Reading the Room - an Alternate War of 1812 and beyond

The Chesapeake-Scourge-Wasp-Leopard Affair
AN: Long time follower of threads, but this is my first attempt at making a timeline on this forum, so please be gentle.


June 22, 1807

Commodore James Barron had orders to sail for the Mediterranean Sea to relieve the USS Constitution from that region. But as he looked across the deck of his beloved USS Chesapeake. He decided that it would be prudent to wait to get everything stowed away before casting off, after all, Constitution could wait an extra day or two as the safety of his ship came first, and not having all of these crates properly stored away, if a flash squall came up or worse he had to clear for action for whatever reason. It could be detrimental to the ship's stability as well as its ability to fight. Best to get the ship properly ready for sail before casting off and heading for the Atlantic Ocean. Thus, preparations to get the American frigate ready for sail continued well beyond that end of recruiting and thus she wouldn't sail until the 23rd of June - with everything completely squared away for the months-long journey across the Atlantic.

June 23 1807

HMS Leopard had been prowling around the mouth of Chesapeake Bay like her namesake animal waiting for USS Chesapeake to appear - her captain, one Salusbury Pryce Humphreys had written orders from Vice-Admiral Sir George Berkeley stating that there were Royal Navy Deserters onboard and that he was to stop the ship and search her. In his opinion, the United States of America was a distinct non-entity given the state of things in Europe - particularly in comparison to the British Empire. Besides, he had his orders and he intended to follow them to the letter. The fact that Chesapeake hadn't been spotted yet was a tad concerning, but it could be that the Americans were just poor sailors and the frigate had bungled its departure from their Washington Naval Yard. He also figured that this could be done quickly enough that the American ships at Gosport Naval Yard wouldn't be able to respond in time.

"Sail on the horizon!" Came the call from the lookouts.

Humphreys smiled - he was happy to have been proven wrong. He turned to his XO and ordered an intercept course to be set.

Onboard USS Chesapeake meanwhile, Commodore James Barron was surprised but not alarmed by the appearance of a British Warship as she closed with Chesapeake as such sightings were common, particularly given the two French ships of the line that were in Gosport Naval Yard and being bottled up by the Royal Navy. For all he knew, she was delivering a newspaper stating that the French had declared war on the United States for some asinine reason and the USS Constitution had been blockaded in some place, or more likely, it was something else entirely. Still, he looked at the broad clear decks and smiled to himself - his decision to get the ship completely squared away before sailing had likely been a prudent one. As Leopard closed to within loud hailer range, Barron got a funny feeling about this, the British ship had battle sail set, something about this wasn't right and thus he would be on guard, in light of that he gave the order to "Beat to Quarters". The man nodded and went below, soon the sounds of preparations for action were made as an American Marine pounded out Beat to Quarters - while back on the Quarterdeck, Commodore Barron stood as Leopard drew up on Chesapeake's starboard side. A man raised a loud hailer. "Ahoy Chesapeake, this is HMS Leopard." the main shouted and Barron grunted as he heard the man explain that there was an issue regarding the men of Chesapeake and that Captain Humphreys was going to be sending a Lieutenant John Meade aboard to discuss them.

Barron wasn't pleased when Mead showed the Search Warrant, his position was that any sailor onboard an American Warship, especially American citizens should be impressed into a foreign navy. Lieutenant Mead pressed the issue stating that those same citizens had served in His Majesty's Navy and thus they were deserters and were thus subject to be arrested even if they were serving on an American warship. The discussion went in circles for twenty minutes until incensed that Lieutenant Meade wasn't getting the hint, Commodore Barron said bluntly "Lieutenant Mead, get off my ship. You will not be taking any American citizens back into your navy." Thus chastised, Lieutenant Mead returned to his ship.

Captain Humphreys onboard HMS Leopard was furious - the reach of British Law and that of the Empire had been rebuffed by the Americans. He had tried to use the carrot, now he was going to have to use the stick. He picked up a loud hailer and ordered the American frigate to heave to and submit to search and seizure by the Royal Navy. Commodore Barron gave one order in return. "Run out the starboard battery!" Long glimmering eighteen-pounders were brought out into position as were the thirty-two-pound carronades. Back onboard HMS Leopard, Captain Humphreys was alarmed by Chesapeake running out her guns. His instincts as a captain told him to break off, that this just wasn't worth it, in a point-blank slugfest, those smashers onboard Chesapeake would...well smash Leopard to pieces - however, his orders which came from the Commander-in-Chief of the North American Station told him otherwise. Hoping against hope that Chesapeake would submit to HMS Leopard, he ordered the guns run out and for one of the six-pounders on the Forecastle to fire a warning shot. The gun thumped, the booming roar of the discharge rolling across the water, the cannon shot warbling over the forecastle of the American frigate and causing everyone there to duck - it was also the absolute wrong thing to do. Between the six-pounder firing and HMS Leopard running out her guns and thus picking up the metaphorical gauntlet that Chesapeake had thrown down, Commodore Barron gave an order that would cement him in history: "Mister Barnes, commence firing!"

On paper, a long-range gun fight between HMS Leopard and USS Chesapeake was likely going to go poorly for the American frigate as the former mounted a heavy battery of 24-pounder and 12-pounder long guns on her lower and upper deck respectively in comparison to Chesapeake mounting a battery of 18-pounders on her lower gun deck. But, in a short-range fight, particularly at the immensely close quarters that Leopard and Chesapeake were at, the American frigate actually had the advantage with her 32-pounder carronades, giving the American a substantially heavier throw weight in comparison to the British fourth-rate. The booming, roaring broadside that issued from Chesapeake's guns did two things, one, it sent just over five hundred pounds of iron streaking towards HMS Leopard just as the latter responded and secondly, it did a damn fine job of alerting Gosport Naval Yard to what was going on to the point that USS Wasp and USS Scourge, both sloops of war, with the former armed with almost entirety 32-pound carronades and the other entirely armed with 6-pound long guns began making preparations to get underway.

The ensuing action between Leopard and Chesapeake would see Chesapeake lose her mizzen and Leopard have her bowsprit and foremast shot away. The mangled British frigate tried to run after two and half hours of combat, but USS Wasp managed to get into racking position and the tiny little sloop unleashed a devastating salvo from her 32-pound carronades killing or wounding close to a third of Leopard's crew and mangling her rudder. With the ship growing difficult to control and with many of her guns knocked out of action, a wounded Captain Humphreys made the decision to Strike His Colors. The Chesapeake-Scourge-Wasp-Leopard Affair was over - but the aftermath which had left close to 200 British and 75 American Sailors dead, plus USS Scourge and USS Chesapeake badly battered was just beginning - particularly as the Americans had the written orders from Vice Admiral Sir George Berkley, CINC-North American Station in hand as well as one rather battered British frigate which was towed into Gosport Naval Yard - Commodore Barron's initial report to Admiral Decauter made it clear that in his opinion, HMS Leopard had fired first.




