Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Update of 12 Oct 2005 Letter to then SECNAV Gordon England


Memorandum 31 January a.d. 2006
To: Captain P.O. Wheeler, USN, Deputy Director of Naval History
From: J. R. Manship, Chairman, W.I.S.E. (LCDR, USNR, Life Member, Naval Reserve Association)

Subj: Referenced Letter to SECNAV England on Washington’s Creation of American Navy (revised)

1. I forward this letter in case you missed it before, plus some “new” information from William Bell Clark, in his book George Washington’s Navy, who is shown as the editor of the NDAR volumes below.

Very Respectfully, James Renwick Manship

[W.I.S.E. letterhead images}

12 October a.d. 2005, “true” Columbus Day

The Honorable Gordon R. England
Secretary of the Navy
1000 Navy, Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20350-1000

Dear Secretary England:

At the Naval Historical Center yesterday, I spoke with Dr. Michael J. Crawford, Head of the Early History Division about research into the founding of the American Navy by Commander-in-Chief George Washington in October 1775.

[Four Pictures of Naval Documents of the American Revolution (NDAR) pages]

He was kind enough to make copies of four pages of the Navy’s reference work by eminent Naval Historian RADM Eller.
I have created “thumb-nail” images of those four pages as quick reference to the documents. The frontispiece of the Volume 2 of the Naval Documents of The American Revolution shows George Washington (left); the date range given first is 3 September 1775 to 31 October 1775, the day after Commander-in-Chief Washington commissioned the Hannah with the flag above as shown on page 13 of THE NAVY published by The Naval Historical Foundation to the end of the month wherein the Navy was born (left center). On Page 441 (right center) and 442 (right), the 13 October 1775 entry used to define the Navy’s birth begins with “A letter from Genl Washington, dated 5th of Octr,…was read.” The


footnote indicates “part of this letter relates to the capture of a vessel in New Hampshire.” The American Navy had a first prize. Dr. Crawford acknowledged that Washington’s ships actions made moot the Congress debate on whether to begin a Navy.

The only “bone of contention” was that the American Navy ships commissioned by Commander in Chief Washington were manned by “Army men”, and thus were Army, not Navy ships. Often soldiers and sailors were interchangeable. At the University of Virginia George Washington Papers Project are two letters (14 and 25 April 1776) to Navy Commander in Chief (R.I. General) Esek Hopkins where Commander-in-Chief of all American forces George Washington writes:
“…the Necessity of requesting you to dispatch to this Place as soon as possible the 200 Men lent you from this Army”

In this modern world where “Joint Service Inter-operability” is the watchword as American seeks to “Transform the World”, we as a Navy must not get into inter-service “sibling” rivalries about an “Army” general being the man responsible for the founding of the Navy, and for choosing the First Navy Flag- General George Washington.

The enclosed proposed SECNAV Instruction 10520.7 paragraph 2 describes the Naval and Marine background that served to educate George Washington in military and naval matters, and further describes the effective use of the Navy with the Army that Commander in Chief Washington coordinated throughout the War for Independence to win for America and all Americans our cherished Liberty, represented by the “Evergreen Tree of Liberty” of the First Navy Flag.

For America’s future (building up on our past),

James Renwick Manship, Sr., Chairman

P. S. Washington planned and executed the Trenton Raid in one week -- from 18 to 25 December a.d. 1776. I have not the abilities of Washington, so I have been working at this on an off since I spoke to the Navy Chaplains Conference at Founders Inn last 8 November 2004. Given this is about Washington’s founding of the American Navy and choosing the First Navy Flag, it is reasonable to consider coordinating action to encourage you as Secretary of the Navy to make a positive decision and a bold stroke of a pen for this “Revolutionary” change in time for the 13 October Navy birthday.

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