Life Aboard an 18th Century Frigate

Just like it is today, going to sea on either an 18th Century merchant ship or a warship in either the Royal or Continental Navy was not for everyone. The framers of the workplace regulations for OSHA would be apoplectic if they saw men walking 70 feet above the deck...

Prize Money – War, Patriotism and Instant Wealth

One of the fastest legal ways to make a fortune in the 17th and 18th century was through prize money. In the U.K., captured merchant ships and their cargoes were sold at auctions run by Admiralty Prize Courts. Countries who issued letters of marque had similar...

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 –...