North Carolina

North Carolina was one of nine ships commissioned by Congress in 1816, and was built at the U.S. Navy Yard in Philadelphia in 1820. The ship measured 196.30 feet long and weighed 2,633 tons. North Carolina was a 74-gun ship-of-the-line, a popular size for ships at the time. However, North Carolina had gunports for 102 guns and in 1845 carried a total of 90. North Carolina was considered one of the most formidable U.S. Navy ships of its time. The North Carolina was first commanded by Master Commandant Charles W. Morgan who served aboard until 1824. North Carolina was later the flagship for Commodore John Rodger in the Mediterranean Sea, from 1825 to 1827. Roger's squadron helped lay the groundwork for a treaty with Turkey which would open up the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea to American trade. After being decommissioned in October 1836, the North Carolina sailed to the Pacific Station, one of the only locations a ship of her size at that time could operate. While in the eastern Pacific, the North Carolina protected important American commerce. But due to its size, it was not as maneuverable as other ships and it was sent to New York Navy Yard in 1839 where it served as a receiving ship, housing new sailors until they were assigned a crew, until 1866. The ship was sold in 1867.
The painting shows North Carolina's port profile. She appears to be taking down her sails in preparation for anchoring. The famous frigate Constitution (1797) is moored in the distant left.
Currently not on view
Object Name
painting, oil
date made
ca 1820
Physical Description
oil on panel (overall material)
without frame: 20 in x 28 in; 50.8 cm x 71.12 cm
with frame: 25 1/4 in x 33 in; 64.135 cm x 83.82 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Cigna Maritime Collection
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Work and Industry: Maritime
Cigna Maritime Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

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