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American Prisoners of the Revolution by Danske Dandridge

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David Sproat, Commissary of Prisoners, to the prisoners on board the
Jersey, New York.

"June 11 1782

"This will be handed you by Captain Daniel Aborn, and Dr, Joseph
Bowen, who, agreeable to your petition to his Excellency, Rear-Admiral
Digby, have been permitted to go out, and are now returned from
General Washington's Head-quarters, where they delivered your petition
to him, representing your disagreeable situation at this extreme hot
season of the year, and in your names solicited his Excellency to
grant your speedy relief, by exchanging you for a part of the British
_soldiers_ in his hands, the only possible means in his power to
effect it. Mr. Aborn and the Doctor waits on you with his answer,
which I am sorry to say is a flat denial.

"Enclosed I send you copies of three letters which have passed between
Mr. Skinner and me, on the occasion, which will convince you that
everything has been done on the part of Admiral Digby, to bring about
a fair and general exchange of prisoners on both sides. I am

"your most hble Srvt,
"David Sproat
"Comm. Gen. for Naval Prisoners."

ENCLOSURES SENT BY D. SPROAT

David Sproat to Abraham Skinner, American Commissary
of Prisoners.

New York lst June 1782

"Sir:

"When I last saw you at Elizabeth Town I mentioned the bad
consequences which, in all probability, would take place in the hot
weather if an exchange of prisoners was not agreed to by the
commissioners on the part of General Washington. His Excellency
Rear-Admiral Digby has ordered me to inform you, that the very great
increase of prisoners and heat of the weather now baffles all our care
and attention to keep them healthy. Five ships have been taken up for
their reception, to prevent being crowded, and a great number
permitted to go on parole.

"In Winter, and during the cold weather, they lived comfortably, being
fully supplied with warm cloathing, blankets, etc, purchased with the
money which I collected from the charitable people of this city; but
now the weather requires a fresh supply--something light and suitable
for the season--for which you will be pleased to make the necessary
provision, as it is impossible for them to be healthy in the rags they
now wear, without a single shift of cloathing to keep themselves
clean. Humanity, sympathy, my duty and orders obliges me to trouble
you again on this disagreeable subject, to request you will lose no
time in laying their situation before his Excellency General
Washington, who, I hope, will listen to the cries of a distressed
people, and grant them, (as well as the British prisoners in his
hands) relief, by consenting to a general and immediate exchange.

"I am, sir, etc,
"David Sproat."

It is scarcely necessary to point out to the intelligent reader the
inconsistencies in this letter. The comfortable prisoners, abundantly
supplied with blankets and clothing in the winter by the charity of
the citizens of New York, were so inconsiderate as to go on starving
and freezing to death throughout that season. Not only so, but their
abundant supply of clothing was reduced to tattered rags in a
surprisingly short time, and they were unable to be healthy, "without
a single shift of clothing to keep themselves clean."

We have already seen to what straits they were in reality reduced, in
spite of the private charity of the citizens of New York. We do not
doubt that the few blankets and other new clothing, if any such were
ever sent on board the Jersey, were the gifts of private charity, and
not the donation of the British Government.

No one, we believe, can blame General Washington for his unwillingness
to add to the British forces arrayed against his country by exchanging
the captured troops in the hands of the Americans for the crews of
American privateers, who were not in the Continental service. As we
have already seen, the blame does not rest with that great commander,
whose compassion never blinded his judgment, but with the captains and
owners of American privateers themselves, and often with the towns of
New England, who were unwilling to burden themselves with prisoners
taken on the ocean.

The next letter we will quote is the answer of Commissary Skinner to
David Sproat:

"New York June 9th. 1782

"Sir:

From the present situation of the American naval prisoners on board
your prison-ships, I am induced to propose to you the exchange of as
many as I can give you British naval prisoners for, leaving the
balance already due you to be paid when in our power. I could wish
this to be represented to his Excellency, Rear Admiral Digby, and that
the proposal could be acceded to, as it would relieve many of these
distrest men and be consistent with the humane purposes of our office.

"I will admit that we are unable at present to give you seaman for
seaman, and thereby relieve the prison-ships of their dreadful
burthen, but it ought to be remembered there is a large balance of
British soldiers due to the United States, since February last, and
that as we have it in our power we may be disposed to place the
British soldiers who are now in our possession in as disagreeable a
situation as those men are on board the prison ships.

"I am yr obdt hble srvt
"Abraham Skinner"

COMMISSARY SPROAT'S REPLY

"New York June 9th 1782

"Sir:

"I have received your letter of this date and laid it before his
Excellency Rear Admiral Digby, Commander in charge, etc, who has
directed me to give for answer that the balance of prisoners, owing to
the British having proceeded, from lenity and humanity, on the part of
himself and those who commanded before his arrival, is surprized you
have not been induced to offer to exchange them first; and until this
is done can't consent to your proposal of a partial exchange, leaving
the remainder as well as the British prisoners in your hands, to
linger in confinement. Conscious of the American prisoners under my
direction, being in every respect taken as good care of as their
situation and ours will admit. You must not believe that Admiral Digby
will depart from the justice of this measure because you have it in
your power to make the British prisoners with you more miserable than
there is any necessity for. I am, Sir,

"yr hble servt
"David Sproat."

The prisoners on board the Jersey published in the _Royal
Gazette_ the following

ADDRESS TO THEIR COUNTRYMEN

"Prison Ship Jersey, June 11th 1782

"Friends and Fellow Citizens of America:

"You may bid a final adieu to all your friends and relatives who are
now on board the Jersey prison ships at New York, unless you rouse the
government to comply with the just and honorable proposals, which has
already been done on the part of Britons, but alas! it is with pain we
inform you, that our petition to his Excellency General Washington,
offering our services to the country during the present campaign, if
he would send soldiers in exchange for us, is frankly denied.

"What is to be done? Are we to lie here and share the fate of our
unhappy brothers who are dying daily? No, unless you relieve us
immediately, we shall be under the necessity of leaving our country,
in preservation of our lives.

"Signed in behalf of prisoners

"John Cooper
"John Sheffield
"William Chad
"Richard Eccleston
"George Wanton
"John Baas.

"To Mr James Rivington, Printer N. Y."

This address was reproduced in Hugh Gaines's _New York Gazette_,
June 17, 1782.

Whether the John Cooper who signed his name to this address is the
Mr. Cooper mentioned by Dring as the orator of the Jersey we do not
know, but it is not improbable. Nine Coopers are included in the list,
given in the appendix to this volume, of prisoners on the Jersey, but
no John Cooper is among them. The list is exceedingly imperfect. Of
the other signers of the address only two, George Wanton and John
Sheffield, can be found within its pages. It is very certain that it
is incomplete, and it probably does not contain more than half the
names of the prisoners who suffered on board that dreadful
place. David Sproat won the hatred and contempt of all the American
prisoners who had anything to do with him. One of his most dastardly
acts was the paper which he drew up in June, 1782, and submitted to a
number of American sea captains for their signature, which he obtained
from them by threats of taking away their parole in case of their
refusal, and sending them back to a captivity worse than death. This
paper, _which they signed without reading_ was to the following
effect:

LETTER PURPORTING TO BE FROM A COMMITTEE OF CAPTAINS, NAVAL PRISONERS
OF WAR TO J. RIVINGTON, WITH A REPRESENTATION OF A COMMITTEE ON THE
CONDITION OF THE PRISONERS ON BOARD THE JERSEY

New York, June 22, 1782.

