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taken their Town, & they could but Just keep it, & that
They were obliged to keep out three sentrys at different
ports, & that they saw about fifty Indians that night, & fired
at them three times & that they now came in to acquaint the
Guard & get a supply of Powder & balls to figlit them: and
one of them added, He must return that night to Old Town
(it being then after sunset) or he should expect to find his
Family knocked on the Head. He was immediately dis-
patched with Six pound of Powder, & half the Balls in the
Guard House, ( as I was told ) & went off. The Guard was
all ordered to repair to the Guard House, & I heard CoP
Jon'^ Lowder say, the Fort must be finished with all dispatch,
& oxen must be had, if he was obliged to press them. The
next day one Jos^® Airs & his oxen was engaged to haul pig-
netts, as he informed me, & the next day morning J. Airs
appeared with his Oxen, as he had promised : but instead of
employing him in hauling Pignetts, he was loaded with the
State or Province Stores, & sent up to Ens" Coburn's House,
which is Five Miles above y® Truck House or Fort, & within
six miles of the Indian Penobscot Old Town without any
Guard whatsoever, & Col** Lowder who then commanded the
Guard followed the Stores

The Deponant further saith, that he was Credibly informed
Col° Lowder said, That if this alarm respecting the Indians,
did not answer any other Good purpose. It would be the
means of stopping Dam - d Petition of Wheelers.

Penobscot Aug«^ 7"' 1777 Jed. Preble

A true Copy

Attest Jn° Avery D^ Secy


Sam} Curtis' Certificate.

Samuel Curtis Testifies & Says that he was about a quar-
ter of a mile from the Gentry about Six miles above Condes-
neg Falls near or about where Ensign Coburn's residence is,
& about three Hours by Sun 'on Sunday Morning, I went
toward the Gentry & met Him & asked the Gentry what was
the matter the Gentry answered he was fired upon by the
Indians & appeared to be much affrighted then we both
returned back to the House & that some Indians came there
the Evening of that day & Lieutenant Oilman agreed with
them to carry Him & his party over the River the next
morning to go in Quest of those Indians that fired upon his
Gentry Wliereupon the said Indians got their Breakfast &
it was about three Hours by Sun in the morning & the
Indians sent for Lieu* Gilman & he did not come & they
waited about a quarter of an Hour & He did not come yet &
the Indians went of & left said Gilman & his party & the s**
Goburn the next night after the Gentry was fired on ordered
me to go with Him to Set the Gentry & ordered me to play
upon my Fife as we went to sett the Watch & He the said
Goburn Carrying a Firebrand in his Hand to Light me along
to where the Gentry was to be sett & it being about nine
o'clock at night when the watch was sett. — The above given
before the Committee —

A true Copy Exam : John Partridge Clerk

August the T'"^ 1777

A true Copy

Attest Jn° Avery D^ Secy

State of Massachusetts Bay

In the House of Representatives August 11, 1777
Whereas it appears upon Examination of the Accounts of
the Treasurer of the County of York that all the monies



granted and allowed by the Court of General Sessions of the
Peace for said County for the year 17*77 were for such pur-
poses and appropriations as the Law irapowered said Court
to Grant —

Therefore Resolved that Said Account be allowed —
Sent up for Concurrence

J. Warren Spk"^
In Council Aug 12, 1777

Read & Concurred

Consented to
Jer: Powell
Caleb Gushing
S. Holten
D. Hopkins
I. Palmer

A. Ward
T. Gushing
Benj Austin
Moses Gill
Josiah Stone

Jn° Avery D^ Secy.

W. Spooner
John Whitcomb
D. Sewall
Jabez Fisher
B. White.

To the Hon^ Committee of Inspection & Correspondence and
Safety for y® District of Machias &
Sylvanas Scott of said Machias begs leave to lay before
your Honours his Distressing Circumstances Namely the loss
of your Petitionei's house Barn &c — being situated at a
Place called Indian River where a Fortification was Erected
for y® Defence of y® River against y^ attacks of y® Enemy
who came up to y" said place last Sumer & there not being a
Sufficient Number of Troops to Oppose y® Enemys Landing
they Landed with great Fury Burnt & Destroyed your Peti-
tioners Dwelling house Barn, English Hay & Household Fur-
niture &c Agreeable to an Inventory hereunto Annexed —
not having one Hours Notice could not save any thing but
part of his Waring Apparell and some Beding with his Fam-
illy who gladly made his Escape all of which Losses reduces
your Petitioner to y* greatest Distress Immaginable as havhig


