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Continental Navy Ship Alfred





Alfred

(1) Captain Dudley Saltonstall

Frigate

7 December 1775-8 September 1776

Continental Navy Ship

(2) [First Lieutenant Jonathan Pitcher]
[8 September 1776-22 October 1776]
(3) Captain John Paul Jones
22 October 1776-19/20 January 1777
(4) Captain Elisha Hinman
19/20 January 1777-9 March 1778


Commissioned/First Date:

3 December 1775/30 October 1775

Out of Service/Cause:

9 March 1778/captured by HM Frigate Ariadne and HM Sloop Ceres


Tonnage:

275-350


Battery:

Date Reported:

Number/Caliber  Weight          Broadside

20/9-pounders     180 pounds  90 pounds
10/6-pounders       60 pounds  30 pounds

Total: 30 cannon/240 pounds

Broadside: 15 cannon/120 pounds

Swivels:

Date Reported: 11 October 1777

Number/Caliber  Weight          Broadside

20/9-pounders     180 pounds  90 pounds

Total: 20 cannon/180 pounds

Broadside: 10 cannon/90 pounds

Swivels: [some on forecastle, cohorns in tops]

Date Reported: 4 December 1777

Number/Caliber  Weight          Broadside

20/9-pounders     180 pounds  90 pounds
 6/4-pounders       24 pounds  12 pounds

Total: 26 cannon/204 pounds

Broadside: 13 cannon/102 pounds

Swivels:

Date Reported: 9 March 1778

Number/Caliber  Weight          Broadside

20/9-pounders     180 pounds  90 pounds

Total: 20 cannon/180 pounds

Broadside: 10 cannon/90 pounds

Swivels:


Crew:

(1) 3 December 1775: 9 [total]
(2) 31 December 1775: 65 [total]
(3) 4 January 1776: 148 [total]
(4) 17 January 1776: 210 [total]
(5) 1 February 1776: 215 [total]
(6) 18 February 1776: 229 [total]
(7) 4 March 1776: 228 [total]
(8) 16 March 1776: 222 [total]
(9) 6 April 1776: 220 [total]
(10) 30 April 1776: 184 [total]
(11) 31 May 1776: 112 [total]
(12) 30 June 1776: 101 [total]
(13) 31 July 1776: 89 [total]
(14) 31 August 1776: 53 [total]
(15) 30 September 1776: 46 [total]
(16) 23 July 1777: 120 [total]
(17) 11 October 1777: 160 [total]
(18) 4 December 1777: 160 [total]
(19) 9 March 1778: 181 [total]


Description:

(1) Built in 1774 in Philadelphia, square sterned, yellow and black sides, white bottom with a broad brown band, figurehead of a man in armor drawing a sword, gun ports very low and near water line

(2) ninety-two feet long on her main deck, had a beam of about twenty-seven feet, and drew eighteen feet of water [modern]

(3) Was a former merchant ship of lofty build, with a figurehead much like the Raleigh’s (Raleigh’s figurehead was that of a “yankey Head with a feather in his Cap, a Sabre in his right Hand . . .”). Her yards were not square and she had two topgallant masts, long royal masts, with large studding sails. Her waist cloths were black with white borders at the top. She had a five and a half foot breastwork on the quarterdeck, which was going to be lowered in France. She sailed poorly, particularly on a wind. She had a top lantern and a poop lantern. Her colors consisted of thirteen stripes with a blue field with thirteen white stars. [11 October 1777]

(4) Square-sterned, without quarter galleries or badges. Her figurehead was painted yellow, with a large feather plume painted white on the helmet. She was painted plain black and yellow with a white bottom. She was very taunt, but not square-rigged. Her top armor and quarter cloths were blue with white stars, the same as the upper corner of her colors. She had no name on her stern. When her guns were housed and her ports lowered she scarcely resembled a warship. [4 December 1777]


Officers:

(1) First Lieutenant John Paul Jones, 7 December 1775-10 May 1776
(2) First Lieutenant Jonathan Pitcher, [10 May] 1776-[15 January] 1777
(3) First Lieutenant John Peck Rathbun, [25] October 1776-[31] December 1776
(4) First Lieutenant Peter Richards, [25 January] 1777-9 March 1778

(5) Second Lieutenant Benjamin Seabury, [7] December 1775-1 May 1776
(6) Second Lieutenant Jonathan Maltbie, 10 February 1776-[8] September 1776
(7) Second Lieutenant Robert Sanders, 20 August 1776-
(8) Second Lieutenant Peter Douville [Deville], -9 March 1778

(9) Third Lieutenant John Fanning, [7] December 1775-30 January 1776
(10) Third Lieutenant Peter Deville
(11) Acting Third Lieutenant George Lovie
(12) Third Lieutenant Charles Bulkey [Bulkley], -9 March 1778

(13) Master John Earle, 7 December 1775-7 August 1776
(14) Master Walter Spooner, 20 August 1776-
(15) Master Charles Bulkley, 20 August 1776-
(16) Master Zebulon Whippy
(17) Master Edward Revely, -9 March 1778

(18) First Mate George May, 11 December 1775-27 May 1776
(19) First Mate John Margeson
(20) Second Mate Thomas Vaughan, 29 November 1775-26 August 1776
(21) Second Mate James Bachope
(22) Third Mate Philip Alexander, 3 January 1776-7 August 1776

(23) Surgeon Joseph Harrison, 18 November 1775-
(24) Surgeon Henry Tillinghast, [20 October] 1776-
(25) Surgeon Amos Windship, -9 March 1778

(26) Captain of Marines Samuel Nicholas, 20 November 1775-[25 June] 1776
(27) Captain of Marines Edmund Arrowsmith, [20] October 1776-[20 January] 1777
(28) Captain of Marines John Welsh, [June] 1777-9 March 1778

(29) First Lieutenant of Marines Matthew Parke, 20 November 1775-26 May 1776
(30) First Lieutenant of Marines William Hamilton, [20] October 1776-9 March 1778
(31) Second Lieutenant of Marines John Fitzpatrick, 20 November 1775-6 April 1776
(32) Second Lieutenant of Marines Alexander Nelson, [11] October 1776-[20 January] 1777
(33) Second Lieutenant of Marines Nathaniel Richards, [20 January] 1777-9 March 1778

(34) Midshipman Peter Arnold, -9 March 1778
(35) Midshipman Joseph Hitchman, -9 March 1778


Cruises:

(1) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Liberty Island, Pennsylvania, 4 January 1776-4 January 1776, with Continental Navy Ship Columbus, Continental Navy Brig Andrew Doria, and Continental Navy Brig Cabot

(2) Liberty Island, Pennsylvania to Reedy Island, Pennsylvania, 17 January 1776-17 January 1776, with Continental Navy Ship Columbus, Continental Navy Brig Andrew Doria, Continental Navy Brig Cabot, Continental Navy Sloop Providence, and Continental Navy Schooner Fly

(3) Reedy Island, Pennsylvania to Whorekill Roads, Delaware, 11 February 1776-11 February 1776, with Continental Navy Ship Columbus, Continental Navy Brig Andrew Doria, Continental Navy Brig Cabot, Continental Navy Sloop Providence, and Continental Navy Schooner Fly

(4) Whorekill Roads, Delaware to Hole-in-the-Wall, Grand Abaco Island, Bahama Islands, British West Indies, 17 February 1776-1 March 1776, with Continental Navy Ship Columbus, Continental Navy Brig Andrew Doria, Continental Navy Brig Cabot, Continental Navy Sloop Providence, Continental Navy Schooner Fly, Continemtal Navy Sloop Hornet, and Continental Navy Schooner Wasp

(5) Hole-in-the-Wall, Grand Abaco, Bahamas to New Providence, New Providence Island, Bahamas, 2 March 1776-3 March 1776, with Continental Navy Ship Columbus, Continental Navy Brig Andrew Doria, Continental Navy Brig Cabot, Continental Navy Sloop Providence, and Continental Navy Schooner Wasp

(6) New Providence, Bahamas to New London, Connecticut, 17 March 1776-8 April 1776, with Continental Navy Ship Columbus, Continental Navy Brig Andrew Doria, Continental Navy Brig Cabot, Continental Navy Sloop Providence, and Continental Navy Schooner Fly, Continental Navy Sloop Hornet, and Continental Navy Sloop Transport Endeavour

(7) New London, Connecticut to sea and return, 19 April 1776, with Continental Navy Ship Columbus, Continental Navy Brig Andrew Doria, Continental Navy Sloop Providence, Continental Navy Schooner Fly, Connecticut Navy Brig Defence, and Connecticut Navy Schooner Spy

(8) New London, Connecticut to Providence, Rhode Island, 25 April 1776-26 April 1776, with Continental Navy Ship Columbus, Continental Navy Sloop Providence, Continental Navy Schooner Fly, and Connecticut Navy Brig Defence

(9) Newport, Rhode Island to sea and return, 27 October 1776, with Continental Navy Brig Hampden

(10) Newport, Rhode Island to Tarpaulin Cove, Massachusetts, 1 November 1776, with Continental Navy Sloop Providence

(11) Tarpaulin Cove, Massachusetts to Boston, Massachusetts, 2 November 1776-16 December 1776, with Continental Navy Sloop Providence

(12) Boston, Massachusetts to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, [25] July 1777-[1] August 1777

(13) Portsmouth, New Hampshire to L’Orient, France, 22 August 1777-6 October 1777, with Continental Navy Ship Raleigh

(14) L’Orient, France to Senegal River, British West Africa, 29 December 1777-[15 January] 1778, with Continental Navy Ship Raleigh

(15) Senegal River, British West Africa to sea, [1 February] 1778-9 March 1778, with Continental Navy Ship Raleigh


Prizes:

(1) Sloop [unknown], 1 March 1776, with Continental Navy Ship Columbus, Continental Navy Brig Andrew Doria, Continental Navy Brig Cabot, Continental Navy Sloop Providence, and Continental Navy Schooner Wasp

(2) Sloop [unknown], 1 March 1776, with Continental Navy Ship Columbus, Continental Navy Brig Andrew Doria, Continental Navy Brig Cabot, Continental Navy Sloop Providence, and Continental Navy Schooner Wasp

(3) HM Schooner Tender Hawke (Lieutenant John [James] Wallace), 4 April 1776

(4) HM Brig Bolton (Lieutenant Edward Sneyd), 4 April 1776

(5) Brigantine Active (Isaac Fox), 11 November 1776, with Continental Navy Sloop Providence

(6) British Transport Ship Mellish (Joseph Stevenson), 12 November 1776, with Continental Navy Sloop Providence

(7) Snow Hetty [Kitty] (Charles Ross), 15 November 1776, with Continental Navy Sloop Providence

(8) British Transport Brig [unknown], 22 November 1776

(9) Schooner [unknown], 22 November 1776

(10) British Transport Ship Betty [Betsey] (James Sutton), 24 November 1776

(11) British Transport Ship Molly [Polly] (James Lash [Lush, Lusk]), 24 November 1776

(12) British Transport Ship Surprize, 24 November 1776

(13) Ship John (Edward Watkins) 25 November 1776

(14) Schooner [unknown] (Athens), 25 August 1777, with Continental Navy Ship Raleigh

(15) Brig [Snow] Nancy [Nanny] (Anthony Hooper), 2 September 1777, with Continental Navy Ship Raleigh

(16) Brigantine [Brig] Sally (Edward Marshall), 28 September 1777, at 49°35'N, 13°13'W, with Continental Navy Ship Raleigh

(17) Ship Jamaica [Jamaican] (David Watt [Watts]), 30 September 1777, at 49°13'N, 10°56'W, with Continental Navy Ship Raleigh

(17) Ship Anna Susannah [Ann Susannah, Anna and Susannah] (John Taylor [Johnson]), 30 September 1777, at 49°13'N, 10°56'W, with Continental Navy Ship Raleigh

(18) Brig Eagle (J. Morgan), 30 December 1777, near the French coast, with Continental Navy Ship Raleigh

(19) Sloop [unknown], [20 January] 1778, with Continental Navy Ship Raleigh


Actions:

(1) Battle off Block Island, 6 April 1776
(2) Action of 9 December 1776
(3) Convoy Action of 4-8 September 1777, with Continental Navy Ship Raleigh
(4) Action of 9 March 1778, with Continental Navy Ship Raleigh


Comments:


-I-


On 30 October 1775, in response to a growing need for a naval force, the Continental Congress authorized the creation of a Continental Navy. A Naval Committee of seven members was set up to organize and administer the Navy. The fourth vessel authorized that day was one to mount “not exceeding 36 guns.” This was the vessel that subsequently became the Continental Navy Ship Alfred.1


The vessel that was to become the Alfred had been obtained by 4 November 1775. She was the trans-oceanic merchant ship Black Prince, a large (2802 to 300-ton)3 square-sterned vessel built in Philadelphia, and launched about September 1774.4 Black Prince measured “some ninety-two feet long on her main deck, had a breadth of about twenty-seven feet, and drew eighteen feet of water.”5 Black Prince was owned by a group of Philadelphia merchants including John Nixon, Thomas Willing (a member of Congress), Robert Morris (a member of Congress), Thomas Morris, and John Wharton.6 Black Prince had sailed for England on 28 December 1774 under master John Barry,7 arriving at Bristol on 31 January 1775.8 She sailed for Philadelphia on 14 March 1775 and anchored off that city on 25 April 1775.9 She sailed for London on 10 May 1775, made Falmouth on 17 June 1774, and proceeded to London, arriving 27 June.10 She sailed again on 10 August 1774,11 and arrived in early October 1775 at Philadelphia.12 Among the cargo that the Black Prince brought from England were late newspapers and private letters which contained information which eventually helped lead to the formation of the Continental Navy.13


Conversion of the Black Prince to a warship began on 4 November under the supervision of Joshua Humphreys14 as she lay alongside the Willing & Morris Wharf at Philadelphia.  John Barry, her former master, was employed to supervise her re-rigging and Nathaniel Falconer, another Philadelphia sea captain, her provisioning and arming.15 Black Prince was renamed Alfred on 8 November, after the “founder of the greatest navy that ever existed.”16


Another young former merchant skipper, John Paul Jones, also assisted in her conversion. All told over six hundred hours of work by carpenters, joiners, sawyers, caulkers and laborers was put in on the Alfred. Her keel and sides were strengthened with three thousand feet of planking, fifty-four pounds of oakum and eight barrels of tar.17


The only known authentic portrait of Esek Hopkins, second from the left. Detail from Sea Captains Carousing in Surinam by John Greenwood (1727-1792).

While the work on the Alfred had just begun the Naval Committee selected the senior officer of the new navy. On 5 November Esek Hopkins of Rhode Island (brother of Stephen Hopkins)18 was chosen as commodore of the nascent fleet. Esek Hopkins was born in 1718 on a farm near Providence (now the site of Scituate, Rhode Island) and reared there. He went to sea in 1738 and retired to the farm in 1772. A prominent man in Rhode Island affairs, with thirty tears’ experience in the merchant service, and some naval experience (he had commanded a privateer in the Seven Years’ War), his patriotic credentials were well established. In his prime he had been a tall, strong man, energetic, aggressive and dominant.19 Hopkins took an active part in Rhode Island politics and had been elected to the General Assembly several times.20 At age 57 he had slowed down considerably. Like brother Stephen, Esek was a noted drinker, the only known authentic portrait of him being set in a tavern in Surinam with other carousing sea captains. When the war began, he was in the Rhode Island militia, being appointed a Brigadier General on 4 October 1775.21 Hopkins had served against Captain George Wallace’s small British squadron in the complex affairs at Newport and was one of the men on John Adams’ short list of potential naval commanders.22 Hopkins was informed of his appointment (“. . . they have pitched upon you to take the Command of a small fleet”) the next day, in a letter from his brother, who urged him to accept the appointment. Hopkins was free to enlist officers and men, who would enter pay from their first enlistment.23


On 27 November,24 at the solicitation of Silas Deane,25 the Naval Committee offered the post of senior captain to Deane’s brother-in-law, Dudley Saltonstall of New London, Connecticut. Saltonstall was born in 1738 in New London, the descendent of an old Massachusetts family. He entered the merchant service and commanded privateers in the Seven Years’ War. Saltonstall was a captain in the merchant service before the war started. He took charge of the fort at New London when the war began.26 He had sandy hair, a light complexion, hazel eyes and was thick set, being 5'9" tall; a big man in other words.27 He was popular in Connecticut, it was said, but was much less popular in the Continental Navy.


Captain of Marines Samuel Nicholas

The Naval Committee had anticipated final approval of a Marine corps by issuing the first commission in the Continental Marines to a well-known local citizen, Samuel Nicholas. Nicholas was born in Philadelphia in 1744, the only son of Anthony and Mary Shute. His father was a blacksmith. Nicholas was raised in the Philadelphia area and attended school at the Academy of Philadelphia from 1752-1759. His father died in 1751. Nicholas joined the exclusive Schuykill Fishing Company in 1760 and made the acquaintance of numerous local gentry. In 1766 he joined the Gloucester Fox Hunting Club, a similar institution. He was reputed to be an innkeeper and had sailed as a supercargo for Robert Morris before the war.28


Nicholas was joined in early December by Lieutenants John Fitzpatrick and Matthew Parke.29 Fitzpatrick was another Philadelphian, possibly a laborer or tanner before the war. It is probable that he was a friend of Nicholas.30 Matthew Parke was born in Ipswich, England in 1746. His grandfather was a British army colonel, former aide to the Duke of Marlborough, and served as Governor of the Windward Islands. When the grandfather left the islands he traveled to Virginia, taking his grandson with him. When the grandfather moved to England he left Matthew behind. Parke moved to Philadelphia where he was commissioned on 28 November.31 Technically he was a Virginian, and may have owed his appointment to Southern pressure, as did John Paul Jones. The two may have known each other in Virginia.


Captain of Marines Samuel Nicholas's commission, dated 28 November 1775. Note that this is a naval commission without the name of a vessel inserted.



Esek Hopkins arrived in Philadelphia around the end of November 1775, accompanied by his youngest son, Esek Hopkins, Jr., and a young friend, Rufus Jenckes. While the boys were inoculated for smallpox and roamed the streets of Philadelphia, seeing the sights, the elder Hopkins looked over his command and conferred with the Naval Committee. It was by no means certain that he would accept the command of the fleet, for he still thought the prize shares too low.32 But the Committee prevailed and his acceptance gave “universal Satisfaction.”33


On 3 December Hopkins boarded the Alfred where he met his future senior First Lieutenant, John Paul Jones. In a small ceremony, Jones raised the Grand Union flag with his own hands, more or less putting the fleet in commission.34


Alfred fitting out at the wharves in Philadelphia. A Nowland Van Powell painting of the flag raising on 3 December 1775.



Detail from the Nowland Van Powell painting showing the raising of the Grand Union flag. Note the Rattlesnake Flag on the foremast (as the Commodore's Flag) and the commissioning pennant on the mainmast.


Silouette of John Paul Jones. January 1776.
John Paul Jones was born in 1747 in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland, the son of a gardener. At age 12 he was apprenticed to a shipowner of Whitehaven and made a voyage to Virginia. He stayed there for a time with his brother William, a successful tailor at Fredricksburg. When he returned to Whitehaven, Jones found his employer had gone bankrupt and he was released from his apprenticeship. He signed on a slaver as third mate, on the Guinea to Jamaica route. At age 19 he signed on another slaver as first mate, but quit soon after, disgusted with the business. He was offered passage home in the sloop John. En route the master and mate died and Jones brought her in safely, being rewarded with her command. He sailed her and a larger craft in the West Indies trade for several years, but was plagued by two unsavory incidents, the last of which resulted in the death of a mutineer at Tobago. Jones fled to America in 1774 and showed up at Philadelphia in the fall of 1775, where he may have helped in Alfred’s conversion. He was appointed the senior First Lieutenant in the fleet for one reason only: he was friendly with Joseph Hewes, who absolutely insisted on a Southern lieutenancy. Jones was available, although technically a Virginian.35


On 7 December Saltonstall “cheerfully” accepted the command offered by the Naval Committee. He notified the Committee he would be somewhat delayed in reporting to Philadelphia, as he planned to recruit sailors before leaving. To do so he needed the articles of enlistment, which had not yet arrived.36 It is obvious that Saltonstall was also under the impression he was to appoint his own officers.37


 “Brother Dudley” was becoming a “much disappointed” man. He had found a fair number of men willing to enlist in the Navy, but had still not received the recruiting papers, and the men would not sign on without knowing the terms. On 14 December Saltonstall turned the recruiting over to officers he had appointed38 and set out for Philadelphia39 on 17 December.40 At New London, Nathaniel Shaw, Jr., and Thomas Mumford were fitting out vessels (one of which was the sloop Lizard) to take Saltonstall’s recruits to Philadelphia. Mumford was in hopes of recruiting many of the soldiers who were just returning from Washington’s army, their time having expired there. Captain Elisha Hinman, a merchant skipper, was expected to arrive any day, and it was thought he would gladly sign on as Saltonstall’s first lieutenant.41


The Naval Committee was also looking for recruits in Philadelphia. On 18 December the Committee cast a covetous eye on one source of sailors: the Pennsylvania Navy. The Committee decided to request permission to enlist men from the Pennsylvania fleet, as many as would be permitted and wished to enlist.42 Stephen Hopkins called on the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety, with this request, the next day.43 The type of recruit that the Continental Navy was likely to get from this sort of request was demonstrated on 19 December. One William Green, a seaman in the Pennsylvania Navy, had been placed in jail for breaking regulations. After five weeks in “Gaol” he petitioned the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety for release, so that he could enter the Continental Navy.44 The Committee of Safety accepted this request with alacrity.45


The recruiting for the Continental Marines, in contrast to that for the Navy, was going pretty well in Philadelphia. By 19 December First Lieutenant Isaac Craig had signed up thirty-four men in his company, and had discharged one man. These men were chiefly immigrants and a great many were Irish. Craig signed up eleven more by 22 December.46


Congress was also asking Pennsylvania for help in fitting out the Navy. On 19 December that body requested the loan of four tons of gunpowder and four hundred stand of small arms from Pennsylvania, promising to use “their whole influence and authority” to repay these items by 1 February 1776. A more significant item passed in Congress that day involved a change in the prize rules. Vessels carrying cargo for the British Army and Navy had been liable to seizure, with the vessels to be released and only the cargo condemned. By resolution, and in response to letters from Washington, Congress now allowed the vessels to be condemned in addition to the cargo.47


Stephen Hopkins called on the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety with the requests for assistance from the Naval Committee and Congress. Pennsylvania agreed to give all the powder available, except the “Battle” powder, and as many small arms as possible. Further, the Naval Committee could enlist one hundred sailors from the Pennsylvania fleet, and the men were to be gathered in barracks, partly to facilitate this recruiting.48 The Naval Committee then found itself in the position of asking that the fleet surgeon, Dr, Joseph Harrison of Alfred, be furnished with thirty-six pounds of saltpeter by Pennsylvania. To sweeten this request it was coupled with a generous thank you for past loans.49


Congress took up naval matters again on 22 December, when the Naval Committee presented a list of officers it had appointed. Congress accepted the list and ordered the officers commissioned, with those under the rank of Third Lieutenant to be warrant officers. These men were to take seniority as listed. The pay of the Commander-in-Chief was fixed at $125 per month,50 after some fractious debate, many thinking the figure was too high. Hopkins had offered to serve without pay. When the question of paying for the Commodore’s table rations came up, it was at once voted down.51 Congress also ordered the Naval Committee to devise how the prize shares assigned to the fleet were to be divided and instructed them to draw up sailing orders for the Commodore.52


On 22 December the officers received their official commissions from Congress: Esek Hopkins as Commander-in-Chief, Saltonstall as Captain and Jones as First Lieutenant. Second Lieutenant on the Alfred was Benjamin Seabury and Third Lieutenant was John Fanning.


Sam Adams closed a letter to cousin John on 22 December with these words: “Our Fleet . . . will be ready to put to Sea in two or three days, and it is left to the Board of Admiralty [either the Naval Committee or the Marine Committee] to order its Destination—May Heaven succeed in the Undertaking—Hopkins . . . I dare promise . . . will on all Occasions distinguish his Bravery . . . and do honor to the American Flag.”53 Cousin Sam had the right sentiments but was a little in advance of the facts. The fleet stayed tied up at the wharves for nearly two more weeks.


One of the problems was manpower. Sailors were indeed raising slow in Philadelphia. A close examination of the Alfred’s muster roll, which shows where each man was shipped, indicates that, counting officers and the men from Rhode Island, there were fifty-three men aboard on 22 December. This includes the Commodore, his secretary, and such other types. Twenty-five of these men were from Philadelphia and twenty more had been recruited out of the Pennsylvania Navy, eight being the Rhode Islanders from the Katy or the Hopkins family. However, the scarcity may have been due to the excellence of the Marine recruiting effort: counting officers, there were sixty signed up by 22 December, all enlisted at Philadelphia.54 A similar examination of the muster roll of the Columbus is less instructive, for the origin of the sailors is not listed. However there were sixty-one Marines signed up for the Columbus by the 22nd.55


Although it had not occurred yet, Hopkins was considering the problem of desertion, along with the Naval Committee. The latter requested permission (on 23 December) from the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety (through Gadsden) to allow the Continental officers to search outward bound shipping for deserters. The Committee of Safety agreed “chearfully,” but recommended a “Discreet Exercise of this Power” and the use of an officer with “prudence.”56


John Langdon returned to Philadelphia from a mission to Canada at some time before 23 December, thus making the Naval Committee six members again,57 and another notable arrived. Dudley Saltonstall finally saw his command, and took up rooms with brother-in-law Silas Deane. Silas was explaining to his wife that he would not be home soon, for the fleet was “stopped up by the ice.”58 The weather that winter was very severe and accounts from all over mention the cold and ice.


The only thing really hindering the fleet from sailing, or at least dropping down the river, was the weather. There was ice in the river. One correspondent reported that two or three of the fleet were to have sailed on 24 December, but the “plenty of ice” stopped that movement.59 On Saturday there had been a storm and on Sunday, the day the vessels were to sail, four inches of snow had fallen, mixed with hail.60 Large amounts of drift ice formed in the Delaware River, stopping all traffic.61 Even so, the Alfred made a “formidable appearance,” and the Columbus was a “noble Ship.”62 But it was not the day to be moving large ships with green and tender crews.


The Marines were still recruiting in Philadelphia, going through the immigrant quarters and raising men there. A drummer would parade, beating his Marine drum, with the rattlesnake emblem and the words “Don’t Tread On Me.” The recruiting officers gathered at a convenient tavern or inn. Rounds of beer, ale and grog, promises of advance pay, warm clothing, and full bellies, and that ever elusive pot of gold, a share of the prizes, helped to fill up the muster rolls.63 Near the end of the year the various Marine officers and their companies were assigned to the vessels.


Assigned to the Alfred were Captain Nicholas, First Lieutenant Parke, Second Lieutenant John Fitzpatrick, and Nicholas’ company of Marines.64


About the first of January 1776 the weather turned warmer and a thaw set in,65 and Hopkins expected and hoped he could get his fleet away; or at least down to Reedy Island. The Committee of Safety was requested to allow three pilots to be used for that purpose. More embarrassing, the Committee was requested to loan sailors from the Pennsylvania Navy, so the fleet could move. The Committee of Safety agreed to both requests. The Naval Committee was to arrange return of the men.66


By 4 January 1776 the day finally came. The Naval Committee had ordered all sailors and Marines to report to the vessels of the fleet to “avoid being deemed deserters.”67 As the men gathered from town and boarded the two brigs and two ships, the Naval Committee passed a resolution that all officers and men who did their duty, but were taken prisoner, would have their pay continued until released.68 At 1400 First Lieutenant James Josiah opened the journal of the Andrew Doria: “ . . . Cast off from the Warf In Company with the Commodore Ship Alfred, Columbus & Cabot, Light airs from the Westward & much Ice in the River . . . “69 The fleet did not go far, just out to Liberty Island, where they tied up at the piers about 1800.70 Meanwhile there was constant boat traffic between the Willing & Morris Wharf and the fleet as straggling sailors reported aboard.71


Alfred anchored in the Delaware River off Philadelphia. Painting by Harry W. Carpenter in 1937.


By now the British intelligence service had extremely accurate information regarding this fleet, and had developed a speed previously lacking. As Lieutenant Josiah was looking over his journal entries, Captain Hyde Parker, Jr., commanding HM Frigate Phoenix, began a report with these words: “This day about one  o’clock sailed the Ship Alfred and the Ship Columbus . . . “72 Parker then passed along a detailed report on the fleet, with the battery and crew strength, descriptions, and tactical information. Hopkins planned, according to Parker, to exchange a few shots and then get close aboard, so that his green crews could board. Parker did not certainly know the fleet’s destination, but thought it was to Europe or Virginia. Soon after the fleet tied up at Liberty Island, Parker knew, and added it as a footnote to this letter.73 There have hardly ever been more timely intelligence reports than this one.


From the intelligence reports we can get a good picture of these vessels. Alfred had yellow and black sides,74 and a white bottom, with the figurehead of a man drawing a sword.75 She carried her battery on two decks, mounting twenty 9-pounders on the lower deck and ten 6-pounders on the upper deck. The important note was added that Alfred’s lower deck gun ports were only eighteen inches above the water.76 Fighting her lower battery would be difficult in a heavy sea. She was reported to have 140 sailors and sixty Marines aboard.77Parker also provided the information that the American colors were like the English, “but more Striped.”78


With the movement of the fleet out to Liberty Island, the subject of what to do with the fleet was being discussed in the Naval Committee. That body was in the process of producing standing and sailing orders for Hopkins. It was generally supposed that the fleet would strike at Lord Dunmore in Chesapeake Bay. On New Year’s Day, Dunmore had bombarded and burned the town of Norfolk, Virginia, and the rage of the southern delegates in Congress against the Royal Governor can be readily understood. The British intelligence services usually reported that the fleet’s target was Virginia.


The succession of intelligence reports from James Brattle to Governor Tryon details this knowledge. Dunmore and the fleet are mentioned in the same letter on 12 December,79 and Captain Parker’s letter of 18 December implies that he knew the destination of the fleet.80 In fact, on 25 December, Admiral Graves had ordered HM Frigate Roebuck (Captain Andrew Snape Hamond), a forty-four, to Virginia from Halifax,81 although it would be some time before she arrived there.


So general was the knowledge of the fleet’s destination that it was common table talk in the Continental Army encampment around Boston by 12 December. A succession of letters from the camp notified the Naval Committee and Congress of the danger. On Christmas Day Washington wrote Colonel Joseph Reed that the destination was so generally known that the purpose of the fleet’s going there was in doubt. It was thought, correctly, by Washington that reinforcements had been sent to Virginia.82 On 26 December, in a letter to Richard Henry Lee, a member of the Naval Committee, Washington said that he had heard the destination of the fleet mentioned in “common conversation” a “fortnight” ago.83 A similar warning was repeated on 4 January 1776.84 From New York, on 24 December, Colonel Alexander McDougall gave his opinion that the fleet would be “ruffly handled” if it went to Virginia.85


On 5 January 1776 the Naval Committee communicated two sets of orders to Hopkins, one more or less public, and one secret. In the public orders Hopkins was enjoined to insure good discipline and order in the fleet, make proper returns of stores and men on a timely basis, and to inform Congress, the appropriate Committee, and the “Commander in chief of the Continental forces in America,” of his movements and actions. He was empowered to fit out, officer, and man such vessels as he took prize which might be made into warships, transmitting such information to Congress so the officer appointments could be confirmed, or the officers replaced. He was to look out for the health of the sailors, fix signals for the vessels, keep arms in good condition, and take care of his prisoners, handing them over to the care of local committees if necessary. He was to appoint a place of fleet rendezvous for those units that became separated.86


The second set of orders was more specific: “As a part, and a most important part of defense, the Continental Congress have judged it necessary to fit out several Armed Vessels . . . under your Command . . . that . . . our unnatural Enemies may meet with all possible distress on the Sea—For that purpose you are instructed with the utmost diligence to proceed with the said Fleet to Sea . . . directly for Chesapeake Bay in Virginia.” Hopkins was to send forward a swift vessel for intelligence when near the Virginia Capes, and if the force of the enemy was not “greatly” superior, he was to “Enter the said bay, search out and attack, take or destroy all the Naval Force of our Enemies.” If he completed this mission “successfully,” he was to move to the Carolinas and do the same, and then proceed to Rhode Island for similar operations. However, “if Bad Winds, or Stormy Weather, or any other unforseen accident or disaster disable you to do so You are then to follow such Courses as your best Judgment shall Suggest.” Hopkins was again empowered to fit out vessels, calling on various local committees to assist, and was authorized to draw on the Treasury for money for the fleet.87


This order demonstrates that the original plan of using a concentrated force to attack isolated detachments of the Royal Navy was still holding forth in the Naval Committee. It was a reasonably good idea, except that everybody knew the fleet was going to Virginia, and the British were reinforcing that station. It was not an urgent problem at the moment, for the ice had closed in around the fleet again, locking it to the piers at Liberty Island.


About the same time that Hopkins issued these orders the Naval Committee notified the Virginia Convention that he was coming, opening the letter with these words: “The Congress attentive to the safety and security of every part of the united Colonies . . . “ This was a definite statement to the southerners that they were going to get what they had voted for. The Naval Committee then suggested ways in which Virginia could cooperate. A coast watcher was to be stationed at Cape Henry to pass along the latest intelligence, and two hundred riflemen kept ready to board the fleet upon arrival, and at once, for speed and surprise were essential once the fleet arrived. The Naval Committee hoped the “apprehension” of the enemy was not “awakened.” Surely, even the Naval Committee knew by now that word had leaked out of its plans.88


No sooner had the fleet gotten into the river and frozen into the ice than the problem of desertion began to appear. The first newspaper advertisement for a deserter was for Continental Marine Peter M’Tegart, who ran away from brig Cabot. A reward of $2 was offered for his capture (9 January).89 M’Tegart was the first of many.


The weather improved a bit about 10 January and the Commodore planned to bring the fleet down river to Reedy Island, and pass through the fortifications there. Robert Morris noted however, that the naval reinforcements recently received by Lord Dunmore meant that “we dare not look at him by Sea.” The destination of the fleet was being kept secret by the Naval Committee, at least in theory.90 Christopher Gadsden hoped that the fleet would soon be calling at South Carolina, and sent Hopkins a list of the officers of the South Carolina regiments.91 But the ice closed in again, freezing the river completely over, and bringing out the ice skaters from the city.92


Sometime after 15 January Christopher Gadsden took passage home in a schooner of the South Carolina Navy that had been sent to Philadelphia. Before he left, Gadsden requested Hopkins to fix a signal to show off Charleston, so that the Carolinians would know a friend was off the bar. Hopkins devised the signal: a striped flag halfway up the flying stay.93 With Gadsden’s departure (Langdon had left again) the Naval Committee was reduced to four men. Meanwhile, on 14 January, a shipload of recruits from Rhode Island had joined the fleet.


It will be recalled that Stephen Hopkins had set in motion the recruiting of sailors by a letter to the Brown brothers, sent by the sloop Fly. Fly arrived at Providence on 21 December with Hopkins’ letter and the Browns set to work at once. The Fly sailed about 5 January and arrived at Philadelphia about 14 January with the recruits, which “highly pleased” the Naval Committee and gave “fresh Spirits to the whole Fleet.” The next day the Fly took her forty sailors down to the fleet at Reedy Island.94 Hopkins was so pleased with this sloop that he asked the Naval Committee to take her into Continental service as a tender. Congress so ordered on the 16th.95 The next day her civilian master, Munroe, was drawing a few items of chandlery.96


On 18 January the schooner Unity (Phineas Potter) sailed from Providence with about forty more recruits for the fleet, and a small cargo of whale oil and candles.97


No sooner had Fly been taken into service than she joined the fleet at Liberty Island, still under her civilian master, Munroe. She began fitting out there, drawing more chandlery.98 Her commander was left to Hopkins, and he offered it to John Paul Jones, who declined, thinking she was too small to have any future. Finally, First Lieutenant Hoysted Hacker of the Cabot was assigned to command the Fly, on 20 January 1776.99 Apparently most of her crew were sailors enlisted in Rhode Island who sailed down to Philadelphia in the sloop. Her master was Robert Robinson, who enlisted on 3 January.100 Third Lieutenant John Fanning was transferred to the Fly from the Alfred on 30 January.101


More good news was coming on the breeze for the weather was warming up. Warm enough for the fleet (now including sloops Providence and Fly) to drop down the river. The fleet cast off at 0900 on 17 January, with a fresh wind from the northwest, and ran down through chunks of ice to Reedy Island. Here the river was still closed by ice. The fleet tied up at the piers at Reedy Island. Hopkins promptly put his crews to wooding and watering the vessels.102


And here began a very bad time for the fleet. The desertion rate absolutely soared while the fleet was at Reedy Island. A contest developed between the lieutenants, forced to stand anchor watch; the crews, trying to escape the vessels; and the weather, which closed in again around lieutenants and crews alike. Now Jack Tar was used to bad weather, but the one thing which would tempt any man to desert was sickness aboard ship; and there was sickness in this fleet.


One of the first to be ill was Captain Whipple, who was being solicited after even before the fleet dropped down river.103 There is the possibly revealing notice in Alfred’s muster roll that two Marines were “left” at Philadelphia—they may have been ill. Another is listed as “dead” without a date being given. One Marine deserted on 29 January, one on 8 February, and a breath-taking twenty-two are simply listed as “Run at Reedy Island.” The fleet remained at Reedy Island until 11 February, which meant that a man a day was leaving the  Alfred.104


The day after the fleet dropped down to Reedy Island the Naval Committee passed along the latest intelligence to Commodore Hopkins, noting there was no late information from Virginia, “except what you are well acquainted with.” The Committee added “Should it be your fate to go Southward as far as Savanna,” then Hopkins might capture three Royal Governors, as Martin, Campbell and Wright (North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, respectively) were reported to have collected there. There were no orders as such in this letter, which was signed by only three members of the Committee.105 Although the Naval Committee had largely completed its business, except for paying the bills and presenting its accounts to Congress, it was left in charge of the fleet by a resolution of Congress on 26 January.106


While the fleet lay at Reedy Island any remaining stores had to be carted down to it from Philadelphia. Powder was delivered in this way before 23 January.107 Fly was with the fleet but was not completely fitted out. On 27 January Hopkins requested the Naval Committee to send the most essential of her supplies down by cart, for the river was still full of ice. Hopkins wanted her ready to sail if the fleet moved.108 Three cartloads came down on the 30th, including swivel guns for the Fly.109


About 10 February Hopkins received some cheering news. A party of recruits for the Navy had arrived on the New Jersey shore of Delaware Bay. These men were from Connecticut. When Saltonstall left for Philadelphia he turned over the recruiting of sailors to his brother, Gurdon Saltonstall. Gurdon was assisted by Thomas Mumford and Nathaniel Shaw, Jr. of New London, who began fitting out vessels to carry the prospective recruits to the fleet. Mumford felt that there were good prospects for recruiting, for the Connecticut troops in the Continental Army were returning home (their time having expired on 8 December).110


The recruiting agents were also awaiting the return of Captain Elisha Hinman. He had been selected as First Lieutenant under Saltonstall.111 Hinman had sailed for the French West Indies in July 1775, commanding a vessel of Nathaniel Shaw’s, to obtain a cargo of gunpowder. He was expected to return any day.112 About 24 December Hinman arrived at Bedford, Massachusetts from Cap Francois, Santo Domingo, with two tons of that precious commodity.113 Hinman gladly accepted the proffered lieutenancy under Saltonstall. Gurdon Saltonstall was busily recruiting by 23 December.114 Meanwhile Deane had applied to the Connecticut authorities for use of the Connecticut Navy Schooner Spy to bring the recruits down to the fleet. The Connecticut Council of Safety turned down this request on 5 January.115 By 10 January Saltonstall had chartered the sloop Lizard, owned by Meredith Stewart (Joshua Hempstead, Jr., master) to take the recruits to Reedy Island. Stewart ordered his captain to proceed to New Bern, North Carolina after dropping off the sailors, unless Captain Saltonstall wanted to buy or lease the sloop for Continental service.116


On 13 January the men boarded the Lizard. First Lieutenant Hinman had raised forty-eight men, including one Samuel Slack, who was left behind ill with a fever and died on 23 January. Joining him aboard was Second Lieutenant Jonathan Maltbie with sixteen men and Master David Phipps with eighteen. Among these men were Charles Bulkeley and Peter Richards, who became midshipmen aboard the Alfred. The Lizard was equipped with six weeks provisions. Saltonstall reported the recruiting cost $1049. Lizard sailed from New London on 19 January.117


Apparently the voyage was rough and the Lizard landed her recruits in New Jersey. From there word was sent to the fleet. Hopkins ordered the men to report aboard the Fly on 10 February 1776, which he had sent down for the purpose of picking them up. They joined the fleet about 13 February. Hinman was assigned to the Cabot to succeed Hacker, and, possibly, Phipps was assigned to the same brig. Maltbie went to the Alfred.118


Hopkins got another grand gift about 10 February. The private recognition signals for British transports and warships had been captured off Boston in December 1775. Congress passed copies along to Hopkins as soon as they were received, on 9 February.119


The weather was breaking again and the fleet could move. The ships, brigs, and sloop cast off from the piers at Reedy Island at 1000 on 11 February, and the pilots took them through the chevaux-de-frise blocking the river. The fleet fell down the river through the last of the ice, and into the more open waters of Delaware Bay. They anchored at Whorekill Road, inside Cape Henlopen, Delaware.120 Here the Fly rejoined from her mission to collect the Connecticut men.


