Christian Stenger and William Straughan: Petition to the American Commissioners6
DS: American Philosophical Society
<On board the Ranger, May 18, 1778: One of us commanded the Dolphin, sunk with her cargo, and the other the Lord Chatham, captured in the Irish Channel. We have dependent children, eleven and eight of them respectively, and they will be reduced to begging if we are held for long. Capt. Jones gave us an “Ovasif Promisse” to release us in return for our help in navigating off the Irish coast. If you agree, let us be put on one of the Dutch ships now in Brest, which will take us to some French or Spanish port where we are sure to find merchant friends.>
6. Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 134–5. Another petition from the two, dated merely June, says virtually the same thing. A third, undated and from Straughan alone, mentions that he is nearly sixty and in poor health; sending him to America would finish him. He asks for his release and that of his mate and son-in-law, one Thomas Truman. APS.