“Very Cold & Nothing Remarkable”: the Journal of Dr. Edmund Hagen, Privateer and Prisoner of War, Part 2 of 2

War at Sea and Waterways (1775–1783)

July 21, 2020
by Kadri Kallikorm-Rhodes Also by this Author


Journal of the American Revolution is the leading source of knowledge about the American Revolution and Founding Era. We feature smart, groundbreaking research and well-written narratives from expert writers. Our work has been featured by the New York Times, TIME magazine, History Channel, Discovery Channel, Smithsonian, Mental Floss, NPR, and more. Journal of the American Revolution also produces annual hardcover volumes, a branded book series, and the podcast, Dispatches

This article continues an examination of the journal kept by Dr. Edmund Hagen of Scarborough, Maine, begun in “Dispatch’t to America’: the Journal of Dr. Edmund Hagen, Privateer and Prisoner of War.” This second article presents and examines the second half of Dr. Edmund Hagen’s journal, dealing with Hagen’s experience on board the prison ship Boulogne, and examines some of the historiographical puzzles raised by this document.

What remains of Hagen’s journal is missing the pages that would have contained any entries for the days between Saturday, November 2, 1776 and Wednesday, December 11, 1776. On November 2, the Massachusetts privateer Putnam, carrying Dr. Hagen as ship’s surgeon, encountered HMS Lizard  about seven miles east of Boon Island (that is, about sixteen miles east of York, Maine). From Lizard’s log it appears that the outcome of this encounter was the capture of Putnam.[1] Certainly by December 11, 1776, when the pages of Hagen’s journal resume, Hagen was already a prisoner onboard the Royal Navy’s prison ship Boulogne, moored at Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Boulogne had started life in 1757 as the French East Indiaman Le Boullogne.[2] After being taken as a prize, she joined British service as a frigate in 1762. In the summer of 1776, Boulogne underwent refit in Plymouth dockyards in England to serve as an unrated storeship,[3] receiving orders for Halifax in June 1776. There she was to lay in harbor and “to be employ’d on such Services as she may be applicable to.”[4] Boulogne departed for America in August 1776, leaving St. Helens at the mouth of the Solent on the 23rd.[5] When in service as a warship, Boulogne  carried thirty-two guns and had a crew of about 220 men. At Halifax, her crew numbered 66.[6]

At the time of Dr. Hagen’s detention, Boulogne was under the command of Lt. James Gordon.[7] We first hear of prisoners of war being assigned to Boulogne on August 10, 1776, when some of the crew of privateer Warren were ordered to be detained on her,[8] but the actual transfer of prisoners to Boulogne did not start until October 11, 1776, after her arrival in Halifax.[9] It is unclear how long Boulogne’s employment as a prison hulk lasted, but there are reports of escape of at least nine prisoners in February 1777,[10] and at least some of the prisoners were transferred from the Boulogne onto prison ship Lord Stanley to be transported to Britain the following month.[11] Following the Revolutionary War, Boulogne remained in Halifax, and what remained of her was used in 1786 to shore up the town harbor.[12]

Daily Life on Boulogne

Although, as discussed below, living conditions on board the prison ships involved shortages of food, clothing, and heat, prisoners do not seem to have been too closely confined. Ethan Allen, who was held on an unnamed prison ship in Halifax earlier in 1776, noted that the prisoners had the sloop “entirely to ourselves,” except for a guard in the forecastle.[13] It is likely that the arrangements were not dissimilar during Dr. Hagen’s imprisonment. Hagen’s journal entries are terse but provide useful nuggets of information.


