Rigged Model, Massachusetts Privateer Rhodes

Rigged Model, Massachusetts Privateer Rhodes

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Although the Salem, Massachusetts privateer Rhodes was less than 98 feet long, it had a crew of 90. Privateers needed large crews not only to intimidate their prey and hopefully make them surrender quickly, but also to overpower their enemies if a battle occurred. After a fight, the winner also needed to put a “prize” crew aboard to sail the captured vessel into port, where the ship and contents could be inventoried and sold. The auction proceeds were then distributed among the owners, the ship officers and the crew.
The three-masted ship Rhodes was sharply built for speed and heavily armed, with 20 cannon. Despite these features, it was captured on a cruise in the West Indies by H.M.S. ship Prothé in February 1782. It was taken back to England, where its hull shape was drawn on paper to document how it might have obtained its speed. The Royal Navy then purchased it and renamed it H.M.S. Barbadoes.
Object Name
ship model
model, rigged
Other Terms
ship; Maritime
Date made
privateer captured
where the privateer was built
United States: Massachusetts, Salem
where the privateer was captured
West Indies
ship taken, purchased, and renamed
United Kingdom: England
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
textile (part: lines material)
metal (part: fittings material)
overall: 28 in x 38 in x 14 in; 71.12 cm x 96.52 cm x 35.56 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Revolution and the New Nation
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
On the Water exhibit
On the Water
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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I am guiding at the house, 374 Essex Street, Salem MA owned by Capt. Nehemiah Buffington , who built the Rhodes and ran it a Salem based privateer. I was researching the Rhodes and found your entry. Capt. Nehemiah BUFFINGTON House….ca.1785 HOUSE HISTORY:….This substantial Gambrel-roofed Georgian single family residence was built by Captain Nehemiah Buffington ca. 1785, and may have been an enlargement of an earlier house. Captain Buffington was a ship captain, whose Revolutionary Privateer, The Rhodes, captured a number of British prizes off Charleston, S.C. The house was purchased in 1832 by Benjamin Goodhue, who moved the house forward on the lot, and proceeded to make extensive Greek Revival alterations to the interior and exterior, adding a Greek Doric Portico. . Hope this helps.
who built this model of RHODES? Warren Butler of Salem, donated a model of RHODES to the Peabody Museum in Dec. 1962.....same model?

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