The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: June 15

WILLIAMSBURG, June 15, 1776.
We learn from Gloucester, that Lord Dunmore has erected hospitals upon Gwyn's island; that his old friend Andrew Sprowle is dead, and that they are inoculating the blacks for the smallpox. His Lordship, before the departure of the fleet from Norfolk harbour, had two of those wretches inoculated and sent ashore, in order to spread the infection, but it was happily prevented.

Virginia Gazette (Dixon & Hunter) June 15, 1776

About this entry:

Andrew Sproule, aged 62, owned the largest naval and maritime shipyard in the colonies at Gosport (on the Elizabeth River near Portsmouth). After Sprowle's departure with Lord Dunmore, his shipyard became the base for the Virginia Navy and later the U.S. Navy. During the Civil War it was used by the Confederacy to refurbish the USS Merrimac to create the CSS Virginia, the ironclad that would fight the USS Monitor. Gosport was annexed as part of Portsmouth, and today the shipyard is known as the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

Sources: Wrike; Hagemann

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