Wednesday Demr. 11th. 1776

Prisoner on Board the Boulogne, very Cold and Nothing Remarkable


Thursday Demr. 12th. 1776

Prisoner on Board the Boulogne. Nothing Remarkble


Fryday Demr. 13th. 1776

Prisoner on Board the Boulogne. This day Came on board this ship four Prisoners taken by the Milford and belonging to Marblehead

Nothing more Remarkable



Saturday Demr. 14th. 1776

Prisoner on Board the Boulogne and Nothing Remarkable


Sunday Demr. 15th. 1776

Prisoner on Board the Boulogne this day is the Coldest Day I have felt this Winter We are all most froze and Starv’d So Nothing more Remarkable


Monday Demr. 16th. 1776

Prisoner on Board the Boulogne Nothing Remarkb


Tuesday Decembr. 17th. 1776

Prisoner on Board ye Belong[14]this day Came on bord 20 prisoners belong-

=ing to New England one is Stilman Jordan ___

Mr. Moultonis not well Nothing more Remarkble. This 24

Wednesday Decbr. 18th. 1776

Prisoner on bord ye belong this Day makes 3 months since we Saild[15] from Sawco[16]—this day Came on bord 6 more prisoners Capt. Jno. Camell one of them all belonging to New England which makes our Number 104 in all 7 Masters of Vessels of ye Number & one poor Doctr.


A page from Dr. Edmund Hagen’s journal with the December 18–19, 1776 entries. (Author)

References to the cold point to a significant issue. While we do not have weather records from Halifax for December 1776, the average modern December daily high temperature there is 37° Fahrenheit and average daily low is 23°.[17] December averages rain one day in three, and “nor’easters”—North Atlantic cyclones—are common.[18] Having departed Saco, Maine, in August, the prisoners had not intended to overwinter aboard a ship and presumably were not outfitted with appropriate winter clothing. Capt. Simeon Sampson, held at Halifax at the same time, also mentioned the extreme cold in his letter to the Massachusetts legislature, pointing out that the prisoners had been robbed of their warm clothing and that some of them had suffered severe frostbite as a result.[19]

The December 18 entry is notable for several things: first of all, it tells us exactly from where and when Dr. Hagen’s ship sailed. It also offers a contemporaneous count of prisoners held aboard Boulogne—something we do not often have from other sources. Further, Hagen noted the number of masters present. The fact that he seems to have been the only physician held on Boulogne suggests that most privateers sailed without them.

It is possible that the four Marblehead men mentioned might have been from the prize crew of the John, which had been captured by John Paul Jones and dispatched by him back to New England on December 8, 1776 under the command of Lt. Robert Sanders.[20] Unfortunately for Jones and Sanders, John was retaken in heavy weather by HMS Milford (formerly the privateer Warren, out of Rhode Island) the next day, and sent to Halifax (presumably with the former prize crew on it).[21]

The Stilman Jordan mentioned may have been the same Stilman (sometimes Stileman) Jordan who was a seaman on Massachusetts armed schooner Diligent earlier in 1776, and/or may have been the Stilman Jordan reported as refugee from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, leaving that beleaguered town in 1776.[22]

The Moultons were a Maine family, prominent in Scarborough, and related to both the Hagens and the Harmons. The specific individual was likely the William Molton listed on the muster right after Dr. Hagen (so likely a more senior member of the crew).[23] It is difficult to ascertain whether this particular Mr. Moulton recovered from his illness and survived the prison stay, but one William Molton (interestingly reported as a seaman from the Hope),was included in a prisoner exchange in June 1777.[24]

It is possible that the John Camell mentioned is the same prisoner John Camell who was listed as having joined British service on August 17, 1778 to escape his imprisonment in England.[25] British policy was to attempt to recruit seamen for the Royal Navy—which was chronically short on manpower—from the captives on board prison ships, offering the harsh service of life in the Royal Navy as an alternative to the even harsher conditions of life on a prison hulk. This policy yielded fewer seamen than the British admiralty hoped. The fact that we do not hear of more captive crewmen from American privateers joining the British ranks is consistent with the complaint of Halifax’s governor, Adm. Mariot Arbuthnot, in 1777 that despite as many as ten prisoners dying every day of jail fever, smallpox, and other ailments, the men still did not view the Royal Navy as an attractive alternative to the hellish conditions aboard prison ships.[26] (Service in the Royal Navy was a fate British seamen as well as American seamen did their best to avoid. Philip Ranlet in his 1994 article on American prisoners of war relates a story of English sailors, freed in a prisoner swap, who hijacked the ship carrying them to “safety” in British-occupied New York, sailing it to the West Indies and abandoning it there, to avoid what they anticipated happening to them in New York: being impressed into the Royal Navy.[27])

