Hampden Brig

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This Month in Naval History
Hampden Brig


(Brig: 14 guns)

Hampden, a merchant ship in the West Indian trade, was purchased during the summer of 1776 by the Continental Congress and converted to Navy use at New Haven Conn. Her first commanding officer, Hoysted Hacker, sailed her to Newport, R.I., in September 1776 to join Alfred, Captain John Paul Jones. After a.month's delay, occasioned by a shortage of men, the two ships departed 27 October under Jones' command for a cruise to the north. The purpose of this foray was to harass Newfoundland fisheries and to attempt the liberation of American prisoner of war on Cape Breton Island. Soon after getting underway, however, Hampden grounded on a ledge, was considerably damaged, and could not continue. Captain Hacker and his crew transferred to the sloop Providence and continued the cruise, while Hampden returned to Providence, R.I. She was sold out of the service in late 1777 at Providence.


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