Alert, 13 August 1812. From "Our Country in War" by Murat Halstead (1898). Robert Hurst
    Essex (I) 440k USF Essex and her prizes in Massachusetts Bay, Nooaheevah Island.
    Image from "The Pictorial Field Book of the War of 1812", by Benson Lossing.
    Robert Hurst
    Essex (I) 287k Image of the Battle of Valparaiso between USS Essex and the British frigate HMS Phoebe and the sloop HMS Cherub, 28 March 1814. Image from "The Pictorial Field Book of the War of 1812" by Benson Lossing. Robert Hurst
    Essex (I) 604k An undated image of the prison hulk Essex (formerly USF Essex) at Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire), Ireland. The former Royal Navy frigate Essex arrived at Cork to serve as prison ship in October 1823, and, between 1824 and 1834 served at Kingstown, as floating prison and detention center for convicts awaiting transportation to Australia.
    From On-line Journal of Research one Irish Maritime History
    Robert Hurst
    Essex (I) 78k Model of US Frigate Essex Courtesy by ModelShipMaster.com. Tommy Trampp

    USF Essex (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Old Navy" Steam and Sail Index
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 13 January 2017