Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Tags
Related Content
Topic
Document Type
  • nhhc-document-types:Themed-Collection
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
  • nhhc-file-format:image
Location of Archival Materials
  • nhhc-location-of-archival-materials:nhhc

USS Independence (1814-1913) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Independence (1814-1913) 

USS Independence (1814-1913), first ship-of-the-line commissioned in the U.S. Navy, launched on 22 June 1814 in the Boston Navy Yard, Mass. She immediately took on guns and was stationed with frigate Constitution to protect the approaches to Boston Harbor and remained there until the end of the war with Britain.

Wearing the broad pennant of Commodore William Bainbridge, and under command of Capt. William Crane, the warship led a squadron out from Boston on 3 July 1815, beginning her first overseas cruise. Proceeding to the Mediterranean, USS Independence (1814-1913) was intended to reinforce the squadron then serving under Capt. Stephen Decatur and engaged in preventing corsair attacks by the Barbary Powers against American merchant commerce.

USS Independence (1814-1913) remained in ordinary at Boston until 1836 when she was razed or cut down to one covered fighting deck with poop and forecastle. She was rated down to 54 guns as her configuration gave way to that of a very large frigate. She proved to be one of the fastest and most powerful "frigates" of the Navy. USS Independence (1814-1913) recommissioned on 26 March 1837, sailing from Boston on 20 May as the flagship of Commodore John B. Nicholson. George Dallas, Minister to Russia, sailed on board USS Independence (1814-1913) for her record passage across the Atlantic to England. She arrived at Portsmouth, England, on 13 June, called at Copenhagen; then proceeded into Cronstadt (Kronstadt), Russia, on 29 July 1837, to receive a visit from Emperor Nicholas I of Russia. Two days later a steamboat arrived to transport Dallas and his family to St. Petersburg.

USS Independence (1814-1913) returned north to New York on 30 March 1840. She was laid up in ordinary until 14 May 1842 when she became flagship of Commodore Charles Stewart in the Home Squadron. Basing at Boston and New York, she continued as his flagship until laid up in ordinary on 3 December 1849. USS Independence (1814-1913) recommissioned on 4 August 1846 and the Nation was at war with Mexico as she departed Boston on 29 August 1846 for the coast of California. USS Independence (1814-1913) recommissioned on 4 September 1854 and sailed from New York on 10 October to serve as flagship of the Pacific Squadron under Commodore William Mervine. She arrived at Valparaiso, Chile, on 2 February 1855. Her cruising grounds ranged northward to San Francisco and west to the Hawaiian Islands.

USS Independence (1814-1913) did not leave the Mare Island Navy Yard until 28 November 1914. Sold to John H. Rinder, she was towed to the Union Iron Works, San Francisco. On 5 March 1915 she shifted to Hunter's Point, and remained there for a week. Some repairs were made and a plan formulated to use her as a restaurant for the Panama-Pacific Exposition, though it never came to pass. Pig iron and ballast were later removed from her hold and valuable hard wood salvaged from her orlop deck knees. On the night of 20 September 1919, USS Independence (1814-1913) was burned on the Hunter's Point mud flats to recover her metal fittings.

For a complete history of USS Independence (1814-1913) please see its DANFS page.