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»778.ber of French. It is said, though not proved, to have / been begun by seamen captured in British vessels, and some of Burgoyne's army, who had inlisted in privateers just ready to fail. A body of these fellows, we have been told, demanded bread of the French bakers employed for the supplying of the count d'Estaing's fleet; and being refused, fell upon and beat them in a most outrageous manner. Two of the count's officers attempt-1 ing to compose the fray were wounded, the chevalier de Saint Sauveur so badly, that he died on the 15th; and the next day the Massachusetts house of assembly resolved to erect a monumental stone to his memory. None of the offending persons having been discovered, notwithstanding the reward that was offered, it may be feared that Americans were concerned in the riot; while \ political prudence charged it upon others, that less umbrage might be taken at the event. The count was much grieved at what had happened; but had too much calmness and good fense to charge it upon the body of the inhabitants, who were no less concerned at it than himI self; so that it created no dissensions between them. On the aad, the general court received the compliments of the count and" his officers; all of whom were invited *y. to dine, three days after, at a public dinner. The fleet had been so far repaired, and so well secured by formidable works on George's ifland, in which the count had mounted near 3 hundred heavy cannon, that they could with the utmost propriety be absent upon the occasion. For the greater security, the general court, under an apprehension that the British fleet and army might move to the northward with a view of destroying the count's fleet, and repossessing themselves of Boston, had resolved on the 19th to raise a third of the militia. Three days 1778. before this resolve, admiral Byron arrived at New York from Hallifax. His squadron had suffered so in their voyage from Britain, that it was a full month before he could fail again, in order to observe d'Estaing's motions. The count lay at ease and in safety; and on the 26th of October, entercained a large company of gentlemen and ladies, whom he had invited to dine with him on board the Languedoc. The entertainment was highly elegant. A full length picture of gen. Washington, presented to the count by Mr. Hancock, was placed in the centre of the upper side of the room, and the frame of it was covered with laurels. The count having made this public return for the personal civilities he had received from numbers, secured himself from all liablenefs to detention by points of honor: from a threatened detention of another nature, he had been . happily relieved in season. It was generally expected from the scarceness of provisions of all sorts at Boston and the neighbourhood, that he would have encountered great difficulties, if not actual distress, The impracticability of victualling his fleet at that port was dreaded, even the subsisting of it was doubted. But he was freed from these apprehensions by a singular fortune. The New England cruisers took such a number of provision vessels on their way from Europe to New York, as not only supplied the wants of the French, but furnished an overplus sufficient to reduce the rates of the markets at Boston. This seasonable supply occasioned great triumph among the inhabitants. The count being in hope 0of sailing within a few days, published a declaration to 18. )j£ spread among the French Canadians, and addressed
'77 s*them in the name of their ancient master the French king. The design of it was to recall their affection to the ancient government, and to revive all the national attachments of that people, thereby to prepare them for an invasion either from France or America, and to raise their expectation of no distant change of masters. Adm. Byron having repaired his fleet, appeared off Boston bay; but had not cruised there long before he was overtaken by a violent storm, in which the ships again suffered so much, that they were glad to get into shelter at Rhode Island. The Somerset of 64 guns not being able to clear Cape Codd, run ashore and fell into the hands of the Bay-men, who saved her guns, and many valuable articles. When the storm ended, the wind settled in the north-west, and blew sair for carrying the French fleet to the West Indies^ Count d'Estaing seized the Nov. opportunity, and sailed from Boston with his ships, silos* roughly repaired, clean and well victualled, and with his forces in full health and vigor.
The behaviour of the French officers and sailors, the whole time that their fleet lay in port, was remarkably good, far beyond any thing of the kind ever before, when several men of war were present. The count made a point of alway lying on board at night. The officers conducted with the greatest regularity and decorum; but noticed a certain coolness in the gentlemen and ladies toward them, which was imputed to the want of so.cordial an affection for France as what they had once entertained for Great Britain, and had not wholly laid aside; but it was greatly owing to the successless expedition against Rhode Island, and to what had been related concerning them respecting that affair. The 9 common common sailors were peaceably" inclined; and engaged 177** in no quarrels,- excepting what has been related, and one at night of October the 5 th, in no wife material 5 and in neither of these do they appear to have been the aggressors. They neither abused, nor injured the townspeople; nor made themselves a nuisance by their excesses and disorderly conduct. An opportunity at length offers for mentioning some detached articles.
The Raleigh frigate, capt. John Barry, sailed from Boston the 25th of September, and was taken on the 29th, after bravely engaging for some time, and then being run on an island with a view to escape salling into the hands of two British men of war. x
The Pigot British schooner of eight twelve pounders and forty-five men, lying near Rowland's ferry on the eastern side of Rhode Island, a plan was laid for taking her. Major Talbot, with a number of troops, sailed on the 25th of October from Providence on board a small vessel. It was not till the 28th at night, that he ran down through Howland's ferry; when drifting after that under bare poles, for fear that the fort on Rhode Island should fire upon him and alarm the Pigot, he passed on undiscovered; and at half past one in the morning of the 20th got sight of the schooner. When but at a' small distance from her, she hailed him; and receiving no satissactory answer, her marines fired upon him from her quarter deck. He reserved his fire till he had run his jibb boom through her fore shrouds, when he fired some cannon and threw in such a volley of musketry, loaded with bullets and buck shot, that the men on deck immediately ran below begging for quarters, and they that were below never made their appearance on deck.
1778. The consequence was, his men ran out upon the jlbb boom and boarded her, without the loss of a man. The captain of the Pigot behaved with the greatest resolution, and defended his vessel in his shirt and drawers for some time, without a single soul of his crew to assist him. Major Talbot's gunnel was eight feet lower than the nettings of'the schooner. He carried her off with him, and ran to Stonington. Congress, as a reward of his merit, and for the encouragement of a spirit of enterprise, have presented him with the commission of lieutenant colonel.
The Massachusetts general court passed an act in their first session to prevent the return to this state of certain persons therein named, and others who have left the state, or either of the United States, and joined the British. There are above 300 named in it. In case they return they are to be taken up and secured, till they can be transported to some place within the British dominions, or in the possession of the British forces. Should they return after transportation, without liberty first obtained from the general court, they are to suffer death. Among the persons thus interdicted, it is to be supposed there are many whose greatest crime is that of having left the country, and preferred Britain for their place of residence, that so they might be exempted from the ravages and terrors of war.
The state of Virginia has passed an act for sequestering : British property, and enabling those indebted to British subjects to pay off such debts by placing the money for the discharge of the same in the loan office of the commonwealth.