A Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia to the American Revolution
Old Dominion University
Section 1) INTRODUCTION
The scope of the paper.
Section 2) A SHIPYARD IN PORTSMOUTH, VIRGINIA TO THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Brief History of The Gosport Shipyard under the auspices of the English Government, with a review of the setting and significant events that led up to the establishment of the shipyard and its demise as an English property during the American Revolution.
Section 3) EPILOGUE
A summary of the shipyard’s history to modern times.
Gosport, Virginia, is arguably the location of more land based U.S. Naval history than anywhere else in the nation and certainly the most significant location in Virginia for events of naval history. The shipyard under its various names has gone to war eleven times and burned three times in acts of war. Its history is rich with grand schemes and great heroics as well as the expected folly that goes with two hundred thirty seven years of doing the same kind of business in the same location. It is featured in the nation’s story at critical junctures; and, in spite of its awesome industrial presence and appearance on the Portsmouth skyline at the river’s edge, it often disappears from consciousness as a result of the secrecy that has surrounded its work since the dawn of the nuclear ship repair business forty-five years ago. This relatively small piece of Virginia real estate is the birthplace of the largest concentration of naval activities and naval forces in the world.*(1)
This paper concerns itself with the shipyard, Gosport, as an English property, prior to most of its important national historical moments and the accomplishments of its hundreds of thousands of artisans. Prior to June 15, 1801, when Virginia’s Governor, James Monroe, deeded 16 acres to the federal government for $12,000, the shipyard belonged to The Commonwealth of Virginia.*(2) Before Virginia’s ownership claim, the shipyard was owned by a British loyalist, an ambitious Scottish merchant, who realized his dream of fortune in the New World only to see most of his wealth disappear when the American Revolution began. He died aboard ship while fleeing the reach of war.
A SHIPYARD IN PORTSMOUTH, VIRGINIA
TO THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
An old mariner’s dictum puts it: If you want to go from Europe to the New World, just head south until your butter melts, then turn right. *(3) While these directions were good, unfortunately for many mariners the three month crossing of an often hostile North Atlantic Ocean was unkind to sailors and their ships. Most survived the experience, but the ocean seas always exacted a price on both the risk-taking mariners and their sturdy square-rigged sailing ships usually jammed to the gunwales with anxious passengers.
Sailing the ocean evokes rhapsody from the poetic...the constant play of light on the billowing sails of a square-rigger, “silver in moonlight, black in starlight, cloth-of-gold at sunset, white as the clouds themselves at noon”.*(4) But sailing from England to the Virginia Colony in the 17th and 18th century rarely left the tough little vessels of the day in sailing condition for the return voyage. The ocean always takes its toll on its man made travellers. It is relentless in producing casualty to ships and their passengers. From the beginning of the Virginia Colony, a need was established for men of industry with skills to repair ocean-going craft.
The first colonists saw the southern branch of the Elizabeth River as a good place for shipbuilding. In 1608, the Virginia Company’s physician, Anthony Bagnall, stood awestruck by the potential of the river itself and the nature of the timber stands that he observed while on a John Smith led excursion from Jamestown to the Elizabeth’s southern branch where the shipyard, Portsmouth and Cradock would stand one day. Twelve years later, John Wood, a colonial shipwright, applied for a patent of land on that river. Deep water and good timber made it especially suitable for shipbuilding (5)
Magnificent stands of timber were among the natural resources that instantly struck the first explorers of Virginia. Tall straight yellow pines and firs, especially fit to mast and spar and provide deck planking for His Majesty’s ships, needing only to be carried back home to end England’s dependence on non-English suppliers in Northern Europe and Russia. Early in the colonial period the live oak tree found only along the coasts from the Virginia Capes to the Rio Grande became famous among shipbuilders. The branches of these great new trees made commodities such as stems, frames, and stern posts.
A plantation community developed in Tidewater, Virginia that demanded to be served by shallow draft ships and boats able to negotiate the navigable streams which flowed to the planter’s docks. These waterways were vital to commerce for moving goods produced locally to England and to other colonial locations as well as to receive goods from the mother country and occasionally other international trading partners. The economic importance of the bays, rivers, creeks, and streams of Tidewater to colonial commerce, made boat building and ship repair vital colonial industries. For many years Virginians earned their keep and some their fortunes by plying the shipbuilding and boat building trades along the sandy shores of the Elizabeth River.