Another reinforcement arrived at Whorekill Road on 13 February. The two vessels of the little Baltimore squadron, sloop Hornet and schooner Wasp, under command of Captain William Stone of the Hornet, arrived and joined the main fleet.121


On 14 February Hopkins issued very detailed signals for the fleet,122 and a formal order to each captain to keep company with the fleet, observe the signals, and, if separated, attempt to rejoin the fleet. If, after four days, the captain did not rejoin the fleet, he was to make for the southern part of Abaco, in the Bahama Islands.123


About 16 February the captains of the fleet got together and signed an agreement124 that, in effect,  modified the laws established by Congress regarding prize shares. The captains agreed that all prizes taken were to be shared by the entire fleet, and captures by the fleet were to be shared with separated vessels. If a vessel were lost in any way it was to share “equally” with the rest. Equally apparently meant vessel for vessel, without consideration of strength or number of crew involved. This agreement was to remain in effect for twelve months, and had to be endorsed by every crew member of every vessel.125 This agreement was to cause no end of difficulties in the later distribution of prize money. John Paul Jones later said that “No man or private Society of men hath a Right to add to the Established laws of the land Yet . . . Individuals in the Navy have Assumed that Authority.”126


As the fleet lay at anchor under Cape Henlopen on the night of 16 February, preparing to sail, the sailors and Marines were thinking the deep thoughts of men about to go out, perhaps to fight, perhaps to die. The stars were out and it was a “fine evening . . . quite calm.” There was no wind; Biddle likened the weather to summer. The young captain wrote a letter to his brother with his goodbyes and revealed a little of his apprehensions. However, Biddle said “I well know the Glorious Cause I am engaged in. And if ever I disgrace it May My Kind father who gave me being instantly Blast me in Mercy to me. I mean not to be desperate beyond measure. But to do my duty to the utmost of My Ability . . . And Never in my Life was better pleased with a trip I was going to take than I am with this.”127


Biddle left a few comments about his brother officers that are worth noting. Hazard he thought “A Stout Man Very Vain and Ignorant—as much low cunning as Capacity.” Stone was a “Very Stout and Very Good kind of Man;” John B. Hopkins a “Good Naturd Man;” and Saltonstall “a Sensible indefatigable Morose Man.” He considered himself “a Mighty good Young Man.”128


On the verge of sailing the fleet was as reasonably well manned and equipped as might be expected. Recruits and officers had been shifted about, and the deserters caught or escaped, as the case might be. The sickness aboard, smallpox according to later reports, continued to stalk the fleet. Alfred had a man die the day the fleet sailed, which put her crew, including officers and men, at 229 (168 sailors and 61 Marines).129 The Columbus had a total crew of 151 officers and men (94 sailors and 57 Marines).130 Andrew Doria reported 104 officers and men,131 but her muster roll indicates that there were 107 men aboard (71 sailors and 36 Marines).132 The Cabot perhaps had 133 men aboard (90 sailors and 43 Marines) and Providence had a crew of 83 (62 sailors and 21 Marines).133 Hornet had about 70 men,134 and Wasp had a crew of 49 (44 sailors and 5 Marines).135 Schooner Fly had no Marines in her crew of 25 sailors.136 Approximately then, Hopkins had a total  force of 847 men (including 223 Continental Marines) aboard his eight warships.


On 18 February 1776, the Commodore gave the signal for weighing anchor and the capstans began turning in the fleet. By 1300 the fleet was underway, going out past the American coast watchers on Cape Henlopen and meeting the open sea. The Naval Committee had consumed three and a half months in getting its fleet to sea.



-II-


When Commander-in-Chief Esek Hopkins led his little converted fleet out to sea in the afternoon of 17 February 1776 he knew where he was going and why he was going there, but, except for the captains of the fleet, who were told to rendezvous at Great Abaco in the Bahama Islands in case of separation, no one else knew where or why. The Naval Committee thought he was going to Virginia, which is where he had been ordered to go. If he did not go there the Committee expected him to sail to the Carolinas or to Georgia, just as long as it was somewhere in the southern colonies. Action in the south was being demanded by all the southern delegates to Congress.


The Approach to the Bahamas: 1776

But that was not where Esek Hopkins was going. He was not going to Virginia, and probably just as well for his fleet: the British had collected two frigates and two sloops-of-war there, in addition to Dunmore’s vessels. This concentration was at least partly the result of the many notices the British had received of the fitting out of the Continentals. Hopkins certainly knew the strength of the British at Virginia, and, from a strictly military point of view, wisely stayed away.


There was no military cost in avoiding the British force at Virginia, but there certainly was a political one. Officers who attain the rank of Admiral or Commodore, in any Navy, including a brand new one, are expected to be aware and cognizant of larger political factors and interests. Part of the price for southern support in creating a Continental Navy was that it would be a national force; that it would be used against the British naval forces in the south first, specifically Virginia. Hopkins could hardly have been ignorant of this fact. He steered straight for the Bahama Islands.


In his later report to John Hancock, Hopkins listed his reasons for going to the Bahamas: he had many sailors sick with smallpox, the storms at sea and their winds blew hard from the northeast, and “I did not think we were in a Condition to keep on a Cold Coast.” Hopkins made it seem he put to sea to avoid the lee shore (wind from the northeast). He stated he assigned the Great Abaco rendezvous after the fleet sailed (it was before), and ran down to the rendezvous after Hornet and Fly parted company. He said he went there to wait for the appointed fourteen days for the missing vessels to join him (he waited two), and decided to attack New Providence after he arrived.137


It has been suggested that Hopkins may have had verbal orders to proceed to New Providence. That is unlikely: Adams, Langdon and Gadsden had departed Philadelphia before he sailed, but Hewes and R. H. Lee were still in town, in addition to brother Hopkins and Deane. That Lee of Virginia would have endorsed a change in orders for a fleet destined to punish Lord Dunmore seems very, very unlikely indeed. Moreover, in all the political fracas following the New Providence raid, Hopkins never once mentions a change in orders. However, there was knowledge available to Hopkins that made New Providence an attractive target: (1) there was much discussion in Philadelphia about the need for gunpowder which was in critically short supply, and (2), there was known to be a large supply at New Providence. In fact, a Congressional committee was studying methods of obtaining this powder. Hopkins then, in a wise and compelling military move, avoided the British squadron in Virginia to attack the relatively unprotected town of New Providence in the Bahamas, and committed a political blunder.


The Continental Fleet at sea. Left to right are the brig Cabot, brig Andrew Doria, ship Alfred, sloop Hornet, sloop Fly, ship Columbus, sloop Providence, and schooner Wasp. Modern painting by Nowland Van Powell, from The American Navies of the Revolutionary War, 1974.


As the fleet sailed out between Cape Henlopen and Cape May and turned south the smallpox continued to stalk the fleet indeed. Alfred buried a man at sea on 18 February and the Columbus did the same the next day.138 And the wind did continue strong from the northeast. By 19 February a large storm was blowing up, sending the fleet scudding in “Hard gales & thick Weather.”139 Lieutenant Jones said the wind was a “Smart North East Wind.”140 In the fog and darkness night signals were set and the fleet continued south.


Detail of the Alfred from the Van Powell painting.

In the night of the 19th the storm picked up.141 When dawn came on 20 February, the Fly and the Hornet were no where to be seen.142 These two straggled on after the fleet for two more days143 when Fly and Hornet collided with one another in the tempestuous weather, and Hornet carried away her masthead and boom.144 Stone broke off and headed for America to repair the damage, while Fly steered for the rendezvous.145


Nothing of further moment occurred as the fleet sailed south, down past the numerous Bahama Islands, low-laying brush covered sand spits with coral-fringed coastlines. The weather improved, becoming warm and typically sub-tropical; quite a change from the ice and snow of the Delaware River.


The fleet was approaching the southwest portion of Grand Abaco on 1 March 1776, when Columbus dolefully buried another sailor.146 The smallpox was still raging in the fleet, Hopkins reporting that four vessels were infected.147 As the fleet was sailing down the coast two small vessels were sighted. Flagship Alfred quickly ran them down and secured them: the first prizes of the Continental fleet. They proved to be two sloops from New Providence.148 By afternoon the fleet anchored in seventy-two feet of water on the southwest side of Grand Abaco,149 at a place called Hole-in-the-Wall.150 Captain of Marines Nicholas described the voyage as a “pleasant passage” of fifteen days.151


At Hole-in-the-Wall Hopkins interrogated the skippers of the captured sloops. They informed him that there were no troops at New Providence. Hopkins, according to his own statement later, and supported by the statements of others, now formed a plan to assault and capture New Providence town (Nassau).152


Hole-in-the-Wall today

From Southwest Point on Great Abaco the town of New Providence (known today as Nassau) lies fifty-five miles to the southwest, by passage through the Northeast Providence Channel. New Providence was (as Nassau now is) the capital of the Bahamas, located on the northern side of eighty square mile New Providence Island. The island was broken by lakes and swamps, and covered by pine forests and brush, with a low range of hills in the northern part.


New Providence was a tiny place in 1775, built of wooden houses scattered along a single street next to the water. The houses were surrounded by trees, shrubs and gardens. The only public buildings were the Assembly house, jail, and church. The inhabitants consisted of a few planters, government officials, and many merchants and others associated with fishing, boat-building and shipping.153


The harbor was excellent, located behind the long Hog Island (now Paradise Island) and thus protected from northern and southern winds. Two passages led to the anchorage off the town, one from the west, and another from the east, through a passage called The Narrows, between Hog and Athol Islands. Two forts protected these passages: Fort Nassau to the west, a square, palisaded stone fort with two bastions; and Fort Montagu to the east, a small, square, stone redoubt. These forts were both in great disrepair. Although Nassau mounted forty-six cannon it was feared that if they were fired the walls would collapse. Montagu mounted seventeen guns, and was in better condition than Nassau.154


As for other defenses there were almost none. British Army troops had been withdrawn to North America., leaving only the local militia, perhaps two or three hundred men, for land operations. Half of these men were usually absent on daily occupations.155 The only Royal Navy force was HM Schooner St. John (Lieutenant William Grant), which was being cleaned and repaired in the harbor,156 and only mounted six cannon and twelve swivels, with a crew of thirty men.157 The Bahamas were a typical British colony, with a Royal Governor, Montfort Browne, a Council, and an Assembly. Browne was rather lacking in leadership. The people of the islands included many American sympathizers, but not very many active ones.


Early in the war both Graves and Gage became concerned about the munitions stored at New Providence. On 5 September 1775 HM Sloop Falcon (Captain John Linzee) sailed from Boston with two British Army transports, bound to New Providence with the mission of removing the munitions158 and withdrawing the garrison of one company of the 14th Regiment.159 Linzee brought a letter from General Gage, reporting that the Americans were planning an expedition to the island to seize the powder and ordnance store there.160 When the three ship task force arrived the governor was absent. The president of the Council, with the Council’s concurrence, declined (28 September) to permit the stores to be shipped.161 The Council cited the vulnerability of the town to Spanish and French incursions, and (the real reason, one suspects) possible “dangerous Insurrections among our Slaves.”162 By 18 October 1775 the three vessels were back at Boston.163 Meanwhile the Admiralty became concerned and ordered, on 19 October, that Graves station one of the small vessels of his fleet in the islands.164 Graves received these orders on 30 December.165 This order was repeated to Vice Admiral Molyneux Shuldham on 16 January 1776.166


The Americans in Philadelphia knew of the visit of the three ships, that the garrison had been withdrawn, and that the munitions were still there, by 8 November 1775, when that information was published in the newspapers.167 Enough interest was found for obtaining the powder at New Providence to cause  Congress to order the Secret Committee to come up with a plan for getting hold of it. On 16 January 1776 the Secret Committee reported that a sloop, the Lady Catherine, had been furnished with a cargo valued at $3233.20 by Willing, Morris & Co. (on Continental account). Congress told the Secret Committee to give the skipper any necessary orders.168 Apparently the Secret Committee was going to attempt to purchase the gunpowder.


The British had, on the outbreak of the war, two vessels stationed to cover the Bahama Islands and East Florida. Both spent most of their time at New Providence. In late August 1775 HM Sloop Savage was withdrawn to Boston, leaving the St. John to cover the sleepy settlement.


On 25 February 1776 (eight days after the Continental fleet sailed from the Delaware), a Captain Andrew Law arrived at New Providence. He was associated with the British Army in some way and brought information for the governor: a “considerable squadron,” assembling in Delaware Bay, was destined for New Providence. Browne urged Law to keep the information secret until the Council was assembled. Browne never called the Council together. Who was Law, and where did he get his information, which was uncannily correct and timely? Perhaps he knew of the plans in Congress concerning New Providence and connected them with the fitting out of the fleet. Perhaps he heard sailor’s talk in the lower Delaware while he was waiting to sail.169


Nor was Law’s message the only warning. The American fleet had been sighted on the afternoon of 28 February as it stood in to the land from the northeast. Captain George Dorsett had been bound on a whaling cruise, passing near Great Abaco, when he sighted the fleet of eight sail. Dorsett thought they were bound to New Providence and immediately put about to warn the town. He arrived in the morning of 1 March and informed Browne. Once again the bearer of the news was asked to keep silent until the Council was called. Once again the Council was never summoned.170


HM Schooner St. John was anchored in the harbor off Fort Nassau when another warning arrived. A vessel came in from Great Abaco on the morning of 2 March with news that the fleet was under sail and standing for New Providence. Grant recorded that the fleet consisted of two ships, two brigs, three sloops and a schooner, and that they were supposed to be en route to New Providence to obtain the munitions there. This was a very precise report.171 Still, nothing was done.


The Americans had meanwhile made their plans: the Marines would be transferred to the prize sloops, and be kept below decks. The total landing force would be about 230 Marines.172 The prize sloops would enter the harbor at New Providence, anchor near the forts, and, when opportunity presented itself, “land Instantly  & take possession before the Island could be Alarmed,”173 for the forts were ungarrisoned. The fleet would provide distant cover, so as not to alarm the town.174 The transfers began on the evening of 2 March,175 the Andrew Doria putting Craig’s Marines aboard the sloop Providence and the other Marines of the fleet going aboard the captured sloops.176


The fleet sailed from Great Abaco in the darkness of early morning on 3 March,177 steering southeast and south southeast for New Providence Island. Andrew Doria seems to have gotten in front of the fleet, and sighted New Providence Island at a distance of nine miles, bearing south southeast. Biddle lowered sail and cruised about, waiting for the fleet to catch up.178


The two sloops and the Providence were sent ahead to enter the harbor, but, unfortunately for the Americans, the fleet’s big vessels were sighted in the distance, when they appeared suddenly179 to windward “of the Bar of the Harbour.”180 Grant’s sailors saw them from the masthead,181 and alarm guns were fired from the forts.182 Surprise was now impossible.


Lieutenant Jones had been interrogating the New Providence pilots picked up from the two captured sloops. They informed Jones that there was a good anchorage nine miles to the windward under the shelter of a small key. Jones informed Hopkins, who expressed distrust of these British pilots. Jones took the pilots up to the fore-topmast head, from which the immediate danger of the coral reefs could be clearly seen. From here the squadron was safely guided to the anchorage,183 Hanover Sound (or Bay).184 By 0700185 the fleet had anchored in twenty-four feet of water, close by Rose Island.186 To the British it seemed that the fleet “suddenly tacked, and made to the Eastward.”187


Hopkins called a council of war to determine the next move.188 He suggested sailing around to the western side of the island and landing the Marines there, allowing them to march on the town from the back. There was however, no road to the town from the western side of the island, and a landing there would give the militia time to collect and resist the landings or march. There was also no anchorage on the western side.189


Meanwhile, there was uproar in New Providence. When the American fleet appeared off the harbor in the dawn, the harbor pilot had run to Governor Browne’s residence, Government House. Hastily Browne, standing in his nightshirt, looked out the door and saw the fleet off the harbor. He ordered the Council assembled at once, to meet him at Fort Nassau. About a quarter of an hour later, with most of the Council collected at Fort Nassau,190 the Governor ordered three alarm guns sounded:191 two of the three gun carriages collapsed on firing, but it was enough to alarm Hopkins.192


At 0700, just as the fleet was anchoring in Hanover Bay, the highly respected Council member Samuel Gambier rode into Fort Nassau. He found the drummers beating the long roll to assemble the militia and the Governor, still wearing only his nightshirt, conferring with Captain William Chambers of the Mississippi Packet, a merchant vessel anchored in the harbor with a cargo of lumber. Browne was considering shipping off the colony’s powder in the Mississippi Packet. Gambier suggested that the powder was necessary to defend the forts and the town and that preparations for defense should be begun, as time was short.193 The majority of the militia assembled at Fort Nassau, with their commander, Major Robert Sterling.194


Next, Gambier suggested sending Chambers out to reconnoiter the American fleet; an idea that was quickly adopted. Chambers hurried away to perform this task. Gambier proposed that a detachment of militia occupy Fort Montagu and the militia roll be called to inspect arms and ammunition. Fewer than thirty men had gathered as yet, most without arms or with unfit weapons.195 By this time Lieutenant Grant had arrived to participate in the Council. After much discussion he was ordered to get his equipment and stores aboard and bring St. John down to the town.196 By 0900 a detachment of thirty men197 under Lieutenant John Pratt was on its way to Fort Montagu. Chambers had returned, unable to get the Mississippi Packet out of the harbor because of adverse winds and swells.198 As more men had arrived the Council dispatched another thirty militia under Lieutenant Burke to Fort Montagu, and these arrived about 1000.199 Browne excused himself, to return home and get dressed.200


Hopkins’ council had by now come up with another landing plan. A landing on the eastern shore of the island, followed by the seizure of Fort Montagu, the “back door” to New Providence, was suggested. The Marines were reinforced by fifty sailors under Second Lieutenant Thomas Weaver of the Cabot, who was familiar with the area.201 The two captured sloops and the Providence would land the men, under cover of the Wasp.202


Just as Grant was getting St. John under way to take his station he received a letter from Governor Browne. The anchorage of the American fleet suggested a landing attempt to the east, and Grant was directed to place the St. John so as to “Stop the Channel Off the East Fort.” Grant found the going difficult as the wind and tide were against him, but finally got in position about 1200. While Grant was getting his schooner in position his lookouts reported the American sloops and schooners were under sail.203 The four bigger vessels remained anchored in Hanover Bay.204


About this time Grant received another letter from the Governor directing him to drop down to the town, and moor St. John near the upper end of the town, “Head and stern within Pistol shot of the Shore.” Grant’s crew started filling powder cartridges, loading muskets and bringing up hand grenades. At 1300 Grant saw the four American small craft head into the eastern channel and come to, about seven miles east of Fort Montagu.205 The Providence and Wasp anchored206 and began off loading the Marines into whaleboats.207


The Americans were a little closer than Grant estimated they were. About 1400208 the landing party came ashore in the whaleboats at “The Creek,”209 two miles east of Fort Montagu, and near the small village of New Guinea, inhabited by free blacks and mulattoes. These people thought the invaders were Spaniards and panicked, having visions of being sold into slavery. The “inhabitants . . . were soon undeceived, after our landing,”210 and the Marines quickly formed up for the march to Fort Montagu.211 First Lieutenant Trevett took command of one company,212 and First Lieutenant Dayton of another.213


When the American landing force was sighted in the whaleboats, making for the beach, Pratt ordered Burke and Lieutenant Judkin to take their party of men down to the beach, reconnoiter the situation, and prevent the landing, if possible. When the British militia arrived at the beachhead the Americans were ashore in strength, so Burke sent a flag of truce to them to find out what they wanted.214 The reply was that the Americans had come by order of “the Congress of the United Colonies, in order to possess themselves of the Powder and Stores belonging to His Majesty.” Thus informed, Burke retreated back toward Fort Montagu.215


Meanwhile, St. John had finally gotten a pilot aboard, at 1400, and was moving to the upper end of the town. She anchored within pistol shot of the only road that entered the town on that side, and the road down which the invaders must march. Grant called all hands to quarters, and loaded up with double round and grape shot. He was ready to fight.216


When the Americans landed at The Creek, the Governor still had not returned to Fort Nassau. The Council ordered Major Sterling to march to Fort Montagu with the additional men collected, about eighty all together. As the men assembled to march the Governor arrived, apologizing for being late, and claiming he had been detained by a “violent fit of Cholick.” A brief Council session was held and the letter to Grant was issued. Then the Governor took command of the militia column and set out for Fort Montagu.217


A modern interpretation of the landing on New Providence. Wasp is in the center background, Providence is to the right. The two “prize” sloops appear to be ashore to the left.


When Browne arrived at Fort Montagu he was informed of the reconnaissance party down the beach. He sent a reinforcement of forty men and three officers after them. This group moved off down the beach and soon encountered Burke and Judkin retreating, upon which the whole group fell back to the fort. The Governor now ordered three guns fired upon the advancing Americans,218 “which did no execution.” It was thought advisable to withdraw from Fort Montagu to Fort Nassau. While spiking the guns219 and removing the powder220 Burke was sent out again to inquire of the invaders who they were and what their business was.221


As the Americans marched down the beach and approached the fort, Fort Montagu opened fire. About fifteen or twenty cannon, 18-pounders, were fired at the Americans, perhaps at extreme range, producing no casualties of any sort.222 Nicholas says the fort fired three 12-pounders as the Americans approached within a mile. The march at that point was hazardous: there was a very dense thicket above the beach and a detour around a deep cove exposed the Marines in full view of the fort. Nicholas called a halt to send in a flag of truce to again state the object of the expedition.223 About this same time Lieutenant Trevett saw an officer coming down the beach: “I went up to him to know what he wanted. He informed me that Gov. Brown would wish to know who we were what our business was. we soon gave him his answer, and the first fort stopped firing . . . “224


 Fort Montague as restored today.

It was just now that most of the Governor’s later critics claimed that the Americans could have been stopped. An ambush along the road down which the Americans were marching, and defensive earthworks blocking the road would have stopped the column, according to the critics. Several Americans stated later that they would have surrendered if fired on from the woods. Another observer noted they were ill prepared for attack: no field-pieces, battering cannon, or scaling ladders, “nor so much as an Ax to have made a gap in our Pallisades . . . nor one armed vessel had they steering along shore to cover them.” This observer also noted “the miserable figure the Enemies did Cut.”225 But perhaps the latter comment was imposed by the result. Another observer later said the Marines marched “as regular and made as fine an Appearance as any Troops he ever saw.”226


After withdrawing from Fort Montagu, Browne returned to Government House on the only available saddled horse, where he remained for several hours. The militia moved out and then scattered to their homes. Only about half collected later at Fort Nassau.227 Grant was stunned when, at 1500, he “saw the Rebel Army take Fort Montagu and the Malitia march out.”228


As the evening darkened and the light fled from golden beaches and the green scrub on the hills of the island the final steps to close the day’s activities were taken. The Continental Marines in Fort Montagu posted their sentries, and sat down to refresh themselves, having been crammed in small vessels for a day and a half, then landing on the beach, and marching to the fort, all without a chance to sleep or eat.229 Nicholas sent out an intelligence report to Hopkins that some 200 men were gathered at Fort Montagu. Seeking to undermine resistance, Hopkins caused a manifesto to be circulated.230 The manifesto stated that the Americans had come after the military stores and “ . . . if I [Hopkins] am not Opposed in putting my design in Execution the Persons and Property of the Inhabitants Shall be Safe. Neither shall they be Suffered to be hurt in Case they make no Resistance.”231 Not long after this the British saw Hopkins’ manifesto being “handed about amongst the People to the Eastward of the Town . . . which induced several of the Inhabitants to refuse coming to defend the Fort & others to join the Rebels.”232


Governor Browne recovered his courage about 1500 and returned to Fort Nassau. Here he apparently set about trying to secure a feasible military position. It was remembered that Government House was fortified with two 4-pounders, which commanded Fort Nassau and the town. From a position there musketry could sweep the fort’s guns and prevent men from operating them.233 A detachment of forty men under Captain Thomas Hodgson and Ensign Barrett was sent off to occupy Government House. A proclamation was also issued offering a free pistol to every free black and any others who would rally to Fort Nassau.234


Once again the Council requested Grant to move the St. John, dropping back to cover the entrance to Fort Nassau. Grant obligingly slipped his cable and sailed down to Fort Nassau. In trying to anchor there the schooner got ashore. A tedious warping job followed before the schooner floated. Conditions were not good, ashore or afloat: “The Vessels being all in confusion and deserting, the inhabitants of the Town all took refuge in the Fort in the utmost confusion.” By 2230 the St. John was moored, broadside to the gates of the fort, and within “half a Pistol shot.”235


Meanwhile, Hopkins’ manifesto was having the desired effect: “a Spirit of Disaffection shewed itself amongst the Inhabitants many of them declaring they wo’d not fight against the Americans.” By 2000 there were no more than a hundred men in the fort, including Governor, Council, officers and slaves.236


A Council session was now called (at 2000) to decide the fate of the resistance. Browne found the “Majority of the Council rather Backward,” so he joined the principal inhabitants and the militia officers to the Council. The first question was put: whether the fort was defensible in the face of American strength, and the lack of provisions and munitions. Browne put it another way: “And that upon proposing to them whether they would assist me to defend His Majesty’s Fortresses & Stores,” the Council voted 14-10 against fighting,237 citing the defective gun carriages, the lack of various kinds of shot and the shortage of other stores.238


The next question was what to do with the gunpowder. Browne decided to charter the Mississippi Packet, load most of the gunpowder on her, and ship it to St. Augustine in East Florida,239 a decision the Council concurred in.240 Some powder was to be retained for it “was the visible opinion of the whole Community, that sending away the whole of it might enrage a disappointed enemy.”241


Lieutenant Grant was sent for about 2300, to wait upon the Governor and Council.242 He was ordered to escort the Mississippi Packet, both to protect her and to “prevent his Vessel falling into the Hands of the Enemy.,” as she was not “in any Condition fit for Service.”243 When informed of the Council’s decision regarding the powder, Grant declined to remove it, pointing out that it was “impractible but that I would defend it to the utmost of my power . . . “244 Browne told Grant the purpose of the rebel attack, adding that the destruction of the St. John was one objective. Grant said that he was prepared to fight, and had moved the schooner several times at the Council’s request. Browne told Grant that Fort Montagu was in utter confusion and would fall without powder, which finally convinced Grant.245


Chambers, loaded with timber for Jamaica, was busily throwing overboard the lumber to make room for the powder, which was hustled aboard with help from St. John’s boats and crew.246 The gunpowder was stowed anyplace room could be found for it.247 The loading began about midnight,248 and Grant and Chambers sailed about 0200 on 4 March.249 Course was set for the northwest, the two vessels passing not too far away from where the Continental fleet was anchored. By 0400 St. John was six miles northwest of the bar at New Providence and at 0600 she was thirty-three miles southeast of the Berry Islands. The Mississippi Packet was “to deep and in distress,” so Grant hove to and waited for her. At 1030 he transferred forty-three barrels of powder to the St. John, anchoring near Sherrop’s Key. At 1600 the flight to St. Augustine resumed.250


Why this eventuality was not foreseen is a good question. Hopkins could have stationed one or two of his vessels off the harbor exits to intercept the fleeing shipping. According to Grant there was much shipping going out of the harbor. Lieutenant Jones later said that “sending the two brigantines to lie off the bar” would have prevented the escape.251 Lieutenant Grant had expected to find such guard vessels when he sailed.252


As soon as the Council had resolved to send off the powder, the Speaker of the Assembly, James Gould, “mutiny’d” and took off with eighty of the militia, returning to their homes.253 This was about three fourths of the available men. The Council was now asked to determine if the detachment at Government House should be recalled, and agreed to do so.254


Browne went over to Government House to secure the detachment. When he returned he found most of the remaining men gone. The forty men under Hodgson and Barrett now asked permission to leave, as they were insufficient in number to fight the fort and preferred not to be taken as prisoners. This permission was granted, but Browne begged some to stay with him, as he preferred to fight. The men, not being swayed by this lunacy, left. Only the Governor and the Council were left. They gave up and returned to Government House255 just as the sun was rising.256


Sunrise over New Providence roused the Marines in Fort Montagu. It was now 4 March. The Marines assembled, no doubt many anticipating a fight. Nicholas led them out on a march to the town,257 about four miles from Fort Montagu.258 As they approached within a mile of the town they were met by a messenger from the Governor. Nicholas called a halt to conduct the negotiation.259 The messenger repeated the question concerning the purpose of the raid and Nicholas made the, by now, standard reply. The messenger then told Nicholas that Fort Nassau was “ready for his reception and that he might march his Force in as Soon as he Pleased.”260 Nicholas marched into the town, “drafted a guard, and went up to the Governour’s, and demanded the keys of the fort, which were given to me immediately.”261 The Marines went up to Fort Nassau, “the British col hauled down, and we took possession.”262


From Fort Nassau the fleet could clearly be seen at anchor below Rose Island, a few miles distant. Within two hours Alfred and an escort263 got underway, coming up behind Hog Island and anchoring there264 while waiting for a pilot to bring them into harbor. The Commodore soon came ashore in his barge. As he was landing, Lieutenants Trevett and Dayton saw Browne and some members of his Council walking the grounds at Government House and horses tied up nearby, with servants in attendance. Fearing the Governor intended to flee, the two Lieutenants approached Nicholas and asked him for “liberty [to] take him. The Major informed us he had no orders from the [Commodore to] take him, but we may do as we pleased.”265 Trevett, Dayton and another officer called on the Governor and told him he must go to Fort Nassau. Browne objected, feeling it was beneath his dignity. Trevett told him he “must go, then he says it must be the force of arms, We told him it was by the force of arms!”266 He was kept prisoner in Fort Nassau (“in a place without food, water, bed, table, or chair”)267 until Hopkins arrived.268 After a time Hopkins sent for Trevett and detailed him to secure Browne in Government House with a proper guard.269


New Providence Island: 1776.


The Andrew Doria and the remainder of the fleet remained at the Rose Island anchorage until 0600 on 6 March, when they weighed anchor and sailed down to the bar off the harbor. Here pilots were obtained and the fleet got safely into the harbor, anchoring off Fort Nassau. The work of loading the captured stores now began. To make more room the rock ballast in the vessels was unloaded, being replaced by captured shot.270 Cabot loaded ten of the heaviest cannon271 and the other vessels loaded assorted munitions stores.


The amount of munitions captured was astounding. A full inventory listed eighty-eight cannon (9-pounders to 36-pounders), fifteen mortars (4 inch to 11 inch), 5458 shells, 11071 round shot, and assorted other stores, but only twenty-four casks of gunpowder (a little over a ton).272 So much stores and ammunition was captured that Hopkins was forced to charter a 150-ton Bermuda built sloop,273 called the Endeavour, from a local citizen, to take on a cargo of cannon.274 Hopkins also promised to send her back to her owner,275 Charles Walker.276 Lieutenant Elisha Hinman was assigned to command the transport.277


Meanwhile, the St. John arrived at St. Augustine on 7 March, anchoring four miles off the bar, long enough for Grant to notify the British naval commander at Savannah and Governor Patrick Tonyn of East Florida of the raid. The Mississippi Packet had parted company the night of the 6th, but was expected to arrive soon. Grant nervously predicted the American fleet would soon be at St. Augustine, for he thought they were in pursuit of him, as perhaps they should have been.278 The next day Grant notified Vice Admiral Shuldham, suggesting an attack upon the American squadron.279 Governor Tonyn suggested the same line of operations to the British naval commander at Savannah.280


The immediate response to these advices was less than overwhelming. Captain Andrew Barkley (HM Frigate Scarborough), temporarily the senior British officer at Savannah, had received his letters by 13 March. A council of war was called. The council determined that the mission Scarborough was on was of sufficient importance not to chase after the American fleet, which “by the Information we have, in all probability have quitted Providence by this time.” The council of war took note of reports that the Americans intended to come to Savannah next. If so the British warships would be needed to protect the transports and merchant ships there. Barkley then passed this information along to Commodore Sir Peter Parker at North Carolina.281


Hopkins was not only occupier, but had to be law-giver for a time. On 7 March one Joseph Hinson, master of a merchant brigantine, the Christianna, petitioned Hopkins. Hinson had put into New Providence in a leaking condition with a cargo from St. Thomas in the Danish West Indies. Under British law he was allowed to land his cargo, but not sell it. Now he asked Hopkins for permission to sell, and the Commodore quickly approved the request.282 A shortage of provisions for the Marines and sailors ashore was covered by arranging a small contract with one Nathaniel Harrison, a local merchant.283


Several of the American officers pressured Hopkins to permit looting, but Hopkins had given his word and would not bend. Hopkins behaved with “humanity” towards the citizens, and prevented looting mor by “perswasions than Authority.”284 Yet another observer indicated that quite a bit of authority was shown: Hopkins almost immediately had a triangle erected “and if the Inhabitants made the least Complaints against any of his people, they were punished immediately . . . the Number of Lashes few, but very severly given.”285 Hopkins was cultivating the sympathies of the Bahamians in every possible way.


The occupation was largely uneventful for the fleet. At 1000 on 11 March the Fly sailed into harbor, pushed by fresh sea breezes under clear skies.286 Fly brought news of the Hornet and of her own adventures, as well as intelligence that Hacker had collected en route. The most interesting bit of news to Hopkins would have been the intelligence concerning HMS Experiment and her convoy of seven troop transports. This convoy had been approaching Boston in winter, had been driven off the coast by stormy weather, and had gone to Antigua. This convoy was now working its way north, and was due in St. Augustine in March, according to Hacker.287


Schooner Wasp was kept busy chasing vessels seen off the harbor. At 1600 on 11 March a sail was seen and Wasp was sent out to investigate. By 1800 she had brought the stranger to, and apparently found her harmless. On 12 March, another clear day, Wasp was ordered out to chase a schooner, sighted to windward at 0900. The schooner was forty-two days out of Hispaniola, and had lost a mate and a sailor. Wasp brought her into harbor at 1100 and put three men aboard as a guard. The next day one of Wasp’s hands took advantage of the closeness of the land to jump overboard and swim ashore.288


The presence of the fleet in the warmer climate of the Bahamas had not stopped the sickness aboard the vessels. Andrew Doria reported her crew was “takeing very Sickly with the fever,” although care was taken to prevent the fever’s spread.289 Alfred had a sailor die on 4 March, even before the island was secured, and another listed only as “dead” with no date.290 Columbus listed a sailor as having died at New Providence.291 Again, as in the Delaware, the smallpox and fever produced desertions: Alfred had three sailors and a Marine run away on 13 March,292 and ship Columbus lost four men on the 15th,293 with two more from the Alfred.294


Vessels kept arriving in the harbor. Two sloops from Turks Island came in on 14 March, and two ships arrived on 15 March.295 American vessels also called in at the harbor. One, from Dartmouth, in Massachusetts, was used by Hopkins to send away some of the captured cannon.


Governor Browne was kept closely guarded by Lieutenant of Marines Trevett. When the fleet was nearly ready to sail, Trevett was ordered to “wait him down to the barge,”296 and he was taken (“dragging him by Violence” according to one witness)297 to the Alfred. Two other men were removed as prisoners: Lieutenant James Babbidge (a retired or half-pay officer) and Thomas Irving (a Royal official from South Carolina).298 This occurred about 12 March.299 Although closely guarded, Browne managed to smuggle out a letter dated 17 March, to Lord Dartmouth.300


Finally the fleet was loaded. The Marines were withdrawn from the forts and town and Hopkins issued orders for getting underway. At 1600 on 16 March, in clear weather with fresh breezes, the fleet sortied from New Providence harbor.301 Accompanied by at least one American merchant vessel (commanded by a man named Jennings),302 the fleet reversed its approach course, heading back toward Abaco. Andrew Doria sighted Abaco the next morning, bearing southwest at twenty to twenty-five miles distance in beautiful sailing weather: breezy, fresh and clear. The fleet was in company with the brig. The next day Andrew Doria’s officers listed between thirty and sixty of her crew sick with fever. On 19 March the commodore’s barge came aboard with Hopkins’ sailing orders for the voyage.303


The fleet was to stay with Alfred, but, in case of separation, was to rendezvous in Block Island Channel, and cruise there for six days in “30 fathom Water South from Block Island.” If the fleet was not found by then the captains were free to either cruise or go into port.304 The Endeavour was ordered to proceed to Providence, the Sekonnet Channel, or New London, in case of separation, and Hinman was to apply to Governor Cooke of Rhode Island or Governor Trumbull of Connecticut for further directions.305 No mention was made of inquiring after the Naval Committee, under whose orders the fleet was operating.


Hopkins now added injury to insult by attempting to dispose of the cannon as if they were his personal property. In a letter of 18 March to the Committee of Safety of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, he let the Committee know that he, Hopkins, had heard that they needed some cannon. He was therefore sending them two 9-pounders and some shot, aboard Jenning’s vessel. He asked the Committee to forward to Rhode Island any shot that did not fit the cannon.306


The fleet continued to sail north in generally good weather until 23 March, when the first big storm hit. The next morning Wasp parted company from the fleet. Operations continued despite the storm. A sail was sighted to windward on the 25th. At 0800 Andrew Doria and Providence were ordered to chase. Providence ran her down at 1400, but she proved to be a friend: a schooner out of Carolina, bound for France.307


The sickness continued in the fleet. Andrew Doria had lost a Marine on 2 March and another on 28 March.308 Alfred listed a man as died on 28 March, and another as “dead” with no date given.309 Perhaps this was the man who died on Andrew Doria on 28 March, who was noted as being transferred from the Alfred.310 Alfred lost another sailor on 28 March.311 There is also an oddity on Andrew Doria’s muster roll: the Marine fifer is listed as deserted on 27 March.312 Just where he deserted to in the broad ocean is a mystery.


The weather continued very bad on 27 March: Andrew Doria had the men working at the pumps because she was shipping so much water. At 0800 she was ordered to chase a sail with the Fly. At 1400 Andrew Doria fired two guns to stop the vessel, a French schooner six days out of New London. From the French Biddle learned the electrifying news that the British had evacuated Boston. The next day was calm and Biddle had his yawl hoisted out to row over to Alfred with the news about Boston. He was back on the 30th, in time for the weather to become blowing with a big sea. Providence parted from the fleet in the storm.313


On 3 April 1776 the Andrew Doria lost her sergeant of Marines to the fever, and Columbus parted from the fleet. Biddle sighted Long Island at 1100, forty-eight miles to the north northwest. At 1700 on the evening of the 3rd Andrew Doria sighted a sail to leeward and ran her down: she was the sloop Endeavour, which had parted in the bad weather some time earlier.314 Early on 4 April Andrew Doria parted from the fleet.315 But having endured the storms, things were about to improve for the fleet.


