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William Watson to Stephen Moylan



Plymouth, November 23, 1775.

SIR: Your favours of the 16th and 17th instant came to hand; that of the 16th, directing me to deliver to Charles Coffin, &c˙, their bedding and wearing apparel, shall be punctually complied with. White only has as yet applied. I shall take every necessary precaution before I deliver any article to them. I have received the seven half joes of Captain Coit, and shall add them to the sales of the cargo, and shall, when completed, forward the accounts to his Excellency General Washington.

You are pleased to ask my opinion relative to giving prisoners the cash found in their pockets. It really appears to me that there can be no general rule established for this matter. Circumstances may make that mode of conduct proper, which, admitting other circumstances, would be very injurious to the publick interest; add to this the uncertainty whether the cash found in the pockets of prisoners belongs to themselves or to the cargoes. His Excellency can, if he thinks proper, refer matters of this nature to Committees of Inspection, who will be most likely to come at circumstances.

Captain Coit has had much difficulty, and has been greatly perplexed with an uneasy set of fellows, who have got soured by the severity of the season, and are longing for the leeks and onions of Connecticut. He has, through his difficulties, conducted well; I think no man could have managed better. He, with Captain Martindale, sailed this morning, and are now out of sight. It is fine weather, and I hope soon to be able in some measure to alleviate his Excellency' s anxiety respecting them, by giving him some good accounts of their success. Captain Coit has got some men from these parts, who are pilots, and can take charge of any prizes he may take. The severe cold weather has very much retarded our getting these vessels to sea, but it is a consolation to think that this same severe weather has put back supplies from England, and that we are as likely to meet with them now as if we had sailed a fortnight sooner,

I am, Sir, your most humble servant,


Stephen Moylan, Esq.