The End of the War, 1782 and 1783 | Naval History


    About the author

    Gardner W. Allen
    Gardner W. Allen

    Gardner W. Allen (1856–1944) was an American naval historian known for his detailed studies of naval operations and ship histories. Allen’s most significant contribution is his work on American naval history, particularly during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. His notable publications include “Our Navy and the Barbary Corsairs,” “Our Naval War with France,” and “The Naval History of the American Revolution.”



      Although the surrender of Cornwallis virtually put a stop to military operations on land, hostilities on the sea continued until the conclusion of peace. Notwithstanding the fact that the naval resources of the country were nearly exhausted, cruising was actively carried on by the few Continental and State ships still remaining, while privateersmen, lured by the hope of prize money, did not cease fitting out their craft and sending them to sea as long as there were enemies to pursue.

      After the victory at Yorktown it was deemed necessary to send the Alliance again to France with Lafayette, and the cruise which had been planned for her by the Agent of Marine was accordingly abandoned. Washington wrote to Lafayette, November 15, 1781, once more strongly urging the importance of sea power. If De Grasse had remained a few weeks longer on the American coast, the English forces in the Southern States, in Washington’s opinion, would have suffered “total extirpation.” He says: “As you expressed a desire to know my Sentiments respecting the operations of the next Campaign, before your departure for France, I will without a tedious display of reasoning declare in one word, that the advantages of it to America and the honor and glory of it to the allied arms in these States must depend absolutely upon the naval force which is employed in these Seas and the time of its appearance next year. No land force can act decisively unless it is accompanied by a maritime superiority; nor can more than negative advantages be expected without it . . . It follows then, as certain as that night succeeds day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it everything honorable and glorious. A constant naval superiority would terminate the war speedily; without it I do not know that it will ever be terminated honorably.” (Washington, ix, 406, 407.) The magnitude of the advantage gained at Yorktown and the temper of the enemy were evidently not appreciated in America at this time. As it turned out, the British were in no need of a further exhibition of force to dispose them to thoughts of peace. In fact they were so in fear of another great disaster that orders, dated April 4, 1782, were issued to General Carleton, who was sent to relieve General Clinton, to evacuate New York at once, or even to capitulate, if beset by a force so formidable as to render evacuation without heavy loss impracticable. For lack of transports, however, evacuation was impossible, and the tide soon turned somewhat in England’s favor. The defeat of De Grasse by Rodney in the West Indies, in April, 1782, revived the spirits and restored the confidence of the British. Nevertheless, efforts to procure transports for removing the troops from New York continued, but as a sufficient number could not be collected to embark the whole army at once, the matter rested until at length the cessation of hostilities removed the supposed hazard of the situation. The British state of mind after Yorktown was of course unknown in America (Sparks MSS., Iviii, 145-149; Navy Rec. Soc., xxxviii, 73, 77-80.)

      Lafayette proceeded to Boston and on board the Alliance. Several other passengers accompanied him. Morris issued minute instructions, dated November 27, 1781, in which Captain Barry was directed to give special attention to the comfort of his passengers. “Let it be done with discretion; remember that we are not rich enough to be extravagant, nor so poor as to act meanly.” The importance of landing these distinguished persons safely was such that it would be necessary to avoid all vessels, it being the sole object “to make a quiet and safe passage to some port in France.” The Alliance was to remain in Europe until about the 1st of March, cruising “where you can promise yourself of the best chance of Success “; she was then to set sail from L’Orient on her return voyage, taking as many prizes on the way as possible and finally putting into the most convenient American port, preferably Philadelphia, there to await further instructions. The frigate’s crew was finally made up. A number of French sailors were obtained through the efforts of the French minister and some of the Deane’s crew were transferred to the Alliance. She sailed December 23, 1781, and in spite of her orders to avoid all vessels, she made a prize of a large ship from Jamaica which was sent into Boston. The frigate arrived at L’Orient, January 18, 1782 (Barry, 153-161; Independent Chronicle, January 24, 1782.)

      The Alliance made a short and unsuccessful cruise in February, and on March 16 set sail on her homeward voyage. She was again unfortunate in the matter of taking prizes and fell in with no vessel of the enemy until off the Delaware capes, May 10, when a British sixty-four-gun ship appeared and gave chase. The Alliance succeeded in eluding her and ran for New London, where she arrived, May 13, and remained until August (Barry, ch. xv; Boston Post, May 11, 1782; Independent Chronicle, May 23, 1782; Independent Ledger, June 10, 1782.)

      The General Court of Massachusetts, on February 25, 1782, resolved to allow Captain Nicholson, who had unwillingly given up some of his crew to the Alliance, to enlist not more than twelve men from the garrison of the Castle in Boston Harbor, for the frigate Deane. This ship sailed from Boston in March on a two months’ cruise in the West Indies. She captured two ships, a brig, and a schooner, three of them armed vessels. She returned to Boston in May with many prisoners on board, also several cases of fever. She remained in Boston Harbor four or five months (Mass. Court Rec., February 25, 1782; Boston Gazette, May 13, July 29, 1782, Independent Chronicle, May 23, 1782.)

      The frigate South Carolina, Commodore Gillon, arrived at Havana, January 12, 1782. Here it was learned that the Spaniards were making plans for an expedition against New Providence, under General Cagigal, the governor of Cuba. Gillon joined forces with them, taking command of the fleet consisting of fifty-nine vessels, presumably mostly Spanish. The next three months were spent in fitting out this armada. April 22, the expedition sailed, and May 5 the whole fleet lay before New Providence. Several outlets at the north side of the island were blocked by some of the American vessels, while others were stationed in the offing. The South Carolina stood off and on until five o’clock, then took a position as near the bar of the harbor as possible, within gunshot of Fort Nassau, in order to draw attention that way while the transports prepared to land the troops. General Cagigal sent a flag to the governor asking on what terms he would surrender the Bahama Islands to Spain. Meanwhile Gillon directed the transports to follow a leading vessel, which repeated his signals for anchoring before the town, that the general might debark when he saw fit. The next day at nine o’clock the British governor sent proposals on board the South Carolina which were not accepted. All the American vessels continued as near their stations as wind, shoals, and circumstances allowed. The Spanish transports, with armed vessels and galleys, kept anchoring as ordered, and at three o’clock Cagigal with the Spanish officers on the South Carolina departed in order to make preparations for debarking the troops. At five o’clock another flag was sent to the governor and returned the next day, having agreed on a capitulation. On the following day, May 8, Cagigal landed the army and took possession of the forts and town. This made the third capture of New Providence during the Revolution. Gillon thought that the success of the expedition was due to the captains of the American armed vessels, who led the fleet against head winds through difficult passages among the islands and reefs, a route so unfrequented and unexpected by the enemy that they had made no preparations to obstruct or defend it (Royal Gazette, June 19, 1782, Gillon’s report to the governor of South Carolina (May 15, 1782); Penn. Packet, March 5, June 4, October 19, 1782; Log of the South Carolina; Almon, xiv, 148-151.)

