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Augusta I (Brig)

(Brig: cpl. 100; a. 10 6-pdrs., 4 other guns)

A city on the eastern border of Georgia located about half way between Savannah and the North Carolina border. Augusta is the seat of government for Richmond County.

A city in southwestern Maine on the Kennebec River. It is both the state capital and the seat of government for Kennebec County.

The first, third, and fourth Augustas were named for the city in Georgia while the fifth was named for the capital of Maine.


The first Augusta, a brig purchased by the Navy on 30 June 1799 at Norfolk, Va., was fitted out at Marcus Hook, Pa., by the Naval Constructor Joshua Humphreys and was placed in commission sometime late in 1799, Lt. Archibald McElroy in command.

In December, she put to sea in company with a convoy bound for the Caribbean, arrived in the West Indies by early 1800, and began cruising in search of French vessels operating there. On 21 January 1800, the brig and her consort, Herald, encountered and captured the 6-gun privateer schooner La Mutine off Puerto Rico. Later that spring, she cruised the coast of what is now Haiti operating against the French in conjunction with the forces under Toussaint L'Ouverture.

June 1800 was her most active month. On the 3d, the brig fell in with two French schooners, La Jeanne and La Victoire, off Jacmel. She captured both vessels and sent them into port to be adjudicated by a prize court. On 24 June, while cruising in company with the frigate Boston, Augusta joined her larger colleague in capturing L'Espoir and sent the prize into Boston, Mass., for adjudication by an admiralty court.

Her last captures in the undeclared war with France came on 28 July 1800 near the town of Aux Cayes (now known more often as simply Cayes, Haiti). In cooperation with Toussaint L'Ouverture's schooner General Dessalines, Augusta sent boat crews into the bay to cut out two French brigs, the names of which have not survived. The expedition succeeded, and the two brigs were sent into port. Thereafter, she continued to cruise West Indian waters in search of French vessels, but apparently made no further captures. No date is known for her return to the United States; however, she was laid up in Norfolk by mid-March 1801. She was sold later that year, probably sometime between 1 April and 30 June.

Published: Wed Feb 01 09:59:00 EST 2023