On the morning of 4 April the various vessels of the somewhat scattered fleet began to arrive off the eastern end of Long Island.316 Columbus apparently got there first, where she met and captured317 HM Schooner Tender Hawke (Lieutenant John318 [James]319 Wallace). Wallace was a nephew of the notorious British naval commander at Rhode Island.320 Hawke was armed with six cannon and eight swivels321 and had a crew of twenty322 or twenty-five men.323 Hawke had sailed from Newport on 1 April to patrol off Block Island with HM Brig Bolton. The fleet under Wallace was to join them there soon after.324 Instead of his uncle’s command, the younger Wallace found the Continentals, just coming in from New Providence.


By afternoon the slowly collecting fleet made Block Island. Here, Hopkins detached the Andrew Doria to look into Newport Harbor and report on the stations of the British fleet there. Andrew Doria rejoined at 0600325 on 5 April, bringing in a sloop from New York to have her papers examined. The sloop was released after inspection.326 While Andrew Doria was off cruising, Columbus and Alfred had made another prize.


HM Brig Bolton (Lieutenant Edward Sneyd) was a part of the British naval force in Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. She had sailed from Newport with the Hawke327 and was cruising in the area south of Block Island on 5 April 1776. Bolton was carried on the Navy list as being a six gun, twelve swivel vessel with a crew of thirty.328 She was certainly armed with six 3-pounders329 although she was universally reported to have had eight guns.330 In addition she carried two brass howitzers.331 Her actual crew seems to have been forty-eight men.332 Bolton was “well found with all sorts of Stores, Arms, Powder, &c.” according to Hopkins.333


In the early morning light Alfred sighted a sail to leeward, the Bolton, and set out in chase. Alfred soon closed with her and “after a few shots, took her.”334 Sneyd fought with “undaunted bravery and great conduct” firing two broadsides and two shells from the howitzers before surrendering. Bolton was hopelessly overmatched. The brief action was over by 0600 when Andrew Doria spoke the Alfred.335


The prisoners, including several slaves from Newport (seven in number)336 were distributed among the fleet. Four of the slaves went to the Andrew Doria.337 Biddle also received six other prisoners. The Alfred kept Sneyd, seven sailors, and eleven Marines aboard. When the men refused to enlist with the Continentals they were put in irons and kept on short rations, but were inspired by Sneyd’s tenacity.338


As the day wore on the fleet continued to collect. At 1700 the sloop Providence rejoined the squadron. At 1800 a brig and a sloop were sighted to the northward and Columbus, Cabot and Andrew Doria gave chase. Columbus got the brig and Cabot the sloop. Both were from New York and both were bound for London. Their papers were not clear, arousing some suspicion, and both were detained.339 According to Biddle the masters of these prizes informed the Commodore that a superior British force lay at Newport.340


All day the fleet had cruised off Block Island. As the sun set, Captain of Marines Samuel Nicholas commented “we were twelve sail in all, and had a very pleasant evening.”341 After supper Nicholas might have walked on deck to look at the evening cruising formation. The Commodore had formed two columns abreast, with Cabot leading one and Andrew Doria the other, followed by Alfred and Columbus respectively. The big ships were about a hundred yards behind the brigs, with the two columns about a quarter of a mile apart. Providence was placed astern and between the columns, with the prizes behind her, escorted by the Fly.342 After a pleasant turn around deck, Nicholas went below and turned in about midnight. But it was a very short nap: at 0130 the Continental Navy’s first real battle was just getting underway.343



-III-


HM Frigate Glasgow was a sixth rate, twenty gun ship of the smallest class normally “rated.” She carried a nominal crew of 160 men under the command of Captain Tyringham Howe.344 In early April 1776 Glasgow was at Newport, Rhode Island, with the small squadron under Captain James Wallace. Wallace was under orders to withdraw to Halifax, and Glasgow had dispatches for the vessels to the south, and was under orders to proceed there.


However, Wallace had a particular project in mind and wanted to keep all his vessels together long enough to accomplish that task. Wallace had sent out the Bolton and Hawke to cruise off Block Island with the promise that his fleet would soon join them. At 1200 on 5 April the British squadron got under sail exiting Newport.345 At 1500, some of the fleet having difficulties, the Rose (Wallace’s flagship) bore away,346 and the fleet anchored off the south end of Gold Island at 1700.347 Glasgow continued out to sea,348 accompanied by a small tender with a crew of three men.


Glasgow steered out for Block Island, where Bolton and Hawke were supposed to be cruising. The night was very pleasant; “Light Airs & fair.”349 At 0200 Glasgow was twenty-four miles southeast of Block Island, under easy sail,350 with the water very smooth.351 Glasgow’s lookouts sighted a fleet of seven or eight sail on the weather beam, and Howe turned toward the strangers. He soon discovered “two, or three large ships, and other Square Rigged Vessels; Turned all hands to Quarters, and hauled up the Mainsail.” Glasgow, now under fighting sail, kept steering to the northwest, toward the strangers, who were coming down before the wind.352


Unknown to Captain Howe, the American fleet had had the Glasgow and her tender under observation for an hour. At 0100 the Andrew Doria’s lookouts had sighted two sail to the east southeast of the fleet, to leeward. Biddle was roused and came on deck. The signal was hoisted for the Alfred and the fleet came down.353 Alfred had noted the signal by 0130, when Captain of Marines Samuel Nicholas was awakened from his short nap by the cry of “all hands to quarters.”354


Nicholas soon mustered his Marines on deck. The main body under First Lieutenant Matthew Parke was placed in the ship’s barge, on the main deck. Captain Nicholas and the remainder, with Second Lieutenant John Fitzpatrick, took post on the quarterdeck.355 Aboard Columbus the crew was going to quarters in some confusion, for sixteen men were serving on the prizes, and some shifting around had to be done.356


The Glasgow looked large to Captain Nicholas as she bore down. Cabot was leading, with Alfred a hundred yards behind and slightly to windward.357 Just as the American column and the British warship closed, Glasgow turned to the north, cutting behind the Cabot and the Alfred,358 which turned parallel to her course. Columbus was placed behind all three by this maneuver and was forced to turn into Glasgow’s wake to pursue. Glasgow now blanketed Columbus’s sails so they would not draw and slowed her down considerably.359


About 0200 the brig Cabot came up with the stranger.360 To the men on the Glasgow she looked “much like the Bolton, but larger.”361 The British hailed the brig, identifying their vessel,362 but she “seemed to hesitate about giving any answers,” and kept on standing toward the Glasgow.363 Hopkins was steering as close as possible before committing any action. The British hailed again, demanding to know what ships were in company with the brig. Hopkins replied “the Columbus and Alfred, a two and twenty Gun frigate.”364 Immediately after the reply a hand grenade came spinning out of Cabot”s fighting top, and she unleashed a broadside into the Glasgow.365 It was then about 0230,366 Newport bearing northeast at a distance of forty-five miles.367


Glasgow had one Marine killed and one wounded at the first fire,368 then she returned the broadside to Cabot,369 and got off another one before Cabot’s inexperienced gunners could reload. Cabot was damaged by the heavy weight of metal and Hopkins sheered off,370 (or shot ahead to lay on the bow)371 nearly fouling the Andrew Doria, which was forced to tack away from the action to avoid collision.372


As Cabot pulled away, “a large Ship, with a top light” took her place beside the Glasgow.373 It was the Alfred,374 the crew at quarters, battle lanterns shining below decks, where Lieutenant Jones commanded the main battery,375 happy that the sea was calm enough to open the gun ports. Alfred had been unable to open fire before now, for the Cabot was masking her.376 Alfred opened fire by raking the Glasgow as she approached,377 then lay alongside the British frigate, giving and receiving broadsides.378 At Glasgow’s first broadside into Alfred, Marine Lieutenant Fitzpatrick was shot dead by musketry.379 Meanwhile Columbus came up astern of the Glasgow, turned under her stern and raked as she passed, then luffed up on Glasgow’s port beam.380 Columbus however, must have been at a considerable distance from the Glasgow.381 Andrew Doria came up on Glasgow’s port quarter, and Providence moved about astern of the Glasgow. Howe now ordered the clerk who had charge of the confidential despatches for the Navy vessels to the south to destroy the despatches. They were thrown overboard in a bag weighted with shot.382


The action continued hot until about 0330 when the Alfred’s tiller block was shot away and she lost control, coming up into the wind, which gave the Glasgow a chance to rake her.383 It was perhaps at this point that the American gunners (according to Governor Montfort Browne, a prisoner on the Alfred) reportedly left their guns.384 No other observer records this action. The Columbus also dropped back on the Glasgow’s quarter and the Andrew Doria remained astern.385 According to Captain Howe the Americans made an attempt to board about this time.386 At 0400387 Glasgow “made all the sail she possibly could” and bore away to the east for Newport,388 keeping up a hot running fight.389 The American vessels frequently yawed and raked the Glasgow,390 within musket shot on her quarters and stern.391 Howe’s sailors wrestled two guns out the cabin windows in the stern and opened fire on the pursuit.392 Columbus was still trailing the action and trying to close, but was engaging with her bow guns and an occasional broadside.393


By now the running battle was within earshot of the land. As the citizens of Rhode Island rose to go about their daily chores those living on the coast could hear heavy guns far to the southeast. At daybreak eight to ten sail were sighted to the east of Block Island and “indeed the flashes of the cannon were seen by some people about daybreak.”394


The action and chase had now been underway for seven glasses (three and a half hours)395 and the fleet and Glasgow were approaching Newport.396 There was every chance that the British squadron at Newport would be encountered, which Hopkins had no desire to do.397 At 0600 Hopkins hoisted the recall signal,398 and a half hour later the Americans began to haul their wind and break off the pursuit.399


At 0700 the Americans tacked and stood to the southwest.400 At 1200 the Andrew Doria caught up with the fleet. While the main battle had been underway, prize schooner Hawke had captured Glasgow’s three man tender. The fleet stood to the south and was nine miles northwest of Block Island at 1800.401


As for the Glasgow she proceeded to Newport, and began firing alarm guns to wake up the British fleet at Rhode Island about 0730.402 By 1100 she had come to anchor, while the other vessels were working out in pursuit.403 She came in “under all the sail she could set, yelping from the mouths of her cannon (like a broken leg’d dog) in token of her being sadly wounded.”404


There was considerable damage in the American fleet. Alfred had a shot through her main mast, one tiller block shot away, and was heavily damaged in rigging and hull.405 Alfred had taken seven 9-pound shot in her hull and was leaking badly. For three days she “scarce gain on the water she made.”406 One shot had penetrated to cockpit, killing a British midshipman (a prisoner from the Bolton), sitting beside Governor Browne.407 Alfred had six men killed and six or seven wounded.408 Marine Lieutenant John Fitzpatrick was among those killed.409 Three of the twelve Marines on the quarterdeck were killed, and two in the barge were wounded. Fitzpatrick was a “worthy officer, sincere friend and companion, that was beloved by all the ship’s company.”410 Hopkins later stated that the “Officers all behaved well onboard the Alfred.”411


Cabot had four men killed and seven wounded, including Captain John B. Hopkins412 wounded in the head.413 Master Sinclair Seymour, “a good officer,” was killed. Marine Lieutenant James Hood Wilson was mortally wounded. Commodore Hopkins noted that “too much Praise cannot be given to the Officers of the Cabot who gave and Sustain’d the whole Fire for some considerable time within pistol Shot.”414 Cabot was damaged in her hull, spars and rigging.415


Columbus had one man wounded.416 Andrew Doria had taken several shots in her hull and rigging. One shot hit her quarter, smashed the netting, and demolished the arms chest before wounding the drummer in the leg.417 The drummer later died of his wounds at New London.418


Glasgow was heavily damaged in the long fight. The log keeper aboard HM Sloop Swan reported she was “much Shattrd in er Riggin & Sails & her Mast Much Damaged.”419 All her lower masts were shot up and almost all her standing and running rigging shot away. She had begun repairs on rigging and sails after anchoring at 1100,420 with the carpenters busily fishing the masts.421 Observers ashore noticed Glasgow had all her pumps going, indicating several shots in the hull.422 Glasgow reported one man killed and three wounded, all by musketry.423 Howe attributed the low casualties to a supposed American attempt to fire high in an effort to disable the ship and carry it by boarding.424


Glasgow arrived at Halifax for repair on 18 or 19 April 1776.425 Glasgow was in “so shattered a Condition” and would take so long to repair, that Shuldham forwarded her to England, making only temporary patches.426 Howe was commended for his actions in beating off the American fleet and was promoted to command HMS Thames.427 Glasgow was out of action until she sailed for the West Indies on 5 December 1776,428 as part of the escort for a large outward bound convoy.429


Following the morning battle the Continental fleet collected to the south of Block Island. Hopkins ordered the fleet to sail to New London, Connecticut, there to refit and collect. He dispatched a small sloop (perhaps the Endeavour) to inform Nathaniel Shaw, Jr. (later Continental Agent for Connecticut) to put lights in the lighthouse for the incoming fleet. The sloop arrived on 7 April and Shaw saw three sail off the lighthouse by evening.430 American coast watchers on Long Island had sighted the fleet on the evening of 6 April, far out at sea south of Block Island, about sunset. Again the next morning the fleet was sighted when the fog cleared. These Americans thought the fleet was British.431 During the night the weather came up foggy with rainstorms and the various vessels lost sight of one another. At dawn the Andrew Doria and the Cabot found themselves alone on the water. By 1300, when Biddle anchored the brig off New London lighthouse, several of the fleet had collected. The fog cleared at 1600, and Andrew Doria and the others ran up into the harbor, anchoring at 1800. At 2000 the heavy ships, Alfred and Columbus came to off the lighthouse.432


At 0800 on 8 April, the Alfred and the remainder of the fleet got under way and sailed up to the town, dropping anchor right offshore.433 The Continental fleet was home from its cruise.



-IV-


The chief internal problem the Continental fleet under Commodore Hopkins had when it returned to New London was sickness. A sickness pervaded the fleet, affecting all the vessels to a greater or lesser degree. Immediately after the fleet anchored in New London harbor, sick sailors began landing, 120, soon increased to 140, and then rose to 203 (seventy-two from Alfred, fifty-eight from Andrew Doria, thirty-four from Columbus, seventeen from Cabot, sixteen from Providence, and five from Fly). This represented about 25% of Hopkins’ total crew strength. To replace these sailors Hopkins had gained permission from Washington to enlist two hundred men from the Continental Army. These had been put aboard by 14 April 1776. Hopkins had represented to Washington that he was planning an attack on the British squadron at Rhode Island after which the men would be returned. When Washington, who needed every man at New York,  observed no fleet movement, he recalled the men in a letter dated 25 April.


Nor was extensive illness the only crew problem. About 8 April Hopkins received a round robin from fifty-eight sailors of Cabot’s crew requesting an advance on wages. The men cited the need to buy necessaries. This was the prelude to another round of desertions. Alfred had eleven deserters by 17 April and eighteen recorded for the month. In addition, four sailors and Marines died. Eleven more were discharged. Eight men were recruited, including four from the prize Bolton. One man was transferred to Fly. At month’s end Alfred’s crew was down to 184 men (including the sick ashore). Columbus also had four men die in April; thirteen deserted and four were transferred to Providence. Four were discharged. Her crew at the end of the month was down to 118, including the sick. Andrew Doria discharged seven men, had seven desert, one die, and transferred one man to Providence, leaving her with a crew of eighty-five men at the end of April.


Columbus, in particular, was an unhappy ship. Not only did she lead the fleet in desertions, but there seemed to be a difficulty with Captain Whipple and his officers. Hardly had Columbus anchored in New London than Captain of Marines Shoemaker resigned, or tried to. Presumably Whipple refused to accept, or refused to let Shoemaker leave. Shoemaker left anyway, traveled to Philadelphia, and was discharged by the Marine Committee on 2 May 1776, being allowed pay but not rations from the time he left the ship. On 11 April Marine Lieutenants Robert Cummings and John Trevett requested Hopkins to give Whipple an order to allow them to get their clothing from the ship, which Hopkins did. Evidently Cummings and Trevett were being prevented from leaving too. All three Marine officers were carried on Columbus’s muster roll as deserters. What happened to Cummings is not known, but Trevett might have been temporarily put on Alfred pending a later transfer.


Resting in harbor was not to Nicholas Biddle’s liking. He requested and received orders to sail out on patrol.434 Biddle promptly landed all forty-nine of his sick ashore (including Second Mate John Dent, Third Mate John Margeson, Midshipmen Dennis Leary, William Reynolds, Evan Bevan and William Lamb, and Surgeon Thomas Kerr). To sail with a full crew Andrew Doria received sailors from Columbus and Providence. At 1700 on 8 April the black brig raised anchor and dropped down to the New London lighthouse, where she hove to in foggy weather. On 14 April Biddle returned to New London with a prize, anchoring beside Alfred in the afternoon.435


Hopkins promptly turned the prize over to Shaw, thus again demonstrating either contempt or ignorance of legalities. She should have been libeled and tried in the local admiralty courts, and, upon condemnation, the captors paid a salvage value. The officers of the fleet (and not just those on Andrew Doria; remember the association) complained and blamed Hopkins. The Commodore finally (5 June) requested Shaw to have the value of the cargo calculated so payment could be made to the captors. Shaw not only sent a copy of the invoice the next day, but had the hull appraised When the final accounting was made, in September 1776, Andrew Doria’s crew received £344 of the £2126 valuation.


When the sloop transport Endeavour entered New London harbor she brought the first report from the Continental fleet since it had sailed from Delaware Bay in mid-February. Naturally the reports of Hopkins’ success and his captured stores was quickly passed around. One of the most interesting subjects, arising immediately, was the disposition of the captured ordnance. Commodore Hopkins had already demonstrated a tendency to dispose of these cannons as he saw fit; a tendency that became far more pronounced at New London. The day the fleet arrived there Hopkins wrote to Governor Cooke, reporting on the expedition and asking Cooke if Rhode Island wanted any of the captured cannon. Then, after making this inquiry of Cooke, Hopkins reported to John Hancock on 9 April, giving a report of the fleet’s activities since sailing. He informed Hancock of his losses in the Block Island battle and said he planned to sail in three or four days, if Washington would permit the fleet to enlist some soldiers. No mention was made of the New Providence guns. On 10 April a delegation called on Hopkins from Connecticut. These had come to confer about prisoners, and to discuss how the captured cannon were to be used. Thus, Connecticut was now interested in claiming some of the cannon.


The commodore’s report to Congress of 9 April was read on the floor of that body, apparently to general satisfaction. It was later published in the newspapers. Hopkins received a letter of congratulation from John Hancock, the President of the Continental Congress. His popularity was never higher than at this time, and seemed to be genuine, both among the fleet and the public. When the Marine Committee suggested the purchase of the prize Hawke for the Continental Navy, it was suggested that she be named the Hopkins.436 Lieutenant John Paul Jones wrote, on 14 April, that “I have the pleasure of assuring you that the commander-in-chief is respected through the fleet and I verily believe that the officers and men in general would go to any length to execute his orders.”437


During this period the Continental Army was being transferred from the scene of its recent victory at Boston, down to New York, the next potential battle zone. Washington, in making this journey, passed through New London. As his men embarked in transports there, to sail to New York, Washington took the time to meet with Commodore Hopkins. Washington knew that many heavy guns were needed at New York and asked the Commodore about the availability of those captured at New Providence. Hopkins, despite the fact that Washington had just given permission to Hopkins to draft sailors from the Army, so the crippled fleet could put to sea, had the impertinence to tell Washington “that many [cannon] were wanting for the defence of the Providence river & the Harbour at New London  It was uncertain whether I cou’d have all I wanted, But that he wou’d send me all that could be spared.” Washington passed this gem along to Congress on 15 April.


Meanwhile, the Continental Congress, on 16 April, directed Hopkins to land his cannon and stores at New London, and to transmit to the Congress a full list of all items captured. If he had left New London, Governor Trumbull was to provide a list of the items Hopkins had landed there. Further, New London could be fortified with “such of the cannon and wheels as Governor Trumbull shall direct . . . during the pleasure of Congress.” Scarcely had this resolution been passed when Washington’s letter arrived. With uncharacteristic speed Congress acted. On 19 April a resolution passed, ordering that Washington have the use of any cannon or military stores captured by Hopkins and not needed immediately by the Continental fleet. The only exception allowed was for the fortification of New London. Washington was to order the cannon and stores sent anywhere he wished. Congress sent an inventory to Washington for his information.


Hopkins, who evidently suspected more was going to be heard on the subject of these guns, now moved with uncharacteristic speed in his turn. On 16 April he ordered First Lieutenant Elisha Hinman to take command of Cabot (the younger Hopkins was ashore, recovering from his wound). Ten of the heaviest guns  were loaded on Cabot. Hinman was to sail over to Newport where he was to land the guns, so they could be used to fortify Newport Harbor. If Hinman couldn’t get into Newport he was to anchor at Howland’s Ferry or Providence. Cabot arrived at Newport on 18 April, and the guns were being mounted within three days. Hopkins’ “favor” was very “acceptable” to the Rhode Island authorities.


The Congressional resolution of 16 April reached Governor Trumbull on 24 April. He inquired of Nathaniel Shaw (the fleet having sailed that day) as to what had been left at New London by Hopkins. Trumbull intended to act on the “Spirit of the Resolve.” Shaw reported to Trumbull the following day: Hopkins had landed thirty-four cannon at New London, some of which were already in use. Certain mortars and shells that Washington had asked for had already been shipped to New York, but some cannon had been shipped to Newport and some were still aboard the vessels of the fleet, which was now en route to Newport. The Congressional resolution had arrived at New London before Hopkins had sailed. Shaw had shown it to the Commodore. Hopkins had, however, declined to remove the guns from the fleet’s holds.


On 25 April Washington wrote to Hopkins recalling his men from the fleet. Washington explained the necessity for the recall, which seems unnecessarily polite under the circumstances, for as far as Washington knew the fleet had not moved. Washington also passed along the two Congressional resolutions regarding the cannon, as a reminder to Hopkins to forward them to New York. Trumbull, for his part, forwarded the Congressional resolution to Hopkins at Newport, and reported that he had done so to Congress on 27 April. It cannot then be said that Hopkins knew not the Congress’ intentions in the matter.


As might be expected the arrival of the fleet brought in prisoners and prizes and the associated problems of dealing with both. The prisoners were landed at New London and turned over to the Connecticut authorities, who eventually, on 15 April, shipped them off to Windham County for safekeeping. There were however, three groups who received somewhat different treatment: the men from Bolton and Hawke,  the high ranking prisoners from the Bahamas, and the slaves captured in Bolton and Hawke.


Nineteen prisoners from Bolton were landed and placed in irons and close confinement, largely due to Lieutenant Sneyd’s determined and inspiring resistance. The Americans put this group on short rations in an attempt to force some of the men to enlist with them. Four did enlist on Alfred on 12 April. Eventually Sneyd’s group was reduced to only a few men, from Bolton’s former crew. Sneyd broke out of prison on the evening of 8 November 1776 with three other of Bolton’s crewmen. Meeting another British sailor who had been captured in a prize, the party stole a canoe at Norwich Landing on 9 November. They attempted to paddle across Long Island Sound. Near Gull Islands, at the entrance of the Race, the canoe overturned and Sneyd and all the sailors drowned, except one man. A prisoner exchange, involving Sneyd, was in negotiation at the time.


The younger Wallace, notorious in Rhode Island, was packed off to Providence, where he arrived on 11 April. He was sent to the local jail. With him was Henry Stevenson, probably the commander of the other tender. Wallace and Stevenson stayed in jail until 13 September 1776, when they were granted parole.


The high ranking prisoners from New Providence were released on a preliminary parole on 8 April. Governor Montfort Browne gave considerable trouble over signing a more permanent parole, but he too was eventually packed off to Windham by the end of April. He was exchanged for Lord Stirling (Major General William Alexander) in early 1777.


Aboard the British vessels were found a number of slaves belonging to various citizens of Rhode Island. Whether these had escaped to the British or had been captured in prizes is unknown. Several were enlisted on Andrew Doria. Others were libeled in Rhode Island, where Commodore Hopkins bought two of them at auction.


There was the matter of prizes. The brig and the sloop from New York, both laden with wheat and flour, were suspected of trading with the British. After a close examination they were both released at New London. The British warships were all taken into New London with the fleet. All three were libeled on 12 June 1776, and tried on 5 July, being sold soon after. Hawke brought £256, Bolton £387, and the unnamed sloop tender £125. This quick sale of Hawke was unfortunate, for the Marine Committee had ordered her purchased for the Continental Navy, as Hopkins, and assigned to the Commodore’s squadron. Shaw apparently sold all three without orders; but acting in good faith.


When Biddle returned from his short cruise he found the fleet preparing to sail in consequence of an express warning from Washington. John Phillips had ridden a lather spotted horse into New London with reports from New York that British battleship Asia, frigate Phoenix and sloops Savage and Nautilus were supposed to be en route to New London, to blockade the fleet. Washington also requested, again, the forwarding of the cannon, and asked Hopkins to protect the Continental Army troop transports sailing from New London. Hopkins asked the Connecticut Council of Safety to join the Connecticut Navy Brig Defence and Connecticut Navy Schooner Spy to his fleet for the next cruise. The Council of Safety agreed to do so on 15 April.


The first order of business in Hopkins’ mind was to ship the cannon; but not to Washington. They went, instead, to Newport with Hinman. On 16 April Cabot was placed under Hinman’s command for that purpose. While Cabot was preparing to sail, Hopkins had Fly out scouting for the reported British fleet. Hacker sighted some sail off Montauk Point at 1530 on the 17th and ran back in to New London to inform Hopkins. Since Cabot had already sailed, Hopkins wrote to Governor Cooke of Rhode Island, informed him of the situation, and requested Cooke send assistance to Cabot when she arrived. Hopkins was “Extremly Consernd for the Town of Newport.” Cabot safely arrived there on 18 April.


Very little in the way of refitting had been done at New London. A visitor aboard Alfred about this time reported that “every thing about the ship appeared in a forlorn condition.” Nothing had been repaired since the Glasgow battle. This man further reported that Alfred had captured the sloop tender.


Hopkins now prepared to lead the remaining fleet to sea. On 19 April Andrew Doria received a Lieutenant of Marines and seventeen privates from Alfred as part of the re-shifting of men. At 1000 that day, in clear breezy weather, the fleet weighed anchor and sailed down the Thames River. Alfred, Columbus, Andrew Doria, Providence, Fly, and Connecticut Navy vessels Defence and Spy were present. Several merchant vessels were also present, under escort, including five sailing for the Secret Committee. None sailed far however, for Alfred ran aground at 1200, on submerged rocks near Fisher’s Island. The whole fleet hove to while Saltonstall tried to get unstuck. Alfred’s water was pumped out, and then her guns removed. Finally, at 1700, she was off the rocks. It was now too late and too risky to sail, so the fleet returned to harbor.


As soon as the fleet halted, Hopkins sent out Fly to warn Hinman and Cabot that the fleet had not sailed. Fly arrived at Newport at 1300 on the 19th, where Hacker landed and found Hinman at Holmes Wharf. Cabot’s crew was busily unloading the cannon. Hacker warned Hinman that there were three ships off the coast. Hinman agreed, telling Hacker he had been chased in the area off Point Judith. Hacker returned to Fly and dropped down the bay. Fly sighted a sail, which Hacker took to be an American vessel from the fleet, but the stranger’s suspicious activities kept Hacker from getting too close. He was in the area of Point Judith. Remembering Hinman’s story of being chased, Hacker took Fly into Franklin’s Ferry on 20 April and sent a message to Hopkins. Hopkins probably had Connecticut sloop Spy out scouting as well, while he prepared to sail again. He was well manned (“much better Mann’d now than we ever have been”) and wanted to try the British fleet at Rhode Island if it was not too much stronger than his own.


In a letter to Stephen Hopkins dated 21 April, Hopkins reported the recent fleet movements and added that his son, John Burroughs Hopkins, was still ashore, recovering from his wounds in the residence of Nathaniel Shaw. Although the Commodore thought it would be three or four weeks before he was well, the son had already asked the father if he could report aboard one of the ships. Hopkins told his brother that he had forced most of the British sailors into service aboard the fleet and wondered “if that is agreeable with the Sentiments of the Congress.”


Hopkins sailed again on 25 April, leading Alfred, Columbus, Providence, Fly, and Connecticut brig Defence to sea. The Andrew Doria was left behind to clean and refit, with orders to take ballast out of Bolton if necessary. She was to convoy merchant shipping out of the harbor when ready to sail, and then report to Hopkins at Providence, Rhode Island. The fleet arrived at Newport on 26 April, and passed up to Providence. Connecticut brig Defence was dismissed there, after being loaded with shells and one mortar for Washington’s army. Defence was to call at New London for Governor Trumbull’s orders. Another long period of doldrums and inactivity now began at Providence.


Hopkins set out on a short journey to Newport on 28 April and was consequently gone when an express rider arrived from Congress on 29 April. In his absence the Committee of Safety opened the letters and then promptly forwarded them to Hopkins, for they were urgent. These letters contained Congress’ congratulations on the success of the New Providence Expedition, and information concerning the appointment of Continental Agents. They also contained orders on the disposition of the New Providence cannon. To the Rhode Islanders this was, perhaps, what made them urgent.


The Commodore was still in Newport on business on 30 April. His son, recuperating now in Providence, where he had arrived by chaise from New London, wrote to Shaw on behalf of the Commodore. The Andrew Doria was to be readied for sea, with three months’ provisions, as soon as possible. By 1 May the brig had finished cleaning and was taking in her stores again, despite having flooded twice while heaving down. She sailed out of New London on 3 May, at 1800 on a hazy, breezy day, escorting several merchant vessels.


Biddle ran out to look around and saw HM Frigate Cerberus in the offing. He informed the merchant skippers but they thought they could make it out safely. So did Biddle. After he parted with the merchant vessels Biddle had to steer near Cerberus, but the British frigate ignored him. He arrived the same night at Newport and ran up to Providence.


Meanwhile Hopkins had received Washington’s request for the return of the borrowed soldiers. Hopkins advised Washington on 1 May that Providence would soon come out to deliver the soldiers to New York City. He added “we still continue Sickly onboard all the Fleet.” It would not be possible to go to sea without recruiting, “which will not easily be done.” In fact, crew and officer problems had come into the main view as soon as the fleet arrived at Providence.


In his report to John Hancock on 1 May, Hopkins reported that scarcely had the fleet arrived in Providence than over one hundred sick sailors had been landed. “Some New Malignant Fever” had broken out and more men came down with it every day. Hopkins said he was refitting for a three months’ cruise, when Washington’s recall of the soldiers had stopped him cold. He had no crews. Furthermore, he had delivered twenty-six heavy cannon to Newport. He had hoped this would raise his influence among his fellow Rhode Islanders to the point that he would be allowed to recruit from the colony’s forces. The arrival of the Congressional order to give up the cannon had ruined this ploy. He “cant ask it with modesty,” now. Nor was granting of such permission a certainty. Hopkins was always ready to follow orders but he doubted his power to keep the “Fleet” in service with “any Credit to my Self or the Officers . . . Neither do I believe it can be done without power to dismiss such Officers as I find Slack in their duty . . . “


The men that were not sick were not happy. A complaint from about this time was delivered to Hopkins by the crew of Providence concerning Captain Hazard and Midshipman Walter Spooner (on loan from Alfred). These two carried around sticks and rope ends (known as “starters”) to beat the crew. The crew promised obedience and fidelity, but wanted a new skipper or a new ship, for “wee are used like dogs on Board the providence.”


There was discontent among the officers as well. Following the return of the fleet to New London and the receipt of the news concerning the Glasgow battle, the general feeling among the public had been one of victory. Cooler reflection soon deflated the euphoria. Questions were asked, one in particular: how could one twenty gun frigate escape from six well armed vessels? Before long loose talk began in the bars and coffeehouses of New London. It was suggested that cowardice had been displayed by some of the commanders, a reluctance to get into close action. Crew members from Cabot and Alfred, hardest hit of the fleet, apparently intimated that Abraham Whipple, skipper of Columbus, had held back. This talk soon reached Whipple’s ears.


On 30 April Whipple appealed to Hopkins requesting a court-martial on his conduct. He reported that he had heard:


“. . . that I was a Coward and many other ill natured things which I say was a false report, if I did not do my Duty it was not out of Cowardice but for want of Judgment, I say all the People at New London look on me with Contempt, and here like a Man not serving the Country in my Station. Therefore I having a Family of Children to be repbraided with the mark of Cowardice and my own Character now Scandalized thro’ the whole Thirteen United Colonies, It is a thing I cannot bear and if I am a Coward I have no business in the service of this Country. Therefore I desire that there may be, by my own Request a Court Martial be called on me, and Tried by my Brother Officers of the Fleet and either acquitted with Honor or Broke for I want no favour . . .”


Hopkins was not anxious to perform this task. He felt that one court martial would “bring on some more Enquiries—but do not expect any thing which may now be done will mend what is past . . . “ The trial was arranged for on 1 May 1776.


Whipple’s court martial was held aboard Alfred, anchored in Providence River, off Providence, on 6 May. President of the court was Captain Saltonstall (Alfred), joined by Captains Biddle (Andrew Doria) and Hazard (Providence). The other members were Captains of Marines Nicholas (Alfred) and Welsh (Cabot); First Lieutenants Jones (Alfred), Arnold (Columbus), Hacker (Fly) and Hinman (Cabot); Second Lieutenant Maltbie (Alfred) and First Lieutenants of Marines Parke (Alfred) and Dayton (Providence).


Whipple appeared before the court and stated that his character stood accused of cowardice for not engaging closely with Glasgow and demanded the court examine the matter. After hearing Whipple the court took other testimony and concluded that “his mode of attack on the Glasgow in our Oppinion has proceeded from Error in Judgment and not from Cowardice.”


Whipple’s court martial was the first conducted in the Navy, the first requested by the man tried, and the first acquittal. Many writers have noted Whipple’s “toughness” in standing trial at his own request. Perhaps so: but note the fact of a Rhode Islander and relative of the Commodore being tried in a Rhode Island port, with a court composed of a current first lieutenant from his own ship (and potentially the most damaging witness against him), two other Rhode Islanders, and the president from Connecticut. With no clear evidence to the contrary, the only conclusion the court could come up with was what it did come up with: error in judgment.


Hopkins was right about one thing. Once one court martial was held more would follow. On 6 May, perhaps right after or during Whipple’s court martial, the under officers of Providence charged Captain John Hazard with embezzling public stores from the sloop, disobeying the orders of the Commodore on two occasions, and negligence and dereliction of duty in the Battle off Block Island. On 7 May Hopkins ordered the court martial held the next day.


The trial was again held aboard Alfred, at Providence, on 8 May at 1000. Captain Whipple replaced Hazard, but the other officers were the same as those who had tried Whipple. Hazard pleaded not guilty to all four charges and the board proceeded to hear the testimony. He was found guilty of disobedience of orders in the Delaware River on a minor occasion, and again on 26 April, when the fleet proceeded up to Providence. He was convicted of embezzlement and, more seriously, of not preparing Providence for action with Glasgow on 6 April. The finding was unanimous on each count. Hazard was sentenced to be cashiered, and Hopkins approved the sentence on 9 May. John Hazard thus became the first American naval captain to be convicted in a court martial and the first cashiered from the service.


Hazard, naturally, did not let the matter entirely rest. Sometime between 9 May and 17 May, when the results of the trial were first published in the Providence Gazette, Hazard appealed to Hopkins. The trial had been unfair, Hazard said. Saltonstall deprived Hazard of many privileges. Hazard had written to Saltonstall about his partial behavior. A copy was sent to Hopkins, as was a copy of the trial with a summary of the testimony of the witnesses. Saltonstall had not yet furnished Hazard with any of the defense’s papers or copies of defense testimony, nor a copy of Hazard’s written defense.


Hazard made these points. He was accused of disobedience at Reedy Island, which was not delivering wood and “which I thought was settled there.” The accusation of disobeying orders while going up the Providence River consisted of not coming under flagship Alfred’s stern. This was a case of misunderstanding “as I understood you was going to Newport then when I left your Ship.” Embezzlement was supposed to be, according to Hazard, the greatest of his crimes. If Hopkins inquired he would find it, however, a “Mear Triffle.” As for the Glasgow affair, Hazard was asleep and was awakened by his mate (a defense witness who was not called). Hazard hauled up his sails waiting for Columbus to come alongside, and then hailed Whipple. Hazard undertook to run alongside Glasgow on one side if Whipple would take the other, and Providence “would sink by her or be on Board of her.” No man on Providence, said Hazard, can deny this. Finally, Hazard asked Hopkins for a recommendation, as he meant to serve his country again, or at least a new trial.438


In his report to John Hancock on 22 May, Hopkins sent records of the courts-martial with several comments. He had confirmed the verdict on Hazard, but awaited Congress’ orders on Whipple’s verdict.439 Hopkins said he could have overlooked the rest of Hazard’s conduct “but as he was found Guilty in the affair of the Glascow I could not pass it by.”440 Meanwhile the verdicts had been published in the Providence papers on 19 May.441


It may be well to follow Hazard’s appeal before returning to the fleet. Congress received Hopkins’ letter of 22 May on the 31st. It was turned over to a special committee, already appointed to examine the Commodore’s conduct.442 On 8 June, in a letter to brother Stephen Hopkins, Esek noted the two courts-martial and that he had sent copies of the proceedings to John Hancock. Hopkins goes on to say “I am very Sensible that every Officer has his Friends, and that has had so much Weight with me as not to order a Court Martial although ever so necessary but when the Complaint came in writing and that from the principal Officers of the Fleet. I wish to God and for the good of my Country that no Officer in the Fleet depended on any Friend, but on their own Merit.”443


John Hazard proceeded to Philadelphia and presented a memorial to the Marine Committee on his court martial at some date prior to 4 September 1776. An unsolicited opinion was given to Robert Morris by then Captain John Paul Jones, in a letter of that date. Jones understood from British example that the verdict of a court martial, when confirmed by a commander-in-chief, admitted no further appeal. Jones had heard with “Astonishment the Application and Complaint of the late Captn Hazard to the Marine Board after he had been found ‘Unworthy of Bearing his Commission in the Navy’ by the Undivided Voice of a Court Martial . . . If he was then Unworthy of bearing his Commission I cannot see what new Merit he can have acquired . . . “ Jones pointed out it would be unwise to reverse the sentence even if Hazard had merit on his side, for to do so would allow other officers to hold courts-martial in contempt, and might lead members of courts-martial to inflict “Personal Punishment” to which no appeal was possible.444 And there the matter rested. If errors were made in Hazard’s court martial, it was still better he was gone, the Marine Committee apparently concluded.


The crews were unhappy with their officers; the officers unhappy with one another. Congress was also unhappy, and with their Commodore. As early as 26 April Congressional questions about Hopkins’ behavior were arising. After examining Washington’s report Congress approved of his assisting the Commodore with men, and let that item rest. As we have above mentioned, Hopkins released one mortar for Washington on 28 April, hardly fulfilling the spirit of the Congressional resolves.


Meanwhile, about 23 April, the Marine Committee had drafted a new set of orders for Hopkins. They communicated to him detailed information concerning the British forces in Virginia and North Carolina, pointing out the general weakness of the British. The Committee urged Hopkins to attack these forces: “ . . . there is no service . . . in which you could better promote the Interest of our Country . . . “ than by destroying these forces. If he came south he was to advise the Committee as to when he would sail, so that all available naval and military forces could cooperate. Further, “As You were directed by a former Instruction . . . [to] dispatch a swift sailing Vessel . . . “ to make a reconnaissance, “we now remind You of that Instruction & desire You would send a Vessel for that Purpose . . . “ Hopkins received these orders in early May. It was the clearest intimation yet that patience with him was dwindling in Congress.


