The Lucky Sloop of the Revolution

July 18, 2008

Revolutionary War Image

The Providence was the first ship of the Rhode Island Navy during the American Revolution. The sloop was first named Katy and was built in Providence, Rhode Island. When she became part of the fleet of the Continental Navy, her name was changed to Providence.

She was the first command of John Paul Jones in the American Navy, and she became nicknamed “The Lucky Sloop” for the more than forty battles that she won. In 1779, Providence was scuttled by her own crew to prevent the British from taking her. Her remains now lay at the bottom of the Penobscot River, near Bucksport, Maine. This 126 foot replica was built in 1976, in honor of America’s Bicentennial.

History of the Sloop Providence

Learn More: The American Revolution

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The image, Providence, is subject to copyright by Sparechange63. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.


Castle Hill, Rhode Island

March 10, 2007

Revolutionary War Image

This beautiful 19th century lighthouse now occupies Castle Hill, at the east passage of Narragansett Bay near Newport, Rhode Island. However during the American Revolutionary War there was an 18th century watchtower with a battery of cannons nearby. In April of 1776, the HMS Scarborough and the HMS Cimetar were attacked from this point. The British ships had been run out of Newport harbor by American patriots who had stolen two ships from the British fleet. The warships Scarborough and Cimetar gave chase, but rebel cannon fire from every side forced them to anchor between Jamestown and Rose Island. Soon cannon fire erupted from the nearby shore and the Scarborough and Cimetar sailed unpeaceably away.

Learn More: The American Revolution

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The image, Castle Hill Lighthouse, is subject to copyright by Dragonmetal. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin, administrator of “The Revolution flickred” pool.


Black Revolutionaries

February 5, 2007

Revolutionary War Soldiers

“. . . no regiment is to be seen in which there are not negroes in abundance: and among them are able-bodied, strong, and brave fellows.” —Hessian Officer’s Testimony, October 23, 1777

On January 2, 1778, Washington forwarded a letter from General James Varnum to the governor of Rhode Island advising that his troop quota should be completed with black soldiers. In February of 1778, the Rhode Island legislature approved the request. Enlisted slaves were to receive freedom in return for military service. White Quaker Christopher Greene led Rhode Island’s first black regiment at its first engagement at the battle of Newport, July 29-August 31 1778, where it held off two Hessian regiments. This same regiment also participated at the battle of Yorktown. Slaves who enlisted in the Continental Army rarely received regular pay or bounty land. Their rewards were subsistence, freedom, and a cash payment at war’s end according to “The George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress“.

“During the winter of 1777-78, dozens of black Virginians served in every one of the state regiments, freezing, starving, and dying at Valley Forge. By February 1778, the survivors were marching with white comrades through the snow, practicing Baron von Steuben’s as yet unfamiliar drill. When the Steuben-trained army proved its mettle at Monmouth in June, about 700 blacks fought side-by-side with whites. Eight weeks later, an army report listed 755 blacks in the Continental Army, including 138 Blacks in the Virginia Line.” from  (“The Revolution’s Black Soldiers” by Robert Selig)

The Revolution’s Black Soldiers


Sons of Liberty

June 27, 2006

Revolutionary War Image

Providence, Rhode Island

“Upon this corner stood the Sabin Tavern in which on the evening of June 9th 1772 the Party met and organized to destroy the H.R.M Schooner Gaspee, in the destruction of which was shed the first blood in the American Revolution.”

www.gaspee.org/

The image, Sons of Liberty, was originally uploaded by Real_Bostonian. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr favorites posted at “The Revolution Flickred”.


Prospect Hill

January 29, 2006

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Overview of the Conanicut Battery on Conanicut Island, Rhode Island, from the nearby Prospect Hill. The "Western Passage" of Newport Harbor is in the background. The image, Prospect Hill, was originally uploaded by Real_Bostonian. It is posted here from Neddy's flickr favorites.


Conanicut Battery

January 29, 2006
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The “Betsy Ross” flag flies over the Conanicut Battery. The plaque below it was dedicated by the DAR in the 1930s. On another plaque at Conanicut Battery is written the following:

“In the early 1770’s – even before the Declaration of Independence – Narragansett Bay was the scene of frequent confrontations between the British Navy and Rhode Islanders. The British aggressively enforced their increasively expensive custom duties and the Rhode Islanders aggresively resisted the British.

“In 1772 a group of Providence rebels captured and burned the HMS Gaspee. In 1773 the HMS Rose and 14 other warships shelled Bristol, while British naval forces regulary raided the coast and local shipping for food and supplies. In August 1775 the Rhode Island General Assembly had most of Jamestown livestock removed to relative safety of South Kingston. Around this same time Jamestown resident John Eldred, it is said, placed a cannon between two boulders overlooking East Pasge and fired occasionally at British ships passing by. On December 10-11, 1775, British mariners raided the small village at Jamestown. They burned almost all the houses along Narragansett Avenue, made off with available livestock, and effectively drove much of the population away.

“The calamitous December raid, and realization that control of Conanicut Island could mean control of the bay, caused the colony to begin fortifying the island.

“In January 1776 the General Assembly ordered 300 militiamen to Jamestown and, in May, voted to “employ a sufficient number of men to erect a fort at Beaver Tail, upon Conanicut to contain six or eight heavy canons”. Shortly thereafter, on this site on Prospect Hill, troops erected an earthen gun battery with a commanding view of West Passage. The battery, probably crescent-shaped, took advantage of both height and slope of the terrain.”

The image,
Conanicut Battery, was originally uploaded by Real_Bostonian. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr favorites.


Conanicut Earthworks

January 29, 2006
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Jamestown, Rhode Island, near Beavertail.
The earthworks were built by American soldiers, captured by the British and recaptured by the French during the American Revolution.

The image,
Conanicut Earthworks, was originally uploaded by Real_Bostonian. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr favorites.


Conanicut Earthworks

January 29, 2006
flickr
The Conanicut Earthworks in Rhode Island were originally built by American rebels, later captured by the British and improved, then liberated by the French. They appear today as the British left them.

The image,
Conanicut Earthworks, was originally uploaded by Real_Bostonian. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr favorites.