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Banks' History of Martha's Vineyard and the Collections of the Maine Historical Society tell of some of the earliest warlike exploits of Massachusetts seamen during this war. Emmons' Statistical History of the United States Navy gives a list of privateers, "copied from official documents" for the most part, but with insufficient care and accuracy. Lists of Salem privateers will be found in Felt's Annals of Salem, Hunt's Lives of American Merchants, and Paine's Ships and Sailors of Old Salem. The authors doubtless had access to original documents, but they give no authorities, no dates, and in most cases extremely scanty data. More carefully prepared is a list of Beverly privateers compiled by Dr. O. T. Howe and published in Volume XXIV of the Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. There are other lists in town histories and elsewhere, including an unpublished one, compiled by William Leavitt, in the library of the Essex Institute. These various lists show evidence of having been more or less padded, are all open to suspicion, and should be used with caution.

A source of doubt which increases the difficulty of composing such a list is the confusion of different rigs by writers both contemporary and recent, and even occasionally in original documents. What is evidently the same vessel may be variously described as a ship or brig, schooner or sloop. Moreover, vessels were not infrequently converted from one rig to another.



1779 ABIGAIL, Sloop. Guns, 6; Men, 12. Commander: Daniel Smith.

Feb. 6

Bond: Continental, $5000; State, £4000.

Bonders: Daniel Smith, mariner, principal; Henry Mitchell and Edmund Dunkin, of Boston, sureties.

Bound to Hon. Henry Laurens, President, and other
members of the Honorable Continental Congress; and
to Henry Gardner, Esq., Treasurer of the State of
Massachusetts Bay.

Owners: Henry Mitchell and Edm[un]d Dunkin.
Witnesses: Francis Johonnot, William Gould.

M. A., v, 7, 10, 169, 433; Andrews, Guide to Public
Record Office, II, 334.

1776 ACTIVE, Schooner. Guns, 12; Men, 80.

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Bonders: Andrew Gardner, principal; Joseph Pierce and
Nehemiah Somes, all of Boston.

Bound to John Hancock, President of Congress.
Owners: Joseph Pierce, Nehemiah Somes, and others.
Witnesses: Cha[rle]s Sigourney, Edmund Fowle.

M. A., v, 19, XL, 129, XLIV, 438, 139, 113, 127, 152,
271, 165, 358.

1777 ACTIVE, Brigantine. Guns, 12; Men, 70.

Oct. 13

Commander: John Foster Williams.

Bond: Continental, $5000.

Bonders: John Foster Williams, principal; Jacob Wil-
liams and Nehemiah Somes, of Boston.

Owners: Nehemiah Somes, Jacob Williams, and others.
Witnesses: Willia]m Turner, Isaac Townsend.

M. A., v, 6, 167, 313.

1777 ACTIVE, Vessel of War.

Nov. 8

Commander: John Foster Williams.

Bond: State, £2000.

Bonders: Charles Sigourney, James Foster Condy, and
John Foster Williams, of Boston.

Bound to Henry Gardner.

Owners: Charles Sigourney and James Foster Condy.
Witnesses: John Furnass, John M. Furnass.

M. A., 139, 151 (Bond not to enlist "any Inhabitant
of any of the New England States, other than the
State of the Massachusetts Bay").

1779 ACTIVE, Brigantine. Guns, 18. Commander: John Allen Hallet. Massachusetts State Navy.

1780 ACTIVE, Brigantine. Guns, 10; Men, 24. Commander: Benj[amin] Ellinwood.

May 6

Bond: Continental, $10,000; State, £4000.

Bonders: Benjamin Ellinwood, principal; Job Prince, jr.,
and William Creed, merchants, sureties-all of Boston.
Owners: Job Prince and others.

Witnesses: Samuel Holbrook, jr., John Avery, jr.
M. A., v, 22, 24, VIII, 18, 171, 148.

1780 ACTIVE, Brigantine. Guns, 12; Men, 60.

Dec. 13

Apr. 9

Commander: Nathaniel Swasey, of Beverly.
C. C. 196, 1, 22; M. A., 171, 314.

1781 ACTIVE, Brigantine. Guns, 14; Men, 60. Commander: John Pattin, of Beverly. C. C. 196, 1, 20; M. A., 171, 364; Boston [Gazette, Dec. 8, 1783 (A prize of the Active to be tried Dec. 23, at the last session of the Maritime Court in Boston).

1782 ACTIVE, Brigantine. Guns, 11; Men, 50. Commander: William Ross, of Salem. C. C. 196, 1, 21.

May 21

1782 ACTIVE, Brigantine. Guns, 14; Men, 60.

Commander: Johnson Briggs, of Salem.

Salem Gazette, Dec. 5, 19, 1782; Boston Gazette, Dec. 16, 1782; Felt, 11, 276.

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now all Men by there presents That
We Nehemiah Somes Merchant and Andrew Gardner
Matures bott, of Boston in the County of Suffolk, are held
and Hand firmly bound and Obliged unto Henry
Gardner logs. Preasurer of the State of Massachusetts Bay
and his successors in said office in the full and jus! Tum
"Fix hundred pounds to be paid unto the word Harry
Gardner Treasures as
aforesaid of his successors
Successors in Faid
Office, to the which payment well and truly to be made.
we bind ourselves our heirs Exccutors and Administration

Jointly and Severally firmly by there presends Sealed
with our Seals dated the Sixteenth day of April, In the
Year of our Lord, One Thousand Loven hundred Weventy seven
The Condition of this present Obligation is Such That
Whereas the Great VGeneral Court of the State aforesaid on the
Seventh & april Instant by theit Cresolve of that date ded
allow that the Inhabitants of any Town wither said Hate
who had raised Bas full profionton of the Continental Army
to fit out private befiels If was, but not to Thip or seve
in board any men that are the Inhabitants of any Town in
said State, that have not raised their propation of sard

If Therefore the said Achamiah Tom is & Andread
shall not ship of receive.
hup of receive any Men on board the
Schumer A clive where of the said Gadner is Commander
that are the Inhabitant, I any Town within the soud State
that have not lassed their proportion of the Continental
Army, then the above writton Obligation to be vord, but
default thereof to remain in full force Virtue,
Seated dis


presence of

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Bond not to recruit in any Town which has not raised its Quota

for the Continental Army

See page 42

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