The Pennsylvania Committee of Safety now approached Congress (26 April) and requested the use of the cannon that Hopkins had delivered to Newport, offering to pay for them. Considering the amount of money already spent by Pennsylvania in fortifying the Delaware River, this was a very fair offer. After some deliberation, Congress accepted this offer. On 7 May Congress resolved to order twenty of the heaviest cannon, taken to Providence by Hopkins, to be shipped to Philadelphia and mounted there for defense of the “capital.” In passing this order along to Hopkins, John Hancock quoted the full text of the resolve. Hancock clearly wanted no misunderstanding by Hopkins.


Perhaps Hancock was being explicit because dissatisfaction with Hopkins had now come officially before Congress. On 4 May a resolution was passed calling on the Marine Committee to find the original orders to Hopkins, issued by the Naval Committee, bring them forth, and lay them on the table for the perusal of the members.


Four days later, 8 May, a copy of the orders given to Hopkins was laid before Congress and read to the assembled delegates. A motion was passed to refer the orders to a committee of seven for study. Benjamin Harrison, John Adams, Thomas McKean, James Duane, Thomas Lynch, Roger Sherman and William Livingston were selected. This committee was to examine the orders, and also consider what was to be done with the high ranking prisoners from the Bahamas. The committee was originally charged to consider the appropriation of the cannon by Hopkins, but this was deleted from the instructions. It was evident from this motion that there was considerable dissatisfaction with Hopkins’ performance. Even more ominous was the next motion: “Resolved, That whenever it shall appear to this Congress, that any officer or officers, bearing continental commissions, shall have departed from orders, then an enquiry shall be made.”


John Adams later reported that debates in Congress raged around the figure of Hopkins at this time. He says he could find no reason for it “but that he had done too much . . . “ Adams was far too good a politician not to know the reasons. The Southern delegates had been necessary to obtain a Navy. They voted for a Navy on the condition it strike the forces around Lord Dunmore in Virginia, or some other Southern port. Those were the orders given Hopkins, and he had disobeyed them. On his return to America he had headed like a homing pigeon for New England, specifically Rhode Island. The prime booty of the raid on New Providence, the heavy cannon, had been disposed of as if they were Hopkins’ personal property. Most of those had gone to Rhode Island. A cooler look at the escape of the Glasgow revealed shortcomings in leadership. The Southerner’s blood was up and they meant to find out why, exactly, Hopkins had not followed orders.


Back at Providence there were a number of officer changes following the arrival of the fleet at Providence and the court martial and dismissal of Hazard. The first order of business was to find a new commander for sloop Providence. On 10 May, Hopkins ordered First Lieutenant John Paul Jones to take command of her, “as captain of the Providence.” Hopkins had no blank commission, so the “appointment was written and signed on the back” of Jones’s lieutenant’s commission.445 Jones was ordered to put her in good condition and then take aboard Washington’s soldiers and deliver them to New York City. While at New York Jones was to enlist as many landsmen and sailors as possible. On the return trip Jones was to call at New London and pick up any of the men in the hospital, who were now well.446


Since moving Jones to Providence left only Second Lieutenant Jonathan Maltbie aboard Alfred, First Lieutenant Jonathan Pitcher was shifted to her from Providence. Jones therefore found aboard Providence, as officers, First Lieutenant William Grinnell (sent from Columbus on 16 April) and Second Lieutenant John Peck Rathbun. The Acting Master was Samuel Brownell, signed on at New Providence on 14 March. Other officers were Second Mate Joseph Brown, Third Mate John McNeil, and Midshipman Joseph Hardy. First Lieutenant of Marines Henry Dayton was gone, his last known service being on the court martial of 8 May. There was no Surgeon. That office was filled on 12 May, by promoting Henry Tillinghast from Surgeon’s Mate on Alfred, to Surgeon, and assigning him to Providence.


Jones found thirty-four men aboard Providence. He managed to get three (counting himself and Surgeon Tillinghast) from Alfred. On 15 May he recruited one man, a clerk, Charles Short, later discharged as incompetent. Thus, there was only a skeleton naval crew of twenty-seven, in addition to seventeen Marines, aboard the sloop when she sailed.


About 10 May Andrew Doria was under sailing orders to go out on a patrol in company with Cabot. Biddle was anxious to go for he was tired of “taging after these Dam’d Ships.” Andrew Doria had been ready to go for a week, waiting only for orders.447 Andrew Doria had a crew of forty-nine sailors and twenty-four Marines on the 10th, including some “New Marines” from the army. Among these was Lieutenant Joseph Wadsworth of the 23rd Continental Infantry.448 On 13 May a draft of seventeen men was transferred from Alfred, which brought Biddle’s crew up to ninety men.


Cabot had, of course, no commanding officer aboard. First Lieutenant Elisha Hinman took command of her pending the return of the younger Hopkins. With the addition of First Lieutenant of Marines John Kerr, and Midshipmen John Sword, Ephraim Goldsmith, Abel Frisbie and Peter Richards she was well officered.


The first vessel to get to sea was sloop Providence. Jones loaded the troops being returned to Washington aboard her, including the “New Marines” from Andrew Doria. He was given a letter from Hopkins to Washington and sailed from Providence on 16 May. Providence arrived at New York on 18 May, delivering the one hundred soldiers.449 Jones then began recruiting sailors, with very little luck. Between 20 and 24 May a total of six sailors were enlisted, and one was taken from the hospital, but exchanged two days later for a Marine. Two men were discharged, including the recently acquired Marine, on 24 May. Two sailors took the opportunity to desert on 24 May. First Mate John Margeson of Andrew Doria was taken up at New York as a deserter. He was not entered on the sloop’s muster roll at this time, Jones apparently planning to deliver him to Biddle.


While recruiting at New York, Jones took time to write to his Congressional patron Joseph Hewes a long letter with several interesting comments. First he recaps recent history, touching on the condition of the fleet, and the difficulty of manning it, then proceeds “The Unfortunate Engagement with the Glascow seems to be a general refection on the Officers of the Fleet . . . “ Jones points out that he was on Alfred’s gun deck during the battle, and not therefore, involved with the direction of the ship. Jones continues with his opinion of what is necessary for an officer in the Navy: “I may be wrong but in my Opinion a Captain of the Navy ought to be a man of Strong and well connected Sense with a tolerable Education, a Gentleman as well as a Seamen both in Theory and Practice—for, want of learning and rude Ungentle Manners are by no means the Characteristick of an Officer . . . “450


Jones now touches on his reasons for accepting command of Providence. He mentions that he was offered command of the sloop at Philadelphia, but declined it, and would not have accepted it now but for the “Rude Unhappy Temper of my late Commander.—I now reflect with Pleasure that I had Philosophy Sufficient to Avoid Quarreling with him—and that I even Obtained his blessing at Parting.”451


Jones now comes to the issue of rank, one that preoccupied him for the rest of his naval career. He has heard, he tells Hewes, that the local committees building the new frigates are to appoint all the officers except the captains. Jones says he does not believe those who stepped forward first will be overlooked in these appointments, “ . . . Nor can I suppose that my own Conduct will in the Esteem of Congress Subject me to be Superseded in favour of a Younger Officer, especially one who is said not to Understand Navigation—I mean the Lieutenant of the Cabot who was put in Commr of the Fly at Reedy Island after I had declined it—I was then told that no new Commission would be given—and I considered her as a paltry Message Boat fit to be commanded by a Midshipman.—but on my Appointment to the Providence I was indeed Astonished to find my Seniority Questioned—the Commodore told me he must refer to Congress—I have recd no New Commission  . . . “452 Jones’s assignment to Providence had evidently been questioned by Hoysted Hacker, the lieutenant commanding the Fly. Hopkins’ intention was to promote Jones to Captain until Hacker’s protest. In the event Hopkins did not, apparently, refer to the Marine Committee, and did promote Jones. This episode is what provoked Jones’s letter to Hewes.


Providence sailed out of New York about 25 May, heading for New London. She had a crew of only forty-six men aboard, but Jones expected to get more men from the hospital at New London. The sloop arrived there about 27 May. The next day Jones got what men he could from the hospital: a total of one sailor. Jones sailed from New London on 29 May, going out in company with Connecticut Navy Schooner Spy (Captain Robert Niles) and Connecticut Privateer Sloop Gamecock (Commander Lemuel Brooks). Cerberus had been hanging about the coast for some time and saw and chased Spy, but the other two evaded her easily, Gamecock and Providence both arrived at Newport on 30 May.


On 12 May Hopkins issued sailing orders for Andrew Doria and Cabot. Biddle was to take enough men from Alfred to make his crew up to eighty-five, and Lieutenant Hinman (Cabot) was to take men from Alfred and Fly until he had ninety aboard. The two brigs were to cruise for three or four weeks., with Biddle as the senior officer. Prizes were to be sent to Providence except in cases of necessity.


Andrew Doria prepared for sea where she lay, in Providence River. After sending her eleven “New Marines” aboard Providence for delivery to New York, Biddle needed men to flesh out his crew. Seventeen men came from Alfred on 13 May, just before Andrew Doria and Cabot raised sail. The two brigs dropped down the river to Pawtucket and anchored there.


When Jones sailed from Providence in the Providence on 16 May Columbus was in the process of heaving down to clean, and Alfred was hauling to the wharf to begin repairs.453 Alfred’s status at this time was reported by Hopkins in a letter to Hancock on 22 May. Nearly half the men in the fleet were sick. Alfred had sent so many sailors to other vessels of the fleet that she was left “almost without hands—and the most I now expect is to fit and send the Columbus & Providence on a Cruise in about ten days, which will leave the Alfred without any hands more than the Offcers—The Sickness discouraging new hands from entering.” The reason Hopkins had left Alfred for last was that she “is tender Sided and the most unfit Vessel in the Fleet for Service, and her Main Mast has a 9 lb shot through it, and can’t get another easily in this place, although it is fished in the best manner we could do it I am still in doubt whether it will bear hard Crowding on . . .” Hopkins hoped to get permission to man her by recruiting from the Rhode Island forces at Newport.454 So short of men was Alfred that the tiny sloop Fly turned over a man to her on the 16th.455


One sailor’s opinion of Captain Saltonstall came to light on 29 May. Able Seaman Kenneth McCloud wrote to the Commodore, asking what station he was to take. McCloud continued “. . . I am Content Ether Way for I am Determind to Stay By you So Long as I Receive the Same Good treatment as I always Have from you But Capt Saltison I will Not Saile with . . .”456


In a report to the Marine Committee on 19 June, Hopkins noted that he was going to go down to Newport in the Alfred in two or three days in an attempt to man her. He had gotten some sailors, temporarily, from Rhode Island, which enabled the Providence and Columbus to sail.457 About the same time Hopkins recommended five men from the Alfred for promotion: John Earle, Thomas Vaughan, and George House, for lieutenants aboard one of the new frigates at Philadelphia; Robert Sanders, then living in Maryland, for a lieutenancy on the frigate building there, and Francis Varell, for boatswain of one of the Philadelphia frigates.458


Just at this point came the news that Congress was to investigate the past activities of the fleet. When Hopkins’ fleet had still not moved following the emphatic “request” to go South from the Marine Committee on 23 April, the tempers in Congress began to get very short indeed. By late May several officers and enlisted men had made their way to Philadelphia and more information was available to the Delegates on how their fleet was handled. Disgruntled Marine officers from the Columbus reported that Whipple was incapable of command and badly mistreated his crew. Saltonstall was reportedly as bad as Whipple, and everyone universally condemned the mishandling of the fleet in the Battle off Block Island. Then there was the matter of the New Providence cannon: it seemed impossible to get them away from Hopkins and Rhode Island.


Congress had previously appointed a Committee to examine Hopkins’ instructions from the Naval Committee. On 22 May Congress ordered the Committee that was examining Hopkins’ instructions from the Naval Committee to “enquire how far Commodore Hopkins has complied with the said instructions, and if, upon enquiry, they shall find he has departed therefrom, to examine in to the occasion. . .That the said committee have power to send for witnesses and papers.”459 Thus the Committee was given power to conduct a full investigation. On 31 May Congress received Hopkins’ letter of the 22nd, transmitting the results of the courts-martial of John Hazard and Abraham Whipple. This letter was also referred to the Committee460 which now knew that a disgruntled John Hazard would soon be coming down to see Congress.


Robert Morris expressed the nearly universal opinion when writing to Silas Deane on 5 June: “Commodore Hopkins has...[illegible]...short of Expectation and his fleet which might have performed the most signal service under an active vigilant Man, have been most useless.”461 It must be remembered that at this time the Congress had a great many problems confronting it: there was just beginning a huge buildup of both American and British forces for the New York campaign; American troops in Canada were in full retreat and the Army there was in disintegration, bringing fears of an invasion down the lakes; another British army and naval forces was moving on South Carolina; and the movement for independence was in full swing and under debate. It was a time when everyone was straining every resource to provide men and munitions and money for the numerous threats. It was a time, in the view from Philadelphia, when the Commodore of the Navy, was consulting his safety in Newport in defiance of direct orders.


Of course, all the fault was not Hopkins’s: there were extenuating circumstances. The sickness of his crews and the shortage of crews had largely prevented his complying with the orders of 23 April and he had done his best to get the vessels of the fleet out to sea individually to cruise. The situation with the New Providence cannon had gotten far beyond his ability to control. Ultimately, had he followed his initial orders to the extent of looking in at Virginia, had he gone to Georgia or North Carolina after the New Providence raid, or had he landed the cannon at New London when he first received the order to do so from Congress, he probably would not have been in such trouble. Hopkins had done his best at sea, and not all that badly.


Esek’s brother Stephen was still a delegate in Congress and saw how the wind was blowing quite clearly. He sent off a warning note to Esek on 31 May and brother Esek replied on 8 June. Esek knew he was in trouble and “as for the Souther Colonies being Uneasy it is no more. . .than I apprehended.” Esek explained that he intended to go from New Providence to Savannah, but intelligence received only three or four days before he sailed revealed a large British frigate had arrived there. As for the Glasgow affair “had all the Commanders behaved as I expected they would, I should have had it in my power. . .to have relieved most of the Southern Goverments. . .but as the Case was it was lucky we did not fall in with their whole Strength at first—I was not deceived in the Strength of the Enemy but greatly in ow own Resolution.” Esek thought perhaps he should have mentioned this sooner, but had hoped the fleet’s reputation would be retrieved by later action. However, the “inattention to business of most of the Officers, and an expectation of getting higher Stations in the new Ships” had prevented the fleet preparing for sea quickly. The sickness among the crews further prevented action.462


Hopkins concludes by mentioning that he would be really quite pleased to hand the command over to someone else, for he was now feeling his age, and the “several difficulties that attend the Navy are too many to mention & perhaps imprudent to name, it is too much for my Capacity to Surmount.”463


It would be very interesting to know just which “Commanders” had not displayed “Resolution” in the Battle off Block Island. Saltonstall, aboard the Alfred, had lain alongside the Glasgow exchanging blow for blow. Esek’s eon, John Burroughs Hopkins, had taken the Cabot alongside and been wounded for his troubles. Lieutenant Hacker, in the Fly was not in position to engage, nor was the sloop capable of being in the battle. That left Whipple (Columbus), Biddle (Andrew Doria) and Hazard (Providence) to account for. Hazard had been tried and his actions in the battle had partly led to his dismissal, at least according to Hopkins. Whipple had been tried and acquitted. This left only Biddle. Now interestingly enough, when the Philadelphia newspapers had published Hopkins’ account of the battle, Biddle’s family and friends had, as you might imagine, read them over carefully seeking notices of their relatives or friends. There was none, and this seemingly studied ignorance offended them. It was the subject of questioning to Nicholas in letters from home.464 If Hopkins was speaking of Nicholas Biddle as a “Commander” without “Resolution” he was never more wrong in a judgement.


Commenting on this omission in a letter home, Biddle said “the injustice and Partiality of the letter were so very glaring that it needed no comment, tis not from him that I can expect Justice.” Biddle had not discussed the letter with the Commodore, “Not a sylable has ever passed. . .about either the Action or letter...” Biddle also noted his belief that Hopkins “deserved the severest censure” for the way he handled the battle.465


Alerted by brother Stephen’s warning, Hopkins now gathered up papers, copies of orders, muster rolls, payrolls, and various other data for transmission to the Marine Committee. He sent them all off to Philadelphia under care of Marine Captain Samuel Nicholas of the Alfred, who was going to Philadelphia on personal business. Nicholas was to call on the Marine Committee while there and discuss the late cruise with the Committee. Nicholas departed Providence on 19 June 1776.466


While Hopkins was gathering papers the Committee conducting the investigation was gathering complaints. Complaints against Hopkins, Saltonstall, and Whipple. Finally, on 13 June, the Committee presented a report to Congress with the complaints detailed. It was enough for Congress to order an inquiry.467


President of the Continental Congress and of the Marine Committee John Hancock wasted no time in notifying Hopkins. On 14 June he wrote him a very direct letter. “Notwithstanding the repeated Efforts and Solicitations of the Marine Board to put the Continental Ships upon a respectable footing, and to have them employed in the Service for which they were originally designed. . .their Efforts & Solicitations have been frustrated & neglected in a manner unaccountable to them. . .there has been a great Neglect in the Execution of their Orders.468 For these reasons and to explain the complaints by the officers and men, Hopkins was ordered to Philadelphia to answer “with respect to your whole proceedings since you left this City.” This was followed by similar letters to Captains Saltonstall and Whipple: “The present inactive State of the Navy of the United Colonies, the many Complaints. . .and the daily Applications of both Officers & men who have left the fleet in Consequence of very severe usage.” They were directed to come by land to Philadelphia and report to Hancock as President of the Marine Committee, All necessary papers for their defense and relative to their ships was to be brought. Finally “I am to repeat to you that Congress expect your immediate Compliance with this order. . .”469 Hancock also notified George Washington of the situation, noting “The shameful Inactivity of our Fleet for some Time past; the frequent Neglect or Disobediance of Orders in Commodore Hopkins, the numberless Complaints exhibited to the Marine Committee agt him, and also against Captains Saltonstal and Whipple. . .I hope soon to have our Ships on a more respectable Footing. No Effort of mine shall be wanting to accomplish so desirable an Event.”470


Hopkins received his notification on 20 June: the express rider must have passed Major Nicholas on the road. That same day Hopkins passed the orders of Congress along to Whipple, stopping him as he was on the point of sailing in the Columbus. Hopkins hoped that Whipple could “immediately take such Steps as you may be able to Satisfy the Congress with your Conduct—Captain Saltonstall and myself are both ordered there to Account for our Conduct—Shall take pleasure in your Company.”471 Finally, Hopkins informed Biddle that he was ordered to Congress, along with Saltonstall and Whipple, and that Biddle would be in temporary command of the fleet. Biddle was to be prudent and take “no Steps with the Ships till further orders from Congress.” Biddle was to transmit the state of the Andrew Doria to him, and order Jones and Hacker to do the same.472


The two captains and the Commodore met before their trip down to Philadelphia. What passed between them is unknown, except for a brief passage put down in a letter from John Paul Jones to Robert Morris on 12 January 1777. At the time Jones was on an extended character assassination of various captains who had been promoted over his head. Jones and Saltonstall had never gotten along, so the source must be considered somewhat suspicious. However, according to Jones, who said that he was told this by Commodore Hopkins, when the three men met Saltonstall told them “that if the other two were willing himself would Agree to be Broke if the Congress would allow them half pay”473


Whatever was decided or not the trip to Philadelphia was fast. Captains Whipple and Saltonstall reported to Congress in early July 1776, whereupon that body ordered, on 2 July 1776, that the Marine Committee immediately inquire into the complaints against them and bring in a report.474 The Committee reported to Congress on 11 July, having “called before them, divers of the inferior officers, belonging to the ships Alfred and Columbus, and having heard their complaints against the Captains Saltonstal and Whipple, in their presence, are of opinion, that the charge against Captain Saltonstal does not appear to the committee to be well founded, and that the charge against Captain Whipple amounts to nothing more than a rough, indelicate mode of behaviour to his marine officers.” After consideration Congress ordered both men to report to their ships and “that it be recommended to Captain Whipple to cultivate harmony with his officers.”475 Whipple and Saltonstall wasted no time in setting out for Providence. By 21 July Whipple was at New York, where Brigadier General Nathaniel Greene issued him a pass so he could transit the city easily.476


With the inquiries on the two captains out of the way, Congress turned to the Commodore. The Committee appointed on 8 May to examine his instructions was discharged on 12 July, and its business was turned over to the Marine Committee. The Marine Committee was ordered to examine Hopkins’ compliance with his orders and also to inquire into the charges that were presented to Congress on 13 June by the Marine Committee.477


On 2 August 1776 the Marine Committee brought in its report on Hopkins’ conduct. The report was read to the assembled Congress and it was ordered to lie on the table. Monday, August 5, was set as the date to take up the report and begin debate.478 But such was not to be. Instead, Hopkins presented a petition to Congress on Monday, stating:


“. . . he has been informed that certain complaints, interrogatories and report, charging him with sundry crimes and misdemeanors, had been exhibited to the honorable Congress; the purport of which complaints &c. he is ignorant of; and praying that he may be furnished with copies thereof, and of all other proceedings against him. . .and that time may be allowed him to prepare for, and a day assigned for, his being heard before Congress in his own defence.”479


Congress gave Hopkins four days grace, fixing Friday, August 9, to hear his defense. On Friday the date was extended to Monday, August 12, and Congress ordered that “Captain Jones be directed to attend.”480


On 12 August Commodore Hopkins attended Congress and was admitted “agreeable to the order of the day.” His examination before the Marine Committee was read to Congress, and the Commodore presented his own case, elaborating answers to some of the questions asked by the Marine Committee, and presenting two witnesses.481 It was a trial and Hopkins knew it, telling the delegates “I am glad that I am to be tryed by a Court that I Can have no Dout But will Judge from Maters of fact and not from aney Rumer propagated out Dorrs . . .”482 Hopkins added that the reputation of the Navy had not suffered under him.


The chief obstacle was the charge of insubordination. Hopkins specifically addressed this charge. His orders, he said, were made out on 5 January 1776 and he did not sail until 17 February 1776, during which time the situation and the strength of the British at Virginia had changed greatly. He stated it did not appear to him that the Naval Committee expected him to follow outdated orders, but to follow his “Judgment and Prude [prudence] . . .”483 Delegate Thomas Jefferson kept detailed notes of Hopkins’ defense, and put down his conclusions, which were similar, no doubt, to the sentiments of most listeners.


According to Hopkins he did not go to Virginia for the following reasons: (1) before he sailed he had heard that HM Frigate Liverpool had joined the British there, and that the British were now an “overmatch” for his fleet; and (2) the sickness aboard the fleet. He did not send a vessel to obtain intelligence because both the Fly and the Hornet parted two days after he sailed. Hopkins did not proceed to North Carolina because he had heard that all the British shipping had left for Georgia. He did not go to South Carolina because: (1) the British shipping had left for Georgia; and (2) he had no pilots for Charleston Bar. He did not go to Georgia because the British were too strong there. Further, as he sailed south the health of his crews improved. Hopkins appointed a rendezvous at Abaco, because it was closer to Georgia than was South Carolina. Since he had ordered the ships that rallied at Abaco to wait upon each other for fifteen days, “he thought he might as well form expedm somewhere.” Local intelligence presented New Providence as an objective, to secure powder and cannon. Again he did not proceed to Savannah because he heard of the British strength there. Hopkins returned to Rhode Island with the cannon because they were not needed in South Carolina and he thought he could bring them more safely to Rhode Island. Further, his orders were for him to proceed to Rhode Island. He did not deliver them to Governor Trumbull of Connecticut, as ordered by Congress, because he was using them as ballast, which could not be replaced at New London. It could be obtained from Jew York, but delay was impossible, for Washington had warned him the British were going to blockade New London. He delivered the cannon to Governor Cooke because the Rhode Island governor offered pig iron ballast in exchange, and agreed to deliver the cannon when Congress asked for them. Finally, “a clause in his instrns authorized him to depart from his instrns if in his discretn he thought for the public good. if he was mistaken then it was no [crime.] instrns are never given positively & it is right they should not be, because of change of circumstances. . .”484


Patiently, with skill, and point by point, Jefferson destroys Hopkins’ defense. He states his theme at once: “The Commodore had a premedetated design not to go to the Southern colonies but to Providence . . .” He did not intend to go to Virginia because he did not send any vessels to reconnoiter, and the same for North Carolina. Nor did he send to South Carolina for information. The Fly had been purchased especially to allow him to obtain intelligence. Further, he still had the light vessel Wasp with him. A rendezvous at Charleston was closer than Abaco to Savannah, and signals had been made out for his reception, and pilots would be furnished, all of which Hopkins knew before he sailed. According to Major Nicholas’ testimony to the Marine Committee, Hopkins told Nicholas that he was going to Providence two days before he arrived at Abaco. The absence of the light craft, the Fly and the Hornet could not have prevented his going to Savannah, as they were not fighting ships. As for taking cannon to Rhode Island, there were none in North Carolina, and they “wre mch wantg there.” Further, if cannon were an object, Fort Johnson in North Carolina had more than New Providence. Why, after attacking New Providence, had he not gone to the Southern coast “that being not only the main object of his expedn, but in truth the object of equipping the Navy.” He demonstrated his lack of experience in the Glasgow affair. As to the cannon being used as ballast, two of “his officers say she had still the ballast with which she had gone to Providce & returned.” On being given the Congressional order to deliver up the cannon at New London “tho’ he was come out of the harbor of New London. . .he ot to have retd wth them.” The problem was, “(not] that he did not exercise an honest discretion in departing from his instrns but that he never did intend to obey them . . .”485


After presenting his case the Commodore withdrew from Congress and the debate began,486 and continued on 15 August.487 John Adams took up the mantle of defense attorney. “On this Occasion I had a very laborious task, against all the Prejudices of the Gentlemen from the southern and middle states, and of many from New England. . .I thought, however that Hopkins had done great Service. . .” Adams thought Hopkins was the victim of an “Anti New England Spirit. . .” He presented to Congress that he saw nothing in his conduct to show corruption or lack of integrity. Adams again: “Experience and Skill might have been deficient, in several Particulars: But where could We find greate Experience or Skill? I knew of none to be found. The other Captains had not so much. . .” Adams proceeded to investigate and examine the whole matter, going over the questions, Hopkins’ replies, using all his “Talents and Eloquence. . .in justifying him where he was justifiable, and excusing him where he was excusable.” Following the debate Rhode Island Delegate William Ellery approached Adams and told him “. . .you have made the old Man your Friend for Life. He will hear of your Defence. . .and he never forgets a Kindness.” And such was the truth.488 After the conclusion of the debate it was resolved that Hopkins “did not pay due regard to the tenor of his instructions. . .and that his reasons for not going from Providence immediately to the Carolinas, are by no means satisfactory.” The Pennsylvania delegates now requested a farther postponement to the next day.489


On 16 August Congress took up the report again. Finally a resolution was approved: “Resolved, That the said conduct of Commodore Hopkins deserves the censure of this house, and the house does accordingly censure him.” A copy of the resolution was ordered sent to Hopkins. Adams regarded the vote of censure as a mistake “as it tended to discourage an Officer and diminish his Authority by tarnishing his reputation. . .” But Adams also regarded it as a victory of sorts for Hopkins was not cashiered “which had been the Object intended by the Spirit that dictated the Prosecution. . .”490


Hopkins had expected to be dismissed. When he received the resolutions of Congress, in a letter from John Hancock on 16 August, he replied with a letter to Congress and then he said (in a note to Hancock) that he would “wait till I know if they have any further commands.” On 19 August Congress resolved that Hopkins “repair to Rhode Island, and take command of the fleet formerly put under his care.”491


How can this result of the investigation be explained? Surely Jefferson was basically correct in his analysis: Hopkins had deliberately disobeyed his orders, a situation that could not be tolerated in naval or military commanders. How then, had Adams’ eloquent defense saved Hopkins? The answer perhaps, is that it did not. The Southern delegates and most of those from the middle colonies, wanted him out. Many, but not all of the New Englanders, agreed he should go. But to dismiss the man would have created difficulties. So-the delegates from Pennsylvania brokered a vote of censure, and many of the gentlemen apparently expected that Hopkins, from a sense of his honor and dignity, would resign. He did not.


Support for this conclusion comes from a letter written by Robert R. Livingston, former delegate from New York, to Edward Rutledge (delegate from South Carolina), on 27 September 1776. Livingston noted, referring to Hopkins, “you have but one way left, appoint an Admiral—but dont flatter yourself that even that will bring about a resignation. A sense of honour must exist where in dignity produces a sacrifice of interest. If you have not the courage or interest to carry this as the next wise step sell your ships to private adventurers.”492


There exists a partial muster roll for Alfred, from about 2 August 1776, of men who entered from Connecticut. The earliest date is 18 December 1775 and the latest date is 11 February 1776. There are thirty-three men on the list, which also includes the status of each sailor. This shows that the earliest any of these men left the Alfred was on 13 March 1776, when two deserted. Of the deserters, another ran on 15 March, two more on 10 April and 21 April 1776, and one on 17 July 1776, a total of six. Three men died (21 March, 16 April, and 9 June 1776). Seven men were discharged (14 June, 16 June, 20 June (three men) and two men on 2 August 1776). One was transferred to Andrew Doria on 13 May 1776. Six men are shown as being sick and left in Connecticut, but not yet returned. Finally there is a category called “left the ship;” ten men are indicated in this group, which may be something like the modern absent without leave: the dates are 17 June, 3 July, 4 July (seven men), and 11 July. Of these thirty-three men, 18% deserted, 10% died, 21% were discharged, 3% were transferred to another ship, 18% were left ashore, sick, and 30% “left the ship.” If we add the last category to the deserters, the desertion rate is a whopping 48%. Although this is a small sample, perhaps on one sixth of Alfred’s crew, it reveals some very real manning problems.493


Whipple was certainly in Providence by 7 August. On that date he persuaded Saltonstall (or Pitcher) to transfer twenty-seven of Alfred’s men to the Columbus, including Master John Earle, Third Mate Philip Alexander, and Midshipman George House. Fourteen of these men were Marines, led by Sergeant William Hamilton. The next day two men were transferred to the Andrew Doria, and one was received from the same brig.494 Only fourteen Marines and thirty-eight sailors were left on the Alfred.


Alfred lost an officer on 13 August, when Second Mate Thomas Vaughan was promoted to Third Lieutenant and transferred to the Continental Navy Ship Washington at Philadelphia. Saltonstall was ordered to discharge Vaughan.495 Vaughan was discharged on 26 August.496 Another officer was lost on 22 August when Saltonstall was appointed as captain of the Continental Navy Ship Trumbull, being built in Connecticut.497 Another sailor deserted on 14 August.498


The short list of officers led to promotions on 20 August. Midshipman Robert Sanders was promoted to Second Lieutenant; Midshipmen Walter Spooner and Charles Bulkley were both promoted to Master.499


When Hopkins had been cleared by the investigating committee of Congress he was sent back to the fleet with a fresh set of orders, dated 22 August. The Marine Committee understood that the Alfred and Cabot were inactive and ordered Hopkins to ready them for a six months cruise. He was to join to these two the Columbus and Hampden to attack and disrupt the English Newfoundland fishery. Hopkins was told to take, sink, burn, and destroy as many fishing vessels as possible, making prisoners of the fishermen. Hopefully many of these would enter the Continental service. Shore raids were to be conducted to destroy the drying stages for the fish. If all four vessels were unable to proceed, Hopkins was to send out the ones available, appointing a rendezvous so that the others could follow and join later. The Marine Committee noted that it was the time of the year when the fishermen packed their cargo for home, so “no time must be lost.” Following the raid on Newfoundland the squadron was to cruise in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to capture inbound shipping to Quebec, possibly try to intercept some homeward bound Hudson’s Bay vessels, and call at French St. Pierre and Miquelon to announce the Declaration of Independence and sound out local sentiment. Hopkins was to have the schooner prize Hawke purchased, re-named the Hopkins, and joined to this expedition.500


Hopkins returned to Providence from Philadelphia on 31 August, bearing these orders. He found that Columbus and Cabot were out cruising. The other vessels were in various stages of being refitted. Writing to the Marine Committee on 1 September 1776 he noted that he had not yet seen Saltonstall. Hopkins understood Alfred was five miles below Providence, anchored in the river, with only about forty men, including officers, aboard. Hopkins planned to rest a short time and then begin manning the Alfred. He asked permission to send her out under Lieutenant Jonathan Pitcher, “a prudent Capable Man,” when ready. Hopkins clearly was not expecting Saltonstall to stay.501 Governor Cooke of Rhode Island, answering an inquiry from Governor Trumbull of Connecticut, stated the same information on 3 September. Alfred was the only Continental Navy unit in the state, he said, and she had only forty men aboard including officers.502


Alfred’s muster roll was drawn up on 5 September 1776, covering the period from Alfred’s commissioning to 5 September, although there are a number of entries after that date. The muster roll bears the notation that it is a true copy of the roll “left in the ship by Captain Saltonstall,” and is signed by James Hogan. The muster roll shows the captain’s clerk being turned over to the Trumbull on 8 September. Saltonstall’s cabin boy is shown as turned over to the Trumbull in September, with no date given. It seems certain that Saltonstall moved on to his new command on 8 September, leaving Pitcher in charge of the Alfred.503


The muster roll illustrates the manning difficulties in a similar way to the partial roll of Connecticut sailors mentioned above. There are 268 names on the muster roll including the Captain and Commodore. Of these men ninety-eight are listed as having “run” or “left the ship;” a desertion rate of 36.57%. Eighty men (29.85%) were turned over to other vessels of the fleet at various times. Twenty-two (8.21%) were discharged; thirteen died (4.86%); eight were left somewhere too sick to serve (2.99%) and five (1.86%) were killed in action.504


By 10 September Hopkins had examined the Alfred. He discovered her bottom was so foul that she could not go out on a cruise without cleaning. On 10 September she sailed down to Newport, to be hove down and cleaned. In a report to the Marine Committee that day Hopkins noted the privateering fever throughout the New England states. He suggested that the Continental Navy should “give the same Prize Money which is one half as they do, it would be a great deal easier to Mann the Continental Vessels.”505


About 20 September Francis Varrell was appointed as a Boatswain on the Continental Navy Ship Washington. The Marine Committee directed the “Commander” of the Alfred to discharge him, as if unsure who the commander was. Varrell was not then on the Alfred, but had been loaned to the Andrew Doria, which arrived at Philadelphia on 17 September.506


Hopkins reported to the Marine Committee on 22 September. The Alfred was at Newport, cleaning, and the Commodore expected her to be ready for sea in a week. Captain Hacker was at New London. Hopkins had gone to see Governor Trumbull regarding the Long Island Sound operation, and had gone to New London, leaving there on 19 September. Hacker was heaving down the Hampden, and she would be ready for sea in a few days, but not fully manned. Hacker was to bring her around to Newport to join the Alfred. Hopkins again expressed the opinion that manning the ships would be difficult without giving one half as prize money. He noted the privateer owners also gave large pay advances. Alfred and Hampden would sail as soon as possible on the Newfoundland Expedition.507


The Alfred and Hampden were ready by 30 September, except for men, reported Hopkins in a letter to the Marine Committee. He had not yet been able to recruit sufficient men. Once again, Hopkins blamed the privateers: “there are so many Privateers a fitting out which give more encouragement as to Shares; it makes it difficult to mann the Continental Vessels.”508 Again, on 5 October both vessels were said to be ready for sea, but only partially manned.509


Barely had Hopkins returned from Philadelphia than Governors Trumbull (of Connecticut) and Cooke (of Rhode Island) began to pressure him to use the fleet in an attempt to clear Long Island Sound of enemy shipping and cover the transportation of a large raiding force to the east end of Long Island. Governor Trumbull proposed joining forces with Rhode Island on 5 September and mentioned the desirability of securing the assistance of the Continental vessels. Trumbull proposed to man the ships from the military forces if necessary.510 Although General Washington approved the plan on the 7th, he absolutely declined to allow the ships to be manned from the Continental Army.511 About 17 September Hopkins visited Governor Trumbull to coordinate planning for this enterprise. He returned by way of New London, where he examined Connecticut Navy Ship Oliver Cromwell (and Hampden). Hopkins left on the 19th and returned to Providence. Hopkins reported to Trumbull on the 22nd that the two new frigates, Warren and Providence, would be ready in ten days, if it were possible to man them. They would join the expedition if he received no orders to the contrary from the Marine Committee.512 Hopkins reported to the Marine Committee on the status of Alfred and Hampden that day. He proposed using the new frigates in Long Island Sound, while Hampden and Alfred conducted the Newfoundland Expedition.513


Governor Trumbull was still trying to coordinate plans with Washington for the Long Island Sound operation on 27 September. In a letter to Washington Trumbull reported he had the Commodore’s “concurrance.”514 Meanwhile, delegate (and Marine Committeeman) Stephen Hopkins had arrived in Rhode Island from Philadelphia. After conferring with him the Rhode Island government directed that Commodore Hopkins be permitted to enlist men from Richmond’s regiment before that unit marched for New York. To further the Long Island raid, this regiment was to be sent by way of New London. The Rhode Island row galleys were also put under Hopkins’ orders.515 On 5 October Hopkins notified Trumbull that Alfred and Hampden were ready, and that the two frigates would be ready in a week, except, of course, all four were only half manned. Hopkins said he was ready to join the Connecticut forces whenever Trumbull gave the orders, “but expect you will Excuse me to the Congress for not putting their Orders in Execution with respect to some of the Fleet.”516


Two events occurred in early October. Captain John Paul Jones arrived at Newport in Continental Navy Sloop Providence on 7 October 1776, from a highly successful patrol. Hopkins at once proposed to him to take command of Alfred, Hampden, and Providence, and proceed on the Newfoundland Expedition “to Destroy the Fishery . . . but Principally to relieve an Hundred of our fellow Citizens who are detained as Prisoners and Slaves in the Coal Pits of Cape Briton.” Jones accepted at once.517 Thus Hopkins was reverting to his original orders from the Marine Committee.


Three days later, in Philadelphia, the Marine Committee ordered Hopkins to plan a new expedition, assuming he had laid aside the Newfoundland plan when he found his vessels out cruising upon his return to Providence from Philadelphia. He was to collect Alfred, Columbus, Cabot, and Hampden and sail at once to strike the small British naval forces in the Cape Fear River in North Carolina. Hopkins was to take one of the new frigates with him if it was ready for sea. After capturing the British warships, taking as many prizes as possible, and seizing the batteries around the anchorage, he could proceed to South Carolina or Georgia, or return to Philadelphia.518 The same day, Congress, acting upon the recommendations of the Marine Committee, fixed the relative rank of the naval Captains and assigned them to their vessels. Alfred was assigned to Captain Elisha Hinman, with a seniority of 20th on the list. Jones was ranked 18th, but was assigned to Providence. Hoysted Hacker was assigned to Hampden, and ranked 16th.519


The Long Island expedition was still in active planning. On 11 October Trumbull reported to Washington on the military preparations and added that the Continental Navy ships had been manned from Richmond’s regiment. With the two Connecticut Navy  vessels joined to them this fleet would attack British frigates off Montauk Point and in the East River. In case these ships were still undermanned, Trumbull requested permission to man them from the Army. He also requested that fresh and current intelligence be sent him.520


Hopkins was apparently well prepared except for men. He ordered Hacker to put to sea in Hampden on 14 October, to cruise against British store ships. In his orders to Hacker, Hopkins said “My Orders was to Send you to annoy the Trade at Newfoundland but I imagine that is too late.” If Hacker went that way he was to patrol about latitude 30° or 40° North.521 Hopkins had previously informed Trumbull, on 11 October, that Hacker was ordered out to gain intelligence (although there was nothing in Hacker’s orders concerning that item); that Columbus, having come in from her patrol, was now cleaning; and that the two frigates and Alfred were ready, saving only four hundred men to man the fleet. In strenuous efforts to enlist men at Newport from the 5th to the 15th, Hopkins had only raised 120 sailors.522 And that pretty much ended the Continental Navy’s participation in the Long Island Expedition. There were no four hundred men to man any vessels. Hopkins returned to his original orders of August 1776. It is not likely that Hopkins was ever very serious about fighting the British in Long Island Sound.


