uss frolick Posted June 19, 2015 Share #61 Posted June 19, 2015 (edited) Charlie, I might have an answer for you. If anyone has both a copy of 'The Naval War of 1812', Chatham Pictorial History, Vol. 6, Naval Institute Press ANA a functioning scanner, I beg you look at page 49, bottom, at an engraving entitled "United States and Macedonian Frigates passing Hurl Gate", New York, by P. H. Hansel, Philadelphia, 1817. I believe it to be the most accurate depiction of the United States's stern. My reasoning is thus: 1. The sterns of both ships are shown in great detail, and the styles are clearly different from one another, in both the style of the scroll work to the number of windows. Artists of the period who fudged the details, usually fudged both ships identically. We already know that the Macedonian had the stern of the Lively Class frigates, two other drawings of which survive. The Macedonian is propperly depicted there with six windows across her stern, and the same style of carvings. 2. The United States is shown with seven windows across her stern, plus a pair of what I can only describe as half windows in the back of her quarter galleries. While this might be dismissed as whimsey, remember that the US had a double-decked stern and galleries at one time. So these half lights might be a remnant her her early configuration. The 1820's Charles Ware spar deck plan shows here with quarterdeck roundhouses, another remnant which no other American frigate carried. Seven windows means eight counter timbers, which the Essex was rebuilt with, and which at least one of the 36 gun ships might have been built with since a unidentified gun deck framing plan with eight counter timbers survives in the Fox papers. Congress? Philadelphia? The Guerriere class stern requires eight counter timbers too. 3. For a while, the United States and the Macedonian found themselves blockaded in the Thames River, and they were hauled up river as for as they could be, and anchored with guns run out the stern ports for protection against British boat attacks. They hung boarding nettings and ran a cable acroos the river, and rowed a constant guard down stream. They became quite the tourist attraction, but nobody got too close, and so they were viewed only stern on. (Source: "The William Skiddy Journal", 1813-15, an unpublished private journal written by one of the USS Hornet's midshipmen. ) I believe that Mr. Hansel got to see them at that time, made his preliminary sketch, complete with two guns run out of the U.S's quarterdeck stern chase ports. His depictions of the ship's broadside are sketchy, because he could not have seen them on the Thames. He partially hides them with smoke for saluting guns, (a common artistic ploy) and he even erroneously places guns in the Macedonian's planked-up waist, a feature she never had. 4. A contemporary pencil sketch of the battle, drawn soon afterwards by one of the US's crewmen, shows seven windows as well. The original was held by the Naval Academy museum, (and may or may not still be there), but was photographed and published in John Spears's "The History of Our Navy", a lively, yet slightly racist Victorian book that is otherwise best avoided. Edited June 19, 2015 by uss frolick CaptArmstrong and Chapman 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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