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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Background and References to Jacob Nutter's Story

Over the course of the next few months I will be posting about the historical references and firsthand accounts that were used to compile Jacob Nutter's Journal.  Hopefully, this will help others interested in this fascinating story and perhaps others to learn more about their own ancestors.  During the course of this research and posting of Nutter's story in serial form on the web I have come across a number of very interesting people, some of whom have provided me with additional detail for this story, others looking for information that would help them to locate the wreck of the Bonhomme Richard, and many others just looking for genealogical reasons.

Hello, my name is Doug Hawks and you can view my profile on Blogger.  Several years ago I knew absolutely nothing about Jacob Nutter, did not know he was my ancestor and nothing about American privateer and naval activities and actions in the European theater during the American Revolution.  This exploration began about six years ago when I was visiting my Aunt in Massachusetts.  She showed me a very old handwritten notebook that contained scribblings, notes and arithmetic.  The penmanship was difficult to read as it was in an old style and the paper was in very bad shape.  My aunt had been able to decipher the name of the original owner of the book as Jacob Nutter who we knew nothing about.  The book had apparently been in our family for a very long time. 

The book was full of arithmetic calculations, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  There was also a puzzling reference to the "Rule of Threes", the "Rule of Threes Inverse" and more.  Being an engineer with a mathmatical background, I became intrigued and began researching just what this book was about.  Here is an image showing the first two pages of Nutter's book, including his handwritten name



You can click on the image above to see an enlarged view.  In the upper left corner see that Nutter noted on this page that he purchased this book at Mill Prison for the "prise of one shilling".

More about what we found about Jacob Nutter's history and our connection to him in my next post.








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