How U.S. Naval Power Grew to Match Mercantile Ambitions

In the early years of the American republic, Sackets Harbor in upstate New York was one of the U.S. Navy’s most important ports, guarding access to the St. Lawrence River. In the War of 1812, Americans repulsed two British assaults there. As the war ended, they erected an odd memorial to their victories: the forlorn, uncompleted hulk of the battleship New Orleans.

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