Return to DANFS IndexImage of an anchorReturn to Naval Historical Center homepage
flag banner
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships banner
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Oneida

 

Counties in Idaho, New York and Wisconsin. Name originates from an Iroquoian Indian tribe (Oneida) living in New York state and its environs.

 

I

 

(Brig: 16 guns)

 

U. S. Brig Oneida was built at Oswego, New York 1808–09, under contract awarded by her first commanding officer, Lieutenant M. T. Woolsey, to Henry Eckford and Christian Bergh. Although her displacement was 243 tons by carpenter’s measurement, her draft could compare with a sloop of 80 tons. This enabled her to enter the rivers feeding Lake Ontario without fear of grounding. She was delivered by the contractors in the spring of 1809, but was not equipped and sent upon the lake until the fall of 1810.

 

Oneida operated principally from Sacketts Harbor, N. Y. not far from the commencement of the St. Lawrence, while the British port of Kingston lay nearly opposite in Canada.

 

On 5 June 1812, Oneida captured the British schooner Lord Nelson, while enforcing the Embargo Law. On 19 July, the British squadron sailed on Sacketts Harbor where Onedia and her prize were anchored. After failing to gain the open lake, Oneida anchored again near a bank in a position to rake the harbor entrance. She mounted the guns from her off side ashore and presented a full battery. After an exchange of cannonade, of two hours duration, the British squadron broke off the engagement and sailed for Kingston, Canada.

 

On 8 November, Oneida, flying the broad pennant of Commodore Issac Chauncey, sailed from Sacketts Harbor to intercept British ships conveying supplies to the Army at Kingston. HMS Royal George was sighted and chased into the Bay of Quinte and lost sight of during the night. Sighted again the following morning, the chase was resumed. Oneida brought up the rear of the squadron to allow the heavy guns of her schooners to open way for a close attack. Royal George cut her mooring cables and attempted to make further headway up the channel, finally making fast to a wharf under the protection of troop muskets. Royal George suffered extensive damage and Oneida had some damage aloft with one seaman killed and three wounded, but a gale ended the engagement and the Americans returned to Sacketts Harbor.

 

On 25 April 1813, along with other ships of the American squadron Oneida set sail from Sacketts Harbor and arrived off York, Canada on 27 April with troops under General Pike embarked. Boats were hoisted out and within two hours the brigade was ashore and soon captured York despite the loss of General Pike. On the night of 26 May she again embarked troops and artillery and set sail with the squadron for Fort George, Canada. A landing was made about 9 a.m. on 27 May and by noon the town and fort were taken.

 

Oneida made a second unopposed landing at York on 27 July liberating prisoners and seizing provisions. On 31 July 1814, Oneida made for the Niagara River to blockade British ships anchored there. She was assisted by the brig Jefferson and the schooner Sylph while the remainder of the American Squadron blockaded Kingston. The blockade was lifted in September 1914 and Oneida returned to Sacketts Harbor. Ice closed the lake in November and peace was declared the following month.

 

Oneida was sold 15 May 1815, but afterwards was repurchased by the Navy; laid up at Sacketts Harbor, and finally sold in 1825.