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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Spark (I)

  • Built as a privateer in 1813 at Sag Harbor, Long Island, N.Y.
  • Purchased by the Navy at Baltimore in 1814 for service in the war with England
  • However, the war ended before the brig could get to sea for active service against the Royal Navy
  • Spark, commanded by LT. Thomas Gamble, departed New York, 20 May 1815, and sailed for the Mediterranean joining Commodore Stephen Decatur's squadron against pirates of Algiers
  • The Brig reached Gibraltar, 15 June 1815 and, two days later, helped in operations resulting in the capture of the Algerian flagship, Mashuda, near Cape de Gatt
  • Spark along with Epervier, Torch, and Spitfire ran Estedio ashore where she was boarded and captured, 19 June 1815
  • Spark sailed for home, 6 October 1815, in a squadron commanded by Commodore William Bainbridge reaching Newport, R.I., 15 November and was laid up for repairs
  • Recommissioned, 1 July 1816, the Brig sailed again for the Mediterranean on 6 September carrying a letter from the President of the United States for the Dey of Algiers and orders appointing Commodore Isaac Chauncey and Consul-General Shalter commissioners to negotiate for peace
  • In the autumn of 1821, Spark, LT. John H. Elton, in command, departed Boston for the Caribbean for operations against pirates
  • In January 1822, she captured a Dutch sloop and brought her and seven pirates to Charleston, S.C., for trial. She returned to the Caribbean and spent over three years suppressing buccaneers
  • Sparkreturned home in 1825 and was sold at New York in 1826
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 310 t.
    Length 103'
    Beam 25' 4"
    Draft unknown
    Depth of Hold 12' 8"
    Speed unknown
    Complement 90
    ten 18-pdr carronades
    two long18-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 Eperyie, 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

    USS Spark (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 24 July 2015