Sir:

We beg you will be pleased to give the inclosed Report and Resolve of
a number of Masters of American Vessels, a place in your next
Newspaper, for the information of the public. In order to undeceive
numbers of our countrymen without the British lines, who have not had
an opportunity of seeing the state and situation of the prisoners of
New York as we have done. We are, Sir,

yr most obdt, hble srvts,

Robert Harris, Captain of the sloop Industry
John Chace
Charles Collins, Captain of the Sword-fish
Philemon Haskell
Jonathan Carnes

REPORT

We whose names are hereunto subscribed, late Masters of American
vessels, which have been captured by the British cruisers and brought
into this port, having obtained the enlargement of our paroles from
Admiral Digby, to return to our respective homes, being anxious before
our departure to know the true state and situation of the prisoners
confined on board the prison ships and hospital ships for that
purpose, have requested and appointed six of our number, viz,
R. Harris, J. Chace, Ch. Collins, P. Haskell, J. Carnes and
Christopher Smith, to go on board the said prison ships for that
purpose and the said six officers aforesaid having gone on board five
of the vessels, attended by Mr. D. Sproat, Com. Gen. for Naval
Prisoners, and Mr. George Rutherford, Surgeon to the hospital ships,
do report to us that they have found them in as comfortable a
situation as it is possible for prisoners to be on board of ships at
this season of the year, and much more so than they had any idea of,
and that anything said to the contrary is false and without
foundation. That they inspected their beef, pork, flour, bread,
oatmeal, pease, butter, liquors, and indeed every species of
provisions which is issued on board his British Majesty's ships of
war, and found them all good of their kind, which survey being made
before the prisoners, they acknowledged the same and declared they had
no complaint to make but the want of cloaths and a speedy exchange. We
therefore from this report and what we have all seen and known, _Do
Declare_ that great commendation is due to his Excellency Rear
Admiral Digby, for his humane disposition and indulgence to his
prisoners, and also to those he entrusts the care of them to; viz: To
the Captain and officers of his Majesty's prison-ship Jersey, for
their attention in preserving good order, having the ship kept clean
and awnings spread over _the whole_ of her, fore and aft: To Dr
Rutherford, and the Gentlemen acting under him * * *, for their
constant care and attendance on the sick, whom we found in wholesome,
clean sheets, also covered with awnings, fore and aft, every man
furnished with a cradle, bed, and sheets, made of good Russia linen,
to lay in; the best of fresh provisions, vegetables, wine, rice,
barley, etc, which was served out to them. And we further do declare
in justice to Mr. Sproat, and the gentlemen acting under him in his
department, that they conscientiously do their duty with great
humanity and indulgence to the prisoners, and reputation to
themselves; And we unanimously do agree that nothing is wanting to
preserve the lives and health of those unfortunate prisoners but clean
cloaths and a speedy exchange, which testimony we freely give without
restriction and covenant each with the other to endeavor to effect
their exchange as soon as possible:

For the remembrance of this our engagement we have furnished ourselves
with copies of this instrument of writing. Given under our hands in
New York the 22 of June, 1782.

Signed:

Robert Harris
John Chace
Charles Collins
Philemon Haskell
]. Carnes
Christopher Smith
James Gaston
John Tanner
Daniel Aborn
Richard Mumford
Robert Clifton
John McKeever
Dr. J. Bowen.

The publication of this infamously false circular roused much
indignation among patriotic Americans, and no one believed it a
trustworthy statement. The _Independent Chronicle_, in its issue
for August, 1782, had the following refutation: [Footnote: This letter
is said to have been written by Captain Manly, _five times_ a
prisoner during the Revolution.]

"Mr Printer:

"Happening to be at Mr. Bracket's tavern last Saturday, and hearing
two gentlemen conversing on the surprising alteration in regard to the
treatment our prisoners met with in New York, and as I have had the
misfortune to be more than once a prisoner in England, and in
different prison-ships in New York, and having suffered everything but
death, I cannot help giving all attention to anything I hear or read
relative to the treatment our brave countrymen met with on board the
prison-ships of New York. One of the gentlemen observed that the
treatment of our prisoners must certainly be much better, as so many
of our commanders had signed a paper that was wrote by Mr. David
Sproat, the commissary of naval prisoners in New York. The other
gentleman answered and told him he could satisfy him in regard to the
matter, having seen and conversed with several of the Captains that
signed Mr. Sproat's paper, who told him that, although they had put
their names to the paper that Mr. Sproat sent them on Long Island,
where they were upon parole, yet it was upon these conditions they did
it: in order to have leave to go home to their wives and families, and
not be sent on board the prison-ships, as Mr. Sproat had threatened to
do if they refused to sign the paper that he sent them. These captains
further said, that they did not read the paper nor hear it read. The
gentleman then asked them how they could sign their names to a paper
they did not read; they said it was because they might go home upon
parole. He asked one of them why he did not contradict it since it had
appeared in the public papers, and was false: he said he dare not at
present, for fear of being recalled and sent on board the prison-ship,
and there end his days: but as soon as he was exchanged he would do
it. If this gentleman, through fear, dare not contradict such a piece
of falsehood, I dare, and if I was again confined on board the
prison-ship in New York, dare again take the boat and make my escape,
although at the risk of my life.

"Some of the captains went on board the prison-ship with Mr. Sproat, a
few moments, but did not go off the deck.

"In justice to myself and country I am obliged to publish the above.

"Captain Rover."

Besides this refutation of Sproat's shameful trick there were many
others. The _Pennsylvania Packet_ of Tuesday, Sept. 10, 1782,
published an affidavit of John Kitts, a former prisoner on board the
Jersey.

"The voluntary affidavit of John Kitts, of the city of Phila., late
mate of the sloop Industry, commanded by Robert Harris, taken before
the subscriber, chief justice of the commonwealth of Pa., the 16th day
of July, 1782.--This deponent saith, that in the month of November
last he was walking in Front St. with the said Harris and saw in his
hand a paper, which he told the deponent that he had received from a
certain Captain Kuhn, who had been lately from New York, where he had
been a prisoner, and that this deponent understood and believed it was
a permission or pass to go to New York with any vessel, as it was
blank and subscribed by Admiral Arbuthnot: that he does not know that
the said Robert Harris ever made any improper use of said paper."

AFFIDAVIT OF JOHN COCHRAN, DENYING THE TRUTH OF THE STATEMENTS
CONTAINED IN THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF CAPTAINS

From the _Pennsylvania Packet_, Phila., Tuesday, Sept. 10, 1782.

"The voluntary Affidavit of John Cochran, of the city of Phila., late
mate of the ship, Admiral Youtman, of Phila., taken before the
subscriber, the 16 day of July, 1782.

"The said deponent saith, that he was taken prisoner on board the
aforesaid ship on the 12 of March last by the ship Garland, belonging
to the king of Great Britain, and carried into the city of New York,
on the 15 of the same month, when he was immediately put on board the
prison-ship Jersey, with the whole crew of the Admiral Youtman, and
was close confined there until the first day of this month, when he
made his escape; that the people on board the said prison-ship were
very sickly insomuch that he is firmly persuaded, out of near 1000
persons, perfectly healthy when put on board the same ship, during the
time of his confinement on board, there are not more than but three or
four hundred now alive; that when he made his escape there were not
three hundred men well on board, but upward of 140 very sick, as he
understood and was informed by the physicians: that there were five or
six men buried daily under a bank on the shore, without coffins; that
all the larboard side of the said ship was made use of as a hospital
for the sick, and was so offensive that he was obliged constantly to
hold his nose as he passed from the gun-room up the hatchway; that he
seen maggots creeping out of a wound of one Sullivan's shoulder, who
was the mate of a vessel out of Virginia; and that his wound remained
undressed for several days together; that every man was put into the
hold a little after sundown every night, and the hatches put over him;
and that the tubs which were kept for the use of the sick * * * were
placed under the ladder from the hatchway to the hold, and so
offensive day and night, that they were almost intolerable, and
increased the number of the sick daily. The deponent further saith,
that the bilge water was very injurious in the hold, was muddy and
dirty, and never was changed or sweetened during the whole time he was
there, nor, as he was informed and believes to be true, for many years
before; for fear, as it was reported, the provisions might be injured
thereby; that the sick in the hospital part of the said ship Jersey,
had no sheets of Russia, or any other linen, nor beds nor bedding
furnished them; and those who had no beds of their own, of whom there
were great numbers, were not even allowed a hammock, but were obliged
to lie on the planks; that he was on board the said prison ship when
Captain Robert Harris and others, with David Sproat, the commissary of
prisoners, came on board her, and that none of them went or attempted
to go below decks, in said ship, to see the situation of the
prisoners, nor did they ask a single question respecting the matter,
to this deponent's knowledge or belief; for that he was present the
whole time they were on board, and further the deponent saith not.

"John Cochran"

"Theodore McKean C. J.

