Cutter of the Revenue Marine and Revenue Cutter
Service: 1790-1900 Built 1853.
The system of cutters," the Revenue Marine, and
the Revenue Cutter Service, as it was known variously throughout the nineteenth
century, referred to its vessels as cutters. The term, English in origin,
refers to a specific type of sailing vessel, namely, a small, decked ship
with one mast and bowsprit, with a gaff mainsail on a boom, a square yard and
topsail, and two jibs or a jib and a staysail. (Peter Kemp, editor, The
Oxford Companion to Ships & the Sea; London: Oxford University Press,
1976; pp. 221-222.) By general usage, however, that term came to
define any vessel of Great Britain's Royal Customs Service. The U.S.
Treasury Department adopted that term at the creation of its "system of
cutters." Since that time, no matter what the vessel type, the
Coast Guard and its illustrious predecessors have referred to their largest
vessels as cutters (today a cutter is any Coast Guard vessel over 65 feet in
length). During the period the cutters were named primarily for
secretaries of the Treasury Department and other contemporary political
personalities. The Revenue cutter Jefferson Davis was named for the man who
would become the first and only president of the Confederacy although at the
time of the cutter's launch in 1853, and the reason for this singular honor,
he was President Franklin Pierce's Secretary of War. In fact all
vessels of this class were named for members of President Pierce's cabinet.
She was a 90-plus foot topsail schooner that displaced about 150 tons.
She was built by J.M. Hood of Bristol, RI. She survived a
hurricane in 1853 with slight damage and put into Charleston for repairs.
After reentering service, she sailed to San Francisco around Cape Horn to serve on the west coast, arriving in July, 1854. She participated in the
suppression of a Native American uprising in Olympia, WA in 1855. She
was converted to a Marine Hospital Boat in 1862.
PLANS ONLY – SEE BELOW)
Length Overall 35in. Plans plus 96pg Booklet