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Taking instant advantage of the treaty with Portugal, Algerian corsairs swarmed into the Atlantic and, in: course of one month, captured eleven American vessels. By this time Algiers held thirteen American the pri/es, whom and their crows to the number of 119, seven of died in captivity. This disgraceful situation at last prompted Congress The United 44 to measures of force. States On March Navy X 27, 1794, the President signed an act providing for six frigates, four of fortyfour guns, and two of thirty-six, for the purpose of pro The act, however, w as careful that there was no intention of inaugurating tection against Algiers.
The number of guns a ship carried gave her her rating within her own class. The ships-of-the-line ranged from to perform. v "74 s" to "120 s," frigates from "28 s" to "44 V but Types of Ships and Guns 49 The United 50 States Navy the technical rating was always below the actual number The "44-gun" frigate Constitution, of guns carried. carried fifty-four guns in her battle with the for example, Java. In accordance with the act of March 27, 1794, six frigates were laid down as follows 44 guns, 1576 tons, costing $302,719, at N/ Constitution, : Boston.
She was on fire in various parts, and same time the water was gaining in her hold pumps that were kept constantly at work. The fire was extinguished, but on account of the increasing volume of water, she had to be abandoned, and on the morning of the 25th, with her flag still flying, the victorious old hulk sank beneath the waves. In the Serapis Jones now sailed for the Texel, where he arrived on October 3. British men-of-war were lying in wait to capture him, but he watched his opportunity and sailed boldly through the English Channel, reaching Groix in February, 1780.