Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
  • Barbary Wars 1801-1805, 1815
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Franklin (Brigantine)


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was born in Boston but moved at an early age to Philadelphia where his countless talents and unlimited energies found expression in successful contributions as a statesman, diplomat, scientist, editor-author, and philosopher. During the Revolution he was appointed American Minister Plenipotentiary to the French Court enabling him to function also as the Navy's representative in Europe. He promoted the plan to bring the war to British shores, supporting Lambert Wickes' spectacular raids and enabling John Paul Jones to perform his daring feats by providing funds, attending to purchases and repairs, and determining questions of authority and discipline. His astute and visionary policies merit for him deserved recognition in the annals of the infant Navy as well as esteem as a founder of the United States. (The first four ships of the name honor Benjamin Franklin; CV-13 honors specifically perpetuates the ship-of-the-line and the frigate).

(Brigantine: tonnage 155; length 72'4"; beam 22'4"; complement 16; armament 8 guns)

The brigantine Franklin, built at Philadelphia in 1795, was captured by Tripolitan corsairs in 1802, and sold to the commercial agent of the Bey of Tunis. She was purchased on 27 April 1805 by Capt. James Barren at Trieste.

In June 1805, Franklin was ordered to Syracuse, Sicily, where she was placed in charge of Lt. Jacob Jones to accommodate officers seized from the frigate Philadelphia, and recently released from a Tripolitan prison. From July to September she served as storeship for the Mediterranean Squadron and on the 24th departed for the United States with General William Eaton, U.S. Navy Agent to the Barbary Powers, embarked.

Following an overhaul at the Washington [D.C.] Navy Yard she voyaged to New Orleans, La., with crew and supplies for that station. In December 1806 she carried a company of marines and munitions for the New Orleans station. There she was turned over to the Navy Agent for disposal and on 21 March 1807 was sold.

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

12 April 2021

Published: Mon Apr 12 16:12:58 EDT 2021