The New Brig was built in 1788, mainly owing to the efforts of Provost Ballantyne.
With the help of a strong detachment of officers and men from the Atlantic coast he equipped a squadron consisting of one brig, six fine schooners and one sloop. Other vessels were laid down at Presque Isle (now Erie), where he concentrated the Lake Erie fleet in July.
Among the most notable was the loss in 1842 of the British brig " Ann," with fifty-seven persons on board, of whom forty-three were executed at Taichu.
They were divided into: prames, ship-rigged, of 35 metres long and 8 wide, carrying 12 guns; chaloupes cannonieres, of 24 metres long and 5 wide, carrying 5 guns and brig-rigged; bateaux cannoniers, of 19 metres long by 1.56 wide, carrying 2 guns and mere boats.
Captain Bettesworth who commanded the brig hurried home, and the information he brought was at once acted on by Lord Barham, the First Lord of the Admiralty, who took measures to station a force to intercept Villeneuve outside Ferrol.