The Cartographic Branch at the National Archives is home to over one million ship plans, with records spanning more than 15 distinct Record Groups and over 25 separate series. These drawings are among the most requested records from researchers in the Cartographic Branch. [Read more…] about Maritime History: Ship Engineering Drawings
The story of the founding of the U.S. Navy during the American Revolution has been told many times, yet largely missing from maritime histories of the war is the ragtag fleet of private vessels that truly revealed the new nation’s character ― above all, its ambition and entrepreneurial ethos.
Privateers were privately owned vessels, mostly refitted merchant ships, that were granted permission by the new government to seize British merchantmen and men of war. At a time when the young Continental Navy numbered no more than about sixty vessels all told, privateers rushed to fill the gaps. Nearly 2,000 set sail over the course of the war, with tens of thousands of Americans serving on them and capturing some 1,800 British ships. [Read more…] about Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution
The War of 1812 began on June 18, 1812, when President James Madison signed a declaration of war which began: “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That war be and is hereby declared to exist between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the dependencies thereof, and the United States of America and their territories.”
The causes of the war are quite clear. [Read more…] about The War of 1812 in the Capital District
Thirty-five years before the battles of Lexington and Concord, the British colonies in North America raised a regiment to serve in the British Army for an expedition to seize control of the Spanish West Indies.
Colonial volunteers, 4,000 strong, joined 9,000 British soldiers and 15,000 British sailors in a bold amphibious campaign against the key port of Cartagena de Indias. The expedition marked the first time American soldiers deployed overseas.
The name Francis Mallaby may not be familiar in New York history but sailing master Mallaby served at the Sackets Harbor navy yard in a prosperous time of lake shipping and community growth. He helped make a difference by initiating purchase of land which is cherished today as the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site.
This War of 1812 veteran received high compliments from Lake Ontario navy commander Isaac Chauncey and Captain Woolsey that helped influence Mallaby’s 1817 appointment as master of the first steamboat on Lake Ontario, based in Sackets Harbor in Jefferson County, NY. [Read more…] about Francis Mallaby: Witness to Sackets Harbor History
The site of the present Sampson State Park in Romulus, Seneca County, NY was formerly the site of the Sampson Navy Base. As the United States found itself at war following the attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941, the U.S. Navy had an immediate need for sailors. Basic training bases, or boot camps, were constructed across the country to meet this emergency requirement. [Read more…] about Sampson State Park’s Remarkable Military, Education & Public Health History
2018 marks the 241st anniversary of the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga and the 240th anniversary of the Franco-American Alliance. But was the victory that prompted the French to join the American war effort, truly the “turning point” of the War for Independence?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, National Book Award-winner Nathaniel Philbrick joins us to explore the two events he sees as better turning points in the American War for Independence: Benedict Arnold’s treason and the French Navy’s participation in the war. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/208