USS PLYMOUTH KNIFE

$950.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 344-3038

Knife has bone handle and clipped point blade. Blade surface has light scattered mottling with surface pitting in areas and some minor scratches. The edge of the blade has a couple of minor nicks.

Handle is one piece with a silver rivet in each side. It originally had two diamond-shaped silver inlays on each side, three of which are missing. Inlays were also present on each side of the tang, one of which is missing. There is light surface rust in this gap and one of the rivets is still present. The remaining inlay is engraved with the name, “C.W. KENYON”. Handle has darkened with age and there are some light surface cracks present. Silver pommel has, “USS PLYMOUTH” engraved on the end.

Blade measures 4”. Entire length measures 7 ¾”.

USS Plymouth was a sloop-of-war constructed and commissioned just prior to the Mexican-American War. She was heavily gunned, and traveled to Japan as part of Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s effort to force Japan to open her ports to international trade. She also served in European and Caribbean waters and, later in her career, she was used to train midshipmen. Plymouth was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for Plymouth, Massachusetts, a town on Plymouth Bay, about 35 miles southeast of Boston, Massachusetts. Plymouth was founded by the Pilgrims in 1620. Built by the Boston Navy Yard, she departed Boston, Massachusetts, on April 3, 1844 for the Mediterranean Sea, Commander Henry in command.

After over a year in European waters, she sailed westward and arrived at New York City on October 4, 1846. Following service on the U.S. East Coast, Plymouth departed New York City, February 13, 1848, for the Far East, returning to Norfolk, Virginia, from the East Indies on January 29, 1851. On August 23, 1851 she stood out from Hampton Roads, Virginia, bound once again for the Orient. After duty on the East India Squadron, she joined Commodore Matthew C. Perry's expedition to Japan, entering Edo Bay on July 8, 1853 and departing on July 17. She returned in February of the following year and before heading home put into Shanghai where she sent a party ashore to support a coordinated British-American expedition against hostile forts in the area.

Returning to Norfolk, Virginia, January 11, 1855, Plymouth began an extended tour in the Atlantic Ocean. Assigned as a midshipmen training ship during the summers of 1855 and 1856, she tested new ordnance under the command of Commander John A. Dahlgren in 1858 and resumed duties as a training ship for midshipmen during the summers of 1859 an Plymouth was at Norfolk, Virginia, for repairs during the secession crises in the winter of 1860–1861. After Virginia seceded from the Union, she was scuttled and partially burned there, April 20, 1861, to prevent her capture by the forces of the Confederate States of America when the Gosport Navy Yard fell into their hands. The Confederates raised her by June 23, 1861, despite being 30 feet deep in mud and water, and planned to sail her up the James River to Richmond. However, when the Navy Yard was recaptured by the Union on May 10, 1862, she had not been moved and the Confederates scuttled her to avoid capture. She was again raised and her hulk sold at auction on February 8, 1864.  [SM]

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