Hope (ship)

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Career (US) United States
Name: Hope
General characteristics
Class and type: brig
Propulsion: sail

The Hope was an American brig class merchant ship involved in the Maritime Fur Trade along the northwest coast of North America and discovery in the Pacific Ocean. Earlier the vessel was involved in the slave trade.

Early voyages

Sailing out of Newport, Rhode Island the Hope was involved in bringing Africans to the United States to be sold as slaves as part of the Middle Passage.[1] In 1765, the brig was under the command of Captain Nathaniel Mumford.[1] On March 17, 1765 a revolt occurred on the ship:

"There was a passenger revolt aboard the brigantine Hope while it was bringing slaves from the coast of Senegal and Gambia to Connecticut. How did that happen? –Well, the captain, who had beaten several of his crewmen, had been killed and his body thrown overboard, and so the black cargo, seeing such discord among their captors, figured they maybe had a chance. In their revolt they killed one crew member and wounded several others. On this day their revolt was suppressed by killing seven of them."[1]

The following year the vessel brought in 100 slaves to Rhode Island.[1]

Revolutionary War

During America’s War for Independence, the ship was used for several purposes. In 1780 a ship named Hope was used as a hospital prison ship by the British. It was also used to ship British Loyalists to New Brunswick.[2]

Pacific voyages

The brig Hope left Boston on September 16, 1790, for the Northwest Coast under the command of Joseph Ingraham, former first mate onboard the Columbia Rediviva under the command of Captain Robert Gray.[3] Sailed around Cape Horn, passing by the southern tip of South America on January 26, 1791.[4] The Hope next touched land on April 14 when she put in at Port Madre de Dios on the island of Dominica, part of the Marquesas Islands chain. There the ship took on limited provisions before setting sail once again.[4] Then on April 19, they discovered a small uncharted island group.[3] The five islands were situated about 9 degrees south of the equator, and Ingraham named them the Washington Islands.[5] This group is part of the Marquesas Islands of the Pacific Ocean.[5] Ingraham named many of the islands: Washington for the president, Adams for the vice president, Federal, Franklin, Knox, and lastly Lincoln for a general.[4] The islands are approximately at 9° 20' south of the Equator and 140° 54' west of London.[4] After leaving the Marquesas the Hope sailed north to the Sandwich Islands and then onto the Queen Charlotte Islands of the Northwest Coast.[3] The ship and crew spent the summer trading for fur pelts from the natives along the coast.[3] On September 26, 1792, the Hope was in Neah Bay on the Olympic Peninsula with the Spanish vessels Princesa and Activa under the command of Spanish Commodore Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra.[6] This day Captain Gray arrived aboard the Columbia along with the smaller Adventure that was then sold to Quadra.[7] Soon after the crew sailed for China via the Sandwich Islands,[5] and then back to Boston.[3] On the journey to the Chinese mainland the ship log shows the Hope passing by Formosa.[5] The next year the Hope repeated the journey.[3] These voyages were a commercial failure.[1]

Later voyages

In August of 1795, merchant John Brown of Providence, Rhode Island conspired to trade in slaves with Captain Peleg Wood.[8] The Hope was the ship to be used, however the United States had recently limited participation in the international slave trade by Congressional action in 1794.[2] By November the Hope was engaged in the slave trade again.[8] Next in March of 1796, the owners of the ship were fined by Rhode Island the amount of £200 for trading in slaves, which had been outlawed in that state.[8] Then on October 5, 1797, Brown became the first American tried in federal court under the Slave Trade Act of 1794 for using the Hope in the African slave trade.[8] On that voyage in 1796 the Hope had traveled to Havana, Cuba with 229 slaves.[8]

After the forced sale, during the Quasi-War with France the Hope was captured by French privateers.[9] At this time the vessel was under the command of John Rodgers who had served on board the USS Constellation, and owned by Baltimore, Maryland merchant James Buchanan.[9] After capture the Hope, which had been transporting tobacco, was sold off at Lorient in February of 1797.[9]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Austin Meredith (2006). The Middle Passage Traffic in Man-Body. http://www.kouroo.info/InternationalSlaveTrade/Trade1759_74.pdf. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  2. American Prisoners of the Revolution: Names of 8000 Men. American Merchant Marine at War. Retrieved February 20, 2008.[dead link]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Hittell, Theodore Henry (1885). History of California. Occidental publishing co: v. 3-4:. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Account of the Discovery of Seven Islands in the South Pacifick Ocean, by Capt. Joseph Ingraham". excerpts from the COLLECTIONS OF THE MASSACHUSETTS Historical Society For the Year 1793. Vol. II. Cape Cod History. http://capecodhistory.us/19th/MHS1793.html#20a. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Boggs, S. Whittemore (1938). American Contributions to Geographical Knowledge of the Central Pacific. Geographical Review, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 177-192. doi:10.2307/210470. 
  6. Howay, Frederic W. Voyages of the Columbia to the Northwest Coast. Boston: The Massachusetts Historical Society (1941), p. 355
  7. Howay, Frederic W., p. 355
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Austin Meredith (July 26, 2006). Providence, Rhode Island. http://www.kouroo.info/RI/ProvidenceRI.pdf. Retrieved 2007-02-20. [dead link]
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Palmer, Michael A. (1987). Stoddert’s War: Naval Operations During the Quasi-War with France, 1798-1801. University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 0-87249-499-3.