AN: The point of divergence here is USS Chesapeake actually being squared away for the long voyage which isn't what happened OTL as Commodore Barron failed to prepare his ship properly for departure, thus Chesapeake was helpless when HMS Leopard swept down upon her and the American court-martial would find Barron at fault for being unprepared. Furthermore, Captain Humphreys of HMS Leopard seems to have been a bit of a hot-head as the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair occurred off the coast of Norfolk Virginia (Gosport Naval Yard is known today as Norfolk Navy Yard) and frankly, that was a ballsy move that could have very easily backfired on him had Chesapeake actually been properly prepared - the smarter decision would have been to tail Chesapeake and wait until they had gotten far enough away that had it turned ugly, Gosport wouldn't have heard the fracas.

Next up:
The War Scare of 1807
The British response to Sir George Berkley's stupidity
Privy Council Orders of 1807 in November
 
AN: Long time follower of threads, but this is my first attempt at making a timeline on this forum, so please be gentle.


June 22, 1807

Commodore James Barron had orders to sail for the Mediterranean Sea to relieve the USS Constitution from that region. But as he looked across the deck of his beloved USS Chesapeake. He decided that it would be prudent to wait to get everything stowed away before casting off, after all, Constitution could wait an extra day or two as the safety of his ship came first, and not having all of these crates properly stored away, if a flash squall came up or worse he had to clear for action for whatever reason. It could be detrimental to the ship's stability as well as its ability to fight. Best to get the ship properly ready for sail before casting off and heading for the Atlantic Ocean. Thus, preparations to get the American frigate ready for sail continued well beyond that end of recruiting and thus she wouldn't sail until the 23rd of June - with everything completely squared away for the months-long journey across the Atlantic.

June 23 1807

HMS Leopard had been prowling around the mouth of Chesapeake Bay like her namesake animal waiting for USS Chesapeake to appear - her captain, one Salusbury Pryce Humphreys had written orders from Vice-Admiral Sir George Berkeley stating that there were Royal Navy Deserters onboard and that he was to stop the ship and search her. In his opinion, the United States of America was a distinct non-entity given the state of things in Europe - particularly in comparison to the British Empire. Besides, he had his orders and he intended to follow them to the letter. The fact that Chesapeake hadn't been spotted yet was a tad concerning, but it could be that the Americans were just poor sailors and the frigate had bungled its departure from their Washington Naval Yard. He also figured that this could be done quickly enough that the American ships at Gosport Naval Yard wouldn't be able to respond in time.

"Sail on the horizon!" Came the call from the lookouts.

Humphreys smiled - he was happy to have been proven wrong. He turned to his XO and ordered an intercept course to be set.

Onboard USS Chesapeake meanwhile, Commodore James Barron was surprised but not alarmed by the appearance of a British Warship as she closed with Chesapeake as such sightings were common, particularly given the two French ships of the line that were in Gosport Naval Yard and being bottled up by the Royal Navy. For all he knew, she was delivering a newspaper stating that the French had declared war on the United States for some asinine reason and the USS Constitution had been blockaded in some place, or more likely, it was something else entirely. Still, he looked at the broad clear decks and smiled to himself - his decision to get the ship completely squared away before sailing had likely been a prudent one. As Leopard closed to within loud hailer range, Barron got a funny feeling about this, the British ship had battle sail set, something about this wasn't right and thus he would be on guard, in light of that he gave the order to "Beat to Quarters". The man nodded and went below, soon the sounds of preparations for action were made as an American Marine pounded out Beat to Quarters - while back on the Quarterdeck, Commodore Barron stood as Leopard drew up on Chesapeake's starboard side. A man raised a loud hailer. "Ahoy Chesapeake, this is HMS Leopard." the main shouted and Barron grunted as he heard the man explain that there was an issue regarding the men of Chesapeake and that Captain Humphreys was going to be sending a Lieutenant John Meade aboard to discuss them.

Barron wasn't pleased when Mead showed the Search Warrant, his position was that any sailor onboard an American Warship, especially American citizens should be impressed into a foreign navy. Lieutenant Mead pressed the issue stating that those same citizens had served in His Majesty's Navy and thus they were deserters and were thus subject to be arrested even if they were serving on an American warship. The discussion went in circles for twenty minutes until incensed that Lieutenant Meade wasn't getting the hint, Commodore Barron said bluntly "Lieutenant Mead, get off my ship. You will not be taking any American citizens back into your navy." Thus chastised, Lieutenant Mead returned to his ship.

Captain Humphreys onboard HMS Leopard was furious - the reach of British Law and that of the Empire had been rebuffed by the Americans. He had tried to use the carrot, now he was going to have to use the stick. He picked up a loud hailer and ordered the American frigate to heave to and submit to search and seizure by the Royal Navy. Commodore Barron gave one order in return. "Run out the starboard battery!" Long glimmering eighteen-pounders were brought out into position as were the thirty-two-pound carronades. Back onboard HMS Leopard, Captain Humphreys was alarmed by Chesapeake running out her guns. His instincts as a captain told him to break off, that this just wasn't worth it, in a point-blank slugfest, those smashers onboard Chesapeake would...well smash Leopard to pieces - however, his orders which came from the Commander-in-Chief of the North American Station told him otherwise. Hoping against hope that Chesapeake would submit to HMS Leopard, he ordered the guns run out and for one of the six-pounders on the Forecastle to fire a warning shot. The gun thumped, the booming roar of the discharge rolling across the water, the cannon shot warbling over the forecastle of the American frigate and causing everyone there to duck - it was also the absolute wrong thing to do. Between the six-pounder firing and HMS Leopard running out her guns and thus picking up the metaphorical gauntlet that Chesapeake had thrown down, Commodore Barron gave an order that would cement him in history: "Mister Barnes, commence firing!"

On paper, a long-range gun fight between HMS Leopard and USS Chesapeake was likely going to go poorly for the American frigate as the former mounted a heavy battery of 24-pounder and 12-pounder long guns on her lower and upper deck respectively in comparison to Chesapeake mounting a battery of 18-pounders on her lower gun deck. But, in a short-range fight, particularly at the immensely close quarters that Leopard and Chesapeake were at, the American frigate actually had the advantage with her 32-pounder carronades, giving the American a substantially heavier throw weight in comparison to the British fourth-rate. The booming, roaring broadside that issued from Chesapeake's guns did two things, one, it sent just over five hundred pounds of iron streaking towards HMS Leopard just as the latter responded and secondly, it did a damn fine job of alerting Gosport Naval Yard to what was going on to the point that USS Wasp and USS Scourge, both sloops of war, with the former armed with almost entirety 32-pound carronades and the other entirely armed with 6-pound long guns began making preparations to get underway.

