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The neighborhood is occupied with sailor On entering the yard, the visitor will be
leads up to the commandant's residence, a
front view of which is here given. It is needed for service. In a similar shipa neat two-story frame house, on elevated house adjoining, a first-class frigate of ground, overlooking the whole yard. We forty-four guns, to be called the Sabine, do not know that there is any special | is yet to be seen in an unfinished state. prohibition against visiting this part of the Though not of the largest size, she looks premises; but courtesy and good-sense gigantic as she lies high and dry, for so should dictate the propriety of not intruding great a proportion of the bulk of a vessel is upon the privacy of this lovely home, even below the water-line when she is afloat though it be that of a public officer, and that one can form but little idea of her real the house itself the property of “Uncle magnitude. What a spectacle yon noble Sam.” Some years since, we are told, at ship, the North Carolina, must have preleast one party, if not more, took the liberty sented before she slid from the ways into of entering the halls and passing through the element for which she was built! various rooms uninvited. We cannot but Now that we have mentioned the North hope that such specimens of rudeness are Carolina, let us board her. But she lies at a “few and far between."
distance from the land; a little guard-house Further down, on the left-hand side of is just before us, however, near which a the street, is a building resembling ex- plank gently descending will bring us to ternally that at the gate; the two lower a float, from which we can step into a stories are occupied as offices, and the barge, or scow, or ferry-boat, call it what third and fourth by the Naval Lyceum, a you please ; at any rate, the motive power description of which will be given here- is neither steam, nor horses, nor wind, nor after. In the door-yard in front are oars. A rope is stretched from the vessel several brass pieces, with Spanish inscrip to the shore ; this rope passes through tions; trophies of the late Mexican war. rings at each end of the boat, and two Directly opposite this edifice is a flag-staff, sailors by pulling soon bring you safely bearing the following inscription
You land on a float at the side of “ Latitude 400 41' 501 North.
the ship, and looking up at the rows of Longitude 74° 0 2511 West of Greenwich. guns peeping out from her sides, congratu
30 21 3511 East of Washington. late yourself that you come peaceably, for Variation 40 101 West."
the effect of one broadside would be more If the visitor has never before been able than you would care to witness. She precisely to ascertain his position, he will shows her teeth, however, without barking now have the satisfaction of doing so, at or biting, and having mounted the flights least for a few moments.
of stairs you are soon on her upper
deck. Turning from this, the next object likely Here are officers in uniform, and sailors to attract the attention is a large wooden going to and fro; all is neatness and quietbuilding, three hundred and fifty feet long, ness. The decks look as if they had been and eighty feet to the peak. It is full of scrubbed by the best of housewives, the windows, and somehow recalls to the mind brass is highly polished; while all around, our childish vision of Noah's ark. Can it be with their mouths turned away from you that the worthy officers of our navy have now, are the black demons that looked at erected a fac-simile of that ancient bark as yoy so terribly as you were coming on a model for imitation! Passing around to board. A staircase takes you down to the water-front we find the doors open, and another deck, similar in many respects to perceive that the building is nearly empty. the one above, with rows of cannon on It is no ship, but the shell out of which, every side ; another staircase to a third some time since, a ship was hatched. deck, which is ditto; and then, getIndeed, several have already been launched ting tired of going down stairs, you look from its inclosure, and others will probably down the hatchway and see two or three follow. Along an inclined railway they stories of dark holds yet below you. On dive into the water like young ducks, one of the lower decks is a caboose, or wingless at first, it is true, but soon to be cook-stove, and tables for the different supplied from the sailmaker's loft with
Muskets are stacked in various those necessary organs, made of the very places, and a fire-engine stands ready for best duck. The vessels are built under use in case of necessity. If the doors of cover, and remain so, sheltered from the the officers' state-rooms are open, you will weather sometimes for years, till they are see that they are pleasant and neatly
furnished; but do not enter them, for they are private. Should you get there at nine o'clock A. M. or three P. M., the band will be on board, discoursing most excellent music.
