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raking us with several broadsides, before we were again in condition to steer the ship, and return the fire. In the action we received several shot under water, which made the ship very leaky; we had besides, the mainmast shot through, and the upper works and rigging very considerably damaged; yet it is surprising that we lost only the Second Lieutenant of Marines and four men, one of whom, (Martin Gillingwater), a Midshipman, prisoner, was in the cock-pit, and had been taken in the bomb-brig Bolton yesterday. We had no more than three men dangerously, and four slightly, wounded.”

I have the pleasure of assuring you that the Commander-in-Chief is respected through the fleet, and I verily believe that the officers and men, in general, would go any length to execute his orders. It is with pain that I confine this plaudit to an individual; I should be happy in extending it to every Captain and officer in the service. Praise is certainly due to some; but, alas, there are exceptions.

It is certainly for the interest of the service that a cordial interchange of civilities should subsist between superior and inferior officers; and, therefore, it is bad policy in superiors to behave towards their inferiors, indiscriminately, as though they were of a lower species. Men of liberal minds, who have been long accustomed to command, can ill brook being thus set at nought by others, who pretend to claim the monopoly of sense. The rude, ungentle treatment which they experience, creates such heart-burnings as are nowise consonant with that cheerful ardour and spirit which ought ever to be the characteristick of an officer; and, therefore, whoever thinks himself hearty in the service, is widely mistaken when he adopts such a line of conduct in order to prove it; for to be well obeyed, it is necessary to be esteemed.

The fleet having been reinforced with two hundred men lent from the Army, is now in condition for another enterprise, and we expect to embrace the first wind for Rhode-Island, where I hope we shall meet with better success, as we understand that the Scarborough is now there. It is proposed to clean the ships at Providence, so that our detention there will admit of a return of letters from Philadelphia.

Meantime, with a grateful sense of past favours, I have the honour to be, with much esteem, sir, your very obliged, most humble servant,


To the Honourable Joseph Hewes, Philadelphia .


[Read May 7, 1776.]

Boston, April 14, 1776.

HONOURABLE SIR: I have taken the liberty to enclose you copies of the lists of vessels, and ordnance, and ordnance stores, left by our enemy in this town, all of which I have properly secured since they evacuated it. A more particular account of the cargoes found in the vessels, with an account of all other King’s stores, I will forward as soon as I can ascertain the amount of each article. I was ordered in here by the Quartermaster-General the same day the enemy left the town, in order to take an account, and secure all King’s stores; which I have been constantly employed about ever since, and hope to finish in about two weeks, when I shall render an account of the whole of my proceedings to Colonel Mifflin, Quartermaster-General. The amount of King’s stores alone will, I am sure, be worth upwards of fifty thousand pounds sterling, besides a number of cables and anchors taken up out of the harbour, in three or four fathom of water. The anchors weigh from thirty-five hundred down to five hundred; some very large cables almost new. The value of these two articles, that I have already got, is computed, by good judges, to be worth three thousand pounds sterling. I have only had twelve hands employed in this work two weeks; they are men that I hired belonging to the town, who are very well acquainted with the harbour. I hope, in two weeks more, to clear the harbour, and get out a number more of anchors and cables, &c. The men expect to be allowed salvage, besides their pay, for every thing taken beyond low-water mark, as well as for the cargoes of salt, which would all have been lost had we not used the greatest industry to have got it out, as the vessels were all left scuttled. Your Honours will judge whether this demand is reasonable, and please to let me know your determination. If you think any extraordinary trouble is worth any more than my pay as Assistant Quartermaster-General, you will please to make me what allowance you think proper. His Excellency has been pleased to give me a Majority in the Sixth Regiment of Foot, which I shall join as soon as I finish the above business, which I am ordered to do; and I am, your Honour’s most obedient, humble servant,

Assistant Quartermaster-General.

To the Honourable John Hancock, Esq.

P. S. The Quartermaster-General has fixed upon Jonathan Williams, Esq., of Boston, as agent to dispose of all stores found here, except what we want for our Army. He has already sold, to a large amount, horses, wheat, flour, &c.


Boston, April 14, 1776.

SIR: I now enclose you a more particular account of the vessels left by the enemy at Boston; also, an inventory of the ordnance and ordnance stores. I have not included those that are at Castle-Island, because General Ward informs me that the Province claims the whole of them.

We have found, within this week, anchors and cables worth at least three thousand pounds sterling; they weigh from thirty-five hundred weight down to five hundred weight, (meaning the anchors,) taken out in three or four fathom water, at low tide. I hope the Continental Congress will allow us salvage upon these, as well as other things which we have secured. I have had only twelve men employed constantly in clearing the docks, &c., who do not belong to the Army.

On Thursday last, the people at Cohasset, observing a brig coming up the bay, armed themselves, and manned three or four whale-boats, went off, and, finding her to be a merchantman, boarded and took her. She was from the West-Indies, laden with rum and sugar; rum, three hundred hogsheads, for General Howe’s Army, which they expected to find here.

On Friday morning last, ran away from the Renown, ship-of-war, now lying in Nantasket-Road, eight British seamen that belonged to her, who brought off the cutter, and landed at Point-Shirley, and are now in this town.

Commodore Manly’ s crew, that he took in the last rich prize, are in close prison in this town. Mr. Jackson, Mr. Brush, and three others, were examined by the General Court, who were all committed to prison yesterday, Brush in irons.

I expect to settle all my accounts, and finish all matters in my late department, this week; and I shall be much obliged to you to give me leave to come to New-York, to have a final settlement with Colonel Mifflin, and deliver up the books, &c. Mr. James Gray, who did the business in my department before my appointment, has lived with me ever since, and I think he is the most proper person to succeed me now, as he is very capable, and understands the nature of the business very well; and I hope your Excellency will be pleased to appoint him, which will infinitely oblige me, as he will be left entirely without business when I give up the place; and he has been in the American Army as long as any in it. Colonel Mifflin knows him very well, and has a very good opinion of him.

Major Parke tells me he proposes to set out for New-York on Wednesday next. If he does, he will leave a vast number of accounts unsettled, and other affairs unfinished.

The General Court of this Province want some of the barracks upon Winter-Hill, to cover one thousand men, which are to be raised immediately, and stationed at Noddle’s Island.

I hope your Excellency and lady had a pleasant journey to New- York; and am, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


To General Washington.

A List of Vessels remaining in BOSTON Harbour after the Enemy evacuated the Town, with the proper Owners’ names, according to the best information; viz:

1. A Brigantine Privateer, commanded by Captain Martindale, taken by the Fowey, man-of-war, burden one hundred and ten tons; at Tileston’s Wharf.


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