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in the cause of freedom, and the unparalleled fortitude with which you have sustained the greatest of all human calamities, justly entitle you to the grateful remembrance of your American brethren; and I heartily pray that the hand of tyranny may never more disturb your repose; and that every blessing of a kind Providence may give happiness and prosperity to the Town of Boston.
To the Selectmen and Citizens of Boston.
NARRATIVE OF CAPTAIN DANIEL LUNT.
On the 25th of February last, on my homeward bound passage from Point-à-Petre, on Grand Terre, about two leagues distant from Cape-Ann, I fell in with and was taken by the Lively sloop-of-war, and was carried into Boston; the next day I was put on board the Renown,Banks, commander. As we came on board, Captain Banks ordered us, with what bundles of clothes, bedding, &c., we had with us, on the quarter-deck; then called for and ordered the Second Lieutenant and Master-at-Arms to search our beds, overhaul all our bundles of clothes, to see if there was any money amongst them; then turning to us, said, I will search you myself, and that well, too, you scoundrels. Whilst they were opening and searching our bundles, agreeable to Captain Bankss directions they began their searches upon us, under his immediate inspection, by stripping off our clothes, and critically searching every place in the linings, and left no place unsearched where a farthing might be concealed, and continued the whole time breathing out slaughter and death upon us, for no crime, or supposed crime, unless our being born in America can be esteemed such. After getting through with this branch of his inhuman and unnatural procedure, and robbing me of fourteen Johannes, and Captain Ephraim Little of about one hundred more, he called for and delivered us up to the Boatswain, with an express injunction to take us to the main deck, and see to it that we were kept constantly at hard labour; adding, if we made the least difficulty about complying with this his command, the Boatswain must inform him, and he would order us immediately to be flogged. His commands in this matter were strictly complied with. We (I mean all the Masters of American vessels who have of late unfortunately fallen into their hands) were constantly kept at the hardest and most ignominious services on board, and were from day to day loaded with curses and reproaches from the principal officers; and that whilst there was constantly a ready compliance with his unrighteous and inhuman commands, and as though it were not a sufficient punishment for having been born in America, and not found in arms against our country, to be reduced from comfortable circumstances, our families robbed of all means of subsistence, and we pillaged of the last farthing which might serve to supply our present necessary expenses, or replace our clothing, of which we were in a great measure robbed. We are commanded and constantly insulted, without reply, by men far inferior to those formerly under our command, having the breath of hell continually flaming about our ears, and this unequal to vent the malignity of their souls, informing us our torments were to be perpetual, by assuring us we should never again set our feet on American ground. Thus they continued tormenting us, till by these devices, and being constantly kept on short allowance, several of our people judged themselves excusable in yielding to their solicitations, by entering on board their ships. We who refused were sent on board an East-Indiaman, with an assurance of being sent to that country, and there kept at hard service during the remainder of our lives. Being worn out by continued fatigue and constant reproaches, I grew sick of a life not worth enjoying. I resolved to attempt an escape at all hazards, and in the night, between the 20th and 21st of March last, finding the watch on deck asleep, I cut away a boat from alongside, and got ashore on Point-Shirley; and am influenced to publish this narrative, not only that the truth might appear, but at the earnest desire, and in consequence of an agreement of a number of American ship-masters, who still labour under these distressing circumstances.
Newburyport, April 1, 1776.
N. B. In consequence of an agreement with my brethren whilst under this more than Egyptian bondage, whoever of us should be fortunate enough to make his escape, was to proceed immediately to Head-Quarters, and give General Washington an account of the matter; but by the many hardships I endured whilst under the control of these deserters from the infernal pit, I was so far reduced as to be by no means able to comply with this part of our agreement; and since I have got home, I have been for the most part confined to my house, and not able to write, which may apologize for my neglecting this publication so long. Let not the friends of those now in their hands fear more severity from this publication falling into the hands of our enemies; greater severity is impossible. Our friends in their hands will find a sure asylum in death, which they will at any one day meet with pleasure. Will not God avenge our righteous cause?
P. S. In justice to Captain Bishop, commander of the Lively, I would inform the publick that I was treated with kindness and humanity all the time I was with him.
Voted, That the several Printers on the Continent be, and hereby are, desired to publish the foregoing Narrative of Captain Daniel Lunt. And we do hereby certify, that the said Captain Lunt was born and brought up among us, and is esteemed a man of truth, and we think full credit may be paid to the said Narrative.
By order of the Committee:
JONATHAN TITCOMB, Chairman.
GEORGE MASON TO GENERAL WASHINGTON.
Virginia, Gunston Hall, April 2, 1776.
DEAR SIR: We have just received the welcome news of your having, with so much address and success, dislodged the Ministerial Troops, and taken possession of the town of Boston. I congratulate you most heartily upon this glorious and important eventan event which will render General Washingtons name immortal in the annals of America, endear his memory to the latest posterity, and entitle him to those thanks which Heaven appointed as the reward of publick virtue.
It is the common opinion here that we shall have a visit from General Howe in some of the Middle or Southern Colonies; but it does not seem well-founded. I am very unable to judge of military affairs; but it appears to me that if General Howe acts the part of a wise man and an experienced officer, he will not venture a sickly, worn-out, disgusted, and disgraced Army, in a country where he must meet immediate opposition, and where any misfortune might produce a mutiny or general desertion. I think it much more probable that he will retire to Halifax, give his troops a little time, by ease and refreshment, to recover their spirits, and be in readiness, as soon as the season permits, to relieve Quebeck; keeping some ships-of-war cruising off Boston harbour, to protect and direct the transports which may arrive. New-York, or any of the Northern United Provinces are too near Cambridge; for, if he could not maintain the advantageous and strongly fortified post of Boston, what reasonable hope has he of gaining and maintaining a new one, in the face of a superior Army?
You will perhaps smile at these speculative and idle suggestions upon a subject which will probably be reduced to a certainty, one way or other, long before this reaches your hands; but when I am conversing with you, the many agreeable hours we have spent together recur upon my mind. I fancy myself under your hospitable roof at Mount Vernon, and lay aside reserve. May God grant us a return of those halcyon days, when every man may sit clown at his ease under the shade of his own vine and his own fig-tree, and enjoy the sweets of domestick life! Or, if this is too much, may he be pleased to inspire us with spirit and resolution to bear our present and future sufferings becoming men determined to transmit to our posterity, unimpaired, the blessings we have received from our ancestors.
Colonel Caswells victory in North-Carolina, and the military spirit which it has raised, will be an obstacle to any attempts in that quarter. Maryland and Virginia are at present rather unprepared, but their strength is daily increasing. The late levies here have been made with surprising