Continental Navy Ship


Formerly a British customs ship, Duc De Lauzun was purchased in October 1782 at Dover, England, and outfitted in Nantes, France.

Robert Morris, Agent of Marine, acquired Duc de Lauzun in October 1782 in payment for a debt.

Under the command of Lieutenant Samuel Nicholson, in January 1783 she was dispatched from Philadelphia, Pa., to bring home 72,000 Spanish milled dollars from Havana for the American Government. Clearing Havana 6 March escorted by the Continental ship {USS|Alliance|1778|2} under the command of Captain John Barry, she sailed for home with her precious cargo. On their passage north the two ships encountered two men-of-war whom they evaded after a sharp engagement, perhaps because of their superior seamanship. Duc de Lauzun separated from Alliance on 18 March off Cape Hatteras and arrived in the Delaware 3 days later.

In April 1783 the United States government lent her to France to carry home French troops. Before, she had one more mission: to carry Benjamin Franklin to France carrying the news of Cornwallis’s surrender.

The last French forces in America, (Lauzun’s Legion and the siege artillery) embarked at Wilmington (Delaware) on 11 May 1783 on the frigates Astrée, Danaé, Gloire, plus the transport Saint James and the Duc de Lauzun.


On 21 April 1783, Congress instructed Robert Morris to arrange for the sale of Duc De Lauzun when she arrived in France. She was sold there at the end of 1783.