When the War of 1812 was declared both the British and the Americans lacked ships on the
Great Lakes. Both sides quickly began building warships and converting civilian vessels. One vessel that was converted by the Americans was the USS Trippe.
Originally named the Contractor, the USS Trippe was purchased by the navy and converted into a sloop with a 32-pound long gun in 1812. By 1813 the Trippe was in
Lake Erie and part of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s squadron. During the Battle of Lake Erie in September 1813, the Trippe engaged in a long range duel with two small British ships. The Americans took control of Lake Erie after the battle and the USS Trippe was relegated to transporting supplies.
In October 1813, the Trippe returned to Buffalo as the navigation season came to an end. On December 30th the ship was burned during the British attack on Buffalo. The story of the USS Trippe doesn’t end in 1813.
The Buffalo Maritime Center is now working on building a replica of the USS Trippe from the War of 1812. The center received a replica hull that will be used to rebuild the Trippe and many other donations have come in to help move this project forward. If you are interested in learning more or helping with this project, you can contact the Buffalo Maritime Center by clicking here.
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