USS Scourge (1812)

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
Sail plan of the USS Scourge.
Sail plan of the USS Scourge.
Career (USA) 100x35px
Name: USS Scourge {formerly Lord Nelson}
Launched: 1 May 1811
Acquired: by capture, 9 June 1812
Fate: Sunk in squall, 8 August 1813
General characteristics
Type: Schooner
Tonnage: 110 long tons (112 t)
Complement: 45 to 50
Armament: • 4 × 6-pounder guns
• 4 × 4-pounder guns[1]

USS Scourge was an American warship converted from a confiscated merchant schooner. She foundered along with the American warship Hamilton during a squall on Lake Ontario at 2:00am on Sunday, August 8, 1813,[2]. during the War of 1812.

Scourge began its career as the Lord Nelson, which was built at Niagara in Upper Canada for merchant James Crooks. Lord Nelson found its way into American naval service after it was stopped and searched by the American warship Oneida under the command of Lt. Melancthon T. Woolsey in May 1812. Lord Nelson was confiscated under the Embargo Act of 1807 and taken to Sackets Harbor, where it was armed with four 6-pounder cannons, four 4-pounder cannons and fitted with bulwarks. The ship was placed in Captain Isaac Chauncey's squadron and patrolled Lake Ontario during the War of 1812.

Scourge and Hamilton sank during a sudden squall off Fourteen Mile Creek near present-day Hamilton, Ontario around 2:00 am on Sunday August 8, 1813. The sinkings took more than 80 men to their death. Scourge was under the command of Sailing Master Joseph Osgood. According to a Letter of August 1813 after both ships were lost sixteen survived[3]. A survivor of the Scourge, Ned Myers, told his story to James Fenimore Cooper[4]. According to Myers about eight men from the Scourge were saved, and about 42 were lost.

Crew List

  • Mr. Joseph Osgood - Sailing Master - lost in storm
  • Mr. Osgood's Steward - a mulatto - survived the storm
  • Mr. Bogardus - Master's mate - survived the storm
  • Unnamed ships pilot - survived the storm
  • William Deer - Boatswain - lost in storm
  • George Turnblatt - Gunner - lost in storm
  • Lemuel Bryant - survived the storm
  • Ebenezer Duffy - Ship's Cook - a mulatto - survived the storm
  • Tom Goldsmith - survived the storm
  • Simeon Grant - left the ship before the storm after losing a hand in an accident
  • James Lawson - Seaman - lost in storm
  • Leonard Lewis - survived the storm
  • Mr. Livingston - left the ship before the storm
  • Ned Myers - survived the storm
  • Philips - powder boy - lost in storm
  • Bill Southard - lost in storm


  1. The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships reports armaments as 1 × 32-pounder; 8 × short 12-pounders. See [1], but this is incorrect - this was actually the armament of the USS Hamilton; see Hamilton-Scourge website at [2]
  2. The two schooners had spent all Saturday (August 7) chasing the enemy. An account of the sinking in the Buffalo Gazette on August 17, 1813 stated: "It is with deep regret that we record the following facts: about 2 o’clock on Sunday morning last, a most dreadful accident happened in Commodore Chauncey’s squadron off Forty Mile Creek on Lake Ontario; the schooners General Hamilton, Lieut. Winter, and Scourge, Sailing Master Osgood, were upset and lost…
  3. August 1813 letter by Capt. Chauncey reporting the loss of Hamilton and Scourge
  4. Survivor Ned Myers account of the sinking

External links