From Nicholas Cooke
Providence Novemr 30th 1775
I take the Liberty of addressing your Excellency in Behalf of Mr James Aborn who waits upon you with this Letter. I can assure your Excellency that he is a worthy honest Man, and hath upon all Occasions approved himself a sincere Friend to the Liberties of his Country. He sent a Vessel last Spring to the Eastward to trade and Fish, and to cover his Interest from the Enemy made Use of a Friend in Nova-Scotia to whom he made a Bill of Sale of her; although the Property is really and truly vested in Mr Aborn.1 If this shall appear to your Excellency to be a true State of the Matter I have no Doubt of your giving him every Assistance in recovering his Interest. I am with great Truth and Regard Sir Your most obedt hble Servt
1. James Aborn owned the sloop Phoebe that Nicholson Broughton and John Selman captured off Nova Scotia on 31 October. See Broughton to GW, 2 Nov., and William Bartlett to GW, 8 Nov. 1775. On 2 Dec. Stephen Moylan wrote to Bartlett: “I have examined the Papers belonging to the Sloop Phebe, & from them & other Circumstances it does not appear, that Captain Broughton has good Reasons for making Seizure of her, added to this, Governour Cooke of Rhode Island has wrote a Letter to his Excellency by Mr James Aborn, who is realy the Owner of this Sloop, tho’ she was, in order to protect her from the Enemy, made over to A Mr Enoch Rust of Nova Scotia—it is therefore his Excellency’s Orders that you Deliver the Sloop aforesaid with her Cargo & Appurtenances, unto Mr Aborn or Capt. Hawkins, who will deliver you this, for which this Shall be your Sufficient Warrant, at the Same time taking a Receipt for the Same” (DLC:GW). See also GW to Cooke, 6 Dec. 1775.