In 1634, the Colony of Virginia was divided into eight shires which soon came to be known as counties. Elizabeth City County included the southeastern region of Virginia on both sides of Hampton Roads. From this county in 1637 on the southside of the water two counties were formed into Upper Norfolk (later Nansemond County) and Lower Norfolk County. As early as 1659, Captain William Carver, master mariner and ship owner, began his patents of land where Portsmouth is located. Carver, a conspirator in Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, lost his lands to the crown and later his life by hanging for his transgressions.*(6)
In 1716 the English granted parts of the lands that Captain Carver had patented fifty years earlier to Lieutenant Colonel William Crawford. Crawford was a wealthy merchant and ship owner. At different periods he was presiding justice of the Norfolk County Court, the county’s high sheriff, a member of the House of Burgesses, a Lieutenant Colonel in command of the county militia, and a landowner in Norfolk Town.*(7) In 172, Colonel Crawford set aside approximately 65 acres from his extensive land holdings (1129 acres) and engaged Surveyor Gershom Nimmo to lay off the new borough. *(8) Crawford named the borough after the southeastern English naval port and dockyard city, Portsmouth, England. The tract was located on the southern shore of the Elizabeth where its eastern and the southern branches separate. It was a few degrees to the southwest across the river from the borough of Norfolk which had been established 47 years before on the shores of the eastern branch *(9).
According to the vocations recorded in their property deeds, more than three-fourths of Portsmouth’s first lot owners were in or connected to the maritime trades as either merchants or craftsmen. Seventeen named themselves as merchants and were generally ship owners or agents. They built wharves and warehouses and traded by sea beyond the local level. Their enterprise gave employment to others associated with ships and shipbuilding. Next in number were craftsmen who built and repaired the square-rigged sailing vessels ranging in size from those that navigated the rivers and inland waters to the tall-masted ships and brigs that sailed the seas. They were shipwrights, ship carpenters, boatwrights, joiners, blacksmiths, coopers, ship carvers and pilots. As freeholders and master craftsmen, it is almost certain that most of these men built shops on their town property and established themselves in business, using customary apprentice and some slave labor.*(10)
Early shipyards were first careening grounds with tar pots, timber sheds, saw pits, and a blacksmith’s forge.*(11) Careening was the most effective method of cleaning and repairing the ship’s keel and bottoms before graving docks were built. Careening involves tipping a ship onto one side by securing the top of the mast and winching it downward to the shoreline so that she floats on one side, leaving the other side out of water and accessible for repairs below the water line. Navigable water immediately adjacent to the shore, as the Elizabeth River’s southern branch provides, is a requirement.
As more and more colonists arrived and the population of the colony naturally increased, commerce with Great Britain and the shipbuilding, ship repair and shipping industry became even more important. Small shipyards added masting shears for stepping the tall masts and rope walks for making the cordage to handle the spars and sails. The industrious tradesmen of lower tidewater became expert at installing tar impregnated with loose hemp or jute fibre obtained by unravelling old ropes. This valuable staple of the ship repair trade, oakum, was to caulk seams and pack joints in wooden ships. The beating of the caulker’s mallet and the scraping sound of the ship carpenter’s adze were familiar noises heard on the river’s richly wooded banks.
The local people developed a high degree of skill in shipbuilding and boat repairing that through the generations in southeastern Virginia, especially Portsmouth, has become traditional. Trade knowledge has passed from father to son for many generations. Most of the ship repair trades were apprenticeable; therefore, young men became apprentices in significant numbers. To commercial shippers in England, it soon became evident that a ship could be built in Virginia, loaded with cargo and sailed on her maiden voyage to England more profitably than if she were brought over to the mother country as timber. Colonial-built ships gradually developed a reputation for being of good quality, and master shipbuilders flourished in the colonies.
On the western shore of the Elizabeth’s southern branch Andrew Sprowle (pronounced Spruuell), established Gosport. Colonial records show that Mr. Sprowle first settled in Norfolk Borough in 1735. In a few years he was a leading citizen, one of Portsmouth’s nine municipal trustees, and in the colony, Merchant’s Chairman to the Trade (12) The tract of land that became the village of Gosport is approximately one mile south of the town center of Portsmouth. Sprowle bought this property from Thomas Bustin in 1767. (13) Sprowle earlier purchased property in Portsmouth for his home from Colonel Crawford and other parcels from Colonel Crawford’s estate after 1763. (14) The river is approximately one half mile wide at Town Point where the ferry between Norfolk and Portsmouth landed and in most of the southern branch where Sprowle’s shipyard was, the river is never more than a few hundred yards wide.
