Doug Gibson's article about the Endeavour (see Cook's Log vol. 1, no. 3 (1976) pages 18-20) explained how she was renamed La Liberte and ended her days at Newport, Rhode Island, USA. An article in the journal of the Newport Historical Society gives more details.
According to a letter written by John Deering in the 1890s about the Endeavour "In 1791-1793 was chased by a British frigate into Newport Harbour."
And a letter by Robert Stevens in 1828 says the ship "came to my wharf September 2, 1793 and lay there until the 30th May 1794, when she attempted to move to Mr Gibbs' lower wharf where she was grounded."
Apparently La Liberte was given a thorough examination, was found to be rotten and unseaworthy, and was condemned. She began to disintegrate, and was eventually sold for the benefit of the underwriters. Some parts were removed and incorporated into two other ships, the Wareham and the Concord.
At first the ship's destruction was limited to that made by thoughtless children in the neighbourhood and the petty theft of indifferent adults. But it was not long before she gained the attention of souvenir hunters. Canes, boxes and other curiosities were made from her wooden hull, and sent to friends throughout the United States.
Large parts of the ship found their way into various places within Newport. Mr Joshua Sayers had for a number of years the sternpost displayed in front of his home. It now resides in the Newport Historical Society's marine museum. The label attached to it states that the ship was broken up in 1796.
A small sliver of wood from the Endeavour accompanied the US astronauts during the Apollo 15 flight to the moon 26 July - 7 August 1971, and is now also in the Newport museum (see page 15).
Does anyone know the whereabouts of other relics?
From information supplied by Ian Woolford
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 491, volume 10, number 1 (1987).
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