Painting of the Assembly of the West India Squadron

This painting shows the assembly of the West India Squadron of 14 vessels under American Commodore James Biddle in April 1822 to combat Caribbean piracy.
HMS Macedonian (1810) measured 161 ft 6 in and weighed 1,325 tons. The United States captured the ship September 25, 1812, off the Canary Islands. The Macedonian served in anti-piracy campaigns and in 1828 was broken up.
Congress, built in Portsmouth, NH, measured 164 ft and weighed 1,266 tons. It served in the War of 1812 and in the West India Squadron. In 1834 it was broken up.
HMS Cyane (1796) measured 110 ft and weighed 539 tons; Constitution captured the ship in February, 1815. Cyane combated piracy and slavery off the African West coast and the West Indies. The ship sank in 1835 in the Philadelphia Naval Yard.
Built in Charleston, SC, John Adams (1799) measured 139 ft and weighed 544 tons. It served in the War of 1812, in the West India Squadron and the Civil War. The ship was sold in 1867.
Hornet, launched in 1805, measured 106 ft 9 in and weighed 440 tons. It served in campaigns against piracy and the War of 1812 and sank in a storm off Tampico, Mexico in September, 1829.
Peacock (1813), built in the NY Navy Yard, measured 117 ft 11 in and weighed 509 tons. It fought in the War of 1812 and sailed the West Indies. In 1828, the ship was broken up and rebuilt.
Spark (1813) was built in Sag Harbor, New York. Although, purchased by the U. S. Navy in Baltimore in 1814 for use in the War of 1812, it never served. The ship was sold in 1826.
Enterprise (1799) measured 83 ft 6 in and weighed 165 tons. It served in the Mediterranean, sailed the Caribbean suppressing piracy and slaves and wrecked in the West Indies in July, 1823.
Built in the Boston Navy Yard, Alligator (1820) measured 86 ft and weighed 198 tons. It sailed the African west coast and the West Indies. In November, 1822 the ship wrecked off Florida.
Grampus, built in Wash. Naval Yard in 1820, measured 97 ft and weighed 171.5 tons. It served against piracy and is presumed sunk in a storm off Charleston, South Carolina in 1843.
Shark, built in the Wash. Navy Yard, was launched in May, 1821. It measured 86 ft and weighed 198 tons. Active against slavery and piracy in the West Indies, in 1846 it wrecked off the Columbia River.
The Porpoise (1820), built in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, measured 86 ft and weighed 177 tons. It cruised in the West Indies and the West African coast. In 1833 it wrecked off Point Lizardo.
Gunboat No. 158 (1808) measured 60 ft and weighed 90 tons. It combated piracy in the Wests Indies and was later renamed Revenge.
Gunboat No. 168 fought the British ship Erebus near the Florida and Georgia border on March 16, 1815 during the War of 1812.
Currently not on view
Object Name
painting, oil
date made
Schetky, John Christian
Physical Description
oil on canvas (overall material)
without frame: 49 1/2 in x 41 1/2 in; 125.73 cm x 105.41 cm
with frame: 39 in x 51 1/2 in; 99.06 cm x 130.81 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Cigna Maritime Collection
See more items in
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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