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. [From the publisher]
The History Press
This is the publisher's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Walters, Kerry. Explosion on the Potomac: The 1844 Calamity Aboard the USS Princeton. Charleston. SC: The History Press, 2013.
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Original version is available from the publisher at: https://historypress.net/catalogue/bookstore/books/Explosion-on-the-Potomac/9781626191976