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The USS Constitution

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  • The USS Constitution

    The USS Constitution ( c ) Glen Mitton 2017

    March 27, 1794 , Congress authorized the construction of six frigates *
    For our young country this undertaking was one of the biggest ( $ 688,888.82 )
    These ships were commissioned to be special than most
    Built in our ports up and down the American east coast

    Construction varied and using innovative structural designs ( diagonal bracing )
    Made these ships fast enough to evade larger ships of the time
    Piracy wasn't a problem prior to the American Revolution
    Building our own navy was the obvious solution

    President Washington named five of the ships to date ( March1795 }
    Each representing a principle of the United States
    The " Congress " , " Constitution "and the " President "
    Along with the " United States " was his intent

    Naming the fifth ship was of course a big deal
    Derived from the " Constellation " of 13 stars on our original Great Seal ( June 20,1782 )
    When ready they weighed anchor and set a course
    Disregarding the perils of the opposing force

    The sixth frigate remained nameless until 1799
    Naval secretary Benjamin Stoddert thought it would be fine
    Designating her the , " Chesapeake " breaking the Constitutional protocol
    When the ship was finished , she was the smallest of all

    The only remaining ship is the USS Constitution ( 220 years old ! )
    It has a draft of 23 feet , displacing 22 hundred tons
    Her keel or " backbone " is 150f ft long
    44 naval guns makes the heavy frigate battle ready strong

    With an impressive beam of 43 ft 6 in. wide
    It's " depth of hold " is just over 14 ft inside
    Measuring 207 feet from billet head to taffrail
    What a sight to see , with her a three mast sail

    Defeating the HMS Guerriere earned her the nickname "Old Ironsides" ( ‎19 August 1812 )
    After a British sailor made the “ Huzza! her sides are made of iron! " cry ! **
    The fact that she is still intact makes her very special
    She is the world’s oldest floating commissioned naval vessel ***

    A testimony to the craftsmanship for future generations
    She now promotes the role of the navy for our nation
    In dry dock now for restoration and repair ****
    She is on display for all to visit , love and share

    Preforming their duties these ships came unto their own
    Providing defense for this country as their flags were flown
    If you are " on board " with the " United State's " Constitution " , let's " make way "
    Otherwise you can " walk the plank " , because your an unwanted ballast stowaway *****

    * The original six frigates :
    United States , built in Philadelphia launched on May 10, 1797
    Congress , built in Portsmouth, New Hampshire launched on August 15, 1799
    Constellation , built Baltimore launched on September 7, 1797
    Constitution , built in Boston Mass.launched on October 21, 1797
    Chesapeake , built at the Gosport Navy Yard , Virginia launched on December 2, 1799
    President , was the last frigate to be completed, launching from New York City on April 10, 1800

    ** The American frigate’s 24-inch triple-layered hull, which was made of white oak and live oak sheathed in copper forged by Paul Revere.

    *** (HMS Victory is older but has been in dry dock since 1922.)
    As far as the Constellation is concerned naval historians continue to identify the ship as the 1854 rebuild of the 1797 ship ,
    insisting that the ship was an 1854 sloop of war, undeserving of its 1797 legacy. It is on display in Baltimore Maryland

    **** Located in the Charlestown Navy Yard , Boston Mass.

    ***** Definitions :
    Ballast : material used to stabilize
    Stowaway : a person who hopes of a getting free ride

    For more info contact the USS Constitution museum ,