The first English colony in America and one of the original 13 states. Virginia ratified the constitution on 26 June 1788 to become the 10th state to enter the Union.
(Sch.: t. 187; 1. 50' on keel; b. 18'10"; dph. 8'6"; cpl. 70; a. 6 6-pdrs., 8 4-pdrs.)
The second Virginia—a schooner built in 1797 for the United States Revenue Cutter Service at Portsmouth, Va.—was transferred to the Navy for use in the undeclared naval war against France in the early summer of 1798; and was commissioned on 25 June, Capt. Francis Bright in command.
In August 1798, Virginia received orders to join the frigate Constitution off the eastern seaboard of the United States for operations against suspected French warships and merchantmen. She remained on this station until December, when she was assigned identical duty in the West Indies between St. Christopher Island and Puerto Rico as part of the squadron commanded by Commodore Thomas Truxtun. While helping to defend American interests in the Caribbean, Virginia, assisted by Richmond and Eagle, captured the armed French schooner Louis and her cargo on 26 April 1799. Despite this success, in the following June, the fragile vessel was declared unfit for further naval serv-vice and was returned to the Revenue Cutter Service.
(SL: t. 2,633; lbp. 197'1˝"; b. 53'; dph. 22'; cpl. 820; a. 74 guns; cl. North Carolina)
The next Virginia was one of nine, 74-gun warships authorized by Congress on 29 April 1816. She was laid down at the Boston Navy Yard, Mass., in May 1822; finished about 1825; and was kept on the stocks as naval policy and the expense involved discouraged launching or commissioning the "74s" except when the national interest clearly required it. Virginia remained on the stocks at Boston until she was broken up there starting in 1874.