1798 DRAPED BUST $5, SMALL 8 AU58
SMALL 8. VERY LUSTEROUS. ONLY FIVE GRADED HIGHER AT NGC.
1798 saw the sea battle of the USS Delaware and the French ship, La Croyable. This action was the first US victory in the Quasi-War and, in fact, the first ship ever captured by the newly-formed US Navy. The fight began when the Delaware heard reports of a French schooner ransacking an American merchant vessel nearby and set out in pursuit. The American sloop-of-war spotted the French ship on the horizon and successfully imitated a merchant ship to draw the enemy into a feigned chase. By the time the French ship discovered it was chasing a war ship, it attempted to change course and flee but was fired upon and quickly surrendered. This 1798 half eagle recalls this milestone in US naval operations.