Canonicus, a chief of the Narragansett Indians, befriended Roger Williams, and presented him with a large tract of land for the Rhode Island colony.
(CM: dp. 7,620; l. 405'1"; b. 48'3"; dr. 22'6"; s. 15 k.; cpl. 368; a. 1 5", 2 3"; cl. Canandaigua)
The second Canonicus (No. 1696) was launched 7 October 1899 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va., as El Cid; acquired 23 November 1917 from the Shipping Board; fitted out as a mine planter at Morse Dry Dock and Repair Co., Brooklyn, N.Y.; and commissioned as Canonicus 2 March 1918, Commander T. L. Johnson, USN, in command.
Canonicus cleared Newport, R.I., 12 May 1918 with Mine Squadron 1, bound for Inverness, Scotland. Arriving 27 May, she operated out of Inverness and Invergordon, Scotland, planting the mines of the North Sea barrage. This precise, demanding work continued through the close of the war, after which she returned to Hampton Roads, Va., 3 January 1919.
On 7 February 1919 Canonicus was assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force, and made three voyages between the east coast and France, returning 4,166 troops to the United States. Canonicus was decomissioned 7 August 1919, and returned to the Shipping Board for further transfer to her former owner.