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Saturday, March 24, 2007

March 24. 1778
For some time now we have been smuggling bread to those on half allowance in the Black Hole. The sentries detected this scheme and put a stop to it today. We are not sure how they have found out but I suspect we have an informant in our midst.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

March 20. 1778
An English Navy lieutenant came here today looking for recruits from among us prisoners. He told us that anyone that wants leave of this prison should submit a petition immediately. Six men who were natives of England signed this petition which was submitted to the Board. We hear that 300 men were pressed yesterday from Plymouth and Dock for service to His Majesty.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

March 18. 1778
Today there is rumor we shall be removed to Chester Castle away to the north. But we also hear again that the French have signed a treaty with America and that we shall all be going home soon. We cannot tell what is truth and what is mere wishful thinking.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

March 17. 1778
Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Yesterday an American privateer chased a merchantman right into this harbor and then was chased herself by an English frigate that had been laying in the Sound. We do not know her fate.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March 14. 1778
Several trouble makers today caused such a commotion that all of us were confined to the prison. This angered many of the other men and they set up such screaming that the guards were alarmed there would be a riot. The major offenders were committed to the Black Hole. They have new company as Samuel Treadwell from Ipswich and of the Fancy crew was brought back to this prison, he having escaped on June 31st of the last year. He was immediately put into the Black Hole on half allowance for 40 days.

Monday, March 12, 2007

March 12. 1778
Mr. Heath and Mr. Sorrey were here again to see us and gave each mess 2 shillings in back money. Sorry I am to see how some of the men spend this money on beer and gambling.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

March 11. 1778
Cloudy. It is rather satisfying to hear that English merchants are feeling the pain of this war just as our own American merchants have been for the past two years. Some 300 London and Bristol merchants have petitioned the Parliament to make peace with America or they shall be ruined. We also hear that the American army has retaken Red Bank on the Delaware river.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

March 4. 1778
James Dick, from Ireland and part of the Lexington crew was brought before our officers and found guilty of using profane language against the Honorable Congress of our United States. Another man was sent to the Black Hole for speaking ill to the agent Mr. Cowdry and another today for selling his clothes by which to gain money for gambling.

Friday, March 02, 2007

March 2. 1778
Since the beginning of the new year independent agents are allowed to sell beer to us at the main gate instead of the prison keeper. Many of the men spend their new allowance on this beer which results in drunkenness and fights in the yard several times a week.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

March 1. 1778
Rainy weather and the first day of Spring. There is a rumor circulating that we shall be exchanged and carried in a fleet of transports that is sailing for America at the end of this month. I am more skeptical than some of the others. Although we have not yet received an answer to our petition for the right to burn candles at night we burn marrow bones in their stead and will continue to do so until we are found out by the sentries.