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What did the schooner HANNAH do?

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Beverly, across the river from Salem, was used by George Washington during the early days of the Revolution as a base for schooners which were leased by the Continental Army, manned by local militia, and sent out to try to capture the ships bringing firewood, food, and other supplies to the British forces in Boston.

The first schooner leased for this purpose was a local fishing schooner called the Hannah. She was not very successful at capturing supply ships, but during a famous incident in October, 1775, she was chased into Beverly by a larger British warship, HMS Nautilus. The Nautilus then ran aground, however, which gave the local patriots an opportunity to fire their muskets and cannon at her from the nearby beaches until the sun set, the tide rose, and she was able to escape.

Many locals like to claim that Hannah was the first American naval vessel, but this is not strictly accurate. At the time Hannah was active, there was no United States and there was no Navy!

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