It seems singular that Sproat should have resorted to such a
contemptible trick, which deceived few if any persons, for the
reputation of the Jersey was too notorious for such a refutation to
carry weight on either side.

In the meantime the mortality on board continued, and, by a moderate
computation, two-thirds of her wretched occupants died and were buried
on the shore, their places being taken by fresh victims, from the many
privateers that were captured by the British almost daily.

CHAPTER XLV

GENERAL WASHINGTON AND REAR ADMIRAL DIGBY--COMMISSARIES SPROAT AND
SKINNER

Washington's best vindication against the charge of undue neglect of
American prisoners is found in the correspondence on the subject. We
will therefore give his letter to Rear Admiral Digby, after his
interview with the committee of three sent from the Jersey to complain
of their treatment by the British, and to endeavor to negotiate an
exchange.

GENERAL WASHINGTON TO REAR ADMIRAL DIGBY

Head-Quarters, June 5 1782

Sir:

By a parole, granted to two gentlemen, Messrs. Aborn and Bowen, I
perceive that your Excellency granted them permission to come to me
with a representation of the sufferings of the American prisoners at
New York. As I have no agency on Naval matters, this application to me
is made on mistaken grounds. But curiosity leading me to enquire into
the nature and cause of their sufferings, I am informed that the prime
complaint is that of their being crowded, especially at this season,
in great numbers on board of foul and infected prison ships, where
disease and death are almost inevitable. This circumstance I am
persuaded needs only to be mentioned to your Excellency to obtain that
redress which is in your power _only_ to afford, and which
humanity so strongly prompts.

If the fortune of war, Sir, has thrown a number of these miserable
people into your hands, I am certain your Excellency's feelings for
fellowmen must induce you to proportion the ships (if they _must_
be confined on board ships), to their accommodation and comfort, and
not, by crowding them together in a few, bring on disorders which
consign them, by half a dozen a day, to the grave.

The soldiers of his British Majesty, prisoners with us, were they
(which might be the case), to be equally crowded together in close and
confined prisons, at this season, would be exposed to equal loss and
misery. I have the honor to be, Sir

Yr Excellency's most obt
Hble srvt
George Washington

REAR-ADMIRAL DIGBY'S ANSWER

N. Y. June 8 1782

Sir:

My feelings prompted me to grant Messrs. Aborn and Bowen permission
to wait on your Excellency to represent their miserable situation, and
if your Excellency's feelings on this occasion are like mine, you will
not hesitate one moment in relieving both the British and Americans
suffering under confinement.

I have the Honor to be your Excellency's
Very obdt Srvt

R. Digby

FROM COMMISSARY SKINNER TO COMMISSARY SPROAT

Camp Highlands, June 24th 1782

Sir:

As I perceive by a New York paper of the 12 inst, the last letters
which passed between us on the subject of naval prisoners have been
committed to print, I must request the same to be done with this which
is intended to contain some animadversions on those publications.

The principles and policy which appear to actuate your superiors in
their conduct towards the American seamen who unfortunately fall into
their power, are too apparent to admit of a doubt or misapprehension.
I am sorry to observe, Sir, that notwithstanding the affectation of
candour and fairness on your part, from the universal tenor of
behaviour on your side of the lines, it is obvious that the designs of
the British is, by misrepresenting the state of facts with regard to
exchanges, to excite jealousy in the minds of our unfortunate seamen,
that they are neglected by their countrymen, and by attempting to make
them believe that all the miseries they are now suffering in
consequence of a pestilential sickness arise from want of inclination
in General Washington to exchange them when he has it in his power to
do it; in hopes of being able by this insinuation and by the
unrelenting severity you make use of in confining them in the
contaminated holds of prison-ships, to compel them, in order to avoid
the dreadful alternative of almost inevitable death, to enter the
service of the King of Great Britain.

To show that these observations are just and well grounded, I think it
necessary to inform you of some facts which have happened within my
immediate notice, and to put you in mind of others which you cannot
deny. I was myself present at the time when Captain Aborn and
Dr. Bowen * * * waited on his Excellency General Washington, and know
perfectly well the answer his Excellency gave to that application: he
informed them in the first place that he was not directly or
indirectly invested with any power of inference respecting the
exchange of naval prisoners; that this business was formerly under the
direction of the Board of Admiralty, that upon the annihilation of
that Board Congress had committed it to the Financier (who has in
charge all our naval prisoners) and he to the Secretary at war. That
(the General) was notwithstanding disposed to do everything in his
power for their assistance and relief: that as exchanging seamen for
soldiers was contrary to the original agreement for the exchange of
prisoners,--which specified that officers should be exchanged for
officers, soldiers for soldiers, citizens for citizens, and seamen for
seamen; as it was contrary to the custom and practice of other
nations, and as it would be, in his opinion, contrary to the soundest
policy, by giving the enemy a great and permanent strength for which
we could receive no compensation, or at best but a partial and
temporary one, he did not think it would be admissible: but as it
appeared to him, from a variety of well authenticated information, the
present misery and mortality which prevailed among the naval prisoners
were almost entirely, if not altogether produced by the _mode of
their confinement_, being closely crowded together in infected
prison-ships, where the very air is pregnant with disease, and the
ships themselves (never having been cleaned in the course of many
years), a mere mass of putrefaction, he would therefor, from motives
of humanity, write to Rear-Admiral Digby, in whose power it was to
remedy this great evil, by confining them on shore, or having a
sufficient number of prison-ships provided for that purpose, for, he
observed, it was as preposterously cruel to confine 800 men, at this
sultry season, on board the Jersey prison-ship, as it would be to shut
up the whole army of Lord Cornwallis to perish in the New Goal of
Philadelphia, but if more commodious and healthy accommodations were
not afforded we had the means of retaliation in our hands, which he
should not hesitate, in that case, to make use of, by confining the
land prisoners with as much severity as our seamen were held.--The
Gentlemen of the Committee appeared to be sensible of the force of
these reasons, however repugnant they might be to the feelings and
wishes of the men who had destruction and death staring them in the
face.

His Excellency was further pleased to suffer me to go to New York to
examine into the grounds of the suffering of the prisoners, and to
devise, if possible, some way or another, for their liberation or
relief. With this permission I went into your lines: and in
consequence of the authority I had been previously invested with, from
the Secretary at War, I made the proposition contained in my letter of
the ninth instant. Although I could not claim this as a matter of
right I flattered myself it would have been granted from the
principles of humanity, as well as other motives. There had been a
balance of 495 land prisoners due to us ever since the month of
February last, when a settlement was made; besides which, to the best
of my belief, 400 have been sent in, (this is the true state of the
fact, though it differs widely from the account of 250 men, which is
falsely stated in the note annexed to my letter in the New York
paper:) notwithstanding this balance, I was then about sending into
your lines a number of land prisoners, as an equivalent for ours, who
were then confined in the Sugar House, without which (though the debt
was acknowledged, I could not make interest to have them liberated),
this business has since been actually negotiated, and we glory in
having our conduct, such as will bear the strictest scrutiny, and be
found consonant to the dictates of reason, liberality, and
justice. But, Sir, since you would not agree to the proposals I made,
since I was refused being permitted to visit the prison-ships: (for
which I conclude no other reason can be produced than your being
ashamed or afraid of having those graves of our seamen seen by one who
dared to represent the horrors of them to his countrymen,) Since the
commissioners from your side, at their late meeting, would not enter
into an adjustment of the accounts for supplying your naval and land
prisoners, on which there are large sums due us; and since your
superiors will neither make provision for the support of your
prisoners in our hands, nor accommodation for the mere existence of
ours, who are now languishing in your prison-ships, it becomes my
duty, Sir, to state these pointed facts to you, that the imputations
may recoil where they are deserved, and to report to those, under
whose authority I have the honor to act, that such measures as they
deem proper may be adopted.