Living Conditions aboard Boulogne

The conditions onboard Boulogne were not fated to get any better. Almost exactly a month after Dr. Hagen’s account she was reported to have held 190 prisoners,[28] with one of the imprisoned masters noting that many of them were unlikely to survive until the spring, and urging the Massachusetts legislature to undertake prisoner exchange negotiations as quickly as possible.[29] (The lawmakers—possibly also influenced by the fact that this particular imprisoned captain was a commander in Massachusetts navy, rather than a privateer—acceded to this plea and ordered British prisoners to be collected from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, in order to exchange them for the imprisoned officers and seamen.[30]) John Glover, who arrived in Halifax in May 1777 to carry out this long-expected prisoner exchange noted that “the inhumanity with which our Captive friends have been treated is intolarable.”[31]


Thursday 19th. 1776

Prisoner on bord ye belong very Cold Nothing Remarkable Mr. Moulton not well



Fryday 20th. 1776

Prisoner on bord ye belong this day I had sent me off bread butter sugar and Coffee from an Old Friend by ye Intersession of a Stranger Nothing more Remarkable this 24


Saturday 21st. 1776

Still a prisoner on bord ye belong Nothing Rem[arkable]


[two words unreadable]

Sunday 22nd. 1776

Prisoner on bord the Boulogne last night very Stormey & I ver[y] Sick

Nothing Remarkle.


Monday 23d. December

Prisoner on bord ye B

Mr. Moulton & my [rest torn] a little after [rest torn]


this day we have news that mr. Cosens & Fletcher is Dead [word Crossed out] that was sent to ye Hospital. Nothing More Remarkable


Tuesday 24th. 1776

Prisoner on bord ye. Belong

This day a Gentleman Came on bord with a present for ye prisoners of 21 [one letter unclear]. of Beef & Some Rum Nothig more Remarkle.


It is possible that the Cossens whose death Hagen reported on December 23 was William Cossens of Wells, listed in the privateer commission of Putnam as her lieutenant, and listed right after John Harmon on Lizard muster list’s enumeration of the prisoners.[32] Fletcher was likely John Fletcher, another member of the Putnam’s crew—possibly the most junior as he was listed last on the muster list of Lizard.[33] Given that he was likely a teenager or very young man, most likely with no dependents, it is difficult to identify him further, although a family connection to a David Fletcher, enlisted in the York county militia for six months of 1775 for the defense of the seacoast and stationed at Biddeford (Saco) is possible.[34]

Hunger and malnutrition were a constant feature of prisoner life: the account of Ethan Allen (who was imprisoned on a hulk in Halifax a few months before Dr. Hagen) also mentioned particularly the lack of food for the prisoners. Allen estimated that the prisoners were not getting more than a third of the standard rations, and described them all as suffering from “violent hunger and faintness.”[35]In addition, he noted that prisoners in Halifax at the time were particularly affected by scurvy.[36]

The deplorable conditions on the prison ships were widely known,[37] and the humanitarian assistance provided by some residents to the prisoners, referred to by Hagen, is of interest in this context. In addition to local matrons taking pity on well-known inmates like Ethan Allen and supplying them with fresh meats, garden produce, and bottles of wine,[38] we also find records of more ordinary charity that bear out Dr. Hagen’s account. Capt. John Hall, Sr., of Granville, Nova Scotia, for example, instructed his son to gift the prisoners with twenty to thirty bushels of potatoes in March 1777, which were then distributed among the prisoners by some of their captains.[39] And Hall was not alone—Boston’s Independent Chronicle noted in 1777 that, “was it not for the kind interpositions of some of the inhabitants of Halifax, the last winter, in supplying [the prisoners] with necessaries, numbers of them must inevitably have perished.”[40]

Some risk appears to have been associated with such charity, drawing to the benefactors the unwanted attention of authorities. Thus, Malachy Salter, a prominent merchant of not-entirely-reliable loyalty to the Crown, who was well known for his assistance to American prisoners, especially those in hospital, ended up on trial for sedition, largely on the evidence of the local Loyalist refugee doctor.[41]

