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A History of the Destruction of His Britannic Majesty’s Schooner Gaspee

In Narragansett Bay, on the 10th June, 1772; Accompanied by the Correspondence Connected Therewith; The Action of the General Assembly of Rhode Island Thereon, and the Official Journal of the Proceedings of the Commission of Inquiry Appointed by King Geor
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John Russell Bartlett
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Sir — The inhabitants of this town, have, of late, been much disquieted in their minds, by repeated advices being brought of a schooner, which, for some time past, hath cruised in the Narragansett Bay, and much disturbed our navigation. She suffers no vessel to pass, not even packet boats, or others of an inferior kind, without a. Strict examination; and where any sort of unwillingness is discovered, they are com pelled to submit, by an armed force. Who he is, and by what authority he as sumes such a conduct, it is thought needs some inquiry; and I am requested by a number of gentlemen, of this town, on their behalf, to acquaint Your Honor therewith, and that you would take the matter into consideration and, if the com mander of that schooner has not as yet made proper application, and been duly authorized in his proceedings, that some preper measures be taken to bring him to account. It is suspected he has no legal authority to justify his conduct; and his com mission, if he has any, is some antiquated paper, more of a fiction than anything else; and this seems to be confirmed by Mr. Thomas Greene, who says he saw it; and believes it to be no other than the commission the famous Reid had, who lost his sloop at Newport, or something else, of no validity.

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