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Full text of "The prisoners of 1776; a relic of the revolution. Containing a full and particular account of the sufferings and privations of all the American prisoners captured on the high seas, and carried into Plymouth, England, during the revolution of 1776. Also, an account of the several cruises of the squadron under the command of Commodore John Paul Jones, prizes taken, etc., etc"

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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847, 


In tho Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts. 

• H^ 

Stereotyped and Printed 
By George C. Rand and Company, 
No. 3 Comhill, Boston. 




The Dolton sailed — Was taken— Breach of Honor— Disa- 
greeable Lodgings — Advantage of being Small — A Report — 
English Women — Royal Salute — Removed — A Prir.e 
brought in — Daily Allowance on board His Majesty's Ships 
— The Charming Sally — Orders. - - - - 17 


Disease and Vermin — Reports — Pressed Men — Removal to 
the Tarbay — Cold Berth — Sickness prevails — General Lee 
— A Friend — An *A.ct of Parliament — Removal for better — 
Better Quarters — Special Favors — Liberal Distribution — 
Great Contrast — A good Friend — Sickness increases. - 22 


Death of E. Hunt — Gets the privilege to Work — Good Pay — 
Act of Parliamont — Poetry — A Captain's Compliments — 
Wish granted — A Report — Paper — A Prize — Prayers on 
hoard — A Privilege — Reckoning — Critical Situation — 
Small-Pox — Visitors — Report from America — Small-Pox 
prevails — Captain Rowe — Ship Nancy taken — Terriblo 
Punishment — Carried to the Hospital — Treatment for Itch. 27 




Royal Hospital Buildings — An Adventure — Taken down with 
Small-Pox — Three Prisoners Escape — Re-taken — Severo 
Sickness — Second Death — Joseph Hatch — Recovery — 
Kind attention of the Nuraes — Samuel Shriggins, the third 
of the company, died — Attempt to Escape. 34 


Fourth Death — Captain Brown's Escape — His Men sent to 
Prison — Dischargo from the Hospital — Yellow Fever — 
Fifth Death — Cruelty to the Dead — Examination — Com- 
mitment to Prison — Prison Allowance — Hunger — Prison 
Employments — Charity Box — Hard Fare — Guard Alarmed 

— Friendly Visitors — A Mean Trick. 40 


More Prisoners — A Present — Visit from American Gontlemon 

— Black-Hole — Fleet of Transports for America — Prisoners 
Escape — Death — Prospect of War with France — First 
Breach in the Prison Wall — Fox Frigate taken by the Han- 
cock — A Newspaper — Number of Prisoners — Escape of 
thirty-two Prisoners — Bounty — Punishment — Cruelty to 
the Old — Captain Lee taken in the Fancy — Hear3 from 
Home — Bad News — False Reports — Daniel Cottlo died. 43 


Attempt to Escape discovered — Awful description of Suffering 

— Dreadful Starvation — Gloomy Prospects — Death of Gid- 
eon Warren — Detection — Close Examination — Commis- 
sioner — A Newspaper — Relief Prohibited — Attempt to 
Escape — Oath of Secrecy — Another Attempt to Es- 
cape — Captain Johnston and the Lexington — Sea Fight — 
The Press continued — Lovo of Liberty — Meeting after a 
long absence — A Privilege granted — Agent in a good humor 

— A Purchase — More Prisoners — Running the Gantlet. - 58 




More Prisoners —Hears from Home — Suspicion — A hot Press 

1500 Seamen wanted — News from America — Disagreeable 

Company — Destitution of the Prisoners — Digging and De- 
tection — A Pious Wish — Twenty Years of Ago — Mournful 
Reflections — Letter from Bilboa — Bad Bread — Unpleasant 
Reflections — King's Speech — Bold Project — Failure — 
Reports — Strictness of the Guard — Suspicion — Privation 
from the Gospel — Prisoners Threatened — Voluntary Sac- 
rifice — Good News reported — Detail of General Burgoyno's 
Defeat — Washington and Howe. - 


Christmas Pudding — Christmas Presents — Clothes Served 
— Happy New Year — Friends appear — Presents — Friends 
increase — Large Donutions reported — Donation from Brit- 
ish Recruiting Parties — Private Donations — Exhortations to 
a Civil, Sober Life — Large Distribution of Clothing— Royal 
Saluto — Regular Allowance from Donation Fund — Increas- 
ing Privilege. - - - - 82 


Price of Tobacco — Cleanliness — Not to be Discouraged — 
Blankets — Distribution — Letter from America — Officers 
Escape — Arrival of a Fleet — Paper — Dr. Franklin to the 
Council — State of Troops — Deserters Taken — Visit from 
the Governor and Lady — Removal of Officers — General 
wish for Peace — A Newspaper — Commissioners — Public 
Fast — Allowance Withdrawn — Liberality —Petition Refused 
•— A Newspaper — Reward of Bravery— Lights Continued. 




Awful Penalty for Desertion — Public Indignation — Remark- 
able Healtli of the Prisoners — Recruiting Party in Cornwall 

— Howe in Trouble — Two Fatlrcrs — Scarcity of Provisions 
in the West Indies — Black-hole — American Privateer — 
Hot Press — Detection — French Brig run down — Prisoners 
sell their Clothes to Gamble — "Preceptor" — Extreme 
Punishment — Sports — Examination — Use of Poverty — 
English Ambassador returns from France — Captain Board- 
man — Titcomb — Hope of Return — Commissioners to 
America — Newspapers. - - - 102 


Letter from Portsmouth — Debate in Parliament — Cost of the 
War — Petition for a Trial — Traitors Detected — Traitors 
Punished — Attempt to Escape — Sickness in Prison — Paul 
Jones at Whitehaven — Letter from Portsmouth — Death of 
John Foster — Prison Wrangle — Commissioners Sailed — 
Another Hole — It Founders — Joseph Kensington died — 
Sick Prisoners Neglected. - 113 


Froncli Privateer — French Fleet — Patience scarce — Escape — 
One Missing — Man with Red Hair — Blockade — Ball Play 

— Severity of the Guard — Admiral Biron's Fleet — Effects 
of Rum — A Widow — A Surprise — Press of Fishermen — 
Another Detection — Voluntary Suffering — Captain Pulford 

— Attempt to Escape — Taken — Cruel Treatment. - 122 


Doith of the Doctor — Sailing of Admiral Biron's Fleet — Rev. 
Mr. Heath — Cold reception of Proposition of Peace in Amer- 
ica — Effort to Escape — Gen. Burgoyne's Compliment to 
American Troops — French Frigate taken — Preparation for 
the Fourth of July — Amputation — Another Hole — John 
Dam — Allowance to French Prisoners — Admiral Kcppel'a 
Fleet sail — Boys attempt to Escape. - 131 



Bad Conduct in Prison — Digging out — Four Escape — Fire, 
and Officers Escape —Sad News from Portsmouth — Pay Day 
—Admiral Keppel returns — England's pride humbled — A cu- 
rious plan for Escape — Battle Report — Wounded in the Hos- 
pital — Effort to Escape by Swimming — Invitation to join 
the Fleet — Americans pressed to the Ships of War. - 145 


French Prisoners — Admiral Keppel sails — Another attempt to 
Escape — Admiral Biron's Fleet — A Gale — General Clin- 
ton's Retreat from Philadelphia — Fever and Ague prevails — 

Captain Burnell and Wife — Escape from Portsmouth 

French Privateer— Distribution of Clothing — Hot Press — 
Letter to Captain Lee — French Prisoners increase. - 157 


Rols' Escape — Very Sickly — Another Escape — Unfaithful 
Doctor — Frenchmen Escape and Return — Captain Ravel's 
Escape — Mr. Kirk's Escape — Prisoners join Men-of- War- 
Cartel — Letters from Portsmouth — The Man that was pun- 
ished unjustly, Rescued — Captain Lee's Escape —New Ar- 
rangement — Spotted Fever among the French — Second 
Draft for the Ships — The Albion taken by the French — Sab- 
bath Privileges lost. - - - - - 168 


Oil of Tar for Prison — Frenchmen Break Out — One Shot — 
Reduction of Donation — Two Americans in Irons — Various 
opinions about the Cartel — Several Holes in hand — Fearful 
Apprehensions — Dominica taken by the French and Ameri- 
cans — King's Troops on Martha's Vineyard — Drunken 
Prisoners delivered up — Forbearance of the Guard — Fire in 
the Black-hole — Four American Boys — Dolton as Fortune 
Privateer — Base Treachery — Plans Discovered — Mitchell 
the Villain — Letter of Thanks — Two Years from Home. 179 




Twenty-one — Fort on Drake's Island — Breach in Black-hole 
King's Speech — English Prisoners at Brest — Hyfield's Es- 
cape — Exposure of the Sick — John Lott died — Public 
Prayer — Captain Ross's Escape. - 198 


Cruel purposes of the Ministry — Petition for Pardon — Mr. 
Salter's Escape — Cruel Act renewed — Last of the Donation 

— Court Martial — General Elopoment — Discovered and car- 
ried back to Plymouth — A sorrowful New Year — Extreme 
Suffering — Good Friends — New Year's Gift — Large Fleets 

— Captain Boardman Escapes — Heavy Bounty for Prisoners - 200 


A Hurricane — Great Distress — Kills a Dog — Dog Divided — 
Cooked and eat — Rats Eat in Prison — Voluntary Surrender 

— Good News — Cartel Arrived — Pardon — Geat Joy — A 
Small Donation — Spanish Fleet — Another Pardon — A 
Wonder — Number of Prisoners left — Wait Impatiently — 
Another Hole in hand — Eleven Frenchmen Escape — Good 
News from Bilboa — Happy Event — Twenty-six Months a 
Prisoner — Penitent Sick Prisoners — King's Pardon. - 211 


John Foster, Elias Vickey, and Asa Witham died — Mr. Deal's 
Escape — Milford Transport — Keppel Acquitted — Bonfires 

— Escape — Cartol Arrives — Leaves the Prison — Bonner 
Darling died. - - -"- - --£20 


Journal Lost — Thirty enter with Jones — Joins the Alliance — 
Arrive at L' Orient with Prize — Second Cruise — Journal 
Lost — Extracts from Paul Jones' Life — At Dr. Franklin's 
House — Joins again the Alliance — Sails Home. - - 229 


In presenting the following pages to the reader, the 
publisher has no ambition to aspire to the character of 
an author, and what is perhaps more rare, he has no pri- 
vate interest to serve ; he does not seek to gratify the 
fastidious part of the community, who would have more 
respect for the dress, or appearance, than for the subject 
matter. He is perfectly aware that the Journal is not 
without some imperfections ; but it must be kept in mind 
that it was not written for the public, with an eye to 
publication, or to make a book — but simply as a mem- 
orandum of the events of each day. Yet when we take 
into consideration all the circumstances, it is little less 
than a miracle ; consider the author : a youth of scarce- 
ly nineteen summers — then the places where the records 
were made — the cable tier of a man-of-war, the gloomy 
recesses of a prison, or on board the battle ship, where 
three or four hundred men were crowded together for 
the purposes of strife and blood ; then take into consid- 
eration the prohibition of all materials for writing in 
prison, the vigilance of the guards, and the frequent 



search made among the prisoners, and it becomes a 
matter of surprise, not that it has some imperfections, 
but that it exists at all, and especially that it was never 
interrupted. For the long imprisonment of more than 
tivo years, it seems to have been providentially preserved, 
for the purposes of bringing to light the hidden things 
of darkness, that those who should come after may be 
admonished and instructed. 

The reader will find the Journal free from all appear- 
ance of design or effort ; it is perfectly natural ; what is 
seen or heard is recorded with hardly a note or com- 
ment, from first to last ; through their medium we are 
conducted through the hold of the prison-ship, and wit- 
ness the privations and sufferings of the hapless vic- 
tims ; the prison hospital is thrown open to our inspec- 
tion, nut as transient visitors, but as witnesses of the 
daily occurrences ; here we see justice and mercy 
meeting together; the walls, the bars, the guards, tell 
that here stern justice holds its victims, while the at- 
tendant physician, and gentle patience of the nurse, 
speak of Mercy's visits, and pity. Then the prison 
doors grate on their hinges, and we enter ; the vacant 
stare of the sons of Sorrow meet us, while their mea- 
ger forms, sallow countenances and ragged habiliments, 
speak of their privations and misery ; we seem to lis- 
ten to their tale of woe, and hear them tell of happy 
homes and kind friends in their native land ; we can 
almost taste their scanty and uninviting portions, 
and our sympathies become deeply interested, until 
we share in all their anxieties to obtain deliverance ; we 
are sometimes almost suffocated while following the 


diggers in their excavations, to force a subterranean 
passage to the light of day and air of freedom ; anon 
we are bounding over the fields as the minions of tyran- 
ny pursue us, until, weary and exhausted, Ave feel their 
ruthless hands upon us to drag us back to our gloomy 
habitations ; then we feel the cold chill run over us, as 
we look forward to forty days and nights in darkness 
and solitude in the " Black hole," on half the usual al- 
lowance of ordinary prisoners ; we become acquainted 
with the "Two Fathers," the messengers of Love and 
Pity — and while the donations continue we seem to 
enjoy a respite ; hope and fear alternately rise and sink, 
until the donation closes, and transient joy gives way 
to deeper gloom, until some of the less determined seek 
relief on board the enemy's ships of war, where they 
will be compelled to meet their friends and countrymen 
in the bloody strife — a destiny more horrible to the 
mind capable of reflection, than the protracted miseries 
of the prison cell. 

At length the star of hope rises, and the news of a 
cartel is received ; now it arrives, and we are straining 
our eyes through the dim light of the grated window 
to look on the ship, as she lays in the creek. Post 
after post is anxiously looked for until the agent musters 
his wretched charge and reads as follows : " His Maj- 
esty has been graciously pleased to pardon one hundred 
of you, in order to an exchange." The names of the 
hundred are read, while tears of joy point out the happy 
ones. Once more the prison doors give way — and 
with what rapture they hail the breath of freedom ! 

From the time that Mr. Herbert entered the service 


of the United States under the command of Commo- 
dore Jones, the entries in his journal are less frequent 
and less full ; still, if it had not been for the unfortunate 
loss of several pages of the Journal, it would have 
been sufficiently full, to have conducted the reader 
through their several cruizes, to their arrival home ; as 
it is, we have endeavored to fill up the vacuum by ex- 
tracts from the official reports of Commodore Paul Jones. 

It is believed that the reader will receive profit and 
pleasure from the numerous and various incidents here 
related, and from the information imparted on a variety 
of subjects, especially as it shows the views and feel- 
ings of the people of England on the subject of the 
war then raging between this and the mother country ; 
and that the strong sympathy manifested towards the 
prisoners, in the collection of upwards of thirty thou- 
sand dollars for their relief, together with all the private 
donations, not included in the above, will be an everlast- 
ing monument to the benevolence of British Christians, 
and may tend to soften our prejudices and lead to 
stronger sympathies for each other, and greater efforts 
to promote each other's welfare, and mutual feelings 
of peace and good will. 

A list of the prisoners, with the places to which they 
belonged, and vessels in which they were taken, also a 
notice of such as had made their escape, had died, or 
entered the service of Great Britain, will no doubt be 
acceptable to such as had friends in the service of their 
country, and of whom, perhaps, they have never since 
heard. The list was taken, as will be seen, a short 
time before Mr. Herbert left prison. 



The indulgence of the critic is hoped for, under the 
assurance that the task of preparing the Journal for the 
press has been arduous, as much of it was originally 
written in figures to secure secrecy, and had to be 
spelled out by reference to the key ; that the task was 
performed amidst a press of more important duties, and 
with a fixed purpose of devoting all the avails of the 
sales of the work to the widow of the author, after pay- 
ing the expense of publication. 


It is perfectly natural to expect, in presenting- any 
work to the public, and more especially of the nature 
of a journal, that the reader will desire to know some- 
thing of the character of its author, in order to deter- 
mine what degree of confidence the writer is entitled to, 
— whether the statements made are to he depended 
upon or not. In compliance with this reasonable de- 
mand, we will endeavor to impart such information as 
we possess, believing that it will be perfectly satisfac- 

Charles Herbert was the son of John Herbert, of 
Newburyport, Mass. His mother's name was Jane, 
daughter of Colonel Pierce of that town. Mr. Charles 
Herbert was born November 17th, in the year of our 
Lord 1757, but, being deprived of his mother by death, 
at the early age of two months, he was committed to 
the care of a maiden aunt — Miss Lydia Pierce, sister 
of his mother. The influence of early training, as de- 
veloped in the life of Mr. Herbert, is very creditable to 
his early tutoress. Moral and religious principle must 



have taken a deep root in his young heart, to have pre- 
served that heart from the gross and corrupting influ- 
ence of the society into which he was afterwards 
thrown. The fruit appears in lovely contrast with the 
abandoned profligacy of many of his companions, and 
no doubt afforded him abundant consolation in the hours 
of suffering and solitude. His character gave to him a 
sort of pre-eminence among his fellows, and an influ- 
ence with his captors and keepers, which his compan- 
ions did not share. He was a true patriot ; neither 
frowns nor flatteries could move him to abandon his 
country's interest. If good tidings reach him, his 
heart exults with joy ; if dark clouds hang over the 
prospects of the patriot band, he is sorrowful, and will 
not be comforted; he can endure hunger, ^confinement, 
or reproach — any thing but the extinguishing of his 
country's hope. Others, for the sake of personal lib- 
erty, can join the standard of the enemy : but not so 
with him ; he cannot betray the cause of his country, 
or go to battle against his brother. 

From the Journal the reader will learn that Mr. Her- 
bert entered on board the Dolton, Nov. 15, 1776, being 
less than nineteen years of age, and returned to New- 
buryport Aug. 23, 1780, having been absent nearly four 
years, two of which he spent as a prisoner, in a foreign 
land. The sufferings of this period were of the most 
distressing kind — hunger, cold, sickness, and privation. 
After his release, by an exchange of prisoners, brought 
about by the efforts of Dr. Franklin, then Minister to 
France, Mr. Herbert joined the Alliance frigate, com- 
manded by Captain Landais, forming part of the squad- 



ron of Commodore J. Paul Jones. He was one of those 
sent to Bergen, in Norway, then a part of the kingdom 
of Denmark, with prizes — which prizes were seized by 
the Danish government and delivered to the English 
Consul, which forms the basis of the "Denmark 
Claims," so called ; and which amounted then, accord- 
ing to Dr. Franklin, to at least fifty thousand pounds 
sterling. The crews of these vessels, on their return 
from Denmark, were kindly entertained by Dr. Frank- 
lin, at his house ; and on leaving, he paid their expenses 
and gave each person a crown. Mr. Herbert preserved 
his, as a sacred treasure, as long as he lived, but it has 
since his death been lost. It is to be hoped that those 
claims against Denmark will be brought to a speedy 
settlement, aQd the few survivors of the eventful scenes 
of Paul Jones' career be rewarded for their sufferings. 
Mr. Herbert possessed a remarkably active mind, 
prompt and ready on all occasions ; he met every emer- 
gency with the utmost self-possession. This is seen in 
his conduct when the brig was taken, and after he be- 
came a prisoner. He could be carpenter, carver, shoe- 
maker, merchant, could make boxes, sell tobacco, 
or labor in any way to make a shift, to prevent starva- 
tion. Nor did he neglect his mind ; he bought several 
books at extravagant prices, which he read, and loaned 
to his fellow prisoners. Among other studies perused 
in prison he became master of navigation. His journal, 
which is a standing monument of his genius and indus*- 
try, was concealed, while writing, in his boots, and as 
each page became full, it was conveyed to a chest with 
a double bottom, and there secreted until he left prison. 


It is probable the existence of the journal was known 
to very few, if any, in prison, as the most serious con- 
sequences must have followed its discovery. How often 
in the silent hours of midnight, by the light made from 
the marrow of a bone, did he trace the record of each 
eventful day ? It has never been known that any jour- 
nal of any length of time was kept by any other per- 
son: it is believed none exists; and to the friends of 
those who were taken by the enemy and died in prison, 
or escaped but have not been heard from, or who went 
on board English men-of-war, " to serve, and continue 
to serve in his Majesty's service," the journal of Mr. 
Herbert must be of great interest and satisfaction. 
After Mr. Herbert's return to Newburyport, Aug. 23, 
1780, we have no account of his being employed in the 
service of his country, other than as a private citizen ; 
indeed, his constitution had received so severe a shock 
by his long imprisonment and great exposure, that his 
health was much enfeebled. He soon entered into bu- 
siness as a block-maker, and on the 8th of November, 
1783, was united in marriage to Miss Molly Butler, by 
Rev. John Murray, of Newburyport. He continued in 
the business of block-maker until his death, which oc- 
curred on the 4th of September, A. D. 1808.- Mr. Her- 
bert had one brother, who died in the morning of life, 
by a fall occasioned by moving some freight belonging 
to him on board a vessel. Mrs. Herbert became the 
mother of fourteen children, six of whom are still liv- 
ing. She is still, at the advanced age of eighty-four, 
lingering among us as a relic of a people precious in 
oui memory; and should there be a surplus after paying 


the expenses of publishing this work, if still living, she 
will enjoy a liberal share thereof. 

It is to be regretted that Mrs. Herbert has not been 
able to obtain either the pension allowed by the law of 
our land to widows of Revolutionary soldiers and 
sailors, or the prize money due to her husband from 
government. How slow are we to reward those who 
struggled hard for our liberties. 

The above facts might be confirmed by the testimony 
of some of our most distinguished citizens, if necessa- 
Hoping that liberal sales will enable the publisher 
to render to the widow of Charles Herbert a liberal do- 
nation, it is submitted to a generous public, by the 
publisher. R. LIVKSEY. 

Boston, July, 1847. 



The Dolton sailed — Was taken — Breach of Honor — Treatment, &c. 

— Disagreeable Lodgings — Advantage of being small — A Report — ■ 
English Women — Royal Salute — Removed — A Prize brought in 

— Daily Allowance on board His Majesty's Ships — The Charming 
Sally — Orders. 

The brig Dolton sailed from Newburypdjt, 
November 15th, 1776, and from PortsmoutrL/dn 
the 26th of the same month, and on the 24th of 
December following, about nine o'clock in the 
evening, we were taken by the Reasonable, man- 
of-war, of sixty-four guns. As her cruise was 
over, she was bound to Plymouth, England. The 
first lieutenant of the ship was the first man that 
boarded us, and he ordered us all on board the 
ship as fast as the boats could carry us, and would 
give us no time to collect our clothes, promising 
us, however, upon his word and honor, that we 



should have them all sent on board the next day. 
Some of our company trusted to this assurance, 
but I thought it not best to do the like. I was 
stationed upon the main-top when we were taken, 
and had not so good an opportunity to save my 
clothes, as those below ; yet I saved more than 
any of the foremast hands ; for as soon as I found 
that we were taken, I made all speed from the top 
down to my chest. I broke it open and shifted 
myself from head to foot — putting on two shirts, 
a pair of drawers and breeches, and trowsers over 
them ; two or three jackets, and a pair of new 
shoes, and then filled my bosom and pockets as 
full as I could well carry. Afterwards, I found it 
was well for me that I did so ; for when the 
clothes were brought on board, we found that all 
the best of them had been culled out, and nothing 
but a few rags and a dozen old blankets were sent 
to us. 

After we came on board, we were ordered upon 
the quarter-deck, and from there down into the ca- 
ble-tier, where we found very disagreeable lodg- 
ings, having nothing but the bare cable to lay up- 
on, and that very uneven. Besides this, we were 
almost suffocated with heat. Being, however, 
very much fatigued, I slept about two hours, as 
soundly as if I had been upon a bed of down. When 
I awoke I crawled aft upon the cable, where was 


the sentinel, and spent the remainder of the night 
in conversation with him. 

In the morning the boys were called by the of- 
ficers of the ship to come upon deck. Now, 
thinks I to myself, there is an advantage in being 
small. I'll embrace this opportunity, and try for 
my liberty upon deck, too. Accordingly, I went 
up, and no sooner were we on deck than we were 
thronged about by the seamen. They told us 
that a few hours after they took us, they spoke 
twelve or fourteen sail of transports, bound to 
New York, under convoy of a frigate, and she 
had thrown her guns overboard in a storm. I 
learned that the name of the Captain of the ship 
which had taken us, was Thomas Fitzherbert. 

[The journal of the remainder of the passage to 
Plymouth, England, has been lost, and the next 
record commences some day or two after their ar- 
rival in this port] 

1777. January 15th. This morning our offi- 
cers were brought on board again. We hear that 
the British troops have taken " Fort Washington," 
with the loss of eight hundred men. 

16. A number of seamen's wives came on 
board to-day, and upon being told that they had 
American prisoners on board, " Have you 1 " said 
one to the other ; " What sort of people are 
they?" " Are they white ? " " Can they talk ? " 


Upon being pointed to where some of them stood, 
" Why ! " exclaimed they, " they look like our 
people, and they talk English." 

17. Nothing remarkable. 

18. To-day is the Queen's birth-day, and ev- 
ery ship in the harbor that is in commission, fired 
twenty-one guns, as a royal salute. 

19. Sunday. To-day we were removed from 
the Reasonable to the Bellisle, a ship of sixty- 
four guns, after having been on board the Rea- 
sonable twenty-seven days. Here we lodged in the 
cable-tier, on boards laid over the cable, which is 
better than we had on board the Reasonable. 

20. Nothing remarkable. 

22. Last Sunday, " a prize " was brought in 
here, which proved to be the brig Triton, from 
Newburg, Captain Tileston, master. The cap- 
tain was sent on shore and made his escape. 

23. Nothing occurred worthy of notice. 

24. To-day, two ships-of-war sailed from the 
sound. The Southampton, of thirty-six guns, and 
the Thetis, of thirty-two guns. 

25. There has been a great market on board 

26. Sunday. But very little respect paid to the 

27. The daily allowance on board His Majesty's 
6liips, is : Sunday, pork and peas ; Monday, birgu, 


butter and cheese ; Tuesday, beef and pudding ; 
Wednesday, birgu and peas, butter and cheese ; 
Thursday, pork and peas ; Friday, birgu and peas, 
butter and cheese ; Saturday, beef and pudding ; 
a pint of wine, or half a pint of rum, when at sea ; 
and when in port, beer in abundance, and fresh 

meat twice in a week. 

28. To-day I received a pair of stockings, a 
present from one of the seamen. 

30. This morning, the captain, doctor and ser- 
vant, of the privateer sloop Charming Sally, 
from America, came on board this ship. They in- 
form us that they were taken the 16th of January, 
by the None-Such, man-of-war, sixty-four guns, and 
have been well used ; having bee i on full allowance, 
till they came on board this ship; and the captain 
that took them allowed them all their clothes and 

31. It is a time of general colds with us, and 
about eighteen of our number are sick. 

February 1. Windy, cold, blustering, unsteady 

2. "Nothing worthy of record. 

4. We are told that orders have been received 
from London, to repair all the prisons along 




Disease and Vermin — Reports' — Pressed Men — Removal to the 
Tarbay — Cold Berth — Sickness prevails — General Lee — A Friend 
— An Act of Parliament — Removal for better — Better Quarters 
— Special Favors — Liberal Distribution — Great Contrast — A good 
Friend — Sickness increases. 

February 5. It is a pay-day for bounty, on 
board this ship, (the Bellisle,) which occasions a 
great market on board. 

6. We begin to grow very sickly, and twenty or 
thirty of us are suffering with the itch, and we are all 
dreadfully infested with vermin. I make a con- 
stant practice of examining my clothes every day, 
when we are permitted to go upon deck. I often 
find them swarming with these. 

We are informed that the Admiral was heard to 
say, that no favor was to be shown to us, on ac- 
count of our orders. We are also told by some, 
that we are to be removed, soon, on board the 
Ocean, which is the Admiral's ship ; by others, 
that we shall be removed to prison. 

This afternoon, about one hundred pressed men 
were brought on board this ship. 


7. We were removed from the Bellisle, after 
having been on board nineteen days, and were 
carried up to Ammores, and put on board the 
" Tarbay," a ship of seventy-four guns, and con- 
fined in the bay, between decks, where there was 
not room for all of us to lay down ; it is parted 
off, like a sheep-pen, and takes in two side-ports 


8. Pleasant weather, but very cold for persons 
in our condition, as we are obliged to lay upon a 
wet deck, without either bedding or clothes, more 
than what we have on our backs — except a very 
few who have an old blanket apiece. As there is 
not room enough within our narrow quarters for 
every one to lay down at night, some are obliged 
to sit up all night. 

9. There are now sixteen of our number on the 
doctor's list, and there are but very few of us but 
what are either complaining with bad colds or 
rheumatic pains ; and if there are ten sick with 
as many different complaints, they give them all 
alike the same medicine. 

JO. Rough, cold, and some snow; all the way 
we have to keep ourselves warm, in the day time, 
is by play, and making ourselves merry. 

11. We hear that General Lee is taken. I had 
to-day a handful of bread given to me by a woman, J 
which I joyfully received. 



12. We are informed that Parliament has passed 
an act that all Americans taken in arms against 
the King, shall be deemed rebels ; and those taken 
in armed vessels, upon the high seas, as pirates. 

13. Our company is in a very poor state of 
health. Last night I sat up with one at the point 
of death. We were removed to-day from the 
Tarbay, after being on board six days, and carried 
on board the Burford, a ship of seventy-four 
guns. Thanks be to God for this removal, for 
here we have more room, and there are but few 
men belonging to the ship besides the officers. 

14. We are now on board the Burford, where 
we find better usage than we have received since 
we have been taken, and our sick have good care 
taken of them. We are also allowed to go upon 
deck, twenty at a time. 

15. This morning sailed from Ammores three 
ships of the line, of seventy-four guns — the Al- 
bion, the Boyne and the Tarbay. To-day nine of 
our sick were carried on shore to the Royal Hos- 
pital. We were informed by one of the lieuten- 
ants of the ship, that, although their orders were 
to strip and plunder us, yet we should be allowed 
a bed and bedding, and such of us as had not 
clothes to change ourselves, should have them ; 
whic'n we may account as a favor. 

16. Clear and pleasant, (Sunday,) and as we 


are now between-decks, and have more room and 
the light of the sun, and not confined to the 
cable-tier, we have an opportunity for reading. 

17. Very stormy. To-day we had delivered to 
us, by the purser of the ship, bedding and clothes. 
I received a shirt, and bedding, consisting of a 
jlock bed and pillows, a rug, and blankets. Some, 
who were almost naked, had nearly a whole suit 
given them. When they gave us the shirts, they 
told us to take off our old ones and throw them 
overboard, " lice and all." 

18. Those of us who did not receive clothes 
yesterday, have received them to-day, and those 
who did not receive beds, are to receive them in 
a few days. Our beds are a great comfort to our 
sore bodies, after laying fifty-five nights without 
any — all the time since we were taken — some- 
times upon hard cables, sometimes upon boards 
laid over the cables, and at other times on a wet 
deck, with nothing to cover us but the clothes on 
our backs. Now we have good bedding for our 
comfort, thanks be to God! and a good friend; 
for we are told that the captain of the ship, whose 
name is Boyer, gave us these clothes and beds, 
out of his own pocket. J 

19. This evening the remainder of our com- 
pany received beds. We never know the true 
state of our condition till it is illustrated by its 



contraries ; neither do we know how to value 
what we have but by the want of it. 

20. It is very sickly amongst us, and some one 
is taken sick almost every day. 

21. The Reasonable came out of dock and 
dropped to her moorings. The Ocean is stripped 
and going into dock. The Lizard, frigate, has 
lately arrived from America, and to-day was towed 
up from the Sound, having cut away her masts 
yesterday in a gale of wind. 

22. To-day a frigate sailed 



Death of E. Hunt — Gets the privilege to Work — Good Pay — Act of 
Parliament — Poetry — A Captain's Compliments — Wish granted 

— A Report — Paper — A Prize — Prayers on board — A Privilege 

— Reckoning — Critical Situation — Small-Pox — Visitors — Report 
from America — Small Pox prevails — Captain Rowe — Ship Nancy 
taken — Terrible Punishment — Carried to the Hospital — Treat- 
ment for Itch. 

February 23. Sunday. We have an opportu- 
nity for reading. 

24. Mr. Holland, the master-at-arms of the 
ship, has been on shore ; he informs us of the 
death of one of our company — Ebenezer Hunt. 
He died on the 20th of this month, in the Royal 
Hospital ; he was one of the nine that were sent 
on shore the 15th inst. 

25. This morning Mr. Holland came into our 
apartment inquiring for a joiner. I offered myself, 
and went upon deck to work for him. He obtain- 
ed the liberty of the carpenter's bench and tools, 
and I went to work, getting, also, permission for 
one of my acquaintances to come upon deck and 
work with me. We made him a table, for which 



he gave us a bag to put our clothes in, half of a 
salt fish, a quart of potatoes, six biscuits, and but- 
ter to eat with our fish, besides a good hot supper. 
26. I had an opportunity of reading a newspa- 
per wherein was a confirmation, in several differ- 
ent places, of General Lee's being taken. I saw, 
also, an Act that was moved in Parliament and 
passed in the affirmative, 112 to 35; according to 
which we are guilty of high treason, and are sen- 
tenced to prison, there to lay, without bail, until 
the first of January, 1778, and then to have a 

As we are prisoners in a cage, 

It's our misfortune sure ; 
'T is folly to be in a rage, 

Though hardships we endure. 

God grant that we may live to see 

Once more our native place, 
For to enjoy our liberty, 

Before we've run our race. 

27. Last night the Boyne came up to her 
mooring, having sprung a leak and carried away 
her fore-topmast. She is the second, out of the three 
which sailed on the 15th inst., that has returned in 
distress. This ship's guns and carriages were 
brought alongside, and there were not men enough 
to hoist them in ; so the captain sent his compli- 
ments to us, to see if we would assist in getting 
them on board, which we willingly did, because 


he appears to be the best friend to us that we have 
met with since we have been taken. 

28 We had a paper wherein is an account of 
the" march and defeat of the King's troops towards 
Philadelphia, with the loss of fourteen or fifteen 

hundred men. 

March 1. Myself and one of my shipmates 
have again been upon deck to work. We made a 
chest for the master-at-arms, for which he gave us 
some biscuit. We mended, also, a table for the 
ship's cook, for which he gave us a supper and 
some spare bread and meat. It is in the paper 
that the ship which brought Dr. Franklin from 
Philadelphia to France, as she was returning, took 
a brig laden with fish, three days out of port, be- 
longing to the same gentleman that bought the 


2. Prayers were read on board this ship to-day, 
and we were allowed to go on deck to hear them. 
A frio-ate arrived, after a six months' cruise, as we 
know°by her firing a salute — which they are not 
allowed to do unless they have been six months 
absent. Myself and another have the liberty from 
the carpenter of the ship to work every day when 
we can get work to do. 

