The British attack on Sandy Bay

Stories From Ipswich and the North Shore

On the wall of a building at Bearskin Neck in Rockport, MA is the sign shown below.

old_stone_fort

Rockport experienced one of the oddest invasions in U.S. history during the War of 1812 when British sailors faced the town’s stubborn and fearless residents. I don’t know if the people of Rockport actually fought the British with stockings and rocks, but it’s a good tale, and the real story is just as strange.

The Invasion of Sandy Bay chronicles the events that happened on the night when the British Marines capture the fort and takes nine of the town’s militiamen as prisoners, as seen from the eyes of a 12-year-old boy.

From the History of Town and City of Gloucester, Cape Ann, Massachusetts, by James R. Pringle, published 1892:

“On the 8th of September of that year (1814) the British frigate Nymph, took one of the fishing boats belonging to Sandy Bay. Coming to anchor…

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