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Instructions to Captain Allen, of the Comet, brigantine-of-war


The following Instructions were sent to Captain Allen:

"Navy Board, Charlestown, 7 November, 1776.


"The Comet, brigantine of war, whereof you are commissioned as Captain, being now ready for sea, you will receive a commission for your Second Lieutenant, and warrants for the other officers, which are to be read to your ship' s company, that each officer may be properly obeyed. You will also receive rules of discipline and good government to be observed in the Navy of this State; instructions for the Captain, Lieutenants, the Master, the Purser, and the Carpenter; also directions for the Gunner and Armourer, Boatswain and Sailmaker; which you are to have entered in a book for that purpose, and then delivered to each officer respectively.

"You are to embrace the very first opportunity to proceed to sea; and as your vessel is not completely manned, a detachment of a Lieutenant, Sergeant, two Corporals, and twenty-eight privates, of the Second Regiment, are under orders to go on board your vessel, who you are to send boats for early to-morrow morning; and by all means during your cruise, keep up the strictest harmony, both by yourself, officers and men, with the officers and men of the land service, that the general good may not suffer by private animosity or quarrels, and they are to be allowed in every respect the same rations as your seamen receive.

"Immediately as you get over the bar, proceed with the greatest despatch to the southward, and endeavour to fall in near — , where, if the weather will permit, and no boat should be off, send your own boat on shore to inquire for Captain Pickering, of the Defence, who you will by all means endeavour to join, and show him the orders now given to you, which are, that, under his command, you are to act in conjunction, and endeavour to fall in with, and take or destroy two small armed vessels belonging to the King or subjects of Great Britain, which are said to be cruising on the southward part of the coast; also any merchantmen that you may fall in with belonging to Great Britain, Ireland, the British West Indies, East and West Florida, Halifax, Quebec, or Newfoundland. Your cruise is to be continued for a fortnight or three weeks, between St˙ Augustine and this port, during which should you be fortunate enough to take any prizes, you are to man and send them on to this port or any convenient inlet in this State; and to use your prisoners with the greatest humanity and tenderness, that no reflection may be cast on the honour of the American arms through your means.

"If any opportunity should offer, advise the Commissioners of the Navy any transactions worth communicating, directed to Edward Blake, Esq˙, First Commissioner of the Navy.

"Upon your return you are to send your boat on shore at Sullivan' s Island, that the officer there may examine whether you have the small-pox or any infectious distemper on board, in which case your vessel must perform quarantine.

"By order of the Board.

"EDWARD BLAKE, First Commissioner"