Maine Historical Society.

Documentary history of the state of Maine .. (Volume 15) online

. (page 3 of 36)
Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyDocumentary history of the state of Maine .. (Volume 15) → online text (page 3 of 36)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

pered the Brigg a spell the tide serveing at about 10 oclock
she Got under way it being Calm was obblig** to make use of
her Boats then we ware Reinfors'\ & played upon them from
Both Sides the River which Gaul'd them much & Run the
Brigg a Ground a Gain mile & half below, then a peace of
Cannon was provided & played upon her together with
Small arms till the Night tide when She went down. I then
commanded a party of 35 men to Watch their motions.) to
day they have all Saild but one Ship so that we are verry
happy now after the Gratest fateague by CoP Eddeys desire I
shall tarry till I heare from Boston as we dont know what
may happen here. —

The Goods I Rec** of the States is all dispos** of Except
what the Enemy took from me when I was drove of the
River the first time. Some to M"" Allen with Beaver &'^ for
the use of the Indians for their Services as paper money
woudent answer.

I shall Render a just account as soon as I come up to Bos-


ton. I must beg the favour you Gitt me a Captains pay if
posible it may be dun with the Indians I think as Interpreter
to M'^' Allen & assistant &'=.

I hope Sir you will Rite Me all oppertunitys which will
be much Obbligemg

your affectionate & Dutifull Son

John Preble
P.S. I hope Sir you will due all in your Power to hassen
this Expedition I long to see Novi Scotia Redus*^


Since I Wrote my letter a deserter is arived who Swam 2
miles from the Rainbow & informs me they sent 300 men up
the River to land that about 60 was kilF in the hole.) 10
of their people was kilF & 10 wounded, another man left
the Ship in Company with him but what is become of him
he Cant tell, their was 60 of Cap* manlys men on Board
which ware station'^ between decks the Ships that was here
was the Rainbow Maremaid Vulter & Dossen Brigg they
had been at Mount desert where 2 torys went on Board
them) the Cap' of the Rainbow Swares he will Bring more
men &, Destroy machious he thinks there was 600 here —

To Brig*^ Gen^ Prebble att Boston

Letter from Men^ Sayer. Aug. 18, 1777.

Wells Aug«' 18"^ 1777
Hon<i S"^

I have taken the utmost Pains to obey the last Order of
Council & make Return of the Men drafted & marchd but
find that I cannot have Returns 'till the Day fix'd by Coun-
cil for me to make a Return I expect the Companies


drafted from this Brigade will march the last of this Week

or the Beginning of Next at farthest.

I am with Respect your Honors Most obed* hum^ Serv*

Eben"' Sayer
Hon-" CoP Powell

p' Fav"^ N Wells Esq'

Letter from Jon'' Eddy Esq. Aug. 18, 1777.

Machias August 18"^ 1777

I wrote yesterday to the Hon^^® Council, acquamting them
with the Particulars of our late Seige here : but could not
give any Certain Account of the Enemy's Loss in their
attempt on this Place, but last Night a Deserter swam ashore
from the Ship still remaining in the Harbour, who gives us
the following Intelligence viz : That the Number of the
Enemy at first was three hundred Men, and that the Loss
they sustained in the several Attacks was upwards of Sev-
enty kill'd and wounded ;

Please to communicate the above to the Council —

I am Sir Your most Obed*^ Humble Serv*

Jonathan Eddy
To Hon^^« Brigad"^ Prebble

g favor of L* Col : Campbell

Letter from the Council to John Allan Esq. Aug. 19, 1777.

State of Massachusetts Bay

Council Chamber, August 19"^ 1777


You have been advised that the general Court have laid
aside, for the present, the expedition to S* Johns River,


This encloses a Copy of a Resolution of Court of the 16"^
Inst, for retaining one Company, with Provisions, Arms &c
for the Service of the Eastern Parts. — Col'' Eddy has instruc-
tions respecting the Company; & M"^ Stephen Smith is
instructed about the Provisions, Arms, &;° To these persons
you will apply in the premises as occasion shall require.

We hope you will be directed into the wisest & best meas-
ures, & be preserved from the hands of our enemies, whose
tender mercies are cruelty in the extreme. The Indians may
be furnished, in some degree, from the Stores in M' Smith's
hands. Your favor of the 10'** Ult° came to hand a few days
since —

John Allan Esq"^

Letter to Stephen Smith. Aug. 19, 1777.

State of Massachusetts-Bay

Council Chamber, August 19'^^ 1777.