And now, Sir, I will conclude this long letter with observing that not
having a sufficient number of British seamen in our possession we are
not able to release urs by exchange:--this is our misfortune, but it
is not a crime, and ought not to operate as a mortal punishment
against the unfortunate--we ask no favour, we claim nothing but common
justice and humanity, while we assert to the whole world, as a
notorious fact, that the unprecedented inhumanity in the _mode_
of confining our naval prisoners, to the amount of 800 in one old
hulk, which has been made use of as a prison-ship for more than three
years, without ever having been once purified, has been the real and
sole cause of the deaths of hundreds of brave Americans, who would not
have perished in that untimely and barbarous manner, had they, (when
prisoners,) been suffered to breathe a purer air, and to enjoy more
liberal and convenient accommodations agreeably to the practice of
civilized nations when at war, (and) the example which has always been
set you by the Americans. You may say, and I shall admit, that if they
were placed on islands, and more liberty given them, that some might
desert; but is not this the case with your prisoners in our hands? And
could we not avoid this also, if we were to adopt the same rigid and
inhuman mode of confinement you do?

I beg, Sir, you will be pleased to consider this as addressed to you
officially, as the principal executive officer in the department of
naval prisoners, and not personally, and that you will attribute any
uncommon warmth of style that I may have been led into to my feeling
and animation on a subject with which I find myself so much
interested, both from the principles of humanity and the duties of
office. I am, Sir,

yr most obdt Srvt
Abraham Skinner

Letters full of recriminations continued to pass between the
commissaries on both sides. In Sproat's reply to the letter we have
just quoted, he enclosed a copy of the paper which he had induced the
thirteen sea captains and other officers to sign, obtained as we have
seen, in such a dastardly manner.

In the meantime the naval prisoners continued to die in great numbers
on board the prison and hospital-ships. We have already described the
cleansing of the Jersey, on which occasion the prisoners were sent on
board of other vessels and exposed to cold and damp in addition to
their other sufferings. And while negotiations for peace were pending
some relaxation in severity appears to have taken place.

CHAPTER XLVI

SOME OF THE PRISONERS ON BOARD THE JERSEY

We have seen that the crew of the Chance was exchanged in the fall of
1782. A few of the men who composed this crew were ill at the time
that the exchange was affected, and had been sent to Blackwell's
Island. Among these unfortunate sufferers was the sailing-master of
the Chance, whose name was Sylvester Rhodes.

This gentleman was born at Warwick, R. I., November 21, 1745. He
married Mary Aborn, youngest sister of Captain Daniel Aborn, and
entered the service of his country, in the early part of the war,
sometimes on land, and sometimes as a seaman. He was with Commodore
Whipple on his first cruise, and as prize-master carried into Boston
the first prize captured by that officer. He also served in a Rhode
Island regiment.

When the crew of the Jersey was exchanged and he was not among the
number, his brother-in-law, Captain Aborn, endeavored to obtain his
release, but, as he had been an officer in the army as well as on the
privateer, the British refused to release him as a seaman. His father,
however, through the influence of some prominent Tories with whom he
was connected, finally secured his parole, and Captain Aborn went to
New York to bring him home. But it was too late. He had become greatly
enfeebled by disease, and died on board the cartel, while on her
passage through the Sound, on the 3rd of November, 1782, leaving a
widow and five children. Mary Aborn Rhodes lived to be 98, dying in
1852, one of the last survivors of the stirring times of the
Revolution.

WILLIAM DROWNE

One of the most adventurous of American seamen was William Drowne, who
was taken prisoner more than once. He was born in Providence, R. I.,
in April 1755. After many adventures he sailed on the 18th of May,
1780, in the General Washington, owned by Mr. John Brown of
Providence. In a Journal kept by Mr. Drowne on board of this ship, he
writes:

"The cruise is for two months and a half, though should New York fetch
us up again, the time may be protracted, but it is not in the bargain
to pay that potent city a visit _this bout_. It may easily be
imagined what a _sensible mortification_ it must be to dispense
with the delicious sweets of a Prison-ship. But though the Washington
is deemed a prime sailor, and is well armed, I will not be too
sanguine in the prospect of escape, as 'the race is not always to the
swift, nor the battle to the strong.' But, as I said before, it is not
in the articles to go there this time, especially as it is said the
prisoners are very much crowded there already, and it would be a piece
of unfeeling inhumanity to be adding to their unavoidable
inconvenience by our presence. Nor could we, in such a case, by any
means expect that Madam Fortune would deign to smile so propitiously
as she did before, in the promotion of an exchange so much sooner than
our most sanguine expectations flattered us with, as 'tis said to be
with no small difficulty that a parole can be obtained, much more an
exchange."

This cruise resulted in the capture by the Washington of several
vessels, among them the Robust, Lord Sandwich, Barrington, and the
Spitfire, a British privateer.

In May, 1781, Mr. Drowne sailed on board the Belisarius, commanded by
Captain James Munro, which vessel was captured on the 26th of July and
brought into the port of New York. Browne and the other officers were
sent to the Jersey, where close confinement and all the horrors of the
place soon impaired his vigorous constitution. Although he was,
through the influence of his friends, allowed to visit Newport on
parole in November, 1781, he was returned to the prison ship, and was
not released until some time in 1783. His brother, who was a
physician, nursed him faithfully, but he died on the 9th of August,
1786. Letters written on board the Jersey have a melancholy interest
to the student of history, and this one, written by William Drowne to
a Mrs. Johnston, of New York, is taken from the appendix to the
"Recollections of Captain Dring."

Jersey Prison Ship Sep. 25 1781

Madam:

Your letter to Captain Joshua Sawyer of the 23d Inst, came on board
this moment, which I being requested to answer, take the freedom to
do, and with sensible regret, as it announces the dissolution of the
good man. It was an event very unexpected. Tis true he had been for
some days very ill, but a turn in his favor cancel'd all further
apprehension of his being dangerous, and but yesterday he was able
without assistance to go upon deck; said he felt much better, and
without any further Complaints, at the usual time turned into his
Hammock, and as was supposed went to sleep. Judge of our Surprise and
Astonishment this morning at being informed of his being found a
lifeless Corpse.

Could anything nourishing or comfortable have been procured for him
during his illness, 'tis possible He might now have been a well
man. But Heaven thought proper to take him to itself, and we must not
repine.

A Coffin would have been procured in case it could be done seasonably,
but his situation render'd a speedy Interment unavoidable. Agreeably
to which 10 or 12 Gentlemen of his acquaintance presented a petition
to the Commanding Officer on board, requesting the favor that they
might be permitted, under the Inspection of a file of Soldiers, to pay
the last sad duties to a Gentleman of merit; which he humanely
granted, and in the Afternoon his remains were taken on shore, and
committed to their native dust in as decent a manner as our situation
would admit. Myself, in room of a better, officiated in the sacred
office of a Chaplain and read prayers over the Corpse previous to its
final close in its gloomy mansion. I have given you these particulars,
Madam, as I was sensible it must give you great satisfaction to hear
he had some friends on board. Your benevolent and good intentions to
him shall, (if Heaven permits my return) be safely delivered to his
afflicted wife, to give her the sensible Consolation that her late
much esteemed and affectionate Husband was not destitute of a Friend,
who had wish'd to do him all the good offices in his power, had not
the hand of fate prevented.

If you wish to know anything relative to myself--if you will give
Yourself the trouble to call on Mrs. James Selhrig, she will inform
You, or Jos. Aplin, Esqre.

You will please to excuse the Liberty I have taken being an entire
stranger. I have no Views in it but those of giving, as I said before,
satisfaction to one who took a friendly part towards a Gentleman
decease'd, whom I very much esteemed. Your goodness will not look with
a critical eye over the numerous Imperfections of this Epistle.

I am, Madam, with every sentiment of respect

yr most Obdt Servt

Wm. Drowne

The next letter we will give was written by Dr. Solomon Drowne to his
sister Sally. This gentleman was making every effort to obtain his
brother's release from captivity.

