Spark I

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This Month in Naval History
Spark I

Spark I

(Brig: t. 310; Ibp. 103'; b. 25'4N; dph. 12'8"; cpl. 90;
a. 10 18-pdr. car., 2 long 18-pdrs.)

The first Spark-a privateer built in 1813 at Sag Harbor, Long Island, N.Y.—was purchased by the Navy at Baltimore 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 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 Algerine flagship, Mashuda, near Cape de Gatt. On the 19th, she aided Epervier, Torch, and Spitfire in running Estedo 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, R.I., on 15 November and was laid up for repairs.

Recommissioned on 1 July 1816, the brig sailed again for the Mediterranean on 6 September carrying a letter from the President of the United States for the Day of Algiers and orders appointing Commodore Isaac Chauncey and Consul-General Shalter commissioners to negotiate for peace. Spark cruised in the Mediterranean until returning home in 1821.

In the autumn of 1821, Spark, now commanded by Lt. John H. Elton, departed Boston for the Caribbean for operations against pirates. In January 1822, he captured a Dutch sloop and brought her and seven pirates to Charleston, S.C., 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 in 1826.

 

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