In Chapter Three we left Joe walking up the ramp of the USS Constitution. When the Revolutionary war ended the new United States Congress, short on money, retired the Continental Navy. This action ended the careers of many sailors; including his. Refusing to give up sailing, he borrowed money and bought a used ship. This made him one of the youngest, if not the youngest Merchant Captain in the new United States of America. Life was good, he was doing what he enjoyed and, except for some close calls, he didn’t have to risk his life to do it.
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When Joe loses his ship, dreading the thought of working on the family farm, he searches for work. With too many sailors out of work and not enough jobs available, when Joe hears that Congress resurrected the Navy, he enlists in the new United States Navy. Receiving his previous rank of Lieutenant, Joe helps in defeating the Barbary Coast Pirates. While his ship is docked in Boston, Joe takes his swag (his share from the sale of captured enemy ships and cargo) with him to Lexington. There he plans to hide the money on his family’s farm. Along the way he outwits a group of highway robbers.
With a peace treaty signed and his enlistment up, Joe planned to retrieve his money and put a hefty down payment on another ship. Again, his plans are thwarted. The USA declared war on England; which became known as the War of 1812. Realizing this is not a good time to buy a ship, for the third time, Joe enlists in the Navy and almost loses his life while battling “The Devil Ship”.