Yours of the 31" ult° came duly to hand — The circum-
stances of our Military affairs, especially in the Northern
Department, has occasioned the laying aside for the present
the intended expedition to S' John's River. Inclosed you
have a Copy of the Resolution of Court of the 16*^ Inst for
raising one Company for the Service of the Eastern parts, &
for retaining certahi provisions &'' Agreeable to which, you
will retain in your hands the said 13 Barrels of Pork, 37
Barrels of Beef, 20 Barrels of Flour, & 52 Barrels of Bread,
for the use of said Company, & Such of the Inhabitants of
the Eastern parts ( our Friends ) who may stand most in
need of Aid. You will also retain Such a part of the Fire-
Arni, Ammunition & Accoutrements, in your bands, as you


shall judge necessary for said Company And you will also
deliver the same agreeable to the Spirit & intention of said
Resolve. —

M*^ Stephen Smith Machias

Letter from Col. Josiah Brewer. Aug. 20*^ 1777.

Penobscot August 20*^ 1777
Honourd Sir

I would beg leave to acquaint your Honour That the Pro-
vission I Received for the Penobscot Guard under the Com-
mand of Leiu* Andrew Gillman Ended the 11*^ Instant I
shall be oblig'd to your Trouble in procureing an order for
the remmainder of the Provission ( to be sent me by the first
opportunity ) to the 1** of Dece' next Agreeable to Order of
Court Dated the 28*'' April last — As I have Borrow'd Pro-
vissions to Supply them untill I cou'd procure it from Bos-
ton — I make no doubt you have heard of the movement of
the Enemy to Machias. The commanding Officer their has
requested my Assistance — I have agreeable to his request
Equip'd one fourth part of my Regiment, with Arms,
Ammunition & Provissions & have sent them under proper
Officers — Also Order'd L' Gillman to send the Major part
of his Guard to their Assistance —

Your Trouble in The Above will be great fully Acknowl-

edg'd By

Your Most Obedient Humble Serv* to Command

Josiah Brewer
To The Hon^i^ Artemas Ward Esq'^

Letter from John Johnson. Aug. 20, 1777.

May it Please your Honours

The Councel of the Massachusetts Ba}^ in New England
was Pleased to Honour Me with a Commision of the Milii-


tary Command of a Company in the Western Precinct of
Pownalborough And my Affairs is Such that I cant do my
Duty therein acording to the Expectation of the Council, I
therefore most Humbly Begg leave of your Honours To
Resigne the Said Commision —

And whareas my first Leautenant IVP' Carr Barker of said
Compim}' is a suitable Person to take the Command of said
Compeny and Jonathan Reed J'' the Second Leautenant of
said Company is a sutable Person allso and Agreabl to the
People to be advanced to the first Leautenant if your Hon-
ours Should Think it Proper to Honour them with those
Commands And M"^ Thomas Densmore first Sargant would
be a suetabl Person for a Second Leautenant and I beleave
aGreabl to the People If your Honours Should think Proper
to Honor him with that Command — All which is Most
Humbly Submitted By your Honours Most Dutifull Most

Obediant and Vary Humbl Serv*

John Johnson
Pownalborough West

Precinct August 20^*^ 1777

Co'py of Letter from John Milligan Aug 22"^ 1777.


I have sent the Bearer to you with a Proposal which I
hope you will think both just and requisite, and that accord-
ingly you will comply with it; as it will be a means of
instantly alleviating the Hardship of Confinement and like-
wise in future serve many of your People that may fall into
our hands ; I have on board His Majesty's Ship under my
Command, four Young Men, Natives of Boston, Marblehead
&c — that want to be at home with their Friends — Now if
you will exchange the Four men belonging to me ( that


some of your People surprizd, and took Prisoners at Cross
Island, the day before Yesterday, as they were innocently &
without Suspicion of hurt to any one, filling some Water
Casks ) I will send you these four young Men in Lieu —
You may assure yourself I am upon Honour, Send me the
Men either by themselves or with others, you may be assur'd
no one of their Conductors shall be touch'd or offended — T
would observe that when the Blonde was in the River, we
could have burnt all the Dwelling Houses along Shore —
But even that, or pillaging, I despis'd as it was only affect-
ing a few poor People — This is mention'd to say something
in favour of the four Men now in your hands — Their Loss
to the Ship is not much ( as they are all Land men ) to
them selves poor Fellows great, as missing the Sliip now,
they may never join her again —

