patriots & pirates

The United States Navy Started Right Here, in Philadelphia​

Did you know that the city of Philadelphia had a significant role in the founding of the United States Navy? 

Or how about the fact that sailors had to combat pirates while they were transporting goods across the high seas? No? Well, learn all about that and more in our exhibit Patriots & Pirates! Designed to tell the origin story of the United States Navy and the little-known conflict they had with the pirates that plagued them, this exhibit transports visitors back to the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Exhibit Highlights

As you tour the gallery, make sure to be on the lookout for rare artifacts explicitly displayed for the exhibit.  Examples include:

A rare letter written by American citizens held hostage in Algiers to the American Congress requesting their return home (December 29, 1793).

An octant used by Captain John Barry throughout his entire career.​

Tools from the excavation of I-95 discovered in Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood (1974).

visit the seaport museum

Immerse yourself in award-winning and interactive exhibits and climb aboard the oldest floating steel warship in the world on Cruiser Olympia and submerge yourself aboard the World War II-era Submarine Becuna.