Edward Preble

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE,District of Columbia,Washington,20374
Identifier:
2011.0672.0031
Institution:
National Museum of the U.S. Navy
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Reuben James

Creator:
Dorothy Short
Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE,District of Columbia,Washington,20374
Identifier:
2011.0672.0030
Institution:
National Museum of the U.S. Navy
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Decatur Boarding A Tripolian Gunboat

Creator:
D.M. Carter

During the summer of 1804, Commodore Edward Preble decided to send gunboats to bombard the fortifications in Tripoli Harbor. Stephen Decatur, the youngest captain in the U.S. Navy at age 25, was in charge of a division of three gunboats. He and his men plunged into the midst of nine enemy boats and began to board them. After fierce hand-to-hand fighting, the enemy was driven from the decks of the ships and three prizes were taken by the Americans.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE, Washington, District of Columbia, 20374
Identifier:
2011.0672.0029
Institution:
National Museum of the U.S. Navy
credits:
Courtesy, Naval Historical Foundation

John Paul Jones Letter

Date:
August 1785
Creator:
John Paul Jones
Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE,District of Columbia,Washington,20374
Identifier:
2011.0672.0028
Institution:
National Museum of the U.S. Navy
credits:
Courtesy, Paul Hammond
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Venetian 5.75 Inch Bronze Howitzer

Publisher/Studio:
Venice: Arsenal

This piece, mounted on the eastern entrance to Leutze Park, is a Venetian 5.75-inch bronze howitzer captured during the Barbary Wars. On the second reinforce is a winged lion, its paws resting on an open book. This is the ancient symbol of Saint Mark the Evangelist, the patron saint of Venice. The Lion of Saint Mark indicates that these howitzers were cast at the famed Arsenal in Venice, a combined shipyard and munitions plant which, for centuries, built and armed the naval squadrons of this powerful Italian city-state. Unlike the early howitzers (Nos. 21-24) in this collection, this is apparently not chambered since, besides the midsection reinforce seen on the other pieces, it has a first reinforce at the breech as well. Cup-shaped vent pieces indicate that this weapon was made before the introduction of priming tubes in the 1760s.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-X
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Venetian 5.75 Inch Bronze Howitzer

Publisher/Studio:
Venice: Arsenal

This piece, mounted on the eastern entrance to Leutze Park, is a Venetian 5.75-inch bronze howitzer captured during the Barbary Wars. On the second reinforce is a winged lion, its paws resting on an open book. This is the ancient symbol of Saint Mark the Evangelist, the patron saint of Venice. The Lion of Saint Mark indicates that these howitzers were cast at the famed Arsenal in Venice, a combined shipyard and munitions plant which, for centuries, built and armed the naval squadrons of this powerful Italian city-state. Unlike the early howitzers (Nos. 21-24) in this collection, this is apparently not chambered since, besides the midsection reinforce seen on the other pieces, it has a first reinforce at the breech as well. Cup-shaped vent pieces indicate that this weapon was made before the introduction of priming tubes in the 1760s.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-V
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

5.5 Inch Bronze Howitzer

This piece is a 5.625-inch howitzer; the lack of identification on this weapon indicates that it may have been cast for the export trade. This howitzer, like most of its contemporaries, is chambered; that is, the powder chamber is"necked" down to a smaller diameter than the bore. The breech section of the tube is thus thicker and can withstand firing pressure without the need for a reinforce. This gives Nos. 21-24 the "potbellied" shape which characterizes most - though, as will be seen, not all - howitzers of their period.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-BA
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

5.5 Inch Bronze Howitzer

This piece, as well as the five which follow, are typical howitzers of the kind used from the late 1600s into the early 1800s. Unlike their longer-barrelled mid-19th century descendants in this collection (Nos. 1,3,4, and 7), they are only about four calibers long. This howitzer and No.22 are believed to be of British make, though neither bears any marking to confirm this.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-AZ
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Spanish 12 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
March 28, 1795
Publisher/Studio:
Barcelona

This Spanish 12-pounder, is named GENEROSO (Generous), presumably for its readiness to dispense its iron favors. Cast at Barcelona on 28 March 1795, it bears the serial number 2673 on the breech ring. A large elevated vent piece has been added at some time after the manufacture, and the vent field (on the top of the vent piece) is shaped to correspond with a flint firing lock. The holes drilled in the right side of the vent piece, with the cutaway in the gun tube beside it, were intended to accommodate the lock. This gun is believed to have been captured at Derna during the war with Tripoli and brought to the United States late in 1805 in the brig Franklin.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-AG
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Spanish 27 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
1788
Publisher/Studio:
Barcelona

This can, appropriately, be called a "Decatur gun." No. 13 is a Spanish 27-pounder gun, cast at Barcelona in 1788 for King Charles III; it armed a gunboat captured in hand-to-hand combat by Decatur at Tripoli on 3 August 1804. Named CORZO (the male roe deer, with the connotation of swiftness), this Spanish gun has the vent astragal and chase girdle characteristic of 18th-century ordnance but is functional in line.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-L
Institution:
Naval Historical Center