This Day In History October 13, 1775 – American Revolution: The Continental Navy is formed


John Paul Jones

This Day In History October 13, 1775 – American Struggle For Independence: The Continental Congress authorizes the first American naval force, the Continental Navy


On this day in 1775, the Continental Congress authorizes construction and administration of the first American naval force—the precursor to the United States Navy.

Since the outbreak of open hostilities with the British in April, little consideration had been given to protection by sea until Congress received news that a British naval fleet was on its way. In November, the Continental Navy was formally organized, and on December 22, Esek Hopkins was appointed the first commander in chief of the Continental Navy. Congress also named four captains to the new service: Dudley Saltonstall, Abraham Whipple, Nicholas Biddle and John Burrows Hopkins. Their respective vessels, the 24-gun frigates Alfred and Columbus, the 14-gun brigs Andrew Doria and Cabot, as well as three schooners, the Hornet, the Wasp and the Fly, became the first ships of the Navy’s fleet. Five first lieutenants, including future American hero John Paul Jones, five second lieutenants and three third lieutenants also received their commissions. More…..

The Navy: The Continental Period, 1775-1890

Vessels of the Continental Navy

Image: Raising the Grand Union flag on Continental Ship Alfred, 3 December 1775 http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/iconic/icon-ev/amrev.htm

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Raising the Grand Union flag on Continental Ship Alfred, 3 December 1775


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