Sunday, May 17, 2015

Ship life Continental navy- Tribute to Captain Lambert Wickes of the Reprisal

This post is dedicated to Lambert Wickes. Captain Wickes was arguably the best American sea captain of the American Revolution. Yes, I have heard and read about John Paul Jones; however let me make the case for Captain Wickes. Wickes paved the way for Jones but gets little credit. Have you ever seen a painting about Wickes? I haven't seen one either. The reason that there is no picture of Wickes is that he died early in the struggle for America's independence. In late 1776, Wickes was entrusted by Continental Congress to deliver Ben Franklin to France unharmed so that Franklin could attempt to persuade France to help the United States with a treaty as well as financial assistance. On the way over to France in the ship Reliance, Wickes captured four British vessels with Franklin on board. Apparently Wickes did not go for the evade the enemy strategy. After safely delivering Franklin to France Lambert started a huge campaign in which 18 British vessels were captured in 1777. Now do you see where I am coming from about calling Wickes the best sea captain for the United States in the American Revolution. While coming back to the United States in 1778, the Reprisal crashed off of Newfoundland and all hands were lost except for the cook. Even though we have no portrait of Captain Lambert Wickes, he still deserves recognition. Use your imagination to see what life would have been like for the crew of the Reprisal. On top of that, imagine having Ben Franklin on board with all the activity of capturing 4 British vessels. From Yorktown Battlefield Museum Preble Museum United States Naval Academy

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