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 John Barry, who was commanding the Frigate United States during the Quasi War with France. The Quasi War (1798-1800) began when America betrayed its friendship with France by being friendly with Britain, France's archenemy. Diligence was designed and built by Joshua and Samuel Humphreys in Philadelphia in 1797 for the Revenue-Marine and immediately was transferred to the Navy. 


Joshua Humphreys is regarded as a founder of the United States Navy and was its first Master Constructor. In addition to Diligence, he designed the Frigate Constitution as well as the Frigate United States, all built in his Philadelphia shipyard in the 1790's.