New Hampshire, 9th of the original colonies to enter the Union, ratified the Constitution 21 June 1788.
(SL: t. 2,633; l. 203’8”; b. 51’4”; a. 4 100–pdr. P.r., 6 9” D. sb.; cl. North Carolina)
Alabama, one of “nine ships to rate not less than 74 guns each” authorized by Congress 29 April 1816, was laid down by the Portsmouth Navy Yard, N.H., in June 1819, the year the State of Alabama was admitted to the Union. Though ready for launch by 1825, she remained on the stocks for preservation until needed during the Civil War. Renamed New Hampshire 28 October 1863, she was launched 23 April 1864, fitted out as a stores and depot ship of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron; and commissioned 13 May 1864, Commodore Henry K. Thatcher in command.
New Hampshire sailed from Portsmouth 15 June and relieved sister ship Vermont 29 July 1864 as store and depot ship at Port Royal, S.C., and served there through the end of the Civil War. She returned to Norfolk 8 June 1866, serving as a receiving ship there until 10 May 1876 when she sailed back to Port Royal. She resumed duty at Norfolk in 1881 but soon shifted to Newport, R.I. She became flagship of Commodore Stephen B. Luce’s newly formed Apprentice Training Squadron, marking the commencement of an effective apprentice training program for the Navy.
New Hampshire was towed from Newport to New London, Conn., in 1891 and was receiving ship there until decommissioned 5 June 1892. The following year she was loaned as a training ship for the New York State Naval Militia which was to furnish nearly a thousand officers and men to the Navy during the Spanish-American War.
New Hampshire was renamed Granite State 30 November 1904 to free the name New Hampshire for a newly authorized battleship. Stationed in the Hudson River, she continued training service throughout the years leading to World War I when State naval militia were practically the only trained and equipped men available to the Navy for immediate service. They were mustered into the Navy as National Naval Volunteers. Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels wrote in his Our Navy at War: “Never again will men dare riducule the Volunteer, the Reservist, the man who in a national crisis lays aside civilian duty to become a soldier or sailor—They fought well. They died well. They have left in deeds and words a record that will be an inspiration to unborn generations.”
Granite State served the New York State Militia until she caught fire and sank at her pier in the Hudson River 23 May 1921. Her hull was sold for salvage 19 August 1921 to the Mulholland Machinery Corp. Refloated in July 1922, she and was taken in tow to the Bay of Fundy. The towline parted during a storm, she again caught fire and sank off Half Way Rock in Massachusetts Bay.