USS Liberty (1775)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Liberty.
Career (USA)
Name: Liberty
Acquired: 11 May 1775
Out of service: 1776
Fate: destroyed
General characteristics
Type: schooner
Armament: 4 x 4-pounder cannon; 4 x 2-pounder cannon

USS Liberty was a schooner built at Skenesboro (now Whitehall) on Lake Champlain, New York for wealthy landowner and former British Army Captain Philip Skene. It was captured on 11 May 1775 during a raid on Skenesboro led by Capt. Samuel Herrick, an early action in the American Revolution.

Originally named Katherine, it was renamed Liberty to honor the patriot cause. It sailed via Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Crown Point toward St.-Jean, the British shipyard on the lake. North of Isle La Motte, the schooner was becalmed, but General Benedict Arnold and 35 men pressed on in small boats. After rowing all night the raiders surprised the fort and captured the sloop George (renamed Enterprise).

The two ships, reinforced by new vessels built at Skenesboro, supported the Continental forces during the Canadian campaign, and prepared to defend the lake when the British assumed the offensive. During the battle of Valcour Island, Liberty, away on a supply run, escaped the fate of most of Arnold's fleet, only to be destroyed the following summer as Burgoyne marched south.

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