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U.S.S. Hornet Order Book, 1823-1825: Finding Aid

Published in April 2020

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
  • Call number: MS 56
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: U.S.S. Hornet Order Book
  • Dates: 1823-1825
  • Size: 0.17 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 volume of 93 leaves
  • Creator: Hornet (Brig)
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: U.S.S. Hornet was a United States Navy brig. The U.S.S. Hornet Order Book spans from 1823 to 1825. The volume is the product of Hornet's service in the Caribbean suppressing piracy.

History of U.S.S. Hornet (Brig)

The third U.S.S. Hornet was launched on July 28, 1805 by William Price of Baltimore, Maryland and commissioned on October 18, 1805, Master Commandant Isaac Chauncey in command. Hornet cruised the Atlantic coast until March 29, 1806 when she sailed to join the squadron protecting American commerce from piracy in the Mediterranean. She returned to Charleston on November 29, 1807 and was decommissioned.

Hornet recommissioned on December 26, 1808. She transported General James Wilkinson to New Orleans, cruised in home waters to enforce the Embargo Act, and carried dispatches to Holland, France, and England. From November 1810 to September 1811, she was rebuilt and ship-rigged in the Washington Navy Yard.

Cruising with Commodore John Rodgers' Squadron during the War of 1812, Hornet captured the privateer Dolphin on July 9, 1812, only to have Dolphin recaptured while en route to the United States. After assisting the blockade of the Brazilian port of Bahia, she captured H.M.S. Peacock off British Guiana on February 24, 1813. Hornet sailed north to New London after capturing Peacock. She was blockaded there until November 14, 1814 when she slipped past British cruisers and took another merchant prize en route to New York. Unaware that the war had ended, she sailed south and captured H.M.S. Penguin on March 23, 1815, off the island of Tristan da Cunha.

After cruises to the West Indies and Copenhagen in 1818, and to the Mediterranean in 1819, Hornet cruised the Caribbean fighting piracy, based at Key West and Pensacola. She captured the pirate schooner Moscow on October 29, 1821 off the coast of Santo Domingo. She continued to cruise throughout the Caribbean for the next nine years, departing Pensacola the last time on March 4, 1829. She set course for the coast of Mexico and was never seen again. On October 27, 1829 the commander of the West Indies Squadron received information that Hornet had been dismasted in a gale off Tampico on September 29, 1829 and had foundered with the loss of all hands.

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Description of Contents

The U.S.S. Hornet Order Book, comprising 0.17 linear feet of documentation in a single volume of 93 leaves, spans from 1823 to 1825. The volume is the product of Hornet's service in the Caribbean suppressing piracy.

Beginning from the front of the volume are general orders, circulars, and other official U.S. Navy correspondence issued by David Porter and Lewis Warrington, commanding officers of the West India Squadron. Specific entries pertain to such topics as pirates and privateers (February 26, 1823), public criticism of the U.S. Navy by officers (December 27, 1823), Florida and its native population (March 17, 1824), American claims over Thompson's Island (Key West) (August 18, 1824), and the conduct of midshipmen (April 20, 1825).

Beginning from the back of the volume are handwritten copies of three works on the coastal geography of Cochinchina, including Jean-Marie Dayot's 1796 "Memoir on the Coasts and Harbours of Chochin China," Daniel Ross' "Directions to accompany the Charts of the South Coast of China," and "Memoranda of Shoals and Islands composing the Group commonly called 'Paracels" etc. etc., their situation being determined by the Honorable Company's Cruizers DISCOVERY and ANTELOPE."

Included inside the front cover of the volume is an excerpt of a log entry of a vessel sailing towards the Cape of Good Hope.

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The U.S.S. Hornet Order Book comprises a single volume.

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Access and Use


Patron use restricted to microfilm.

Copyright and Permission

The U.S.S. Hornet Order Book is the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Accessioned on September 14, 1874. Accession No. 16640.

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Related Materials

Location of Copies or Alternate Formats

This collection also available on microfilm.

Related Archival Material

Additional documentation pertaining to U.S.S. Hornet in this repository can be found in the Franklin Buchanan Naval Papers, MS 1; and the Samuel Woodhouse Naval Papers, MS 7.

Official logbooks of U.S.S. Hornet may be available in Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships, ca. 1801 - 1940, Record Group 24: Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1798-2007 at the National Archives and Records Administration.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

U.S.S. Hornet Order Book, MS 56

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:

"Hornet III (Brigantine)." Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington: Naval History and Heritage Command, 2015,

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in April 2020.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Hornet (Brig)
  • Key West (Fla.)
  • Pirates -- West Indies
  • United States. Navy -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • United States. Navy. West India Squadron
  • Vietnam, Southern -- Description and travel

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
  • Memoirs
  • Orders (military records)

Additional Creator/Author

  • Dayot, Jean Marie
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

U.S.S. Hornet Order Book, 1823-1825

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