There was a broad navigable stream known as Crab Creek flowing between the Gosport shipyard and Portsmouth. Local historians persist in retelling the story that Sprowle named the shipyard, Gosport with great business acumen. The seaport and dockyard communities of Portsmouth and Gosport England situate across an inlet into Portsmouth harbour in England. Reportedly, Sprowle, the wealthy, shrewd, Scottish, proprietor of Gosport, competed with other small colonial shipyard agents for the major business of the English crown and merchant fleets and capitalized by naming his property Gosport. During the English Interregnum, Gosport, England supported Parliament while Portsmouth, England supported the king. (15) It is just as likely that English ship captains or naval officers named Gosport. According to Hammersly’s Naval Encyclopaedia, 1884, “Just before the breaking out of the War of the Revolution, the British established a marine yard, for use of their Navy, on the site of the present navy Yard at Gosport...”*(17)
Gosport shipyard’s Sprowle was a prosperous merchant dealing in naval stores, a ship owner, a shipbuilder and in the early 1770’s was named British Navy Agent. As Navy Agent, a position of power and prestige, Sprowle reviewed all colonial charges to the British Navy and approved payments from the navy. It is likely that, like other ship agents of the era, he worked on a “cost plus” basis and served like a general contractor and accounts manager for the English. He was well connected to England and especially to John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, the Royal Governor of Virginia from 1771 to 1775. *(18)
In April 1775, battles at Lexington and Concord marked the bloody start of the Revolution. In Virginia, skirmishes between the American colonists and the British Army began that summer. Virginians had divided loyalties. There were rebels aplenty and there were Tories. Many English sympathizers were located in the Norfolk-Portsmouth area. The Scottish merchants, living and earning well under the protection of the crown, were unlikely revolutionaries.
In the spring and summer of 1775, Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, learned that colonial militia were marching toward Williamsburg and motivated out of fear and certain personal danger as well as rebellion, abandoned the capital for the safety of a British ship anchored in the York River. In that busy summer, Dunmore retreated farther from the rebel front, when he boarded several ships with troops and loyalist supporters and sailed south to a safer anchorage in the Elizabeth River off Norfolk. He accepted Andrew Sprowle’s hospitality and settled in the thriving riverside community of Gosport. *(19) It was from his base at Gosport that Lord Dunmore and his soldiers wreaked havoc on the southeastern Virginia countryside. *(20)
Some of Dunmore’s warships plundered plantations on the shores of Hampton Roads and the lower Chesapeake Bay. He scored an easy military victory over a group of rebels at Kempsville then their reinforced numbers soundly trounced his troops at the Battle of Great Bridge in December 1775. In retaliation for that defeat, he bombarded and then sent sailors ashore to set fire to tobacco warehouses and other waterfront buildings in Norfolk, Virginia’s most populated city. There are reports that the rebels also participated in the fire setting tactics to keep the British from gaining valuable supplies. The city of Norfolk, as a center of commerce, devastated by the sacking and rebuilding slowly for more than a decade, lost its prominence to Baltimore as the principal port on the Chesapeake. *(21)
The rebels were incensed. The London Chronicle reported that four days after bombardment of Norfolk on January 1, 1776, a party of armed men from the rebel army in Norfolk, retaliated against Dunmore by sacking and destroying Sprowle’s property at Gosport. *(22)
Within a few months in early 1776, many of the wealthy Tory population of Norfolk as well as Portsmouth and Gosport sought refuge aboard the British fleet or sailed their own vessels into Hampton Roads under the protection of Dunmore’s fleet. The British established a temporary encampment at Tucker’s Mill Point across the river from Norfolk, now the location of Portsmouth Regional Medical Center. Tories living in Lower Norfolk County supplied this camp and General Charles Lee, commander of rebel forces sent in troops to seize supplies and confiscate property of the most notable Tories. The rebels burned Sprowle’s house in Portsmouth. *(23) All of the land and properties of Andrew Sprowle at Gosport and in Portsmouth became the property of the recently independent Commonwealth of Virginia.
