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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

Continental Navy Ship Boston (I)

  • Built in the summer of 1776 as the gondola (gundalow) Boston at Skenesborough (Whitehall), N.Y. for General Benedict Arnold's short-lived Lake Champlain fleet
  • Probably commissioned sometime early in August 1776, CAPT. Sumner in command
  • On 11 November, Boston with the other 14 ships of the American squadron met the vastly superior British squadron off Valcour Island
  • Discovered by the British in a shallow bay south of the island the small American fleet was severely battered losing several ships
  • Boston joined the remainder of the Americans in stealing away toward Crown Point to the south
  • on 13 November, the British again found the American fleet and a two-hour running fight ensued
  • General Arnold took Congress and four of the gondolas, probability suggests that Boston was one of the four, into Buttonmold Bay where they were destroyed by fire to prevent their capture by the British
  • Final Disposition, Boston was destroyed by fire on 13 October 1776
    Displacement unknown
    Length 53'9"
    Beam unknown
    Depth of Hold unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement 45
    one 12-pdr
    two 9-pdrs
    eight swivel guns
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    58k Continental Gondola Boston under way. Painting by Rod Claudius, Rome, Italy, 1962. This artwork was made for display on board USS Boston (CAG-1). Photographed by PHCS G.R. Phelps, Boston Naval Shipyard, 10 April 1963. This is a quite inaccurate depiction of the Lake Champlain gondola Boston.
    US Navy Photograph. # KN-4784 (Color) and # KN-4786 (Color)
    Robert Hurst
    Royal Savage
    101k A Sketch of the New England Armed Vessels, in Valcure Bay on Lake Champlain as seen in the morning of 11 October 1776. Contemporary artwork by C. Randle, depicting the Continental squadron, under Brigadier General Benedict Arnold, just before the Battle of Valcour Island. The vessels shown include schooner Royal Savage (center) and (from left to right around Royal Savage):
    schooner Revenge (I),
    galley Washington (II),
    gondola Philadelphia (I),
    galley Congress (I),
    gondola Jersey,
    galley Lee (II),
    gondola Boston (I) (in the middle, largely hidden behind Royal Savage's sails),
    galley Spitfire,
    gondola New Haven (I),
    gondola Providence (I),
    gondola Connecticut (I),
    gondola New York (I) ,
    sloop Enterprise (I) and
    galley Trumbull (I).
    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 92864
    Robert Hurst

    Boston (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 6 May 2022