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07-16-2017, 15:39
La Presse de I’île
Édition en Anglais
15 mars 1801

Houdart Captures Warships
March 10, 1801:
Savannes Bay, St. Lucia – Captain Houdart used intrigue to lure the American warship General Greene into a trap that netted not one, but three victims. Several months ago, Simian Wethersfield, a native waterman of Barbados, was paid to help entice members of the American squadron into a trap off the shores of St. Lucia. He began to give credible information to the harbor master in Bridgetown about shipping in the area. In time, his stories were taken and acted on at face value. He planted the bait that lured the USS United States and USS Congress into the trap.

Simian Wethersfield reported that he found himself in Savannes Bay a few days earlier and that there was a large ship anchored there making some extensive repairs. He described the ship to the harbormaster to make it sound like the Frenchman privateer, Aquilon. Wethersfield let it be known that the privateer would be an easy target.

The second step was taken by Captain Houdart himself. Houdart, born and raised in Quebec, Canada, passed himself off as one William Hampton, a minor diplomat. He presented papers and conducted discussions with the leaders on the British controlled island of Barbados. After completing his discussions, Houdart presented his credentials to Commodore Hull along with a request from John Marshall, the United States Secretary of State, requiring passage to Havana, Cuba.

As the ship bearing Captain Houdart left Barbados, he presented the captain of the General Greene with fraudulent orders from the President of the United States. These orders required Houdart to be delivered to Savannes Bay to rendezvous with a French warship so that peace negotiations could begin. The captain was sworn to secrecy and told that these talks would be kept secret. The captain complied with the order.

Upon arrival, Houdart continued to play his part. That night he took control of the American ship, locked the crew in the hold and secured the officers aboard the French ship, Aquilon. Sibylle arrived on the scene the following morning to wait for any American ships searching for the privateer.

Upon the second day, the USS United States and the USS Congress arrived and a battle ensued resulting in the capture of the United States and the sinking of the Congress.

07-18-2017, 15:06
Hoodwinking His Britannic Majesty's Governor of Barbados will not be taken lightly.
A memorandum setting out the actual facts of the incident has been sent to the President of the United States of America repudiating any collusion between the British Crown and the French in this deplorable incident.
The Admiralty has suggested talks with the American Ambassador at his earliest convenience with the aim of mounting a combined punitive expedition to root out this nest of vipers, before they commit any further despicable acts of this nature.