The Brig is the first square rigged ship in the game. She is armed with 16 guns along the sides, plus 2 stern-chasers. The Brig is based upon the real life Fair American.
Pennsylvania Privateer Brig Fair American was commissioned on 20 April 1780 under Commander Stephen Decatur of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was listed as having a battery of sixteen guns and a crew of 130 men. Fair American's $10000 bond was signed by Decatur and by Charles Miller of Philadelphia. In the application for her commission Fair American was said to have had fifteen guns and to measure 150 tons. Her owners were given as “Blair McClenachan Charles Miller & Co.
Fair American seems to have gone to sea soon after her commission was issued. She met and sailed with the Massachusetts Privateer Ship Jack (Commander Nathan Brown) and the Pennsylvania Privateer Brig Argo (Commander John Ridge). They captured 6 British ships: Swallow, Arbuthnot, an unnamed sloop from New York, Elhpinsten, Nymph, and Sally. Fair American returned from this cruise on June 24, with 3 additional prizes: Elenora, Three Sisters, and Secretary.
Fair American next cruise took place about the end of July 1780, accompanied by another privateer brig owned by McClenachan, the Pennsylvania Privateer Brig Holker (Commander Roger Keane). The pair steered for the concentration of enemy shipping around the approaches to New York, New York. Next to be captured was the Gloucester, after this, Fair American and Holker were joined by the Pennsylvania Privateer Brig Enterprize (Commander Peter Day). The three captains agreed to sail together.
Next to be captured were: Mercury, Nancy, and Restoration. These were follow by yet more captures of the ships Arbuthnot, Fox, and an unnamed cutter. She then captured 4 more ships: Gage, Lewis, Queen Charllot, and an unnamed sloop. The three privateers were still operating off Sandy Hook at the end of August, when they captured the 220-ton ship Lady Margaret. Two hours later they also took a brig bound from Antigua, British West Indies for New York. The brig was sent off to Philadelphia, but the Lady Margaret was kept with the three privateers. As the brig approached the Delaware Capes she was recaptured by HM Sloop Savage. The three Americans steered for the Delaware bringing along the Lady Margaret. One more prize remained to to be captured: the 90-ton sloop Dispatch with a cargo of rum, bound from Jamaica to New York, was captured off the New Jersey coast. She was then added to the convoy.
On 31 August the Fair American, General Greene, and Holker entered Delaware Bay and stood up the river, intending to replenish water, provisions and stores, and pick up prize crews. In the vicinity of Reedy Island they met, perhaps, the most fearsome enemy of the cruise. Continental Navy Ships Trumbull (Captain James Nicholson) and Deane (Captain Samuel Nicholson) were in the river, preparing to sail. They just needed more men. The Continentals stopped the three privateers, sent boats to them, and began to impress sailors. Despite the vehement protests of Decatur and Keene, nineteen or twenty men were taken from the Holker and twenty-one from the Fair American. Hollinshead was equally vociferous and equally stripped of sailors.
Fair American sailed again about the third week of September 1780. Holker followed about a week later, with orders from the owners to join Fair American and cruise between New York and Charlestown, South Carolina. On October 7, they captured the brig Rodney. The next day another brig, also named Rodney was captured. A few days later they captured Richard, followed by Richmond.
On 17 October, Fair American and Holker were separated by a gale. Holker got in to Philadelphia near the end of October 1780, with some damage. Fair American arrived in Delaware Bay about 2 November 1780. The next day, Fair American captured a 30-ton schooner Restoration.
Fair American was re-commissioned on 9 December 1780 under Commander Joseph Jakways of Philadelphia. Phineas Eldridge of Philadelphia served aboard as First Mate. While Fair American’s battery remained the same, her crew was decreased to 100 men. Her new $20000 bond was signed by Jakways and Miller.
Fair American next sailed to the West Indies, capturing the brigantine Fanny en route. Next to be captured was a brig, carrying fish. Fair American arrived at Cap François, Saint-Domingue on 22 January 1781, at 1100 bringing in her prize with her.At the request of the Governor of Saint-Domingue, the Confederacy, the Continental Navy Sloop Saratoga (Captain John Young), the Fair American and HMCM Brig Cat sailed on a cruise on 1 February 1781. The squadron escorted some American vessels to sea. Saratoga and Fair American parted after a few days. On 9 and 10 February Confederacy chased, and was chased by, two brigs, which eventually proved to be the Fair American and a prize she had captured. The prize was a brig of fourteen guns and seventy men out of Nassau, New Providence, in the Bahamas. A few days later the Fair American took another brig of sixteen guns, from the same place. The squadron returned to Cap François on 16 February.
About this time something unusual occurred on the Fair American: Jakways seems to have died in an unknown way. His relatives at Philadelphia were notified in some way, perhaps by a prize sent into port. Jakways’s will was proved on 23 March 1781. His friend and executor was listed as Stephen Decatur
On 20 February another short cruise was made, with the addition of Continental Navy Ship Deane (Captain John Nicholson) to the squadron. About 25 February the squadron met the twenty, or thirty-two gun ship Diamond bound from St. Christopher’s to Jamaica, both in the British West Indies. Diamond had 200 slaves aboard and was also laden with plunder from the British sack of St. Eustatius. She was eventually sold at Cap François for just over 265,292 livres. By 28 February the squadron had returned to Cap François.