Medical Conditions

In Halifax, the general military hospital and the part of the prison used to treat sick prisoners were essentially contiguous, and both at that time overseen by early Boston refugee Dr. John Jeffries (destined later to gain fame for his ballooning exploits).[42] From the records it is clear that the health situation was getting the better of local officials. The new garrison physician, arriving in 1778, wrote to his superiors that

the mode in which the Rebel jail and Hospital is conducted in this town demands the most serious attention. In both places the prisoners and sick are notoriously crowded, but crammed together. Herrings salted in casks, will best convey to you some idea of their situation. The Dysentery[,] Jail fever, in short, ev’ry disease that acknowledge souldier for its origin, is there almost constantly to be found. Deaths are extremely frequent.[43]

The prison crowding may not have been as extreme in 1776 when Dr. Hagen was in Halifax, but the overall situation was unlikely to have been very much better.


Wensday 25 1776

This day is Cristmas day & I am a prisoner on bord ye belong

Nothing more


Thursday 26 1776

Prisoner on bord ye belong this day we Send 2 of our men to ye hospital


Fryday 27th. 1776

Prisoner on board the belong I am not well

Nothing more Remarkble.


Saturday 28th. Of Decembr.

Prisoner on bord ye. Belong

This day Came on board two prisoners belonging to Casco Bay

No more


Sunday December. 29th. 1776

Prisoner on bord ye. Belong this day a present of Some Cloathing came on bord for ye

Prisoners no more


Munday 30 of Decemr.

Prisoner on bord ye Belong nothing more


Tuesday 31st. 1776 ___

Prisoner on bord ye. Belong

Nothing Remarkle.

And Then, Nothing

At this point the extant portion of the manuscript ends. As noted in the previous article, it appears that further pages of the journal were removed. The evidence of this journal, combined with the testimony of Dr. Hagen’s son Walter and the fact that the doctor’s possessions ended up in the hands of his family, suggests that Hagen died aboard the Boulogne sometime after December 31, 1776 (when he made the final surviving entry in the journal) and before April 1780 (when his fourteen-year-old son son went to war to take revenge for his father’s death).[44] More specifically, it is likely that Dr. Hagen died before the end of June 1777, when some of the prisoners from Boulogne, including Putnam’s commander John Harmon, were exchanged, as his status as the ship’s doctor may have placed him among the higher-status prisoners, and thus more likely to be exchanged.[45]

To a significant degree, information in Hagen’s journal can be verified against contemporaneous sources and is consistent with later secondary accounts. While Hagen never in the surviving portions of his journal named the ship on which he was serving, identification of this vessel as the Putnam—and determination which of the various ships named “Putnam” this particular ship was—can be made with considerable confidence from other documents. Information in Hagen’s journal that makes this connection possible includes the sailing date,[46] the port of departure (Saco), the encounter with HMS Lizard on November 3,[47] the family connections between the captain and members of the crew to individuals from the Saco area, and the match between the prizes taken by Hagen’s ship and prizes arriving in port recorded as having been taken by the Putnam (most specifically the Mary, which Hagen refers to by name).[48]

Historiographical Inconsistencies

Several inconsistencies between the events reported in Hagen’s journal and later records need to be noted, both to acknowledge the possibility that Hagen’s contemporaneous record may be incorrect, and to alert historians to constant danger of inaccuracies in later documents.

The muster book of Lizard lists the men of Putnam as captured on October 22, 1776, which conflicts its own captain’s log (which lists the encounter on the 3rd and capture on the 4th of November[49]) and Dr. Hagen’s journal (which notes Putnam’s arrival in Port La Tour, Nova Scotia, on October 23[50]). In the British Navy of the period, muster book records were usually fairly reliable, as they provided proof of service, and, even more crucially, recorded the consumption of food stores and other supplies.[51] However, the guide to British Navy records notes that, “The lists in their present form are far from accurate, especially that of ADM 36 and 37, many of the references in which are entirely fictitious. In addition, the dates are inaccurate, musters of individual ships (especially prizes) are entered under more than one name.”[52]

