The Constitution is our greatest naval memorial, and certainly equal in historical value to the few other great memorials which this nation possesses. England has saved Nelson’s flagship Victory by popular subscription. She has been rebuilt and will be preserved for all time. So also must the Constitution be preserved.
The Victory has been placed on a permanent foundation and cannot move. Visitors must go to her. As Great Britain is not large this is not so difficult.
But our Constitution is not to be so repaired and fixed in one spot.
The Act of Congress authorizing the Secretary of the Navy to accept donations to pay for her rebuilding, provided that she was to be restored to her original condition as nearly as practicable. This means that with a proper crew she could sail anywhere in any weather, and would be entirely a serviceable and seaworthy ship. She will be fitted with all rigging and sails, her furniture and equipment, one old-fashioned anchor and hempen cable, her old whale-oil lamps, and such warlike articles as her old-type guns, boarding pikes and cutlasses.