Enough Gunpowder to Start a Revolution
Hufford, Jon R.
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On June 27, 1775, Governor Sir James Wright, expecting interference with British shipping at the entrance to the Savannah River, wrote to Admiral Sir Thomas Graves, commander of British naval forces in North America, entreating him to send a sloop-of-war to defend the approaches to the river. His immediate concern was to assure the safe arrival of the merchant ship Phillipa, which had left London on the second of May with thirteen thousand pounds of gunpowder, small arms, and casks of musket balls, a cargo intended for the Indian trade and for British troops and loyalists in Georgia and eastern Florida, the Phillipa was due to arrive in Savannah shortly, so the tone of the governor's letter was urgent. It would have been frantic had the governor been able to foresee events of the next few weeks. The Phillipa's cargo, intercepted by rebels, was destined to play an important role in the initial campaigns of the American Revolution.