George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Hancock, 30 November 1775

To John Hancock

Cambridge 30th November 1775


I had the honour to write you the 28th Instant by Captain Joseph Blewer—Last evening I received the agreeable account of the Schooner Lee, Comanded by Captain Manly haveing taken & Carried in to Cape Ann a Large Brigantine bound from London to Boston Loaden with Military Stores, the Inventory of which I have the pleasure to inclose you1—Cape Ann is a very open Harbour and accessable to Large ships, which Made Me immediatly Send of Colonel Glover and Mr Palfrey, with orders, to raise the Minute Men & Militia of that part of the Country, to have the Cargo Landed without Loss of time, & Guarded up to this Camp, this I hope they will be able to effect, before it is Known to the enemy, what Port she is Carried into, I sincerely Congratulate you on this very great acquisition, & am Sir Your Most H: St

Go: Washington

Manly has allso taken a sloop in the ministerial Service, & Capt. Adams in the schooner Warren, has taken a Schooner Laden with Potatoes & turnips bound to Boston, & Carried her into Portsmouth.2

LS, in Stephen Moylan’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; two LB copies, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC item 169; copy, NjMoHP; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The two letter-book copies, both in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, are in different letter books, volumes 7 and 9. The one in volume 9 includes the notation: “This letter is enterd in private Letter Book page 139.” Congress read this letter on 11 Dec. (JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 3:420).

1For the capture of the Nancy, see GW to Schuyler, 28–30 Nov. 1775, n.3. An inventory of the vessel’s cargo, dated 1 Sept. 1775, is in DLC:GW.

2This postscript appears in the margin of the LS. On 28 Nov. John Manley captured the sloop Polly, S. Smith, master, bound from Nova Scotia to Boston with a cargo of turnips and some Spanish-milled dollars. Winborn Adams took the schooner Rainbow, John McMonagle, master, on 27 November. Joshua Wentworth, prize agent at Portsmouth, wrote to Stephen Moylan that day enclosing an estimate of the Rainbow and her cargo and informing him that the crew would be sent to headquarters under guard the next day (DLC:GW). Moylan replied to Wentworth on 1 Dec.: “Your favour of the 27th Came Safe to hand at a time when we were all flush’d with the agreeable accot of Capt. Manly’s having taken a prize of the utmost Consequence, which made us look over the Potatoes & turnips of Capt. Adams, but now beng a little Cool, I assure you I do not think Adams bon fortune so despicable tho’ of little Value to us, it is depriving the Enemy of what to them, wou’d be of Consequence, as to the Prisoners I wish you had kept or discharged them—in future, you will please to let the Committee examine Such as in these Circumstances may fall into your hands & they will Judge of the best Method of disposing of them. . . . you will please to dispose of the Cargo by the Rainbow, & Lay up the Schooner untill further Orders—tho’ if a reasonable price can be got for her, you may dispose of her, this is left to your better Judgment. . . . I hope Adams will Soon take Such a prize as Manly has, I realy believe the Cargo Cou’d not Cost Short of £10,000 Sterlg—to us it is invaluable” (ibid.).

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