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Notes of Information


Captain John Hodge, of New-York, arrived in the last night from Lisbon, and left that place seven weeks ago to-morrow.

He says that on the 8th of October last, about southwest from Cape Clear about one hundred and twenty-five leagues, he met two East-India men and a Cat, or North Country Collier, very full of troops. The first division of seven sail, with five full regiments, bound from Cork to Boston, which first division had then been nine days from Cork. That in Bordeaux he afterwards met with sundry masters of vessels, who sailed from Cork with the last division of the said seven sail. That the three transports he met had not a convoy, and that he did not discover that they had any guns. That the said masters of vessels, at Bordeaux, informed him that officers were recruiting in Ireland, and had raised six regiments, all Roman Catholicks. That the Protestants would not inlist. That the said musters of vessels informed him that after the said First Division of transports had sailed from Cork, a vessel had been despatched after them, to order them to go to Halifax to winter.

That he was informed by Captain Colder, of this port, and Captain Cassels, of Philadelphia, and by Captain Amory, that two thousand fishermen were gone from Newfoundland to Boston, to cut down the woods before the Army, as was pretended.

That in Lisbon he understood that every English vessel would be seized, as soon as the consent of the King of Portugal could be obtained, who was then absent up the river Otagus. That Captain Sandwich (son of Lord Sandwich) arrived at Lisbon, in an armed ship-rigged yatch, on the day before the examinant left Lisbon, that his merchant waited on Mr˙ Sandwich, who informed him that if he (Sandwich) had met any of the American Rebels at sea, he would have seized them. That, to avoid a seizure, he came out of Lisbon the next morning, in ballast, together with Captain Alexander Guy, of Philadelphia, in a topsail schooner, also with ballast only. That no powder, or arms can be obtained in the ports of France or Portugal, and that they can not be obtained from the ports in the Mediterranean, as he was informed, on account of the English ships-of-war and cruisers.

That he did not hear of any French troops being in the West-Indies, or about to go there, until he arrived in New-York.

That five sail of fishermen were taken in and about the Western-Islands. That three of them, at least, were whalers. That the said five whalers, or fishing-vessels, were taken by Commodore Banks, in a seventy-four gun ship, and with two frigates in company.

That when the Captain of the man of-war, or yatch, at Lisbon, examined Guy, to whom the vessel belonged, he concealed his register, and said she belonged to Topar & Bulkley; and that he, this examinant, said his vessel was his own property.

That by a packet-boat from England, which arrived at Lisbon the day before he sailed from thence, he obtained His Majesty' s Speech to Parliament, and newspapers of the 28th of October.

That there has been great crops all over Europe. That Lisbon is the best market. Wheat and flour so low in France, that it will not bring the first cost.

That Captain Cassels had a letter, which he received at Newfoundland, from a gentleman there, informing him that he would be seized if he did not depart, upon which he fled from thence in ballast. That he (Hodge) left Captain Jones in Lisbon.

That by masters of vessels, both in France and Lisbon, he was informed that twenty-five thousand men were intended for the American service, but whether besides the troops now in America, or not, he did not understand, and that transports were arrived at Gibraltar, to take the British troops from thence.

A true copy of notes by me taken, of the information given, by Captain John Hodge to the Committee of Safety.