The ensuing action between Leopard and Chesapeake would see Chesapeake lose her mizzen and Leopard have her bowsprit and foremast shot away. The mangled British frigate tried to run after two and half hours of combat, but USS Wasp managed to get into racking position and the tiny little sloop unleashed a devastating salvo from her 32-pound carronades killing or wounding close to a third of Leopard's crew and mangling her rudder. With the ship growing difficult to control and with many of her guns knocked out of action, a wounded Captain Humphreys made the decision to Strike His Colors. The Chesapeake-Scourge-Wasp-Leopard Affair was over - but the aftermath which had left close to 200 British and 75 American Sailors dead, plus USS Scourge and USS Chesapeake badly battered was just beginning - particularly as the Americans had the written orders from Vice Admiral Sir George Berkley, CINC-North American Station in hand as well as one rather battered British frigate which was towed into Gosport Naval Yard - Commodore Barron's initial report to Admiral Decauter made it clear that in his opinion, HMS Leopard had fired first.




AN: The point of divergence here is USS Chesapeake actually being squared away for the long voyage which isn't what happened OTL as Commodore Barron failed to prepare his ship properly for departure, thus Chesapeake was helpless when HMS Leopard swept down upon her and the American court-martial would find Barron at fault for being unprepared. Furthermore, Captain Humphreys of HMS Leopard seems to have been a bit of a hot-head as the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair occurred off the coast of Norfolk Virginia (Gosport Naval Yard is known today as Norfolk Navy Yard) and frankly, that was a ballsy move that could have very easily backfired on him had Chesapeake actually been properly prepared - the smarter decision would have been to tail Chesapeake and wait until they had gotten far enough away that had it turned ugly, Gosport wouldn't have heard the fracas.

Next up:
The War Scare of 1807
The British response to Sir George Berkley's stupidity
Privy Council Orders of 1807 in November
i love this premise, i hope you update this soon.
 
AN: Long time follower of threads, but this is my first attempt at making a timeline on this forum, so please be gentle.


June 22, 1807

Commodore James Barron had orders to sail for the Mediterranean Sea to relieve the USS Constitution from that region. But as he looked across the deck of his beloved USS Chesapeake. He decided that it would be prudent to wait to get everything stowed away before casting off, after all, Constitution could wait an extra day or two as the safety of his ship came first, and not having all of these crates properly stored away, if a flash squall came up or worse he had to clear for action for whatever reason. It could be detrimental to the ship's stability as well as its ability to fight. Best to get the ship properly ready for sail before casting off and heading for the Atlantic Ocean. Thus, preparations to get the American frigate ready for sail continued well beyond that end of recruiting and thus she wouldn't sail until the 23rd of June - with everything completely squared away for the months-long journey across the Atlantic.

June 23 1807

HMS Leopard had been prowling around the mouth of Chesapeake Bay like her namesake animal waiting for USS Chesapeake to appear - her captain, one Salusbury Pryce Humphreys had written orders from Vice-Admiral Sir George Berkeley stating that there were Royal Navy Deserters onboard and that he was to stop the ship and search her. In his opinion, the United States of America was a distinct non-entity given the state of things in Europe - particularly in comparison to the British Empire. Besides, he had his orders and he intended to follow them to the letter. The fact that Chesapeake hadn't been spotted yet was a tad concerning, but it could be that the Americans were just poor sailors and the frigate had bungled its departure from their Washington Naval Yard. He also figured that this could be done quickly enough that the American ships at Gosport Naval Yard wouldn't be able to respond in time.

"Sail on the horizon!" Came the call from the lookouts.

Humphreys smiled - he was happy to have been proven wrong. He turned to his XO and ordered an intercept course to be set.

Onboard USS Chesapeake meanwhile, Commodore James Barron was surprised but not alarmed by the appearance of a British Warship as she closed with Chesapeake as such sightings were common, particularly given the two French ships of the line that were in Gosport Naval Yard and being bottled up by the Royal Navy. For all he knew, she was delivering a newspaper stating that the French had declared war on the United States for some asinine reason and the USS Constitution had been blockaded in some place, or more likely, it was something else entirely. Still, he looked at the broad clear decks and smiled to himself - his decision to get the ship completely squared away before sailing had likely been a prudent one. As Leopard closed to within loud hailer range, Barron got a funny feeling about this, the British ship had battle sail set, something about this wasn't right and thus he would be on guard, in light of that he gave the order to "Beat to Quarters". The man nodded and went below, soon the sounds of preparations for action were made as an American Marine pounded out Beat to Quarters - while back on the Quarterdeck, Commodore Barron stood as Leopard drew up on Chesapeake's starboard side. A man raised a loud hailer. "Ahoy Chesapeake, this is HMS Leopard." the main shouted and Barron grunted as he heard the man explain that there was an issue regarding the men of Chesapeake and that Captain Humphreys was going to be sending a Lieutenant John Meade aboard to discuss them.

Barron wasn't pleased when Mead showed the Search Warrant, his position was that any sailor onboard an American Warship, especially American citizens should be impressed into a foreign navy. Lieutenant Mead pressed the issue stating that those same citizens had served in His Majesty's Navy and thus they were deserters and were thus subject to be arrested even if they were serving on an American warship. The discussion went in circles for twenty minutes until incensed that Lieutenant Meade wasn't getting the hint, Commodore Barron said bluntly "Lieutenant Mead, get off my ship. You will not be taking any American citizens back into your navy." Thus chastised, Lieutenant Mead returned to his ship.

Captain Humphreys onboard HMS Leopard was furious - the reach of British Law and that of the Empire had been rebuffed by the Americans. He had tried to use the carrot, now he was going to have to use the stick. He picked up a loud hailer and ordered the American frigate to heave to and submit to search and seizure by the Royal Navy. Commodore Barron gave one order in return. "Run out the starboard battery!" Long glimmering eighteen-pounders were brought out into position as were the thirty-two-pound carronades. Back onboard HMS Leopard, Captain Humphreys was alarmed by Chesapeake running out her guns. His instincts as a captain told him to break off, that this just wasn't worth it, in a point-blank slugfest, those smashers onboard Chesapeake would...well smash Leopard to pieces - however, his orders which came from the Commander-in-Chief of the North American Station told him otherwise. Hoping against hope that Chesapeake would submit to HMS Leopard, he ordered the guns run out and for one of the six-pounders on the Forecastle to fire a warning shot. The gun thumped, the booming roar of the discharge rolling across the water, the cannon shot warbling over the forecastle of the American frigate and causing everyone there to duck - it was also the absolute wrong thing to do. Between the six-pounder firing and HMS Leopard running out her guns and thus picking up the metaphorical gauntlet that Chesapeake had thrown down, Commodore Barron gave an order that would cement him in history: "Mister Barnes, commence firing!"

