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appears, that during the year 1825, there has been an expenditure at the national armory at Springfield, Massachusetts, of $179,983,03; and there have been manufactured there 15,000 muskets, 15000 screw-drivers, 15,000 wipers, 1,500 ball-screws, 1,500 spring vices, and 437 arm-cbests. At Harper's Ferry, Virginia, the expenditure has been $190,790,04; and there have been manufactured 14,000 muskets, 26,926 screw-drivers, 11,000 wipers, 5,000 ballscrews, and 848 arm chests.
ib. French Voyage of Discovery.—The Paris Academy of Sciences at a late sitting, received a letter from the minister of marine, announcing that the corvette L'Astrolabe, Captain Dumont de Durville, was about to sail on a voyage of discovery, and requesting the Academy to appoint a commission to prepare such instructions as might be judged expedient. The object of this expedition is to explore certain parts of the globe, which are not yet sufficiently well known; and particularly the coasts of New Guinea, and those of New Zealand. A commission, consisting of Messrs. Cuvier, Arago, Delaplace, Desfontaines, Dulong, and Aubrone de Rossel, was appointed in consequence.
MILITIA RETURNS. The Secretary of War made the following return to Congress as
the military strength of the United States. Maine,
38,221 New Hampshire,
25,581 Rhode Island, (1)
22,741 New York,
151,146 New Jersey,
158,512 Delaware, (2)
7,451 Maryland, (3)
32, 189 Virginia,
99,628 North Carolina,
62,736 South Carolina,
29,651 Alabama, (4)
6,432 Mississippi, (5)
2,291 Tennessee, (6)
68,518 Ohio, (7)
99,865 Indiana, (8)
8,310 Missouri, (9)
1,503 Arkansas, (10)
2,028 District of Columbia, (12) 1824
2,600 Florida, (11)
1,065,083 (1) No return from 4th brigade. (2) No return since 1814. (3) No return since 1811. (4) No return from 16 regiments-estimated at 20,000 men. (5) No return since 1812. (6) No return from several brigades. (7) No return from 3d brigade, 10th district. (8) Adjutant General reports 10,000 not included in the number. (9) Adjutant General reports the number to amount to 10,000. (10) No returns from 5th and 9th regiments. 1st regiment imperfect
2d only two companies returned.
The number of civil actions entered at the last Court of Common Pleas was 424; number of criminal do. 7.
Henry L. Reed, merchant of Boston, and Miss Charlotte Stickney.
Mr. James P. Bullard, of Holden, and Miss Anna Smith.
Mrs. Elmira Stockwell-25.
in Spencer, October 20, 1773.
Smith, wife of Capt. D. Smith. Mr. David Smith, Jr. son of Capt. D.
Goulding, wife of Jason Goulding. Mrs.
PAPERS READ BEFORE THE WORCESTER COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
A NARRATIVE OF THE ATTEMPT TO BURN THE BRITISH FRIG
ATES IN NORTH RIVER, JULY, 1776. It is related by Marshall, in his life of Washington, that in July, 1776, while the American army yet had possession of New York, Lord Howe, who had but recently arrived before that city with his fleet, sent up two frigates by the American batteries, which took their station in North river, and thereby put a stop to the communication between the armies at New York and at Ticonderoga. And that, to remove this interruption, a plan was formed, to set the frigates on fire, by the means of fire ships, which though address and courage were manifested in the enterprise, failed in the execution, and only a tender was burnt.
We have alluded to this event, in order to do justice to the character of some of the men who risked their lives in the hazardous attempt to destroy these frigates, in the manner already described. One of them is yet living in our neighborhood, from whom we have learned the circumstances attending the transaction, and though we are willing to make all suitable allowance for the coloring which an actor in such a scene would be apt to give its description, yet we believe it to be substantially correct, as we find it corroborated by history, and other testimony of living witnesses. The individual to whom we allude is Mr. Joseph Bass, of Leicester, whose narrative we will endeavor to give, as repeated by himself; though now a humble individual in society, we have incontestible proof that he was a brave soldier in the war of our Independence.
