Guide to Mrs. Mary Almy's account of the cannonading of the French Fleet in Newport 1778, 1878

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1 Page 1 of 7 Guide to Mrs. Mary Almy's account of the cannonading of the French Fleet in Newport 1778, Bellevue Avenue Newport, RI Tel: (401) Fax: (401) Published in 2015

2 Page 2 of 7 Collection overview Title: Mrs. Mary Almy's account of the cannonading of the French Fleet in Newport Date range: 1778, 1878 Creator: Almy, Mary, Extent: Abstract: Language of materials: Repository: Collection number: 0.2 linear feet (2 folders) Account of the cannonading of the French Fleet in Newport, Rhode Island, while the city was occupied by the British Army written by Mary Almy ( ), a Loyalist, to her husband, Benjamin Almy ( ). English RLC.Ms.032 Scope & content This collection consists of a journal with Mrs. Mary Almy's account of the presence of the French fleet in Newport, led by Count d'estaing ( ), while it was in the possession of the British Army during the American Revolutionary War ( ). The city was occupied by the British Army from fall 1776 until October This journal is comprised of twenty eight letters addressed to her husband, Benjamin Almy, detailing the siege commenced by the French fleet to remove the British from Newport. This siege resulted in the Battle of Rhode Island on August 29, Inscribed on the verso of last page is this note to Almy's daughter, "Sukey [Susannah] for your life, take care of this and let no eyes peruse it but your and Mrs. Carr [Mrs. Almy's sister]." Also found in this collection is a handwritten transcription prepared by Almy's grandson, Conrad C. Ellery ( ), in 1878 along with a letter to the Redwood Library detailing the custodial history of the journal.

3 Page 3 of 7 Arrangement This collection is arranged in chronological order. Biographical note Mary (Gould) Almy ( ) was born on December 16, 1735, to James ( ) and Mary (Rathbun) Gould ( ) of Newport, Rhode Island. She, a Quaker, married Captain Benjamin Almy ( ), an Anglican, on October 22, 1762, at Trinity Church and they had the following eight children: Benjamin ( ), Susannah Lightbourn ( ), Samuel ( ), Walter ( ), Anstice Ellery Johnson ( ), Katherine Ellery ( ), James Gould ( ), and William Barnett ( ). Not only did Mary Almy differ with her husband on religion, but when sides were chosen over the issue of American independence from Great Britain, Mary remained loyal to the crown and her husband supported the Revolution. Benjamin Almy volunteered in General John Sullivan's ( ) Army and was away from home during the Battle of Rhode Island (1778). During this time, Mrs. Almy wrote a series of letters to her husband detailing the siege of Newport throughout August During and after the war, Mrs. Almy was well known as the landlady of a prominent boarding house on Thames Street in Newport where George Washington was once their guest. This boarding house was confiscated from its Loyalist owner, Jahleel Brenton ( ) sometime in 1775 and the Almy family immediately acquired and occupied the home. Mary Almy died on April 23, 1808, in Newport and is buried in the Common Burial Ground. Access & use Access to the collection: Use of materials: Access is open to members and researchers at the. This collection is owned by the Redwood Library and Athenaeum. Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the Special Collections Librarian of the.

4 Page 4 of 7 Alternate form: Preferred citation: Mrs. Mary Almy's account is also available digitally at Internet Archive. Printed transcriptions of her letters can be found in the Rhode Island historical magazine and the Newport historical magazine. Mrs. Mary Almy's account of the cannonading of the French Fleet in Newport, RLC.Ms.032, Redwood Library and Athenaeum Contact information: Administrative information About the collection 50 Bellevue Avenue Newport, RI Tel: (401) Fax: (401) Aquisition: Gift of Conrad C. Ellery, 1878 Aug 17. Custodial history: Processing information: Mary Almy gave this journal to her eldest daughter, Susannah, after her marriage to Captain Benjamin Lightbourn in Following Susannah Lightbourn's death in 1825, the journal was passed onto Katherine Ellery, Mary Almy's youngest daughter. Conrad C. Ellery, grandson of Mary Almy, received the journal from his mother, Katherine. Prior to processing in 2013, this collection was classified as m952/al68. About the finding aid Author: Encoding: Finding aid prepared by Phoebe Bean, 2013 and Elizabeth Delmage, 2015 Jul This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit

5 Page 5 of 7 Descriptive rules: Additional information Related material: Bibliography: Finding aid based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) Mary Almy letters written during the siege of Newport in August 1778, Newport Historical Society. [The original letters sent to her husband, Captain Benjamin Almy.] Almy, Merwin F. and Thomas A. Almy. "William Almy and his descendants in America, 2001." AlmyBook.pdf. Evans, Elizabeth. Weathering the storm: women of the American Revolution. New York: Charles Scriber's Sons, Miller, Charles Kingsbury. Historic families of America: William Almy of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, 1630; Joris Jannsen de Rapalje of Fort Orange (Albany), New Amsterdam and Brooklyn. Chicago: Charles Kingsbury Miller, Search terms Names: Almy, Benjamin, Ellery, Conrad C. (Conrad Coakley), Subjects: American loyalists--rhode Island Children and war--rhode Island Civilians in war--rhode Island France. Marine. Rhode Island Newport (R.I.)--History--Revolution, Newport (R.I.)--History--Siege, 1778 Rhode Island, Battle of R.I., 1778 United States--History--Revolution, Participation, French United States--History--Revolution, Personal narratives Women and the war--rhode Island--1778

6 Page 6 of 7 Types of materials: Letters (correspondence) Journals

7 Page 7 of 7 Inventory

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