      The South Carolina then sailed north and arrived at Philadelphia May 28. Here she remained nearly six months. Gillon was displaced from the command of the ship by an agent of the owner, Chevalier Luxembourg, the exact reason for which does not appear. The command was given to Captain John Joyner of the South Carolina navy. In November the frigate sailed from Philadelphia having three vessels under convoy, bound to Europe. Apparently she did not clear the capes for about a month, as she had not gone far when, on the night of December 19, she fell in with three British men-of-war, the forty-four-gun ship Diomede and the frigates Quebec and Astrea of thirty-two guns each. A chase of eighteen hours ensued, during which two of the convoy were captured by the British and found to be a ship and brig from Philadelphia; the third, a schooner, got away. “Prisoners inform’d us,” says the Astrea’s log “the large Ship was the South Carolina Frigate, 40 Guns … At 3 [P.M., December 21] the Carolina fir’d several stern chace Guns at the Diomede & Quebec … At 1/2 past 3, the Quebec hauld up for the South Carolina’s Weather Quarter. The Diomede continued standing on & Fir’d her Bow Chace Guns at the South Carolina; she ret’d her stern Chace Guns. At 45 Min. past, the Diomede bore up and fir’d her Starbd Guns at the Chace. At 50 Min. past 4 the Chace struck her Colours & hove too.” The prize was sent into New York. Soon afterwards a survey of the South Carolina was made which furnishes a description of this interesting ship, which might have done so much and really did so little for the American cause. Her length on the upper deck was one hundred and seventy feet, on the keel one hundred and forty-four feet and one inch; extreme breadth, forty-three feet and three inches. She measured fourteen hundred and thirty tons burden. “She appears to be about Five Years Old, Built in Holland; had on board when taken, 28 No. (about) Thirty-Nine Pounders on the Upper Deck, 10 No. Twelve Pounders on the Quarter Deck, and 2 No. Nine Pounders on the Fore Castle.” (Brit. Adm. Rec., A. D. 490, January 18, 1783; Captains’ Logs, Nos. 23 and 749 (logs of the Astrea and Quebec); Boston Gazette, September 16, 1782; Independent Chronicle, November 29, 1782, January 9, 1783; Penn. Packet, December 31, 1782; Almon, xv, 227; Clowes, iv, 91.)

      Two new vessels were added to the Massachusetts navy early in 1782, the Tartar and the sloop Winthrop. The Tartar had been under construction nearly two years and was only just ready for service; she was a ship of four hundred tons and carried eighteen nine-pounders and two sixes. These vessels seem to have cruised together in June for a short time. In a letter, dated July 1, William Vernon says: “The State Ship Tartar and Sloop of 12 Guns went out the last Week, in quest of the Bermuda Brigt., but they were soon drove in by the appearance of a Ship wch they supposed to be of 50 Guns and proved to be only a Sloop of War of 18, much to the discredit of Capt. Cathcart, I think.” (Publ. R.I. Hist. Soc., viii, 274.) Cathcart, however, apparently retrieved his good name and later in the season the Tartar took several prizes. She was sold before the end of the year 1782 and was fitted out as a privateer, still under Cathcart’s command. After cruising a short time in 1783, she was captured by the British frigate Bellisarius and taken into New York. The Winthrop, Captain George Little with Edward Preble as lieutenant, was employed on the Maine coast. She came into Boston, September 16, 1782, after a short cruise in which she took five prizes, including two privateers and a brig which was cut out of her anchorage under the fort in Penobscot Bay. “Much Praise is due to the Bravery and good Conduct of Capt. Little and his Crew for this spirited Enterprise and for the great Service they have rendered this Commonwealth in captivating the above Privateers, that have for a long Time infested this Coast and taken many valuable Vessels from us.” (Boston Gazette, September 23, 1782.) In February, 1783, the governor, in a message relating to the employment of Little and the Winthrop, said: “I considered that he had most essentially prevented the Depredations on that coast by Capturing & sending into this Port near the whole of the Arm’d force they possess’d at Penobscot.” (Mass. Archives, clviii, 274.) The Winthrop made two cruises in 1783, the last one ending in June. She was the last ship of the Massachusetts navy in commission and was sold soon after her return to port (Mass. Acts and Resolves, May 2, November 12, 1782, March 26, June 4, 1783; Mass. Archives, clviii, 238, 274; Boston Post, August 10, October 12, November 23, 1782; Boston Gazette, September 23, October 14, November 11, 1782, March 17, 1783; Continental Journal, October 3, 1782; Independent Chronicle, November 7, 1782; Massachusetts Mag., January, April, 1911.)

      In the winter and early spring of 1782, Delaware Bay was infested with privateer barges and other small craft, fitted out by loyalists, which preyed upon the commerce of Philadelphia and ravaged the shores of the bay. The merchants of the city applied to the state government for protection and as a result, provision was made for fitting out a number of armed vessels for the defense of the bay. This action was taken April 9. On the 29th, the Philadelphia merchants appealed to the Continental Congress, more especially, however, in behalf of American shipping in general. Robert Morris reported on this memorial that the Continental navy was unable to give sufficient protection to commerce and recommended calling upon the navies of France and Spain for assistance. Meanwhile conditions in Delaware Bay were too acute to admit of waiting for the slow progress of legislation and in March the merchants of Philadelphia had purchased on their own responsibility and fitted out as a privateer under a Continental commission a ship called the Hyder Ally. She was armed with four nine-pounders and twelve sixes and manned by a crew of a hundred and twenty. The command was given to Joshua Barney, a lieutenant in the Continental navy, who had recently returned from a long imprisonment in England (Barney, 303; Pap. Cont. Congr., 41, 6, 283 (April 29, 1782), 28, 241, 243a (May 2, 4, 1782), 137, 1, 435 (May 4, 1782).)