Fair American sailed for home on 15 March 1778, acting as part of the escort for a convoy of eighty-eight sail, thirty-two of which were bound for America. About mid-April 1780 Fair American was nearing her home port. She captured the sloop Northampton. Fair American came into port on 21 April, “from a successful cruize.”
The brig was commissioned for a third time on 22 May 1781, with Eldridge promoted to command. Uriah Swaine of Philadelphia served as First Mate. The battery was unchanged but the crew was increased to 110 men. The new $20000 bond was signed by Eldridge and Miller.
Fair American was back at sea not long after, where she met the Connecticut Privateer Schooner Raven (Commander Gideon Olmsted). On 5 June 1781, off the Delaware Capes, they captured the 90-ton brig Allday. Fair American continued to hang around the New York approaches. She was reportedly seen there, with two privateer sloops in company, on 25 June. About this time Fair American captured the British Privateer Brig Porcupine (Irwin), a heavily armed vessel with sixteen 6-pounders, eight swivels, and, possibly, two big caliber carronades.
Fair American sailed about mid-July 1781, in company with her old partner, the Holker. The two privateers served as escorts to three armed merchant vessels (letters-of-marque). On the night of 18 July a large snow was sighted and chased. She was run down at sunrise and was revealed to be the Spanish St. Joseph and Joachim. The first lieutenants of the two brigs, Uriah Swaine (Fair American) and John Quinlan (Holker) went aboard to investigate, and discovered a dilemma. She was a cartel vessel, bound to New York from Pensacola with 150 British prisoners taken there. The terms of the British surrender to the Spanish allowed the parole of the British, as long as they did not serve against the Spanish forces or against allies of Spain until exchanged. The United States was not an ally of Spain. In other words, the British forces captured and paroled at Pensacola could serve against the United States, but not France. There was a great deal of controversy in the United States about these terms, and the American captains knew the controversy well.
St. Joseph and Joachim was ordered in to Philadelphia, but the United States was spared from a major international incident by two British privateers, the Surprize and the General Arnold which re-captured the Spanish snow on 20 July. Twenty-eight of the prize crew were removed and the St. Joseph and Joachim ordered into New York.
The two American privateers had parted after capturing the St. Joseph and Joachim, and gone their separate ways. Fair American cruised, seemingly without success, until the early part of September 1781. Around 4 September, Fair American touched at Cape May and again met the Holker. The two privateers cruised together for a few days. About 9 September they intercepted the 60-ton sloop Phoenix, bound from New York to Quebec, Quebec.
The two privateers again separated and cruised independently. About the end of September 1781, Fair American fell in with the former Pennsylvania Privateer Brig Rambler (Commander John Durry), which had been captured by HM Frigates Nymph and Pearl on her first cruise. Fair American easily re-captured the Rambler and sent her into Philadelphia.
Eldridge’s luck changed in early October. First he encountered the sloop Polly, out of Philadelphia and bound for Cap François, Saint Domingue. She had been captured by the British Privateer Ship Goodrich and ordered to New York. Fair American re-captured her. She was with the privateer for the time being, for Fair American had sighted a large convoy. The convoy of about ninety-five sail had left Europe about mid-July 1781. Twenty-five were bound for Charlestown, South Carolina, and the rest for New York. Eldridge saw about forty of them go into Sandy Hook on 13 October and began hunting stragglers.
Fair American quickly captured the ships: King George, Nancy, York, and Anne. Shortly thereafter, the Fair American was advertised for sale on 20 October, with the sale to take place on 24 October, “as she came from sea". Fair American’s owners now loaded her with a cargo of 550 barrels of flour. She was to sail to Havana, Cuba and discharge her cargo there, and then patrol to the east and northeast of Jamaica. She dropped down to Delaware Bay, where about twenty other vessels had collected, many with the same destination. On 31 December 1781 Fair American and seven other vessels sortied from Delaware Bay. Fair American was soon sighted and chased by HM Frigate Garland (Captain Charles Chamberlayne), 24 guns. Perhaps the cargo had slowed down the fast privateer, for Garland ran down and captured the Fair American on 2 January 1782.
Fair American was escorted in to New York, arriving with the Garland on 5 January. Her British captors crowed about her capture: she was “so remarkable for the depredations she has committed on the British trade these two years past and always escaping our cruizers by her swiftness of sailing . . .” She was tried in the New York Admiralty Court and condemned. Fair American was purchased by British and Loyalist investors and served as a successful British privateer until the war ended. An advertisement for her sale appeared in the New York newspaper on 23 April 1783, where she is described as 180 tons.
The Brig can carry either 6lb cannons or 18lb carronades.
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Being the first square rigged ship, she is the first ship which has excellent sailing quality when running with the wind. She is also quite maneuverable. However, due to her rigging, tacking is a lot slower than the previous fore and aft rigged ships.
Here is the Sailing Profile of the Brig. The Brig is a strong sailer downwind, but a truly sluggish one upwind. In many respects she resembles the later heavier square-rigged vessels, and for this reason represents a learning opportunity for fresh Captains to acquaint themselves with manual sailing and the behaviour of square-rigged vessels.
How to get Crafting recipe
The brig is a default crafting recipe which you get at level 8
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