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N e wport H ist orical S ociety 

Number Eighteen NEWPORT, R. I. October, 1915 

The Battle of Rhode Island 


A Paper read at a Special Meeting of the Society in the Old State House 
September 25th, 1915. 

Copyright 1915 by Charles Warren Lippitt 

August 29, 1778, in the annals of Rhode Island, is historic. 
Its memories are dear to the nation as well as to the State. To 
commemorate the deeds of national heroes links the present with 
the past and guards the nation's future. To honor patriotic 
sacrifices inspires similar efforts in later emergencies. 

Late in July, 1778, a stately fleet of 12 line-of-battleships 
and four frigates, containing Count D'Estaing's expedition to aid 
the Colonial cause, appeared off Newport. Moving majestically 
forward, they soon anchored, extending from the Narragansett 
shore to Brenton's Neck, completely closing the harbor. Later 
three of the frigates advanced to Seaconnet, and their appearance 
at Fogland Ferry in the East passage caused the British to burn 
three armed vessels. 

July 30, two French ships of the line forced their way by the 
batteries about Newport and passed on further up the bay, caus- 
ing the burning of eight and the sinking of 13 British ships. 

August 6, eleven of the French ships approached Newport, and 
under a heavy cannonade passed the town and its batteries. The 
only British frigate remaining in the harbor and a number of 
transports were burned in the greatest haste. 

In addition to the transports destroyed, the following English 
ships of war were sunk or burned to prevent their capture by the 
French; Lark, Orpheus, Juno, Flora, Cerberus, Falcon, and 
Kingfisher. The French Government allowed prize money at 
600 livres per gun carried by all British vessels destroyed, and 
the total guns captured was 212. At that time a livre was 
worth two thirds of a dollar and the total in prize money there- 
fore amounted to $84,800. 

It is unnecessary on this occasion to trace the landing of 
Gen. Sullivan's army on the island of Rhode Island and its sub- 
sequent operations to capture Newport; to estimate the propriety 
of the French effort to join battle with the English fleet off Point 
Judith; to examine the effects of the furious i\ngust gale that 
wrought such havoc with both fleets and armies; or to determine 
the necessity of refitting D'Estaing's fleet at Boston, and its 
abandonment of Sullivan and the Continental Army on Rhode 

As an illustration of the influence of sea-power in military 
operations it is most pertinent. The English holding control of 
Narragansett Bay, all efforts to capture Newport were futile and 
could only result in disaster. Rhode Islanders cannot ignore that 
lesson. The stern necessity of an adequate naval force to protect 
the extended national domain was never greater. Never before 
in history has such time been required to create the ships, guns 
and accessories, necessary for a modern navy, and to insirnct the 
personnel to successfully use modern engines of war on the w-orld's 
oceans. " To maintain peace be prepared for war." 

The absence of D'Estaing and the French fleet in the cam- 
paign on Rhode Island gave the English an overwhelming ad- 
vantage. The separation of the Continental forces from the 
mainland by wide waterways, and the probabilitv of reinforce- 
ments to the English garrison of Newport from New York, sup- 
ported by an English fleet, constituted a most serious menace. 
Prudent regard for the safety of the army required the abandon- 

ment of the siege until the return of the French fleet, and Gen. 
Sullivan arranged for the withdrawal of his army from the 
trenches before Newport. 

During the night of August 28th and 29th the Americans 
effected a most orderly retreat toward the north end of the island, 
although even then ardent hopes were entertained that upon the 
reappearance of D'Estaing active siege operations could be 

The main portion of the army encamped on Butt's hill, its 
right extending to the West, and its left to the East, road, with 
flanking and covering parties prolonged toward the water on each 
side of the island. 

About three miles south of this position on Windmill hill, in 
the neighborhood of a cross-road, joining the East and West 
roads. Col. Henry B. Livingston was posted with a light corps 
consisting of Col. Jackson's detachment and another from the 
army. On the West road a second light corps was located, com- 
manded by Col. Laurens, Col. Fleury and Major Talbot. In the 
rear of these troops the picket of the army was stationed, com- 
manded by Col. Wade. With these arrangements completed 
Gen. Sullivan confidently awaited the British attack. 

Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene commanded the right wing, ex- 
tending nearly to the western shore of the island. On the extreme 
right of his position a small redoubt was located to protect the 
Americans from the flanking fire of any English vessels sailing 
up the bay from Newport. The command of the left wing of the 
army was given to Gen. Lafayette. His hurried journey to 
Boston to hasten the arrival of the French troops rendered it im- 
possible for him to assume its active command during the battle. 
His anxiety to take part in the conflict caused him to provide re- 
lays of horses and to cover the 70 miles to Boston in seven, and 
the trip back in six and one-half, hours. On his return the retreat 
across Howland's Ferry was in progress and he was assigned to 
the command of the rear guard. 

The discovery early in the morning of August 29, 1778, that 
the Americans had abandoned their entrenchments opposite New- 
port caused Gen. Pigot to hurriedly arrange to harass their retreat. 
The Hessian Chasseurs and the Anspach regiments of Voit and 

Seaboth were ordered to advance northward by the West road, 
under command of Gen. Losberg. Brig. Gen. Smith, with the 
43d and 2 2d British Regiments, and the flank companies of the 
38th and the 54th, marched up the East road in search of the 
retreating Americans. 

The two armies soon came in touch and skirmishing began. 
The Continentals endeavored to delay as much as possible the ad- 
vance of the enemy without engaging in a general action. They 
made repeated stands, checked the British advance, and then re- 
treated to other advantageous positions further north. At times 
the contest on the West road was severe. Col. Laurens, in com- 
mand on this highway, vigorously resisted the Hessians. 

The British detachment endeavoring to force the East road 
finally reached the cross-road near the Gibbs place, joining the 
East and West roads immediately in front of Col. Livingston's 
position. The possibility of the English utilizing this cross-road 
had induced Livingston to post his contingent in the field bound- 
ing south on the cross-road and easterly on the East road, quite 
effectually concealed by its high stone walls and the hixuriantly 
growing grain. 

Possibly the sharp firing on the West road caused Col. Camp- 
bell to consider the Hessians required assistance. Whatever the 
reason, half of the Twenty-second British Regiment turned into 
this by-road. At a favorable moment the Americans from short 
range fired a fearfully effective volley into the unprotected enemy. 
The surprise, the falling of the dead and wounded, the attack 
coming from almost unseen foes, enabled the Americans to load 
and repeat their volley with equally frightful results, before they 
retreated. It was claimed that Col. Campbell, afterward Mac- 
Culloin More, lost in this terrible onslaught fully one-quarter of 
his regiment. 

The two light corps were supported for some time by the 
picket under Col. Wade. Their successful resistance to the 
British advance and the heavy firing caused by the different 
skirmishes, induced Gen. Sullivan to send a regiment to support 
Col. Livingston and another to the assistance of Col. Laurens. 

The Americans made a more persistent stand in the neigh- 
borhood of Quaker Hill than was compatible with Gen. Sullivan's 

plan of operations. He accordingly sent out one of his aides, 
Col. John Trumbull, to order the withdrawal of the troops. In 
carrying the message Trumbull had to ascend the northern slope 
of Quaker Hill, something more than a mile in length. The 
conflict was raging near the top of the eminence. As he pro- 
gressed round shot came bounding on and plowed up the ground 
in his neighborhood. 

He met his friend, Col. Tousard, a member of Lafayette's 
military family, whose horse had been killed under him. His 
arm had been blown off by the discharge of a field piece, for the 
possession of which there had been a sharp struggle, and he was 
being led to the rear. Congress, subsequently, for his bravery, 
granted him the rank of Lieutenant Colonel by brevet and a pen- 
sion of $30 a month for life. 

Trumbull later encountered Capt. Walker of Jackson's regi- 
ment, shot through the body by a musket ball, proceeding to the 
rear, mounted behind a man on horseback. Walker bade the 
Colonel a melancholy farewell and died of his wound before night. 
Soon giapeshot and musket balls thickly dotted Col. Trum- 
ball's path. Urging his horse forward, he quickly reached the 
summit of the hill and found himself in the midst of the skirmish. 
Col. Wigglesworth commanded the rear guard and elated with 
the progress of the engagement, cried out to the Colonel as he 
saw him approach, " Don't say a word, Trumbull; I know your 
errand, but don't speak; we will beat them in a moment." 

Col. Trumbull called his attention to a body of men crossing 
obliquely from the West road toward the rear of the guard. Col. 
Wigglesworth replied, " They are Americans coming to our 

" No sir, those are Germans; their dress is blue and yellow, 
not buff; they are moving to intercept your rear," said Col. 
Trumbull. " Retreat instantly — don't lose a moment or you 
will be cut off." Col. Wigglesworth reluctantly recognized the 
situation and withdrew the guard slowly but safely toward the 
main army. 

