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USS Adams(I)

  • Laid down in 1797 at New York City by John Jackson and William Sheffield
  • Launched, 8 June 1799
  • Commissioned, USS Adams, date unknown, CAPT. Richard Valentine Morris in command
  • Adams departed New York in mid-September 1799 and headed for the West Indies to protect American shipping from attacks by French privateers
  • Arriving at Saint Christopher on 10 October she soon began cruising nearby waters in search of French men of war and any prizes which had been captured French ships
  • Later in the month, Adams recaptured the brig Zylpha and assisted Insurgent in taking a 4-gun French privateer and freeing an English brig and a schooner from Boston
  • On 12 November 1799, Adams assisted Insurgent in recapturing the 14-gun English brig Margaret
  • On 15 November Adams and Insurgent took the French privateer Le Onze Vendmiaire and on the 20th they liberated the schooner Nancy
  • On 10 January 1800, Adams and USS Eagle took French schooner La Fougeuse
  • Late in the month, Adams recaptured the schooner Alpha
  • In February she took two French schooners, L'Heureuse Rencontre and Isabella
  • In March she freed the sloop Nonpareil and she did the same for the schooner Priscilla in April
  • In May 1800 Adams recaptured an unidentified schooner and teamed up with Insurgent in freeing a British letter of marque, she also recaptured another schooner named Nancy, one called Grinder, and an unidentified brig while capturing the brig Dove and the schooner Renomme
  • Adams returned to New York in July 1800, but early in the fall headed back to the Caribbean under the command of CAPT. Thomas Robinson
  • Assigned to patrol and escort duty she only managed to recapture the British schooner Grendin
  • Ordered home on 23 March she was laid up at New York
  • Adams was reactivated in the spring of 1802 under the command of CAPT. Hugh George Canfield
  • She departed for the Mediterranean, 10 June 1802, arriving at Gibraltar, 22 July and remained in that port blockading the Tripolitan cruiser Meshuda
  • On 8 April 1803 she joined the rest of COMO. Morris' squadron in operations off Tripoli
  • Adams sailed for home 25 September and was placed in ordinary Washington Navy Yard in November 1803
  • Reactivated under command of CAPT. Alexander Murray in July 1805, Adams cruised along the coast of the United States from New York to Florida protecting American commerce
  • In the autumn of the following year she was again laid up at Washington
  • Reactivated in 1809 to enforce the Embargo Act and again placed in ordinary later that year
  • She remained inactive from 1809 to August 1811 when she became the receiving ship at the Washington Navy Yard
  • In June 1812, Adams was cut in half amidships and lengthened 15 feet in the course of being completely rebuilt as a sloop-of-war
  • Commanded by CAPT. Charles Morris, she was ready for action by the end of 1812
  • Blockaded by British warships in the Chesapeake Bay she finally managed to slip out to sea, 18 January 1814
  • Adams cruised in the eastern Atlantic and along the African coast and took five merchantmen prizes before putting in at Savannah, GA., in April
  • Under way again in May 1814, she headed for the Newfoundland Banks and ultimately sailed eastward to waters off the British Isles
  • During that cruise, she took five more merchant ships, chased two more into the Shannon River, and barely managed to escape from a much larger British warship
  • Near the end of her homeward passage, she ran aground on the isle of Haute, 17 August 1814, and suffered serious damage
  • Adams was refloated and despite heavy leaking made it into the Penobscot River and reached Hampden, Maine
  • Final Disposition. on 3 September 1814, she was scuttled and set ablaze to prevent capture by a large and powerful British squadron 
    Displacement 530 t.
    Length 113'
    Beam 34'
    Depth of Hold 10'9"
    Speed unknown
    Complement 220
    twenty-four 12-pdrs
    four 9-pdrs
    Propulsion sail

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    USS Adams (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 14 April 2017