The Vincennes first sailed on September 3, 1826 from New York into the Pacific, where she made her way to Macao by 1830. From Macao, she made three more stops before returning to New York on June 8, 1830. Two days later the ship was decommissioned.
Recommissioned again, the Vincennes sailed for the West Indies and, after a long bout of yellow fever, was again decommissioned for a time in 1833 before sailing once more. She became the first American warship to call at Guam.
Decommissioned once again in 1836, while she underwent remodeling, she was declared the flagship for Lieutenant Charles Wilkes' South Sea Surveying and Exploring Expedition to the Antarctic region. The expedition sailed from Hampton Roads in August 1838 and made surveys along the South American coast before making a brief survey of Antarctica in early 1839. Entering into the South Pacific in August and September 1839, cartographers drafted charts that are still used today.
Vincennes dropped anchor in San Francisco, California on August 14. On November 1st, she set a course for the far east, arriving in Manila Bay, Manila in early January 1842. The ship arrived at Sandy Hook, New Jersey on June 10, 1842, almost four years after the beginning of the expedition, completing her third trip around the world.
The Vincennes arrived in Edo on July 6, 1846. The ship was not allowed to land, however, and she continued patroling Asian seas before returning for another decommissioning. Recommissioned in 1850, she lost 36 crew members when she arrived again in San Francisco at the height of the California gold rush. She sailed to Russian and Japanese waters again, then returned to New York and another decommissioning on July 17, 1856.