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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Chesapeake (I)


Frigate:
  • Built at Gosport Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA. between 1794 and 1800
  • Launched, 2 December 1799
  • Commissioned USS Chesapeake, 22 May 1800, CAPT. Samuel Barron in command
  • Chesapeake sailed from Norfolk, 5 June 1800 to patrol against enemy cruisers and privateers in the West Indies
  • Placed in ordinary, 26 February 1801, at Norfolk
  • Reactivated in April 1802, Chesapeake was assigned to the Mediterranean Squadron to protect American shipping from the Barbary pirates, departed the Mediterranean, 6 April 1803, arriving at Norfolk to be laid up in ordinary
  • Chesapeake departed Hampton Road, 22 June 1807 and encountered HMS Leopard seeking British deserters among the Chesapeake crew
  • USS Chesapeake's commanding officer refused the British request to muster his crew for inspection by the British
  • Leopard fired upon the unprepared Chesapeake resulting in 3 American seamen killed and 18 wounded
  • Chesapeake struck her colors and Leopard took off four supposed deserters
  • Late in 1812 USS Chesapeake sailed for the West Indies capturing and taking as prizes a number of British merchantmen
  • Chesapeake having returned to the US again set sail in May 1813
  • HMS Shannon had challenged USS Chesapeake to a ship to ship duel
  • USS Chesapeake encountered HMS Shannon outside Boston Harbor, 1 June 1813, where the more experienced Shannon bested Chesapeake in the bloodiest naval battle of the War of 1812
  • Chesapeake was sold at auction to a private buyer in Plymouth, England and broken up
    Specifications:
    Displacement 1,244 t.
    Length 152' 8"
    Beam 41' 3"
    Depth 20' 1"
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement 340
    Armament
    thirty 19-pdrs
    twelve 32-pdrs
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    Chesapeake 94k Painting by F. Muller, circa the early 1900s of USS Chesapeake. Courtesy of the US Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # 59556-KN.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Chesapeake 107k Fully rigged model built by Arthur Cheney, circa 1932, of USS Chesapeake based on original plans in the Josiah Fox Collection of Mr. Ernest J. Wesson. Courtesy of Dr. Eugene H. Pool.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # 55212.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Chesapeake 91k Sketch by Fred S. Cozzens, of the action between USS Chesapeake and HMS Leopard, 22 June 1807. copied from his 1897 book "Our Navy -- Its Growth and Achievements". It depicts Leopard, at right, firing on Chesapeake to enforce a demand that she submit to a search of her crew for British Navy deserters
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # 74526.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Chesapeake 86k The crew of USS Chesapeake prepares to fire her only cannon shot during the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair in 1807.
    Image from "The Naval History of the United States", by Willis J Abbott, Volume 1, Part II, Chapter IX. Author has signed drawing but name is illegible at this resolution. Author not credited elsewhere in book. Courtesy Peter Fenelon Colliern
    Robert Hurst
    Chesapeake 118k "USS Chesapeake" by F. Muller
    In 1807 HMS Leopard fired on USS Chesapeake killing and wounding 24 men. The British removed four sailors from her, claiming they were subjects of their king. The incident, a major irritant to U.S.-British relations was a factor in the outbreak of the War of 1812.
    Navy Art Collection
    Chesapeake 165k "Action between USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon", 1 June 1813.
    Colored lithograph by L. Haghe, after a painting by J.C. Schetky based on a design by Captain R.H. King, RN. Published by Smith, Elder & Company, London, in 1830. This print depicts the commencement of the action, between USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon with the two frigates exchanging gunfire at close range.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # 63177-KN. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland. Beverly R. Robinson Collection.
    Robert Hurst
    Chesapeake 164k "Action between USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon", 1 June 1813.
    Colored lithograph by L. Haghe, after a painting by J.C. Schetky based on a design by Captain R.H. King, RN. Published by Smith, Elder & Company, London, in 1830. This print depicts the scene soon after the action began, with USS Chesapeake "crippled and thrown into utter disorder" by HMS Shannon's first two broadsides.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # 63179-KN. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland. Beverly R. Robinson Collection.
    Robert Hurst
    Chesapeake 154k "Action between USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon", 1 June 1813.
    Colored lithograph by L. Haghe, after a painting by J.C. Schetky based on a design by Captain R.H. King, RN. Published by Smith, Elder & Company, London, in 1830. This print depicts HMS Shannon "carrying by boarding" USS Chesapeake" after a cannonade of five minutes.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # 63178-KN. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland. Beverly R. Robinson Collection.
    Robert Hurst
    Chesapeake 138k "Action between USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon", 1 June 1813.
    Artwork depicting the two frigates, USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon, exchanging gunfire early in the battle, which took place off Boston, Massachusetts.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # 42907. Courtesy of Mr. Beverly R. Robinson, March 1937.
    Robert Hurst
    Chesapeake 127k Oil painting of the "Engagement between U.S. Frigate Chesapeake and His Britannic Majesty's Frigate Shannon, off Boston, Massachusetts",
    1 June 1813 depicting USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon exchanging broadsides early in the action. Note the "A Free Trade - Sailors Rights" flag flown from Chesapeake's forepeak.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # 1996. Collection of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936.