Blonde in Machias Bay 22^^ Aug* 1777

T am Sir, Your most hble Serv*

Jn" Milligin

To the Principal Officer or Commandant at Machias Town

Letter from Jon<' Eddy Aug. 23'^ 1777

Machias August 23^ 1777
To the Hon''^® Council of the State of Massachusetts Bay —
Since my last, I am inform'd the Frigate that remain'd in
the Harbour after the Departure of the other Ships, is the
Blonde of 32 Guns, and understanding that Boats went fre-
quently from her to Cross Island at the Mouth of the Har-
bour for the Purpose of wooding and watering, on the
Evening of the 19*** Ins* I detach'd Major Stillman with a
Small Party of our Men & a few Indians to Cross Island,
who next morning having discover'd some of the Enemy


ashore Watering, attacked them, took three Prisoners, kill'd
one and wounded all the rest, four in Number, one of them
mortally, who nevertheless got on board : Last Night I
receivd a Letter from the Captain of the aforesaid Frigate
proposing to exchange four New England Men he had on
board for those we took the other Day a Copy of which I
herewith enclose your Honors, but the Boy who was sent
with the Letter, was so long coming, that the Ship got under
Sail & went off — so that I am oblig'd to send them West-

I must Request of your Honors to send me a speedy Sup-
ply of Men and also of Ammunition and Provisions, as it
appears very probable to me, and I am also inform'd by the
Boy who brought me the Letter from the Captain of the
Frigate, that the Enemy's Ships are gone for more Men, And
will make a second Attempt on this Place, if they can get a
sufficient Reinforcement, which, as Matters are now circum-
stancd here a small force will do —

I am with due Respect Your Honors most obed'' Humble


Jon* Eddy

Letter from Ehen^ Sayer. Aug. 24-, 1777.

Wells Aug«' 24"> 17Y7
To the Hon^ Council of the State of Mass** Bay
May it please your Honors

Agreable to Order of Council of the 9*'' Ins' I herewith
send a Return of the Sixth Part of the able bodied effective
Men drafted from the Brigade in the County of York and
have given Orders for them to march the 25''' Ins' I have


likewise assign'd proper Officers to command the Battalion
as will appear by my Return —

As I doubt not but your Honors are dispos'd to pay the
Strictest Attention to the Interest of every Individual in this
State you will permit me to express my Sentiments relative
to a late Appointment in this County I mean a Brigadier
with that Plainness and Freedom which every Member of
Society is intitled to.

It has ever been consider'd that when an Officer is super-
seded that at least some Part of his Conduct in Office is
blameable and therefore he is degraded but if Facts do not
justify the Step his Character ( which to a Man of the least
Sensibility is dearer than Life ) is injured if this is admitted
I would ask am not I unjustly degraded ? Perhaps it may
be answer'd the Court exercis'd their Judgment & appointed
a Gentleman of the most distinguished Abilities in the
Brigade I am positive Nine Tenths of the Brigade are of
different Sentiments and I could heartily wish M'' Frost's
Abilities and Acquirements might be bro* to a publick
Examen I wish not to be distinguish'd by titular Dignities
but only demand that an Inquiry may _ had into my Con-
duct whilst in Office and if it deserves the Stigma the Court
has been pleas'd to affix to my Character I shall be perfectly
satisfied —

But as the publick Exigencies require a Commander of
the first Regiment in this Brigade I will inform your Honors
I shall not for the future act as I have heretofore officially
by your Honors Command as Col** of the first Rrg* in this
Brigade or Col" Command' of Brigade whilst M'^ Frost holds
a Commission as Brigadier the only Fav"" I have to request
of your Honors is that you would permit me to resign my
Commission as a Justice of the Peace which I herewith
inclose I have the Honor to be

¥*■ Honors Most obedi' hum^ Serv*

Ebenezer Sayer


Letter from Col. Benj"" Foster. Aug. 27, 1777.

Mechias 27'*' August 1777
May it please your Honors

In compliance with my duty, permit me to inform your
Honors that on the IS"" Instant came into this Harbour
three Brittish ships & one Brigantine of Sixty, thirty two,
twenty eighty, & fourteen guns. The Brig with one flat
bottom arm'd & the ships boats made all dispatch up the
river till they were within reach of a Breastwork we had
thrown up when a firing began on our part from the breast-
work & on the enemies from the Brig & Boats, one of the
Frigates follow'd so far up the river till she grounded, the
day following they lauded under cover of their Cannon
favor'd by a very thick fog, from the best account, about
three hundred men, paraded themselves, set fire to three
Dwelling houses «& two Barns & re'enterd their vessels, same
day they attempted to carry the principal part of the settle-
ment but met with so spirited an opposition that the Brig
with the Boats assistance made the best of their way down
river again and on the third day after a smart firing on them
by the Inhabitants, Indians & people, occasionally with us
they left the river, had we been possest of but six Cannon of
12 or even 9 pounders the Brig & Ship would never have
got out of the Harbour. Our loss was one man killed &
Cap' Farnsworth slightly wounded, but from the best intelli-
gence we are able to get of prisoners and deserters their loss
is very great, at present they have left tlie Harbour but
how soon they will return with a superior strength we are
unable to determine, our accounts are that the ships are
return'd Nova Scotia for more men and we are in full
expectation of a speedy visit from them again the expedi-
tion forming against Nova Scotia we are fully perswaded has
drawn the enemy on us. the Order your Honors have sent
for Disbanding the Jiegiments & transporting the military


