George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major Joseph Ward, 1 September 1776

From Major Joseph Ward

Boston 1 September 1776.


Your Excellency’s Letter of the twentysixth of August came by the last Post; General Ward being out of Town, I have transmitted the Letter with the inclosed Resolve of Congress to him.

I am sorry to inform your Excellency that Captain Burke in the armed Schooner Warren on the twentysixth of August was taken by a British Frigate about ten leagues without this Bay. Captain Ayers in the armed Schooner Lynch was in Company with the Warren but made his escape, and brought this intelligence.1

We hear with inexpressible Pleasure of the Repulse which our Troops under Your Excellency’s Command gave the Enemy, and most ardently pray that it may be a prelude to the total Defeat of those infamous tools of the most infamous Tyrant. I have the Honour to be Sir Your Excellency’s most Obedient Humble Servant

Joseph Ward


1The Warren was captured by the British warship Liverpool off Cape Ann (see Artemas Ward to GW, 29 July 1776, n.2). John Ayres of Marblehead, Mass., who had been captain of the Lynch since 1 Feb. 1776, again eluded capture at sea by the British on 27 September. He received a Continental navy commission as captain on 10 Oct. 1776 but was discharged from command in February 1777 after refusing to sail his vessel unarmed (see Clark, George Washington’s Navy description begins William Bell Clark. George Washington’s Navy; Being an Account of His Excellency’s Fleet in New England Waters. Baton Rouge, La., 1960. description ends , 182–83, 197–98).

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