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Governour Cooke to General Washington


Providence, December 8th, 1776, past 10 o' clock, P˙ M.

SIR: It is with great concern I give you the disagreeable intelligence that the enemy, with a fleet consisting of seventy-eight ships-of-war and transports, entered the harbour of New-Port yesterday. We had about six hundred men upon Rhode-Island, who were obliged to evacuate it, with the loss of about fifteen or twenty heavy cannon, having taken off the ammunition and stores, and the greatest part of the stock. The enemy have full possession of the island. I am informed by General West and Lieutenant Barron, of the Providence, that they landed this morning, about eight o' clock, with eight thousand men, who marched in three divisions, one towards New-Port, the second towards Howland' s Ferry, and the third to Bristol Ferry, where they arrived time enough to fire upon the boats that brought over our last men, but without doing damage. I have sent repeated expresses to the Massachusetts-Bay and Connecticut. The forces of the former are upon the march, as I believe the latter are also.

In great haste, I am your Excellency' s most obedient, humble servant,


To his Excellency General Washington.