Meanwhile, the Marine Committee, under the impression that Hopkins had received its orders of 10 October, added to and changed those orders on 23 October. Hopkins was notified that British naval forces had withdrawn from Georgia and South Carolina and that HM Frigate Galatea and HM Sloop Nautilus were cruising off the Virginia Capes. Hopkins was ordered to attack these ships on the way to Cape Fear. He was to take the Rhode Island built frigates, Cabot, and Providence with him. Two brigs from the North Carolina Navy would join him at Ocracoke Inlet. The Committee concluded “As this Service to the Southward is of much publick importance, we expect...that you proceed on and execute this Service with all possible vigor and despatch.”523 The Committee also advised Captains John Manley (of Continental Navy Ship Hancock), Hector McNeill (Continental Navy Ship Boston), and Thomas Thompson (of Continental Navy Ship Raleigh) that their ships might join this expedition under certain circumstances.524 The North Carolina authorities were advised that Hopkins was coming and it was suggested they be ready to join the North Carolina warships to the fleet, as well as to furnish pilots for the coast.525


The Marine Committee altered Hopkins’ orders again on 30 October. He was to abandon the North Carolina phase of the expedition completely and proceed directly to Virginia. After receiving local intelligence and destroying the British at the Virginia Capes, he was to cruise off New York for incoming supply ships.526 Two days later John Paul Jones sailed for Cape Breton Island. Hopkins had still not received the Committee’s letter of 10 October. It had been slightly over two months since the Marine Committee had issued the orders that Hopkins was now carrying out.


When John Paul Jones accepted command of the proposed Newfoundland (now Cape Breton) Expedition, he threw himself into the preparations. First Providence had to be made ready for sea. By 17 October Jones could report to Robert Morris that the sloop was ready. Alfred was another matter: Jones was “Under the Greatest Apprehension that the Expedition will fall to nothing as the Alfred is greatly Short of Men.—I found her with only about thirty men and we have with much Adoe enlisted Thirty more—but it seems Privateers entice them Away as fast as they receive their Months Pay.” Jones added that, if Alfred were not manned soon it would be too late to sail for Cape Breton: the colliers would be gone to Halifax and the fishermen to Europe.527


Jones found Alfred in terrible condition. Following his inquiry at Philadelphia and his appointment to command the new Connecticut frigate, Saltonstall had left Alfred unrepaired. She still had her old fished mainmast (a relic of the Block Island battle) and only one working pump.528 The deteriorating crew was demoralized and very short handed. Alfred was reported to be ready for sea by 15 October but still only half manned.529 Jones solved the most important problem by turning over most of the crew of his sloop Providence to Alfred when he assumed command of the ship on 22 October. This brought her crew up to about 140.530


Carpenters were now set to work, stores were provided, and the ship cleaned and scrubbed. Wooding and watering was completed. All this was not without incident: one Robert Shillingford injured his hand and a surgeon had to be paid to dress the wound. Part of the crew received wages on 23 October, by Hopkins’ order. Meanwhile, Alfred finished cleaning at William Redwood’s Wharf and was hauled off into the harbor. Captain of Marines Edmund Arrowsmith was recruiting in town: in October one Robert Lillibridge was paid £0.17.06 for assisting him to find Marines. There was still sickness aboard Alfred, for two men were left behind when she sailed on 1 November.531


As was by now traditional in a Hopkins supervised operation, crew quality was none too good. On 19 October Hopkins received a complaint against James Bryant, Gunner on the Hampden, for theft of a pair of pistols from the gunner aboard Alfred. Hopkins sent Second Lieutenant Sanders to search Hampden and ordered Captain Hacker to cooperate with him.532 There was apparently a little more to this incident, for Jones was requested to sit on a court martial on four sailors, held aboard Alfred, on 23 October.533 Bryant was tried the same day, aboard Alfred, with Jones as president of the court.534


 


-IV-


Hopkins issued sailing orders on 22 October 1776. Jones was instructed to take command of Alfred, along with Hacker and Hampden, and proceed on the Cape Breton Expedition. He was first to attack the Cape Breton coal trade, free the prisoners, and then cruise against the Newfoundland fishery or the transports bound for Canada. He was then to return to a New England port for a winter expedition.535 Hopkins passed along the latest intelligence concerning the Cape Breton mines: the harbor was guarded by HM Sloops Hope and Savage (with one usually at Louisburg) and an army force of twenty-six soldiers.536


Commodore Hopkins surely drew some temporary pleasure by reporting to the Marine Committee, on 24 October, that Alfred was manned and under orders.537 Alfred and Hampden actually sailed on 27 October, but Hacker promptly ran the brig aground on a “Sunken Ledge” in the harbor. Part of her false keel was knocked off and several leaks started.538 Jones put back into Newport and notified Hopkins. On the 28th Hopkins “Recd your Disegrable Letter” and ordered Jones to proceed to Newport, examine Hampden, and shift Hacker and his crew into sloop Providence and follow the former orders. Hopkins hoped to be in Newport personally on the 29th.539 Jones reported to the Marine Committee that he now hoped to sail on 31 October.540 But the last day of the month was a poor day to sail; thick heavy weather with strong gales held the Continentals in port.541


On 1 November 1776 the wind was fair. Jones issued a few last minute instructions to Hacker. Signals were fixed for foggy weather recognition and course was to be set for Spanish River, near Cape North on Cape Breton Island.542 Once again Alfred sailed, this time accompanied by Providence. Hacker managed to avoid the reefs and the pair slipped out to sea.543


As soon as Alfred and Providence cleared Newport and had stood off the land for a short time, Jones turned east, along the Massachusetts coast. Not very long though, for the wind grew light and began to show signs of coming around from the south. Alfred steered close to Providence and Jones conferred with Hacker. They decided to head for Tarpaulin Cove for the evening.544 About 1600 the two Continentals came into the anchorage,545 just as darkness was falling.546 There was another vessel in the anchorage, Rhode Island Privateer Schooner Eagle (Commander Isaac Field); a vessel familiar to the Continental sailors.547


Alfred’s anchor rope rumbled as her anchor sank into the water, followed immediately by her boat being swung out. A party of sailors under First Lieutenant John Peck Rathbun clambered aboard. Rowing vigorously the party soon reached and boarded Eagle. Rathbun informed Field that he was under orders to bring “sd Schooner under sd Ships Stern—Accordingly the sd Rathbone immediately with his Men  weigh’d Anchor and carried her along side the Sloop Providence.” A guard was set over the schooner and her long boat removed.548


Before dawn549 Jones ordered First Lieutenant of Marines John Trevett of Providence to report to him on Alfred.550 At a meeting of Trevett and other officers Jones told them to man and arm the barges from Alfred and Providence and go alongside Eagle. After boarding the schooner, the officers were to examine her papers, looking for deserters from the Navy.551 If any were found Trevett was to “press all we could.”552


Meanwhile, the schooner’s crew and officers had spent an apprehensive night. Field knew what was coming, and had taken what steps he could, as will be seen. A little before sunrise the two boats moved over to Eagle, and Rathbun, Captain of Marines Arrowsmith, Providence’s First Lieutenant Philip Brown, and Trevett boarded the schooner, accompanied by a suitable number of armed Marines and sailors. Rathbun informed Field they had come to examine his crew for deserters. Field replied that they could take any man they could successfully challenge.553


The Marines set about searching the schooner. A new bulkhead was found forward554 below decks555 and was broken down.556 Cowering behind the bulkhead were found two deserters from the Continental Navy and two from the Rhode Island brigade of state troops. These were hauled up on deck and put in the boats.557 Rathbun now told Field that he “had further Orders to take all the men on Board.” The Marines set to with relish and “by Force and Violence they took out of sd schooner” twenty more men throughout the day.558


Near the end of the day Rathbun returned aboard with a boat full of “Indians,” who were ordered to go through the schooner’s hold, probing and poking with drawn cutlasses. Rathbun “abus’d the first Lieut of sd Schooner by heaving him on the Deck, and many other Acts of high insult were committed by Rathbone’s Orders.” After the last of the men were aboard Alfred, the two Continental vessels raised sail and sortied for Cape Breton.559 Before he sailed Jones made a brief report to Hopkins. He noted, in a significant phrase concerning the deserters, “I ttok them out with about Twenty—others greeable to your Orders.”560


After sailing from Tarpaulin Cove the two Continental vessels sailed out around Cape Cod and steered northeast, heading for the seas off Cape Breton Island. By the morning of 11 November the two vessels were off Cape Breton, despite meeting “contrary winds and Stormy Weather” during the voyage.561 In the afternoon a strange sail was sighted and Alfred and Providence gave chase, a chase that lasted through the afternoon and night.562 Providence was having a hard time in the stormy weather and took a pounding in the chase, “being Obliged to carry sail hard & the Wind blowing very fresh,” which started a number of leaks in the little sloop.563


Finally the prize was run down and captured. She was the 150-ton564 brigantine Active565 (Isaac Fox),566 from Liverpool to Halifax567 with a cargo of dry goods and coal,568 valued at £6000.569 Active was Liverpool built for the Greenland trade with a doubled hull forward.570 Jones sent Acting Lieutenant Walter Spooner to take charge of her after removing the crew,571 Fox being left aboard.572 As a tribute to his patron in Congress, Robert Hewes, Jones ordered Active to put into Edenton, North Carolina, consigned to Continental Agent Robert Smith.573 Spooner was given latitude to make for another port if unable to proceed to North Carolina.574 Jones took some of Fox’s private goods (his “adventure”) for the use of slops for Alfred’s crew.575 For the time being Active was kept with the two warships.


Following the capture of Active, Jones, Hacker and Spooner continued in company through the night. At dawn576 the next day, 12 November, the Continentals and prize were near Louisburg, about 120 miles north of Halifax.577 Midshipman Stephen Rust of Providence, and assigned to Active’s prize crew, was on deck scanning the horizon when he spotted a sail.578 Rust sung out to the others and soon all three vessels were pounding through the heavy seas after the stranger. Providence drew ahead and ranged alongside the brigantine, which was preparing to fight. According to Jones “She made some defence but it was triffling.”579 Lieutenant Trevett said “the Ship haled down her colours to the Sloop Providence,” and Active and Alfred bearing down encouraged the British to do so.580


A boarding party soon went over and secured the prize’s papers. Not until they returned did Jones realize what he had captured. The prize was the British Army Transport Ship Mellish581 (Joseph Stevenson),582 armed with six 3-pounders and six swivels,583 and with a security detachment of twenty-one soldiers aboard. Trevett reported she had a large crew of sixty or seventy men.584 Jones reported over sixty prisoners of whom forty were soldiers and sailors. Mellish was en route from London to Quebec. In his report Jones stated “this Prize is I believe the most Valuable Ship that hath been taken by the American Arms.” And what was Mellish’s cargo, that was so valuable? It was winter uniforms. Jones continued “ . . . the clothing on board of her is the last intended to be sent out for Canada this season . . . I will not loose Sight of a prize of such importance but will sink her rather than suffer her to fall again into their hands.”585 Lieutenant Trevett reported she had “10,000 suits of Soldiers Clothing ready made, a et of light-horse accoutrements with carbines and a valuable invoice of Medicine chests . . . trunks of silk gowns and dry goods suitable for Gen Burgoynes army at Quebeck . . . every article complete for a Soldier from the hat, to the shoes.”586 The value of the cargo was estimated at £60000,587 a truly astonishing figure, but a British newspaper later estimated its value at £80000.588 Well could Jones crow “this  will make Burgoyne ‘Shake a Cloth in the wind’ and check his progress on the Lakes.”589 As a dessert to the main dish Jones found, among the ship’s papers, the private recognition signals for British warships in North America.590


How had such a prize come to be captured so easily? The British had made efforts to prevent it. Mellish was a 350-ton, former Royal Navy bomb ship591 (Thunder). She was loaded with her cargo and fitting out by 9 August 1776, when the owners agreed to arm her as a protection against American privateers.592 When the master and mate declared they would not fight the ship, the British Navy Board ordered them suspended, and appointed, on 21 August, Joseph Stevenson.593 He was requested to sign an affidavit stating that he would defend the ship. A week later Midshipman Samuel Horsenail and a petty officer were ordered aboard, to “explain” convoy procedure to Stevenson.594 Finally, an officer and twenty soldiers went to Mellish with another midshipman from HM Frigate Richmond. With these precautions taken, Mellish sailed under escort of Richmond.595 She may have gotten to the mouth of the St. Lawrence River with Richmond596 and transport Union.597 Severe icing conditions and a northwest wind prevented the trio from getting up the river, so they bore away for Halifax. Mellish separating in the bad weather.598 Stevenson met Alfred and Providence soon after.


Jones now ordered Active into port, bearing his reports on the cruise and the capture of Mellish.599 He then set about securing Mellish. The three vessels lay to for two days600 while Mellish’s crew was removed. Ten cannon were put aboard the prize,601 along with a strong prize crew of twenty-five men.602 First Lieutenant Philip Brown of Providence was assigned as prize master.603 On 15 November Jones ordered Brown to stay near him, follow his signals, and render assistance if an engagement should occur. If seperated, Brown was to make for  Rhode Island, going by way of Nantucket Shoals.604


While the vessels lay to, securing Mellish, trouble was developing aboard Providence. The rough weather and the strain of chasing Active had started many leaks on the sloop. On the night of 13 November the sloop had to keep “both Pumps constantly going,” and she was forced to lay to “by Reason we could not carry Sail.” On the 14th the officers of the sloop addressed a petition to Hacker: “Should we meet with a Severe Gale of Wind it is our Opinions both pumps would not keep her free unless We scudded.” The officers noted a quarter of the crew were sick and many were aboard the prizes. The officers were of the opinion that sailing any further north “will too much Endanger the Vessel.” All officers signed except Lieutenant of Marines John Trevett.605 Jones later said there was “an Unaccountable murmuring in the Sloop for which I could see no Just foundation And in Vain had I representated to them how much humanity was concerned in our endeavours to releive our Captive ill treated Brethren from the Coal Mines.”606


Nevertheless, Providence resumed the cruise with Alfred and Mellish on 15 November. In a short while, off Cape North,607 the squadron fell in with and captured the 120-ton608 merchant snow Kitty609 (or Hetty, Charles Ross),610 from Gaspee to Barbadoes with a cargo of fish and oil. Acting Lieutenant Joseph Allen of Providence was assigned as Kitty’s prizemaster, and ordered to go into Rhode Island, if possible.611


Before Kitty sailed in the afternoon Jones reported to the Marine Committee. From Ross he had learned that the harbors in the Gaspee Peninsula were already frozen up, which was “by no means an encouraging Account . . . as it lays me under the greatest Apprehension that the port of my distenation may be in the same condition.” Jones reported stormy seas and contrary winds, and that both Alfred and Providence kept a pump going.612


Jones resumed his cruise. On 18 November a strong gale from the northeast, filled with snow and rain showers, blew down on the little squadron613 (“it could not be called a hard Gale”). Afraid that the weather would force his vessels apart, Jones spoke both Mellish and Providence and ordered them to lay to. The next morning, “to my great surprise I found the Providence had disappeared,” said Jones. Later he found out that Hacker had put about and steered for home as soon as darkness had fallen.614 Jones was considerably angered by this defection: “ . . . the Captain of the Providence thought proper to dispence with his Orders and give me the Slip in the Night which entirely Overset the Expedition—If such things are permitted the Navy will never rise Above contempt!”615


Providence ran south before the gale and had an uneventful voyage to Newport, where she arrived on 27 November. Hacker and his crew gave out information that Alfred had made port at “the eastward.”616 With Providence gone the “Epidemical discontent” spread to Alfred. The weather was severe and the season was cold, and everyone wanted to go home, except Jones. He “was determined at all hazards while my provision lasted to persevere in my first plan.”617


When the storm blew over Alfred was found to be in dangerous waters. She was in sight of the northeast reef of Sable Island, with the wind blowing from the north. Jones was forced to beat up the south side of the island, and, “after exercising much Patience I weathered the N W Reef of the Island.” From here Alfred and Mellish headed for Canso, Nova Scotia.618


On 22 November Alfred lay to off Canso. Examining the waterfront Jones saw a “Fine Transport”619 brig620  had gone aground in the harbor. A landing party was organized and went ashore to seize the town and secure the transport, probably led by Captain of Marines Arrowsmith. The transport was found to be from Ireland, bound to Quebec with a cargo of provisions.621 The transport was burned as was an oil warehouse and its contents, and assorted processing materials for the fishery.622 Two sailors took the opportunity of being ashore (possibly at their home town) to desert.623


While Alfred was laying offshore an American sympathizer came out and warned Jones that three British frigates were searching the coast for him, and had been since he was cruising in the area in Providence in late summer. Before leaving Canso Jones also took a small schooner to use as a tender, replacing Providence.624


After clearing Canso Jones set course for Sydney, where the Cape Breton coal mines were located. On 24 November Alfred was off Louisburg, in thick hazy weather. In the afternoon large shapes loomed out of the fog, surrounding Alfred. All three were seen to be ship rigged. “Every one Assured me they were English Men of War,” and Jones thought so too. He thought he had encountered the three frigates that were supposed to be searching for him. “Resolving to sell my liberty as dear as possible” Jones took Alfred down to the nearest sail. She proved to be a British Army transport, bound from the Cape Breton coal mines625 at Spanish River626 to New York, under escort of HM Frigate Flora. The other two ships were a “Considerable distance Assunder” but Alfred soon rounded them up too. The masters informed Jones that Flora was nearby and, in fact, would be in sight if the weather were clear. They aldo informed Jones that no transports were left at Spanish River and that all the American prisoners there had enlisted in the Royal Navy.627


With no need to pursue his voyage to the north, Jones turned south to avoid Flora. On 25 November Alfred fell in with and took the ship John, armed with ten cannon, from Liverpool to Halifax, with a cargo valued at £1100. She was added to the prize convoy.628


Jones now lay to and reorganized his gaggle of prizes. He had 140 prisoners aboard Alfred and the provisions were being consumed fast; and he had five or six prize vessels with “the best of my Sailors” aboard. He “concluded it most for the interest and Honor of the Service to Form the Prizes into a Squadron and proceed with them into Port.”629 The three transport colliers, Betty, Surprise, and Molly, were manned and assigned prizemasters.630 Betty (or Betsey, James Sutton), a ship in ballast,631 was given to Carpenter Samuel Tyler.632 The crew was removed but Sutton was left aboard.633 Ship Molly634 (or Polly,635 James Lash, Lush, or Lusk),636 with a cargo of coal,637 was assigned to Second Mate James Bechup.638 Again the crew was removed and the master left aboard.639 Ship Surprise,640 also loaded with coal,641 was given to Midshipman Michael Knies642 with a prize crew of five men to assist him.643 Ship John, with a less valuable cargo and armed with ten guns, was fitted out as a tender.644 Command of John was given to First Lieutenant Rathbun.645


Jones ordered Betty to take station on Alfred’s port quarter, with Surprise to fall in astern of her. Mellish was to form two or three cable lengths on Alfred’s starboard quarter, followed by John, with Molly falling in astern of John. Jones fixed signals for his squadron, and particularly those for meeting again after separation. The prizemasters of the colliers were ordered to any available port, if separated, but Newport was recommended.646 Similar orders were given to Rathbun, except that he was to keep his station and assist Alfred in an engagement, if possible.647 First Lieutenant Brown (Mellish) was enjoined to keep station and only leave it to prevent “Eminent Danger.”648


Meanwhile there had been an attempt by part of John’s crew to recapture that ship. The master, Edward Watkins, realizing the hopelessness of the attempt, had intervened, even taking a cutlass from one of the crew. Jones sent Lieutenant of Marines William Hamilton aboard John to secure the ship and to arrest  Watkins. Rathbun intervened for Watkins, who was sick, and he stayed aboard John.649


Frequent gales of wind from the west blew on the little convoy.650 The weather was not the only source of problems. Jones’s secretary, James Hogan, had had some sort of altercation with Jones and was placed in confinement. This soon produced the “most acute sensations” of regret on Hogan’s part. He apologized and requested release on 7 December.651


Alfred and her convoy were crossing the northern edge of George’s Bank on 8 December, steering west by south, with the wind from the northwest.652 A large vessel was sighted to the northeast in the afternoon, some distance away. Unknown to Jones it was HM Frigate Milford (Captain Henry Mowat).


Milford was one of Commodore Sir George Collier’s squadron, based at Halifax. She had recently changed commanders, her Captain Burr being too ill to continue in command, and Collier selected Mowat to replace him. Mowat was, of course, an old hand in northeastern waters. Collier sent Milford out to patrol from Cape Cod to Monhegan in November, seeking American privateers and shipping.653 Milford was a 603 ton frigate, with a crew of two hundred men, and armed with twenty-eight cannon; a much more powerful vessel than the converted merchantman Alfred.654


Milford’s log indicates that she was seventy-eight miles southwest of Cape Negro in windy hazy weather on 8 December.655 The weather was freezing cold. Mowat was steering west by south, sailing before the wind.656 About 1500 five strange sail (Alfred’s group) were sighted away to the southwest at a distance of twelve miles. Mowat immediately raised more sail and gave chase, clearing for action.657 By the time darkness was falling Milford had closed enough so that Jones could make out that his pursuer was a British frigate.658 Jones now deployed the private recognition signals that had been captured in Mellish. Milford’s lookouts saw the correct signals run up and Mowat “Supposed to be a Man of War and her Convoy for New York.” He lost interest, broke off pursuit, and the Americans slowly moved away. By 1800 they were out of sight in the fading light.659


Jones now made preparations for getting the prizes to port and possibly engaging Milford. First Lieutenant Rathbun was recalled to Alfred from John, Jones apparently feeling he needed Rathbun aboard in case action developed with the British. Second Lieutenant Robert Sanders was sent to John as prizemaster, with orders to head for Nantucket Shoals and then Newport, if separated. He was to keep company with Surprise, whose new prizemaster, Carpenter Tyler, was a pilot.660 First Mate John Margeson was ordered to Betty, to replace Tyler, with orders to keep company with Alfred. If separated Margeson could proceed to any safe port.661


The convoy was divided. Mellish, Betty, and perhaps the schooner tender, were ordered “to Crowd Sail and go a Head.”662 Jones held John back with him because she was armed and had a cargo (according to her invoice) of low value.663 Surprise stayed with Alfred and John.664 In the night Alfred led John away,665 steering north while the prizes stood on to the south.666 Jones lit Alfred’s large top light to lead Milford away from the escaping prizes.667


Meanwhile Milford tacked at 0300, perhaps following Alfred’s light, but more likely changing course because of the weather.668 At dawn, Milford was seen two points on Alfred’s lee quarter, about the same distance as she was the night before. Jones had discovered that Alfred was very out of trim, sailing “very ill by the Wind.” Jones also had observed that John “made much less lee Way.” Jones ordered John to drop back astern, staying to windward of Milford, and examine her strength. Sanders was to signal whether Milford was stronger or weaker than Alfred.669


Milford had sighted the group of three vessels on her weather bow at 0800, about nine miles away, and had given chase. At 1000 she tacked, bringing the ships on her weather beam. At 1130 the ship on her beam (John) bore down for Milford. About 1200 John fired four shots at her.670 Perhaps Sanders had misunderstood his orders. Jones reported “After a considerable time the Signal was made that the Enemy Was of Superior Force.” Meanwhile the wind had risen, laced with severe squalls, blowing a hard gale. Alfred was making seven or eight knots by evening, and spindrift was blowing across the sea.671 Jones and Alfred were far away from John. Mowat, already suspicious as to what these vessels were, had had any doubts eliminated as soon as John fired at Milford. He immediately began to chase after Alfred. Milford’s log book indicates the afternoon weather as fresh gales with squalls and hail showers. Mowat ignored John and pursued the other two sail, west by south from him at a distance of twelve miles. The hapless John fell astern, following Milford.672 Mowat hung on in pursuit of Alfred. Jones reported the seas were so rough it was “impossible” to hoist out a boat. At nightfall Milford wore around on the other tack.673 Alfred and Surprise continued on and soon parted in the rough weather.674


When Mowat tacked at 1500 he steered down on John. Sander’s luck was out and he knew it. In a half hour Milford was alongside her, hoisted out the cutter, and occupied the prize.675 Jones believed that Sanders “had Wilfully given her up and continued Voluntarily by the Enemy through the whole of the very dark and Stormy night that ensued,” basing his criticism on the sea state at the time.676 On the other hand, Jones was later criticised for abandoning John and Sanders to Milford.677 Neither criticism was correct. Sanders was caught, the British launched their cutter, and there was little Jones could do from nine miles away against the superior Milford. After removing John’s American prize crew, a petty officer took the ship away to Halifax.

678 Among the papers found on John were Alfred’s signals, which Mowat later attempted to use.679


Following the breakup of the prize convoy by the encounter with Milford, Jones and Alfred steered south and west. On 14 December Alfred was attempting to get into Boston, but the wind was blowing very hard from the north. Jones was nearly without provision, and, if the wind increased, he was in danger of being driven out of Massachusetts Bay, so he decided to put into Plymouth. Now that is a very difficult harbor to enter. In “Working up the Harbour the Ship Missed Stays in a Violent Snow Squall on the South Side which Obliged me to Anchor immediatly in little more than three Fathom.” Alfred grounded at low tide and began to beat against the bottom in the wind and surf, but she was freed by the morning of the 15th. Jones sailed to Nantasket Roads “with a tight ship and no perceptible damage whatever.” Alfred arrived with two days provisions left and over 140 prisoners aboard.680 On the 16th Alfred dropped anchor in Boston Harbor.681 Now let us see how Jones’s various prizes fared on their voyage home.


Brigantine Active, under Acting Lieutenant Walter Spooner of Alfred, had been despatched for Edenton, North Carolina, it will be recalled. Spooner instead steered for Rhode Island but put into Dartmouth, Massachusetts on 23 November 1776, the first of Jones’s prizes to get into port. Spooner brought word of the capture of Mellish to the Continental Agents.682 At Dartmouth the brigantine was delivered to Deputy Continental Agent Leonard Jarvis,683 while Spooner traveled to Newport to deliver Jones’s letters to Commodore Hopkins (on 24 November).684 Hopkins ordered any items of clothing and the coal aboard Active held for the use of the Army and Navy.685 Active was libeled on 26 December 1776 and tried on 14 January 1777.686 The imprisoned crew was exchanged in February 1777.687 Active eventually wound up in Robert Morris’s service, as the Delaware.


When Jones arrived in Boston and discovered Active had not sailed to North Carolina he was not pleased. In a letter to Joseph Hewes he explained why she had been ordered to North Carolina, then he said, of the prizemaster, “to My no small concern . . . hath thought proper to break his Orders” and go into Dartmouth. Jones listed this as the first example of insubordination on his cruise.688


Mellish was the premier prize of the cruise. When the convoy broke up on 8 December Mellish was among those prizes sent on ahead, steering south. Jones found she had not arrived in port by 16 December, when he anchored at Boston. The local authorities and the Continental Agent were alerted. Steps were immediately taken to intercept her before Brown ran her into Newport, recently captured by the British.


The danger of recapture at Newport was very real. By at least 11 December the British commander at Newport, Commodore Sir Peter Parker, knew that Alfred was at sea and was due back into port very soon. Parker had struck his broad pendant and the British warships had lowered their colors. American colors were ready to be hoisted at Newport if Alfred appeared, and a frigate was ready to slip out after her.689


The Massachusetts Board of War’s efforts to find Mellish began on 17 Decemver. The Board of War called three captains of the Continental Army schooners at Boston before the Board to inquire about the condition of the schooners. The Board wanted them to sail out, seeking Mellish. Captain Ayres declined, stating his main mast was broken. Captains Skimmer and Waters were unprepared and could not proceed. The Board of War passed this particular work on to Continental Agent John Bradford, recommending that he send out a schooner to look for Mellish.690


Bradford immediately sent an express to Dartmouth, with orders to get out an advice boat. The boat was supposed to find Mellish and warn her away from Newport. One of the Continental Army schooners sailed from Boston on the same errand (which one is unknown).691 It so happened that Lieutenant Brown was familiar with the waters around Nantucket Shoals, and had put into Martha’s Vineyard.692 Bradford’s advice boat found her there and Mellish arrived at Dartmouth on 20 December. After sending express to order the cargo unloaded, a representative of the Army set off on 22 December “to receive what part of the cargo is wanted for the Army and to forward it.” Jones claimed Mellish had 16000 uniforms aboard.693


Since Deputy Continental Agent Leonard Jarvis was absent from Dartmouth, one John Proud took charge of Mellish, sending an express to Bradford with the good news.694 According to John Trevett, who was not there, “As soon as they arrived, without trial, for the Malech, she was onloaded, and all the clothing taken out and waggons prepared to send them on to Gen. Washingtons army, at that time his army being in a distressed situation for clothing . . . and at that time I can say with pleasure I had rather taken her than a Spanish Galleon with hard money, although we took Continental money for our parts of all the prizes.”695


Mellish was libeled on 26 December 1776 and tried on 14 January 1777.696 She was eventually bought by Bradford for the government in late March 1777,697 for conversion to a warship. This was not, however, done.


Snow Kitty (or Hetty), under Acting Lieutenant Joseph Allen of Providence had parted company in the afternoon of 15 November, bound for Newport. Allen got down to the Nantucket Shoals area where he was recaptured by HM Frigate Unicorn (Captain John Ford).698 Before Unicorn’s prize crew could get her into port, she was captured again, by Massachusetts Privateer Brig Reprisal (Commander John Wheelwright).699 The privateer sent Kitty into Boston, where she arrived 27 December.700 She was libeled by Wheelwright on 9 January 1777, tried 28 January,701 and sold at Avis’s Wharf on 7 February.702 Naturally, the crew of Alfred received nothing from this prize.


The three colliers had similar fates although the details were quite different. Ship Molly had parted from the convoy on the night of 6 December in a heavy sea with a westerly gale.703 Soon after parting the master of the ship, James Lash, conspired with prizemaster James Bachope and part of the crew to retake the vessel.704 The four loyal members of the prize crew were seized and Bechup took her across the Atlantic to Londonderry, Ireland, arriving 15 or 16 January 1777.705 From Londonderry she was taken to Plymouth and Bachope traveled to London, where the British Navy Board awarded him £100, on 12 May 1777, for his treachery.706


After parting from Alfred, collier ship Betty steered for Narragansett Bay and Newport under First Mate John Margeson. Margeson had no information that Newport had fallen to the British and may have been deceived by the lack of British colors. On the morning of 18 December Betty nosed into the bay, sailing up the western channel. At 0900 HM Frigate Sphynx (Captain Anthony Hunt) saw her steering for Newport.707 Margeson was growing nervous (the Americans had no ship at sea that looked anything like Sphynx!) and turned north with a favorable west wind.708 Near Prudence Island Betty was cut off by another British warship. Margeson turned back south toward Newport.709 At 1100710 Betty was approaching the harbor, apparently trying to run out to sea again. The shore batteries at Newport opened fire,711 joined in by HMS Preston (Captain Samuel Uppleby).712 Betty was taking hits and Margeson had enough sense to surrender. Boats from Preston713 and other warships rowed out and secured Betty. Commodore Sir Peter Parker credited the capture to his flagship, HMS Chatham. Jones later commented proudly that Betty was only retaken “after standing the fire of three of the Enemies Ships.”714


Ship Surprise, under Carpenter Samuel Tyler and Midshipman Michael Knies sailed south after parting with Jones and Alfred. On 15 December Surprise was running fifteen miles off the coast of Long Island in breezy, cloudy weather. She was sighted, at 1600, by HM Frigate Greyhound (Captain Archibald Dickson). At 1630 Greyhound fired one gun in the general direction of Surprise, and Tyler and Knies put about and bore down to Greyhound. At 1800 they were close enough to speak the frigate, but heavy seas and winds prevented the British from occupying the prize. Greyhound set sail and fired guns at Surprise to keep her in company. At 2300 the wind began to abate. At 0630 on 16 December a boarding party took control of the ship, removing the six prisoners. Seven men from Greyhound took the Surprise to New York, where Tyler, Knies and the sailors were put in the prison ships.715



-V-


Jones’ crew was largely dispersed by early January. The men entered at Rhode Island, at Commodore Hopkins’ orders, had come aboard only for a single cruise. Most of the men from Providence had served out their enlistment and were gone. The remaining crew had been put to work on the rigging by 11 January. Jones thought that, if men could be raised, Alfred could sail in a week after receiving orders from the Marine Committee.716


Meanwhile, Commodore Hopkins wrote to Bradford on 13 January 1777 informing him that Captain Elisha Hinman had been appointed to command the Alfred. Hinman was the bearer of the letter, which called upon Bradford to assist Hinman in getting the Alfred ready for sea.717 The next day Hopkins wrote to Jones, giving him the unpalatable news that he had been relieved of command of the Alfred: “the bearer Capt Elisha Hinman comes down to take Charge of the Alfred for which Ship he has a Commission from Congress for, and has this day applied to me for an Order to take Command of the Ship he was appointed to--and as I have recd no directions from the hon Marine Board to Contradict this Commission I do not think I have any power to displace him . . . “ Hopkins offered Jones command of the sloop Providence, “which Vessel your Commission is for . . . or any other Vessel that is in my power to give you.” Hopkins also gave Jones directions for discharged the members of Columbus’s crew aboard the Alfred, and the payment of wages and accounts to the sailors.718 Hopkins issued his orders to Hinman on the 15th, to take command of the Alfred, and ready her for sea.719


Meanwhile, Jones, at Boston, was planning a major refit of the Alfred. The ship was unfit for service as a warship in her present configuration.720 Her battery was of “such a Variety of lengths and Sizes that it is both difficult and dangerous to Fight them and the Nine pounders are all too long for Sea Service.” Alfred was also so crank that her lee guns could not be used.721 He thought it was “unadvisable to have any thing done to the Hull” at present.722 Jones had had an estimate made of the expense of altering the Alfred to correct these problems,723 and forwarded it to the Marine Committee on 11 January 1777.724 Writing to Robert Morris, in a letter of 16 January. Jones also expressed his opinion that Alfred was “much better calculated for the Merchant Service than She can be made for War.” Jones suggested sending her to France with a cargo of tobacco.725 The prize Mellish, he further suggested, would make a much better cruiser than Alfred.726 Bradford concurred in this opinion. An equal sum as the estimate for Alfred’s refit, he said, spent on the Mellish, would provide a better warship.727


***16 January 1777: Mris, Clymer and Walton to John Hancock, Baltimore. encloses account of Jones’ cruise. Jones a “fine fellow” and should be kept employed. will suggest expeditions and let him choose.728 28 February 1777. Hopkins (on Warren) to Joseph Olney, Cabot. Has received orders to put Alfred, Columbus, Cabot, Providence and Hampden under Jones’ command for an expedition. Olney to return to Boston after a six week’s cruise to participate.729 Jones, Boston to Hopkins. 28 February 1777. Does not understand Hopkins’ previous conduct, but will bury difficulties to promote public good.730***


Jones took the opportunity of the letter to Morris to express his thoughts on other matters. An item that aroused his disapproval was the association for sharing prize money. “I must here Assert that it is both Unjust and inimical to the interest of the Service that any Person or persons belonging to the Navy should share in Prizes when they were themselves Absent and out of harms way when the Capture was made--by this Unprecedented731 Association which was effected by Fellows who have consulted their Personal Safety ever since, the Navy hath received . . . real injury . . . “732 Prize money, because of this association, had become “so very intricate and perplexed” that many sailors had deserted after the return from New Providence. Those who had stuck it out were “detered” from reenlisting, as they had received no prize money, or had any prospect of receiving any. Jones noted that such associations were “never known to be binding for more than a Single cruise.” He suggested it be set aside and “Some happy expedient fallen upon to induce the Seamen to enter chearfully into the Service” for an unlimited term. Jones also asked Morris about a rumour he had heard from Nathaniel Falconer, “that I was Appointed to one of the Ships at Philadelphia.”733


About 19 or 20 January Hinman arrived at Boston and handed Jones his orders to take command of the Alfred. This order stung Jones. According to Jones, Hinman’s method of presenting the orders added something to their distate. “It seems that Captain Hinman’s  Commission is No 1, and that in consequence he who was first my Junior Officer by Eight, hath expressed himself as my Senior Officer, in a manner which doth himself no honor, and which doth me signal Injury.” In as much as Jones had already received orders from the Marine Committee, dated 10 December 1776, to proceed on a cruise in the Alfred,734 there was some doubt in Jones’ mind if these orders of Hopkins’ were correct.735



-VI-


Hinman also planned to refit Alfred, but on a different plan from that Jones had proposed. Agent Bradford reported, on the 22nd, that it would be less expensive. Bradford also noted Hinman had orders from Hopkins “to alter her.”736 Bradford reported on the 29th that the alterations were under way, and that Alfred would be ready for sea in six weeks. Bradford noted that paying off Alfred’s portledge bill consumed a large sum of money.737 Bradford returned to the point of money on 6 February 1777, writing to John Hancock. “Great sums” were expended in paying off Alfred’s portledge bills “for a year,” as well as Cabot’s. The refit was consuming money, and as none was realized from the sale of prizes, Bradford needed funds forwarded from Philadelphia.738


Captain Elisha Hinman. A nineteenth century engraving of “E. Hinman,” tentatively identified as the Continental Navy captain. From McCusker, Alfred: The First Continental Flagship, 1775-1778.

