USS Liberty (1775)

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United States
Name: Liberty
Builder: Lake Champlain at Skenesborough, New York
Acquired: 11 May 1775
Out of service: 1777
Fate: destroyed summer 1777
General characteristics
Type: schooner
Sail plan: gaff-rigged
  • 4 x 4-pounder guns
  • 4 x 2-pounder guns

USS Liberty was a schooner built at Skenesboro, New York, on Lake Champlain, 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.

Service history[edit]

Originally named Katherine, she was renamed Liberty to honor the patriot cause.[1]

She sailed to Fort Ticonderoga on 13 May 1775 and filled out her crew. Later that day she got underway for Fort Crown Point where she arrived at sunset the following day. On 16 May she pushed on toward St. Jean, the British shipyard on the lake. North of Isle La Motte, the schooner was becalmed, but General Benedict Arnold with a party of 35 men pressed on in small boats. After rowing all night the raiders surprised the fort and captured the sloop George, mounting six 6-pounders.[1]

Liberty and the prize, renamed Enterprise, gave the Americans undisputed control of the entire lake. 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.[1]




Online resources

  • DANFS (29 July 2015). "Liberty I (Schooner)". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. Retrieved 29 July 2016.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  • Priolo, Gary P. (31 July 2015). "Liberty (I)". NavSource Naval History. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 

Further reading

External links[edit]