26. It is four months since we sailed from Ports- 
mouth, having been in that time twenty-eight days 
on board the Dolton, twenty-seven days on board 


the Reasonable, nineteen on board the Bellisle, 
si\ on board the Tarbay, and forty-one on board 
the Burford, which is our present place of abode. 

27. We are told that we are to go on shore to- 
morrow to prison. Our company, one after an- 
other, are daily dropping sick, and about forty of 
us have the itch ; but our sick have as good care 
taken of them on board this ship as we could ex- 
pect, and we are visited morning and evening by 
the doctor. 

28. I have been poorly some days past, and hav- 
ing no appetite for my food I bought a quarter of 
a pound of sugar to sweeten some water gruel, 
which is the best that I can get here. 

29. To-day two more were sent on shore to the 
Hospital, sick. 

30. Sunday. But the time is badly spent for 
persons in our situation, who do not know how 
soon the gallows may be our doom. 

31. I had sent to me, by the surgeon of the 
ship, about a pound of sugar and two ounces of 
tea, for some work which I did for him some time 
ago, and this morning I made some tea for my 
breakfast, which I drank with a good relish. 

April 1. To-day I took an emetic of the doc- 
tor. There is another one of our company at- 
tacked with the small-pox, and to all human 
appearances, it will go through the company. I 


do not know that I ever can have it better than 
now, as I am well dieted, and therefore do not 
try to escape it. 

2. To-day the Admiral and his lady, with 
several other ladies, came on board this ship to 
dine. This afternoon the man . with small-pox 
was sent on shore, to the hospital. 

3. Windy, cold weather. We hear that three 
American privateers went into Ireland, victualed 
and watered, and went out again, before it was 
known who they were. 

4. This ship is bending her sails ; it is reported 
that she is bound to sea soon. I suppose she is 
bound to Spithead, where a number from this 
place have gone. 

5. Last evening the master-at-arms told us that 
we were to go on shore to-day at ten o'clock, but 
we are not there yet. To-day we had an opportu- 
nity of reading a newspaper, wherein is an ac- 
count of the Americans taking nine hundred 
Hessian troops, on Christmas evening. As we 
are not allowed a paper, when we get one we are 
obliged to be very cautious how and when we 
read it. 

6. Sunday. Again there has been prayers on 
board this ship, and a sermon preached. Another 
one of our company has broken out with the small- 


7. To-day the man with the small-pox was sent 
on shore. 

8. There is another broken out with small-pox, 
and 1 expect every day to be attacked myself. 

9. Two more of our company are quite unwell, 
and we expect it is small-pox. A lad who stole, 
and was obliged to run the gauntlet twice before, 
stole again, and to-day was punished in the same 

10. To-day three more were sent on shore with 
the small-pox, and three returned from the Hos- 
pital well, who were carried on shore the 15th of 
February. They tell us that they were used well. 
We hear that Captain Joseph Rowe has been taken 
in the ship " Nancy " from Newbury, and has 
been brought in here. He has now his liberty on 
shore, but his men are on board the Ocean, which 
js the Admiral's ship. 

11. To-day the same lad who has stolen and run 
the gauntlet three times before, stole again ; and 
we took another method with him. We tied him 
up, and our boatswain's mate gave him two dozen 
with the cat, on his bare back. At the least com- 
putation, in the three times which he run the gaunt- 
let, exclusive of the punishment he received to- 
day, he must have had seven or eight hundred 
lashes, with hard nettles, on a bare back. 

12. Pleasant weather. To-day eight more of 



our company were carried on shore to the Royal 
Hospital, with the itch, and myself amongst the 
number. Alas ! little did I think, six months ago, 
that I should ever set my foot on this island. It 
is four months and seventeen days since I left 
Portsmouth, all of which time I have been on the 
water. There are now twenty-four of our com- 
pany in these hospitals, some with the small-pox, 
and the rest with the itch. 

13. Sunday. I have been taking sulphur, to 
prepare for anointing this evening. 

14. The first day I came here I was put upon 
diet ; I had only half a pound of bread and a 
quart of milk, but now I am put on full allowance, 
which is a pound of beef, a pound of potatoes, 
and three pints of beer, per day. 

15. We take a large spoonful of sulphur mixed 
with honey and cream tartar, morning and even- 
ing, and in the evening also use the ointment. 



Royal Hospital Buildings — An Adventure — Taken down with Small- 
pox — Three Prisoners escape — Re-taken — Severe Sickness ■■ — 
Second Death — Joseph Hatch — Recovery — Kind attention of the 
Nurses — Samuel Shriggings, the third of the company, died — At- 
tempt to escape. 

April 16. Within these hospital wards there are 
ten grand buildings, three stories high. Each 
! building contains six wards, each ward can ac- 
commodate twenty-five patients — so that there is 
room for fifteen hundred patients, besides attend- 

To-day our food, with our names entered in a 
book, was sent, which was headed, " Upon such a 
day a ward was opened for the rebel prisoners ; " I 
scratched out the word rebel and wrote American. 
When the book was returned, a messenger was sent 
with sixpence reward for any one who would tell 
who did it, but he returned no wiser than he 

i came. 

— 17. There are now fifteen of us in this ward, 


and seven are upon what they call half-diet, (on 
account of their drawing coals and candles;) so 
that every other day we draw a half a pound of 
mutton, a pound of bread, a pound of potatoes, and 
a pound of greens. 

18. To-day there are two more of our company 
brought on shore, with the itch. 

19. I am very unwell ; I have a bad pain in my 
head and back — the symptoms of small-pox — 
and the doctor ordered me something to take, im- 

20. I have had six applications for the itch, but 
am not half cured ; and to-day when the doctor 
came in to see me, he told me I had the small-pox, 
and ordered the nurse to remove me immediately, 
into the small-pox ward, which she did. After I 
got there, I was ordered to strip off all the dirty 
clothes that I had upon me. I washed myself in 
warm water, and put on a clean linen shirt, a 
woollen gown, waistcoat and drawers, and turned 
into bed with clean sheets. 

21. I feel something better, and my pock comes 
out very fast ; but it is the small sort, which is the 

Also, last evening three prisoners made their 
escape from the fifty-sixth ward, which is the same 
1 left yesterday. 


22. This morning got up, but my pock has come 
out exceedingly thick. 

23. We are informed that the men who ran 
away are taken. 

24. I am broken out so very thick, and the 
ointment for the itch inflamed my blood so much, 
that my flesh feels as if I was raked up in a bed 
of embers ; and I am so sick at my stomach that I 
vomit up every thing I eat, and am unable to write. 

25. Kept my bed, and was in great pain. 

26. My head was swollen very much, and I was 
so blind that I could scarcely see daylight. 

27. My pock was almost to the full. 

28. I feel easier as to pain. 

29. My pock begins to turn. 

30. I was very easy as to pain, but so very sore 
that I could scarcely lay in bed. 

May 1. I got up, but was hardly able to walk. 

2. I got up again, but my legs and feet swell 
very much. 

3. To-day I feel something better. 

4. I am some better, and got up again, but was 
unable to sit up long ; my pock begins to dry very 
well, and my swelling to go down. 

5. This morning Joseph Hatch, one of our 
company, died with small-pox. He is the second 
of our company that has died in these hospitals. 


6. I begin to grow bravely, and have a very good 
appetite for my victuals. I remain very sore, yet 
not so sore as I was two or three days ago ; as my 
pock ran all together then, when I used to rise up 
in bed to receive any thing, and stuck to my linen 
and the sheets, so that it would tear off the scab 
from the whole length of my back, when I arose. 

7. I am very sore yet, but am doing finely, con- 
sidering that it is with some difficulty that I can 
get to the table to write ; and I have a good appe- 
tite to eat. I asked the doctor for mutton, which 
he granted, so that I now have a pound of bread, 
half a pound of mutton, and a quart of beer. 

8. There are two of our company now in this 
ward, very sick with the small-pox ; but they have 
faithful care taken of them by the nurses, and the 
doctor is very kind. He allows them near half a 
pint of wine, or a small bottle of cordial, almost 
every day. The nurses, also, have been, and still 
are, very kind to me. When I first came into this 
ward, I brought a little tea and sugar with me, 
which I obtained on board the ships, and after it 
was all expended, the nurses gave me out of their 
own stores, tea twice a day, or as often as they 
make it for themselves. 

[Mr. Herbert often in after life spoke in the 
highest terms of the kindness and attention of the 


9. Near half the scab has come off my body, 
and every morning when I get up, there is near a 
handful of scab left in the sheet, which comes off 
in the night. 

10. I have several biles upon my legs, which 
cause a great deal of pain. 

1 1. My legs are very sore, so that I am obliged 
to have them bound up from my ancles to my 

12. I am indifferently well, except my legs and 
thighs, where I have nearly a dozen biles, with 
which I am so lame I can scarcely walk. 

13. To-day I took another portion of physic, 
which makes the sixth. 

14. There are now twenty-six Americans here. 
Some are almost well of the small-pox, and have 
gone below into the recovering ward. 

to o 

15. It is six months to-day since I left Newbury, 
and I fear it will be six more before I return. 

16. To-day I took the seventh portion of phy- 

17. This morning, died here, one Ebenezer 
Willis. He was a young man taken with Captain 
Brown, in the sloop Charming Sally. Also, this 
afternoon, of small-pox, Samuel Shriggings, he be- 
ing the third of our company that has died in these 
hospitals, and the second in this ward, since I have 
been in it. 


18. Last evening three of our company in the 
fifty-sixth ward, attempted to make their escape, 
but were discovered and taken before they got 
over the wall. 

19. To-day I took my eighth portion of phy- 

4<> lULIC O F T H E 


Fourth Death — Captain Brown's Escape — His Men sent to Prison — 
Discharge from the Hospital — Yellow Fever — Fifth Death — Cru- 
elty to the Dead — Examination — Commitment to Prison — Prison 
Allowance — Hunger — Prison Employments — Charity Box — Hard 
Fare — Guard Alarmed — Friendly Visitors — A Mean Trick. 

May 20. There is a great frolic near by, called 
a bull-bating. We have a view of the people, but 
not of their sport. 

We hear that the prisons are ready for the recep- 
tion of the rebel prisoners, as we are called, and I 
daily expect our company to come on shore to 

21. I gather strength, but as yet I am so weak 
as to be able to walk but very little. My chief 
employment is reading, but my eyes are weak, 
caused by rubbing them when I was almost blind. 

22. There are two other Americans now in this 
ward, very sick with the small-pox ; and one or 
two of our company, who are very sick. 

23. I took my ninth portion of physic. 


24. It is six weeks to-day since I came on 
shore, and five weeks to-morrow since 1 was 
brought into this building with small-pox. To- 
day I asked the doctor for some beef, which he 
granted ; he also ordered me to go below into the 
recovering ward. 

25. To-day I was upon full allowance, and drew 
a pound of beef, a pound of bread, a pound of po- 
tatoes, and three pints of beer. 

26. This morning about seven o'clock, died 
James Jutson, an old man, prisoner from the 
Queen, taken with Captain Brown in the priva- 
teer sloop Charming Sally. 

27. To-day we were forbidden the liberty of 
going up stairs to speak to our sick shipmates. 

28. Yesterday, seven of Captain Brown's crew 
were sent to prison, from the shjp, and Captain 
Brown made his escape from the " Fountain Tav- 
ern," in Plymouth Dock, where they were sent to 
be tried. Also, to-day took my tenth portion of 

29. To-day twelve of us were discharged from 
the hospital, but the boat did not come for us. We 
hear that the Bellisle has arrived in the Sound, 
has the yellow fever on board, and has been laid 
under quarantine, in the Sound, some time. 

30. As we were discharged yesterday, and the 
boat did not come for us, to-day we were put upon 


what they call cazzelteer, and only draw halt' a 
pound of bread and a quart of milk. A prisoner 
in the middle story, last night, being very sick with 
the small-pox, got out of his bed, threw up the win- 
dow and jumped out. He fell head first, about 
twenty feet, upon the hard ground, bruising him- 
self sadly. 

31. It is now seven weeks since I came on 
shore, and six weeks to-day since I was brought 
here with small-pox. 

June 1. It being pleasant weather, the nurse 
permitted me to walk in the garden. 

2. We expected to have been removed, either to 
the ships or to prison, but were not. 

3. To-day we were again discharged, but the 
boat did not come for us. Last night, one Wil- 
liam Woodward, a prisoner, taken in the sloop 
Charming Sally, made his escape from this ward, 

4. As we were discharged yesterday, and the 
boat did not come for us, we were again put upon 
cazzelteers and draw only a quart of milk, and a 
half pound of bread. 

To-day is the King's birth-day, and there is 
great firing of cannon, and chiming of bells, in 
Dock and Plymouth. 

This morning about three o'clock, another pris- 
oner died of small-pox — the same person who 
jumped from the window, as before mentioned. 


He was taken in the privateer sloop Charming Sal- 
ly. After he was dead, his coffin was brought, 
which proved to be near six inches too short. But 
rather than have another made, they jammed him 
into that, in a most shocking manner. 

5. This morning early, the boat came for us 
and twelve of us went on board and were 
carried along side the Blenheim, to which ship 
our company, and that of Captain Brown, had been 
removed since we went on shore. Four of the 
twelve that were in the boat belonged to the cap- 
tain's crew. They were put on board the Blen- 
heim, but the rest of us were carried on shore again, 
and guarded to the Fountain Tavern, to be tried 
by the judges; for that is the place where they sit. • 
We were put into a small room, surrounded by a 
guard, and having eat nothing through the day, 
were very weak ; so we got the soldiers to boil us 
a little meat, which we had obtained at the hospi- 
tal. After this, we were all called up before the 
judges and examined. They asked each of us in 
what province we had been born, and whether or 
not we had a commission from Congress ? At 
what time we entered on board the Dolton ? Whe- 
ther we were taken by the Reasonable ? To each 
of their questions we answered. We were then 
sent below into the little room again ; then we were 
called up the second time, one at a time, and asked 



the same questions, to which we answered. They 
then read them over to us, and asked us if it was 
true, to which we replied it was. We told them we 
were out to fight the enemies of the thirteen Uni- 
ted States. After we were examined one by one, 
the third time, we were all called up together, 
as at the first, and our commitments were read to 
us and delivered to the constable. My commit- 
ment read as follows : 

" Charles Herbert, you are supposed to be guil- 
ty of the crime of high treason, and committed to 
prison for the same until the time of trial." 

We were then delivered to the constable, and 
guarded to Old Mill Prison, Plymouth. 

Alas ! I have entered the gates but the Lord on- 
ly knows when I shall go out of them again. 

June 6. Our allowance here in prison is a pound 
of bread, a quarter of a pound of beef, a pound of 
greens, a quart of beer and a little pot-liquor that 
the beef and greens are boiled in, without any 
thickening, — per day. 

7. Pleasant weather, but we are kept in all day 
as a punishment for a misbeholden word spoken 
to the sentry on guard. 

8. Sunday ; and there has been a great number 
of persons at the gate to see us, who gave in, for 
our relief, several shillings. 

9. Rainy weather, so that we keep house all 


efay, except when we go out to draw our provisions. 

10. There have about ten or twelve prisoners ! 
come from the ships to prison to-day. Having so 
lately had the small-pox, and being so long phy- 
siced afterwards, I require more victuals now, than 

I ever did before ; and our allowance is so very 
small, and having only sevenpence left of what lit- 
tle money I had when I came to prison, I had a 
continual gnawing at my stomach ; and I find that 
unless I take some method to obtain something 
more than my bare allowance, I must certainly 
suffer, if not die, and that soon. As necessity is 
the mother of invention, I am resolved to try to 
get something, and to-day when a carpenter came 
to put in a window at the end of the prison, I en- 
treated him to bring me some deal, and I would 
make him a box, which he did. 

11. To-day we have made a charity-box, and 
put it up at the gate. There is written upon it, 
" Health, Plenty, and Competence to the donors." 
I have finished the box for the carpenter, and he 
likes it so well that he wants more made, and he 
brought me some more wood for that purpose, — 
some for him. and some for myself. 

12. I have been busy all day making boxes, and 
some of the prisoners are making punch ladles, 
spoons, chairs, and the like ; for which they, nov* 
and then, get a shilling. —J 

7 o a 

52 R E LIC () T T II E 

13. We have chosen a purser amongst ourselves 
to take charge of the avails of the charity-box. 
Some days we get four or five shillings, and upon 
others, not more than four or five pence. 

14. To-day we drew only half a pound of greens. 
They tell us it is by the order of the board ; our 
meat is 5 very short, and our broth only the pot-liquor 
with the fat skimmed off. 

15. Last night the guard was alarmed. They 
supposed that they heard noises as if we were 
breaking out of prison ; this is the second time this 
guard has been alarmed when we were all silent. 

16. Wet weather, so that we keep house. 

17. I have been employed for several days past, 
making boxes, and carving them. To-day I sold 
two, one for a shilling, the other for ninepence. 

18. To-day there have been several gentlemen 
and ladies to see us, and they gave us several small 
books; I sold, also, another box for a shilling. 

19. There is one of the prisoners who has been 
unwell for several days, and is now broke out with 
the small-pox. 

20. There are about ten prisoners brought to 
prison nearly every day ; but there are only a few 
more to come. 

21. I have now got into such a way of making 
boxes and selling them, that I can afford to buy 
myself a breakfast every morning ; commonly 


bread and milk, which is brought to prison every 
morning for sale. 

22. Sunday ; there have been great numbers of 
people to see us, and the prison guard, confedera- 
ting with the turnkey, have got a box put up at the 
gate, and they will let no one look in to see us, 
without paying in a certain amount. To-day we 
are told that they got fifteen shillings in their box, 
which they divided among themselves ; but the 
people who put it in thought it was for the pris- 
oners . We, therefore, took in our box, and are 
resolved to put it out no more. 



More Prisoners — A Present — Visit from American Gentlemen — 
Black hole — Fleet of Transports for Amorica — Prisoners escape 

— Death — Prospect of War with France — First breach in tho 
Prison wall — Fox frigate taken by the Hancock — A Newspaper 

— Number of Prisoners — Escape of thirty-two Prisoners — Bounty 

— Punishment — Cruelty to the Old — Captain Lee taken in the 
Fancy — Hears from Home — Bad News — False Reports — Daniel 
Cottle died. 

June 23. To-day we divided the mffney which 
we had got in our charity-box, and it was only five 
farthings per man. 

24. To-day there were two more prisoners 
brought in ; they were taken in France. Having 
been invited on board an English vessel, and not 
knowing who they were, went on board, and were 
immediately seized and confined. The vessel 
then weighed anchor and came out of the harbor. 
The prisoners proved to be the captain and lieu- 
tenant of a Virginia pilot boat. The captain is 
now confined in the yard, in a prison by himself, 


and is not allowed to speak to us, but the lieuten- 
ant is in prison with us. 

25. Rainy weather. 

26. Continued wet, so that we keep house. 

27. To-day another broke out with small-pox. 

28. To-day Captain Ross, one of our prize- 
masters, had a present of some bread and cheese. 

29. Sunday. To-day there have been great 
numbers to see us, but they were disappointed ; 
for they kept the outer gate shut, and would not 
let the people look at us. 

30. We are so confined here that we are out of 
the way of all news ; we are not allowed a news- 
paper, and at present no one is allowed to come to 
the gate to speak to us. The week past, I have 
received three shillings and two pence, for boxes. 

July 1. Nothing remarkable. 
2, 3. Very rainy, so that we are obliged to 
keep house. 

4. Fair weather. This is the only fair day we 
have had for nearly a week ; and to-day a fleet of 
transports with troops, bound to America, put in 
here for a harbor. 

5. To-day several American gentlemen came to 
see us. They came to England before the war 
began ; they gave considerable money to some 
with whom they were acquainted; to one they 
gave two guineas, to another one, to another half 


a guinea, and to three more five shillings apiece. 
The week past I have received one shilling and 
two pence for boxes. 

6. Sunday. A great number of persons came 
to see us, but the gate was kept shut, so they 
could not speak to us, or give us any thing; 
but some that were in prison took a small bag 
and tied a string to it and let it down at a 
window at the back side of the prison. About a 
sixpence was put into it, but the guard came in 
and forbid it. 

7. They have placed lanterns all round the pri- 
son yard, for fear that some of us should make our 
escape in the night. 

8. "Last night the guard became alarmed by our 
people laughing and singing, and they came in 
and took one of the prisoners to the Black-hole, 
p. place of punishment so called, where he is to 
lay forty days, on half allowance, and nothing to 
sleep on but the ground. We were all threatened 
to be put on half allowance. This afternoon there 
sailed from the Sound a fleet of transports of about 
thirty sail, and three convoys, bound to America. 
According to the ocst accounts, there are about 
four thousand troops on board. 

9. 10, 11. Warm and pleasant weather. No- 
thing remarkable. 

12. Last night, four of the prisoners that were 


in the hospital, one that was in the Black-hole, and 
one from a prison where there are a number using 
applications for the itch, made their escape through 
a drain that leads to the river edge. For this 
week past I have received three shillings and six- 
pence for boxes and ladles. 

13. Sunday. Those who remain in the itch 
apartment are all put on half allowance, to make 
them tell which way the man got out who made 
his escape from that building; and a sentinel is 
set before the prison to keep us from giving them 
any thing, or speaking to them. 

14. The Yarmouth, a ship of seventy-four 
guns, dropped down into the Sound, in order for 

15. The prisoners in the itch apartment told the 
agent which way the man got out of prison, and 
wee put upon their usual allowance. 

16. We hear of the death of Thomas Rines, one 
of our company, whom I left sick at the Royal Hos.- 
pital ; he died of the small-pox, and is the fourth 
of our company who has died since we were taken. 

17. Several in prison have broken out with the 
small-pox, all of whom inoculated themselves 
from the first that were attacked with it. 

18. There has been a great deal of talk of a 
French war ever since we have been taken, and it 
appears now to be very near, for the English ves- 


sels are often receiving insults at sea from the 
French. Three years ago they would have re- 
sented this, but now they appear to be afraid. 

19. The remainder of the prisoners who have 
not had the small pox have had an offer from the 
doctor to be inoculated. 

20. Last night we made a breech in the prison 
wall, and began to dig out, which we expect will 
take near a fortnight to accomplish, as we have 
near eighteen feet to dig under ground to get into 
a field on the other side of the wall. 

21. For the week past I have received, for box- 
es and ladles, two shillings and sixpence. 

22. The hole that is now in hand is to be only 
just large enough for a man to crowd himself out. 
The men that dig it have made great progress 
since they have been at work ; we put all the dirt 
into our chests, as we have several of them in 
prison, and when they leave work they stop up the 
hole with the same stones that came out, and 
daub it over with lime, so that it appears like the 

^/other wall. 

23. Last evening transports arrived here from 
America, with six hundred wounded marines on 

24. We had a present sent us of several pounds 
of leaf tobacco. 

25. To-day three of the number who broke out 



of the sick ward, on the 12th of this month, were 
brought back again, and put in the Black-hole, 
there to lay forty days, on half allowance. 

26. We hear that Captain Manley, of the Han- 
cock frigate, has taken the Fox frigate, of twenty- 
eight guns. 

27. For the week past I have received eighteen- 
pence for boxes. 

29. The remainder of the prisoners who have 
not had the small-pox, removed into a seperate 
building, in order for inoculation. 

30. Although we are not allowed newspapers, 
yet we have them almost weekly, and we now* 
have one that gives an account of the before 
mentioned frigate being taken ; also of Captain 
Giddson, in the " Civil Usage," being seen off the 

August L. To-day six more of our people came 
on shore from the ship ; the occasion of their not 
being brought to prison sooner was, that they were 
detained with small-pox in the Royal Hospital. 
One of these is yet very unwell, and has been put 
in the prison hospital. 

2. We learn, by those who came in yesterday, 
that Captain Adams, who was taken in a mer- 
chantman, was set at liberty last Sunday. The 
week past I have received two shillings for boxes. 



3. Sunday. The number of prisoners now in 
these wards, is one hundred and seventy-three. 

4. Some of our people who first broke out with 
small-pox in prison, are so far recovered as to be 
able to come up from the hospital. 

5. Pleasant to-day, but stormy last night; dur- 
ing the storm, some of our people made their es- 
cape through the hole which they began to dig on 
the nineteenth of last month. This hole is dug 
eighteen feet under ground, and comes up in a 
field the other side of the wall. Thirty-two in num- 
ber went out, three of whom have been brought 
back. We are told that they have five pounds 
bounty for taking up any rebel prisoner that at- 
tempts an escape ; and when taken, the prisoners 
are to be put on half allowance, and placed in the 

j Black-hole for forty days. 

6. To-day one more was brought back that went 
out night before last. 

7. Four more were brought in to-day, so that 
there are eight out of the thirty-two taken already. 
The four who were brought back to-day are put 
in with us, as the Black-hole is full, but they will 
be put on half allowance, the same as if in the 

8. The guards are now so very suspicious of 
us, that they number us two or three times a day, 


and visit us as often by night ; and once or twice 
they will overhaul all our chests to see that there 
is no dirt in them, or any tools secreted that we 
can dig out with. To-day an old man was put in- 
to the Black-hole for only complaining that our 
meat was not good. 

9. To-day there was one more brought back 
that passed under the wall. For the week past 
I have received three shillings for boxes. 

10. We hear that an American privateer is taken. 

11. To-day nine more prisoners came on shore 
to the prison from the Blenheim Eight of the 
number were taken in one of Captain Weeks' 
prizes, bound to France ; the other was one of 
our company, who has been sick at the Royal 
Hospital. They inform us that Captain John Lee 
is taken in the brig Fancy, twelve guns, fitted out 
at Newbury, belonging to the Traceys, and forty- 
two of his hands came on board the Blenheim be- 
fore they left her. To-day two more were brought 
back who went out at the hole. 

12. To-day eight more prisoners came to the 
prison from the Blenheim ; three of the number 
were taken in the Fancy with Captain Lee. They 
inform us that they were chased on shore at 
Mount Bay, near Land's-end, by the Fieutryant, 
a ship of eighty-four guns. They are only about 


eight weeks from America, and had taken four 

13. Ten more of Captain Lee's men came to 

14. Ten more were brought to-day. 

15. To-day Captain Lee and his first and second 
lieutenants came to prison. From Captain Lee 
I hear of the health of my friends. 

16. A number more of Captain Lee's men 
came to prison to-day. 

1 7. Sunday. For the week past I have received 
six shillings and three pence for boxes and ladles. 

18. Warm and pleasant, so that we carried our 
hammocks out into the yard to air. The remain- 
der of Captain Lee's men were brought to prison. 
Those who came to-day were the last who were 
taken after they got on shore. They inform us 
that they are all here now except their doctor, 
who, in all probability, has made his escape. 

19. To-day three more were brought to prison 
who belonged to the Literal Mark, fitted out of 

20. Warm and pleasant weather, so that we can 
comfortably go barefoot; but many of us would 
be obliged to do so if it were in the middle of 
winter, for want of stockings and shoes. 

21. To-day fourteen of Caplain Lee's men, 


who have not had the small-pox, were inoculated. 
The prisoners who are on half allowance have had 
a meal of victuals sent them by some friend. 

22. We hear that Ticonderoga is taken by the 
King's troops, and also Philadelphia; that the 
Hancock, Captain Manley, is taken, and the Fox 
retaken ; but we cannot tell what to believe by 
what we hear ; for since we have been taken we 
have heard, nearly twenty times, that Philadelphia 
was taken, and as many times that Washington 
was killed ; that Congress was divided, that con- 
tinental money was disgraced, that the Americans 
had laid down their arms, and that they were 
starving to death for -want of provisions, and na- 
ked for want of clothing ; all these things have 
been published in the newspapers, times without 
number, since we have been taken. ( 

23. For the week past I have received three 
shillings for boxes. 

24. Sunday. This is the greatest market day 
for our wooden ware, as most people come on 
this day to see us. 

25. Yesterday Daniel Cottle died in the prison 
hospital of the small-pox ; he is the sixth of our 
company that has died since we have been in 

2G. It is reported that general Prescott is taken 
by the Americans. 




Attempt to Escape discovered — Awful description of Suffering 
Dreadful Starvation — Gloomy Prospects — Death of Gideon War- 
ren — Detection — Close Examination — Commissioner — A News- 
paper — Relief Prohibited — Attempt to Escape — Oath of Secrecj 
— Another attempt to Escape — Captain Johnston and the Lexing 
ton — Sea Fight — Tho Press continued — Love of Liberty 
Meeting after long absence — A Privilege granted — Agent in a 
good humor — A Purchase — More Prisoners — Running the Gaunt- 

August 27. Last night, as our people who are 
on half allowance in a separate prison, were try- 
ins to dig out, the guard went in and caught them. 
Two of these are now confined in the Black-hole. 
To-day a prize was brought in here ; she appears 
to be a small brig. 

30. For the week past, I have received four 
shillings for boxes. 

31. Sunday. To-day we had a newspaper, where- 
in was a confirmation of Ticonderoga and Phila- 
delphia being taken ; also, of the Hancock frigate 
and Fox being retaken ; this news is very disa- 
greeable to us, for we are sorry to hear of the en- 


emy being in any way victorious ; for should they 
conquer the country, or even get the upper hands 
of it, we are positive that the gallows or the East 
Indies will be our destiny. But as to conquering 
the country, it never disturbed, for me, an hour's 
rest, though it appears that they are in a fairer way 
for doing it now, than ever before. We have 
trouble enough h^re, without hearing bad news ; 
for it is enough to break the heart of a stone to 
see so many strong, hearty men, almost starved to 
death through want of provisions. A great part of 
those in prison, eat at one meal what they draw 
for twenty long hours, and then go without until 
the next day. Many are strongly tempted to 
pick up the grass in the yard, and eat it, and some 
pick up old bones in the yard, that have been lay- 
ing in the dirt a week or ten days, and pound them 
to pieces and suck them. Some will pick up snails 
out of the holes in the wall, and from among the 
grass and weeds in the yard, boil them and eat 
them, and drink the broth. Often the cooks, after 
they have picked over our cabbage, will cut off 
some of the but-ends of the stalks and throw them 
over the gate into the yard, and I have often seen, 
after a rain, when the mud would be over shoes, 
as these stumps were thrown over the gate, the 
men running from all parts of the yard, regardless 
of the mud, to catch at them, and nearly trample 


one another under feet to get a piece. These same 
cabbage stumps, hogs in America would scarcely 
eat if they had them; and as to our broth, I know 
very well hogs in America would scarcely put their 
noses into it. Our meat is very poor in general ; 
we scarcely see a good piece once in a month. 
Many are driven to such necessity by want of pro- 
visions, that they have sold most of the clothes off 
their backs for the sake of getting a little money to 
buy them some bread. I find it very hard, myself, 
but it is not so hard with me and a few others, who 
have got into a way of making boxes and punch 
ladles, for which we get a trifle, as it is with the 
prisoners, in general, who are obliged to live upon 
their allowance ; but I expect that boxes and punch 
ladles will soon become an old thing, for many 
who buy them now, buy them more out of charity 
/ than any thing else. 

September 1. Nothing remarkable, but repeat- 
ed confirmation of the before-mentioned sad 

2. We are informed by a friend, that he is fear- 
ful that we shall be distributed on board of His 
Majesty's ships. 

3. There is one of our company who lays very 
ill with small-pox, but all Captain Lee's men, who 
were inoculated, are better. 

4. Last night Gideon Warren, one of our com- 



pany, died of small-pox, in the prison hospital. He 
is the sixth of our company who has died since 
we were taken — five of the number died of small- 

5. To-day the carpenters have been at work, 
altering the hanging of our hammocks, to make 
them hang on the middle rail, for fear that we 
should make a breach in the wall and conceal the 
same by our hammocks hanging against it until 
we make our escape. 

6. For the week past, I have received one shil- 
ling and ninepence, for boxes. 

7. Sunday. We were threatened to be put on 
half allowance, on account of the orders being 
torn, which are put up in the prison. 

8. Several who have recovered from small-pox, 
came up from the hospital. 

9. To-day two large ships sailed from the 

10. This morning, early, while some of our 
people were digging out, the guard came upon 
them, and we were all immediately turned out and 
searched, and all our knives taken from us, that 
they could find ; some other tools, and some pa- 
per which they found in prison, as we are not al- 
lowed paper, pens or ink ; but I passed the search 
with two knives and my journal about me. Cap- 
tain Bird, captain of a packet bound to America, 

U8 II K L 1 O F T II E 

came to see IBs, and offered to carry letters for 

11. Eleven of Captain Lee's men came up from 
the hospital, recovered from the small-pox, after 
being inoculated. 

12. To-day a commissioner came here from 
London. He told us, with other business, he came 
to see us righted about our provisions ; he said 
that he lodged twenty-five miles distant last night, 
on purpose to be here at the time of our drawing 
our provisions. He also gave us liberty, when- 
ever we wished to make our grievances known, to 
write to the Board, without inspection by the agent. 

13. To-day we wrote our petition to the Board, 
for redress of grievances, and it was read before 
the prisoners. Also, we had a paper, wherein was 
a melancholy account of the barbarous treatment 
of American prisoners, taken at Ticonderoga, and 
an account of the Indians in Burgoyne's army 
proving treacherous. 

14. Sunday. The week past I have received 
three shillings for boxes. 

15. For nearly a month past, the carpenter, of 
whom I have had my wood, has not been here, so 
that I have been working a chest up into boxes, 
on shares. When finished and sold, it brought 
nearly thirty-two shillings ; but I have had a part- 
ner to work with me, and one third of the avails 


we paid for the chest, so that on!J one third be- 
longed to myself. 

16. Mr. Bell, the commissioner, has been here 
again, and measured our cans, in which we draw 
our beer, and he says he shall come again and try 
the weights and measures by which we draw our 
provisions. To-day about twenty old countrymen 
petitioned the Board for permission to go on board 
His Majesty's ships. 

17. To-day the bells have been chiming in 
Plymouth and Dock, on the election of a new 
Lord Mayor. 

18. Yesterday some friends, from without, 
sent victuals to those men who are on short allow- 
ance, but the agent would not let them come in. 

19. The commissioner has again been here ; he 
came precisely at the time of drawing our meat. 
We complained to him about the, market, and he 
told us that no one should be allowed to retail any 
thing out to us, but that there should be an open 
market at the gate, three hours in a day. Also, 
those knives that were taken away a few days ago, 
were handed in again. 

20. For the week past, I have received one shil- 
ling and eightpence for boxes. 

21. Sunday. Last evening about nine o'clock, 
it being very dark, a number attempted to get over 
the wall by the help of a line, but as the sixth man 

70 R E L I C O 1 T li E 

was getting o\€r, they were discovered, and three 
of the number immediately taken. 

