Grant, 1871

Jan. 25, 2021

Grant, 1871

Photo of Grant

Ulysses Simpson Grant (1822-1885) was the 18th President of the U.S.

Builder:  Pusey & Jones Corp., Wilmington, Delaware

Rig: Barque

Length: 163’

Beam: 25’

Draft: 11’ 4”

Displacement: 350 tons

Cost: $92,500

Commissioned: 1872

Decommissioned: 1906

Disposition: Sold

Machinery: Vertical steam engine

Performance & Endurance:

Complement: 45

Armament: 4 guns (unknown type)


Grant, often referred to as the U. S. Grant, was an iron-hulled vessel, built for the Revenue Cutter Service for $92,500 and was one of the few three-masted cutters ever in service.  She was constructed at Wilmington, Delaware, by the Pusey and Jones Corp. The cutter was assigned to the New York station on 19 January 1872 with Revenue Captain George R. Slicer, in command.

For the next two decades, U. S. Grant operated off the east coast from Block Island Sound to the mouth of the Delaware River. She was withdrawn from this duty on 29 September 1893 to be refitted for duty in the Pacific.  She departed New York on 6 December, bound for Port Townsend, Wash. En route, the revenue cutter called at Barbados; Bahia, Brazil; Montevideo, Uruguay; Valparaiso, Chile; Callao, Peru; San Diego and San Francisco, California, and arrived at Port Townsend on 23 April 1894, ending a voyage of 73 days and 20 hours.

In the ensuing years, U. S. Grant operated out of Port Townsend, protecting the salmon fisheries and, when necessary, extending assistance to ships of the Bering Sea whaling fleet.  She continued her peacetime routine in the Pacific northwest into the late 1890's. Arriving at San Francisco on 7 April 1898, U. S. Grant was placed under Navy control four days later, on 11 April, as the United States girded for war with Spain. Retaining her Revenue Cutter Service crew, the cutter operated under Navy aegis as a unit of the Naval Auxiliary Service through July.  Returned to the Treasury Department on 16 August 1898, U. S. Grant resumed her peacetime activities, patrolling the same northwest Pacific coastlines of Washington and Alaska which she had covered during her brief wartime naval service.

On 23 January 1906, the Pacific Mail Line steamer Valencia became stranded off Cape Beale Light, near Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  Of the 164 people on board, 126 perished in the tragedy.  U. S. Grant assisted in operations to recover the bodies of the victims and later transported them to Seattle.

U. S. Grant conducted her last cruise in the summer of 1906, patrolling the salmon fisheries off the Washington coast in the vicinity of Point Wallace, Washington.  Subsequently taken out of service, the revenue cutter was sold on 28 November 1906 to A. A. Cragin, of Seattle.

She was sold 28 November 1906 for $16,300 to A. A. Cragin of Seattle and became the merchant vessel Grant.

Photographs:Photo of Grant

U.S. Revenue Steamer ‘Grant’; no date.


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.  Washington, DC: USGPO.

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).