- "It is hot here. My Lieutenant is not excited for the cold of the North."
- ―A crew member of La Belladonna on le Moyne, 1776.[src]
In 1776, the Kingdoms of France and Spain began secretly supporting George Washington and the American revolutionaries by supplying them with weaponry through the false business Roderigue Hortalez and Company. Among the first ships to carry aid to the Continental Army was La Belladonna, captained by le Moyne and repainted to appear Spanish, thus keeping its nature and destination a secret.
The gunpowder and firearms aboard the ship were deemed valuable enough to warrant an escort by the Continental Congress' ship, the USS Randolph. According to le Moyne's log, after two weeks at sea, the Randolph disappeared one morning and never returned. When the Aquila, captained by the Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton, came to La Belladonna's aid, le Moyne sent one of his men aboard the ship to ensure that they were not abandoned once more. Together, the Aquila and Belladonna held off several waves of British ships. Eventually, La Belladonna was incapacitated by a Man O' War.
As he and the crew of the Aquila boarded the Man O' War, Ratonhnhaké:ton learned that the captain of the Randolph, Nicholas Biddle, had sent for the British ships to attack La Belladonna. Although the Assassin was given an opportunity to chase Biddle, he decided instead to protect the damaged Belladonna from further harm.