      On April 7, the Hyder Ally with a convoy of merchantmen dropped down the bay to Cape May Road. Here they were seen towards evening by the British frigate Quebec and the sloop of war General Monk, formerly the American privateer General Washington, which anchored outside the capes. At daylight the next morning the General Monk entered the Cape May Channel in pursuit of the Americans, while the Quebec stood up the Henlopen Channel to cut off their retreat to Philadelphia. The General Monk was joined by a New York sixteen-gun privateer called the Fair American. At noon these two vessels came into Cape May Road. The American fleet got under way, stood up the bay, and dispersed. One of them ran ashore and another struck to the General Monk. The Fair American then got aground, and the Monk continued the chase alone. An English account says: “We soon came up with the Hyder Ally, notwithstanding she cut her boat adrift and did everything else to get away. We meant to have run upon her quarter and board her at once, but after firing two of our bow chaces when at 100 yards distance, she put her helm a-port and stood right athwart us, therefore we did the same, to prevent being raked, when the action began and we edged towards her till within close pistol-shot. We with great concern soon found our short guns (carronades) to become totally unmanageable and that two-thirds of the shot we fired did not strike the hull of our antagonist. After having sustained the action for ten minutes with musketry only, the decks full of killed and wounded (among the former the Lieutenant and Master, two brave Officers), our rigging so much shot as to render it impossible to haul off, and lastly, seeing no prospect of assistance from the Fair American, Captain Rogers was under the mortifying necessity of striking his Majesty’s colours to the Hyder Ally, of 18 long nine and six pounders and between 130 and 140 men, belonging to the state of Philadelphia.” (London Chronicle, September 10, 1782.) The General Monk, according to the same authority, was armed with eighteen nine-pounder carronades and two sixes; her crew numbered a hundred and ten. Her loss was eight killed and thirty-two wounded, four of them mortally; the Hyder Ally lost four killed and eleven wounded. The time of the action was about half an hour. It is very doubtful if, as the English asserted, Barney tried to escape at the outset of the engagement. This impression may have arisen from the fact that he shouted his orders in a manner intended to deceive the enemy. The capture of the Monk produced great satisfaction in Philadelphia. A dispatch from that place says: “Capt. Barney with the officers and men of the State ship Hyder Ally have received the thanks of the honorable House of Assembly of Pennsylvania as a mark of the high sense which they entertain of their bravery and intrepid conduct in the above action; and have also ordered that an elegant sword be presented to Capt. Barney.” (Boston Gazette, May 6, 1782.) Some time after her capture, the General Monk was purchased by the national government and taken into the Continental navy under her original name of General Washington. Barney was given command of her and she was used as a packet (Barney, 112-117, 304-308; Freeman’s Journal, April 10, 1782; Penn. Gazette, April 17, 1782; Boston Gazette, April 22, May 6, 1782; Mag. Amer. Hist., March, 1878, Matthewman’s narrative; Brit. Adm. Rec., A. D. 490, May 10, 1782.)

      The brig Holker of Philadelphia was one of the most famous privateers of the Revolution. She began her career in 1779, and cruised three years or more under different commanders. In the winter of 1782, a squadron of American privateers made their rendezvous at Martinique and planned an attack on Tortola, one of the Virgin Islands. Besides the Holker there were four ships and a sloop, with about five hundred men; only four vessels, however, finally took part in the expedition. They left Martinique about March 1, and were seen off Tortola on the 4th. They intended to anchor off the forts and cover a landing party at night, but were delayed and the movement was deferred. They were seen standing into the harbor by moonlight and the alarm was given, so the attack was postponed until morning. Three brigantines attempting to escape from the harbor were chased and one of them was captured by the Holker. Several letters of marque at St. John came out to meet the American squadron and an action of half an hour’s duration followed. A few days later the British sloop of war Experiment, coming in from a cruise, had an engagement with the Holker and the Junius Brutus, one of the other American vessels. The Experiment succeeded in beating them off and went into Antigua. The American squadron then cruised a few days and captured a rich prize. The attempt on Tortola was abandoned. The Holker returned to Philadelphia, May 11, having taken fourteen prizes (Boston Post, September 11, October 2, 1779, May 25, 1782; Penn. Packet, August 21, 1779; Boston Gazette, January 14, 1782, March 10, 1783; Independent Chronicle, May 30, 1782; Royal Gazette, June 5, 1782; Clark, i, 112, 119, 120, 129.)

      Captain Mowatt, the British commander at Penobscot, in March, 1782, sent a fourteen-gun brig to cruise off Cape Ann. She captured a fishing-boat, put twenty-five men on her and sent her into Gloucester. There it was found that a ship with a valuable cargo was about to go to sea. At half-past four the next morning, April 1, the boat ran in, boarded the ship and brought her out. The ship Polly, pierced for twenty guns, was on the ways at Gloucester, with her topmasts struck and otherwise unprepared. Work was began on her at seven o’clock and at eleven she got to sea with a hundred volunteers on board. She chased the brig, fishing-boat, and prize ship on their way to Penobscot and at twelve o’clock recaptured the prize. She then chased Mowatt’s brig, but night came on and she escaped (Salem Gazette, April 11, 1782.)

      One hundred and fifty-eight private armed vessels, with about two thousand guns and six thousand men, were sent out of Salem during the Revolution. They captured nearly four hundred and fifty vessels, nine tenths of which safely reached port. One of the most noted of these Salem privateers was the ship Grand Turk, of three hundred tons, built in 1781. She was armed with twenty-two guns and carried a crew of a hundred and ten men. She was actively and successfully employed as long as the war continued. She cruised off the coast of Europe and in the West Indies (Hunt’s Mag., February, 1857; Coll. Essex Inst., xliv (1908), 214-218; Boston Gazette, October 22, 1781, May 6, 1782; Independent Chronicle, January 24, 1782; Boston Post, April 5, 1783. A list of 196 Salem privateers is given in Paine’s Ships and Sailors of Old Salem.)

