George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Artemas Ward, 14 November 1776

From Major General Artemas Ward

Boston 14 Novr 1776

Sir

Yesterday Captns Skimmer & Tucker in the Continental armed Schooners Franklin & Hancock arrived here after a cruise of eight weeks; four days after they sailed they took a large West India Ship laden with Rum & sugar, but as she is not arrived I fear she is retaken. About a fortnight since they took two Brigs near Newfoundland which they brought in with them, one is laden with four hundred & thirty quintals of dry fish and four hundred & twenty tierces of Salmon; the other Brig is laden with dry goods bound to New York for the Enemy, and it is supposed to be worth twenty or thirty thousand pounds sterling. The Invoice I have inclosed.1 I am &c.

Artemas Ward.

LB, MHi: Ward Papers.

1In a letter to GW of this date, John Bradford, the Continental prize agent at Boston, congratulates him “on the Acquisition lately made by the Arm’d Schooners Franklin & Hancock of a Brig bound from Scotland to [New] York with a Cargo Calculated to make the Winters Campaign more Comfortable to Your Army,” and he refers GW to the invoice sent by Ward for particulars (Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964–. description ends , 7:137). This prize was the brigantine Lively, which the two American armed vessels had captured off St. John’s, Newfoundland, on 29 October. Although Ward’s enclosed invoice of the Lively’s cargo has not been found, a detailed list of the goods aboard the captured brigantine is in the Independent Chronicle. And the Universal Advertiser (Boston) for 21 November. Included are large quantities of clothing, part of which Ward sent to GW’s army in late December to relieve its acute clothing shortage (see Artemas Ward to John Hancock, 23 Dec. 1776, in Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964–. description ends , 7:567). The brigantine carrying the cargo of fish was the Triton, which was captured on 7 Nov. while sailing from Newfoundland to the Mediterranean. The large West India ship has not been identified.

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