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Historical Materials: Vessel Types

Historical Materials  »  Vessel Types  »  Naval / Government Vessel

Naval / Government Vessel

View related Fitz Henry Lane catalog entries (5) »

Government-owned vessels were mainly concerned with defense of the nation (i.e. the U.S. Navy), the regulation of foreign commerce via enforcement of tariffs and seizure of contraband (i.e. the U.S. Revenue Service), and aids to navigation (i.e. the U.S. Lighthouse Service; coastal life-saving was in the hands of civic organizations).

Naval vessels were classified according to a multitude of duties, which in turn determined hull form and size, propulsion (sail, engine-powered, oars), and numbers and duties of crews.

Revenue service vessels varied from small harbor craft, swift-sailing schooners for coastal and harbor patrols, and large square-rigged (and later engine-powered) ships for off-shore duty. These vessels worked closely with customs houses in seaports with significant foreign commerce.

Related tables: Ship (Full-Rigged) »

artwork
The "Constitution" in Boston Harbor
Fitz Henry Lane
1848–49
Oil on canvas
15 3/4 x 23 1/4 in.
Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, Tenn., Museum Purchase (1968.4)

Detail of navel vessel.

artwork
The U.S. Frigate "President" Engaging the British Squadron
Fitz Henry Lane
1850
Oil on canvas
28 x 42 in.
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Corcoran Collection (Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lansdell K. Christie) (2014.136.82)

Detail of naval vessel.

U.S. steam frigate "Mississippi," in the Gulf of Mexico, March 1847
1848
Hand-colored lithograph
Published by N. Currier, New York
Library of Congress catalog number 93514426
Citation: "Vessel Types." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. http://fitzhenrylaneonline.org/historical_material/index.php?type=Vessel+Types§ion=Naval+%2F+Government+Vessel (accessed March 28, 2017).
Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
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