On paper, a long-range gun fight between HMS Leopard and USS Chesapeake was likely going to go poorly for the American frigate as the former mounted a heavy battery of 24-pounder and 12-pounder long guns on her lower and upper deck respectively in comparison to Chesapeake mounting a battery of 18-pounders on her lower gun deck. But, in a short-range fight, particularly at the immensely close quarters that Leopard and Chesapeake were at, the American frigate actually had the advantage with her 32-pounder carronades, giving the American a substantially heavier throw weight in comparison to the British fourth-rate. The booming, roaring broadside that issued from Chesapeake's guns did two things, one, it sent just over five hundred pounds of iron streaking towards HMS Leopard just as the latter responded and secondly, it did a damn fine job of alerting Gosport Naval Yard to what was going on to the point that USS Wasp and USS Scourge, both sloops of war, with the former armed with almost entirety 32-pound carronades and the other entirely armed with 6-pound long guns began making preparations to get underway.

The ensuing action between Leopard and Chesapeake would see Chesapeake lose her mizzen and Leopard have her bowsprit and foremast shot away. The mangled British frigate tried to run after two and half hours of combat, but USS Wasp managed to get into racking position and the tiny little sloop unleashed a devastating salvo from her 32-pound carronades killing or wounding close to a third of Leopard's crew and mangling her rudder. With the ship growing difficult to control and with many of her guns knocked out of action, a wounded Captain Humphreys made the decision to Strike His Colors. The Chesapeake-Scourge-Wasp-Leopard Affair was over - but the aftermath which had left close to 200 British and 75 American Sailors dead, plus USS Scourge and USS Chesapeake badly battered was just beginning - particularly as the Americans had the written orders from Vice Admiral Sir George Berkley, CINC-North American Station in hand as well as one rather battered British frigate which was towed into Gosport Naval Yard - Commodore Barron's initial report to Admiral Decauter made it clear that in his opinion, HMS Leopard had fired first.




AN: The point of divergence here is USS Chesapeake actually being squared away for the long voyage which isn't what happened OTL as Commodore Barron failed to prepare his ship properly for departure, thus Chesapeake was helpless when HMS Leopard swept down upon her and the American court-martial would find Barron at fault for being unprepared. Furthermore, Captain Humphreys of HMS Leopard seems to have been a bit of a hot-head as the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair occurred off the coast of Norfolk Virginia (Gosport Naval Yard is known today as Norfolk Navy Yard) and frankly, that was a ballsy move that could have very easily backfired on him had Chesapeake actually been properly prepared - the smarter decision would have been to tail Chesapeake and wait until they had gotten far enough away that had it turned ugly, Gosport wouldn't have heard the fracas.

Next up:
The War Scare of 1807
The British response to Sir George Berkley's stupidity
Privy Council Orders of 1807 in November
Love this point of divergence here watching this with interest!👍
 
The War Scare of 1807
June 23, 1807

The War Scare of 1807 began when a messenger arrived at the President's House on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and arrived with a message for President Thomas Jefferson in the middle of the night. The President read the message which stated that there had been a violent, bloody clash between the USS Chesapeake, USS Scourge, and USS Wasp against the British Frigate HMS Leopard, with the British 4th Rate striking her colors and being captured. He did two things, he ordered an emergency session of Congress and ordered that the swiftest horses be used to inform members of the House and Senate that they were immediately recalled. Second, as he looked over the written orders from Vice Admiral Sir George Berkeley he ordered that the British Ambassador to the United States be brought to the Presidential Mansion in order to explain himself regarding these orders as they could easily be constituted as an Act of War. Thomas Jefferson didn't want war, but if the British forced his hand, then he would give them a damn good show. The British Ambassador, David Montagu Erskine, 2nd Baron Erskine, upon reading the orders that had been captured along with HMS Leopard was stunned, yes in the grand scheme of things, the United States of America was practically a non-entity as far as being a major power was concerned - but they damn well couldn't afford a war with the Americans - particularly since Napoleon was still running riot across Europe - a war with the United States would draw valuable men and material along with ships away from Europe where they were so desperately needed.

Thus, David Erskine, wrote a series of letters, two to the Privy Council, two to Parliament, a third to the Royal Navy Admiralty, and a fourth to his American counterpart, James Monroe. The first pair of letters was to notify the King and Privy Council of the situation and of the orders that Captain Humphreys had acted under and also stated the position of President Jefferson on the matter. The second pair of letters to Parliament explained the situation in detail and requested that reparations be paid to the United States of America and again made clear President Jefferson's stance on the matter at hand. The letter to the Royal Navy Admiralty demanded that at minimum Vice Admiral Sir George Berkeley be recalled and made a recommendation that he be court-martialed for damn near instigating a war when the British Empire couldn't afford one. The final letter to James Monroe would bring the situation to his attention and it also informed him that he would have to be busy negotiating reparations. Thomas Jefferson was pleased with the quick and decisive action, for Erskine also sent for a messenger to carry these dispatches to where HMS Columbine lay at anchor so she could depart immediately for London as soon as the weather allowed.

June 24, 1807

The reaction from the General Public to their being an outright naval duel with the Royal Navy in American territorial waters began when word of it started to spread via the Newspapers. The nation over the course of a week or so was brought into a state of uproar over the mere idea of the naval battle and the fact that the confrontation had occurred because the Commander-in-Chief of the North American Station had ordered USS Chesapeake to be searched for deserters whom papers said were American citizens. There were a lot of people who were furious over the matter, but they were also scared as much of the tiny United States Navy was laid up in ordinary and there was no way in hell that the United States Navy could contend with the British Ships of the Line that were known to be patrolling up and down the American Coast. In the states that bordered Canada, the Militia was called up for exercises as it was unclear if war could be avoided at all.

June 29, 1807

HMS Columbine with the dispatches from Ambassador David Erskine set sail for London - if luck was on her side, she would arrive in England in either late August or early September - with the likely British reply arriving in either October or November. With such a large question mark, any act by Congress would have definitely already started to take shape in terms of being executed and would mean that it was rather unlikely to be canceled, not unless Congress wanted to hurt the country's economy.

July 4, 1807

John Adams spoke before a large crowd in Boston Harbor. He spoke about many things, including how "This great nation is only a score and eleven years old and we've already reached a crisis point and how our lack of a large standing military has rendered us helpless in the face of the possibility of another war with the greatest power in the world. I implore Congress, when it convenes for the emergency session to expand our military."

July 12-18, 1807

The emergency session of Congress convened and the first item on the docket was how to react to the Chesapeake-Scourge-Wasp-Leopard Affair. Congress immediately took into consideration the strength of the Royal Navy locally which was about a dozen Ships of the Line and close to forty frigates with about sixty other vessels to consider. The United States Navy couldn't hope to combat that, if the Royal Navy so pleased, it could very easily cripple the United States by not only blockading all harbors but additionally sending ships to force their way past the forts as the United States Navy couldn't possibly hope to threaten the mighty North American Station with its paltry numbers of frigates and smaller sailing vessels. Additionally, the United States Army was absolutely tiny at this moment with less than ten thousand troops on the playbooks. The 1807 Emergency Appropriations Act was enacted to change all of that and to do so quickly.