Providence, Oct. 17 1781

Dear Sally:

We have not forgot you;--but if we think strongly on other objects the
memory of you returns, more grateful than the airs which fan the
Summer, or all the golden products of ye Autumn. The Cartel is still
detained, for what reason is not fully known. Perhaps they meditate an
attack upon some unguarded, unsuspecting quarter, and already in idea
glut their eyes, with the smoke of burning Towns and Villages, and are
soothed by the sounds of deep distress. Forbid it Guardian of
America!--and rather let the reason be their fear that we should know
the state of their shattered Navy and declining affairs--However, Bill
is yet a Prisoner, and still must feel, if not for himself, yet what a
mind like his will ever feel for others. In a letter I received from
him about three weeks since he mentioned that having a letter to
Mr. George Deblois, he sent it, accompanied with one he wrote
requesting his influence towards effecting his return the next
Flag,--that Mr. Deblois being indisposed, his cousin Captain William
Deblois, taken by Monro last year, came on board to see him, with a
present from Mr. Deblois of some Tea, Sugar, Wine, Rum, etc, and the
offer of any other Civilities that lay in the power of either:--This
was beneficence and true Urbanity,--that he was not destitute of Cash,
that best friend in Adversity, except some other best friends,--that
as long as he had health, he should, he had like to have said, be
happy. In a word he bears up with his wonted fortitude and good
spirits, as we say, nor discovers the least repining at his fate. But
you and I who sleep on beds of down and inhale the untainted,
cherishing air, surrounded by most endeared connexions, know that his
cannot be the most delectable of situations: therefor with impatience
we look for his happy return to the Circle of his Friends.

Yr aff Bro.

Solomon Drowne

DR. S. DROWNE TO MRS. MARCY DROWNE

Newport Nov. 14 1781

Respected Mother,

I found Billy much better than I expected, the account we received of
his situation having been considerably exaggerated: However we ought
to be thankful we were not deceived by a too favorable account, and so
left him to the care of strangers, when he might most need the
soothing aid of close relatives. He is very weak yet, and as a second
relapse might endanger his reduced, tottering system, think it
advisable not to set off for home with him till the wind is
favorable. He is impatient, for the moment of its shifting, as he is
anxious to see you all.

The boat is just going, Adieu, yr aff son

Solomon Drowne

We have already quoted from the Recollections of Jeremiah Johnson who
lived on the banks of Wallabout Bay during the Revolution. He further
says: "The prisoners confined in the Jersey had secretly obtained a
crow-bar which was kept concealed in the berth of some confidential
officer among the prisoners. The bar was used to break off the
_port_ gratings. This was done, in windy nights, when good
swimmers were ready to leave the ship for the land. In this way a
number escaped.

"Captain Doughty, a friend of the writer, had charge of the bar when
he was a prisoner on board of the Jersey, and effected his escape by
its means. When he left the ship he gave the bar to a confidant to be
used for the relief of others. Very few who left the ship were
retaken. They knew where to find friends to conceal them, and to help
them beyond pursuit.

"A singularly daring and successful escape was effected from the
Jersey about 4 o'clock one afternoon in the beginning of
Dec. 1780. The best boat of the ship had returned from New York
between 3 & 4 o'clock, and was left fast at the gangway, with the oars
on board. The afternoon was stormy, the wind blew from the north-east,
and the tide ran flood. A watchword was given, and a number of
prisoners placed themselves carelessly between the ship's waist and
the sentinel. At this juncture four Eastern Captains got on board the
boat, which was cast off by their friends. The boat passed close under
the bows of the ship, and was a considerable distance from her before
the sentinel in the fo'castle gave the alarm, and fired at her. The
second boat was manned for a chase; she pursued in vain; one man from
her bow fired several shots at the boat, and a few guns were fired at
her from the Bushwick shore; but all to no effect,--and the boat
passed Hell-gate in the evening, and arrived safe in Connecticut next
morning.

"A spring of the writer was a favorite watering-place for the British
shipping. The water-boat of the Jersey watered from this spring daily
when it could be done; four prisoners were generally brought on shore
to fill the casks, attended by a guard. The prisoners were frequently
permitted to come to the (Johnstons') house to get milk and food; and
often brought letters privately from the prisoners. From these the
sufferings on board were revealed.

"Supplies of vegetables were frequently collected by Mr. Remsen (the
benevolent owner of the mill,) for the prisoners; and small sums of
money were sent on board by the writer's father to his friends by
means of these watering parties."

AN ESCAPE FROM THE JERSEY

"I was one of 850 souls confined in the Jersey in the summer of 1781,
and witnessed several daring attempts to escape. They generally ended
tragically. They were always undertaken in the night, after wrenching
or filing the bar off the port-holes. Having been on board several
weeks, and goaded to death in various ways, four of us concluded to
run the hazard. We set to work and got the bars off, and waited
impatiently for a dark night. We lay in front of Mr. Remsen's door,
inside of the pier head and not more that 20 yards distant. There were
several guard sloops, one on our bow, and the other off our quarter a
short distance from us. The dark night came, the first two were
lowered quietly into the water; and the third made some rumbling. I
was the fourth that descended, but had not struck off from the vessel
before the guards were alarmed, and fired upon us. The alarm became
general, and I was immediately hauled on board (by the other
prisoners).

"They manned their boats, and with their lights and implements of
death were quick in pursuit of the unfortunates, cursing and swearing,
and bellowing and firing. It was awful to witness this deed of blood.
It lasted about an hour,--all on board trembling for our
shipmates. These desperadoes returned to their different vessels
rejoicing that they had killed three damned rebels.

"About three years after this I saw a gentleman in John St., near
Nassau, who accosted me thus: 'Manley, how do you do?' I could not
recollect him. 'Is it possible you don't know me? Recollect the Old
Jersey?' And he opened his vest and bared his breast. I immediately
said to him--'You are James McClain.' 'I am,' said he. We both
stepped into Mariner's public house, at the corner, and he related his
marvellous escape to me.

"'They pursued me:--I frequently dived to avoid them, and when I came
up they fired on me. I caught my breath, and immediately dived again,
and held my breath till I crawled along the mud. They no doubt thought
they killed me. I however, with much exertion, though weak and
wounded, made out to reach the shore, and got into a barn, not far
from the ship, a little north of Mr. Remsen's house. The farmer, the
next morning, came into his barn,--saw me lying on the floor, and ran
out in a fright. I begged him to come to me, and he did, I gave an
account of myself, where I was from, how I was pursued, with several
others. He saw my wounds, took pity on me; sent for his wife, and
bound up my wounds, and kept me in the barn until night-fall,--took me
into his house, nursed me secretly, and then furnished me with
clothing, etc., and when I was restored, he took me with him, into his
market-boat to this city, and went with me to the west part of the
city, provided me with a passage over to Bergen, and I landed
somewhere in Communipaw. Some friends helped me across Newark Bay, and
then I worked my way, until I reached Baltimore, to the great joy of
all my friends." [Footnote: "Recollections of Captain Manley".]

Just what proportion of captives died on board of the Jersey it is now
impossible to determine. No doubt there were many escapes of which it
is impossible to obtain the particulars. The winter of 1779-80 was
excessively cold, and the Wallabout Bay was frozen over. One night a
number of prisoners took advantage of this to make their escape by
lowering themselves from a port hole on to the ice. It is recorded
that the cold was so excessive that one man was frozen to death, that
the British pursued the party and brought a few of them back, but that
a number succeeded in making their escape to New Jersey. Who these
men were we have been unable to discover. Tradition also states that
while Wallabout Bay was thus frozen over the Long Island market women
skated across it, with supplies of vegetables in large hampers
attached to their backs, and that some of them came near enough to
throw some of their supplies to the half-famished prisoners on board
the Jersey.

It would appear that these poor sufferers had warm friends in the
farmers who lived on the shores of the Wallabout. Of these
Mr. A. Remsen, who owned a mill at the mouth of a creek which empties
into the Bay, was one of the most benevolent, and it was his daughter
who is said to have kept a list of the number of bodies that were
interred in the sand in the neighborhood of the mill and house. In
1780 Mr Remsen hid an escaped prisoner, Major H. Wyckoff, for several
days in one of his upper rooms, while at the same time the young
lieutenant of the guard of the Jersey was quartered in the
house. Remsen also lent Captain Wyckoff as much money as he needed,
and finally, one dark night, safely conveyed him in a sleigh to Cow
Neck. From thence he crossed to Poughkeepsie.

Although little mention is made by those prisoners who have left
accounts of their experiences while on board the Jersey, of any aid
received by them from the American government the following passage
from a Connecticut paper would seem to indicate that such aid was
tendered them at least for a time. It is possible that Congress sent
some provisions to the prison-ships for her imprisoned soldiers, or
marines, but made no provision for the crews of privateers.