Thus, despite the general reliability of muster lists, in this particular instance the capture date recorded in the ship’s log and averred from Dr. Hagen’s diary is likely to be more accurate. In his November 1832 application for his own Revolutionary War pension, Walter Hagens, Dr. Edmund Hagen’s son, notes that his father entered the service about 1777 as a surgeon on a privateer from Saco, commanded by Captain Coit, and that the vessel was soon taken by a seventy-four-gun ship and carried to Halifax, where Dr. Hagen was held on a prison ship where he died (“starved as was said”).[53] The approximate service date, as well as the port of departure agree with the information provided in Dr. Hagen’s journal, as does the fact that Dr. Hagen was a prisoner at Halifax. Other family tradition also agrees with the son’s statement of Dr. Hagen’s death in captivity in Halifax.[54]

There is, however, a discrepancy in accounts of by which ship the Putnam was taken. The account implicit in Dr. Hagen’s journal—that the Putnam was taken by Lizard—seems more probable than Walter Hagens’s assertion above, not only for its congruence with Lizard’s log but because it seems relatively less likely that that the privateer would have been taken by a seventy-four-gun ship—a ship-of-the-line, designed and employed for fleet action against opposing fleet. With a deep draft and lack of agility, such a ship would be poorly suited to capture privateers. Frigates (like Lizard) were better suited for such service. It is also likely that any anti-privateer action by a seventy-four-gun ship would have attracted attention, and we would have other records of it.

There is also a discrepancy between Walter Hagens’s account and contemporaneous records with regard to the commander of Dr. Hagen’s ship, whom Walter Hagens identifies as a Captain Coit. There were in fact at least two Coits who commanded privateers in this time period: William Coit[55] and Solomon Coit. Dr. Hagen’s journal does make reference to a “Capt. Coit” who was dispatched by the captain of Hagen’s privateer to bring the fourth prize back to port. As noted in “Dispatch’t to America,” this Captain Coit may have been Solomon Coit of Saco, who in 1781 commanded schooner William (owned by Ebenezer Norwood, part-owner of the Putnam) when she captured Halifax Bob[56] and who a few weeks later is reported as having been commissioned as commander of the Massachusetts privateer schooner Saco Bob (owned by, among others, another part-owner of the Putnam, Joseph Morrill).[57]

On balance, it seems likely that Walter Hagens, testifying in 1832, was in error when he noted that his father had served under a Captain Coit. Given the lapse of more than fifty years and the fact that the journal mentions a Captain Coit, an error on informant’s part is likely to blame for this misidentification.

By itself, Dr. Hagen’s journal does not offer startling new information. Taken in context and used in combination with other records, however, it provides new insights into the complex network of social and economic ties involved in New England privateering in the early part of the American Revolution and into conditions onboard the Royal Navy’s prison hulks. It thus underscores the larger point that further progress into understanding the American Revolution from the perspective of its participants will require rediscovering, transcribing, and making available primary documents such as this journal.


[1]Peter Force, American Archives: Fifth Series, Containing a Documentary History of the United States (Washington, DC: [n.p.], 1853), 3: 1526, hdl.handle.net/2027/umn.31951002076377e?urlappend=%3Bseq=834.

[2]“French Merchant east indiaman ‘Le Boullongne’ (1758),” Three Decks – Warships in the Age of Sail,Cy Harrison, threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=16503.

[3]“British Fifth Rate frigate ‘Boulogne’ (1762),” Three Decks, threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=3383.

[4]Philip Stephens to Vice Admiral Richard Lord Howe, June 23, 1776, Naval documents of the American Revolution (NDAR) (Washington, DC: Superintendent of Documents, 1972), 6: 436, hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112005302457?urlappend=%3Bseq=466.

[5]PRO, Admiralty 2/101, 250-51, NDAR, 6: 521, hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112005302457?urlappend=%3Bseq=550; also London Chronicle, August 3 to August 6, 1776, ibid.,6: 532, hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112005302457?urlappend=%3Bseq=562; PRO, Admiralty 2/552, 512-17, ibid., 6: 594, hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112005302457?urlappend=%3Bseq=624.

