USS Confederacy (1778)
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A Revolutionary War painting depicting the Continental Navy frigate Confederacy is displayed at the Navy Art Gallery at the Washington Navy Yard.
|Launched:||8 November 1778|
|Fate:||Captured, March 1781|
|Displacement:||959 long tons (974 t)|
|Length:||153 ft (47 m)|
|Beam:||35 ft 6 in (10.82 m)|
|Depth:||12 ft 3 in (3.73 m)|
|Complement:||260 officers and men|
|Commanders:||Capt. Seth Harding|
She was launched 8 November 1778 at Chatham (Norwich?), Connecticut, and towed to New London to be prepared for sea. From 1 May to 24 August 1779 she cruised on the Atlantic coast under the command of Captain Seth Harding. While convoying a fleet of merchantmen, on 6 June, she and Deane captured three prizes, drove off two British frigates and brought the convoy safely into Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
On 17 September 1779 Confederacy was ordered to carry the French Minister and his family back to France. Later John Jay, the first American Minister to Spain, his secretary, and family were added to the passenger list. During the passage on 7 November 1779 Confederacy was completely dismasted and almost lost, but managed through the skillful seamanship of Captain Harding to reach Martinique early in December. After repairs, she returned to convoy duty.
While homeward bound from Cape Francois in the West Indies in 1781 with military stores and other supplies, Confederacy was forced to strike her flag to the British ships HMS Roebuck (44) and Orpheus (32). She was subsequently taken into the British service as HMS Confederate.