USS Hornet (1805-1829)

USS Hornet, a 441-ton brig-sloop built at Baltimore, Maryland, was commissioned in October 1805. She operated along the U.S. Atlantic coast and in the Mediterranean until decommissioned in late 1807. Recommissioned a year later, she again cruised in U.S. waters and took dispatches to Europe. In 1811 Hornet was converted to a ship-sloop at the Washington Navy Yard, D.C..

Hornet rendered conspicuous service during the War of 1812. Early in the conflict she served with Commodore John Rodgers' squadron, capturing the privateer Dolphin in July 1812. Later in the year she blockaded the British sloop of war Bonne Citoyenne at Bahia, Brazil, and on 24 February 1813 defeated and sank HMS Peacock. For much of the rest of 1813 and most of 1814 Hornet was in port at New London, Connecticut, unable to leave in the face of superior British forces offshore. However, she got to sea in mid-November 1814 and sailed to the south Atlantic. On 23 March 1815, off Tristan da Cunha island, USS Hornet captured the British sloop Penguin, one of several actions between the U.S. and Royal Navies that took place after the War of 1812 had formally ended, but before all ships at sea had learned of the settlement.

In 1818-1819 Hornet operated in the West Indies and the Mediterranean. She participated in the anti-piracy campaign in the Caribbean during the 1820s, capturing one pirate schooner off Santo Domingo in late October 1821. While off Tampico, Mexico, on 29 September 1829, USS Hornet was dismasted in a gale and sank with her entire complement.

This page features, and provides links to, all the views we have related to USS Hornet (1805-1829).

For other images concerning USS Hornet, see:

  • USS Hornet sinks HMS Peacock, 24 February 1813
  • USS Hornet captures HMS Penguin, 23 March 1815

    Click on the photograph to display a larger image.

    Photo #: NH 53414

    U.S. Brig Hornet

    Rigged model, made circa 1812.
    Hornet was converted from brig to ship rig in 1811.

    Courtesy of the Anderson Galleries, New York.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

    Online Image: 84KB; 740 x 640 pixels<

    Photo #: NH 42072

    USS Hornet blockading HMS Bonne Citoyenne

    Artwork depicting USS Hornet (foreground) off São Salvador (Bahia), Brazil, with the British sloop of war Bonne Citoyenne blockaded inside the harbor, circa 13 December 1812 - 24 January 1813. Hornet's Commanding Officer, James Lawrence, had challenged the enemy warship to a single-ship action, but Bonne Citoyenne, which carried a significant amount of money, declined the offer.
    The original was in a journal kept by William H. Macy of a whaling voyage to the Pacific Ocean in the ship Potomac, 1841-1845.

    Courtesy of Charles H. Taylor, 1936.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

    Online Image: 103KB; 740 x 545 pixels<

    Photo #: NH 42074

    USS Hornet pursued by HMS Cornwallis, 28 April 1815

    Artwork depicting the British 74 gun ship Cornwallis (at left) chasing the U.S. sloop of war Hornet in the South Atlantic, as the latter's crew throws overboard spare spars, guns and other items in an effort to increase her speed.
    The text below the image is reproduced in Photo # NH 42074 (extended caption).

    Courtesy of Mr. Beverly R. Robinson, March 1937.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

    Online Image: 120KB; 740 x 595 pixels<

    Photo #: NH 53416

    USS Hornet

    Lithograph by Imbert, published in "The Sailors Magazine" March 1830. It depicts Hornet foundering off Tampico, Mexico, on 29 September 1829.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

    Online Image: 185KB; 740 x 510 pixels<

    Photo #: NH 86236

    U.S. Ship Hornet
    (1805-1829), at top, and
    U.S. Schooner Grampus (1821-1843)

    Sketches of hulls and rigging (with the latter out of scale to the hulls), by William A.K. Martin, circa 1843 or later.
    Both vessels, which were lost at sea with all hands, are depicted flying their National Ensigns upside down, a sign of distress.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

    Online Image: 96KB; 740 x 600 pixels<


    For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

    To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.

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