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THE CURIOUS CHAIN OF EVENTS THAT LED TO THE CREATION OF A

NATIONAL SEA POWER-THE GASPÉ CAPTURED BY MEN ARMED

WITH PAVING-STONES—TEA DESTROYED IN BOSTON--THE BATTLE

OF LEXINGTON AND THE ATTACK OF THE MACHIAS HAYMAKERS

ON THE MARGARETTA-BRITISH VENGEANCE ON DEFENCELESS PORTLAND AND ITS EFFECT ON THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESSTHE COLONIAL NAVY ” DISTINGUISHED FROM THE TEMPORARY CRUISERS—THE FIRST OFFICERS AND THE FIRST SHIPS OF THE AMERICAN NAVY-JOHN PAUL JONES AND THE FIRST NAVAL ENSIGN—THE SIGNIFICANT

“ DON'T TREAD

ON ME”—PUTTING THE FIRST AMERICAN NAVAL SHIPS IN COMMISSION.

Of all the dates in American history not yet so commemorated, there is none so well worthy of recognition as a national holiday as the 22d of December; for it was on December 22, 1775, that the American navy came into existence. And there is no part of the story of the American nation of more thrilling interest than that including the events which

compelled the establishment of this branch of the public service, nor is there any part of the nation's story as a whole that so stirs the patriotic pride of the American people as that which tells of the deeds of the heroes whose names have been inscribed upon the American naval registers.

It is a grateful task to recount once more how it was that an American navy was demanded for the preservation of American liberties, and what has been accomplished by that navy since the day when Commodore Esek Hopkins received his commission, and then stood by on the deck of his flagship while John Paul Jones flung to the breeze the broad folds of the flag that bore as a symbol the picture of a rattlesnake coiled to strike, with the significant and appropriate motto,

" DON'T TREAD ON ME.

The salt-water Lexington, that is to say, the first fight afloat of the Revolutionary war, occurred on the night of June 17, 1772, in the waters of Rhode Island, and the fact that it was in Rhode Island will be recalled later on. The war of Great Britain against France for dominion in America, “though

though crowned with success, had engendered a progeny of discontents in her colonies.Her policy toward them from the beginning had been purely

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From a French engraving of the portrait by Wilkinson.

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The First Naval Flags.

commercial.” And that is to say that the English, even in their dealings with their own colonies, were animated solely by greed. The

stamp act; the levyLIBERTY TREE

ing of taxes on intercolonial commerce ;

the imposition of APPEAL 19 COD

duties on glass, pasteboard, painters' colors, and tea, “to be collected on the arrival of the articles in the colonies" ;

worse yet, the “empowering of naval officers to enforce the acts of trade and navigation,” grew out of "the spirit of trade which always aims to get the best of the bargain,” regardless of right.

It was through this empowering of naval officers to enforce the acts of trade and navigation that the first sea-fight of the Revolution occurred. A vessel of war-presumably a ship—had been stationed in the waters of Rhode Island, with a schooner of 102 tons burden, called the Gaspé, armed with six threepounders, to serve as a tender. The Gaspé was under the command of Lieut. William Duddingstone. Duddingstone was particularly offensive in his treatment of the coasting vessels, every one of which was, in his

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view, a smuggler.

He had a crew of twenty

seven men.

On June 17, 1772, a Providence packet, named the Hannah and commanded by Captain Linzee, came in sight of these two warvessels while she was on her regular passage from New York to Providence. As the Hannah ranged up near the war-vessels she was ordered to heave to in order that her papers might be examined, but Captain Linzee being favored by a smart southerly wind that was rapidly carrying him out of range of the manof-war guns, held fast on his course.

At this the schooner Gaspé was ordered to follow and bring back the offending sloop, and with all sail drawing, she obeyed the order. For a matter of twenty-five miles that was as eager and as even a race as any sailorman would care to see, but when that length of course had been sailed over, the racers found themselves close up at the Providence bar. The Yankee knew his ground as well as he knew the deck of his sloop, but the captain of the Gaspé was unfamiliar with it. A few minutes later the shoal-draft Hannah was crossing the bar at a point where she could barely scrape over, and the deeper-draft Gaspé, in trying to follow at full speed, was grounded hard and fast.

To make matters still worse for the Gaspé,

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