Nominal Guns30DANFS
NationalityUnited States of America
OperatorContinental Navy
PreviouslyAmerican Merchant ship 'Black Prince' (1774)
ShipyardPhiladelphia - Pennsylvania NDARI
Ship TypeShip DANFS
Sailing RigShip RiggedDANFS
BecomesBritish armed ship 'Alfred' (1778) (20)


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentW027
Length of Gundeck92' 0"Imperial Feet28.0416 
Breadth27' 0"Imperial Feet8.2296 
Draught Aft18' 0"Imperial Feet5.4864 
Displacement300Imperial Feet 
Burthen440Tons BM 


1775Broadside Weight = 120 Imperial Pound ( 54.42 kg)DANFS
Gun Deck20 American 9-Pounder
Quarterdeck6 American 6-Pounder
Forecastle4 American 6-Pounder

11.10.1777Broadside Weight = 90 Imperial Pound ( 40.815 kg)W027
Gun Deck20 American 9-Pounder

4.12.1777Broadside Weight = 108 Imperial Pound ( 48.978 kg)W027
Gun Deck20 American 9-Pounder
Quarterdeck6 American 6-Pounder

9.3.1778Broadside Weight = 90 Imperial Pound ( 40.815 kg)W027
Gun Deck20 American 9-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
18.2.1776229 W027
11.10.1777160 W027

4 Commanding Officers

3.12.1775 - 8.9.1776CaptainDudley Saltonstall8.9.1776 - 8.9.1775LieutenantJonathon PitcherW02722.10.1776 - 19.1.1777CaptainJohn Paul Jones (1747-1792)20.1.1777 - 9.3.1778CaptainElisha Hinman

1 Flag Officer

3.12.1775 - 1776CommodoreEsek Hopkins (d.1802)DANFS

1 Commissioned Officer

1776 - 1777LieutenantJohn Peck Rathbun (1746-1782)DANFS

1 Marine

22.10.1776 - 20.1.1777Marine CaptainEdmund ArrowsmithW027

Service History

3.3.1776Part of flotilla that captured Fort Montagu - Nassau
4.4.1776Part of flotilla that captured Hawk - 6 guns schooner and Bolton (12) - 8 gun bomb
6.4.1776In action against the Glasgow (20)
8.4.1776Arrived New London, CT
18.10.1776Providence (12) parted company in need of repair
26.10.1776Left Providence, RI in company with the Hampden which soon returned to port
28.10.1776Joined by the Providence (12) with the former crew of the Hampden
11.11.1776Took Brig Active out from Liverpool
12.11.1776Took Armed Transport Mellish - carrying uniforms for British troops in Quebec
16.11.1776Took the snow Kitty
22.11.1776Ships boats burned a transport and captured small schooner at Canso - Nova Scotia
24.11.1776Captured three Colliers of Louisburg - bound for Nova Scotia
26.11.1776Captured the John of Liverpool - 10 guns - which was sailing under a letter of marque
15.12.1776Arrived at Boston and began a refit
22.8.1777Sailed for France in company with Raleigh (32)
4.9.1777Action of 1777-09-04
6.10.1777Arrived at L'Orient having captured four small prizes on route
29.12.1777Sailed for America - taking a small sloop of the west coast of Africa
9.3.1778Taken by Ariadne (20)
9.3.1778Taken by Ceres (18)


DatesFleetFleet CommanderSource
3.12.1775-1776First American Flottilla 1775Esek Hopkins (d.1802) 

Notes on Ship

Original Name
Originally a Merchantman called the Black Prince 1774/09 in Philadephia
First American Naval vessel
The first and largest ship to be commisioned into the Continental Navy, and was the flagship of the first American naval flotilla
It is possible that the Alfred may have been constructed by John Wharton.


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