HMS Racoon (1808)
|Ordered:||19 October 1805|
|Builder:||John Preston, Great Yarmouth|
|Laid down:||March 1806|
|Launched:||30 March 1808|
|Reclassified:||Convict prison ship in 1819|
|Fate:||Sold on 16 August 1838|
|Class and type:||Cormorant class sloop|
|Tons burthen:||425 88/94 bm|
108 ft 4 in (33.02 m) overall|
90 ft 8.75 in (27.6543 m) keel
|Beam:||29 ft 8.5 in (9.055 m)|
|Draught:||9 ft (2.7 m)|
Her first commander was James Welsh, under whom she was sent to operate off the African coast. In 1811 William Black took command and sailed her to Jamaica, before returning to Portsmouth in 1812. She was in South America the following year and sailed from Rio de Janeiro on 6 July 1812 in company with HMS Phoebe and HMS Cherub, sailing around Cape Horn to the Juan Fernández Islands.
The Royal Navy had been under pressure from the Montreal based North West Company, who were agitating for them to capture the base of their rival, the Pacific Fur Company. At this point Phoebe and Cherub were detached to search for the USS Essex, with Racoon continuing on. While sailing to the Columbia River an accident during gunnery exercises killed eight and wounded 20.
Before the Racoon arrived at their proposed destination of the fur trading outpost of Fort Astoria, the North West Company had completed a deal with the Pacific Fur Company that since British ships would be imminently arriving to "take and destroy everything American on the Northwest coast," that they would purchase the assets, for a third of their value. Black arrived to find the matter already settled, though he went through a ceremony of possession and renamed the facility Fort George.
On board the Racoon upon arrival at Fort Astoria was Naukane (also known as John Coxe), a Native Hawaiian. The North West Company had hired him as a laborer and to serve as an interpreter for future visits to the Hawaiian Islands.
Black continued in command of Racoon, sailing to Lima in 1814, before being replaced by Captain Alexander Montgomerie in 1815. Captain John Cook Carpenter took command in 1816, followed by Captain Robert Worgan Festing in 1817.
Racoon was re-rated as a 26-gun sloop in February 1817, and by 1819 was being used as a convict hospital ship at Portsmouth. She remained in service until being sold on 16 August 1838.
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: the complete record of all fighting ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham. ISBN 9781861762818. OCLC 67375475.
- Lyon, David and Winfield, Rif, The Sail and Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815-1889, Chatham Publishing, 2004, ISBN 1-86176-032-9.
- Winfield, Rif, British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793-1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. 2nd edition, Seaforth Publishing, 2005. ISBN 978-1-84415-717-4.
- History of British Columbia from its earliest discovery to the present time, p. 108, Alexander Begg, publ. William Briggs, Toronto, 1894
- British Columbia from the earliest times to the present. Vol. 1, p.432, E.O.S. Scholefield & F.W. Howay, Vancouver, British Columbia: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1914