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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Frolic

 

A gay occasion.

 

I

 

(SlpW: t. 509; l. 117'11"; b. 31'6"; dph. 14'6"; cpl. 170; a. 20 32-pdr. car., 2 12-pdr.)

 

The first Frolic, a sloop of war, was launched 11 September 1813 by Josiah Barker, Charleston, Mass.; and first put to sea 18 February 1814, Commander J. Bainbridge in command.

 

Frolic stood out of President Roads in Boston Harbor 18 February 1814 to cruise in the West Indies. On 29 March she destroyed a British merchantman, and later on the same day, she sank an unnamed privateer after a brief action. Another British merchantman was sent to the bottom on 3 April.

 

While in the Florida passage on 20 April 1814, Frolic encountered the frigate HMS Orpheus, 36 guns, and the schooner HMS Shelbourne, 12 guns. Wisely avoiding action with so powerful an enemy, Frolic beat away to southward, making for the coast of Cuba as the two British ships gave chase. For 6 hours her men labored to lighten their ship, cutting away the starboard anchor, and casting overboard the guns mounted on her port side, and small arms. Overtaken after 6 hours, Frolic was forced to bow to the superior British force when about 15 miles off Matanzas. She was taken into the Royal Navy as Florida, and in 1819 was broken up in England.