Vice Admiral Samuel Graves

to Philip Stephens1

Preston Boston 16 June 1775

The Rebels landed again the 29th upon Noddles Island, drove off the Sheep and Cattle and entirely destroyed all the Dwellings and Outhouses, Barns, Stables and Hay on the Island; We have saved great part of the Kings Stores, but some are unavoidably lost. Among the Houses destroyed by the Rebels are those mentioned in my Letter January 8 to be hired for the use of the Glasgow, when she was repaired; finding they would be very useful for holding Tar, Pitch, Junk, Lumber and many other Articles the Store Schooner could not conveniently keep with the other Stores necessary for the Squadron, I continued to rent them until they were destroyed as above mentioned.

The Falcon came to Boston the 2d instant . . . Captain [John] Linzee has lost his Gunner, Surgeon's Mate, a Midshipman, eight Seamen and three Marines, whom he sent in a Sloop to seize a Smugler in Buzzards Bay; returning with the Smugler they were attacked by a Vessel from Dartmouth, taken and carried in there, and I am informed sent Prisoners up the Country, many of them wounded.

The Charming Nancy Transport with Cloaths and Stores for the Army arrived the fourth instant with the Nautilus, who had been cruizing for her ever since her arrival from England.

By a Letter from Captain [George] Montagu dated the 6th of May, I am informed that Lord Dunmore, expecting to be attacked every moment, had requested assistance, that Captain Montagu had sent a Lieutenant with a party of Seamen, an Officer of Marines with his Party, and some of the Magdalens people, to the palace at Williamsburgh; Captain Montagu at the same time wrote to the president who resides at York to acquaint him that if any of the Kings People were attacked going to assist the Governor he would fire on the Town.

The Insurgents I find made no Attack, but contented themselves with taking possession of the Receiver of the Quit Rents House and insisting on his giving them Bills to the amount of the Powder secured on Board the Ships.

The Asia arrived at the Hook the 25th May and the next day moared before New York. Captain [George] Vandeput acquaints me that he has ordered the Kingsfisher to lie at the Hook and to cruize occasionally for the Pacquets and the Troops expected to arrive there. That Lieutenant Governor [Cadwallader] Colden is retired to Long Island, the legal authority of Government entirely suspended, and that the direction of the City is in the hands of Committees, who at present allow the Asia to be supplied with every thing wanted; but as there is no depending upon the continuation of such an Indulgence, I have directed Captain Vandeput to compleat his provisions at all opportunities, and to order Captain James Montagu to do the same.

The Senegal sailed the 6th instant for Falmouth in Casco Bay. I have directed Captain [William] Duddingstone in addition to his general Orders respecting illicit Trade and the unlawful importation of Arms and Ammunition, to seize and send to Boston all Vessels laden with Provisions, Flour, Grain, Molasses and Salt, as well to distress the Rebels as to supply the Army who are in want of some Articles of Provision.

. . . I have since directed him [Captain John Collins of the Nautilus] to proceed off the Hook with Orders for Captain [John] Macartney in the Mercury to leave the Service he was employed on to be performed by Captain Colins and relieve the Fowey at Virginia as soon as possible; And I have also directed Captain Colins, after the Transports are arrived and he has delivered the General's Letter, to proceed to the Delaware, there to remain until further Orders. The Nautilus accordingly sailed from hence this day. I have ordered the Fowey to Boston with new raised men for the Squadron, from whence she shall go to Halifax to heave down.

By the Magdalen being detained for the protection of Lord Dunmore, the Delaware has been left open to the Importation of prohibited Goods. The critical situation of the Governor of Virginia, and his earnest intreaty for assistance, compelled me to send a Sloop as I could not spare a large Ship. In New Hampshire Government and the Province of Main[e], the people also verging on Rebellion and ripe for every Mischief, it became absolutely necessary to send a Sloop of War to Casco Bay, to defend his Majesty's Officers and peaceable Subjects in the Town of Falmouth, to seize all Supplies of Provisions, Arms and Ammunition, and in general to give Security to Vessels passing with fresh provisions and Fuel for the Army and Navy and Inhabitants of Boston; I beg you will assure their Lordships that as I am actuated by the strongest desire to do what I think best for his Majesty's Service, It will give me unspeakable Satisfaction if the above reasons justify me with their Lordships for sending Sloops to Virginia, the Delaware, and Casco Bay, and leaving Savannah a little longer unsupplied . . .

I am &c.
Sam Graves

1. Graves's Conduct, I, 113-116, MassHS Transcript.
Source: Naval Documents of the American Revolution, I, 690-2