On this day in US naval history, the continental congress authorized the construction of thirteen frigates to guard the rebellion’s commerce and wage war upon British trading ships. Whether the number itself was unlucky, or whether we bit off more than we could chew against Nelson’s fleet, the effort was in vain. Only eight of the ships ordered made it to sea, and all of them were either captured or sunk. The rest were either scuttled or burnt to prevent their capture.
We were a little more successful on the second bout.