Saturday, January 18, 2014

BIRTH | Dec 22–U.S. Navy

On this day in 1775, the Continental Congress created the Continental Navy, naming Esek Hopkins as commander in chief of the fleet, with four ships - the "Alfred" under Dudley Saltonstall, the "Columbus" under Abraham Whipple, the ":Doria" under Nicholas Biddle and the "Cabot" under John Burrows Hopkins. George Washington called him "Admiral" Hopkins.

Five first lieutenants, including future American hero John Paul Jones (often called "the father of the U.S. Navy"), five second lieutenants, and three third lieutenants also received commissions. Admiral Hopkins was a Rhode Islander, brother of Stephen Hopkins, the state's governor. Hopkins used his wife's money to buy a ship and he turned it into a revenue-generator working as a privateer during the Seven Years' War.

In his new position as Admiral, Congress offered him $125/month, and a share of the ship prizes. Hopkins's personal standard was a coiled snake and the Patriot motto, "Don't Tread on Me". Hopkins' first assignment was to assess the feasibility of attacking the British fleet in the Chesapeake Bay. After sailing south with eight ships, Hopkins decided the British fleet was too strong. Instead, he sailed on to the Bahamas and attacked the British port of Nassau. For this decision, which went beyond his orders, he was relieved of his command upon his return.

No comments:

Post a Comment