22. To-day is the King's coronation day, and 
each ship in commission, in the harbor, fired a 

23. To-day the masons have been at work, build- 
ing the wall higher where the men got over. 

24. Pleasant weather. 

25. We are informed that the Lexington, priva- 
teer, Captain Henry Johnston, of sixteen guns, is 
taken by a cutter of ten guns. 

26. Last evening one of our company made an 
attempt to get over the wall, but no sooner was 
he over than he was discovered and taken. 
The commissioner again visited us, and spoke in 
particular to each of our requests. He informed 
us that a newspaper could not be allowed us. and 
that persons on half allowance must not be helped 
by any donations ; he told us that he had written 
to the Board for an addition of a quarter of a pound 
of beef to a man ; and as cold weather was coming 
on, for shoes and stockings for such as are desti- 
tute. Since this gentleman has been in town, our 
provisions have been much better than they were 
before. This afternoon, Captain Johnston, of the 
Lexington privateer, and six of his officers, were 
brought to prison in a coach. 

27. Ten more of Captain Johnston's men came 


to prison to-day. They inform us that they were 
taken by a ten gun cutter after almost four hours' 
engagement, and having expended all their shot ; 
they were so disabled by having their shrouds, 
stays, and braces shot away, and so nearly 
wrecked, that they were obliged to strike to their 
inferiors. They had six men killed and a num- 
ber wounded ; their first lieutenant had an arm 
shot off, and after they were taken they were not 
stripped as our company had been, but were al- 
lowed all their clothes ; and Captain Johnston was 
allowed even to wear his hanger, which he brought 
to prison with him, and delivered to the agent. 
He had considerable money with him, which the 
agent took, and he is to have it in small quantities 
as he wants it, for immediate use. 

28. Sunday. Two large men-of-war came up 
from the •Sound to Ammoors; also, a frigate arrived 
in the Sound, dismasted. 

29. Michaelmas day. 

30. Within a few days, three East Indiamen 
arrived here, and we are told that a great part of 
their men are pressed on board of the men-of-war. 
This afternoon a number more of Captain John- 
ston's men were brought to prison. 

October 1. A number more of Captain John- 
ston's men came to prison ; they inform us th^t 


the Frenchmen which they had on board, are not 
likely to come to prison. There were about twen- 
ty of them. 

3. Captain Lee, being unwell, was sent to the 

4. To-day the remainder of Captain Johnston's 
men came to prison, except the Frenchmen. 

5. Sunday. Pleasant weather. 

6. To-day one of our company was brought 
back, who made his escape over the wall on the 
20th of last month. This is the fourth time that 
this man has tried to escape without success. 

7. The father and mother of one of Captain 
Lee's men came to see him ; they had not seen 
each other before, for nearly fifteen years. 

8. One of the officers of the Fieutryant came to 
prison to see Captain Lee. He informed us that 
they have been cruising two hundred and fifty 
leagues to the westward, and have taken one of 
the schooner Hawk's prizes. 

9. When the commissioner was here, we re- 
quested of him the privilege of two men per day, 
to go into the cook-room and cut up our meat, 
and see it put into the copper, which he granted. 

10. Warm and pleasant. 

11. To-day the captains of the Burford and 
Fieutryant came to see us. 


12. Sunday. Of late, there have not been so 
many people to see us as formerly. 

13 To-day our agent has been in a very good 
humor, and he informed us that there is great ex- 
pectation of a French war, and within a few days 
there have been four ships of the first class put in 
commission, and orders have come from London 
to man them as quickly as possible. He also tells 
us that he has had a letter from the commissoner, 
which says that Mr. Knapp, and another Newbury 
man, who made their escape from this place on 
the 5th of August last, are taken up. 

14. To-day a mess of us bought a bag of pota- 
toes, containing seventeen gallons, for three 
shillings, which is much cheaper than to buy them 
at the gate for fourpence a gallon. 

15. It is eleven months to-day since we sailed 
from Newburyport. 

16. To-day a Marblehead man came to see us, 
who has been on board the men-of-war ever since 
the disturbance. He informs us that there are a 
few Marblehead men on board the Blenheim. 

17. This afternoon there were seven more pris- 
oners brought on shore to prison ; some cf whom 
belong to the schooner Hawk's prize,that was taken 
by the Fieutryant, and the rest belong to the Oli- 
ver Cromwell privateer, that was taken by the 
Beaver sloop-of-war. 



18. We learn by those who came to prison last, 
that Dr. Franklin has written to the English am- 
bassador, concerning an exchange of prisoners. 

19. Sunday. This morning we found out that 
one of our company, confederate with a black 
man, had stolen, last night, an allowance of bread 
and cheese from those who came last to prison, — 
for which they made him run the gantlet up 
one side of the prison and down the other, one 
hundred and thirty feet, through a double file of 
men armed each with a nettle. 



More Prisoners — Hears from Home — Suspicion — A hot Press — 
1500 Seamen wanted — News from America — Disagreeable Com- 
pany — Destitution of the Prisoners — Digging, and Detection — A 
Pious Wish — Twenty years of age — Mournful Reflection — Let- 
ter from Bilboa — Bad Bread — Unpleasant Reflections — King's 
Speech — Bold Project — Failure — Reports — Strictness of the 
Guard — Suspicion — Privation from the Gospel — Prisoners Threat- 
ened — Voluntary Sacrifice — Good News reported — Detail of 
General Burgoyno's Defeat — Washington and Howe. 

October 20. There has been a prospect of a 
French war ever since we have been taken, but 
now I believe it is inevitable. 

21. To-day we have drawn new hammocks, 
which are nearly a foot shorter than those we had 
before, on account of the hanging of them being 

22. To-day the remainder of the prisoners came 
on shore to the prison, and among them is a 
young man belonging to one of the schooner 
Hawk's prizes. This young man formerly lived 


with Thomas Tennant, of Newbury. From him I 
obtained intelligence of the health of my father 
and brother, and many other friends. It is a 
great satisfaction to me to hear from home, though 
it is very uncertain whether or not I ever see it. 

23. Wet weather. 

24. Warm and pleasant. 

25. King Charles' restoration day. The gar- 
rison, fort, and each ship in the harbor, in 
commission, fired a salute. We are told that 
twelve sail of the line have been put in commis- 
sion within a few days. We learn that there are 
suspicions that a French fleet has gone to the West 
Indies. To-day a large ship came in here in dis- 
tress, having carried away her main-mast and 

20. It is eleven months to-day since we left 

27. Last night two prisoners, Cutter and Mor- 
ris, made their escape from the prison hospital ; 
also to-day another prisoner ran the gantlet for 
stealing a penny loaf from one of the prisoners. 

28. We are informed that two sentries, who 
were knowing to those two prisoners making their 
escape, are confined upon suspicion, and one of 
them has turned King's evidence, and informed 
of the other. 

29. Cold and windy weather. 


30. A bad storm, so that we keep house all day, 
except when we get out to draw our provisions. 

31. Pleasant and warm, for the season. 
November 1. We are informed that a few days 

ago, in a storm, a ship appeared, at a small dis- 
tance from land, and gave a signal of distress, 
and in about ten hours was not to be seen ; it is 
supposed she foundered. 

2. We are informed that there is as hot a press 
now going on as ever was known in England ; and 
that fifteen hundred seamen are wanted immedi- 
ately, to fit out a fleet. 

3. We have a paper, dated the 21st of last 
month, wherein is an account of General Bur- 
goyne's losing two thousand men, besides a num- 
ber taken prisoners. 

5. To-day is Gunpowder Treason, and they 
make but little account of it compared with what 
I expected. To-day a boy ran the gantlet, for 

6. To-day some prisoners, in a separate prison, 
who have been trying for some \ime to make 
their escape by digging out, were discovered by 
the guard. 

7. We have a paper wherein are several fine 
pieces in behalf of America, which I hope wiJl 
prove of advantage, as the Parliament is to set 
about the 1 5th or 20th of this month ; I am per- 

U E L 1 C OF 

suaded that the American affairs will be called up 
as the first question, and the subject of the most 

8. Two ships-of-war dropped down into the 
Sound, in order for sailing. 

9. Sunday. Somewhat cold, and there are a 
great many in prison who have neither shoes nor 
stockings for their feet, and scarcely a jacket or 
shirt for their back : these must inevitably suf- 
fer, if not perish, this winter, with cold, if not 
supplied with clothing. As to myself, I have 
enough to keep me comfortable as to clothes, 
which is more than two-thirds in prison have ; for 
many have been obliged to sell their clothes to buy 

10. To-day six persons, in a separate prison, as 
they were at work in a drain under ground, dig- 
ging out, were discovered by the guard, and 
caught in the drain, and carried to the Black-hole. 
"11. Two of the turnkeys, who used to tend the 
doors and gates, have been discharged ; I sup- 
pose on suspicion of their being too good friends 
to us. 

12. To-day an American captain, belonging to 
Manchester, who was taken in a merchantman, 
came to see us. He is set at liberty, and is bound 
home. Several in prison sent letters by him, but 


we could not. write a true account, because our 
letters were examined. 

13. Wet weather. Our yard, which was a 
pleasant spot when we came into it, is now nearly 
a mud pond in wet weather, and in dry a dust 

14. This morning, as some in prison were at 
work, trying to dig out, the guard came in and 
found the hole ; and when they came to turn us 
out, there were one or two who did not move so 
soon as they wanted them to do, and they struck 
and abused them ; afterwards, when pne of the 
prisoners went to one of the prison windows to 
look for something, the sentry in the prison yard 
saw him and struck him over the back, and broke 
his bayonet. 

15. It is twelve months to-day since we sailed 
from Newburyport. I hope the Lord in whom we 
ought to trust, will, in his own good time, deliver 
us out of the hands of our enemies, and return us 
to a free country, — which would be a day of good 
fortune, a day of agreeable surprise and great joy. 
Then would I say — 

Thiicc happy youth, though destitute and poor, 

These are my restoration days ; 
The Lord, who brought me out, I 'm sure 

Can teach me how his name to praise. 



16. Sunday. Pleasant for the season of the 

17. This day I am twenty years of age. I have 
often read in authors of some great transaction to 
be laid open to the world in the year 1777, and I 
have been looking for it, in hope of seeing the 
event; but, alas ! little did I think that at the age 
of twenty years I should have spent almost a 
twelvemonth of my time a prisoner. 

18. It has been reported for several days past, 
that Philadelphia is taken. I believe I may assert 
with truth r that since we have been taken, we have 
heard fifty times that Philadelphia was taken, and 
often I have seen it in the papers, and many peo- 
ple believe it. It is in this manner that the poor 
and common people in England are blinded, by 
false reports ; and some of the gentlemen of Ply- 

I mouth hired the sexton to ring the bells, for re- 

19. Captain Lee received a letter from Bilboa, 
and had an offer of being supplied with money. 
This letter informs us that Mr. Stevanson, Captain 
Lee's lieutenant, who made his escape from prison 
on the 21st of September, has arrived safe in 

20. This morning William Moody, a Newbury 
man, taken with Captain Tileston about nine 
months ago, came to see us. He has got inva- 


lided, and intends to make the best of his way 

21. We are told that six more large ships have 
been put in commission. 

22. Our bread to-day is intolerably bad ; it ap- 
pears to us as though it was made of the grain of 
malt, or chopped straw : there are straws in it an 
inch long, and it is so hully and tough, that it is 
scarcely fit for a beast to eat. We complained of 
it, and were told if we would put up with it to-day 
we should have no more such. 

23. Sunday. There are so many men in the 
prison, and so few books, that, in general, we are 
but poorly employed 

24. We hear that there has a packet arrived 
from America, but we shall not learn what news 
she brings, until their contents have been to Lon- 
don and refined. 

25. We hear that Captain Thompson, of the 
Bailey frigate, is now in France. 

26. It is twelve months to-day since we sailed 
from Portsmouth. It is enough to vex the spirit 
of any man, to think that such a number of men 
should be thrown away, and brought into trouble 
through the misconduct of one man. If there 
had been good conduct on board of our vessel, we 
should have made up our cruise in twenty-four 
hours from the time we were taken ; for, that 


same night, in a few hours after we were taken, 
the Reasonable spoke twelve or fifteen sail of 
transports bound to America, and their convoy had 
thrown their guns overboard in a storm. 

27. We are informed that the King's Speech is 
in the papers, and that he is resolved to carry on 
the war with America, at all hazards. 

28. For the two months past I have received ten 
shillings for boxes. Ever since about ten days 
after I came to prison, I have bought myself a 
breakfast of bread and milk, every morning it was 
to be had ; and of late I have had potatoes to eat 
with my meat almost every day, which, I am sorry 
to say, is more than two thirds in prison can get. 

29. To-day I had an opportnnity of reading the 
King's Speech to the House of Lords, on the 20th 
of this month, in which he acknowledges that he 
is much grieved at the great expense the nation is 
at in this war ; but he hopes that the Parliament 
will assist him still in carrying it on with vigor. 

30. Sunday. Last evening, it being very dark 
and stormy, we were in general resolved to put in 
execution a plan proposed — to dig out at the 
back side of the prison, seize the sentry, confine 
him, and carry him out of call, but not to hurt 
him. Upon breaking ground, they unexpectedly 
saw a lamp placed near the hole, which gave light 
all round, so that they thought it impracticable to 

R K V O L U T ION. 83 

put their design into execution. I think if it had 
been otherwise, nearly two thirds in prison would 
have gone out. I got myself dressed and ready, 
and was in hopes of getting out, but to my sorrow, 
I find myself still in Mill Prison. 

December 1. I had an opportunity of hearing 
the paper read, which gives an account of General 
Lee being exchanged ; but for my own part, I do 
not expect we shall be exchanged before the con- 
clusion of the war, unless France and Spain de- 
clare war, which to appearance, cannot be avoid- 

2. We are informed that two packets have lately 
arrived, and confirm the reports that Philadelphia 
is taken. Also, they have reported that the Amer- 
cans have blown up an English seventy-four, which 
was attempting to go up to Philadelphia. 

3. This morning the guard discovered another 
hole which we begun to dig yesterday. I think 
we have been very diligent and careful to improve 
every opportunity to make our escape, but the 
guard is so very strict with us, that I think it al- 
most impossible to succeed, and we have reason to 
think that there are some traitors amongst us, who 
give information of every thing of the kind which 
we undertake. 

4. We, in our mess, bought another bag of pa- 
tatoes, for three shillings. 



5. This day twelvemonth I was at sea in a 
storm ; the same day, by what I can learn, was a 
day of thanksgiving in America. 

6. Last evening, a man in prison received a let- 
ter from a friend in London, which desired him 
to make himself easy, for we should be delivered 
before we were aware of it ; but we have been told 
such stories ever since we have been in England ; 
so we place very little confidence in it. 

7. Sunday. It is a great grievance to be shut 
up in prison, and debarred from hearing the gos- 
pel preached on the Lord's day, though I did not 
make much improvement of it when I had the op- 

8. To-day we were all mustered, and after this 
was over, the agent informed us that he had re- 
ceived a letter from the Board, to put all in this 
prison on half allowance, for breaking orders and 
attempting to make our escape, until the trans- 
gressor should be found out. But as we all, with 
one voice joined in one cause, we thought it inhu- 
man to pitch upon any one man ; therefore, by way 
of contribution, we raised money enough to hire 
one man to own the same and sufFer for all, so that 
we are obliged to support him while on half allow- 
ance and make him amends for his sufferings 

9. To-day the man delivered himself up, to go 
to the Black-hole, and the agent allows him every 



indulgence consistent with his orders, which is a 
very uncommon thing for him. 

10. Warm and pleasant, for the season of the year. 

11. There have been various reports for several 
days past, but I thought them not worthy of ob- 
servation, because they did not come from so good 
authority as I could wish they might ; but to-day 
he have a very authentic account from Captain 
Henry Johnston's brother, who is lately from Lon- 
don, that General Burgoyne and his army are to- 
tally routed, many killed, and taken to a man ; 
and as I do not doubt the truth of it, it gives me 
more satisfaction than any news I have heard since 
I have been a prisoner. Also, we have good rea- 
son to believe that Howe is in possession of Phil- 
adelphia ; but Washington, of choice, without any 
molestation, let him march in, for we hear that 
the Americans have possession of all the forts on 
the river. 

12. I purchased a book called the " American 
Crisis," on purpose to lend it to a friend without. 
We are told that the generality of the people in 
England are very much disaffected at the proceed- 
ings of the ministry. 

] 3. To-day we all carried our clothing out into 
the yard, and were examined to know who wanted 
clothes, and who did not. But for my part, I am 
not in need of any thing, for with what little 


money I have got in time past, by making boxes, I 
have clothed myself tolerably well. We were told, 
by a gentleman who came to see us, that our coun- 
trymen at home have something to be proud of, 
though we are a little humbled by our imprison- 

14. To-day Captain Lee received a letter from 
Captain Trott, who was taken in one of the Civil 
Usage's prizes. He informs us of their taking ten 
valuable prizes, and six of the number were ar- 
rived safely at the place of destination. 

15. Cold weather to what it has been for some 
days past. 

16, 17. We have a paper wherein is a confirm- 
ation and the particulars of General Burgoyne's 
being taken, with six thousand men, seven thou- 
sand stand of arms, seven thousand suits of clothes, 
seventy, thousand guineas, sixty batteaux, with a 
thousand barrels of provisions, and a great many 
pieces of artillery, which in England they ac- 
knowledge to be the best ever sent out of the coun- 
try, against any nation. We have, also, a melan- 
choly account of the cruelty of the Indians in the 
back settlements, set on by the inhuman Bur- 
goyne, and an account of General Lincoln's taking 
two forts, up North River, and putting the people 
to the sword. We hear, besides, of General Wash- 
ington's giving Howe battle, and after the battle 


was over, there were six hundred wagon loads of 
dead and wounded seen to go into Philadelphia. 
After hearing this news, joy is plainly seen in the . 
countenance of every American here. ^J 

18. We hear that Lord North has made a mo- 
tion for peace, in the House, but they thought as 
he was one of the chief instigators of war, that he 
had no right to have any hand in making peace. 

19. We hear that General Putnam had inter- 
cepted several letters sent by Howe to Burgoyne, 
which showed their determination, and proved of 
happy consequences to the Americans. Accord- 
ing to the last accounts, the American loss in 
the late engagements is very inconsiderable. 

20. To-day six men came up from the Black- 
hole, who were sent there on the tenth of last 
month — their forty days having expired. 

21. Nothing remarkable, except repeated con- 
firmations of what we have heard before. 

22. We are informed that Parliament has ad- 
journed till the twentieth of next month ; I 
suppose, to hear further intelligence from Lord 
Howe, and to know whether he has made any pro- 
gress in the country. 




Christmas Pudding — Christmas Presents — Clothes served — Happy 
New Year — Friends appear — Presents — Friends increase — 
Large Donations reported — Donation from British Recruiting Par- 
ties — Private Donations — Exhortations to a civil, sober lifo — 
Large distribution of Clothing — Royal Salute — Regular Allowance 
from Donation Fund — Increasing Privilege. 

December 23. To-day we have new printed or- 
ders put up in prison, which are from the commis- 
sioners, to be strictly observed by us. 

24. It is twelve months since I was taken, and 
as to-morrow is Christmas, and we have a little 
money, we are resolved to have something more 
than we had last Christmas ; accordingly we sent 
out for five pounds of flour, one pound of suet, one 
pound of plums, half a pound of sugar, half an 
ounce of spice, and two quarts of milk, to mix the 
same for a pudding. 


25. Christmas. To-day had our intended pud- 
ping, and as there was so much of it that we could 
not conveniently boil it all in one bag, we made 
two of it, and the largest was as much as seven of 
of us wanted to eat at one meal, with our other 
provisions ; these seven were of our own mess, and 
three of our neighbors, whom we invited. To-day 
our baker, who supplies us with bread, instead of 
brown bread, sent us white, and our butcher, in- 
stead of beef, gave us mutton, and instead of cab- 
bage we had turnips ; and the butcher's wife gave 
us oatmeal to thicken our broth, and salt to salt 
it ; so that on the whole, we had not so hungry a 
Christmas as the last. I must confess I have a very 
agreeable expectation, if my life is spared and the 
Lord pleases to permit me, to sit down at my 
father's table next Christmas. 

26. To-day considerable bread was given in the 
yard, by gentlemen who visited us, besides a pen- 
ny loaf to each mess, sent in by our friends out- 

27. For some days I have been unwell, and this 
morning I took a portion of salts. 

28. Sunday. Warm weather, as it is natural in 
this country and different from what it is in Amer- 
ica, at this season of the year. 

29. For a month past, I send out every few 
days and buy half a pound of tobacco, and retail it 



out, so that I can afford to sell better measure than 
can be bought at public market at the gate, and 
thus oblige myself and my neighbors. 

30. To-day we had clothes served out to us, and 
some who were almost naked received a jacket, 
breeches, and two shirts, two pairs of stockings, a 
pair of shoes, and a cap. I received only a pair of 
shoes. Although I have been a prisoner more than 
twelve months, I have received only a pair of shoes 
from government ; for we have reason to think 
that the clothes and bedding which were served to 
our company on board the Burford, were given us 
by the captain of the ship. 

31. Those who did not receive clothes yester- 
day, had them to-day, except shoes, which they 
are to have in a few days ; and those who petitioned 
the Board to go on board His Majesty's ships, re- 
ceived an answer from the Lord of the Admiral- 
ty, that all those who are legally committed to 
prison could not be bailed. However, our long- 
wished-for day draws near, for to-morrow the Act 
will expire, by which we were committed to pris- 
on. But we hear that it is likely to be renewed 
asiain ; God fcrbid it should be so. 

1778. January I. I wish myself and all my 
brother fellow-sufferers a very happy new year. I 
do not know how to express my joy for so good a 
beginning, but by hoping that it will end better. 


No sooner is this very impolitic Act out, than our 
friends make themselves known to us, which be- 
fore they dared not do. To-day we had sent to 
us a plum pudding, and a sixpenny white loaf, to 
each mess, as a new year's gift, which, with our 
allowance, was sufficient for one day. Some gen- 
tlemen, also, who are friends, came to see us, and 
among the number was one Mr. Hancock, cousin 
of John Hancock, president of the Continental 
Congress. They inform us that upwards of .£800 
sterling have been r-aised in London for the relief 
of the prisoners here, and that they are daily rais- 
ing more. They further told us, that we should not 
want for any thing, so long as we are prisoners in 
England. Transporting words ! We have found 
friends in adversity. "Friends in need, are friends 
indeed." . 

2. To-day we received nothing but our usual 

3. To-day we had sent to us a pound of soap to 
each man ! 

4. Sunday. We had sent to us a four pound 
loaf, and about six ounces of shag tobacco, to each 
mess, which we are told was given us by private 

5. We had sent us a gallon of potatoes, to each 
mess, and oatmeal to thicken our broth. 

6. To-day we had half a pint of peas instead of 


greens, to each mess; by order from the Board, 
we are to have peas four times a week, which we 
like very much. Again, also, we had a white loaf 
sent us to each mess, and a small number of books. 
To-day two boys, in prison, were tied up and 
whipped, a dozen each, for making game of the 
provision, because it was not cooked well. 

7. To-day one hundred and fifty blankets were 
sent us, to be given to those who need them most ; 
and as there are two hundred and eighty-nine pris- 
oners here, there is not one to each man ; so those 
who have the best bedding receive none, and as I 
have sufficient, I want none. 

8. We had a threepenny loaf to each mess, 
sent us to-day, and as four of our number, who came 
last to prison, have not had the small-pox, they 
went to the hospital to be inoculated. 

9. This afternoon a number of gentlemen came, 
and read a letter to us, which gives an account of 
upwards of =£200 sterling having been raised in 
Bristol, for the relief of the prisoners here ; also, 
an account of <£2,27G raised in London, for the 
same purpose. In Portsmouth, we hear that there 
are about one hundred and forty prisoners, so that 
the number here and there, amounts to four hun- 
dred and twenty-nine. What we have received 
hitherto, has no connection with these donations, 
but was given by private gentlemen. 


10. We had sent us a threepenny loaf to each 
mess, and three hundred herring, to be divided 
amongst us. Also, it being a pleasant day, the 
prison was smoked with charcoal and brimstone, 
as is customary once in a few days. 

11. We hear that Parliament is warned to meet 
six days sooner than it adjourned for. 

12. To-day is the first that we have received 
any thing from the donation raised for us, and 
now we have a stated rule, which is a fourpenny 
loaf each day, out of the money raised in Bristol, 
except a few officers, who of choice, receive 
the money instead of bread. We hear no more as 
yet, of the money raised in London, but we sup- 
pose it is not come down. 

13. We are told that ten recruiting parties are 
gone out into the country, from the regiment 
which guards us. Also, Captain Henry Johnston 
received a letter from his brother in London, 
wherein he desires him to make himself easy, 
for we shall all be exchanged in the spring. 

14. To-day two ministers came to see us, and 
informed us of many good things preparing for us, 
which are too numerous to mention here ; but if 
we receive them, I shall give an account of them 

15. It is fourteen months to-day, since we sailed 
from Newbury. Also, we had sent us to-day, a 


yard of tobacco to each mess, and we are told lhat 
we are to have a yard every other day, which is 
four inches and a half to each man, per day. 

10. Those who did not receive shoes on the 
30th or 31st of last month, received them to-day. 
Also, we hear that all the wearing apparel that we 
have received as yet, was given us by government, 
but we are told that each of us is to have a great 
coat and a suit of clothes out of the money raised 
for us. Also, to-day we have another fourpcimy 
loaf to each mess, which makes eight pennyworth 
of bread to each mess, per day, besides our allow- 
ance by government. We arc advised by all our 
friends without, to make ourselves contented for a 
little while, for they tell us that they have all the 
reason in the world to believe that we shall be out 
of prison in three months. We had sent us a 
number of printed exhortations, urging us to lead 
a civil, sober life, and to leave off swearing and 
profaning the name of the Lord, for that is the last 
thing that many do before they sleep, and the first 
after they awake. 

17. To-day we had clothes served out to us, out 
of the money raised for .us ; such as two shirts, 
two pairs of stockings, a pair of shoes, jacket and 
breeches, to those who needed them, and caps. 
The oilicers received white linen shirts instead of 
check, and hats instead of caps. They tell us we 


are all to have great coats in a few days ; the 
clothes have not all come, so we are not all served. 
I was served to-day. I received two shirts, two 
pairs of stockings, a pair of shoes, a jacket and cap. 
We had also, a pound of pork to each mess, to 
eat with our peas ; and we are told that we are to 
have it every Saturday. We had tobacco served 
again, and are told it is to be continued. 

18. Sunday. We have an addition of about 
half a pound of beef to each mess. 

Lord Cornwallis arrived yesterday in the Sound, 
from America. We hear that Howe has taken all 
the forts which command the Delaware. 

19. Last night there was a heavy thunder- 
squall, and if I mistake not, there has been but 
one thunder-shower since I have been in England. 
Yesterday was the Queen's birth-day, but on ac- 
count of its being Sunday they did not fire ; but 
to-day each ship in commission, the fort and gar- 
ison, fired twenty-one guns as a royal salute. 

20. To-day they have again been serving clothes, 
but have not finished. 

21. The remainder in prison had clothes served 
to them, so that each man in prison has received 
a great coat, and a suit, or^nearly a suit, of clothes, 
out of the donation fund. We have, also, had our 
broth thickened, and it is to be continued ; besides 



a pound of beef to each mess more than our al- 
lowance by government. 

22. We have now got into a settled rule of re- 
ceiving our donation. The officers, such as cap- 
tains and lieutenants, are allowed five shillings 
a week ; sailing masters and prize masters, four 
shillings a week; boatswains, carpenters, and such 
like, three shillings per week, and privateers-men, 
two shillings per week, which is laid out in such 
provisions as we think proper. What we receive 
in provisions, besides the government allowance, 
is as follows : one pound and a quarter of bread to 
each mess, and a quarter of a pound of beef per 
day, except Saturday ; we then receive a quarter of 
a pound of pork. We have thickening and leeks in 
our broth ; tobacco we receive every other day ; 
soap we receive as we want it ; but the officers, 
what they do not receive in provisions receive 
in money. We have now every thing that we 
want as to provisions and clothing ; but there is 
one thing yet lacking — a thankful heart. 

23. As keeping ourselves clean is conducive to 
health, the agent has indulged us, for a few days 
past, with liberty for six of us per day, to go down 
into a separate yard to wash, where there is a 
pump and convenience for washing. 

24. I have heard little or no news, for this week 

i; K V O L U T 1 u M . 97 

past, and indeed no news is the best news for us; 
for if there is any thing against us, they are ready 
enough to tell us. 

25. Sunday. Cold, blustering, unsteady weath- 

26. It is fourteen months to-day, since we sailed 
from Portsmouth. To-day I went down into the 
hospital yard to see one of my sick acquaintances, 
who is down with the small-pox, under an excuse 
to go to wash. 




Price of Tobacco — Cleanliness — Not to be discouraged — Blankets 
— Distribution — Letter from America — Officers Escape — Arrival 
of a Fleet — Paper — Dr. Franklin to the Council — State of Troops 
— Deserters Taken — Visit from the Governor and Lady — Removal 
of Officers — General wish for Peace — A Newspaper — Commis- 
sioners — Public Fast — Allowance withdrawn — Liberality — Pe- 
tition Refused — A Newspaper — Roward of Bravery — Lights con- 

January 27. We are informed by the man who 
contracts for our tobacco, that it is very scarce, 
and hard to be got for the money ; it is three shil- 
lings and sixpence per pound, which is one shilling 
and twopence dearer than it was at Christmas. 
The officers, in a separate prison, are allowed to 
burn candles in the evening until gun-fire, which 
is eight o'clock. 

28. To-day some new washing troughs were 
brought to prison for us to wash our clothes in, 
and now we have plenty of clothes, soap, water 


and tubs to wash in. In general, we are tolerably 

29. It being a pleasant day, the prison was* again 
smoked. Concerning being released, we have no 
reason to think that those gentlemen who gave us 
encouragement intend to flatter us, as often the 
darkest hour of the night is just before day. It 
may be so with us, as those things which we have 
received since new year, came entirely unexpect- 
ed to us ; who knows but our redemption may 
come as suddenly and unexpectedly ; so that I 
think it becomes us to put things on a medium, 
and make the best of a bad bargain ; not to let our 
fears exceed our hopes, nor to put so much de- 
pendence on getting out, as to be disappointed of 
it ; but as we are committed to prison by a civil 
magistrate for high treason, it is the opinion of 
some, that it is not in the power of the King or 
council to release us without some sort of a trial. / 

30. Yesterday afternoon, about sixty pairs of 
blankets were sent for those who had none. We 
also have the paper, wherein is an extract of a let- 
ter from a nobleman in the British service in 
America. He writes, that Cornwallis embarked 
on such a day, for home, to lay before the King 
and council the true state of America; he writes 
that the Americans want for nothing that is 
necessary, while they are in want of every thing. 



Beef is four shillings per pound in Philadelphia, 
and other fresh provisions in proportion ; and flour 
is not 'to be had. He states that it is wholly owing 
to Howe's good conduct that they are not totally 
cut off to a man, but if the Schuylkill freezes over, 
it is not too late to do it yet. We also have a pa- 
per, wherein is Lord North's proposition for re- 
conciliation with America. 

February I. Sunday. Last evening, between 
seven and nine o'clock, five of the officers in a 
separate prison, who had agreed with the sentry 
to let them go, made their escape and took two 
sentries with them. The five officers were Cap- 
tain Henry Johnston, Captain Eleazer Johnston, 
Offin Boardman, Samuel Treadwell and one Mr. 
Deal. Captain Henry Johnston having several 
suits of good clothes, he gave each sentry one, 
which they put on, and left their regimentals at 
their posts, with their firelocks, and made off*; they 
were soon discovered by the guard, and pursued, 
but not taken. 

3. I had a quantity of cedar brought to me to 
make boxes of. 

4. This afternoon a fleet of about twelve or fif- 
teen sail, with a convoy, arrived in the Sound, and 
saluted the admiral. It is thought they are part 
of Burgoyne's fleet, as we have heard that they 
were expected home. 


5. To-day two large ships went from the Sound 
up to Ammoors, one of which had lost her main- 
top-mast. We are told that the three parties that 
went in pursuit of those who made their escape a 
few evenings ago, returned unsuccessful. 

6. For two or three days I have been out of 
wood, so that I have done very little work, but to- 
day I had enough brought to last me a month. 

7. To-day we had half a pound of pork more than 
usual, to each mess, which makes a pound and a 
half To each mess. 

8. Sunday. We have the paper wherein is an 
extract of a letter from Dr. Franklin, Dean and 
Lee, to Lord North, and to the ministry, putting 
them in mind of the abuse which the prisoners 
have received from time to time, and giving them 
to know that it is in the power of the Americans 
to make ample retaliation, but they hoped 
that there was more humanity left in their hearts. 
They also wrote concerning an exchange of 
prisoners, and that if they 'would not exchange, 
they hoped that Congress would be permitted 
to appoint an agent to supply the prisoners in 
England with such things as were necessary, at 
their own expense. We learn that their answer 
was, that in America there was an exchange. 

11. For some days past, the masons have been 
at work building a chimney. 


12. We have a paper wherein is an account of 
the House of Parliament being very full, and that 
there is upwards of two hundred and fifty for car* 
rying on the war, and upwards of one hundred and 
fifty for settling it. I am glad to find that the mi- 
nority increases fast ; the same paper informs us 
that there is nearly one half against the method 
they take in raising money to carry on the war, 
and there is a disturbance about the method they 
take for raising troops. The same paper also in- 
forms us, that their troops at home are five 
thousand six hundred and seventy-three short of 
the peace establishment, and that there is only 
about ten thousand troops in England, Ireland, 
Scotland, Gibraltar and Mahon. 

13. Many people in England, besides us prison- 
ers, thought that Burgoyne's troops were to be 
sent home, as we have heard, agreeably to their 
capitulation, but by this time we are persuaded to 
the contrary. 

14. For two or three days I have been out 
of wood, so that I have done but little work ; till 
within a few days I have received three shillings 
for boxes. 

15. To-day it is fifteen months since we sailed 
from Newbury. 

lb". To-day it snowed about three hours, just so 

It E V O L U T 1 O N. 103 

as to cover the ground. It is the first time the 
ground has been covered this winter. 

17. Clear and cold. It is now we find the ben- 
efit of our great coats. We hear that the two sol- 
diers that deserted and went off with the before- 
mentioned officers, from the prison, have been ta- 
ken ; which I am sorry to hear, for they will un- 
doubtedly both be shot ; and not only so, but I am 
afraid that their being taken will be followed with 
other bad consequences. 

