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Orders from Massachusetts Council of Captain Souther, commander of the brigantine Massachusetts



September 14, 1776.

The brigantine Massachusetts, under your command, being properly armed and manned, and in other respects fitted for a cruise, you are hereby ordered and directed immediately to proceed to sea, and use your utmost endeavours to protect the sea-coast and trade of the United States, and you are also directed to exert yourself in making captures of all ships and other vessels, goods, wares, and merchandise, belonging to the King of Great Britain or any of his subjects, wherever residing, excepting only the ships and goods of the inhabitants of Bermuda and the Bahama Islands. And you are directed not to cruise farther south than latitude 34o north, nor farther east than the Grand Bank of Newfoundland, nor farther west than the Shoals of Nantucket, at all times using necessary pre- caution


to prevent your vessel from falling into the hands of the enemy.

And whereas you have received a commission, authorizing you to make captures as aforesaid, and a set of instructions have been delivered to you for regulating your conduct in that matter, these instructions you are hereby directed diligently to attend to; and if you are so fortunate as to make any captures, vou are to order them to make the first safe harbour within the United States of America. And you are further ordered, not to expend your ammunition unnecessarily, and only in time of action, or firing alarm or signal guns.