USS Hamilton (1809)

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Sail plan of the USS Hamilton
Sail plan of the USS Hamilton
Career (USA) 100x35px
Name: USS Hamilton {formerly Diana}
Namesake: Alexander Hamilton
Launched: 1809
Acquired: October 21, 1812
Out of service: August 8, 1813
Fate: Lost
General characteristics
Displacement: 76 Tons
Length: 110 ft (34 m)
Complement: 50
Armament: 1 x 32 pounder, 8 x 12 pound carronades {According to website at [1]}

The USS Hamilton, formerly the Diana, was a schooner which foundered at Lake Ontario on August 7, 1813, during the War of 1812. The Diana was built at Oswego, New York in 1809 for merchant Matthew McNair. She found her way into the US Navy on October 21, 1812, when she was purchased to be based out of Sackets Harbor. Her name was changed to Hamilton on November 5, 1812, in honor of the Secretary of the American Navy Paul Hamilton.[1] The Hamilton was not a large specialized war vessel; instead, she was a simple merchant ship that was pressed into service for the American Navy just prior to the War of 1812.[1]

With the conversion of the Hamilton to a man of war problems came up such as the decks not being strong enough to carry naval guns and the bulwarks not being high enough to provide enough protection for the gun crews.[1]

The 76-ton Hamilton was armed with eight 12-pound carronades and one swiveling 24-or 32-pound cannon, or "Long Tom" mounted amidships.

The Hamilton and the Scourge, sank during a sudden squall off Fourteen Mile Creek near present-day Hamilton, Ontario around 2:00 am on August 8, 1813.[1] The sinking took more than 80 men to their death. The "Hamilton" was under command of a Lt. Winter. According to a Letter of August 1813 after both ships were lost sixteen survived.[2] A survivor of the Scourge was Ned Myers who told his story to James Fenimore Cooper. [3] According to Myers account about 8 from the Hamilton were saved and about 42 were lost.


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