foot, for instance, is the same as the English, the mode of casting the tonnage of a ship is widely different. This will appear evident when it is known, that the American frigate President, according to the official register in the office at Washington, measured 1444 tons and a fraction ; * whereas, when subsequently measured at Portsmouth dockyard, she was found to be 1533 tons and a fraction.
The President's " keel for tonnage," as given in an American publication, is 145 feet ; but the English mode of casting the tonnage makes it 146 feet, 7¾ inches. In both cases, it is a mere calculation, intended to allow for the rake or inclination of the ship's stem and stern. The first multiplicator of the Americans is the breadth across the frame, or moulded breadth, by them usually called the breadth of beam, but the first multiplicator of the British is the extreme breadth, or that produced by adding to the moulded breadth double the assumed thickness (in ships of the higher classes five inches) of the plank on the bottom. The second multiplicator of each is the respective half-breadths. The American divisor is 95; the British 94. Thus:
As it is not generally known, even among the most experienced naval officers of either nation, that any difference exists in the mode of measuring British and American ships of war, the reduction in the alleged tonnage of the latter greatly facilitates the deception, eulogized for its " advantages " by the American government, and to the influence of which upon the European world the American flag owes so much of its glory.
If we consider, that it is only to add about four feet to the extreme breadth of the President, to make her a larger ship than the generality of British 74s, and that her yards are as square, and her masts as stout as theirs, some idea may be formed of the size and formidable appearance of the American 44-gun frigate. In point of scantling, also, that which is acknowledged to be the lightest built of these frigates is at least equal to a British 74 of the largest class. This is proved by taking the thickness of the topsides at the midship maindeck, and foremost quarterdeck, port-sill. In the President, the maindeck port-sill measures 1 ft. 8 in., and, in any British 74 of 1800 tons, 1 ft. 7 in. ; and, while in the latter the quarterdeck port-sill measures only 1 ft. 1 in., it measures in the former 1 ft. 5 inches.
Now for the armament of these 44-gun frigates. Having had ocular proof of the manner in which the President was fitted, we shall take her for our guide. This beautiful ship has, or rather had, for she has long since been taken to pieces, 15 ports and a bridle of a side on the main deck, eight of a side an the
* Clark's Naval history of the United States, vol. ii., p. 240.
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