"New London. September 1st. 1779. D. Stanton testifies that he was
taken June 5th, and put in the Jersey prison ship. An allowance from
Congress was sent on board. About three or four weeks past we were
removed on board the Good Hope, where we found many sick. There is now
a hospital ship provided, to which they are removed and good attention
paid."

The next extract that we will quote probably refers to the escape of
prisoners on the ice referred to above.

"New London. Conn. Feb. 16th. 1780. Fifteen prisoners arrived here who
three weeks ago escaped from the prison-ship in the East River. A
number of others escaped about the same time from the same ship, some
of whom being frost-bitten and unable to endure the cold, were taken
up and carried back, one frozen to death before he reached the shore."

"_Rivington's Gazette_, Dec. 19th 1780. George Batterman, who had
been a prisoner on board the prison ship at New York, deposes that he
had had eight ounces of condemned bread per day; and eight ounces of
meat. He was afterwards put on board the Jersey, where were, as was
supposed, 1,100 prisoners; recruiting officers came on board and
finding that the American officers persuaded the men not to enlist,
removed them, as he was told, to the Provost. The prisoners were
tempted to enlist to free themselves from confinement, hopeless of
exchange. * * * The prisoners had a pint of water per day:--the sick
were not sent to the hospitals until they were so weak and ill that
they often expired before they got out of the Jersey. The commanding
officer said his orders were that if the ship took fire we should all
be turned below, and left to perish in the flames. By accident the
ship took fire in the steward's room, when the Hessian guards were
ordered to drive the prisoners below, and fire among them if they
resisted or got in the water."

Talbot in his Memoirs stated that: "When the weather became cool and
dry in the fall and the nights frosty the number of deaths on board
the Jersey was _reduced_ to an average of ten per day! which was
_small_ compared with the mortality for three months before. The
human bones and skulls yet bleaching on the shore of Long Island, and
exposed by the falling down of the high bank, on which the prisoners
were buried, is a shocking sight." (Talbot, page 106.)

In May, 1808, one William Burke of New York testified that "He was a
prisoner in the Jersey 14 months, has known many American prisoners
put to death by the bayonet. It was the custom for but one prisoner at
a time to go on deck. One night while many prisoners were assembled at
the grate, at the hatchway to obtain fresh air, and waiting their turn
to go on deck, a sentinel thrust his bayonet down among them, and 25
next morning were found to be dead. This was the case several
mornings, when sometimes six, and sometimes eight or ten were found
dead by wounds thus received."

A Connecticut paper, some time in May, 1781, stated that. "Eleven
hundred French and American prisoners died in New York last winter."

A paper published in Philadelphia, on the 20th of February, 1782,
says: "Many of our unfortunate prisoners on board the prison ships in
the East River have perished during the late extreme weather, for want
of fuel and other necessaries."

"New London. May 3rd. 1782. One thousand of our seamen remain in
prison ships in New York, a great part in close confinement for six
months past, and in a most deplorable condition. Five hundred have
died during the past five or six months, three hundred are sick; many
seeing no prospect of release are entering the British service to
elude the contagion with which the prison ships are fraught."

Joel Barlow in his Columbiad says that Mr. Elias Boudinot told him
that in the Jersey 1,100 prisoners died in eighteen months, almost the
whole of them from the barbarous treatment of being stifled in a
crowded hold with infected air; and poisoned with unwholesome food,
and Mr Barlow adds that the cruelties exercised by the British armies
on American prisoners during the first years of the war were
unexampled among civilized nations.

CONCLUSION

Such of the prisoners as escaped after months of suffering with health
sufficient for future usefulness in the field often re-enlisted,
burning for revenge.

Mr. Scharf, in his "History of Western Maryland," speaks of Colonel
William Kunkel, who had served in Prussia, and emigrated to America
about the year 1732. He first settled in Lancaster, Pa., but
afterwards moved to Western Maryland. He had six sons in the
Revolution. One of these sons entered the American army at the age of
eighteen. Taken prisoner he was sent on board the Jersey, where his
sufferings were terrible. On his return home after his exchange he
vowed to his father that he would return to the army and fight until
the last redcoat was driven out of the country. He did return, and
from that time, says Mr Scharf, his family never heard from him again.

Mr. Crimmins in his "Irish-American Historical Miscellany," says: "An
especially affecting incident is told regarding one prisoner who died
on the Jersey. Two young men, brothers, belonging to a rifle corps
were made prisoners, and sent on board the ship. The elder took the
fever, and in a few days became delirious. One night as his end was
fast approaching, he became calm and sensible, and lamenting his hard
fate, and the absence of his mother, begged for a little water. His
brother with tears, entreated the guard to give him some, but in
vain. The sick youth was soon in his last struggles, when his brother
offered the guard a guinea for an inch of candle, only that he might
see him die. Even this was denied."

The young rifleman died in the dark.

"Now," said his brother, drying his tears, "if it please God that I
ever regain my liberty, I'll be a most bitter enemy!"

He was exchanged, rejoined the army, and when the war ended he is said
to have had eight large and one hundred and twenty-seven small notches
on his rifle stock. The inference is that he made a notch every time
he killed or wounded a British soldier, a large notch for an officer,
and a small one for a private.

Mr. Lecky, the English historian, thus speaks of American prisoners:
"The American prisoners who had been confined in New York after the
battle of Long Island were so emaciated and broken down by scandalous
neglect or ill usage that Washington refused to receive them in
exchange for an equal number of healthy British and Hessian troops. *
* * It is but justice to the Americans to add that their conduct
during the war appears to have been almost uniformly humane. No
charges of neglect of prisoners, like those which were brought,
apparently with too good reason, against the English, were
substantiated against them. The conduct of Washington was marked by a
careful and steady humanity, and Franklin, also, appears to have done
much to mitigate the war."

Our task is now concluded. We have concerned ourselves with the
prisoners themselves, not much with the history of the negotiations
carried on to effect exchange, but have left this part of the subject
to some abler hand. Only a very small part of the story has been told
in this volume, and there is much room for future investigations. It
is highly probable that if a systematic search is made many
unpublished accounts may be discovered, and a great deal of light shed
upon the horrors of the British prisons. If we have awakened interest
in the sad fate of so many of our brave countrymen, and aroused some
readers to a feeling of compassion for their misfortunes, and
admiration for their heroism, our task has not been in vain.

APPENDIX A

LIST OF 8000 MEN WHO WERE PRISONERS ON BOARD THE OLD JERSEY

PRINTED BY PERMISSION OF THE SOCIETY OF OLD BROOKLYNITES

This list of names was copied from the papers of the British War
Department. There is nothing to indicate what became of any of these
prisoners, whether they died, escaped, or were exchanged. The list
seems to have been carelessly kept, and is full of obvious mistakes in
spelling the names. Yet it shall be given just as it is, except that
the names are arranged differently, for easier reference. This list of
prisoners is the only one that could be found in the British War
Department. What became of the lists of prisoners on the many other
prison ships, and prisons, used by the English in America, we do not
know.

