From: The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), the discoverer of America. The capital city of
Ship: t. 200 cpl. 220 a. 18 x 9-pdr., 10 x 6-pdr.
The first Columbus , a 24-gun armed ship, was built at Philadelphia in 1774 as
Sally; purchased for the Continental Navy in November 1775, Captain A. Whipple in
command. Between 17 February and 8 April 1776, in company with the other ships of
Commodore E. Hopkins' squadron, Columbus took part in the expedition to New
Providence, Bahamas, where the first Navy-Marine amphibious operation seized
essential military supplies. On the return passage, the squadron captured the
British schooner, Hawk, on 4 April, and brig Bolton on the 5th. On 6 April the
squadron engaged HMS Glasgow (20). After 3 hours the action was broken off and
Glasgow escaped, leaving her tender to be captured. Later in 1776 Columbus
cruised off the New England coast taking five prizes. Chased ashore on Point
Judith, R.I., 27 March 1778 by a British squadron, Columbus was stripped of her
sails, most of her rigging, and other usable material by her crew before being
abandoned. She was burned by the enemy.