The U.S. schooner Alligator, launched in 1820, was based on a hull design by American naval architect William Doughty, the designer of the U.S. brig Chippewa. It was one of only five schooners built for the suppression of slavery and piracy in the first quarter of the 19th century. In April 1822, while Alligator patrolled the waters off Florida and along the coast of Cuba, it engaged and captured the pirate schooner Ciegna off Nuevitas, Cuba. A second battle against Cuban pirates on November 9 resulted in the rescue of several American merchant ships. While escorting the fleet back to the U.S., the ship ran aground on November 20 on an uncharted reef in the Florida Keys. Image courtesy of US Naval Historical Center.