U.S.S. Jamestown featured in CONFLICTING LOYALTIES was an actual ship of the US Navy.

U.S.S. Jamestown featured in CONFLICTING LOYALTIES was an actual ship of the US Navy. A 1st Class ship-rigged sloop-of-war, she was built at Gosport Navy Yard during 1843-44. Her first commission began as Commodore Skinner’s flagship on the anti-slaving patrol off West Africa, the same station upon which she is serving at the beginning of CONFLICTING LOYALTIES. In summer 1847 she made the passage from Boston to Cork in 15 days – an amazing speed – carrying food to combat the Irish potato famine. She had several more tours off Africa as well as time in the Mediterranean and South American waters before being decommissioned in Philadelphia in February 1860.

In CONFLICTING LOYALTIES, her presence in the West African Squadron in the spring of 1861 is a bit of literary license. In reality, she was laid up in Ordinary at Philadelphia Navy Yard at that time. In fact, she was re-commissioned in 1861 and served in the Atlantic Blockading Squadron making several captures.

Decommissioned in September 1865, she was converted to a transport and re-entered active service in 1866. Later that year, she transferred to the Pacific where she served in various capacities until 1881. In that year, she rounded Cape Horn to join the Atlantic Squadron and had an active career, including cruises to France and the West Indies in the early 1890’s.

Permanently decommissioned in 1892, she was transferred to the Treasury Department for service as a marine hospital. She was destroyed by fire at Norfolk Navy Yard on 3 January 1913.  Her active career spanned seven decades and took her to distant waters. Among the last pure sailing vessels of the Navy, she served honorably and well and it is a pleasure to recall her to the consciousness of readers in CONFLICTING LOYALTIES. Her characteristics sail plan, and spar plan included in CONFLICTING LOYALTIES are as found in Chapelle, The History of the American Sailing Navy.


USS Jamestown late in her career.

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