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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

Royal Savage

  • Built as a two masted schooner, date and location unknown
  • Royal Savage was damaged and sunk by American forces under Richard Montgomery during the siege of St. Johns (St. Jean-Iberville), Quebec, in the fall of 1775
  • Raised and repaired after the capture of that fort on 2 November
  • Royal Savage with the small schooner Liberty and the sloop Enterprise (ex-HMS George III), formed the nucleus of the American Lake Champlain squadron commanded by Benedict Arnold
  • Arnold pressed his force to complete a shipbuilding program before the British completed their squadron
  • In late August, 10 of his ships were finished and he moved north with Royal Savage as his flagship
  • 23 September he moved his fleet into an anchorage at Valcour Island, separated from the western shore by a half-mile channel, to await the remainder of his squadron , and the British
  • On 11 October the north wind carried the British past the island. American ships, including Royal Savage, appeared; fired on the enemy, and beat back into the southern entrance to the channel, where the remainder of Arnold's force was positioned
  • Coming in from the south, the British force was handicapped by the wind. Arnold's planning and the British acceptance of the bait had given the Americans a chance to carry out their mission
  • Royal Savage, however, ran aground on returning to the American line, and, undefendable, was abandoned. Despite attempts to reboard her, she was taken by the British and burned
  • Royal Savage was raised from Lake Champlain in 1934
  • The city of Harrisburg PA. formally presented the remains of Continental Navy schooner Royal Savage to the U.S. l July 2015
    Displacement 70 t.
    Length 50' (estimated)
    Beam 15'
    Depth of Hold unknown
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement 40-50
    eight 4-pdr guns
    four 6-pdr guns
    ten swivel guns
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Royal Savage 56k Illustration of Royal Savage under full sail. Tommy Trampp
    Royal Savage 40k The bones of Royal Savage raised from the bottom of Lake Champlain in 1934 by by marine salvor and amateur archaeologist Lorenzo Hagglund. Hagglund’s family held onto the remains of the ship and associated artifacts until being purchased by the city of Harrisburg in 1995. AP photo via Burlington Free Press. Tommy Trampp
    Royal Savage 144k The storage situation of Royal Savage in a Capital Region Water warehouse in Harrisburg, PA., whose mayor acknowledged the city did not have the means to properly preserve the ship remains.
    Photo courtesy
    Tommy Trampp

    Royal Savage
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Remains of Revolutionary War Schooner Presented to Navy
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 31 July 2015