The USF Constitution was built by George Claighorne, and launched on October 21, 1797 at Boston. After two unsuccessful attempts to get her down the launching ramp, the "ways" had to be raised, and she eventually glided into Boston Harbor. The USF Constitution had a length of 175 feet between perpendiculars, 43'-6" beam and a draft of 18 feet. She displaces 2200 tons fully loaded and ready for sea. Her final configuration was not as a 74-gun ship but armed with 56 cannons; 30-24 pounders on the gun deck, 18-42 pounders on the main deck. She had a complement of 550 men and 30 officers. The combination of arms and speed made her more powerful than any of the British frigates. Her original figurehead was Hercules with a raised war club, which was washed away and replaced by a figurehead of Andrew Jackson, and then a simple billet head. The USF Constitution saw action during the end of the Barbary Wars (1803) as the US Flagship in raids on Tripoli under the command of Commodore Preble. After a period of uneasy peace war was declared on 19 June 1812 against Britain. At the beginning of the War of 1812 the USF Constitution was fitted and ready to go but with no crew. Under the auspices of Captain Hull a crew was assembled and the USF Constitution set out to sea on 5 July 1812. He defeated three British ships within a couple of months and earned American confidence in their young navy. These noted battles included the escape from four British frigates and a 74-gun ship, then capturing one of the British frigates HMS Guerriere. It was during this battle she earned the nickname "Old Ironsides" after a sailor saw a cannonball bounce off her hull. Later, USF Constitution sank the HMS Java in less than four hours. She was the mainstay of the War of 1812.