Wednesday, January 29, 2014


The Naval Heritage Society is pleased to announce a collaborative partnership with the Palm Beach Maritime Foundation for the fulfillment of the USS Hornet Project.  When complete, the fully-functional reconstruction of the 1812-era warship will now make its winter home exclusively in Florida, calling at many of the same ports as the historic ship did in its career between 1819 and 1829.

While wintering in Florida each year, Hornet will bolster local educational efforts by hosting programs for the Palm Beach Maritime Academy, a high-performing public charter school based in West Palm Beach and controlled by the Palm Beach Maritime Foundation.  She will also support local historical enclaves on Peanut Island and the Palm Beach Maritime Museum.

The Palm Beach Maritime Foundation had been pursuing an effort to produce a replica of John Paul Jones' Ranger, a ship very similar in size and capacity to Hornet.  However after several years of parallel work, team leads William King and John C. Grant decided to join forces.  In selecting which ship would move forward, Hornet proved the effectiveness of her professional team.  The advanced preparation of Hornet's business and operational plans, as well as her unique for-profit/non-profit hybrid business model facilitated her quick selection.

There is also a significant history between Florida and the original Hornet.

In 1819, Hornet carried the Adams-Onis Treaty from the United States to Spain for ratification by the King. Two years later, the ship was present at Pensacola during the peaceful transfer of Florida from Spain to the United States, presided over by General (later President) Andrew Jackson.  From 1821 to 1829, Hornet was frequently engaged on the Florida coast suppressing pirates and smugglers and protecting legitimate commercial shipping.  Based largely in Pensacola and at Key West, Hornet became a mainstay of the West Indies Squadron and an important developmental buttress for the Florida Territory.

In celebration of the partnership, our 1:12 scale exhibition model of Hornet, along with figurehead Triumphant, are on display at the Palm Beach Maritime Museum now through Summer 2014.

More to follow...

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