U. S. Grant I (Revenue Cutter)
Two ships have carried the name U. S. Grant while serving in the U.S. Navy. For the biography of Ulysses S. Grant, see Ulysses S. Grant (SSBN-631).
(Revenue Cutter: tonnage 263; 1ength 163'; beam 25'; speed 10 knots; complement 39; armament 4 guns)
U. S. Grant (frequently identified simply as Grant) was a wooden-hulled, screw, steam, revenue cutter built in 1870 and 1871 at Wilmington, Del., by the Pusey & Jones Corp. The cutter was assigned to the New York station on 19 January 1872 with Capt. George R. Slicer, USRCS, in command.
For the next two decades, U. S. Grant operated off the east coast from Block Island Sound to the mouth of the Delaware River. She was withdrawn from this duty on 29 September 1893 to be refitted for duty in the Pacific. She departed New York on 6 December, bound for Port Townsend, Wash. En route, the revenue cutter called at Barbados; Bahia, Brazil; Montevideo, Uruguay; Valparaiso, Chile; Callao, Peru; San Diego and San Francisco, Calif., and arrived at Port Townsend on 23 April 1894, ending a voyage of 73 days and 20 hours.
In the ensuing years, U. S. Grant operated out of Port Townsend, protecting the salmon fisheries and, when necessary, extending assistance to ships of the Bering Sea whaling fleet. She continued her peacetime routine in the Pacific Northwest into the late 1890's.
Arriving at San Francisco on 7 April 1898, U. S. Grant was placed under Navy control four days later, on 11 April, as the United States girded for war with Spain. Retaining her revenue cutter crew, the ship operated under Navy aegis as a unit of the Naval Auxiliary Service through July. Returned to the Treasury Department on 16 August 1898, U. S. Grant resumed her peacetime activities, patrolling the same northwest Pacific coastlines of Washington and Alaska which she had covered during her brief wartime naval service.
On 23 January 1906, the Pacific Mail Line steamer Valencia became stranded off Cape Beale Light, near Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Of the 164 people on board, 126 perished in the tragedy. U. S. Grant assisted in operations to recover the bodies of the victims and later transported them to Seattle.
U. S. Grant conducted her last cruise in the summer of 1906, patrolling the salmon fisheries off the Washington coast in the vicinity of Point Wallace, Wash. Subsequently taken out of service, the revenue cutter was sold on 28 November 1906 to A. A. Cragin, of Seattle, Washington.
Updated, Robert J. Cressman
10 February 2021