The Royal Navy in the Founding Fathers’ Letters

Embedded within the Founders Online, a project that so far has produced over 175,000 letters written to and from six of America’s Founding Fathers, are over 200 letters that mention/discuss the Royal Navy; over 400 mention the British navy. Most concern the Revolutionary War. Numerous mentions are also recorded for the French navy. One can also search for individuals; for example “Admiral Howe” (and do use the quotation marks around names or phrases) brings up 39 letters mentioning him. But since search engines tend to be literal minded, entering “Viscount Howe” produces additional references; even searches for position titles such as  “First Lord of the Admiralty” produce hits. This site obviously does not produce every single letter concerning the Royal Navy, but a sedulous search will indeed reveal some valuable source material all found in one place.


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