Invasion of Curaçao (1800)

Invasion of Curaçao
Part of French Revolutionary Wars and the Quasi-War
Date22 July - 25 September 1800
Location
Curaçao, territory of
the Batavian Republic
Result

Allied victory

  • Withdrawal of French forces
  • British occupation of Curaçao
Belligerents
 Batavian Republic
 United States
 Great Britain

 France

Commanders and leaders
Batavian Republic Johan Lausser
United States Moses Brown
United States Henry Geddes
Kingdom of Great Britain Frederick Watkins
French First Republic Unknown
Strength
United States American:
2 ship-sloops
U.S. Navy
U.S. Marines
1 gun battery
Kingdom of Great Britain British:
1 frigate
Royal Navy
Royal Marines
2 brig-sloops
3 schooners
11 additional vessels,
16 in total
At least 1,400 troops, sailors and militia
Casualties and losses
American:
2 wounded
British:
None
150 killed or wounded[1]
Unknown number of
ships damaged

The Invasion of Curaçao in 1800 during the French Revolutionary Wars was launched by French forces against the Batavian Republic. The French had landed on the island on 22 July, and on 5 September attacked and captured a fort protecting the town of Willemstad, Curaçao. The American consul sent for help, and on 10 September the Dutch governor of the island surrendered to a British frigate, HMS Nereide, who promised to protect the town but did little to help. On 22 September the American sloops USS Patapsco and USS Merrimack arrived, and on 23 September the Patapsco sailed into the harbor and landed troops to reinforce the garrison protecting the town. On 23 September and 24 September the French fired upon the defenders, consequently exchanging cannon and musket fire with them throughout the day and night. Though it appeared a French assault was imminent, French forces left the island during the night. Significantly, the French suffered many killed or wounded in contrast to two American wounded. The British took control of the island, and American forces sailed away.

Background

The island of Curaçao was important to American merchants in the Caribbean, and ships had been stationed near there to guard American interests since the start of the Quasi-War. The sloop USS Patapsco was ordered to sail there in May 1800, and arrived in June and left soon afterwards. No American warships ships were stationed at Curaçao on 23 July when a French fleet arrived from Guadeloupe, consisting of 5 ships and 1,400 troops, sailors and Guadeloupean militia. The French forces landed and their commander demanded the surrender of the forts, which Governor Johan Lausser refused.[2][3]

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