He was, at this time, attached to the 66 water service," under the command of Commodore Tupper, who was directed to prepare and send up two fire ships to the British Frigates. The Commodore selected Bass to take charge of one, and put the other under the command of Capt. Thomas, who belonged to New London. The vessel commanded by Bass was a sloop, called the Polly, of about one hundred tons burden, nearly new. That commanded by Thomas, was of a smaller size. The frigates lay about eight miles above Kingsbridge, but having had intimations that they might be attacked, removed their station towards the western shore of the river, where the shore was bolder, and the water deeper than on the east side.
The vessels intended for fire ships were prepared at New York, and moved up the river on the day before the intended attack, to a creek, near Kingsbridge, which comes in from the east, called Spiking Devil creek.
The vessels had been prepared with faggots of very combustible wood, which had been dipped in melted pitch, and bundles of straw cut about a foot long prepared in the same way. These faggots and bundles filled the deck, and communicated with a trough of fine gunpowder which extended along under the deck, from the hold into the cabin, and into this was inserted a match, that might be fired by a person in the cabin, who would have time to escape through a door cut in the side of the vessel into a whale boat that was lashed to the quarter” of the sloop. Besides these combustibles, there were in each vessel 10 or 12 barrels of pitch, and a very great number of yards of canvass, cut in strips about a foot in width, covering the yards and rigging, and extending down to the deck, all of which had been dipped in the spirits of turpentine. Every thing had been so prepared that a moment was sufficient time to put the whole into a full blaze.
The fire ships started from the creek about dark, with a south wind, and a favorable tide. The night was cloudy and dark, with occasionally a little rain. Bass had nine men attached to his vessel, three of whom he stationed in the whale boat, one acted as pilot, while he stationed himself with a match in the cabin to fire the materials.
Besides the two British frigates, there were a bomb ketch and two tenders in .company, and moored near them. They were an. chored in a line about north and south; first the Phenix of 44 guns ; next the Rose of 36 guns ; then the bomb ketch, and above that, lay the tenders. As the night was dark, and the fire ships kept near the middle of the river, they were not aware that they were near the British vessels, until they heard, immediately on their left, the bells of the vessels, and the cry of the sentinels of “ all's well" from their several decks. It was twelve o'clock, and little did those who were slumbering there imagine the destruction that hung
ver them. The shore was bold, and rose above the masts, so that the Americans did not perceive till that sound, how near they had approached, nor could they distinguish the situation of the vessels enough to ascertain their size, or which of them were the frigates.
Bass was a considerable distance in advance of Thomas, and upon hearing the cry of the sentinels, immediately bore down upon the line of the British fleet. He was already very near the bomb ketch before he was discovered by the enemy, who immediately began a severe cannonade upon bis vessel, which damaged her rigging and mast, and some of the shot entered the hull. But he was now under so rapid a “headway” that he had no opportunity, even if he had been inclined, to have retreated. As soon as he saw himself near enough to the vessel towards which he was steering, to be sure that she could not escape, he gave orders for his men to take to the boat, and touching the match, he leaped into the whale boat and “cast off” from his ship. Her direction had been too sure: The grappling irons upon the bowsprit, yards, &c. became interlocked with the rigging of the bomb ketch, and they were both almost immediately in a blaze. The panic struck crew of the ketch were seen pouring from the quarters of that ship in the ute most agony of consternation. The fire of the burning vessels lighted up the surrounding scenery with a horrid glare of splendor. The first one that reached the deck of the ketch from the cabin, was her commander, who was struck dead by a falling spar. H was followed by two women, and one or more children, whose cries were heard amidst the din of battle that now raged, and the imprecations of the crew, many of whom threw themselves overboard and perished, while those who remained on board, retreated to the point most distant from the flames, but soon sunk down into them, suffocated, bewildered, and exhausted. Capt. Thomas had not been so fortunate, he was so far in the rear that the light of the fames from Bassos ship showed his position to the enemy, and par. tially prepared them to meet his attack. Not, however, daunted by being discovered, he immediately bore down upon the Phenix, and became grappled with her. He then applied his match to his combustibles, but in such a way that he became entangled in his own fire, and was obliged to leap overboard to escape from the flames, but not being able to reach the boat, he perished in the riv. er.
He also lost five men, while Bass escaped without the loss of ope. Although on fire in several places, the Phenix escaped from destruction, by cutting her rigging ard slipping her cables, with the loss of but few lives. Of the crew of the ketch, few escaped. Nearly seventy men, besides some women and children, were the victims of this merciless attack. We can scarcely conceive a scene more terrible than the one we have attempted to describe, or one