A visit to Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston
We were lucky to visit this historic site on a bright sunny day in June last year. It was not possible for me to capture the whole ship in one photo.
The timeline of the battleship from the homepage of the museum of USS Constitution:
To protect the new United States of America, President Washington orders six naval ships to be built:
March 27, 1794
“An Act to provide a Naval Armament,” signed by President George Washington, authorizes the purchase or construction of six frigates to create the United States Navy.
Some details from the visit
A hundred years later, President Theodore Roosevelt wrote a book on the history of the US Navy which is still highly regarded.
A quote from the page:
As president for nearly eight years, Roosevelt strove tirelessly to develop the navy as the “big stick” of an increasingly ambitious U.S. foreign policy. Working with Congress and the service itself, he increased the size, armament, armour, speed, efficiency, and overall capacity of the Navy and its vessels.
To explain the “Big Stick” here is a famous quote from TR:
“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far”
During TR’s term as Governor of NY State, he fought with the party bosses, particularly Boss Tom Platt regarding a political appointment. Roosevelt held out, although the boss threatened, to “ruin” him. In the end, the boss gave in.
According to Nathan Miller in his book “Theodore Roosevelt, A Life”, page 337,
“Looking back upon his handling of the incident, Roosevelt thought he ‘never saw a bluff carried more resolutely through to the final limit.’ And writing to a friend a few days later, he observed: ‘I have always been fond of the West African proverb: “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” ‘ ”
The proverb and the policy followed him into numerous instances in his career, including his policies abroad during his presidency.
Today the U.S. Navy is the world’s greatest.
You can follow the Freedom Trail in central Boston to go there but if you want to save your energy it’s easy to catch a boat at Long Wharf in the harbour:
MBTA Water Shuttle
Frequent service runs daily from Long Wharf (near the New England Aquarium).