As Trumbull rode back to report, he met his friend Col. 
Sherburne of New Hampshire, a fellow volunteer, who was being 
carried to the rear to have his leg amputated. Sherburne was a 

volunteer aide to Gen. Glover, who with his military family was 
taking breakfast in a house near Quaker Hill, a long mile distant 
from the skirmish. The firing on the hill becoming heavy and 
incessant, the General directed Mr. Rufus King, also a volunteer 
aide, to mount and investigate the conditions. 

As Mr. King left the table in obedience to this order Col. 
Sherburne took his vacant chair, and was hardly seated before a 
spent cannon ball bounded through the open window, fell upon 
the floor, rolled toward Sherburne and crushed all the bones of 
his foot. The ways of Providence are unforeseen. Who can ac- 
count for the power that saved Mr. King from this terrible mis- 
fortune and, without apparent cause, inflicted it upon Colonel 

It was to him a lasting mortification, as the poor follow 
argued " if this had happened to me in the field, in active duty, 
the loss of a leg might be borne, but to be condemned through all 
future life to say, I lost my leg under the breakfast table is too 

Equally remarkable were the frequent escapes from almost 
certain death that the gallant Col. Trumbull experienced in 
bravely executing the orders of his chief in the momentous cir- 
cumstances of the battle. A gust of wind blew off his hat and 
there being no time to dismount, he tied a white handkerchief 
about his head and continued on duty in this improvised head- 
gear, as the hat was not recovered until evening. Mounted on a 
superb bay horse, in a summer dress of nankeen and with his 
white headdress, he constituted a most conspicuous mark on the 

Exposed to every danger of the occasion he escaped entirely 
without injury, a result that caused Gen. Mattoon to write him 
after the battle, " Your preservation in each of these most daring 
enterprises I have ever considered little short of a miracle, and a 
most remarkable interposition of Providence for your safety." 
Gen. Sullivan also exclaimed on Col. Trumbull's return from 
conveying the order to Col. Wigglesworth, to retire the rear 
guard ' ' Your escape has been most wonderful . ' ' 

The British contingent on the East road finally approached 
quite near the left wing of the American Army, but after a sharp 

action they were repulsed by Gen. Glover and forced to retire to 
Quaker Hill. Their line of battle was then formed on Quaker, 
Turkey and Anthony Hills, with its right extending nearly to 
the eastern and its left to the western, shore of Rhode Island. 
Between the hills occupied by the English and Butts Hill, with 
its neighboring eminences already occupied by Gen. Sullivan's 
army, a valley intervened about a mile wide, somewhat wooded 
in places, and interspersed with meadows and thickets of copse. 

The English ships of war, with several small armed vessels 
that had arrived within a day or two at Newport, were ordered to 
take position off the western shore of Rhode Island and flank the 
right wing of the American Army. Pending the arrival of these 
vessels the English did not force the fighting. At 9 o'clock a 
gun on the right of their Hue gave the signal, which was imme- 
diately followed by a general cannonade from both armies. 

About ten o'clock, the naval contingent having arrived and 
opened fire, the British and Hessians on the left of their line 
charged down the slope of Anthony Hill in great force to capture 
the redoubt and turn the right wing of the American Army. 
Gen. Greene commanded at this point, and his men met the 
enemy with such destructive volleys of musketry that the ground 
was heaped with their dead and wounded and their order totally 
disarranged . 

The attack was repulsed and the enemy fell back in helpless 
rout. Responding, however, to the call of their officers, they 
rallied and after re-arranging their broken lines again advanced 
to the attack. The day was warm and the hills prevented the 
breeze from reaching the valley. The heavy uniform of the 
British infantry and of the Hessian Grenadiers greatly impeded 
their movements. The Americans met the situation by discard- 
ing such garments as interfered with the freedom of their 
exertions and utilized their weapons to the utmost extent. 

The result of the attack was as before. The frantic efforts 
to turn the American right and to capture the redoubt were met 
with equal determination to hold the position by the brave men 
under Gen. Greene. At last, unable to accomplish their object, 
dazed and bewildered by their losses as well as by the courage and 
pertinacity of the defence, the enemy was again hurled back and 
fled up the slopes of Anthony Hill . 

