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The Royal Savage,
Interesting Information Relating
to Her Building and History.


Interesting Information Relating to
Her Building and History.

    At the time that divers were engaged in securing relics from the wreck of the Royal Savage, a few weeks since, several of our exchanges stated that that vessel was built by the British government for Gen. Arnold. Capt. George Rushlow has written the following article to the Burlington Free Press, which will be found of interest and well worthy of preservation as a matter of history:
    During the summer of 1776 the English were busily engaged in preparing a fleet for the lake service. Seamen, ship carpenters and laborers were collected at St. Johns in numbers. The vessels built in England were taken to pieces, carried over the rapids of the Richelieu and reconstructed. Several other vessels were brought up from the St. Lawrence and a great number of transports were framed and launched at St. Johns.
    When complete the fleet was composed of the following named vessels, under command of Capt. Pringle of the royal navy, and manned by 697 seamen, drafted from the Isis and the other ships of war lying at Quebec and sent forward to Lake Champlain: Ship Inflexible, Lieut. Schank, of eighteen guns; the schooner Maria, Lieut. Stark, fourteen guns; schooner Carleton, Lieut. Dacres, twelve guns; radeau Thunderer, Lieut. Scott, twelve guns and two howitzers; the gondola Loyal Convert, Lieut. Longcraft, seven guns; twenty gunboats mounting one gun each, and four long boats mounting one carriage gun each. The Inflexible, Maria and Carleton were brought from England and reconstructed at St. Johns.
    While the English were thus engaged, the Americans were actively employed at the other extremity of the lake to repel the threatened invasion. The superintendency of the construction of the fleet was confided to Gen. Arnold. By the middle of August Arnold was prepared to take the lake with a naval force carrying fifty-five guns and seventy-eight swivels and manned by three hundred and ninety-five men. His fleet consisted of the sloop Enterprise, Capt. Dickson; the schooner Royal Savage, Capt. Wynkoop; schooner Revenge, Capt. Seaman; schooner Liberty, Capt. Premier, and the gondolas, New Haven, Providence, Boston, Spitfire and Philadelphia. The Enterprise had been captured by Arnold at St. Johns, the Liberty by Herreck at Skenesborough. The other vessels were built at Skenesborough and fitted out at Ticonderoga and Crown Point.
    The naval engagement was fought at Valcour, Oct. 11, 1777. The Royal Savage sustained the fire of the British vessels for sometime, and until her mast was crippled and much of her rigging shot away. She then attempted to return to the line, but running too far to the leeward, grounded near the southwest end of the island, and was abandoned by her crew, who succeeded in reaching the other boats in safety. At night the British boarded the schooner and set fire to her. Arnold's papers were on board of the schooner and were lost. For full account of the engagement and report, I would refer you to a pamphlet written by Judge P. S. Palmer of Plattsburgh, N. Y., on the one hundredth anniversary of the battle.


Unknown, "The Royal Savage, Interesting Information Relating to Her Building and History," Plattsburgh Sentinel, Plattsburgh, New York, Friday, 12 November, 1886, Page 6.

Created March 13, 2006; Revised March 13, 2006
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