Recently people have been joining me on my Sunday Walks in Downtown Albany. Typically, I walk in Albany when I'm scheduled as a tour guide on the USS Slater. A slide show and a map are detailed at this blog entry. I plan on walking on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. You can contact me at:

More on the USS SLATER (

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Naval History Blog - 1st Submarine

I follow the Naval History Blog, and recently they posted this story - April 11, 1900: The First Submarine of the Navy, USS Holland (SS-1). "....This article was written by Captain Frank T. Cable as The Submarine Torpedo Boat Holland: First Submarine to Become a Part of the United States Navy for the February 1943 issue of Proceedings magazine. ...."

Great article! Interesting comment from Clara Bar­ton: ".... On one of these trips we had Clara Bar­ton, founder of the Red Cross, on board as a guest. Perhaps she was the first woman to venture in a submarine. We ran the Holland for several miles on the surface, then submerged her and Miss Barton to a depth of 15 feet on a run of 2 miles. Hol­land explained to her the boat’s mecha­nism, particularly the operation and effect of the torpedo. If he looked for congratula­tions on his ingenuity, he did not get them. On the contrary, she expressed her great surprise that any American citizen should be guilty of inventing such a deadly instru­ment of war. Holland, with his usual Irish good nature, assured her that to take life was not the purpose of the boat, but rather the contrary. He believed that if all the nations of the world were equipped with submarines there would be no war. The World War proved that he erred...."  

Perhaps, that's the comment John Holland made to Clara Barton, but I doubt he was sincere when he made it!  Earlier protypes of Holland's submarine were called the Fenian Ram.  It was built with financial support from the Fenian Brotherhood (an organization that conducted terrorist raids into Canada). From the start the Fenian Ram was intended as a weapon that would sink British Shipping.

Today John Holland's Fenian Ram is in the Patterson MuseumWilliam Maloney has a great series of photographs of the Ram.  btw - He also has excellent photos of the USS Slater.

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