's information regarding the naval force available to the French in the West Indies,
as well as the ships and troops convoyed by Guichen to Martinique, is substantially
correct. With the exception of the ships of the line Hannibal, Diadem, Dauphin Royal, Reflechi, Conquerant, Jason
, and Julien
and the frigate Charmante
, all of the vessels named participated in the battle against Rodney's fleet off Martinique
on 17 April. The four ships of the line under La Motte-Piquet that were not available
for the battle had left Martinique before Guichen's arrival to escort to St. Domingo
merchant ships returning to France. The absence of La Motte-Piquet and his ships on
the 17th may have denied Guichen a decisive victory, for their presence would have
given Guichen a margin of 26 ships of the line to 20 for Rodney (W. M. James, British Navy in Adversity
, London, 1926, p. 441–442; Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence
, p. 187–188).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2016.