a large Family to Support obliges him to seek charity of y®

Publick leaving it to your Wise Consideration to point out

some way wherein he can be Releaved and as in Duty

Bound shall Ever Pray

Silvanus Scott

Machias Aug"' IS''* 1777

An Acct of Articles lost at Machias by Sylvanes Scott
from date above viz

1 Dwelling House 42 feet & 28, 1 Barn 41 feet 27, 6 Tun
English Hay, 4 Calfs 4 months old, 2 fatt Hogs, 20 Dunghill
Fowles, 1 Sett Joynors Tools, 1 Sett House Carpenters D°,
1 D° Shoe Makers D°, 1 Large Grind Stone & Iron Crank,

1 Sled Yoke & Chain, 2 Hay Forks & 1 Dung Fork, 1 Shod
Shovel & Iron Shovel, 1 Spade & Hoe, 1 Iron frow & 2
Drawg. Knives, 1 Weavers Loom & Implements, 1 Sickel &
Mose Skin dress'd, 1 P"" Snow Shoes 1 Grain Sieve, A Quan-
tity of Iron Bound & other Casks, 1500 feet Square Timber,
2750 Shingles in Bundles, 1 Feather Bed, 4 Bed steads with
Cords, 3 New Beds steads for sale, 2 Tabels 6 Bow back
chairs, 12 Common Chairs, 1 Bottle Case, 1 20 Bottle Case,
Large Quantity of dary Implements, 1 P"^ And Irons 1 Iron
Mortar, 1 Brass Kettle, a Quantity of Household Utensils,

2 Spinning Weels, a Quantity of Pewter & Crockery Ware,
j4 Barrel Soap, 1 Barr^ Pickel fish, 1 Horn Lanthorn, 1 Flax
Coomb, 1 Flock Bed, 4'^ Cotton Wool, 10 Skains Cotton
Yarn, Sole and Uper Leath"^ Sufficient to make 5 P''* Shoes
&c —

Falmouth, Aug 16, 1777.
Gentlemen :

Inclos*^ you have Cap* Will"* Harpers Receipt for forty

pipes of wine shipt on Board the Sloop Swan, Harper

Master, which he is to deliver the Hon''*'' Board they paying


him for freight Twenty-five pounds L. Money, he delivering

Said wine in good order. I have agreed for a Sch*^ that will

take in fifty or Sixty pipes more, which will be all that I

purpose to take of the Brigg" She had on Board about one

Hundred & Ninety five & five Quart Casks, so that when

this Schn' has her Load there will Remain on hand the

Brigg about Seventy or Seventy-five pipes which will not

much more than Ballast her up. I Intend to hall the Brigg

in alongside the Wharf & Clean her Bottom, Before I let

her off when that is don, hope their will Not be any grate

danger, I shall see that her sails and Riging is in good order

& that she has on Board a good Pilot Before I Leave her

I should have take out thirty or thirty-five pipes more. But

hear is Not a Vessel to be had. Should their Be any Small

Vessell arrive By the time I have got Ready Belive shall

take out a few more, as I Suppose Less will Ballist the

Brigg ( then what I have at present Conclude'^ to Leave on

Board ) we have had no Late arrival here

I am Gentlemen with grate Esteem Your Most Obedient

Hum"« Ser^*

Jon. Glover

N. B. their is a Quantity of Corke on Board Each Vessell
that I have Shipt the wine in, for dunage which you* order
out —

To The Hon'^i^ Board of
War in Boston.

Maehias August 17, 1777.

I wrote you some days Ago Informing the Hon^'® Board
of my arrival at this place with a number of Indians, Intend-
ing immediately after to have Given their Honors a detail of
the St. Johns Expedition. But a matter somewhat more


interesting Turning up, will prevent it for the present, shall
therefore refer the particulars of that Expedition to another

I have therefore to acquaint the Hon'^'® Board that on
Wednesday the 13"' Instant about 3 o'clock A. M. Intelligence
was Received at the falls, of the arrival of three Large Ships,
one Brig, and one Small Schooner at the mouth of the Har-
bor. Various were the conjectures who it could be, as it
appeared they Came from the Westward. Major Stillman
and Captain Smith with a few men set of immediately in
Boats to make Discovery, and to take such steps as were
necessary : if found to be the Enemy.