Harassment from Lee’s troops sent Dunmore packing from Portsmouth to the temporary safety of Gwynn’s Island off the coast of Gloucester County at Windmill Point in May 1776. It was here aboard ship where Sprowle, a dedicated royalist to the end, died and was ingloriously interred in an unmarked grave on the Island. His grand Portsmouth house burned, his lands, property and shipyard were lost to the new Virginia government and at last, he gave his life in the British cause *(24). Dunmore enjoyed no respite at Gwynn’s Island for in July 1776 forces led by Dunmore’s former ally Andrew Lewis bombarded Dunmore’s ships and drove the last Royal Governor of Virginia to New York.*(25) .
After Dunmore and Sprowle departed the Elizabeth, the Gosport shipyard supported the rebel war effort. The rebels built Imposing fortifications at Tucker’s Mill Point in the river, to protect the inner harbor.*(26) Virginia confiscated, bought and built a navy to defend her coasts and her vast network of inland waters that continued to be the main roads of commerce. This small gunboat navy used several shipyards in lower Tidewater, including Gosport to outfit and build and repair their fleet. Beyond a certain small harassment of British supply lines; the accomplishments of the Continental Navy were almost nil. From the revolution, the nation got a first naval hero, John Paul Jones, and a leader John Barry, who survived to become the senior captain of the new navy eleven years later. A few other notable sea captains met early deaths in action or at sea.
The fledgling Virginia Navy experienced a nearly unbroken litany of failures and disasters. Every naval engagement found the out gunned and their small vessels undermanned. The Continental Congress and its Committee of Safety haphazardly managed naval resources, although for a time early in the war Virginia’s ragtag naval forces posed a threat to the British and limited their movements. In the end constant attacks, by far superior British naval forces, depleted the Virginia Navy and it had become ineffective by war’s end. *(27)
A British invasion fleet under the command of Admiral Sir George Collier sailed into the Elizabeth in 1779 and down the river to Gosport. English army troops not under Collier’s command took Portsmouth and burned the shipyard. The British demolished Gosport and sailed away at the end of May. They had destroyed or captured more than
100 vessels, conducted devastating raids in the area and burned Suffolk, and achieved a significant war aim of stopping the flow of supplies through Hampton Roads to General Washington’s Army. *(28)
After the Battle of Yorktown and victory for the new nation, it was too weak to maintain more than a small token armed force. Huge foreign loans and issuing paper money was the methods used to finance the war effort. Without taxing power, the Confederation could not pay off the debt. Although the government possessed a single tremendous asset, western lands, it would take time to translate that asset into cash. The Confederation government could not afford to maintain a single warship. The last ship of the Continental Navy, the frigate Alliance, decommissioned in 1785. The government sold it and its commander, Captain John Barry, returned to civilian life. The navy disappeared and the army dwindled to a mere 700 men. *(29)
Dunmore and the Royal Government were gone; Sprowle buried and Gosport Shipyard burned. The Virginia and the Continental navies were gone. What remained was the tract of land alongside the southern branch of the river, situated on deep water, and a nearby city populated by artisans of the shipbuilding and boat building occupations.
"Without a Respectable Navy--Alas America!" wrote Captain John Paul Jones of the Continental Navy early in the American Revolutionary War. *(30) The nation while not responding immediately to the lament of John Paul Jones has indeed built and maintained a respectable Navy which has enjoyed a history filled with accomplishment on the grounds of Sprowle’s Gosport yard. Some of the more notable historic events are highlight below:
* The keel of the frigate USS CHESAPEAKE laid in 1798. The vessel one of the U.S. Navy’s first six frigates launched on December 2, 1799 and commissioned in May 1800.
* The U.S. Ship DELAWARE entered the first stone drydock in the western hemisphere. This dock was the single largest public works project in the nation between 1827 and 1833 when it was completed.
* The conversion of the burned U. S. steam Frigate MERRIMAC into the Confederate States ironclad ship VIRGINIA in 1861-62. The VIRGINIA’s battles in Hampton Roads with the MONITOR, highlighted for the world to see the coming obsolescence of wooden navies.
* The building and commissioning of the first modern era steel battleship, the USS TEXAS, was at Gosport during 1889-92.