stores & provisions from this place back has thrown us into
the utmost consternation we are exposed both to the insult
of our adversaries and apparent want, the Indians among
us appear dejected & apprehend they shall be obliged to join
the enemy for support & unless your Honors will immedi-
ately relieve us with men Provissions & Cannon we must
fall a Sacrifice, the Committee with desire of the inhab-
itants have agreed to detain what supplies are already in the
place till they can hear from your Honors, and take into pay
one hundred of the Militia west of us belonging to this Regi-
ment, for one month, as this was the place of rendevous the
enemy has its destruction much at heart, & in case they
carry their point upwards of one hundred families will be
destroy'd, captivated or must flee into the heart of the state
for protection & relief & an extent of more than one hundred
mile seacoast will become an easy prey.

If we are worth preserving may I beseech your Honors, in
behalf of the inhabitants to afford us that immediate assist-
ance of men & Supplies, your Honors shall judge effectual
for our preservation. I have the pleasure to inform your
Honors that the Indian & Inhabitants exerted themselves to
their utmost notwithstanding the superior numbers &
strength of the Enemy forced them to retreat with great
loss, besides the foregoing damage done they consumed one
grist mill & plunderd some Houses —

I am with profound respect Your Honors most obedient

humble servant

Benj° Foster

The Honorable Council & Honorable Representatives for
the Massachusetts State —


Letter from George Stillman. Aug. £7, 1777.

Machias Aug* 27*^^ 1777 —
May it please your Honors —

Agreeable to my appointment as Major of a Regiment to
be Raised for an expedition to S' Johns I Repaired, by your
directions, with the disatches &c. to this Place, & with the
consent & advice of Lieut CoP Minott, I appointed the Offi-
cers, of three companies, who proceed to raise their men as
fast as Possible, but they had not all the success that could
be wished, for only twenty nine in one Company have passed
muster, and tw^enty four in the other, the third Company
has a number Ingaged but none mustered, the officers &
men of the musterd companys, have been on duty for six
weeks Fast, and have received the most of their bounty, and
blanketts, & behaved with the utmost bravery in the late
action in this Place, indeed we were all in high Spirits and
every thing seemed to wear a smiling aspect, till the Brigade
Major M' Newell arrived with positive orders to Disband all
the troops in this department except those under my Com-
mand. For the discharge of these there is no order tho I am
fully convinced by what appears, that it was your Honors
pleasure, that they also should be Dismissed. However as I
Can keep them under my Command without breaking orders,
and the exigencies of this Place seems to make it absolutely
necessary so to do, I am determined, thro a Clear conviction
of the necessity of Such a measure, and the importunities of
the Committee and others, to detain them in the Service, till
your honors pleasure is known, the danger this place is in
continually has doubtless been represented to the Hon*"^®
Court by the Committee and CoP Allan, & therefore I shall
only add, that I View it as in a Very critical situation, and
that its preservation is an object worthy the attension of the
State, when considered only in itself, but when we view,
machias as a Valuable frontier town, a proper Retreat for


the Indians, and a barrier to all our eastern Country, its
importance to tlie state Rises in our esteem a Greater Excite-
ment for Defending it

I have the Honour to be With the Greatest Respect, your
Honors Most Obedient Humble Serv*

George Stillman

Superscribed :
On Publick Service The Hon^^® the Council Board for
the State of the Massachusetts Bay Boston

Machias August 28. 1777 — This may certify that there is
in my hands the following Stores belonging to the State of
Mass* Bay put into my care at the request of the Committee
of Safety of this place & the officers of the Militia &c —

