The USS Constitution was one of the first frigates built for the US Navy in the early years of the American republic. The Constitution was authorized in 1794 and launched in 1797 from Hartt’s shipyard in Boston. The ship fought in the Quasi-War with France in the late 1790s, the Barbary Coast War in the early 1800s, and—most famously—in the War of 1812. Later it served as a training ship and a diplomatic vessel.
Nowadays, the Constitution never leaves its home port of Boston. Even so, it is is still an officially commissioned warship of the United States Navy. Active-duty naval officers in period-era uniforms give tours of the ship. Visitors can explore the upper and lower decks of the ship, including the gun deck, where the ship mounted 24-pounder cannons for use in engagements against pirates or warships from other countries’ navies.
The USS Constitution is one of the world’s oldest ships, and the oldest one anywhere that is still afloat. It is a living relic of the great age of sail and the founding years of the American republic.
For more information about the Constitution, see:
- Official US Navy page about the ship – https://www.navy.mil/USS-CONSTITUTION/
- National Park Service page – https://www.nps.gov/bost/learn/historyculture/ussconst.htm