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JPJ's Sloop Providence Visits
July 2002

Sloop Providence

The ship was new to Portsmouth Harbor, but its historic captain was not. Despite our region’s claim to John Paul Jones, his first post in the Continental Navy was aboard the sloop Providence, out of Providence, RI in 1775. Reconstructed for the 1976 US Bicentennial, the sloop is now owned by the city of Providence and used largely for sail training, especially corporate charters and the education of urban teens.

Kiterry writer Rod Philbrick caught the arrival shots on a glorious day in July while out fishing. "It was the best, warmest welcoming we’ve ever had," one of the crewmen later told us at a welcoming dinner party. "Portsmouth is a very warm and friendly town."

The weather threatened as we toured the ship docked near the looming railroad bridge. It looked almost like a ghost ship in the mist on a Sunday afternoon. Despite the weather, over 100 visitors per hour flowed up and down the narrow metal platform to the cramped wooden sailing vessel. While the captain’s quarters are spacious below, and the eight working crew live comfortably – in Jones’ time the Providence carried 100 additional men! Providence captured or defeated 40 British ships in its career as a military ship defending the East coast during the American Revolution. It was never captured and eventually scuttled by its crew to prevent the vessel from falling into enemy hands.

A couple of Royal Genadiers from Eliot, ME just over the river, stopped by to defend the ship against any enemies during its five-day visit. And we bumped into a very small pirate who described his visit aboard the 18th century replica as no less than "cool".

The visit of Providence was part of an ongoing project by the Piscataqua Maritime Commission (PMC) to bring tall ships to the port of Portsmouth – an historic seaport with no tall ship of its own. To see other tall ship visits, and read about maritime history and the local navy yard visit our SHIPYARD section on SeacoastNH.com. For more on the Sloop Providence, visit the web site of the Providence Maritime Heritage Foundation. -- JDR

Sloop Providence Scrapbook
July 26-30, 2002

Sloop Providence
Sloop Providence
Sloop Providence
Sloop Providence
Sloop Providence
Sloop Providence
Sloop Providence
Sloop Providence

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For more Disposable Camera Tours click here
Photos by Rodman Philbrick and J. Dennis Robinson.
Copyright © 2002 SeacoastNH.com


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