[6]PRO Admiralty 2/552, 205-12, ibid., 6: 436, hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112005302457?urlappend=%3Bseq=468.

[7]Gordon was an extremely seasoned officer; born in 1721, he had started his service as a merchant seaman in 1748. “James Gordon,” Three Decks, threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_crewman&id=7247. Boulogne remained moored at Halifax until 1786, when her condition had deteriorated to the point that she was put to use as part of the wharf. Julian Gwyn, Ashore and Afloat: The British Navy and the Halifax Naval Yard Before 1820 (Ottawa, ON: University of Ottawa, 2004), 20. Interestingly, Boulogne had been celebrated as Sir George Collier’s first command as captain in July 1762. “Sir George Collier (1738-1795),” Three Decks, threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_crewman&id=254.

[8]PRO Admiralty 36/7736, NDAR, 6: 304-5, hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112005302457?urlappend=%3Bseq=334.

[9]Journal of HMS Liverpool,October 11, 1776, PRO Admiralty 51/548 NDAR, 6: 1211, hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112005302457?urlappend=%3Bseq=1240.

[10]Petition of Label Lynds, April 8, 1777, Mass. Arch. Vol. 37, 161, 162-63, NDAR, 8: 294, hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112005302473?urlappend=%3Bseq=320.

[11]Journal of HMSRainbow, March 26, 1777, PRO Admiralty 51/762, NDAR, 8: 202, hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112005302473?urlappend=%3Bseq=228.

[12]Gwyn, Ashore and Afloat, 20.

[13]Hugh Moore, Memoir of Col. Ethan Allen (Plattsburg, NY: O.R. Cook, 1834), 143, hdl.handle.net/2027/loc.ark:/13960/t0ft91435?urlappend=%3Bseq=146.

[14]Hagen abbreviates Boulogne as “Belong” in this section.

[15]This would put the start of this voyage at about September 18, 1776.

[16]Possibly Saco, Maine.



[19]“Massachusetts State Archives collection, colonial period, 1622-1788,” Vol. 196, 148a, letter of Simeon Samson to Massachusetts legislature, January 20, 1777, www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9YT-6XZG?i=249&cat=1055547. More on Samson and his crew: “State Brigantine ‘Hazard’,” Massachusetts Magazine, Vol. I, No. 3 (1908), 195-199, hdl.handle.net/2027/coo.31924007306867?urlappend=%3Bseq=220.

[20]NDAR, 7: 407-408, hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112005302465?urlappend=%3Bseq=436.

[21]For Milford’s account, see NDAR, 7: 416-417, hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112005302465?urlappend=%3Bseq=444; for John Paul Jones’ far less charitable account of Sanders’ actions, see NDAR, 7: 935-937, hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112005302465?urlappend=%3Bseq=964.

[22]“Massachusetts State Archives collection, colonial period, 1622-1788,” Vol. 187, 349, list of men formerly belonging to the Town of Cape Elizabeth, undated, www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9Y5-8KNV?i=698&cat=1055547. Also Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War (MASS)(Boston: Wright and Potter, 1897), 8: 988; The Jordan genealogy also lists a Styleman Jordan, son of Styleman Jordan and Hepzibah Jordan, b. abt 1744, marr. Rebecca [—], lived in Portland, Maine, who could be either or both of the above. See Tristram Frost Jordan, The Jordan memorial: family records of the Rev. Robert Jordan and his descendants in America (Boston: David Clapp & Son, 1882), 399, archive.org/details/jordanmemorialfa00jord/page/399/mode/2up.

[23]Muster list of HMS Lizard, October 22, 1776, ADM 36/8575, National Archives, London.

[24]“Muster/payrolls, and various papers (1763-1808) of the Revolutionary War [Massachusetts and Rhode Island],” Vol. 9, 42, a list of American prisoners exchanged from the Port of Halifax by order [of] Sir George Collier, June 28, 1777, www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSJ7-WDJB?i=439&cat=729681. Hope was a Massachusetts privateer commanded by Walter Hatch. She received her commission on September 26, 1776. NDAR, 6: 998, hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015019220055?urlappend=%3Bseq=1030. She was captured by HMS Hope, commanded by George Dawson, as reported in a New York paper on December 30, 1776. “Halifax, October 1,” New York Gazette and Weekly Mercury, December 30, 1776.