During the hours occupied by these events the Light Troops 
under Col. Livingston, that had retarded the advance of the 
enemy up the East road in the early morning, had been gaining 
a much needed rest on the northern slope of Butts Hill. As the 
enemy for tjie third time formed to attack the somewhat 
exhausted right wing that had stood the brunt of the conflict 
during the day. Col. Livingston with Jackson's regiment was 
ordered by Gen. Sullivan to pass around the hil] and attack the 
enemy if opportunity offered. Additional troops were ordered to 
support Gen. Greene. 

Two heavy batteries opened fire upon the ships that had 
enfiladed the American right wing and finally silenced their fire. 
Gen. Pigot at this point of the battle, observing the danger of 
defeat, collected his reserves, to aid his partially disheartened 

While the battle was raging on the American right, Gen. 
Lovell with his Massachusetts troops was ordered to engage the 
British right and rear and gallantly pushed the attack. The re- 
inforcement received enabled Gen. Greene to advance a portion of 
his forces against his assailants in the meadow, crowding them 
together and creating considerable confusion. Livingston watched 
for his opportunity and at the proper time led Jackson's regiment 
with fixed bayonets against the flank of the already wavering foe. 

His fierce attack soon turned the tide of battle and the mass 
of British and Hessians were driven across the valley, up the 
slopes of the opposite hills to the entrenchments on their summits. 
The Americans, closely following the flying enemy, captured 
Brady's battery as an evidence of their resistless charge and vic- 
torious triumph. 

All efforts to turn the American right and capture the 
redoubt having failed, the enemy at about four in the afternoon 
rested in the entrenchments on Quaker, Turkey and Anthony 
Hills that they had occupied in the early morning. The conflict 
was over, the Americans held their position and controlled the 
field of battle. 

Anticipations that the struggle would be renewed the next 
day, Sunday, were not fulfilled, as both armies were occupied 
in the burial of the dead and the care of the wounded. Col. 


Campbell of the Twenty-second British Regiment asked per- 
mission of Gen. Sullivan during the day to seek on the field for 
his nephew who had been killed by his side, but whose body 
he could not remove as they were so closely pursued. 

At noon, a letter from Gen. Washington was received, 
stating that Lord Howe had left New York with five thousand 
men to reinforce Newport. It became known that a fleet was off 
Block Island, and a letter from Boston announced that Count 
D'Estaing could not return as soon as was expected. In these 
circumstances, a retreat to the mainland was unanimously ap- 

The difficulty of transporting an army with its baggage 
across a wide waterway in the face of an enemy of at least equal 
force was keenly appreciated. An incessant cannonade was 
maintained throughout the day. Nearly the whole army was 
employed in fortifying the camp. A large number of tents were 
pitched in sight of the enemy. The heavy baggage and stores 
were moved to the rear and ferried to the mainland before night. 
At dark the tents were struck, the troops with the light baggage 
retreated, and before midnight the main army had crossed to 

" Not a man was left behind nor the smallest article lost." 
The sentinels of the opposing armies were only 200 yards apart, 
yet these movements were successfully executed. Lafayette 
returned during the retreat from the island and materially assisted 
its success. Gen. Sullivan's barge was the last to leave the 
island and his life guard suffered severely from the fire of the 

Side by side with their former masters, in the fierce contest 
on the right of the American line, fought the recently raised bat- 
talion of negro troops, formerly Rhode Island slaves, but freed 
by their act of enlistment in the service of the Colonies. The 
General Assembly of Rhode Island compensated their former 
owners for the loss of these men's services. 

This battalion suggested by Gen. Varnum, approved by Gen. 
Washington, raised and drilled by Col. Christopher Greene, 
Lieut. Col. Jeremiah Olney, and Maj. Samuel Ward, was posted 
in a grove in the valley near Gen. Greene's position. 

Gen. Sullivan in " After orders, Oct. 30, 1778," states "the 
Cominander-in-Cliief thinks that (black) regiment will be entitled 
to a proper share of the Honors of the day." This is held to be 
the first time that negroes were formally enlisted and organized in 
the service of the country. 

A British survivor wrote of the attack on the rail fence at 
the Battle of Bunker Hill. 

"Indeed, how could we penetrate it? Most of our Grena- 
diers and Light Infantry, the moment of presenting themselves, 
lost three-fourths and many nine-tenths of their men. Some had 
only eight or nine men in a company left, some only three, four 
or five." 