    Robert Hurst
    Chesapeake 122k "Engagement between U.S. Frigate Chesapeake and His Britannic Majesty's Frigate Shannon, off Boston, Massachusetts", 1 June 1813.
    Aquatint by Jeakes after a painting by Thomas Whitcombe, published 1 May 1814 by Hassell and Rickards, London. Dedicated by the publishers to Lord Melville, First Lord of the Admiralty. The print depicts the boarding and capture of USS Chesapeake by HNS Shannon's crew. Note the "A Free Trade and Sailors Rights" flag flown from Chesapeake's forepeak.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # 42905. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland. Beverly R. Robinson Collection, March 1937.
    Robert Hurst
    Chesapeake 120k "Engagement between USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon, 1 June 1813."
    Aquatint by Jeakes after a painting by Thomas Whitcombe, published 1 May 1814 by Hassell and Rickards, London. Dedicated by the publishers to Lord Melville, First Lord of the Admiralty. The print depicts the boarding and capture of Chesapeake by Shannon's crew. Note the "A Free Trade and Sailors Rights" flag flown from Chesapeake's forepeak.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 42905. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland. Beverly R. Robinson Collection, March 1937.
    Robert Hurst
    Chesapeake 155k "Engagement between USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon, 1 June 1813."
    Aquatint by Joseph Jeakes, after a painting by G. Webster made under the direction of Captain Falkner, late Lieutenant of the Shannon during the action.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 55248-KN (color). Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland. Beverly R. Robinson Collection, March 1937.
    Robert Hurst
    Chesapeake 175k "Engagement between USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon, 1 June 1813."
    Print published by R. Dodd, London, August 1813. It depicts Chesapeake at the moment of striking her flag to Shannon.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 43128. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C. Eberstadt Collection.
    Robert Hurst
    Chesapeake 140k Sketch of Captain Philip Broke RN of the HMS Shannon leading British Marines onto USS Chesapeake and capturing the US ship. From "The War of 1812" by Diana Childress. Tommy Trampp
    Chesapeake 171k Colored lithograph by M. Dubourg, after a drawing by [Charles?] Heath., of the engagement between the American Navy frigate USS Chesapeake and the Royal Navy frigate HMS Shannon, 1 June 1813, off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada. The officers and crew of Shannon, commanded by CAPT. Philip Broke, are shown boarding and capturing Chesapeake.
    Naval History & Heritage Command photo # NH 65811-KN. Currently at Washington Navy Yard, District of Columbia. First published in England, ca. 1813.
    Robert Hurst
    Chesapeake 2673k "British valour and Yankee boasting or, Shannon versus Chesapeake" by George Cruikshank(1792-1872). Cartoon shows a British boarding party routing the crew of USS Chesapeake; in a matter of minutes the crew was subdued and the British flag hoisted. The Americans are portrayed as hapless and cowardly, 1 September 1813.
    United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3g05918
    Robert Hurst
    Chesapeake 220k A depiction of the Royal Navy frigate HMS Shannon leading the captured American frigate USS Chesapeake into Halifax Harbor, Nova Scotia, Canada, in June 1814. Inscribed in the lower border of the print "Painted by L. Haghe. Design by Capt. R. H. King RN (with a dedication to Capt. Broke) Tommy Trampp
    Chesapeake 143k Flag of USS Chesapeake which was purchased at an auction in London for $4,250.00 by Mr. William Waldorf Astor in 1908 and presented to the United Service Institution of Great Britain. It was displayed in their museum at Whitehall, London, 1 January 1914. It now resides in the National Maritime Museum, in Greenwich, England, along with her signal book. The Maritime Museum of The Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia, holds other artifacts from the battle including the mess kettle, and an officers chest from Chesapeake.
    US Naval Historical Center photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Chesapeake 56k Two gravestones for the casualties of USS Chesapeake (left) and HMS Shannon (right) in Halifax, Nova Scotia,Canada.
    Image taken by Hantsheroes (real name unknown), 23 March 2012.
    Robert Hurst
    Chesapeake 366k One of the 18 pounder guns from USS Chesapeake mounted beside Province House, Nova Scotia.
    Photo taken by Louperivois (real name unknown), 5 August 2005.
    Robert Hurst
    Chesapeake 161k Chesapeake Mill, Wickham, Hampshire, England, 29 May 2006. Photo taken by Richard Thomas. Chesapeake water mill was designed and constructed in 1820 using the timbers of HMS Chesapeake (ex-USS Chesapeake). John Prior paid 500 (20,960,00 in 2005 money) for the timbers sold at Portsmouth Naval Dockyard. The interior of the mill was designed around the dimensions of the deck beams. The mill remained in operation until 1976 and now serves as a retail center for antique and gift sellers. It is a Grade II* listed building. Robert Hurst

    USS Chesapeake (I)
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    Last Updated 26 May 2017