Robert Morris answered Bradford’s letters of 21 December and 17 January on 7 February. Morris did not yet know of Jones’ being relieved in command of the Alfred. Orders were sent to Jones for another cruise in the Alfred, but Morris noted that he had missed the letters proposing an alteration in the Alfred. If the Marine Committee had approved that, and issued orders to Jones, then let Jones follow those orders. If their orders did not contradict Morris’ orders, then let Jones follow the ones he was sending.739


On 20 February Bradford reported that Alfred was “forward in the Alterations they are making by order of Commodore Hopkins.”740 This was the second time Bradford reported that the alteration was done by Hopkins’ orders, information he probably received from Hinman. In this context, it is worth noting that Hopkins, in a letter dated 14 February, to the Marine Committee, referred to the alterations as “without any directions from Me.”741


Alfred, Bradford reported on 6 March 1777, would be finished in about three weeks.742 Hinman had left town, proceeding to Connecticut on a personal matter. On 18 March he was at Providence, where he called on Commodore Hopkins. The work on Alfred was going quickly. Even better, said Hinman, he had a nearly a full crew.743 Hinman’s personal business was a wedding. On 24 March he was married in New London’s North Parish, by the Reverend Jewet, to Miss Abigail Dolbeare, an accomplished young lady of fortune.” Both were “Parties greatly esteemed and respcted” said the local paper.744


Work on the Alfred continued apace. Bradford reported on 27 March that she would haul off in five days; the carpentry work nearly completed.745 On 5 April 1777 he reported she was graving, but would be finished that day, and begin getting in her guns. Hinman, gone to New London “to get a Wife,” had not yet returned.746 Bradford also reported, on 9 April 1777, that fifty-two tons of Alfred’s iron ballast had been removed. This was being used to cast cannon for the Continental Navy Ship Raleigh, building at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The Alfred was taking in more ballast and her carpentry work was complete.747


Hinman was certainly back in Boston by 17 April, for he was called on to sit on a court of inquiry on Captain Joseph Olney, for the loss of the Continental Navy Brig Cabot.748 Jones was back in Boston by 23 April. He was asked by the senior officer there, Captain John Manley, to attend a court martial, to be held on the Hancock in “Congress Road” on 24 April, on George Torrey. Torrey was an acting master’s mate on the Alfred and was accused of striking the master and using insulting language to Hinman.749 The trial was postponed, being rescheduled for 5 May 1777, at 0900, on the Alfred.750


With Alfred approaching that state known as “ready for sea,” the Marine Committee, on 23 April, issued Hinman sailing orders. He was to cruise against British transports and return to port about the end of June 1777 for further orders. He was to hold crew together as these orders might require immediate execution.751 Hinman was still in port and fitting out on 2 May, when he informed Captain Dudley Saltonstall that some materials Saltonstall wanted were not available.752


On 5 May Alfred began obtaining ordnance stores. Massachusetts furnished 712 6-pound shot and five hundred sheets of tin that day.753 Bradford came back to Massachusetts on 12 May, and obtained 350 9-pound canister shot, fifty 4-pound canister shot, fifty 6-pound canister shot, false fires, match and hand grenades from the Massachusetts Council.754 By 15 May Alfred had hauled off from the wharf, had wooded and watered, and was taking in provisions.755 That ever necessary article, rum, was obtained by Bradford on 20 May, when the Massachusetts Board of War delivered 708 gallons.756

 

No sooner had Alfred hauled into the harbor than the usual problem of desertion arose. On 15 May Hinman advertised for a deserter, a “French Negro, named Francois, by Trade a Barber, and plays well on the Violin,” for which a reward of $4 was offered. Another advertisement attempted to lure a “Good Coasting Pilot” for the ship.757 On 19 May Hinman advertised for three deserters in the Connecticut papers, offering rewards of $10 for one and $5 each for the other two.758 On 24 May the Providence paper carried an advertisement from Hinman recalling all officers and men of the crew then at Providence. Those who ignored this notice would be deemed deserters.759


A rather odd incident ocurred on 9 June 1777. One Louis Daniel Charrier, apparently engaged as an officer aboard the Amphitrite by Captain John Paul Jones, was aboard a vessel in Boston Harbor. Charrier met something from which he had to escape. Charrier saw a boat from Alfred ashore. He said the “Officer that was in the Boat knowd m Case and on my Desire he lett the Boat Draw Under Our Stern and I got out of the Gun room Port and Slid down by the Rudder Shoe & got Safe a Board the Alfred, Captain hinman happen’d to be ther  he was kind anough as to lend me his Paniss who Carry’d me to Charlestown ferry . . . “ Exactly what Charrier was escaping from is not known.760


The waiting for orders from the Marine Committee bred interference by a state in the Continental Navy’s operations. Massachusetts was planning a thrust to the St. John’s River in Nova Scotia. On 26 June the Massachusetts Council tried to enlist New Hampshire’s aid in the enterprise, pointing out that the Raleigh would be of assistance, and that Hinman had agreed to use the Alfred in the project. Alfred was to be used as a convoy to the transports.761 It was as well that this project collapsed: British spies had quickly provided accurate reports on it, and the British were prepared.762


Meanwhile, Alfred was ready for sea. Bradford reported on 3 July 1777 that she had been ready for a week, “the Captain being disappointed in manning his Ship” however. Bradford now reminded the Marine Committee that Alfred and Hinman needed orders,763 and repeated the request a week later.764 Minor events intruded on this waiting process. On 5 July a cartel vessel arrived from Halifax. Among the prisoners thus exchanged was former Lieutenant Robert Sanders, of the Alfred.765 About 14 July the “master” of Anthony and Prince “(two Blackmen)” turned up and claimed them. One was under guard at Boston; both had entered the Alfred. It was a shame the vessel had not sailed.766 By mid-July Hinman had received orders to join Continental Navy Ship Raleigh (Captain Thomas Thompson) at Portsmouth and sail with her to France. Thompson expected Alfred at Portsmouth on 19 July.767 Alfred was at Marblehead on 23 July. The great lack was crewmen. She had only about 120 men aboard, but was to sail anyway, with the first favorable wind.768


Raleigh (Captain Thomas Thompson) had gone through a long and tortuous fitting out process at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. After many near starts she was ready to sail by late July 1777, despite being short-handed and without her complete battery. It was decided to send her to France with a cargo and there obtain the necessary items to complete her outfit and arming. To accompany the Raleigh, the Alfred was chosen. Command of the squadron thus to be formed was vested in Thompson. Alfred sailed from Marblehead in late July 1777 and arrived in the lower Piscataqua River about the first of August.769 Hinman brought the Alfred up to Portsmouth soon after. Here he completed his stores, drawing supplies from Continental Agent John Langdon on 12 August.770 Raleigh was so short-handed that Hinman was forced to send twenty of his men aboard to enable her to sail.771


Although Hinman was but a short time at Portsmouth, he was there long enough to make a favorable impression on William Whipple, delegate to Congress from New Hampshire and a Marine Committee member. Whipple dined and was entertained aboard the Alfred while she was at Portsmouth.772 Whipple, writing to Robert Morris on 28 August, said  “I had formed an opinion of him not the most favorable (and that without any just cause, or indeed without any cause, except the general Prejudice I had taken to Commodore Hopkins’s Officers) I think myself bound in justice to say . . . I am fully convinced he is an exceeding good Officer. He is very judicious & active, an Excellent disciplinarian & at the same time possesses the intire Confidence & even the affection of his Officers & men . . .”773



-VII-


Raleigh and Alfred sailed for France on 22 August 1777. Three days after sailing a small schooner774 (Athens)775 was sighted and captured. She was bound for Halifax from New York and was in ballast except for a small cargo of flour and $4390 in counterfeit Continental and Massachusetts currency, as well as 275 Spanish milled dollars. Thompson saved a small sample of the counterfeit money and burned the rest. The schooner was of little value so it was burned too.776


The next day, 26 August, the Continentals fell in with a Bermudian vessel bound from Halifax. Since vessels from Bermuda were exempted from capture by Congress, the vessel was released. The skipper was short of provisions for he had not been allowed to take any provisions from Halifax. The Americans supplied him with some provisions and received intelligence in exchange: a British sloop or two lay about Bermuda and “greatly annoy’d” American trade to the West Indies. The Americans set sail for Bermuda to engage the British sloops.777


The wind was favorable until 36°N was reached, when a hard gale blew up from the south. For two days the American ships ran to the northeast under shortened sail. They were pushed far to the north and east, away from Bermuda. After the gale eased, about 1 September 1777, the captains conferred and decided to steer to the east in hopes of finding the Jamaica convoy, or at least stragglers from it.


On 2 September 1777, just a daybreak, the 150-ton778snow779 or brig780 Nancy781 (or Nanny),782 master Anthony Hooper783 was captured, bound from St. Vincent’s to England.784 She had outsailed the convoy the day before,785 and was thus a “romper” rather than a straggler. A sailor aboard the Nanny gave the position as 40°00'N.786 Aboard the Nanny were several passengers. These, and skipper Hooper, were “Old Acquaintance” of Thompson’s. They “communicated freely every particular they knew respecting the fleet.” From them Hinman and Thompson learned that there were four escort vessels: the Camel, a large, lofty ship, like an Indiaman, armed with twenty-two 12-pounders, and three sloops-of-war, the Druid, Weazel, and Grasshopper, all armed with sixteen guns. One sloop was to part at 39°N, and return to the West Indies, which Thompson thought had probably already departed.787 He took copies of the convoy’s sailing orders and signal books.788 One Nutter was put in command of the Nanny as prizemaster.789 Nanny was loaded with sugar and cotton790 and coffee.791 Thompson kept her with him for the time being,792 removing most of the crew to the Raleigh.793


Raleigh and Alfred went hunting for the convoy and found it the next morning. All day long the two American frigates closed the convoy and were close enough by dusk to count over sixty sail from the mastheads, as well as to make out details of the leading ships. The British were bearing east by north from the Americans and the wind was westerly.794


Raleigh hoisted a signal taken from the prize to indicate that she was a merchant vessel being left behind by the convoy, then Thompson steered alongside the Alfred. Thompson hailed Hinman and told him he planned to take Raleigh into the convoy at sunrise and attack the escort. Alfred was ordered to keep under Raleigh’s stern until they were alongside the Camel, when both ships would engage and capture her.795


In the night the wind shifted around to the north and the convoy close hauled to the wind. This put the two American frigates far to leeward of the convoy. At dawn the convoy was sighted to the northeast, steering east northeast at a distance of six to nine miles. The wind was coming up stronger. Alfred and Raleigh set out to catch up.796


Alfred’s execrable sailing qualities now came to the fore. She was “extremely tender-sided” and was unable to carry maximum sail, and so fell further astern and to leeward.797 Thompson noted she sailed “very dull Indeed.” Raleigh soon began to gain on the convoy under “double-reefed topsails” while Alfred struggled. Thompson dared not take in sail to await the Alfred lest he be discovered, so he “kept our sails shaking in the wind” to slow down the Raleigh. Hinman, doing the best he could to catch up, now signaled that he was “overpressed” with sail.798 Thompson had previously resolved not “to war against the merchant when Kings ships are in sight.”799  “I determined to stand into the fleet and take my chances alone,” said Thompson.800 When Alfred failed to close up, Thompson became “vexd and stood into the fleet alone, passing several Merchant mend.”801


Alfred had only the part of an observer in the ensuing action between Raleigh and HM Sloop Druid, during which Druid was shot to pieces. When the remaining escorts chased Raleigh out of the convoy, Alfred resumed the role of semi-participant. As Raleigh ran down to her, about four miles from the convoy, Hinman hoisted his colors and raised his main courses. Raleigh shortened sail as she approached, and both awaited the pursuing British, who returned to the convoy.802


The convoy was well scattered by morning of 5 September. At 0500, Camel ordered the remnants of the convoy to collect around the escorts.803 Finch saw the two American frigates were still present, twelve to fifteen miles to windward of the convoy.804 Druid saw them in the northwest quarter at 0800.805 At 1200 the Continentals were seen again, steering down to the convoy, position 40°09'N,47°33'N.806 Two hours later the Americans were seen to the west southwest, about four miles away, and steering for the convoy under fighting sail. Finch judged it was time to get under way again and ordered the merchant ship Colhoun (William Olliver) to lead the convoy, which allowed the escorts to keep between the convoy and the Americans,807  while Weazle cleared for action.808 At 2000, in the darkness, the British saw two lights to the northwest: the Americans were still circling.809


By 0500 on 6 September Finch had managed to collect eighty of the convoy. The Americans were now down in the southeast, between six and nine milesoff. In the afternoon the weather turned squally and the frigates were lost to sight.810 The next day the convoy was still collecting and straggling. At 1200 on 6 September the Americans were seen again, bearing southwest. The weather had cleared, with moderate breezes and clear skies. At 1400 a strange sail was seen ahead and Weazle was sent to chase, the Americans still in sight to the southwest.811 At 1830 the Americans were seen again, bearing west southwest, eight or nine miles distant. Druid lost sight of them at 2000.812


On 8 September Thompson penned his battle report and noted the problem: “I could have taken as may merchant ships as I had a mind. here I leave you to paint to your self my feeling at not being mand. have not 20 men Can find a rope in the Night.” Thompson intended to await a storm so the convoy would separate.813 The Nanny was now dispatched for Salem with Thompson’s initial battle report.814 Nanny safely arrived at Boston, Massachusetts by 11 October 1777.815 She was libeled on 23 October, with trial set for 11 November 1777.816 [Nanny=16 gun ship arriv 4 Oct Boston The Continental Journal [Boston], Thursday, October 9, 1777]


It was just as well that Alfred had not gotten into the convoy. According to Thompson, in his report to the Marine Committee, said “neither can we trust to the Alfred’s sailing—had she got into the Fleet that Day, she is so tender-sided she could not have fit her Guns, she is in my Opinion a very unfit Ship for a Ship of War . . .” If she had been a better sailer the whole convoy could have been destroyed, Thompson thought. Thompson added he was “exceedingly happy” with Hinman and his officers, who were always ready to do what they could: they deserved a better ship.817


The Raleigh and the Alfred gave up on the convoy on 8 September. Finch was not going to be drawn out, and Alfred was just too slow to support Raleigh. Course was shaped for France. Raleigh recorded her position that day as 43°31'N, 43°15'W. She chased and spoke a brigantine, which turned out to be the Ville de Bayonne, a prize to the Massachusetts Privateer Brigantine Oliver Cromwell (Commander William Coles) en route to the United States. The two continued toward France, meeting a gale on 11 September which sprung Raleigh’s mainmast, but with no other incidents. On 28 September they were at 49°35'N, 13°13'W, where the brigantine818 (or brig)819 Sally (Edward Marshall) was captured. She was bound from Dartmouth, England for Newfoundland820 (or Halifax, Nova Scotia)821 with a cargo of salt,822 bread,823 and cordage.824 Sally had sailed on 21 September825 from Bristol, where she was owned.826 The seas were rough and Raleigh’s pinnace was lost alongside the Sally when a large sea overturned the boat.  Thompson removed some bread and put a prize master aboard, ordering her to the United Sates.827


Unfortunately, Sally did not proceed to the United States, but to Corunna, Spain. By 27 October 1777 notice of her arrival there had come to the attention of the British Ambassador, Lord Grantham, who passed the information along to Lord Weymouth.828 Weymouth replied on 18 November 1777, urging Grantham to demand restoration of the brig. Spain’s northern coast had long harbored the rebels and allowed collusive sales of their prizes. Grantham must push the issue.829


Two days later, 30 September, Alfred and Raleigh were at 49°13'N, 10°56'W,830 the mouth of the English Channel.831 Two stragglers from the Jamaica convoy were encountered. Raleigh captured the 800-ton832 ship Jamaica833 (or Jamaican)834 (David Watt835 [Watts]),836 bound from Jamaica to London,837 and owned in London.838 Jamaica was out two months from Jamaica.839 Jamaica was a big three-decker,840 and mounted fourteen841 (or sixteen)842 guns to protect her cargo of rum, sugar,843 cotton and coffee,844 but made no resistance. She had parted from the convoy only a few days before. Alfred took the 500-ton845 ship Anna Susannah846 (or Anna and Susannah) (Johnson847 [John Taylor])848 with a similar cargo,849 also owned in London and bound there,850 which had also left the convoy a few days before. Both prizes were manned and kept in company with the American ships.851


Hinman and Thompson, with the prize ships, resumed course for France. On the night of 4 October the prizes parted company. In the morning, Sunday, 5 October 1777, the lookouts sighted Belle Isle. By afternoon the Isle of Groix was in sight. A calm came up and night came down, so the American ships stood off and on until morning. Morning of the 6th revealed a pleasant sight: both prizes were nearby. Pilots came out and Alfred and Raleigh were soon riding at anchor in Port Louis.852 The prizes anchored under the Isle of Groix.853



-VIII-


Thompson went ashore immediately and contacted Gourlade, Berard freres, & Montplaisir, the Continental agents at L’Orient. A letter was written to the American Commissioners in France, announcing their arrival, with the news that Thompson had no dispatches and had just missed the post: he would write tomorrow. Gourlade, Berard freres, & Montplaisir noted that the frigates had several “wants of Cables Ankers Sails Ballastg. Of Iron, Guns, and several other things which we will provide having declared them in such a manner as to avoid trouble . . .” The Frenchman meant he had entered the ships as distressed, to avoid any inconveniences caused by British protests. The vessels needed to be cleaned, and the French agents suggested that the American Commissioners get the “approbation of the Minister that difficulties may not be Started.” As to the prizes, “we will do our best . . . and dispose of them as soon as possible as they stand before the answer of the court, or any aplication can be made from ye Court of England or the owners . . .”854


Thompson reported from L’Orient on 10 October. He acknowledged that he was following orders four months old when he sailed, and that the American Commissioners would be surprised to find two frigates had arrived with no dispatches. Thompson had come to complete the Raleigh and refurbish the Alfred. They had obtained permission to refit “after various pretences, not consistant with the Honour of the United States, nor the Respect due to a Man of War belonging to a free and Independant Empire—But small Folks must sing small, & for the sake of Convenience must abate their Dignity . . .” Thompson and Hinman had met with every “personal Respect” at L’Orient and were well received by the population. Thompson requested orders from the American Commissioners, and suggestions as to a “Line for my Conduct during my stay here. . . .” Thompson sent a copy of his battle report, and his journal, noting that he had come into Port Louis “in Distress.” The prizes were left under the Isle of Groix until he saw what kind of reception he obtained. They were still there, but had already been sold, for about half their value; but there seems a necessity for secresy & Dispatch . . .” The Alfred and Raleigh were preparing to heave down, and the work would be forwarded as fast as possible. Thompson passed along the news he had, which wasn’t much.855


The French line of conduct was laid down by the Minister of Marine, Gabriel de Sartine, on 11 October. The Commissary of the Port, Jean-Francois-Timoleon Viger, was to verify the repairs to the Alfred and Raleigh, and furnish necessaries, for payment. No warlike supplies or munitions were to be embarked. They were only to remain until they were ready for sea, and Viger was to expedite their departure. The prizes, which had been reported as American merchant vessels being escorted by the warships, were allowed to trade freely.856


On 13 October the American Commissioners wrote to Gourlade, Berard freres, & Montplaisir, asking them to assist the two ships, and to deliver a letter to Thompson.857 The letter to Thompson requested him to forward any letters by way of Gourlade and company, which was much safer than other routes.858 To help smooth the way for the two American captains, Jonathan Williams, the Continental Agent at Nantes, sent Captain Samuel Nicholson to L’Orient. Nicholson had long been in France and was well familiar with the tricks necessary to avoid delay and detection by the English.859


By 13 October de Sartine had been informed that the two merchant vessels were prizes, and had been sold. Although Viger had ordered them out of port at once, but Sartine had learned from another source that the “entirety of the two cargoes was sold to foreigners. I could hardly believe it after the positive orders I gave to you and the king’s wish which is well known to you.” De Sartine demanded a special report by courier of this transaction.860 Two days later Sartine was answering an inquiry by Lord Stormont, through the Comte de Vergennes, about the two ships and the prizes. Sartine noted that they had been allowed to repair only after an inspection; and that the prizes had not been allowed to enter port. He did not state that he knew that the prizes had already been sold.861


On 15 October, in a report to his British spy masters, George Lupton (James Van Zandt) mentioned Alfred and Raleigh. They were two hundred men short of their required crews, he said, and meant to sail as soon as refitted. The prizes had been sold for £9600 he added.862 The same day Lord Stormont protested to Comte de Vergennes concerning the two ships. He requested they be ordered out to sea, and that the prize vessels not be sold. Vergennes seemed surprised, said Stormont later, however Maurepas, the French Prime Minister know of the arrival. Maurepas claimed they were admitted in distress and were leaky. Maurepas thought the prizes had left. Stormont countered that “Vessels would always appear Leaky to those who had a Mind to think them so, and that in a Word the whole was a mere jest, and was considered as such by the Americans themselves . . .”863


Jonathan Williams had learned the details of the sale of the prizes by 18 October and was stunned. The property had been sold for £9700, which Williams thought was about one third of its value; and about one half of what it should have sold for in “their circumstances.” Williams disapproved, and had written to L’Orient offering £2000 more, on the American Commissioner’s account, if the deal was not yet completed. If he got the goods they would be sent to Holland as French property and sold there. Williams had a good opinion of Gourlade, but thought that advantage had been taken by others in the haste of disposal of the property.864 Answering the letters of the American Commissioners in France on 20 October, Thompson also regretted the prizes had sold so low. He thought the two would be worth £21000 in England.865 A British spy in the American headquarters reported that there was much to-do about this sale. Chaumont begged the purchasers to make up the price to £13000 for the “Honor & Interest of France . . .”866


Meanwhile the British prisoners aboard Raleigh and Alfred had to be disposed of in some way. Seventy odd prisoners were put in a French brig and sent over to England, sailing on 11 October.867 As the brig got under way so did the two prize ships. Although there was some talk of attempting to recapture the ships, cooler heads prevailed.868 They arrived at Christchurch on 20 October.869 Among the prisoners thus released were Watt (Jamaica), Hooper (Nanny), Marshall (Sally) and Athens (the schooner from New York). These landed at Portsmouth, and, in passing through customs, revealed that the two prizes were unloading, their cargoes having been sold. The two American frigates were discharging their guns, preparing to clean, and that a third frigate, built in France at L’Orient, was about to be launched. The three together, when ready, were to escort a convoy of twenty sail to America. The customs officials passed this information to London.870


From these prisoners a good description of the two ships emerged. The Alfred was armed with twenty 9-pounders, swivels on her forecastle, and four cohorns in her tops. guns and had a crew of 160 men. She was a former merchant ship of lofty build, with a figurehead much like the Raleigh’s (Raleigh’s figurehead was that of a “yankey Head with a feather in his Cap, a Sabre in his right Hand . . .”). Her yards were not square and she had two topgallant masts, long royal masts, with large studding sails. Her waist cloths were black with white borders at the top. She had a five and a half foot breastwork on the quarterdeck, which was going to be lowered in France. Alfred sailed poorly, particularly on a wind. She had a top lantern and a poop lantern. When the prisoners left she was cleaning opposite Port Louis. The colors consisted of thirteen stripes with a blue field with thirteen white stars. Only Continental ships with commissions from Congress carried these colors, according to the prisoners.871


In a letter home on 26 October Hinman reported on the American reception in France. Although the official line was neutrality the French were “friends at Hart.” They were fitting out large armaments but seemed to be unready for war at present. They offered any assistance, but not publicly. Both captains were treated “very gentelly, by People of the first Characters here. We have had the honor to pay our respects to the Duke de Durass and the Dutchess de Mazarine, by whom we were received kindly, and shewed every mark of Friendship. They did us great Honour at a public Entertainment, both by drinking our Healths and wishing us Success. We also had a similarity of Friendship shewn us from the Spanish Embassador, who passed through this Town a few days past . . .”872


On 5 November 1777 Lord Stormont had another interview with Comte de Vergennes. Another protest it was, over French treatment of the American rebels. In the course of the discussion Alfred and Raleigh were mentioned. Their guns and powder had been removed before cleaning, as was usual, and deposited in the King’s storehouse, which was not usual. Stormont noted this as a mark of favoritism. Vergennes :gave his usual frivolous Answer, that the Ships were in distress . . .”873


Two days later Sartine wrote to Charles Pierre Gonet, Commissary at L’Orient, concerning the Alfred and Raleigh. He was to impress on the captains the urgency of their completion of the refit of the ships, and of their departure. As to the prizes, Berard “surely would merit being punished” if it were proven he was behind the movement of the ships and their sale. He had already paid a fine for breaking other regulations. Sartine emphasized the point: “Enjoin him to be more circumspect in the future . . .” As to the French sailors who had moved the prizes: “ . . . come to an understanding with the Admiralty officers of Vannes . . .” to remove the sailors and get the prizes away from French shores. Gonet was to prohibit clandestine enlistments, said Sartine. This meant, of course, that such enlistments had already taken place.874 Again, on 22 November Sartine wrote to Gonet to hasten the re-fit of the vessels. He noted the Raleigh was cleaned and was re-fitting, and that Alfred would begin careening. The two American captains “have left to return to L’Orient . . .”875


It was true. Hinman and Thompson had traveled up to Paris in late October, and remained until mid-November. The two captains presented themselves to the American Commissioners to France.876 The sale of the prizes, however poorly handled, allowed the squadron to support its own expenses, a pleasant surprise to the American Commissioners.877 The captains remained in the French capital for nearly a month and had a most delightful stay. Hinman recalled dining with the Commissioners, and remembered meeting “the most beautiful ladies” Marie Antoinette and the Marchioness de Lafayette.878 The captains and the Commissioners also did a little work: discussing future cruising plans.


Several projects were considered. One was to collect all the America-bound arms shipments into a fleet and sent them off under escort of the Raleigh and Alfred. This was rejected because, in the time it would take to collect the convoy, the British could collect a superior force to await it.879 Finally, the Commissioners issued their orders on 25 November 1777 (signed by Deane and Franklin). One thing was certain: “As it is by no means safe to return into the ports of France . . .” the ships were to take on stores sufficient for the cruise. The Commissioners suggested several ideas to the captains: to cruise against the returning West India ships, to intercept British transports sailing for America, or perhaps sail off the West African coast and then steer for the West Indies. Since Thompson and Hinman had already discussed all these plans in “harmony and confidence” it was left to the captains to choose which plan to pursue. Neutral flags were to be shown respect and no neutral shipping molested. Prisoners captured could be released if necessary, but the Commissioners requested Thompson to make lists of the prisoners and have them acknowledge that they were prisoners. When released the prisoners were to be given a copy of this list to present to the British authorities. Another copy was to be given to the Marine Committee or other American authority. The Commissioners thus hoped to secure an exchange for the prisoners thus released.880 Arrangements were made to provision and refit the frigates. Additional crewmen were needed and recruiting parties were sent out to enlist sailors of any nationality.881


Meanwhile a scheme had come to light to improve Hinman’s vessel. A ship lately purchased by Berard Freres & Co. was offered to the American Commissioners in exchange for the Alfred. They turned down this offer on 26 November, because of time constraints. The American Commissioners also noted that Thompson would settle the refit bill and handle the distribution of prize money.882


The American captains arrived at L’Orient about the end of November 1777. There they were rudely received by Commissary Gonet. Under unrelenting pressure from Sartine, and, apparently without the discretion to realize the delicate nature of the Franco-American relationship, Gonet exploded. He accused Hinman and Thompson of going to Paris for pleasure and not forwarding work on their ships. He immediately ordered them to put to sea, with no provisions and no guns, “don or Not don . . .,” and sent two pilots aboard. Somehow the dispute was made over, but not for Thompson. On 2 December 1777 he protested to the American Commissioners, claiming his honor and that of the United States had been insulted. The ships were now in the road, with ballast and water aboard. The guns and provisions would soon follow. Thompson inclosed a letter to Sartine, and requested the American Commissioners to examine it before they forwarded it.883 One suspects it was never sent in its initial form, but a protest was made to Sartine.


The same day that Thompson was protesting Gonet’s action, Sartine was writing him again. He again referred to Alfred and Raleigh.884 Gonet, on 1 December, notified Sartine that the American captains had arrived and that he had ordered them to put to sea at the first wind. Sartine replied on 6 December, approving those orders.885 After this letter went out, Sartine received the protests of the Americans regarding Gonet. Sartine again wrote to Gonet: “I am receiving protests, Sir, that you wish to force the captains of the American frigates to leave without their provisions and their artillery, If this is true, you are going too far.” They were to leave when ready for sea. Gonet was to execute his orders without causing protests “over your manner . . .”886


Against all odds, it would seem, Lord Stormont had now located one of the Raleigh and Alfred’s prizes, the Anne Susannah. She was at Pelerin, nine miles from Nantes, on 26 November. There she was being altered, her name erased, and her appearance changed. She had been renamed La Mignonne. Stormont demanded, in a memorandum dated 2 December, the return of this vessel and her cargo.887 Sartine investigated and reported, on 28 December, that the ship in question was not the Ann Susannah, although it was the La Mignone. There was no known evidence to connect the two, said Sartine.888


A new difficulty now arose at L’Orient. The Americans had purchased forty-six casks of rum for the two ships, but had neglected the “requisite formalities.” Because of that the rum was seized by French officials. Sartine approved of Gonet’s conduct in this case, but was directing the rum be released because it was a “special case,” and would eliminate another excuse for the ships not to sail.889


About 4 December a gentleman left L’Orient and, going to England, provided another description of the Alfred and Raleigh. The Alfred was a former merchant vessel, of about 275 or 300 tons. She was pierced for twenty 9-pounders, and carried six 4-pounders on the quarterdeck and forward. She had a crew of 160 men, and with better officers than the Raleigh, but “sails dully.” When her guns were housed and her ports lowered she scarcely resembled a warship. She was square-sterned, without quarter galleries or badges. Her figurehead was painted yellow, with a large feather plume painted white on the helmet. She was painted plain black and yellow with a white bottom. She was very taunt, but not square-rigged. Her top armor and quarter cloths were blue with white stars, the same as the upper corner of her colors. She had no name on her stern.890 The Admiralty ordered the descriptions circulated to the cruisers off the French coast on 18 December.891


The Americans also had a small Bermuda sloop of four guns with them.892 This was the sloop Mars (Alexander Holmes).


Raleigh and Alfred were still at L’Orient on 17 December. According to one observer the only thing holding them in port was fear of the British patrols off the coast. They stayed in the harbor under “frivolous pretexts,” although summoned to leave in a “faint friendly manner” by the French. The French agents had “abused the confidence” of the Americans: they had gained 60,000 livres on one prize alone, made advance charges on all goods furnished for refit and cargo, “besides the impudent advantages they have taken in becoming purchasers of prize-goods at an under-value.”893


About 19 December the rum was released by the farmers-general. Sartine, writing on 25 December, noted that there was no longer any excuse for the Americans not to sail, and expected them to “comply” with the orders to depart.894


On 21 December the skipper of the Sylphide (Lieutenant de Vaisseau le Breton de Ransanne) reported the Americans had their rum, and were only delayed by the fear of finding the British waiting on the coast in force. A coasting vessel, the Margueritte de Bonne Alliance (Jacques Mandret), had just arrived at L’Orient, and reported that at 0800 on the 19th he met two frigates within sight of Belle-Isle. De Ransanne thought they were British frigates, come to cruise for Alfred and Raleigh.  If Sartine wished, Sylphide would leave with them and lead them out into the open sea. De Ransanne awaited orders on this matter.895


On 25 December Thompson wrote to the American Commissioners, commending Berard for his work: “He has transacted every matter to my entire satisfaction like a Man of Honour, a Man of Business & an able Mercht. . . .” Berard had particular management of the Raleigh. Thompson referred the American Commissioners to Hinman for remarks on Gourlade and Montplaisir, who managed the Alfred. He recommended Berard for future business.896


While Thompson was commending Berard, Lord Stormont was complaining again about the ships at L’Orient. They were still there, he said in a letter to Vergennes, had taken on arms and ammunition, which he demanded be unloaded, and they should have sailed long ago. Many “frivolous” pretexts had been used to allow them to remain in port. Sartine ordered the commissary of marine at L’Orient to investigate this complaint on 28 December. Sartine also told Vergennes on the same day that the Americans had probably sailed, since the commander of the French frigate (Sylphide) had ordered them not to delay departing.897


Thompson and Hinman were anxious to sail. Thompson wrote a last letter (29 December) to the American Commissioners. Only wind and weather were holding the ships in port. The accounts would be forwarded when they sailed, and acknowledged receiving several letters from the American Commissioners, particularly one from Lee informing him that there was a British spy at L’Orient. Thompson noted that the time of his sailing and his route had been disclosed to no one. A British frigate and a 74-gun battleship had been sighted off Belleisle. Thompson had hired a small vessel to act as an advice boat, and would sail when the coast was clear. Since the American Commissioners had complained to Sartine the commissary “has given us Leave to Command our own ships—all kindness and Condisendcion to the Highest degree.”898


At 1500 on 29 December the wind was favorable, coming from the northeast. Alfred and Raleigh set sail and departed the river, accompanied by the sloop Mars (Holmes) and the French frigate Sylphide.899 Thompson had asked Lieutenant de Vaisseau Le Breton de Ransanne if the Americans could follow the French warship out to Pointe du Raz.900 The captain of the French frigate had privately agreed with the Americans to precede them and signal them if any British shipping was sighted.901 At 0200 on 30 December de Ransanne hove to, after traveling only six miles. The American ships “left me and took to the open sea . . .”902 Can there be any doubt that the Americans captains were pleased to be out of France and away from Gonet’s clutches?



-IX-


The little American squadron apparently came close to taking a prize soon after sailing. The 120-ton brig Eagle (J. Morgan), bound from Yarmouth, England to Genoa and Leghorn, was captured on 30 December 1777, by two American “privateers,” one of thirty-two and the other of twenty guns. The Americans were unable to take possession of the Eagle, presumably because of bad weather. The prize eluded her captors in the night and bad weather and got away.903


Two large French ships sailed on 31 December from L’Orient and joined the Americans, which, apparently, were to serve as escorts out of European waters. These were the ship Lyon, a three decked vessel of 1100 tons, mounting forty guns with a crew of 200 men and commanded by J. Michel. Michel had a “defensive” commission and a cargo of European and India goods. The other vessel was the 20 or 24-gun ship Vicomte de Vaux (Pierre Marie Donat de La Garde), bound for Chesapeake Bay. These ships stayed with Alfred and Raleigh until about 13 January 1778.904


Raleigh and Alfred steered south for the Guinea coast.905 By about the middle of January 1778 they were off the mouth of the Senegal River. A sloop with a cargo of wine was captured at anchor, and then course was set for the Windward Islands in the West Indies.906


On 9 March 1778 the two Continentals were at 16o31'N, 55o40'W (according to Captain Thompson).907 More accurately, they were  about 200 miles north of Barbados and about 125 miles east of Guadeloupe, to the windward of La Désirade.908 The day dawned with moderate and fair weather.909 In the early morning, at 0600, Raleigh’s lookouts saw two sail away to the west northwest. Alfred was trailing behind Raleigh, as was usually the case.910 The two strangers were sailing across the projected course of the American ships.


Thompson and Hinman had found HM Frigate Ariadne (Captain Thomas Pringle), a small 20-gun ship with a reputation as a very fast sailer,911 and HM Sloop Ceres (Commander James Richard Dacres), an 18-gun ship.912 Pringle was a very professional and able captain, and had commanded the British fleet to victory in the Lake Champlain campaign of 1776. Dacres was a veteran of the same campaign. The British vessels were decidedly inferior to the Americans in firepower, fifty-two to thirty-eight.


The British ships had also sighted the Americans at 0600. Pringle later stated they were seen to the east913 and Ariadne’s log indicates a sighting of two sail in the northeast.914 Ceres’s log indicates two sail were sighted at 0500, in the northeast quarter, but it is unlikely to have been quite so early.915 Following Pringle’s orders, both British vessels began to chase.916


At 0730 Raleigh hove to, awaiting the slower Alfred. Thompson had seen that the strangers had closed up and were standing north, close hauled to the wind.917 This in itself would indicate that they were probably warships, and most likely British.


When the Raleigh and Alfred were close enough the two captains conferred. Hinman asked Thompson what he thought of the two ships; Thompson replied that he was unsure at that distance, but “we would go down and see what they were and then determining accordingly, desired him to go down to the sternmost ship . . .” If the trailing ship was the largest, Thompson said he would make for her. Hinman said he would go down and observe Thompson’s “motions.” By 1000 the Continentals were about five or six miles away from the two strangers, and it was clear by now that they were armed vessels.918


Thompson now hauled his wind on the same tack as the two British ships, that is, to the north. The British vessels were to leeward of the Americans, who thus had the better tactical position. Thompson wanted to get a longer and better look at their sailing qualities and strength before committing to battle. Alfred was trailing Raleigh on her weather quarter.919 This was probably the maneuver that Pringle interpreted as showing an American “disposition” to attack, as he later stated.920


Pringle promptly tacked again, “trying to work up and get our wakes” according to Thompson. If the wind was from the northeast, as it usually was in this area, the British were now steering to the southeast, attempting to close ground to windward. Raleigh stood on and held her position, but the abysmal sailing Alfred fell behind and to leeward, closing with Pringle’s Ariadne, and following Thompson’s orders to look over the enemy.921


At 1100 Ariadne fired two shots at the headmost American ship (Raleigh), as a signal to heave to. Thompson ignored them, and probably didn’t even see them. At 1130 Pringle signaled to the Ceres to tack, presumably turning to the north at the same time. At 1200 Pringle ordered Ceres to tack again, to the southeast, presumably.922 Both British vessels took their noon positions: Ariadne indicated she was 201 miles north of Barbados923 and Ceres showed a position of 17°34'N.924


Meanwhile, to Thompson, it appeared that Ceres was four miles to leeward of Ariadne (about six miles from Alfred), and Raleigh was three miles ahead of Alfred. Thompson prepared to tack and stand down (that is, turn south) to the Alfred, when both could attack the Ariadne.925 Pringle made sail and stood north, as if intent on closing. This was Pringle’s second tack. Thompson judged that the other ship (Ceres) would be two hours in closing.926


On her third tack the Ariadne passed under Alfred’s lee, standing south, distant about two miles. Hinman hoisted the American colors and fired a few shots at Ariadne, opening the battle.927 Ceres log indicates the time was about 1200, and noted the weather was clear with light breezes.928 Recalling that Ceres’s log time was off an hour would make this about 1100. Pringle ran up British colors and fired off a reply to Alfred’s shots.929


At 1230 Ceres passed by and alongside the Alfred, which hoisted American colors and fired a broadside at her in passing.930 Alfred now stood off before the wind (light, from the east northeast), crowding on her light sails to escape.931 This maneuver took her across the projected track of the British, following their next tack, and startled the undecided Thompson (“I had not determined in my own mind wat was to be done.”)932 One can assume that Hinman, in the slow and cranky Alfred was doing his best to escape in the absence of any sign of assistance from Raleigh.


It was obvious to Thompson that Alfred could neither escape from both British ships, nor engage only one, while Raleigh could fight one or escape both. The Ceres, now bearing southwest from Raleigh was steering to cut off the Alfred. Thompson’s hesitancy had provoked Hinman to steer into Pringle’s grasp. Amazingly, Thompson now hauled up his courses, the traditional way of inviting battle. He hoped to lure Ariadne to attack him while leaving Alfred to engage Ceres alone; “but they both made toward the Alfred.” Thompson now veered and stood down for the Alfred to come between her and the Ceres.933


Although it is not so stated, the British must have now tacked again, chasing the Alfred, which was now steering an intersecting course. Pringle ignored Thompson’s maneuvers and both British vessels closed on Alfred. At first Hinman gained on his pursuers, but in a few minutes (about 1250) both British came up alongside.934 Thompson reported that the British began a “furious” fire on the Alfred, which Hinman returned. Raleigh was finally turning about but Hinman was presumably too busy to notice. Thompson set his studding sails to close quickly, but not quickly enough: Hinman, assailed on both sides, surrendered at 1300, after, said Thompson, a ten minute fight.935


The British accounts indicate that both Ceres and Ariadne got alongside the Alfred at 1300, when a general action began.936 Pringle stated that Alfred gave and received a number of broadsides937 before she surrendered at 1330,938 a full half hour after the fight began. Thompson, who evaluated the British as superior in force, was still three miles away when Hinman struck.939 The next the British saw of Raleigh, she was making off.940


The British quickly sent boats over to the Alfred to take possession and to remove the prisoners. Pringle reported Alfred as armed with twenty 9-pounders and as having a crew of 181 men aboard. She was later noted as measuring 300 tons.941 Most of these men were removed to the Ariadne, including all the principal officers.942 Fifty-nine of the crew were placed on the Ceres.943 No mention of any casualties in the fight itself was made in any source, British or American. By 1500 the prisoners had been removed and Ariadne began chasing the Raleigh.944 At 1700 Ceres took in her boats and joined Ariadne in chasing the fleeing Raleigh.945


Meanwhile, Thompson turned Raleigh on the smooth sea and fled. Ariadne pursued with determination, followed by Ceres and Alfred. Alfred, which had been keeping company, fell behind and was lost to Pringle’s sight at 2100.946 Thompson threw everything possible overboard to lighten his ship and escape. Pringle broke off the pursuit at 1000 on 10 March, turning south to regain his station. He was “exceedingly chagrined to find that even a Copper bottom could not outsail a Ship tho’ reduced by lightening to the quality of a skimming dish.”947


Hinman ever believed that Thompson had deserted him.948 When Hinman boarded Ariadne after the battle he was introduced to Captain Thomas Pringle. Referring to Thompson the British captain asked who “that damnd rascal was who ran away?” Hinman replied “Sir, he is your countryman.” Pringle answered that “He is a rascal, come from where he may.” Hinman then added: “Had I his ship, I would have taken you, Sir.” Pringle thought that was boasting: “That is loud talking, Capt Hinman.” Hinman stated the force of the Raleigh and asked Pringle if he, Pringle, commanded such a ship did he not think he could have captured the two British vessels. Pringle thought he could have, to which Hinman added, “I think I could do as much as you.” Pringle concluded “I believe you can.”949


Ariadne and Ceres proceeded to Barbados, accompanied by Alfred. On 13 March the three encountered HMS Yarmouth, and continued on.950 Alfred arrived at Barbados with her captors later that day.951 Yarmouth arrived on 14 March.952 Vincent, reporting on his cruise on 17 March, noted the Alfred as having twenty guns and a crew of 180 men.953


At Barbados, the officers were transferred to HMS Yarmouth (Captain Nicholas Vincent). One officer, Second Lieutenant of Marines Nathaniel Richards, was released at Barbados, on the intercession of both the English Captain Vincent and of Hinman. Hinman wanted him to go to America and inform the Navy Board of the Eastern Department of Thompson’s behavior.954 From Barbados the officers were transported  to England, arriving at Gosport955 before being confined to Forton Prison.956 on 18 July 1778.957 Hinman was brought before a Scotch judge for examination at Gosport, where he allegedly won over the judge with his Yankee humor.958


One week later Hinman escaped.959 He left some money for his officers, bribed a guard with ten guineas, and walked out of jail at night. He walked in rain for ten miles, found a lodging place near London, and contacted people who helped him get to France three weeks later.960 Hinman took passage home from France in Continental Navy Ship Providence (Captain Abraham Whipple).961 First Lieutenant Peter Richards was also committed to Forton Prison on the 18th. He later escaped.962 Captain of Marines John Welsh, committed to Forton at the same time as the others, also later escaped.963 Other officers got away at different times and worked their way back to America.964


Of the 116 prisoners aboard the Ariadne, all were shown as discharged at Barbados, presumably to the local jail.965 Ceres’s muster table is a bit more informative. Of her fifty-nine prisoners, five were discharged to HM Sloop Fly on 15 March, presumably to enter the Royal Navy; two joined the Loyal Nova Scotia Volunteers the same day; Midshipman Peter Arnold and four sailors were retained aboard and entered the British merchant service on 9 April 1778; and the remaining forty-seven went to Barbados jail on 16 March 1778.966 The British, however,  lacked facilities in the West Indies to handle many prisoners and the crew gained their release almost immediately.967


The news of Alfred’s capture spread rather quickly. It was known on St. Vincent by 12 March,968and had reached New York by 21 March 1778.969 The Philadelphia papers had it by 22 April 1778.970


As for the Alfred, what happened to her is not clear. According to one historian she was possibly sold at Barbados, presumably to someone who lived on Grenada. Pringle, still commanding Ariadne, escorted her there.971 However, that may not be the case. A vessel called the Alfred was tried in the Admiralty Court in England in July 1778. This is possibly our ship. The dates match with the timing that the prisoners were committed to jail.972 If so she was eventually condemned and sold. Ariadne’s master’s log for 6 November 1778 records that the ship’s company received twelve dollars and five bits a “fore mast” man for the Alfred.973 According to the modern Dictionary of American Naval Ships, she was taken into the Royal Navy as HM Armed Ship Alfred, 20 guns.974


The Marine Committee heard of the loss of the Alfred with distress and irritation. On 28 April 1778 the Marine Committee notified Massachusetts Continental Agent John Bradford, noting that the loss was to be inquired into, along with Thompson’s conduct.975 On 8 May 1778 the Marine Committee ordered the Navy Board of the Eastern District to suspend Thompson from command pending a court of inquiry.976 Thompson was duly tried and cashiered from the Navy.


