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When in 1781 the British power in America was confined to two centres, one at New York and the other in the Chesapeake, with the intervening country in the hands of the Americans, com munications between the British forces depended wholly on the sea. 7 De Grasse, who was in the West Indies, by means of a French frigate as a dispatch boat, perfected all plans with General Washington for a concerted attack on Yorktown. " 7 Mahan, Influence 8 Green, Short History of the English People, p. 748.

The capture of the Maria and the Dauphin, how complicated the situation because, in addition to the cost of a treaty, the prisoners would have to be ransomed on whatever terms the Dey of Algiers chose. ever, It was soon evident that he was in no hurry to conclude a treaty with America, for the prospect of preying on the shipping of a weak nation was highly attractive. The United States made three distinct efforts to treat with the Dey of Algiers and all were failures, the last being en trusted to John Paul Jones, who died before the orders reached him.

It is fair to state that the Drake, though nominally the equal of the Ranger, was almost as unprepared for battle as the ill-starred Chesapeake in her encounter with the Leopard. The Drake s crew were new, her officers were the captain, and a lieutenant who had come on board at the last moment as a volunteer she had no gunner, no cartridges had been filled, and no prepara tions had been made for handling the powder. only ; BlDDLE AND BARRY IN AMERICAN WATERS While Jones was thus winning honors in British waters, the ships at home could accomplish little against the tre mendous British Navy.

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