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Topics in Constitution's History

How many tries did it take to launch USS Constitution? What's Paul Revere's connection to the ship? How did Constitution's surgeon practice medicine at sea? Dig deeper into Constitution's history and find the answers to these and other questions with articles, essays, and pamphlets exploring a variety of topics and time periods. Check back often for new material!

Note: material may not be quoted or republished without permission from the USS Constitution Museum.

  • The Launch

    Constitution was built on a slip laid for the purpose in Edmund Hartt's shipyard in the North End of Boston, approximately at the eastern end of the present day Coast Guard Base. Her keel was laid in the summer of 1795, and in late August 1797, she was about ready to enter her element.

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  • Why A Navy?

    Prior to independence, American mariners who composed about one third of the British merchant marine enjoyed the protection of the Royal Navy. The mariners of the United States of America, a country so impoverished it had to sell off what remained of its wartime navy, enjoyed no such support.

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  • Paul Revere and the Recoppering of Constitution

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  • Paddle Wheels for "Old Ironsides"

    It has ever been that when a dramatic technological advance occurs, attempts are made to use it in as many applications as possible. The results of such efforts frequently are ludicrous in their design or results, or disastrous, or in a few cases they work.

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  • The First Step

    The winds of revolution were sweeping over broad areas of Europe in the late 1840s, potentially endangering American commercial interests in their path.

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  • Constitution Sails Again...And Again?

    On 21 July 1997, USS Constitution ('Old Ironsides') sailed free for the first time in almost 116 years.

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  • Naval Medicine in the Early Nineteenth Century

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