The U.S.S. Constitution under
full sail. One of a limited edition designed by Woody Baston for the Grand
Lodge of Massachusetts. Number 315/350 signed by the artist. A
lovely piece with great detail - Woody claims it was one of his more
ambitious efforts. It's hard to find these pieces as they were made
for members of the Masonic Fraternity only. For more information on
this piece (SML-718), other Masonic items as well as Sebastian collectibles
in general, refer to the Sebastian collectors web site at www.sebastianworld.com
the U.S.S. Constitution
March 27, 1794, Congress voted to authorize the construction of six frigates
for the United States Navy. The most famous of these was the U. S. S.
Constitution, nicknamed "Old Ironsides" by her crew in 1912.
The keel was laid in 1794 in Edmond Hart's shipyard in Boston. She was
launched on October 21, 1797.
She put to sea on July 22nd, 1798 on a cruise to
the West Indies to protect American shipping from French privateers.
It was much later, in the war of 1812, that she earned her famous nickname.
During the battle between the Constitution and the HMS Guierriere, on of the
crewmen saw the British shot bouncing off her sides and shouted
"Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron." The Guerriere
was so badly damaged that it sank while the crew of the Constitution had
only 14 casualties. This the first of over 40 battles that the
Constitution won, never losing any.
Constitution's connection with Freemasonry
started very early; her first Commander, Samuel Nicholson, was a member of
Lodge #17, Queenstown, MD. One of her better known Commanders - Edward
Preble was a member of Ancient Landmark Lodge #17 of Portland, Maine.
her greatest contribution to Freemasonry came on March 17th, 1926, when the
Major General Henry Knox lodge was constituted on the gun deck. This
is the only Lodge in the world ever to be instituted on an active ship of