Explosion on the Potomac (eBook)

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In 1844, the USS Princeton was the most technologicallysophisticated warship in the world. Its captain, Robert Stockton, and PresidentJohn Tyler were both zealous expansionists, and they hoped that it would be theforerunner in a formidable steam-powered fleet. On a Potomac cruise intended toimpress power brokers, the ship’s main gun—the Peacemaker—exploded as the vesselneared Mount Vernon. Eight died horribly, while twenty others were injured. Twoof Tyler’s most important cabinet members were instantly lost, and thepresident himself had a near miss—making it the worst physical disaster tobefall a presidential administration. The tragedy set off an unpredictable waveof events that cost Tyler a second term, nearly scuttled plans to add Texas tothe Union and stirred up sectional rancor that drove the nation closer to civilwar. Author Kerry Walters chronicles this little-known disaster that alteredthe course of the nation’s history.

In 1844, the USS Princeton was the most technologicallysophisticated warship in the world. Its captain, Robert Stockton, and PresidentJohn Tyler were both zealous expansionists, and they hoped that it would be theforerunner in a formidable steam-powered fleet. On a Potomac cruise intended toimpress power brokers, the ship’s main gun—the Peacemaker—exploded as the vesselneared Mount Vernon. Eight died horribly, while twenty others were injured. Twoof Tyler’s most important cabinet members were instantly lost, and thepresident himself had a near miss—making it the worst physical disaster tobefall a presidential administration. The tragedy set off an unpredictable waveof events that cost Tyler a second term, nearly scuttled plans to add Texas tothe Union and stirred up sectional rancor that drove the nation closer to civilwar. Author Kerry Walters chronicles this little-known disaster that alteredthe course of the nation’s history.


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by Kerry Walters

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