Halifax was one of fourteen schooners built in America and purchased by the British Government between 1764 and 1775 to increase their naval force on the Eastern seaboard. Halifax was purchased in New England in 1768. She was an 83 ton schooner, slightly modified for naval use and entered service with 8 guns.
As the American Colonies slid into conflict with Great Britain, these schooners played an important role in the coastal operations and Halifax was very active in the vicinity of Boston in the early stages of the War of Independance (1775-1882). The schooners were used as a means of transport to land British troops in Boston in 1775. Halifax's notoriety rests upon her participation in the infamous and strategically unnecessary burning of the town of Falmouth (now Portland), Maine in October 1776. This episode, under Lieutenant Henry Mowatt, R.N., caused such suffering to the dispossessed citizens during the following winter that it aroused the whole coast against British rule and had a profound effect upon the outcome of the war in that part of America.