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taking the same into our most serious consideration, do hereby promise that nothing shall be wanting in our duty to assist our unhappy and suffering brethren.
As soon as ever we heard of their misfortunes, we called our Committee together immediately, and ordered all necessary assistance that could be provided for their relief, with a Surgeon immediately to attend them, and nurses, with proper lodging and diet for them. We have the pleasure to inform you that they are in a fair way to recover. The Mate is able, by the help of his crutch, to go about his room. We shall use our utmost endeavour to comply with your request in this and all other matters that your Honours will be pleased to assign to us.
And we do hereby request you will please to accept of our most hearty and sincere thanks for the steady and un wearied part you are acting in the defence of our countrys cause, and, in particular, for your humane and tender care for the sick and wounded. May your wise Councils and Assemblies be always crowned with success in all their undertakings, is the sincere wish of this Committee.
By order of the Committee:
I am, gentlemen, your most obedient, humble servant,
RICHARD PRICE, Clerk.
To the Honourable the Delegates of the Massachusetts-Bay, &c.
N. B. We herewith enclose you Captain Tripp and the Mates deposition. Captain Tripp informs us that the Captain of the tenders name was Butler, and believes the Lieutenants name was Han; and one Green, from Barnagat, they kept on board as pilot.
GALLOWAY Township, IN GLOUCESTER County:
Be it remembered, that, on the 20th of April, 1776, personally appeared before me, one of his Majestys Justices of the Peace for the County of Gloucester, Captain Job Tripp, late Master of the Sloop Endeavour, and James Cathill, his Mate, both of Dartmouth, in the County of Bristol and Province of Massachusetts-Bay; and, being sworn on the Holy Evangelist of Almighty God, do declare, that we left Dartmouth, in the said sloop, on the 31st day of March last, for Philadelphia. On the following day, about three oclock in the afternoon, (the forepart of the day being very thick and foggy, cleared up in the afternoon,) we saw the vessels in at Little-Egg Harbour Inlet. About the same time we discovered a vessel to the southward of us. When we found we were so near the land, we altered our course more out to sea; we being bound to the southward, and that vessel to the northward. They presently came up with us. About the distance of three hundred yards on our lee-bow, they fired at us. Immediately we saw a number of men on board of her, who appeared to be in motion, and very busy. We hailed them twice with our trumpet, but received no answer, but another firing, and hove about, and made after us. We still kept our course, and they after us, continually firing, till about ten oclock at night. At that time they were about a swivel-shot distance from us. The wind dying away, and perceiving them coming up very fast, we immediately hove to, and hauled down our foresail, and were busy in hauling down our mainsail, when they run up as near as they conveniently could without running foul of our vessel, and fired a broadside at us; which felled both the Captain and Mate. By their account, they fired two volleys of smallarms just as they fired their cannon and swivels; each volley ten guns. Their carriage-guns and swivels were two four-pounders and six swivels on each side. The Captain was wounded in the thigh, which we imagine to be a swivel-ball, which broke the bone, and shattered it very much. The Mate was also wounded in both thighs; the ball went through the fleshy part of the right, and lodged in the left.
We were unable to help ourselves, though we made shift to scrabble down into the cabin. The Captain laid on the cabin-floor, and the Mate had got in his birth, before they boarded us. The Lieutenant came down, and presently presented a pistol at him, and ordered him to turn out immediately on deck, or he was a dead man; treated him with very scurrilous and abusive language, and hauled him out of his cabin. With that, he scrabbled on deck as well as he could; kept him there till he was satisfied; then ordered him into his cabin again; and, returning to the Captain, who lay on the floor, ordered him likewise upon deck. The Captain begged he would let him alone, as he was unable to stand or help himself; with that he left him.
They rummaged all our chests for papers and letters, which they took with themall they could find, with forty-nine dollars of the Captains in Continental bills; with the Mates journal, pocket-book, chest, bed, &c., &c. They were particularly careful in collecting all the old iron and spikes they could find to take with them. After they had rummaged and taken what they thought proper, they cut up the cables, and hove them, with the anchors, overboard, and threatened to bum the vessel. They kept us till about five oclock in the afternoon next day, when the Lieutenant came to the Captain (on board our own vessel) and told him that the Captain of the tender was going to indulge him with his boat and men to go ashore for a Doctor. There were three hands besides the Captain and Mate. Before we had left the vessel, they scuttled her, and the water came in very fast; and heard them call out, Come, let us begin the fire in the cable-tier. They let the Captain take his bed and chest, and a bed-sack to lie on. The Captain of the tender called to his Lieutenant not to let us take too many things with us. When we had got some distance from the vessel, we saw a great smoke arising from her, with all her sails standing, save the peak of the mainsail, which was dropped down, with her tiller lashed fast, so as she could steer herself. The vessel was about seventy or seventy-five tons burden.
We were about one hour and a half in the boat before we reached the shore, which was the flat beach; and were about thirty-six hours before we had any dressing to our wounds. And further these deponents say not.
N. B. The most of the latter part of the transaction was taken from the Mate; the Captain, being badly wounded, could not remember.
The above is a true copy from the original.
RICHARD PRICE, Clerk Township Committee.
COLONEL KNOX TO GENERAL WASHINGTON.
Norwich, April 21, 1776.
SIR: Agreeable to your Excellencys instructions, I tarried at Cambridge till all the ordnance and stores in my department were on the way to this place; which, to my great mortification, was not till the 14th instant. The detention was owing to the zeal of the General Assembly, which promised more than their activity could perform.
In my passing through Providence, Governour Cooke, and a number of the principal people, were very pressing for me to take Newport in my way, in order to mark out some works of defence for that place. The spirited conduct of the Colony Troops posted there, in driving away the Kings ships, alarmed the whole Colony for the safety of its capital. Knowing your Excellencys anxiety for the preservation of every part of the Continent, I conceived it to be my duty to act in conformity to your wishes, especially as I could get to Norwich as soon as the stores which set out for Norwich on the 14th. Accordingly, I went to Newport, and marked out five batteries, which, from the advantageous situation of the ground, must, when executed, render the harbour exceedingly secure. In this I humbly hope for your Excellencys approbation.
Mr. Cheever is expected in this day with the powder and some stores, being the last division; which I shall endeavour to get away as soon as possible. If the wind shall be fair, I propose going by water; if not, by land.
Lieutenant-Colonel Burbeck declined complying with your Excellencys orders, alleging that the Province had settled on him four shillings sterling per day during life, after the war was over; which, if he went out of the Province, he might, perhaps, lose.
Lieutenant-Colonel Mason, who came with the ordnance to this town, being in ill health, I have permitted to go by land.
I am going down to Admiral Hopkins, to receive his directions concerning the safety of sending out the stores, as some of the Kings ships yesterday chased in a vessel to New-London; and also to endeavour to get the brass mortars