1783 NYC Cmd. Affleck provisioning ship for Loyalists to Canada (War of Ind.)

$750.00 CAD

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June 30 1783 from British Commodore Affleck "in the North River of New York". He is ordering a survey of the cheese on the ship Abondance, which is reported by Lt Philips to be rotten. The Abondance has gone on to be famous in Canada as one of the ships bringing Loyalists to Nova Scotia that summer. Of even more interesting note, it also carried a large contingent of Black Americans, and these along with the ship & Captain are listed in the famous Book of Ne****s.

Lieutenant Nathaniel Philips commanding His Majesty’s arm’d transport L’Abondance having represented to me by letter of this day’s post, that there is a large quantity of Cheese on board the said ship which is rotten, decayed and unfit for men to eat. Requesting me to order a survey on the same.
You are hereby required and directed forthwith to repair on board of this His Majesty’s arm’d transport L’Abondance & there to take a strict and careful survey on the cheese complained of, and if you find the same rotten and as represented you are to condemn it accordingly and see that it be thrown overboard. Reporting to me from under your hands your proceedings therein for which this shall be your order.
Given under my hand onboard of His Maj-y’s Ship Diomede in the North River of New York June 30th 1783
Edm: Affleck
To Masters of His Maj-y’s Ship Assurance Beaumont & Observer sloops
By Command of the Commodore   Cha Arnott


The Assurance was a 44-gun frigate under the command of James Cumming. The Beaumont was a 16-gun sloop, the Observer a 14-gun sloop.

Horizontal and vertical folds. Some tears along folds. Paper fold right side. Some pencil inscriptions.

13” x 8”


Sir Edmund Affleck, 1st Baronet (1725 – 1788) was a naval officer of considerable repute.

Affleck entered the navy at an early age, and during reign of George II, served in the several capacities of lieutenant, master and commander, and post captain. In 1778 was given command of the 74 gun HMS Bedford and he briefly joined Vice-Admiral John Byron in North America before having to return for repairs.

In 1781 he became a commodore and was briefly employed in New York, then being threatened by American rebels under George Washington. Surviving correspondence indicates Sir Edmund and General Washington to have been in contact regarding the treatment of prisoners of war. It was not, however, until the year 1782 had become — as it might be historically stated — a memorable epoch in the maritime annals of England, and that valour, ability, and boldness in battle, had retrieved for the nation its naval name, that opportunity had been afforded to Affleck to acquire celebrity and establish his professional fame.

… For the services rendered to his country in this glorious achievement, his sovereign conferred on him the dignity of baronet of Britain; and out of compliment to his gallantry and general conduct, the electors of Colchester returned him to represent that borough in parliament. In turn, he attained his flag rank (in 1784), but in the capacity of admiral..


Abondance was a French Baleine-class gabare (cargo ship) launched in 1780. The Royal Navy captured her on 11 December 1781 and took her into service as a troop transport and store ship under the name HMS Abondance.

The Royal Navy sent Abondance into Plymouth and then took her into service, rating her as a 28-gun sixth rate. Lieutenant N. Phillips commissioned her in April 1783 and on 23 May sailed for North America. She made several trips carrying black loyalists to Halifax, among them the fiery Methodist preacher Moses Wilkinson. In November, she evacuated the last group, some 80 members of the Black Brigade, a unit of black loyalists, from New York.


Many Loyalists came to Canada by ship, especially those who settled in the Maritime provinces and, to a lesser extent, in Quebec. In this section we are developing a list of ships with some basic details about each voyage, along with secondary details including passenger lists etc.

On April 26, 1783, the first or 'spring' fleet set sail. It had on board no less than seven thousand persons, men, women, children, and servants. Half of these went to the mouth of the river St John, and about half to Port Roseway, at the south-west end of the Nova Scotian peninsula. All summer and autumn the ships kept plying to and fro.

In June, the 'summer fleet' brought about 2,500 colonists to St John River, Annapolis, Port Roseway, and Fort Cumberland. By August 23 John Parr, the governor of Nova Scotia, wrote that 'upward of 12,000 souls have already arrived from New York,' and that as many more were expected.

31st July 1783, L'Abondance bound for Port Roseway

August 1783 L’Abondance bound for Shelburne

30th November 1783 L’Abondance bound for Port Mattoon