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Affidavit of Captain Niles


Robert Niles, of lawful age, and Captain of the schooner Spy, testifies and says: That in the beginning of the present month, a ship, to appearance of about one hundred and sixty or seventy tons burden, loaded with flour, lay at anchor in Fisher' s Island Sound, for the term of about one week; that during said term this deponent spoke with said ship, and advised and ordered her to make New London harbour, assigning for reasons, that her situation was unsafe, being exposed continually to the ships of the enemy; and also that her remaining there was very disagreeable to the people of New London, fearing that her cargo would fall into the hands of the enemy. However, the commander refused to comply with said advice and order, but remained in that situation until a number of small vessels came up and joined her, when she sailed, without waiting or attending to any signal of safety, as has been practised by other vessels. This deponent further says, that when cruising on his station he very frequently has seen the Block Island boats passing to and from; that he has good and sufficient reason to believe that they are much employed in furnishing the enemy' s ships and vessels with intelligence, supplies, and every comfort in their power to afford; and that the people of New London, Groton, and Stonington, are generally of the same opinion, appear to have no doubt of the truth of that fact, and are much dissatisfied with that circumstance. This deponent further says, that at the time of the Commodore' s fleet lying in the harbour of New London, after his return from New Providence, one Littlefield, of Block Island, came over to Stonington, and there, or near there, purchased a hogshead of Jamaica spirits, and paid therefor about one hundred and twenty dollars in milled money, as it was then and ever since has been universally said and believed, and returned with it to said Island, at which time there lay watering at said Island one of the King' s ships; and further saith not.


The above is a true copy of the deposition, attested 17th July, 1776.


The above is a true copy, extracted from an attested copy of the original. Examined by