Obrázky stránek

In the fall of the year 1775,- general:Washington: commissioned Nicholas Broughton and himself, both living in Marblehead, the former as commodore of two schooners, one mounting 6 four-pound cannon, and manned by seventy seamen, and the other of less force, having only sixty-five men. The commodore hoisted his broad pendant on board the former, and Selman commanded the latter.

These vessels were ordered to the river St. Lawrence, to interceptan ammunition vessel bound to Quebec, but missing her they took ten other vessels and governour Wright, of St. Johns, all of which were released, as we had waged a ministerial war, and not one against our most gracious sovereign.



QUINCY, FEB. 11, 1813. DEAR SIR, I am much obliged by your favour of the 9th, just received. Though I called the subject of my former letter a bagatelle, it is perhaps of some importance ; for as a navy is now an object, I think a circumstantial history of naval operations in this

country qught to be writteri, 'even as far back as Se "

this .provinċė ship under captain Hollowell, &c.; and perhaps earlier still.

Looking into the journal of congress for 1775, I find on Friday, September 22, 1775, congress resolved that a committee be appointed to take into consideration the state of the trade of America.

Monday, Sept. 25, 1775. Congress took into consideration the letters from general Washington, Nos. 5 and 6, and two others not numbered. Resolved, that a committee of three be appointed to prepare an answer. Mr. Lynch, Mr. Lee, and Mr. Adams were chosen. But our accurate secretary has not stated whether it was Samuel or John Adams.

Thursday, Oct. 5, 1775. Resolved, that a committee of three be appointed to prepare a plan for intercepting two vessels, which are on their way to Canada, laden with arms and powder; and that the committee proceed on this business immediately.

Our correct secretary has omitted the names of this committee; but if my memory has not created something out of nothing, this committee were Silas Deane, John Langdon and John Adams. On the same day, the committee appointed to prepare a plan for intercepting the two vessels bound to Canada, brought in a report, which was taken into consideration; whereupon

“Resolved, that a letter be sent to general Washington, to inform him that congress, having received certain intelligence of the sailing of two north country-built brigs of no force, from England on the 11th of August last, loaded with arms, powder and other stores for Quebec, without convoy, which it being of importance to intercept, desire that he apply to the council of Massachusetts bay, for the two armed vessels in their service, and despatch the same with a sufficient number of people, stores, &c., particularly a number of oars, in order, if possible, to intercept the said two brigs and their cargoes, and secure the same for the use of the continent; also any other transports laden with ammunition, clothing or other stores for the use of the ministerial army or navy in America, and secure them in the most convenient places for the purpose above mentioned ; that he give the commander or commanders such instructions as are necessary, as also proper encouragement to the marines and seamen that shall be sent upon this enterprise, which instructions are to be delivered to the commander or commanders sealed up, with orders not to open the same until out of sight of land, on account of secrecy.

That a letter be written to the said honourable council, to put the said vessels under the general's command and direction, and to furnish him instantly with

every necessary in their power, at the expense of the continent.

That the general be directed to employ the said vessels, and others if he judge necessary, to effect the purposes aforesaid ; and that he be informed that the Rhode Island and Connecticut vessels of force will be sent directly to their assistance.

That a letter be written to governour Cooke, informing him of the above, desiring him to despatch one or both the armed vessels of the colony of Rhode Island on the same service, and that he use the precautions above mentioned.

That a letter be written to governour Trumbull, requesting of him the largest vessel in the service of the colony of Connecticut, to be sent on the enterprise aforesaid, acquainting him with the above particulars, and recommending the same precautions.

That the said ships and vessels of war be on the continental risk and pay, during their being so employed."

Friday, Oct. 6, 1775. The committee appointed to prepare a plan, &c. (i. e. a plan for intercepting vessels, &c.) brought in a further report, which was read ; ordered to lie on the table, for the perusal of the members.

Friday, Oct. 13, 1775. A letter from general Washington, dated 5th October, with sundry papers enclosed, was read.

The congress, taking into consideration the report of the committee appointed to prepare a plan, &c. after some debate, resolved that a swift sail

ing vessel, to carry ten carriage guns and a proportionable number of swivels, with eighty men, be fitted with all possible despatch, for a cruise of three months, and that the commander be instructed to cruise eastward, for intercepting such transports as may be laden with warlike stores and other supplies for our enemies, and for such other purposes as the congress shall direct.

That a committee of three be appointed to prepare an estimate of the expense, and to lay the same before the congress, and to contract with proper persons to fit out the vessel.

Resolved, that another vessel be fitted out for the same purposes, and that the said committee report their opinion of a proper vessel, and also an estimate of the expense. The following members were chosen to compose the committee : Mr. Deane, Mr. Langdon and Mr. Gadsden. Resolved, that the further consideration of the report be referred to Monday next, (i. e. the report of the committee to prepare a plan, &c.)

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 1775. The committee appointed to prepare an estimate, &c. brought in their report, which after debate was recommitted.

Monday, Oct. 30. The committee appointed to prepare an estimate and to fit out the vessels, brought in their report, which being taken into consideration, resolved, that the second vessel ordered to be fitted out on the 13th instant, be of

« PředchozíPokračovat »