Hinman’s court-martial for loss of the Alfred was convened on 12 February 1779, aboard Continental Navy Ship Providence, at Boston. Captain Abraham Whipple presided. The charges were preferred by Thomas Thompson, who had already been cashiered out of the Navy for his behavior in command of the Raleigh. Thompson charged Hinman with dis-obedience of orders, neglect of duty, and unprecedented conduct. The court “duly and maturely” considered the evidence and “fully and clearly” decided that Hinman was not guilty of any charges. Hinman was acquitted with “the highest honor,” the court “approving the whole of his conduct on the 9th of March 1778, he having behaved himself according to the strictest rules of naval discipline and agreeable in all respects to the 27th Article of the Rules and Regulations of the Continental Navy.” The decision was published in the Boston papers on 18 February 1779.977


Thompson publicly attacked the court’s decision in the press. He pointed out irregularities in the trial and noted that Hinman had come home from France in the Providence, commanded by Whipple. The majority of the court’s members had thus heard Hinman’s account numerous times “. . . and they must be prejudiced in his Favour, by hearing his account of the matter so often on the passage.” On 18 March 1779 Thompson had the dissenting opinion of Captain Henry Johnson published in the newspapers in Boston. Johnson, who believed Hinman “. . . did actually bare away before the wind, without any order to that purpose, and also commence an engagement with the British Ships without any signal from the Raleigh for that purpose . . .”  Johnson noted that Hinman had called a council of his officers, “. . . at a time by no means critical or dangerous . . . being entirely subversive of all order and discipline . . .”  Johnson thought Hinman was clearly guilty.978



1 NDAR, “Journal  of the Continental Congress,” II, 647 and note

2 DANFS, I, 28

3 NDAR, “A Letter from Philadelphia, dated December 6, 1775,” II, 1305-1307 and 1307 note

4 Clark, William Bell, Gallant John Barry, 1745-1803, The Story of a Naval Hero of Two Wars, The MacMillan Company: New York, 1938, pp. 38-40

5 McCusker, John J., Alfred: The First Continental Flagship 1775-1778, Smithsonian Institution Press: Washington, 1973, p. 1. To the best of my knowledge there are no contemporary measurements of the Alfred.  Another modern estimate of her dimensions is a length of 140', length on the deck of 118', length of the keel of 100', beam of 32', depth in the hold of 15', and a tonnage of 550 tons. [estimates from Millar, The Early American Ship, according to http://www.schoonerman.com/alfred.htm 4 April 2007] According to the second edition of the DANFS she measured 440 tons. [http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/a/alfred.htm 4 April 2007].  

6 NDAR, “Deposition of John Nixon Regarding Merchant Ship Black Prince, I, 36 and note

7 Clark, Gallant John Barry, 42

8 NDAR, “Richard Champion to Willing, Morris & Co.,” I, 422-424 and 424 note

9 Clark, Gallant John Barry, 46-47

10 Clark, Gallant John Barry, 50-52

11 Clark, Gallant John Barry, 56

12 NDAR, “Diary of Christopher Marshall,” II, 363

13 Clark, Gallant John Barry, 61-62

14 NDAR, “Dr. Solomon Drowne to his Parents,” II, 1010 and 1010-1011 note; “Chandlery Supplied to the Continental Fleet,” III, 1377-1391

15 Clark, Gallant John Barry, 65

16 NDAR, “Dr. Solomon Drowne to his Parents,” II, 1010 and 1010-1011 note; “Autobiography of John Adams,” II, 1305; “Chandlery Supplied to the Continental Fleet,” III, 1377-1391; “Dunlap’s Maryland Gazette, Tuesday, December 19, 1775,” III, 173 and note. Alfred the Great, King of the West Saxons (871-899) was considered to be the founder of the English Navy. DANFS, I, 28.

17 “Chandlery Supplied to the Continental Fleet,” III, 1377-1391

18 NDAR, “John Adams’ List of Persons Suitable for Naval Commands, November 1775,” II, 1162 and 1162-1163 note

19 Boatner, Mark Mayo III, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, David MacKay Company, Inc.: New York, 1974, p. 512

20 Morgan, William James, Captains to the Northward: The New England Captains In The Continental Navy, Barre Gazette; Barre, Massachusetts, 1959, p. 23

21 NDAR, “Rhode Island Recess Committee to Esek Hopkins and William West,” II, 295-296

22 NDAR, “John Adams’ List of Persons Suitable for Naval Commands, November 1775,” II, 1162 and 1162-1163 note

23 NDAR, “Stephen Hopkins to Esek Hopkins,” II, 907-909

24 NDAR, “Naval Committee of the Continental Congress to Dudley Saltonstall,” II, 1163

25 NDAR, “Autobiography of John Adams,” II, 1305

26 Boatner, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, 967-968

27 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 25

28 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 12-13, 459-460

29 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 13

30 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 443

31 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 13-14, 463-464

32 NDAR, “Rhode Island Committee of Accounts to Nicholas Cooke,” II, 1233

33 NDAR, “Samuel Ward and Stephen Hopkins to Nicholas Cooke,” II, 1233-1234 and 1234 note

34 NDAR, “A Letter from Philadelphia, dated December 6, 1775,” II, 1305-1307 and 1307 note

35 Boatner, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, 565-568

36 NDAR, “Dudley Saltonstall to the Continental Marine Committee,” II, 1234

37 NDAR, “Gurdon Saltonstall to the Connecticut Committee of the Pay Table,” II, 1234

38 NDAR, “Adam Babcock to Silas Deane,” III, 128

39 NDAR, “Gurdon Saltonstall to Silas Deane,” III, 100

40 NDAR, “Thomas Mumford to Silas Deane,” III, 153

41 NDAR, “Thomas Mumford to Silas Deane,” III, 153

42 NDAR, “Minutes of the Continental Naval Committee,” III, 162

43 NDAR, “Minutes of the Continental Naval Committee,” III, 172

44 NDAR, “Petition of William Green to the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety,” III, 172

45 NDAR, “Minutes of the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety,” III, 172-173

46 NDAR, “Muster Roll, Lieutenant Isaac Craig’s Company of Marines,” III, 174-175 and 175 note

47 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” III, 171

48 NDAR, “Minutes of the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety,” III, 185-186

49 NDAR, “Continental Naval Committee to the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety,” III, 185

50 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” III, 207-208 and 208 note

51 NDAR, “Diary of Richard Smith,” III, 209

52 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” III, 207-208 and 208 note

53 NDAR, “Samuel Adams to John Adams, III, 209-210

54 NDAR, “A Roll of all the Officers and Men . . . [of] . . . Ship Alfred,” VI, 696-705

55 NDAR, “Muster Roll . . . [of] . . . Ship Columbus, III, 142-154

56 NDAR, “Minutes of the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety,” III, 216

57 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” III, 216

58 NDAR, “Silas Deane to Elizabeth Deane,” III, 263-264

59 NDAR, “Solomon Drowne to William Drowne,” III, 264

60 NDAR, “Pennsylvania Journal, Wednesday, December 27, 1775,” III, 266

61 NDAR, “Philadelphia Journal, Wednesday, December 27, 1775,” III, 266

62 NDAR, “Letter from Philadelphia,” III, 266-268

63 NDAR., “Letter from Philadelphia,” III, 266-268

64 NDAR, “Marines On Board Commodore Esek Hopkins’ Fleet,” III, 302-304

65 NDAR, “Intelligence from Philadelphia, Transmitted by Governor William Tryon,” III, 558-560

66 NDAR, “Minutes of the Committee of Safety,” III, 562-563

67 NDAR, “Continental Naval Committee Order,” III, 613

68 NDAR, “Continental Naval Committee Resolution,” III, 612-613

69 NDAR, “A Journal of a Cruise In the Brig Andrew Doria . . . ,” III, 615 and note

70 NDAR, “A Journal of a Cruise In the Brig Andrew Doria . . . ,” III, 615 and note

71 NDAR, “Continental Naval Committee Order,” III, 613

72 NDAR, “Intelligence from Philadelphia, Transmitted by Captain Hyde Parker, Jr., R.N.,” III, 615-617 and 617 note

73 NDAR, “Intelligence from Philadelphia, Transmitted by Captain Hyde Parker, Jr., R.N.,” III, 615-617 and 617 note

74 NDAR, “Intelligence from Philadelphia, Transmitted by Captain Hyde Parker, Jr., R.N.,” III, 615-617 and 617 note

75 NDAR, “Intelligence from New York, Transmitted by Governor William Tryon,” III, 558-560 and 560 note

76 NDAR, “Intelligence on the Continental Navy,” III, 616 and notes

77 NDAR, “Intelligence on the Continental Navy,” III, 616 and notes

78 NDAR, “Intelligence from Philadelphia, Transmitted by Captain Hyde Parker, Jr., R.N.,” III, 615-617 and 617 note

79 NDAR, “Governor William Tryon’s Intelligence from Philadelphia,” III, 77 and note

80 NDAR, “Captain Hyde Parker, Jr., R.N., to Vice Admiral Samuel Graves,” III, 154-155; also “Captain George Vandeput, R.N., to Captain Hyde Parker, Jr., R.N.,” III, 157-158

81 NDAR, “Vice Admiral Samuel Graves to Captain Andrew Snape Hamond, H.M.S. Roebuck, Halifax,” III, 235

82 NDAR, “General George Washington to Colonel Joseph Reed,” III, 233

83 NDAR, “General Washington to Richard Henry Lee,” III, 253

84 NDAR, “General Washington to Colonel Joseph Reed,” III, 599-600

85 NDAR, “Colonel Alexander McDougall to John Jay,” III, 225-226

86 NDAR, “Naval Committee to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” III, 636-637

87 NDAR, “Naval Committee to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” III, 637-638

88NDAR, “Naval Committee to the Virginia Convention,” III, 640-641 and 641 note

89 NDAR, “Advertisement for a Deserter from Continental Brig Cabot,” III, 700

90 NDAR, “Robert Morris to Major General Charles Lee,” III, 719

91 NDAR, “Christopher Gadsden to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” III, 720-721

92 NDAR, “Autobiography of Charles Biddle,” III, 803-805

93 NDAR, “Christopher Gadsden to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” III, 805-807

94 NDAR, “Samuel Ward to Governor Nicholas Cooke,” III, 820 and note; “Andrew Doria Journal,” III, 838-839

95 NDAR, “Diary of Richard Smith,” III, 820 and note

96 NDAR, “Chandlery Supplied to the Continental Fleet,” III, 1377-1391

97 NDAR, “Nicholas Brown to Josiah Hewes,” III, 915-916. This item was to Joseph, not Josiah, Hewes.

98 NDAR, “Chandlery Supplied to the Continental Fleet,” III, 848, 1377-1391; “Nicholas Brown to Stephen Hopkins,” III, 238-239. The master’s name is also spelled Munrow or Morrow.

99 NDAR, “Articles of Enlistment for the Continental Navy,” III, 888-891 and 891 note; “A List of the Seamen . . . [crew list of Fly],” V, 426-427

100 NDAR, “A List of the Seamen . . . [crew list of Fly],” V, 426-427

101 NDAR, “A List of the Seamen . . . [crew list of Fly],” V, 426-427

102 NDAR, “Andrew Doria Journal,” III, 838-839

103 NDAR, “Christopher Gadsden to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” III, 805-807

104 NDAR, “A Roll of all the Officers and Men . . . [of] . . . Ship Alfred,” VI, 696-705

105 NDAR, “Continental Naval Committee to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” III, 847

106 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” III, 979 and note

107 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” III, 944

108 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Naval Committee,” III, 1017-1018 and 1018 note

109 NDAR, “Nathaniel Falconer to Commodore Esek Hopkins, Reedy Island,” III, 1051-1052

110 NDAR, “Thomas Mumford to Silas Deane,” III, 153 and note

111 NDAR, “Thomas Mumford to Silas Deane,” III, 153 and note; “Nathaniel Shaw, Jr., to Joseph Trumbull,” III, 241

112 NDAR, “Nathaniel Shaw, Jr., to Joseph Trumbull,” III, 241; “Minutes of the Connecticut Council of Safety,” III, 634

113 NDAR, “Minutes of the Connecticut Council of Safety,” III, 634

114 NDAR, “Gurdon Saltonstall to the Connecticut Committee of the Pay Table,” III, 215

115 NDAR, “Minutes of the Connecticut Council of Safety,” III, 634

116 NDAR, “Meredith Stewart to Joshua Hempstead,” III, 716

117 NDAR, “Colonel Gurdon Saltonstall to Silas Deane,” III, 939-940 and 940 note

118 NDAR, “Narrative of Charles Bulkeley,” III, 1088 and note; “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Lieutenant Elisha Hinman and Other Officers,” III, 1206 and note

119 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” III, 1184-1185; “Diary of Richard Smith,” III, 1185 and note

120 NDAR, “Andrew Doria Journal,” III, 1219

121 NDAR, “Andrew Doria Journal,” III, 1219

122 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins’ Signals for the First Continental Fleet,” III, 1287-1289 and 1289 note

123 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Captain Nicholas Biddle,” III, 1291 and note

124 NDAR, “Captain Nicholas Biddle to his Brother, James Biddle,” III, 1307 and note

125 NDAR, “Articles of Enlistment for the Continental Navy,” III, 888-891 and 891 note

126 NDAR, “Articles of Enlistment for the Continental Navy,” III, 888-891 and 891 note

127 NDAR, “Captain Nicholas Biddle to his Brother, James Biddle,” III, 1307 and note

128 NDAR, “Captain Nicholas Biddle to his Sister, Mrs. Lydia McFunn,” III, 1305-1306 and 1307 note

129 NDAR, “A Roll of all the Officers and Men . . . [of] . . . Ship Alfred, VI, 696-705

130 NDAR, “Muster Roll . . . [of] . . . Ship Columbus,” III, 142-154

131 NDAR, “Andrew Doria Journal,” III, 1349

132 NDAR, “Account of Officers and Men Belonging to the Brigante Andrew Doria 1776,” IX, 1007-1011

133 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 45

134 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 45

135 NDAR, “Watch List for Continental Schooner Wasp,” III, 849 and note

136 NDAR, “A List of the Seamen . . . [crew list of Fly],” V, 426-427

137 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736

138 NDAR, “A Roll of all the Officers and Men . . . [of] . . . Ship Alfred,” VI, 696-705; “Muster Roll . . . [of] . . . Ship Columbus,” VII, 142-154

139 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 134

140 NDAR, “Lieutenant John Paul Jones to Joseph Hewes,” IV, 815-818 and 818 note; “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

141 NDAR, “Lieutenant John Paul Jones to Joseph Hewes,” IV, 815-818 and 818 note

142 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 134

143 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 373

144 NDAR, “Henry Laurens to the North Carolina Council of Safety,” IV, 431 and 431-432 note

145 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 373; “Henry Laurens to the North Carolina Council of Safety,” IV, 431 and 431-432 note

146 NDAR, “Muster Roll . . . [of] . . . Ship Columbus,” VII, 142-154

147 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736

148 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 153; “John Brown to Lord George Germain,” IV, 1386-1387; many other references in NDAR, IV.

149 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 134

150 Morison, John Paul Jones, 45

151 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

152 NDAR, “Journal Prepared for the King of France by John Paul Jones,” IV, 133-134; “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

153 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 48

154 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 48-49

155 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 48

156 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175

157 NDAR, “List of British Ships of War at or Going to America,” IV, 1090-1093

158 NDAR, “Vice Admiral Samuel Graves to Philip Stephens,” II, 29-31

159 NDAR, “John Brown to Vice Admiral Clark Gayton,” IV, 461-464

160 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 46

161 NDAR, “John Brown to Captain John Linzee, H.M.S. Falcon,” II, 236

162 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 46

163 NDAR, “Narrative of Vice Admiral Samuel Graves,” II, 519

164 NDAR, “Lords Commissioners of the British Admiralty to Vice Admiral Samuel Graves,” II, 758-760

165 NDAR, “Vice Admiral Samuel Graves to Philip Stephens,” III, 573-574

166 NDAR, “George Jackson to Vice Admiral Molyneux Shuldham,” III, 510-511

167 NDAR, “Pennsylvania Gazette, Wednesday, November 8, 1775,” II, 940

168 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” III, 818

169 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 46

170 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 48

171 NDAR, “Journal of His Majesty’s Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175

172 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

173 NDAR, “Lieutenant John Paul Jones to Joseph Hewes,” IV, 815-818 and 818 note

174 NDAR, “Journal Prepared for the King of France by John Paul Jones,” IV, 133-134

175 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

176 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 153; “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

177 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 153; “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

178 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 153

179 NDAR, “John Brown to Lord George Germain,” IV, 1386-1387

180 NDAR, “John Brown to Vice Admiral Clark Gayton,” IV, 461-464; “John Brown to Lord George Germain,” IV, 1386-1387

181 NDAR, “Journal of His Majesty’s Schooner St. John, III, 173-175; “Journal Prepared for the King of France by John Paul Jones,” IV, 133-134

182 NDAR, “Journal Prepared for the King of France by John Paul Jones,” IV, 133-134; “Lieutenant John Paul Jones to Joseph Hewes,” IV, 815-818 and 818 note; “John Brown to Lord George Germain,” IV, 1386-1387

183 NDAR, “Journal Prepared for the King of France by John Paul Jones,” IV, 133-134

184 NDAR, “John Brown to Vice Admiral Clark Gayton,” IV, 461-464; “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175

185 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175

186 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 153 and note

187 NDAR, “John Brown to Lord George Germain,” IV, 1386-1387; “John Brown to Vice Admiral Clark Gayton,” IV, 461-464; “Lieutenant John Paul Jones to Joseph Hewes,” IV, 815-818 and 818 note

188 NDAR, “Journal Prepared for the King of France by John Paul Jones,” IV, 133-134

189 NDAR, “Journal Prepared for the King of France by John Paul Jones,” IV, 133-134

190 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 49

191 NDAR, “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-467 and 467 note

192 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 49

193 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 49

194 NDAR, “John Brown to Lord George Germain,” IV, 1386-1387; “John Brown to Vice Admiral Clark Gayton,” IV, 461-464; “Lieutenant John Paul Jones to Joseph Hewes,” IV, 815-818 and 818 note; Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 48-49

195 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 49; NDAR, “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-467 and 467 note

196 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175

197 NDAR, “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-467 and 467 note

198 NDAR, “John Brown to Vice Admiral Clark Gayton,” IV, 461-464

199 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 50; NDAR, “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-467 and 467 note

200 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 49

201 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736

202 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 50; NDAR, “Journal of Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 153 and note; “Journal Prepared for the King of France by John Paul Jones,” IV, 133-134

203 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175; “Journal of Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 153 and note

204 NDAR, “John Brown to Lord George Germain,” IV, 1386-1387

205 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175

206 NDAR, “John Brown to Lord George Germain, IV, 1386-1387

207 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 50; NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

208 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

209 NDAR, “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-467 and 467 note

210 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

211 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 50

212 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 153 and note

213 NDAR, “Journal of Lieutenant John Trevett,” IV, 175

214 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

215 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 50; NDAR, “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-467 and 467 note

216 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175

217 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 50

218 Other reports indicate five guns were fired: NDAR, “A Letter from St. Kitts, dated April 20,” III, 1183; “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736

219 NDAR, “John Brown to Vice Admiral Clark Gayton,” IV, 461-464; quote from “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-467 and 467 note; “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

220 NDAR, “John Brown to Vice Admiral Clark Gayton,” IV, 461-464

221 NDAR, “John Brown to Vice Admiral Clark Gayton,” IV, 461-464

222 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 153 and note

223 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

224 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 153 and note

225 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 51-52 quoting William Taylor to Lord Germain.

226 NDAR, “Public Advertiser, Wednesday, May 15, 1776,” III, 1127

227 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 51, 52

228 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175

229 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

230 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736

231 NDAR, “Copy of the Manifesto Sent Onshore at New Providence,” IV, 152

232 NDAR, “John Brown to Vice Admiral Clark Gayton,” IV, 461-464

233 NDAR, “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-467 and 467 note; Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 52

234 NDAR, “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-467 and 467 note

235 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175

236 NDAR, “John Brown to Vice Admiral Clark Gayton,” IV, 461-464

237 NDAR, “Governor Montfort Browne to Lord George Germaine,” VII, 48-51; “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-467 and 467 note

238 NDAR, “John Brown to Lord George Germain,” IV, 1386-1387

239 NDAR, “Governor Montfort Browne to Lord George Germaine,” VII, 48-51

240 NDAR, “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-467 and 467 note

241 NDAR, “Governor Montfort Browne to Lord George Germaine,” VII, 48-51

242 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175; “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-467 and 467 note

243 NDAR, “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-467 and 467 note

244 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175

245 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175

246 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175

247 NDAR, “Governor Montfort Browne to Lord George Germaine,” VII, 48-51

248 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 53

249 NDAR, “Governor Montfort Browne to Lord George Germaine,” VII, 48-51; “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175

250 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175

251 NDAR, “Journal Prepared for the King of France by John Paul Jones,” IV, 133-134

252 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 173-175

253 NDAR, “Governor Montfort Browne to Lord George Germaine,” VII, 48-51

254 NDAR, “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-467 and 467 note

255 NDAR, “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-467 and 467 note

256 NDAR, “John Brown to Vice Admiral Clark Gayton,” IV, 461-464

257 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

258 NDAR, “Journal of Lieutenant John Trevett,” IV, 175

259 NDAR, “Journal of Lieutenant John Trevett,” IV, 175

260 NDAR, “Lieutenant John Paul Jones to Joseph Hewes,” IV, 815-818

261 NDAR, “Journal of Lieutenant John Trevett,” IV, 175

262 NDAR, “Journal of Lieutenant John Trevett,” IV, 175

263 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 54

264 NDAR, “Journal of Lieutenant John Trevett,” IV, 175

265 NDAR, “Journal of John Trevett,” IV, 175

266 NDAR, “Journal of John Trevett,” IV, 175

267

268 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas] on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

269 NDAR, “Journal of John Trevett,” IV, 175

270 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 373

271 NDAR, “Providence Gazette, Saturday, April 20, 1776,” IV, 1174-1176

272 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Governor Jonathan Trumbull,” IV, 711-712. A partial inventory is in NDAR, “Journal of Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 171

273 NDAR, “Governor Jonathan Trumbull to John Hancock,” V, 1154 and note

274 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 373 and note

275 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736

276 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” V, 412-413 and 413 note

277 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Lieutenant Elisha Hinman,” IV, 403

278 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Schooner St. John, Lieutenant William Grant,” IV, 225; “Lieutenant William Grant, R.N., to Governor Patrick Tonyn,” IV, 225

279 NDAR, “Lieutenant William Grant, R.N., to Vice Admiral Molyneux Shuldham,” IV, 249-250; “Governor Patrick Tonyn to Captain Andrew Barkley, R.N.,” IV, 250-251 and 251 note

280 NDAR, “Governor Patrick Tonyn to Captain Andrew Barkley, R.N.,” IV, 250-251 and 251 note

281 NDAR, “Minutes of a Council held on board His Majesty’s Ship Scarborough, Savannah River in Georgia this 14th March, 1776—,” IV, 343-344

282 NDAR, “Petition of Joseph Hunson to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” IV, 227 and note

283 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 55

284 NDAR, “John Brown to Vice Admiral Clark Gayton,” IV, 461-464

285 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 55, quoting William Taylor to Lord George Germain.

286 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Schooner Wasp, Captain William Hallock,” IV, 373-374 and 374 note

287 NDAR, “Intelligence Received at New Providence by the Continental Sloop Fly,” IV, 304-306 and 306 note

288 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Schooner Wasp, Captain William Hallock,” IV, 373-374 and 374 note

289 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 373 and note

290 NDAR, “A Roll of all the Officers and Men . . . [of] . . . Ship Alfred,” VI, 696-705

291 NDAR, “Muster Roll . . . [of] . . . Ship Columbus, VII, 142-154

292 NDAR, “A Roll of all the Officers and Men . . . [of] . . . Ship Alfred,” VI, 696-705; “List of Men from Connecticut Who Served On Board the Continental Ship Alfred,” VI, 17-18

293 NDAR, “Muster Roll . . . [of] . . . Ship Columbus,” VII, 142-154

294 NDAR, “A Roll of all the Officers and Men . . . [of] . . . Ship Alfred,” VI, 696-705

295 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Schooner Wasp, Captain William Hallock,” IV, 373-374 and 374 note

296 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 373 and note

297 NDAR, “Thomas Atwood to  Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-466; Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 55

298 NDAR, “John Brown to Vice Admiral Clark Gayton,” IV, 461-464; “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-466

299 NDAR, “Thomas Atwood to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 464-466; Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 55

300 NDAR, “Governor Montfort Browne to Lord Dartmouth,” IV, 387-388 and 388 note

301 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Schooner Wasp, Captain William Hallock.” IV, 373-374 and 374 note; “Journal of Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 373; “John Brown to Vice Admiral Clark Gayton,” IV, 461-464

302 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Dartmouth Committee,” IV, 403-404

303 NDAR, “Andrew Doria Journal,” reproduction, 1489-1503

304 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins’ Sailing Orders from New Providence,” IV, 403

305 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Lieutenant Elisha Hinman,” IV, 403

306 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Dartmouth Committee,” IV, 403-404

307 NDAR, “Andrew Doria Journal,” reproduction, 1489-1503

308 NDAR, “Account of Officers and Men belonging to the Brigante Andrew Doria 1776,” IX, 1007-1011

309 NDAR, “A Roll of all the Officers and Men . . . [of] . . . Ship Alfred, VI, 696-705

310 NDAR, “Andrew Doria Journal,” reproduction, 1489-1503

311 NDAR, “A Roll of all the Officers and Men . . . [of] . . . Ship Alfred,” VI, 696-705

312 NDAR, “Account of Officers and Men belonging to the Brigante Andrew Doria 1776,” IX, 1007-1011

313 NDAR, “Andrew Doria Journal,” reproduction, 1489-1503

314 NDAR, “Andrew Doria Journal,” reproduction, 1489-1503

315 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

316 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736; “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note; “Journal of Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 662 and note

317 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note; “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 662 and note

318 NDAR, “Libel Against Three Prizes taken by the Continental Fleet,” V, 493-494

319 NDAR, “Minutes of the Committee Acting in Recess of the Rhode Island General Assembly,” VI, 804 and note

320 NDAR, “Providence Gazette, Saturday, April 13, 1776,” IV, 797-800 and 800 note

321 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736; “Connecticut Gazette, Friday, April 12, 1776,” IV, 784-786 and 786 note

322 NDAR, “Libel Against Three Prizes taken by the Continental Fleet,” V, 493-494

323 NDAR, “Connecticut Gazette, Friday, April 12, 1776,” IV, 784-786 and 786 note

324 NDAR, “Captain James Wallace, R.N., to Vice Admiral Molyneux Shuldham,” IV, 746-747

325 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 669 and note

326 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

327 NDAR, “Captain James Wallace, R.N., to Vice Admiral Molyneux Shuldham,” IV, 746-747

328 NDAR, “List of British Ships of War at or Going to America,” IV, 1090-1093; swivels confirmed by “Connecticut Gazette, Friday, April 12, 1776,” IV, 784-786

329 NDAR, “Inventory of Warlike Stores found on Board the Brigg Bolton Edwd Sneid Master Vizt,” IV, 712 and note

330 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736 and 736 note; NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note; “Connecticut Gazette, Friday, April 12, 1776,” IV, 784-786; “Providence Gazette, Saturday, April 13, 1776,” IV, 797-800 and 800 note

331 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736 and 736 note; NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note; “Connecticut Gazette, Friday, April 12, 1776,” IV, 784-786; “Providence Gazette, Saturday, April 13, 1776,” IV, 797-800 and 800 note; “Nathaniel Shaw, Jr.’s Account of Ordnance Stores Shipped to New York,” VI, 144-145

332 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736 and 736 note; “Connecticut Gazette, Friday, April 12, 1776,” IV, 784-786

333 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736 and 736 note

334 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

335 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 669 and note

336 NDAR, “Prisoners taken in H. M. Bomb Brig Bolton,” IV, 669-670 and 670 note

337 NDAR, “List of People on Board the Andrew Doria from February 1776,” IV, 712-715 and 715 note

338 NDAR, “A Least of the Presenors on Board the Schooner, &c.,” IV, 719 and note

339 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 669 and note

340 NDAR, “Captain Nicholas Biddle to James Biddle,” V, 27-29

341 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

342 Morison, John Paul Jones, 47

343 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

344 NDAR, “List of British Ships at or Going to America,” IV, 1090-1093

345 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Glasgow, Captain Tyringham Howe,” IV, 680; “Journal of H.M.S. Rose, Captain James Wallace,” IV, 681-682

346 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Rose, Captain James Wallace,” IV, 681-682

347 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Glasgow, Captain Tyringham Howe,” IV, 680; “Journal of H.M.S. Rose, Captain James Wallace,” IV, 681-682

348 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Rose, Captain James Wallace,” IV, 681-682

349 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Glasgow, Captain Tyringham Howe,” IV, 680

350 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

351 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681; “Journal of John Paul Jones,” IV, 679-680; “Journal of John Paul Jones,” IV, 679-680

352 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681. Glasgow’s journal indicates the sighting was at 0300.

353 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note; “Captain Nicholas Biddle to James Biddle,” V, 27-29

354 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

355 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

356 NDAR, “Captain Abraham Whipple to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” IV, 1328-1329 and 1329 note

357 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

358 NDAR, “Captain Abraham Whipple to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” IV, 1328-1329 and 1329 note

359 NDAR, “Captain Abraham Whipple to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” IV, 1328-1329 and 1329 note

360 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note

361 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

362 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note; “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note

363 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

364 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

365 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note; “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

366 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

367 NDAR, “Captain Tyringham Howe, R.N., to Philip Stephens,” IV, 1281

368

369 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note; “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

370 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note; “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

371 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

372 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note; “Captain Nicholas Biddle to James Biddle,” V, 27-29

373 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

374 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note

375 NDAR, “Journal of John Paul Jones,” IV, 679-680

376

377 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

378 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

379 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

380 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

381 NDAR, “Captain Abraham Whipple to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” IV, 1328-1329 and 1329 note

382 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

383 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note; “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

384 NDAR, “Governor Montfort Browne to Lord George Germain,” VII, 48-51

385 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

386 NDAR, “Captain Tyringham Howe, R.N., to Philip Stephens,” IV, 1281

387 NDAR, “Captain Tyringham Howe, R.N., to Philip Stephens,” IV, 1281

388 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note

389 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Glasgow, Captain Tyringham Howe,” IV, IV, 680

390 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Glasgow, Captain Tyringham Howe,” IV, IV, 680

391 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

392 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

393 NDAR, “Captain Abraham Whipple to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” IV, 1328-1329 and 1329 note

394 NDAR, “Newport Mercury, Monday, April 8, 1776,” IV, 707-709

395 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note

396 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Glasgow, Captain Tyringham Howe,” IV, 680; “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note

397 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736 and 736 note

398 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681; “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note

399 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681; “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note; “Captain Tyringham Howe, R.N., to Philip Stephens,” IV, 1281

400 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681; “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note; “Journal of H.M.S. Glasgow, Captain Tyringham Howe,” IV, 680

401 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note

402 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681; “Journal of H.M.S. Glasgow, Captain Tyringham Howe,” IV, 680

403 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Glasgow, Captain Tyringham Howe,” IV, 680

404 NDAR, “Newport Mercury, Monday, April 8, 1776,” IV, 707-709

405 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note; “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736 and 736 note

406 NDAR, “Governor Montfort Browne to Lord George Germain,” VII, 48-51

407 NDAR, “Governor Montfort Browne to Lord George Germain,” VII, 48-51; “Providence Gazette, Saturday, April 13, 1776,” IV, 797-800

408 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736 and 736 note; “Providence Gazette, Saturday, April 13, 1776,” IV, 797-800

409 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736 and 736 note

410 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

411 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736 and 736 note

412 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hanock,” IV, 735-736 and 736 note

413

414 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hanock,” IV, 735-736 and 736 note

415 NDAR, “Connecticut Gazette, Friday, April 12, 1776,” IV, 784-786

416 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736 and 736 note

417 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 679 and note; “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” IV, 735-736 and 736 note

418 NDAR, “Account of Officers and Men belonging to the Brigante Andrew Doria 1776,” IX, 1007-1011

419 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Sloop Swan, Captain James Ayscough,” IV, 682

420 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Glasgow, Captain Tyringham Howe,” IV, 680

421 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

422 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from the Captain of Marines [Samuel Nicholas], on board the Ship Alfred, dated at New-London, April 10, 1776,” IV, 748-752 and 752 note

423 NDAR, “Remarks on board His Majesty’s Ship Glasgow Saturday the 6th day of April 1776,” IV, 680-681

424 NDAR, “Captain Tyringham Howe, R.N., to Philip Stephens,” IV, 1281

425 NDAR, “Captain Tyringham Howe, R.N., to Philip Stephens,” IV, 1281; “Vice Admiral Molyneux Shuldham to Philip Stephens,” IV, 1157-1159

426 NDAR, “Vice Admiral Molyneux Shuldham to Philip Stephens,” IV, 1157-1159

427 NDAR, “Lords Commissioners, Admiralty, to Captain Tyringham Howe, H.M.S. Thames, Spithead,” VII, 757-758

428 NDAR, “Marquis de Noailles to Vergennes,” VII, 702 and note

429 NDAR, “Lords Commissioners, Admiralty, to Captain Thomas Pasley, H. M. S. Glasgow, Spithead,” VII, 693-694

430 NDAR, “Nathaniel Shaw, Jr. to Joseph Trumbull,” IV, 696-697

431 NDAR, “Burnett Miller to the New York Committee of Safety,” IV, 697

432 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria, Captain Nicholas Biddle,” IV, 696

433

434 NDAR, “Captain Nicholas Biddle to James Biddle,” V, 27-29

435 NDAR, “Captain Nicholas Biddle to James Biddle,” V, 27-29

436 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 108

437 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 108-109

438 NDAR, “Captain John Hazard to Commodore Esek Hopkins, V, 64-65 and 65 note. Forget not that one other officer from Providence was on the court, First Lieutenant of Marines Henry Dayton. The verdict of the court was unanimous, so Dayton did not recollect this conversation. The other man involved, Whipple, was on the court, and he also voted guilty.

439 Why Hopkins would wait to confirm Whipple’s verdict is a question worth an answer, but I have not found an answer. It is a very good question.

440 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” V, 199-200

441 NDAR, “Lieutenant John Paul Jones to Joseph Hewes,” V, 151-153

442 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” V, 319

443 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to his Brother, Stephen Hopkins, Philadelphia,” V, 424-427

444 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Morris,” VI, 685-687

445 NDAR, “Journal of John Paul Jones,” VI, 209-210

446 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Lieutenant John Paul Jones,” V, 27. This letter does not contain the phrase “as Captain of the Providence” in it. Jones is to “take command of the sloop Providence.”

447 NDAR, “Captain Nicholas Biddle to James Biddle,” V, 27-29

448 NDAR, “A List of People on board the Andrew Doria 10th May,” V, 29-30 and 30 note

449 NDAR, “Lieutenant John Paul Jones to Joseph Hewes,” V, 151-153

450 NDAR, “Lieutenant John Paul Jones to Joseph Hewes,” V, 151-153

451 NDAR, “Lieutenant John Paul Jones to Joseph Hewes,” V, 151-153

452 NDAR, “Lieutenant John Paul Jones to Joseph Hewes,” V, 151-153

453 NDAR, “Lieutenant John Paul Jones to Joseph Hewes,” V, 151-153

454 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” V, 199-200

455 NDAR, “Muster Roll of the Continental Sloop Fly,” VI, 138. This man is not shown on the Alfred’s muster roll.

456 NDAR, “Kenneth McCloud to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” V, 294-295 and 295 note

457 “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Continental Marine Committee,” V, 622-623

458 “Commodore Esek Hopkins’ Recommendations for Officers for the New Frigates,” V, 623-624

459 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” V, 205

460 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” V, 319

461 NDAR, “Robert Morris for the Committee of Secret Correspondence, to Silas Deane,” V, 383-385

462 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to his Brother, Stephen Hopkins, Philadelphia,” V, 424-426

463 Ibid.

464 NDAR, “Captain Nicholas Biddle to Charles Biddle,” V, 564-565 and 565 note

465 NDAR, “Captain Nicholas Biddle to Charles Biddle,” V, 564-565 and 565 note

466 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Continental Marine Committee,” V, 622-623

467 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” V, 511-512

468 NDAR, “John Hancock to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” V, 528-530

469 NDAR, “John Hancock to Captains Dudley Saltonstall and Abraham Whipple,” V, 530-531

470 NDAR, “John Hancock to George Washington,” V, 531

471 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Captain Abraham Whipple, Columbus, Newport,” V, 638-639

472 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Captain Nicholas Biddle,” V, 639

473 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Morris,” VII, 938-939

474 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” V, 874

475 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” V, 1028-1029

476 NDAR, “Pass Through New York for Captain Abraham Whipple,” V, 1171-1172 and 1172 note

477 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” V, 1045

478 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” VI, 22

479 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” VI, 63

480 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” VI, 63 and note

481 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” VI, 156-157

482 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” VI, 156-157 and 157 note

483 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” VI, 156-157 and 157 note

484 NDAR, “Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on Commodore Esek Hopkins’ Defense,” VI, 195-198 and 198 note

485 NDAR, “Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on Commodore Esek Hopkins’ Defense,” VI, 195-198 and 198 note

486 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” VI, 156-157

487 NDAR, “Autobiography of John Adams,” VI, 157-158 and 158 note

488 NDAR, “Autobiography of John Adams,” VI, 157-158 and 158 note

489 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” VI, 195

490 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” VI, 209 and note

491 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Hancock,” VI, 220 and note

492 NDAR, “Robert R. Livingston to Edward Rutledge,” VI, 1023 and note

493 NDAR, “List of Men from Connecticut Who Served On Board the Continental Ship Alfred,” VI, 17-18

494 NDAR, “A Roll of all the Officers and Men belonging to the Ship Alfred from the time of her being put into Commission until the 5th of September 1776.,” VI, 692-705

495 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” VI, 170-171

496 NDAR, “A Roll of all the Officers and Men belonging to the Ship Alfred from the time of her being put into Commission until the 5th of September 1776.,” VI, 692-705

497 NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” VI, 270-271

498 NDAR, “A Roll of all the Officers and Men belonging to the Ship Alfred from the time of her being put into Commission until the 5th of September 1776.,” VI, 692-705

499 NDAR, “A Roll of all the Officers and Men belonging to the Ship Alfred from the time of her being put into Commission until the 5th of September 1776.,” VI, 692-705

500 NDAR, “Continental Marine Committee to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VI, 271-273

501 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Continental Marine Committee,” VI, 639

502 NDAR, “Governor Nicholas Cooke to Governor Jonathan Trumbull,” VI, 662

503 NDAR, “A Roll of all the Officers and Men belonging to the Ship Alfred from the time of her being put into Commission until the 5th of September 1776.,” VI, 692-705

504 NDAR, “A Roll of all the Officers and Men belonging to the Ship Alfred from the time of her being put into Commission until the 5th of September 1776.,” VI, 692-705. Detailed analysis.

