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New Hampshire Privateer Ship Minerva




Minerva

Commander John Grimes

Armed Ship

18 May 1779-[July] 1779

New Hampshire Privateer Ship


Commissioned/First Date:

18 May 1779

Out of Service/Cause:

[July] 1779/captured by British Privateer Ship Terrible


Owners:

[John Cushing and Samuel White of Boston, Massachusetts]


Tonnage:


Battery:

Date Reported: 18 May 1779

Number/Caliber   Weight           Broadside

20/9-pounders     180 pounds   90 pounds

Total: 20 cannon/180 pounds

Broadside: 10 cannon/90 pounds

Swivels:


Crew:

18 May 1779: 51 [total]


Description:


Officers:


Cruises:

(1) Portsmouth, New Hampshire to Boston, Massachusetts, [20] May 1779-10 June 1779, with Massachusetts Privateer Ship Cadwallader and Massachusetts Privateer Ship Charming Sally

(2) Boston, Massachusetts to sea, 17 June 1779-[July] 1779, with Massachusetts Privateer Ships Cadwallader and Marlborough


Prizes:

(1) British Privateer Ship Revenge (Sheppard), with Massachusetts Privateer Ship Cadwallader and Massachusetts Privateer Ship Charming Sally


Actions:

(1) Action with Revenge, [5] June 1779


Comments:

New Hampshire Privateer Ship Minerva was commissioned on 18 May 1779 under Commander John Grimes of Rhode Island. Her battery was listed as twenty guns and her crew was given as fifty men. She had earlier been commissioned under Grimes as a Rhode Island privateer, but was owned in Boston, Massachusetts.1 [See Rhode Island Privateer Ship Minerva]


Massachusetts Privateer Ship Cadwallader was a large vessel under Commander Henry Johnson  of Boston, Massachusetts. She carried fourteen guns and a crew of sixty men.2 Cadwallader probably sailed about 20 May 1779 from Porstsmouth, New Hampshire,  in company with  Minerva  and Massachusetts Privateer Ship Charming Sally (Commander Alexander Holmes).3 Charming Sally was a 300 ton ship with eighteen guns and a crew of seventy men.4 All three vessels were loaded with lumber and bound for the West Indies.5


About early June 1779 these three fell in with the British Privateer Ship Revenge (Sheppard), mounting twenty-four (or twenty-six) guns, along with assorted swivels and cohorns. Her principal owner was Sir George Collier, the British naval commander there. Revenge had sailed from Halifax twelve days before and had already captured one small American privateer brig. Revenge was the former Rhode Island Privateer Ship Blaze Castle.6 The Americans out-gunned the British privateer fifty-two to twenty-four.


The three American privateers ganged up on the Revenge, which put up a very stout resistance. A two hour fight followed before Sheppard surrendered, with his ship “much shattered” and five men killed and several wounded. The Charming Sally was in the principal action and had one man killed and three wounded, including Holmes. The prize was escorted into Boston, where she arrived on 10 June.7


Minerva and Cadwallader were now joined by the Massachusetts Privateer Ship Marlborough (Commander William Chase), with fourteen guns and forty men. Charming Sally stayed in Boston to refit. The three privateers sailed on 17 June 1779, resuming the voyage to the West Indies. The privateer captains separated and each, individually, was captured by the British Privateer Terrible, a Liverpool privateer. They were taken into Antigua, British West Indies, and tried and condemned there.8 This was likely the British Privateer Ship Terrible (Ash), a 250-ton vessel armed with twenty guns and with a crew of 130 men.9


Peter and Isaac Wikoff wrote to Cushing & White on 24 August 1779, reporting the loss of the Minerva “owing to bad management in the Captains not keeping together.”10



1 Claghorn, Naval Officers of the American Revolution, 130

2 Allen, Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution, 90

3 The Pennsylvania Packet or the General Advertiser [Philadelphia], Tuesday, June 29, 1779, datelined Boston, June 14; The Norwich Packet and the Weekly Advertiser, Tuesday, June 22, 1779,  datelined Boston, June 17; The Massachusetts Spy: Or, American Oracle of Liberty [Boston], Thursday, June 17, 1779; The Independent Ledger, and the American Advertiser [Boston], Monday, June 14, 1779

4 Allen, Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution, 98

5 The Pennsylvania Evening Post [Philadelphia], June 29, 1779, datelined Portsmouth, June 12

6 The Pennsylvania Packet or the General Advertiser [Philadelphia], Tuesday, June 29, 1779, datelined Boston, June 14; The Norwich Packet and the Weekly Advertiser, Tuesday, June 22, 1779,  datelined Boston, June 17; The Massachusetts Spy: Or, American Oracle of Liberty [Boston], Thursday, June 17, 1779; The Independent Ledger, and the American Advertiser [Boston], Monday, June 14, 1779

7 The Pennsylvania Packet or the General Advertiser [Philadelphia], Tuesday, June 29, 1779, datelined Boston, June 14; The Norwich Packet and the Weekly Advertiser, Tuesday, June 22, 1779,  datelined Boston, June 17; The Massachusetts Spy: Or, American Oracle of Liberty [Boston], Thursday, June 17, 1779; The Independent Ledger, and the American Advertiser [Boston], Monday, June 14, 1779

8 McManemin, Captains of the State Navies, 305C

9 Williams, Gomer, History of the Liverpool Privateers and Letters of Marque with an Account of the Liverpool Slave Trade, London: William Heineman, 1897, 250-251

10 McManemin, Captains of the State Navies, 305C


Posted 21 September 2014 © awiatsea.com