Saturday, June 20, 2015

Richard Wickes Signs the Declaration of Independence With His Life

The time has come to allow the Wickes Brothers’ Light to shine on the nation’s naval history. In this author’s humble opinion, Lambert Wickes blazed the trail for the Continental Navy. John Paul Jones was certainly a great sailor but the one preceding him blazed a brighter trail. While being given the duties of Captain on the Reprisal, Lambert Wickes had to first break through the British Navy blockade of the Delaware Bay. He successfully did that on June 28, 1776. After breaking through the Royal Navy blockade, Wickes and another ship saw that the ship Nancy was trying to bring a sorely needed load of gunpowder to the Continental Army.
Lambert put his brother Richard in charge of getting the ship Nancy to shore. Richard carried out his responsibilities and beached the ship on Turtle Gut Island near Cape May, New Jersey. On shore people helped unload about 250 barrels of gunpowder out of a total of 386 barrels. The British tried to prevent this and ended up blowing up the ship. Richard Wickes and those still on board paid with their lives. On July 2, 1776; the day that the actual Declaration of Independence was signed, Richard Wickes signed with his life.

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