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Protest of Ebenezer Fuller concerning the capture of the John & Elizabeth, including related depositions
Fuller, Ebenezer
May 01, 1772
Volume 09, Pages 319-322

[B. P. R. O. Am. & W. Indies; No. Carolina. No. 220.]
Account of the Capture and loss of Colonel Simpson's vessel at Vera Cruz.
North Carolina
Edenton Ss.

By this Public Instrument of Protest and Writing, bearing date hereafter mentioned, Be it known and Manifest to all whom it may concern, that on the first day of May in the year of Our Lord One Thousand seven hundred and seventy two.

Before me Thomas Jones Notary and Tabellion Public, residing at Edenton in the Province aforesaid, by lawfull authority duely admitted and sworn according to Law, personally appeared Ebinezer Fuller late master of the Schooner John and Elizabeth and made oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, before me as Notary aforesaid, that on the twenty ninth day of October in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and sixty nine, he, this deponent sailed with the said Schooner John & Elizabeth from Port Royal in the Island of Jamaica, bound on a voyage to the Province of North Carolina, and that at the time of the said Schooner her sailing, she was stiff, staunch, and well apparrelled and manned for the Voyage aforesaid. That on the fifth day of November in the year of our Lord last aforesaid, this Deponent past Cape St Antony's on the Island of Cuba with the wind at East. That on the eighth day of the same month came up with the Bay of Honda, where he this Deponent in the said Schooner, met with a hard Gale of Wind, at N. N. E. with a leeward current which set the said Schooner John & Elizabeth back to St Antony's, and which this Deponent made the sixteenth day of the said month, that the Gale abating he made a second attempt, but on the twentieth day of the said month, was

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taken in another Gale N. N. E. which split the sails and parted the tyes of the said schooner fore and aft. That on the Twenty fifth day of the said month, the Gale still continuing, carried away the Jibb Stay and Main Clew, that the Vessel being very leaky and her sails blown to pieces it was impossible to get anything to windward. That on the thirtieth day of the said month this Deponent imagined himself two degrees West of Cape Florida being in Lat. 25° 44m N. That the provisions being then exhausted to fifteen biscuits a man and a very little meat this deponent found in such situation, it was impossible to proceed on his voyage. It was therefore with the advice and consent of the Ship's Company, for the preservation of their lives, thought most advisable to bear away for the Mississippi, but that by a mistake in the Draught, the mouth of the river being there laid down nineteen miles south and three hundred and ten miles west from where it really lyes, occasioned this deponent to over run the Port, that it being then the eighth day of December, in the year of our Lord aforesaid, and finding the said Schooner to the Westward this deponent endeavoured for the Mississippi until the sixteenth day of the said month, but the Provisions being quite expended, and the vessel in excessive bad order, this deponent was obliged to bear away for Vera Cruiz, where he arrived with the said Schooner on the Twenty fifth day of December in the year of Our Lord aforesaid, that this deponent and his Crew had for many days before this been reduced to nothing for their subsistance but boiled molasses and sugar. That on the Twenty sixth day of the said month of December this Deponent and his Crew, by the Express Orders and Command of the Governor of Vera Cruiz were taken prisoners and confined under a guard of Twenty Three Spanish Soldiers, on board of the said Schooner John and Elizabeth without the least Cause given or Crime committed either by this Deponent or any of his Crew. That on the Twenty first day of January in the year of our Lord one Thousand seven hundred and seventy, the aforesaid Governor attended by the Custom House officers, came on Board the said Schooner, and threatened this Deponent and his Crew with death, should they refuse to deliver up the keys of their Chests, that thereupon this Deponent and his Crew delivered up their Keys, upon which the said Governor and Officers rifled the said Schooner and Chests, and robbed the same of the Quantity of five hundred, Twenty nine and a half dollars, and thereafter gave a strict charge to keep this Deponent and his Crew under Confinement, That this Deponent and his
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Crew remained confined on Board of the said Schooner until the Thirtieth day of October in the year last aforesaid, when she sunk by the neglect of the Spaniards, That this Deponent and his Crew were then carried and confined on board a Spanish Vessel. That on the seventh day of January in the year of Our Lord one Thousand seven hundred and seventy two, the aforesaid Governor came down to the said Vessel and verbally ordered this Deponent and his Crew to embark for the Havannah, at the same time robbed and carried away from this Deponent two Negroes being part of the Cargo of the aforesaid Schooner, that this Deponent and his Crew still continued under confinement until the sixth day of February, when they sailed for the Havannah, at which place they arrived on the second of March thereafter, that on the sixth day of the said month of March this Deponent petitioned the Governor of the Havannah for the Sloop Sally which belonged to Capt. Benjamin Pratt Junior who, and likewise his mate, had died of the small pox, that the said petition was readily granted, and on the seventh day of the said month of March this Deponent and his Crew embarked on board the said Sloop Sally, That on the Twenty eighth of the said month they set sail with said Sloop from the Havannah bound for Pasquotank County in the Province of North Carolina, after a confinement by the Spaniards of Twenty seven months and four days, during all which time this Deponent and his Crew were not only almost starved for want of Provisions, but otherwise most cruelly and barbarously treated and kept to hard labour, and this Deponent further maketh Oath that he never has received the smallest redress or satisfaction either for the loss of his said Vessel, her Cargoe or the dollars above mentioned; and that on the Twenty eighth day of April in the year of our Lord last mentioned, he this Deponent arived with the said Sloop Sally in Pasquotank County aforesaid. And further he saith not.

EBENr FULLER.

Wherefore the said Ebenizer Fuller Master as aforesaid before me did protest, against the winds, Seal Currents, the aforesaid Governor of Vera Cruiz and Custom House Officers for all losses Costs and damages whatsoever, that hath or may accrue to the Owners, Freighters or Incurers, or any person or persons whatsoever, concerned in the said Schooner John and Elizabeth, for the reasons herein before mentioned.

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Whereupon I the said Thomas Jones Notary as aforesaid at the instance and request of the said Ebenizer Fuller, did, and do hereby solemnly and in due form, sign and attest this present Protest, of, for and concerning all and singular the premises aforesaid, in the particular manner herein before mentioned and expressed as if the same were herein again particularly mentioned and repeated.

In Testimonio Veritatis

THO. JONES, Noty Publick.
Recor' codem. Die.

Be it remembered that on the first day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy two, personally appeared before me Thomas Jones, Notary and Tabellion Public residing at Edenton in the Province of North Carolina duly admitted and sworn according to Law, Ebenizer Fuller late Master and Ichabod Simpson late Mate on Board the Schooner John and Elizabeth, Who made Oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God to the truth of the several Traits contained in the within written Protest.

Signed
EBENIZER FULLER, Master
ICHABOD SIMPSON, Mate
JOHN BRITTON, Seaman
JOHN WILLIAMS, Seaman
Quod Attestor rogatus
Tho. Jones, Notty Publick.

Pasquotank County 6th May 1772. Then appeared before me William McCormick one of His Majesties Justices for this County, John Britton, Mariner, who made Oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almghty God, to the truth of the several Traits contained in the within Protest.

Wm McCORMICK.

Chowan County—Ss. 5th August 1772. Then appeared before me Robert Smith Esqre one of His Majesties Justices for the said County, John Williams late mariner on board the Schooner John & Elizabeth who made Oath on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, to the truth of the several Facts contained in the within Protest.

ROBt SMITH.