From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships


Any of numerous winged hymenopterus insects possessing smooth, slender bodies, and an abdomen attached by a narrow stalk. They have well developed wings, biting mouthparts, and often administer painful stings.


(Sch.: t. 66; l. 69'; b. 17'3"; dr. 6'3"; cpl. 40; a. 1 long 6-pdr.)

The third Wasp-a schooner built in 1810 at Baltimore, Md.-received a privateer's warrant from the United States government in July 1812 when she put to sea for a privateering foray into the West Indies. During that cruise, she stopped three British merchantmen, allowed one to continue due to the fact that she carried nothing of value, and took the other two as prizes. While putting a prize crew on board the last of the three, the schooner Dawson, Wasp was surprised by the British sloop-of-war Garland. Both captor and prize hoisted full sail and got underway. The prize crew easily took Dawson to safety at Savannah, Ga., because HMS Garland chose to chase Wasp. The latter managed to outsail her would-be captor and, after sailing through a hurricane which cost her both her masts, finally returned to Baltimore on 28 November 1812.

At Baltimore, her owners sold her to a group of businessmen who refitted and rearmed her with a long 9-pounder and then chartered her to the United States Navy as a dispatch boat during the summer of 1813. She passed her brief period of naval service without incident, and the Navy returned her to her owners that autumn. On 1 October 1813, she was sold at auction at Baitimore. The two merchants who purchased her, Mr. Joseph Lane and Mr. Thomas White, refitted her, rearmed her with a long 4-pounder, and sent her to sea as a privateer. Her second cruise appears to have met with even less success than her first for the last reference to her career was an advertisement the Baltimore American ran on 4 August 1814 which called her owners to a meeting on the 11th to settle accounts. Presumably, she was sold.