Arundel History

August 27, 2006

Constellation berths at Academy

In 1879, The Sun reported that the USS Constellation arrived in Annapolis on Aug. 29 as a training ship for the U.S. Naval Academy.

The 179-foot ship had been commissioned in 1855 to patrol the West African coast for slave trader ships. Now the Constellation was anchored in the Severn River and had a berth for Rear Adm. George B. Balch, the academy superintendent. He had sailed with the storied vessel for 10 days to examine its workings.

Midshipmen learned the ropes on it until 1893.

The tall sloop of war, the last Navy ship under sail, is now a well-preserved showpiece attracting thousands of visitors a year in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

Two years ago, the still-seaworthy Constellation was pulled by tugboats from Baltimore to the U.S. Naval Academy for old time's sake. It was the majestic frigate's first trip to the state capital in 112 years.

[Source: Sun archives, library researcher Paul McCardell]

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