Maryland Privateer Schooner Buckskin


Commander Joseph Handy


11 November 1776-25 December 1776

Maryland Privateer Schooner/FONT>

Commissioned/First Date:

11 November 1776

Out of Service/Cause:

25 December 1776/captured by HM Frigate Galatea


George Handy et al of Baltimore, Maryland



Date Reported: 31 November 1776

Number/Caliber  Weight     Broadside


Total: 3 cannon/

Broadside: 1 cannon/

Swivels: six

Date Reported: 25 December 1776

Number/Caliber  Weight     Broadside


Total: 10-12 cannon/

Broadside: 5-6 cannon/



11 November 1776: 31 [total]




(1) Baltimore, Maryland to sea, -25 December 1776




Maryland Privateer Schooner Buckskin was commissioned on 11 November 1776 under Commander Joseph Handy of Worcester County, Maryland.1 She was listed as having a battery of three guns and six swivels and a crew of thirty men.2 Her $5000 bond was signed by Handy and James Martin.3

Buckskin was at sea in late 1776. On Christmas Day she was ninety-five miles north of Bermuda looking for prizes. At 0700 HM Frigate Galatea (Captain Thomas Jordan) spotted her sails to the WSW and gave chase. At 1000 Galatea was close enough to fire two rounds, which brought the tiny Buckskin's surrender. The weather was so squally that Galatea could not get a boat over to her prize until 1300.4 The crew was removed and the schooner set on fire5 and sunk.6 Galatea reported the Buckskin as being armed with ten to twelve guns.7 Another report notes four guns.8

On 4 October 1777, two American prisoners escaped from HM Sloop Nautilus (Commander John Collins) and got ashore at Bermuda. One of these was William Dishrom, gunner of the Buckskin. Dishrom was still at large on 14 October, when Collins made a legal protest against the colony’s chief justice.9

Handy was eventually shipped to Newport, Rhode Island. He was on a prisoner list there dated 29 April 1778.10

1 NRAR, 243. See also NDAR, “List of Bonds given on issuing Commissions for Privateers in the State of Maryland, delivered into the Office,” 10:703-704.

2 NDAR, “A List of Commissions of Letters of Marque and Reprisal granted by the Council of Safety for the State of Maryland,” 8:139

3 NRAR, 243

4 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Galatea, Captain Thomas Jordan,” 7:597

5 NDAR, “Providence Gazette, Saturday, February 15, 1777,” 7:1209 and note; “Purdie’s Virginia Gazette, Friday, March 28, 1777,” 8:222

6 NDAR, “Henry Tucker to St. George Tucker,” 7:948-949 and 949 note

7 NDAR, “Henry Tucker to St. George Tucker,” 7:948-949 and 949 note

8 NDAR, “Providence Gazette, Saturday, February 15, 1777,” 7:1209 and note. See NDAR, 8:1063 [Howe’s Prize List]

9 NDAR, “Protest of John Collins, R. N.,” 10:167-168. Here the privateer is given as from Virginia.

10 NDAR, “List of American Privateer and Merchant Officers and Seamen Held Prisoner at Newport,” 12:216-219 and 219n1

Posted 21 September 2014 ©