From: DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL FIGHTING SHIPS, Vol. III, p. 275.
A former name retained.
Hawke, or Hawk, was a small coastal sloop obtained by Major Silas Talbot of the Continental Army in October 1778 for use in his daring capture of British 8 gun schooner Pigot in Narragansett Bay. The British ship effectively blockaded the town of Providence, and Talbot equipped his small ship with 2 guns and 60 soldiers to board her. On the night of 28 October, Talbot slipped silently past British batteries and stood for Pigot. He managed to entangle his jib boom in his adversa ry's rigging, and opened fire. Although the British captain put up a courageous resistance, Talbot's soldiers quickly overran the ship and sailed her into Stonington, Conn. Not a man was lost on either side.
Silas Talbot gained great fame for this exploit, and later became a Captain in the Continental Navy and in the U.S. Navy after the Revolution.