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Saranac II (SwSlpW)

(SwSlpW: t. 1,463; l. 215'6"; b. 37'9"; dph. 26'6"; dr. 17'4" (max.); a. 9 8")

A river flowing from the Saranac Lakes in Franklin County, N.Y., to Lake Champlain, which it enters at Plattsburg, N.Y.


The second Saranac was laid down in 1847 by the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard, and was launched on 14 November 1848. The new side wheel steam sloop of war got underway on 10 April 1850 for a trial cruise in the North Atlantic. Upon returning home, she underwent repairs and alterations before commissioning on 12 October 1850, Capt. Josiah Tattnall in command.

Saranac operated along the Atlantic coast of the United States in the Home Squadron until being placed in ordinary at Philadelphia on 23 June 1852. Reactivated on 15 September, the ship sailed for New York to embark the Chevalier de Sodre, the Brazilian Minister to the United States, and got underway again on 5 October to return that distinguished diplomat to his home. She arrived at Para on the 26th and, after disembarking her passengers, she served on the Brazil Station until returning to Philadelphia and decommissioning on 20 July 1853.

Recommissioned on 5 November 1853, the steamer sailed for the Mediterranean where she operated until returning to Philadelphia on 26 June 1856. She was decommissioned there on 1 July for repair of her machinery and installation of new boilers. After re-commissioning on 17 September 1857, she got underway to begin the long voyage south round Cape Horn and back up the Pacific coast of the Americas for duty along the west coast of the United States. She was still performing this duty when the Civil War erupted, and she remained at the task of protecting American commerce along the coast of California throughout the war. After the Confederacy had collapsed, Saranac cruised at sea in search of Southern cruiser, Shenandoah, which remained a menace to Union shipping until belatedly learning of the end of the war.

Saranac continued to protect American commerce and interests until ending her longest period in commission on 25 January 1869. Recommissioned on 27 January 1870, the veteran ship resumed operations along the west coast. She operated in that increasingly important region until she was wrecked on 18 June 1875 in Seymour Narrows off Vancouver, British Columbia.

Published: Wed Sep 02 14:11:18 EDT 2015