      The privateer Jack of Salem, a sloop of twelve guns and sixty men, fought a long and severe engagement off Halifax with the British sloop of war Observer, carrying twelve guns and a hundred and seventy-three men. At nine in the evening, May 28, 1782, the Observer came alongside the Jack. William Gray, the first lieutenant of the privateer, says: “It was our misfortune to have our worthy commander, Capt. Ropes, mortally wounded by the first broadside. I was slightly wounded at the same time in my right hand and head, but not so as to disable me from duty. The action was maintained on both sides, close, severe and without intermission, for upwards of two hours, in which time we had 7 killed, several wounded, and many abandoned their quarters. Our rigging was so destroyed that not having command of our yards, the Jack fell with her larboard bow foul of the brig’s starboard quarter, when the enemy made an attempt to board us, but they were repulsed by a very small number compared with them. We were engaged in this position about a quarter of an hour, in which time I received a wound by a bayonet fixed on a musket and which was hove with such force as, entering the fore part of my right thigh and passing through close to the bone, entered the carriage of a bow gun, where I was fastened, and it was out of my power to get clear till assisted by one of the prize masters. We then fell round and came with our broadsides to each other, when we renewed the action with powder and balls, but our match rope, excepting some which was unfit for use, being all expended and being to leeward, we bore away, making a running fight. The brig being far superior in her number of men, was able to get soon repaired and completely ready to renew the action, indeed had constantly kept up a chasing fire, for we had not been out of reach of her musketry. She was now close alongside of us again with 50 men picked out for boarding. I therefore called Mr. Glover and the rest together and found we had but 10 upon deck and two of them besides myself wounded. I had been repeatedly desired to strike, but I mentioned the sufferings of a prison ship and made use of every other argument in my power for continuing the engagement. All the foreigners however deserted their quarters every opportunity. At 2 o’clock P.M. on the 29th I had the inexpressible mortification to deliver up the vessel.” (Salem Gazette, July 11, 18, 1782; Boston Post, June 15, 1782; Hunt’s Mag., February, 1857.)

      Four Massachusetts privateers engaged in an enterprise on the Nova Scotia coast which is described in the newspapers of the time. “Captains Babcock of the Hero, Stoddard of the Scammel, Woodbury of the Hope, and Tibbets of the Swallow, having determined to surprize and possess themselves of Lunenburgh, an elegantly situated Town, ten Leagues West of Halifax, landed Ninety Men two Miles below it, under the Command of Lieut. Barteman, on Monday the first Day of July Instant at half after Seven o’Clock A.M. This gallant Corps with amazing Rapidity reached the Town, and amidst many heavy Discharges of Musquetry from the Enemy, burnt the commanding Officer’s House, a Blockhouse in the North West Part of the Town, spik’d up two 24 pounders, and forc’d the Enemy into the South Blockhouse, from whence they kept up a brisk and animating Fire and declared their Intention to hold out to the last Extremity. But their Animation subsided upon the Receipt of a few 4-pound Shot from the Hero and they reluctantly surrendered themselves Prisoners of War. The victorious Party with a natural and pleasing Vivacity fell to plundering, and quickly emptied the Stores of a Variety and considerable Quantity of Dry Goods, twenty Puncheons of good West-India Rum and the King’s Beef, Pork and Flour. Upon the near Approach of the Combined Fleet, two 18 pounders were spiked up and dismounted and the Royal Magazine was safely deposited in the Hold of the Scammel. The strictest Decorum was observed towards the Inhabitants and their Wearing Apparel and Household Furniture inviolably preserv’d for their Use. The Town was ransomed for a Thousand Pounds Sterling and Colonel Creighton with some of the principal Inhabitants were shipped on board the Scammel. On the Side of the brave Sons of Liberty, three were wounded slightly, one dangerously; on the Part of the Abettors of Oppression and Despotism, the Number of slain and wounded unknown, only one of their slain being found.” (Boston Gazette, July 15, August 5, 1782 ; Massachusetts Spy, August 8, 1782.)

      Thomas Truxtun, who afterwards became a famous commodore of the reestablished navy, was one of the successful privateersmen of the Revolution. He cruised throughout the whole war, most of the time in West Indian and European waters. In 1780, at L’Orient, he incurred the displeasure of Paul Jones by hoisting in his presence a broad pennant, contrary to a rule established by Congress Sands, 298; Hist. Mag., April, 1857; Jones MSS., Jones to Truxtun (October 24, 1780).

      In 1782, he was in command of the ship Commerce of Philadelphia, in the West Indies; she carried fourteen guns and fifty men. November 15, she fell in with a brig of sixteen six-pounders and seventy-five men and a schooner, fourteen sixes and eighty men. The Commerce engaged these vessels at a distance of thirty yards for twenty minutes. Her loss was one killed and two wounded; the brig lost five killed and thirteen wounded and the schooner ten killed and eleven wounded. The Commerce was then driven off by a British ship and brig which appeared in time to rescue the thoroughly beaten vessels (Boston Gazette, January 6, 1783; Port Folio, January, 1809.)

      At the end of November, 1782, a desperate battle of barges took place in Chesapeake Bay off Tangier Islands, near the boundary between Maryland and Virginia on the eastern shore of the bay. Four Maryland barges and one from Virginia set out to attack six barges drawn up off the islands, manned by tories, refugees, and sailors from the British fleet. The Virginia barge got aground and the leading Maryland barge, the Protector, flagship of Commodore Whaley, being far in advance, engaged the British flotilla unsupported. An explosion took place on the Protector and in the confusion which ensued the other barges retreated. Whaley was killed, but the fight was kept up by the Protector alone under Colonel Cropper of Virginia, a volunteer, until he was forced to surrender. Out of a crew of sixty-five the Protector lost twenty-five killed or drowned and twenty-nine wounded, some of them mortally (So. Lit. Messenger, March, 1857.)

      The letter of marque brig Iris, eight six-pounders and forty-two men, sailed from Havana for Virginia, January 23, 1783, and off the capes of the Chesapeake, February 7, was chased by a British frigate and a New York privateer called the Admiral Digby, with fifty-four men, fourteen four-pounders and four nines. The Iris struck on a sand-spit at Cape Charles, and shortly afterwards the Admiral Digby also grounded within pistol-shot. The two vessels lay parallel to each other and fought two hours and a half, the American loss being four wounded and the British four killed and twelve wounded. A high wind and heavy surf came up in the night and both vessels were lost. The crews got safely ashore (Salem Gazette, April 17,1783.)

      Privateers from the United States continued to cruise in European waters at a late period of the war, sending their prizes into France (London Chronicle, May 9, 1782; Boston Gazette, January 6, 1783.) Furthermore, the services of American privateers commissioned and fitted out in France were important and some of them have already been mentioned. Most of them sailed under the French flag. Dunkirk seems to have been the home port of many if not of the greater part of these vessels. During the war seventy-eight Dunkirk privateers were commanded by Americans, six of them under American commissions; of these six, it would appear that two only, the Black Prince and Black Princess, were owned by Frenchmen. These French-American privateers fought many hard engagements; they greatly annoyed the enemy’s shipping in the English Channel and visited the shores of the British Isles. One of them, a twenty-gun ketch called the Franklin, in 1781 captured two of the vessels sent to England by Admiral Rodney, loaded with plunder from St. Eustatius. Captain William Fall, in the Sans Peur of nineteen guns, bombarded the town of Arbroath, which had refused to pay ransom, and a few days later captured two British privateers of sixteen and eight guns after a sharp action within close range of batteries on the Scotch coast (U. S. Nav. Inst. Proc., xxxvii (September, 1911), 935, 964-972.)