81 stand of Arms compleat with Accoutrements
8 Arms & Bayonets slings & Belts

2 Arms with slings only
13 Tin Kettles

7 double Blanketts
76 single ditto
500 flints
1512 Cartridges

3 broken Drums
3 Fife

4914^ lb Salt Beef at the rate of 220 lb in each Barrell
2747 lb hard Bread

The above are all that remain in my hands unexpended

p"" Stephen Smith


Mechias 28*'^ Aur-* 17T7 —


May it please your Honours

I have now to acquaint the Hon^** Board that soon after
my arrival from the westward — Major Stillman, Return'd
in order to pass muster, Fifty Four non Commissioned Offi-
cers & Soldiers — the Attempt of the Enemy with the many
Intellegences daily rec'^ of their movements, Brings Duty
very hard & Close, so that most of the recruits Cou'd not
give that Little Assistance to their familys, as they Expected
when Listed, to do before their being Embodied —

This Occasioned many heavy Complaints, & for fear the
Service should be Detered, & Willing to perform every thing
which in me Lay for the good of it, I collected all the money
Possible, w°^* I paid the Soldiers & Deliverd notes of hand
for the remainder — This being done without Immediate
orders from your Honours, or the Brigadier, it may no
Doubt be Disputed, but as the service so much required it,
& the men still Continuing in the Service ; I must pray your
Honours to order the money to be sent me, the amount of
which I here inclose you —

I also advanced them, Blankets, & other things, which
were to be allowed them. I was some what obliged to do
this sooner than I intended, for there was not those suitable
necessarys to Compleat their Raitions, such as molasses,
beans, Pease, Indian meal, Butter, Candles, Soap &c

The Duty has been very severe, both Militea, as well as
Inlisted Troops, very Little has been done by People in their
Private business, not much Hay as yet been Procured, which
Consequently will bring people to great straits, as well for
their own Support as their stock —

Time not permiting me at the Time Col. Campbell went
of_ to write respecting the Enemys Attempt & other matter
— shall defer mentioning any thing at Present on that sub-
ject, as I Doubt not some others have given the Particulars


— The Present Exigency, & Distress of these parts is hardly
to be Conceived by a Stranger, the removing our Prortys &
famileys in the woods, for fear of the Enemy — many persons
Property was Embezzeled, & Distroy'd — & Their Familyes
much Exposed — many Laying out in the open woods. —

your Honours may remember that it was resolved, that
any Provisions advanced for the S* Johns Expidition, should
be replaced, w*''^ people puting their dependance on, by the
scarcity, daily application is made, there is still remaining
due 3691 3^ "^ Pork, 660 lb Rice, 1493 lb flour, 2 C Sugar, 11
Gall* N. E. Rum. This Expedition being of much service
in securing the Interest of the Indians, I Doubt not but your
Honours will order it to be replaced — The Truck House is
at Preasent very Bare, M"" Allan have Drained it very much
with the Indians, we have great satisfaction in their zealous
Attachment, but a great Expence Ensuing, which M'' Allan
& myself is very uneasy about, pray Let me know Perticu-
larly about it. — I have Impower'd Col" Campbell to act for
me who is an Honest man — I shall as soon as Possible give
a proper state of matters —

I am with Duty & Respect y"^ Honours most obedient very

Hble Serv*

Stephen Smith

On Publick Service To The Uon'>'^ The Councel Board
of the State of the Massachusetts Boston

D^ The State of the Massichusetts Bay in ace*' with
Stephen Smith O^

Aug* 4"' To Cash paid Cap* Gooch for Freight
of Sundrys from Boston Shipt by
The Hon^i^ board of Warr 36 10 9



To Bountyes paid to 54 Men Inlisted
and Past Muster in Col. M'^Cobbs
Redg* (a). 120y 324

To 1355^^ Fresh Beef Purchased for
the Troops by Directions of Col.
Eddy @ 6*1 p 1^ 33 17 6

To 22-)^ Gallons West India Rum
Deliverd the Troops at Sundry
Times by orders from CoP Eddy @
12V g Gal 13 13

£408 1 3

To Ballance in my favour g Contra 273 13
Also Deliverd in time of the Enemy s
Invasion against this Place 19 ^
GalP New England Rum out of the
Rum in my care belonging to the
Truck House —

By Cash rec*^ of Col Jonathan Eddy

to Pay Soldiers Bounty £135

By Ballance in my favour 273 1 3

£408 1 3
Mechias Aug* 28, 1777

Errors Excepted Stephen Smith

Letter from Benj"' Foster. Aug. 28, 1777.

Machias August 28, 1777

You are well acquainted with the vigorous attack made

upon this place by our enemies, & their shameful retreat, &

that we were in higli spirits, & had a prospect of standing

our ground, should our enemies return with twice the force.


But words cannot describe the distress & consternation, tbat

Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyDocumentary history of the state of Maine .. (Volume 15) → online text (page 3 of 36)