THE U.S.S CONSTITUTION (1797) A 52 gun frigate. According to the American Constitution, the first legal provision for the creation of a national navy was the Act of 27th March 1794. This Act provided for the building of six frigates to control the Arab pirates who were causing much darnage to American trade. President Washington referred the matter to the War secretary, General Knox, who commissioned Joshua Humphreys, a renowned shipbuilder, to prepare the plans. The U.S.S. CONSTITUTION was built between 1794 and 1797 at Hartt's naval shipyard in Boston and launched on 21 st October 1797. After brilliant performances against French corsairs in the Caribbean Sea under the command of Samuel Nichdson, the U.S.S. CONSTITUTION captured the British ship GUERRIERE in less than half an hour. On 29th December, under the command of Captain Bainbridge, she sunk the JAVA, then captured rnany small British units. In 1814, she won many prizes, narrowly avoiding beeing captured by two English frigates. In 1925, the American Congress decided to restore completely the U.S.S. CONSTITUTION which had been nicknamed OID IRONSIDES after her exploits in the War of Independance. She is now exhibited in the Boston Naval Shipyard.

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