Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Idaho I (Steam Sloop)

(Ship: dp. 3,241; l. 298'; b. 44'6"; dr. 16'; s. 15 k.; a. 8 guns)

The 43d State of the Union, admitted in 1890.


The first Idaho was launched as a wooden steam sloop 8 October 1864 by George Steers of New York. Her twin-screw machinery was of a novel design by B. N. Dickerson and was built by Morgan Iron Works. She was completed in 1866 but upon trials in May was found to be far slower than the contract speed of 15 knots, having been in commission between 2 April and 26 May under the command of Captain John L. Worden. A board of Naval Officers recommended her rejection, but Dickerson appealed to Congress and obtained a resolution in February 1867 for her purchase by the Navy. She was subsequently converted to a full-rigged sailing ship at New York and recommissioned 3 October 1867, Lt. Edward Hooker in command.

The converted Idaho was one of the fastest sailing ships of her day, and sailed 1 November 1867 for Rio de Janeiro. From there she continued the long voyage tothe Far East, arriving Nagasaki 18 May 1868. The ship remained there for 15 months as a store and hospital ship for the Asiatic Squadron.

In mid-August 1869 Idaho moved to Yokohama to prepare for the long voyage back to the United States, and soon afterward, 20 September, she got underway for San Francisco. Next day, however, the ship was hit by a raging typhoon. Her masts were carried away and her hull was severely damaged, but the stout ship stayed afloat and was brought back to Yokohama by her crew. Little more than a hulk, the gallant Idaho remained in the harbor until decommissioning 31 December 1873. She was sold in 1874 to East Indies Trading Co.

Published: Tue Jul 21 12:15:50 EDT 2015