George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Bartlett, 9 November 1775

From William Bartlett

Beverly [Mass.] 9 Novr 1775


These are to Inform your Excellency that yesterday a Small Boat with about 15 Men whent out of this Herbour & Took a Schooner from Ireland Loaded with Beef pork & Butter &C.1—as your Excellency Approved of my Conduct with regard to the Other Prize the North Britton I thought it my Duty to Proceed in the Same Manner Therefore when She Came in I made a Demand of the Papers &C. But the People Refused me As I am Willing and Desirus to Live in peace with all men Should be Extreemly Glad if your Excellency would Give me Some Perticular Directions with regard to Such Vessells, for if I have no Power to make such Demands I make my Self appear Rediculas to the Eye of world, which is farr from being my Desire.2

I Shall forward to your Excellency as Soon as Possible the Goods found on board the North Britton And am Your Excellencys Most Obedt Huml. Sert

William Bartlett


1Capt. John Manley of the armed schooner Lee was chasing the schooner Two Sisters when the party from Beverly boarded her and claimed the vessel as their prize. For the subsequent dispute over credit for this capture, see note 2 below and Bartlett to GW, 13 Nov. 1775.

2Stephen Moylan replied to Bartlett on 11 Nov.: “As the people object to your taking charge of the Schooner from Ireland, & as having any thing to do with Vessels brought in as the North Briton was, will give both you and the General trouble, It is his advice that you will have nothing to do with such by any Authority under his Excellency—By what Col. Glover Informs us, Capt. Manly has a claim on this Schooner, in that case you have an undoubted right to take possession of her; you must be a better judge of this matter being on the spot, than we possibly can. If it is clear to you that Manley’s claim is a just one, it must be prosecuted; If it is not very apparent, dont you Trouble yourself or the General with a Litigious dispute—I wish you could get rid of the Trouble you must have with the Cargo by the North Britton. Suppose you was to give it Vessel &c. up to the Committee of Safety? In Short get rid of the Trouble in the best manner you can, & Let us hear nothing further thereon. I hope for some good Captures by the Armed Schooners will pay you for the plague you must have had” (DLC:GW). For Bartlett’s opinion on Manley’s claim, see Bartlett to GW, 13 Nov. 1775.

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