Friday, October 02, 2009

Ten Days of Truxtun- What I did During the American Revolution

Day 4 of looking at the man for whom the neighborhood gets its name.
In my last post about Tom Truxtun I mistakenly said he was captain of the Chance, I was wrong. After losing his first ship he captained to the British, he was just a prize lieutenant on the privateering ship the Chance. Not because he lost a ship in the Caribbean but because he got to the investors too late and they had already chosen captains.
So in Spring 1776 he sailed out from Philadelphia on the Chance heading for the Caribbean to stick up British merchant ships. Which by the way was a very profitable enterprise during the Revolutionary War. Investors would get half the spoils, and the rest were divided amongst officers and crew.... once it got through the court system. The Chance did well taking unarmed and out gunned British ships.
In the Summer of 1776 Tom Truxtun teamed up with a New York investor by the name of Issac Sears. Sears made Tom the captain of a 70 ton sloop called the Independence at the age of 21. Apparently the British were holding New York's bay at the time so he had to sneak his ship out by going down the East River.
Somewhere in southern waters he managed to capture a ship that got separated from its convoy. In capturing that ship he got a hold of the signals the convoy was using. So he joined the convoy, showing all the right signals, blending in. At night he came close to a ship he thought was holding the greatest bounty, took it over and separated it from the convoy. His adventure with the Independence led in the capture of 2 brigs and two ships, though one did get recaptured by the British.
I'll continue with Tom Truxtun in 1777 as captain of the Mars.

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