Contributed by Harrison
Description: OLDEST USN SHIP FOR SALEDate: November 22 1930
Newspaper published in: Springfield, Mass.
Source: PERSONAL COLLECTION
WASHINGTON, D.C. NOVEMBER 21, 1930
Commissioned at Boston, October 3, 1876, the little gunboat Essex, oldest vessel in the Navy solely designed for steam propulsion, has been offered for sale by sealed proposals to be opened in the Navy Department on December 17.
The ship which is only 158 foot long and displacing 1375 tons, has traversed the globe carrying out her orders.
During the present century, no longer fit for service in the fleet, she has spent 12 years as a training ship for the Naval Militia of Ohio and her last 3 years as a training ship for the Naval Reserve of the State of Minnesota.
After completion of her buildiing in 1876 by the Navy Yard at Kittery, Maine, the Essex was commissioned under the command of Commander WINFIELD SCOTT SCHLEY and was assigned to the North Atlantic station.
In 1887 she cruised to Liberia and the west coast of Africa, returning in 1878 for duty on the South Atlantic station.
In 1882 the Essex was attached to the Pacific Fleet, from which in 1883 she was ordered to the Asiatic station. On April 16, 1883, at Yujai Island, Marshall group, the Essex took on board the captain and crew of the wrecked vessle Rainer.. In 1884 the Essex returned to the United States by way of Singapore, East Africa and the Suez Canal. Her next cruise in 1886, also was on the Asiatic station where in the fall of that year visited Ponapi, East Caroline group, to investigate a reported massacre of Spaniards and to afford protection to American Missionaries.
Subsequent service found the Essex present at Portland, Maine, in 1890 to take part in reunion ceremonies of the Army of the Patomac; on the South Atlantic station 1890 - 1892, at Annapolis for instruction of mid-shipmen, and as an apprentice seaman training ship in the Atlantic.