Database

Saint Eustatius.

Other names:

What:
16 Nov 1776, St. Eustatius returned salute from USS Andrew Doria
3 Feb 1781, Commander Johannes de Graaff vs. *Adm. Rodney & MG Vaughan, captured by British
Feb - Mar 1781, 150 ships (Dutch? American?) captured entering port, unaware of British occupation
15 Nov 1781, *Chevalier de Girardin vs. Col. Cockburn, captured by French

Where:
17.4960798, -62.9806711, Saint Kitts

Maps: [map notes]

Sources:

  • Boatner, p.944.

  • Wars, Campaigns and Operations of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth, "War with France & Spain 1778-1783". 1782 Jan. 11 - 1782 Feb. 12,

  • Sint_Eustatius, Wikipedia.
    Since the island sold arms and ammunition to everyone who wanted to pay for it, the island was one of the few ways for the rebellious Thirteen colonies to obtain weaponry. This good relationship between Sint Eustatius and the United States resulted in the famous flag incident, when Commander Johannes de Graaff of Sint Eustatius decided to answer the salute fire of the Andrew Doria that visited the island on 16 November 1776. The United States gave the answering salute great publicity since the island de facto recognized the independence of the United States. (See The First Salute by Barbara Tuchman)
    . . .
    As a result of the war, Sint Eustatius was taken by the British on 3 February 1781. Commander de Graaff, who at the moment was not informed about the declaration of war but seeing that he was facing superior forces, surrendered the island to the British Admiral Rodney. Ten months later the island was conquered by the French, allies of the Dutch in this war. The Dutch regained command over the island in 1784.

  • USS Andrew Doria (1775), Wikipedia.
    The ship received the first-ever salute to the United States by a foreign power when on November 16, 1776 she arrived at St. Eustatius. The Dutch island returned her 11-gun salute.

  • Bryan P. Howard, Ph.D, The Fortifications of St. Eustatius, Dutch West Indies
    "on the 20th of December, 1780. Britain declared war on Holland"
    "Statia had not yet even learned of its entrance into war. The British banked on this fact, and on Saturday, the 3rd of February 1781, the fleet anchored around 3 p.m."
    "Within a very short time, the British had captured more than 150 ships who unknowingly sailed into port."
    "On November 15, 1781, eight French ships were loaded with nearly 1200 men, under the command of the Chevalier de Girardin, to head for Statia, and take it by surprise."

  • Benjamin Marston's Diary: 1776-1787. Numerous ref's to St. Eustatius.

  • "The Life and Revolutionary War Experiences of Ezekiel Jacobs (1755-1834)": Footnote 14: "Sir John Vaughan - Promoted to Major General in America on January 1, 1776; Charleston Expedition June 1776; Commanded the grenadiers at the Battle of Long Island; wounded at White Plains, NY October 1776; Returned to England winter 1776-77; Promoted to Major General on August 29, 1777; Led assault on Fort Montgomery on October 6, 1777; Commanded troops on raid up the Hudson, burning Kingston October 12-24, 1777; Captured Verplanck's Point on June 1, 1779; Returned to England winter of 1779; Named Commander of the Leeward Islands December 1779; Led unsuccessful attack on St. Vincent 1781; Captured St. Eustatius on February 3, 1782."

  • Sir Leslie Stephen, Sidney Lee, Dictionary of National Biography, Published 1887, Smith, Elder. Article on Col. James Cockburn, 35th Foot, governor of St. Eustatius under the British.

  • Jerry Klingerm "How the Jews Saved the American Revolution

  • RevWar75 RevWar75
    listing 2/3/1781 St Eustatius. British victory.
    Feb-Mar 1781, 150 ships captured by Brits. Not found.
    listing 11/25/1781 St Eustatius. Shown as American victory. It was actually a French victory.

Related sites:

Submitted by: John Robertson

Confidence level: 5