George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel John Glover, 15 October 1775

From Colonel John Glover

Marblehead [Mass.] Occtb. 15 1775


This will aquaint you, the two Vsells that the Captains Broughton, & Selmon, are to Command, are ready to tack the troops on board, the formers, for the Cannon and Swevil Cartridges, I have Sent to Coln. Burbank.1 Would it not be best, that every man, be furnisht with a Spear, or Cutlash, & a pare of Pistles, if to be had, as Guns is Very unhandy in boarding. I have Procuerd Provissions for the two Vesells, Saveing 4000 weight of bread, which Cannot be had here, but at the Extravegent Price of 32/ per ct.2

Capt. Selmon, has his Compliment of men, to ten, which with your Excellencys Leave, he will take oute of the Regiment. Capt. Broughton is Very unwell, but hope its nothing more then a bad Cald, which he took at the time of Runing his Vesell on Shoar. he has not ben able to Recrute a Single man here, apprehend he may Get his Compliment oute of the Regiment with your Excellency Leave.3

this Morning 6 oclock Saw a Ship Comeing oute of Boston, Steard her Cours Directly for Marblehead, which Alarmd the inhabitance Very Much. She Came allmost to the Harbours Mouth, Tackt Ship, & Stood off, where She now is about one or two Leagus Distance.

I Communacated to my Son your Excellencys intentions (as handed to me by Col. Read) of Giveing him the Command of one of the Vesells,4 which he Seems Much Pleased with, hope his Conduct will meet your Excellencys Approbation he therfore Waits for Directions. I am Respectfuly your Excellencys Most Obedient Humbl. Sert

John Glover


1Lt. Col. William Burbeck of the artillery regiment.

2Reed wrote Glover and Moylan on 16 Oct. in response to this letter: “Capt. Broughton & Capt. Selliman have their Orders & must be immediately dispatched—The Price you mention for Bread is monstrous but there must be no delay. If the Flour is not come in from Portsmouth you must Do as well as you can but if it is we hope you need not Submit to Such Terms—Let the Agent take Care to reserve a Suitable Quantity for the Vessels when it does arrive” (DLC:GW). Reed wrote pressingly about the same time to Moylan in reply to Moylan’s letter to GW of 13 Oct.: “We are very anxious to hear of the Armed Vessels being ready for Sea Every Day, nay every Hour is precious. It is now 14 Days since they were set on Foot, Sure they cannot be much longer in preparing” (ibid.). Nicholson Broughton took command of the armed schooner Hancock, formerly the Speedwell, and John Selman commanded the armed schooner Franklin, formerly the Elizabeth.

3The men were to be taken from Glover’s regiment. Reed had written separately to Nicholson Broughton and John Selman on 12 Oct.: “You are to recruit your present Crew to 70 Men including Officers—but not out of the Companies Stationed at Marblehead for the Security of the Coast without the Consent of the Committee. You will have farther Instructions in a few days in the mean Time you are to follow the Orders of your Colonel [Glover]” (ibid.). Broughton’s former vessel, the armed schooner Hannah ran aground near Beverly on 10 October.

4“Capt. [John] Glover [Jr.] will have the 7th Vessel fitted out,” Reed wrote to Glover and Moylan on 16 Oct., “but the General fears he is too young, he has agreed to be second in Command under [John] Manley for a little Time—The Experience he will gain will enable him to take the first Command afterwards with more Honour” (ibid.).

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