      The conduct of these privateers fitted out in France seems sometimes to have been much less orderly than that of American ships in general. The crews were recruited from the heterogeneous seafaring population of the French ports and their commanders were not always able to control them. Respect for private property and for neutral flags was occasionally lacking. The cutter Eclipse was commanded during the latter part of her career by Nathaniel Fanning, who had served as a midshipman on board the Bonhomme Richard. The Eclipse was manned by a crew of a hundred and ten, just half of whom were Americans; the other half was made up of French, English, Irish, Dutch, Flemish, Germans, Italians, Genoese, Maltese, Turks, Tunisians, and Algerines. She sailed from Dunkirk under the French flag and cruised in the English Channel and in British waters. She took many prizes, including several of decidedly superior force, which were sent into French ports. In the summer of 1782, the Eclipse boarded a Danish vessel in the English Channel and the personal property of some French passengers was plundered. Fanning had given special orders to the boarding officer to respect private property, and that the robbery occurred seems to show loss of control over his men,, to say the least. As the result of an investigation and trial at the order of the French Minister of Marine, the judges of the admiralty sentenced Thomas Potter, the officer of the Eclipse who had boarded the Danish vessel, “to be hanged to a gallows erected for the purpose on the quay of this port and strangled by the executioner of high justice until he is dead,” and two other men “to be whipped and flogged naked by said executioner of high justice and then branded on the right shoulder by a red-hot brand bearing the letters G A L and then conducted to the gallies of his Majesty, where they shall be made to serve during three years, their effects to be seized and confiscated “; they also declared “the aforesaid Nathaniel Fanning duly guilty and convicted of having failed to maintain subordination among his crew and of not having supervised that which was done during the search of neutral vessels, which gave rise to the aforesaid thefts, in punishment for which we declare him incapable during three years of any command as captain of vessels within the realm, and we enjoin him to be more circumspect for the future under penalty of the law.” The three chief culprits being absent, “our present judgment will be executed in effigy by the attachment of figures to the aforesaid gallows and scaffold.” (U. S. Nav. Inst. Proc., xxxvii, 982.) These three men had absconded before the trial, which was conducted without any defense on their part. In the fall of 1782, before the legal proceedings just narrated, Fanning cruised in a small cutter called the Ranger, in which he took one prize and was then himself captured by the British. He very soon escaped, however, and in a few days was again in Dunkirk (Ibid., 972-983; Fanning, 132-137, 141-144, 174-181, 197-229, 240-242. Privateering continued until the spring of 1783 was well advanced and prizes were still being tried as late as December. See Clark, i, ch. x; A. Sherburne, ch. v; Boston Gazette, January 28, February 11, 18, 25, March 11, April 8, 22, June 3, July 1, 8, August 5, September 2, 30, December 2, 16, 1782, May 5, Angust 4, December 22, 1783; Independent Chronicle, April 4, June 6, 1782, January 9, 1783; Boston Post, June 8, 29, July 6, 20, October 26, 1782, March 1, April 5, 1783; Freeman’s Journal, January 23, February 6, 1782; Penn. Packet, May 11, 14, July 30, August 6, 1782. For privateering throughout the war, see Maclay’s American Privateers; Weeden’s New England, ch. xx; Coll. Essex Inst., xlii-xlv, letters of George Williams to Timothy Pickering.)

      The prize ship General Washington, formerly the General Monk, was not purchased by the Continental government until September, 1782, but in May she was loaned by the owners to Robert Morris, who sent her to the West Indies in June under the command of Joshua Barney. She sailed down the bay with a convoy which returned upon seeing a British squadron outside. The General Washington managed to elude the enemy and got to sea. Upon approaching Cape Francois she fought an action with a British privateer and captured another vessel which she sent into port. At Cape Francois, Barney learned of Rodney’s victory over de Grasse and found the remnant of the French fleet under the Marquis de Vaudreuil, who a little later took his ships to Boston. The letters of Robert Morris, which Barney had with him, procured for him the escort of a French sixty-four-gun ship, to insure the safety of his mission, which was the shipment of a large quantity of specie from Havana to the United States. All this was accomplished, and the Washington again ran by the British fleet off the Delaware capes, and, after destroying a number of the enemy’s barges in the bay, returned to Philadelphia, July 17 (Barney, ch. x; Freeman’s Journal, July 24, 1782; Independent Chronicle, August 8, 1782; Mag. Amer. Hist., March, 1878, Matthewman’s narrative.) Under orders of Morris, dated October 7, 1782, the General Washington sailed for France with dispatches for Franklin; after a short passage she arrived at L’Orient before the end of the month. In January, 1783, she sailed on the return voyage and arrived at Philadelphia, March 12 (Barney, ch. xi; Barry, 184; Boston Gazette, March 24, 1783; Adams MSS., December 18, 1782, Barney to Adams.)

      The Alliance sailed from New London, August 4, 1782, on a cruise. Soon after leaving port she recaptured a prize brig. Barry sent home a narrative of this cruise, dated L’Orient, October 18, saying that he “proceeded as fast as possible off Bermudas; in my way I took a schooner from that place for Halifax. After cruizing off there for twelve or fifteen days, I retook a sloop from New London and sent her for Cape Francois. Finding the prizes I had taken of little value either to myself or country and in all likelihood should be obliged to return into port soon for want of men, was determined to alter my cruizing ground. I therefore thought it best to run off the banks of Newfoundland. In my way there I fell in with a whaling brigantine with a pass from admiral Digby; I mann’d her and sent her for Boston. A few days after, off the banks of Newfoundland, I took a brigantine from Jamaica bound to London, loaded with sugar and rum, and sent her for Boston; by this vessel I found the Jamaica fleet were to the eastward of us. I then carried a press of sail for four days; the fifth day I took two ships that had parted from the fleet. After manning them and having a fresh gale westwardly, I thought best to order them for France; a day or two after, I took a snow and a ship belonging to the same fleet. Being short of water and a number of prisoners on board, the westwardly winds still blowing fresh, and in expectation of falling in with some more of them, I thought it best to proceed to France, with a determined view to get those I had already taken in safe, and after landing the prisoners, to put out immediately; but meeting with blowing weather and a high sea, I lost the rails of the head and was in great danger of losing the head, which accident obliged me to put in here where I arrived yesterday with the above four prizes. After repairing the damages and getting what the ship may want, I shall put to sea on a cruize. I have likewise to inform you that the Ramilies, admiral Graves’ ship, foundered, but all the crew were saved, several of which were on the prizes I took.” (Freeman’s Journal, December 18, 1782.) Some days later the Continental packet General Washington, Captain Barney, came into L’Orient. Captain Henry Johnson of the Continental navy, who had been in command of a privateer, was in Bordeaux at the same time. Several officers of the Alliance, being dissatisfied at not having received their pay, refused obedience to the captain and Barry ordered them under arrest. He was unable to obtain others to take their places, and was obliged to sail with inexperienced lieutenants promoted from the lower grades (Barry, chs. xvi, xvii; Boston Gazette, August 12, 1782; Mass. Spy, January 2, 1783.)

