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French Fleet at Rhode Island

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

Yesterday, to the great joy of every good subject, the fleet of his Most Christian Majesty, the great and wise ally of these States, commanded by Admiral Count D’Estaing, arrived off Point Judith, when a number of pilots belonging to Providence went immediately on board, and brought them safe to anchor off the harbor of Newport, whereby our savage enemies are in their turn completely blockaded.

To-day, two French ships of the line came up on the west side of Conanicut, and took their stations above the north end of that island; several shots were fired at them as they passed, and a few returned. The enemy’s ship which lay there got under sail on the near approach of our friends, entered Newport harbor by the east side of Conanicut, and fled to Rhode Island, having previously blown up the magazine, spiked their cannon, destroyed the works, and set fire to the barracks. The Kingfisher, of sixteen guns, with two galleys, wore blown up by the enemy in Seconet River, on the approach of two other French ships. The Britons, with their friends the Tories, are in great consternation, and a few days will probably produce events of the utmost importance.

The fleet have brought in fifteen sail of prizes, one of them a ship bound to New York, laden with warlike stores, among which are six large mortars, and a quantity of shells.1


1 New York Journal, August 17.