From Stephen Moylan and Colonel John Glover
Salem [Mass.] 9th October 1775
We were too sanguine in our expectation on saturday, which occasiond Mr Moylan to tell Mr Reed, that one of the Schooners woud be ready for the sea on thursday next1 it is difficult to procure Carpenters to put them in the necessary order, we therefore think it will be saturday before the first will be ready to sail, on that day we wou’d reccommend to your Excellency to order the Captain & his Company to set off—on the Wednesday ensuing we have no doubt, but that the other vessell will be properly fitted.
there has some difficultys occurd in the hire of these vessells, relative to the manner in which they shoud be found, it is Customary for them to have but three sails, Mainsail foresail, & Gib. these are sufficient for the Voyages they usually make, the Owners justly remark, that were they to purchass the other sails necessary for the present purpose,2 the hire of the vessells woud be inadequate to the expence there are many objections made of a Smaller nature which we had no other method of Compromiseing than, agreeing, that on their part, they shall put their vessells in the same good order & Condition, which they woud be obliged to do, were they hired to take in a Cargo for the west indies or elsewhere, & on ours, that what extra expence may accrue from the nature of their present employment, must be a publick Charge.
Colonel Glover has given the strongest proofs of his good oppinion of the Schooner Commanded by Captain Broughton, he has ventured his brother & his favorite son on board of her,3 however Lest any blame may Lay with him, if any Misfortune shoud happen (which God avert) he will be pleasd to have the Captain & his Company removd to a vessell of better fame for Sailing, we have for this purpose hired a schooner from Mr Stevens of Marblehead, She is noted for her good qualitys, & will be ready to take in the Hannahs Company & Stores in 12 or 14 days the extra Sails &a on board the Later will serve for her, she is taken up on the same terms with the other two, 4/ Stl. ton month or 5/4 Lawfull money.4
Your Excellency may be assured we have used our best diligence in transacting this business, which we will Continue to do in fitting them out appointing Agents, & in every Command You may please to honor us with5—We have the honor to be with due respect Your Excellencys most Obedt and Humble Servants
P.S. Yesterday afternoon about five ôClock were seen Comeing out of Boston Harbour, & this morning about six ôclock off Marblehead, two Large ships of War, a Schooner & a sloop, Steering a N.N.E. course, it is apprehended they are goeing to Portsmouth—Mr Moylan will Set out for that place to morrow.6
LS, in Moylan’s writing, DLC:GW.
1. Moylan and Glover had engaged two schooners at Beverly: the Speedwell owned by Thomas Grant and the Elizabeth owned by Archibald Selman. The previous Saturday was 7 Oct., and the following Thursday was 12 October.
2. Topsails were added for additional speed.
3. Glover’s brother-in-law, Richard James, was sailing master of the armed schooner Hannah, and John Glover, Jr., was her first lieutenant.
4. Thomas Stevens’s vessel was the Two Brothers. The Hannah ran aground in Beverly Cove on 10 Oct. while escaping from an enemy warship. Although saved from destruction, the Hannah was decommissioned a few weeks later.
5. On 11 Oct. Joseph Reed replied to Glover and Moylan: “It is Some Disappointment to us that the Vessels cannot be got ready sooner, as we have just received very important Advices respecting the Dispatch of a Number of Transports from England which may be hourly expected on the Coast. The General therefore directs that you will immediately set every Hand to Work that Can be procured & not a Moment of Time be lost in getting them ready. One of you will also proceed immediately to Newbury & take up a fourth Vessel on the same Service, there are Carpenters, Guns &c., to be had there in plenty & let the Same Expedition be also used as to this Vessel. On [the] Day the Vessels are ready to Sail you will give us Notice that we may dispatch the Crews. In the Equipment of the two first Vessels let the Agents lay in the Provisions for 6 Weeks with Water accordingly for 70 Men—Should Mr Moylan be gone to Portsmouth Colo. Glover is directed to forward the Express with this Letter that he may immediately return to Newbury Port to take up the 4th Vessel—Which he will do on the best Terms & let us know what he will want to equip the Vessel for the Sea. The General approves of the Steps taken respecting those already engaged” (DLC:GW).