(Fr: l. 148'; b. 37'5"; dr. 11'9"; a. 24 12-pdrs., 2 18-pdrs., 8 long 6-pdrs., 4 36-pdrs., 2 24-pdrs.; cpl. 340)
One who is engaged in an uprising against an existing government.
Insurgent, formerly the French frigate L'Insurgente, was captured by Constellation, Captain Thomas Truxtun in command, after a chase and battle of an hour and a quarter off the island of Nevis in the West Indies 9 February 1799. The battle was exceptionally well-fought under Truxtun's able leadership and remains one of the most famous in naval history. Considered a prize in the quasi-war with France, the frigate was refitted for service in the West Indies and cruised under Lt. John Rodgers in company with Constellation until May 1799.
Ordered back to the United States, Insurgent was purchased by the Navy for $84,500. Commissioned with Captain Alexander Murray in command, Insurgent sailed from Hampton Roads for Europe 14 August 1799. Cruising in European waters during the winter of 1799-1800, the frigate captured French ship Vendemaire and recaptured the American ships Margaret, Angora, Commerce, and William, and Mary. Insurgent returned to the United States in March 1800 via the West Indies.
Patrick Fletcher assumed command of Insurgent 29 April 1800 and was ordered to cruise between the West Indies and the American coast to see that United States shipping rights were observed and to capture any enemy vessels he encountered. Insurgent departed Baltimore 22 July and after a brief stop at Hampton Roads sailed for her station 8 August 1800. Never heard from again, the frigate and her crew were presumed lost as a result of the severe storm which struck the West Indies 20 September 1800.