Friday, September 14, 2018

The Birth of the U.S. Navy - For my novel research

by Elva Cobb Martin

Today I am sharing a column by Bill Federer on The Birth of the U. S. Navy. This is part of my research for my historical romance series. Hope you enjoy! You can sign up for his email list. You may also like to order his wonderful book of answered prayers in the founding of America which is  shown below.

American Minute with Bill Federer
"AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN" - The birth of the U.S. Navy & Coast Guard
In June of 1775, citizens acting as merchant marinerscaptured the British schooner HMS Margaretta around Machias, Massachusetts (present-day Maine).
That same month, General George Washington, with the help of merchant ship owner Colonel John Glover of Marblehead, Massachusetts, chartered and outfitted several ships to interrupt the British supplies.
The marker at the base of John Glover's statue in Boston states:

"John Glover of Marblehead - A Soldier of the Revolution.

He commanded a regiment of one thousand men raised in that town known as the marine regiment, and enlisted to serve throughout the war.

He joined the camp at Cambridge, June 22, 1775, and rendered distinguished service in transporting the army."
The first ships outfitted by Glover were named Hannah, Franklin, Warren, Hancock and Lee.

They had crews of experienced fisherman who defended American ports and raided British ships carrying ammunition and supplies.
55 British ships were captured by this original American flotilla.

One of these was then the Leecaptured the British brig HMS Nancyon November 29, 1775, with its cargo of 2,000 Brown Bess muskets, 100,000 flints, 30,000 of artillery ammunition, 30 tons of musket ammunition, and a 13 inch brass mortar.

This was a tremendous benefit to the new Continental Army.
After the Battle of BrooklynHeights, August 27, 1776, John Glover and his Marblehead fisherman saved the day by evacuating Washington and the entire Continental Army, under cover of fog, in their miraculous escape across the East River to Manhattan Island.
Glover's large Durham rowboats also ferried Washington and the Continental Army across the ice packed Delaware River for the surprise attack on the German Hessian troops at the Battle of Trenton, December 26, 1776.
The Continental Congress, on December 22, 1775, had authorized a Continental Navy,consisting of five ships, the Alfred, Columbus, Andrew Doria, and Cabot.

It was put under the command of Esek Hopkins, Esq., and four captains, Dudley Saltonstall, Abraham Whipple, Nicholas Biddle and John Burrows Hopkins.
Congress also commissioned five first lieutenants, one of whom was the future naval hero, John Paul Jones.
American ships flew the Pine Tree Flag, designed by General Washington's secretary, Colonel Joseph Reed, who wrote in a letter, October 20, 1775:

"... flag with a white ground and a tree in the middle, the motto AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN."
The Pine Tree Flag was also flown in towns, churches, riverbanks, and at the nation's capital in Philadelphia.
Eastern White Pine Trees grew to a height of over 150 feet and were ideal for use as masts on British ships.
These pines contributed to the British navy becoming the most powerful navy in the world.
In 1734, there was a Mast Tree Riot where men disguised as Indians chase away the King's surveyor.

In 1772, New Hampshire had a Pine Tree Riot.
The King sent agents to enforce his claim to every tree in New England over 12 inches in diameter.

In 1772, when the sheriff came to South Weare, New Hampshire, to arrest those who had cut down some of King's trees, 30 men busted into the sheriff's room at the inn at night, with their faces blackened with soot in disguise, and beat the sheriff sore with switches made from pine branches.

The men were later arrested and forced to pay a fine.

It was a test of the King's authority and considered by some as the beginnings of the revolution.
The Pine Tree Flag's phrase, "An Appeal to Heaven," was first used by John Locke in his Second Treatise on Civil Government, 1690, regarding the right of citizens who have been denied justice to go above the king's head:

"Where the body of the people ... is deprived of their right ... and have no appeal on earth, then they have a liberty to appeal to heaven ...

Where there lies no appeal on earth ... they have just cause to make their appeal to heaven ...

Where there is no judicature (justice) on earth, to decide controversies amongst men, God in heaven is judge.He alone, it is true, is judge of the right ...

So in this ... he should appeal to the Supreme Judge."
Patrick Henry stated at the Second Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775:

"An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! ... We shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations."
Massachusetts Provincial Congress stated April 26, 1775, following the Battles of Lexington and Concord:

"Appealing to Heaven for the justice of our cause, we determine to die or be free."
The Massachusetts Navy flew a similar Liberty Tree Flag, with the line "An Appeal to God."
The Declaration of Causes and Necessity for Taking Up Arms, July 6, 1775, stated:

"We most solemnly, before God and the world ... resolved to die freemen rather than to live slaves ...

With an humble confidence in the mercies of the Supreme and Impartial Judge and Ruler of the Universe."
The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, stated:

"We, therefore ... appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do ... declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States."
America's first navy grew to over 40 vessels, but was disbanded after the Revolutionary War.

The Massachusetts Navy continued, and was later incorporated into the U.S. Navy.
On AUGUST 4, 1790, the Revenue Marine, later called Revenue Cutter Service, was created by the recommendation of Alexander Hamilton,the Secretary of the Treasury.

It consisted of 10 ships charged with stopping smuggling and French privateers from operating in American waters.
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Elva Martin

Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents her. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site,on Twitter; Facebook;  and Pinterest    

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