Esmeralda (1855)

Esmeralda, date unknown. Note the low funnel between the fore and main masts. Original in the public domain.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

Esmeralda was a wood-hull steam corvette of the Chilean Navy, and the second of their ships to bear the name. Her construction was contracted to the English firm of Northfleet, and Esmeralda was laid down in December, 1854. Nine months later, the Chileans had a shiny new corvette, and she commissioned on 18 September, 1855. Esmeralda had a copper-plated hull, and a top speed of 8 knots under steam. Esmeralda was rearmed in 1867-68, replacing her old 32-pounder cannons with new 40 pound rifled and smoothbore guns. Esmeralda served in the Chilean Navy until 21 May, 1879, when she was sunk by the Peruvian ironclad Huáscar after a three-hour running fight at the Battle of Iquique.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: A 1:1 scale replica of the Esmeralda is berthed in Iquique as a museum ship. Part of the dedication cast were descendants of the original's captain, who was killed in action against the Huáscar.