It wiped out many British ships and killed 4,000 people.
The Newfoundland Hurricane of 1775, also known as the Independence Hurricane, was a hurricane that hit the Colony of Newfoundland in September 1775. It is believed to have killed at least 4,000 people, making it one of the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes of all time.
The September 9, 1775 edition of The Virginia Gazette reported: “The shocking accounts of damage done by the rains last week are numerous: Most of the mill-dams are broke, the corn laid almost level with the ground, and fodder destroyed; many ships and other vessels drove ashore and damaged, at Norfolk, Hampton, and York. In the heavy storm of wind and rain, which came on last Saturday, and continued most part of the night, the Mercury man of war as drove from her station abreast of the town of Norfolk, and stuck flat aground in shoal water.”
A total of 4,000 sailors, mostly from England and Ireland, were reported to have been drowned. A localized storm surge is reported to have reached heights of between 20 and 30 feet. Losses from the hurricane include two armed schooners of the Royal Navy, which were on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland to enforce Britain’s fishing rights.