[25]See “Diary of George Thompson of Newburyport, kept at Forton Prison, England, 1777-1781,” Essex Institute Historical Collections, Vol. LXXVI, No. 3 (July 1940), 221-242, esp.230, archive.org/details/essexinstitutehi76esse/page/258/mode/2up/.

[26]Marriot Arbuthnot to Lord Sandwich, September 13, 1777, in G. R. Barnes and J. H. Owen, eds., The Private Papers of John, Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty, 1771-1782 (London, 1932-1938), 1:296, cited in: Philip Ranlet, “Tory David Sproat of Pennsylvania and the Death of American Prisoners of War,” Pennsylvania History Vol. 61, No.2 (1994), 203. For an excellent overview of the British recruitment efforts among the American prisoners, especially in the South, see Philip Ranlet’s “In the Hands of the British: The Treatment of the American POWs during the War of Independence,” The Historian, Vol. 62, No. 4 (Summer 2000), 731-757.

[27]Ranlet, “Tory David Sproat,” 188.

[28]“Massachusetts State Archives collection, colonial period, 1622-1788,” Vol. 196, 148a, letter of Simeon Samson to Massachusetts legislature, January 20, 1777, www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9YT-6XZG?i=249&cat=1055547. Simeon Samson (sometimes Sampson) had been the commander of Hazard. See MASS, 13: 763, hdl.handle.net/2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t6h12vn6z?urlappend=%3Bseq=772.

[29]“Massachusetts State Archives collection, colonial period, 1622-1788,” Vol. 196, 148a, letter of Simeon Samson to Massachusetts legislature, January 20, 1777, www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9YT-6XZG?i=249&cat=1055547.

[30]“Massachusetts State Archives collection, colonial period, 1622-1788,” Vol. 196, 148b, order of Massachusetts Legislature, February 7, 1777, www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9YT-6XZG?i=249&cat=1055547; NDAR, 7: 1134, archive.org/details/navaldocumentsof07unit/page/1134/mode/2up/.

[31]NDAR, 8: 1043, hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112005302473?urlappend=%3Bseq=1068.

[32]“Massachusetts State Archives collection, colonial period, 1622-1788,” Vol. 165, 163, petition of John Harmon, August 26, 1776, www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9Y5-LTHK?i=102&cat=1055547; Muster list of HMS Lizard, October 22, 1776.

[33]Muster list of HMS Lizard, October 22, 1776.

[34]“Muster/payrolls, and various papers (1763-1808) of the Revolutionary War [Massachusetts and Rhode Island]: Vol. 36, Sea coast defense rolls 1775-1780,” p. 1, www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSJ7-W32J-9?i=15&cat=729681.

[35]Moore, Memoir of Col. Ethan Allen,143.

[36]Ibid., 144.

[37]For recent discussions on this topic see allthingsliberty.com/2019/03/walking-skeletons-starvation-on-board-the-jersey-prison-ship/or allthingsliberty.com/2019/01/death-had-almost-lost-its-sting-disease-on-the-prison-ship-jersey/, both by Katie Turner Getty. For original recollections from the much-better-known prison ship Jersey, see Albert G. Greene, Recollections of the Jersey Prison-ship: Taken, And Prepared for Publication, From the Original Manuscript of the Late Captain Thomas Dring (Providence, RI: H. H. Brown, 1829), hdl.handle.net/2027/nnc2.ark:/13960/t0xp93q80. For an analysis of the role of typhus on prison ships, see Philip Ranlet, “Typhus and the American Prisoners in the War of Independence,” The Mariner’s Mirror, 2010, Vol. 96 No. 4 (2010), 443-454.

[38]Moore, Memoir of Col. Ethan Allen, 148.

