USS Newark (C-1)

USS Newark (C-1)

The first USS "Newark" (C-1) was a United States Navy protected cruiser, the first modern cruiser in the US fleet.

She was laid down by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 12 June 1888, launched 19 March 1890, sponsored by Miss Annie Boutelle, daughter of Congressman Boutelle of Maine, and commissioned 2 February 1891, Captain Silas Casey III in command.

"Newark" operated off the Atlantic coast for ten months, taking part in maneuvers and exercises until detached 8 December at Norfolk Navy Yard. There she remained, undergoing post-shakedown overhaul until being assigned 11 March 1892 to the North Atlantic Squadron and sailing on the 14th for the West Indies. The cruiser operated in Caribbean waters and off the lower east coast, showing the flag in West Indies ports until returning to Norfolk 5 June where she was made flagship of Rear Admiral Andrew E. K. Benham, Commander of the newly formed South Atlantic Squadron, 25 June. She departed 17 July for Cádiz, Spain to participate in the ceremonies commemorating the 400th Anniversary of Columbus' sailing. Arriving on the 30th, she remained until 2 August then sailed for Genoa, Columbus' birthplace, arriving one month later to continue the celebration. Putting out from Genoa on the 25th, "Newark" cruised the Mediterranean and the Adriatic, visiting many ports until arriving 11 February 1893 at Cádiz to take in tow a full size reproduction of caravel "Nina" and sailing on the 18th for home.

Transferred to the Naval Review Fleet for temporary duty 1 March, the cruiser arrived Havana 21 March, parting with "Nina" there, thence sailing to Hampton Roads and New York where she picked up the caravel once more and proceeded down the St. Lawrence River to Quebec, leaving the little ship there 11 June and returning to Norfolk 22 June. "Newark" next sailed 20 September, this time for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to protect American interests, arriving 20 October and remaining until 1 April 1894. The warship then operated off the South American coast with the South Atlantic Squadron, making one cruise to South Africa from August to October 1894 and another the same time the following year, before returning to Norfolk 27 April 1896. Assigned to the North Atlantic Station 4 May, she joined her squadron at New York 25 June and engaged in patrol duty and exercises off the southeastern coast until decommissioning at Norfolk 6 March 1897.

Following extensive overhaul, "Newark" recommissioned 23 May 1898, shortly after the declaration of war on Spain, Captain A. S. Barker in command. She sailed 13 June for Key West and then Cuba, joining the blockade 30 June. Cruising in Cuban waters throughout the summer, the warship bombarded the port of Manzanillo 12 August and on the following day accepted its surrender. After the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, she participated in the final destruction of Admiral Cervera's fleet through bombardment of the burned hulks. "Newark" returned to New York 26 November 1898.

Departing New York 23 March 1899, the cruiser steamed down the coast of South America on patrol, stopping at numerous ports along the way. In the middle of her cruise, 7 April, she was ordered to proceed through the Straits of Magellan to San Francisco. The ship, low on coal, was forced to put into Port Low, Chile, from 31 May to 22 June to cut wood(!) for fuel. Finally arriving Mare Island Navy Yard 4 September, "Newark" underwent repairs and then sailed 17 October via Honolulu for the Philippines arriving Cavite 25 November to support the U.S. Army in the Philippine-American War. The warship took station off Vigan, Luzon, landed troops for garrison duty, then moved on to Aparri 10 December, receiving the surrender of insurrectionists in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, and Bataan.

On 19 March 1900, she sailed for Hong Kong to rendezvous with monitor "Monadnock" 22 March and convoy that ship to Cavite, arriving 3 April and staying there until sailing for Yokohama 24 April, arriving 3 days later. The ship then hoisted the flag of Rear Admiral Louis Kempff, Assistant-Commander of the Asiatic Station and sailed 20 May for China to help land reinforcements to relieve the legations under siege by the Boxers at Peking. Arriving Tientsin 22 May, "Newark" operated in that port and out of Taku and Chefoo, protecting American interests and aiding the relief expedition under Vice Admiral Edward Hobart Seymour, R.N., until sailing at the end of July for Kure, Japan, and then Cavite where she hoisted the pennant of the Senior Squadron Commander in the Philippines. She sailed for home in mid-April 1901, via Hong Kong, Ceylon and Suez, arriving Boston late July 1901. She decommissioned there 29 July.

"Newark" recommissioned 3 November 1902, Comdr. Richard Wainwright in command and sailed 14 December for duty in southern waters. For the next two years she operated in the West Indies and off the coast of South America as part of the North Atlantic Fleet. Returning to Norfolk briefly 27 October 1904 to 9 January 1905, she resumed her duties in the West Indies for the first six months of the year and then in June, following exercises off Virginia, was assigned as a training ship to the United States Naval Academy. Placed in reserve at Annapolis 15 September, she was restored to full duty 3 May 1906 for her second east coast training cruise. Following this duty, she put into Norfolk 13 September where she embarked a Marine detachment and sailed for Cuba on the 17th. The veteran cruiser returned home 19 October and decommissioned at New York Navy Yard 9 November.

Loaned to the New York Naval Militia 23 March 1907, she recommissioned exactly one year later for duty as a station ship at the Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Arriving 2 April 1908, she served on this duty until returning to Norfolk 5 December 1912 to be placed in reserve on the 31st. "Newark" decommissioned 16 June 1912 and was stricken from the Navy List 26 June.

The old cruiser continued to serve her country following her Navy service. Turned over to the Public Health Service, she served as quarantine hulk for the hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, until 1918 when she returned to the Navy to serve throughout World War I as an annex to the Naval Hospital Newport, Rhode Island. Later transferred to New York, she returned to the Public Health Service at Providence, May 1919. On 7 July 1926 she was again returned to the Navy Department for disposal and was sold 7 September.

See USS "Newark" for other Navy ships of the same name.

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