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Account of the destruction of the British armed sloop Liberty at Newport, Rhode Island

Historical note

On July 19, 1769, the crew of the H.M.S. Liberty, a customs parcel ship under Captain William Reid, accosted Joseph Packwood, a New London brigantine captain, and seized and towed his and another New London sloop into Newport Harbor, Rhode Island. In retribution, Packwood and a mob of Newport citizens confronted Reid, then boarded, dismantled, and burned the ship on the north end of Goat Island in Newport Harbor. This was one of the first acts of open defiance against the British crown leading up to the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).