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A SHORT HISTORY OF THE     UNITED STATES NAVY
By R. CLARK, Rear-Admiral, U. S. Navy, (Ret.) c1910

 

THE MARINE COMMITTEE


A letter from General Washington, reporting the burn ing of Falmouth, was read in Congress, November 1, 1775; and Congress acted promptly. The following day it voted $100,000 for a naval armament and appointed a committee to buy the ships. A few weeks later it appointed a second committee, which suggested a fleet of thirteen vessels ranging from 32 to 24 guns, to be ready by March, 1776, and recommended the appointment of a third committee to supervise their construction and equip- ment. The report was adopted by Congress. In the third committee, known as the Marine Committee, there were thirteen members, one for each colony. Its personnel was practically the same as that of the second committee, and included such men as Robert Morris, John Hancock, and Samuel Chase, a remarkable body of men, who worked with the greatest ardor and patriotism.
The Marine Committee administered our naval affairs from December; 1775, to December, 1779. It was the forerunner of our Navy Department, but its functions were far more complex. Like the Congress of its day, it exercised legislative, judicial, and executive powers, always, however, under the direction of that body; and the same weaknesses, the lack of an administrative head and of actual authority over the States, hampered the committee as they did Congress.
Some of the confusion with which the Marine Committee struggled is suggested by the fact that naval officers then, instead of being commissioned by the Presi dent with the consent of the Senate, might be appointed in anyone of the following ways: by the Marine Committee itself, by its subordinate boards at Philadelphia and Boston, by any naval commander, by recruiting agents, by commissioners abroad, or even by local authorities in the several States. Further, besides building and equipping ships of war and directing their movements, the committee had to hold courts-martial, send abroad dispatches and diplomatic agents, and trade American produce for European munitions of war. Under such conditions it is remarkable that the committee accomplished as much as it did.
As the Marine Committee proved to be a clumsy administrative machines it was superseded in 1779 by a "Board of Admiralty," consisting of three commissioners and two members of Congress, which was in power until 1781. Finally, Robert Morris was appointed" Agent of Marine, " and he managed very efficiently what was left

 

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CAUSES OF NAVAL ACTIVITY IN THE COLONIES
THE MARINE COMMITTEE
 
IMPORANT NAVAL EVENTS DURING THE REVOLUTION
THE FIRST BATTLE OF LAKE CHAMPLAIN
WICKES AND CONYNGHAM IN EUROPEAN WATERS
NAVAL PRISONERS, PRIZES, AND THEIR EFFECTS ON
 
 
 
 
 

  

 

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  A SHORT HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY By R. CLARK, Rear-Admiral, U. S. Navy, (Ret.) c1910 

This is scan from a very old copy of the book we have done some editing and corrections but their are many typos

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