Construction on Schooner Diligence was completed in April 2016 by the staff and volunteers of the Museum's Workshop on the Water. The ship is a permanent fixture and unique experience located inside Independence Seaport Museum. Diligence is part of our Patriots and Pirates exhibit. We encourage kids and adults alike to climb aboard the ship for a fun adventure. 

About Schooner Diligence of 1797

Schooners like Diligence played a vital role in the development of the early Navy toward defending American merchant ships from attacks by Britain, France and the Barbary pirates. The original Diligence served in the West Indies Squadron under the first captain of rank, John Barry, who was commanding the Frigate United States during the Quasi War with France.

Diligence was designed and built by Joshua and Samuel Humphreys in Philadelphia in 1797 for the Revenue-Marine and immediately was transferred to Barry's squadron in the Navy's first mission to protect commerce in the Caribbean

The Quasi War (1798-1800) began when America betrayed its friendship with France by being friendly with Britain, France's archenemy. 


Joshua Humphreys was the United States Navy's first Master Constructor and managed the design and building of the first six frigates from Philadelphia.  Each frigate was built in a different state by a local builder from the same plan, with the frigate United States built by Humphreys at his own yard.  The frigate Constitution, built in Boston, is the only surviving frigate of the original six.