One of four Black Ships that accompanied Commodore Matthew C. Perry in his expedition for the opening of Japan.
USS Saratoga (1842), a sloop-of-war, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for the Battle of Saratoga of the American Revolutionary War. Her keel was laid down in the summer of 1841 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard. She was launched on 26 July 1842 and commissioned on 4 January 1843 with Commander Josiah Tattnall in command.
Saratoga got underway on September 15, 1850 and proceeded to the western Pacific for service in the East India Squadron. The highlight of her service in the Far East was her participation in Commodore Perry's Opening of Japan. After visiting Japan with Perry in July 1853, she sailed for the China coast and protected American interests at Shanghai while Japanese officials discussed Perry's proposals. She returned with Perry in February 1854, and, after the formal signing of a treaty between the United States and Japan on the last day of March, sailed for the Sandwich Islands carrying Commander Henry A. Adams, to whom Perry had entrusted the American copy of the treaty.