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Extra resources for A Short History of the American Navy
Could act with unquestionable success" there. " The only fighting afloat was the privateer. It was with the utmost difficulty that means were secured for fitting out such ships as we had, and when they were fitted to be that of "private enterprise" — out the faint-hearted Madison and his Cabinet determined to keep the ships in port where the mihtia and volunteers could fully protect them. The last act of "peaceable coercion" by self-strangulation was passed by Congress on March 1, 1809, and amended in June.
John Shaw, captured eight privabuilt. teers with forty-seven Lieut. Charles Stewart, guns. made The Experiment, under fewer captures only because she was less fortunate in finding enemies to fight, and the two together simply swept the piratical fleet off the seas. It was a brief war, but memorable on that account, The Americans for it was fought out by the navy alone. did not lose a fight, and peace was concluded on September The French, encouraged by the fact that the 30, 1800. United States had only three frigates, and further by the speeches made in Congress against the building of a navy, began her aggressions against American commerce.
In the firing that followed, the American crew fired so rapidly that it became necessary to dip up water to cool the guns. But there was no loss of accuracy in this speed, for an American who was a prisoner on the Vengence reported that 186 round shot struck her hull in the course of the battle. 30 in the morning of the 3d the fire of the Vengence was silenced. But just in the moment of victory it was observed that the shrouds and stays of the mainmast on the Constellation had all been shot away.