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The Reestablishment of the Navy, 1787-1801
Historical Overview and Select Bibliography


Shipbuilding and Ordnance


Brewington, Marion V. "Who Built the Enterprize?" American Neptune 4 (July 1944): 233-35.

Transcription of a list of vouchers for this schooner's expenditures from 20 November 1798 to 31 January 1800.

"Letters from the Joshua Humphreys Collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 30 (1906): 376-78, 503.

Letters to Humphreys relating to naval construction.

Smith, Philip C. F. The Frigate Essex Papers: Building the Salem Frigate, 1798-1799. Salem, Mass.: Peabody Museum of Salem, 1974. 334 pp.

Secondary Literature

Baker, Maury. "Cost Overrun, an Early Naval Precedent: Building the First U.S. Warships, 1794-98." Maryland Historical Magazine 72 (Fall 1977): 361-72.

Barrows, John S. "The Beginning and Launching of the United States Frigate Constitution." Proceedings of the Bostonian Society (January 20, 1925): 22-37.

Bass, William P. "Who Did Design the First U.S. Frigates?" Naval History 5 (Summer 1991): 49-54.

Bauer, K. Jack. "Naval Shipbuilding Programs, 1794- 1860." Military Affairs 29 (Spring 1965): 29-40.

Chapelle, Howard I. The History of the American Sailing Navy: The Ships and Their Development. New York: W. W. Norton, 1949. 558 pp.

Dunne, W. M. P. "The South Carolina Frigate: A History of the U.S. Ship John Adams." American Neptune 47 (Winter 1987): 22-32.

Eddy, Richard. "'. . . Defended by an Adequate Power': Joshua Humphreys and the 74-Gun Ships of 1799." American Neptune 51 (Summer 1991): 173-94.

Emery, William M. Colonel George Claghorn, Builder of Constitution. Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches, No. 56. New Bedford, Mass.: Old Dartmouth Historical Society, January 1931. 12 pp.

Ferguson, Eugene S. "The Figure-head of the United States Frigate Constellation." American Neptune 7 (October 1947): 255-60.

-----. "The Launch of the United States Frigate Constellation." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 73 (September 1947): 1090-95.

Fisher, Charles R. "The Great Guns of the Navy, 1797- 1843." American Neptune 36 (October 1976): 276- 95.

-----. "Gun Drill in the Sailing Navy, 1797 to 1840." American Neptune 41 (April 1981): 85-92.

Fowler, William M., Jr. "America's Super-Frigates." Mariner's Mirror 59 (February 1973): 49-56.

Gilkerson, William. Boarders Away: With Steel; The Edged Weapons and Polearms of the Classical Age of Fighting Sail, 1626- 1826... Lincoln, R.I.: Andrew Mowbray, 1991. 160 pp.

-----. Boarders Away II: With Fire; The Small Firearms and Combustibles of the Classical Age of Fighting Sail, 1626- 1826... Lincoln, R.I.: Andrew Mowbray, 1993. 331 pp.

Gillmer, Thomas C. Old Ironsides: The Rise, Decline, and Resurrection of the USS Constitution. Camden, Maine: International Marine, 1993. 239 pp.

Gorr, Louis F. "The Foxall-Columbia Foundry: An Early Defense Contractor in Georgetown." In Records of the Columbia Historical Society, 1971-72, edited by Francis C. Rosenberger, 34-59. Washington: Columbia Historical Society, 1973.

Humphreys, Henry H. "Who Built the First United States Navy?" Journal of American History 10 (First Quarter 1916): 49-89.

Joshua Humphreys's great grandson used documentary evidence to substantiate his great grandfather's place as the designer and constructor of the navy's first vessels.

Laing, Alexander. American Ships. New York: American Heritage Press, 1971. 536 pp.

Leiner, Frederick C. "The Subscription Warships of 1798." American Neptune 46 (Summer 1986): 141-58.

History of the nine privately financed, privately constructed naval vessels.

Martin, Tyrone G., and John C. Roach. "Humphreys's Real Innovation." Naval History 8 (March/April 1994): 32- 37.

One of Joshua Humphreys's contributions to the design of three of the first frigates was a structural system of diagonal riders spanning a ship's lower hull to offset hogging.

Maurer, Maurer. "Coppered Bottoms for the United States Navy, 1794-1803." United States Naval Institute Proceedings 71 (June 1945): 692-99.

Perry, Percival. "The Naval-Stores Industry in the Old South, 1790-1860." Journal of Southern History 34 (November 1968): 509-26.

Pinkowski, Edward. "Joshua Humphreys." In Forgotten Fathers, 273-87. Philadelphia: Sunshine Press, 1953.

Rachal, William M. E. "When Virginia Owned a Shipyard: The Story of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard at Portsmouth to the Time of Its Purchase by the United States in 1801." Virginia Cavalcade 2 (Autumn 1952): 31-35.

Roosevelt, Franklin D. "Our First Frigates: Some Unpublished Facts about Their Construction." Transactions of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers 22 (1914): 139-53.

Stanton, Elizabeth B. "Builder of the First American Navy." Journal of American History 2 (First Quarter 1908): 101-12.

Correspondence of Josiah Fox attesting to his role in the construction of the first naval ships.

Todd, Thomas A. "USF CONSTELLATION as She May Have Appeared in the Period 1797 to 1800." Nautical Research Journal 31 (June 1985): 55-67.

Tucker, Spencer C. "Arming the Fleet: Early Cannon Founders to the United States Navy." American Neptune 45 (Winter 1985): 35-40.

-----. Arming the Fleet: U.S. Navy Ordnance in the Muzzle- Loading Era. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1989. 308 pp.

Westlake, Merle T., Jr. "Josiah Fox, Gentleman, Quaker, Shipbuilder." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 88 (July 1964): 316-27.

Josiah Fox's major contributions to the design and construction of the first ships for the U.S. Navy.

Wood, Virginia Steele. Live Oaking: Southern Timber for Tall Ships. 1981. Reprint. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1995. 206 pp.