Rochester in Monroe County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Merchant Ship to Warship
Schooner-Gunboats in the U.S. Navy
—War of 1812 —
In the spring of 1812 there were over 34 schooners in merchant service on Lake Ontario, transporting people and cargo. These small vessels carried 50-100 tons of cargo. Larger vessels were impractical since most lake port entries were shallow.
Schooner-gunboats participated in the attack on Kingston in 1812 and the attacks on York and Fort George in 1813. They were also present during the three skirmishes between the British and American squadrons on Lake Ontario in August and September 1813.
When war broke out, the only U.S. naval vessel on Lake Ontario was the 18-gun brig Oneida. Commodore Isaac Chauncey purchased 11 schooners and armed them to support the Oneida.
Gunboat Name / Original Name / Fate
Governor Thompson / Charles & Ann / Marchant service (US) Last Record 1819
Pert / Collector / Merchant service (US) Last record 1815
Hamilton / Diana /Lost in storm 1813
Asp / Elizabeth / Merchant service (GB) Lost in a storm 1820
Growler / Experiment / Merchant service (US)
Fair American / Fair American / Merchant service (US) Wrecked 1816
Conquest / Genesee Packet / Merchant service (US) Last record 1815
Julia / Julia / Merchant service (US) Last record
Scourge / Lord Nelson / Lost in storm 1813
Raven / Mary Hatt / Merchant service (US) Last record 1816
Ontario / Ontario / Merchant service (US) last record 1820
PRE-WAR - People and cargoes of salt, potash, foodstuffs, and manufactured goods.
WARTIME - Troops, powder, shot, provisions.
PRE_WAR - A merchant schooner had a small crew, often no more than three or four men.
WARTIME - As warships, these schooners were manned by up to 40 men. Conditions below were very crowded; many sailors preferred to live and sleep on deck.
Broadside guns - carronades (small cannon).
Pivot guns - heavier cannon, firing balls weighing from 12 to 32 pounds.
In early June 1812 the USS Oneida seized the British merchant schooner Lord Nelson, believing it to be smuggling goods into the United States. The schooner was condemned by the court and ordered to be sold. It was bought by the Navy for $2,999.25, armed and renamed the Scourge, the schooner sank during a storm on Lake Ontario.
Hamilton & Scourge
A merchant schooner was designed to carry its cargo below deck. The armanment, weighing many tons, was carried on deck, making these schooners top heavy and very unstable, particularly in bad weather. The figureheads
Commerce was replaced by conflict at times along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway marker series.
Location. 43° 15.515′ N, 77° 36.274′ W. Marker is in Rochester, New York, in Monroe County. Marker can be reached from Lake Avenue near Corrigan Street. Click for map. Marker is along the Ontario Beach Boardwalk a few paces from the Genesee River, in Ontario Beach Park. Parking for the park may be found via Corrigan Street off of Lake Avenue. Marker is in this post office area: Rochester NY 14612, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In Honor of the Crew of USS Liberty (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Battle of the Bulge (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Hojack Railroad Swing Bridge (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1822 Lighthouse (approx. half a mile away); Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Lighthouses (approx. 0.7 miles away); War of 1812 (approx. 0.7 miles away); Resort Area (approx. 0.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Rochester.
Also see . . .
1. Isaac Chauncey - Wikipedia. (Submitted on November 21, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. The Hamilton & Scourge National Historic Site. In Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. (Submitted on November 21, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
3. Hamilton-Scourge Survey Expedition - Wikipedia. (Submitted on November 21, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
Categories. • War of 1812 • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 171 times since then and 92 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.