About 5 o'clock the Brig Appeared : near the Battery for-
merly on a point of Land Called the Rim ( opposite which
was a Boom ) having 8 Boats in Tow full of Soldiers, with a
great number on Board. Mess'"" Stillman and Smith joined
Col° Foster having in the whole only Thirty-five men. The
Brig soon Came to where the Boats made towards the shore
with the appearance of a Determination to Land. Our men
immediately forming in a posture for opposing, and By their
Vigilence & Activity keeping a Constant & sure fire, pre-
vented the Enemys Landing, who in much Confusion,
Retreated to the Brig — in the niglit Captain Smith Came
up & immediately return'd with one of the Cannon and a
Swivel belonging to the Marisheete, with a Cable and
Anchor to Secure the Boom, all which By his Indefatigable
pains, he Effected By day Light when our people Began to
fire with the Cannon and hull'd the Brig several times. I
Embody'd the Indians between Forty & Fifty after I had
spoke to them upon the matter they very chearfully went on
Service down the River.

About day Light of the ll^*" The Enemy receiv'd a rein-
forcement, the morning was Extremely foggy and it being
Easy for them to Land at Several places, Our people being


SO few not able to Guard the several posts to prevent their
Landing it was thought most prudent for them to Retreat,
and get altogether at the falls to make as Vigorous Defence
as possible. Accordingly a small redoubt was raised near
where it was supposed the enemy woud Land, in which was
placed Twenty men under the Command of Major Stillman
with two small Guns from the Marisheete. A Breastwork
was allso raised on a Rising Ground near the mills on which
was fixed the Swivils of the Schooner some of the Guns,
having a number of men under the Command of Lieu*- Col°
Nevers which was Intended for the Last Retreat, in the
afternoon people seemed to Gete togather after Securing
their Familys & property and made every preparation possi-
ble, which time and circumstances woud admit. The Enemy
Burned Several Buildings about the River & one mill down
the River.

About 5 o'clock P. M. The Brig appeared in sight Beating
up, with a number of Boats ahead towing, also a Sloop which
the Enemy took in the River, having strongly Fortify'^ her
against small arms. There being but a Light Breeze & Tide
of flood they Came up pretty fast and Between Six and
Seven, Came to an anchor near the Buildings appeared in a
most formidable & warlike position.

In this time Our men took their Different stations Capt.
Smith with a Body having a number of Indians with him
Lay upon an Extreme point near the Brig about 30 Indians
within a few rods of him on a hill in order to Support the
former. The next Major Stillman his Battery, Col. Nevers
in tlie Breastwork and a small scouting party on the West
Side of the River, the whole amounting to about 180 Men.

In tin's position we continued about half an liour Expect-
ing every minute to Receive her Broadsides. The Enemy
appeared in great Commotion, Rowing and Driving about
the Brig and as we thought fixing a Spring on their Cables.


Our Determination was not to begin the fire in the present
situation further than firing some shot to see what effect it
would have on the Brig wliich Appeared to Answer Our
most Sanguine Expectation.

The Indians in this time appeared very Eager for fighting,
Set up the Indian Yell which was foUow'd By many at the
Different places, which no Doubt Occasioned the Enemy to
suppose there were some Hundreds It appeared almost
impossible to prevent some of the Indians from firing, one of
them it was generely supposed Killed a man in a Boat at a
great distance, who we Imagined was Going to Burn some
Houses on the Opposite Shore.

But notwithstanding all this parade of these Invaders, the
Haughty & warlike position, to the Great surprise and
Astonishment of every one in Less than half an Hour after
Coming to an Anchor, The Brig & Sloop Both Gote under-
way without firing a Gun towards the Houses & with the
greatest precipitation possiljle having Eleven Boats towing,
made down the River against the Tide of flood, giving
Three Cheers as they went of, however, I thought this was
only a finnesse of theirs and it was strongly recommended to
keep to the post only a scouting party to watch their motions
till we know'd their real design after this Major Stillman
was Detach'd with about Thirty men proceeding along the
River side By Land and about Ten o'clock Came up with
them, Here Major Stillman & party Display'*^ the Soldiers.
Being on a plain spot of Ground, Exposed to the whole fire
of the Enemy & not more than 100 yards from their Cannon.
But with Undoubted Courage Vigorously attacked the
Enemy which evidently proved to Be effectual By the Con-
sternation it put the Enemy in, for many in the Boats Called
out they were not able to Gete on Board ( when Ordered )
By reason that some crews were all Killed or Wounded,
several officers were named which suffered, one Lieu* Garden
in perticular.