Garret Aarons
John Aarons (2)
Alexander Abbett
John Abbett
James Abben
John Abbott
Daniel Abbott
Abel Abel
George Abel
Jacob Aberry
Jabez Abett
Philip Abing
Thomas Abington
Christopher Abois
William Aboms
Daniel Abrams
Don Meegl (Miguel) Abusure
Gansio Acito
Abel Adams
Amos Adams
Benjamin Adams
David Adams
Isaac Adams
John Adams (4)
Lawrence Adams
Moses Adams
Nathaniel Adams
Pisco Adams
Richard Adams
Stephen Adams
Thomas Adams
Warren Adams
Amos Addams
Thomas Addett
Benjamin Addison
David Addon
John Adlott
Robert Admistad
Noah Administer
Wm Adamson (2)
John Adobon
James Adovie
Sebastian de Aedora
Jean Aenbie
Michael Aessinis
Frances Affille
Joseph Antonio Aguirra
Thomas Aguynoble
John Aires
Robert Aitken
Thomas Aiz
Manuel Ajote
Jacob Akins
Joseph Aker (2)
Richard Akerson
Charles Albert
Piere Albert
Robert Albion
Joachin Alconan
Joseph de Alcorta
Juan Ignacid Alcorta
Pedro Aldaronda
Humphrey Alden
Fred Aldkin
George Aldridge
Jacob Alehipike
Jean Aleslure
Archibald Alexander
John Alexander (2)
Lehle Alexander
William Alexander
Thomas Alger
Christopher Aliet
Joseph Aliev
George Alignott
Joseph Allah
Gideon Allan
Hugh Allan
Francis Allegree
Baeknel Allen
Bancke Allen
Benjamin Allen
Bucknell Allen
Ebeneser Allen
George Allen
Gideon Allen
Isaac Allen
John Allen (5)
Josiah Allen
Murgo Allen
Richard Allen (2)
Samuel Allen (7)
Squire Allen
Thomas Allen (3)
William Allen (4)
Jean Allin
Caleb Allis
Bradby Allison
Bradey Allison
James Allison
Frances Alment
Arrohan Almon
Aceth Almond
William Alpin
Jacob Alsfrugh
Jacob Alsough
Jacob Alstright
Jacob Alsworth
Thomas Alvarey
Miguel Alveras
Don Ambrose Alverd
Joseph Alvey
James Alwhite
George Alwood
James Alwood
Charles Amey
Anthony Amingo
Manuel Amizarma
Nathaniel Anabel
Austin Anaga
Jean Ancette
Charles Anderson
Joseph Anderson
Robert Anderson
William Anderson (3)
George Andre
Benjamin Andrews
Charles Andrews
Dollar Andrews
Ebeneser Andrews
Francis Andrews
Frederick Andrews
Jerediah Andrews
John Andrews (4)
Jonathan Andrews
Pascal Andrews
Philany Andrews
Thomas Andrews
William Andrews
Guillion Andrie
Pashal Andrie
Dominique Angola
Andre D. C. Annapolen
Joseph Anrandes
John Anson
William Anster
David Anthony
Davis Anthony
Samuel Anthony
Pierre Antien
Jacques Antiqua
Jean Anton
Francis Antonf
John Antonio
Daniel Appell
Daniel Apple
Thomas Appleby
Samuel Appleton
Joseph Aquirse
---- Arbay
Abraham Archer
James Archer
John Archer
Stephen Archer
Thomas Arcos
Richard Ariel
Asencid Arismane
Ezekiel Arme
Jean Armised
James Armitage
Elijah Armsby
Christian Armstrong
William Armstrong
Samuel Arnibald
Amos Arnold
Ash Arnold
Samuel Arnold
Charles Arnolds
Samuel Arnolds
Thomas Arnold
Andres Arral
Manuel de Artol
Don Pedro Asevasuo
Hosea Asevalado
James Ash
Henry Ash
John Ashbey
John Ashburn
Peter Ashburn
John Ashby
Warren Ashby
John Ashley
Andrew Askill
Francis Aspuro
John Athan
George Atkins
John Atkins
Silas Atkins
John Atkinson
Robert Atkinson
William Atkinson
James Atlin
Duke Attera
Jean Pierre Atton
John Atwood
Henry Auchinlaup
Joseph Audit
Anthony Aiguillia
Igarz Baboo Augusion
Peter Augusta
Thomas Augustine
Laurie Aujit
George Austin
Job Avery
Benjamin Avmey
Francis Ayres
Don Pedro Azoala

