From: DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL FIGHTING SHIPS, Vol. IA, pp. 49-52.
Adams-a newly constructed 200-ton brig-was purchased during the summer of 1812 by General William Hull, the Army commander at Detroit (now in Michigan) to add to the defenses of that forward outpost. However, before the ship could be armed Hull sur rendered her along with Detroit on 16 August 1812. The British armed the prize and commissioned her as HMS Detroit. She and HMS Caledonia gave the British undisputed control of Lake Erie. All changed early on the morning of 9 October 1812 wh en a boat expedition commanded by Lt. Jesse D. Elliott captured the two vessels right under the muzzles of the guns at Fort Erie. Caledonia made it safely to the temporary American base at Black Rock, but Detroit, owing to light wind, was sw ept away by the Niagara River's strong current and was forced to anchor within range of British guns. An artillery duel ensued. Elliott brought all his guns to his engaged side and continued the cannonade until his supply of ammunition was exhausted. Ther eupon, he cut the cable; and the brig drifted down the river. She grounded on Squaw Island within range of both British and: American batteries. Elliott and his men abandoned her, and almost immediately, some two score British soldiers took brief possessi on of the brig. American guns soon drove them out with great loss, and both sides began pounding her with gunfire. The Americans finally set fire to and destroyed the battered hulk.