Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (JFK+50) 238 years ago today, October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress of the United States of America gave the authorization for a Continental Navy.
The decision came in the wake of news that a British naval fleet was en route to the United States.
The 1st fleet of the United States, composed of 7 ships, was commanded by Esek Hopkins.*
The Department of the Navy would be established in April 1798.
*Esek Hopkins (1718-1802), the only Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy during the War for Independence, was born in Rhode Island. Unable to pay his crews as much as those of privateers, Hopkins was censured by the Congress and terminated in 1778.
The description of this historic event comes from a news story appearing in the Charleston City Gazette of November 15, 1792.
"On Saturday the 13th inst. the first stone was laid in the southwest corner of the President's House, in the city of Washington, by the Free Masons of George-town and its vicinity who assembled on the occasion.
The procession was formed at the Fountain Inn, Georgetown. The ceremony was performed by brother J.T. Casneve, the master of the lodge. He delivered an oration well adapted to the occasion."
The news story also informed readers that a brass plate was placed inside the cornerstone with the following inscription:
"George Washington, President.
T. Johnson, Doctor Stewart, Daniel Carroll, James Hoban, Architect
Collen Williamson, Master Mason
*Source: 1792-Strange Secrets of the White House, Rense.com
The White House
September 24, 2011
Photo by John White