505 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Continental Marine Committee,” VI, 770

506 NDAR, “Minutes of the Continental Marine Committee,” VI, 915 and note

507 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Continental Marine Committee,” VI, 948-949

508 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Continental Marine Committee,” VI, 1055-1056

509 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Governor John Trumbull,” VI, 1134-1136

510NDAR, “Governor Jonathan Trumbull to Governor Nicholas Cooke,” VI, 706

511 NDAR, “George Washington to Governor Jonathan Trumbull,” VI, 763

512 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Governor Jonathan Trumbull, Lebanon,” VI, 948 and note

513 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Continental Marine Committee,” VI, 948-949

514 NDAR, “Governor Jonathan Trumbull to George Washington,” VI, 1020

515 NDAR, “Governor Nicholas Cooke to Governor Jonathan Trumbull, Lebanon,” VI, 1134

516 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Governor Jonathan Trumbull,” VI, 1134-1136

517 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Morris,” VI, 1302-1304

518 NDAR, “Continental Marine Committee to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VI,1202 and 1202-1203 note

519NDAR, “Journal of the Continental Congress,” VI, 1200-1201

520 NDAR, “Governor Jonathan Trumbull to George Washington,” VI, 1218-1219; “Governor Jonathan Trumbull to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VI, 1219-1220

521 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Captain Hoysted Hacker,” VI, 1253

522 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Governor Jonathan Trumbull,” VI, 1271

523 NDAR, “Continental Marine Committee to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VI, 1384

524 NDAR, “Continental Marine Committee to Captains John Manley, Hector McNeil and Thomas Thompson,” VI, 1385

525 NDAR, “Continental Marine Committee to the Governor and Council of Safety of North Carolina,” VI, 1385-1386

526 NDAR, “Continental Marine Committee to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VI, 1464-1465

527 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Morris,” VI, 1302-1304

528 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Morris, VII, 938-939 and 939 note

529 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Governor Jonathan Trumbull,” VI, 1271

530 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Joseph Hewes,” VI, 1473-1475

531 NDAR, “Account Book of John Manley, Deputy Continental Agent at Newport,” VII, 1329-1332

532 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Captain Hoysted Hacker,” VI, 1331

533 NDAR, “Samuel Lyon to Captain John Paul Jones,” VI, 1361

534 NDAR, “Court Martial of James Bryant, Gunner of the Continental Brig Hampden,” VI, 1378-1380

535 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Captain John Paul Jones,” VI, 1362; “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Captain Hoysteed Hacker,” VI, 1362-1363

536 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Continental Marine Committee,” VI, 1398-1399

537 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Continental Marine Committee,” VI, 1398-1399

538 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VI, 1457-1458

539 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Captain John Paul Jones,” VI, 1434

540 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VI, 1457-1458

541 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Captain Hoysteed Hacker,” VII, 6

542 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 17

543 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

544 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VII, 16

545 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VII, 16 and 16-17 note, quoting deposition of  Eagle Prize Master Justin Jacobs; hereafter “Jacobs.”

546 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VII, 16

547 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VII, 16; “Jacobs,” VII, 16-17

548 NDAR, “Jacobs,” VII, 16-17

549 NDAR, “Jacobs,” VII, 16-17

550 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VII, 16 and 16 note, quoting John Trevett’s Journal, hereafter “Trevett.”

551 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VII, 16; “Trevett,” VII, 16

552 “Trevett,” VII, 16

553 NDAR, “Jacobs,” VII, 16-17

554 NDAR, “Jacobs,” VII, 16-17

555 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VII, 16

556 NDAR, “Jacobs,” VII, 16-17

557 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VII, 16

558 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VII, 16; quoting “Jacobs,” VII, 16-17

559 NDAR, “Jacobs,” VII, 16-17

560 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VII, 16

561 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 110-111

562 NDAR, “Officers of the Continental Sloop Providence to Captain Hoysteed Hacker,” VII, 132

563 NDAR, “Officers of the Continental Sloop Providence to Captain Hoysteed Hacker,” VII, 132

564 NDAR, “Libels Filed Against Prize Vessels in the Massachusetts Admiralty Court,” VII, 599-600

565 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 110-111

566 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Smith,” VII, 111 and note

567 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 110-111

568 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Leonard Jarvis,” VII, 277-278

569 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 110-111

570 NDAR, “John Bradford to Robert Morris,” VIII, 36

571 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Acting Lieutenant Walter Spooner,” VII, 112 and note

572 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Smith,” VII, 111 and note

573 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Smith,” VII, 111 and note; “Captain John Paul Jones to Acting Lieutenant Walter Spooner,” VII, 112 and note

574 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Acting Lieutenant Walter Spooner,” VII, 112 and note

575 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Smith,” VII, 111 and note

576 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 110-111

577 NDAR, “London Packet, or New Lloyd’s Evening Post, Wednesday, February 26 to Friday, February 28, 1777,” VIII, 621-622

578 NDAR, “Leonard Jarvis to Captain John Paul Jones,” IX, 156-157

579 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 110-111

580 NDAR, “Journal of Lieutenant John Trevett, Continental Sloop Providence,” VII, 329-330 and 330 note

581 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 110-111

582 NDAR, “Libels Filed Against Prize Vessels in the Massachusetts Admiralty Court,” VII, 599-600

583 NDAR, “T. Brett to William Knox,” VI, 537

584 NDAR, “Journal of Lieutenant John Trevett, Continental Sloop Providence,” VII, 329-330 and 330 note

585 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 110-111

586 NDAR, “Journal of Lieutenant John Trevett, Continental Sloop Providence,” VII, 329-330 and 330 note

587 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 277 and note

588 NDAR, “London Packet, or New Lloyd’s Evening Post, Wednesday, February 26 to Friday, February 28, 1777,” VIII, 621-622

589 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Smith,” VII, 111

590 NDAR, “Captain Sir George Collier, R.N., to Philip Stephens,” VII, 883-884

591 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Morris,” VII, 968-969; “John Bradford to Robert Morris,” VII, 1058

592 NDAR, “T. Brett to William Knox,” VI, 537

593 NDAR, “Minutes of the British Navy Board,” VI, 557

594 NDAR, “Lords Commissioners, Admiralty, to Captain John Lewis Godoin, H.M.S. Richmond, Spithead,” VI, 575-576 and 576 note

595 NDAR, “Philip Stephens to Vice Admiral Richard Lord Howe, New York,” VI, 593-596

596 NDAR, “Dr. Edward Bancroft to Silas Deane,” VII, 789-790; “Whitehall Evening Post, Tuesday, December 24 to Thursday, December 26, 1776,” VII, 807 and note

597 NDAR, “Whitehall Evening Post, Tuesday, December 24 to Thursday, December 26, 1776,” VII, 807 and note; “Captain Sir George Collier, R.N., to Philip Stephens,” VII, 883-884

598 NDAR, “Dr. Edward Bancroft to Silas Deane,” VII, 789-790; “Captain Sir George Collier, R.N., to Philip Stephens,” VII, 883-884; “Vice Admiral Richard Lord Howe to Philip Stephens,” VIII, 230-234

599 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 110-111

600 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to First Lieutenant Philip Brown,” VII, 160; “Officers of the Continental Sloop Providence to Captain Hoysteed Hacker,” VII, 132 and note

601 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 183-184

602 Morison, Samuel Eliot, John Paul Jones: A Sailors’ Biography,

603 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to First Lieutenant Philip Brown,” VII, 160; “Officers of the Continental Sloop Providence to Captain Hoysteed Hacker,” VII, 132 and note

604 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to First Lieutenant Philip Brown,” VII, 160

605 NDAR, “Officers of the Continental Sloop Providence to Captain Hoysteed Hacker,” VII, 132 and note

606 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

607 NDAR, “Independent Chronicle, Thursday, December 19, 1776,” VII, 517-518

608 NDAR, “Libels Filed in the Massachusetts Maritime Court,” VII, 906-907

609 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Acting Lieutenant Joseph Allen,” VII, 160-161

610 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones’s Notes on the Alfred’s Cruise,” VII, 417

611 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Acting Lieutenant Joseph Allen,” VII, 160-161

612 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 183-184

613 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones’s Notes on the Alfred’s Cruise,” VII, 417

614 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

615 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Joseph Hewes,” VII, 937-938 and 938 note

616 NDAR, “Newport Mercury, Monday, December 2, 1776,” VII, 348

617 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

618 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

619 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

620 NDAR, “Providence Gazette, Saturday, December 21, 1776,” VII, 540

621 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

622 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

623 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones’s Notes on the Alfred’s Cruise,” VII, 417

624 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

625 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

626 NDAR, “Independent Chronicle, Thursday, December 19, 1776,” VII, 517-518

627 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

628 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

629 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

630 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Three Prize Masters,” VII, 267-270

631 NDAR, “A List of Prizes taken . . . under the Command of the Commodore Sir Peter Parker,” VII, 926-927

632 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Three Prize Masters,” VII, 267-270

633 NDAR, “Commodore Sir Peter Parker to Vice Admiral Lord Howe,” VII, 923-927

634 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Three Prize Masters,” VII, 267-270

635 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones’s Notes on the Alfred’s Cruise,” VII, 417

636 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from Londonderry, Jan. 17,” VIII, 529 and note; “Minutes of the British Navy Board,” VIII, 840

637 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

638 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Three Prize Masters,” VII, 267-270

639 NDAR, “Minutes of the British Navy Board,” VIII, 840

640 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Three Prize Masters,” VII, 267-270

641 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

642 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Three Prize Masters,” VII, 267-270

643 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Greyhound, Captain Archibald Dickson,” VII, 495

644 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

645 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Lieutenant John Peck Rathbun,” VII, 270

646 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Three Prize Masters,” VII, 267-270; “Captain John Paul Jones to Lieutenant John Peck Rathbun,” VII, 270

647 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Lieutenant John Peck Rathbun,” VII, 270

648 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Lieutenant Philip Brown,” VII, 271

649 NDAR, “Lieutenant John Peck Rathbun to Captain John Paul Jones,” VII, 270-271 and 271 note

650 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

651 NDAR, “James Hogan to Captain John Paul Jones,” VII, 393 and note

652 Morison, Samuel Eliot, John Paul Jones: A Sailor’s Biography, Little, Brown & Company: New York, 1959, p. 81

653 NDAR, “Sir George Collier to Lord Sandwich,” VII, 228-230

654 Morison, John Paul Jones, 81

655 NDAR, “Master’s Log of H.M.S. Milford,” VII, 416-417

656 Morison, John Paul Jones, 81

657 NDAR, “Master’s Log of H.M.S. Milford,” VII, 416-417

658 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

659 NDAR, “Master’s Log of H.M.S. Milford,” VII, 416-417; “Captain Sir George Collier, R.N., to Philip Stephens,” VII, 883-884

660 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Sanders,” VII, 407-408 and 408 note

661 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to John Margeson,” VII, 408 and note

662 NDAR, “Independent Chronicle, Thursday, December 19, 1776,” VII, 517-518

663 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

664 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones’s Notes on the Alfred’s Cruise,” VII, 417

665 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

666 NDAR, “Independent Chronicle, Thursday, December 19, 1776,” VII, 517-518

667 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

668  NDAR, “Master’s Log of H.M.S. Milford,” VII, 416-417

669 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

670  NDAR, “Master’s Log of H.M.S. Milford,” VII, 416-417

671 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

672  NDAR, “Master’s Log of H.M.S. Milford,” VII, 416-417

673 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

674 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones’s Notes on the Alfred’s Cruise,” VII, 417

675 NDAR, “Master’s Log of H.M.S. Milford,” VII, 416-417

676 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

677

678 NDAR, “Master’s Log of H.M.S. Milford,” VII, 416-417

679 NDAR, “Master’s Log of H.M.S. Milford,” VII, 454 and note

680 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

681 NDAR, “Independent Chronicle, Thursday, December 19, 1776,” VII, 517-518

682 NDAR, “Extract of a letter from Dartmouth, dated Nov. 24,” VII, 265

683 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Leonard Jarvis,” VII, 277-278

684 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 277

685 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Leonard Jarvis,” VII, 277-278

686 NDAR, “Libels Filed Against Prize Vessels in the Massachusetts Admiralty Court,” VII, 599-600

687 NDAR, “Dartmouth Committee of Safety to Captain John Ayres,” VII, 1119; “Committee of Wrentham to Captain John Ayres,” VII, 1189

688 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

689 NDAR, “Commodore Sir Peter Parker to Lord Sandwich,” VII, 445; “Diary of Frederick Mackenzie,” VII, 620-621

690 NDAR, “Minutes of the Massachusetts Board of War,” VII, 503-504

691 NDAR, “John Bradford to the Continental Marine and Secret Committees,” VII, 539

692 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 935-937

693 NDAR, “John Bradford to the Continental Marine and Secret Committees,” VII, 539

694 NDAR, “John Proud to Commodore Esek Hopkins,” VII, 539-540 and 540 note

695 NDAR, “Journal of Lieutenant John Trevett, Continental Sloop Providence,” VII, 329-330

696 NDAR, “Libels Filed Against Prize Vessels in the Massachusetts Admiralty Court,” VII, 599-600

697 NDAR, “Robert Morris to John Bradford,” VIII, 211

698 NDAR, “Public Advertiser, Wednesday, February 26, 1777,” VIII, 613; “Independent Chronicle, Thursday, January 2, 1777,” VII, 844-845

699 NDAR, “Libels Filed in the Massachusetts Maritime Court,” VII, 906-907; “Independent Chronicle, Thursday, January 2, 1777,” VII, 844-845

700 NDAR, “Independent Chronicle, Thursday, January 2, 1777,” VII, 844-845

701 NDAR, “Libels Filed in the Massachusetts Maritime Court,” VII, 906-907

702 NDAR, “Independent Chronicle, Thursday, February 6, 1777,” VII, 1118

703 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones’s Notes on Alfred’s Cruise,” VII, 417

704 NDAR, “Minutes of the British Navy Board,” VIII, 840

705 NDAR, “Extract of a Letter from Londonderry, Jan. 17,” VIII, 529 and note; “Extract of a Letter from Londonderry, Jan. 20,” VIII, 538 and note

706 NDAR, “Minutes of the British Navy Board,” VIII, 840

707 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Sphynx, Captain Anthony Hunt,” VII, 511

708 NDAR, “Commodore Sir Peter Parker to Philip Stephens,” VII, 891

709 NDAR, “Journal of John Trevett,” VII, 511-512 and 512 note

710 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Sphynx, Captain Anthony Hunt,” VII, 511

711 NDAR, “Diary of Frederick Mackenzie,” VII, 511 and note

712 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Preston, Captain Samuel Uppleby,” VII, 511

713 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Preston, Captain Samuel Uppleby,” VII, 511

714 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 1005-1007

715 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Greyhound, Captain Archibald Dickson,” VII, 495

716 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 919-920

717 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to John Bradford, Boston,” VII, 944

718 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Captain John Paul Jones,” VII, 950-951

719 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to Captain Elisha Hinman,” VII, 958

720 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 919-920

721 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Morris,” VII, 968-969

722 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 919-920

723 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Morris,” VII, 968-969

724 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 919-920

725 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Morris,” VII, 968-969. A similar opinion was expressed to the Marine Committee on 11 January. NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 919-920

726 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Morris,” VII, 968-969

727 NDAR, “John Bradford to the Secret Committee of the Continental Congress,” VII, 980-981

728 NRAR, 34

729 NRAR, 39

730 NRAR, 39

731 The word “damned” was written in, and then marked out.

732 Jones is here referring to the captains at Providence, Rhode Island, Whipple, John B. Hopkins, and Dudley Saltonstall, and, possibly, to Commodore Hopkins.

733 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to Robert Morris,” VII, 968-969

734 NDAR, “Continental Marine Committee to Captain John Paul Jones,” VII, 438-439

735 NDAR, “Captain John Paul Jones to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 1005-1007 and 1007 note, dated 21 January 1777

736 NDAR, “John Bradford to Robert Morris,” VII, 1013-1014

737 NDAR, “John Bradford to Robert Morris,” VII, 1058

738 NDAR, “John Bradford to John Hancock,” VII, 1117

739 NDAR, “Robert Morris to John Bradford,” VII, 1136-1137, signed as Vice President of the Marine Committee

740 NDAR, “John Bradford to John Hancock,” VII, 1241-1242

741 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Continental Marine Committee,” VII, 1199-1200

742 NDAR, “John Bradford to John Hancock,” VIII, 36

743 NDAR, “Commodore Esek Hopkins to the Continental Marine Committee,” VIII, 142-144

744 NDAR, “Connecticut Gazette, Friday, March 28, 1777,” VIII, 219 and note

745 NDAR, “John Bradford to John Hancock,” VIII, 209

746 NDAR, “John Bradford to Robert Morris,” VIII, 274 and note

747 NDAR, “John Bradford to the Continental Marine Committee,” VIII, 302-303; “John Bradford to the Continental Marine Committee,” VIII, 398-399; “Continental Marine Committee to Captain Thomas Thompson,” VIII, 472-475

748 NDAR, “Captain John Manley ro Captains Hector McNeill, Elisha Hinman and John Roche,” VIII, 357; “Report of a Counrt of Inquiry into the Loss of the Continental Navy Brig Cabot,” VIII, 372-374

749 NDAR, “Captain John Manley to Captain John Paul Jones,” VIII, 404-405

750 NDAR, “Captain John Manley to Captain John Paul Jones,” VIII, 908

751 NDAR, “Continental Marine Committee to Captain Elisha Hinman,” VIII, 410

752 NDAR, “Captain Elisha Hinman to Captain Dudley Saltonstall,” VIII, 897

753 NDAR, “Journal of the Massachusetts Council,” VIII, 915

754 NDAR, “John Bradford to the Massachusetts Council,” VIII, 951-952; “Journal of the Massachusetts Council,” VIII, 959

755 NDAR, “John Bradford to the Continental Marine Committee,” VIII, 970

756 NDAR, “Minutes of the Massachuetts Board of War,” VIII, 1001

757 NDAR, “Independent Chronicle, Thursday, May 15, 1777,” VIII, 970-971

758 NDAR, “Advertisement for Deserters from the Continental Navy Ship Alfred,” VIII, 996. The advertisement was run on 30 May.

759 NDAR, “Providence Gazette, Saturday, May 24, 1777,” VIII, 1025

760 NDAR, “Louis Daniel Charrier to Captain John Paul Jones, Boston,” IX, 80-81 and 81 note

761 NDAR, “Massachusetts Council to Meshech Weare, President of the New Hampshire Council,” IX, 172

762 NDAR, “Minutes of the Executive Council of Nova Scotia,” IX, 345; “Captain Sir George Collier, R.N., to Philip Stephens,” IX, 347-349

763 NDAR, “John Bradford to the Continental Marine Committee,” IX, 207

764 NDAR, “John Bradford to the Continental Marine Committee,” IX, 254

765 NDAR, “Independent Chronicle, Thursday, July 10, 1777,” IX, 254-255

766 NDAR, “John Bradford to Leonard Jarvis,” IX, 283-284

767 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to Captain Hector McNeill,” IX, 296-298

768 NDAR, “Captain Joseph Cunningham to Robert Morris and Carter Braxton,” IX, 317

769 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 222-223

770 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 240n74

771 NDAR, “Captain Elisha Hinman to Ellis Gray,” X, 946-947 and 947 notes

772 NDAR, “William Whipple to Robert Morris,” XI, 1150-1151 and 1151 notes

773 NDAR, “William Whipple to Robert Morris,” IX, 828-829

774 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849;  “Captain Elisha Hinman to Ellis Gray,” X, 946-947 and 947 notes;  Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 223; Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 117

775 NDAR, “William Cooley and W. Stiles to the Commissioners of the Customs,” X, 939 and note; “Captain Elisha Hinman to Ellis Gray,” X, 946-947 and 947 notes

776 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849; Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 223; Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 117

777 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849

778 NDAR, “Libels Filed in the Massachusetts Maritime Court of the Southern District,” X, 242 and note

779 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849; “Providence Gazette, Saturday, October 11, 1777,” X, 116 and note,  “Libels Filed in the Massachusetts Maritime Court of the Southern District,” X, 242 and note;  “Affidavit of John Hall, Seaman of Snow Nanny,” X, 930 and note;  “Captain Elisha Hinman to Ellis Gray,” X, 946-947 and 947 note

780 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to John Langdon,” IX, 895-896 and 896 note

781  NDAR, “Admiral Sir Thomas Pye to Philip Stephens,” X, 940-942;  Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 224; Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 117

782 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to John Langdon,” IX, 895-896 and 896 note; “Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849, “Providence Gazette, Saturday, October 11, 1777,” X, 116 and note, “Libels Filed in the Massachusetts Maritime Court of the Southern District,” X, 242 and note; “Affidavit of John Hall, Seaman of Snow Nanny,” X, 930 and note

783 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to John Langdon,” IX, 895-896 and 896 note; “Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849, “Providence Gazette, Saturday, October 11, 1777,” X, 116 and note, “Libels Filed in the Massachusetts Maritime Court of the Southern District,” X, 242 and note;  “Admiral Sir Thomas Pye to Philip Stephens,” X, 940-942;  Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 98. In NDAR, “Affidavit of John Hall, Seaman of Snow Nanny,” X, 930 and note, the master is called Smith.

784 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849; “Captain Elisha Hinman to Ellis Gray,” X, 946-947 and 947 notes

785 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849; Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 223; Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 117

786 NDAR, “Affidavit of John Hall, Seaman of Snow Nanny,” X, 930 and note

787 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849

788 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 224; Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 117

789 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to John Langdon,” IX, 895-896 and 896 note

790 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to John Langdon,” IX, 895-896 and 896 note;  “Providence Gazette, Saturday, October 11, 1777,” X, 116 and note

791 NDAR, “Providence Gazette, Saturday, October 11, 1777,” X, 116 and note

792 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to John Langdon,” IX, 895-896 and 896 note

793 NDAR, “Affidavit of John Hall, Seaman of Snow Nanny,” X, 930 and note

794 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849;  Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 224; Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 117

795 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849;  Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 224

796 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 224

797 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 99

798 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 224-225, quoting Thompson. See also NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849

799 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to John Langdon,” IX, 895-896 and 896 note

800 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 99, quoting Thompson. See also NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849

801 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to John Langdon,” IX, 895-896 and 896 note. See NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849

802 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849

803 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Camel, Captain William Finch,” IX, 881-882

804 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Camel, Captain William Finch,” IX, 881-882

805 NDAR, “Lieutenant’s Journal of H.M. Sloop Druid, Lieutenant John Bourchier,” IX, 882

806 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Camel, Captain William Finch,” IX, 881-882

807 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Camel, Captain William Finch,” IX, 881-882

808 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Sloop Weazle, Captain Charles Hope, IX, 882-883

809 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Camel, Captain William Finch,” IX, 881-882

810 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Camel, Captain William Finch,” IX, 888

811 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Camel, Captain William Finch,” IX, 888

812 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Sloop Druid, Lieutenant John Bourchier,” IX, 892-893

813 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to John Langdon,” IX, 895-896 and 896 note

814 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to John Langdon,” IX, 895-896 and 896 note

815 NDAR, “Providence Gazette, Saturday, October 11, 1777,” X, 116 and note

816 NDAR, “Libels Filed in the Massachusetts Maritime Court of the Southern District,” X, 242 and note

817 NDAR,”Captain Thomas Thompson to the Continental Marine Committee,” X, 847-849

818 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875

819 NDAR, “Captain Elisha Hinman to Ellis Gray,” X, 946-947 and 947 notes; “Lord Grantham to Lord Weymouth,” X, 948 and notes

820 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875; “Lord Grantham to Lord Weymouth,” X, 948 and notes

821 NDAR, “Captain Elisha Hinman to Ellis Gray,” X, 946-947 and 947 notes

822 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875; “Lord Grantham to Lord Weymouth,” X, 948 and notes

823 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875

824 NDAR, “Captain Elisha Hinman to Ellis Gray,” X, 946-947 and 947 notes

825 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875

826 NDAR, “Lord Grantham to Lord Weymouth,” X, 948 and notes

827 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875

828 NDAR, “Lord Grantham to Lord Weymouth,” X, 948 and notes

829 NDAR, “Lord Weymouth to Lord Grantham,” X, 1001

830 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875

831 NDAR, “Gourlade, Berard freres, & Montplaisir to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 877

832 NDAR, “Jonathan Williams, Jr., to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 922

833 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875; “Gabriel de Sartine to Jean-Francois-Timoleon Viger, Commissary of the Port and Dockyard, L’Orient, France,” X, 900 and note

834 NDAR, “Gourlade, Berard freres, & Montplaisir to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 877

835 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875; “Gabriel de Sartine to Jean-Francois-Timoleon Viger, Commissary of the Port and Dockyard, L’Orient, France,” X, 900 and note

836 NDAR, “Gourlade, Berard freres, & Montplaisir to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 877

837 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875

838 NDAR, “Gourlade, Berard freres, & Montplaisir to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 877

839 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875

840 NDAR, “Gourlade, Berard freres, & Montplaisir to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 877

841 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875

842 NDAR, “Gourlade, Berard freres, & Montplaisir to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 877

843 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875, “Gourlade, Berard freres, & Montplaisir to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 877

844 NDAR, “Gourlade, Berard freres, & Montplaisir to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 877

845 NDAR, “Jonathan Williams, Jr., to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 922

846 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875; “Gabriel de Sartine to Jean-Francois-Timoleon Viger, Commissary of the Port and Dockyard, L’Orient, France,” X, 900 and note;  “Admiral Sir Thomas Pye to Philip Stephens,” X, 940-942

847 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 101

848 NDAR, “Gabriel de Sartine to Jean-Francois-Timoleon Viger, Commissary of the Port and Dockyard, L’Orient, France,” X, 900 and note; “Admiral Sir Thomas Pye to Philip Stephens,” X, 940-942

849 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 101

850 NDAR, “Gourlade, Berard freres, & Montplaisir to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 877

851 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875

852 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875

853 NDAR, “Journal of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh, Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 875, “Gourlade, Berard freres, & Montplaisir to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 877

854 NDAR, “Gourlade, Berard freres, & Montplaisir to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 877

855 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 895-897

856 NDAR, “Gabriel de Sartine to Jean-Francois-Timoleon Viger, Commissary of the Port and Dockyard, L’Orient, France,” X, 900 and note

857 NDAR, “American Commissioners in France to Gourlade, Berard freres, & Montplaisir,” X, 905

858 NDAR, “American Commissioners in France to Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 905

859 NDAR, “Jonathan Williams, Jr., to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 910-911 and 911 note

860 NDAR, Gabriel de Sartine to Jean-Francois-Timoleon Viger, Commissary of the Port and Dockyard, L’Orient, France,” X, 906

861 NDAR, “Gabriel de Sartine to Comte de Vergennes,” X, 913-914 and note

862 NDAR, “George Lupton (James Van Zandt) to William Eden,” X, 912-913 and 913 note

863 NDAR, “Lord Stormont to Lord Weymouth,” X, 914-915 and 915 note

864 NDAR, “Jonathan Williams, Jr., to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 922

865 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 925

866 NDAR, “Paul Wentworth to William Eden,” X, 960-963

867 NDAR, “Admiral Sir Thomas Pye to Philip Stephens,” X, 940-942

868  NDAR, “Admiral Sir Thomas Pye to Philip Stephens,” X, 940-942

869 NDAR, “Affidavit of John Hall, Seaman of Snow Nanny,” X, 930 and note

870 NDAR, “William Cooley and W. Stiles to the Commissioners of the Customs,” X, 939 and note

871  NDAR, “Admiral Sir Thomas Pye to Philip Stephens,” X, 940-942

872 NDAR, “Captain Elisha Hinman to Ellis Gray,” X, 946-947

873 NDAR, “Lord Stormont to Lord Weymouth,” X, 973-974

874 NDAR, “Gabriel de Sartine to Pierre Gonet, Commissary of Marine at L’Orient,” X, 976-977 and 977 notes

875 NDAR, “Gabriel de Sartine to Charles Pierre Gonet, Commissary of Marine at L’Orient,” X, 1014-1015

876 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 101

877 NDAR, “American Commissioners in France to the Committee of Commerce,” X, 1051-1054

878 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 101

879 NDAR, “American Commissioners in France to the Committee of Commerce,” X, 1051-1054

880 NDAR, “American Commissioners in France to Captain Thomas Thompson,” X, 1026-1027

881 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 101

882 NDAR, “American Commissioners in France to Berard Freres & Co.,” X, 1037-1038

883 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 1061-1062

884 NDAR, “Gabriel de Sartine to Charles Pierre Gonet, Commissary of Marine at L’Orient,” X, 1059-1060

885 NDAR, “Gabriel de Sartine to Charles Pierre Gonet, Commissary of Marine at L’Orient,” X, 1070-1071

886 NDAR, “Gabriel de Sartine to Charles Pierre Gonet, Commissary of Marine at L’Orient,” X, 1071

887 NDAR, “Lord Stormont to Lord Weymouth,” X, 1062-1063 and 1063 note; “Lord Stormont to Comte de Vergennes,” X, 1060-1061

888 NDAR, “Gabriel de Sartine to Comte de Vergennes,” X, 1155-1156

889 NDAR, Gabriel de Sartine to Charles Pierre Gonet, Commissary of Marine at L’Orient,” X, 1096-1097

890 NDAR, “F. Steward to the Earl of Sandwich,” X, 1105-1106

891 NDAR, “Philip Stephens to Captain Thomas Graves, R. N., and Admiral Sir Thomas Pye,” X, 1116 and note

892 NDAR, “Philip Stephens to Captain Thomas Graves, R. N., and Admiral Sir Thomas Pye,” X, 1116 and note

893 NDAR, “Extract from a letter from L’Orient, dated December 17,” X, 1115

894 NDAR, “Gabriel de Sartine to Charles Pierre Gonet, Commissary of Marine at L’Orient,” X, 1144-1145

895 NDAR, “Lieutenant de Vaisseau le Breton de Ransanne to Gabriel de Sartine,” X, 1133-1134 and 1134 note

896 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 1149

897 NDAR, “Lord Stormont to Comte de Vergennes,” X, 1146-1147 and 1147-1148 notes

898 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Thompson to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 1158-1159

899 NDAR, “Jacques-Alexandre Gourlade and Pierre-Andre Montigny de Monplaisir to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 1158 and notes

900 NDAR, “Lieutenant de Vaisseau Le Breton de Ransanne to Gabriel de Sartine,” X, 1164-1165 and 1165 note

901 NDAR, “Jacques-Alexandre Gourlade and Pierre-Andre Montigny de Monplaisir to the American Commissioners in France,” X, 1158 and notes

902 NDAR, “Lieutenant de Vaisseau Le Breton de Ransanne to Gabriel de Sartine,” X, 1164-1165 and 1165 note

903 NDAR, “The London Chronicle, Tuesday, February 24, to Thursday, February 26, 1778,” XI, 1046 and notes

904 NDAR, “News from New London,” XI, 629 and notes

905 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Pringle, R.N., to Vice Admiral James Young,” XI, 708-709 and 709 note

906 The Independent Chronicle and the Universal Advertiser, April 9, 1778; Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 301

907 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 301 and The Continental Journal, April 30, 1778, both extracts from Thompson’s letter to the Navy Board of the Eastern District. Thompson’s position was far off the mark in regard to longitude. He reported that he was at 16o31'N, 55o40'W, about six hundred miles east of Guadeloupe. [Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 301] Guadeloupe is a large island, the northernmost part being about 16o30'N. Clearly Thompson and Hinman were running down the latitude, a common way of navigating in the eighteenth century. Finding longitude was notoriously unreliable at that time. It is likely that the Americans were further west than anticipated. Moreover, the position given by Thompson is likely to be the noon reading from the day before. According to the log of the Ceres, she was at 15°09'N, north of Barbados, at noon on 8 March. [NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Sloop Ceres, Commander James R. Dacres,” XI, 575 and notes] Ariadne, in company with Ceres, reported that Barbados bore SW by west, distant 129 miles at the same time. [NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Ariadne, Captain Thomas Pringle,” XI, 575 and notes] In general it appears that the American latitude was more correct, but the longitude was far off.

908 The Independent Chronicle and the Universal Advertiser, April 9, 1778

909 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Ariadne, Captain Thomas Pringle,” XI, 575 and notes

910 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 301

911 NDAR, IX, 122

912 McCusker, 14, 15; Clowes, IV, 10. Dacres was a veteran of the Lake Champlain campaign. McCusker, 14, gives Ceres sixteen guns.

913 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Pringle, R.N., to Vice Admiral James Young,” XI, 708-709 and 709 note

914 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Ariadne, Captain Thomas Pringle,” XI, 575 and notes

915 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Sloop Ceres, Commander James R. Dacres,” XI, 575 and notes

916 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Ariadne, Captain Thomas Pringle,” XI, 575 and notes; “Journal of H.M. Sloop Ceres, Commander James R. Dacres,” XI, 575 and notes

917 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 301 and The Continental Journal, April 30, 1778, both extracts from Thompson’s letter to the Navy Board of the Eastern District

918 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 301 and The Continental Journal, April 30, 1778, both extracts from Thompson’s letter to the Navy Board of the Eastern District

919 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 301 and The Continental Journal, April 30, 1778, both extracts from Thompson’s letter to the Navy Board of the Eastern District

920 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Pringle, R.N., to Vice Admiral James Young,” XI, 708-709 and 709 note

921 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 301 and The Continental Journal, April 30, 1778, both extracts from Thompson’s letter to the Navy Board of the Eastern District

922 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Ariadne, Captain Thomas Pringle,” XI, 575 and notes

923 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Ariadne, Captain Thomas Pringle,” XI, 575 and notes

924 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Sloop Ceres, Commander James R. Dacres,” XI, 575 and notes

925 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 302

926 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 166

927 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 301

928 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Sloop Ceres, Commander James R. Dacres,” XI, 575 and notes

929 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 302

930 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Ariadne, Captain Thomas Pringle,” XI, 575 and notes

931 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 302

932 Smith, Marines In the Revolution, 166

933 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 302

934 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 302

935 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 302

936 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Ariadne, Captain Thomas Pringle,” XI, 575 and notes

937 NDAR, “Captain Thomas Pringle, R.N., to Vice Admiral James Young,” XI, 708-709 and 709 note

938 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Ariadne, Captain Thomas Pringle,” XI, 575 and notes; “Captain Thomas Pringle, R.N., to Vice Admiral James Young,” XI, 708-709 and 709 note

939 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, I, 303-304

940 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Ariadne, Captain Thomas Pringle,” XI, 575 and notes

941 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Ariadne, Captain Thomas Pringle,” XI, 575 and notes

942 NDAR, “A List of 181 Prisoners Taken out of the Rebel Ship Alfred, Victuald at 2/3d Allowance,” XI, 577-582

943 NDAR, “A List of 181 Prisoners Taken out of the Rebel Ship Alfred, Victuald at 2/3d Allowance,” XI, 577-582; “Muster Table of H.M. Sloop Ceres,” XI, 583-585

944 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Ariadne, Captain Thomas Pringle,” XI, 575 and notes

945 NDAR, “Journal of H.M. Sloop Ceres, Commander James R. Dacres,” XI, 575 and notes

946 NDAR, “Journal of H.M.S. Ariadne, Captain Thomas Pringle,” XI, 575 and notes

947  NDAR, “Captain Thomas Pringle, R.N., to Vice Admiral James Young,” XI, 708-709 and 709 note

948 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 124

949 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 125

950 NDAR, “Journal of H>M.S. Yarmouth, Captain Nicholas Vincent,” XI, 638 and notes

951 NDAR, “Governor Edward Hay to Lord George Germain,” XI, 810-811 and 811 note

952 NDAR, “Journal of H>M.S. Yarmouth, Captain Nicholas Vincent,” XI, 646-647 and 647 notes

953 NDAR, “Captain Nicholas Vincent, R.N., to Vice Admiral James Young,” XI, 683-684 and 684 note

954 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 167

955 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 126

956 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 125

957 Smith, Marines in the Revolution, 167; Kaminkow, Mariners of the American Revolution, 90

958 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 126

959 Kaminkow, Mariners of the American Revolution, 90

960 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 126. A different tale is told in McCusker, 14: “in less than a week they [the officers] bribed their jailors and got free by means of a hole through their chamber floor.”

961 Morgan, Captains to the Northward, 155

962 Kaminkow, Mariners of the American Revolution, 161

963 Kaminkow, Mariners of the American Revolution, 202

964 Second Lieutenant of Marines William Hamilton was committed on 18 July 1778. It is not recorded that he escaped. Kaminkow, Mariners of the American Revolution, 82

965 NDAR, “A List of 181 Prisoners Taken out of the Rebel Ship Alfred, Victuad at 2/3d Allowance,” XI, 577-582 and 582 note

966 NDAR, “Muster Table of H.M. Sloop Ceres,” XI, 583-585

967 McCusker, John J., Alfred, The First Continental Flagship 1775-1778, 14

968 NDAR, “Governor Valentine Morris to Lord George Germain,” XI, 624 and 625 notes

969 NDAR, “Extract of a letter from a Gentleman in Antigua, dated February 12,” XI, 329 and note

970 The Philadelphia Ledger, or the Philadelphia Market-Day Advertiser, Wednesday, April 22, 1778

971 McCusker, 14

972 Kaminkow, 219

973 McCusker, 14-15 and 18n29. McCusker concludes that this was about £2800 for the two ship’s share of Alfred. This statement of the Ariadne’s master is based on Spanish milled dollars, not the currency of the United States.

974 DANFS, “Alfred,” http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/a6/alfred.htm, 16 January 2007

975 NRAR, 71

976 NRAR, 72

977 The Continental Journal and the Weekly Advertiser [Boston], 18 February 1779; The Independent Chronicle and the Universal Advertiser [Boston], 18 February 1779

978 The Independent Chronicle and the Universal Advertiser [Boston], March 18, 1779; The Continental Journal and the Weekly Advertiser [Boston], March 18, 1779


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