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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Epervier

  • Built, date and location unknown
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Captured, 29 April 1814, off Cape Canaveral, FL., by the US Navy sloop-of-war USS Peacock
  • Following repairs at Savannah, HMS Epervier was taken into the US Navy, commissioned USS Epervier and assigned to th Mediterranean Squadron whose mission was to stop the harassment of American shipping by the Dey of Algiers
  • Epervier joined with USS Guerriere, USS Constellation, and USS Ontario in capturing the 46-gun frigate Mashuda
  • Final Disposition, consequent to the signing of a treaty with the Dey of Algiers, Commodore Decatur chose Epervier, LT. John T. Shubrick in command, to bear a copy of the treaty, prisoners and soldiers returning to the United States and some captured flags. She sailed through the Straits of Gibraltar on 14 July 1815 and was never heard from again. She may have encountered a hurricane reported in the Atlantic on 9 August 1815. She remains today one of the fascinating mysteries in the annals of the sea.
    Displacement 447 t.
    Length 100'
    Beam 30' 6"
    Draft 12' 9"
    Speed unknown
    Complement 128
    sixteen 32 pdrs
    two 18 pdrs
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Guerriere 111k COMO.. Stephen Decatur squadron off Algiers comprised of the frigates;
    USF Guerriere, the flagship with 44 guns, commanded by Captain William Lewis,
    USF Constellation with 36 guns, commanded by Captain Charles Gordon;
    USF Macedonia with 38 guns, under the command of Captain Jacob Jones;
    the sloops-of-war USS Epervier, commanded by Captain John Downes,
    and USS Ontario with 16 guns, commanded by Captain Jesse D. Elliott;
    the brigs USS Firefly,
    USS Spark and
    USS Flambeau, each with 14 guns, commanded by Lieutenants George W. Kodgers, Thomas Gamble, and John B. Nicholson;
    and the schooners USS Torch
    and USS Spitfire, both with 12 guns, commanded by Lieutenants Wolcott Chauncey and Alexander J. Dallas.
    Gardner Weld Allen (1856-1944) - "Our Navy and the Barbary Corsairs".
    Tommy Trampp
    Peacock 150k Woodcut issued at Boston in 1836 depicting the sloop-of-war USS Peacock engaging the British brig HMS Epervier, 29 April 1814. Tommy Trampp
    Peacock 89k USS Epervier in distress. Epervier is shown smashing up on rocks on her return trip from Algiers with prisoners and soldiers from the United States war with Algiers in 1815. She may have encountered a hurricane reported in the Atlantic on 9 August 1815. In all, she was carrying 132 sailors and 2 marines. The Print shows a music sheet cover entitled The lost ship - a ballad / J.B.N.; John Bufford's, Lith. Boston: Oliver Ditson & Co., 277 Washington St., circa 1859.
    US Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, digital ID cph.3a50727
    Robert Hurst

    USS Epervier
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 19 April 2019