The Schooner Hannah was the first armed American naval vessel of the American Revolution and is claimed to be the founding vessel of the United States Navy. She was owned by John Glover's in-laws of Marblehead, Massachusetts and was named for his wife, Hannah Glover. The crew was drawn largely from the town of Marblehead. The schooner was hired into the service of the American Continental Army by General George Washington. Washington commissioned Nicolson Broughton to command the Hannah on September 2, 1775 and ordered the vessel to cruise against the enemy. Hannah set sail from the harbor of Beverly, Massachusetts on September 5, 1775, but fled to the protection of the harbor of Gloucester, Massachusetts two days later under the pursuit of HMS Lively and a second British vessel. Leaving Gloucester Harbor, Hannah captured the British Sloop Unity.
Hannah's brief naval career ended on October 10, 1775, when she was run aground under the guns of a small American fort near Beverly by the British Sloop Nautilus. After an engagement between the British ship and townspeople on the shore, Hannah was saved from destruction and capture, but was soon decommissioned as General Washington found more suitable ships for his cruisers. The City of Beverly, Massachusetts and the Town of Marblehead, Massachusetts each claim to have been the home port of the schooner. Each asserted the honor of being "the Birthplace of the American Navy" from the career of the Hannah until a plaque, currently on display in the Selectmen's room at Abbot Hall in Marblehead, was discovered in the Philadelphia Navy Yard proclaiming Marblehead to be the birthplace; Beverly has since reinvented itself as "Washington's Naval Base."