Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

USS Delaware (1820)

(add image here)
Laid down:August 1817
Launched:21 October 1820
Commissioned:before 10 February 1828
Fate:scuttled 20 April 1861
General Characteristics
Displacement:2,633 tons
Length:196.2 ft (59.8 m)
Beam:53 ft (16.2 m)
Draft:26.2 ft (8 m)
Complement:820 officers and men
Armament:74 32-pounder carronnades (really?)

The third USS Delaware of the United States Navy was a 74-gun ship of the line.

She was laid down at Norfolk Navy Yard in August 1817 and launched 21 October 1820. She was roofed over and kept at the yard in ordinary until on 27 March 1827 she was ordered repaired and fitted for sea. Delaware put to sea 10 February 1828 under the command of Captain J. Downs to become the flagship of Commodore W. M. Crane in the Mediterranean. Arriving at Algeciras Bay, Spain, 23 March, she served in the interests of American commerce and diplomacy in that area until returning to Norfolk 2 January 1830.

Delaware was decommissioned 10 February 1830, and lay in ordinary at Norfolk until 1833. Recommissioned 15 July 1833, she received President Andrew Jackson on board 29 July, firing a 24-gun (sic) salute at both his arrival and departure. The following day she set sail for the Mediterranean where she served as flagship for Commodore D. T. Patterson and cruised on goodwill visits and for the protection of the rights and property of American citizens until her return to Hampton Roads, 16 February 1836. She was placed in ordinary from 10 March 1836 until recommissioned 7 May 1841 for local operations from Norfolk.

Delaware sailed 1 November 1841 for a tour of duty on the Brazil Station as flagship for Commodore C. Morris. She patrolled the coasts of Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina to represent American interests during political unrest in those countries. On 19 February 1843 she sailed from Rio de Janeiro for another cruise in the Mediterranean. Delaware returned to Hampton Roads 4 March 1844 and was decommissioned at Norfolk Navy Yard on the 22nd. Still in ordinary there in 1861, she was burned 20 April along with other ships and the yard facilities to prevent their falling into Confederate hands.

In June 1930, a bronze replica of Delaware's figurehead was presented by the Class of 1891 to the United States Naval Academy. This bust, one of the most famous relics on the campus, has been widely identified as that of Native American leader of the Shawnee people, Tecumseh. However, when it adorned the man-of-war, it commemorated not Tecumseh but Tamanend, the revered Delaware chief who welcomed William Penn to America when he arrived in Delaware country on 2 October 1682.


See USS Delaware for other Navy ships of the same name.

This article includes information collected from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.