The North Carolina is a line-of-battle ship, called a seventy-four, but mounting one hundred guns of large caliber, and is moored off the yard for the purpose of receiving recruits for the navy. She is under the immediate charge of Commander E. Peck, who is subordinate to the commandant of the navy-yard. The other officers are
THE PEACEMAKER. Lieutenants Walke, Ring, Middleton, and Bowers, and Master S. C. Reid, who been built in 1797, the former at Philaacquired during the war with England delphia, the latter at Boston. Both are quite a reputation as commander of the celebrated for their services, the ConGeneral Armstrong. There are also stitution especially so. connected with her Surgeons Abernethy Not far from where the North Carolina and Bell, Purser Cahoone, Marine Lieu- is now moored, lay the ill-fated Fulton, tenant Brooks, and Chaplain Lenhart, a which was destroyed by the explosion of member of the New-Jersey Conference her powder-magazine in 1829. The catasof the Methodist Episcopal Church. Her trophe took place a little after midday, complement in her present service is one and resulted in the death of more than hundred and forty men; at sea, she would forty persons. The cause of this disaster be manned by eight hundred. She was was never ascertained. But little powder built at Philadelphia in 1820.
is kept about the yard at present. The At a little distance from the North government store of this destructive article Carolina lies a hull, without masts, &c., is at Ellis's Island, in the bay below Newthe Brandywine, whose first voyage was York. One family only resides there,
having charge of the premises ; and no lights or fire are permitted.
On shore again, we look about for new objects of interest. At the end of a brick building, standing between the two shiphouses before alluded to, is a cannon of some size, and in front of it a mass of iron eight inches thick, through which one of its balls has been driven. This gun, we are told, bears the singular title of “Stockton's Peacemaker,” and carries a ball of one hundred and twenty pounds. It was made in England, and is of wrought-iron. The United States government, it seems, had been applied to to adopt and assist
an invention called Stevens's floating-batundertaken to bring to this country that tery, composed of plates of iron, which honored guest of the nation, the Marquis the inventor claimed would be impregnable de la Fayette. She is a frigate of the to cannon balls. It was resolved to test first class, mounting forty-four guns. She the matter practically, and one ball from was built at Washington in 1825, and laid the Peacemaker, though it did not make up in 1849.
It is designed to rebuild pieces of the target, caused that fearher.
ful rent. Steam and gunpowder! what The Constitution, familiarly known as mighty agencies are they! Controlled by Old Ironsides, was at this yard not long man, how useful in many particulars ; but
, since. She and the United States are the like caged wild beasts, how apt to turn, in oldest vessels in the navy, both having terrible fury, against their puny tyrants !
But no object in the navy-yard can in diameter, were repeatedly broken, six exceed in interest the Dry-dock and its giving way in a single night. At length, appurtenances. It is located at the north- however, the excavations were completed, east corner of the yard, its front, or en and the foundations of the dock comtrance, being built on the edge of the menced; but the difficulties did not yet convex channel of the bay. Standing on cease-numerous springs of fresh water, its brink, let us consider its history before some forty or more, made their appearwe proceed to a more minute examination ance. One of these, at the north-east corof its parts.
ner of the dock, undermined the piles, and As early as 1826, Colonel Baldwin, a in a single day made a cavity in which a civil engineer, examined the harbor of pole was run down to the depth of twenty New-York, and reported that it was prac- feet below the foundation timbers. Into ticable to build a stone dry-dock of suf- this hole two hundred cubic feet of cobbleficient capacity to receive a ship of the stone were thrown; but the spring sought line. His report was approved by Con a new outlet, bursting up through a bed gress ; but nothing further was done until of concrete two feet in thickness. Various March 3, 1835, when a new examination expedients were resorted to in vain ; but was authorized, and one hundred thousand at last, by driving piles to a great depth, dollars appropriated for commencing the a secure basis was obtained. work. In the following June, Colonel For the purpose of making a solid restBaldwin repeated his survey, and reported ing-place for the foundation, eight thousand in favor of locating the dock within the two hundred and eighty-three piles were navy-yard. The subject was annually used, the average length of which was before Congress from that time till 1841, thirty-two feet seven inches. Some of when decisive action was taken, and the these, called bearing-piles, were round, work commenced in August, under the and of spruce timber; others, called sheetdirection of Edward H. Courtenay, Pro- piles, were of yellow pine plank. Concrete fessor of Civil Engineering at West Point. masonry, two feet deep, was then laid He was succeeded by others, who prose- between the bearing-piles, and a flooring cuted the task with ability and zeal, until, of yellow pine plank, three inches thick, on the 30th of August, 1851, it was com was placed upon and spiked to them. Timpleted under the superintendence of Gen-bers and concrete, covered with another eral Charles B. Stuart, to whose published fooring of plank, then followed, and on account we are indebted for the particulars this last the stone-work was commenced. given.*
The main chamber of the dock is two The difficulties encountered were nei- hundred and eighty-six feet long and thirty ther few nor trivial. The soil proved less feet broad at the bottom, and three hundred substantial than was anticipated, although and seven feet long and ninety-eight feet great pains had been previously taken to broad at the top. By means of a floatingascertain its character. There were nu gate, an additional length of fifty-two feet merous quicksands, and the coffer-dam, may be obtained, being room enough for though composed of piles from thirty-three the largest war-steamers afloat. Eighty to thirty-seven feet in length, did not pene- thousand tons of stone were used. The trate the solid substratum beneath to a granite for the exterior masonry was from sufficient depth to give them as firm a hold the Sullivan and Franklin quarries, in the as was necessary.
