U.S. NAVY STEAM FRIGATE
Printed on paperPublisher S.J.
Weisman, Southampton, England (The Getty Museum has three examples of this publisher’s works. Active 1860-1865 www.getty.edu/art/collection/artists/10054/s-wiseman.)Unframed 28″ x 21″ Framed 32″
X 25″Hand Penned entriesPresented is an extremely rare, original print,
of a brief abstract, referred to as an Epitome, of the U.S. Frigate NIAGARA on her cruise in European waters during
the Civil War years 1864 and 1865. There she engaged in hostile actions against the Confederate States Ships that
included the GEORGIA, SACRAMENTO and STONEWALL which escaped. The vessel’s senior officer during this deployment was Thomas
T. Craven, Commodore Commanding, and Lieutenant Commander George A. Bigelow.The printed “Broadsheet” is replete with information covering in details
the vessels construction, her armament, equipment, sails, and more importantly a detailed list of her officers and crew which
make this a truly historic document. The sheet was printed in England before the cruise was complete and there are additional
notations penned in ink of additional ports visited. The last official entry was the passage from Cadiz, Spain to Boston,
MA which ended with the ship’s arrival on September 20, 1865. This contradicts the numerous entries which shows the ship out
of service in 1864.
U.S. NAVY STEAMFRIGATE NIAGARA:
Laid down, date unknown, at New York Navy Yard Launched, 23 February 1855 Commissioned USS Niagara, 6 April 1857, CAPT. William L. Hudson in command. Participated in the laying of the first transatlantic telegraph cable, between 1857 and 1858 Decommissioned at New York, 2 December 1857, after laying several hundred miles of cable westwardfrom Ireland Recommissioned, 24 February 1858, CAPT. William L. Hudson in command USS Niagara successfully completed laying the cable ashore at Brills Mouth Island Niagara next carried 200 Africans liberated from the slave brig Echooff Cuba by the brig USS Dolphin Decommissioning at New York, 17 December 1858 Recommissioned, 14 May 1860, CAPT. William W. McKean in command Assigned to carry Japan’s first diplomatic mission to the United States from Washington toNew York, and then home, leaving New York 30 June 1869 returning Boston 23 April 1861 During the Civil War USS Niagara was assigned to duty on the blockade of the southernports at , Charleston, and at Mobile Bay As flagship of Flag Officer McKean’s East Gulf Blockading Squadron Niagara engagedConfederate defenses at Fort McRea, Pensacola, and Warrington 22 November 1861 Decommissioned, 16 June, 1862 at Boston for repairs Recommissioned 14 October 1863, she steamed from New York 1 June 1864 to watch over Confederatewarships then fitting out in Europe Took steamer Georgia, a former Confederate warship in the Bay of Biscay, 15 August1864 Niagara patrolled with the European Squadron through 29 August when she cleared Cadizfor Boston, arriving 20 September 1865. There she decommissioned 28 September, remaining in the Boston Navy Yard until sold6 May 1885
This record from http://www.navsource.org/ (repeated elsewhere) is in conflict with the ship’s own record of the 1864-1865 European Cruise.
USS Niagara at the Boston Navy Yard, 1863
Officers and Port and Starboard Watch Sections
Various categories of information in thebroadsheet – Arrival Boston, 20 September 1865