was the name of one of the first six frigate
s commissioned by the United States Government in 1794
. Built in Baltimore
, she was completed in 1797
saw a lot of action in the quasi-War
, the Barbary Wars
, and the War of 1812
. In 1840
she sailed around the world.
Now let's stop this wonderful narrative for a bit of personal history. Having grown up in Baltimore
, I was always told that the ship docked at Pier I in Baltimore's Inner Harbor
was the original 1797 frigate Constellation
, the oldest US warship afloat. My earliest memory of the Inner Harbor is touring Constellation
and bumping my head on the ceiling belowdecks. People were short then
So imagine my dismay when it was reported in 1995
that a survey
of the Constellation
for her recent restoration revealed that this was not the case! Although some of the wood was 200 years old, enough of the wood dated from 1854
for the ship to be designated a "replica".
It was then that the Navy did a search of its records and found that the original Constellation
had been in such bad repair that she had been broken up in Gosport, VA
. Some of the wood was used in a corvette
that was subsequently built, commissioned as a "Sloop of War", also named Constellation
was made a training ship in 1894
, decomissioned in 1933
and recomissioned in 1940
for ceremonial duties. It was probably during this time that her history was muddied.
The ship was finally decommissioned in 1955
and towed into Baltimore Harbor. She sat at Pier 1 while the Inner Harbor decayed as a cargo port and was reborn as a tourist destination around her, until 1995
when she was towed to the old naval shipyard at Fort McHenry
and given a thorough restoration. She's back at Pier I and can be visited now, if you don't mind the tourist-trap atmosphere and the atrocious visitor center.
is currently the name of an 88,000-ton US Navy aircraft carrier
on active duty.
Source of some of this: http://www.navy.mil/homepages/cv64/information/history/history.htm