George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Watson, 22 February 1776

From William Watson

Plymouth [Mass.] 22 Feby 1776.


I am desired by Mess[r]s Hall & Grindele the former Masters of the two ships bro’t into this port by Comodore Manly, to introduce them to your Excely by a Letter, & to acquaint your Excellency that they have a desire to go to Virginia, where they have friends & where one of them has a Brother.1

The crews of the two ships are now on board them & insist on continueing on board, as they have no home, no money, & no business offer, that suits them. they abso⟨lutel⟩y refuse entering into our service. your Excellency will please to direct what shall be done with them.

I wod take this oppertunity to acquaint your Excy that on board the ships are sundry articles which may be very serviceable in fitting out the men of war now building, memo of which I have inclosed.

The Harrison Capt. Dyer returned last night from her second unsuccessful cruize. our enemies are very vigilant, and in good weather, are seen every day from this shore.2 I am your Excellencys most Obedt much obliged Humb. Servt

Willm Watson


1For the capture of James Hall’s ship Happy Return and Jonathan Grendall’s ship Norfolk, see Watson to GW, 26 Jan. 1776, and note 1.

2The memorandum of Stephen Moylan’s reply to Watson on 24 Feb. reads: “your favor to His Excellency of the 22d came to hand—inclosed is a pass for Capt. James Hall & Jonath. Grindel, to pass to Virginia, if they chuse to go before trial—recommended to his Care the articles that will be necessary for the Men of war & every thing else that is on board the prize. order’d the Harrison out of Commission, & that particular Care be taken of every article belonging to the Continent on board—the owner received 156 dollars to be taken Notice of in Settling with him. the Crew are permitted to remain on board if not attended with risk, provided they Cannot get employ before trial is decided” (DLC:GW). The two captured ships were libeled on 25 Mar. 1776 and were condemned at trials held at Plymouth on 15 April 1776.

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