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Colony of CT



Be it remembered, that on this 4th day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, personally came and appeared before me, Titus Hosmer, Esq˙, one of his Majesty' s Justices of the Peace for said County, Captains George Starr and Giles Sage, both of Middletown, in said County, and being duly sworn to declare the truth, upon their oaths depose and say: and first, the said George Starr saith, That in May last, at said Middletown, he carefully examined the Brigantine Polly, burden about one hundred and ten tons, then owned by Messrs˙Matthew Talcott, Esq˙ and Jeremiah Wadsworth, with her appurtenances, being upon a treaty for the purchase of the same; and that he then judged her to be worth five hundred and fifty pounds, lawful money; and that he verily believes that, at the time she is said to have been taken (on the 20th of September last) by the Nautilus man-of-war, making proper allowance for her wear and tear on her voyage between said months of May and September, she was well worth five hundred pounds, lawful money; and Further he saith not.

And the said Giles Sage, upon his oath, deposeth and saith: That, some time in the month of May last, he was appointed, by said Talcott and Wadsworth, master of their said Brigantine, the Polly; and on the 12th day of June last sailed in her from the port of New-London, with a cargo of horses, provisions, and lumber, shipped partly by said owners, and partly by sundry other persons, for Kingston, in the Island of Jamaica, in the West-Indies, where he arrived on the 6th day of July last; that he continued at Kingston from that time till the 20th day of August following, and in that time sold the cargo of said brigantine, and laid out the nett proceeds in the purchase of the produce of said Island, and other merchandise, and laded the same on board said brigantine, cleared her out at the Custom-house for New-York, and on said 20th day of August sailed from Kingston for New-York. The deponent further saith, that, on his passage from Kingston to New- York, on the 20th day of September last, being in soundings, and not far from land, about southwest from Long-Island, standing in for New-York, we Fell in with his Majesty' s Ship Nautilus, commanded by Captain John Collins, who immediately fired three guns at, us to bring us to, and hoisted out her pinnace, and sent her with a number of armed men on board the brigantine, took said brigantine into his possession, and took this deponent and all his mariners, the mate excepted, out of said brigantine, and put a prize-master and seamen on board in their stead, and then stood away for Newport, Rhode-Island, with said brigantine in company. This deponent also saith, that he judged said brigantine and her appurtenances, at the time she was taken as aforesaid, to be well worth five hundred pounds, lawful money; and that her cargo consisted of the several articles particularly enumerated and set down in the foregoing account on this sheet of paper; that the same were the property of the several persons therein mentioned, and that, to the best of his knowledge and belief, the same would have been worth the prices thereto set and affixed, amounting, in the whole, to twenty-five hundred and thirty-four pounds nineteen shillings and two pence, lawful money, had he been permitted to carry them into the port for which said brigantine was destined.


This deponent further says, that at Newport the mate, Josiah Lee, was, by order of Captain Collins, taken out of said brigantine, and confined, in irons on board the Nautilus, and continued loaded with irons eleven weeks afterwards, and then was put on board his Majesty' s ship the Boyne, and sent to England. The pretence for this severe usage was an information from a mariner put on board the brigantine, that two other of said mariners had solicited him to join with them to rescue said brigantine; and likewise told him that said Lee would join with them; which charge the accused seamen denied, and declared said Lee never did say anything to them upon the subject; and said Lee likewise denied that he had any knowledge of a design to rescue said brigantine, or that he had ever said anything upon the subject to any person whatsoever.

The deponent further says, that, after the arrival of said brigantine in the harbour of Boston, she was libelled before Nathaniel Hatch, Esquire, Deputy Judge of the Admiralty, and, after a long time, condemned; but for what cause this deponent is ignorant: it was, indeed, given out that some cotton-wool he had on board was not shipped agreeably to the provisions of the act of navigation; but of this the deponent was ignorant, he having cleared out said brigantine in Jamaica as he had usually done on former voyages, when no exception had been taken either in the West-Indies, or here in the Custom-houses on the Continent.

The deponent further says, that he continued and was detained in Boston till about the 10th day of December last, when, upon being informed by Captain Collins that he had orders from the Admiral to put him on board the Preston, then bound for England, as soon as the sales of the brigantine and her cargo were closed, he found means to make his escape to Dorchester-Point, and from thence returned home.

Finally, this deponent says, that the crew of said brigantine, when taken, consisted of Josiah Lee, mate; Eleazer Treadwell, Jabez Perkins, John Pike, John Hall, Noadiah Bailey, Jeremiah Fullerton, and this deponent; of which, said Eleazer Treadwell and this deponent have made their escape, and the rest are yet detained in captivity; and further this deponent saith not.



Sworn the day and year above written, before me,

TITUS HOSMER, Justice of Peace.