Mosquito Fleet = Scoundrels

10 Jul
Mosquito Fleet, Galveston, Texas.

Mosquito Fleet  (Photo credit: SMU Central University Libraries)


When the American Revolutionary War began in 1775, parts of Nova Scotia had been settled by people brought from the colonial states to replace the Acadians. There was a great deal of sympathy for the American cause and an organization was set up to support it.

A delegation to the Congress at Philadelphia gave the names of 600 people who were ready to join the rebellion, and Nova Scotians even attacked Cumberland.  They were easily defeated, however, and the uprising in the Maritime never became serious.

One of the rebel leaders in Nova Scotia gave the Americans advice on how to win the Maritimes, urging them to equip small ships that could run up the tidal waters of Nova Scotia and attack the settlements inland.  This was done very successfully.  The American raiders sailed close to shore, where heavier British warships could not catch them, and a great many communities were raided and plundered.

Eventually, however, the operation backfired.  Many of the American ships in the “mosquito fleet” were little better than pirates, and Nova Scotia soon turned against them. The leading citizens of the fishing village of Lockeport sent a protest to Massachusetts saying, “the scoundrels took 19 quintals of codfish, 4 barrels of salt, 3 salmon nets, 60 pounds of butter, 1 green hide, 5 dressed skins, some cheese and other things … These things are very surprising in that we in this harbour have done so much for America, that we have helped three or four hundred prisoners to go along to America and have given part of our living to them.  If this is the way we are to be repaid we desire to see no more of you without you come in another manner”

Quintal: The quintal or centner, from Latin centenarius (“hundredlike”), is a historical unit of mass in many countries which is usually defined as 100 base units of either pounds or kilograms. – Wikipedia

They came back in the same way.  However, this time, as most of the menfolk were away, the women and children, living up on a bluff, wore red coats and carried broomsticks which looked like guns.  One woman marched up and down with a drum.  The raiders thought they were soldiers and departed.

The Government of Nova Scotia organized a tiny navy to oppose the rebels.  Rebel strength was further depleted by battles, such as the one on July 10, 1780, between rival members of the “mosquito fleet.”


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11 responses to “Mosquito Fleet = Scoundrels

  1. michaelmulholland

    July 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Yup, the white man!

    • tkmorin

      July 10, 2013 at 9:44 pm


      • michaelmulholland

        July 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm


      • michaelmulholland

        July 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm

        And coming from a Scottish Irish Eastern Band Tsalagi Indian…

      • michaelmulholland

        July 10, 2013 at 10:29 pm

        Tsalagi is Cherokee, my family, ancestors, are on the 1790 Cherokee Registrar Cherokee North Carolina…

  2. weggieboy

    July 10, 2013 at 10:25 am

    We Americans were bastards from a long time back. Oops! The same mentality exists today, unfortunately, as trillions of dollars and thousands of lives wasted in pointless wars of late shows. Sometimes I think the whole country needs a big time out, but it might take a world of countries to accomplish it. World peace through making Americans behave in their corner. Now there’s an idea!

    • tkmorin

      July 10, 2013 at 11:34 am

      In our lifetime?? 🙂

    • History of Capitalism

      July 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Hmmm, sounds like what we need some “International” band of oppressed peoples trying to make a better world. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to start one of those before?

  3. seeker

    July 10, 2013 at 9:27 am

    That was very smart of the women and children to defeat the mosquitoes. Squash them like a dune bug. Have a good day, Tk. 😛

    • tkmorin

      July 10, 2013 at 11:31 am

      Well, they kind of deserved to be duped, I think. 🙂


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