* The building and commissioning of the world’s first aircraft carrier, the USS LANGLEY, was at Gosport during 1919-22. LANGLEY came as a conversion from the collier JUPITER. A few years earlier the shipyard had built a platform for the USS BIRMINGHAM for airman, Eugene Ely, the first person to pilot an aircraft from a ship.*(31)
Until Columbus Day, October 12, 1917, when the Hampton Roads Naval Operating Base became official Navy headquarters for the Norfolk area, the shipyard was the U.S. Navy’s principal command location in Hampton Roads and Virginia. The yard was the mother institution for the Navy’s oldest and largest hospital, The Portsmouth Naval Hospital, built in 1827-1830 and the forerunner to the Navy’s largest operating base in Norfolk that built on the grounds of the Jamestown Exposition at Sewell’s Point for the 1907 celebration of the 300-year founding of Jamestown. *(32)
Local artisans, engineers and artisans have built and repaired thousands of ships and boats in the shipyard in its 209-year history as a federal navy yard. The most sophisticated of the navy’s newest nuclear powered vessels can receive complete repair servicing in the shipyard today.
No single location in Virginia or perhaps the nation where events effecting national naval history have been more influential than those occurring on the small tract of land that John Smith first explored in 1608, and Andrew Sprowle converted into the Gosport Shipyard.
(1) Web site: http://www.nnsy1.navy.mil/History/ROOTS.HTM
(2) Federal Owned Real Estate; U.S. Government Printing Office, 1937, p 364. Naval Shipyard Public Affairs.
(3) Price, David A. 2003. Love and Hate in Jamestown; John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Heart of A New Nation, New York, Alfred A. Knopf. p. 21.
(4) Morrison, Samuel Elliot. Christopher Columbus Mariner. 1955. Reprint, New York:Meridian 1983 p. 38.
(5) Flanders,Alan. Bluejackets on the Elizabeth: a maritime history of Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virginia, from the colonial period to the present; Published by Brandylane Publishers; Whitestone, Virginia;1998; ISBN 1-883911-30-3; Chapter 1.
(6) Wichard, Rogers Dey; The History of Lower Tidewater Virginia; Vol. 1.; Lewis Historical Publishing Company; 1959; p.259.
(7) Ibid, Vol. 2, p. 2.
(8) Henning, William Walter; A Collection of all the Laws of Virginia from the First Session of the Legislature in the Year 1619; Published by R. & W. & G. Bartow 1823. Vol 6, Chapter XXIV, February 1752, pp.265-266.
(9) Stewart, William H.; History of Norfolk County, Virginia and Representatives Citizens; Edited and Compiled; Biographical Publishing Company; 1902. pp. 369-371.
(10) Butt, Marshall W. Portsmouth Under Four Flags 1752-1970; Published by the Portsmouth Historical Association and the Friends of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum; 1971 pp. 2-6.
(11) Boyd, W. K. Edited “William Byrd’s Histories of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina”. Raleigh; 1729.
(12) Virginia Historical Register; Volume III; No. 2;1850; p. 79.
(13) Holladay, Mildred; History of Portsmouth, published by The Portsmouth Star 1936; located in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum; Curator; Alice C. Hanes.
(14) Wichard, Vol 2, p. 2.
(15) Butt, Marshall W. 1974 Place Names of Early Portsmouth; A Publication of The Portsmouth, Virginia American Revolution Bicentennial Committee.
(16) Web site: http://www.local histories.org/index.html; A Brief History of Gosport/; Tim Lambert; Circa 1995.
(17) Federal Owned Real Estate; pp 363- 364.
(18) Mapp, Alf J. Jr. 1974, The Virginia Experiment, The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781. p. 413.
(19) Ibid; p. 413.
(20) Virginia Gazette (Alexander Purdie & Co.), Oct. 6, 1775;.The Emmerson Papers; Abstracts from the Norfolk & Portsmouth Newspapers. Vol. 1 1663-1823; 1947.
(21) Mapp, Virginia Experiment; pp. 414-419
(22) Clark, William Bell; Morgan, William James; Crawford, Michael J : Naval Documents of the American Revolution. Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office; 1964; Vol. 4, p 38.
(23) Selby, John E. 1988; The Revolution in Virginia 1775-1783; Williamsburg; The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, p.93.
(24) Ibid; PP104-106
(25) Holladay, Mildred; History of Portsmouth. newspaper 1935
(26) Butt, Marshall W. 1971. Portsmouth Under Four Flags 1752-1970; Published by the Portsmouth Historical Association and the Friends of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum. p. 14.