18. The chimney, in a separate prison, is so far 
completed, that we have a fire in it. To-day about 
twelve o'clock, the Governor of Plymouth and his 
lady, came to see us, and bought some of our 
wooden ware, and tasted of our broth ; he said it 
was very fine, as indeed it has been, ever since we 
have had it thickened, and leeks put into it. 

19. We are told by almost every one that comes 
to the gate, that a French war is near at hand, 
and cannot be avoided. 

20. To-day each man in prison had a check lin- 
en handkerchief sent to him, which was given us 
by the donation. Also, to-day the officers in this 
prison moved into another, which has been pre- 
paring for them, so that all the officers who were 
committed to prison, as such, are in a prison by 

21. Some time ago we had two fourpenny loaves 

104 ii i: lic o p t n E 

to each mess, per day, but one of them was soon 
taken off; and as they told us we should have as 
much provision as we wanted, we made it known 
to them, that we were desirous of having a sixpen- 
ny loaf instead of the fourpenny one, which they 
granted, and to-day we received a sixpenny loaf to 
each mess. 

22. Sunday. We hear that General Gates sent a 
letter to one of the Parliament, in which he de- 
plores the state of Great Britain, and advises them 
to make peace, before the Americans form alliance 
with any other nation. But he states that they 
will accept of nothing short of independence. 

23. We have been informed several times, late- 
ly, that all the Acts since the year 17G3, are like- 
ly to be repealed. " Peace with America and war 
with France," is the cry of almost every Briton. 
We have a paper in prison wherein is Lord 
North's speech in the House. He confesses that 
the English troops in America, have been beaten 
by inferior numbers. For several evenings past, 
we have had candles burning in prison, unknown 
to the agent, turnkey or guard ; but I expect it 
will not be long before we shall be allowed to burn 
them, as we have written to the Board concerning 
it. We hear that a proclamation is issued for a 
public fast throughout England, Ireland and Scot- 


25. We hear that commissioners are appointed 
to go to America to treat with Congress; and they 
are to be considered a legal body while in treaty 
with them. 

26. Last night the snow fell about two inches 
deep, on a level, which is more than it has snowed, 
put it all together, during the winter. 

27. This day is kept as a public fast, through- 
out the united kingdom. I suppose they did not 
think it worth while to proclaim a fast before, as I 
do not remember that there has been one since 
I have been a prisoner, except a yearly fast. It is 
the opinion of many in prison, that if the proposals 
have not already gone to America, that we shall 


be sent with them, to give an assurance that the 

are real. 

28. We are credibly informed that America has 
formed an alliance with France, for the space of 
twenty-one years ; but whether it is any thino- 
more than an alliance for trade, we have not yet 
learned. We hear that it took place the 26th of 
this month. We also hear that the money raised 
in England for the Americans here, amounted to 
c£70Q0 sterling. 

March 1. Wet, dirty weather, which obliges us 
to keep house most of the time. To-day is the 
first day of spring, and I have some secret expect- 
ations of being liberated before the season is ex- 

106 II R L 1 C E T H E 

pired, as there is a fleet of transports, with pro- 
vision, bound to America, which will be ready to 
sail by the last of this month, or the first of April. 
Some think it probable that we may be sent with 

2. Warm and pleasant for the season. We re- 
ceived an answer to the petition we wrote for the 
liberty to burn candles in the evening, but the an- 
swer was that we could not be allowed the privi- 

;3. We have a paper in prison, from which wc 
learn that Congress has made a present of a gold 
medal to General Gates, and a sword to the com- 
mander at Mud Island, for their bravery. There 
is also a slur upon Howe, in the paper, which is, 
that he has got three miles in length, and two in 
breadth, in the late campaign. 

4. To-day, every man's clothing was exam- 
ined to see if we keep ourselves clean. Last even- 
ing one of the prisoners was sent to the Black- 
hole, for abusive words spoken to the agent, and 
another to-day, for selling his clothes, which were 
given him, to get money to gamble with. 

5. Remarkably pleasant weather for the season. 
It is so warm, and the yard is so dry, that we all 
carried our hammocks and bedding out to air. 
Yesterday, Captain Lee received a letter, by the 
way of Bilboa, from Newbury, from Mr. Tracy, 


by which we learn mat he is daily striving for our 

6. Although we are not allowed lights in prison, 
yet we have them every evening, and intend 
to till we are found out ; and then they can do no 
more than deny us of them, for when we cannot 
get candles, we burn marrow-bones, which give a 
very good light, and a good bone will last as long 
as half a candle 

1US K £ L I C O F T II t 


Awful Penalty for Desertion — Public Indignation — Remarkablo 
Health of the Prisoners — Recruiting Party in Cornwall — Howe 
in trouble — Two Fathers — Scarcity of Provisions in the West In- 
dies — Black-hole — American Privateer — Hot Press — Detection 
— French Brig run down — Prisoners sell their clothes to gamble — 
" Preceptor " — Extreme Punishment — Sports — Examination — 
Use of Poverty — English Ambassador returns from France — Cap- 
tain Boardman — Titcomb — Hope of Return — Commissioners to 
America — Newspapers. 

March 7. We are told that the two soldiers 
who deserted and carried five of the officers from 
prison, on the evening of the 31st of January, 
have had their trial. One of them is condemned 
to be shot, the other to receive seven hundred 
stripes. After their trial some handbills were 
sent to the barrack, to the dock, and to Plymouth, 
to set forth the heinousness of their crime in de- 
serting their colors and carrying off rebels with 
them; but the people in the King's dock-yard, 
and some sailors who were on shore frcm the men- 



of-war, gathered in a mob ; got all the bills together 
that they could find, and burnt them. 

8. Sunday. We hear that there has been sev- 
eral commissioners chosen to go to America, but 
they all refuse to go. 

9. For the week past I have been something 
poorly, but the prisoners in general are remarka- 
bly healthy ; never did I hear of such a number 
of men confined together who enjoyed such perfect 
health, and had so little sickness as we have. 
Even upon short allowance we enjoyed our health, 
though every man pined away to merely skin and 
bone. Those who had no money to help them- 
selves, and looked pale and ghastly, and were so 
weak as scarcely to be able to walk, now look 
brisk, lively, and we all are strong, fat, and 
hearty. — . 

10. We are informed that about three hundred 
merchants in London, Bristol and other places, 
have petitioned for peace with America, otherwise 
they will be entirely ruined. We hear that a 
great part of the merchants in Bristol are broken, 
and worth nothing. 

11. We learn that some recruiting parties that 
went into Cornwall to obtain recruits, met with a 
very severe reception ; the people gathered to- 
gether and disarmed them, and drove them out of 
their territory. Indeed, all England seems to be 


in commotion : it is the opinion of some, that 
should the American war continue another year, 
there would be civil war in England ; it seems to 
be but little short of it now. 

L_J2. We are informed that General Howe has 
written home for a reinforcement immediately, or 
he must inevitably share the fate of Burgoyne ; 
this inspires us with fresh courage. To-day our 
two fathers came to see us, as they commonly do 
once or twice a week. They are Mr. Heath and 
Mr. Sorry, the former is a Presbyterian minister, 
in Dock ; the latter a merchant in Plymouth. 
These are the two agents appointed by the com- 
mittee in London to supply us with necessaries. 
A smile from them seems like a smile from a 
father; they tell us that every thing goes on well 
on our side, so that I hope our long wished for 
prize is just at hand — a prize that is preferable 
to any other earthly enjoyment. I hope our days 
of trouble are nearly at an end, and after we have 
borne them with a spirit of manly fortitude, we 
shall be returned to a free country to enjoy our 
just rights and privileges, for which we have been 
so long contending. This will make ample satis- 
faction for all our sufferings. To-day we received 
two shillings per mess, which is sixpence per man ; 
this is back money that we had not received, as 
we receive two shillings per man a week ; what 


we do not receive in provisions we have in money. 

13. Three Marblehead men came to see us, 
who were lately taken in a merchantman bound to 
France. They are about two months from Amer- 
ica. They had the liberty to talk with us for 
nearly an hour. To-day three men were brought 
to prison, they being officers of a privateer that 
was taken and carried to the West Indies. They 
inform us that provisions are so scarce in the 
English islands that the inhabitants move from 
one island to another on that account, and are 
almost starved ; they also inform us that Mr. Sam- 
uel Treadwell is taken, and is now on board the 
Blenheim ; he is one of the five who went out on 
the 31st of June. 

14. To day Mr. Treadwell was brought back to 
prison and put immediately in the Black-hole, 
where he is to lay forty days on half allowance. 
This afternoon, for the misbehavior of three or 
four persons, we were all confined in prison ; and 
it being a very pleasant afternoon, it aggravated 
many so that they ran fore and aft the prison 
screaming, and some cried murder, which alarm- 
ed the guard, and we were turned out, and the 
offenders delivered up and sent to the Black-hole, 
where they must lay until orders come from the 
Board to take them out. 

15. Sunday. For some days past I have spent 

113 It KL1C OF T U E 

most of my time in reading, and I can better com- 
pose myself to it now than I could six months ago. 

16. We are informed that on Saturday an 
American privateer chased a merchantman into 
the mouth of this harbor, and then hoisted her 
colors and made the best of her way from land ; 
and that a frigate, that lay in the Sound, slipped 
her cable and went after her. 

17. St. Patrick's Day. By what we can learn, 
a French and Spanish war is very near at hand. 
The French are making all preparation for the 
contest, so also are the English, for we are told 
that all the ships belonging to the navy, that with 
repairing will be fit for sea, are to be put in 
commission immediately ; and such a hot press as 
there is now in England was never known — they 
press against all protections. 

18. To-day another was sent to the Black-hole, 
for selling the clothes which were given to him ; 
which is no more than right. We are informed 
that we. are to be removed very soon and carried 
to Chester castle, but we pay no regard to it ; for 
I believe two-thirds in prison expect to be sent to 
America within three months. 

19. We hear again that we are to be carried to 
Chester, but pay no regard to it, as I said before. 

20. We are informed that last night two or three 
hundred men were pressed in Plymouth, and 


Dock; even the. lamp-lighter who tends the 
lamps about the prison, was pressed ; but as he 
was in the King's service he was released. A 
lieutenant of one of the King's ships came to 
prison and advised those who had a mind to go on 
board the men-of-war to petition immediately. Ac- 
cordingly a petition was written and signed by six 
old countrymen, and sent to the commissioners. 

21. Dull, thick weather, some rain, so that we 
keep house. 

22. Sunday. Some time ago we heard that 
some troops were to be sent to America this 
spring, but to-day we hear that their orders are 

23. To-day four or five large ships sailed from 
the Sound, bound to Spithead to join a fleet. We 
were found out to-day in conveying bread to the 
half allowance men in the Black-hole ; so there is 
now a stop put to it. 

24. Pleasant, for the season of the year. We 
received a letter from two of the officers that made 
their escape from prison on the 31st of January 
last; they inform us that they were taken up in 
London, and are now on board a guard ship in 
Portsmouth, waiting to come round. 

25. We were informed that a few days ago a 
large ship accidentally ran down a French brig 



in the Sound ; eleven men were drowned, and her 
mainmast carried away. 

26. Last evening the guards discovered our 
lights in the prison, so that I am afraid there will 
be a stop put to it. 

27. There are many in prison who have sold 
all their clothes that were given them by subscrip- 
tion, to get a little money to gamble with, and buy 
strong beer; some of these have been found out, 
and justice is likely to be done them. 

28. We hear that an American Captain, who has 
long been confined in prison, in London, petitioned 
for a trial, and was cleared and set at liberty. He 
then sued them for false imprisonment, but he was 
immediately apprehended and sent to Newgate. 
He again petitioned for a trial, was again tried, 
acquitted, and set at liberty, and went off. 

29. Sunday. Stormy, so that we keep house, 
except when we go to draw our provisions. 

30. We are informed that tobacco is f>s. a 
pound ; at Christmas it was only 2s. 4d. 

31. To-day I received the books which myself 
and another sent out to buy. These are the 
"Preceptor," in two volumes; the price of them 
was twelve shillings. The reason of its being so 
long after we sent out for them before we received 
them, was, they could not be bought in Plymouth, 
and the bookseller had to send to London for them. 


April 1. To-day the two soldiers who went off 
with five officers, on the evening of the 31st of 
January last, received their punishment ; one was 
shot, the other whipped ; they belonged to the 
Light Infantry in the regiment. 

2. Warm, and something pleasant, and the yard 
begins to be dry again, so that we can return to 
our former sports ; these are ball and quoits, which 
exercise we make use of to circulate our blood 
and keep us from things that are worse. 

3. This afternoon the agent and his clerk, the 
steward and doctor, seated themselves opposite the 
prison door and called over the roll, and ordered 
us one by one to pass out, and we were examined 
to see if we had our full compliment of clothing 
that was given us, and that they were clean and in 

4. To-day each of us again received sixpence, 
which was back money, as before mentioned. Al- 
so, three of his Majesty's ships sailed — the 
Queen, of ninety guns, the Ocean, of ninety guns, 
both three-deckers, and the Fieutryant, a two- 
decker of eighty-four guns, which was taken from 
the French, the last war ; we are told that she is 
the longest ship in the navy. 

5. Sunday. It is ten months to-day since I 
came to prison. One Sunday passes away after 
another, seemingly disregarded by us, to our shame. 


6. We keep house to-day on account of it being 
wet weather, and the prison yard is very muddy. 

7. Mr. Heath, one of our fathers, has been in Lon- 
don, for near a month, and Mr. Sorry is to set out 
in a few days. To-day the latter came to see us, 
and we desired him, for the future, to send us a 
fourpenny white loaf to each mess, per day, in 
place of a sixpenny one, for we have more provis- 
ions than many of us want to eat ; and any person 
can easily conjecture that prisoners in our situa- 
tion, who have suffered so much for the want of 
provisions, would abhor such an act as to waste 
what we have suffered so much the want of. 

8. We are informed that the English ambassa- 
dor has returned from France, and upon his return 
he inforned His Majesty that the King of France 
had recognized the independence of America. 

9. Very warm and pleasant, so that all the pris- 
oners in this prison carried their bedding out into 
the yard to air, and the prison was smoked with 
charcoal and sulphur, as is customary every few 
days. To-day we received a fourpenny loaf ac- 
cording to our request. 

10. To-day Captain Boardman and Mr. Deal 
were brought back to prison, which makes three 
of the number brought back who went out on the 
31st of January last. The other two were Cap- 
tain Henry Johnston, of the Lexington, and Cap- 


tain Eleazer Johnston, of the Dolton. These, we 
suppose, have got clear. Also, this afternoon 
William Titcomb, a Newbury man, came to see 
us, about half an hour, and very glad was I to see 
him. He was taken in the Yankee Hero, by the 
Milford. He informs us that he has belonged 
to the Milford ever since he was taken, and he has 
been present at the capture of four American pri- 
vateers. Upon their passage home, they took a 
vessel, which was one of the Civil Usage's prizes. 
The Milford arrived about three weeks ago. Tit- 
comb has been unwell, and has been in the royal 
hospital most of the time since he arrived. He 
told us that he had rather be in our situation than 

11. Very warm and pleasant; it is as warm as 
it was any time last summer. The spring is very 
forward, much more so than the last ; but we were 
told that last spring was uncommonly backward. 

12. Sunday. It is twelve months to-day since 
I set my foot upon this island, but now I think the 
auspicious day is about to dawn, when, if it is the 
Lord's will, we shall bid it farewell. To-day, by 
an order from the Board, we drew cabbage instead 
of broth, and we are to have cabbage two days in 
a week, peas two, and broth three, which we like 
much better ; for when a person is confined to one 
steady diet, and has enough, he soon gets tired of it, 


13. We are informed by Captain Boardman, 
that while he was out, he saw one Mr. Bapson, 
lately from America, who belonged to Cape Ann. 
He informed him that a new ship of twenty-six 
guns, which was built by the Marine Society of 
Newbury, Captain William Friend, master, just 
after she got over the Bar, filled and sunk, and a 
number of men were drowned. He also informs 
us that Captain James Tracy in the new ship He- 
ro, has not been heard of since he sailed ; and 
that the schooner Washington has been absent 
some months, and they are afraid she is lost. Wil- 
liam Titcomb, who was here a few days ago, told 
us that Tracy, in company with another frigate, 
was cruising off the Cape of Good Hope. 

14. We are informed that Governor Johnston 
and two others, have kissed His Majesty's hand, 
and are appointed commissioners to goto America. 

15. What money I have received for boxes since 
I have been in prison, amounts to over three guin- 
eas. Had it not been for this money, I must in- 
evitably have suffered more than I did. 

16. Very warm and pleasant; the grass and 
herbs in the fields appear to us as forward, from 
what we can see from the prison, as they do the 
first of June in America. 



Letter from Portsmouth — Debate in Parliament — Cost of the War 

— Petition for a Trial — Traitors Detected — Traitors Punished — 
Attempt to Escape — Sickness in Prison — Paul Jones at Whitehaven 

— Letter from Portsmouth — Death of John Foster — Prison Wran- 
gle — Commissioners Sailed — Another Hole — It Founders — Jo- 
seph Kensington Died — Sick Prisoners Neglected. 

April 17. To-day one of the prisoners received 
a letter from Captain Harris, of Portsmouth. He 
writes that we may rely upon it, that he had it 
from good authority, that the vessels were taken 
up, and wera under repairs, to carry us home ; and 
according to his letter, he expects to be on his 
passage in a month's time. There are many in 
prison who gather some encouragement from this. 

18. According to the best accounts, there has 
been a great debate in the House of Commons. — 
The Duke of Richmond is for giving the Commis- 


sioners full power, before they return, even to de- 
clare the States independent, if nothing short will 
answer ; Mr. Fox and Mr. Burke are of the same 
mind. But Lord Chatham declares that he had 
rather be in his grave than see the day that Amer- 
ca is declared to be independent. According to 
their own account, this American war has cost 
Great Britain .£30,000,000, and thirty thousand of 
their best disciplined troops — eleven thousand 
eight hundred the last campaign. 

19. We are informed that a packet has lately 
arrived from America, but as yet we know not 
what news she has brought. 

20. We have a paper in which is an account of 
twenty-eight sail of vessels, laden with English 
goods, laying in some port of England, bound to 

21. We have accounts in the paper of the Bos- 
ton frigate, and another frigate out of Boston, hav- 
ing taken a number of valuable prizes. 

22. There was one man came from the Black- 
hole, his time being up. There are four more 
left therein, but we find means to help them, as we 
have others before them; we having a plenty of 
provisions, can help them, and not injure ourselves. 
To-day I went out to buy a small pocket Bible, 
the price of which was three shillings and six- 


24. Three more came out of the Black-hole ; 
there is but one left, and he will be out in a few 

25. Captain Lee received a letter from Captain 
Trott, a prisoner in Bristol. He wrote that those 
of us who have a mind to write to America, can 
do so, by immediately sending the letters to him. 
He will send them to France by a man bound 
there. Several, therefore, wrote, and sent them to 
him. He also informed us, that by his own de- 
sire, he is going to London to receive his trial, 
which put us in mind of petitioning for a trial, al- 
so. Accordingly, a petition was drawn up, and 
about one half in prison signed it. The contents 
of the petition were as follows : 

" To the King's Most Excellent Majesty : the 
petition of sundry of the subjects of the United 
States of America, showeth, that your petitioners 
were at several respective periods, in the year of 
our Lord 1777, committed to Old Mill Prison, in 
the County of Devonshire, for the suspected crime 
of high treason ; your petitioners are unable to be 
exactly positive as to the particular style or word- 
ing of the crime represented, in whole or either 
of their commitments, but as their bodily health is 
at present much impaired, and they fear it will be 
more so, so that their lives may be endangered by 
a longer confinement in prison, they humbly re- 


quest that your Majesty will be pleased to order 
them to be brought to trial with all possible speed, 
for the crime or crimes of which they may be sup- 
posed guilty. And your petitioners," &c. 

2G. For some months past we have thought it 
presumption to try to make our escape from pris- 
on by digging out, on account of there being trai- 
tors amongst us. An innocent man has borne the 
scandal of this a good while, but upon being told 
of it by a friend, he took no rest day or night un- 
til he had found the traitors, and upon examination 
we discovered them to be two negroes, a man and 
a boy. Accordingly, they were tied up and 
whipped — the boy was whipped by a boy, two 
dozen and a half lashes, on his bare back ; and we 
thought it the man's prerogative who had borne the 
blame of being a traitor and was innocent, to lay 
the stripes upon the negro man. Accordingly, he 
gave him three dozen upon his bare back, and 
spared not; had the negro stayed till night he 
would have left his ears ; but I suppose that he 
was suspicious of that, so he went and jumped 
over the gate and delivered himself up to the guard 
and told his story. The negro boy was sent for ; 
so now they are both separated from us in another 
yard, and it is well for them that they are so. 

27. A man came out of the Black-hole, his lime 
being up, and Mr. Boardman and Deal, who have 


been only seventeen days on half allowance in the 
prison hospital, were sent into this yard. They 
are the only persons who have broke out and been 
taken, who have not suffered forty days on half al- 
lowance in the Black-hole. 

28. Last evening being somewhat dark, two 
young men had a mind to try to make their es- 
cape; one of whom cut his hammock and blanket 
into strips and tied them together ; got over the 
wall at the end of the prison into the yard, and 
was there caught and sent to the Black-hole. To- 
day all the negroes were taken out of this prison, 
and put into a separate building, called the itchy 

29. To-day is Wednesday, which is our pay day, 
and each man received sixpence ; and as we have 
received it regularly for some weeks past, we are 
told that we are to have it weekly ; so in future, I 
shall only mention when we do not have it. 

30. There is a number sick now, more than has 
been since we came to prison, except in time of 
small-pox. There are three or four in the prison 
hospital who are very sick with fever, and several 
more in this prison who are very ill. For a few 
weeks past, the agent has indulged us with the 
liberty of pens, ink and paper, so that we have an 
opportunity for writing and cyphering. 

May 1. To-day the Tarbay, a ship of seventy- 


four guns, as she lay at her moorings, accidental- 
ly took fire, and we are told that her upper works 
are burned to a coal, and being old, she is not 
worth repairing ; she has been but a few days out 
of dock. 
H 3. We have a newspaper, from which we learn 
that an American privateer, commanded by Cap- 
tain John Paul Jones, from Portsmouth, went into 
Whitehaven, sent her boat on shore, and spiked 
up the cannon, and set fire to a ship, and had it 
not been for a man that deserted the boat and 
alarmed the town, the boat's crew would have set 
fire to all the shipping in the harbor. They then set 
off and went to Scotland, where they went on shore 
and plundered Lord Selkirk's house of .£5000 worth 
of plate, and took several cattle. To-day a large 
ship arrived in the Sound, which we took to be an 
East Indiaman, but have since heard that she is a 
transport from New York. 

3. Sunday. To-day we received two letters 
from the prisoners in Portsmouth. They inform 
us that there are one hundred and eighty prisoners 
there. They also inform us that Captain Weeks, 
in a privateer of sixteen guns, bound from France 
to America, foundered upon the Banks of New- 
foundland, and all were lost but one. 

4. To-day, Captain Lee, taken in a merchant- 
man belonging to Manchester, came to see us. He 


informed us of Captain Tracy's arrival, and that 
he had taken an East Indiaman ; but we do not 
hear of any homeward bound East Indiamen mis- 

5. To-day several of us had an opportunity of 
writing letters to send by Captain Lee, who came 
to see us yesterday, as he is bound directly home. 

6. This morning about eight o'clock, Mr. John 
Fowler, a prisoner, died in the prison hospital, 
with a pleurisy fever. He was only a few days 
sick, and in the afternoon there was a jury over 
him. They will not tell us the occasion of a ju- 
ry's being called, but it appears that the public 
were jealous that there had been bad usage. This 
man is the fourth that has died since I came to 
prison. He is the first of Captain Lee's men that 
has died since they were imprisoned. 

7. To-day there have been several men drunk in 
prison, as there often is when they can get money 
to buy beer ; and there has been a wrangle be- 
tween the old countrymen and the Americans. 
The Americans unanimously hang together, and 
endeavor to keep peace in prison, but if the former 
party were stronger than the latter, we should have 
a hell upon earth. 

8. This afternoon there were three prisoners 
brought to prison, who were taken in a prize upon 
the Grand Bank, bound to America, by a large old 


East Indiaman, which has been made a transport. 
She was bound from New York to England, with 
a few of Burgoyne's officers on board, wounded 
and exchanged. The three who came to prison 
tell us that they had the offer of entering the Eng- 
lish service, yet they chose to come to prison. 
The prize-master's mate entered the service; of 
those who came to prison, there was one Newbury 
man, one Casco Bay man, and one Philadelphia 

9. To-day three large two deckers dropped 
down into the Sound, from Ammoors, bound to 
Spithead, to join the fleet that is bound to sea, for 
the purpose of watching the motions of the French. 

10. The commissioners sailed from Portsmouth 
in the Trydant man-of-war, of sixty-four guns, 
bound for America, April 22d. 

11. We have a hole now in hand, and as we 
have not convenient places in prison to conceal all 
the dirt, for many days past many of us have been 
employed in the smuggling way, by carrying it out 
in our pockets and under our great coats, and emp- 
tying it into the vaults ; but this afternoon we met 
with a misfortune, for a hole which we had been 
digging for ten days past, by times, foundered. 

12. This morning after we were turned out, we 
so contrived it that the officer should enter into 
conversation with the turnkey and sentry on guard, 


and draw their attention, and in the meantime we 
btopped the hole, so that it was not discovered. 

13 We are resolved to be in the way of our 
duty, by embracing every opportunity to make our 

14. To-day about one o'clock, another prisoner 
died in the prison hospital. It is thought that he 
died of consumption. His name was Joseph Ken- 
sington ; he was taken in the Lexington privateer, 
with Captain Henry Johnson. He is the fifth 
man that has died since we came to prison. If a 
man is ever so sick in prison, he has nothing al- 
lowed him by the doctor that is nourishing, but 
a little barley-water and milk broth ; but we have 
reason to think that all necessary things are allowed 
by government, but it is left to the doctor's op- 
tion ; so the sick do not have them at all. 

15. It is eighteen months to-day since we sailed 
from Newbury, but I hope in a few months to be 
exchanged ; and I expect that matters will be set- 
tled amicably, for it is the opinion of many people 
that come to the gate to see us, and of a great part 
in prison, that the commissioners are invested 
with full power to settle the difficulties before they 
return, upon the best terms ; even to declare the 
States independent, if necessary. 

128 11 e L1C O F T II E 


French Privateer — French Fleet — Patience scarce — Escape — One 
missing — Man with Red Hair — Blockade — Ball Play — Severity 
of the Guard — Admiral Biron's Fleet — Effects of Drink — A 
Widow — A Surprise — Press of Fishermen — Another Detection — 
Voluntary Suffering — Captain Pulford — Attempt to Escape — Ta- 
ken — Cruel Treatment — Just Retaliation — King's Birthday — 
Contribution for the Sick — Twelve months in Prison — Reflections. 

May 16. We are informed that a French priva- 
teer was taken by a Guernsey privateer, a few days 
ago, and brought in here. She had eighty men on 
board, a number of whom were officers bound 
to America. We are informed that she had 
a commission to sink, burn and destroy all 
that she met belonging to Great Britain. We have 
also a newspaper, by which we learn that a French 
fleet, consisting of twelve sail of the line, and six 
frigates, sailed from Toulon on the 13th of April, 
and passed through the Straits of Gibraltar on the 


24th, commanded by Count D' Estaing, supposed 
to be bound to America. 

17. Sunday. We are informed by the paper, 
that on the 10th of this month, William Pitt died. 
I think that all England has reason to mourn the 
loss of so great a man, at this critical juncture, 
and the house of Bourbon to rejoice. 

18. Mr. Sorrey, one of our " fathers," has re- 
turned from London. He informs us that Gener- 
al Burgoyne had arrived in London before he left, 
but whether he is exchanged, or come home on 
parole, we have not yet learned. Mr. Sorrey tells 
us that we must exercise a little more patience. 
We cannot, however, gather much patience in the 
yard, it is rather inclined to nettles. 

19. We hear that General Burgoyne came home 
on parole of honor, and is to return as soon as he 
has dispatched his business. 

20. To-day Mr. Walch, one of the lieutenants 
of the Lexington, about two o'clock in the after- 
noon, had an invitation from a sentry that stood 
without the wall at one corner of the yard, to go out. 
Accordingly he dressed himself, and went as di- 
rected. At night, when the guard came to turn 
them into the prison, it was so contrived that a 
small boy should go in first, and then slip out of a 
window and be counted in twice ; so that they had 
their number and did not miss him. 

130 RELIC O F T l\ E 

21. This morning when they were turned out 
they did the same, and by that means it was not 
found out. This contrivance was to screen the 
guard that was on duty, when he went out, fearing 
lest if it was found out, they would mistrust which 
way he escaped, and thus the sentry be exposed. 

22. Last night, the second time the guard went 
into the officers' ward, they found that one of them 
was missing ; but it was about thirty hours after 
he went away, before they had the least suspicion 
of it. This morning, after we were turned out, 
we were mustered to see if there were any more 
gone, and while they were mustering us, one of 
the prisoners, with red hair, said something to the 
officer that he did not like, for which he threaten- 
ed to put him in the Black-hole. After muster, 
accordingly, they made search for him, but could 
not find him, as they had no other mark for him 
but his hair. They then sent us into prison, and 
took aside each one that had red hair, but they 
could not find him among the number, so they let 
the matter pass. This afternoon, another man got 
over the wall at the corner of the yard, by the 
vault, and, by his own folly, was taken and sent to 
the Black-hole. On account of this futile attempt, 
we were sent into the prison in the midst of a 
pleasant afternoon ; and as they were turning us 
in, there was one man a little obstinate, who would 


not voluntarily go in; they therefore took him 
to the Black-hole also. 

23. This forenoon, as some of the prisoners were 
playing at ball in the prison yard, the ball hap- 
pened to lodge in a spout that is placed under the 
eves of the prison to convey the water, when it 
rains, into the well in the yard. They sent a boy up 
after it, and one of the sentries without the wall 
saw him, levelled his gun at him and fired, but the 
ball happened not to touch him. To-day Admi- 
ral Biron and his fleet arrived in Plymouth Sound, 
from Spithead. The fleet consists of thirteen sail 
of the line, and one frigate. They are bound to 
America, in search of the French fleet that sailed 
from Toulon. 

24. Sunday. For two days past, the guard has 
been so strict with us that they have placed a sen- 
try at the gate, and do not allow a prisoner to go 
near it upon any occasion whatever ; and this af- 
ternoon after we were turned into prison, one of 
the prisoners got up to a window to look out, and 
a sentry without, saw him and bade hinT get 
down ; as he did not get down as soon as asked, 
he fired at him, but did not hurt him. We think 
the occasion of the guard's being so strict with us 
lately, is the conduct of a few evil-minded men in 
prison, who, as regularly as they receive their six- 
pence per week, lay it out at the gate for strong beer 


— drink it all at once, and so get drunk. Then 
they abuse any one who comes across them. 

25. We hear that the King has granted all the 
men in the fleet, that now lay in the Sound, eight 
days to frolic and make themselves merry. 

26. To-day a poor American widow came to 
see us; she is daughter to Dr. Murray, in New- 
town Chester, Maryland. She told us that she was 
lately from America, that her husband is dead, and 
she is left with three small children in a strange 
land, and with nothing to help herself. I do not 
know what business she had here, but as there 
were some who knew her in America, and as she 
seemed to be an object of charity, we contributed 
among us about a guinea, and gave it to her. 

27. This morning, very early, the guard came in 
and surprised some of us, while we had a piece of 
the wall down, and were digging. Some one 
must go to the Black-hole for it, but as yet there 
is nothing done about it. 

28. We hear that night before last, all the Fish- 
ermen in the harbor were pressed out of their 
fishing boats, on board of the fleet which now lays 
in the Sound. 

29. To-day is what they call Royal Oak, or King 
Charles' restoration day, and each ship, fort, and 
garrison, fires a salute. 

30. To-day another hole was begun. 


31. This forenoon we were all turned out into 
the yard, but a few who stayed in to dig : and 
while they were at work, the guard happened to 
come in to drive a prisoner down from an end 
window; so they went directly up stairs, which 
gave those who were at work an opportunity of 
making off into the yard. But the guard, before 
they went out, found out the hole, and the agent 
declared that he would have four men go to the 
Black-hole, or the whole should be put on half 
allowance. He gave us until four o'clock in the 
afternoon to consider of it, and at the time four 
men delivered themselves up of their own 
accord, to go to the Black-hole, rather than that 
all should suffer. But as we are all equally con- 
cerned in every such scheme, satisfaction will be 
made to them by us. 

This afternoon, one Captain Pulford, came to 
see us. He is only about forty days from North 
Carolina, and was taken in a merchantman bound 
to France. He informed us that General Lee has 
been exchanged. 

June 1. Two gentlemen who came to see us to- 
day, informed us that the French Admiral, now 
laying in Brest with thirty-six sail of the line, be- 
sides frigates, sent a challenge to the English Ad 
miral to meet him off Brest. We are also informed 
that there are ordeis from London for a larger 


prison, three stories high, separate, and in another 
yard, to be repaired for the reception of the French 

2. In expectation of some making their escape, 
a difficult piece of work was undertaken, which I 
hope we shall prosper in. 

3. Ever since I have been in prison there have 
been vaults dug in the yard, for the prison offal, 
until within a fortnight. The vaults having since 
then been full, each man has taken his turn to 
empty the tubs, twice a day, into the river. This 
morning two in the Black-hole went to empty 
their tubs at the river's edge, about twenty-rods 
distant, and having a mind to try to make their es- 
cape, although part of the guard was with them, 
they left their tubs and ran. They were immedi- 
ately pursued by the guard, and overtaken about a 
quarter of a mile distant ; and after they were se- 
cured, they used them shamefully, knocking them 
down two or three times, and very badly injuring 
them. As our cook, who prepares our victuals, 
gave chase and caught one of them, we determined 
that he should suffer for it. This same cook has 
lately got a license to sell strong beer, and his wife 
tends daily at the gate, and there are many in 
prison who have bought of her a great deal. But 

I we are unanimously agreed to buy no more of him. 
A man who has been only two days out of the 


Black-hole, was carried there again to-day, for 
abusing the sentry in the yard. 

