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USS Tom Bowline (1814)
Name: USS Tom Bowline
Acquired: by purchase, 1814
Fate: Sold, probably 1818
General characteristics
Displacement: 260 long tons (264 t)
Complement: 90 officers and enlisted
Armament: 12 guns

USS Tom Bowline was a schooner in the United States Navy during the War of 1812.

Tom Bowline was purchased by the Navy in late 1814 at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for use as a storeship, Lieutenant B. V. Hoffman in command. Subsequently proceeding to New York, she joined President, Hornet, and Peacock in preparations for a raiding foray into the East Indies.

President's sortie on 14 January 1815, however, ended in disaster — grounding and suffering severe damage, the frigate fell victim and captive to a superior British squadron on the following day — 15 January. On the 22nd, a strong northeasterly gale blew up and provided the three other American ships at New York an opportunity to escape the vigilant eyes of the British blockaders. Tom Bowline bent on storm canvas to accompany Hornet and Peacock in their bid for freedom of the open sea. Unaware of President's fate, the three ships made for Tristan da Cunha for the prearranged rendezvous. Hornet became separated en route, leaving her two consorts to press on without her. Tom Bowline and Peacock reached the volcanic island on 18 March — only to be driven off by a gale.

Hornet arrived five days later, but her landfall coincided with the appearance in the area of British brig-sloop Penguin. The two ships closed for action, and Hornet damaged Penguin seriously enough to warrant destruction of the Briton. The sighting of strange sail on the horizon hastened Hornet's burning of the prize, but apprehension turned to relief as the sails proved to be Peacock and Tom Bowline returning to Tristan da Cunha for the planned rendezvous. Tom Bowline embarked the Penguin's captive crew and took the prisoners to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Records giving details of Tom Bowline's subsequent service have not been found, but the vessel was apparently sold in 1818.


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

See also