Rebirth of the Schooner Royal Savage: Documenting and Interpreting Disarticulated Ship Remains from the American Revolutionary War
The 70-ton schooner Royal Savage played a pivotal role as the flagship of Benedict Arnold’s squadron in the American Continental Army’s defense of Lake Champlain during the first year of the American Revolution. Misfortune led to her sinking during the Battle of Valcour Island in 1776, and the wreck was left largely undisturbed in shallow waters for over a century and a half until, in 1935, her remains were rediscovered and salvaged for exhibit in a museum that never materialized. Instead, the hull was disassembled and passed undocumented through several owners before being returned to the U.S. Navy in 2015 for preservation, documentation, and exhibit. Currently a disarticulated assemblage of deteriorated timbers, traditional and digital (LiDAR, photogrammetry) recording methods are being used to document, interpret, and reconstruct Royal Savage to better understand the design and use of this early and rare U.S. naval vessel. This presentation provides a brief history of the sinking and recovery of the hull and over 3,000 associated artifacts, the misguided transfer of materials over the course of 80+ years, and an overview of the current documentation and interpretation efforts--which aims to breathe new life into an old collection.
Cite this Record
Rebirth of the Schooner Royal Savage: Documenting and Interpreting Disarticulated Ship Remains from the American Revolutionary War. George Schwarz, Benjamin Ford. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442994)
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Abstract Id(s): 22395