On two occasions State of Maine ; and the interior stone breaches occurred with little or no warn from the Staten Island and Highland quaring-providentially without any loss of life. ries, in the State of New-York. The Additional piles were then driven, and, sides of the dock are like a succession of to keep them in place, chain-cables were lofty steps, as may be seen in the section attached to mooring-blocks on the shore ; | here given, within which is represented the but these, though of iron, and two inches Pennsylvania, the largest ship of the line
in the American service. The cornerGeneral Stuart's work is very valuable, and stone of the masonry was laid May 12, beautifully got up. It is entitled “The Naval 1847, and completed April 19, 1850. Dry Docks of the United States,” and is pub
When a vessel is to be repaired, the lished by Charles B. Norton, Irving House. Its illustrations are numerous, and add greatly to gates (which are very ingeniously conthe value and beauty of the volume.
structed, but cannot be described in the
take a peep.
the steamer San Jacinto, the frigates St. Lawrence, Brandywine, Constitution, and Macedonian, the storeship Relief, and the French steam - frigate Mogadore, were all safely docked between the first of January, 1850, and the first of Jangary, 1852. We believe the work has fully answered the design of its construction.
Much time might be very pleasantly spent in examining the various workshops and store-houses in the yard. They are built of brick, with
slate roofs, and are generally THE PENNSYLVANIA IN DOCK.
of two stories, and covered
with a yellow wash. Some present article) are opened, and she is of them are occupied for the storage of profloated in ; the gates are then closed, and visions, and others as timber-sheds, where the water pumped out by means of an en- large quantities of oak and pine are laid up gine of great power, at which we will now to season for use. One of these was con
sumed last spring, and much valuable propThis beautiful machine stands in the erty destroyed. Then there are shops east wing of a granite building, perfectly for the blacksmiths, joiners, block-makers, fire-proof, three hundred feet long and spar-makers, &c.; besides lofts for the sixty feet broad, with iron roof, doors, sail-makers, riggers, gunners, &c. A brick floors, shutters, window-frames, &c. A building now in process of erection in a part of the building will be occupied for distant part of the yard, is intended for a other purposes. The engine is of the steam saw-mill. The barracks for the species called a condensing double-acting marines are not in the yard ; a large beam-engine, and is set in a cast-iron wooden building on Park Avenue, is occugothic frame, and finished in the most per- pied by them. fect manner. Its cylinder is of fifty inches The Naval Lyceum, before referred to, diameter and twelve feet stroke. A reg- will well repay the visitor for the time ister records the number of strokes of the pumps. An elegant iron railing surrounds the whole. The boilers, three in number, are in an adjoining apartment. Thirtyseven thousand three hundred dollars was the price at which it was contracted for : but various additions and alterations raised the sum total to fifty-two thousand eight hundred and thirty-five dollars and fiftynine cents. It was constructed at the West Point Foundry, at Cold Spring, New-York, and is the largest in America ; and at the time of its erection not exceeded by any in the world, and is capable of emptying the dock in two hours and ten minutes. One, since constructed to drain the Harlem Mer, in Holland, is said to exceed it.
The United States sloop of war Dale,
• The perpendicular lines at the bottom of the cut, represent the bearing-piles already mentioned.