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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Feb. 6 1777
We learn today that we are not the only people held against our will aboard this ship. The press gangs have brought 100 unwilling volunteers from the local district to serve in the King’s Navy on the Bellisle. Some of them look to be picked up from the local ale houses, others look like poor farmers plucked directly from their fields. Althogether they make a sorry picture and can only be rated as landsmen at best. Before coming here we had no idea that England had such trouble recruiting sailors for their Navy. There is rumor floating among our people that we also shall be pressed into the British Navy. Some of our people express an interest in this possibility if it is offered rather than await an uncertain fate and possible execution. These are mostly men who were born in the old country or some of our more impatient boys and young men. We find many Colonials serving the King, having been pressed into service when taken from American merchant ships. I myself could not abide serving in the British Navy against my own country and would sooner face the gallows.

2 comments:

  1. vhale6:05 PM

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  2. vhale1:37 PM

    Some of your readers may be interested to know more about Jacob Nutter’s background. He was the great great grandson of Hatevil Nutter, early settler and prominent citizen of Dover NH, a sawmill and shipyard owner.
    Jacob’s father Valentine (son of Henry, son of Anthony, Hatevil’s only son) was a carpenter and shipwright in Portsmouth NH and died when Jacob was quite young.
    Jacob and his wife Rebecca were living in Kittery Second Parish (Eliot ME) when their second daughter was born ca. 1773. Jacob, Jr. was only a few months old when when his father joined the Dolton’s crew

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