U.S.S. Pennsylvania was a 120-gun ship of the line, at 3241 tons, the largest vessel ever built for the American sailing navy. She was laid down at the Philadelphia Navy Yard as part of the Act of 1816, which called for $1 million spent over eight years on nine ships with at least 74 guns, and 12 ships with at least 44 guns. The U.S.S. Pennsylvania was laid down six years later, and spent a decade and a half on the shipways. Pennsylvania was finally commissioned during the final months of 1837 and, at year's end, undertook her only sea voyage, a trip from Delaware Bay to Chesapeake Bay. She was decommissioned after her arrival at the Gosport Navy Yard, across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk, Virginia. The big ship was laid up there until 1842, when she began a long career as a receiving ship. On 20 April 1861, as Confederate forces threatened the Gosport and Norfolk Navy Yards, U.S.S. Pennsylvania was burned to the waterline to prevent her capture.