Madison (James Madison), 1807

Feb. 10, 2021

Madison (James Madison), 1807

James Madison was the fourth President of the United States.

Rig/Type: Schooner

Builder:  ?; Baltimore, Maryland





Cost: $

Commissioned: 1809

Decommissioned: N/A

Disposition: Captured by the Royal Navy in July, 1812

Performance & Endurance:




On 26 June 1807 the Collector at Baltimore authorized the construction of a new cutter.  On 18 January 1809, the cutter, named James Madison, set sail from Baltimore for Savannah, Georgia, under the command of Revenue Captain George Brooks. 

In July of 1812 the James Madison captured the 300-ton British brig Shamrock, one of the first vessels captured by the U.S. during the War of 1812.  The Niles Weekly Register reported on 25 July 1812 that: "Yesterday arrived from a short cruise the Cutter MADISON, Captain Brooks, with a fine British Ship, mounting 6 six and nine pounders, with a quantity of small arms and ammunition and navigated with 14 men."  The Niles Weekly Register also reported that same day that: "A British Schooner [the Shamrock?] that arrived at Amelia Island some days ago from new Providence with $20,000 specie on board, had been detained by the Revenue Cutter MADISON.  The prizes lately made in this place are of great value."

She was captured by the Royal Navy frigate HMS Barbadoes near Savannah.  Her crew was paroled and taken to New York, arriving there, according to the New York Evening Post, on the Cartel Brig Diamond on 28 November 1812.  The article noted: "Among the prisoners arrived at New York . . . are Captain Brooks and his officers of the Revenue Cutter MADISON of Savannah."

The cutter itself was not taken into British service as the Alban as has been reported (that was the U.S. privateer William Bayard).  The James Madison's ultimate fate remains unknown.


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

Stephen H. Evans.  The United States Coast Guard, 1790-1915: A Definitive History (With a Postscript: 1915-1950).  Annapolis: The United States Naval Institute, 1949.

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).