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Erie I (Sloop-of-War)

(Slp: t. 509; l. 117'11"; b. 31'6"; dph. 14'6"; cpl. 140; a. 218pdr., 20 32 pd car.)

One of the Great Lakes between the United States and Canada; counties in New York and Ohio; cities or towns in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, and Pennsylvania.


The first Erie, a sloop-of-war, was launched 3 November 1813 by Thomas Kemp, Baltimore, Md.; and first put to sea 20 March 1814, Commander C. G. Ridgeley in command.

Erie could not reach the open sea because of the large British force blockading Hampton Roads, and she returned to Baltimore 7 April 1814. She lay at Baltimore without a crew until early in 1815, and on 8 May sailed to Boston to join Commodore W. Bainbridge's squadron sailing for the Mediterranean 2 July. With peace concluded with Algiers before the squadron reached the area, the squadron returned to the United States, leaving Erie to cruise with the naval force assigned to protect commerce and guard against any further disturbance of peace by the Barbary Powers. She remained on station for 4 years, sailing from Gibraltar for home 27 November 1819. After calling at Madeira and in the West Indies, she reached New York 20 January 1820, and was laid up there for repairs for 3- years.

Lengthened to 122 feet and with her tonnage increased to 611 tons, Erie sailed from New York in November 1823 to serve in the Mediterranean until 1826. From 1827 to 1832, she was based at Pensacola, returning north to New York or Norfolk for necessary repairs. Erie patrolled in the West Indies and off the coast of Mexico, protecting American citizens and property, suppressing the slave trade, and convoying merchantmen.

After lying in ordinary at Boston from 21 August 1832 to 24 June 1834, Erie served on the Brazil Station for 3 years, as. flagship during the last two. During a period of revolution and other political disturbance, her squadron gave protection to Americans and their commerce, and provided vital intelligence concerning Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. She was again in ordinary at Boston from 15 September 1837 to 4 February 1838, and on 9 February sailed to cruise the Atlantic coast to aid any merchantmen she might find in distress. In July, she sailed to Pensacola to patrol the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico for 2 weeks, guarding American interests during the French blockade of Mexican ports.

Between July 1840 and February 1843, Erie was rebuilt at Boston, and converted into an armed storeship. She sailed for the Pacific 9 February, delivered supplies to ships on the Brazil Station en route, and reached Callao, Peru, 27 July. During a cruise to the Hawaiian and Society Islands between November 1843 and January 1844, she served as flagship, and in June 1844, she sailed for New York, arriving 10 November.

Erie crossed the Atlantic to supply the African Squadron, then repaired at New York, returning to the Pacific Station 18 November 1845. When the Mexican War opened, Erie was in the Hawaiian Islands, but she returned to the coasts of Mexico, California, and Panama in August 1846, to supply the fleet in its operations at sea and in landings. She participated in the occupation of Mazatlan 11 November 1847, and shortly thereafter sailed for the east coast, reaching New York 24 June 1848.

Erie set sail for the coast of Africa and the Mediterranean 15 September 1848 to deliver supplies to ships on those stations. She returned to New York 11 July 1849, and between 6 September 1849 and 12 September 1850, twice more voyaged to the Mediterranean with supplies. She was sold in New York 26 November 1850.


Fleet Collier No. 1 (later reclassified AR-4) was originally assigned the name Erie, but she was renamed Vestal (q.v.) prior to construction.

Published: Wed Jul 08 08:07:04 EDT 2015