Explosion on the Potomac: The 1844 Calamity Aboard the USS Princeton

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In 1844, the USS "Princeton" was the most technologically sophisticated warship in the world. Its captain, Robert Stockton, and President John Tyler were both zealous expansionists, and they hoped that it would be the forerunner in a formidable steam-powered fleet. On a Potomac cruise intended to impress power brokers, the ship's main gun--the Peacemaker--exploded as the vessel neared Mount Vernon. Eight died horribly, while twenty others were injured. Two of Tyler's most important cabinet members were instantly lost, and the president himself had a near miss--making it the worst physical disaster to befall a presidential administration. The tragedy set off an unpredictable wave of events that cost Tyler a second term, nearly scuttled plans to add Texas to the Union and stirred up sectional rancor that drove the nation closer to civil war. Author Kerry Walters chronicles this little-known disaster that altered the course of the nation's history.
ISBN: 9781626191976
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: District of Columbia
Series: Disaster
Images: 35
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Kerry Walters received his PhD from the University of Cincinnati, has been a professor at Gettysburg College for over 25 years and was named the William Bittinger Professor of Philosophy. Walters is the author of over two dozen books on philosophy and theology, and he has published several books on the Civil War.
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