The Brig keep'd up all tbis time a Constant & heavy Fire
of Langrage & Grape Shot, But notwithstanding our people
were so exposed, By the Interposition of Divine providence,
only one man was killed. She soon got aground But our
people being much fatigued & ammunition spent they re-
turned back, and at Day Light of the 15^^ Col° Foster with a
Body of Men went Down and about Seven o'clock attacked
them. The Boats Employed in Geteing out the Anchors &
making preparation to Gate her of were forced to take
shelter behind the Brig and only one Boat which was Barri-
caded coud Give her any assistance

At 10 o'clock Captain Smith with a number of white men
and all the Indians got off in order to attack them on the
other side of the River By which movements the Boats were
forced to quit together. She having them gote of, so difficult
was their situation that the Boats Crews Declared they could
not row, in Answer, the officers swore they would blow the
first man's Brains out who dared to Come on Board. The
Brig then struck Ground again, But our people keeping up
such an Incessant fire they could not take the necessary pre-
caution to Gate her of. By which she continued during that
Tide. In this Action Capt. Farnsworth rec'd a wound on
the head, but is in a fair way of recovery.

By the time the Mihtia were coming in very fast so as to
enable us to Distribute further down the River to prevent
Assistance from the Ships below, a small Cannon, was taken
down and fixed opposite the stern of the Brig, and the
Greatest part of the day a pretty Constant fire was keep''^
up on Both sides. Several Balls went into the Stern of the
Brig, which with the firing from the Quarter deck while
aground must have Wrecked her very much.

Several Boats attempted to Gate up the River which were
always drove back with a very Considerable Loss on their
side — on the Tide of flood the Sloop stood up the River (as


was supposed ) to Succor the Brig & Gate her of, a party of
our Men suddenly attacked them, many of the Enemy were
seen to fall, with the greatest difficulty they Gote her Clear,
a heavy rain Coming on, prevented our people from pursu-
ing their Designs in stoping the Brig from Geting down the
River. She soon floated and with the assistance of the Sloop
& a small breeze of wind she made the Best of her way
down, and on the morning of the 16*^ Came to altogather at
Round Island — The past night they were seen getting
Ballast on Board in the Greatest Haste and this morning on
the Tide of Ebb all but one ship sets sail & Departed the

I must Observe to the Hon''^^ Board that this Expedition
of the Enemy & our situation at the time might occasion
some reflection. It appears tliis matter was a plan of Daw-
son of the Brig Hope that he had rec'd Intelligence from
time to time of the situation of this place and that the
General Court would not allow anything for its Defence, till
the Expedition now forming was Granted, which it appears
by Certain Information, that he has rec'*^ Intelligence of the
Backwardness of it, he has been seen cruising backwards and
forwards for this some time past. He no doubt supposed
from this that there was some Property Deposited here and
not Strength to defend it, and his coming up in such a
daring manner, would so intimedate the Inhabitants that
they would immediately give up.

As to the situation of the place it Cut a gloomy aspect the
morning the Brig Came up, matters appeared Desperate on
our side & a feint hope of saving the place from Destruction.
The Enemy seemed Encouraged By our men Leaving the
Battery below, which indeed was done from necessity. But
all this turned out for our Great advantage for on the Brigs
coming up & seeing such fortifications, which were never
known of before, and our men posted in such a manner,


might very reasonably, Conjecture that our retreating, was to
bring tliem in that Difficult Situation & Destroy tliem &
supposing we had some Hundreds, By their returning in such
an unprecedented manner — had we but two six pounders
the Brig must have struck, which I think should have been
sent when the Stores came down for things of this nature is
always the means of an Enemy making desperate attempts,
upon the whole we may be very thankful to Kind Provi-
dence that the place is so far preserved.

I cannot but highly applaud the Bravery of the whole of
the ]\lilitia & the few troops Inlisted, have not heard the
Least Complaint of any Backwardness after matters Came to

And I have the pleasure to Inform the Hon^^® Board that
none Deserves Greater Applause than our Indian Friends,
For the Diff' Officers at the Several attacks assured me that
no persons Beheaved more Gallantly, Exposing themselves
openly to the fire of the Cannon & small arms, very Diff*
then what has been Generely Practised by Indians. The
same morning the Enemy arrived, I had a Conference with
Six Deputys from Penobscot, we Exchanged pledges of
friendship, Received the greatest satisfaction, and agreed
with them to be at Penobscot in six weeks where I am to
meet the S' Francis Indians & others from Canada. I Deliv*^
these six Guns, who immediately joined the others & Con-
tinued till the departure of the Ships when I Dismissed them
with some presents.

