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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Princeton (I)


Screw Steamer:
  • Laid down, 20 October 1842, at Philadelphia Navy Yard under the supervision of CAPT. Robert F. Stockton
  • Launched, 5 September 1843
  • Commissioned USS Princeton, 9 September 1843, CAPT. Robert F. Stockton in command
  • First screw steam warship of the US Navy
  • Princeton made a trial trip in the Delaware River 12 October 1843
  • Departed Philadelphia 17 October for a sea trial
  • At New York she engaged in a speed contest with the British steamer Great Western
  • Final outfitting at Philadelphia, 20 October to 22 November 1843
  • Princeton sailed, 1 January 1844, for New York where she received her two big guns named “Peacemaker” and “Oregon”
  • During a demonstration for President Tyler on the Potomac River, 29 February 1845 "Peacemaker" exploded killing Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur; Secretary of the Navy Thomas Gilmer; Capt. Beverly Kennon, Chief of the Bureau of Construction, Equipment and Repairs; Rep. Virgil Maxey of Maryland; Rep. David Gardiner of New York; and a servant of the President. It also injured about twenty people, including Captain Stockton. A Court of Inquiry exonerated Capt. Stockton, his officers and crew of all blame in the matter.
  • Princeton was assigned to the Home Squadron from 1845 to 1847
  • From 17 August 1847 to 24 June 1849 Princeton served in the Mediterranean
  • Upon her return from Europe she was surveyed and condemned to be broken up at the Boston Navy Yard 17 July 1849
    Specifications:
    Displacement 954 t.
    Lengths 164'
    Beam 30' 6"
    Draft 17'
    Speed unknown
    Complement 166
    Armament
    twelve 42-pdr carronades
    two 12" shell guns
    Propulsion steam and sail
    two Merrick & Towne, Philadelphia, vibrating lever engines
    three hard coal fired tubular iron boilers, designed by John Ericsson
    single 14' six-bladed screw

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    Princeton 100k Lithograph of USS Princeton by N. Currier, New York, 1844
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 42371
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    Princeton 205k Line engraving from the "Illustrated London News", issue of 25 May 1844, depicting USS Princeton.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # LC-USZ62-8342.
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    Princeton 124k Colored lithograph, published by N. Currier, New York, 1844. It depicts the explosion of a heavy gun on board USS Princeton, in the Potomac River, which killed or mortally wounded seven and injured about twenty people. Some of those present are identified below the image, including (from left): Mr. Wilkins; Mr. Perrine; Lieutenant Hunt; Representative Virgil Maxcy, of Maryland; Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur; Captain Beverly Kennon, Chief of the Bureau of Construction, Equipment and Repair; Secretary of the Navy Thomas Gilmer; Captain Robert F. Stockton; Sailors; Senator Phelps and Senator Thomas Hart Benton. Maxcy, Upshur, Kennon and Gilmer were among those killed. Stockton and Benton were among the injured.
    Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C. .
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 58906-KN (Color)
    Naval History and Heritage Command

    USS Princeton (I)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 12 August 2011