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John Bane


NEW-BRISTOL, in FRENCHMAN' S BAY, 3d October, 1776:

I, John Bane, of said New-Bristol, of lawful age, do testify and say, that on the 30th day of August, A˙ D˙ 1775, a number of men from Deer-Island and Naskeig took a sloop belonging to Nathan Jones, Esq˙, which was bound to the Island of Mount Desart, in said bay, to load with staves for Ireland, as I verily believe, (having inquired and been informed by several persons who had made staves for said Jones, on said Island,) and brought said sloop into the harbour of New-Bristol, in said bay. Said Jones came to my house soon after the vessel was taken, and demanded of Thomas Stintson, Esq˙, William Reed, Joseph Patrick, and some others, who appeared to be the chiefs of the party who took the vessel, for what reason they took his vessel. They answered, because it was contrary to the orders of the grand Congress for any vessel to go with staves to Ireland. Said Jones told them that he knew after the 10th of September all vessels were prohibited by the Congress from going there, but not before, or words to that effect. They replied, his vessel was their prize, and they would keep her. Said Jones desired that the vessel might be left under the care of the Committee of Frenchman' s Bay, and he would give bonds to answer for his conduct before the honourable House of Assembly of this State, or go himself with them; but they refused, and left said Jones at rny house, and went on board the vessel. Afterwards, to wit, on the evening of the same day, they sent a paper to my house, containing the following words, viz:

"This may certify, this body of men now have the sloop Sally and the schooner Nightingale now in custody, empower the Rev˙ Joseph Patrick to inform the owners and concerned that they are determined to carry said vessels to Naskeig or Deer-Island, and appoint a committee to sit upon them, where those concerned may appear, and show reason, if any they have, why they should not be condemned."

The next morning they brought the sloop to sail, and carried her out of the harbour of Frenchman' s Bay. And I do further declare, that on the 4th day of September following, at a meeting of the Committees of several districts lying eastward and westward of said Frenchman' s Bay, John Springer, Ezra Young, and myself, were chosen by them to examine by what authority the people of Deer-Island and Naskeig had taken said sloop and two other vessels out of Frenchman' s Bay. Accordingly, I went to Deer-Island, and applied there to the Committee to know by what authority they acted; and received for answer, that Mr˙ Patrick had brought down orders from the Congress to seize all vessels, or words to that effect. I then asked to see the orders; but said Committee told me that Mr˙ Patrick came away in a hurry, and did not bring the papers with him, but that there certainly was such orders out.