      The Alliance sailed from L’Orient, December 8, on a cruise. January 8, 1783, she arrived at Martinique, where Barry found orders to proceed to Havana. On the way thither he was chased by a British fleet and again by a seventy- four and a frigate. At Havana he found the twenty-gun ship Due de Lauzun, which had been purchased by Morris for the Continental navy. Barry’s orders were to sail at once for the United States with this vessel in company and with a quantity of specie for the use of Congress. After a delay of about three weeks, owing to the fact of the port of Havana being closed by an embargo, the Alliance and the Due de Lauzun, Captain Green, sailed March 6. On the 10th, they saw three sail, which gave chase. The strangers turned out to be the British frigates Alarm and Sybil, and the sloop Tobago. The headmost, which seems to have been the Alarm, got within gunshot of the Alliance and they exchanged fire, while the other two were fast coming up with the Lauzun. She was a dull sailer and Barry feared that if he stood by her, both American ships would be captured. He advised Green to heave his guns overboard and ran off before the wind, and all but two or three of them were accordingIy thrown over. Another sail soon appeared which was recognized as a French ship of fifty guns that had been seen at Havana. Barry was thereupon encouraged and looked for help from this ship. At this time the Alliance had dropped astern, nearer the Lauzun, and the Alarm shortened sail and held off from them. The Sybil got within gunshot of the Lauzun and opened fire with her bow chasers, which was returned by the Lauzun with stern chasers. Barry ran between them in order to give Green a chance to get away. The other two British ships kept at a distance to windward; the French ship also lay to. Kessler, the mate of the Alliance, says: “Captain Barry went from gun to gun on the main deck, cautioning against too much haste and not to fire until the enemy was right abreast. He ordered the main topsail hove to the mast, that the enemy (who had already fired a Bow gun, the shot of which struck into the cabin of the Alliance) might come up as soon as he was abrest, when the action began and before an half hour her guns were silenced and nothing but Musketry was fired from her. She appeared very much injured in her hull. She was of 32 guns and appeared very full of men, and after an action of 45 minutes She sheered off.” (Barry, 223.) The Alliance lost ten wounded, one of them mortally; the Sybil, two killed and six wounded.

      The log of the Sybil records that the American vessels were sighted at half-past five in the morning and the British then gave chase; at eleven the Alliance showed Continental colors. At half-past eleven “the Comr (Commodore, evidently meaning the Alarm.) fired two or three broadsides at the large ship, who returned it; we were at this time about 3 miles astern of the Comre. The Tobago was abreast of us carrying a press of sail to get up.” Twenty minutes later the Sybil got into action with the Alliance and received considerable injury to sails and rigging. At half-past twelve “a large ship bore down to the ship we Engaged, wch obliged us to sheer off.” (Brit. Adm. Rec., Ships’ Logs, No. 875.) Kessler’s story continues: “As soon as the ship which we had engaged hove from us, her consorts joined her and all made sail, after which the French ship came down to us and Captain Barry asked them why they did not come down during the action. They answered that they thought we might have been taken and the signal known and the action only a sham to decoy him. His foolish idea thus perhaps lost us the three frigates.” (Barry, 224.) They then chased the British, but the French ship was slow and the pursuit was abandoned. The voyage was then continued. The Alliance and Due de Lauzun became separated off Cape Hatteras. Finding two British cruisers off the Delaware capes, the Alliance bore away for Newport, arriving there March 20. The Lauzun got into Philadelphia on the 21st. The Alliance a few days later went up to Providence, where in due time the crew were paid off and discharged (Barry, ch. xviii; Independent Chronicle, February 27, 1783; Continental Journal, February 27, 1783.)

      After the return of the frigate Deane from her cruise in the spring of 1782, Captain Nicholson was relieved of his command, for what reason is not clear; he was tried by a court martial in September, 1783, and honorably acquitted. Meanwhile, in September, 1782, the name of the ship was changed to Hague and “on Monday 11th instant John Manly, Esq., Captain in the American navy was appointed to the command of the Continental frigate Hague in this harbour, agreeable to an order from the Hon. Robert Morris, Esq., principal Agent of Marine, investing said command in the senior officer resident in the department. Capt. Manly, at 2 P.M. of the same day, repaired on board, attended by his principal officers, and was welcomed with united acclamations; 13 guns were fired in honor of the appointment, the ship beautifully decorated with colours and every possible demonstration of joy expressed a general satisfaction.” (Independent Chronicle, September 26, 1782.) Manley had recently returned from a long imprisonment in England. The Hague made a cruise in the West Indies and took several prizes. In January, 1783, she was chased by a British ship and ran aground near Guadaloupe. Manley wrote, January 26: “I have already acquainted you that I have been drove on shore, after a 36 hours chace, by a 50 gun ship, and lay at the mercy of her incessant fire for two days, who with the assistance of a 74 and two other sail of the line to back her, were not very sparing of a heavy and brisk cannonade. However, without a man killed and only one slightly wounded and my damages repaired in hull, masts, &c. &c., it is with pleasure I look to the prospect of getting out to-morrow for Martinico, Fort Royal, for heaving down.” (Independent Chronicle, February 27, 1783.) The Hague returned to Boston not long after and was soon put out of commission (Boston Post, December 14, 1782, November 8, 1783; Boston Gazette, December 16,1782, January 27, February 3, March 3, 1783; Essex Inst. Coll., January, 1909.)

