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omitted in some bonds, was made in the hope of retaining the friendship of those islands.

To ensure a full quota for the Continental Army and Navy and the State Navy it was necessary to restrict the recruiting of privateersmen and at times to lay an embargo on the sailing of private vessels until the requirements of the public service had been met. For such purposes the owners and commanders of privateers were obliged to give additional bonds. Extracts from some of these documents will serve as illustrations. The first two are dated 1777, the third 1778.

(1) The condition of this present Obligation is such That, Whereas the Great and General Court of the State aforesaid, on the seventh of April Instant by their Resolve of that date, did allow that the Inhabitants of any Town within said State who had raised their full proportion of the Continental Army to fit out private Vessels of War, but not to Ship or receive on board any Men that are the Inhabitants of any Town in said State that have not raised their proportion of said Army. (2) The Condition of this present Obligation is such That, Whereas the Great and General Court of the State aforesaid on the nineteenth day of April last, in and by a certain Resolve allowing private persons to fit out Vessels of War, did among other things restrict them from shipping on board said Privateers any Inhabitant of any of the New England States other than the State of Massachusetts Bay. (3) The Condition of this present Obligation is Such, That if the above bounden Nathaniel Bentley, Commander, and Samuel Batchelder, the Major part of the Owners, of said Private Schooner of War shall not Inlist or take on board said Privateer any Soldier or Soldiers belonging to the Continental Army of the United States of America, then this obligation to be null and void, otherwise to remain in full force and Virtue.

It would seem as if vessels of the State Navy and others belonging to the Commonwealth should have been exempt from giving bonds, but such was not the case, at least early in the war. July 26, 1776, Captain

1. Mass. Archives, 139, 127, 141, 158.

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Simeon Samson and James Warren, both of Plymouth, and Richard Derby, of Salem, stood

firmly bound to Henry Gardner, Esq., Treasurer and Receiver General of the State aforesaid in the Sum of two thousand Pounds. The Condition of this Obligation is such that if the above bounden Simeon Sampson [signed Samson] who is comander of the Brigantine Independance, belonging to the said State of the Massachusetts Bay and fitted out by Order of the Great and General Court to cruise on the Sea Coasts of America for the Defence of American Liberty and to make Captures of such Vessells as shall be supplying the Enemies thereof with Provisions and other Stores or otherwise infesting the Sea Coasts and for the making Captures of British Vessells and Cargoes. Now if the said Simeon Sampson, Comr. of the sd. Briga. called the Independance shall in all things observe and conduct himself and govern his Crew according to the Resolves of the General American Congress and according to the Acts and Orders of the Great and General Court of this State, relative to Armed Vessels fitted out for the Purpose aforesaid, and follow such Instructions as he may receive in Pursuance of his Comission, the foregoing Obligation shall be void, or Else remain in Force.1

Others of the sixteen vessels of the Massachusetts Navy gave similar bonds, most of them during the first year, but at least one, the Mars, as late as 1781. The sloop Republic, in 1777, gave a Continental bond.

Certain other vessels belonging to the State were bonded. The Board of War employed numerous vessels as packets, despatch boats, and cargo carriers, or for other purposes. If it was thought desirable to arm such vessels, a petition for letters of marque was addressed to the Council, as in the case of private owners, and bonds were given. Such a vessel was the sloop Reprisal, Captain Nathaniel Carver, bound to France in 1777.2 The same procedure was observed in the case of Con

1. Mass. Archives, 139, 122. For forms of commission and of bond for vessels of the State Navy, adopted May 9 and 10, 1776, by order of the Council, see Ibid., 164, 345, 347.

2. Mass. Archives, VII, 63.

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tinental vessels of a similar kind. In 1777 Colonel John Allan, “having been appointed Agent for the Eastern Indians by the Hon'ble Continental Congress," it was necessary for him, in the performance of his duties, to have in his service a vessel of force to cruise along the shore of eastern Maine. The schooner Marisheete, the property of "the United States of America," was bonded for this purpose in 1777 and again the next year. In 1779 the schooner Neashquowoite, also owned by the United States, was employed in the same service."

Before a privateer could go to sea in a regular and legal way, preliminary steps were required. In the ordinary course of procedure the owner of a vessel wishing to adventure, having fitted out, manned, armed, and provisioned her, petitioned the Council that a commission be granted her commander. This petition was usually granted at once, the commission often being issued and the bond signed the same or the next day, though sometimes there was delay with the bond. The following petition is a typical example:


The Petition of Paul D. Sergeant, Joseph Barrel, Thos. Adams, and Daniel Martin, of Boston,

Humbly sheweth, - That your Petitioners have fitted out the Schr called the Lee, burthen about seventy-five Tons, mounting ten four Pound Cannon and ten Swivels, and navigated by fifty Men, having on Board as Provisions thirty Bls Beef and Pork, five thousand W. Bread; as Ammunition four hundred W. Powder, and Shot in Proportion. Officers on Board are as follows, Vizt. John Hyer, Comander, David Arnold, 1st Lieut. — Saunders, 2d Do.

Said Schr is intended to cruise against the Enemies of these united States.

Your Petitioners therefore humbly request your Honors to comission the said John Hyer as Comander of said Schr for the Purposes above mentioned and as in Duty Bound shall ever pray. BOSTON, April 13, 1778.

1. Mass. Archives, vi, 276, 335, VII, 260.




NOW all Men by these Prefents,
Conway Mare

Lane Bots Games Laskey

Suretics are held and Aland firmly bound to the Hon. HENRY GALDNER, Efq; Treasurer of the State of Maffachuferts-Bay, in the Sum of Four Thousand Pounds, to be paid to the faid HENRY GARDNER, Efq; Treafurer and Receiver-General of the State aforefaid, or to his Succeffor or Succeffors in the faid Office, in Trufl for the Ufe of the faid State, to which Payment well and truly to be done, we do bind ourfelves, our Heirs, Executors and Administrators, jointly and feverally, firmly by these Presents. Sealed with our Seals, and dated this Day of in the Year of our LORD,

of May

The Condition of this Obligation is fuch, that whereas it is neceifary that all Perfons taken at Sea on board of Prizes, fhould be brought into this or fome of the United States, to the End there may be a Number fufficient to redeem fuch Subjects of the United States as may fall into the Enemy's Hands; and alfo that all Perfons in the Pay of this, or any of the United States, fhould be effectually prevented going on Board any Armed Veffels. Now if the faidh be or Commander of the Armed Veffel called the emble shall well and truly put on Shore and deliver to the Commiffary of Prifoners in fome of the United States, all Prifoners by him captured, and shall not carry out with him any Perfon in Pay of this State, or any Officer or Soldier belonging to the Continental Army, then this Bond to be Void, otherwife to remain in full Force and Virtue.

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