Gen. Stark, commanding the Americans at this point, relates 
of the effect of their fire : ' ' The dead lay as thick as sheep in a 

Burgoyne, viewing the battle from the entrenchments on 
Copps Hill, impressed by the awe-inspiring grandeur of the scene, 
wrote : " The whole was a complication of horror and import- 
ance beyond anything it ever came to my lot to be witness to. It 
was a sight for a young soldier that the longest service may not 
furnish again." 

Observation on Government account of the late battle of 
Charlestown, published in London Aug. i, 1775, summing up 
the results reported : "By this rule the Americans will put the 
whole army into the grave or hospitals in three or four nights' 
work and an hour's fire in each morning." 

It is also pertinent to repeat the language of Gov. Johnstone 
in the House of Commons relative to this glorious conflict : 

" To a mind who loves to contemplate the glorious spirit of 
freedom, no spectacle can be more affecting than the action at 
Bunker's Hill. To see an irregular peasantry, commanded by a 
physician, inferior in numbers, opposed by every circumstance 
of cannon and bombs that could terrify timid minds, calmly await 
the attack of the gallant Howe, leading on the best troops in the 
world, with an excellent train of artillery, and twice repulsing 
those very troops, who had often chased the chosen battalions of 
France, and at last retiring for want of ammunition, but in so re- 
spectable a manner that they were not even pursued — who can 


reflect on such scenes and not adore the constitution of govern- 
ment which could breed such men." 

At Bunker Hill the British lost 1054 and the Americans 449. 

In the battle of Rhode Island, the English lost 1023 ^^^ ^^^ 
Americans 211. 

At Bunker Hill, until the British entered the redoubt, the 
Americans fought behind entrenchments. 

At Butts Hill, the greater part of the fighting was in the open 
country, where each army had like opportunities of protection. 

At Bunker Hill, the third assault was successful, the redoubt 
captured, and the Americans driven from the field. 

At Butts Hill, the third assault was repulsed, and the British 
driven from the field. The Americans held their position and 
controlled the field of battle, not only after the fighting but dur- 
ing the whole of the next day, and until they had completed their 
arrangements to cross to the mainland. 

It is gratifying in the final contest in the afternoon of the 
29th, that the British and Hessians were driven from the field by 
an application of that cold steel held to be such an universal de- 
pendence of the British Army. It was the fierce bayonet charge 
of the sturdy yeomeii of Jackson's regiment, under Livingston's 
leadership, and their comrades of the right wing under Gen. 
Greene's command, that fully satisfied the British fighting desire 
on that momentous day, and sent them scurrying in helpless 
flight to their earthworks for protection. 

Gen. Greene, writing to Gen. Washington concerning the 
battle reported: " We soon put the enemy to rout, and I had the 
pleasure to see them run in worse disorder than they did at the 
battle of Monmouth." 

Lafayette justly characterized the battle of Rhode Island as 
" The best fought action of the war." 

D'Estaing's instructions to refit at Boston were mandatory. 
There is abundant proof that much as the absence of his fleet was 
regretted, it was the result of uncontrollable circumstances. Had 
it been possible for the French to perform their part of the ex- 
pedition the entire British Army in Newport would have been 
captured. It was reasonably anticipated that such an event 
occuring within a year of Burgoyne's capture at Saratoga, would 
have resulted in terminating the war. 


The sound judgment of Washington induced him to confi- 
dently entertain that opinion. He wrote concerning the capture 
of Newport: 

" If the garrison of that place, consisting of nearly six thou- 
sand men, had been captured, as there was, in appearance at least, 
a hundred to one in favor of it, it would have given the finishing 
blow to the British pretensions of sovereignty over this country; 
and would, I am persuaded, have hastened the departure of the 
troops in New York as fast as their canvas wings could carry 
them away." 

Lafayette stated to Zachariah Allen at Providence in 1824: 
"I believe that this capture would have produced the same de- 
cisive result of speedily terminating the American war, as was 
subsequently accomplished by the capture of nearly the same Army 
at Yorktown, by the successful co-operation of the French fleet 
under Count De Grasse, under similar circumstances." 

The object of the expedition was not attained, but conclu- 
sive evidence was afforded that Newport could not be permanently 
held without a garrison suflficiently large to materially interfere 
with other British military operations. 

