Monday, October 05, 2009

Ten Days of Truxton- Continuing the Revolutionary War

Day 5. When we last left Tom Truxtun was a privateer having successfully captured ships with the Independence in the Caribbean. In 1777 at the age of 22, Captain Truxtun of the Mars, sailed towards the English Channel to take on British ships. The Mars, other privateers and the Continental Navy were also cruising those waters to pick of British merchant ships. When they overtook a ship, they would then go to the friendly ports of France, and have the items liquidated there.
In January 1778, he returned to America, specifically Boston, then later that year with his wife and child returned to Philadelphia after the British had vacated. In 1779 he captained the Andrew Caldwell, which sadly was captured by the British as it was just in sight of the neutral Dutch island of St. Eustatius. After his capture he was able to get to St. Eustatius and there he made an effort to get back to America. While there he managed to buy another vessel and cargo to take back to Philadelphia. On the way back Truxtun hit what probably was a hurricane, off the coast of the Carolinas. In the storm he lost all of his masts but was able to limp home (while initiating an attack on the way) by creating a jury-mast(?) and a jury-rig. The ship he was on was the Lydia and he renamed it the Independence II after she was fixed. The new name brought better luck in the privateering effort in 1780. Truxtun almost made a million dollars off what he was able to capture, however inflation was ever so increasing as the Continental Congress kept printing money.
In 1781, Truxtun managed to get himself into a fight with a British ship where both parties were hit pretty hard. However, later it was discovered that the ship was an American British loyalist ship out of New York. In 1782, General George Washington praised Truxtun's service at a dinner, remarking that he had, "been as a regiment to the United States."



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