About the Providence

Originally chartered by the Rhode Island General Assembly as Katy, the USS Providence was a sloop-of-war in the Continental Navy. Katy was built as a merchant ship in Providence, RI. and sailed the eastern seaboard and the Caribbean carrying cargo. She may have also been involved in whaling and privateering. Hired for the Rhode Island Navy in June of 1775, Katy was renamed the Providence when she "graduated" to the American Navy later that year.

providence1.jpg Captain John Hazard was placed in command of the Providence, later formalized by a commission from Congress dated 9 January 1776. The ships joined a squadron being formed by Congress under the command of "Commander in Chief of the Fllet of the United Colonies" Esek Hopkins.

Under the command of Hopkins, the Providence captured the port of Nassau in the Bahamas single handed on 17 March 1776. "Off Block Island, Hopkins' ships captured schooner Hawk belonging to the British fleet at Newport, Rhode Island 4 April, and at dawn the next day took the brig Bolton."

On May 10, 1776 John Paul Jones assumed command of the Providence with temporary rank of Captain. Jones sailed escorting Fly to Fisher's Island at the entrance to Long Island Sound, and while enroute, he saved a brigantine bringing munitions from Hispanola from British frigate H.M.S. Cerberus. Providence then escorted a convoy to Philadelphia arriving 1 August. A week later, Jones received his permanent commission as Captain.

Read more about the history of the USS Providence

During the early part of April 1779 Providence was ordered to make a short cruise in Massachusetts Bay and along the coast of Maine. She later sailed south of cape Cod and on 7 May, captured HMS Brig Diligent, 12 guns, off Sandy Hook. She fired two broadsides and a volley of muskets during the engagement and Diligent, with mast rigging and hull cut to pieces, was forced to surrender. She then was assigned to Commodore Saltonstall's squadron which departed Boston 19 July 1779 and entered Penobscot Bay 25 July. She was destroyed by her crew, with other American vessels in the Peneobscot River, 14 August 1779, to prevent her falling into the hands of the British. Overall, the USS Providence captured or sank forty British ships.



Commissioned: 1776
Length: 110 Feet
Armament: 12 Four Pounders
Crew: 90 Men
Vessels Captured/Sank: 40
Guns: 14



To read more about the voyages of the USS Providence sloop-of-war, please visit the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships website.

Important People in the Life of the Ship

JPJ.jpgJohn Paul Jones, Father of the American Navy

Fun Facts

Did you know that the USS Providence appeared in Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man's Chest? Click here for details.
Have you always wanted a cannon of your very own? Now you can! Click here for details.

Read more about the Providence

Books in the OWHL Collection

John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy
The book of the sea: being a collection of writings about the sea in all its aspects
Knight of the seas; the adventurous life of John Paul Jones

Selected Websites

History of the USS Providence
ProvidenceRI.com - History of the sloop Providence
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships - History of the USS Providence
Official Site of the USS Providence
Sloop Providence Visitors Site

Links to other Sloops in the Addison Collection