Bering Sea Patrol and Alaska Veterans History

The Lincoln - U. S. Revenue Cutter

Public Information Division
U. S. Coast Guard Headquarters
Washington 25, D.C.
Date Sheet

U. S. Revenue Cutter

The LINCOLN was the first of a long line of U. S. Coast Guard (known earlier as the
U. S. Revenue Cutter Service) cutters to make an Alaskan cruise.

After the Senate ratified the treaty-purchase of Alaska from Russia on April 9,
1867, the LINCOLN was dispatched north to carry the United States Flag. Skippered by
Captain W. A. Howard, the cutter transported to Sitka an official party she picked
up at San Francisco, consisting of a surgeon, a group of coast survey men headed by
George Davidson, and the government's special agent Lieutenant George W. Moore, the
first U. S. agent to establish headquarters in the provincial capital. She then
proceeded on a long survey cruise of Alaska's vast coastline.

Built in 1864 by John F. Fardy and Brother, under superintendancy of Captain J. White,
USRCS, at Baltimore, at a cost of $165,000, the LINCOLN had a length of 165 ft., beam
26 ft., depth of hold 12 1/2 ft., draft 10 ft. She sailed from Baltimore on September
12, 1865 to her assigned homeport at Port Angeles, Washington, arriving there May 21,
1866. Her cruising grounds were mainly the waters of Washington and Alaska.

On April 14, 1874 the LINCOLN was sold and later renamed the SAN LUIS. On February 15,
1887, she sank off San Francisco.

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1864 - 1874

The Revenue Cutter LINCOLN was contracted for by John T. Fardy & Brother, Baltimore,
Maryland, on May 25, 1864. The length of her deck was 165 ft., breadth of beam 26 ft.,
depth of hold 12 ft. 6 in., diameter of her engine cylinder 3 ft., stroke of piston 2
ft. 6 in. and her draft 10 feet. On January 18, 1865 she was delivered to Captain
White of the Revenue Cutter Service as a cost of $165,000. She was ordered to Port
Angeles, Washington on September 12, 1865 and sailed from Baltimore on September 16th
arriving in San Francisco on February 24, 1866 and at Port Angeles on May 21st. On
July 29, 1867 she arrived at Victoria on her way to Alaska returning to Puget Sound
on November 27th, being the first American public vessel in Alaska after its purchase
from Russia.

On March 7, 1868 she proceeded to San Francisco to exchange officers and crew with

On April 18, 1869 she sailed from San Francisco for Alaska, arriving at Kodiak on May

1lth. She returned on December 19, 1869.

Again on June 11, 1870 she departed for Alaska and remained there until August 2,
1870 when she returned to Port Townsend.

She was sold on April 14, 1874 and sank off San Francisco, February 15, 1887 after
being renamed the SAN LUS.

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The purchase of Alaska in 1868 opened up a vast new territory and the cutter Lincoln
was dispatched north to carry the flag.

The cutter's first act for the territory was to transport to Sitka the government's
special representative, Lieutenant George Moore, and then to proceed to a long
reconnaissance of the coast.

Lincoln was only 165 feet in length and her oscillating engine required a great
expenditure of lubricating oil and fuel. Because of this, it was necessary to sail
whenever the wind was favorable.

In spite of this limitation, from 1867 through 1870, Lincoln made several cruises of
reconnaissance and was well known to Alaskan natives, traders, and immigrants during
this early

Many of the miles logged in these early years were devoted to the scientific
investigation of the far northern areas.

Lincoln discovered deposits of coal and vast fishing grounds extending 700 miles
across the North Pacific. The Coast Survey group aboard Lincoln secured data for
charts. Botanical specimens were also collected for the Smithsonian.

The authoritative reports that came from Lincoln undoubtedly spurred the development
of Alaska's fishing industry.

By 1889 the Revenue-Cutter Service was patrolling the coast for the protection of the
salmon fisheries which, to a much larger extent, is still done to this day and age.


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