USS Philadelphia II  

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Philadelphia II fr.

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Philadelphia II

(Fr: t. 1,240; 1. 130'; b. 39'; dph.13'6"; cpl. 307; a. 28 18-pdrs.)

The second Philadelphia, a frigate originally named City of Philadelphia, was built at Philadelphia, Pa., for the United States Government by the citizens of the eity in 1798-1799. She was designed by Josiah Fox and built by Samuel Humphreys, Nathaniel Hutton, and John Delavue. Her carved work was done by William Rush of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia was laid down about 14 November 1798; launched 28 November 1799; and commissioned 5 April 1800 Capt. Stephen Deeatur, Sr., in command. Putting to sea for duty in the West Indies, she arrived on the Guadaloupe Station in May 1800 and relieved frigate Con~tellation. During this cruise she captured five French armed vessels and reeaptured six merchant ships which had fallen into French hands.

Returning home in March 1801, Philadelphia was ordered to prepare for a year's cruise in the Mediterranean as part of a squadron commanded by Commodore Richard Hale. At his own request, Decatur was relieved of the command of Philadelphia by Capt. Samuel Barron. The squadron with Commodore Hale in frigate President, arrived Gibraitar 1 July. Philadelphia was directed to cruise the Straits and blockade the coast of-Tripoli, the Bashaw having threatened to make war on the United States.

Philadelphia departed Gibraltar enroute the United States 11 May 1802, arriving in mid-July. In ordinary until 21 May 1803, when she recommissioned, she again sailed for the Mediterranean 28 July. She arrived Gibraltar 24 August, Capt. Wilham Bainbridge in command, and two days later reeaptured the American brig Celia from the Morocean ship of-war Miriooka, 24 guns and 100 men, and brought them both into Gibraltar.

She cruised off Tripoli until 31 October 1803, when she ran aground on an uncharted reef off Tripoli harbor. All efforts to refloat her under fire from shore batteries and Tripolitan gunboats failed, and she was surrendered to the enemy and her officers and men made captives.

Philadelphia was boarded 16 February 1804 and burned where she lay in Tripoli Harbor with her guns pointed outward, by a volunteer party of officers and men under Lt. Stephen Decatur, Jr., in the ketch Intrepid. Nelson is said to have ealled this "the most bold and daring act of the age."