My coming to Machias was a matter more of Necessity
then Inclination as I was confident it would create a greater
Expence, and the Indians continually Drunk & Quarreling
lUit they being Destitute of every thing, I was forced to
yield to the Intreaties of them & indeed it has proved to
Great advantage. I am obliged to supply & find them very
largely with Provisions & other things, and Employing them


in Going with Expresses etc., otherwise they would Certainly
Go of & am afraid to Lett them out of my hands for the
present for fear of joining or having some Correspondence
with the Enemy. Still the Hon'^'^ Board may fully rely &
depend I shall use every Economy possible — indeed things
are so Dear & Exhorbitant & the Indians Demands & Neces-
sities so large that I am often at a stand what to do.

The Great Consumption of Provisions during this Siege
obliges me to Press you the Hon*'^® Board to Consider the
Situation of this Country in General as people have been so
harrassed being forced from their harvest — perticularly I
must press assistance to the Truck house, which I beg may
be furnished with a quantity more of Corn & other pro-
visions, Molasses, small wines, Cydei', also some more blan-
kets, shouds, some pieces of fine Cloaths, Wampum & a
Quantity of Ammunition & Some Good Guns.

The Indians have left some fine corn fields on St. Johns,
which it is Probable is destroyed, if so the Indians will resent
it greatly if not a certain supply Laid in for them. I have
impowered Messrs Cross's of Newbury to procure those
articles, to whom I send a schooner & Expect her back with all
Expedition, those that Came with me bro* Considerable furs
etc. which I presume Capt. Smith will send as soon as possible

I find our Nova Scotia Expedition goes on very slowly
from the appearance of things. I shall not press that Matter
at present but there is the Greatest Necessity of a speedy
succour if it is Intended to keep these parts, there is every
reason to suppose that the Enemy is Bent upon the Destruc-
tion of this place, and that they are now gone for a Rein-
forcement, which if the Case, I am very sure they must
Carry the point. I hardly know what apoligy to make to
the Indians if the Troops do not soon arrive, for by the Diff'
News told them they are sanguine that St. John will be
secured By the States.


Brigidier Warner not arriving has given me mnch trouble,
I intended before now, Let the Consequence turned out as it
would, to Endeavou'd to have been among the Micmacs who
I find the British Government is tampering with, with all
their might, and it is not Improbable but they may be
seduced, for every shop in Halifax is open for them to
Demand what they please, with pains & Difficulty did I Gain
these of St. Johns & others with nothing, tho' Mr. Franchline
the British Superentendent had every advantage of Power,
force, money &c and indeed he may Gain the others were no
body to oppose him.

My reason of detaining is for fear of my thawting the
Intention of Government by going and also to be ready
to Give my feeble advice in the Expedition. I perceive it is
daily growing more precarious in Carrying on these things,
and must be managed with much Delicacy and prudence

It gives me much pam to hear of the trouble the Hou^^*^
Board has had with the affairs of Nova Scotia occasioned by
the fluctuating minds of people — much party Spirit seems to
reign. I have Endeavored all along to act upon that Rule
which I Conscientiously thought would tend to the interest
and Honour of the United States. The Happiness, welfare
& Establishing Freedom in that Community whereof I was a
member. But by Common fame it appears I am concerned
in one of the partys which I have been an utter stranger to
hitherto. My Intention being to pursue Every measure to
defeat the diabolical plans of Britain, and to Endeavor with my
weak ability to aid in Defending & Supporting the Independ-
ency of America, and as I would not have it suspected to do
the Least action that might be thought to hurt any Intention
of Government. I have come to a Determination not to act
in any matter whatever as an inhabitant of Nova Scotia, but
shall lay aside every Dispute & animosity which has been
occasioned by any mal proceedings in that province, and



shall wholly devote my time & Talants to the Service of the
States, and shall use eveiy method & use every means to
Execute such Orders & Intention of the States Consistent
with such office I may hold.

The Small Vessell which I have with rae Cannot Gate out,
but hope the Ship below will soon retire when I will hurry
her away with all Expedition. This Schooner w*'^ another
one I have should be glad may be Employ*^ in the Service if
thought necessary, as they are well Calculated for such busi-
ness, and are now Lying on great Expence.

I have applyed to Col° Eddy to Call a Court Martial to
Inquire into the Conduct of officers and others in the
Expedition to St. Johns but thinks he Cannot Legally Do it.
It is absolutely necessary such things should be to keep
matters in Order and to Give Satisfaction perticularly when

Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyDocumentary history of the state of Maine .. (Volume 15) → online text (page 13 of 36)