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ips bound for New York.
The fleet of Lord Howe was imperfectly manned, but his fame attracted from merchant vessels and transports a full complement of volunteers.
The French fleet would nevertheless have gone up the bay and offered battle, could pilots have been found to take its largest ships through the channel.
Since New York could not be reached, d'estaing, ignorant of — the secret policy of France and Spain,
Chap. V.} 1778. indulged the dream of capturing the British towns in Newfoundland and annexing that island to the American republic as a fourteenth state with representation in congress.
Extract of a letter of the Count d'estaing to Gerard de Rayneval, in Gerard de Rayneval to the Count de Vergennes, 15 July, 1778. Washington proposed to employ the temporary superiority at sea in the capture of Rhode Island and its garrison of six thousand men. He had in advance summoned Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island to send quotas of their militia for the expedition.