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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Enterprise (III)

  • Built in 1799 by Henry Spencer, Baltimore, MD.
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Placed under the command of LT. John Shaw.
  • USS Enterprise departed for service in the Caribbean, 17 December 1799, to protect US merchantmen from French privateers
  • During the Quasi-War with France Enterprise captured eight privateers and liberated eleven American merchantmen from captivity
  • Enterprise joined the Mediterranean Squadron in the summer of 1801
    Defeated the Tripolian corsair Tripoli, 1 August 1801, west of Malta
    Captured Tunisian ship Paulina, 17 January 1803
    Ran a 30-ton craft ashore on the coast of Tripoli, 22 May 1803
    Participated in the bombardment of the coast of Tripoli during June 1803
    Joined frigate USF Constitution in capture of Tripolian ketch Mastico which was refitted and renamed USS Intrepid
    Intrepid would serve Enterprise's captain LT. Stephen Decatur as the ship he sailed into the harbor at Tripoli to burn the captured USF Philadelphia, 16 February 1804
    Enterprise continued to patrol the Barbary Coast until July 1804 when she joined the rest of the squadron in general attacks on the city of Tripoli during a period of several weeks
    During the winter of 1804 Enterprise was at Venice being refurbished
    Enterprise rejoined the squadron in July 1805 resuming patrol and convoy duty until August 1807
  • Enterprise returned to US waters late in 1807 and cruised the Atlantic coast into June 1809
  • Returned to the Mediterranean for a brief tour and was laid up at New York
  • Repaired at the Washington Navy Yard, USS Enterprise recommissioned in April 1811 for service along the southern coast
  • Hauled out of the water, 2 October 1811, at Washington Navy Yard for repair and rerigging as a brig
  • During the War of 1812 Enterprise cruised along the east coast the first year
  • Enterprise captured HMS Boxer, 5 September 1813, both commanding officers were killed during the action
    At Portland, Maine, where Enterprise took Boxer a common funeral was held for LT. William Burrows, Enterprise, and CAPT. Samuel Blyth, Boxer
  • Repaired at Portland, Enterprise sailed for the Caribbean taking three prizes before being forced to flee by a superior enemy ship
  • From 9 March 1814 to the end of the war Enterprise served as guard ship off Charleston, S.C.
  • Enterprise joined the Mediterranean squadron from July to November 1815
  • From November 1817 until July 1823 Enterprise sailed the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, suppressing pirates, smugglers, and slaves; taking thirteen prizes along the way
  • Final Disposition, Enterprise stranded and broke up on Little Curacao Island in the West Indies without loss of any crewmembers
    Displacement 135 t.
    Length 84' 7"
    Beam 22' 6"
    Depth of Hold 10'
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement 70
    twelve 6-pdr guns
    Propulsion sail
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    Size Image Description Source
    Enterprise III 353k Painting by unknown artist depicting USS Enterprise in her first action and victory in the Mediterranean, 1 August 1801, off Malta against the Tripolian corsair Tripoli.
    "History of the US Navy", by James M. Morris
    Tommy Trampp
    Enterpirse III 362k USS Enterprise capturing the Tripolian corsair Tripoli off Malta 1 August 1801. From a drawing (circa 1878) by CAPT. William Bainbridge Hoff, US Navy.
    Photo from the US National Archives.
    Bill Gonyo
    Argus 129k Bombardment of Tripoli, 3 August 1804
    Oil by Michael Felice Corne, depicting Commodore Edward Preble's squadron engaging the Tripolian gunboats and fortifications during the afternoon of 3 August 1804. U.S. Navy vessels shown in the foreground are, from left to right:
    schooner USS Enterprise,
    schooner USS Nautilus,
    brig USS Argus,
    brig USS Syren,
    schooner USS Vixen,
    mortar boat Dent,
    gunboat Somers,
    frigate USS Constitution (Preble's flagship),
    mortar boat Robinson, and
    gunboat Blake.
    Attacking the enemy flotilla in the center background are LT.Stephen Decatur's three gunboats and a gunboat commanded by LT. James Decatur, who was killed in this action.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 65536-KN. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Enterprise III 507k USS Enterprise engaging and capturing the 12-gun gun-brig HMS Boxer, near Portland, Maine in September 1813.
    Image taken from the pages of the book Twenty-Six Historic Ships, by Fredrick Hill, 1903.
    Robert Hurst
    112k Print by George G.Smith (1795-1878) engraver George Girdler Smith of the United States squadron under Com. Bainbridge returning triumphant from the Mediterranean in 1815, The print shows the American squadron at sea, includes, on the left;
    USS Macedonian (I),
    USS Firefly (I),
    USS Torch,
    USS Boxer (I), at center,
    USS Independence,
    USS USS Spark (I),
    USS Saranac (I),
    USS Enterprise (III),
    USS Lynx (i), and on the right,
    USS Congress (III)
    USS Chippewa (II),
    USS Spitfire (III) and
    USS Flambeau.
    United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3a47975
    Robert Hurst
    Pennsylvania 110k Warships of the sailing navy. Chromolithograph by Armstrong & Company, after an 1893 watercolor by Fred S. Cozzens, published in Our Navy -- Its Growth and Achievements, 1897. Ships depicted are from different eras, and are identified by the artist as (from left to right): U.S. Brig (Schooner) Enterprise (1799-1823), firing a salute; U.S. Ship of the Line Pennsylvania (1837-1861); U.S. Ship of the Line North Carolina (1825-1867), mis-labeled by the artist as South Carolina; and U.S. Brig Hornet (1805-1829). The vessel under sail in the far center distance is not identified. Collection of Captain Glenn Howell, USN, 1974.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo #: NH 460-KN (Color)
    Robert Hurst
    Philadelphia 34k Johnston Blakely commanded USS Enterprise during the capture of the Tripolian corsair Tripoli off Malta 1 August 1801. Image courtesy of North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Raleigh, N.C. Bill Gonyo

    USS Enterprise (III)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 13 May 2022