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Account from Rhode-Island of the attack on Bristol


New-York, October 19, 1775.

We hear from Rhode-Island that Colonel Esek Hopkins, a brave and experienced officer, is arrived there, at the Town of Bristol, with seven hundred men, sent by General Washington in order to protect the inhabitants from the piratical incursions of a Captain Wallace and other freebooters, acting under the pretended authority of a set of traitors aiming to establish a tyrannical Government on the ruins of the English Constitution.

This pirate, Wallace, having presumed in a cowardly dependance on his lawless force to demand the property of the inhabitants, and, like other robbers, threatening them with destruction in case of refusal, which threat he enforced by murderously and treasonably firing a number of shot against the Town of Bristol, the inhabitants of which sent on board the said pirate a Committee to expostulate with him on the baseness and villany of his conduct. In his vindication he showed them the orders of the more atrocious and bloody traitors under whose authority he acted, by which he was directed to fire upon, murder and destroy every Town or City where there should be the least appearance of men in arms in order to defend their rights and liberties; and he told them that in case there should be the


appearance of men in arms in opposition to his illegal demands, he should certainly fire upon them. After he had by threats extorted from and robbed the inhabitants of as much of their property as they were, on such a sudden demand, able to produce, Colonel Hopkins and his forces arrived, and on being told Wallace' s menace of firing upon the Town in case of the appearance in it of men in arms, he let the people know his orders from the General, which were, at all events to prevent the pirates from landing or receiving supplies from the shore; and that instead of being intimidated from defending their property by fear of the Town being fired upon, they might be assured he would destroy the Town, rather than the pirates should land in or draw supplies or advantage from it.

It is probable this measure will be adopted with respect to all the sea-port Towns in America; so that no more of them will experience the fate of Boston, where many thousands, relying on the faith of an inhuman villain, have long been starving to death by inches under every circumstance of distress, and many more thousands have been cozened or plundered of their property — but vengeance will soon overtake the wretches who have been actors in this horrid tragedy.