USS Jefferson (1814)

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Name: Jefferson
Launched: 7 April 1814
Fate: Sold, 30 April 1825
General characteristics
Type: Brig
Displacement: 509 long tons (517 t)
Length: 117 ft (36 m)
Propulsion: Sail
Complement: 160 officers and enlisted
Armament: • 16 × 42-pounder carronades
• 4 × 24-pounder long guns

The second USS Jefferson was a brig in the United States Navy during the War of 1812. She was named for Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson was built at Sackett's Harbor, New York, for service in Commodore Isaac Chauncey's fleet on Lake Ontario and launched 7 April 1814. She was manned by a crew from sloop of war Erie which had been laid up at Baltimore because of the British blockade of Chesapeake Bay. Comdr. Charles G. Ridgely was her captain.

Most of the guns for the new American ships had not reached Sackett's Harbor by 19 May when the British fleet arrived off the American base and began a strict blockade. Jefferson finally sailed with Chauncey's fleet on 31 July and arrived off Niagara on 5 August. With Sylph and Oneida she blockaded several English vessels inside the river while Chauncey with the rest of the fleet sailed on to Kingston to challenge the main English squadron. After remaining on blockade duty off Niagara for over a month, Jefferson sailed for Kingston to rejoin Chauncey. During the passage, on 12 September, a severe storm arose, which before abating three days later, almost swamped the brig. Ten of her guns were thrown overboard in the struggle to save the ship.

Jefferson rejoined her fleet on 17 September and operated with it during the remainder of the navigation season attempting to draw Sir James Yeo's ships into a decisive contest. Toward the end of November she was laid up for the winter.

Peace obviated Jefferson's planned return to commission in the spring. She apparently remained in ordinary until sold on 30 April 1825.


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.