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'Spark' Heavily Armed Brig (With Plans)


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USS Spark

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Complement: 90
Armament:
Two long 18-pounder guns
Ten 18-pounder carronades

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USS Spark (1813) was a heavily armed brig in the services of the United States Navy, built for service in the War of 1812. However, she was completed too late for that war and was assigned, instead, to the Barbary Wars in the Mediterranean. After two voyages in support of that action, she was assigned to suppress pirates in the Caribbean, where she was successful in capturing a number of pirate ships and their crews.

 

The first ship to be so named by the Navy, Spark -- a privateer built in 1813 at Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York -- was purchased by the Navy at Baltimore, Maryland, in 1814 for service in the war with England. However, the war ended before the brig could get to sea for active service against the Royal Navy.

 

Spark, commanded by Lt. Thomas Gamble, departed New York City on 20 May 1815 and sailed for the Mediterranean for operations in Commodore Stephen Decatur's squadron against pirates of Algiers.
 
She reached Gibraltar on 15 June and, two days later, helped in operations resulting in the capture of the Algerian flagship, Mashuda, near Cape de Gatt. On the 19th, she aided Epervier, Torch, and Spitfire in running Estedio ashore where she was boarded and captured.
 
After cruising in the Mediterranean through the summer, Spark sailed for home on 6 October in a squadron commanded by Commodore William Bainbridge and reached Newport, Rhode Island, on 15 November and was laid up for repairs.
 
In the autumn of 1821, Spark, now commanded by Lt. John H. Elton, departed Boston, Massachusetts, for the Caribbean for operations against pirates. In January 1822, he captured a Dutch sloop and brought her and seven pirates to Charleston, South Carolina, for trial. She returned to the Caribbean and spent over three years suppressing buccaneers.
 
The brig returned home in 1825 and was sold at New York City in 1826.
 
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As found in the dutch archives:

 

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"Brik 'de Spark' a 18 stukken, Voornaamste afmetingen, Lengte tuschen de loodlijnen 30.5 Ned. Ell. / 100 Amerikaanse Voeten, Wijdte binnen de huid 7.93 Ned. Ell. / 26 Amerikaanse Voeten, Diepgaandheid achter 4.64 Ned. Ell. /15-2 Amerikaanse Voeten, Diepgaandheid voor 3.72 Ned. Ell. / 12-2 Amerikaanse Voeten, Gewapend met 16 Carronades à 24 pond, 22 stukken kanon à 9 pond, waterverplaatsing 455 ton."

 

Translated:

18-gun Brik 'Spark'. Measurements: lenght 30.5 El (1el = 69.4 CM) / 100 american feet, breadth 7.93 El/26 american feet, Keel to waterline at stern 4.64 El/ 15 american feet 2'', keel to waterline at bow 3.72 El/12 american feet 2'', armed with 16 carronades of 24lb/22 guns of 9lb, displacement 455 ton.

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