USS Maryland

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Maryland Slp

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Maryland
(Slp: t. 380; cpl. 180; a. 30 9-pdrs., 6 6-pdrs.)

The first Maryland, a sloop, was built by public subscription in Baltimore under the Act of 30 June 1798 Launched at Price Shipyard, Baltimore, Md., 3 June 1799, and accepted by the Navy in August 1799, Capt. John Rodgers in command.

Maryland departed Baltimore 13 September 1799 for the Surinam station. Arriving 1 October, the sloop cruised from French Guiana to Curacao protecting American shipping from attacks by French warships and privateers. The Napoleonic wars were raging in Europe and the French were searching and seizing merchant vessels trading with the British West Indies, causing much loss to American commerce. Maryland captured the schooner Clarissa, an American slave trader without papers 4 January 1800, and then on 26 July fell in with and recaptured without a flight the Portuguese brig Gloria da Mar, which had been captured by French privateer Cherry only 13 days previous.

The sloop cleared Surinam for home 9 August 1800, having served since December 1799 as the only American naval vessel on the Surinam station. Sailing by way of St. Kitts, and St. Thomas, Maryland escorted a large convoy of American and British merchant vessels to safe waters, in addition to capturing Aerial, an American merchantman without papers, 2 September.

She arrived Baltimore 1 October for repairs. Maryland departed Baltimore 22 March 1801 with Congressman John Dawson of Virginia, President Adams' designated bearer of the amended and ratified Pinckney Treaty with France, and arrived Havre de Grace, France, in early May. The sloop remained until 15 July, when, because of difficulties in obtaining ratification, she was released by Congressman Dawson and sent home. Carrying several diplomatic passengers and important letters and dispatches, she returned to her home port Baltimore 28 August. Captain Rodgers discharged the crew and then sold Maryland 2 October 1801 for $20,200.