4. To-day is the King's birth-day, and each ship, 
fort, and garrison, fired twenty-one guns as a royal 
salute. I think that his subjects would have more 
reason to rejoice at his death than at his birth-day ; 
for according to the best accounts, the national 
debt is more than one hundred and forty-six mil- 
lions. A commissioner has been here to-day, re- 
viewing the prisons ; I suppose to give orders in 
what manner they shall be repaired for the ac- 
commodation of the French. There are two of 
our ship's company that have been very ill for some 
months past, and as the doctor will not let them 
have things necessary for their comfort, we think 
it our duty to contribute to their relief, as Provi- 
dence has put something in our hands. Accord- 
ingly, to-day we raised among us a trifle of money 
to buy them such things as they want, and we 
shall raise more as they need it. This afternoon, 
there were thirteen prisoners brought to prison 
from the Blenheim. They were lately brought 
from Liverpool, and have been taken nearly five 
months ; they were captured in a privateer, fitted 
out of Salem The captain's name is Ravel. To- 
day a fleet of fishermen, consisting of about thirty 
sail, went out of the Sound, bound to Newfound- 


5. The fleet that sailed yesterday for Newfound- 
land, meeting with contrary winds, and the weath- 
er looking likely for a storm, put about and came 
in again. It is twelve months to-day since I came 
to prison. I believe four months ago it was the 
opinion of every one within these walls, that we 
should be out before this day, but I believe now, 
most of us despair of being exchanged this sum- 
mer, unless General Burgoyne's coming home 
should be of advantage to us. He is able to rep- 
resent the case as it is, for we hear that the Con- 
gress told him, before he left America, to go home 
and take his seat in Parliament, and speak the 
truth, for the truth could not hurt them. 

Twelve months in prison we have spent, — 
This judgment for our sins was sent, 
To awake us from our carnal sleep, 
And teach us God's commands to keep. 

6. There are now four prisoners, who are sail- 
makers, at work in this prison, making hammocks 
for more prisoners. They are employed by a sail- 
maker without, and are allowed a trifle for their 



Death of the Doctor — Men in the Drain — Sailing of Admiral Biron's 
Fleet — Discouragements — Prison in an Uproar — Punishment — 
Revenge — Men in Irons — Rev. Mr. Heath — Cold reception of 
Proposition of Peace in America — Number of Prisoners — Rigor 
of Prison Discipline abated — A Letter from the Committee of Ap- 
propriation — Gratitude for Friends — Effort to Escape — Scheme 
continued — Discovered — Black-hole — Gen. Burgoyne's Compli- 
ment to American Troops — Unsuccessful attempt to Escape — 
French Frigate taken — Bad Meat refused — Unsuccessful at- 
tempt to Escape — Preparation for the Fourth of July — Fourth of 
July — Continued — Amputation — Another Hole — John Dam — 
Allowance to French Prisoners — Admiral Kep pel's Fleet sail — 
Boys attempt to Escape. 

June 7. Sunday. This morning we are in- 
formed that our chief doctor is dead. He died 
very suddenly ; I believe there are not many in 
prison who will mourn, as we have no reason to ex- 
pect that we can get a worse one. This forenoon, 
after we were turned out, two men of this prison 
got into a drain at one corner of the yard, 
and were digging, when one of the turnkeys 
present found out that they were at work, and 
alarmed the guard. They were taken and carried 


to the Black-hole, but we shall find means to help 
them, as we have done others before. The hole 
in which they were at work was commenced five 
days ago. They had nearly finished the work be- 
fore it was found out. Thus every method we take 
to make our escape is found out before it is accom- 
plished, and our unhappy efforts are not blest. 

8. We hear that the fleet of men-of-war, now 
lying in the Sound, have received orders for sail- 
ing ; also, that the convoy of the Newfoundland 
fleet, while they were out, took a sloop from North 
Carolina, loaded with indigo, bound to France. 

9. This morning the fleet sailed, under the 
command of Admiral Biron ; it consists of eleven 
sail of the line, and two frigates. They are bound 
in search of the French fleet, commanded by 
Count de Estaing, which sailed from Toulon ; 
bound to America. To-day Captain Dennis, from 
Cape Ann, came to see us ; he was taken in a 
brig out of Newbury. He informs us that Cap- 
tain Tracy is wholly given over, which I am very 
sorry to hear. Captain Dennis has got his clear- 
ance, and is bound directly home, and will carry 
letters for those who desire to send. This after- 
noon thirteen more prisoners came to prison from 
the ships ; they belonged to the same privateer 
with those who came last Thursday. For my 
own part, I think it very poor encouragement for 


us to see the number of prisoners increase; I 
think it looks very melancholy within these walls, 
and more and more so every day. I am so unea- 
sy that I cannot'content myself to do any thing; 
let me seem to be ever so busy, my mind is not 
fixed upon what I am about. It is dwelling upon 
my situation and condition. 

10. To-day several of us wrote letters to send 
to America by Captain Dennis, but he has not yet 
come after them. When Mr. Sorrey came to 
bring us our money, he told us that orders were 
come for us to be exchanged for the prisoners in 
France. We put more confidence in what he 
says, because he has been very cautious hitherto 
of telling us news. To-day the whole prison has 
been in an uproar, occasioned by one or two 
drunken fellows, who, as regularly as they get any 
money, get drunk with the beer which is 
bought at the gate. One of these was so out- 
rageous that he drew his knife, and walked fore 
and aft the prison, striking and abusing those he 
met. When we were turned out in the afternoon 
we complained to the agent, and he, by a desire 
of most of the men in prison, was sent to the 
Black-hole. After we delivered him up, he, out 
of spite, told of a window where some one in 
prison had sawed off a bar. 


11. The commissioner has again been in the 
yard to talk with us. 

12. To-day the fleet of Newfoundland fisher- 
men sailed again, and I am afraid Captain Dennis 
has gone and left our letters. 

13. There are now several masons and carpen- 
ters at work on an old three story prison, in an- 
other yard, repairing it for the reception of 
French prisoners. The man who was delivered 
up to the agent, a few days ago, is put in irons. 
He is the only one that has been put in irons since 
we came to prison. 

14. The Rev. Mr. Heath has returned home from 
London, having been gone nearly three months; 
and yesterday afternoon he came to see us. He 
tells us that he has been informed that many of 
us pay no regard for the Sabbath, which is too 
true ; for it is equally the same with many in this 
prison, whether it be the Sabbath or any other 
day. They will run about the yard, and play, and 
curse, and swear, and blaspheme, the greater part 
of the time. Many of them are the most wicked 
and profane men that I ever saw or heard of; but 
there are a great number of steady men. Mr. 
Heath gave us a few books, and he says that he 
has a number more to give to such as will make 
good use of them. 


15. We hear that the reconciliation bill, which 
was sent to America from England, last February, 
met with a very cool reception, both by the Ameri- 
can and Howe's troops, and was even treated with 
the greatest indignation by both. General Howe, 
we hear, is expected home soon, and General 
Clinton is to take the command at Philadelphia. 
We hear that there is now a Spanish fleet of twen- 
ty one sail of the line riding at anchor in Cadez, 
ready for sea. We have also heard it reported of 
late, that the American army is so destitute of 
clothing that they are obliged to strip the women 
of their petticoats to cover them. These things 
are put in the papers to amuse the public ; but 
we know better ; it is inconsistent with reason, 
and utterly false. 

16. To-day we received a letter from one Cap- 
tain Harris in Portsmouth prison ; he writes to us 
that there are two hundred and fifty prisoners in 
France, and that we may depend upon it, that he 
had it from good authority, that we are to be ex- 
changed for them, as far as they will go. But in 
this prison we are very* faithless ; we have been 
flattered too long for our profit. I heard some 
days ago that there were six hundred prisoners in 
France. There are now in these prisons three 
hundred and sixteen American prisoners. 

17. We hear that Parliament is prorogued until 


the middle of July. I suppose by that time they 
expect to hear from the commissioners. 

18. Yesterday, after we were turned out and 
the doors shut, three small boys entered through 
the grates into the prison and damaged several 
hammocks, for which, this morning, their ship's 
company tied them up and whipped them. To- 
day four men came out of the Black-hole, who 
went in on the 31st of May ; they have been in 
only eighteen days ; the reason of their not tarry- 
ing longer is, a commissioner being here from 

BO' o 

London, they petitioned him for pardon, and he 
granted it. There are only three left in the 
Black-hole now. 

19. I hear, privately, that the soldiers have or- 
ders not to fire on the prisoners if they see any 
making their escape ; to fire only clear powder to 
alarm the guard ; and they are not to strike any 
of us, nor offer a bayonet to us : thus their rigor 
has been abated since Burgoyne has been taken. 

20. This forenoon, Rev. Mr. Heath came and 
delivered us a letter, which we found to be from 
a gentleman who is one of the committee of appro- 
priation for the money raised by subscription for 
the relief of American prisoners in this country. 
He desired that we should send him the name, for- 
mer residence, and occupation, of all the prisoners ; 
he assures us that there is a prospect of an ex- 


change for some, if not all of us ; he also desired 
that we should keep good order, and by no means 
attempt to elope. I lack words to express my 
gratitude to these gentlemen ; for had it not been 
for our numerous friends, doubtless many of us 
had now been in our graves. 

21. Sunday. Notwithstanding our friend's ad- 
vice, we have a plan in agitation for making our 
escape, and are resolved to go on with it. Our 
design is to get into a drain at the corner of the 
yard, where the last hole was found out, and dig 
up on the other side of the wall. For this pur- 
pose, yesterday afternoon three men took down a 
piece of wall under a window, in an old prison 
adjoining this drain. These men got into the 
prison and the wall was put up again, and plas- 
tered up with dirt. They dug into the drain and 
tarried there all night and till after we were let 
out in the morning, when we let them out. Last 
night, when we were counted into prison, three 
boys went in first and got out at the window, and 
were counted twice, to make up the number. 

4 i2. Last night and to-day this scheme was car- 
ried on as before. This afternoon Captain Den- 
nis and Captain Talford came and took our letters. 
They have got their clearance and are bound di- 
rectly to France. I sent a letter by Captain D. 
to my father. Captain Dennis' hands consisted 


of nine Beverly men ; they are all kept on board 
the men-of-war, as they have served all others dur- 
ing the war taken in merchantmen, except the 
captains, and them they clear. 

23. Last night the scheme was carried on the 
same as before, till about 8 o'clock in the evening, 
when they were discovered by the guard and sent 
to the Black-hole ; after which they went into the 
officers' prison, where were Captain Bunten and 
Captain Boardman walking ; they were ordered 
to bed, and they refused to go, for which they car- 
ried them to the Black-hole. This afternoon one 
of the prisoners was sent down to the prison hos- 
pital ; he had been so sick and weak for some days 
past, that when we were turned out into the yard, 
and the door locked, (they having driven him out,) 
as he could not walk, we were obliged to lead 
him. When out, he could not stand, but was 
forced to lay down on the ground ; and when 
down, could not rise up without help. 

24. Last night, there were two more carried to 
the Black-hole from the officers' prison, for not be- 
ing in bed when the guard came in, which was 
between nine and ten o'clock. The officers in 
prison have drawn up a petition to send to the 
board, to know if Mr. Coudry, the prison keeper, 
has orders to confine any one for not being in 
hammock at nine or ten o'clock in the evening. 


25. According to the newspapers, General 
Burgoyne gives the American troops a brave 
name ; he says that the troops he had at his com- 
mand were as good as double the number of any 
other troops the King has, and that the American 
troops were as good as his, and would fight as 

26. Yesterday afternoon, while the guard was 
turning us into prison, four that were in the 
Black-hole, and one that was in the hospital, broke 
out through the drain, and got a boat a quarter of 
a mile off, but they were soon discovered, and 
pursued by the guard. The militia were raised, 
and they were all taken in about half an hour and 
brought back. This afternoon, those five, with 
all the rest, were sent up into this yard. Those 
who came to prison last had clothes given them, 
which were allowed by government. I received 
a pair of breeches, as I had not received any be- 
fore since I came to prison. This morning a 
French cutter was brought in here, taken by an 
English cutter ; and at the same time two French 
frigates were taken, which, I hear, have arrived in 
Portsmouth. Six of the wounded Frenchmen 
were brought from the cutter to prison, and put 
in the hospital. 

27. This afternoon two of the officers in prison 
had an invitation by a sentry to go over the wall, 



which they did, but were discovered, taken, and 
sent to the Black-hole. 

28. We hear that the Arathusa frigate was dis- 
masted in the engagement with the two French 
frigates above mentioned. 

29. Joseph Barnum, one of our company, who 
has been unwell ever since he had the small-pox, 
more than twelve months ago, has now got the 
white swelling in his knee, which the doctor thinks 
will occasion his death, if not cut off; and he is so 
weak that I fear he is not able to undergo the 

30. For a long time we have been imposed up- 
on by the agent and butcher, by sending us bad 
meat. Yesterday there were maggots found in 
our beef, and we told the two butchers who go in- 
to the cook-room to inspect our meat — that if it 
was the same to-day as yesterday, not to cut it up. 
Accordingly, they went out this morning, and as 
the meat proved to be very poor, our butchers re- 
fused to cut it up. Upon this, the agent ordered 
the cook to cut it up, which he did, and cooked it. 
At twelve o'clock the meat was brought in, in a tub ; 
but we had all agreed not to take any of it. The 
agent told us if we would accept of it to-day, as 
it was cooked, we should have no more like it, 
but have better in future. He has, however, told 
us these stories too often, and we thought if we 


took it to-day, we should have the same another 
day ; therefore we positively refused it ; for we 
can live as well upon the fat that we have gathered 
from the donation, two days, as we could- seven ] 
months ago upon all our allowance. 

July 1. Last night six men in this prison at- 
tempted to make their escape ; they got out at a 
window into the yard, but as they were trving to 
get over the wall, they were discovered by a sen- 
try, so they returned and got in at the window 
where they got out. 

2. To-day forty-seven more French prisoners 
were brought to prison, but they were all foremast 
hands ; for all the French officers are allowed to 
go on parole. To-day the New Duke, a ship of 
ninety guns, dropped down in the Sound, in order 
for sailing. She is a new ship, and has been 
launched since I came to prison. v^ 

3. As it is two years to-morrow since the 
Declaration of Independence in America, we are 
resolved, although we are prisoners, to bear it in 
remembrance : and for that end, several of us 
have employed ourselves to-day in making cock- 
ades. They were drawn on a piece of paper, cut 
in the form of a half-moon, with the thirteen 
stripes, a Union, and thirteen stars, painted out, 
and upon the top is printed in large capital letters, 


" Independence," and at the bottom " Liberty or 
Death," or some appeal to Heaven. 

4. This morning when we were let out, we all 
hoisted the American flag upon our hats, except 
about five or six, who did not choose to wear 
them. The agent, seeing us all with those papers 
on our hats, asked for one to look at, which was 
sent him, and it happened to be one which had 
" Independence " written upon the top, and at the 
bottom, " Liberty or Death." He, not knowing the 
meaning of it, and thinking we were going to force 
the guard, directly ordered a double sentry at the 
gate. Nothing happened till one o'clock ; we 
then drew up in thirteen divisions, and each di- 
vision gave three cheers, till it came to the last, 
when we all cheered together, all of which was 
conducted with the greatest regularity. We kept 
our colors hoisted till sunset, and then took them 


5. The carpenters and masons have been at 
work for some days past, repairing an old prison 
in the yard. 

8. This afternoon, Rev. Mr. Heath came to see 
us, and gave us several books ; he informs us that 
General Howe has arrived home, and that the 
King's troops have left Philadelphia. 

9. We are told that Captain Dennis and Captain 
Talford, with five or six other American captains, 


bought a small vessel to carry them to France, and 
yesterday morning set sail. 

10. To-day Joseph Barnum, one of our com- 
pany, and one of the French prisoners that was 
wounded, had their thighs cut off. Barnum has 
been unwell more than a year ; he has had a white 
swelling in his knee. 

11. We have a hole now in hand, which we 
thought this afternoon was found out, but it hap- 


pened to be one within a few feet of it, which was 
discovered some time ago, and was of no great 

12. Sunday. To-day Captain Lee received a 
letter from Portsmouth prison, from Jonn Dame, 
a Newbury man. He informs us that he was 
taken with Captain Dennis in a new privateer brig, 
of sixteen guns, that sailed from Boston on the 
25th of May. On the 30th of the same month he 
was taken by the same frigate that General Howe 
came home in. 

13. Since the Frenchmen came to prison we 
have been of considerable help to them, as we 
have now plenty of provisions, and many of us 
more than we want to eat. What we have to 
spare we give to them, and we daily give them 
more or less. Their allowance of bread is six 
pounds to four of them per day, which is one and 
a half pounds per man ; but we rebels are allowed 


only one pound of bread a man, per day, from 
government. The other allowances of the French 
is the same as ours. 

14. Admiral Keppel has lately sailed from St. 
Helena with about twenty-eight sail of the line 
and six frigates ; and a French fleet has sailed from 
Brest; but I cannot learn the exact number of 
ships of which the fleet consists. It is expected, 
whenever these two fleets meet, there will be a 
bloody engagement, for England's chief depen- 
dence is in her fleet. 

15. It is twenty months to-day since I left New- 
bury. To-day Admiral Keppel's fleet was seen 
from the prison to pass by this harbor, and it is 
expected that two or three ships from this port 
will join them. This afternoon four boys tried to 
make their escape ; they got over the wall into 
the Frenchmen's yard, and hid in their hammocks, 
but were soon discovered, and taken. 

16. We hear that Parliament is prorogued until 
some time in September next. To-day the Sud- 
bury, a ship of seventy-four guns, sailed to join 
Admiral Keppel's fleet, which now appears off 
this port. The guard now consists partly of the 
Cornish, partly of the Somersetshire, and partly 
of the Devonshire militia, and some of the thir- 
teenth regiment, which is the regiment that has 
guarded us ever since we came to prison. 



Bad Conduct in Prison — Its Consequences — Rules — Prison Quiet 
— Digging Out — Four Escape — General alairrt — Fire, and Offi- 
cers Escape — Discovery — Prison in an Uproar — Its Cause and 
Cure — Sad news from Portsmouth — Pay-day — Diink — Trouble — 
Invitation to go over the Wall — Admiral Keppel returns — Eng- 
land's pride humbled — False Reports — Studies Navigation — A 
good turn — A curious plan for Escape — Detection — Battle Re- 
port — Wounded in the Hospital — Effort to Escape by Swimming — 
Disturbance in Prison — Prisoners Return — Difficult}' of Escape — 
Invitation to join the Fleet — Thirty join — Brave Americans pressed 
to the Ships of War. 

July 17. There are a number of very quarrel- • 
some, lawless men in prison, who have been the 
occasion of a great deal of mutiny and disturbance 
amongst us, which has obtained for us the ill-will 
of our friends ; and we have been informed that 
unless there is an alteration among us, our dona- 
tions will be stopped ; so that we thought it proper 
to have Articles among ourselves. These were 
drawn up to-day ; they forbid all gambling, and 
blackguarding, which have caused great distur- 


bance in the yard, and occasioned much fighting. 
They also forbid any improper language to any of- 
ficer or soldier, who are now, or may hereafter be, 
appointed to preside over us. These articles were 
read in the yard before all the prisoners, and then 
stuck up in prison, and two men out of each ship's 
company were appointed to see them put into ex- 
f ecution. 

18. We hear that Count D' Estaing's fleet has ar- 
rived in Boston. I learn, also, by the papers, that 
twenty-five sail of the line arc now laying at single 
anchor in Cadiz, ready for sea. Their place of 
destination is not known. 

19. Sunday. As there have been many books 
given in lately, the prison is much stiller of Sun- 
day than formerly, and the people are much better 
employed. This forenoon, as some were in a drain 
digging, they were heard by the guard, but they 
got out before the guard reached the hole. 

20. Wet, rainy weather, so that we kept house 
most of the day. There has been little or no rain, 
for two months, until last night and to-day. The 
ground has been so parched for want of rain, that 
the fields look like the fall of the year. 

21. Last night about nine o'clock, it being very 
dark and rainy, we opened a hole at the back side 
of the prison, large enough for two men to go out 
abreast. This hole has been ready for some time 


past — they have only been waiting for a dark, 
stormy night; when they broke ground, the pave- 
ment fell in, and four men jumped out and got off. 
A sentry within ten feet of the hole, saw them, 
and immediately alarmed the guard ; so that no 
more could escape. The guard came in, and 
while they were in prison the guard-house chimney 
took fire; upon which the drum beat to arms, and 
fire was cried. The cry was that the prisons were 
on fire, and the prisoners were breaking out. Af- 
ter this was over, the guard came in again and took 
nine of the prisoners and put them in the Black- 
hole, because they were up and had their clothes 
on. To-day, about one o'clock, four of the officers 
from the officers' prison got oyer the wall into the 
hospital yard ; two of whom got out, but were soon 
discovered and taken. The other two were taken 
in the yard, and all put into the Black-hole last 
night, but came out to-day. 

22. Yesterday noon, another hole was begun m 
this prison, and at night when we were turned in 
again, they went to work until nine or ten o'clock ; 
but were then discovered by the guard, who imme- 
diately came in and carried two to the Biack-hole. 
In the afternoon, they took two boys at work in 
the drain before mentioned ; and to-day two of 
those who went out night before last, were brought 

154 R [■; L I C O F T H E 

back, and another came back of his own ac- 

23. Most of this day the prison has been in an 
uproar, occasioned by a few men that will not be 
conformable to the rules and articles that we 
have amongst ourselves, but threaten to take them 
down and destroy them. 

24. This morning V ve found that our articles 
were abused, and we took three of the before-men- 
tioned men and tied them up to a post in the 
prison, and poured cold water down their arms 
and neck, for the space of half an hour. One of 
the three was afierwards complained of to the agent, 
who ordered him to be put in irons, and separated 
from us. 

This afternoon, six more Frenchmen were 
brought to prison. 

25. Yesterday a ship of seventy-four guns, and 
a frigate, arrived in the Sound, from Admiral Bi- 
ron's fleet, with two hundred and forty-six sick 
men on board. The occasion of this ship's coin- 
ing home was that she had sprung a leak, and fli e 
frigate came with her for fear that she might foun- 
der at sea. 

26. Sunday. I daily expect to hear of an en- 
gagement between the English and French fleets, 
as we have heard several accounts of their being 
seen in sight of each other. 


27. Cool weather for some days past, which is 
much better for us, as so many of us are confined 

28. This afternoon we received two letters from 
Portsmouth prison — one from John Dame, the 
other from Benjamin Tappan. They give us a 
very disagreeable account of thirty-nine young 
men belonging to Newbury, who were lost with 
Capt. Tracy. Many of their names were mentioned 
in the latter ; some of them I was intimately ac- 
quainted with. I could rather wish them in prison 
with us, than entirely lost. 

29. This morning a large three-decker dropped 
down into the Sound, in order for sailing. Also, 
we have the London Evening Post, which informs 
us of the Lively, twenty gun ship, and a frigate, 
being taken. The last paper before this gives an 
account of two cutters being taken. They were 
captured by the French and carried to France. 

30. Yesterday was pay-day, and there are a 
number of men who make it a practice to get. 
drunk every opportunity, and two men last night, 
who were in liquor, struck and abused two French- 
men, who were taken in the American service, 
and the majority of those in prison who were 
Americans, took their part, and complained to the 
officer of the guard. The offenders were sent to 
the Black-hole, and this morning we took the 


Frenchmen up stairs with us, where they will not 
be abused any more. 

31. Yesterday, some in this prison had an invi- 
tation by a sentry to go over the wall, but as it was 
in the day time, they thought it not proper ; but at 
twelve o'clock at night, the same sentry came to 
the same place and gave a signal, upon which seven 
men went out at a window where one of the iron 
bars were loosened, ready to be pulled out. Af- 
ter these seven men got out, the sentry alarmed the 
guard, and four of the number were soon taken. If 
they had waited a few moments longer, we should 
have had a hole in the back side of the prison, for 
a number more to have got out. The guard 
tell us that they have orders to fire at anyone they 
see getting over the wall, and also, that the soldier 
who let these men go is now under confinement, 
and will be either whipped or shot. 

This forenoon, Admiral Keppel's fleet arrived 
in the Sound. The greatest part of this fleet now 
lay where we can see them from this prison. We 
hear that they have had an engagement with the 
French fleet, but have not learned the particulars. 
To-day, also, a dozen more Frenchmen were 
brought to prison. Six came out of the Black- 
hole ; among whom was Captain Lee. While he 
was there, he received a letter from General Bur- 
goyne There are six remaining there still. 


August 1. All that I can say to-day concerning 
the fleet, is, that several of the ships are very much 
shattered. Two or three are now lying on their 
beam-ends, in the Sound, and the boats have been 
passing and re-passing from them ever since they 
came in. We have seen a vast number of men 
come from the ships, in boats, whom we suppose to 
be wounded, as we are informed that there are be- 
tween seven and eight hundred wounded men in 
the royal hospital, who were taken out of the fleet. 
This is the fleet which they have been raising for 
the two years past, concerning which they have 
boasted so much, and which they have called the 
terror of France. This was England's pride — the 
fleet that was to sweep the seas, and accomplish 
such wonders. Alas ! many of them are disap- 
pointed of their expectations, for in their first en- 
gagement they were worsted. 

2. A man in prison received a letter from his 
brother, who is in the fleet. He informed him that 
he was in the engagement, and there was only 
twelve sail of the English fleet that engaged the 
French fleet ; but I suppose that he was not al- 
lowed to write the particulars. 

3. For these two months past, since we have 
been allowed pens, ink and paper, I have employed 
them to as much advantage as possible. Most of 
the time, I have busied myself in writing and cy- 


phering. I have had as much writing to do as I 
could accomplish ; and to-day I sent out to buy 
books and instruments to learn navigation. To- 
day a number more Frenchmen were brought to 

4. To-day one of the two shattered ships that lay 
in the Sound warped up, went to Ammoors, and 
the other lays opposite to our prison. To-day I 
began to study navigation. 

5. A gentleman, who came to see us to-day, 
gave in half a guinea, to be drank by the prison- 
ers ; but we thought it better to divide it among 
the sick of the respective crews. 

[ 6. The masons and carpenters have been at 
work repairing an old prison in the yard ; and this 
afternoon, as one of the laborers was at work, he 
pulled off his coat and hung it up against the pris- 
on, in the yard, and left the basket, that he had to 
bring slate in, with it. One of the prisoners 
went and put on the coat, and put the basket over 
his head, and went to the gate ; and the turnkey, 
thinking it to be the laborer, let him out. As he 
was walking through the street, the laborer met 
him, knew his coat, and ran and alarmed the 
guard, who went in pursuit of him and soon took 

7. We have been waiting impatiently to hear 
from the commissioners, for some time past, hoping 


that they would settle affairs ; but we have had a 
flying report for some weeks, that they are likely 
to return as they went, without doing any thing 
When they first sailed, it was the opinion of many 
in prison, that they were invested with full power 
to settle it ; but soon after, we were convinced to the 

8. From the Exeter paper we learn that there 
was only twenty-five sail of the line of battle-ships 
that engaged the French fleet, and that they had 
but five hundred and six men killed and wounded ; 
but the royal hospital, where the wounded are, is 
but a small-arms' shot from this prison, and we 
have been repeatedly and credibly informed by 
those who reside in the neighborhood, that there 
is upwards of a thousand wounded men in the hos- 
pital, and a cart is seen to carry away the dead 
every day. The engagement took place on the 
27th of July. 

9. Sunday. Last evening, as four men went to 
empty their tubs, two of them took to the water to 
swim away, but were soon taken up. The com- 
missioner who was here a few weeks ago, came 
again to-day, to regulate affairs. 

10. This afternoon the guard came in and 
turned us all out, and locked the doors, which 
aggravated many, who wanted to be in prison — 
some reading, some writing, some cyphering, and 


some studying navigation. Some went and picked 
the locks, opened the doors, and went in ; upon 
this the guard came in again, and turned us all 
out and placed a sentry at the prison doors. Two 
men, out of spite, went to fighting, and it took most 
of the guard to separate them. Soon after, anoth- 
er fight happened, and about the same time the com- 
missioner came into the yard, and ordered one of 
them to be sent to the Black-hole. In all this dis- 
turbance, the officers of the guard appeared very 
mild and calm ; they are officers in the militia. 
Most of those that have been on guard since we 
have been guarded by the militia, have behaved 
very well towards us, and very much like gentle- 
men, as they are chiefly gentlemen of fortune. To- 
day the other three men were brought back that 
made their escape from prison on the 30th of July, 
in the evening. 

11. Those who were brought back yesterday, 
were sent up out of the Black-hole to-day. They 
tell us that they would not go out again if the 
gates were set open ; for they said it is a thing im- 
possible, to get off the island. While they were 
out, they saw a number of ships belonging to Ad- 
miral Keppel's fleet, which lay where we cannot 
see them from the prison, that were very much 
shattered and disabled in the engagement. 

12. To-day we were all examined, as of late has 


been customary once a month, to see who need 
clothes, and who do not. 

13. Those who wanted shoes, were served to- 
day. These are allowed by government. 

14. This morning, three French prizes were 
brought into this port — a ship, a brig, and a 

15. This forenoon some officers from the 
ships, who were sent by Admiral Keppel, came 
here to take a list of the names of those who have a 
mind to go on board the men-of-war, and thirty in 
number gave in their names. Among the num- 
ber were some Americans, but they were chiefly 
old countrymen. The officers brought with them 
an American who was taken with Captain Martin- 
gale in the first of the disturbance. His officers 
gave him a guinea to treat his countrymen. 

16. Sunday. To-day another officer came from 
the ships. He, also, came for men. 

17. We hear that Admiral Keppel and his fleet, 
are to sail in a few days. 

18. This afternoon there were five Americans 
brought to prison. They were all taken in differ- 
ent vessels. Some of them belonged to armed 
ships, others to merchantmen. Some of them 
have been taken this six months, and have been 
hurried about from ship to ship, and used scandal- 
ously. They had a bounty offered them to go on 


l(')'2 RELIC OF THE 

board this fleet, now lying in the Sound, but they, 
like brave Americans, refused, and chose rather 
to come to prison. They were sent here without 
being examined, or committed by any justice of 
the peace. 



French Prisoners — Admiral Keppel saila — Another attempt to Es- 
cape — Americans brought back — Another Hole — Admiral Uiron's 
Fleet — A Gale — Number of French Prisoners — General Clinton's 
retreat from Philadelphia — Elias Hart died — Fever and Ague pre- 
vails — A Discharge — Captain Burnel and Wife — Escape from 
Portsmouth — French Privateer — Letter from Portsmouth — Dis- 
tribution of Clothing — Hot Press — Letter to Captain Lee — French 
Prisoners increase — Thomas Pillar — Fever and Ague prevails — 
A Vote for Money — Poor Beer — Drunkenness and Fighting. 

August 19. This afternoon an officer from the 
ships came for those five men who were brought 
here yesterday. When they found out that they 
were to be carried on board the ships, as they were 
advised by the people in the yard not to go out at 
the gate, without they were dragged out, like 
brave men, they resisted, and swore that they 
would never lift a hand to do any thing on board 
of King George's ships — neither would they go 
out of the yard. As the key was turned upon 
them, the guard was called in, and the officer of 
the guard and agent plead with them, telling them 
that they were put in here through mistake ; and 
being over-persuaded by them, they went out. 


20. Another French prize was brought in here 

21. It seems that some of the sick and wounded 
men that came out of Admiral Keppel's fleet, are 
recovered. They have made several attempts to 
escape, and they are obliged to keep a guard here 
to prevent them from running away. 

22. Early this morning, part of Admiral Kep- 
pel's fleet sailed. Last night, and this morning, a 
number of Frenchmen were brought to this prison. 
This afternoon, Captain Lee received a letter from 
General Burgoyne ; he wrote him that he would 
do all he could to get bail for him. 

23. Sunday. Early this morning, the remain 
der of Admiral Keppel's fleet sailed, except a few 
ships that are not ready. The squadron that 
sailed yesterday morning, appeared this morning 
in sight, off the harbor. I suppose they are all 
bound on a cruise together. 

24. The men that gave in their names, to go on 
board the men-of-war, are apprehensive that they 
will not be allowed to do so, and last evening some 
of them went to work to try to dig out, but upon 
breaking ground they were discovered, and the 
sentry discharged two guns into the hole, but they 
injured no one. 

25. To-day, four of the five men who were 
brought to this prison on the 18th of this month, 


and carried away again the next day, were brought 
back because they would not enter. One of the 
number was an Italian. He was put in a separate 
yard, with the Frenchmen. Also, to-day a cap- 
tain of an armed vessel, that was captured by an 
American privateer in the North Channel, came 
here to see Captain Lee. He informed him that 
he gave bonds, for a large sum of money, to return 
to America as a prisoner, unless he could get Cap- 
tain Lee exchanged for him. This man is bound 
for London. 

26. This afternoon a prize was brought in here, 
which proved to be a large French West India- 
man, a ship of about four hundred tons. Also, a 
number of French prisoners were brought to pri- 

27. We learn from the papers, that the Parlia- 
ment is prorogued until Thursday the first of Oc- 
tober. We also learn from the same source, that 
the damage to the French fleet, in the late engage- 
ment, was very inconsiderable. 

28. This morning the guard discovered another 
hole in the prison, which was begun a few days 
ago ; but as yet there has been but little said about 

29. We have a paper, from which we learn 
that Admiral Biron's fleet that sailed from this 


port on the 9th of June last, bound to Amer- 
ica, upon their passage, met with a gale of wind 
which separated the fleet and dismasted several 
of their ships. The Albion has arrived in Lisbon, 
dismasted. She was one of the fleet. 

30. Some of us are sick with fever and ague. 

31. Some carpenters are now at work building 
a new Black-hole, in an old prison in this yard, 
ih at has lately been repaired. 

September 1. It is the opinion of some in this 
prison, that all the American prisoners in this yard 
will be removed to some other prison, to make 
room for the French prisoners, as there are now 
about four hundred Frenchmen in another yard ; 
and there are a great number of French officers 
gone into the country, on parole. 

2. This afternoon, Mr. Heath and Mr. Sorrey 
came to see us, and brought bad news for our offi- 
cers, in a letter from the committee in London. 
The contents read nearly as follows : — 

" Not from any prejudice or alteration in our af- 
fection for you, but fearing that you will remain 
in prison another winter, and the money raised for 
your support be expended, we thought proper to 
deduct two shillings per week from those officers 
who have hitherto been allowed five shillings; the 
other officers and privates, to remain as before." 

3. Nothing remarkable. 


4. To-day four American gentlemen came to 
see us ; one of whom belonged to Baltimore. He 
is a young man, and was bound to France to finish 
his education, when he was taken. He left Amer 
ica since General Clinton retreated from Philadel- 
phia to New York, and he gave us a very satisfac- 
tory account of the battle — different from what 
was reported to us before. This young man had 
liberty to converse with us nearly two hours. 

