Bristol, Rhode Island

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Bristol, Rhode Island

BRISTOL, RHODE ISLAND. 7 October 1775. A small British fleet of four warships, commanded by Captain James Wallace, was operating in Newport harbor. It appeared off Bristol on the afternoon of 7 October. Wallace sent an officer ashore to state that if a delegation did not come out to his ship the Rose within an hour to hear his demands he would open fire. William Bradford told Wallace's emissary that it would be more fitting for Wallace to come ashore and make known his demands. About 8:00 p.m., in a pouring rain, the British started a bombardment that lasted an hour and a half and stopped only after Captain Simeon Potter had gone to the end of the wharf and hailed Wallace's ship, asking that the town be given time to select a delegation to meet him. The British commander first asked for two hundred sheep and thirty cattle, but finally settled for forty sheep. A number of houses had been destroyed by the bombardment, mostly as a result of fire.

SEE ALSO Wallace, Sir James.

                              revised by Michael Bellesiles

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Bristol, Rhode Island

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