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WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Photo # NH 44647-KN:  Decatur Boarding the Tripolitan Gunboat

Online Library of Selected Images:
-- "ICONIC" NAVAL IMAGES --

Establishing the Unites States Navy, 1783-1812

Brief text setting theme(s) and basic message for this page. Maximum of about 50-100 words in two or three paragraphs.

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This page features a selection of iconic naval images from the American Revolution of 1775-1783.


Click the small photographs to prompt a medium resolution view of the same image, the words "hi-res" to bring up a high-resolution JPG reproduction, and the words "Picture Data" to access the Picture Data Sheet for that image.


CREATING A NAVY

 "An Act to Provide a Naval Armament", December 1793:

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 Commodore John Barry, United States Navy:

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After the War for Independence, American commerce was increasingly attacked by Barbary (North African) corsairs. To fight this menace, the first steps were taken to form a Navy. Congress authorized construction of six large cruisers ("frigates"). Six former Continental Navy officers were appointed to command them. John Barry was the senior Captain.


THE QUASI-WAR WITH FRANCE, 1798-1801

To avoid fighting an expensive war, the United States met the Barbary states' demands for "tribute" payments. The American frigate-building program was slowed or stopped.

However, the warring nations of Europe, especially France and Great Britain began their own attacks on defenceless American commercial shipping. The U.S. set up a Navy Department and resumed frigate construction.

France was particularly agressive, and the U.S. acquired more warships and a sharp undeclared war began in the western Atlantic and the West Indies. In three years, many French warships, privateers and merchantmen were captured. A peace treaty was signed in 1801.

 Action between U.S. Frigate Constellation and French Frigate Insurgente, February 1799

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THE BARBARY WARS, 1801-1805

 Burning the frigate Philadelphia, February 1804:

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Text about the first stages of the Barbary Wars, and the appointment of Edward Preble to command. Maximum length about 50 words.

 Commodore Edward Preble, United States Navy:

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 Bombardment of Tripoli by Commodore Preble's squadron, August 1804:

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Text about the bombardment of Tripoli and subsequent events in the Barbary Wars. Maximum length about 50 words.

 Decatur Boarding the Tripolitan Gunboat, August 1804:

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NOTES:

  • To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.

  • Some images linked from this page bear obsolete credit lines citing the organization name: "Naval Historical Center". Effective 1 December 2008 the name should be cited as: "Naval History and Heritage Command".


    If you want other reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


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    Page IN WORK 20 February 2009