5. This morning, Elias Hart, one of Captain 
Lee's company, died of consumption in the prison 
hospital. He is the sixth man that has died since 
I came to prison. Of late, our sick have fared much 
better than formerly. As we all draw money once 
a week, each respective crew contributes, weekly, 
for their sick, which supplies them with every 
necessary ; so, that of late, there is always some 
money in the bank for the use of the sick. Since 
two shillings per week has been deducted from the 
officers, who formerly received five, most of them, 
from choice, receive what they are allowed 
from subscription, in money, and draw no other 
allowance than what is afforded by government. 
They can buy provisions as often as they want 
them, in public market, at the gate. 

6. Sunday. This afternoon, three American 
captains came to see us. They have been taken 
some months, and are bound directly home. — 

1G8 It E L I C OF THE 

Among the number, there is one Captain Potter, 
belonging to Boston. 

7. Several of* our men have been taken sick 
with fever and ague, within a few days, and a great 
number in prison are unwell. 

8. This afternoon, thirteen American prisoners 
were brought to prison. They were lately brought 
round from Liverpool, and are the remainder of 
Captain Ravel's crew. 

9. To-day, one Thomas Pillar, of Portsmouth, 
visited us. Tie was one of the five who were 
brought here on the 18th of August; he was car- 
ried on board the men-of-war the next day, having 
been taken in a merchantman. They kept him for 
a time, but he has since received his discharge, 
and intends to return home. Several letters were 
delivered to him to carry, and he is to call and 
get more. 

10. This afternoon, Rev. Mr. Heath came to 
see us, in company with a young American gen- 
tleman, who has been taken, lately, on his passage 
to France. Our agent, or prison-keeper, being 
sick and absent, Mr. Heath came into prison and 
discoursed nearly two hours with the officers. 

11. We have accounts in the papers, that Win- 
chester castle is to be repaired for the reception 
of one hundred American prisoners — a larger 
number than they now have in England. 


12. Captain Burnel, who is a prisoner here, ta- 
ken in the American service, and has a wife and 
family in England, has received a letter from 
his wife, informing him that she has been turned 
out of doors, wholly on account of his being in the 
American service. The prisoners are about rais- 
ing money for her relief. 

13. Sunday. This afternoon, Captain Rols re- 
ceived a letter from Captain Harris, in Portsmouth 
prison. He informs him that forty-five officers and 
eleven privates, had made their escape lately, out 
of that prison, twenty-five of whom were brought 
back — the other thirty-one had got off. 

1 4. We are informed, that last evening, a French 
privateer was brought in here, with eighty prison- 
ers on board, and the sailors having got a number 
of prostitutes, and gone below, drinking, the 
Frenchmen rose, closed the hatches on them, cut > 
the cable and went off with the vessel. 

15. To-day, several letters were received here, 
from the prisoners at Portsmouth. They inform 
us that they have received a letter from Captain 
Covves, in France, who made his escape from that 
prison. He writes that he has been at Paris, and 
conversed with Dr. Franklin, and told him our 
situation. His answer was, that he expected or- 
ders from America for the release of all of us. — 
This agrees with a letter which was received by 



the prisoners in Portsmouth, from a gentleman in 
London. In conversation with Mr. Heartley, who 
is a great speaker in the House of Commons, he 
informed him, that it lay in Dr. Franklin's power 
to exchange us when he pleases. It seems by 
their writing, that they give credit to the report ; 
but our faith has been so long tried, and we have 
been flattered so often, many in prison will not 
believe that they are going, until they see the pris- 
on gates open. 

16. Considerable rain in the first part of the 
day. I believe there has not been two hours steady 
rain, before to-day, for nearly three months. To- 
day some jackets, shirts and stockings were given 
us by the agent, by order of the Board. I received 
one shirt, which is the only one I have received 
from Government, since I have been a prisoner. 

17. The West India fleet that put in here a few 
days ago, sailed to-day, bound up channel. We 
heard that most of their hands were pressed, and 
that they were manned by men-of-wars-men. To- 
day I finished my studies in navigation. 

18. To-day Captain Lee received a letter from 
a man that was here a few weeks ago, and who in- 
formed him that he was taken by an American 
privateer, and came home upon condition that he 
was to return to America, if he could not get Cap- 
tain Lee exchanged for him. He now writes that 


he has done his utmost, but it is impossible for 
any man to get out, so long as this Act is in 

19. To-day about forty French prisoners were 
brought to prison, who were captured in a priva- 
teer. There are now about five hundred French 
prisoners here. 

20. To-day Thomas Pillar came again to see 
us. He informed us that he expects to sail this 
afternoon. They are first bound to Ireland, to 
join a fleet ; from thence, to New York. A num- 
ber in prison sent letters by him. I sent one to 
my father. He also informs us that he is to work 
for his passage, and that he has no money to pur- 
chase his sea stores. We collected about sixteen 
shillings, and gave it to him. 

21. I expected that Admiral Keppel's fleet 
would have come in before this time, on account 
of the sun's crossing the line ; but they are not 
yet in, so that I am in daily expectation of hearing 
that there has been an engagement between the 
two fleets. 

To-day, eight more of our sick were carried in- 
to the prison hospital. They are attacked with 
fever and ague, and a number more art; very un- 
well with the same complaint ; and I am afraid 
it will be very sickly among us, unless cold weath- 
er sets in very soon. 


22. To-day is King George's coronation day, 
and between twelve and one o'clock the fort and 
garrison fired a salute. There was but very little 
firing to what there was last year, on account of 
there being but few ships in the port. To-day, 
also, one Captain Smith came to see us. He be- 
longs to Portsmouth. He was taken in a merchant- 
man bound to the West Indies, and brought in 
here. His men are all put on board the men-of- 
war ; but he has got his liberty, and is bound 
home. A great number in prison will send letters 
by him. 

23. There are a great many in prison, who con- 
template having the beef which we receive from 
subscription, and the soap, tobacco, and oatmeal, 
and the herbs which we have in our broth, all ta- 
ken off, and receive a white loaf and some money 
instead of them. In order to ascertain the mind 
of the majority, we all drew up in the yard 
and passed a vote, which was in favor of the 
change ; but whether the gentlemen, Mr. Heath 
and Mr. Sorrey, will agree to it or not, we do not 
know ; or whether the agent will allow the money 
to come into the yard, is not yet determined. I 
was for receiving the provisions, fearing that if the 
money was allowed to come into the yard, it would 
be attended with many bad consequences — too 
many to enumerate here. 


24. This afternoon, Captain Smith came to see 
us again, and took our letters. I sent one by him 
to my father. To-day our small beer was very 
bad, and we refused to take it ; they afterwards 
got some that was a very little better ; but a great 
part in prison carried theirs and turned it over the 
gate, before the eyes of the prison officers, chosing 
rather, to drink water. The prison has been in an 
uproar all day, it being donation day. Several in 
prison became intoxicated, and went to fighting ; 
but after a few battles the prison was again quiet. 



Rols' Escape — Vory Sickly — Another Escape —Unfaithful Doctor 
— Frenchmen Escape and Return — Captain Ravel's Escape — Mr. 
Kirk's Escape — A Pardon — Thirty-two released, to go on board 
Men-of-war — Fourteen more petition for the same — An Indian 
Pow-wow — Cartel — Letters from Portsmouth — Beer Troubles — 
The Man that was punished unjustly rescued — Cartel encourage- 
ment — Captain Lee's Escape — Commemoration — New Arrange- 
ment — Spotted Fever among the French — Second Draft for the 
Ships — The Albion taken by tho French — Twenty- two months 
a Prisoner — 101 Sabbath privileges lost. 

September 25. To-day Captain Ellenwood, 
belonging to Beverly, came to see us; he was 
taken, but has since been discharged, and is now 
bound home. A great number of letters were 
sent by him ; I sent one to my brother. Last 
night, one Captain Rols made his escape from a 
separate prison, incognito, and it was not discov- 
ered till eleven o'clock to-day ; and would not 
then have been, had it not been for his messmates, 
who, when they drew provisions, told of it ; fear- 
ing that if they drew for him, they would be 
brought into trouble, as there are express orders 
against it. 



26. To-day two French prizes were brought 
into this port. 

27. Sunday. Last night, a young man in this 
prison, having a mind to go on board the men-of- 
war, made his escape over the wall in a shower 
of rain, and was not discovered. He was one of 
the number that lately petitioned to go on board 
the ships. To-day several more of the sick were 
carried down to the prison hospital. I think there 
is more than double the number sick now than 
has been at any time since I have been in prison, 
except when the small-pox went through the prison. 
If a man is sick, and very bad, the doctor will 
take him to the hospital a few days, as a matter 
of form. He has served several thus, and sent 
them up again before they were half recovered, 
and oftentimes when they were scarcely able to 

28. To-day our clothing was examined, as of 
late has been customary once a month, and as 
they called the roll they missed the man that made 
his escape the night before last ; but they know 
when, where, or how he went. 

29. We learn, by the paper, that General Carlton 
has arrived home ; and also that Parliament is pro- 
rogued till the 26th of November. 

30. Wet, stormy weather, which renders our 
confinement very tedious. We are informed that 


a few French prisoners, who made their escape a 
few nights ago, out of a prison in a separate yard, 
got a boat and set out for France, but meeting 
with the storm, put about and came back again, 
and delivered themselves up. 

October 1. The first part of last night was very 
dark, and stormy, and had it not cleared away 
just as it did before the moon set, immediately 
after she set there would have been an elopement 
from this and the officers' prison ; but as it was, 
one Captain Ravel made his escape from the 
officers' prison, incognito, which I hope hereafter 
fully to describe. Our new Black-hole is finished 
to punish Yankees in, and to-day a man was put 
in for little or nothing — for what they call abus- 
ing the turnkey — and ever since he has been in, 
he has been cutting with a small penknife, and has 
got a hole through the door near six inches 
square. To-day nearly one hundred Frenchmen 
were brought to prison ; they were taken in a 
French East Indiaman. 

2. Last night one Mr. Kirk made his escape 
from the officers' prison ; he took the same method 
that Captains Rols and Ravel did before him. 

3. This morning, when the guard came to let 
the officers out, they missed Captain Ravel and 
Mr. Kirk, but they knew not when, where, or 



how they went, so they made no great stir about 

4. Sunday. This forenoon a gentleman came 
with a pardon for thirty-three men that petitioned 
to go on board the men-of-war, which was nearly 
as follows : 

" His Majesty has been graciously pleased to 
grant a free pardon to thirty-three men, by name 

, resident in this prison, upon condition that 

they will serve, and continue to serve in His 
Majesty's Navy." This gentleman said that these 
men are to be taken out of prison to-morrow, but 
one of the thirty-three has lately made his escape, 
and we have heard since that he is on board a 
man-of-war. He also said that those whose names 
are not on the list, but wish to enter on board 
the men-of-war, if they would petition, the same 
course would be taken, and he had no doubt it 
would be answered to their satisfaction. Accord- 
ingly, this afternoon a petition was written, and 
about fourteen signed it. 

6. Last night there was but very little sleep in 
this prison, for the men who went on board the 
men-of-war this morning, were so overjoyed at the 
thought of being released from prison, that they 
could not, or would not, sleep the fore part of the 
night, but ran about the prison, hallooing, and 

178 R B JLI C O F T II E 

stamping, and singing, like mad-men, till they 
were tired out, and tlien went to bed ; but the rest in 
prison were resolved, as they would not let us 
sleep the first part of the night, we would not let 
them sleep the latter ; accordingly, we all turned 
out, and had an Indian Pow-wow, and as solid as 
the prison is, we made it shake. In this manner 
we spent the night, and in the morning early the 
men were called out, twenty of whom were imme- 
diately carried on board the Russel ship-of-war, 
now lying in the Sound. The other twelve were 
taken out about eleven o'clock, and sent on board 
the Royal George, now lying in Plymouth dock. 
As they went out, they gave us three cheers ; we 
returned it, for in joy we parted. Among those 
who went to-day were about a dozen Americans, 
but they were chiefly inconsiderate youths. This 
is a move that I have long wished to see, but it 
came now very unexpectedly. For my own part, to 
enter on board a ship of war is the last thing I 
would do. I would undergo every thing but 
death before I would think of such a thing. This 
prison has been a little hell upon earth, but I 
prefer it as much before a man-of-war, as I would 
a palace before a dungeon. Ten days ago there 
were 330 prisoners here, now there are only 294. 
6. There is a great alteration to be seen in this 
prison since those men went away, and I make 


no doubt that after another draft, we shall have 
peace and tranquillity, and live in harmony, and 
make ourselves happy, considering our situation, 
to what we have been for months past. 

7. This morning, when Mr. Sorrey came to 
bring us our money, he desired the butcher to tell 
us that we might depend upon it that a cartel was 
settled, and that we are very soon to be exchanged 
for prisoners in France. The strongest circum- 
stance that induces us to believe it is, that those 
men were admitted on board the men-of-war. 
This news also agrees with a letter which we re- 
ceived clandestinely from Captain Harris, in Ports- 
mouth prison ; he writes that a Rev. gentleman, 
who has been a friend from the beginning, told 
him that there was actually a cartel negotiating. 

8. Nothing remarkable, but repeated confirma- 
tions of what we have heard before. 

9. It is four months to-day since Admiral Bi- 
ron's fleet sailed from the Sound, and as yet we 
have heard of no arrival, except one ship. Also, 
this afternoon the brewer that supplies us with 
beer, through a mistake brought a cask of strong 
beer instead of malt, and he did not find out his 
mistake until he got here, and so was obliged to 
carry it back again. Afterwards, he brought ua 
some that was small enough, and was not accord- 
ing to contract ; we received it, but several took 



theirs and turned it over the gate. ' The man that 
was put in the Black-hole, nine days ago, has 
ever since been punished unjustly, and to-day he 
was resolved to get out, and we were resolved to 
get him out. After tearing the Black-hole yard 
down, which is about twenty feet long and eight 
wide, he got out and came into this prison, and in 
the afternoon the whole guard came in with their 
arms, and demanded the man. But, with one ac- 
cord, we all said that he should not be punished 
unjustly, and if they put him in the Black-hole 
it should not stand an hour. All this time the 
man had posted himself advantageously upon a 
beam over head in this prison, with a large stone 
in each hand, and a stocking full besides, swear-* 
ing, in a most determined manner, that he would 
crack the first man's skull that offered to touch 
him. The guard went in to persuade him to go 
peaceably, but he would not, and they dared not, 
or did not touch him; and after a long controver- 
sy, they went out without him. 

10. We learn, by the papers, that the Fox frig- 
ate, and a ship of eighteen guns, and one of six- 
teen guns, are taken by the French and carried 
into France. 

11. Sunday. To-day we received a pound of 
potatoes per man, instead of cabbage, which the 
late draught has rendered very scarce. 


12. To-day three letters were received in this 
prison, from prisoners in Portsmouth. They agree 
concerning the cartel which is expected to take 
place. They write that passports are signed and 
passed from Dr. Franklin to the ministry. They 
write, also, that they had it from the American 
agent in Paris. 

13. To-day, a fleet consisting of fifty sail, with 
convoy, passed this harbor. We suppose them to 
be an outward bound West India fleet. 

14. Last night Captain Lee made his escape 
from the officers' prison, in the same manner that 
Captain Rols and others did, before him ; and 
there are several others who are fixed, and only 
waiting for an opportunity to go the same way. 

15. tt is twenty-three months to-day since Heft 
Newbury. This morning when the guard count- 
ed the officers out, they missed one ; and after a 
long search, they found it to be Captain Lee. But 
all they know about it, is that he is gone. 

16. As it is twelve months to-day since General 
Burgoyne was taken, in commemoration thereof, 
at one o'clock, we all drew up in the yard, and 
gave three cheers ; and at night, before we were 
turned in, we did the same. This afternoon, seven 
more American prisoners were brought to prison. 
They were lately brought from Liverpool, and 
were captured in different vessels. 


17. For two days past, there have been no 
doctors here to attend to our sick, and I hear that 
the chief physician at the royal hospital has the 
charge of them. To-day a number were removed 
into this prison, from a separate prison, called the 
itchy ward, to make room for the sick. The ma- 
sons are now at work, building a chimney in an 
old prison, in this yard, that has lately been re- 
paired. This prison is to be made an hospital for 
the sick, as the other hospital is wanted for the 
French prisoners ; for there is between five and 
six hundred of them in one large prison, in a sepa- 
rate yard, and they are very sickly. They have 
the spotted fever among them, which was brought 
by those taken in the French East Indiaman. 

18. Sunday. Yesterday the officers in the 
other prisons received a private letter from with- 
out, which confirms the news concering a cartel, 
giving the particulars, which causes great satis- 
faction in the yard. 

19. A man in prison received a letter from the 
Russell, ship-of-war, which is now lying in the 
Sound, from those who went on board from this 
prison. They write that they are bound to a 
station in the East Indies. 

20. This morning a pardon arrived from the 
King, for the fourteen men who petitioned to go 
on board the King's ships. 


21. This morning, the same man that brought 
the first draft, came, and called over the names of 
those fourteen men, and asked them of what coun- 
try they were, and how long they had been to sea. 
Two of them being sick of their bargain, denied 
that their names were there. 

I am in hopes of soon hearing that Rhode Is- 
land is taken, for I hear that the British troops 
there, have burnt five frigates and two sloops-of- 
war, fearing that they would fall into the hands 
of the Americans. From the same source we 
learn that the Albion, a ship of sixty-four guns, is 
taken by the French, and carried into France. — 
Also, that four sail of the line have lately sailed 
form France, bound to America, to join Count 
D' Estaing ; and also, that the English have taken 
another East Indiaman from the French, besides 
that which was brought in here. 

22. To-day some officers from the ships came 
after those men, and the two before mentioned de- 
nied that they signed their names. They did not 
ask them to go, but one man went that did not 
sign, so that on the whole they got thirteen, which, 
with the first draft, makes forty-five men that 
have gone on board the men-of-war. But those 
who remain, I believe, are true sons of America. 

23. Notwithstanding the encouragement we 
have about being exchanged, last evening a man 


made his escape by getting over the wall. It being 
very dark and rainy, more would have gone the 
same way, but they were discovered by the guard. 

24. It is twenty-two months to-day, that I have 
been a prisoner ; but now I think the auspicious 
day is at hand, when, with God's blessing, we shall 
all take our departure from this place. If I mis- 
take not, this is the only day since I have been a 
prisoner, that we have not been counted. But 
this morning we were let out, and at night turned 
in, without any such thing ; so that it appears 
they grow very careless about us to what they 
have been, which I consider a good omen. 

25. Sunday. One hundred and one Sundays 
have passed since I have enjoyed a Sabbath day's 
privilege. To-day being King Charles' restoration 
day, the garrison and fort fired a salute. 




Oil of tar for Prison —Frenchmen break out — One Shot --Reduction of 
Donation— Two Americans in Irons — Various opinions about the Car- 
tel—Several Holes in hand— Fearful Apprehensions — Dominica taken 
by the French and Americans — King's Troops on Martha's Vineyard 
— Drunken Prisoners delivered up — Forbearance of the Guard — Fiie 
in the Black-hole — Four American Boys — Dolton as Fortune Pri- 
vateer Base Treachery — Plans Discovered — Mitchell the Villain 

Letter of Thanks — Two Years from Home — Unsuccessful At- 

October 26. It is twenty-three months to-day, 
since we sailed in the brig Dolton from Ports- 
mouth. It is a long time since this prison was 
smoked, so that it is exceedingly foul, and smells 
very offensive. To-day, by order of Dr. Far, the 
principal physician of the royal hospital, who has 
now the care of our sick, some stuff was procured, 
which they tell us is the oil of tar, which was put 
on the posts fore and aft the prison, above and be- 
low. They inform us that it is better than smoking. 
Be it as it may, it gives the prison a very disagree- 
able smell. 




27. As the evenings are now of considerable 
length, although we are not allowed candles, yet 
we have them every night, and have had them for 
several weeks past. 

28. Last night the French prisoners broke out 
of their prison, through a hole which they had dug 
several yards under ground. I cannot learn the 
exact number that got out. However, they were 
discovered by the guard and pursued, and one of 
them was shot through the breast. After which, 
a turnkey struck him on the head with an iron po- 
ker, but he is yet alive. The Frenchmen are very 
sickly ; they have the spotted fever amongst them, 
which carries off great numbers. 

This morning, Mr. Heath and Mr. Sorrey came 
to see us, and informed us that they had received 
a letter from the committee, in London, with or- 
ders to deduct sixpence per week from each offi- 
cer, and ninepence from each private ; so that for 
the future, the officers are to receive two shillings 
and sixpence each, per week, and privates one 
shilling and threepence each, per week. All the 
reason I can assign for this change, is, that the 
donation grows short. 

29. The camp at Coxheath is now broken up, 
and the Somersetshire militia, with the 13th 
regiment, have removed to the barracks at Ply- 
mouth dock ; so that one day we are guarded by 


the militia, and the other by the 13th regiment. — 
To-day, about fifty Frenchmen were removed from 
a separate prison, in another yard, to the prison- 
ship, for want of room in that prison. 

30. To-day Mr. Sorrey came and answered a 
petition which we sent out, to receive what we are 
allowed in money, as it is so trifling. Mr. Sorrey 
says that Mr. Heath is absent, so that he will con- 
tinue the provisions until he returns, and then he 
will consult him. 

31. We learn, from the papers, that Lord Howe 
and Sir George Johnston, have arrived home in 
the Eagle man-of-war, of sixty-four guns. 

November 1. This afternoon two Americans 
were brought to the gate, in irons, having four or 
five men, with pistols, guarding them ; but who 
they were, or where they were taken, I cannot tell. 
I suppose, however, that they were not commit- 
ted, by their being carried away again. 

2. It is almost four weeks since Mr. Sorrey told 
us that we were to be exchanged ; and some in 
prison, who believed it at first, begin to think it 
very doubtful ; some did not believe it at first. For 
my own part, I am persuaded it is true, and be- 
lieve it will be soon — how soon I cannot tell ; but 
every day since I heard of it, seems as long as a 
week before. 

3. At this time we have several holes in hand, 


one of which was discovered this morning, by some 
dirt that was carried out in the tubs to the edge 
of the river, to empty. To-day two large two- 
deckers came in, which, I suppose, belong to Ad- 
miral Keppel's fleet ; and hear that they are all in 
Portsmouth, and other ports. I also hear that the 
Ocean, a three-decker, a ship of ninety guns, 
which came in a few days ago in a storm which 
she experienced, sprung a leak, and threw over- 
board most of her guns. 

4. To-day Mr. Sorrey came, and brought some 
money for the officers, but none for us, as our 
provisions for the week past amounts to what we 
are allowed. Mr. Sorrey says that he expects the 
cartel very soon. The Lord have mercy upon us, 
if it does not arrive before the donation is all ex- 
pended, for the second death will be worse than 
the first. 

5. To-day, being gunpowder treason, at one 
o'clock the garrison and fort fired a salute, and the 
bells in Plymouth have been chiming most of the 

6. To-day about one hundred more of the 
French prisoners in another yard, were removed 
on board the Cambridge, a prison ship. For sev- 
eral days past, a number of men have been at work 
laying the foundation of a large prison hospital, 
which is to be built. 


It has been strongly reported this week, that Do- 
minica has been taken by the French and Ameri- 
cans, and this evening I had the pleasure of see- 
ing it confirmed, in the paper, by authority. The 
Lieutenant Governor of that Island is now a 
prisoner in France. 

7. We learn, by the paper, that the King's 
troops in America, have been to Martha's Vine- 
yard, disarmed the inhabitants, and demanded ten 
thousand sheep and five hundred oxen. 

8. Sunday. Nothing very remarkable. Vari- 
ous conjectures concerning a cartel. Some im- 
agine it is to come from France ; others think it 
will be fitted out in England, and others are doubt- 
ful if it will come at all. 

9. I thought that all who had any idea of going 
on board the men-of-war, had gone ; but I under- 
stand that a number have sent their names out, to 
go ; how many I cannot tell, as they did it very 
slyly. We shall know who they are, and how 
many, when an order comes to take them out. 

10. This morning two of our men got some 
liquor, clandestinely, and made themselves drunk. 
One of these, about twelve o'clock, went to the 
gate to buy some strong beer, which was denied 
him, and being in a passion, without any provoca- 
tion, he swore that he would break the agent's 
windows, and took up some ofd shoes, bones and 


stones, and threw them till he had broken 
seven squares in one window, and one in an- 
other, in the front of the agent's office. There 
being three of them intoxicated, one of them took 
hold of the sentry at the gate, and would have ta- 
ken his gun from him, but the guard came in, and 
the captain of the guard took hold of one of them, 
and being a militia man, and a very great gentle- 
man, he said that he was lothe to bring his men 
who were armed, against us who were unarmed, 
and so went out. Upon which, we took one of 
them ourselves and pitched him out of the gate 
by the nape of the neck, and so delivered him up. 
In the afternoon, after we were turned out, we 
took the other two and delivered them up. All of 
which were sent to the Black-hole. So, that if 
any man misbehaves and deserves punishment, we 
will deliver him up, or punish him ourselves, rather 
than he should go unpunished ; but rather than see 
a man chastised unjustly, we will do our utmost 
for his rescue. As for instance, on the 19th of 
October, when we released one of these same 
men from the Black-hole. 

II. Those three men who were put in the 
Black-hole yesterday, employed themselves last 
night, in cutting through the bulkhead that sepa- 
rates the Black-hole from the hospital, and piled 
up the chips and set them on fire. Where they 


obtained the fire we cannot tell, but they were 
soon glad enough to put it out, as the smoke in- 
creased. This afternoon four American boys came 
to see us, that were taken with Captain Claston, in 
the Freedom, above twelve months ago. Those 
boys were detained, and now belong to the Apollo 

12. As a fortnight has passed, and we have re- 
ceived no money, we begin to fear that we shall 
receive no more ; but what is left of the donation, 
I expect we shall receive in clothes and provision ; 
and for that reason, and the want of employment, 
I to-day began to make boxes. 

13. We learn, from the paper, that the Fortune 
privateer, Captain George Tarton, which was for- 
merly the Dolton, has made more money by priva- 
teering, than any other privateer out of England, 
since the commencement of hostilities between the 
English and French. 

14. Last evening, it being dark and rainy, two 
holes were opened at the back part of the prison, 
and five men went out. They had agreed with a 
soldier to let them pass for so much money. This 
soldier's name was Mitchell ; he was once a stage- 
driver in America. He let them out, and they 
gave him two pounds nineteen shillings ; but after 

"they delivered him the money, he let them out 
where the guard stood ready to receive them and 


carry them to the Black-hole. This morning, the 
guard went into the officers' prison and discovered 
a hole under the stairs, where they had dug down 
about six feet, and then proceeded through the 
guard-house and came up under the guard bed. — 
They then went up stairs and demanded the keys 
of the officers' chests, which they opened, and 
found a suit of uniform which one of the officers 
had purchased to make his escape in. This was 
the method Captains Rols, Ravel, Lee, and Mr. 
Kirk took to make their escape, — following the 
guard out when they used to come at night ; but 
this scheme is blasted. The hole in the officers' 
prison had been finished near a month, and they 
had been only waiting for an opportunity to put 
their plans into execution ; but as this Mitchell 
has appeared to be a friend, I suppose that some 
one of the officers communicated it to him, and he 
informed his officer ; so by that means it was dis- 

This afternoon Mr. Sorrey and Mr. Heath came 
to see us, and we presented them with a letter of 
thanks for the many favors we have received at 
their hands, and requested them to let us have 
part of what we are to receive, in money. This 
favor we probably shall obtain. We have not re- 
ceived any coals from government, for the comfort* 
of our sick in the hospital, for nearly six weeks, 


but have been obliged to use the donation coals. 
We informed Mr. Heath and Mr. Sorrey of this, 
and we find that we have been cheated, by the 
agent and doctor, out of nearly forty bushels of 

15. Sunday. It is two years to-day since I left 
Newbury. Alas f little did I think that I should 
be here now. Last night, a hole that we have had 
in hand nearly a fortnight, unfortunately foun- 
dered in the street. This hole was dug down by 
the side of the prison, about ten feet, and our in- 
tention was to dig across the street under ground, 
into a garden on the opposite side of the way ; but, 
by the time it was half across, it foundered. 

16. Night before last, we heard a firing which 
we could not account for. We have since heard 
that the Royal George ran ashore from her moor- 
ings, but was got of again with but little trouble. 




Twenty-one — A Sorrowful Freedom — Fort on Drake's Island — A 
Report — A Request granted — London Evening Post — Breach in ' 
Black-hole — Disagreeable Confinement — William Moody — Even- 
ing Post — John Howe — Escape prevented — King's Speech — 
Anthony Shomaker's Escape — Thoughts about the Cartel — Roll of 
Prisoners called by the Board — English Prisoners at Brest — Bad 
Money — Sorrowful Day — Donation Money closes — Hyfield' g 
Escape — Unsuccessful Attempt — Exposure of the Sick — John 
Lott died — Public Prayer — Insolent Captain rebuked — Letter of 
Thanks to the Hon. Committeo — Escape of Captain Rosa. 

November 17. Tuesday. I am twenty-one 
years of age. Alas ! little did I think, three years 
ago, that at this age I should have spent so much 
of my time immersed in prison. A sorrowful 
freedom this ; or rather no freedom at all. There 
has been nothing to be purchased within these 
walls to-day, to drink, but cold water, and we 
came near having nothing to eat; for, it being 
rainy last night, some in prison broke a hole 
through the wall, with the intent to go out, but 
were discovered, and this morning our butcher 


went out to cut the meat up, but the agent put all 
in prison on half allowance, and then went off. 
When the butcher came in, we told the cooks not 
to cut the meat up, for we would not receive half 
allowance. About 4 o'clock in the afternoon the 
agent came back, in a great passion, swearing by 
all that was good or bad, that all in this prison 
should go on half allowance. The men that dug 
the hole offered to go to the Black-hole, but he 
refused their offer ; but after a long controversy, 
he became a little more calm, and took the men 
and gave us our allowance, which we received 
about dark. 

18. For several days past, a large number of 
men have been at work upon an island, called 
Drake's Island. It seems that they have been 
building new works ; I suppose for fear that a land- 
ing may be attempted by the French; and another 
fort is building further up the river. 

19. To-day Joseph Burnham, one of our com- 
pany, who had his leg cut off some months ago, 
has so far recovered as to come up into this yard. 

20. We learn, by the papers, that 10,000 troops 
are to be sent to America in the spring, and the 
war is to be pushed with the utmost vigor, both by 
sea and land. 

21. To-day we received a letter from Mr. Sor- 
rey and Mr. Heath, which informs us that the beef 


shall be deducted, which we have received by sub- 
scription, and the other articles continued as be- 
fore, and that we shall receive sixpence per week 
in money, according to our request. 

22. Sunday. Wet, dirty weather, as it has 
been for three or four weeks past, in which time 
there has scarcely been a day in which it has not 
rained more or less. 

23. This evening I had the privilege of hearing 
the London Evening Post read, which is a paper 
we seldom see, and in which is a burlesque on the 
Ministry, very severe. 

24. I have been a prisoner three-and-twenty 
months to-day. 

25. To day we received sixpence per man, and 
the beef was deducted ; the rest of the provisions 
continue, which, with sixpence per week, amounts 
to what we are allowed — fifteen pence, as before 
mentioned. This afternoon, the men in the Black- 
hole, being vexed by ill usage, and not being allow- 
ed to come out and take the air, broke down the 
Black-hole door, which alarmed the guard, and 
the agent ordered five of them to be put in irons ; 
but the militia being on guard, and the officer be- 
ing a great gentleman, he put only one of them in 

26. It is two years to-day since we sailed in the 

II E V O L U T I O xN . 197 

brig Dolton from Portsmouth. To-day the Parlia- 
ment is to set, according to adjournment. 

27. Wet, rainy, blustering, unsteady weather, 
which renders our confinement more tedious than 
in good weather, on account of our being obliged 
to keep house a great part of the time. At pres- 
ent, many in prison are destitute of shoes, and of 
late our prison has become very leaky. Along 
through the last of summer and the first of fall, 
for nearly three months, there was scarcely rain 
enough to wet the dust ; but now, for a month 
past, there has been scarcely a day but there has 
been more or less rain ; so that the grass in the 
fields looks much better now than it did in the 
month of August, when the fields were parched 
up for want of rain. 

28. Nothing remarkable. 

29. Sunday. To-day William Moody came to 
see us ; I had not the least expectation of ever 
seeing him again in these parts, for I expected 
that he had got home before this, as he was clear- 
ed a lon^ time ago. Where he has been ever 
since I cannot tell, but he tells us that he is now 
a carpenter of a privateer of eight guns, belong- 
ing to this port, in which he has been one cruise, 
and taken one French St. Domingo vessel. 

30. Nothing remarkable. 

December 1. This evening I had the privilege 


of reading the London Evening Post, in which is 
an account of the capture of three English frig- 
ates, by name the Minerva and the Acton, car- 
ried into the West Indies, and the Thundering 
Unicorn, into Boston. 

2. This afternoon, one John Howe came to see 
us. He made his escape out of this prison 
a few months ago, and went on board the Blen- 
heim, a guard ship in this port; and as he was 
one that petitioned to go on board the men-of- 
war, after he made his escape his pardon came 
down for him with the rest ; so that he may come 
on shore, as often as he can get liberty, with safe- 
ty. He induced two of the number who petition- 
ed last to run away, at night, when they went out 
with their tubs, which they did, and a boy with 
them, but they were pursued by the guard, taken, 
and lodged in the Black-hole. 

3. The three that were put in the Black-hole 
last night were taken out to-day. To-day I had 
the opportunity of seeing and reading the King's 
speech on the 26th of last month, in which he 
seems very cool and moderate to what he was at 
the opening of the session last year. His speech 
was not long, but too long to be comprehended 
here ; but he confesses that his arms have not met 
with the success that the justness of the cause and 
their exertions promised ; and I think that he 


seems rather inclined to peace, as he says, if it can 
be attained consistently with the honor and dig- 
nity of the crown. 

4. This evening we had two papers in prison, 
the Exeter paper and the London Evening Post ; 
in the latter were the proceedings of Parliament. 
This paper says that the King was never seen to 
look so melancholy, and to speak so sorrowful, as 
on the 26th of Nov. last ; and he was never seen to 
exert himself, except when he addressed the House 
of Commons for support. In the same paper are 
several fine speeches in favor of America; they 
lament the loss of Dominica, and deplore the situa- 
tion of Great Britain and all her foreign territories. 

