USRC Massachusetts (1791)

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painting of a Revenue Marine cutter (either the Massachusetts (1791), or its replacement, the Massachusetts II)

USRC Massachusetts was one of the original ten cutters[a] built and used by the United States Revenue Cutter Service.[b][3] While not the first USRS cutter to be launched, it was the first to enter active service.[3]

History[change | change source]

Massachusetts was built at Newburyport, MA by shipwright William Searle.[4] She was designed as a schooner.[5] She was rigged with fore-and-aft sails on two masts.

On July 15, 1791 Massachusetts was launched.[3] John Foster Williams was its first master.[3] Her crew consisted of four officers, four enlisted men and two cabin boys.[6] She was 60 feet (18 m) long by 17 feet 8 inches (5.38 m) wide and had a shallow draft of only 7 feet 8 inches (2.34 m).[7] Williams ordered an increase in her size without getting approval by the service.[6] This increased her cost over what was originally budgeted. But the government accepted the Massachusetts as changed by Williams.[6]

She had the shortest service life of any of the original ten cutters.[6] The first Massachusetts turned out to be too expensive to operate and was too slow.[8] On 9 October 1792 she was sold.[3] In 1793 she was replaced by a smaller lighter sloop, the Massachusetts II.[6]

Related pages[change | change source]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. The term cutter came from the boats used by Great Britain's Royal Customs Service.[1] Modern Coast Guard cutters are any larger ship no matter what the type.[1]
  2. Also called the Revenue Marine. Together with the United States Life-Saving Service, the United States Revenue Cutter Service formed the United States Coast Guard on 28 January 1915.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Eighteenth, Nineteenth & Early Twentieth Century Revenue Cutters". United States Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  2. Robert Scheina. "The Coast Guard At War". United States Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "The First Ten Cutters; The first commissioned U.S. Revenue cutters". United States Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  4. "Birthplace of the United States Coast Guard - Newburyport, MA". Waymarking.com. Groundspeak, Inc. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  5. Horatio Davis Smith, Early History of the United States Revenue Marine Service, ed. Elliot Snow (Washington, DC: Coast Guard Bicentennial Publication, 1989), p. 34
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "Massachusetts, 1791" (PDF). United States Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  7. Paul H. Silverstone, The Sailing Navy, 1775-1854 (London; New York: Routledge, 2006), p. 77
  8. "1790 - 1915: Revenue Cutters, The First Ten". Coast Guard Modeling. Retrieved 17 October 2016.

Other websites[change | change source]