In response to this, the 1807 Emergency Appropriations Act sought to expand the United States Army to at least 75,000 troops with all the needed equipment, rifles, powder, bullets, uniforms, and gear as well; furthermore, work on the Second System of Forts then under construction was to be accelerated considerably. But the United States Navy was going to receive absolutely lavish amounts of money dropped upon it with all frigates currently in ordinary being called up to active service with the navy being expanded upon considerably. Included in the expansion were plans for ten ships of the line, to be specific six Third Rates, three 2nd Rates, and one 1st Rate with design work slated to start immediately. Furthermore, Congress authorized the commissioning of a classification system for US Frigates instead of using the European Rate System this system was as follows:

  1. 1st Class Frigate - 50 to 42 guns with 24-pounder long guns at minimum
  2. 2nd Class Frigate - 36 to 28 guns with 18-pounder long guns at minimum
  3. 3rd Class Frigate - 24 to 20 guns with 12-pounder long guns at minimum
The United States Navy at the time of the War Scare of 1807 had three 1st Class Frigates: Constitution, President, and United States, six 2nd Class Frigates: Chesapeake, Constellation, Congress, Adams, Essex, and Boston, with precisely one 3rd Class Frigate in the form of USS John Adams.

Congress authorized the construction of six additional 1st Class Frigates that were to be repeats of the three already in service. Twelve 2nd Class Frigates with six built as repeats of Boston and Adams, four built as repeats of Essex, and two more built as repeats of Chesapeake, Constellation, and Congress. Finally, sixteen 3rd Class Frigates were authorized for construction that was to be repeats of the USS John Adams. Furthermore per the law, HMS Leopard was to be repaired and commissioned into the United States Navy. The amounts of rigging, canvas, guns, shot, and powder along with various other things that were required were absolutely enormous - once this Bill was finalized into Law, by the time the United States got a response back from the British Empire regarding the Chesapeake-Scourge-Wasp-Leopard Affair, an enormous amount of timber will have already been collected for the construction of the new ships which meant that it was unlikely that the entire Naval Expansion will end up getting canceled. Furthermore, to help pay for this absolutely massive expansion of the United States Military, the Act contained ways to help pay for it, primarily in the form of excise taxes getting expanded in the products that were covered by them and seeing small increases as the excises were expanded to include luxury items such as fish, with Tariffs seeing more notable increases. However, Congress was no fool and knew that they would likely need an official government tax in order to help cover the expansion of the military. It was proposed that a Sin Tax be implemented covering all forms of alcohol, tobacco, and gambling - ranging from 5 cents for alcohol, 10 cents for tobacco, and 25 cents for gambling.

The Bill was sent to Thomas Jefferson who signed it into law later on July 18th, 1807.

20 August 1807

The reaction of the British Privy Council and of Parliament to the Chesapeake-Scourge-Wasp-Leopard Affair could be seen as roughly “Oh shit” - with the War of the Fourth Coalition having wrapped up a month ago with a major French Victory and there was now ominous rumblings in the Iberian Peninsula. The British Empire wasn’t in a position where they could actually afford a war with the United States of America - as there was bound to be yet another war in Europe against Napoleon very soon, likely in less than a year from now, would the Napoleonic Conflict reignite and a war in the Americas could prove to be a very costly if not outright fatal distraction.

The Privy Council’s reaction was quite simple, they informed James Monroe that a new expansion of the Embargo against France and her allies was going to be expanded as Napoleon now controlled even more territory, and a huge swath of Europe was under French Dominion. Thus, the United States was going to be granted a grace period of six months after it went live in November. Any American ship that tried to bypass the British blockade would not be seized but redirected to ports of call of either Britain or her allies. However, once this six-month-long grace period was over, the American Merchant Marine was going to be subject to seizure just like everyone else. Furthermore, King George III, knowing how calamitous a war with the United States could be at this point in time, issued a Royal Decree banning the Impressment of Americans into the Royal Navy.

The reaction of Parliament wasn’t as immediate - but it was decisive and played a substantial role in making sure that the United States was unwilling to go to war. Reparations that was roughly twice of what would be required to repair the USS Chesapeake were put on the floor and passed after a series of speeches and the reading of the letters sent by the Ambassador. James Monroe sighed in relief, that the United States of America wouldn’t have to fight a war with the British Empire.


AN: Not much really happened early on in the timeline it must be said, but I think that I've managed to avoid an Embargo Act of 1807 with this.

Now then, the classification system mentioned here is an actual thing. However, OTL, it wasn't devised until at least the 1820s, here with the United States Navy about to literally explode in size - it came about sooner to help Congress delegate the size of the ships to be purchased. The taxes enforced are not Income Taxes - but fit solely within Article I of the United States Constitution.

On a side note, the current American National Anthem, the Star Spangled Banner has been butterflied away, a moment of silence, please.

Next up

The British response to Sir George Berkley's stupidity
Iberian rumblings
Privy Council Orders of 1807 in November and the American response
TIMBER!
 
Now how France reacts to this and American merchants for their grace half a year of continental trade.
 
June 23, 1807

The War Scare of 1807 began when a messenger arrived at the President's House on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and arrived with a message for President Thomas Jefferson in the middle of the night. The President read the message which stated that there had been a violent, bloody clash between the USS Chesapeake, USS Scourge, and USS Wasp against the British Frigate HMS Leopard, with the British 4th Rate striking her colors and being captured. He did two things, he ordered an emergency session of Congress and ordered that the swiftest horses be used to inform members of the House and Senate that they were immediately recalled. Second, as he looked over the written orders from Vice Admiral Sir George Berkeley he ordered that the British Ambassador to the United States be brought to the Presidential Mansion in order to explain himself regarding these orders as they could easily be constituted as an Act of War. Thomas Jefferson didn't want war, but if the British forced his hand, then he would give them a damn good show. The British Ambassador, David Montagu Erskine, 2nd Baron Erskine, upon reading the orders that had been captured along with HMS Leopard was stunned, yes in the grand scheme of things, the United States of America was practically a non-entity as far as being a major power was concerned - but they damn well couldn't afford a war with the Americans - particularly since Napoleon was still running riot across Europe - a war with the United States would draw valuable men and material along with ships away from Europe where they were so desperately needed.

Thus, David Erskine, wrote a series of letters, two to the Privy Council, two to Parliament, a third to the Royal Navy Admiralty, and a fourth to his American counterpart, James Monroe. The first pair of letters was to notify the King and Privy Council of the situation and of the orders that Captain Humphreys had acted under and also stated the position of President Jefferson on the matter. The second pair of letters to Parliament explained the situation in detail and requested that reparations be paid to the United States of America and again made clear President Jefferson's stance on the matter at hand. The letter to the Royal Navy Admiralty demanded that at minimum Vice Admiral Sir George Berkeley be recalled and made a recommendation that he be court-martialed for damn near instigating a war when the British Empire couldn't afford one. The final letter to James Monroe would bring the situation to his attention and it also informed him that he would have to be busy negotiating reparations. Thomas Jefferson was pleased with the quick and decisive action, for Erskine also sent for a messenger to carry these dispatches to where HMS Columbine lay at anchor so she could depart immediately for London as soon as the weather allowed.

