Indien (1778), often L'Indien, was a frigate built for the U.S. Commissioners in France — Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee — to a design by the French naval architect Jacques Boux. She was laid down early in 1777 by a private shipyard in Amsterdam and launched in February 1778. Apparently she was built with the scantlings and lines of a small 74-gun Third Rate ship of the line but was a frigate in construction. In 1780 the Duke of Luxembourg chartered her to the navy of South Carolina and she sailed as South Carolina. Her armament consisted of 28 Swedish long 36-pounder guns on her main deck, and 12 long 12-pounders on her forecastle and her quarterdeck. Perhaps her greatest significance is that the marine architect Joshua Humphreys studied her sleek hull and used her lines in designing the United States Navy's first frigates, especially USS Constitution and USS Constellation.
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