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Announcement of Launch of USS Constitution

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Announcement of Launch of USS Constitution  (1797) 
by George Claghorn

Navy-Yard.

BOSTON, September 18, 1797.

THE Constructor, having extended to his fellow-citizens all reasonable gratification of their laudable curiosity, during the progress of the building, believes he may, with propriety, make the following request and suggestions, on the operation of launching the frigate CONSTITUTION.

That (excepting the President of the United States, the Governor, Lieut. Governor, and their respective suites, and others specially admitted, who will, comparitively, be very few) no person will attempt, in any way, to pass into the limits of the Navy Yard.

The reason of this request is obviously to prevent interruption or confusion, which might be injurious, or ruinous, to the act of launching, which will be critical, under the most favorable circumstances, and indespensably requiring perfect silence and obedience to orders. Independent of this conclusive reason, the danger of encroaching spectators would be imminent, from the occasional and abrupt falling of bodies, used in the construction of the ship—a conformity therefore, to this request, is earnestly solicited.

It is suggested, as the tide will be full, that it would be necessary to the safety of the spectators, particularly women and children, that they do not approach in crowds too near the margin of the contiguous wharves, as the sudden entrance of so large a body as the Frigate, will occasion an instantaneous swell of the water, the height of which cannot be easily calculated, and against which, therefore, the discretion of the people ought amply to guard.

It is to be regretted, in this instance, that the Yard, and the places around it, are too contracted for an occasion, which will probably excite so much desire, and in which all the citizens have so much interest; it is therefore submitted to those, who can conveniently make the arrangement, to place themselves in vessels, or water crafts, at due distances, upon the profile or sides of the Frigate, but by no means too near, either in a right line, or otherwise, as the direction may be uncertain, nor to load open boats too deeply, as the agitation of the water, even at a considerable distance, may be somewhat hazardous.

It is also recommended, to those who erect stages to accomodate spectators, that they have them well secured, in every respect, as the loss of life of a single citizen, would mar the satisfaction and pleasure that the Constructor otherwise would enjoy, of building, and conducting into the ocean, a powerful agent of national justice, which hope dictates may become the just pride and ornament of the American name.

GEORGE CLAGHORN.

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.