      After his return to America in the Ariel, in February, 1781, Captain Jones spent another long period on shore, waiting for an important command and again doomed to disappointment. Before be left France, Jones received an intimation that the America, seventy-four, would be reserved for him (Jones MSS., November 8,1780), and June 26, 1781, he was appointed to command her by a unanimous vote of Congress. In August, he went to Portsmouth to superintend the completion of the ship. This work had previously been conducted by Captain Barry. Instead of being nearly ready to launch, as Jones had been led to expect, he found her only partly built. He calls her the largest seventy-four in the world, one hundred and eighty-two feet, six inches long on the upper gun deck, a hundred and fifty feet on the keel, and with an extreme breadth of fifty feet, six inches; she measured nineteen hundred and eighty-two tons. She was to mount thirty eighteen-pounder’s on the lower gun-deck, thirty-two twelves on the upper deck, and fourteen nines on the quarter-deck and forecastle, all long guns. Her full complement would have been six hundred and twenty-six officers and men. Jones remained in Portsmouth more than a year, scarcity of money causing the accustomed delay in the construction of the ship. Delay and other difficulties, however, also resulted from lack of experience, among those employed on the work, in building so large a ship. In constant fear of parties landing from the enemy’s squadron, for the purpose of destroying the ship, it was necessary to keep a guard of workmen and citizens at night for her protection. Several times the enemy’s boats appeared in the river at night, and twice, coming close, were fired upon. August 13, 1782, the Magnifique, a ship of the line belonging to the French fleet of the Marquis de Vaudreuil, at that time entering Boston Harbor, ran aground on Lovell’s Island and was lost. September 3, the Continental Congress, being “desirous of testifying on this occasion to his Majesty the sense they entertain of his generous exertions in behalf of the United States: Resolved, That the agent of marine be and he is hereby instructed to present the America, a 74 gun ship, in the name of the United States, to the Chevalier de la Luzerne for the service of His Most Christian Majesty.” So Jones again lost a fine ship. He remained at Portsmouth, however, until after the launch of the America, which took place November 6, 1782. The ship remained less than four years in the French service, being condemned as unseaworthy in 1786, and broken up. Immediately after the launching, Jones returned to Philadelphia. With the consent of Congress be made a cruise to the West Indies in Vaudreuil’s fleet. Upon news of the conclusion of peace be again returned to Philadelphia, and later was sent by Congress to France in order to prosecute claims for prize money, still unpaid and due for the capture of the Serapis and other vessels (Sherburne, 227-238; Sands, 328-352; Almon, xv, 24; U. S. Nav. Inst. Proc., xxxiv (June, 1908), 573-580; Amer. Cath. Hist. Res., April, 1904; Boston Gazette, August 19, November 11, 1782; Independent Chronicle, November 14, 1782; Mar. Com. Letter Book, 244, 245 (November 6, 1779); Archives de la Marine, B4 185, 304-307, 310-316, 318, 319. For the prosecution of the prize claims, see Paullin’s Diplomatic Negotiations of American Naval Officers, ch. i.)

      One of the latest naval exploits of the war was the capture of a British privateer in Long Island Sound by a detachment of forty men from the army. Colonel Tallmadge, in a report to General Washington, dated Greenfield, Connecticut, February 21, 1783, says: “Yesterday the Enemy’s Vessel was discovered near Stratford Point, when at 2 o’Clock P.M. the troops were embarked in a fast sailing Vessel prepared for that purpose, which was commanded by Capt. Hubbel, and at 4 P.M. they came up with her, when she gave a discharge of her Cannon followed by her Swivels and Musketry (our troops being concealed) till both Vessels met, when the troops rose, gave the Enemy one discharge of Musketry and boarded them with fixed Bayonets. The Captain of the Privateer was killed and only three or four of his Men were wounded, two of them supposed mortally wounded. Tho’ Captain Hubbel’s Vessel was much damaged in her Hull, Spars & Rigging, Yet not a man on board was killed or wounded. Captain Brewster, who commanded the Troops, as well as the other Officers and Soldiers on board, deserve Commendation for the Spirit and Zeal with which this Service has been performed. The Privateer is called the Three Brothers, was commanded by Captain Johnstone, mounting eleven Carriage Guns, four Swivels and twenty-five Stand of small Arms, and navigated by twenty-one men.” (Pap. Cont. Conqr., 152, 11, 87.)

      The battle between the Alliance and the Sybil was doubtless the last naval action of the Revolution, with the possible exception of some privateering exploit. Provisional articles of peace had been signed at Paris, November 30, 1782, and January 20, 1783, an armistice had been arranged. In compliance with this, dispatches were sent to belligerents on land and sea proclaiming the cessation of hostilities. In the newspapers appeared the following order signed by Robert Morris: “To all Captains, Commanders, Masters and other officers of armed vessels, commissioned by the United States in Congress assembled, and to all others whom it shall or may in any wise concern: According to the orders of the United States in Congress unto me given on the 24th day of this present month of March, I do hereby recall all armed vessels cruising under commissions from the United States of America, whereof you will please to take notice. Done in the Marine Office of the United States of America, this twenty-fifth day of March, in the Year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three.” (Mass. Spy, April 17, 1783.) The signing of the definitive treaty, September 3, 1783, and its ratification by Congress, January 14, 1784, were the remaining steps necessary for the establishment of peace.

      In the spring of 1783, there were five vessels remaining of the Continental navy: the frigates Alliance, Hague, and Bourbon, the first two only in commission, and the ships General Washington and Duc de Lauzun. In 1782, three hundred and eighty-three letters of marque were granted by the Continental Congress to private armed vessels; in 1783, the number dropped to twenty-two (Naval Records (calendar), 217-495.)

      The British navy increased during 1782 from five hundred and fifty-one vessels of all classes to six hundred and eight; vessels in commission from three hundred and ninety-eight to four hundred and thirty. In 1782, there were seventy vessels on the North American station, and in January, 1783, there were sixty- two, besides more than twice as many in the West Indies. The total number of seamen and marines was one hundred thousand in 1782 and in the following year there were ten thousand more (Hannay, ii, 211; Schomberg, ii, 68, 124, iv, 418, 420; Clowes, iii, 327, 328.)

      In the last two years of the war England lost five hundred and fifteen vessels taken by her enemies, and recaptured or ransomed a hundred and thirteen of them; she captured one hundred and eighty-six, of which only three were retaken. According to the same authority the total number of merchantmen and privateers captured from the British during the whole war was thirty-one hundred and seventy-six, eighty-nine of them belonging to the latter class; of this total eight hundred and ninety-three were retaken or ransomed. From her enemies England took during the war thirteen hundred and fifty-one, including two hundred and sixteen privateers; of all these only twenty-eight were recaptured (Ibid., 396. Unfortunately, in these tables Americans cannot be distinguished from other enemies, after 1777.) Of the regular navy of England there were taken, destroyed, burnt, foundered or wrecked daring the war, two hundred and three vessels; of those captured, eighteen were retaken (Ibid., iv, 109-113. For other estimates, see Almon, xvi, 190, 191; Schomberg, v, 41-43.)

