Plymouth I (Sloop-of-War)
(SlpW.: t. 189; lbp. 147'; b. 38'1"; dph. 17'2"; a. 4 8- shell guns, 18 32-pdrs.)
A town in Massachussetts on Plymouth Bay, 18 miles southeast of Brockton; founded by the Pilgrims in 1620.
The first Plymouth, a sloop-of-war built by the Boston Navy Yard, departed Boston 3 April 1844 for the Mediterranean, Comdr. Henry Henry in command. After over a year in European waters, she sailed westward and arrived at New York, 4 October 1846. Following service on the east coast, Plymouth departed New York, 13 February 1848, for the Far East, returning to Norfolk from the East Indies, 29 January 1851. On 23 August 1851 she stood out from Hampton Roads, bound once again for the Orient. After duty on the East Indies Station, she joined Commodore Matthew C. Perry's expedition to Japan, entering Tokyo Bay 8 July 1853 and departing on the 17th. She returned in February of the following year and before heading home put into Shanghai where she sent a party ashore to support a coordinated British-American expedition against hostile forts in the area.
Returning to Norfolk 11 January 1855, Plymouth began an extended tour in the Atlantic. Assigned as midshipmen training ship during the summers of 1855 and 1856, she tested new ordnance under the command of Comdr. John A. Dahlgren in 1858 and resumed duties as a training ship for midshipmen during the summers of 18.59 and 1860.
Plymouth was at Norfolk for repairs during the secession crises in the winter of 1860-1861. After Virginia seceded from the Union, she was burned and scuttled there, 20 April 1861, to prevent her capture by Confederate forces when the Navy Yard fell into their hands.