June 24, 1807

The reaction from the General Public to their being an outright naval duel with the Royal Navy in American territorial waters began when word of it started to spread via the Newspapers. The nation over the course of a week or so was brought into a state of uproar over the mere idea of the naval battle and the fact that the confrontation had occurred because the Commander-in-Chief of the North American Station had ordered USS Chesapeake to be searched for deserters whom papers said were American citizens. There were a lot of people who were furious over the matter, but they were also scared as much of the tiny United States Navy was laid up in ordinary and there was no way in hell that the United States Navy could contend with the British Ships of the Line that were known to be patrolling up and down the American Coast. In the states that bordered Canada, the Militia was called up for exercises as it was unclear if war could be avoided at all.

June 29, 1807

HMS Columbine with the dispatches from Ambassador David Erskine set sail for London - if luck was on her side, she would arrive in England in either late August or early September - with the likely British reply arriving in either October or November. With such a large question mark, any act by Congress would have definitely already started to take shape in terms of being executed and would mean that it was rather unlikely to be canceled, not unless Congress wanted to hurt the country's economy.

July 4, 1807

John Adams spoke before a large crowd in Boston Harbor. He spoke about many things, including how "This great nation is only a score and eleven years old and we've already reached a crisis point and how our lack of a large standing military has rendered us helpless in the face of the possibility of another war with the greatest power in the world. I implore Congress, when it convenes for the emergency session to expand our military."

July 12-18, 1807

The emergency session of Congress convened and the first item on the docket was how to react to the Chesapeake-Scourge-Wasp-Leopard Affair. Congress immediately took into consideration the strength of the Royal Navy locally which was about a dozen Ships of the Line and close to forty frigates with about sixty other vessels to consider. The United States Navy couldn't hope to combat that, if the Royal Navy so pleased, it could very easily cripple the United States by not only blockading all harbors but additionally sending ships to force their way past the forts as the United States Navy couldn't possibly hope to threaten the mighty North American Station with its paltry numbers of frigates and smaller sailing vessels. Additionally, the United States Army was absolutely tiny at this moment with less than ten thousand troops on the playbooks. The 1807 Emergency Appropriations Act was enacted to change all of that and to do so quickly.

In response to this, the 1807 Emergency Appropriations Act sought to expand the United States Army to at least 75,000 troops with all the needed equipment, rifles, powder, bullets, uniforms, and gear as well; furthermore, work on the Second System of Forts then under construction was to be accelerated considerably. But the United States Navy was going to receive absolutely lavish amounts of money dropped upon it with all frigates currently in ordinary being called up to active service with the navy being expanded upon considerably. Included in the expansion were plans for ten ships of the line, to be specific six Third Rates, three 2nd Rates, and one 1st Rate with design work slated to start immediately. Furthermore, Congress authorized the commissioning of a classification system for US Frigates instead of using the European Rate System this system was as follows:

  1. 1st Class Frigate - 50 to 42 guns with 24-pounder long guns at minimum
  2. 2nd Class Frigate - 36 to 28 guns with 18-pounder long guns at minimum
  3. 3rd Class Frigate - 24 to 20 guns with 12-pounder long guns at minimum
The United States Navy at the time of the War Scare of 1807 had three 1st Class Frigates: Constitution, President, and United States, six 2nd Class Frigates: Chesapeake, Constellation, Congress, Adams, Essex, and Boston, with precisely one 3rd Class Frigate in the form of USS John Adams.

Congress authorized the construction of six additional 1st Class Frigates that were to be repeats of the three already in service. Twelve 2nd Class Frigates with six built as repeats of Boston and Adams, four built as repeats of Essex, and two more built as repeats of Chesapeake, Constellation, and Congress. Finally, sixteen 3rd Class Frigates were authorized for construction that was to be repeats of the USS John Adams. Furthermore per the law, HMS Leopard was to be repaired and commissioned into the United States Navy. The amounts of rigging, canvas, guns, shot, and powder along with various other things that were required were absolutely enormous - once this Bill was finalized into Law, by the time the United States got a response back from the British Empire regarding the Chesapeake-Scourge-Wasp-Leopard Affair, an enormous amount of timber will have already been collected for the construction of the new ships which meant that it was unlikely that the entire Naval Expansion will end up getting canceled. Furthermore, to help pay for this absolutely massive expansion of the United States Military, the Act contained ways to help pay for it, primarily in the form of excise taxes getting expanded in the products that were covered by them and seeing small increases as the excises were expanded to include luxury items such as fish, with Tariffs seeing more notable increases. However, Congress was no fool and knew that they would likely need an official government tax in order to help cover the expansion of the military. It was proposed that a Sin Tax be implemented covering all forms of alcohol, tobacco, and gambling - ranging from 5 cents for alcohol, 10 cents for tobacco, and 25 cents for gambling.

The Bill was sent to Thomas Jefferson who signed it into law later on July 18th, 1807.

20 August 1807

The reaction of the British Privy Council and of Parliament to the Chesapeake-Scourge-Wasp-Leopard Affair could be seen as roughly “Oh shit” - with the War of the Fourth Coalition having wrapped up a month ago with a major French Victory and there was now ominous rumblings in the Iberian Peninsula. The British Empire wasn’t in a position where they could actually afford a war with the United States of America - as there was bound to be yet another war in Europe against Napoleon very soon, likely in less than a year from now, would the Napoleonic Conflict reignite and a war in the Americas could prove to be a very costly if not outright fatal distraction.

The Privy Council’s reaction was quite simple, they informed James Monroe that a new expansion of the Embargo against France and her allies was going to be expanded as Napoleon now controlled even more territory, and a huge swath of Europe was under French Dominion. Thus, the United States was going to be granted a grace period of six months after it went live in November. Any American ship that tried to bypass the British blockade would not be seized but redirected to ports of call of either Britain or her allies. However, once this six-month-long grace period was over, the American Merchant Marine was going to be subject to seizure just like everyone else. Furthermore, King George III, knowing how calamitous a war with the United States could be at this point in time, issued a Royal Decree banning the Impressment of Americans into the Royal Navy.

The reaction of Parliament wasn’t as immediate - but it was decisive and played a substantial role in making sure that the United States was unwilling to go to war. Reparations that was roughly twice of what would be required to repair the USS Chesapeake were put on the floor and passed after a series of speeches and the reading of the letters sent by the Ambassador. James Monroe sighed in relief, that the United States of America wouldn’t have to fight a war with the British Empire.


AN: Not much really happened early on in the timeline it must be said, but I think that I've managed to avoid an Embargo Act of 1807 with this.

Now then, the classification system mentioned here is an actual thing. However, OTL, it wasn't devised until at least the 1820s, here with the United States Navy about to literally explode in size - it came about sooner to help Congress delegate the size of the ships to be purchased. The taxes enforced are not Income Taxes - but fit solely within Article I of the United States Constitution.

