Accession Number : ADA241916


Title :   Fouled Anchors: The CONSTELLATION Question Answered


Descriptive Note : Final rept. for period ending 1989


Corporate Author : DAVID TAYLOR RESEARCH CENTER BETHESDA MD


Personal Author(s) : Wegner, Dana M ; Ratliff, Colan D ; Lynaugh, Kevin


Full Text : http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a241916.pdf


Report Date : Sep 1991


Pagination or Media Count : 209


Abstract : The USS Constellation, said to have been built in Baltimore in 1797, was transferred in 1955 by the Navy to a group of Baltimore citizens for preservation and display. Since 1947 some historians have believed the ship now on display is an entirely different warship with the same name built near Norfolk, Virginia in 1855. Others disagree. Was it built in 1797 or is the claim a mistake or a hoax? Despite the debate, millions of federal, state, and city dollars plus gifts-in-kind have been granted by individuals, patriotic groups, tourists, and corporations to support the ship's upkeep and restoration. The controversy over the age of the existing Constellation has been waged in newspapers, on television, and in books for almost half a century. The Navy and the Interior departments, Congress, the Maryland state legislature, the City of Baltimore, the Maryland Historical Society, the National Archives, and the Smithsonian Institution have all been involved in the dispute. The purpose of this study has been to utilize an interdisciplinary team to examine new evidence in order to determine the identity of the present Constellation: was it built in 1797 or 1855? Recognizing the controversy as one of the most emotionally-charged debates in recent American maritime history, we would not have exhumed and exacerbated this subject had we not discovered fresh and considerably important historical, artifactual and technological evidence. Is the Constellation the oldest warship afloat in the would? Or is it the last sail-only warship designed by the Navy? Responsible stewardship for the irreplaceable ship afloat in Baltimore demands that we fully understand its history.


Descriptors :   *MILITARY HISTORY , *FRIGATES , *NAVAL VESSELS(COMBATANT) , SHIPS , HISTORIANS , ARCHIVES , NEWSPAPERS , STATE GOVERNMENT , CONGRESS , VIRGINIA , MARYLAND , CORPORATIONS


Subject Categories : Marine Engineering


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE