William R. King, 1853
William Rufus de Vane King (1786-1853) served as a representative from North Carolina, a senator from Alabama, and a vice president of the United States in 1853 but he died before he assumed the latter office.
TYPE/RIG/CLASS: Center-board Schooner
COMMISSIONED: June 1853
DECOMMISSIONED: 1861 (Seized by Confederacy)
DISPLACEMENT: 81 tons
William R. King was built as the 81-ton private schooner The Knight in 1849. She was purchased in Baltimore, Maryland, in June, 1853 for $3,500 and was refitted for service as a lighthouse tender at a cost of $1,500. Her first assignment was in the 8th Lighthouse District and she transferred to the 9th District in July, 1858.
She was illegally seized by secessionist forces in March, 1861. The Confederate government had her refitted in July, 1861 and she served in Louisiana as the CSS William R. King. She was captured by the U.S. Navy in 1862 and returned to the Lighthouse Board.
She was sold in 1863.
Douglas Peterson. United States Lighthouse Service Tenders, 1840-1939. Annapolis: Eastwind Publishing, 2000.