On a side note, the current American National Anthem, the Star Spangled Banner has been butterflied away, a moment of silence, please.

Next up

The British response to Sir George Berkley's stupidity
Iberian rumblings
Privy Council Orders of 1807 in November and the American response
TIMBER!
l like this so far; it is really plausible with the reactions on both sides, but it looks like it won't go to a full scale war.
 
Nice job, can't wait to see the British shenanigans with supporting native uprisings!

There's a non-zero chance that the British actually don't do those sorts of shenanigans - given that they're correctly reading the room here - which actually will mean that the relationship between the Native Americans and the United States will start to improve - to the point that its quite plausible we might get a couple of Native American States.

l like this so far; it is really plausible with the reactions on both sides, but it looks like it won't go to a full scale war.

Thank you - besides the expansion of the United States Navy, a lot of the American naval infrastructure is also going to be expanded considerably - the US might very well end up in a positive feedback loop of sorts.

Now how France reacts to this and American merchants for their grace half a year of continental trade.

Oh France is going to issue the Milan Decree which will affect American ships - and the Privy Council's decision may very well see the embargo that the Americans put on the British in 1806 lifted - which will give the British a much-needed shot in the arm.
 
Last edited:
The Admiralty reacts to Sir George Berkeley's stupidity
August 22, 1807

The reaction of the British Admiralty to the stupidity of Vice Admiral Sir George Berkeley was swift and decisive. The Second Sea Lord issued orders for his immediate recall - pending a court of inquiry into the reasoning behind the written orders that the British Admiralty now had in hand as his orders could have very well sparked an unneeded war. To put it frankly, the British Admiralty wasn’t going to stand for this kind of stupidity - at minimum, this court of inquiry was going to bar him from ever holding a Commander-in-Chief posting again and if Parliament got their way, might very well see him dismissed from the Navy.

In the meantime, however, a replacement would be needed. It was decided that Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren, 1st Baronet would be the best bet to replace Berkeley. Before Admiral Warren departed on the 1st of September to head to Halifax with his orders for Berkeley, he was explicitly told by the First Sea Lord, then Admiral James Gambier, 1st Baron Gambier, to not take any actions that would antagonize the Americans.



AN: Not really too many changes here as historically Sir George Berkeley was replaced as CINC North American Station by Sir John Warren. But Sir George Berkeley's career could very well be over if Parliament gets its way.

Next up

Naval Infrastructure Expansion
Iberian Rumblings
Privy Council Orders of 1807 and the American response
Timber!
 
Naval Infrastructure Expansion
September 1, 1807

Just over a month had passed since the 1807 Emergency Appropriations Act had been signed into law and the United States Navy found that it had a problem. USS President had been the first 1st Class Frigate to be brought out of ordinary, she had been frantically readied and set sail for the Mediterranean Sea to relieve USS Constitution and the reactivation of the other frigates in the United States Navy was proceeding apace. However, the major problem that the United States Navy found itself facing was an entirely different one compared to what they had expected to find beyond the issues of building dozens of expensive warships. This issue was primarily because of the fact that the United States Navy lacked significant infrastructure to build as many ships as Congress had elected to construct.

It was fortunate then that Congress had semi-foreseen this issue. But the problem was one of scale and as such, the United States needed to dramatically expand its naval infrastructure. This was more than just the naval yards where the ships were built, it was also the foundries where the iron fittings, anchors, naval guns, and shot were manufactured, the kilns in which timber was dried in order to prepare it for being used in shipbuilding, the mills in which said lumber was cut, textile plants where canvas and rigging was manufacturing, and finally even the powder mills which produced the black powder used in not only naval guns but also firearms just lacked the capacity to match what was needed. The United States simply put just didn’t have enough capacity available to meet the demands that Congress had suddenly placed upon it.

This was just the start of the issues with American naval infrastructure. Another big problem was that the capability of American foundries needed to be expanded in order to produce larger and heavier long guns that were fit to outfit a ship of the line - 32-pounder long guns more than likely plus a carronade that was heavier than the 32s most American frigates mounted - something like a 42-pounder or heavier would work best. However, it was still an incredible amount of metal that needed to be cast, and more than likely it would be awhile before the United States could reliably build 32-pounder long guns that wouldn’t explode or split on firing.

The fears that the American infrastructure couldn’t support the new naval expansion was exacerbated by the newspapers which spoke of stories that the ships of the line wouldn’t be ready until the late 1810s if something wasn’t done now. This galvanized the American public into acting upon their own accord to change this state of affairs with as much rapidity as was humanly possible.

In response to the papers and their doom-mongering - various coastal cities and towns within the United States stepped up, most notably the small town of Brooklyn offered up enough land to double the size of Brooklyn Navy Yard from 22 acres to just over 45 acres of land. New slipways and other structures were already going up. Meanwhile, in Washington D.C. at Washington Naval Yard, the city government did something similar and the yard there began to expand as well. The story repeated in Philadelphia, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Boston, and Charleston as the United States worked furiously to expand their naval infrastructure so that it could properly support the Navy that Congress wanted to build in light of the War Scare of 1807 which was still ongoing. Not only that, the infrastructure that supported the naval infrastructure: Foundries, Lumber Mills, Textile Mills, and Powder Mills began to expand, slowly at first but with ever-increasing rapidity - the company of DuPont experienced an explosion of growth due to the glut of contracts for powder.

In Gosport Naval Yard, the former HMS Leopard had departed, her rigging having been repaired, and flying the stars and stripes above the white ensign she sailed to Washington Naval Yard where her flag was taken and placed on display in the headquarters for the Washington Navy Yard. While she was there, work began on repairing her battered form - new timbers were put in place, her spars and rigging were repaired - most importantly she was planned to be armed similarly to the USS Constitution with 24-pounder long guns on her lower deck and 32-pound carronades on her upper deck, quarterdeck, and forecastle.

Despite this however, work was continuing apace, in Washington Naval Yard, Portsmouth Naval Yard, Gosport Naval Yard, Brooklyn Naval Yard, and Boston Naval Yard the kilns were full of timber as the infrastructure expansion was having its own effects on the United States of America as everything was put towards expanding the military. Already the keel timbers for the six 1st Class Frigates: USS Serapis, USS Columbia, USS Philadelphia, USS Alliance, USS Bonhomme Richard, and USS Randolph were drying in various kilns across the country with preparations to lay them down as soon as they finished drying and weather permitted.

Meanwhile, in Brooklyn Navy Yard, a ship model builder began work on a highly intricate and detailed model of the 102-gun 1st Rate Ship of the Line that the Act last month had authorized and her name would be USS America. Similar work was being done in Portsmouth, Gosport, Boston, Washington, and Philadelphia Naval Yards for ships of the line of 2nd Rates of 94 guns and 3rd Rates of 74 guns that had been authorized - their names hadn’t been decided yet and the USN was thinking that they should be named for states with each state getting two entries in a lottery to avoid squabbling.



