Letters Of Commodore Hardy

Since the foregoing pages were printed, my friend Professor D. C. Gilman, has brought to my notice the original letters of Commodore Hardy, to the inhabitants of Stonington and to General Isham, which are now in the Library of Yale College. The first (of August 9th) was copied with sufficient accuracy in the account published by the magistrates, warden and burgesses (page 25), I reprint it here, but with a facsimile of the signature.

“His Britannic Majesty’s Ship”, PACTOLUS, “9th August, 1814. 1/2 past 5 o’clock, P. M.”

Not wishing to destroy the unoffending Inhabitants residing in the Town of Stonington, one hour is granted them from the receipt of this to remove out of the town.

[Illustration: (Hardy Signature)]

“To the Inhabitants of the Town of Stonington.”

The second, is in reply to the letter from the magistrates which was sent on board the “Ramillies”, by Col. Isaac Williams and Dr. William Lord, on Wednesday, the 10th. As “official etiquette” did net permit Col. Green to obtain “an exact copy,” he could only print its substance “as far as memory served” (see page 14). The magistrates allude to it, in their published account (p. 30), as “the singular communication received from Commodore Hardy, which preceded the fire on Thursday.” It is evident that the British commander was strangely in error as to the assurances and engagements which he professed to have received, or that the gentlemen entrusted with the delivery of the letter from the magistrates must, in their conference with the Commodore, have exceeded their instructions.

“Ramillies, off Stonington, 10th August, 1814.” GENTN

I have received your letter and representation of the State of your Town, and as you have declared that Torpedoes, never have been harbored by the Inhabitants or ever will be, as far as lies in their power to prevent–and as you have engaged that Mrs. Stewart the wife of the British vice consul late resident at New London, with her family, shall be permitted to embark on board this Ship to-morrow morning, I am induced to wave the attempt of the total destruction of your Town, which I feel confident can be effected by the Squadron under my Orders.

I am Gentn Your most obedient servant, T. M. HARDY, Captain.

“To Doctor” LAW [“Lord”] “and Colonel” Williams, “Stonington”.

In reprinting the response of the civil authorities of Stonington, to the foregoing letter, on page 17, “ante”, an error in the date should have been corrected. It was written and despatched on the “eleventh” of August.

The following note acknowledges the explanation sent by General Isham, of the circumstances under which a flag of truce from the “Ramillies”, was fired upon by a sentinel at the Battery, on the morning of the 11th (see pages 16, 17, and note 10).

“Ramillies, off Stonington”, “11th August, 1814.”


I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, apologizing for the Flag of Truce I sent on shore this morning, having been fired at; and I beg to assure you that under the Circumstances you have stated, the apology is perfectly satisfactory.

I have the honor to be, Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant, T. M. HARDY, Captain.

“To Brigadier” ISHAM–“Commanding at Stonington”.

Trumbull, J. Hammond. The Defence of Stonington (Connecticut) Against a British Squadron, August 9th to 12th, 1814. Hartford. 1864.

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