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Resolved, That Caleb Green, the within petitioner, be allowed to receive of the Prison-keeper of Taunton, six persons who have been taken from the Navy, under the command of one Captain Wallace, now in Newport; the said Caleb giving his bond to the Sheriff of the County of Bristol, to and for the use of this Colony, in the penal sum of one hundred Pounds, conditioned that in case he shall not exchange the prisoners as aforesaid, whom he shall receive for the above John, Joseph, Henry, John, Taylor, and Wood, he will return the prisoners whom he shall receive for the above persons, to the Prison-keeper in said Taunton, within fourteen days from the time he shall receive said prisoners; and the Keeper of said Prison is hereby directed to conform himself according to this order, provided the said Caleb Green shall give security as above directed.
Adjourned to nine oclock, to-morrow morning.
Wednesday, April 3, 1776.
Present in Council: Honourable James Otis, Caleb Gushing, Thomas Gushing, Joseph Gerrish, John Whetcomb, Eldad Taylor, Benjamin Lincoln, John Winthrop, Charles Chauncy, Michael Farley, Joseph Palmer, Samuel Holten, Jabez Fisher, Moses Gill, John Taylor, Benjamin White, Esquires.
Petition of Bartelemi Wasanis, setting forth: That he is an inhabitant of the Island of St. Domingo, from whence he set sail in January last for the Colonies. That your Petitioner had the misfortune, when he approached this coast, to meet with adverse winds and stormy weather, which drove his vessel on shore on Cape-Cod, where he saved the most of his cargo, (being molasses,) which he afterwards sold the most part of to the Commissary-General of the Continental Army, for which your Petitioner must lake paper money. Your Honours must be sensible such money will be of no service to your Petitioner in the French West-Indies. Your Petitioner therefore prays your Honours to grant him liberty to purchase some oil, spermaceti candles, lumber, and a small quantity of provisions, for the use of St. Domingo only. Your Honours will require no arguments to convince you that the French must give up trading with the English Colonies, if they are under a necessity to carry away nothing but paper money. Your Petitioner therefore prays your Honours to take his case into consideration, and give him such relief as to you in your wisdom shall seem meet.
Read, and committed to Thomas Gushing and Benjamin White, Esquires, with Mr. Ellis, Captain Batchelder, and Colonel Lovell.
The Committee of both Houses, appointed to consider the Petition of Bartelemi Wasanis, have attended that service, and report as their opinion: That his case, as set forth in said petition, being somewhat singular and distressing, the prayer thereof be so far granted that he have liberty to purchase oil, spermaceti candles, lumber, and a small quantity of provisions, not exceeding one thousand Pounds in the whole, (being nearly the nett proceeds of his cargo,) and the same to ship for the sole and only use of the Island of St. Domingo; the said Petitioner to give bond, with one sufficient surety, to the Receiver-General of this Colony, in the penal sum of one thousand Pounds, that said oil, candles, lumber, and provisions, shall be safely landed in said Island, the danger of the seas and enemies only excepted; and upon sufficient certificate being produced to the Receiver-General of this Colony for the time being, that said effects have been landed as aforesaid, excepting only as aforesaid, that then said bond shall be cancelled by such Receiver-General.
JOSEPH PALMER, per order.
Read, and accepted, and thereupon
Resolved, That the prayer of said Petition be so far granted that the Petitioner have liberty to purchase Oil, Spermaceti Candles, Lumber, and a small quantity of Provisions, not exceeding one thousand Pounds in the whole, being the nett proceeds of his cargo, and the same to ship for the sole and only use of the Island of St. Domingo; the said Petitioner giving bond, with one sufficient surety, to the Receiver-General of this Colony, in the penal sum of one thousand Pounds, that said Oil, Candles, Lumber, and Provisions, shall be safely landed in said Island, the danger of the seas and enemies only excepted; and upon sufficient certificate being produced to the Receiver-General of this Colony for the time being, that said effects have been landed as aforesaid, excepting only as aforesaid, that then said bond shall be cancelled by such Receiver-General.
Ordered, That Benjamin Greenleaf, Esq., be of the Committee on the state of the Province, in the room of William Sever, Esq., who is absent.
An engrossed Bill, entitled An Act to prevent the forging Bills of Publick Credit, having passed the House of Representatives to be engrossed,
In Council: Read a second time, and passed a concurrence to be engrossed.
The Committee of both Houses, appointed to lay before this Court a sketch of Boston Harbour, and examine and report particularly the number of passages there are for ships into the same, &c., have attended the business assigned them, and report the sketch of the Harbour of Boston here-with, and the following answers to the questions proposed in our commission:
How many passages are there for ships into the Harbour of Boston, and what distance are they from the Capital?
Strictly speaking, there are but three: The north most, (between Pulling-Point and the north end of Deer-Island,) a narrow and very crooked channel, running on the back of Apple-Island, seldom used except by fishing vessels and light coasters; this passage is about four miles from Boston. The next is the ship-channel, which leads from the Light-House through the Narrows, and enters the harbour between the east end of Long-Island and the south point of Deer-Island , (here the passage in at Broad-Sound unites with this.) and is about five miles from Boston. The other leads from the Light-House, south from Georges Island, through Nantasket-Road, and runs between Rainsford-Island and Long-Island, and enters the harbour between the west head of Long-Island and the east head of the Moon, so called; this is about the same distance from Boston.
What is the depth of the water in and the width of the channel at each passage, the height of the land adjoining, and the distance there from to the opposite side of the channel?
As the northern passage is not navigable for the smallest ship of war, the Committee make no further observation relative to it. The next is the ship-channel, which leads through the Narrows, (here the water is about five fathoms deep at low water, width of the channel uncertain, perhaps fifty rods, and the adjoining lands low,) and enters the harbor between Long-Island and Deer-Island, as aforesaid. The width of the channel at the entrance is about three-quarters of a mile.
The adjoining land, on the south side of the channel, viz: Long-Island, is about ninety feet high, and little more than three-quarters of a mile to the opposite side of the channel; depth of water from six to fourteen fathom.
The other passage, viz: between Long-Island and the Moon, so calledwidth of the channel, about eighty rods; depth of the water, thirteen feet. The adjoining land, viz: the Moon, ninety-four feet high; distance therefrom to the opposite side of the channel, three-eighths of a mile.
Whether it is necessary to the best good of the Colony and its Capital, that all the passages to the Town of Boston should be open; and what are the advantages and what are the disadvantages which will result from stopping either; and which, if any, ought to be stopped?
Your Committee are of opinion that it is not necessary to the best good of the Colony, or the Capital thereof, that all the passages thereto should be kept open; for if the passage to, the Narrows only is stopped, or the depth of water reduced, there will be sufficient passages left open for all merchant ships; as it hath been affirmed, by persons skilled in military and maritime affairs, that a fleet of ships, with a leading gale of wind and flood tide, pass with so great velocity as to run little or no hazard in passing by a strong fortification, as was experienced at Quebeck, in the course of the last war. If so, it seems to be as necessary to reduce the depth of water in the Narrows, as it is to fortify the Island, or any other places; because it is there only that capital ships of war can pass, and therefore there, above all other places, as it is easiest effected, their efforts to enter the harbour should be effectually obstructed.
Where can fortifications be erected most easily to resist the enemy in their attempts to enter the Harbour aforesaid?
On the east end of Long-Island, and on the Island called the Moon, (on the east head thereof,) and on the east head of Petticks Island, with necessary redoubts.