Thomas M. Truxes is an author and a member of the Irish Studies and History faculties at New York University where he teaches courses on Irish history and the history of the early-modern Atlantic world.

November 21, 2010

Bold Rhode Island Sloop Pillages Spanish West Indian Port, 1740

London [April 12, 1740]. By a Ship lately arrived from New-England, departed from Newport, we have the following Account: That Mr. Thomas Newton, Quarter-Master of the Virgin Queen, Capt. Hall, was returned home, having sailed from Newport in a small Sloop of 30 Tons, and 29 Men, with a Letter of Marque; they sailed for Hispaniola, to make a descent on a small Town called Port of Plate [Puerto Plata], where they anchored under the Fort pretending to be a Carracca Trader. There Design was to land that Night, and surprise the Town, but were prevented by the Inhabitants keeping a good Watch round the Bay and Fort, suspecting them to be Pirates.

The Governor being sick, and understanding they had a Surgeon on Board, sent to desire him to come and bleed him: Accordingly the Doctor, the Quarter-Master, and the Linguist, waited on him the next Morning, and informed him, that they had Flour and other Provisions to dispose of, and gave him an Invitation on Board, but being ill, he declined it; whereupon seven of the Sloop’s men marched up, surpriz’d and took the Fort; and after dismounting the Cannon, they went back to meet their Comrades that were expected on Shore, and then making up 19 in Number, they boldly march’d to the Town.

Before they came up the Spaniards were alarmed and got together in Arms, and fir’d on them; but they still advancing the Spaniards retreated, and they entered the Town, and plundered it of everything that was valuable, which amounted to £100 a Man. They lost only one Man in the Engagement, and killed three and wounded one of the Spaniards in taking the Fort. This was as bold an Attempt as was ever heard of.

[London] Weekly Miscellany, April 12, 1740.

Posted in letter of marque, Newport (Rhode Island), piracy, privateer, Puerto Plata, raiding, sailors, Santo Domingo, Uncategorized, War of Jenkin's Ear, West Indies |