Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The odd career of HM Schooner St John

While working on my Raid on Nassau campaign, the only British Naval vessel present at Nassau was the schooner St John. Under its commander Lieutenant William Grant, it managed to take off over 100 barrels of gunpowder safely to St Augustine in British Florida. In trying to find out more information on this ship, I started to Google it and found out that I had already written a scenario featuring this ship off the coast of Georgia in 1775. July 10th, 1775, the St John was waiting for a consignment of gun powder (I sense a theme here) due to arrive to Georgia. Waiting off of Tybee Island, the St John was trying to find the merchant vessel Phillipa. Instead, the Phillipa was intercepted by the South Carolina Navy and Georgia continentals.

The next appearance I found for her was in Rhode Island where she was fired upon by rebels who had taken For George near Newport. In 1764, the St John was suspected of having stolen a local merchant's goods. The locals were incensed by the passage of the Sugar tax earlier that year. The guns on Fort George fired on the St John who was able to slip away.

Then I came across an electronic copy of Naval Documents of the American Revolution, Volume 5, Part 5. It has the St John anchored in the St Mary's river in June through July of 1776. The St Mary's is on the border of Georgia and Florida giving the border its odd shape in the northeastern corner of Florida. Before that, in May 21st, 1776 she took on a detachment of the 16th Regiment of Foot in St Augustine. Apparently it was a company under a Captain Graham. The

According to Wikipedia, the St John was condemned in 1777. Altogether it was an interesting career that I hope to shed more light on by reviewing other volumes of the Naval Documents of the American Revolution.

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