Monday, June 11, 2012

USS Merrimack (1798)

While researching the upcoming Gardner Beacon issue on the War of 1812, I ran across this ship which has quite a story. Not only was she built in record time for the era (74 days), and the location (Newburyport), once the ship was at sea, she saw quite a lot of action.

The time was the latter part of the 1700s. As we cover in the Beacon, there were a lot of troubles that led up the follow-up war to the American Revolution. In 1798, the populace was outraged by the continuing harassment. The Merrimack was funded by people in the area and, then, offered to the U.S. Navy (which was still in the process of being born).

Essentially, New Englanders were quite successful in their seafaring ways. And, seafaring covered a lot of ground, from construction and outfitting all the way to the many ways that one deals with the sea. In fact, New England was so different from the rest of the country that talk of succession was heard from time to time (see Timothy Pickering, for example).

Events leading up to the War of 1812 carried on a long time, perhaps from the end of the American Revolution. And, there were many losses to personal wealth in New England (see Gardner-Pingree).


The Beacon will be out by June 18, 2012 (200 years post President Madison's signing of the declaration of war).


06/17/2012 -- Gardner's Beacon looks at the War of 1812.

06/11/2012 -- All the sides can be seen in this war, just as we've seen within our lifetimes. There were arguments, pro and con. England sort of stumbled into war as they took too long to straighten up. Then, once war was declared, things progressed slowly. In fact, neither side was actually up to the task. Things went back and forth; they even looked more gloomy than during the War of Independence. All sorts of lessons to learn lurk here.

Modified: 06/17/2012

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