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Notice of a Prize Taken by the Hancock, of Philadelphia


Watertown, August 12, 1776.

We hear that on Wednesday last was sent into Portsmouth, by the Hancock privateer of Philadelphia, a large ship (formerly a twenty-gun ship) now mounting fourteen guns, bound from Jamaica for London, having on board seven hundred hogs-heads of sugar, two hundred of rum, besides other valuables; a fine prize. We hear she was taken by the following stratagem, viz: Just before dusk in the evening the Hancock came across her; the Captain of the prize taking the Hancock to be one of the tyrant' s pilferers, was very much rejoiced to fall in with her, and doubtless vice versa; when the Hancock at night threw out a light for a signal as a pilot. At daylight the next morning, the vessels being near together, the Captain of the ship invited the Captain of the Hancock to come on board and take a breakfast; who replied, his hands were so few and sick, that he had not enough to man his boat and work the vessel, and in his turn invited the Captain of the ship to come on board him, which he readily complied with, by ordering his boat out, when he and about a dozen of his hands went on board the Hancock, and were taken as good care of as men in such circumstances could allow. The Hancock then sent an equal number of her own hands on board the ship, when, alas! she fell into the hands of the United States of America.