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Friday, June 29, 2007

June 29. 1778
Joseph Burnham of our crew has a white swelling in his knee. The prison doctor has offered to amputate his leg to save his life should he be willing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

June 27. 1778
This afternoon Mr. Kirk, an Irishman and officer of the Lexington, and Mr. Showmaker, officer of the Charming Sally from Long Island, were invited by the sentry to make their escape over the wall but they were soon found out, returned and committed to the Black Hole.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

June 26. 1778
A French cutter and 2 frigates have been taken by the British and brought here to Plymouth. Several wounded Frenchmen were brought to the prison hospital for treatment of their injuries caused during the engagement. Five of our men who escaped yesterday were returned to our yard today. They had successfully made for a boat some distance from the prison but the alarm was sounded and they soon captured.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

June 24. 1778
Over these past several days some of the men have been employed at digging a hole into the vault drain in the old stone prison. To our regret this plan was found out by the sentries the day before yesterday at about 8 o’clock in the evening. The men who were discovered were promptly committed to the Black Hole. The sentries then went into the officer’s prison and found our 2nd Lieutenant Buntin and Captain Boardman strolling about. They refused to go to bed as ordered and they too were sent off to the Black Hole.

Last night Mr. Cross of our crew and Mr. Dale, Lieutenant of the Lexington were also found out to be walking about after the designated time and were sent to the Black Hole. Today they have written a petition to the Board to ask whether our prison keeper has the authority to commit men to the Black Hole for simply walking about after hours.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

June 20. 1778
Today Mr. Heath returned and asked that each of us provide name, occupation and place of residence. This list will be sent to the committee responsible for raising subscriptions to support us. He again told us that prospects are high for an exchange soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

June 19. 1778
We are told that the sentries and guards have orders not to abuse us even should we be caught attempting to escape. I guess we afford better treatment now that the British worry about the welfare of their own prisoners in France and in America after Burgoyne’s defeat.

Monday, June 18, 2007

June 18. 1778
Some boys from another ship’s crew made their way back into the prison today during our muster. While there they damaged some hammocks for which there punishment was a sound whipping.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

June 16. 1778
Today we received a letter from Captain Harris a prisoner at Forton Prison in Portsmouth telling us he has it on good account that 250 British prisoners are now being held in France and that we should take heart as there will soon be an exchange. Many of our company mistrust this type of false hope as we have heard these encouraging stories for months but to no effect.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

June 14.1778
Mr. Heath visited us yesterday after being away in London. He scolded us for our wicked, blasphemous behavior which is the truth. He did, however, bring some books that he will give to those who can make good use of them. I have a mind to get a copy of a book to help me learn better to calculate my ciphers.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

June 13. 1778
William Smith was brought out and paraded about in irons which he well deserved. He is the first of the prison company to be punished in this way but I expect he will not be the last.

The three decker prison in the hospital yard is being fitted out by the carpenters and masons to make it ready to receive the French prisoners.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

June 10. 1778
Two men disguised with strong beer bought at the gate caused a great disturbance today, abusing those they came in contact with, and one of them, William Smith an Irishman from our crew, threatening others with a knife. After we made a complaint to the agent he was placed in the Black Hole. But to spite us he informed the guards about a prison window bar that we had cut off with a saw.

Mr. Sorrey came today and gives us hope that we shall soon be exchanged for British prisoners held in France.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

June 6. 1778
A fleet of fishermen that sailed for Newfoundland two days ago returned here yesterday due to foul weather. Prisoners were brought here two days ago from the Blenheim.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

June 3. 1778
Two men, while carrying waste to the river’s edge tried to make their escape in plain view of the guards. The prison cook was one of the pursuers and he along with the other guard abused these men severely. In response we have all decided that we shall boycott he and his wife who sell strong beer at the prison gate. Their selling of beer has been quite popular of late and we expect this shall hurt their income.

Friday, June 01, 2007

June 1. 1778
There is word that a new prison shall be constructed for French prisoners who are expected to be brought here.