      The ships of the Continental navy were gradually disposed of, their crews disbanded, and this interesting organization passed into history. The Duc de Lauzun was loaned to the French minister, converted into a transport, and sent to France, where she was sold. The Bourbon was launched at Middletown, Connecticut, July 31, 1783, and in September was advertised for sale. Meanwhile the Hague had been advertised in August; she was described as being of five hundred and seventeen tons burden, ninety-six feet long on the keel and thirty-two feet wide. These two vessels soon passed into private hands. The General Washington was employed as a packet until the summer of 1784, when she also was sold. The Alliance was retained a year longer. There was a strong sentiment in favor of keeping this ship permanently in the national service, and on January 15, 1784, a committee of Congress reported that the honor of the flag and the protection of the coast required her repair. Many felt, however, that all naval expenditure should cease. The question was deliberated from time to time until May 23, 1785, when considerations of economy prevailed and a committee of Congress recommended the sale of the frigate. She was accordingly sold in August, 1785 (Barney, 148; Barry, 258; Independent Chronicle, August 7, 1783; Boston Post, August 30, September 13, 1783; Pap. Cont. Congr., 26, 441, 443 (April 11, 18, 1783), 28, 213, 221, 225 (January 15, March 30, 1784, May 23,1785), 137, 2, 677 (July 22, 1783); Jour. Cont. Congr., April 21, 1783, June 3, 1785.)

      Adequate naval protection was needed at the close of the Revolution and has been ever since, and will be, until international arbitration has taken the place of war. Even before the sale of the Alliance, the Algerines began their aggressions upon American commerce. With this frigate as the flagship of a small squadron, with John Paul Jones in command, the insolence of the Barbary pirates might have been checked at the outset, saving much blood and money and avoiding humiliation. It may be affirmed with confidence that with a suitable naval force our troubles with France and England during the wars of the French Revolution and Empire might have been prevented. In the summer of 1782 there was published a newspaper letter “On the Subject of an American Navy”; it was signed “Leonidas.” It pointed out the importance of commerce and naval protection and recommended a fleet of five ships of the line and ten frigates (Independent Chronicle, September 5, 1782, from the Penn. Gazette.) In a report on the condition of the navy, July 31, 1783, Robert Morris urged the need of a fleet, but advised against taking any steps until funds should be obtained. Lack of money was necessarily the determining factor (Pap. Cont. Congr., 137, 2, 725. For John Adams’s views of sea power in general and of American needs, see Wharton, iii, 542, 543, 833, 834.)

      Captain Jones was a close student of naval science and his opinions, freely expressed, are of interest and value. In 1777, he prepared “A Plan for the Regulation and Equipment of the Navy, drawn up at the request of the Honorable the President of Congress.” He proposed to establish a dockyard for building and fitting out ships in each of three sections of the country, the eastern, middle, and southern, and to divide the navy into three squadrons, one to rendezvous at each dockyard. The qualifications and duties of the officers at these yards were set forth in detail. The chief officers, or Commissioners, one from each yard, were to hold yearly conferences at Philadelphia with the Board of Admiralty, to whom they were to report on conditions at the yards. “The Authority of the Commissioners must by no means extend to the destination of Ships or their internal Government, it being their Province only to keep the Navy in fit Order for Sea service and it being the Province of Commanders in the Navy to govern their Ships according to the Rules and Regulations established by the supreme Power of Congress and to follow the Instructions which they may Receive from the board of Admiralty or their deputies, or from Senior or Flag Officers. Consequently Commanders of Squadrons or of single Ships have a right to call on the Commissioners or Agents for supplies whenever they are in want of them, being always accountable to Senior Officers in their division for their Conduct, but more especially so to the Board of Admiralty. As the extent of the Continent is so great that the most advantageous Enterprize may be lost before Orders can arrive within the eastern and Southern districts from the board of Admiralty, it will perhaps be expedient to appoint deputies for executing the Office of High Admiral within these extreme districts, to continue in Office only during the Pleasure and at all times accountable to the Board of Admiralty. Perhaps one deputy to the Eastward and another to the Southward may be found equal to the Business, but the number in each department ought not to exceed three. They ought to be Men of inviolable Secrecy, who inherit much discernment and Segacity and are endowed with consummate Knowledge in Marine Affairs. Besides pointing out proper Services for single Ships and for Squadrons, it may be the duty of the deputies, with the assistance of three or more of the most Judicious commanders of the Fleet who may be named by the board of Admiralty, to examine the abilities of Men who apply for Commissions, and make report to the Board, also to examine divers Persons who now bear Commissions in the Service and whoe’s Abilities and accomplishments are very suspicious and uncertain; the board may do the same within the middle district . . . It may also be expedient to establish an Academy at each Dockyard under proper masters, whoe’s duty it should be to Instruct the Officers of the Fleet when in Port in the Principles and Application of the Mathematicks, Drawing, Fencing and other manly Arts and Accomplishments. It will be requisite that young Men serve a certain time in Quality of Midshipmen or Master’s mate, before they are examined for Promotion. And the necessity of Establishing an Hospital near each Dockyard, under the care of Skilful Physicians, is self evident.” (Jones MSS., April 7, 1777.)

      Writing to Robert Morris, September 22, 1782, Jones says: “I have many things to offer respecting the formation of our navy, but shall here limit myself to one, which I think a preliminary to the formation and establishment of a naval constitution suitable to the local situation, resources and prejudices of the Continent. The constitution adopted for the navy in the year 1775 and by which it has been governed ever since, and crumbled away I may say to nothing, is so very defective that I am of opinion it would be difficult to spoil it. Much wisdom and more knowledge than we possess is, in my humble opinion, necessary to the formation of such a naval constitution as is absolutely wanting . . . We are a young people and need not be ashamed to ask advice from nations older and more experienced in marine affairs than ourselves . . . My plan for forming a proper corps of sea officers is by teaching them the naval tactics in a fleet of evolution . . . When in port the young officers should be obliged to attend at the academies established at each dock-yard, where they should be taught the principles of every art and science that is necessary to form the character of a great sea officer; and every commission officer of the navy should have free access and be entitled to receive instruction gratis at those academies. All this would be attended with no very great expense and the public advantage resulting from it would be immense. I am sensible it cannot be immediately adopted and that we must first look about for ways and means, but the sooner it is adopted the better . . . In time of peace it is necessary to prepare and be always prepared for war by sea.” (Sherburne, 232, 233.)

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