Any of several small gregarious toothed whales (genus Phocaena)
(Sch: t. 177; l. 86’; b. 24’7”; dph. 10’4”; a. 12 6-pdr.; cl. Porpoise)
The first Porpoise, a topsail schooner, was built in 1820 at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H. Schooners Alligator, Dolphin, and Shark were her sister ships.
She first cruised in the West Indies in 1821–1823, Lt. James Ramage in command, hunting pirates.
Cruising the West African coast in 1824–25, the schooner engaged in the suppression of the slave trade. Late in 1825 she returned to the United States and, under Comdr. Foxhall A. Parker, cruised off the Northeast coast.
Porpoise cruised the Mediterranean from 1826 until 1830 under the command of Lts. Benjamin Cooper, John H. Bell, and Thomas M. Newell successively. Returning to the West Indies in 1830, she sailed under Lts. John Percival, James Armstrong, and James McIntosh.
While cruising in the West Indies in 1833 under the command of Lt. William Taylor, Porpoise was wrecked on a reef off Point Lizardo.