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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

Continental Navy Sloop Hornet (I)

  • A merchant sloop chartered from Captain William Stone in December 1775 to serve under Stone as a unit of Esek Hopkins' Fleet
  • Fitted out at Baltimore, then sailed with Hopkins fleet 18 February 1776
  • Outside the Virginia Capes, she ran afoul of HMS Fly and was unable to accompany the fleet for the amphibious assault on New Providence
  • Hornet patrolled in the Delaware Bay for nearly a year
  • Then ran the British blockade to convoy merchantmen to Charleston
  • Documents of service are incomplete after this time but it appears that Hornet fell into British hands on the coast of South Carolina in the summer of 1777
    Displacement unknown
    Length unknown
    Beam unknown
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    Armament ten 9-pdrs
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Hornet - A large, strong wasp whose sting is severe (NS020869a). Hornets are the largest of the eusocial wasps, and are similar in appearance to their close relatives yellowjackets (wasps native to North America—e.g., baldfaced hornets—are commonly refered to as hornets but are actually yellowjackets). Hornets aggresively guard their nesting sites when threatened and their stings are more painful and dangerous to humans than typical wasp stings, as their venom contains a large amount of acetylcholine; moreover, individual hornets can sting repeteadly.
    Tommy Trampp
    Hornet (I) 168k Copy of detail from the portrait of Captain William Stone of the British flagged merchant sloop Hornet. Owned by J. William Middendorf Jr., Ruxton Maryland 1944. Original painter Mr. Charles Wilson Peale, copy painter Mrs. Florence Whitehill.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 53412
    Robert Hurst
    Hornet (I) 257k Detail of portrait by Charles Wilson Peale of the British flagged sloop Hornet's captain William Stone. Note: dirt on the painting obscures parts of mainsail and flag aft. Traces of red and white stripes on the field of the flag do not show up in the photo.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 53413, courtesy of J. William Middendorf Jr., Ruxton Maryland 1944.
    Robert Hurst

    Hornet (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 18 December 2020