(27) Foss, William O.; The United States Navy in Hampton Roads; Published by Donning Company; Norfolk, Virginia 1984 p 14.
(28) Selby, The Revolution in Virginia pp. 205-208.
(29) Foss, The Navy in Hampton Roads pp. 15-17.
(30) John Paul Jones to Robert Morris, 17 Oct. 1776, Naval Documents of the American Revolution, edited by William Bell Clark et al., 9 vols. to date (Washington: Naval Historical Center, 1964-), 6: 1303.
(31) Flanders, Alan; Bluejackets on the Elizabeth: a maritime history of Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virginia, from the colonial period to the present; Published by Brandylane Publishers; Whitestone, Virginia; 1998; ISBN 1-883911-30-3; p. 109.
(32) Bluejackets on the Elizabeth: Flanders; p. 101.
WORKS CITED AND REFERENCES
Beech, Edward L. 1986. The United States Navy: 200 Years; New York, H. L. Holt
_____________ 1929. “William Byrd’s Histories of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina”. Raleigh; Edited: Boyd, William F.
Butt, Marshall W. 1951 Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia. A Brief History. Norfolk Naval Shipyard.
Butt, Marshall W. 1971. Portsmouth Under Four Flags 1752-1970; Published by the Portsmouth Historical Association and the Friends of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum.
Butt, Marshall W. 1974 Place Names of Early Portsmouth; A Publication of The Portsmouth, Virginia American Revolution Bicentennial Committee.
Cappon, Lester J. and Duff's, Stella F. 1950. Virginia Gazette Index, 1736-1780, published by the Institute of Early American History and Culture; Williamsburg.
___________ 1964. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office; Edited: Clark, William Bell; Morgan, William James; Crawford, Michael J .
_____________1947. The Emmerson Papers; Abstracts from the Norfolk & Portsmouth Newspapers. Vol. 1 1663-1823 . Compiled by Emmerson, John C. Original located in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum; Curator, Alice C, Hanes.
Foss, William O. 1984. The United States Navy in Hampton Roads; Norfolk, Virginia; Donning Company.
Henning, William Walter; 1823. A Collection of all the Laws of Virginia from the First Session of the Legislature in the Year 1619; Richmond; R. & W. & G. Bartow.
Holladay, Mildred, 1936. History of Portsmouth, article printed in Portsmouth Star ; located in Portsmouth Library; Wilson Memorial History Room.
Lambert, Tim. 1995: Web site> http://www.local histories.org/index.html; A Brief History of Gosport.
Mapp, Alf J. Jr. 1974, The Virginia Experiment, The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781.
_______________ 1850. The Virginia Historical Register and Literary Note Book; Maxwell, William [editor]: Richmond, VA.
McIlwaine Henry R. 1994. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1727-1734, 1736-1740 ; Heritage Books Inc. ISBN 0788400762.
Morrison, Samuel Elliot.1955. Christopher Columbus Mariner : Reprint, New York: Meridian 1983.
Selby, John E. 1988 The Revolution in Virginia 1775-1783; Williamsburg; The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Stewart, Peter C. 2004, Virginia: The Durable Dominion ; manuscript text; Virginia History 356; Norfolk; Old Dominion University.
Stewart, William H. 1902. History of Norfolk County, Virginia and Representatives Citizens; Edited and Compiled; Norfolk: Biographical Publishing Company.
_______________1937. Federal Owned Real Estate; U.S. Government Printing Office, 1937, p 364. located in Public Affairs Office Norfolk Naval Shipyard.
Price, David A. 2003. Love and Hate in Jamestown; John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Heart of A new Nation, New York, Alfred A. Knopf.
Wichard, Rogers Dey; 1959. The History of Lower Tidewater Virginia; Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. Norfolk; Lewis Historical Publishing Company.
Willyard, Kyle, 1995. The Formation of the Minute Battalion. Web Site: http:// www.culpepermuseum. com/history.htm.
_____________ 2004. Depot Profiles; Department of Defense Maintenance and Repair facilities; Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Web site>http://www.jdmag.wpafb.af.mil/profiles5.htm; .
_____________ 2004. The Reestablishment of the Navy, 1787-1801; Naval History Bibliographies, No 4.Web site> http://www.history.navy.mil/nhc5.htm
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