(Constitution, written principles of government of the United States of America)


Constitution 2

Passing through the Panama Canal in 1932 with tug lashed alongside

Type and Characteristics - Heavy sailing frigate, one of six authorized (along with USS United States) by Congress, approved 27 March 1794, built at Edmund Hartt's Shipyard, Boston, MA, laid down 1 November 1794, launched 21 October 1797, put to sea 23 July 1798, 2,200 tons, 175ft long x 43ft 6in beam x 14ft 3in draft, 13kts, armed with 30-24pdr cannon, 16-18pdr carronades and 10-12pdr cannon, 450 crew, first commanded by Captain Samuel Nicholson.

Log Period and Areas of Service - 1826-81 (some years and months missing), 1931-32, including Mediterranean Squadron, South Pacific Squadron, Home Squadron.

Summary of Service, c1826-81 & 1931-32

1828 - Returned to Boston after period as Flagship, Mediterranean Squadron.

1830 - Surveyed and found unseaworthy, set aside for sale or scrapping, but rescinded because of public pressure.

1833 - Reconstruction begun at Boston.

1835 - Recommissioned.

August 1835 - Started 3-year tour as Mediterranean Squadron flagship.

1839-41 - Flagship, South Pacific Squadron.

1842-43 - Flagship, Home Squadron.

1844-46 - Began 30-month circumnavigation.

1848-50 - Flagship, Mediterranean Squadron.

1851 - Decommissioned.

1852-1855 - West African coast anti-slavery patrols.

1855-60 - Decommissioned.

August 1860 - Took up duties as midshipman training ship at Annapolis.

1861-65 - During Civil War, continued training duties at Newport, RI.

1871 - Decommissioned. Later started rebuild at Philadelphia.

1877 - Recommissioned to carry goods to the Paris Exposition. Then returned to training duties, cruising from West Indies to Nova Scotia.

1882 - Decommissioned.

1884 - Towed to Portsmouth, NH to serve as receiving ship.

1897 - In Boston for her Centennial year. Decommissioned.

1905 - Saved from scrapping by public demand, and partly restored as national museum.

1925 - Plans for complete renovation started.

1 July 1931 - Recommissioned. Next day, started tour of 90 US ports along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts.

May 1934 - Returned to Boston Harbor.

Fate: Still in commission in Boston.

Links: DANFS, USS Constitution in the War of 1812


A general note on the sources.