The Revolutionary War privateer Rattlesnake was designed in 1779-80 by John Peck, a Boston naval architect. The original Rattlesnake was built in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and in style resembled a miniature frigate, which had a separate quarter deck and forecastle. These features are rather unusual for a privateer. She carried up to 20 guns (probably six and nine pounders), and had a usual complement of 85 men.
The original Rattlesnake was commissioned by the Continental Congress of the fledgling United States and helped to win the Revolutionary War by bringing in over $1,000,000 in captured British ships. Privateer action in the North Florida area was intense as Georgia was held by the American Patriots and Florida was held by the British.