The Naval Act of 1794 permitted the construction of six frigates during time of conflict. The captains and ship yards got started, but the potential conflict on the horizon disappeared and according to the agreement, construction was supposed to stop too. Learning that he had to have force to ensure his country’s neutrality, President Washington convinced Congress to pass a bill in 1796 allowing the first three frigates to be finished. In 1798, in the midst of troubles with France, Congress finally approved the funds for three more frigates.
Today’s blog post introduces the first six ships built specifically for the United States Navy and some of their famous moments in history. Designed by Joshua Humphreys, these ships were constructed to last and to be the best-built and fastest for their size. Although small than British ships-of-the-line, the maneuverability, speed, and armament of the American frigates would give the new navy a significant advantage in forthcoming combats. Continue reading