Continental Navy Sailors – We Paid Them How Much?

Right after the Revolution began, the Continental Congress began issuing a currency called dollars. Rather than use a decimal system, the smallest unit was 1/6th of a dollar. The largest bill was $80. To complicate matters, each of the 13 colonies issued their own...

Joshua Humphreys – an 18th Century Kelly Johnson

Unless they study U.S. Naval history, most Americans do know who have Joshua Humphreys is. They should. It is also odd that the man who designed the ships that made the modern American Navy possible has had only one ship – a replenishment ship with a civilian crew –...

The Continental Navy – Success or Failure?

At the beginning of the American Revolution, the Royal Navy had approximately 350 rated ships, i.e. first-raters of 90 guns or more down to sixth rated ships with 20 to 30. Add in smaller sloops and brigs and the total reaches close to 500. We had none. In the eight...

Financing the American Revolution

When the war broke out at Lexington and Concord on April 19th, 1775, the colonists had no means of funding the fight that would take seven long years. There was no government to raise money for salaries, food, ammunition and all the other items needed to wage war....