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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Columbia (I)

  • Laid down, in 1825 as a ship-rigged sailing frigate at Washington Navy Yard
  • Not launched until 9 March 1836
  • Commissioned in 1838 as USS Columbia, LT. George A. Magruder in command
  • During Columbia's first cruise from May 1838 to June 1840 she rounded the Cape of Good Hope to become flagship of COMO. George C. Read in the East Indies
  • Returned to the US by way of Cape Horn, one of the first U.S. naval ships to circumnavigate the globe
  • Columbia served as flagship of the Home Squadron from January to May 1842
  • She served on the Brazil Station between July 1842 and February 1844
  • In the Mediterranean from May to December 1844
  • Columbia returned to the Brazil Station as flagship between November 1845 and October 1847
  • Placed in ordinary at Norfolk Navy Yard in October 1847
  • Reactivated in late 1854 to serve as flagship of the Home Squadron from January 1853 to March 1855
  • Columbia was at Norfolk at the outbreak of the Civil War where she was scuttled and burned by Union forces to avoid her capture by Confederates upon the surrender of Norfolk Navy Yard 21 April 1861
  • Final Disposition, after the war she was raised and sold at Norfolk 10 October 1867
    Displacement 1,726 t.
    Length 175'
    Beam 45'
    Depth of Hold 14' 4"
    Draft 22'
    Speed 23 kts.
    Complement 480
    four 8" guns
    eighteen 32-pdr guns
    twenty-two 42-pdr carronades
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Source
    Pennsylvania 155k Line engraving from Harper's Weekly, 1861 of Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA.. It depicts (from left to right) the ships:
    USS Pennsylvania,
    USS Columbia,
    USS Raritan and
    USS United States moored off the yard prior to their destruction on 20 April 1861.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo #: NH 59559
    Robert Hurst
    John Adams 47k An unattributed oil on canvas painting of the Bombardment of Muckie (Sumatra), 1 January 1839, by frigates USS Columbia ">USS John Adams during the Second Sumatran Expedition.
    Image from
    Robert Hurst
    371k Pen and ink illustration of USS Columbia, date and artist unknown.
    US Naval History and Heritge Command Photo # 55282, Courtesy of Geo. H. Stegmann
    Robert Hurst

    USS Columbia (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 18 June 2021