Battle between the warships Quebec and Surveillante
Coloured engraving, by Balthasar Friedrich Leizelt, after Richard Paton, published 1780
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris

In a dramatic turn of events during the American Revolutionary War, the French frigate Surveillante, under Captain Couëdic de Kergoaler, clashed with the British HMS Quebec on the 6th of October 1779. The brutal fight, lasting over three hours, left both ships heavily damaged and dismasted. Though outgunned, Captain Farmer of the Quebec bravely fought back. However, tragedy struck when the Quebec's own sails, caught in the crossfire, ignited and caused a catastrophic explosion. The ship was destroyed, taking Captain Farmer and most of his crew down with it. The battered Surveillante, though salvageable, suffered heavy casualties as well. This fierce encounter, though a French victory, became a testament to the courage displayed by both sides.






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