George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Watson, 6 November 1775

From William Watson

Plymouth [Mass.] Novbr 6. 1775


This morning Capt. Coit, after a C[r]uise of 36 hours brought into this port the Scooner Industry Charles Coffin Master & the Sloop Polly Sibeline White Master, both from Nova Scotia bound to Boston with provisions for the garison there, Manifests of both Cargos are enclosed—I have Landed the Cattle & put them to pasture the other articles I shall store immediately, and wait your Excellencys orders.1

Capt. Coit finds his mainmast too weak, is now getting in a new one, & will sail again tomorrow2—Capt. Manly saild 6 hours before Capt. Coit, since which we have heard nothing about him.

The prisoners will be sent forward tomorrow under guard, agreeable to your Excellencys Instructions to Capt. Coit.3 I shall do all in my power to expedite Capt. Martindal, & hope that if the weather favours he will be ready in a few days.4 I am your Excellencys most obedient & much obligd Humb. Servant

William Watson


1Copies of the cargo manifests are in DNA:PCC, item 58. See also Clark, Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964—. description ends , 2:904–5, and Ephraim Bowen, Jr., to GW, 6 Nov. 1775. Stephen Moylan wrote to Watson on 8 Nov.: “It is his [GW’s] pleasure that you Sell the different Articles found on board the two prizes, & transmit a Copy of the Sales, to Headquarters when finished the Schooner & Sloop must be Carefully Laid up until further orders” (MHi: Miscellaneous Bound Collection). On 16 Nov. Moylan wrote Watson: “I have it in command from his Excellency to desire you will deliver unto Charles Coffin & Sibelline White their bedding & wearing apparel, also Jonathan Coffin’s. Let them be well examined lest any goods or cash may be secreted amongst them; The first of them says he gave Captn Coit Seven half Joes, you will please to receive them & account for them with the produce of the Cargoes. I am really at a loss to know, whether it is customary to give the cash found in the pockets of prisoners to them with their wearing apparell, I do not think these people merit any Indulgence, however his Excellency would rather err on the side of mercy then that of strict Justice—Let me know your Opinion of this matter” (DLC:GW).

2For a discussion of Coit’s difficulties, see Bowen to GW, 6 Nov. 1775, n.3.

3GW’s instructions to William Coit of 22 Oct. (photocopy, DLC:GW) are nearly identical to Instructions to Nicholson Broughton, 2 Sept. 1775.

4“The Men amunition &a for the Washington will Set out this day,” Moylan wrote to Watson on 8 Nov., “I have only to reccommend all possible dispatch to Capt. Martindale” (MHi: Miscellaneous Bound Collection).

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