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Sailing of the First American Fleet



Newborn, North-Carolina, February 9, 1776.

By a gentleman from Philadelphia, we have received the pleasing account of the actual sailing from that place of the first American fleet that ever swelled their sails on the Western Ocean, in defence of the rights and liberties of the people of these Colonies, now suffering under the persecuting rod of the British Ministry, and their more than brutish tyrants in America. This fleet consists of five sail, fitted out from Philadelphia, which are to be joined at the Capes of Virginia by two ships more from Maryland


and is commanded by Admiral Hopkins, a most experienced and venerable sea-captain. The Admiral' s ship is called the Columbus, after Christopher Columbus, the renowned discoverer of this Western world, and mounts thirty-six guns, twelve and nine-pounders, on two decks, forty swivels, and five hundred men. The second ship is called the Cabot, after Sebastian Cabot, who completed the discoveries of America made by Columbus, and mounts thirty-two guns. The others are smaller vessels, from twenty-four to fourteen guns. They sailed from Philadelphia amidst the acclamations of many thousands assembled on the joyful occasion, under the display of a Union Flag, with thirteen stripes in the field, emblematical of the Thirteen United Colonies; but, unhappily for us, the ice in the river Delaware, as yet, obstructs the passage down, but the time will now soon arrive when this fleet must come to action. Their destination is a secret, but generally supposed to be against the Ministerial Governours, those little petty tyrants that have lately spread fire and sword throughout these Southern Colonies. For the happy success of this little fleet, three millions of people offer their most earnest supplications to Heaven.