[39]Edmund Duval Poole, Annals of Yarmouth and Barrington (Nova Scotia) in the Revolutionary War, compiled from original manuscripts (Yarmouth, NS: J. Murray Lawson, 1899), 94, archive.org/details/annalsofyarmouth00pooluoft/page/94/mode/2up/.

[40]Independent Chronicle and the Universal Advertiser (Boston), June 19, 1777.

[41]Barry Cahill, “The Treason of the Merchants: Dissent and Repression in Halifax in the Era of the American Revolution,” Acadiensis, XXVI, 1 (Autumn 1996), 52- 70, esp. 60.

[42]For hospital administration issues and Dr. Jeffries, see “A General’s Reprimand: Hospital mismanagement in Halifax, 1778,” The Loyalist Collection, March 13, 2019, loyalist.lib.unb.ca/atlantic-loyalist-connections/general%E2%80%99s-reprimand-hospital-mismanagement-halifax-1778. For much more about Dr. Jeffries’ life, see Robert A. Kyle, Marc A. Shampo, “John Jeffries: Physician and Balloonist,” Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Vol. 61 No. 6 (1986), 441, www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(12)61977-6/fulltext.

[43]Lord Barrington’s letter to Lord Germain, transmitting an extract of a letter received from Mr. Marshall, surgeon to the garrison at Halifax, Nova Scotia relative to the poor conditions of the rebel jail and hospital there, September 30 – November 5, 1778, National Archives (London), CO 5/170. We know that there was smallpox among the prisoners in Halifax also from the directives of the Massachusetts Council to immediately isolate the sick and thoroughly clean the ship upon its arrival in Boston on July 4, 1777. “Massachusetts State Archives collection, colonial period, 1622-1788,” Vol. 167, 66, www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9Y5-RJH9?i=962&cat=1055547.

[44]Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, Walter Hagens, S.15878, Massachusetts, NARA Publication M804, citing NARA record group 15, Roll 1152; www.fold3.com/image/22111129.

[45]MASS, 7: 298, archive.org/details/massachusettssolhhixmass/page/298/mode/2up; “Muster/payrolls, and various papers (1763-1808) of the Revolutionary War [Massachusetts and Rhode Island],” Vol. 9, 42a, a list of American prisoners exchanged from the Port of Halifax by order [of] Sir George Collier, June 28, 1777, www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSJ7-WDJB?i=439&cat=729681.

[46]“Putnam,” American War of Independence – at Sea, K. Kellow, awiatsea.com/Privateers/P/Putnam%20Massachusetts%20Sloop%20%5bBayley%5d.html.

[47]NDAR, 7: 26, archive.org/details/navaldocumentsof07unit/page/26/mode/2up/search/Lizard.

[48]Independent Chronicle and Universal Advertiser(Boston), November 7, 1776.

[49]NDAR, 7: 26, archive.org/details/navaldocumentsof07unit/page/26/mode/2up/search/Lizard. Interestingly, the muster book of HMS Lizard lists the men of the Putnam as captured on October 22, 1776, which appears to conflict with both its own captain’s log and Dr. Hagen’s journal.

[50]p. [9] of the journal.

[51]N. A. M. Rodger, Naval records for genealogists, (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1988), p. 45.

[52]Ibid., 55.

[53]Walter Hagens, S.15878.

[54]See, e.g. the 1894 DAR membership application of Harriet Walter Higgins Scovill (member no. 5349), great-great-granddaughter of Dr. Hagen’s, and daughter of the 1904 transcriber Walter Higgins.

[55]He was commissioned captain of privateer Americain September 1777. MASS, 3: 730, hdl.handle.net/2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t4qj7869x?urlappend=%3Bseq=740; “America [American],” American War of Independence – at Sea, K. Kellow, www.awiatsea.com/Privateers/A/America%20Massachusetts%20Sloop%20[Nicholson%20Coit%20Avery].html.

[56]Gardner Weld Allen, Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution (Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1927), 327, archive.org/details/collectionsofmas77mass/page/327/mode/2up; Boston Gazette, June 18, 1781.

[57]Library of Congress, Naval records of the American Revolution: 1775-1788 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1906), 450, hdl.handle.net/2027/hvd.32044080271208?urlappend=%3Bseq=444.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *