John V. Quarstein
Director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center
About the Lecture
USS Idaho was a fast design developed to chase down Confederate commerce raiders. Henry Steers designed the hull; however, political interference resulted in the installation of faulty engines. Upon completion, the US Navy rejected the cruiser. But Congress insisted that Idaho be commissioned. The engines were tested at sea and eventually removed. Idaho became the USN’s fastest sailing storeship until it wrecked in a storm off Yokohama, Japan, on September 21, 1869.
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Image header credit:
Watercolor on silk. Steam sloop USS Idaho following conversion to storeship. Collection of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Courtesy of US Naval History and Heritage Command # NH 1422.