B

Franklin Babcock
William Babcock
James Babel
Jeremiah Babell
Jean Babier
Abel Baboard
Vascilla Babtreause
Francis Bachelier
Jonathan Bachelor
Antonio Backalong
Francis Backay
Benjamin Bacon
Esau Bacon
Judah Bacon
Stephen Badante
Laurence Badeno
William Badick
Jonathan Baddock
John Baggar
Barnett Bagges
Adam Bagley
Joseph Bahamony
John Bailey (2)
William Bailey
Moses Baird
Joseph Baisolus
William Baison
William Batho
Christopher Baker
Ebenezer Baker
John Baker (2)
Joseph Baker
Judah Baker
Lemuel Baker
Nathaniel Baker
Pamberton Baker
Pemberton Baker
Pembleton Baker
Thomas Baker (3)
David Baldwin
James Baldwin
John Baldwin
Nathaniel Baldwin
Ralph Baldwin
Thomas Ball
Benjamin Ballard
John Ballast
Joseph Balumatigua
Ralf Bamford
Jacob Bamper
Peter Banaby
James Bandel
Augustine Bandine
Pierre Bandine
John Banister (2)
Matthew Bank
James Banker
John Banks
Matthew Banks
Jean Rio Bapbsta
Jean Baptista
Gale Baptist
Jean Baptist
John Barber
Gilbert Barber
John Barden
William Barenoft
Walter Bargeman
Joseph Bargeron
Charles Bargo
Mabas Bark
Benjamin Barker
Edward Barker
Jacom Barker
John Barker
Peter Barker
Thomas Barker
Benjamin Barkly
Joseph Barkump
John Barley
James Barman
Ethiem Barnell
Charles Barnes
Henry Barnes
Wooding Barnes
John Barnett
Henry Barney
Mons Barney
Samuel Barney
William Barnhouse
James Barracks
Pierre Barratt
Abner Barre
Dennis Barrett
Enoch Barrett
Francis Barrett
Samuel Barrett
William Barrett
Robert Barrol
Bernard Barron
Enoch Barrott
Francis Barsidge
William Bartlet
Joseph Bartley
Charles Barthalemerd
Charles Bartholemew
Joseph Bartholomew
---- Bartholomew
Benjamin Bartholoyd
Petrus Bartlemie
Michael Bartol
Thomas Barton
John Basker
William Bason
Donnor Bass
Juvery Bastin
Michael Bastin
Louis Baston
Asa Batcheler
Benjamin Bate
Benjamin Bates
Henry Bates
James Bates
William Batt
John Battersley
John Battesker
Adah Batterman
Adam Batterman
George Batterman (2)
Joseph Batterman
---- Baumos
Thomas Bausto
Benjamin Bavedon
George Baxter
Malachi Baxter
Richard Bayan
Joseph Bayde
Thomas Bayess
John Bayley
Joseph Baynes
Jean Baxula
John Bazee
Daniel Beal
Samuel Beal
Joseph Beane
James Beankey
James Bearbank
Jesse Bearbank
Morgan Beard
Moses Beard
Daniel Beatty
Benjamin Beasel
Joseph Beaufort
Perri Beaumont
Andrew Beck
Thomas Beck
William Beckett
Jonathan Beckwith
Francis Bedell
Frederick Bedford
Joseph Bedford
Thomas Bedford
Benjamin Beebe
Elias Beebe
Joshua Beebe
Benjamin Beeford
James Beekman
Walter Beekwith
Lewis Begand
Joseph Begley
Joseph Belcher
John Belding
Pierre Belgard
Aaron Bell
Charles Bell
Robert Bell
Uriah Bell
Alexander Bellard
Joseph Belter
Julian Belugh
Jean Bengier
Joseph Benloyde
John Benn
George Bennett
John Bennett
Joseph Bennett
Peter Bennett
Pierre Bennett
Anthony Benson
Stizer Benson
David Benton
John Benton
Peter Bentler
Nathaniel Bentley (2)
Peter Bentley
William Bentley
Joshua M Berason
Joseoh Berean
Julian Berger
Lewis Bernall
Francis Bernardus
Francis Bercoute
Jean Juquacid Berra
Abner Berry
Alexander Berry
Benjamin Berry
Daniel Berry
Dennis Berry
Edward Berry
John Berry
Peter Berry (2)
Philip Berry
Simon Berry
William Berry (3)
Philip Berrycruise
William Berryman
Jean Bertine
Martin Bertrand
John Bertram
Andrew Besin
Jean Beshire
John Beszick
James Bett
Samuel Bevan
Jean Bevin
Benjamin Beverley
Robert Bibbistone
John Bice
Andrew Bick
John Bickety
Charles Bierd
David Bierd
Joshua Bievey
Benjamin Bigelow
Oliver Bigelow
Thomas Biggs
Jean Bilarie
Charles Bill (2)
Garden Bill
John Bill (2)
Pierre Bill
John Billard
James Biller
Samuel Billing
Benjamin Billings
Bradford Billings
Ezekiel Billings
Robert Billings
David Billows
Frarey Binnen
Cirretto Biola
Pierre Biran
Alexander Birch
Nathaniel Birch
Joseph Bird
Weldon Bird
Thomas Birket
Samuel Birmingham
Ezekiel Bishop
Israel Bishop
John Bishop (2)
John Bissell
Jack Bissick
Osee Bissole
Pierre Bitgayse
Peter Bitton
Daniel Black
James Black (3)
John Black
Joseph Black
Robert N Black
Samuel Black (2)
Timothy Black
William Black
John Blackburn
Alexander Blackhunt
William Blackpond
V C Blaine
John Blair
Charles Blake
Increase Blake
James Blake
Samuel Blake
Valentine Blake
David Blanch
Robert Blanch
Joseph Blancher
William Blanchet
John Blanney
Gideon Blambo
Jesse Blacque
Joseph Blateley
Lubal Blaynald
Asa Blayner
Edward Blevin
Benjamin Blimbey
William Blimbey
Joseph Blinde
William Bliss
Samuel Blissread
Juan Blodgett
Seth Blodgett
John Blond
Lewis Blone
Louis Blong
Peter Bloome (2)
Samuel Bloomfield
Jomes Blossom
James Blowen
John Bloxand
William Bluard
George Blumbarg
George Blunt (4)
William Blythe
Matthew Boar
John Bobier
John Bobgier
Joseph Bobham
Jonathan Bocross
Lewis Bodin
Peter Bodwayne
John Boelourne
Christopher Boen
Purdon Boen
Roper Bogat
James Boggart
Ralph Bogle
Nicholas Boiad
Pierre Boilon
William Boine
Jacques Bollier
William Bolt
William Bolts
Bartholomew Bonavist
Henry Bone
Anthony Bonea
Jeremiah Boneafoy
James Boney
Thomas Bong
Barnabus Bonus
James Bools
William Books
John Booth
Joseph Borda
Charles Borden
John Borman
James Borrall
Joseph Bortushes
Daniel Borus (2)
Joseph Bosey
Pierre Bosiere
Jacques Bosse
Ebenezer Boswell
Gustavus Boswell
Lewis Bothal
Charles Bottis
James Bottom
Walter Bottom
Augustin Boudery
Augustus Boudery
Anthony Bouea
Theophilus Boulding
Pierre Bounet
Lewis Bourge
John Boursbo
Lawrence Bourshe
Jean Boutilla
Lewis Bouton
Edward Boven
Elijah Bowden
Arden Bowen
Elijah Bowen
Ezekiel Bowen
Paldon Bowen
Thomas Bowen (3)
William Bowen
Willis Bowen
James Bowers
Thomas Bowers
Fulbur Bowes
James Bowles
Daniel Bowman
Benjamin Bowman
Elijah Bowman (2)
John Bowman
Michael Bowner
John Bowrie
P I Bowree
Jean Bowseas
John Boyau
Thomas Boyd
John Boyde
David Boyeau
Francis Boyer
Joseph Boyne
Thomas Bradbridge
Samuel Bradbury
William Braden
James Brader
Samuel Bradfield
William Bradford
Abijah Bradley
Alijah Bradley
Daniel Bradley
James Bradley
Abraham Bradley
John Brady
James Bradyon
Ebenezer Bragg (2)
William Bragley
Nathaniel Braily
Zacheus Brainard
Joseph Bramer
Zachary Bramer
William Bramber
James Branart
Aholibah Branch
William Brand
Ralf Brandford
Charles Branel
William Bransdale
David Branson
Peter Braswan
Peter Brays (2)
Burden Brayton
Peter Brayton
John Bredford
James Brehard
Elijah Bremward
Pierre Brene
George Brent
Pierre Bretton
John Brewer
Samuel Brewer
Joseph Brewett
James Brewster (2)
Seabury Brewster
John Brice
Thomas Bridges
Glond Briges
Cabot Briggs
Alexander Bright
Henry Brim
Peter Brinkley
Ephraim Brion
Louis Brire
Thomas Brisk
Simon Bristo
Jalaher C Briton
Peter Britton
Thomas Britton
Ephraim Broad (3)
Ossia Broadley
Joseph Broaker
Joshua Brocton
Philip Broderick
William Broderick (2)
Joseph Broge
William Brooker
Charles Brooks (2)
Henry Brooks
Paul Brooks
Samuel Brooks (2)
Thomas Brooks
Benjamin Brown
Christopher Brown
David Brown (2)
Francis Brown
Gustavus Brown (3)
Hugh Brown (2)
Jacob Brown
James Brown (3)
Jonathan Brown
John Brown (12)
Joseph Brown (3)
Michael Brown
Nathaniel Brown
Patrick Brown
Peter Brown
Samuel Brown (3)
William Brown (5)
W. Brown
William Boogs Brown
Willis Brown
Essick Brownhill
Wanton Brownhill
Charles Brownwell
Gardner Brownwell
Pierre Brows
James Bruding
Lewis Brun
Daniel Bruton
Edward Bryan
John Bryan
Matthew Bryan
Nathaniel Bryan
William Bryan
Benjamin Bryand
Ephraim Bryand
James Bryant
William Bryant
Nicholas Bryard
Francis Bryean
Richard Bryen
Berr Bryon
Thomas Bryon
Simon Buas
Thomas Buchan
Francis Buchanan
Elias Buck
Elisha Buck
John Buck
Joseph Bucklein
Philip Buckler
Cornelius Buckley
Daniel Buckley (2)
Francis Buckley
Jacob Buckley
John Buckley (3)
Daniel Bucklin (2)
Samuel Buckwith
David Buckworth
Benjamin Bud
Nicholas Budd
Jonathan Buddington
Oliver Buddington
Waller Buddington
William Budgid
John Budica
Joshua Buffins
Lawrence Buffoot
John Bugger
Silas Bugg
John Buldings
Jonathan Bulgedo
Benjamin Bullock
Thomas Bullock
Benjamin Bumbley
Lewis Bunce
Norman Bunce
Thomas Bunch
Antonio Bund
Obadiah Bunke
Jonathan Bunker
Timothy Bunker
William Bunker
Richard Bunson (2)
Murdock Buntine
Frederick Bunwell
Thomas Burch
Michael Burd
Jeremiah Burden
Joseph Burden
William Burden
Jason Burdis
Daniel Burdit
Bleck Burdock
Robert Burdock
Vincent Burdock
Henry Burgess
Theophilus Burgess
Barnard Burgh
Prosper Burgo
Jean Burham
James Burke
Thomas Burke
William Burke
Michael Burkman
William Burn
Frederick Burnett
James Burney
James Burnham
Daniel Burnhill
Archibald Burns
Edward Burns (2)
Henry Burns
John Burns
Thomas Burns
Stephen Burr
Pierre Burra
Francis Burrage
John Burrell
Lewis Burrell
Isaac Burrester
Jonathan Burries
Nathaniel Burris
John Burroughs
Edward Burrow
James Burton
John Burton
Jessee Byanslow
Bartholomew Byi
John Bylight

C

Abel Cable
Louis Cadat
Louis Pierre Cadate
Michael Cadate
John Caddington
Nathan Caddock
Jean Cado
John Cahoon
Jonathan Cahoone
Thomas Caile
David Cain (2)
Thomas Cain
Samuel Caird
Joseph Caivins
Pierre Cajole
Thomas Calbourne
James Calder
Caplin Calfiere
Nathaniel Calhoun
Charles Call
Barnaby Callagham
Daniel Callaghan
William Callehan
James Callingham
Andrew Caiman
Francis Calon
Parpi Calve
Nicholas Calwell
Joseph Cambridge
Edward Cameron
Simon Came
Oseas Camp
Alexander Campbell
Frederick Campbell
James Campbell
Jesse Campbell
John Campbell (2)
Joseph Campbell
Philip Campbell (2)
Robert Campbell
Thomas Campbell (2)
James Canady
Joseph Canana
Satarus Candie
Jacob Canes
Richard Caney
Jacob Canmer
William Cannady
William Canner
Charles Cannon

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