Massachusetts Spy

Wednesday, May 24, 1775

Worcester, May 24 [1775]

The week before last, the Falcon sloop of war, was cruising about Cape Cod, and meeting with a wood sloop, in ballast, seized her, but promising the Skipper to release him and his vessel if he would give information of any vessel that was just arrived from the West-Indies with a cargo on board, he at length told the Captain of the Falcon that there was a sloop at Dartmouth, which has just arrived; whereupon the Captain of the Falcon, instead of releasing the wood sloop, armed and manned her, and sent her in search of the West-Indiaman; they found the vessel lying at anchor, but her cargo was landed; however, they seized her and carried her off after putting part of their crew and some guns and ammunition on board. Notice of this getting on shore, the people fitted out a third sloop, with about thirty men and two swivel guns, and went in pursuit of these royal pirates, whom they come up with at Martha's Vineyard, where they lay at anchor at about a league's distance from each other; the first surrendered without firing a gun, our people after putting a number of hands on board, bore down upon the other, which by this time had got under sail, but the people in the Dartmouth sloop coming up with her, the pirates fired upon them; the fire was immediately returned, by which three of the pirates were wounded, among whom was the commanding officer; our people boarded her immediately, and having taken both sloops, carried them into Dartmouth, and sent the prisoners to Cambridge, from whence nine of them were yesterday brought to this Town.

Source: Naval Documents of the American Revolution, I, 515