An animal of the weasel family; to drive or hunt out of a hiding place, to extract.
(Sch: t. 148; l. 73'; b. 23'8"; dph. 7'6"; cpl. 64; a. 10 guns)
The first Ferret, a schooner, was built in 1804 at Norfolk Navy Yard; and commissioned 18 April 1809, Lieutenant C. Gadsden, Jr., in command.
Ferret's first cruise for which she sailed upon commissioning, was along the coast of the Carolinas and Georgia in enforcement of the Embargo of 1807. Rerigged as a brig and renamed Viper in 1810 at Washington Navy Yard, she sailed for New Orleans, continuing this duty after the opening of war with Great Britain in June 1812. She was captured about 50 miles off the coast of British Honduras 17 January 1813 by HMS Narcissus, a 32-gun frigate, and taken into New Providence, Bahamas.