The termination of this expedition which had opened with 
such promise of success was attended with unusual hazard. Had 
Lord Howe with Sir Henry Clinton's forces reached Newport on 
August 28th or 29th, instead of the 31st, the larger part, if not 
the whole, of Gen. Sullivan's army would have been captured. 
The English fleet could easily have controlled the waterways 
about Rhode Island and prevented the retreat of the American 
army, whose safety depended on the free use of the passage to the 
mainland. With this waterway commanded by the English the 
Americans could only have surrendered or died. 

During the last days of August, 1778, a disaster to the Con- 
tinental cause, largely nullifying the prestige of Burgoyne's cap- 
ture, was fearfully possible. In such circumstances, that without 
foreign aid the British were forced within their Newport entrench- 

that the departure of the French fleet was fully appreciated 
and its effect upon the resulting situation accepted; 

that the retreat to Butts Hill was an eminent success; 


that the battle on Rhode Island was a gratif\ ing American 

that the masterly retreat to the mainland, across a broad 
waterway, in the face of an enemy of at least equal magnitude, 
was conducted without loss; 

and finally that the American army was saved and the Brit- 
ish army materially injured, redounds to the credit of Gen. Sulli- 
van, his officers, and men. 

Popular criticism is not infallible and is often expressed with- 
out adequate knowledge of facts. It is possible, however, to 
quote the highest authority relative to the American and the 
French campaign against Newport, in which Gen. Washington, 
in a general order, entirely concurred: 

On September 9, 1778, the following resolutions were passed 
by the Continental Congress: 

" Resolved, That the retreat made by Maj. Gen. Sullivan, 
with the troops under liis command, from Rhode Island, was pru- 
dent, timely and well conducted, and that Congress highly ap- 
proves of the same. 

"Resolved, That the thanks of Congress be given to Maj. 
Gen. Sullivan and to the officers and troops under his command, 
for their fortitude and bravery displayed in the action of August 
29, in which they repelled the British forces and maintained the 

" Resolved, That Congress have a high sense of the patriotic 
exertions made by the four Eastern States on the late expedition 
against Rhode Island. 

"Resolved, That His Excellency Count D'Estaing hath 
behaved as a brave and wise officer, and that His Excellency and 
the officers and men under his command have rendered every 
benefit to these States which the circumstances and nature of the 
service would admit of, and are fully entitled to the regards of 
the friends of America." 

The patriots who fought, bled and died, in this momentous 
action of the Revolution did not struggle in vain. They and 
their comrades on many other bloody fields gave us the priceless 
liberties of the Great Republic. Greater freedom of personal effort 
under just laws than had theretofore been known, resulting in 
prosperity that is the wonder of the world. 


The admiration of competitors is seldom expressed. Ameri- 
ca's success, however, has caused our English friends serious re- 
flection. It is certainly not often that a statement so plain and 
pertinent, so unmistakably inspired by the grandeur of 
the Great Republic, coming from a recognized authority in the 
heart of our great competitor, can be quoted. It is gratifying to 
submit the following statement from the London Daily Telegraph 
of September 9th, 1903: 

" A century ago about 4,000,000 white people lived 
in the United States, or approximately as many as live 
at present in Bulgaria. At that time Great Britain had 
17,000,000 inhabitants, and in wealth the United States 
stood in about the same relation to Great Britain as Bul- 
garia occupies at the present day. Since then the rela- 
tive position has greatly altered. At present the United 
States have about 80,000,000 inhabitants, as compared 
with only 42,000,000 inhabitants of these islands, and 
the United States are unquestionably the most powerful, 
the most prosperous, and industrially the most progres- 
sive country in the world 

"Such progress in power, wealth, and numbers 
stands unparalleled and unapproached in the history of 
mankind, and it should afford cause for serious reflection 
to all who desire to see a similarly splendid development 
of the British Empire in the future." 

Our unequalled heritage impels us to jealously preserve the 
memory, to faithfully honor the saciifices, and to glory in the 
success, of the heroes of the Revolution. 

" Death for their country, death for freedom's cause, 
The smoke of battle for their honored shroud, 
A greatful nation, and the world's applause 
Are all they ask as, sinking to their rest, 
Their eyes refreshed reopen on the blest." 




The paper which, through the 
courtesy of Gov. Lippitt, we are 
enabled to present in this number, 
is one of which we, as a Society, 
may well feel proud. Many ac- 
counts of the Battle of Rhode 
Island have been printed, a most 
interesting one by Mr. Meyer hav- 
ing appeared in a previous copy 
of the Bulletin, but we think it 
safe to say that Gov. Lippitt has 
exceeded all previous historians in 
carefulness of preparation and ful- 
ness of detail. 