5. Last evening Mr. Anthony Shomaker pri- 
vately made his escape from the officers' prison, 
and but very few in this yard knew any thing of 
it until this evening; and neither the agent nor 
the guard know it yet, which makes it well for the 
mess he left, as they draw his provisions. But 
this is not the only thing ; the reason we keep it 
from them is that he may have a better chance to 
get off, and to screen the militia on guard at the 

6. Sunday. By this time I begin to feel very 
sad about our cartel, for I expected that it 
would have been here before this time, but I en- 
tertain the same opinion, about its being agreed 


upon, now, as I did at first: I am fearful, however, 
that something lias turned up to prevent its being 
put in execution. 

7. We were all called to muster just before 
night. We thought it was on account of Mr. 
Shomaker being gone, but we were soon con- 
vinced to the contrary, as they did not find it out 
till his name was called ; and I have heard since 
that the Board sent down for an immediate list of 
all the prisoners here. There are various conjec- 
tures concerning this uncommon affair^ some are 
encouraged by it, others not. 

8. We learn, from the papers, that there are 
7000 English prisoners in and about Brest. 

9. To-day Mr. Coudry, the agent, and Mr. 
Turner, his clerk, told us that we should be ex- 
changed very soon ; it was but a few days ago 
that they contradicted the story concerning a car- 
tel, and wanted to entice us to enter on board the 
men-of-war, so that I pay no regard to what, they 
say, whether it be for us, or against us. 

10. To-day the story concerning a cartel is ru- 
mored again ; we are told that the transports are 
engaged for that purpose ; and some say that we 
shall be gone in a fortnight, others in a month. 

1J. At this time, there is considerable bad 
money in prison, which was brought and handed 
in as change for good money, by some of the turn- 


keys or market people, and now that they begin 
to be suspicious of our going away soon, they will 
take no more of it, though it has passed in and 
out for several months, so that there is consider- 
able laying on our hands, which we are obliged 
to lose. Some in prison have several shillings in 
bad half pence. 

12. I fear that I shall forever have cause to re- 
member this day, to my sorrow ; for this morning, 
when we were turned out, it was reported from 
the officers' prison that the Act by which we were 
committed was again renewed, but 'upon further 
inquiry, and upon searching the paper, we found 
it to be nearly as follows : Sir Gray Cooper made 
a motion in the House for leave to bring in a bill 
to renew this act, for»a certain limited time, which 
passed without a debate. But the worst is yet to 
come ; Mr. Heath and Mr. Sorrey, who hitherto 
have been messengers of good news, came this 
afternoon with tidings of bad news, in a letter 
from the committee in London, which gives an ac- 
count of all the donation being expended. This 
occasions many long faces in prison ; but in this 
letter there is a word of comfort, for they write 
that the time is so short which we have to stay in 
prison, that they thought it not worth while to 
open a new subscription, though they have the 
same feelings for us that they ever had ; which 

202 It ii I.1C P T 11 li 

seems to imply, that if it was necessary, or if we 
were to stay here long, they would do it again. 

13. Sunday. The sudden, disagreeable, and 
unexpected news that we received yesterday, has 
greatly added to our affliction, and this is the last 
day that we may expect aiiy thing from the dona- 
tion. To-day we received a fourpenny white 
loaf per mess, which came last night ; so that 
from this time we may bid it adieu. This dona- 
tion has lasted exactly eleven months and one day; 
so that it was eleven months yesterday since we 
received the first of it. Doubtless many of us 
would have been in our graves before this day, 
had it not been for this ; and heaven, I hope, will 
reward the donors. 

14. To-day we received another fourpenny loaf 
per mess ; the occasion of it 1 cannot tell. Last 
evening, about eight o'clock, Mr. Ilyfield made 
his escape from the officers' prison, in disguise ; 
and about ten o'clock another attempted it in the 
same way, but was discovered, and sent to the 
Black-hole. There are a number sick in another 
prison in this yard, which is called a hospital ; but 
it is not worth the name, as there is no fire-place 
in it, neither is it water tight, but whenever it 
rains, as it has done most of the time of late, it 
beats in upon the sick as they lay in their beds. 
At this time there are several sick with the fever, 



three of whom now appear to be at the point of 

15. Last evening John Lott died with fever ; 
he was an Indian that was taken with Captain 
Brown, in the sloop Charming Sally. He is the 
seventh man that has died in prison since I came 
here, and he is the seventh that Captain Brown 
has lost of his men since he was taken. Six of 
our crew have died since we were taken, two 
of Captain Lee's, and one of Captain Henry 
Johnson's. There are two men in prison who 
lay dangerously sick, and to-day we got leave for 
Mr. Heath to come and pray with them, which is 
the only public prayer that has been made in this 
yard since we came to prison. I think it not 
amiss to mention a few words that this Rev. gen- 
tleman said concerning the sick. He said that 
they should be supplied with such necessaries as 
they wanted for their comfort, if he had to go 
about the country with a bag and beg them. To- 
day we came upon our old government allowance, 
which, I must confess, is better than it was in 
1777; the quantity-is the same, except half a pint 
of peas on Saturday, which we were then cheated 
out of; our beef and bread are the same in quan- 
tity, but better in quality. To-day the agent 
served out a few clothes to such as were in imme- 
diate need, but poor Charles gets none. 


1G. To-day the sick were removed from one 
prison, in this yard, to another that has been some 
time preparing for them. 

17. Yesterday the captain of the grenadiers in 
the 13th regiment was on guard ; last evening he 
came into this prison and used two or three men 
very ill. As this man has lately boasted that no 
man could make his escape while he was on guard, 
and as they had not found out that Mr. Hyfield 
was gone, who made his escape several evenings 
ago, and on account of the captain's insolence 
and abuse last evening, we let them know it this 
morning, so that they think he went away on this 
captain's guard, and the blame, if there is any, 
will fall upon his head. To-day, by the request 
of the whole prison, a letter of thanks was writ- 
ten, and sent to the honorable committee in Lon- 
don, and we desired that it might be made public, 
by putting it in the paper. As there was some- 
thing in it which we did not wish the agent to 
see, we sent it out by the officer of the guard, 
who, being a gentleman in the militia, and ap- 
proving mightily of it, promised to forward it on 
its way. 

18. A report has prevailed in prison, to-day, 
that information has been received that two ships 
have been engaged, in Portsmouth, to carry us to 


19. Last night Captain Alexander Ross made 
his escape from the officers' prison. Our officers 
that have made their escape so many times lately, 
may thank good friends and their money for get- 
ting off; but a poor foremast hand, with no friends, 
and no money in his pocket, would stand but a 
poor chance, to get off, if he was without the 
^ walls. 

206 RELIC OF Til 


Cruel purposes of the Ministry — Petition for Pardon — Mr. Salter's 
Escape — Cruel Act renewed — Last of the Donation — Solemn 
Covenant — Sorrowful Christmas — Court Martial — Another Hole 
— Great plan for a general Elopement — Arrangement of Escape — 
Plan put in execution — Wandering in the Fields — Lost — Limb 
out of joint — Surprise — Carried to Plymouth — Number escaped, 
109 — How discovered — Punishment — A sorrowful New Year — 
Extreme Suffering — Good Friends — New Year's Gift — Not dis- 
couraged digging — Large Fleets — Captain Boardman escapes — 
A Reprieve for a Dog — Heavy Bounty for Prisoners- 

December 20. We learn, by the papers, that the 
ministry are resolved to carry on another cam- 
paign in America ; and, if they can do nothing 
else, spread horror and depredation from one end 
of the continent to the other. They have a new 
mode for carrying on the war ; as I believe they 
have given up all idea of conquering the country. 
They mean now, to destroy their seaports, and 
render the country of as little use to France as 
possible ; but poor old England is in a deplorable 
situation, and this, I believe, will be her last dying 



Thirty-one lords have drawn up a protest against 
this new system of war, to warn the public and to 
screen themselves from the evil that may fall upon 
those who persist in this inhuman and bloody con- 

21. There has been no answer to the last peti- 
tion that was sent to the Board ; and to-day an- 
other petition was written and signed by a consid- 
erable number. This short allowance strikes such 
a dread upon a great number in this prison, that I 
am afraid it will frighten many, and induce them 
to go on board the men-of-war, who otherwise 
would have no thoughts of going. For my own 
part, I have received about a half a guinea for 
boxes, of late, but if I had not a farthing it would 
be equally the same, for as long as I can get pro- 
vision enough to keep body and soul together, I 
shall prefer this prison to a man-of-war. 

22. Last evening Mr. Salter made his escape 
from the officers' prison. Captain Boardman 
attempted it, but was discovered, and put in the 

We learn, by the papers, that the high treason 
Act is again renewed ; for how long a time, is un- 

23. To-day Mr. Heath came and served out the 
remainder of the clothes, that were left of the do- 
nation. I received only a pair of shoes. This is 


It E L I C OF 

the last that we may expect from the donation, either 
in provisions or clothes, though we are allowed 
oatmeal to thicken our broth, and coals to burn ; 
which are given, as I suppose, by private gentle- 

24. It is two years to-day since we were taken. 
To-day a paper was drawn up in prison, to discover 
who and how many were of a side, and to hasten 
those who have a desire to petition, and to prevent 
petitioning hereafter ; for we have reason to think 
it has already been of great damage to us. The 
contents of the paper were as follows : 

" We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, 
do, of our own free and voluntary consent, agree 
firmly with each other, and hereby solemnly 
swear, that we are fully determined to stand, 
and so remain as long as we live, true and 
loyal to our Congress, our country, our wives, chil- 
dren and friends, and never to petition to enter 
on board any of His Britannic Majesty's ships or 
vessels, or into any of his services whatsoever." 

The above was signed by upwards of a hundred. 
I was one of the number. Some of the number 
that did not sign this, would not go on board of a 
man-of-war any sooner than those that did sign 

25. This is Christmas, and a sorrowful one it 
is, though we had sent us, by our friends without, 


a fourpenny white loaf per mess, and a little cab- 
bage. Little did I think, last Christmas, of being 
here now; neither did I expect, three months 
ago, to be here to-day. But all signs seem to 
fail ; and it seems as though we were enchanted 
here. A third year of our imprisonment has be- 

26. We learn, by the papers, that Admiral Kep- 
pel is to receive a trial by court martial, for his be- 
havior on the 27th of July last, in an engage- 
ment with the French fleet, off Brest. He is con- 
fined to his house, with two sentries at his door. 

27. Sunday. At this time, we have a hole in 
hand, which we began near a month ago. This 
hole is dug down by the side of the prison, about 
nine feet perpendicular, and from thence it is dug 
about fifteen feet under ground, across a road ; 
and our intention is to dig up into a garden on the 
other side of the way. A great quantity of dirt has 
already come out of this hole, and we have much 
trouble in concealing it. We have filled every 
hole and corner in the prison where we can with 
safety hide it, and a great many large stones 
are laid fore and aft the prison, in piles, under our 
hammocks, with old garments laid over them. — 
There has been so many holes discovered of late, 
in this prison, that we are very cautious how we 
proceed with this. We work only when the mili- 




tia are on guard, which is every other day, because 
they are not so suspicious and exact in searching, 
as the 13th regiment. 

28. We have now got the hole almost com- 
pleted, and mean to put our plan into execution 
to-night, and I hope God will be with us. Never 
did I know the true value of money until now ; if 
I had four or five guineas, I could scarcely have a 
doubt of my liberty ; but from the want of this I 
expect to be brought back again if I should have 
the good fortune to get out. While I now write, 
we are- dividing ourselves into companies, to cast 
lots who shall go out first, so as to give every one 
an equal chance that intends to go ; except three 
that dug the hole — they are to go first. I believe 
that nearly one half in prison intend to go, if pos- 
sible ; but I fear that but very few will get out 
before we shall be discovered, on account of their 
being four walls to get over, about eight feet high, 
each, after we get into the garden, and before we 
get into the road. 

29. Last night we opened the hole and shut it 
up again, until about twelve o'clock. We then 
opened it again, and a man went out and opened 
a window in the first wall. We likewise chose 
two of the principal men in prison, that did not in- 
tend, to go, to take the list of each company, and 
stand one upon each side the hole, to see that ev- 


ery man went out in his turn. It fell to my lot to 
go out in the first company, after those who dug 
the hole. I went through, and came to the first 
wall, where the window was open. Three more 
walls I had to get over, which were so high that I 
could just jump and catch the tops of them ; all of 
which, we went over like greyhounds. Then six 
of us met and concluded to go together. We then 
ran back into the country until we judged we wer® 
two or three miles out of Plymouth, and in this 
manner we rambled about the fields, up hill and 
down dale, over hedges and through ditches, till 
we were lost and could not find the right road to 
Tinemouth, which was the town we meant to aim 
for, about thirty-six miles from Plymouth. Before 
we were lost, we walked about twenty miles, as 
we judged, backwards and forwards, through the 
fields. We then sat down by the side of a hill, till 
we were almost chilled to death. We then pro- 
ceeded to a haystack, under the lee of which we lay 
until the day began to break, and it being cloudy, 
we could not discover the east from the west ; so 
we wandered about till daylight, when we found 
the road to Tinemouth, and pressed forward till 
we came to a bridge, where, by the help of a mile- 
stone, we found, to our great surprise, that we 
were only three miles from Plymouth. At this 
bridge I pulled of a pair off trowsers, which I wore 


to keep my breeches and stockings clean, and 
threw them into the stream. We then pushed 
on two miles farther, in the road. By this time, 
the people began to stir about, and we concluded 
it was no longer safe to walk by daylight. We 
then took a cross road that led into the country, 
and travelled about a mile, and then cut across 
some fields, and went into a hedge, where we de- 
termined to lay till night, and then proceed on our 
journey. It was almost seven o'clock in the morn- 
ing when we went into the hedge, and we lay 
there undiscovered, as we supposed, until an hour 
before sunset. All this time, we lay on the 
wet grass, and had nothing to eat or drink. We 
had only a penny loaf apiece, and that we 
meant to save to eat in the night following, and so 
travel all night ; the next morning we expected to 
reach Tinemouth. About nine hours we lay in 
the hedge, wet, hungry, and almost chilled to 
death with the cold ; lying all the time in one posi- 
tion, longing for the night to come. I went to 
stir one of my legs and a bone snapped and went 
out of joint, and as one of the company was setting 
it, about ten farmers, with a soldier, came upon us. 
One of them had a pistol, one a bayonet, one a 
flail, and all the rest had clubs; we told them 
that we came into Plymouth in a prize, and 
were bound to Tinemouth. The country was 


alarmed, and we were taken. They carried us to 
a little village and gave us a good glass of brandy, 
and a half penny cake, apiece. We were then 
guarded by a sergeant of the militia, and about a 
dozen farmers, to Plymouth. We stopped on the 
road to get something to drink, but they would not 
let us stop to eat. We came to Plymouth in the 
evening, and some hundred men gathered round 
us and caused great confusion and excited a tu- 
multuous broil. In this fray I lost my penny loaf. 
From thence we were brought to prison again, 
where we found that about thirty were taken 
before us, and the Black-hole was full ; so that we 
were put in the long prison again. I was here in- 
formed that one hundred and nine men got out at 
this hole, and that it was carried on with the great- 
est regularity, till a boy went out who was unable 
to get over the wall, and he called for help, which 
alarmed the guard ; otherwise, every man in prison 
might have got out, that had any inclination to do 
so. . I 

30. Last night and to-day, about forty more were 
brought back, and those in the Black-hole taken 
out, and all put on half allowance. 

31. To-day a number more were brought back, 
and those of us who are on short allowance, are 
divided into messes, eight men in a mess, all to sit 
down to a four pound loaf, and three pounds of 
beef, before it is cooked, a bowl of broth, and a 

2] 1 


little cabbage, which we have only every other 
day. To-day a mess of us joined together and 
bought a bag of potatoes, of fifteen gallons, for two 
shillings and ninepence, which will be of great ser- 
vice to us, on our forty days' half allowance. 

January 1, 1779. This is a new year, and a sor- 
rowful one it is, though our friends sent us a white 
loaf to every mess on full allowance, and would 
have sent one to those on half allowance, but our 
cruel agent would not let it come in. This so 
vexed us that me went and reasoned the case with 
him, and he at last consented to let it come in, if 
it was intended only as a new year's gift. We 
have also received greens, for four days past, in- 
stead of cabbage or peas, which is not half so 
good as either. We have to-day written a petition 
to the Board to see if they will grant us peas, and 
another, to see if they will favor us in regard 
to provision or time, while on half allow- 
ance. Two more men were brought back this 
afternoon. As yet, I have not got over my frolic. 
My knee is stiff where I put it out of joint. My 
hands are sore, being torn with burs. In short, I 
have not got a place about me the size of a 
halfpenny, but what is stiff and sore. 

2. To-day we wrote a note to Mr. Heath, to let 
him know that Mr. Coudry had consented to let a 
loaf come in to each mess on half allowance, as a 
new year's gift. Also, to-day the ^e.u served out 



shoes to almost every man in prison, except those 
on half allowance. We have received a letter 
from Portsmouth, which informs us that fifteen 
men had gone from that prison on board the men- 
of-war, last week, and that there are two hundred 
and thirty American prisoners there. 

3. Sunday. In answer to the note we sent yes- 
terday, to Mr. Heath, we received a white loaf to 
each mess on half allowance, and the generosity 
of our friends led them to send us a sixpenny loaf, 
which make our hearts glad. 

4. Notwithstanding there are so many of us on 
half allowance, it does not discourage us from 
digging, for yesterday we began another hole, and 
last night it was unfortunately discovered. 

This afternoon another man was brought back, 
who had got as far as Torbay, where he saw 
three hundred sail of vessels, in three fleets, 
one of which was bound to New York, one to 
Halifax, and the other to the West Indies, most of 
them with provisions, and some troops. 

5. Last night, Captain Boardman made his es- 
cape from the officers' prison, and as there has 
been none brought back to-day, it gives us reason 
to hope, that those who are now out, will escape 
from this detested place. The number not yet re- 
turned is twenty-four, as eighty-five out of one 
hundred and nine have been brought back again. 



6. This morning, I began to set myself up to 
sell bread, to enlarge the little amount of money I 
have, while on half allowance. I send out to the 
baker's and purchase by the dozen, and retail it 
out; by which means I realize twopence on a doz- 
en. As necessity is the mother of invention, so 
necessity obliges me to take every honest method 
to get a penny, especially at this time, when we 
have greens, or cabbage as they are called, instead 
of peas, but unworthy of the name of either, for it 
is more like kelp than cabbage, and it is not fit for 
any human being to eat. 

7. To-day a gentleman came to the gate and 
gave in a crown, to be divided .among ninety of 
us in prison, who are on half allowance. This 
crown gains a reprieve for a dog, which keeps in 
the yard and belongs to some of the officers on 
guard. This dog we are resolved to kill and eat, 
in a few days, as necessity will oblige us to do so. 
This evening two more men were brought back, 
who went out on the 28th of December. They 
were taken about forty miles distant, at a place 
called Exmouth. There are now only twenty-two 
out, as eighty-seven have been brought back. We 
are told that five pounds a head is given for every 
one that is taken up; if so, it has cost government 
four hundred and thirty-five pounds for the eighty- 
seven that are brought back. 



A Hurricane —Great Distress — Kills a Dog— Dog divided— Cooked 
and eat — Rata eat in Prison — Voluntary Surrender — Good News 

— Cartel arrived — Pardon — Great Joy — A small Donation — 
Spanish Fleet — Another Pardon — A Wonder — Number of Prison- 
ers left — Wait impatiently — Another Hole in hand — Eleven 
Frenchmen escape — Good News from Bilboa — Happy Event — 
Twenty-six months a Prisoner — Incendiary — Penitent sick Prisoners 

— King's Pardon. 

Januarv 8. It is two years, to-day, since we ar- 
rived in this Sound. One of those that were 
brought back yesterday, brought a paper in with 
him, in which is an account of an hurricane that 
happened about ten days ago, at London, in 
which a great number of houses were blown down ; 
and by the same tornado, a great many vessels 
were cast away, at Margate Roads, and a number 
of lives lost. Among the rest was an East India- 
man. By the paper, we also learn, that a great 
part of Greenwich Hospital was consumed by a 
fire that took place there. 


This is a much worse time to be on short allow- 
ance than any time since we have been in prison. 
As there are so many on half allowance, those who 
are on full allowance, and are willing to help us, 
are unable, for their own allowance is not sufficient 
to support nature ; and the half of that is intolera- 
ble. There are numbers in prison on half allow- 
ance who have not a penny to help themselves 
with. New shoes have been sold for a shilling, 
and new shirts for the same price, by persons who, 
perhaps, had no others to wear ; in short, there are 
a great many long faces in prison, for nothing but 
hunger rages throughout. To such a degree is 
this the case, that we killed a dog this afternoon, 
in order to let him cool by to-morrow, and his in- 
sides were scarcely out, before his liver was on 
coals broiling. 

9. This morning we divided the dog into quar- 
ters, and he was dressed so neat, and being so fat 
with all, that if I had seen him in a butcher's shop 
I should have thought it to be a young lamb, and 
good meat. We had a bag of potatoes given us, 
to eat with our venison. Some stewed theirs ; 
others roasted it; and I must confess, I made a tol- 
erable meal out of some of this roasted dog, with 
potatoes dipped in its drippings. Rats have been 
eat in this prison often before. To-day the agent 
told us that he had received an answer to our pe- 


tition, and that we are to be allowed peas instead 
of greens, which is much better. He had received 
an order, that if we would deliver up those who 
were most active in digging the hole, the rest 
should be restored to full allowance. But the ma- 
jority in prison were inclined to give them no sat- 
isfaction. This afternoon, however, two young 
men, of their own accord, went and delivered them- 
selves up, and were sent to the Black-hole, think- 
ing to live well, I suppose, while there, as doubt- , 
less they will. *■ ' 

10. To-day we were all restored to full allow- 
ance, and received peas. We had, also, white 
bread sent in by our friends. Thus, it is either a 
feast or a famine with us. I have been only eleven 
days on half allowance. To-day, about twelve 
o'clock, Mr. Heath sent a man to inform us that 
a cartel had arrived in Plymouth, for us. Soon 
after, Mr. Sorrey came with a letter which he had 
received from the committee in London, and read it 
to us, which informed us that one of the commit- 
tee had waited on Lord Savage, the head lord of 
the Admiralty, to know the truth concerning this 
cartel, and he informed him that the Milford 
transport was engaged for that purpose, as a flag 
ship, and that we should be exchanged, one hun- 
dred at a time, and the first draft is to be from 
this prison, as we were committed first; so we 


shall embark and proceed to Nantz, where they will 
take an equal number, and so go on till all the 
American prisoners in England are exchanged, if 
there be enough English prisoners in France that 
were taken by the Americans. There were only 
about forty or fifty committed before me, but as 
there have been upwards of one hundred who have 
lately attempted to escape from here, and most of 
them brought back, myself among the number ; 
and as it is customary in time of war for such to 
forfeit their turn, I began to despair of going in 
the first draft. In the mean time, all hands were 
called to hear a letter read, which the agent had 
received from the Lords of the Admiralty, who de- 
sired him to inform us that we were to be ex- 
changed for the English prisoners in France, ta- 
ken by the Americans ; and that, notwithstanding 
a number of us had attempted our escape, and by 
this means had forfeited our turn, yet, in this 
instance we should be forgiven upon condition 
that we discovered through what corruption, or 
negligence, we effected our escape. This being 
read, he ordered the Black-hole doors to be 
opened. This is joyful news to us. Joy is to be 
seen on every man's countenance. This is a 
blessed day ! 

11. This afternoon Mr. Heath came to con- 
gratulate us on our prospect of deliverance, and 


brought a letter with him, which informed us that 
the cartel is now in Plymouth, waiting only for a 
man to come from France to take charge of us. 

12. To-day Mr. Sorrey came, and brought every 
man a sixpence, which is part of twenty pounds 
that has lately been sent down from London, and 
which was left of the old stock ; but we hear that 
they are about opening a new subscription. 

13. We learn, from the papers, that the Span- 
iards have now seventy sail of the line, besides 
frigates and sloops, in different parts of Spain, 
mounting in all, seven thousand and three cannons, 
of different bores. 

14. The sick, in the hospital, are most of them 
on the recovering order now, except three that 
moved down yesterday ; and to-night I am to go 
down and watch with them, as of late, since there 
has been so many sick, we have been allowed, tw r o 
of a night, to go down and watch with them. 

15. This afternoon a pardon came down from 
the King, for fifteen men in this prison, that peti- 
tioned last to go on board the men-of-war ; three 
of the number are already on board. They went 
out at the last hole, for that purpose. After the 
officers came to receive them, out of the twelve 
that remained in prison only four went, w r hich 
makes forty-nine, in all, that have gone on board 


the men-of-war from this prison ; besides numbers 
who have broke out and gone. It is astonishing 
to me, that men who have been used by the Eng- 
lish as we have been, with all the severity that 
they have been masters of, should afterwards volun- 
tarily enter their service. 

16. Nothing remarkable. 

17. Sunday. Nothing remarkable. 

18. This forenoon, some officers from the ships 
came for some Frenchmen in the other yard, to 
carry them on board the men-of-war, and five out 
of the eight who would not go last Friday, altered 
their minds, and went, which makes fifty-four that 
have gone out of this yard, on board the men-of- 

There are exactly two hundred and fifty Amer- 
ican prisoners left. here. This being the Queen's 
birth-day, the garrison and fort, and each ship in 
the harbor, in commission, fired twenty-one guns, 
as a royal salute. 

19. We wait very impatiently for the man which 
we hear is to come from France to take charge of 
us. Though I am sensible he will make no un- 
necessary delays, yet he seems along time coming ; 
so long, that some in prison begin to be doubtful 
whether he will come at all. 

20. Some in prison, so far despair of a cartel, 



that they have begun another hole. There was 
brought again, to-day, sixpence apiece for each 
man in prison. 

21. Last night eleven Frenchmen made their 
escape from a separate prison, in another yard, 
and five soldiers are confined on the same ac- 

22. This forenoon Mr. Sorrey came again, and 
brought a couple of letters which he received from 
Bilboa, one of which was from Mr. Emery, of Bil- 
boa, to Captain Lee's crew, which informed them 
that Captain Lee had arrived in Bilboa, and that 
his whole crew, if they would write, might be sup- 
plied with fifty shillings a share, and Captain Brad- 
bury, in this prison, with six guineas. 

This afternoon, all hands were called, and the 
agent called over the names of the hundred that 
we're to go in the first draft, and desired that we 
should hold ourselves in readiness to be ex- 
changed. Never was I so rejoiced to hear my 
name called, upon any occasion, as upon this. I 
am about the fortieth upon the agent's list. It ap- 
pears that we are not to be exchanged as we were 
captured, but according to the date of our com- 
mitment, so that all our crew will not be included 
in the first draft. Out of one hundred and twenty 
which arrived in England, belonging to the Dol- 


ton, only eighty-six are left in prison to be ex- 

23. We are so well assured of a cartel, now, 
that we lay aside all schemes for effecting our es- 
cape, and lookout daily for orders to embark. An 
officer that belonged to the Mermaid frigate, that 
was chased ashore in America, who has been a 
prisoner in Philadelphia about a month, and has 
since been exchanged, and now arrived home, 
came to see us this afternoon, and talked with us. 
He gave us a very sad account of the price of pro- 
visions in America. 

24. It is twenty-five months this night, that I 
have been a prisoner. We have been informed 
that last night, some men were discovered, in at- 
tempting to set fire to the King's dock-yard, in this 

25. There are seven or eight now in the hospital, 
sick with fevers, but most of them are upon the 
recovering order, except those who were lately 
taken sick, two of which number labor under 
great concern of mind, relating to their future 
state, and to-day we obtained liberty of Mr. Cou- 
dry, to send for a minister. 

2G. It is two years and two months, to-day, 
since I sailed from Portsmouth, in the brig Dol- 

27. Nothing remarkable. 


28. As to-morrow is port day, we put great de- 
pendence on it, expecting an order from London 
concerning our exchange. 

29. This morning Mr. Sorrey brought each of 
us another sixpence, which balances the twenty 
pounds before mentioned ; and two of our officers, 
as usual, went up into the agent's office, to receive 
the money. The agent showed them a letter which 
he had received from London, with a pardon from 
the King for the first hundred that is to be ex- 

30. Nothing remarkable. 

31. Sunday. This is port day again, and there 
is no news for us to-day. It was a week last Fri- 
day since we were told to hold ourselves in readi- 
ness to be exchanged, and no signs of a cartel ap- 
pears. If Job himself was here, his patience would 
be worn out. 



John Foster, Elias Vickey, and Asa Withara died — Mr. Deal's 
Escape — Effect of long Imprisonment — New Subscription — Mil- 
ford Transport — Joyful News — Hole Discovered — Ksppel Ac- 
quitted — Bonfires — Escape — No Coals in Plymouth - — Excite- 
ment about the Dog — Love to Friends — James Valentine died — 
Bills of Exchange from Bilboa — Cartel Arrives — Lieutenant Knox 
Arrives — Leaves the Prison — Kind Usage on Cartel — Bonner 
Darling died 

February 1. This morning about three o'clock, 
Mr. John Foster died in the prison hospital, of a 
nervous fever. Some of Mr. Foster's townsmen 
were of a mind that he should be buried in a white 
linen shirt, but they received for an answer, that 
no person in this country was allowed to be buried 
in any thing but sheep's clothing. The American 
prisoners, who died in the royal hospitals, were 
buried in black, but very rough coffins; but those 
who die in prison. are buried in a rough white 
coffin. This Mr. Foster i> the eighth man that has 
died since I came to prison — the seventh man 


of our crew that has died since we have been 
taken, and the seventeenth American prisoner that 
has died iii prison and in the royal hospital, since 
we were captured. 

2. To-day a gentleman came here, whom we are 
informed is but fourteen days from Dunkirk, but 
last from London, and he brought a letter from 
the Board, which ordered the agent to let him in- 
spect every thing which he had a mind to. He 
looked at our meat, weighed our bread, and tasted 
our beef, and we are told that he has been in every 
prison in France. 

3. This morning about five o'clock, Elias Vick- 
ery died. He was a Marblehead man. He was 
taken in one of the Freedom's prizes ; and about 
six o'clock, Asa Witham died. He belongs to 
New Gloucester, and was taken in the Dolton. They 
have both been sick upwards of twelve months. — 
They make ten in number that have died since I 
have been in prison, and eight of our crew since 
we have been taken, and nineteen in all that have 
died of different crews since we have been taken. 
Last evening Mr. Deal made his escape from the 
officers' prison. 

4. Three men have died this week, and there 
are sixteen or eighteen now sick. Of late, every 
day more or less are taken sick, and most of them 
with fever. Yesterday a French frigate, of twe.i- 


It li L I C O V 

ty-six guns, was brought in here, which was taken 
by an English frigate. 

5. This is another port clay, and no news for us, 
concerning a cartel. It is unaccountable to me 
that it is so long coming. It is twenty months 
to-day, since I entered this prison. 

6. It is so long since we heard of a cartel that 
the greater part in prison begin to despair of its 
coming. Many of those in prison are like so 
many children ; as long as a rattle is ringing in 
their ears, they are quiet and easy, but as soon as 
the rattle stops, they are faithless and impatient. 

We have another hole in hand, which will 
take us nearly a month to complete ; so that if this 
news proves abortive, we may have recourse to an- 
other way. 

Last evening a man made his escape over the 
wall, but before any one could get out, it was dis- 

7. This is another port day, and no news for 

8. Nothing remarkable. 

9. This afternoon Mr. Sorrey sent us six- 
pence apiece to each man in prison, which we are 
informed, is part of a new subscription which is 

10. Yesterday was port day, and this morning 
the agent informed us that His Majesty had been 


graciously pleased to pardon one hundred of us, in 
order for an exchange; and that he had received 
an order from the Board of Commissioners of sick 
and wounded seamen, to deliver one hundred of 
us to Lieutenant Knox, whenever he should call 
for us. This Lieutenant Knox is to command the 
Milford transport, which is the cartel. 

Transporting news ! who can tell, 
The jcy that doth this joy excell ; 
Long as we live we should adore 
The goodness God lays up in stoie. 

11. We have been informed that the cartel is 
in Portsmouth, and never heard to the contrary, 
until to-day, when the agent informed us that she 
is in Dartmouth, waiting only for a fair wind to 
come down the channel. 

12. Nothing remarkable. 

13. Nothing transpired worthy of notice. 

14. Through some dirt that was laid about 
the prison, and discovered by the turnkeys, which 
gave them cause to suspect we had another hole 
in hand, the guard came in, and after a long 
search, found it. 

15. It is two years and three months since I sailed 
in the brig Dolton, from Newbury. 
J 6. Nothing remarkable. 
17. Last night two men made their escape from 


the officers prison, but were taken up and brought 
back to-day. Last night, Plymouth was illumina- 
ted on account of Admiral Keppel being acquit- 
ted with honor. 

18. The wind is to the eastward to-day, but no 
signs of a cartel appears. 

19. Upon a large hill, a little distance from 
the prison, we see a couple of flag-staffs erected, 
but we know not the occasion of it. 

20. Upon the same hill where the flag-staffs were 
erected yesterday, there were two large bonfires 
last night, and the houses all around illuminated, 
which, we are told, was on account of the plot 
being discovered against the King's dock-yard, 
and last night was the time it was to be put into 

21. Nothing remarkable. 

24. Last night a man made his escape out of 
this prison, by getting over the wall. This morn- 
ing Mr. Sorrey came, and brought each of us an- 
other sixpence. For a few days past, we have had 
no coals to burn. Mr. Sorrey informed us that a 
bushel of coal is not to be purchased in Plymouth, 
at any price. He also informed us that fourteen 
sail of vessels, laden with coal, had lately been 
taken, bound from Newcastle. This afternoon, 
also, Mr. Heath came to see us ; he has lately re- 
turned from London. He read a letter to us, 


which informed us that the cartel is in the Downs, 
detained only by contrary winds : also, that there 
has been a great talk in London, concerning our 
eating a dog, and that it had been published in the 
papers, and he desired that we would let him know 
the truth of it, whether we eat it from actual ne- 
cessity or not. Mr. Heath sent us some soap and 

25. This forenoon, a gentleman came to see us, 
who is lately from London. He told us that when 
he sailed, the cartel absolutely lay in the Downs. 
By this time I hope we have got the truth of it. 

26. Yesterday three gentlemen, who are our 
friends, came with Mr. Heath to see us. We 
have been so long confined, that when a friend 
comes into the yard to see us, we flock around 
him like children, and love the ground he treads 
upon. Also, to-day, we wrote them out the facts 
relating to the dog, agreeably to their request. 

