The Great Debate: Birthplace of the American Navy

The Great Debate: Birthplace of the American Navy

Are you Team Beverly or Team Marblehead? Where is the birthplace of the American Navy? Two local towns that have argued with each other for centuries over this question. Help us settle the Great Debate once and for all!

Come out and support your town as historians K. David Goss (Beverly) and Charlie Newhall (Marblehead) as they battle it out to decide the TRUE birthplace of the American Navy.

The debate will be moderated by David Olson former Editor-in-Chief of the Salem News.

Privateer Rum will be on hand to represent the winning side (in their opinion), and offer samples from their lineup.

Purchase Tickets

We will also have a limited number of commemorative buttons in support of Beverly or Marblehead (first come, first served)

Discounts available for members of Historic Beverly, Marblehead Museum, or Essex Heritage, please contact us for more information (

Debater Bios:

David Goss enjoys history and is an author of seven books on American colonial and maritime history and happens to teach history at Gordon College. A Massachusetts native—-he was not born at Beverly Hospital, however his wife and all his children were born there. Once upon a time he actually served as executive director of the Beverly Historical Society.

Charlie Newhall was not born in the Mary Alley Hospital nor was he in the U. S. Navy.  Neither was his Marblehead-raised father, who was in the Air Force.  He happens to be a United States History teacher at St. John’s Prep in Danvers and does know how to sail and has done so well East of downeast into the Canadian Maritimes where he claims to never have privateered.  However, he does know the response to “Down Bucket.”

This program is part of Essex County Revolution 250.
Essex County Revolution 250 is an initiative of Essex Heritage in partnership with Massachusetts Rev250 and dozens of regional museums, heritage sites, and organizations, with the intention of raising awareness and highlighting the diverse stories of Essex County, Massachusetts residents, free and unfree, during the American Revolutionary period. For more information visit

This event is generously sponsored by Privateer Rum:

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