We desire to thank the au- 
thorities for permitting us to use 
the Representative Chamber for 
the two public meetings of the 
Society, while our new building is in 
process of erection. 

The new building is progressing 
satisfactorily though when it will 
be finished is impossible to say, 
probably in a few weeks. It is 
now sufficiently advanced to show 
its proportions and to give assur- 
ance of ample space for the Socie- 
ty's work for years to come. 

At the regular August meeting 
of the Society a most interesting 
address upon Patriotism was de- 
livered by Dr. Nicholas Murray 

Butler, President of Columbia Uni- 
versity, and the Society takes great 
pleasure in printing it in a separate 

New Members 
Elected since the last Bulletin. 


Mrs. Robert Ives Gammell 
Mrs. Whitney Warren 


Mrs. Neilson 

Mrs. Roderick Terry 


Mrs. R. Livingston Beeckman 

Mrs. Jerome C. Borden 

Rear Admiral Austin M. Knight 

A. C. Landers, Jr. 

Mrs. Lauterbach 

Charles Warren Lippitt, Jr. 

Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Covell 

Mr. Harrison J. Morris 

J. Henry Renter 

Mrs. John Thompson Spencer 

Mr. and Mrs. Harry G. Wilks 


Robert Benson 

Mrs. Beverly R. Dudley 

Miss Lena H. Clarke 

Mrs. Leiber 

Miss Leiber 

Frank L. Peckham 


The Building Fund 
Total contributions to Building 
Fund, in gifts and pledges, ^8,625. 
Com. Arthur Curtiss James has 
generously agreed to contribute 
half the necessary amount, and 
has already paid ;^5,ooo. 

Contributors to the Building 
Fund since the last Bulletin. 
Judge Darius Baker $5.00 

Edwin S. Burdick, Esq. 5.00 

Mrs. John R. Drexel 2500 

Mr. Gibson Fahnestock 50.00 

Mr. and Mrs. Daniel B. Fear- 
ing 20.00 
Mrs. James B. Forsyth 5.00 
Mr. William B. Franklin 5.00 
Mrs. Robert Ives Gammell 25.00 
H. O. Havemeyer 5.00 
Mrs. Henry Barton Jacobs 25.00 
Com. ArthurCurtissJames 5,000.00 
Mr. John Jencks 5.00 
George Gordon King, Esq. 25.00 
Miss Ellen F. Mason 100.00 
Mrs. E. J. Pattison 50.00 
Mr. Frederick S. Peck 1000 
Mr. Marsden J. Perry 10 00 
Mrs. Edward Potter 1000 


John Ridlon ;^ 10.00 

George E. Sage 5.00 

George S. Scott 10.00 

Helen F. Smith 3.00 

Nathaniel Smith 5.00 

Elizabeth H. Swinburne 10.00 

Nathaniel Thayer 
Sarah C. Weaver 
John H. VVetherell 


Mrs. J. Stewart Ba. ney 
Miss Eva Brightman 
Dr. F. D. Chester 
Miss Cora Gosling 
Mrs. I. Goodwin Hobbs 
Mr. Allen P. Hoard 
Mrs. Lauterbach 
Mr. Wm. H. Lee 
Mr. Charles W. Lippitt, Jr. 
Mr. Alexander F. Lippitt 
Mr. Gorton Thayer Lippitt 
Howard B. Perry 
N. Taylor Phillips 
Mrs. David T. Pinniger 
Mr. Dwight Tracy 
Mrs. Alfred Tuckerman 
Miss Susan J. Weaver 




1. 00 
1. 00 
1. 00 
I. GO 
1. 00 

1. 00 

1. 00 

5 00 
1. 00 
1. 00 


I 8. 



Newport Historical Society 

For the year ending May^ igio 

First Vice-President, REV. RODERICK TERRY, D. D. 

Second Vice-President, MR. FRANK K. STURGIS 

Third Vice-President, MR. ALFRED TUCKERMAN 
Recording Secretary, MR. JOHN P. SANBORN 
Corresponding Secretary, MR. GEORGE H. RICHARDSON 
Treasurer, MR. HENRY C. STEVENS, Jr. 
Curator of Coins and Medals, DR. EDWIN P. ROBINSON 

Board of Directors 












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