Princeton, Explosion on the

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PRINCETON, EXPLOSION ON THE. The Princeton, the first warship driven by a screw propeller, carried a large gun known as the "Peacemaker," devised by R. F. Stockton, the ship's commander; at twelve inches in diameter, it was the largest gun yet forged for the American navy. On 28 February 1844, while a party of about two hundred government officials, including President John Tyler, were cruising down the Potomac aboard the Princeton, the crew fired the gun to entertain the company. It burst and killed several persons, including Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur and Secretary of the Navy Thomas W. Gilmer.


Bennett, Frank M. The Steam Navy of the United States: A History of the Growth of the Steam Vessel of War in the U. S. Navy, and of the Naval Engineer Corps. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1972.

Walter B.Norris/c. w.

See alsoGunboats ; Navy, United States ; Steamboats .

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