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Letter from General Gates to the Massachusetts Council


HEAD-QUARTERS, January 4, 1776. SIR: I send, by order of the Commander-in-chief, the prisoners under-named, which the General desires you will order to be secured in some inland jail. Worcester, we are, told, has no prisoners of war, and there is a secure jail, if you approve of their being sent to it. Soldiers: John Guilderoy, William Collins, John Smith, Benjamin Ward, George Morrison, Alexander Gardner. Seamen: William Beard, George Mitchell, James Richardson, Francis Ossy, Anthony Simmins, Jacob Wilson, Joseph Mason.

By the enclosed from Colonel Glover, I dare say you will think with me, that John Thomer, William Clark, William Wallis, and Thomas Gorthorp, seamen of the ship Jenny, Captain Forster, ought also to be confined.

The men named upon this ˙ ˙ ˙* were seamen, belonging to a ship, brigantine ˙ ˙ ˙* and sloop, taken by the Continental armed vessels ˙ ˙ ˙* you see no material objection to their being discharged they may be dismissed upon their arrival at Worcester, and be at liberty to work for their living in the country, or seek their fortunes as they like.

I am, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

HORATIO GATES, Adjutant-General.

P˙ S. William Beard appears to be an impressed man, on board of a man-of-war at Hampton, in Virginia. He may, also, have his liberty at Worcester. There are reasons why the General does not think proper to discharge him here. Seamen belonging to the brig Hannah: John Gallard, William Middeldith, John Jenkins, James Gray, Thomas Riley. Belonging to the ship Jenny: John Morgan, Francis Spamir, Henry Baldwin, John Waterstone, and James Donaldson. William Clark,Thomas Gorthorp,William Wallace, and John Thornhill, attempted to get on board the man of war off Cape Ann. Belonging to the sloop Betsey: George Bennel, Robert Younger, Daniel Maloney, and William Harris.

IN COUNCIL, January 5, 1776: Read, and Ordered, That the Prisoners be disposed of in the same, manner as hinted in the foregoing letter, and that a mittimus go to the keeper of the jail ˙ ˙ ˙* and that a latter be wrote to the Selectmen of ˙ ˙ ˙* directing them to dispose of those prisoners there to be confined in the manner herein set forth.

PEREZ MORTON, Deputy Secretary.

[*Original torn.]