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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

May 31. 1777
Today, two Massachusetts men from the Brigantine Freedom’s prize, two men from Philadelphia captured on the Lexington’s prize and four Massachusetts men including Captain Southard from the Sturdy-Beggar’s prize were sent to Mill prison.

The weather is now warm and the air in the hold of this ship is so foul as to be nearly unbearable. With these conditions and all of us confined below decks for most of the day I fully expect many more will become sick unless we are sent on shore soon. I truly look forward to setting foot on shore and breathing fresh air again even though I should be confined to prison.


  1. One of my (English) ancestors was a captain of a ship that was taken by the "Freedom" in April 1777. I notice on your blog you mention a brig called the "Freedom". I'm unclear from you blog whether this is a purely fictional account or in part whether it is based upon fact. If it is in part factual, could you let me know what information you have? Thanks, Peter

  2. Peter,
    My ancestor did exist and was in Mill Prison for nearly two years. The macro
    events of this story are also as accurate as possible based on multiple written
    accounts from men who kept journals during their time in prison. The Freedom
    was a Yankee privateer and some of the men held in captivity were from a prize
    crew for the ship that your ancestor may have captained. I am currently
    traveling and do not have full access to my background material, but once I
    return home I will see what I can find out about the Freedom and her prizes.
    Best Regards...Doug

  3. Thanks Doug, I look forward to hearing what other information you have. In the meantime, here's what I have:

    Apr 1777 from Lloyd’s List,the Mary captain Mandell sailing from Poole to Cadiz was taken by privateer Freedom.


    May 1777 from Lloyd’s List, the Molly captain Mudell
    sailing from Poole to Cadiz retaken to Plymouth.

    The April and May dates with the same sailing details might suggest that the taking of the Mary and the retaking of the Molly were related events. But of course the ships' names don't match - but there could be an error in the records.

    Was the Mill Prison in Plymouth?

    By the way, the spelling of my name (Meudell) takes many forms -including Mandell and Mudell.

    Best wishes,


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