AN: The United States here actually faces a very serious problem in regards to their infrastructure in order to handle the construction of ten ships of the line and thirty-four frigates in that it's very much not large enough to build this many ships rapidly - and this is a problem that can't really be rectified in the short term. Not easily at least, yes, the expansion here will help, but this kind of building program will take most of a decade to complete more than likely. That being said, the benefits will be huge further down the line.

Iberian Rumblings
Privy Council Orders of 1807 and the American response
Timber!
Decree
 
.....was it actually called this location in 1807?

Yep, Washington D.C. was a planned city and the area with the Presidential Mansion was one of the first places to actually be completed in accordance with the plan. Though in 1807, Pennsylvania Avenue was just a simple dirt road and didn't have any pavers laid down that changed after the War of 1812 actually.
 
September 1, 1807

Just over a month had passed since the 1807 Emergency Appropriations Act had been signed into law and the United States Navy found that it had a problem. USS President had been the first 1st Class Frigate to be brought out of ordinary, she had been frantically readied and set sail for the Mediterranean Sea to relieve USS Constitution and the reactivation of the other frigates in the United States Navy was proceeding apace. However, the major problem that the United States Navy found itself facing was an entirely different one compared to what they had expected to find beyond the issues of building dozens of expensive warships. This issue was primarily because of the fact that the United States Navy lacked significant infrastructure to build as many ships as Congress had elected to construct.

It was fortunate then that Congress had semi-foreseen this issue. But the problem was one of scale and as such, the United States needed to dramatically expand its naval infrastructure. This was more than just the naval yards where the ships were built, it was also the foundries where the iron fittings, anchors, naval guns, and shot were manufactured, the kilns in which timber was dried in order to prepare it for being used in shipbuilding, the mills in which said lumber was cut, textile plants where canvas and rigging was manufacturing, and finally even the powder mills which produced the black powder used in not only naval guns but also firearms just lacked the capacity to match what was needed. The United States simply put just didn’t have enough capacity available to meet the demands that Congress had suddenly placed upon it.

This was just the start of the issues with American naval infrastructure. Another big problem was that the capability of American foundries needed to be expanded in order to produce larger and heavier long guns that were fit to outfit a ship of the line - 32-pounder long guns more than likely plus a carronade that was heavier than the 32s most American frigates mounted - something like a 42-pounder or heavier would work best. However, it was still an incredible amount of metal that needed to be cast, and more than likely it would be awhile before the United States could reliably build 32-pounder long guns that wouldn’t explode or split on firing.

The fears that the American infrastructure couldn’t support the new naval expansion was exacerbated by the newspapers which spoke of stories that the ships of the line wouldn’t be ready until the late 1810s if something wasn’t done now. This galvanized the American public into acting upon their own accord to change this state of affairs with as much rapidity as was humanly possible.

In response to the papers and their doom-mongering - various coastal cities and towns within the United States stepped up, most notably the small town of Brooklyn offered up enough land to double the size of Brooklyn Navy Yard from 22 acres to just over 45 acres of land. New slipways and other structures were already going up. Meanwhile, in Washington D.C. at Washington Naval Yard, the city government did something similar and the yard there began to expand as well. The story repeated in Philadelphia, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Boston, and Charleston as the United States worked furiously to expand their naval infrastructure so that it could properly support the Navy that Congress wanted to build in light of the War Scare of 1807 which was still ongoing. Not only that, the infrastructure that supported the naval infrastructure: Foundries, Lumber Mills, Textile Mills, and Powder Mills began to expand, slowly at first but with ever-increasing rapidity - the company of DuPont experienced an explosion of growth due to the glut of contracts for powder.

In Gosport Naval Yard, the former HMS Leopard had departed, her rigging having been repaired, and flying the stars and stripes above the white ensign she sailed to Washington Naval Yard where her flag was taken and placed on display in the headquarters for the Washington Navy Yard. While she was there, work began on repairing her battered form - new timbers were put in place, her spars and rigging were repaired - most importantly she was planned to be armed similarly to the USS Constitution with 24-pounder long guns on her lower deck and 32-pound carronades on her upper deck, quarterdeck, and forecastle.

Despite this however, work was continuing apace, in Washington Naval Yard, Portsmouth Naval Yard, Gosport Naval Yard, Brooklyn Naval Yard, and Boston Naval Yard the kilns were full of timber as the infrastructure expansion was having its own effects on the United States of America as everything was put towards expanding the military. Already the keel timbers for the six 1st Class Frigates: USS Serapis, USS Columbia, USS Philadelphia, USS Alliance, USS Bonhomme Richard, and USS Randolph were drying in various kilns across the country with preparations to lay them down as soon as they finished drying and weather permitted.

Meanwhile, in Brooklyn Navy Yard, a ship model builder began work on a highly intricate and detailed model of the 102-gun 1st Rate Ship of the Line that the Act last month had authorized and her name would be USS America. Similar work was being done in Portsmouth, Gosport, Boston, Washington, and Philadelphia Naval Yards for ships of the line of 2nd Rates of 94 guns and 3rd Rates of 74 guns that had been authorized - their names hadn’t been decided yet and the USN was thinking that they should be named for states with each state getting two entries in a lottery to avoid squabbling.



AN: The United States here actually faces a very serious problem in regards to their infrastructure in order to handle the construction of ten ships of the line and thirty-four frigates in that it's very much not large enough to build this many ships rapidly - and this is a problem that can't really be rectified in the short term. Not easily at least, yes, the expansion here will help, but this kind of building program will take most of a decade to complete more than likely. That being said, the benefits will be huge further down the line.

Iberian Rumblings
Privy Council Orders of 1807 and the American response
Timber!
Decree
love this story. you should see if you can't have the us army copy the organizational structure of france and germany(prussia) there was a french marshel that was offered command of west point. you should try to get michel ney to train the us army.
 
love this story. you should see if you can't have the us army copy the organizational structure of france and germany(prussia) there was a french marshel that was offered command of west point. you should try to get michel ney to train the us army.

I do have access to how the Regiments of the Union Army were organized thanks to Battle Order, but I will admit - I am unfamiliar with the Prussian and French Regiments and how they were organized.
 
I do have access to how the Regiments of the Union Army were organized thanks to Battle Order, but I will admit - I am unfamiliar with the Prussian and French Regiments and how they were organized.
from the late 1890's until post world war one the prussian army was the best organized on earth. the union army was simmilar to the french army with aspects of the german and british oraganization.
 
Jefferson was very opposed to a large navy. His idea was for swarms of militia-manned galleys to defend the coasts. I love the idea of an larger early navy. I would love to see how Jefferson is reacting to this huge naval expansion and it's attendant expenses.

The navy was always seen as a "Federalist branch". Maybe some political manipulation and patronage of Republican officers in the personnel expansion?
 
How this boosts the New England region economy will be interesting. Will the cities be even larger, or more large settlements across the board.
 
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