Jeffrey M. Enright
AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL SURVEY OF A JEFFERSONIAN GUNBOAT.
(Under the direction of Professor Lawrence E. Babits) Department of History, May 1999.
The purpose of this thesis is to provide a brief history of the Jeffersonian gunboat program and examine the physical remains of one vessel. This thesis archaeologically documents one gunboat and provides historical background and previously unknown construction details. Most importantly, was the St. Leonard's Creek Vessel DI a Jeffersonian gunboat? This thesis addresses questions and hypotheses necessary to demonstrate identification of Vessel DI by eliminating all other possibilities leaving only a Jeffersonian gunboat. As this thesis identifies the vessel, it becomes entwined with the War of 1812 United States Navy Chesapeake Flotilla. The Flotilla served as the only Chesapeake Bay naval defense in 1814 against the British Royal Navy. The conclusions that not only was this vessel important to American sovereignty during the War of 1812 but it was also a vital component of a fledgling United States Navy.