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tjH, nth, gov. Hancock and the council gave a public dinner to the general and field officers, the marquis de Vaudreuil and the principal officers.in the fleet. The Magnifique, a 74 gun ship, one of the fleet, having been lost by accident in the harbour of Boston, congress, de-: sirous of testifying the fense they entertained of his. most christian majesty's generous exertions in behalf of the United States, resolved on the 3d of September, to present the America, a 74 gun ship, to the chevalier de la Luzerne for the service of the French king. The fleet failed with the army on the 29th of December.

On the 20th of December, the celebrated Charlestown frigate, commanded by capt. Joiner, and (according to the New York account) carrying 28 forty-two pounders mounted on her main deck, and on the quarterdeck and forecastle 12 twelve pounders, and 450 men, was taken by the British Quebec of 33 guns and Diomede of 44, after a chafe of 18 hours and a half from off the Delaware.

The demand for bibles being great and the price high, in consequence of the war, Mr. Aitken, a printer at Philadelphia, undertook and finished an American edition of the holy scriptures in English, the first of the kind. Congress on the 1st of last September, recommended it to their two chaplains (the Rev. Dr. White * an episcopalian, and the Rev. Mr. Duffield a presbyterian) to examine the execution of the work, and is approved, to give it the sanction of their judgment and weight of their recommendation. They reported in

* Since ordained a bishop according to the rites, and by the hands of the bishops, of the church of Endand,

favor of it, that they were of opinion that it was exe- 1783, cuted with great accuracy as to the fense, and with as few grammatical and typographical errors as could be expected in a work of such magnitude. Whereupon congress passed a resolve on the 12th of September, highly approving the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken, and recommending his edition of the bible to the inhabitants of the United States. Notwithstanding this recommendation, should the war close in a short time, imported bibles will be fold so much cheaper, and on that account be so universally bought, that Mr. Aitken will be a considerable loser by the great expence which necessarily attended his undertaking.

This town of Roxbury has given each of the three years men whom they inlisted for the army in 1781 and • * 1782, a bounty of not less than fifty-six pounds five shillings sterling, hard money, The hounties given by the towns in the Massachusetts for similar purposes for the last of these years, will average 64I. 4s. gd. sterling, in cash, on every such recruit. The enormity of the sum has. proved an heavy burden to numbers who havQ stiared in the expence.

LET

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LETTER XI.

Paris, Dec, J, 1782.

Friend G.

„32<rTPHE Dutch fleet having returned to the Texel, and -*- the British convoy from the Baltic being out of danger, the ships sent to the Downs to attend the motions of the Dutch, returned to accompany the British fleet in their expedition to Gibraltar. Upon the junc^P1' tion lord Howe sailed from Portsmouth, with 33 ships of the line, several frigates and fireships, a fleet of transports, victuallers and storeihips, with a body of troops on board for the relief of the garrison. He was accompanied by the admirals Barrington, Milbanke, Hood, and Sir R. Hughes, by commodore Hotham, and an able brave set of naval officers. I After the reduction of Minorca, the duke de CriHonf was appointed captain general of the Spanish forces, and was destined to attempt the recovery of Gibraltar. No mean was neglected, nor expence spared to insure suc. cess. Ambition, honor, pride, revenge, all united in urging to the utmost exertions for the conquest of the place; and as all former ones had failed, the invention and application of such as were new became necessary. The chevalier D'Arcon, a French engineer, was confided in as being equal to the service. A plan had been proposed by him in the latter part of the preceding year. The preparations though vast, and extremely expensive,

were

were nearly completed; and the reduction of the place 1782* was not only deemed certain, but the powers to be used were so prodigious and formidable, that little less than the annihilation of the fortress was expected to be the consequence of any great obstinacy of defence in the garrison. The plan of the chevalier was, to construct, from ships, floating batteries that could not be funk or fired. They were to be secured from sinking, by the extraordinary thickness of timber, with which their keels and bottoms were to be fortified; and which was to render them proof in that respect against all external or internal violence. They were to be defended from being fired, by having their sides secured with a strong wall, composed of timber and cork, long soaked in water, and including between them a large body of wet sand; the whole of such a thickness, that no cannon ball should penetrate within two feet of the inner partition. A constant supply of water was to keep the parts exposed to sire alway wet; and the cork was to act as a sponge in retaining the moisture.

Ten great ships, from 600 to 1400 ton burden, were cut down to the state required by the plan; and a00,00o feet of timber worked into their construction. To protect them from bombs, and the men from grape or descending shot, a hanging roof was contrived, to be worked up and down by springs at pleasure. The roof was made of a strong rope-work netting, laid over with a thick covering of wet hides: its sloping position was cakulated to prevent the shells from lodging, and to throw them off" into the sea, before they could take effect; The batteries were covered with new brass cannon of great weight., and about half the number of spare

guns,

jj8z.gUnSj of the fame kind, were kept ready, instantly to supply the place of those which might be over-heated, or otherwise disabled. That the fire of these guns might be the more instantaneous and effective, the chevalier had contrived a kind of match, by which all the guns on the battery were to go off together. Red-hot shot from the fortress was what the Spaniards most dreaded. To restrain its effect there was a contrivance for communicating water in every direction. A great variety of pipes and canals perforated all the solid workmanship in such a manner, that a continued succession of water was to be conveyed to every part of the vessels; a number of pumps being adapted to the purpose of an unlimited supply. By this mean it was expected, that the red-hot shot would operate to the remedy of its own mischief, and procure its immediate extinction by cutting through the pipes.

• The preparation was enormous in other respects. About i aoo pieces of heavy ordnance had been brought to the spot, for the numerous intended purposes of attack by sea and land. The quantities of every kind of military store were immense. The gunpowder only is said to have exceeded 83,000 barrels. Forty gun-boats with heavy artillery, as many bomb-boats with 12 inch mortars, beside a large floating battery, and five bomb ketches on the usual construction, were appointed to second the efforts of the great battering vessels. Nearly all the frigates, and smaller armed vessels of the kingdom were assembled, to afford such aid as they might be capable of; and between 2 and 300 large boats were collected, which with those already in the vicinity, were to minister to the fighting vessels during action, and to

land

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