27. Nothing of interest. 

2S. Sunday. The wind hauls round to the 
northward and eastward, which gives us now to 
hope that our cartel will be here in a few days. 

March 1. Nothing remarkable. 

2. Nothing worthy of notice. 

3. We understand that there is a fleet bound to 
the East Indies, and another to the West Indies, 



that lay wind-bound, up channel, as well as our 

4. This morning, James Valentine died with a 
fever. He was a Marblehead man, and belonged 
to Captain Lee's crew. He is the twentieth man 
that has died since I have been taken, and the 
eleventh since I have been in prison. This has 
been a fast day with us ; for the beef that came in 
this morning was so bad, and so far from being ac- 
cording to contract, that we sent it back again. — 
The second that came, was worse than the first, 
and we refused it, also. Our peas are also bad, so 
that we could not eat them, and by applying to the 
officer of the guard, who spoke in our behalf, we 
received cheese instead of beef, but not until even- 

5. This morning we received the joyful tidings 
that our cartel had arrived. Some of the Marble- 
head men received letters from home, by way of 
a vessel that was taken. The bills of exchange 
for one hundred and nine pounds sterling, have 
arrived from Bilboa, for Captain Lee's crew, and 
are sent to London to be answered. 

6. Notwithstanding our cartel has arrived, we 
understand that she is to wait for orders from Lon- 
don, before she can embark us. 

7. Nothing remarkable. 


8. This forenoon the outward bound East India 
fleet, with their convoys, passed by this port. 

9. Nothing of interest. 

10. This morning Lieutenant Knox, who is to 
transact the business of our exchange, came to see 
us, and informed us that he expects to embark us 
the beginning of next week. The cartel has come 
up to Stonehouse creek, where we can see her 
from the prison. 

11. Nothing remarkable. 

12. The wind has now veered round to the 
southward, and blows up rain, which I fear will de- 
lay our going. 

13. This afternoon the agent, Mr. Coudry, in- 
formed us that on Monday, at ten o'clock, we 
are to embark. 

14. Sunday. We are so impatient to be gone, 
that every moment of this day seems an hour 


15. It is two years and four months to-day, since 
I left Newbury. This fofenoon, about eleven 
o'clock, ninety-seven of us in number, were guard- 
ed down, and embarked on board the cartel — 
two of our number having died since we received 
the King's pardon, and one being dangerously ill. 

16. We are now on board the cartel, and wait- 
ing only for a fair wind to sail. We are allowed 
the liberty of the deck, by day and night, and we 



have tolerable good accommodations. We lodge 
in cabins ; most of us have beds of our own, and 
those who have not, have King's bedding. There 
are three or four sick amongst us, and they have 
single cabins by themselves. To-day we had salt 
beef and pudding, which is a great rarity. 

17. The wind is still against us, but I feel much 
easier here than I should be in prison. Here we have 
a change of diet, though it is no more than pris- 
oners' allowance, and both officers and men behave 
very civil to us. 

J 8. To-day Mr. Heath came on board, and an- 
other of our friends, and brought some wine, tea, 
and sugar, and other necessaries, for those who 
are sick. 

19. To-day the prison doctor came on board, 
and informed us that Bonner Darling is dead — a 
negro man that belonged to Marblehead, and one 
of our crew. He makes twenty-one that have died 
since I have been taken ; and nine of the number 
were of the Dolton's^company. 



Journal Lost — Thirty onterwith Jones — Joins the Alliance — Arriya 
at L' Orient with Prize — Second Cruise — Journal Lost — Extracts 
from Paul Jones' Life — At Dr. Franklin's House — Joins again 
the Alliance — Sails Home. 

[The journal of their passage to France is lost. 
The next record that is preserved, presents Mr. 
Herbert to us at Nantes, situated on the river 
Loire, in the south-westsrn part of France.] 

April 12. We lay here under pay, from the 5th 
of this month; have our board paid, and have 
nothing to do but walk about town. I have tried, 
but can get no labor, as business is very much 
stagnated here. Nearly forty sail of merchant- 
men are hauled up, and lay idle in this port. 

14. About forty of our men have entered with 
Captain Jones, for twelve months, and this morn- 
ing they set out for L' Orient, about seventy-five 
miles distant, by land. 


17. Yesterday and to-day, I have been at work 
on board the Pallas, a French ship. To-day, the 
Alliance arrived here, with prisoners to be ex- 
changed for us. 

28. This day I received from Mr. Odaire, six- 
teen livres, which, including the four crowns be- 
fore received, amounts to forty livres, which is a 
month's pay. 

30. This day we embarked on board the Al- 

May 16. This day we sailed for L' Orient. f 

* The Alliance is said by Commodore Jones to have 
been so called, for the following reasons : 

" When the treaty of alliance with France arrived in 
America, Congress, feeling the most lively sentiments 
of gratitude towards France, thought how they might 
manifest the satisfaction of the Country by some pub- 
lic act. The finest frigate in the service was on the 
stocks, ready to be launched, and it was resolved to call 
her the Alliance." 

f Extract from correspondence of Dr. Franklin, at this 
time, throwing light upon the journal of Mr. Herbert : 
Passy, June 26th, 1779. 

Dr. Franklin from the Committee on Foreign Affairs. 


The Marquis de Lafayette, who arrived here on the 
11th of February, brought me yours of October 28th, 
and the new commission, credentials, and instructions, 
the Congress have honored me with. 


June 19. This day we sailed from L' Orient, on 
a cruize in company with Captain Jones, a French 
frigate, a brig and a cutter.* 

I immediately acquainted the minister of foreign af- 
fairs with my appointment, and communicated to him, as 
is usual, a copy of my credential letter, on which a day 
was named for my reception. The end of that part of 
the instructions, which relates to American seamen ta- 
ken by the French in English ships, had already been 
obtained ; Captain Jones having had for some time, an 
order from court, directed to the keepers of the prison- 
ers, requiring them to deliver to him such Americans as 
should be found in their hands, that they might be at lib- 
erty to serve under his command. Most of them, if 
not all, have been delivered to him. The minister of 
marine requesting that the Alliance might be added to 
Commodore Jones' little squadron, and offering to give 
Mr. Adams a passage in the frigate, with the new am- 
bassador, I thought it best to continue her a little longer 
in Europe, hoping she may, in the projected cruize, by 
her extraordinary swiftness, be a means of taking pris- 
oners enough to redeem the rest of our countrymen now 
in the English jails. With this view, I ordered her 
to join Captain Jones, at L' Orient, and obey his orders, 
where she is now, accordingly. 

* [From Paul Jones to Dr. Franklin.] 
On board the Bon homme Richard, at anchor, ) 
Isle o/Groaix, off V Oiient, July 1st, 1779. J 
His Excellency Benjamin Franklin. 
Honored and Dear Sir, 
On the 19th ult., the American squadron under my 


June 20. Last night, precisely at 12 o'clock, 
just as the starboard watch was going on deck, it 
was very pleasant weather, and we were lying to, 
with our topsails back to the masts. Captain Jones 
came down before the wind and run us down upon 
our starboard quarter, carrying away our mizen- 
mast, and doing us much damage, and himself 
more, by springing his bowsprit, carrying away his 
head and cut-water, but fortunately no one was 
killed on board either of the ships. 

command, consisting of the Bon homme Richard, 42 
guns, Alliance, 3C guns, Pallas, 30 guns, Cerf, 18 guns, 
and the Vengeance, 12 guns, sailed from hence with a 
convoy of merchant ships and transports with troops, 
&c, bound to .the different ports and garrisons between 
this place and Bordeaux. 

On the evening of the following day, I had the satis- 
faction to see the latter part of the convoy safe within 
the entrance of the river of Bordeaux, the rest having 
been safely escorted into the entrance of Nantz, Roche- 
fort, &c. But at the preceding midnight, while lying-to 
off Isle of Vew, the Bon homme Richard and Alliance 
got foul of one another, and carried away the head and 
cut- water, sprit-sail yard, and jib-boom of the former, 
with the mizen mast of the latter; fortunately, however, 
neither received damage in the hull. In the evening 
of the 21st, I sent the Cerf to reconnoitre two sail, and 
Captain Varage was so ardent in the pursuit, that he 


had lost sight of the squadron next morning ; and I am 
now told, that he had a warm engagement with one of 
them, a sloop of 14 guns, which he took, but was obliged 
to abandon, on the approach of another enemy of supe- 
rior force. The action lasted an hour and a half; sev- 
eral men were killed and wounded on board the Cerf. 
That cutter is now fitting at L' Orient. On the 22d we 
had a rencontre with three ships of war. They were to 
windward, and bore down in a line abreast for some time, 
but seeing we were prepared to receive them, they 
hauled their wind, and by carrying a press of sail got 
clear, in spite of our utmost endeavors to bring them to 
action. On the 2Gth, we lost company of the Alliance 
and Pallas. I am unable to say where the blame lays. 
I gave the ships a rendezvous off Penmark rocks, but did 
not meet them there. 

I anchored here yesterday noon, having had a ren- 
contre the night before with two of the enemy's ships 
of war in the offing, in the sight of this island and Belle 
Isle. Previous to this I had given the Vengeance leave 
to make the best of her way to this road, so that the ene- 
my found me alone in a place where I had no expecta- 
tion of a hostile visit. They appeared at first earnest to 
engage, but their courage failed, and they fled with pre- 
cipitation, and to my mortification out-sailed the Bon 
homme Richard and got clear. I had, however, a flat- 
tering proof of the martial spirit of my crew, and I am 
confident, that had I been able to get between the two, 
which was my intention, we should have beaten them 
both together. 


July 2. We arrived at L' Orient, after a cruize 
of thirteen days ; likewise, the prize brig, which 
we took on the 28th of June, from Bordeaux bound 
to Dublin, with five hundred and sixty casks of 
wine and brandy on board.* 

August 14. Having repaired our ships, and got 
a clean bottom, we sailed this day for L' Orient 
on a cruise with Captain Jones, two French frig- 
ates, two brigs, and a cutter. With this fleet we 
made the best of our way to Ireland. On our pas- 
sage, we took in company a ship ; soon after, Cap- 
tain Jones took a brig laden with provisions. A 
few days after, we made Ireland. Upon making 
land, Captain Jones took a brig from Newfound- 
land, laden with oil and blubber, and after cruiz- 
ing a few days along shore, we parted from the 
fleet in a gale of wind. 

* [Dr. Franklin to Paul Jones.] 

1 can say nothing about Captain Landais' prize. I 
suppose the minister has an account of it, but I have 
heard nothing from him about it. If he reclaims it on 
account of his passport, we must then consider what is 
to be done. I approve of the careenage proposed for 
the Alliance, as a thing necessary. As she is said to 
be a remarkable swift sailer, I should hope you might 
by her means take some privateers and a number of 
prisoners, so as to continue the cartel, and redeem all 
our poor countrymen. 



[Here some pages of the journal are lost, but 
the journal of Captain Jones will supply its 

[From Paul Jones to Dr. Franklin.] 

On board the ship Serapis, at anchor without ) 
the Texel, in Holland, Oct. 3d, 1779. $ 

His Excellency Benjamin Franklin. 
Honored and Dear Sir, 

When I had the honor of writing to you on the 11th 
of August, previous to my departure from the Road of 
Groaix, I had before me the most flattering prospect of 
rendering essential service to the common cause of 
France and America. I had a full confidence in the 
voluntary inclination and ability of every captain under 
my command to assist and support me in my duty with 
cheerful emulation ; and I was pursuaded that every one 
of them would pursue glory in preference to interest. 

Whether I was, or was not deceived, will best appear 
by a relation of circumstances. 

The little squadron under my orders, consisting of the 
Bonhomme Richard, of 40 guns, the Alliance, of 36 
guns, the Pallas, of 32 guns, the Cerf, of 18 guns, and 
the Vengeance, of 12 guns, joined by two privateers, 
the Monsieur and the Granville, sailed from the Road 
of Groaix at day -break on the 14th of August. 

The evening of the 26th brought with it stormy weath- 
er, with the appearance of a severe gale from the S. W. 
The gale continued to increase in the night, with thick 
weather. To prevent separation, I carried a top-light, 
and fired a gun every quarter of an hour. I carried, al- 


so, very moderate sail, and the course had already been 
clearly pointed out before night, yet with all this precau- 
tion, I found myself accompanied only by the brigantine 
Vengeance in the morning, the Granville having re- 
mained astern with a prize. As I have since under- 
stood, the tiller of the Pallas broke, after midnight, 
which disabled her from keeping up, but no apology 
has yet been made on behalf of the Alliance. 

On the 31st, we saw the Flamie Islands situated near 
the Lewis, on the N. W. coast of Scotland ; and the 
next morning, off Cape Wrath, we gave chase to a ship 
to windward ; at the same time two ships appeared in the 
N. W. quarter ; which proved to be the Alliance and 
a prize ship which she had taken, bound, as I understand, 
from Liverpool to Jamaica. The ship which I chased 
brought too at noon ; she proved to be the Union letter 
of marque, bound from London to Quebec, with a car- 
go of naval stores on account of government, adapted 
for the service of the British armed vessels on the lakes. 
The public despatches were lost, as the Alliance very 
imprudently hoisted American colors, though English 
colors were then flying on board the Bon homme Rich- 
ard. Captain Landais sent a small boat to ask whether 
I would man the ship or he should, as in the latter case 
he would suffer no boat nor person from the Bon homme 
Richard to go near the prize. Ridiculous as this ap- 
peared to me, I yielded to it for the sake of peace, and 
received the prisoners on board the Bon homme Rich- 
ard, while the prize was manned from the Alliance. 

On the morning of the 4th, the Alliance appeared 
again, and had brought too two very small coasting 



sloops, in ballast, but without having attended properly 
to my orders of yesterday. The Vengeance joined me 
soon after, and informed me that in consequence of 
Captain Landais' orders to the commanders of the two 
prize ships, they had refused to follow him to the ren- 
dezvous. I am at this moment ignorant of what orders 
these men received from Captain Landais, nor know I 
by virtue of what authority he ventured to give his or- 
ders to prizes in my presence, and without either my 
orders or approbation. 

Two rich Letters of Marque were taken off the coast 
of Scotland, and Captain Landais took upon himself, 
even under my very nose, and without my knowledge, 
to order them to Bergen, in Norway, where they were 
given up to the English.— Paul Jones to the Board of 

Three of their prizes sent into Bergen, in Norway, 
were, at the instance of the British minister, seized by 
order of the court of Denmark, and delivered up to him. 
— Letter from Dr. Franklin to Samuel Huntington, Esq. 
President of Congress. 

The following letter from Dr. Franklin to Paul Jones, 
shows the value of those prizes, taken and delivered up 
as above. There can be no doubt that Mr. Herbert 


was sent in one of the above prizes, as the next entry 
in his journal is from Bergen, in Norway. 

Havre, July 21st, 1785. 
TJie Hon. Paul Jones. 

Dear Sir, — The offer of which you desire I would 
give you the particulars, was made to me by M. le 
Baron de Walterso'orff, in behalf of His Majesty the 
King of Denmark, by whose ministers he s^id he was 
authorised to make it. It was to give the sum of ten 
thousand pounds sterling, as a compensation for having 
delivered up the prizes to the English. I did not ac- 
cept it, conceiving it much too small a sum, they having 
been valued to me at sixty thousand pounds. I wrote 
to Mr. Hodgson, an insurer in London, requesting he 
would procure information of the sums insured on those 
Canada ships. His answer was, that he could find no 
traces of such insurance, and he believed none was 
made, for the government, on whose account they were 
said to be loaded with military stores, never insured. — 
But, by the best judgment he could make, he thought 
they might be worth about sixteen or eighteen thousand 
pounds each. 

By the following letter it will be seen that Bergen 
was one of the places designated by Dr. Franklin, for 
sending prizes to. 

Passy, June 30th, 1779. 
Hon. Captain Jones. 

Dear Sir, — The prizes you may make, send to 
Dunkirk, Ostend, or Bergen, in Norway, according to 
your proximity to either of those ports. 

ft E V Of L U T I O N . 245 

February 5th, 1780. This day our officers re- 
ceived a letter from France, from a gentleman in 
Paris, which informs us that the King of Denmark 
is to pay for the prizes we brought in here, fifty 
thousand pounds Stirling, which is two hundred 
and fifty thousand Rix dollars. He is likewise to 
pay all our expenses while here. We likewise re- 
ceived orders to repair to Dunkirk as quick as 
possible, but we are to have a pass from the King 
of Denmark, which is what we wait for. 

8. This day I received a pair of shoes, in 
balance of four shillings due me as wages. 

25. This day I received half a guinea of a 
Scotchman, for which I gave him eleven shillings. 

March 4. This morning arrived here from Vir- 
ginia, a ship laden with tobacco, under French 

18. Fortunately I have got another guinea for 
which I paid only twenty-one shillings. 

21. This day I received a pair of shoes, at five 

April 1. I have received one shilling and six- 
pence for repairing shoes. 

5. This day I received of Captain Thomas 
White, in behalf of wages due, four Rix dollars, 
each valued at four shillings Stirling. 

I have worked several days on board the before- 


mentioned tobacco ship, and have likewise made 
some chests for the seamen, for all of which I re- 
ceived four dollars. 

10. This day I received of Captain Thomas 
White, two pounds six shillings and sevenpence 
halfpenny, Stirling, which was the ballance due me 
for clothing which I was charged with, but did not 
receive — all of which was given by the King of 
Denmark. The occasion of this was, that when 
we were turned on shore, many of our men were 
in want of clothing. Our officers interceded for 
them, and procured the amount of four pounds 
four shillings sterling each ; and as I received only 
a trifle in clothing, I received the remainder in 

11. This day we embarked on board a gallion, 
of about seventy tons, found and provisioned by 
the King of Denmark, to carry us to Dunkirk, 
after boarding us here nearly six months. 

19. This day we sailed from Bergen, after being 
there seven months and five days. 

May 4. We arrived at Dunkirk, after a pas- 
sage of seventeen days. 

5. To-day I received of Captain Thomas 
White, forty livres, in behalf of wages due. 

16. We set out to travel to Paris, which is 
one hundred and eighty miles, having a wagon 
to carry our baggage, and received eighteen livres 


per man, of Mr. Coffin, the American agent in 
Flanders, to bear oar expenses to Paris. • 

21. This day, about eight o'clock in the morn- ) 
ing, we arrived in the city of Paris, after a pleasant 
journey of more than three days, through Flan- 
ders into France and Paris. After we arrived at 
Paris we put up our horses, and stopped not either 
to eat or to drink, but made the best of our way to 
Passy, about four miles from Paris, where Dr. 
Franklin resides. After we came to Dr. Frank- 
lin's house and had a little conversation with him, 
he ordered his servants to get us breakfast, which 
we eat in his house, and likewise dinner. The 
Dr. sent his servants to provide lodgings for us, 
which he could not procure, on account of the 
King and Queen, and all the nobility, being in 
town, and all the public houses being taken up ; 
therefore we carried our luggage to Dr. Frank- 
lin's house, where we were well entertained ; and 
here we saw Mr. Adams and Mr. Dean. We pro- 
cured lodgings for ourselves in the afternoon. The 
gentleman who owns the house where Dr. Frank- 
lin resides, ordered one of his servants to show us 
his gardens, to guide us through the town, and 
show us the King and Queen and all the nobility ; 
these we have seen twice to-day, as they passed 
through the town, besides many other curious ob 
jects, both in Paris and Passy. 



23. To-day our board was paid, and we 
received two guineas to bear our expenses to 
L' Orient, which is three hundred and sixty miles, 
and likewise a pass.* We shall be obliged to travel 
on foot ; therefore I am compelled to sell, or give 
away, all my clothing, except a trifle of the best, 
which I shall retain as a change. 

24. This day we commenced our journey to 
L> Orient. 

June 5. We arrived at L' Orient. 

7. To-day I went on board the Alliance. 

8. We sailed in the Alliance for America, in 
company with a ship, a brig, a schooner and a 
lugger. Also, I received this day of the purser, 
on board the Alliance, two shirts, one pair of 
shoes, a pair of trousers and a knife. 

July 10. This day I received of the purser, one 
outside jacket. 

August 13. We made land, which proved to 
be Cape Ann, having a passage of thirty-eight 
days, from land to land. 

I left the Alliance, August 21st, and arrived 
home at Newbury, August 23d, 1780. 

* The widow of Mr. Herbert has now in her posses- 
sion a crown piece, which her husband received of Dr. 
Franklin, at this time. 


JUNE, 1777. 

The following marks denote (*) dead — (f) escaped — (J) joined Eng- 
lish men-of-war — (§) died or escaped before any were committed to 
prison — (P. J.) means with Paul Jones — (A.) in the Alliance. 

Captain Eleazer Johnston f Newburyport, Mass. 

1st Lieut. Anthony Knappf " 

2d Lieut. John Buntin " 

Daniel Lunt t " 

Alexander Rossf " 

Offin Boardman f " 

Moses Cross " 

Thomas Cluston t " 

Cutting Lunt (p. j.) " 

Wym'd. Bradbury • " 

Henry Lunt (p. j.) " 

Samuel Cutler f ' " 

Francis Little ** 

Joseph Asulier t " 

Joseph Brewster (p. j.) " 

Nathaniel Wyer f " 

John Knowlton § fl 

Joseph Racklief " 

William Shackford (a.) " 

.Tohn Key f " 

John Barrenger f " 

Stickney « 



Joseph Poor (a.) Newbui 


Nathaniel Warner 


Josiah George t 


Moses Merrill 


Jacob True (p. j.) 


John George 


Richard Lunt (a.) 


Ebenezer Brown (a.) 


Paul Noyes (a.) 


Joseph Plummer (a.) 


Reuben Tucker 


John Smith (a.) 


Charles Herbert (a.) 


Joseph Choate (a.) 


Thomas Bayley (a.) 


Nathaniel Bayley (p, j.) 


Benjamin Carr (a.) 


Samuel Woodbridge 


Henry Smith 


Ebenzer Edwards (a.) 


Jonathan WhitmoreJ 


Edward Spooner | 


Daniel Cottle * 


Ebenezer Hunt * 


Asa Witham * 
Zebulon Davis 
Daniel Lanef 
Benjamin Yolin (a.) 
Nathaniel Marshall 
Benjamin C. Stubbs 
Jacob Nutter 
George Triffering 
Benjamin Babb f 
John Abbot \ 

New Gloucester. 



Joseph Shilaby (a.) Portsmouth. 

Guppy Studley " 

Samuel Stacey (p. j.) Kittery, N. H. 

Joshua Casual " 

John Foster * " 

Hugh Kennistont 

Peter Tobey " 

John Perkins " 

William Lewis u 

Richard Sowards " 

Nathaniel Kennard (p. j.) 

Stephen Lavvley 

Samuel Fletcher (p. j.) " 

Thomas Mahoney (p. j.) 

Winthrop Willey 

Jacob Brewer u 

Daniel Knight (a.) " 

Nathaniel Staples " 

George Fernel " 

Ephraim Clark (a.) 

John Gunnison (p. j.) 

Samuel Scriggins * 

Tobias Weymouth, Berwick, N. H. 

Gideon Warren * " 

Thomas Hammet (p. j.) M 

Thomas Rines* " 

Ebenezer Libbey " 

Ichabod Lord (p. j.) " 

Aaron Goodwin 

Jchn Higgins " 

Andrew Whittam " 

James Sellers, Old York, N. H. 

Tobias Sellers 

Timothy Harris 



John Downs (p. j.) Old York, N. H. 

John Simpson (a.) Windham. 

Andrew Templeton " 

John Burbank (p. j.) Cape Porpoise. 

Israel Lasedel " 

William Maxwell, Block Point. 

Samuel Carroll (a.) 

John Maddon (p. j.) " 

Joseph Burnham " 

Samuel Smith " 

Joseph Clark, \ Boston, Mass. 

John Bass | 

Robert Burgoyne t " 

Joseph Hatch * " 

Nathaniel Porter, Cape Pursue. 

Jacob Wyman " 

Dr. Samuel Smith, f Hampton. 

Elisha Johnston " 

Ichabod Shaw " 

James Lawrence, Salem. 

Henry Barrett, t Ireland. 

William Smith J 

William Horner % " 

Adam Ladley, t Scotland. 

Clement Woodhouse, t England. 

William Ford, \ Virginia. 

John McCoffrey, Casco Bay. 

Isaac Leajor " 

Bonner Darling, * Marblehead. 


LAND, FEBRUARY 7, 1779. 

Sloop Charming Sally, taken January 16th, 1777. 

Captain Francis Brown,f New Haven. 

Renter Griffin, « « 

Jonathan Hodgcare, " " 

William Woodward,f « « 

Anthony Shomaker,f Long Island. 

William Keys, « " 

Benjamin Powers, Millbury. 

Arthur Bennett, " 

Isaac George, 

Kirtland Griffin, Gilford. 

Henry Wrightinton, Dartmouth. 

Samuel Knast, " 

John Hathaway, " 

James Bounds, ** 

William Cuff, « 

Prince Hall | « 

Humphry Potter \ a 

Ebenezer Willis* « 

Absalom Nero * 

Thomas Brightman, •* 

Silas Hathaway, " 


Joseph Fredrick, Martha's Vineyard. 
Thomas Chase, " " 

Jeremiah Luce, " " 

Thomas Luce " " 

Abisha Rogers, " u 

Barzilla Crowell, « « 

Samuel Lambert " " 

Manuel Swasey, " " 

John Lot * " " 

Cuff Scott t " « 

William Harden § " « 

Eliphalet Rogers, " « 

James Dean, | Hartford, 
Jacob Norris, Carolina. 
Alexander Frazier, J New York. 
William Black, " « 

Henry Sheaf f " " 

Phineas Smith f " " 

William Vanderson | K " 
William Andrews, J Ireland. 
Thomas Welch } " 

Bartley Barrell t " 

Benjamin Shakle, * England. 
William Creper J " 

Francis KirtlandJ " 
William Carpenter \ " 
William Asburn \ " 

John George Stamfield, \ Ho\land. 
John Daghan \ u 

Robert Richey, J Scotland. 
James Judson * " 


Lexington Prize, taken April, 1777. — Committed to 
prison June, 1777. 

Nicholas Simpkin, * Jersey. 
William Stearns, Maryland. 
Thomas Haley, England. 
Benjamin Locket J " 
William Lane, Philadelphia. 
John Gordon, J Ireland. 

Brigantine Fancy, taken J&ugust 7th t 1777. 

Captain John Lee, f Newburyport. 

Daniel Lane, " 

John Bickford, " 

William White, " 
Francis Salter, f Marblehead. 

William Laskey, " 

Joseph Barker f " 

Thomas Barker f " 

Richard Goss, " 

Nicholas Thorn, " 

Samuel Beal, " 

John Lio, " 

James Fox, " 

Thomas Mack f « 

Robert Swan f " 

John Swan f " 

Jonathan Bartlett, u 

Samuel Hawley, " 

Jacob Vickery, " 

Nicholas Gardner, " 


Jamea Valentine, * Marblehead. 
John Crow, " 

Elias Hart * « 

William Pickett, " 

Robert Pierce, " 

Robert Brown, " 

Shillings Brooks, " 

Thomas Horton, " 

William Cole, " 

Jacob Vickery, Jr, " 
John Adams, - 

Edmund Baden, 
Samuel Whitrong, ■ 
Benjamin Masten, " 

Michael Treffrey, " 

Andrew Slyfield f « 

Caesar Bartlett, Ipswich. 
Samuel Treadwell, " 
Nathaniel Jones, " 

Samuel Harris, " 

Samuel Latham, " 

William Longfellow, " 
Adams Choate, " 

Daniel Goodhue, " 

John Fowler* " 

Charles Barnes, " 

Joseph Fisher, Doct., f " 
William Lir, Sweden. 
Alex. Baxter, England. 
Luke Larcomb, " 
Israel Matthews, " 


Wm. Skinner, f England. 
Martin Shaw, " 

Robert Stevenson, Scotland. 
Thomas Salter, " 

Brigantine Freedom's Prize, taken April 27th, 1777. 

John Demond, Marblehead. 

Stephen Demise, " 

Thomas Brown f " 

Joseph Striker, " 

Joseph Magery, " 

Elias Vickery, " 

William Brown, " 

Nathaniel Stacey,-} " 

James Lyon, " 

Jacob Lord, f " 

Christian Codrer, " 

Ship Reprisal's Prize, taken June 29th, 1777. — Com- 
mitted in August. 
Thomas Norwood, f Bristol. 
Samuel Ross, " 

Stafford Badan, Virginia. 
Alex. Knell, } « 

Thomas Driver, Ireland. 
Charles Kneet, Baltimore. 
Thomas Runnells, J " 
Edwin Lewis, | Philadelphia. 
Daniel Acham, f Virginia. 
Joseph McMullen, Ireland. 


Sloop Haivk's Prize, taken Jipril 13th, 1778. — Com- 
mitted in October, 1778. 
John Picknall, Salem. 
John Haynes, " 

John Deadman, " 

John Foy, " 

Wood Abrahams, " 
English Thomas, Boston. 

Schooner Hawk's Prize, taken September 18th, 1777. — 

Committed October 16th. 
Benjamin Leech, Manchester. 
Abial Lee, " 

Moses Stacey, Marblehead. 
Thomas Wigger, " 
Thomas Knowlton. 
Amherst Weight. 

Brigantine Lexington, taken September 19th, 1779 

Captain Henry Johnston, f Boston. 

David Welch, f Ireland. 

Arthur Kirk f " 

John Kennedy J 

Thos. Choulston J 

John Hopes, 

William Lee, 

Robert Ford, 

William Riley, 

Phil. McLoughlan, 

James Haze J 





Thomas Bradley, Ireland. 
John Barry f " 

James Dick, " 

Joseph Coulston % " 
Jonn Howard J " 

Thomas Welch \ « 
Nicholas Chaise \ " 
Thomas Marley \ " 
Nath'l. Brennon % 
Andrew Grace, \ 
James Shields % 
Daniel Fagan % " 

Jacob Crawford, " 

Thomas Harvey, '* 

Francis Colburnf " 

David Clark X " 

Henry Bakeley J " 

Richard Deal,f Virginia. 
Henry Lawrence, " 
George Thayer, Providence 
John Chester, England. 
Thomas Lines J " 

Matthew Clear % " 

John VideanJ M 

Samuel Williams X " 
John Davis X " 

Joseph Wolt t " 

Benj'n. Richardson f " 
Edward Hart X " 

George Morrison, Scotlana. 
Joseph Kennigton * " 


John Stewart, t Scotland. 
Samuel Hobble, New London. 
Aaron Twigley, t New Jersey. 

Schooner Warren, taken December 29th, 1777. — Com- 
mitted June, 1778. 

Captain John Ravel, f Salem. 
Samuel Foote, " 
John Battan, " 


Lander, " 

Benjamin Bickett, 
Thomas Manning, 
Joseph Lambert, 
Stephen Waters, 
Jonathan Archer, 
John Jones, 
William Bright \ 
Josiah Jordon, 
Clifford Crowningfield, 
Edward Yoling, 
Peter Harris, 
Thomas Majory, 
Samuel Townsend, 
Daniel Chubb, 
Richard Crispin, 
Samuel Knapp, 
John Underwood, 
Nathaniel Ward, 
John Batten, Jr., 
Thomas Stephens, 


William Archer, J Salem. 
Benjamin Chipman, Beverly. 
John Cushing, Doct, Haverhill. 
Eben Bosworth, Bristol. 
Sampson Simms, Bristol. 
Thomas Austin, Rhode Island. 
Samuel Harris, " 

William Clark, " 

Edward Sisal, " 

William Race, $ Philadelphia. 
John Phillips f « 

Peter Merry, " 

Joseph Ingersoll, \ Cape Ann. 
Robert McCleary, t Boston. 
Ezekiel Canny, { Carolina. 

Schooner Black Snake, taken Jlugust 16th, 1777. — 

Committed March 12th, 1778. 
Captain William Lucran, Marblehead. 
John Wheeler, Rhode Island. 
John Buckley, North Carolina. 

Ship Oliver Cromwell, taken May 19th, 1777. — Com- 
mitted October 18th, 1777. 

Patrick McCann, Ireland. 
John Dority, " 

James Lawny } " 

John Adair, " 

Richard Price, Maryland. 
William Hall, J New Jersey. 
George Still, f England. 


Letter of Marque Janey, taken May 24th. — Committed 
August 19th. 

Captain George Rolls, f Virginia. 
George VVatkins, " 

Brigantine Cabot's Prize, taken October 24th , 1776. — 
Committed June, 1777. 

Peter Cassenbury, Philadelphia, 
Paul Ma gee, Rhode Island. 
David Covel, Virginia. 

True Blue, taken January *M. — Committed August 

20th, 1778. 
Peter Janes, Marblehead. 

Brigantine Ranger's Prize, taken August 23d, 1778. 
Charles Sherman, Rhole Island. 

Merchantman Sweet Lucretia, taken July 5th. — Com- 
mitted October 16th, 1778. 
James Horton, Casco Bay. 
Samuel Lewis, Boston. 

Schoo7ier Musquito, taken and committed. 
William Dayton, \ St. Martin's. 
Captain John Martin, J England. 
William Morris f. " 


Sturdy Beggar's Prize, taken October, 1776. — Commit- 
ted June, 1777. 
George Southard, Salem. 
Philip Misseroy, Marblehead. 
James Richardson, " 

Revenge's Prize, taken August 2d. 
William Hessam, Philadelphia. 
William Fowler, Casco Bay. 
Daniel Willet, Newport. 

Number taken, 380. 

Number committed, 364. 




Privateers' and Captains' Names. 




m a 




Brig Dolton, Captain Johnston, 
Sloop Sally, Captain Brown, . 
Brig Fancy, Captain Lee, 
Brig Lexington, Captain Johnston, 
Schooner Warren, Captain Ravel, . 

Parts of Crews taken, in Prison 

Brig Freedom, Captain Cluston, . 
Ship Reprisal, Captain Weeks, 

Sloop Hawk, 

Schooner Hawk, Captain Hibbart, . 
Schooner Black Snake, Captain Lucran, 
Ship Oliver Cromwell, , 

Letter of Marque Janoy, Captain Rolls, 
Brig Cabot, .... 
True Blue, Captain Furlong, . 


Sloop Lucretia, 

Musquito Tender, . 

Schooner, Captain Burnell, 

Sturdy Beggar, 

Revenge, Captain Cunningham, 

From Newburyport, 

From Marblehead, . 

From Boston, 

From Salem, . 

From Portsmouth, . 

Kittery, Berwick, and Old York, . 

Ipswich, Manchester, and Capo Ann, 

Eastward of Old York, . 

England, Ireland and Scotland, 

Towns South of Boston, 

East of Boston, 

The remainder, of other nations. 



354 47 














































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