Rush (Richard Rush), 1874

Nov. 2, 2020

Rush (Richard Rush), 1874

Richard Rush (1780 - 1859) was nominated by President John Quincy Adams to be the 8th Secretary of the Treasury. He served throughout the Adams Administration from 7 March 1825 until 5 March 1829.

He was a statesman, diplomat, brilliant orator and key figure in two Administrations (Madison and John Quincy Adams), and came from a distinguished family, carving a distinguished career in public affairs in his own right.  Quickly gaining statewide then national attention as a public speaker and successful trial lawyer, Rush was appointed Attorney General in Pennsylvania in 1811.  In that same year, President James Madison made him Comptroller of the Treasury.

Rig: Schooner

Builder: Atlantic Works, Boston, MA

Launched: 14 March 1874

Commissioned: 21 July 1874

Decommissioned: 1885

Length: 140’

Draft: 8’ 10”

Beam: 23’

Displacement: 179 tons

Propulsion: Steam/Sail

Machinery: Compound-expansion 400 h.p. steam engine, single propeller

Maximum Speed:

Complement: 7 officers, 33 enlisted

Armament: 2 x 6-pounders


The 1874 Revenue Cutter Richard Rush was built by the Atlantic Iron Works at East Boston, Massachusetts, at a cost of $79,800 and launched there on 14 March 1874.  She was one of three cutters of the Dexter Class built, the others being the Dallas and the Dexter, all three coming into service in 1874.  The Rush was built for service on the west coast.

On 14 July 1874 Revenue Captain John A. Henriques was authorized to hire a crew and on 21 July 1874 she was placed in commission.  On July 27th she was ordered to sail to New York to fit out for her journey to California, and on 15 September 1874 she sailed from New York, bound for San Francisco via Cape Horn.  The Rush arrived safely in San Francisco on 8 January 1875.  Here she cruised the waters off California, Oregon, and Washington and made three cruises to Alaskan seas.  She carried the "floating courts," as did most Revenue cutters that sailed to Alaska, searched for survivors of wrecked ships, assisted vessels in distress, enforced fisheries laws, participated in local celebrations, and transported dignitaries (local, federal, and international) as well as government records and property when ordered.

Her first trip to Alaskan waters occurred two years later, on 2 May 1877, when she sailed for Sitka, Territory of Alaska, arriving on the 19th, via Wrangell.  She remained in Alaskan waters until 7 November 1877 when she returned to San Francisco.  Her 1878 cruise kept her in Alaska from July 10th to October 27th.  Again in 1879, she was on a cruise in Alaska from May 5th until October 20th.  The next cruise was in 1881 when she patrolled Alaskan waters and the Seal Islands from August 18th to November 1st.

From that time until 24 February 1885, she remained on the Port Townsend station, when she was ordered to San Francisco to be rebuilt.  Her old hull was sold for $4,000 and miscellaneous articles for $511.25.  The work was completed on 10 November 1885 under contract with Hall Brothers of San Francisco at a cost of $74,000.  The "new" Rush now had a new, longer hull of 175 feet, she displaced 300 tons, and was rigged as a topsail schooner.  She still had the boiler and engine of the old-Rush, both of which had been thoroughly reconditioned.


Donald Canney.  U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

U.S. Coast Guard.  Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933.  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).