About Commander Seth Harding
Added by Elwin. C. Nickerson About Commander Seth Harding- Harding was born at Eastham, Massachusetts. He went to sea early in his life and commanded several merchant ships during the French and Indian War.
At the beginning of the American Revolution, he offered his services to Connecticut and was commissioned commander of the state brig Defience. Harding captured many British ships while in command of this and two other vessels. In September 1778, Harding accepted a Continental Navy commission and took command of Confederacy. He cruised along the U.S. coast in company with Deane during 1779, taking three prizes and performing convoy duties.
He was ordered to take John Jay, newly appointed minister to Spain, to Europe in September 1779, but the ship was dismasted 10 days out. Harding, through skillful seamanship, sailed his ship to Martinique for repairs, his passengers continuing on another ship. Confederacy raided British merchantmen and guarded convoys until 18 April 1781, when she was forced to surrender to two British ships, Roebuck and Orpheus. Harding was subsequently exchanged, commanded the letter of marque Diana, but was captured again. After this release, the fighting captain volunteered to serve as First Lieutenant to John Barry in Alliance, and was wounded on board during the last engagement of the revolution, off the coast of France.
Harding spent his last years as a merchant sailor, and retired to Schoharie, New York, where he died.
Two ships in the United States Navy have been named USS Harding, in honor of Seth Harding. USS Harding (DD-91), was a Wickes-class destroyer in World War I USS Harding (DD-625), was a Gleaves-class destroyer converted to DMS-28.
From The Providence Gazette Nov 21, 1778 page 2: The New Continental Ship 'CONFEDERACY', Seth Harding Esq., commander, now lying at New London. Will be ready for sea in about six weeks. A number of able-bodied seaman and landsmen are wanted for the said ship. She is a very fine vessel and perhaps superior to any ever built in America, mounts 36 guns and will be completely fitted for the sea. Whoever inclines to enter on board, are desired to apply to the officers at New London. Providence Nov 19, 1778