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Otsego Herald

February 6, 2014

First steam warships

(Continued)

COMMENT: Those signing the petitions included many of the most distinguished American naval officers of the time, including Stephen Decatur (1779-1820) and Oliver Perry (1785-1819).

“A 2455-ton (1450 tons displacement) center-wheel steam battery, [she] was launched in late October 1814.... The ship was completed in 1815 as Fulton [the First], named in honor of her designer, who had died in February of that year. After running trials under steam power, she was delivered to the Navy in June 1816. Other than a single day of active service a year later, when she carried President James Monroe on a cruise in New York Harbor, Fulton was laid up or...employed as a floating barracks at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. She was destroyed by a gunpowder explosion on 4 June 1829.... She was the first steam-powered vessel built for the United States Navy.”

Although the “Fulton the First” had a single paddle-wheel at the center of the ship, subsequent paddle-wheel steam warships, with paddles on the sides, could not carry as many guns, and proved vulnerable to cannon-fire from their adversaries.

The first American warship using the modern screw propeller (as well as sails) was the USS Princeton (1843). One of her guns exploded on a cruise in 1844, killing Secretary of State Upshur, Secretary of the Navy Gilmer, and almost killing President John Tyler. Ironclad warships only began (in France) in the 1850s.

Refugee Relief

Utica Gazette: A sum exceeding 500 dollars has been raised in this village for the relief of the sufferers on the Niagara frontier.

COMMENT: This was one of a number of relief projects intended for those whose homes had been lost in the British burning of American towns along the Niagara River in late 1813, notably including Lewistown and Buffalo.

Where is Richard?

If RICHARD CARY, living 20 or 30 miles back of Albany, or in Otsego county, will write a letter directed to T. M. giving information of his place of residence, or call in person at No. 2 Beekman street, New-York, he will hear of something to his advantages. January 26, 1814.

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Otsego Herald
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    June 12, 2014

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