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Arms and Boat were the Property of the Government and People of this State of the Massachusetts Bay and were taken by the Enemy and were in the Enemy's possession more than ninety six Hours, and then no Condemnation thereon being had, were retaken on the high Seas, to wit, the tenth Day of February last, by Capt. William Brown, Commander of the Ship Boston, and his Company and brought into the middle District of this State; and thereupon the Jury determine that one half of the neat Produce of said Brigt., Stores, Guns, Arms, Boat and Appurtenances be to the Recaptors and others concerned therein and the other half to this State of the Massachusetts Bay."

And thereupon, It is, by the said Nathan Cushing, Judge as aforesaid, considered and decreed that the said Brigantine Independance with her Stores, Guns, Arms, Boat and Appurtenances be sold at public Vendue; and that the Monies thence arising, after deducting the Charges of Trial and Condemnation being eight Pounds, fourteen shillings and three pence and the Charges of Sale, be delivered, to wit, one half thereof to the Recaptors aforesaid, their Agents or Attornies, for the Use and Benefit of such Recaptors and others concerned therein; and the other half thereof to the said Richard Derby for the Use of the Government and People of the Massachusetts Bay.

attest ISAAC MANSFIELD Clerk.1

Of course, it was sometimes another story. Many privateers were captured and prizes recaptured, and し thousands of American seamen languished on board the Fersey and other British prison ships and at Mill and Forton prisons in England. Anything remotely approaching accuracy in estimating the number of Massachusetts privateers taken by the enemy would be still less attainable than in the case of captures from the British.

Knowledge concerning the disposition and exchange of prisoners is derived from various sources. November 30, 1775, the Committee of Safety, of Salem, wrote to the Council about the privateer schooner Dolphin of that place, which had just brought in a prize. The

1. Mass. Archives, 159, 121.

Dolphin applied for a commission the next day and was one of perhaps a considerable number, during the early months, cruising without that important document. But this was not the subject of the letter, which related to the prisoners captured. There was no provision in the act of November 1, 1775, for the disposition of prisoners and the Committee wished to know "what ought to be their conduct respecting such cases.' "I British prisoners sometimes addressed petitions to the Council begging to be released on parole in order to seek opportunities for exchange. In 1777 the master of a vessel taken by the privateer Warren, Captain William Coas, represented that his "captors have generously given him half of his adventure, which has enabled him . . . to bid for said Ship when put up at Vendue; they were so kind as not to bid against him." Having purchased his ship, he wished to return in her with a small crew to Jamaica. He was allowed to proceed in her to New York, giving his parole to use his best endeavors to procure in exchange the release of an equal number of Massachusetts men, detained there as prisoners.2

The arrivals of cartels from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and other places, sometimes with three or four hundred exchanged prisoners, were reported from time to time in the newspapers. The Pliarne, Captain Samuel Green, in the service of the State, was captured September 17, 1777. Several months later, as negotiations for the exchange of prisoners were about to be undertaken, Peter Green, of Marblehead, father of Sam

1. Pickering Papers, xxxIII, 138. There is no mention of this communication in the Council Records, but on Dec. 6, 1775, the Council ordered that another captured vessel's crew should be released on giving bond that they "would not go into Boston... nor correspond with our enemies there or elsewhere." The exchange of prisoners soon became usual.

2. Mass. Archives, 166, 287, 296, 325.

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uel, wished to have a British officer sent to procure the release of his son. The order on this petition was that, Whereas Peter Green has made application to this Board to have Capt. Mark Workman sent to Rhode Island by Colonel Johonnot to be given in Exchange for Capt. Samuel Green, now Prisoner there Therefore, Resolved that Colonel Gabriel Johonnot be and he hereby is directed to take into his Custody Captain Mark Workman and him convey to the State of Rhode Island and there cause him to be kept in safe Custody till he can be assured the Exchange can be effected and when that matter is ascertained he is hereby directed to cause the said Workman to be given in Exchange for Capt. Samuel Green.1

In 1781 the Massachusetts frigate Protector, Captain John Foster Williams, was captured by two British ships and taken into New York. Although she was not a privateer and perhaps should not concern us, a short extract from Captain Williams' letter on the subject of exchange is worth quoting, in order to put on record the peculiar status of the Massachusetts State Navy in British opinion. "I know not what we shall be Exchang'd for, as the Admeraltey here says the State of Massachetts has now Right to give a Commission, that they look on me as not a publick or privat Officer." 2

In 1782 the petition of Edward Bacon and others was presented "To His Excellency John Hancock, Esqr., Governor, and The Hon'ble Council of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," representing

That they are prisoners lately arrived from Halifax on Parole and must return again immediately unless they can procure a number of Prisoners to exchange for them; That there is a number of British Prisoners who have entered on board the Privateer Grand Turk now at Salem; That there is not Prisoners on board the prison Ship in this Harbor sufficient for your Petitioners' exchange. They therefore pray that some immediate Method may be taken that said Prisoners on board said Ship Grand Turk may be taken

1. Mass. Archives, 168, 186, 187.

2. Mass. Historical Society, Caleb Davis Papers.

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