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Falmouth, Monday, October 16, 1775.

The Canceau ship, of sixteen guns, commanded by Captain Mowat, a large ship, schooner, and a sloop, armed, anchored below the Town. The 17th, at three, P˙ M˙, they weighed and came up, and anchored within gun shot, and immediately Captain Mowat sent a letter on shore to the Town, giving them two hours to move their families out, as he had orders to fire the Town. The Town immediately chose a Committee of three gentlemen, and sent them on board, to know the reason of that Town' s being set on fire; he returned for answer, that his orders were to set fire to all the sea-port Towns between Boston and Halifax, and that he expected New-York was then burnt to ashes. He further said, that when he received orders from the Admiral, he desired that he might show some favour to the Town of Falmouth, which the Admiral granted, (I suppose, as Captain Mowat was under particular obligations to some gentlemen at Falmouth, for civilities shown him when in captivity amongst them,) and which favour was, to spare the Town till nine o' clock, Wednesday morning, in case we would send him off eight small arms, which the Town immediately did. Wednesday morning, being the 18th, the Committee went on board Captain Mowat again, in order to save the Town; he said he would save the Town till he heard from the Admiral, in case we would send off four carnage guns, deliver up all our small arms, ammunition, &c˙, and send four gentlemen of the Town as hostages, which the Town would not do. About half past nine in the morning, he began to fire from the four armed vessels, and in five minutes set fire to several houses. He continued firing till after dark the same day, which destroyed the largest part of the Town. He further informed the Committee, that he should proceed to Portsmouth, and destroy that place also.

The foregoing is as near the facts as I am able to remember, as witness my hand.