Jasmine, 1866

Feb. 1, 2021

Jasmine, 1866

later-William E. Chandler

Jasmine: a woody vine of the genus Gelsemium, especially G. sempervirens of the southeastern United States, with fragrant yellow flowers.  The State flower of South Carolina.

William E. Chandler (1835-1917): A lawyer, state and national legislator from Concord, New Hampshire.  On 9 March 1865 President Abraham Lincoln appointed Chandler Solicitor and Judge Advocate General for the U.S. Navy, the first time these two posts had been created.  But Chandler resigned those investigator positions later that year to become Assistant Secretary of the United States Treasury. He resigned his position with the Treasury soon thereafter (November 30, 1867), to practice law in Washington, D.C. Chandler also served as secretary to the Republican National Committee (1868 - 1876).

Builder: Brooklyn, New York 

Length: 79'

Beam: 18' 3"

Draft: 7' 6"

Displacement: 120 tons

Cost: $6,500 (purchase price)

Commissioned: 13 June 1866 (USN); 

Decommissioned: 21 March 1903

Disposition: Sold

Machinery:  Steam engine; 2 boilers; 1 propeller

Performance & Endurance:


Complement: 12 (USRCS)

Armament: 1 x 20-pdr


 Jasmine, a wooden tug, was purchased at New York under the name Peter B. Van Houten from Palmer, Crary, & John Reid, 29 May 1863; and commissioned at New York Navy Yard 17 June, Acting Master A. L. B. Zerega in command.

Jasmine was assigned to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron and sailed for the Gulf of Mexico 21 June. On 14 July she captured sloop Relampago with an assorted cargo, including supplies of critical copper boiler tubing, and towed her to Key West. For the remainder of the war the tireless tug served as a supply and dispatch vessel maintaining communications between the various ships of the squadron. The end of the war found her in Pensacola, where she remained providing varied services while the squadron demobilized and the Navy resumed peacetime operations.

Jasmine sailed north early in 1866 and decommissioned at New York 12 May. She was sold to the Treasury Department 13 June 1866 for $6,500 (less 10%).  She was then used by the Revenue Cutter Service as a harbor boat in New York harbor.  Her name was changed to William E. Chandler, after an assistant secretary of the Treasury Department, on 18 December 1873.

She was lengthened to 99 feet at some point, probably during an extensive overhaul she underwent in either 1870 or 1873.  Michael Healy, the service's most famous officer of the late-nineteenth century, took over command in 1877 and served until 1880 before he was transferred to the west coast.

The Chandler was decommissioned on 21 March 1903 and was sold for $561.87 on 28 September 1903.


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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).