Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Naval History Division • Washington

U.S. Battleships

Act of 3 August 1886:

"... The President is hereby authorized to have constructed, ... Two sea-going double-bottomed armored vessels of about six thousand tons displacement, designed for a speed of at least sixteen knots an hour, with engines having all necessary appliances for working under forced draught, and costing, including engines and machinery and excluding armament, not more than two million five hundred thousand dollars each. Said vessels shall have each a complete torpedo outfit and be armed in the most effective manner.

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"... The vessels hereinbefore authorized to be constructed shall be built of steel of domestic manufacture, ... :

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"... The armor used in constructing said armored vessels ... shall be of the best obtainable quality and of domestic manufacture, provided contracts for furnishing the same in a reasonable time, at a reasonable price, and of the required quality can be made with responsible parties...

"... The secretary of the Navy shall cause one or more of the new vessels hereinbefore provided for to be constructed ... In one or more of the navy-yards of the United States; ....

"... The engines, boilers, and machinery of all the new vessels provided for by this act shall be of domestic manufacture ... unless the Secretary of the Navy shall be unable to obtain the same at fair prices, in which case he may construct the same, ... in the navy-yards of the United States: ...."

TEXAS Second-Class Battleship

MAINE 2nd-Class Battleship (ex ACR1)

Act of 30 June 1890: ".... The President is hereby authorized to have constructed by contract three seagoing coast-line battle ships designed to carry the heaviest armor and most powerful ordnance upon a displacement of about eight thousand five hundred tons, with a coal endurance of about five thousand knots on the total coal capacity at the most economical rate of speed, and to have the highest practicable speed for vessels of their class, to cost, exclusive of armament ... not exceeding four million dollars each; ... In all their parts said vessels shall be of domestic manufacture. ... Such provisions for minimum speed and ... penalties for deficient speed may be made subject to the terms of this bill, as in the discretion of the Secretary of the Navy may be deemed advisable. ... One of such vessels shall be built on or near the coast of the Pacific Ocean ... one of them on or near the Gulf of Mexico. ... Provided, That if it shall appear ... that said vessels cannot be constructed at a fair cost on or near the coast of the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, he shall authorize the construction of said vessels, or either of them, elsewhere in the United States ; ...."